Stella Donnelly is a young songwriter with a knack for wrapping unapologetic, brutally honest lyrics with a soaring lullaby to mesmeric effect.
"With just one release to boot, last year’s lauded ‘Thrush Metal’, she has already garnered worldwide critical acclaim and has an undeniably bright future ahead. Full of sharp lyrical punchlines, Stella’s standout songwriting on ‘Thrush Metal’ is an empowering and relatable guidebook to life as a young woman in our age of Trump, Tinder and Third-Wave feminism.
First single ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ has been described by New York Times as “A delicate waltz [that] carries a bitter reproach to blaming the victims of sexual assault. ‘Why was she all alone/Wearing her shirt that low?’ she sings, and then her voice rises and roughens.” Written in late 2016, the track tackles society’s tendency to blame the victims of sexual assault and rape and making excuses for the perpetrators. This insightful account isn’t limited to ‘Boys Will Be Boys’.Take new bonus track ‘Talking’ which explores the ever-socommon feeling that you’re in a one-sided relationship from a distinctly millennial perspective and ‘Mechanical Bull’, a pithy but potent track that addresses the male tendency to persist unwanted sexual advances."
The lush promise and spirit of mid ‘90s IDM deeply informs Darling’s ’Tulipa Moves’ for Young Marco’s Safe Trip
The latest in a highly endearing volley of 12”s from the enigmatic Amsterdammer, Tulipa Moves offers a welcome dose of melodic escapism articulated through classic hardware in a manner recalling classic AFX, Plaid, Kettel and loads of stuff that already sounded charmingly nostalgic in the ‘90s with echoes of Japanese electronics, new age ambient and minimalism also bubbling to the surface.
We direct you straight to highlights in the radar ping 808s, angel breath chorales and classic AFXian bassline of Tulipa, as well as the introspective shimmy of Free Hand, and the featherlite spine strokes of The M Song (Feat. Lexi) for the finest feels, and you’ll know exactly what to do next!
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.
Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s score for the new Lynne Ramsay and Joaquin Phoenix film ‘You Were Never Really Here’.
"Greenwood once again displays both beautiful and harrowing string arrangements performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra and experimental string player Olly Coates (‘Under The Skin’), married with experimental synthesisers, drum machines, recorders and guitars. This will appeal to fans of Greenwood’s previous work, including scores to ‘There Will Be Blood’, ‘Inherent Vice’, the Oscar-nominated ‘Phantom Thread’ and, of course, to fans of Radiohead."
Raw, fuzzily intimate recitals of John Cage works, made in an attempt to bring Cage’s ‘Harmonies From Apartment House 1776’ closer to the artist’s intentions thru the “destruction of privileged musical space”, blurring distinctions between performance and non-performance in a way which Cage would surely approve of
Cop Tears write: “Thirteen Harmonies is a selection from John Cage’s 44 Harmonies From Apartment House 1776, written for the American bicentennial, which itself is a selection of pieces in the colonial and early American choral canon. Arranged for double bass, electric guitar, and flute, from the arrangement for keyboard and violin, from the original four-part chorale, Thirteen Harmonies is an arrangement of a reduction of an arrangement of a reduction. The choral composers whose works were the material for Cage’s Apartment House were considered the avant-garde of choral music of the 18th century, and their music became the seed of Sacred Harp music, a radical lay tradition of the rural American south. John Cage composed the harmonies by way of erasure of the Protestant chorales and set them in an “apartment house” among other American voices: Native American ritual music, slave spirituals, and Sephardic incantations. What binds the lay experimentalism of William Billings and his contemporaries (all white American men) to the ‘multiplicity of centers’ of the Apartment House of John Cage (a white American man) is the destruction of a privileged musical space, the making-permeable of the division between the music of the piece and the sound of the people coming together to make the music of the piece. A positive destabilizing from within. Thirteen Harmonies was recorded live on two consecutive mornings in 2016 to a faulty 4-track on bled-through tape in Cameron’s apartment house in Queens, New York.”
