Collaborative 2CD album of a Japan noise legend Masami Akita alias Merzbow and a Czech seven-member ensemble Opening Performance Orchestra based in Prague.
"The first CD contains four compositions by Merzbow. 'Futaomote' means 'double face' and it was originally titled 'Janus'. 'Yasugibushi' is a Japanese old folk song which was sampled. The second CD contains two live tracks from Opening Performance Orchestra which were played live in Tokyo and Prague in 2017 and studio edited at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018. --- no melody no rhythm no harmony - this is fraction music."
Over 3.5 hours of sublime, milky ambience to bathe in, coaxed from classical records, found sounds, tape and hardware by Will Long a.k.a. Celer
“Part 1 of a series of pieces under the umbrella title "Oasis", created for an exhibit to re-create an unnatural atmosphere of an isolated area in a desert. Mixed and performed in real time February - June, 2017.
Found sounds, field recordings, Casio VZ-1, Yamaha DX7, EH Memory Man, Roland RE-501, Electronica LZ-01, reel flanger, turntable, classical records, H3000D/SX, Sony Tapecorder by Will Long.”
Burial’s sophomore LP, originally issued in 2007 only a year after his pivotal debut, is another masterpiece of urban UK composition and innovative imagineering whose sense of melancholic space, pop-wise dexterity and dancefloor yearn has rarely been explored or surpassed since its release.
Where its predecessor was starkly paranoid, mostly instrumental, Untrue was gilded with gorgeous, cut-up R&B and UKG vox, and interspersed with segments of nocturnal reverie that played out like the OST for a yung UK romance that replaced posh, gurning actors with real life road characters and focussed on the spaces between - between the club and home; between night and day; masculine and feminine; waking life and dream life; Maccy D’s and alley doorways; being high AF and coming down.
It was and still is Burial’s love note to UKG and R&G, and by turns gave context and validated those genres for a lot of listeners who arguably wouldn’t have touched that sound, or at least dismissed it as pop pap or with some snide, racist undertone before Burial’s revivalist instincts hybridised it with trip hop and snarling D&B memes.
More positively, however, depending on which way you look at it, this album also opened the endorphin floodgates for a whole raft of f****e garage producers to get in touch with their feminine side, especially in contrast to prevailing, laddish dubstep rave trends, and, since that sound has faded away, it’s not hard to hear this album’s influence in the vocal processing of Mssingno, in the uneven, off-kilter swing and parry of Zomby, the patch-worked constructions of Jamie xx or Evian Christ, or in Deadboy and Murlo’s more boundary-pushing creations.
As with any album that gets a lot of attention beyond its putative scene, Untrue was an unintended red rag to the cynics and rockists - and even garage purists - but for almost anyone who recognises and appreciates that more modest, aching sort of electronic, UK street rave soul, it remains a really transcendent album that still grips like few others.
Cue gushing waves of nostalgia: Sandra Kerr & John Faulkner’s soundtrack forkids TV animation ‘Bagpuss’ is finally available on vinyl. It’s definitely one for the over ‘40s, and younger folkies who’re old at heart.
"Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss , Old fat furry cat-puss , Wake up and look at this thing that I bring, Wake up, be bright , Be golden and light , Bagpuss, Oh hear what I sing. 12th of February, 1974, and for an audience of small children at 1:45pm, a life irrevocably coloured by the wayward wonderings of one saggy cloth cat...
Some 44 years later and Earth Recordings opens the door to Bagpuss & Co. once again, revealing for the first time the original music in all its newly-mastered splendour. The 32 tracks that make up the main body of the compositions are – like all good folk music – a patchwork of traditional pieces, half-remembered tunes and pure improvisation. It's testament to Sandra Kerr and John Faulkner's musicianship that the recordings work so well, not only within the context of the television episodes, but as an album in its own right.
Of the recording, Oliver Postgate (in his exquisite autobiography 'Seeing Things') says: "Between them Sandra and John could play every sort of instrument from a mountain dulcimer to an Irish fiddle. They knew and could sing every tune in the world and didn't bother with written music, except as a last resort. They were exactly suited to Gabriel the Toad and Madeleine the Rag Doll and in those roles were happy to play whatever music and sing whatever songs would be needed." Those songs manifested themselves as reworkings of familiar tunes ('I Saw A Ship'; 'Row Your Boat'; 'Bucket's Burning'), takes on traditional ballads ('Brian O'Lynn'; 'The Frog Princess'; 'Weaving Song'; 'The Old Woman Tossed Up in a Basket') and delicious flights of fancy ('The Bony King of Nowhere'; 'Turtle Calypso'; 'Uncle Feedle').
The counterpart to Madeleine and Gabriel's more polished ditties are the interludes from the mice; a raggle-taggle chorus that accompanies the creatures' efforts of help (with the mice once famously going on strike when they were not permitted sang as they worked). Again, Postgate muses: "Once I had worked out a few episodes I would make a very rough list of the bits where I though music would be appropriate. I would send it to [Sandra and John] to think about. Then we would borrow a fairly silent room in a remote house and, taking the various articles that we intended to celebrate with us, would spend a happy day with a tape recorder, thinking up and recording whatever songs and tunes came to mind."
The outtakes provide an intimate – and often very humourous – insight into the trio's work ethic, if it can be called such a thing. (By all accounts they sound as though they're having a very jolly time indeed.) Highlights include alternative opening words and end music, as well as Postgate sound-checking in character as Bagpuss. This never-before heard audio provides a real treat for fans (and indeed those new to the Smallfilms stable) – affirmation again to the enduring quality of these special recordings, and the beloved programme that inspired them. "An accidental classic of the folk-roots underground that we never dared hope we’d hear with such clarity."Stewart Lee.. And so their work was done."
Life-giving music from L.A.’s Dublab and friends, revolving sun-kissed vibes from Gifted & Blessed, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Matthewdavid, Suzanne Kraft and more.
Cooked up in cooperation with Sunpress vinyl, ‘Peace Radio Dublab’ is for the good times, pairing a group of like-minded, sweetly optimistic sounds from best coast producers.
