At bleedin’ last, Cosey Fanni Tutti’s legendary solo album, Time To Tell  sees a proper, if edited, official vinyl reissue - MAGAZINE INCLUDED! - on her and Chris Carter’s Conspiracy International label. In fact, with Cosey’s utterly mind-blowing autobiography, Art Sex Music now in circulation, putting history to rights and stoking febrile interest around her inspirational, nonpareil oeuvre, the timing could hardly be any better to reissue her most sought-after and inarguably definitive solo release.
First issued on tape in 1983, some years after the initial demise of Throbbing Gristle and the start of of Chris & Cosey, and just prior to the emergence of their multimedia CTI alias, Time To Tell documents Hull’s greatest daughter, Christine Carol Newby aka Cosey Fanni Tutti, ‘fessing all about her long-running art praxis involving a deep penetration of the British sex industry - from nude modelling to striptease and transgressive performance art - all set to her signature, exploratory electronic sculptures and drily angelic delivery.
For this hugely important reissue of Cosey’s only solo record (yep, only!), she worked with husband and creative partner Chris Carter to edit the original two track release, trimming down some of the longer parts to optimise audio fidelity, and also incorporating The Secret Touch which was included on the Time To Tell (Special Edition) CD release in 1993/2000.
Thus the release spies three distinct strands or aspects of Cosey’s sound. The first, longest and most comprehensive is the LP’s title track, which, as far as we can tell, appears in a slightly abridged version, but still ties up all her key sonic themes, from pulsing, sensuous synths, sky-licking guitars and brittle drum machines to her achingly seductive Yorkshire accent, drily recounting her experiences and inside/out perspective in the sex industry. Tell us this isn’t one of the most alluring 20 minutes of the ‘80s ever recorded, and we’ll tell you to do one.
Ritual Awakening comes on the B-side. Here the drum machine drops away and Cosey’s hushed vocals take a new, diaphanous form, refracted in a diamond-cut prism of electronics with near-cinematic strings, feeling out unreachable edges of the lushest void. Then we’re stranded in The Secret Touch, where her sallow synth strokes hint at an aquarian sort of new age, melding with reverberating, Denny-esque guitar against an unfathomable backdrop of possible field recordings and almost raga-like drones on her signature Cornet.
We could hammer on about this one all day, but suffice it to say: this is a totally essential purchase!
Chris Carter plugs a large gap in his discography with ‘Miscellany’, containing a previously unreleased batch of cosmic ‘70s synth abstractions, plus the first ever vinyl pressings of ‘‘Disobedient’ and ’Small Moon’, as well as a new edition of his classic ‘Mondo Beat’ . For any self-respecting fan of Throbbing Gristle, X-TG, Carter Tutti, or CTI, this is a genuinely essential motherload direct from source.
Arriving in the wake of the influential synthesist’s ‘Chris Carter Chemistry Lessons Vol.1’, this boxset extends a necessary catch-up to many listeners, as well as a salve to collectors who can now complete their Chris Carter vinyl collections. Between the four respective albums inside, Mute survey the years prior to Carter’s pivotal debut ‘The Space Between’ , which was recorded in the run-up to TG’s original demise, and the years post his participation in the short but extremely bright early phase of the world’s most notorious band.
The ‘Archival Recordings’ disc is perhaps of greatest interest, historically and artistically. Spanning 1973-77, it covers the years just before, and after, Throbbing Gristle’s conception, when Carter was clearly in thrall to kosmische and psychedelia, but not beholden to them. Across 13 parts, Carter’s take on space music and pulsing early electronics is definitely less whimsical, much darker than other music of that period, progressing chronologically over the LP to reveal a full embrace of electronic music’s dark allure by the time we get to the hellish miasma of ‘See Sick’ .
However, if we follow that chronologic logic beyond his years spent in TG (1975-1981), it’s clear to hear that Carter’s music becomes less dark and more sensual, funked and melodic with the languid lines and supple rhythms of ‘Mondo Beat’, including the classic ‘Moonlight’ which would become a dance anthem around Europe and the US (and reissued by Optimo in 2011). Skipping a grip of classic CTI and Carter Tutti material, that logic also extends to ‘Disobedient’ and ’Small Moon’, issued over 1998 and 1999, and exploring inquisitive strains of sound design more mystic/etheric, than outright dark, noisy or “Industrial” - all quite symptomatic of late ‘90s PMT.