Bogdan Dražić drops a volley of salty machine workouts on TTT following blasts for Giallo Disco
Trampling in wigged-out terrain between Eric Copeland, Muscleworks era James Feraro and Lutto Lento, the Dangnabbit EP flexes sinewy muscle in four parts, starting with the Troma horror-core funk of Nag Nubia, then spitting the gob of hacked muscle and screws called Goa, Goa, Gone, before yoking up the wonky-wheeled ride of Jack Dat Wabbit, and the swaggering jakbeat, Trip This Joint with X amounta madness.
The surrealist scenes of ‘Bloody Sirens’ documents London-based choral ensemble Musarc performing three works by Neil Luck at Extra City Kunsthal in Antwerp, Sunday 3rd October, 2015
Luck’s 4th work composed for Musarc, following from Misty (2010), Namesaying (2013), and Any’s Responses (2015), his new piece Bloody Sirens is presented as a report from an imaginary baseball match which conceives of the singers as individuals, rathe than a singing ‘mayuss’, who read from a score that includes a skull and plenty of errors and ellipses.
Yet another singular release on the boundary-oblivious Entr’acte, Bloody Sirens presents avant garde compositions for vocals which are simultaneously timeless, ancient, yet up-to-the-moment, both democratic in organisation and collectively keening towards a framework familiar to the Slip label’s excellent vocal works by Object Collection and Laurie Tompkins, as much as a wealth of historical works.
Jamal Moss serves his 2nd Jai/Mahl 12” with ‘#DontjusttalkaboutitBeAboutit’ for Midnight Shift
Arriving in a most fecund phase for the Chicago badboy, this one doesn’t shirk on quality. The A-side comes with a spiky dose of Afro-cubist acid woven with his own vocals - a leitmotif of his work right now - on #Daretomatter, while #ICU locks into a rolling and sumptuously heady slice of deep house psychedelia that gets right under the skin, up yer nose, drawing eyes into back-of-skull.
B-side, he’s back to jack with something like a wild spin on early ‘90s KMS hardcore styles in the raving whirligig #Uwillnot, before coolly resolving with the title cut’s elegant, mid-tempo sashay.
Berlin’s Mechatok, one of the most nattered-about artists to emerge in recent years, caters to Lorenzo Senni’s Presto!? label with four effervescent spins on melodic dancehall and PointillisticT.
Practically taking on Lorenzo at his own thing, Mechatok keeps it perfectly icy and low-key with the simmering hustle of 12 Years, then stealthily starts to come up with the layered trance arps and choral voices of Skies Of Tomorrow, until the big room coda of All My Time takes us by the hand to a hard trance wonderland, or something, where the barely-there dynamics of Flee trace out the phosphorescent afterglow of a trillion garys in the fashion of an avian murmuration.
Big RIYL to fans of rkss, Pavel Milyakov, Lorenzo Senni, Kamixlo
Deep, jazzy twysts on a rooted house theme from Dawit Eklund, following up last year’s ace drum track session with Dolo Percussion, and the tripping broken beats of his ‘Ouroborous EP’ 
In all four parts Dawit entwines his East African heritage with heavy references to American house and funk with inimitable style. On Gravity that comes out in a wicked push and pull between earthy, grubbing drums and purple hued, ascendent G-funk licks, while New Life gets it up with a rolling mesh of dubbed out funk chords and gently cattle-prodded drums to get the best out of the dancers. Flipside, he takes that vibe more introspective with the loosely smudged hustle of Sufferation Dub, before Luna’s Melody hardly touches the ground in a very special turn of autotuned soul vocals with chromatic keyboard licks and wickedly pendulous, effervescent breaks designed to marionette dancers from the shoulders and waist.
Augustus Pablo fronts an allstar Rockers International Band on ‘Eastman Dub’ weaving woozy melodica, organ, piano and clavinet into skeletal riddims circa 1988.
A1 Only Jah Jah Dub
A2 Eastman Dub
A3 Look Within Dub
A4 Isn’t It Time Dub
A5 It Up To Jah Dub
B1 Big Yard Connection
B2 African Step
B3 Original Scientist
B4 Corner Stone (Chapter 3)
Filigree detailed, vaporous sound designs carved from the Yamaha ex5r from XIII for Turin’s Gang Of Ducks. RIYl Visible Cloaks, Haruomi Hosono, Japanese electronics
“Eocity is the result of a study on technological failure and the imagination of a non-existent urban landscape. This project features the use of a Yamaha ex5r, one of the first synths to ever implement VL synthesis.
