Portugal/London’s Padre Himalaya turns out an ace, multiplexed EP of pop edits, hip hop breaks, and ghetto house from Silvestre
Making his 2nd run on Padre Himalaya after a pair of 12”s with Tokyo’s Diskotopia, Silvestre diversifies his bonds in unexpected ways, swaggering from sawn-off hip hop to a rude and woozy early ‘90s breakbeat edit of t.A.T.u, and breezy Skam-style hip hop on the A-side, before switching up to a banging, rugged ghetto house swang and sped-up, NYC-style ‘90s reggaeton-hip hop for good measure.
Full flight space rock from Canada, 1980, featuring Del Dettmar of Hawkwind
“Melodic Energy Commission is a Canadian gem and an interesting branch of the Hawkwind family tree (featuring Del Delmar on electronics.) Hailing from British Columbia, their unique blend of space rock, progressive and hippie psychedelia began in 1977 as a recording-only project titled "The Melodic Energy Commission of Collected Artists."
MEC quickly released two albums: 1979's "Stranger in Mystery" & 1980's "Migration Of The Snails." The music is raw and heavily exploratory, often shifting styles radically within a single track, moving from from quiet chamber orchestras to dissonant guitar freak outs with smears of analog electronics filling in gaps along the way.
RIYL: Amon Düüll II, Tangerine Dream, Hawkwind, Sun City Girls and Syd Barret.”
China’s Shao follows a 12” and opening credit on the ‘Dreamy Harbour’ compilation for Tresor with ‘Doppler Shift’, 6 tracks of greyscale techno and Alva Noto-esque minimalism taken from the 9-track digital release.
Picking up where his ‘Sensi (Edit)’ left us in the ‘Dreamy Harbour’, Shao heads in pursuit of a immersively textured and effortlessly rolling structures across ‘Doppler Shift’, keening from the vapourised metallic tang and shadowy bass strokes of the intro cut and into the clipped swagger of ‘Reflection Pt.1’, which recalls Carsten Nicolai & Olaf Bender’s Diamond Version gear, and then dissolving into the filigree moire of keys and swivelling bass on ‘Bubble’.
The tougher ‘Bubble (Version)’ follows fathoms deeper, l;eating to the steeply vaulted, hallucinatory sound design of ‘Atmospheric Refraction In The Desert’, which sounds something like Dylan Carlson meets Donato Dozzy, and the sublime ambience of ‘Winter 2012’ recalls Shinichi Atobe at his sylvan, ghostly best.
Introducing In Mirrors From Vancouver, B.C. Their Debut LP "Escape From Berlin" was recorded in deep isolation on location at Nite Prison in Vancouver. Produced & mixed by Johnny Jewel, the album plays as a dizzying massive singular collage.
"Acutely focused on texture & the negative space between moments, composer & poet Jesse Taylor is the core member in a revolving cast of collaborators. For this LP, his partners in crime are Suzanne, Hiromi Inada (Japan), & Andrew Grosvenor on clarinet. As enigmatic & fleeting as reflections in a hall of mirrors, these themes are fractured & textural. Taylor ambitiously asks us to look beyond the mirror...through to the other side where we imagine Phillip Glass playing chess with William Burroughs while Klaus Schulze slaves over a droning synthesizer in the corner. Sonically, we hear vapor trails from Coltrane, Carpenter, & Amon Duul.
This debut is a glance at one of the most varied artists on Italians Do It Better's roster. Johnny & Jesse have been collaborating behind the scenes since 2003. Distilled in a process strengthened by time from Portland to Montreal...Los Angeles to B.C. In Mirrors blurs the imaginary lines between genres opening with a sultry Stevie Nicks cover & closing with 14 minutes of expansive aural fusion. Perhaps Taylor's good friend, Joey Casio said it best..."Change the channel, this one is the mirror”.”
Cold blue wavey melancholy from Vanderschrick, a new earthling discovered by celebrated reissue specialists, STROOM 〰
On the A-side ‘Ochtendgrijs’ gazes into middle distance with unaffected vocals and a plaintive, minimalist backdrop of wide bass and shivering chime trees that beckon listeners to rest and reflect in its Antwerp attic air.
By contrast, the B-side may well provide the urge to dance, striking the finest balance of sexy slunkiness and introverted pop coyness that’s really pushing our buttons right now.
Very welcome reissue of Juju & Jordash’s debut EP, originally dispensed by Reggie Dokes’ Psychostasia Recordings in 2004
Dovetailing with the label’s early vibes, Amsterdam’s J&J unfurl an eternally charming and admirable spin on Detroit beatdown at its jazziest and loosest, nudged with unmistakeable nods to Dokes, Theo Parrish and KDJ, but with a certain Israeli/Amsterdam suss of their own.
Finding its feet in the deep space jazz strokes, alien synth voices and wickedly stumbling groove of ‘Hush’ starring live sax by Chris Corstens, the J&J magick flows into the properly rude KDJ-style twyst of ‘Husheesh (Acid Dub Mix)’ on the A-side, before Reggie Dokes and Ferrispark’s Scott Ferguson smooth out the kinks as Koomba Project with an effortlessly deep remix on the B-side.
Johnny Jewel reunites with Farah for the first time since their golden ’Gay Boy’ and ‘Dancing Girls’ classixxx
Farah delivers her best Cali drawl on the gently dub-fluffed disco groove ‘The Only Ones’, and with a far more sultry, latinate tug against the lilting congas and tight bass lixx of ‘Baby Girl’, while the B-side provides a very necessary instrumental mix of the ohrwurming ‘Dancing Girls’ from the pivotal ‘After Dark’ compilation, as well as the uncredited appearance of her weightless ace, ‘Shadow Of A Doubt’ tucked away at the end.
Johnny Jewel’s original vehicle, Chromatics, remind us their ineffable elan on ‘Lady’
The melancholy thizz of ‘Lady’ heads up the EP with Ruth Radeltt’s vocals skimming over needling arps and plush, strolling disco bass, also appearing as an instrumental and a dramatically stripped back and opened out ‘Lady (On Film)’ version.