Kenya’s Slikback stuns again with the singular, forward rhythms and stark electronic space of ‘Tomo’, his follow-up to the resoundingly acclaimed ‘Lasakaneku’, also for Nyege Nyege Tapes sister label, Hakuna Kulala
At the vanguard of a vital East African electronic music scene, Slikback combines local rhythmic heritage with sheer, abstract electronics in ways that utterly fascinate bodies on the ‘floor. Stepping ahead from his debut EP in 2018, he offers twice as much material and amps up the energy and noise in ’Tomo’, surely setting the benchmark for anything to follow in its wake in 2019.
Between the Nostrofmo-like atmosphere and mutant footwork-like percussive intensity of ‘SONSHITSU’, thru the dissonant dancehall swagger of ‘Gemini’ and the hyperhall push of ‘Kyokai’, to the polymetric fizz and parry of ‘Karuym’, and the pelting hardcore of ‘Zuhura’, Slikback’s music will leave nobody wanting on the ‘floor. But if you’re the insatiable type, then the inferno of his parting shot ‘Rage’, switching from full frontal rhythmic noise to industrial swagger and back, will polish you the fuck off.
Von Grall tramples into grey area techno zones for Horo after dispensing the ‘Infinitum’ album in 2018
In four parts the Paris-based producer sloshes from the rolling kicks and swelling rip-current of ‘Three Waves’ and the tense pressure of ‘WLM’ to more pendulous ambient techno momentum of ‘Vanquish The Disparities’ and the murky footing of ‘Suffrage Campaigners’.
Zoe McPherson’s standout ‘String Figures’ album remixed by Ben Vince, N1L, Strahinja Arbutina and more in decimated dancefloor styles
In Ben Vince’s ‘Perculator Mix’, Zoe’s ‘Sabotage’ is agitated and torn up over sunken subbass, whereas Sukitoa o Namau give it a more sloshing, spacious rework focussing on pranging percussion and guttural vocal sounds.
UIQ’s N1L gives a cement mixer treatment to ‘Komusar’, resulting some sorta Afro-concrète churn, and Bartellow kneads the same elements into a squashed tribal grind.
The most impressive transformation comes from Hester-1 with the ruggedly balletic plies and hi-wire tension of their ‘Hardingfele’ remix, and Strahinja Arbutina follows recent 12”s for Vivod and Natural Sciences with the cold woodblock punctuation and offset techno roil of his take on ‘Deep’.
Experimental Polish composer Anna Zaradny practices bewitching electronic rituals in Go Go Theurgy; her first solo LP in eight years following two memorable split sides featuring Fennesz and Burkhard Stangl over the interim.
In her previous outings we were struck by Anna’s taste for dissonance and an intense, pulsating sort of feminine pressure, and find those elements in majestic effect over the two long pieces contained within this LP - only her 2nd full solo album since 2003.
Abstract in its stoic, precisely sculpted and beat-less arrangement, yet organically evolving in its layered harmonic chaos, Go Go Theurgy divines a free-floating space at once powerfully driven by rhythm, yet due to the absence of any tangible percussion defines a lush, keening, and pensile tension whose effect is only heightened when she abruptly veers off into passages of pizzicato pointillism.
It could be considered dance music in a most extreme, physical form - with proper amplification both sides have the potential to exert serious G-force torque, liberating the body from the mind, and vice versa - but the underlying structures which reveal themselves with subsequent listens also lend themselves to comparison with proper classical music, especially in the staggering, Wagnerian turn of phrase that cleaves side two, before it calves into an almost asphyxiating, head-curdling final passage.
Really impressive stuff.
Gallipoli, Beirut’s fifth album, started life when Zach Condon returned to his old Farfisa organ, the same one he used to write his first two albums, Gulag Orkestar (2006) and The Flying Club Cup (2007). After stints writing and recording in both New York and Berlin, with time for Zach to recover from a broken arm factored in, band plus producer Gabe Wax (Speedy Ortiz, Soccer Mommy, Adrianne Lenker / Big Thief) headed to Puglia in Italy to finish the album.
"With the remote rural setting “the right amount of isolated”, an intense month of 12 to 16-hour days in the studio with day trips around the coastline followed. Inspired by the surroundings, Gallipoli is unintentionally more visceral than Beirut’s more recent albums, alive with an energy that is further enhanced by every creak and groan of their instruments, every detuned note, and all amp buzz and technical malfunction being left in the cracks of the songs."