Leaving Records’ Matthewdavid smudges your 3rd eye with the intense boogie shimmer of ‘Be Honest’, and Daedulus doe iridescent footwork on ‘ReadToFall’. Bender chases up his ace Second Circle outing with the yacht ready trills and pleading panpipes of ‘(Songbird) Ajinomoto’, and Secret Circuit rolls slow and dusky on ‘Space In The Suitcase’ (for a big of xanax and edibles, maybe?).
The ever charming GB is at his colourful best adapting ‘Toccata (Movement VI From Ravel’s le Tombeau De Couperin)’, and Actualy Magic covers Moondog, Wendy Carlos-style in ‘Do Your Thing Switched-on’, and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith covers Sade’s ‘By Your Side’, modular synth style, beside the serene strings of Mary Lattimore’s ‘Wind Carries Seed’, and a wistful vignette from Suzanne Kraft.
Slow-to-mid tempo balearic froth, edited by Jan Schulte in his Wolf Müller guise for Young Marco’s label
“Over the course of his seven-year recording career, Jan Schulte has delivered countless revolutionary remixes under the now familiar Wolf Müller alias. Now, Safe Trip has gathered together some of his most celebrated and hard-to-find reworks on Sorry For The Delay: Wolf Müller’s Most Whimsical Remixes.
The collection includes a string of lauded revisions of the likes of Tolouse Low Trax, Africaine 808, BAR and Jose Padilla, all in a trademark percussion-rich, polyrhythmic style that joins the dots between the tropical rhythms of South America, the tribal musical traditions of Africa, the experimental electronics associated with Schulte’s home city of Düsseldorf and the sun-kissed Balearica of Ibiza.
Since making his debut at the dawn of the decade, Schulte has carved out a niche as one of European electronic music’s most distinctive artists. Under this best-known alias, Wolf Müller, the German producer has delivered a string of sought-after singles, two critically acclaimed collaborative albums (the most recent of which, produced alongside percussionist Niklas Wandt, was released earlier this year), and a swathe or radical remixes.
It’s the latter that’s showcased on Sorry For The Delay, whose apologetic title tips a wink to Safe Trip’s debut release, a compilation of Young Marco remixes called Sorry For The Late Reply. The majority of the eight included reworks are revolutionary in nature, with Schulte gaining inspiration from, or making use of, just a handful of elements from the provided source material. For example, the oldest remix in the collection, a 2011 rub of Mungolian Jet Set’s quirky disco cut “Prog Rocks and Moon Jocks”, made with Christian Pannenborg as Montezumas Rache, features numerous vocal and instrumental elements omitted from the Norwegian duo’s final version.
The collection naturally comes packed with deliciously percussive moments, including an undeniably heavyweight translation of Tolouse Low Trax’s “Jaidem Fall” – the first ever Wolf Muller remix from 2014 – a chiming, melodious and sun-kissed revision fo BAR’s 2016 cut “BAR Theme”, an inspired tweak of Africaine 808’s “Rhythm Is All You Can Dance” and a riotous take on “Ba Hu Du”, a never-before-released track from Schulte’s other headline-grabbing, club-rocking pseudonym, Bufiman.
Schulte’s ability to create mesmerizing, slow burn soundscapes can be heard across the compilation, too, from the druggy and psychedelic pulse of his krautrock-influenced version of Telespazio’s “Barrier” and the humid tropicality of the Deep Dub of Sound Species “Balafon Jam”, to the dreamy new age synthesizer lines, twanging Jews Harp and seductive beats of Jose Padilla collaboration “Oceans on the Moon”.”
About time! Drexciya’s seminal Afrofuturist album finally sees reissue with Clone Classic Cuts, regaling the recordings of four young sons of an electrician from Flint, Michigan, USA, who pay dues to the endless inspiration of Kraftwerk
When it was originally released in 1995 with the prefacing info about four brothers, ‘Elektroworld’ became a crucial part of the Drexciyan mythology. Prefaced by a promo sheet with the suggestive info outlined above, the album was quite easily detectable as a Drexciyan production, but it wasn’t until 2008 when Warpmart spilt the beans, that ‘Elektroworld’ was officially identified as a James Stinson production. For many disciples of the the late great genius, the album includes some of Stinson’s definitive cuts in the spine-freezing ‘Japanese Electronics’ and the elegant funk of ‘Mystery World’ and ‘Midnight Drive’. But that’s not discount the rest of the set - there’s pure Drexciyan gold in the vocodered ace ‘Future Tone’ and the heart-fluttering chord changes of ’Silicon World’.
You Know What It’s Like is the quietly breathtaking debut album from Carla Dal Forno ov Tarcar and F Ingers - an incredible debut which tip toes the finest line between contentment and aching vulnerability in head-turning fashion.
Her voice is exquisitely fragile but poised and confident with it; representing an unshowy resolve which, despite its gothic chic, actually feels fresh and necessary - operating counter to contemporary glitz and glamour with clear allusions to her heroes, such as Nico or Anna Domino.
Prefaced by two single tracks, the departing dream of Fast Moving Cars and the ghostly nerve pincher What You Gonna Do Now? the album also features six new songs clocking in at just under half an hour, following a bedsit slug trail from the mildew sprawl and nitrate bubble of opener Italian Cinema to the ‘floor-stalking sleep house thud of DB Rip and a deep drifting instrumental, Dry In The Rain, strewn with melodica-like pipes and cobwebbed in acoustic guitar strum like some dusty eldritch dub of A C Marias.
In the album’s twilight hours, Carla really comes into her own on the title song, flitting between Crepulscule-esque songcraft and slow-rocking traces of UK dub, her vocals urgent but nevertheless nonchalant, before Dragon Breath recedes back into the mists of chamber music and she proceeds to pour a potent, near paralysing nightcap and shuffle away from the screen down a long corridor, fading to black in The Same Reply.
We’re utterly smitten, this could turn into a proper addiction.
Following the widely acclaimed reissue of Christoph De Babalon’s goth-jungle classic ‘If You’re Into It, I’m Out of It’, A Colourful Storm shed more light on the period running up to and including those unparalleled recording sessions with this new LP of killer, ruffneck pearls.
‘Exquisite Angst’ documents 9 pieces of dark ambient and rasping jungle breaks cloaked in the bleakest, bleached-out atmospheres. Then and now, the German artist’s sound stands out for its combination of isolationist scowl and ragged swagger, and ‘Exquisite Angst’ is full of it.