The Yamaha Virtual Acoustic Synthesis tone generation was born to try to accurately emulate the complex vibrations and other acoustic phenomena of real instruments and their sounds within space, but the dubious results of this technology gave birth to something more.
Its output sound happens to be cold and synthetic while being also organic and warm at the same time, welcoming the listeners into a feeling of an artificial world that is neither digital nor analog.
In this world man is not around anymore and the binary language survived him, communicating with the rest of the natural environment, in respect of its laws and dynamics, becoming one indistinct entity.
Eocity is a place that exists in between the imaginary and the real one, gently oating as a digital tactile experience.”
For new initiates and avant-garde fiends alike, this Xenakis collection renders a breathtaking survey of works by the radical composer, theorist, architect and engineer, spanning the period 1956-1974 and featuring some of the greatest works of the 20th century, including the awe-inspiring sonic architecture of ‘Persepolis’.
Inarguably one of the most important composers to blend electronic process and classical orchestration, Greek-French artist Iannis Xenakis made an indelible impression on the 20th century with his staggeringly complex feats of musical engineering. Regularly cited as an influence by composers ranging from Russell Haswell and Florian Hecker thru Autechre and Reinhold Friedl, Xenakis’s polymath pursuits in hybridising music, architecture and mathematics generated a bewildering array of sounds and structures which have rarely, if ever, been bettered in terms of their sheer scope, scale and technical ingenuity.
It’s possible to break down Xenakis’ approach to composition, and its results, as an extension of his experiences in armed combat, fighting for Greece’s left wing liberationists against the German army and later the British during WWII, with the latter leaving him blinded in one eye. He would eventually leave Greece in 1947 after graduating university with a degree in civil engineering, and before he could be conscripted into the Greek army, who didn’t look favourably on left wing sympathisers. Moving from Greece to Paris left him with a sense of guilt at betraying his friends, and a sense that “I had to do something important to regain the right to live. It wasn’t just a question of music - it was something much more significant.”
That significant something turned out to be a mind-blowing, multi-disciplinary oeuvre practically unprecedented in the history of music, architecture and art; a radical synthesis of ideas which embraced new technology and abstraction as a means to realise and create a new world in the aftermath of WWII. Like the Italian futurists before him, Xenakis would draw on the chaotic soundfield of war, and combined with a strong knowledge of experimental classical music and a special nous of maths, Xenakis’ subsequent studies with Olivier Messiaen and work with Parisian architect Le Corbusier would prompt him to composing groundbreaking new music during the 1950s.
This 2CD contains works from that era, stretching right back to the pranging clangour and jet-like eruptions of Achorripsis [1956-57], an early example of his stochastic style of composition, thru the dizzying, chronic dynamics of Syrmos , and to some of the earliest work composed by a computer, the 7090 IBM, in ST/48(St/48-1,240162).
But it’s Xenakis’ ’60s/‘70s work where his genius is mst evident, from the breathtaking scope of Polytope De Montréal  - written for four orchestras in the same space in the French Pavilion at Expo ’67 - to the gobsmacking dimensions of his seminal Persépolis , which was realised for the Shah of Iran, plus the frankly terrifying, computerised wormhole of Polytope De Cluny [1972-74].
We can’t reasonably describe this set as anything other than indispensable for fans of electronic music from its inception to the modern day.
New mini album from Sudan Archives.
"The violinist and vocalist writes, plays and produces her own music. Drawing inspiration from Sudanese fiddlers she is self-taught on the violin and her unique songs also fold in elements of R&B and experimental electronic music. Photography by Jack McKain with art by Stones Throw creative director Jeff Jank."
Space Age Recordings are pleased to announce the first official CD release of the album "For All the Fucked Children of This World” featuring Sonic Boom a.ka. Peter Kember (Spectrum / E.A.R.) and Jason Pierce (Spiritualized).