The Firecracker clan gather round to tell the tale of ‘The Sorrow of Derdriu’, an ancient gaelic myth predating the ‘Cattle Raid of Cooley’, featuring smoky, psychedelic music from Lord of the Isles, Hoch Ma Toch, and Other Lands.
On the surface a tragic tale of a love triangle between a king, a young girl, and her suitor, the myth of ‘The Sorrow of Derdriu’ is also a metaphor for matters of national sovereignty, a concept sorely close to the hearts of folk in Scotland and Ireland right now. While that idea is never made explicit in the music, there’s an earthily rich and ancient sense of soul to Mac-Talla Nan Creag’s sounds and arrangements that suggest, whilst we might have hand-spinners and perfectly bevelled phones in our hands, not so much has changed over the past 2500 years.
Stemming from 2015’s ‘Mac-Talla Nan Creag’ compilation of works by Drew Wright (Hoch Ma Toch), Neil McDonald (LOTI), and Gavin Sutherland (Fudge Fingas, Other Lands), they’re now a group in their own respect, alchemising elements of instrumental folk and new age synth musics into their own strains of gaelic songcraft and impressionistic narration. In other hands this record could have come out like a string of cheesy cliches sounding like a 2-bit documentary soundtrack for the History Channel, but this bunch of Detroit, Dub, Jazz, folk and electronica fiends skilfully draw on a broad collective knowledge to beautifully and immersively carry gaelic storytelling traditions into the modern day. Gorgeous silk screened packaging too.
Hyperdub virus carrier Lee Gamble initiates a new, conceptual triptych with his ‘In A Paraventral Scale EP’, which will feed into the ‘Flush Real Pharynx’ album in 2019
Hypothesising on the idea of the ’Semioblitz’, in his own words: “the aggressive onslaught of visual & sonic stimuli of contemporary cities and virtual spaces”; the London-based Brummie offers a closer, yet more diffuse examination of the causes behind his ‘Mnestic Pressure’ album, which itself dealt more broadly with the hypermodern condition of sensory bombardment that anyone living in urbanised areas have felt and experienced, whether explicitly, or unknowingly and subconsciously.
Partly echoing Mark Fisher’s notions about the adverse links between capitalist realism and mental health, in concept and effect Lee’s 7 concise tracks feel to limn the exoteric soundsphere of life in dense city areas, shared spaces where we’re ubiquitously hammered with slogans, “seductive” advertising and even subliminal messaging such as the hyper directional speakers attached to billboards described in Steve Goodman’s essential ‘Sonic Warfare’ tome.
If those commonly accepted facets of everyday life can be considered as exerting a sort of sferic, psychic damage upon their recipients, Lee’s music can be heard to simultaneously diagnose and offers a sort of therapy for the condition. Using language of cinematic sound design, the dynamic of the street (the doppler effect, overheard conversations), and the reverberations of club music, the EP moves quick and slow, patiently yet swiftly flowing the gaseous olfactory/visual sonic synaesthetia of ‘Fata Morgana’ to the polytheistic ambient hyperrealism of ‘Many Gods, Many Angels’ via bittersweetly anxious arps of ‘Folding’, somehow soothingly brutal psychoacoustics in ‘BMW Shuanghuan X5’, and the paradoxical state of static flight in the rapid-eye electro flux of ‘In The Wreck Room’.
Ghost and The Silence's Masaki Batoh weaves a delicate, yet heavy web, winding acoustic patterns around undulating psychedelic choruses while charting an existential trip through life after death.
"Spiritual and tranquil, suggesting laid-back modes of Swedish neo-classicists Dungen and Goat, projecting golden hued, old-school melodic structures..."
‘The Possessor Possesses Nothing’ is the steely, cinematic, sci-fi-styled new album by Sheela Rahman’s Xosar. It’s her 2nd (or 5th, if including self-released LPs) album and her most impressive, muscular and noisily psychedelic blend of Italo, techno, and industrial music
Since the start of this decade Xosar has toured the houses of Rush Hour, Pinkman, and Black Opal before arriving with Bedouin Records. She clearly feels comfortable in her new home to test out a more abrasive and even apocalyptic sound, resulting in some mighty highlights between her EBM girder ‘Heavens Gate’, the epic synth themes of ‘Transmogrification’ and ‘The Video’, and the wind tunnel disco drag of ‘Fantasmagoria’ and ‘Vibration Acceleration’, or the virulent writhe and hardcore pressure of ‘Pikachu Police State’.