The label have done a great job in selecting and sequencing the cuts to offer a full spectrum survey of De Babalon’s formative style, arrriving with the opiated bedsit ambience of ‘Gaseous Invertebrate’, and lashing out with the brittle-boned breaks of ‘Kirchengänger’ and ‘Realistic Riot Ritual Routine’, before strafing between trip hop and breakcore in ‘Are You Talking To Me?’, while the B-side focusses in on his cinematic appeal with the decayed, windswept strings of ‘Alpenglühen’, and the pensive epic ‘Meditate’ recalls styles to come from Karl-Marx-Stadt.
The nerve-riding quality and gothic intent of De Babalon's music clearly endures and resonates with listeners 20 years later, if you were floored by ‘If You’re Into It, I’m Out of It’ - this one's a must.
It's that time of year again isn't it, and although we don't seem to get snow anymore in England (damn you global warming!) we are still just about capable of celebrating the birth of the guy who invented Coca Cola...
Stevens takes some of the classic traditional sounds of the season and places them next to compositions of his own to create something genuinely heart-warming and enjoyable without ever becoming cheesy or overwrought. Starting in 2001 and going to 2006 these songs have been pieced together with love by Stevens and his friends year after year, and that's what makes them so effective - his version of 'We Three Kings' might be heartbreaking, but his own composition 'That was the Worst Christmas Ever' is one of the most crushing pieces Stevens has ever put his name to, perfectly summing up the hopes and dreams of the season....
NYC’s Palto Flats catch Foodman at his coolest and grooving, tempering his wilder tics to slinkier effect in 5 weightless ambient-jazz-house charms.
One of the most striking sonic characters to emerge in recent years, Shokuhin Matsuri a.k.a. Foodman follows up a brace of ace releases with these beautifully spacious works, ranging from a mesmerising 6 minute stepper called ‘Miziburo’ that sounds like a frothier Shinichi Atobe, to delectable ambient-jazz fusions int escaping dub chords and fragmented jazz chops of ‘Nanika’, thru the deliquescent diffusion of floating keys, ultra-minimal percussion and playful harmonies in ‘Tokai Desu’.
If you’ve ever been intrigued by this artist and not checked him yet, this is the perfect place to build an appetite for Foodman.
Maayan Nidam curves back to Perlon with her first album for the mnml stronghold, arriving two years after the Deep Under Sobriety’ EP and 6 since since her ‘New Moon’ album with Cadenza
‘Sea of Thee’ unfolds as a coherent collection tied together by a deep, blue sense of longing for late and later nights and smoky dawns, using her (very droll, Lolina-esque) vox as buoyancy aids in an immersive trenche of stripped-down, murkily fluid grooves and mood pieces.
Stockholm LTD captain Pår Grindvik works out pendulous, brooding techno styles bordering on IDM/electronica
‘Trails’ is the bluer of the two, scorching around and off a beat cloaked in sweeping, melancholic pads and keening dissonance to a kind of post-rock-y climax.
‘The Right To Be Forgotten’ is shadowier, but more aggressive, laving the drums to a seething syncopation driven by low low bass and almost neuro-style D&B synths.
Staggering volley of hyper junglist killers from Sophia Loizou on a new EP of pressurized subs, hoover and percolated vocals taking us somewhere between Lee Gamble’s classic Diversions, Metalheadz Blue Note Sessions and some forward Arca x EVOL collusion. TIPPED!!!
Sophia’s first release since the much acclaimed Singulacra [Kathexis, 2016], Irregular Territories provides a definitive example of Loizou’s sound as it firmly asserts her music in a rarified hauntological rave headspace that meticulously explores an exploded deconstructionist style that she’s developed since her 2014 debut Chrysalis.
With one foot in late ‘90s halcyon daze, and another toeing the future, Sophia combines a lust for the ruffneck with a sharp mind for complex structural integrity and inventive aesthetic. Synching fragmented beats with human gasps, choral synths and richly ephemeral textures, she bridges temporalities and dimensions in a way that recalls an auditory DeepDream composite formed from millions of eyes-shut moments at Metalheadz sessions.
Album opener Loop of Perception quite literally takes off like a jet engine in the rave, while Memories of Angels conjures and sustains a lump-in-throat suspense through unresolved pads and hide ’n seek breakbeat edits, before it all comes together, gelled by wide, pressurized subs in Shadow Box.
The brief vignette of hoover and percolated vocal motifs in Frozen Dust opens up the B-side like some Arca and EVOL collusion, and The Interior Life of Another feels like a jungle inception of 4Hero’s Parallel Universe, leaving the poignant Morphogenesis to sum up the metaphysical flux of her sound in febrile detail.
Submers is the second album from the Vancouver-based Scott Morgan, aka loscil.
All of the tracks are named after submarines, the final cut being a requiem for the crew of the ill fated Russian nuclear vessel Kursk. Recorded at home on computer with samples and keyboards used as sound sources, Submers is rife with source-less echoes, steely surfaces and ominous melodic and rhythmic undertows.
The sifted melodies are layered over muffled, clicking and pulsing rhythm tracks with an appropriately aquatic feel to the entire album. After the release of loscil’s debut, Triple Point, Morgan toured Europe in early 2002 and released an EP on UK’s Involve label. Submers is an album that easily merges ambient , contemporary classical music and minimal techno in defiance of the current mania for micro-genres.
Low Jack and Clara! seal a killer first year for the mutant dancehall series 'Les Disques De La Bretagnes' with this necessary doublepack including their long sold out instalments for the series, plus an instant download dropped to your account including two bonus, previously unreleased tracks, one from each of them. There's also a special edition limited to 100 copies that comes with a newly reocrded 'Les Disques De La Bretagnes' mixtape, the A-side mixed by Low Jack, and the flipside by Clara!
Launched earlier in the year as a sublabel of Editions Gravats, Les Disques De Las Bretagnes has become a go-to home for ruffneck, forward new spins on the Black Atlantic links between dancehall, reggaeton and electronic music. Now, following Iueke’s sold out ‘Champion’ 12” - as played by Aphex Twin - the label extend a very handy catch up of Low Jack and Clara! y Maoupa’s 12”s packaged as a 2LP with new sleeve art, plus an exclusive new mixtape for quick clickers.