"This is the latest release in an on-going co-ordinated campaign which will see the complete Spacemen 3 catalogue re-issued.
For All the Fucked Up Children of This World” from the neo-psychedelic trio Spacemen 3 was first released as a bootleg record in 1995. The record consists of Spacemen 3's first ever recording session from 1984. The music itself sounds like a primitive version of what the group were to become; the dominating sound of the record is a slow, droning psychedelic blues performed with sparse instrumentation.
A drum set is matched with a pair of distorted electric guitars, all of which provide a swirling foundation for Jason Pierce's vocals. The album's liner notes replicated here are actually an early review of the band by Gary Boldie, where he contemplates the city of Rugby and finds it an odd source for this new sound, and he declares Spacemen 3 as the "all singing, all dancing answer to the problems of a grey 1985."
Repress of Andrés’ funky 2012 downstroke as DJ Dez for Japan’s Root Down Records
A-side swings out with funky positivity and old skool Detroit swagger for the Dilla nuts on New World, while B-side’s Brain is primed with slouchy soul chops bound to entice the KDJ and Mahogani Music fiends.
Sleep and weep, peops.
World premiere edition of Luc Ferrari’s incredible ‘Atelier de Libération de la Musique’ - a series of prescient, shockingly free-jazz styled improvisations recorded in February and March 1975 during rehearsals for the Concerts Électrovisuels at Pont F and Musée Galiera in Paris
Adding a whole new stripe of colour to everyone’s perception of music by Luc Ferrari - the fabled co-founder of the GRM, with Pierre Schaffer and François-Bernard Måche - Atelier de Libération de la Musique was, as printed on the LP sleeve, Ferrari’s self-stated attempt to “…free music from the constraints of style and aesthetics; to free the arts from the abstraction to train him for comprehensible actions; to be rather a craftsman of imagination.” And under these directives, Ferrari on electric organ, together with NWW-listed Martin Davorin Jagodic (electric piano) and Alain Petit (sax, flute, clarinet), plus Philippe Besombes (synth) realised this remarkable record which, somehow, until now, has remained unheard by the public.
Where we’re more used to hearing slow moving poetic tapestries or fleeting sceneries implying surrealistic scenarios from Ferrari, these recordings are more stripped down, verging on American minimalism, but too fractured to be called so. The A-side collects a number of succinct, enchantingly free and dynamic works ranging from windswept percussion and flute in the first, to passages of supremely playful, pastoral synth-jazz and elegiac melancholy, via a very Gallic passage of swaying, elliptical freeform jazz. On the other hand, the B-side’s parts are breezier, like someone opened a few windows in the room while Reich was developing his phasing minimalism, or as though Arthur Russell got lost in a trance while penning his Instrumentals, 1974.
For a Luc Ferrari record to surface like this is one thing, but for it to contain such gestures of beautiful genius, and so ahead of their time, like this record, is really quite special and unmissable.
Istanbul’s premiere avant-jazz unit converge on two blazing tributes to Ornette Coleman
A-side they work up a steam train momentum from rattling drums, rolling double bass and spurts of fiery harmolodic sax and trumpet delivered with pure gusto, whereas the B-side is just the sax and drums chasing themselves dizzy in a manic avant-jazz caper.
Greek producer Pasiphae pushes a tense, furtive and killer electro-Italo-EBM sound on Interstellar Funk’s Artificial Dance
Recalling classic Murder Capital vibes as much as Helena Hauff’s contemporary scum budgers, but with an added air of ancient Hellenic intrigue, the Siphax EP is a strong testament to Fotini Kappa’s solo sound following her introduction on the Made Of Glass  hook-up with Intergalactic Gary for Bio Rhythm.
A-side, she bites down with steel-fanged jaws in the Giallo-esque scene-setter, Tachyons, then shifts down a gear for the aching sleaze and drama of Vertical Rotation, urged by evilly turgid subass and nerve-gnawing synths. B-side keeps up the pressure with Bladerunner-esque stacks of brassy synth flare in Quelque Chose De Mauvais recalling Afrodeutsche’s recent ace for Skam, logically pursued by the funereal Quelque Chose De Mal to an exceptional parting shot with the unharnessed, Italinate arps of header working just as usefully as an outro or dramatic set-starter in the right claws.