‘Looking For Love’ rounds off the package with a gilded slow motion disco ace included as a shorter instrumental and a super classy 15 minute ‘Disco Version’ proper.
Fractal Fantasy’s Visceral Vaults finally give up the hard-edged rap mutant ‘WW4’ by Mikey Dollaz, King Louie, Zora Jones & Drippin, backed with a Jersey house style remix from Famous Eno
First spotted on Zora Jones’ killer Fact mix in 2017, ‘WW4’ features Mikey Dollaz and King Louie running roughshod over a crunching blend of slamming drums and pitch-warped chromatic vamps, whereas Famous Eno’s remix fills in the weed smokey space between the original beats with militant kicks and martial melody for screwfaced club antics.
The Death of The Machines series arrives at its first compilation, featuring heavy hitting EBM and industrial zingers by four new artists: Exterminador, Craow, R. Gamble, and Plastic Ivy
Classically schooled in the dark art of war dance, each operator pulls out something hard and nasty, ranging from the supremely taut, Silent Servant-esque traction of ‘Mohammad Bin Salman (Tegeler Mix)’ by Exterminador, to the gnashing drum machines and palpitating EBM pulse of Craow’s ‘Lot’ on the front, and over to the virulent synth-pop lead and muscular thrum of R Gamble’s ‘Dead Advice (Club Mix)’ and the hot-stepping quicksilver of ‘Exit Strategy’ by Plastic Ivy.
Detroit dons Brendan M. Gillis, Erika Sherman and Carlos Souffront stake out darkest electro-techno terrain in their long overdue first Ectomorph album. Don’t expect any tops-off rockers or identikit bangers, but do expect loads of dark, stripped-down and classic Motor City nous in effect, especially in the viscous warp of ‘Crawl Of Cthulu’, the blank-eyed grunge of ’Stalker’, and the radioactive shudder of ‘Psychic Downfall’. 313 heads, pinch yourself; it’s real!
“Ectomorph occupy a unique and strange place within Detroit Techno history. Founded in 1994 as an inspired reaction to DBX, Basic Channel, Rob Hood, Sähkö, and Drexciya, they released their first 12" singles in 1995 as an attempt to make Detroit music for Detroit itself, rather than exclusively for export.
The mystique of their early singles led to mythic status and a strong underground cult following, which they have continued to develop through releases on their own Interdimensional Transmissions label. Their live shows are legendary for their ability to fluidly incorporate improvisational techniques into synthesized music (and for the sheer amount of hardware that they bring to the stage). The Ectomorph show is all analog, no computers or samplers or even drum machines: all sounds come from the modulars and the mountains of Moogs.
Ectomorph (now officially comprised of BMG & Erika) reconvened in 2016 to write new music, which led to a series of live shows where the new material was tested via performance and allowed to evolve in form. To capture the energy of these performances, the new material was recorded in the studio totally live, multitracked for further engineering, but with no editing whatsoever. This music, to borrow a phrase from Derrick May, is what it is. The entire album was recorded live in one or two takes in the Interdimensional Laboratories in Detroit. This is the sound of the idea that is Ectomorph, presented in its natural and organic format, live and improvisational.
Interdimensional Transmissions (or IT) is a Detroit-based label founded by BMG (Brendan M Gillen) in 1995, with its first release the debut record by Ectomorph. The label has come to represent the left-hand path within Detroit Techno, Electro, post-disco, etc. IT often takes a wide musical lens and incorporates history as a way to find something both pure and new. IT is collaborative in nature, and functions as a dialogue between label partners BMG, Erika, & Amber. IT parties have also gained a cult status internationally, with their recurring No Way Back events becoming the focal point of a sort of post-rave cultural phenomenon and the annual after party highlight of Detroit's Memorial Day weekend.”
Keith Hudson, the dub dentist, was a one-off innovator with impeccable, classical lineage: his first studio recording involved former Skatalites; his earliest releases provided solid-gold hits for Ken Boothe's "Old Fashioned Way" as far back as John Holt, Delroy Wilson, U-Roy and the rest.
Like "Lloyd" Bullwackies Barnes, his collaborator here - his split from this tradition is dynamic and all his own: Hudson's mature music finds its optimum conditions away from Jamaica, in London and New York studios and for less didactic transatlantic audiences, while his dark experimentalism becomes increasingly better suited to the the LP and extended 12" than the cardinal 7" reggae format.
Original dark disco mixes from the middle>> latter seventies, drenched in the essences of deepest afro-american-jamaican funk jams. "Playing It Cool & Playing It Right" was released in 1981 on Hudson's own, american based Joint International label. It was originally intended that one of Hudson's teenage sons would voice the dubs: in the event the Love Joys, Wayne Jarrett, and inimitably Hudson himself featured at the microphone.
Like Wackies, Hudson was a Studio One devotee "I used to hold Don Drummond's trombone for him so I can be in the studio", he once recalled ˆ and the album follows Coxsone's recent strategy of overdubbing signature rhythms. While the Studio One sides were aimed at the dancefloor; Hudson's reworks of alltime classic tracks like "Melody Maker", all darkside funkadelic guitars and brooding feeling, are more psychological. Deep Barrett Brothers rhythms are remixed like you've never heard, deeper still with reverb, filters and other distortion, pitched down, everything; and overlaid with new recordings, often heavily treated, of wahwahed guitars, percussion, keyboard, voice. "Playing It Cool.." is legendary, strange, utterly compelling music.
Coil’s unearthly garden continues to bloom posthumously with the Astral Disaster Sessions - including a whole bunch of previously unreleased and rare cuts from the Un/finished Musics recordings finally seeing the light of day, transferred from analogue tapes onto Gary Ramon’s Prescription label a year after the remastered original sessions crept out on vinyl reissue.