Of Honduran heritage and based in France, Low Jack brings a unique sidespin on dancehall templates with his ‘Riddims du lieu-dit’ LP. Originally one side of a split tape with Equiknoxx for Bokeh Versions, its edits of Industrial obscurities and classic dancehall made for a rude, refreshing take on ‘80s and ‘90s digi-dub and dancehall that sold out within a week. Likewise, Clara! y Maoupa treated reggaeton with a mix of reverence and daring, twisting classic ‘90s ragga with bumping dembow while also introducing the Spanish artist as a deadly vocalist. Her Ruge is without question one of the deadliest tracks of the year - so good!!!!
The bonus mixtape is proof, if it were needed, of Low Jack and Clara!’s serious DJ and selection skills. with the label boss delivering a mad trippy squash for the haunted dancehall, while Clara! cooks up one of her signature reggaeton mixes, ram-jam with fresh and classic gear.
Yves Tumor lands on Warp with his debut album for the label; more popwise and polished than before, still pitched perfectly between the avant garde and the mass market...
Laced with guest vox and production from Croatian Amor, James Ferraro, Oxhy, Puce Mary and James K, on ‘Safe In The Hands of Love’ Sean Bowie a.k.a. Yves Tumor is the liminal, connecting spirit between a unique push ’n pull of samples and original instrumentation, acting like a porous transducer of style, tone and pattern that absorbs and amplifies lost (but not dead) light and energy and turns it into something wholly his own.
Where previous singles such as ‘Noid’, ‘Lifetime’ and ‘Licking An Orchid’ - the album’s core trio - distinctly nodded to Brit-pop and ‘90s ambient-pop pastoralism, the rest of the album curiously unfolds along those axes to take in nods to Warp’s earliest signings, N.O.W. on the introductory fanfare of ‘Faith In Nothing Except Salvation’, while ‘Economy Of Freedom’ opens out into futurist sci-fi soul, and ‘Honesty’ masterfully melds indie-pop and rugged electro-soul.
And it’s that polysemous definition of soul that continues to be the uniting ligature or filament to the rest of the album, from the raging black metal mutation of ‘Hope In Suffering (Escaping Oblivion & Overcoming Powerlessness)’, to big beat-y psychedelia of ‘All The Love We Have Now’, and the white hot, foaming shoegaze distortion of ‘Let The Lioness In You Flow Freely’, all cannily highlighting a sense of emotive mutualism that transcends style, credo, and vibe.
Rezzett own that fuzzy mid-fi electronic sound on a cracking eponymous début album, landing nearly 5 years on from their self-titled EP, also issued on Will Bankhead’s TTT label.
In possession of a sound that feels like exotic birds nesting a vintage studio inside your ear, Rezzett, along with the likes of Jamal Moss, Actress, Terekke and Huerco S., have been responsible for redressing the fidelity of dance music with fairly radical yet subtle incision and insight over the best part of this decade.
Thru various process of attrition, they've made a virtue of purposefully muddy and unclear resolution, embracing and fetishising the infidelities of analog hardware noise for a sort of shabby chic appeal that lends itself to closer attention in headphones as well as a sort of psychedelic friction on the ‘floor.
It’s perhaps fair to say that Rezzett have really come to define that sound at its murkiest, most romantic, and diverse, pulling from house, jungle, garage and ambient noise paradigms to forge something viscerally affective and memorably their own, as experienced between the mottled VHS memory-bank shakes of Hala, in the squirming, sore but lush Sexzzy Creep, and the salty angels tears of Yunus in Ekstasi, with the rusty grime and jungle shanks of Gremlinz and Worst Ever Contender lending a cranky, rinsed out finale.
Hypnagogic, transportive collage and ambient composition from bod [包家巷], an L.A.-based A/V artist from the underbelly of “weird soundcloud”, here following up his tape debut for Knives with two durational works, plus remixes by Flora Yin-Wong and M.D. James
bod [包家巷], real name Nicholas Zhu, is part of a new wave of artists and labels including Nozomu Matsumoto and Quantum Natives who are shaping music and art from the virtual realm forward. In ‘The Recurrence of Infections’, Zhu terraforms layered electronics, melancholy chanson, Far eastern instrumentation and sci-fi cinematic tropes in the richly detailed, 38-minute title track, to offer something like the soundtrack to a scrolling tour of his Museum of Virtual Art, while the ‘Infection Supplement’ extends another 9 minutes of abstract, cinematic arrangement recalling the surreal, experiential feel of Kenji Yamamoto’s +you & space x album.
The remixers tactfully reduce ‘The Recurrence of Infections’ into equally strange but succinct knots of nonlinear, amorphous form, with Flora Yin-Wong suggestively limning a calm space at the edge of storm, whereas M.D. James homes in on certain aspects of the vocal and keys, rendering them in a milky ambient light.
Martyn grips YAK for a terrific trio of broken beat and D&B zingers following his standout cut on 3024’s recent V/A 12”
With the switch up from dry footwork-style toms and warm chords into drum funk D&B, ‘Rhodes Island’ brings 3024 right back to root in freshest style. The root-toms reappear as a sorta of leitmotif in ‘Ocean Floor’, but this time on a pendulous broken beat tip underlaid with ‘floor-engulfing subs, and ‘Don Gerno’ pushes that flex farther out for the brukkers, close to Martyn’s own sound, but with exacting edits and recoiling, ricocheting dynamic of his own.
Perdu does smart, rolling Italo-electro and broken house rolige for Optimo Music
Check for the punchy drums and entrancing arps of ‘Road To Yuzu’ for a killer Italo-electro style, and ‘Anxious World’ for a deep acid-Italo-breakbeat style, and ‘Phasing In’ for a stealthier, trippier, cosmic vibe.
Rude fusions of dry techno, hip hop swagger, and ‘floor-melting acid industrialism outta Kazan and Moscow, by the guys behind Opal Tapes’ ‘U S S R (Ur Social Staus Resistance) comp
Spearheading a new movement of icy, tuff dance music from Russia, Yung Acid lead the way with mutated takes on American and UK styles, generating strong moves in the ghetto banger ‘late’ for fans of White material, also with the head-swilling acid-electro flow of ‘Serpentine (Dirty master)’, and their NoLa 3-step electro twyster, ‘Jap’.