Sasha Grey features on the well oiled glam disco of ‘Honey’ by Richard Fearless and Chris Blakey as DIV
Backed with a slippier backdrop to the dark room lit up with neon synth tweaks in ‘Witchdance Dub’.
Cursor Miner gets back on the strong gear for Bleeper, a sister label to Jerome Hill’s Super Rhythm Trax
Uptown, he tramples out the booming kicks and streaking 303s of Vampire Acid and the coiled, cold and distorted sock of Thooom; downtown he goes wild on a hoofing groove called Owl Massage Acid, then rustles up the clonqing doofs of Clockwork Banana.
Hypnotic ambient techno-electro hydraulics from Finland’s Rasmus Hedlund
A-side drops in with the wide, cavernous bass rolige and crepuscular string pads of Bas Emfas, saving a curdled chromatic lead for when it matters, followed by the rasping, bittersweet electrodes of Luminös Klang.
B-side, he locks off the silty brownian Braindance motion of Conflux Sevens, and the weightless, half-stepping ambient pressure of Sonisk Morgonsyn.
The ferocious ‘Showgirl’ is the third and last instalment of the band's early singles period, produced by Frank Ocean and James Blake collaborator Sean Oakley, who also helmed the band’s 2017 debut single, ‘Lies’.
Reissue of Peggy Gou’s 2nd release and debut for Phonica White
A-side features a trimmed and filtered take on Tronco Traxx’ Drops ; B-side is a raw, deep and rude acid burner layered with her own dreamy vocals.
Abul Mogard's first new solo album since 2015’s ‘Circular Forms’, a staggering suite of widescreen landscapes painted in self-built modular synth strokes. Hugely recommended if you're into Alessandro Cortini, early OPN, Coil, Brian Eno...
Above All Dreams is Abul Mogard’s beautifully absorbing new album for Ecstatic, deploying six longform pieces for the most expansive solo release by Mogard to date. Taking into account its intangible divinity and cinematic quality - the result of no less than three years diligent work - it is arguably elevated to the level of his master opus; presenting a modular distillation of Mogard’s most intoxicating strain of hauntology.
Consistent with Mogard’s music since the sought-after VCO tapes c. 2012-2013, the allure to Above All Dreams lies in his ability to evoke and render feelings which are perhaps purposefully avoided in more academic echelons of drone music. Rather than a purist expression of physics thru maths and geometry, Mogard voices his soul, improvising on modular synth for hours, days, months and years in the same way a more conventional “band” develops group intuition.
While hands-on, the intuitive evolution of process locates a newfound freedom in his music that implies a recognition of the metaphysical or post-physical, while Mogard explicitly points to influence from the Brazilian music of Tom Zé, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Chico Buarque, whose approach to shape and density, or perceptions of light and delicacy, also go some way to explaining the ephemeral intangibility of Above All Dreams.
The results are best considered as the ephemera of non-verbal communications. From the gaseous bloom of Quiet Dreams to the opiated depth of Where Not Even to the starlit awn of Upon The Smallish Circulation, and through the B-side’s keeling, 16 minute+ panoramas of Above All Dreams and The Roof Falls, the power of Abul Mogard’s dreams above all transcends sound, feeling and physics in a truly remarkable way that evades words or concrete notation.
Début turn from Yris Den for Köln’s Magazine
Who make their way from scudding synth chorales in Venial Elevate, to brittle, swung mid-tempo rhythms recalling Tolouse Low Trax grooves in Strafen, onto tight, prodding electro on Amen Auro Atha, and a sort of cyber dancehall-electro in Veniale Excavate.
Raime mutate Eski grime, post-punk, R&B, dembow rhythms and a bank of YouTube ‘Fail’ samples on this killer twelve for Different Circles, big if yr into Jon E Cash, Rapid, Rian Treanor, Gabor Lazor, Low Jack, Photek's 'Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu'...