Notoriously recorded in the former debtors prison-turned-Iron Maiden studio beneath the River Thames, on Samhain, 1998, the Astral Disaster Sessions - Un/finished musics serves a haul of previously unreleased or hard-to-find versions of tracks from the original Astral Disaster [1999/2016] LPs, which are widely regarded a seminal highlight of Peter Christopherson, Johnn Balance, Drew McDowell, Thighpaulsandra and Gary Ramon’s time together as Coil.
On the A-side you’ll now find swirling raga-noise meditation The Sea Priestess (Early Mix) next to a sublime, previously omitted Part 2 tract of The Mothership and the Fatherland, and a skinnier, plasmic Alternative mix of The Avatars, but we imagine the big attractions for Coil fiends will be the Instrumental mix of I Don’t Want To be the One, which was previously only found on a rare 1999 promo-only Prescription sampler, and most particularly the ghostly and invasively psychedelic 14 minutes of Cosmic Disaster, which was the original working title for Astral Disaster, and has never been released on any format.
Legit reissue taken from analogue masters, Coil's sorely coveted Astral Disaster (1998) for Gary Ramon’s Prescription (UK) is returned to circulation on its original format. 2nd hand copies now trade for at least a K, just sayin’…
At the behest of Ramon - who is absorbed into a line-up revolving Jhon Balance, Peter Christopherson, Drew McDowall, and Thighpaulsandra - over two days at Samhain 1998, Coil descended into the bowels of his Sun Dial studios, surrounded by manacles and chains under the level of the River Thames in the Ancient Borough of Southwark, to commit what would become one of their most possessing sides.
Astral Disaster was the result: two correlating hemispheres channelling, meditative, eastern raga drone with sage-like poetry and electro-acoustic phantasmagorias, projecting a plasmic miasma of pharmaceutical shimmer and surreality that’s pretty much arch Coil.
If there’s any one big reason you need it, though, that would be the amazing B-side, The Mothership and The Fatherland, framing creaking wooden drums and the gibber-chin shivers of swarming, translucent studio duppies in a diaphanous soundfield of freefall ambient atmospheres - basically the sound of ketamine in the ‘90s.
Makes us want to melt. Massive recommendation!
Deathprod, Lotic, Rezzett and Total Freedom reframe Bendik Giske’s very Colin Stetson-esque use of the saxophone+vocals on ‘Adjust’
Yes you read that right - for the first time in over a decade, Deathprod lends his remix magick to this set in completely inimitable style, serrating Giske’s melodic breath control from source and turning it into a 6 minute cyclone of streaking white noise better compared with the sound of a motorway underpass or airport runway than anything remotely human-made, that is until it calves away into a sludge metal coda in the final third. Trust it’s heavily satisfying.
The other remixers step up to the mark in their own style, from Total Freedom’s lush lather, to the fractious schismatics of Lotic’s, and the sidewinding psychedelic techno keen of Rezzett.
‘Baroque Steps’ is a quiet, poetically impressionistic study on the transition from winter to spring and beyond, all painted in shimmering watercolour washes and oily slydes by Andrew Chalk (Elodie, Organum, Mirror)
Describing a passage from bright, hazy, layered harmonies, and a subsequent descent into more mulched and curdled tones, Chalk’s seamless arrangements induce increasingly hypnotic states and, in a way, could be taken as a allegory for his own, near geologic, 30 year progression from harsh grained noise to these kind of utterly sublime instrumental and electro-acoustic refinements.
“Sun-lit leaves. It is a clear blue message of hope, as it rings out on a cold winter's day. As the spring progresses, it becomes a cascade that overflows with bubbling sound, and ends with a challenge"
Slick, high pressure bass business from two of the UK’s baddest, Batu & Lurka, launched on the latter’s Fringe White label one year on from their debut sling.
Combining and parsing the best traits of both producers, the A-side steps and swings off 25 PSI pumped subs and hyaline hooks in a reticulated ice-snake riddim rent to the rafters with streaking dynamics before bringing it closer down with sublime, shivering pads saved for the most poignant moment.
In stark contrast, the B-side’s Struck yanks the tempo down and rubs the drums up the wrong way, swivelling heavy on a 110bpm tempo with cold, thistly, slamming drums and flat bass slaps stealthily opening out in swaggering UK style unconcerned with trends but firmly fixed on ’nuum roots and futures.
Belfast’s BLOOM returns from the dark with ‘Nutrient’, his first outing since remixing tracks from Björk’s ‘Vulnicura’ three years ago
Lest we forget, Bloom’s trio of releases for Visionist’s Lost Codes, Mr. Mitch’s Gobstopper, and Craylegs between 2012-2014 were key moments in the instrumental grime resurgence, effectively taking the style in gyroscopic 3D space.
With ‘Nutrient’ he follows a line also taken by Rabit, to frolic in the ruins of dance music’s recent past (and future?) with pulverised traces of grime and sic fi FX whipped into an asymmetric, keening blatz of weightless post-hardcore torque and cinematic shrapnel.
Joy O approaches 10 years in the game with a diversified EP smartly marking the distance travelled from his acclaimed debut ‘Hyph Mngo’ back in 2009.
Spanning shadowy UK electro-bass, weightless trance, and deep blue house styles, the ‘81b EP’ follows Joy O’s collaboration with sax player Ben Vince for Hessle Audio to render a definitively mature self-portrait of his sound in 2018.
On the A-side he tees off with the slunky lust of ‘Seed’ on a sci-fi electro tip, mixing gynoid vocals with shifty UK-style subs into killer 2nd half Reese drop, whereas ‘Coyp’ is more stripped down to ghostly rolige, and ‘Tennov6teen’ locks into a roil of entrancing arps.
The B-side is much warmer, fleshly, stretching out with the offset, Kassem Mosse-alike bubble ’n squeak of ‘Belly’, before ‘Sin Palta’, a highlight of his Dekmantel mix, appears in a more dubbed out mix, and ‘81b’ curls up at the end on a slouchy after-party bent.