‘Wize Music’ is a jaw-dropping introduction to the new age electronic world of Dennis Wise - the missing link between Herbie Hancock’s ‘Rock-it’, Daevid Allen’s Gong and Bill Laswell’s Material, all of whom he contributed to in some form or other. Combine two rare as f**k LPs in one, including ‘Valhalla’ , which was pressed at Dynamic Sounds, Kingston, JA on the same day Big Youth were also cutting a record. If that backstory isn’t enough for ya, the music will send you reeling!
“Perhaps one of the most unique and unlikely exponents of the highly collectible genres of ambient electronics, experimental tape-music and PINA (Private Issue New Age) this English born Jamaican raised sound designer, artist and existentialist furrowed his own ublinkered path through lesser chartered electronic fields for many moons before eventually teaming up with Bill Laswell (with Material) and Daevid Allen in New York to bring self-taught synthesis to Gong during their most oblique periods. Creating two impossibly rare self pressed vinyl LPs of conceptual inner-visionary outer-galactic angular tonal-dronal alien-art soundscapes in the process, the man known under figure shifting guises such as Dennis Wise/Denis Weise/Dr. Wise etc, combined a culture of sound system circuitry and radiophonic trickery adding Tea-pot poetry and sci-fidelity future-folk to his magnetic mesh! Presented here as the first ever dedicated ize Music collection this record combines compositions spanning 1979-1984 in both a solo capacity as well as small-group projects featuring members of the Emerald Web band.
Imagine a comic book where a Funkenstein monster called “Laraaji-Scratch Perry” invaded your record shelf while Komendarek and Holger Czukay kept lookout… Dr. Dennis might be the only one Wise enough to outsmart all of them with his powerful amorphous anaesthetic.”
Hospital Productions' hook up with vaunted fashion designer Yang Li for this crazy one-off edition featuring material recorded by Justin Broadrick for Li's by now infamous funeral-themed AW18 Paris fashion week show, plus an alternate 12 minute version, and another 12 minute reworking by Prurient. The vinyl edition is adorned with what we can only describe as enamelled headstones on the sleeve, plus beautiful gloss leterpress design by Li himself.
Not your typical seasonal paean, ‘Christmas’ was inspired by, in Broadrick’s own words; “the onset of the Christmas period and the onset of emotions and feelings of nostalgia, joy and sadness that the period often evokes”.
Considered a classic in the Jesu songbook, it'ss now paired with ‘Life Mass’, a new version written for London-based Chinese fashion designer Yang Li’s Paris A/W ’18 runway soundtrack, as well as a killer, keeling, noisy overhaul by Prurient.
The dense, chest-bursting post-rock/shoegaze appeal of the original still stands, but, for our money, it’s now bettered by the new material. ‘Life Mass’ is effectively the inverse of ‘Christmas’, catching Broadrick at his most vulnerable and sublime with plangent vox framed by a slow, tear-jerking snowfall of guitars, whereas Prurient renders the title track from a whole other, frosty-window perspective primed for when xmas all gets a bit too much and you need to reset.
Another chance to pick up one of our favourite albums released this year; an hour of deeply inspirational House music for the ages that could have been produced 20 years ago, or earlier this year - we’ll probably never know.
Heat is a new double album from Shinichi Atobe for DDS. It follows on from last year’s “From The Heart, It’s A Start, A Work Of Art” set and continues a run of highly enigmatic, acclaimed and completely unparalleled productions that follow their own timeless logic. There’s no sonic fiction involved - this material really does just turn up on a CD sent by air mail from Japan to Manchester, sparse info, no messing, pure gold.
What’s that cover art about? prob something to do with the balmy material within. So Good, So Right, the 10 minute opener, will force you to forget about all the shite around you for a while. There are also several tracks called Heat; they’re all killer.
This music takes you elsewhere almost immediately; that fan on your desk is basically a summer breeze. In fact, this whole album is absurd; completely effortless; a total classic. Convince us that there’s a more life affirming electronic album this year and we’ll buy you an ice cream....
Temples of Jura roll out a synthy doozy with Fernando Pulichino’s cinematic debut as Filmico.
After releasing records for the past 10 years on modern disco labels including Bear Funk, Internasjonal and Gomma, Argentinian multi instrumentalist Flimico now commits to a classic late ‘70s/early ‘80s soundtrack style flush with warm analog synths owing much to the influence of Carpenter, Badalamenti and Johnny Jewel.
It's done with exacting amounts of emotive push and pull, coming riddled with evocative arps and bristling with bittersweet melodies that beckon eyes shut and a montage-like dream sequence to play out on the back of your ‘lids.
Richard Youngs and co’s Amor mount a full debut album of disco-not-disco with ‘Sinking Into a Miracle’, arriving 18 months after a couple of charmingly sore thumb 12”s. Imagine ACR entering the studio after binging on avant-folk and Liquid Liquid records
““Our time has begun…” Sinking Into A Miracle is the debut album by Glasgow’s AMOR, a quartet of musical travellers exploring the sonic open-ended-ness of dance music. Following two critically acclaimed 12” Single releases, Sinking Into A Miracle is a fully developed treatise on ecstasy and transcendence. Here, Richard Youngs, Michael Francis Duch, Paul Thomson and Luke Fowler are more honed, razor sharp in focus and timing, testing their instrumental prowess on condensed song structures and new, enlightened feelings of expansive hope and bliss.
From the outset it’s an ambitious yet ultimately inclusive journey they are embarking on. Recorded to 24-track tape at Chem 19 and mixed by Paul Savage and Richard McMaster (Golden Teacher), Sinking Into A Miracle retains the elastic grooves of Paradise and Higher Moment, the group’s previous single releases, but relinquishes the classic Philadelphia International tinged sound in favour of more looser rhythmic patterns. There are new depths to the compositions ; a more free-flowing approach to percussion and deft experiments in hybridity, making for a full and rounded, emotionally tinged record. Indeed, there are times when AMOR sound like the lost house band from David Mancuso's Loft parties: Richard Youngs’ uplifting, gospel tinged lyrics talk about moving beyond, universal truths, sailing through the horizon. It’s a wide-eyed optimism Mancuso would perhaps have approved of and which is embroidered with spectral details that begs to be auditioned on large, tweaked out sound-systems.