Raime reach a pivotal moment in their catalogue with the sidewinders of Am I Using Content Or Is Content Using Me?, their first plate for Mumdance & Logos’ Different Circles label and club collective.
After years of drilling their message home thru belligerent repetition, the crucial London duo here go fractiously febrile, ephemeral and non-linear, probing a certain sort of feminine pressure across four tracks drawing as much from grime, post-punk and jungle as afrobeats R&B and dembow rhythms, and cannily splashed with samples lifted from the kind of “Fail” videos that hog YouTube’s recommendations sidebar.
Taken in context of the dark humour and ‘ardcore hauntological spirit which binds all their work, the results form a radical rethink of the Raime sound allowing for more chaos, space and knife-edge vulnerability within their often chokingly tight productions. Where their previous productions may have felt like tunnelling into a dank rave at London’s core, their current sound better reflects the shifting mosaic of the city’s cultural, socio-economic and political landscape, effectively rendering a brutalist 3D gymnasium or in-progress construction site for their wickedly augmented ideas to cut loose, and quite literally embracing the failure, fleeting emotions and nerve-riding uncertainty that comes with the terrain.
In opener Some Things Can Happen, Just Like This they persistently switch the pattern from vaporous dembow bumps to synthetic chorales in a sort of mutant 8-bar dramaturgy, while Real People, Not Actors observes an everyday fine line between aggression and play with ravishing yet elusive 2-step design comparable to Total Freedom clashing Burial over post-codes or a broken fidget spinner.
The palpitating, rapid flux of Our Valleys Are Always Uncanny is more agitated and wild-eyed than anything else in their catalogue, perhaps imagining Skepta’s Stageshow Rhythm after the cast has left and the duppies come out to play, before The Nourishment Cycle wraps up razor-chopped samples and melodic percussion in a way that feels like witnessing a bleeding cross-section of the city come to life, all sinew and sawn-off syllables tessellating in suspenseful animation.
It’s thrilling, edge-of-seat music, a breath of fresh air that’s certain to flip presumptions of Raime on their head.
John T. Gast in total snake charmer mode, owning and aligning your chakras with two tracks “from the ark circa 2013”
Further to his exquisite wygdn 10” and Young Druid album in 2017, and the recent Docile hook-up with Tribe of Colin for TTT in ’18, John T. Gast scrolls back into the mists of his hard drive on BTEC Version #1 to roughly around the time we were first beguiled by his work as Henny Moan and just cottoning onto his now better known alias.
We’d wager these are some of the earliest tracks he made in John T. Gast mode, and it’s not hard it draw a line between the durational meditation of his nine minute Terminator trudge ANGELA, with the slow pressure of wygdn_bashmenttk9, for example. However, DRITH is just out on its own, coming up with a briny electronic whine and clod-stepping drums that frankly sound like fcuk all else, beyond a barnyard of mechanical animals.
Young Echo’s Ossia ruffs up and danks out the dance for Blackest Ever Black inna gothic Bristolian style
Crossing paths with BEB for the 2nd time following his crushing Red X session, Ossia grimly socks it to London’s finest with the recoiling stepper, Dub Hell; a sludgy hot slug of distorted, buzzing subs harnessed to trampling kick and dragged backward thru an echoplex to frazzled effect.
Following that leyline to a logical conclusion, Devil’s Dance distills and renders that negative energy as an arcane air for Beelzebub, marshalling brittle drum patterns on marching manoeuvres into an inky blacknuss of no return, with blood-curdling screams beckoning from the perimeters.
Not nice in the best way.
Addendum to the smashing ‘Intra Musique’ LP, Alga Marghen serve ‘more Intra Musique’ from the radical fringes of Paris, France in 1969. Practically worth it for the A-side’s will cut-up, but chuck in an eight minute drum solo on the B-side and you’ve got a winner
“More Intra Musique, the second in Alga Marghen’s series dedicated to previously unreleased recording by the drummer and experimentalist Jacques Thollot, draws on the same body of recordings from which the first release, Intra Musique, was built. With none of the spirit and fire lost, this time we hear from a duo of Eddie Gaumont on prepared piano, and Thollot on drums, piano, prepared piano, synth, and tapes.