Jibber-jawed techno and raving deja entendu from France’s E-Talking and southern English artist Laksa on the 4th in Whities’ Blue series
E-Talking, a new moniker for one half of french pair Nummer, rolls out the decayed, snappy drums and bruxist throat singing styles of ‘Telephone Rose’, while Laksa offers a strobing, rolling flashback to raves gone-by in ‘It Feels Like I’ve Been Here Before’.
Cranky, bashy UK electro-techno subsets from the echo chambers of Bristol’s Batu and Lurka.
They’ve cleft a sound square between their respective styles, coming with square-bassed cyber ruffige sparked off by glancing ice-pick snares on the A-side, whereas the flip digs a tangy metallic techno sound busy with squirrelly synths in a spacious sound design, before going slow and low on a bugged-out bit of Bristol dancehall.
Black Merlin joins Mannequin’s Death of the Machines series with a killer payload of slow-to-mid tempo industrial/EBM/Acid styles
In three parts Merlin holds his ground, driving from the brain-burrowing acid drive of ‘Oba Enka’ with its spirit-gnawing breakdown on the A-side, thru the charred synth drones and sluggish thrum of ‘DEF’, to check out on the razor-fanged and grimacingly slow churn of ‘HAM’.
Elodie’s sublime second album presented on vinyl for the first time. Originally issued on CD in 2011 ‘La Lumiere Parfumee’ finds Andrew Chalk and Timo Van Luijk’s duo hovering into the languid, spectral forms that have charmed us ever since.
Impossibly delicate and floaty, ‘La Lumiere Parfumee’ is a like a slow motion, weightless ballet written for keys, strings, synth and brushed drums, where Chalk and Van Luijk seemingly keep their instrument’s feet from ever touching the floor. Thanks to expertly refined recording and post-production techniques, the soundfield is intimate yet psychedelically expansive, with ineffably dreamy results cradling listeners in a mid-air sound quite unlike any other in circulation right now.
When this album originally arrived it wasn’t really on our radar. At that time there was a groundswell of wishy washy neo-classical/modern ambient music that possibly occluded Elodie from our view - perhaps a case of can’t see the wood for the trees. But ever since encountering them live and then circa ‘Porte Ouverte’ , it’s become clear to us, at least, that Elodie are in possession of that rarest quality; an effortless, subliminal ability to intoxicate and draw us whole into their unique sound world.
With tremulous keys, powdered percussion, and murmuring wind instruments marbled with synth gasses, they create immaculate snapshots of crepuscular, pastoral scenes as immersive and purposefully descriptive as Japanese Gagaku soundtracks, but also every bit as humble as the most charming Cotton Goods releases. It’s a gently mystical, natural sound that warrants repeated visits, just like your favourite local beauty spot, respite bench in an inner city park, or secluded rooftop terrace of the mind.
Carsten Nicolai concludes Alva Noto’s UNI-prefixed release cycle with UNIEQAV, the 3rd and most dancefloor-focussed instalment of the series. The follow-up to Unitxt  and Univrs  pairs pendulous minimal techno and electro rhythms with wide, sheer electronic drones in a way that strongly recalls recent Monolake output as well as Ilpo Väisänen in full swang. Comparisons aside, though, it’s unmistakably Alva Noto.
Pursuing the project’s roots in the dancefloor of Tokyo’s UNIT club to a satisfyingly logical endpoint, Nicolai rolls out 12 typically mercurial yet gripping sound designs defined by their fluid dynamics and seemingly fathomless dimensions intended to render the club or your head underwater, thanks to a still remarkable grasp of purified tonal minimalism/maximalism and studied sensitivity to proprioception.
The results are filigree yet robust, firmed up for deployment on the sickest sound system you can lay your hands on, but also highly pleasurable in a headphone or sofa-inclined context, keeping us rapt and twitching from the dubwise plong and looming pads of Uni Sub and the Robert Henke-esque pressure systems of Uni Mia.
The nervous skeleton of Uni Version flows into singular Alva Noto sounds in the jabbing pointillism of Uni Clip and the staggering scale of Uni Normal, with major highlights in the widescreen drama of Uni Blue, and footwork-like rapid movement join Uni Edit, while Anne-James Chaton’s vocal lend a sharp contrast in Uni Dna.
Autechre's classic debut album from 1993, reissued for the first time in 15 years...
Go on, blink; for the first time in fifteen years Autechre’s peerless debut album, Incunabula is reissued as a facsimile copy of the original, 1993 release, replete with silver-printed gatefold jacket.
We’re not going to bang on about this too much, but you should know by now that Incunabula is one of the cornerstones of modern electronic music, one of the pinnacles of the British rave epoch and among the most life-affirming records ever, bar none.
Aye, it’s 100% essential.
Steeply hypnotic and immensely powerful mix of possessed drone, doom metal and pounding motorik rhythms from Manchester’s Primitive Knot, who, being local and all, we’re ashamed to say we’ve never seen before, but will do on the strength of this evidence presented by Aurora Borealis (home to The Haxan Cloak, KTL, Burial Hex)
“Hailing from Manchester, UK, Primitive Knot have created a cult underground following with their prolific output and aura of arcane mystery. Primitive Knot cover a lot of musical ground, from motorik Krautrock to primitive thrashing doom metal, garage rock to the kind of industrial pop bombast associated with latter era Sisters of Mercy. Yet at all times, the sound is pure Primitive Knot. ‘Thee Opener Of The Way’ sees Primitive Knot exploring the spiritual outer realms with drone, doom and dark ambient methodology, delivering over an hour of shamanic cosmic drift.
‘Thee Opener Of The Ways’ collects the sold out tape releases of ‘DOOM I’ and ‘DOOM II’, combining them with the tracks ‘Thee Opener Of The Way’ and ‘Devotion And Decay In Interstitial Space’ to bring this material to a wider audience in a cohesive album format.”
Glass offers the sublime results of a collaboration between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto), as performed and recorded at Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut during the private opening to Yayoi Kusama’s installation marking the 110th anniversary of Johnson’s birth.