On Glimpses Across Thunder, Youngs’ piano chords echo early Blue Nile atmospherics before the band take the song into a funked, minor chord territory that feels endlessly searching, never to resolve. Opener Phantoms Of The Sun relies on Duch’s sublime bass line to drive a dubbed out track complete with a utopian flute refrain. Full Fathom Future stomps relentlessly forward on the back of Thomson’s percussion-heavy groove before collapsing into a moving three chord epilogue played on droning string instruments. Heaven Among The Days introduces a more robotic groove to the album, with a short bass refrain bouncing off stripped drum triggers, its dark rhythms reminiscent of the proto-House tracks that were trademarked by Chicago DJ Ron Hardy.
Whilst Youngs contemplates the prospect of heaven in our daily lives Fowler's gliding synthesiers chords underline the more devotional potential of AMOR's music. Sinking Into A Miracle ends with the sublime, Truth Of Life the most expansive and transporting of these compositions. Here the studio as instrument is used to full effect, with the rhythm section in full flow as the melodic elements are twisted, delayed, swaddled in tape echo, delaying gratification before a full, thrilling drop into blissful pleasure.”
Sensuously modern soul beauties from Steve Spacek, one of the most distinctive artists combining Black Atlantic heritage with contemporary electronics and futurist vision
On his first Spacek album since 2005’s ‘Space Shift’, and expanding on the themes of his Beat Spacek LP ‘Modern Streets’ , Steve has us rapt from the opening nanosecs of ‘Natural Shift’ with his use of watery compression artefacts - the modern equivalent of tape hiss - which instantly acknowledges his sound as a product of its times. You might pardon our excitement at this sound when it soon comes into combination with his vocals and patented chord cadence, letting us all know that this isn’t some decadent attempt at reenacting old soul glories or slopping on the gloss to mask a formula - he’s speaking from here and now, seemingly singing a modern bluez down a Skype connection.
Most brilliantly, that fidelity also apples to the rest of the album, with Spacek’s trademark falsetto sweetly occluded in-the-mix, smudged with wickedly slouching, gunky bass funk and the “cheapest” sounding drums. As we said, the effect is felt best in his mesmerisingly unique opener ‘Natural Sci Fi’, but we’re also smitten with the album’s other standouts, such as the grubbing acid funk and in-the-pocket harmonies of ‘Carnival Nights’, and the combination of sloshing, off-key arps and languorous vox on ’Shout’.
There’s little mistaking that this is the finest UK soul record of 2018, and a subtly radical new look for the often conservative Eglo label.
Next on Wolf Eyes’ Warp subsidiary, Lower Floor, the group’s early incarnation face off their current guise
As Wolf Eyes, they anchor 16 minutes of brass and electronic graffiti and snotty vox with depth charge bass hits, nasty as you like for the trip metal fiends. In Universal Eyes mode, they pull back into regressive primitivism with shadowy, greyscale shapes looming out of the murk in ‘Civilised Two’, whereas ‘Civilised Three’ feels more like a surreptitious room recording of some early concrète master in his workshop.
Larry Heard ropes in Call Super and Duplex to remix a cut from his Mr. Fingers album, ‘Cerebral Hemispheres’
Mr. Fingers hisself chips in an floating alternate version of ‘Praise to the Vibes’, and a lounging extended version, leaving ‘Crying Over You’ in the hands of the remixers, with Call Super returning a hobbling groove and autotuned vox sealed with wet-eyed synth pads, and Duplex reworking the same elements as a sublime, deep blue acid house elegy to love lost.
Smart and varied vibes from Martyn’s 3024, featuring himself alongside label debuts from Berlin’s lesser-spotted Juniper, UK stepper Yak, and Baltra - collaborator with DJ Boring
Yak plays up to the label’s ruder side with the crunching 2-step drums and percolated subs of ‘Lucid Nightmare’, and Martyn follows suit with the roguish Detroit/South London rave style of ‘Everything Is New’.
On the other hand, Juniper is on day release with the deeply in-the-pocket, writhing acid funk of ‘Constellations In You’, and Baltra rolls out the floating rave depths of ‘Bensalem Owls’.
Forward grime for the present state of affairs, from producer Shy One and MC Kwam
Kwan poetically chats about race, economics, family, police, and everyone’s favourite cheap pub on ’Spoons’, set to Shy One’s supremely inventive and daring grime productions, from the fleeting stabs and skittish beat of ‘Power’ to the cool yet powerful tale of harassment from the dibble set to a brilliant jazz/grime fusion in ‘The Raid’, and, our favourite, the properly wild but refined flex of ’Spoons’ with its spiralling keys and splayed 2-step. Surely one of 2018’s most impressive grime releases?!
Seductively depressive darkwave-pop from Seattle in the rainy North West of U.S.A. RIYL Cold Cave, Tropic of Cancer, Veronica Vasicka
“Bloom Offering is the synth-wave / blighted electronic project of Seattle's Nicole Carr. Having released a handful of well-received cassettes through Clan Destine, Aught Void, and Sinneslöschen, Bloom Offering presents her debut LP Episodes through The Helen Scarsdale Agency.
In her development as an artist and technician, Carr has steadily honed her abilities in sculpting sharply cold electronics and declarative vocals set upon propulsive spines of whipcrack snares and throttled kick drums. Episodes strikes us as the refinement and culmination of those motifs into a compulsive communion with bleak noise, dark-eyed melody, controlled rhythm, cathartic release and emotional drainage. The opening track "Swallow Me Whole" is one of many pyrrhic anthems of resolute disdain for the current social order with its frantic rhythms complicating the moody arrangements. "Venus Shrugged" maintains a stately almost haughty sequence of synth stabs, evoking the sexual politics of the male gaze and any woman who chooses to look for herself. The scornful "Out 2 Get U" was penned as a stark banger of unrelenting, industrial techno in the the wake of the panic and paranoia against the post-Weinstein groundswell of feminine rage; yet in the constant headlines of men behaving badly, Bloom Offering's curse remains necessary.