These efforts, despite the sharing of personal, couldn’t be more different than those which appeared on Intra Musique, venturing far into purely experimental realms. It’s hard to express how stunning and resistant to definition they are, at times flirting with the simple elegance of the furniture music of Erik Satie, before shifting toward the wild, frantic piano music of figures like Conlon Nancarrow, the pulsing, chaotic synths of Groupe De Recherches Musicales, Moondog, and the inspiration of field recordings from Africa and beyond. It’s all in there, and it’s stunning to beyond - shifting between worlds wild and cooly intelligent constructions in should. An absolute revelation, which rethinks everything we know about French free- improvisation. Like it predecessor, this long lost recording from the visionary mind of Jacques Thollot is overwhelmingly important and not to be missed on any count!”
‘Blue Jays’ forms a head-turning introduction to Atlanta’s Sequoyah Murray, with a sound equally influenced by Arthur Russell, YMO and east African music
A product of his generation, the 21 year old has been writing music since 2012, guided by a percussionist father and vocalist mother to realise his music thru a mix of his own vocals and a range of software and samples.
The result: a lushly-tempered, giddy spiral of kosmiche synths and rich baritone swelling with dramatic momentum into something like an Arca ballad produced by Novo Line, neatly setting the scene for a soon come début album.
Killer 12" from Norwich's Sully, dropping the wickedly morphing garage styles of 'Jackman's Rec'. Sully has been steadily carving out a name for himself with a string of releases tweaking the formulas of post-garage dubstep for the last few years now, but we've not anything as sharp as 'Jackman's Rec' yet. The intro to the track builds a tense energy in the usual dubstep manner, but its the way he releases it post-drop with a fluid and craftily arranged dispersal that makes this track easily the best he's put forth in our opinion. Recommended to any fans of Pangaea, Untold or Ramadanman!
In Pessimist, Blackest Ever Black’s furtive D&B agent submits a killer debut LP recce from the no man’s land between jungle, tekno and greyscale electronics - a definitively Bristolian sound. Forming a logical expansion of the themes explored in his work with the Ruffhouse trio and in solo shots for A14 and Osiris Music UK over recent years, his first album finds him working in acres of negative space to fully indulge his worries for the dance, arguably resulting in a new high-water mark for the D&B album format.
Thanks to a natural predilection for minimalism and a fine tuned sensitivity towards textured, atmospheric detail, Pessimist succeeds where the vast majority of D&B long-players fail; fundamentally keeping our interest without resorting to beating us around the head with the latest plugin acrobatics. Rather, Pessimist uses techniques of stealth and guile to draw in and toy with his prey, resulting a far more intriguing and satisfying dispatch from the dark side of the echo chamber.
Like we say, it’s sculpted as a proper album, as opposed to a clutch of middling bangers, replete with intro, outro and a tempered transfer of energy between the tracks that necessarily curves the listener’s enthusiasm between pockets of dank ambience, dread dub dimensions and rolling, ghostly tech-steppers.
Aside from the bolshy techno of Peter Hitchens and clinical badboy rolige of Through The Fog, it’s all exclusive new material, churning up some robust highlights with Grit’s hunched and grubbing torque, and the stark, crispy Spirals, but we’d have to point to his No Matter What collaboration with Overlook for the LP’s most impressive mutation of pure UK bassbin pressure. If we’ve any gripes, though, it’s from the splashback of his breakbeats that come in half way thru Grit and dominating his Glued link-up with Loop Faction, but apart from those, it’s a proper dark fantasy.
Not heard from Point B for a while following on from his excellent twelves for Scsi and Combat a couple of years back, with this latest twelve for the Frijsfo Beats imprint displaying a more robust approach to electronic science with a sound somewhere between UK Garage, Dubstep and IDM. "Detritus" opens the set with a sped-up Garage formulation complete with dubby stabs and nicely stripped synthwork before "No Smokes" hooks up a modified square bassline for a shuffling stepper with a good dose of spannered synths thrown in for good measure. "Istocity Meter" on the flipside is the best thing here, getting hold of a demented 2-step vibe supported by a nicely freaked out vibe with elements of Bassline and IDM thrown into the pot, before Kuoyah's remix of "Someone Else's Past" closes the set with another re-built Garage template doing the trick with considerable low-end savvy. Good twelve.