Making sterling use of the landmark architectural work’s pellucid dimensions, the pair fixed contact mics to its glass walls, which they effectively played as an “instrument”, rubbing it with rubber gong mallets to generate delicate tones which they combined with a sympathetic palette of singing glass bowls, crotales, keyboards and mixers.
The seamless performance of floating, weightless tones and exquisitely quivering timbres is without doubt one of their finest. For the duration we’re held static and spellbound by the pair’s interplay of microtonal shifts and plasmic chronics, keening the listener thru hazes of digital dust and vortices of angelic harmonics to locate, alchemise and resolve a rarified, deeply mysterious spirit before the piece closes.
As the follow-up to their OST for The Revenant  and the warbling keys of Summvs  before that, the achingly lush tension of Glass is perhaps the purest testament to the clarity of vision and endless minimalist mutability of this highly revered duo.
Hodge lends a koshing techno remix to this canny set of spacious, halfstep-leaning breakbeat workouts by Truska.
The original pressures are strongest in the skittish Pangaea styles of Lucid and Intra, while Fervous works at a slower tempo for those that need it.
We’d recommend going straight for Hodge’s stark rework of Lucid, reduced to boulder rolling kicks and dank atmospheres right out of the facility on Goldeneye the computer game.
Slum Village’s Waajeed spins out the Detroit-style beatdown hip hop instrumental, ‘Strength’ along with his own house mix and remixes by Jay Daniel and Jon Dixon.
The original is a breezy slow-motion ace blessed with blooming 313 pads, whereas Waajeed’s string mix is a super plush house track loaded with proper subs, slinky marimba melody and delicious vocal, oh and those patented Detroit strings, natch.
Jay Daniel chimes in with a reshuffle of the house mix, adding extra layers of concussion and daubs of live-sounding keys, arriving at an uplifting 2nd half denouement, while Jon Dixon opts for a deep and classic Detroit house style.
At long last the Ø & Panasonic soundtrack to ‘Sähkö - The Movie’ has finally been discovered and available for release nearly 20 years after the movie was made, and 1 year since it was premiered by the Boiler Room
Recently discovered in a box of Jimi Tenor demo tapes at the Warp offices in London, the 1995 film’s soundtrack is now compiled and issued to coincide with the Oslo memorial for Mika Vainio this September, 2018. It’s very safe to say that a lot of techno heads are going to be very happy right now.
With the exception of an edited version of ’Syväys’ from the 2012 EP of the same name, all the material here is previously unreleased, but sounds very close to material found on Mika’s legendary ‘Metri’ LP and the ‘Röntgen’ and ‘Kvantti’ EPs, or Panasonic’s ‘Vakio’, which were all produced during the same period as the film.
The techno bods really need to check for the tentative minimal techno probe of ‘Scene 1’ and the pulsating miniature ‘Scene 2’, while those with a noisier tooth will gert a good kick out of the rest.
Carla Dal Forno yields her self-released cover versions tape, ‘Top Of The Pops’, which was previously only available on her 2018 US tour
Recorded on the cusp of winter/spring, it features Dal Forno placing a gently haunted spin on personal pop & wave favourites by The B-52’s, Rénee, The Kiwi Animal, Liliput, Lana Del Rey, and The Fates.
Stripped down to their essence, the songs provide a fine showcase for Carla’s strong yet plaintive vocals and skill in painting and framing her subtle instrumental backdrops. The results are most alluring in her skeletal reduction of the B-52’s ‘Give Me Back My Man’, with its seaside town-in-winter ambience, and in the dark blue stripe of her take on Lana Del Rey’s ’Summertime Sadness’, but we’re sure you’ll all have your own favourites.
Sold out at source. Think quick if you’d like one.
Killer, oblique pop-deconstruction from NYC’s Keke Hunt a.k.a Just The Right Height. Robotically-enunciated lyrics set to spare, jagged, sawn-off hooks jabbed in on sampler and machines, RIYL Yeah You, FAY, Lolina, Klein
“Hunt’s stop and go, deconstructed songwriting is emotional and bare. Her undressing of the radio hit is so lyrically labrinthine, the urge to dance might escape you — and dance with me.
Just the right height is an investigation of pop lyricism and a satire of feminine objecthood; The perfect size, The perfect longing shape to fit inside, the perfect fit. Just the right height is a rubber mouth. Formless liquid silicone poured into a mold that mimes agency, vocalization, but says nothing; careless. An empty silhouette, inciting arousal and movement. Mouthy, Vapid, Stupid, Hot; Vain and thoughtless song.
In her album Let Forever Be Only You Tonight, Hunt writes lyrics by compiling text from an online lyric generator which outputs jumbled lines sourced from the lyrics of existing popular songs. Hunt exhales composited speech, a synonym of the virtual pop star whose personality program is compiled from the thoughts and feelings on her fans blog posts and online output; Her face surgically modified to reflect the image of her fans.
Rhythm stripped of melody is the dominant form in Hunt’s musical work. Nevertheless, Hunt intersperses her catalogue with heartfelt, melodic tracks as if to tie a polite bow on a rude package.
Hunt’s earliest released music was written in collaboration with Los angeles based painter Marisa Takal. The tracks released on their 2014 split with Odwalla88 are the product of a 3 year collaboration. Hunt has also collaborated with Multimedia Bryan Edward Collins on a project called Hard World Fashion. This album features a song co-written by Collins and Hunt. Since 2015 Hunt has released music under with tape labels such as Primitive Languages and ALL GONE tapes, under various titles, culminating in her current moniker, Just The Right Height. Let Forever Be Only You Tonight is her first full-length LP and release through She Rocks!”
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.
Portland, OR’s Saloli debuts on Kranky with a gorgeous suite of live analogue synth meditations...
Presented as they were performed, with no overdubs or edits, ‘The Deep End’ finds Saloli swimming in rich colours swept up in gentle currents, sometimes coagulating into poignant chromatic melodies, sometimes hovering on the biting point between harmony and bittersweet dissonance, and often prone to fleeting expressions of emotion, but with an ear for charming turns of phrase that will keep listeners coming back to this one.