Episodes questions the positions of gendered power in mirroring back Carr's existential anxiety through her roughly engineered body music and minimal wave shadowplay. For ancillary listening references, Chris & Cosey, Lebanon Hanover, DVA Damas, and the rhythmic facets of Janushoved might of use.”
‘Moment’ is a strong current statement of intent from Gudrun Gut, the Berlin veteran who has weathered sea changes from post-punk to techno and indie-tronmcs, and now turns electro-pop, glam rock and avant-electronics to her needs. Make sure to check her cover of Bowie’s ‘Boys Keep Swinging’
“German electronic originator Gudrun Gut’s latest solo collection distills a lifetime of persuasions and obsessions into a compelling 14-track statement: "Moment." Stark, somber, sultry, and clever, the sides slide between ballad and lament, synth-pop and spoken word, anthemic and abstract.
Gut’s background as a key figure in Berlin’s first-wave industrial uprising still casts an aura in the music’s mechanized rhythms and frozen emotional palette but decades of improvisation and collaboration have deepened her sense of composition and melody beyond any easy genre categorization.
If anything "Moment" finds Gut’s muse at its most enigmatic, threading shades of motorik hypnosis, technoid laboratory, coldwave pop, glitchy gauze, and even a gender-bent Bowie cover (“Boys Keep Swinging”) into its eclectic web. It also showcases the depth and detail of her voice, reserved but suggestive, intoning blunt truths and opaque poetry in both German and English.
This is music of history and heartache, modernity and desire, alienation and expression, by a singular creative committed to the complexities of sound. - Britt Brown
Gudrun Gut’s story spans many years, scenes, and sounds, from the “ingenious dilettantes” subculture of early 1980’s Berlin as part of Mania D, Einstürzende Neubauten, and Malaria! to her twilit industrial pop trio Matador into an expansive solo catalog of later work scoring films, videos, and radio plays. Her talents extend beyond musician, however, to include founding record labels (the influential imprints Moabit Musik and Monika Enterprise), club nights (progressive electronic pop collective Oceanclub), and experimental feminist collaborations (Monika Werkstatt).
Gut also works extensively in the technical sector of the recording industry, as a producer. Recent projects have included collaborations with Antye Greie (AGF) and Hans-Joachim Irmler of Faust, participating on the advisory committee for Musicboard Berlin, and performing at The Royal Albert Hall with Âme as part of an Innervisions label night.”
UK techno heavyweights Karl O’Connor & James Ruskin whip out a deadly new OVR session on Downwards
Arriving 2 years since their ‘Easy Prey’ 12”, OVR’s 3rd studio release is defined by its spacious mixing and layered detail in three powerful dancers plus two handy locked grooves.
‘The World Remade’ is a proper juggernaut, rolling thru pelting percussion on 18 wheeler bassline with a pile of jazz mags on the passenger seat. It could easily go on twice as long, but there’s two locked grooves isolating the crunchy bass and gritted drums for DJs who want to properly roll out.
The B-side’s ‘Reversing Into Tomorrow’ tucks into more aerodynamic, stripped down formation, before they cuts loose with foul waves of tarry synth and noise scree in the grim roil of ‘New Departures’ - more of this, please!
Remaster of a 2008 classic ten years after release.
"There's a beating heart buried in the cold landscape of Glider, a warm 4/4 pulse that enervates the album's echoing, looped drones and pulls the listener swiftly through the snow. By pinning barely-there electronic beats to his wisps of guitar melody, the Seattle-based producer turns ambient music into a hybrid strain of breathtakingly intimate, small-scale dance music.
There's a separation of elements in The Sight Below's songs that's almost meteorological in nature: Tendrils of treated guitar trail lazy patterns in the sky like the Aurora Borealis ("At First Touch"), flicker in the distance like heat lightning ("Dour"), or expand and contract like time-lapse cloud formations ("Life's Fading Light"); running along beneath, nearly obscured by the airborne phenomena, is an ever-present beat, which ranges from the mud-puddle throb in "Without Motion" to the tiny, insistent high-hats in "A Fractured Smile." The tracks evolve at a deliberated pace, but as the tones overlap and the rhythms build, time oozes to a halt and hangs in blissfully frost-bitten suspended animation. With Glider, The Sight Below has created a work of vertiginous sonic depth and exquisite melancholy: techno music for a dark, brooding night."
1st new Bitstream 12” in 10 years! The bothers Conner remerge one of the UK’s most cherished electro projects for a strong 4-track EP with the West Coast Dutch G’s at Frustrated Funk
Since their last 12”, ‘The Severed EP’  for Touchin’ Bass, Dave and Steve Connor bifurcated into the Uexkull and Adapta projects, respectively. While they’ve turned out some solid gear individually, their powers are arguably felt strongest when working together, as on the ‘Switch Halo’ EP.
In combo, they massively impress with the dissonant, bittersweet choral synth voices that open up ‘Stream Philter’ and infiltrate its slow, pendulous groove, while the richly detailed and rapid ‘Screens’ also benefits from more hands on deck in its sumptuous kneeing soundsphere. Again those synth voices make a crucial appearance, haunting the elastic, shapeshifting slosh of ‘Tactic’, while ‘Switch Holo’ works with powerful techno-electro hydraulics in a super tight update of their signature styles.
One of 2018’s most reliable labels, UVB-76 Music close the year with a killer quartet of industrial/D&B/techno apparitions by Karim Maas, Pessimist, Overlook and Talker
Titled in tribute to the seminal ‘70s sci-fi conjured by Nigel Kneale for the BBC, The Stone Tapes unleashes dark forces in all four parts.
Kicking off with the trampling, lunky pressure and sweltering spectral noise of ‘Removal Of DECC’ by Karim Maas, it finds Pessimist investigating haunted dancehall vibes with the grungy acidic bogle of ‘Ultranova’, while Overlook follows suit with the depth-charge halfstep bone-rattler ‘Purr’, and Chicago’s Talker twat out the tense industrial techno rolige of ‘Cross Purposes’.