Innasekt, Lewis Hunter, Yapsta, and Chav & Dave all feature on the first compilation from dubstep hybrid imprint Frijsfo Beats. Innasekt's 'Static' is built for big scary warehouse spaces with a hardcore dubstep cut closely aligned with the older sound of Vex'd or Destructive records. Lewis Hunter proves some intricate production talent on 'Cut from the wreckage' with a dynamic display of electro-dubstep manipulations similar to Boxcutter or a steppy Chris Clark, Yapsta takes some cues from the Bassline scene but adds some electrified flavour to the mix, and the terribly named Chav & Dave strike out for the hardcore with 'Macked Out', chucking vocodered vocals, hardcore dubstep and a wrong attitude into the blend. Heavy gear and a really good start from this promising imprint...
Heavy swinging future garage/dub-tech from Sclist on Frijsfo. This always righteous label has pulled out a couple of stealthy winners on the 'Idle EP', running from the quicksilver dub strikes, sub swoops and perfectly restrained flex of 'Idle', to the Kontext-alike minimized tech-step of 'Hollow' and onto the fractured pressure of 'Cut From The Wreckage'. Very likeable cuts for fans of Millie & Andrea, Sully, Falty DL or Kontext. Aces.
Like a naughty child told not to play with his box of Lego, EDMX just can't keep his hands off his boxes. This time he turns up on the Bristolian Frijsfo outlet with a very varied bag of tricks battering his drum machines into fresh shapes. 'Coral City' is the most interesting of the bunch, cleverly working Drexciya samples into a 137bpm electrostepper compatible with certain ends of the dubstep spectrum and much more. Elsewhere he attempts old-skool bassline garage on '2K3', a trippy little electro bashment joint on 'Creole' and halfstep Drexciya styles on 'Time Light Comes'. Very but cooly executed fusion styles.
Tougher garage steppers from Sully on Bristol's Frijsfo imprint. His ruff weave of dub, garage and hardcore has been picking up a ruck of followers who should be well into this release. 'Sleazy' is the better of the two here, working with darker atmospherics into which he sets a growling hardcore bassline and beats like El-B in a foul mood. 'Cadillac' follows with a more laidback roller concentrating on Steve Gurley style garage breaks and a jazzy double bassline reminding us of The All Seeing I'. Sick twelve.
Very cool 2-steppin' true school freshness from another new dubstep face, Sully. Bypassing all the halfstep gear, Sully obviously likes to work on a bubbling tip from the sounds of opener 'Phonebox', coming with a very tight 2-step rhythm embellished with deep cut subs and an instantly memorable riff that takes us right back to 1998 while 'Broadway G' repeats the 2-step formula on the flip with some excellent executions coming from a dedicated set of ears. Electro head Point B lends his respected touch to a remix of 'Phonebox' to round out the EP with a skilled mutation working added some flash rhythm science into the cracks of Sully's original for a very useful track spanning the gaps between electro and 2-step for them that need one.
No hype, this record is the maddest belter you’ll hear this year. A rinse thru three hundred and three acid cherries pitted and sequenced, tweak for tweak, into the only rave weapon you’ll ever need.
Taking Evol's obsession with Roland’s squelchy grey box to an ultimate, logical conclusion that leaves dancefloors turned utterly inside out and begging for track ID’s, it’s the kind of idea that has been floated in raves, smoking areas and afterparties for the past 20 years but has never been executed with such precise method and inexorable effect, until now.
Taking way too many classics to mention, EVOL modulate a cascade of liquified riffs that last anywhere between 1 beat and a few bars before shifting to the next pattern, and so forth. The cumulative effect of elastic undulation is mind-bending and body-jacking in the extreme, yet uncompromisingly crafted at the immediate service of the rave.
It feels as though much of EVOL’s practice to date, from mixes for FACT and Reel Torque, to their experimental objets for Alku and blasts for Presto!?, Diagonal and BUS have been leading to this point: the ultimate acid rave tool.