"Mary Sutton’s solo debut materialized in the wake of a performance she gave at a clothing-optional soaking-pool sauna: “I had never composed for synth before but wanted to make something people sitting motionless and naked in hot bubbly water would want to hear.” It was while in this headspace that she reconnected with Satie’s entrancing cyclical motifs, particularly the way “he subtly spins melodic fragments, and pivots harmonies and phrases so the repetitions feel new and surprising yet soothingly familiar, as if casting a spell.”
The nine intuitive instrumentals comprising The Deep End accomplish exactly that, threading complementary shades of soft-hued hypnosis, dazed modal introspection, icy amusement park reverie, and lunar lullaby into a prismatic suite of contemplative melody and synthetic communion. Sutton’s songs are active rather than ambient yet their structure is more suggestive than scripted, full of lulls, asymmetries, and daydreams. Each track was written specifically to be played live on an analog synthesizer, with no overdubs or post-production wizardry. The sound of Saloli is one of warm-blooded wiring, turned on and tapped into, emotive and electric, storied machines speaking through all too human hands."
First of six Bauhaus reissues due on colour vinyl for the seminal goth band’s 40th anniversary celebrations
“Mask is the band’s second album, and was released by Beggars Banquet in 1981. On their sophomore album, Bauhaus consciously stretched themselves into newer areas of music and performance, resulting in an album that was arguably even better than the band's almost flawless debut.”
Skull Disco reaches it's final catalogue number with the final nail in the coffin on 'Soundboy's Gravestone Gets Desecrated By Vandals', collating the final few 12" releases on the first CD, and a selection of accompanying remixes from the likes of T++, Rupture, Geiom, Brendon Moeller, and Bass Clef on an additional second CD.
Over the course of three years the label has come to define a very dark corner of the dubstep related universe, finding fans in unexpected places, from Ricardo Villalobos and Cassy at the housier end of the spectrum and T++ showing love from the techno end. The first CD opens with the dystopian classic 'The Rope Tightens' by the maverick Shackleton, with a horrific echo chamber lockdown featuring vocals from longtime Skull Disco affiliate Tenfold Vengeance, and moves onto later collaborations between Appleblim and Peverelist on their lauded 'Circling'.
Shackleton's smacky voodoo dancer 'Death Is Not Final' is included, alongside the undulating drum workout 'You Bring Me Down' as well as Appleblim's now classic 'Vansan' making it's first appearance on CD. The second set is about as fresh as it gets, starting with T++'s techno enhanced remix of 'Vansan' and further cementing the Berlin connection with Pole's spatialized dub-scape version of Shack's 'Shortwave'. Peverelist's remix of 'You Bring Me Down' is surely one of the finest dubstepXtechno tracks of the year and is also included alongside the stunning T++ revision of Shack's 'Death Is Not Final', surely one of the tracs of year full stop! The most surprising remix comes from badawi, with a previously unreleased rethink of 'The Rope Tightens'. Raz Mesinai sticks with the original's extended format, but rewires it with a technofied yet meditative version that sounds like 'Polaroid' or 'Cern' era Monolake mixed with sound design approaching Peter Rehberg's frosty scapes for the KTL project. The depth and scope on this one can only be fully appreciated at home on a good system with all the lights out, or equally in a dark warehouse setting, this is riddimic futurism at it's finest.
A final mention must be given to the terrific artwork from the mind of Zeke Clough beamed directly from a tower somewhere in deepest darkest Salford, applying the final but essential touch to a stunning package.
Klara Lewis debuts on Editions Mego with the incredible animated sound organisms of 'Ett'.
Sampling from a palette of modified and reconstituted field recordings, Klara's debut compositions yield ten terrarium-like sonic ecologies rich in organic texture and detail enlivened by bristling electronics and insectoid rhythms. They're strange, self-contained units amounting to a complex, beguiling lattice of unique timbres, atmospheric space and coarse yet fluidly woven texturhythms, all infused with a subtle sort of ambient (de)compositional sorcery.
At its best in the wormy dub 12 minute dub 'Altered' we can draw comparisons with everything from Katie Gately's concrète sound designs to Kassel Jaeger or Senufo Editions pieces, whilst the roiling 'c a t t' bristles like a Mica Levi track, and 'Muezzin' warps serpentine strings to the drone of a call to prayer, resulting what sounds like a melting Muslimgauze effort.
There's a playfully psychedelic and synaesthetic sensitivity to the music on 'Ett', making for a wonderfully disorienting yet incisive vision of sound at its most elemental level.
'Versions' leaves out the vocal accompaniment and exposes the production as it drifts off into instrumental effervescence...
This second breathtaking CD leaves out the vocal accompaniment and exposes the terryfingly deep Basic Channel production as it drifts off into instrumental effervescance. The hallmarks are all there; Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald have already set the world ablaze once, twice, three, four times with their work as Basic Channel and the splintering into microscopic, heavyweight offshoots by way of the M series, Main Street, Chain Reaction, Rhythm and Sound and, of course, Burial Mix. It's hard to over-emphasise just how important their music has been to us over the last two decades and, for that matter, just how substantial their impact has had on everything that has taken place in electronic music since.
Following convention, each of these labels has offered a catalogue up on record (in this case 10" releases) before compiling the music. This is, in fact, the second Burial Mix compilation, the first "showcase" concentrating on the label's collaborations with Paul St Hilaire, aka Tikiman, for its opening set of releases. This second installment divides itself into Vocal and Instrumental "Versions" (the Vocal tracks are collected seperately on a second release), displaying the last seven releases in their entirety, plus "Mash Down Babylon" (a new take on "March Down Babylon"), and features a by-now totally classic collection of tracks that in their time have all been singles of the week for us here.
Just thinking of the majestic exuberance of "King in My Empire", or the breathtaking space of "Making Histroy" makes it hard to fathom how this material hasn't really aged a day in all these years...
An all-time classic, production masterclass - it doesn't get any better.