There’s definitely something in the Bristol waters…
The Sight Below’s majestic shoegaze, reworked by a broad range of artists including Simon Scott, Yagya, Biosphere and Acronym
Exemplifying the scope of the set, Simon Scott appears at his sorest and bittersweet with a billowing, coruscating take on ’At First Touch’, and Acronym offers a pounding deep techno remix of ‘Life’s Fading Light’. Other highlights come from Iceland’s Yagya with a heartrate-slowing ambient techno overhaul of ‘At First Touch’, and Biosphere pushes ‘The Sunset Passage’ off into opiated smudge.
Rugged, squashed bass flex from Lamont, following up his Swamp81 and Keysound turns with more stripped down and freaky movies for Loefah’s label
Working at the intersection of dubstep, grime, and house, the ‘Detached’ EP twysts in a unique way from the looping halfstep of ‘Humans’ to the clipped and corkscrewing strut of ‘XIX’ with an infectiously playful style, before getting darker, more aggressive with the title cut, and balancing the percussive attack of ‘Dope’ with heady, slanted electronics and a canny vocal lick that sets it off right.
Stripped-down, proggy acid and slinky electro from Nathan Micay (Bwana), making his 1st foray for L.A.’s ESP Institute
The A-side’s title tune is an effortless, stealthily building acid roller evolving with swanee whistle-like top line, eventually opening out with balmy pads.
On the B-side, he works the louche but punchy swagger of ‘Team Player’, with snaky post-punk baseline accentuated by electroid snares and urging vocoder voice.
Fracture pushes at D&B’s peripheries with the super tight, Footwork-compatible drums of ‘Soundboy get Nervous’ on dBridge’s Exit Records
The clenched title cut imagine a razor-sharp fusion of No U-Turn tech-step rufige inna footwork-style harness; ‘Turbo Toms’ goes on like Mumdance & Logos doing hardcore juke; ‘Makes Me Wonder’ serves tense, body-rolling momentum layered up with ace mid ‘90s techno-trance pads; and ‘No Screwface’ locks off a killer, breathlessly tight tech step sound.
Daniel Avery and Richard Fearless float their new merger, PSSU, on the latter’s Drone label
On ‘307309’ they recall classic early-mid ‘90s Aphex Twin and Autechre vibes with haunting pads and bruising electro drums, while ‘Fabricated From Steel’ heads down a long dark techno tunnel.
Detroit, Chicago and Paris-indebted deep filter house from Pistol Pete on Bristol’s Idle Hands
Clearly well-versed in Shake, Soundhack and Pepe Bradock styles, Stockholm’s Pistol Pete brings a vibe in all three parts: simmering the ‘floor with washed out piano chops and raw swang in ‘Orphan’; toying with deferred soul gratification in ‘Lundgaten’; and getting right under the skin swiththe mesmerising chords and devilishly offbeat hi-hats of ‘Esqpads’.
First ever digital issue of Chris Carter's solo follow-up to the legendary 'Spaces Between'
Originally issued on LP in 1985, 'Mondo Beat' stars one of the Throbbing Gristle lynchpin's most recognisable solo tracks, the proto-New Beat and Industrial classic, 'Moonlight', plus five further tracks of highly advanced productions, taking in the flash stabs and body-contorting beats of 'Real Life', the extra-tropical electro elan of 'Noevil', experimental cut-ups on 'Nobadhairdo', and the noisy, psychosexual EBM tripper 'Beyond Temptation'. We need say no more; this is a total must-have for all wave psychonauts and techno dancers!
Copenhagen’s Fluf look close to home with Mads Kjelgaard’s field recording study of insect noise in Croatia, with results remarkably resembling mechanical, synthetic sound.
“Like a heavy blanket it covers the mountain valley. It seeps in from everywhere: piercing trills, screams and grains. The insects are awake. They want to eat, they want to drink, they want to sing, they want to fuck. And so, they excite their mechanic bodies.”
Feted producer/engineer Randall Dunn etches his name in the pantheon of doom with ‘Beloved’, his first solo vessel following over 400 credits on records by Sunn 0))), Earth, Tim Hecker, and Six Organs of Admittance, among so many others. Highly recommended if you're into Vangelis, 0PN, Scott Walker, Wolves In The Throne Room...
Active in the producer/engineer/mixing seat since 1996, Dunn’s tact with early analog and digital synthesisers and feel for instrumental integrity is key to a vast swathe of modern classics from the doom realm. On ‘Beloved’ he finally puts those prized skills at the service of his staggering debut album, poetically framing vocal and instrumental offerings from Zola Jesus, Shahzad Ismaily and Eyvind Kang, a.o., within vast, parallel, electro-acoustic dimensions shot thru with shocking emotive pathos.
Inspired by the wisdom of age and a period of psychic stress, ’Beloved’ truly renders the full, magnificent scope of Dunn’s 3rd eye. With a cinematic/psychedelic grasp of dramaturgy that perhaps only comes from subsuming one’s own vision at the service of others, his first solo side unfurls a billowing tapestry in seven parts, finely limning a sort of hellish opera a la latter Scott Walker or, indeed, his own work with skilful scene setters, Wolves In The Throne Room.
Shoring up in desolate synth space with opener ‘Amphidromic Point’, visually mirrored in O’Malley’s cover art of a warped beach scene, the album evolves purposefully into the ante-chamber music of ‘Lava Rock & Amber’, making stunning use of a string trio plus clarinet, Buchla easel and Minimoog, before delivering the stone cold blow of Frank Fisher’s pre-dawn blues vocal and Carpenter-esque synth strokes on ‘Something About That Night’. In terms of sheer scale of space and haunting potential, however, the keening chorales of ‘Theoria/Aleph’ strongly resonate with classic ventures by Phurpa and John Avery, and Zola Jesus proves the perfect candidate to close out with her soaring vocal on ‘True Home’.
Continuing a home run of zingers on Jai and Anup Paul’s Paul Institute, Rutheven lets his soul flow on the memorably infectious ‘Hypothalamus’...
The kind of tune that will call to mind a dozen others that you can’t place a finger on, ‘Hypothalamus’ is an instant anthem of the kind that should be A-listed on commercial radio in a perfect world, and makes up for so much overblown, too-many-cooks soul currently in circulation.
‘Hypothalamus’ will forever remind us of the long, hot summer of 2018, when climate change became ever more apparent, and all we could do was hum its hook for days on end.