The hallmarks are all there; Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald have already set the world ablaze once, twice, three, four times with their work as Basic Channel and the splintering into microscopic, heavyweight offshoots by way of the M series, Main Street, Chain Reaction, Rhythm and Sound and, of course, Burial Mix. It's hard to over-emphasise just how important their music has been over the last two decades and, for that matter, just how substantial their impact has had on everything that has taken place in electronic music since.
This is, in fact, the second Burial Mix compilation, the first "showcase" concentrating on the label's collaborations with Paul St Hilaire, aka Tikiman, for its opening set of releases. This second installment divides itself into Vocal and Instrumental "Versions" (the instrumentals are collected seperately on a second release), displaying the last seven releases in their entirety, plus "Mash Down Babylon" (a new take on "March Down Babylon"), and features a by-now totally classic collection of tracks that in their time have all been singles of the week for us here.
Just thinking of the majestic exuberance of "King in My Empire", or the breathtaking space of "Making Histroy" makes it hard to fathom how this material hasn't really aged a day in all these years...
The Beta Band's hugely collectable‘The Three EPs’, available for the first time on a deluxe vinyl reissue.
"Arguably one of the most acclaimed and loved bands of the past 20 years, by both fans and their musical peers alike, The Beta Band formed in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1996. Innovative and singular, their unique musical and aesthetic approach to everything they did set them far apart from their musical contemporaries. Together for a relatively short period of time, the three albums and three EPs they released between 1996 and 2004 would nonetheless help define them as one of the most exciting and cherished bands of their generation.
This is a deluxe vinyl edition gathering in a slipcase the EPs ‘Champion Versions’, ‘The Patty Patty Sound’ and ‘Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos’ with remastered tracks and coloured vinyl edition."
In a time when Jazz music is entering a contemporary renaissance and exciting the ears and minds of new audiences, Zombie Zombie's Étienne Jaumet offers us his unique, idiosyncratic take on the sound with the sprawling “8 Regards Obliques”, his 3rd solo album with the Versatile label.
"Jazz requires a certain freedom of technique, interpretation and improvisation that already matches Jaumet’s own production style and sonic aesthetic as well as his playful approach towards music. The eight pieces that make up the new LP were very quickly recorded; Jaumet let himself be carried away by the atmosphere without focusing too much on fine details or the laborious aspects of the composition process. The finished article is a spontaneous collection that stands out, a true mirror image of the creative process adopted by the artist. Not surprisingly, spontaneity is one of the characteristics already present in his music, in both his recorded output and his live happenings, where he leaves much room for freedom and improvisation.
“8 Regards Obliques” was recorded at the Versatile studio in less than 3 weeks with quite a basic set up: TR 808, selected synthesizers, vocals and of course the saxophone, which is a constant presence also in his previous albums. For the mix Etienne has again appealed to the maestro I:Cube, a central figure of the Versatile story and a prdigious engineer and artist in his own right. He immediately understood that it was necessary to keep the spontaneous side alive and to not over-produce the pieces or over-edit them, being constantly mindful to retain the power in the sound and in the frequencies. From Sun Ra with “Nuclear war”, Miles Davis in “Shhh / Peaceful” or “Theme from a symphony” by Ornette Coleman to “Caravan” (already quoted by many jazzmen), Etienne enjoyed revisiting classic masterpieces and paying tribute to his inspirations. He allowed himself only one personal and original composition, “Ma révélation mystique”.
Haunting, rustic works for strings, synths and voice by Jessica Moss, violinist for A Silver Mt. Zion
“Jessica Moss, the violinist, composer and singer best known for her fifteen-year tenure in political post-punk band Thee Silver Mt. Zion, is newly ascendant as a soloist, captivating audiences with gritty, warmly expressive electronic- and drone-inflected post-classical Minimalism (and sometimes Maximalism), accented by a distinctive melodic sensibility that channels Klezmer, Balkan and Middle Eastern tropes.
On Entanglement, her new and second album, Moss channels quantum theory as a metaphor for creating energetic connections through esoteric processes. Using violin (and occasionally, voice) as sound source, her compositions are set in motion like entangled particles – spinning, ricocheting, warping and stretching in extra-dimensional space.
Moss has played 80 shows in the past year and Entanglement is also profoundly informed by her experiences travelling alone, giving concerts in precarious spaces preserved by passionate subcultural communities, attempting fragile, intimate, abstract transmissions through sound and performance. This is long-attention-span music that wonderfully synthesizes form and substance, spit and polish, austerity and lushness, expansiveness and intimacy. Entanglement is a deeply felt and deeply rewarding work that testifies to the unique stylistic and textural space Moss is carving out in the contemporary/New Music continuum.”
Bambooman makes fine nods to the styles of Mark Fell, Rian Treanor, and Gábor Lázár with ‘Ricochet’ for Accidental Jr, backed with a remix from label boss Matthew Herbert
The original ‘Ricochet’ finds yer ‘man wrapping staggered, lazed-stabbing chords to a slunky kick and pendulous bass, nice ’n eazy, like, but getting jazzier in the 2nd half to end up with an inversion of where the track began.
On his ‘Milky Dub’, Matthew Herbert puts a donk on it, and, then, unforgivably, cuts loose with midrange dubstep-style synth torque.
Tom Halstead and Joe Andrews finally inaugurate their long-in-the-making RR label with this deadly new Raime 12”, a precision-tooled exploration of negative space, sinogrime, found Youtube dialogue and colossal subs. The ghosts of grime, jungle, dub, and industrial musicks run deep with this one, here rendered with perhaps the most shockingly pristine, eye-catching production of their career to date.
Following on from ‘Am I Using Content Or Is Content Using Me?’, their 2nd EP of 2018 locates Raime in pursuit of challenging, non linear, and often beat-less structures ruptured by the shrapnel of online culture. The hardcore continuum still haunts their sound, but the concrète soundscapes they create make use of a spectra of techniques to camouflage its presence in any overt way. What remains is a skeletal render that implies delirious momentum. With every chime, sample, snare and sub honed to staggering effect, it becomes an exercise in hyperclarity and propulsion.
There’s no one really honing this sound in quite the same way, while there are parallels with weightless grime and the crystalline electronics of early Arca, Sophie, Rabit etc, Raime trigger a different kind of dynamic, one that fills acres of space with a more nervous, angsty energy directly connected to a lineage of UK club styles. It’s basically anything but background music and feels like a culmination, or perhaps a diversion from a path Raime have been following for almost a decade. If this new label allows them the space to untangle that carefully considered aesthetic, we’re f*cking there for it.
Mesmerising tech-electronic abstraction from George McVicar, making full use of the frequency spectrum across seven tracks of virulent arps and booming bass projections riddled with playfully jazzy, if reserved, melodic gestures. RIYl Beatrice Dillon, Brendan Dougherty, De Leon...
“Er, now look here,
I’m going to play you this album and it’s going to tell you a few things very plainly. One: I hope that you are doing OK, despite our most recent conversation. There’s a little wiggling sound which I think will CHEER you up enormously. Two: I’ve been thinking a lot since last week’s great financial calamity… you know, pondering if you will. Perhaps, when I asked you that simple question I wasn’t speaking delicately enough. Please accept this endearing square wave as my apology. Sending it straight to your heart now.
There! all sent.
Anyway, in times of trouble and times of nascent joy Georgie McVicar’s sophomore album offers us a peek into the soft and wrinkly side of last week’s unfortunate disaster. Those dominant economic and musical technes which seem so often to rule us, are tendered here as gentle and discrete morsels. Small packages, gifts to fill a hole. Actually, I said they were small, but each bite is monolithic in its own way. Tracks are each composed out of a single and important structure. Ascent endlessly is contrasted with flatness. Lint filled pockets of silence give us pause to hope or worry for that which comes next. Consistency is proffered only in the service of change.
The London producer and co-founder of cultural icon Stray Landings has assembled 7 musical actions which seem to exist at the moment right before a great vanishing. There is a peacefulness here, but one not without tension. Repayment intuits a loss. But what if we don’t know what was missing in the first place?”
Sino-influenced halfstep dramas from Cimm on Youngsta’s Sentry
‘Eagle Eye’ rolls in from cinematic intro to a swampy halfstep punctuated with drill-type snares.
‘Old Scratch’ also makes use of vintage-sounding Far Eastern strings, but this time with deadly intent when the martial digi-steppers rhythm cranks into action.
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."
Young Echo’s secret weapon, Manonmars unveils a heavyweight debut on the crew’s eponymous label.
With credits on the ‘Young Echo’ album and Kahn & Neek’s Fabric mix to his name, Manonmars reveals himself as a dark, liminal interpreter of the Bristolian psyche, delivering lyrics with a classic swagger that nods to current rap styles but with a more detached, personalised and poetic style of observation.
The duo of Young Echo’s Amos Childs (Jabu) and Sam Barrett (Neek) a.k.a O$VMV$M capably and subtly supply the instrumental backdrops, a set of sparse, rugged beats and atmospheres that work like stage ornamentation to ‘Mars bars, which ranging from drowsy rants to urgent ambient expressions and bedroom isolationism.
If we’re going o draw comparisons, it’s somewhere between a Brexit-era take on Lil B’s ‘Rain In England’, and the abstract flux of Coby Sey, but really Manonmars is, as his name suggests, well out on his own planet...
After a series of increasingly inward-looking, conservative LPs since her stunning debut, Julia Holter finally unleashes her imagination in technicolour once again on ‘Aviary’, an expansive observation of the ratchet madness that makes up the world today.
“Aviary is an epic journey through what Julia Holter describes as “the cacophony of the mind in a melting world.” Out on October 26th via Domino, it’s the Los Angeles composer’s most breathtakingly expansive album yet, full of startling turns and dazzling instrumental arrangements.
The follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2015 record, Have You in My Wilderness, it takes as its starting point a line from a 2009 short story by writer Etel Adnan: "I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds." It’s a scenario that sounds straight out of a horror movie, but it’s also a pretty good metaphor for life in 2018, with its endless onslaught of political scandals, freakish natural disasters, and voices shouting their desires and resentments into the void
Aviary, executive produced by Cole MGN and produced by Holter and Kenny Gilmore, combines Holter's slyly theatrical vocals and Blade Runner-inspired synth work with an enveloping palette of strings and percussion that reveals itself, and the boundless scope of her vision, over the course of fifteen songs. Holter was joined by Corey Fogel (percussion), Devin Hoff (bass), Dina Maccabee (violin, viola, vocals), Sarah Belle Reid (trumpet), Andrew Tholl (violin), and Tashi Wada (synth, bagpipes).”
Surprise turn of gentle, vintage-sounding downbeats from modern day Utrecht on Soundway...
“Felbm is what you get if you try to type “Eelco” on a Nokia phone with autocorrect turned on. It is also the name that Utrecht-based musician and producer Eelco Topper chose to use for his new semi-acoustic instrumental music project.
After Topper’s previous synthesiser-laden sounds as Falco Benz, he took a step back and began this project in a much looser, simpler and sketch-like approach. Picking up an acoustic guitar for the first time, as well as other instruments, he began fiddling around with a Tascam 4-track tape recorder and allowed these sketches to flourish, although always keeping them naive and basic; an element naturally helped by the compositional structure of a maximum of four parts.
The result is Tape 1 and Tape 2, stretching across fifteen tracks and encompassing a lounge-y library music feel to them. There’s fluttering piano melodies, subtle jazz drums, rumba rhythms and soothing ambience that floats through many of the tracks. Tape 1’s jazz roots are palpable and as things move into Tape 2, it takes on a neo-classical, psychedelic soundscape and cinematic quality.
Topper played all the parts himself when in the studio, allowing him complete creative control over every note. A live band is being formed to take the material on the road; however, in order to keep with the ingenuous and dreamy essence of the record, the live shows will be a continuation of the four-part format.”