The third album from ,ultidisciplinary artist, singer, writer and electronic performer, Annabelle Playe, featuring two pieces of electroacoustic brilliance inspired by the GRM, through to noise and industrial music.
"It reveals an universe made as well of distortions than atmosferic landscape. She describes her work as : "An electronic journey questionning what move inside and bring us beyond. Questionning detail, speed, fragmentation and continuum. "
Rustin Man aka Paul Webb announces his return. Webb, formerly the bass player in Talk Talk, releases his new album ‘Drift Code’ via Domino.
"Recorded at his Essex home, a converted barn three miles from the nearest village, the record has a warm, wise kind of euphoria to it, coupled with an acute sense of storytelling and surreality. Webb has released one record under the moniker Rustin Man so far - the superb ‘Out Of Season’ in 2002, a collaboration with Beth Gibbons of Portishead."
Roza Terenzi with four tracks showcasing her unique sound.
"Influences come from far and wide, shifting between electro, house, techno and even early rave anthems. The space bleeps of “Gigi” are soon interrupted by shouldering kick drums. Samples stagger and stumble before key stabs cut through beats in this hazy piece of early morning elation. “Mwah” maintains those euphoric moods. Snapping snares slice through shimmering synthwork and soaring strings to keep the night grooving. Darker tones enter with “Rare High”, but these shades are soon brightened by arcing notes. Acid lines squeak and squirm in this balancing act of disparate colours and chords. Distant lands and exotic encounters are conjured for “Soft”, perfumed percussion and meandering melodies mingle and merge for head swimming close of aromatic audio."
Roaming DJ-Kicks mix from Leon Vynehall, loosely focussed on the raw, soulful, and off-centre links between house, industrial, broken beat, dub and electronica
The vibe simmers with a mellow feel flush with melodic charm across 20 tracks including choice highlights in the likes of Dave Ball and Genesis P-Orridge’s ‘Sex & the Married Frog’, a cranky Bourbons Qualk strutter ‘Moving Forward’, a rare Source Direct gem ‘Deep Rage’ as Mirage, and AFX’s drill ’n bass classic ‘Children Talking’. Also includes two exclusive Leon Vynehall productions; ‘Who Loved Before’ and ‘Ducee’s Drawbar’.
Fractured, fizzing and angular intersections of ambient-pop vocals, subtly textured electronica and processed instrumentation with a conceptual bent exploring the semantics of sound/language
“Martina Lussi’s second album fuses together disparate sound sources with a disorienting quality that reflects the modern climate of dispersion and distraction. The Lucerne, Switzerland-based sound artist released her debut album ‘Selected Ambient’ on Hallow Ground in 2017, and now comes to Latency with a bold new set of themes and processes.
The range of tools at her disposal spans field recordings, processed instrumentation, synthesised elements and snatches of human expression. The guitar is a recurring figure, subjected to a variety of treatments from heavy, sustained distortion to clean, pealing notes. Elsewhere the sound of sports crowds and choral singing merge, and patient beds of drones and noise melt into the sounds of industry and mechanics. The track titles manifest as a compositional game of deception complete with innuendos, empty phrases and claims – flirtations with perfume names and ironic assertions.
From the volatile geopolitical climate to the changing nature of music consumption in the face of streaming and digital access, ‘Diffusion is a Force’ is a reflection on fractured times where familiar modes and models change their meaning with the ever-quickening pace of communication.”
This hugely influential, definitive collection from electronic music pioneer and founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Daphne Oram, has been out of print on vinyl since 2013 and is now thankfully available again via Modern Love sidelabel, Young Americans.
Throughout her life, Oram was a wildly original musician, inventor and theorist who refused to bow to convention. While Delia Derbyshire had more or less become a household name, it was only when Clive Graham compiled ‘Oramics' for a CD release in 2007 that Daphne's legacy started to extend beyond the fringes. In the intervening years (aided by the work of the Daphne Oram Trust and Oram’s archive at Goldsmith’s in London) there have been countless articles, features, a play, an exhibition at the science museum and even a creative arts building and several record labels and arts awards named in Daphne’s honour - going some way to restore her place as a recognised pioneer of electronic music.
To recap, Oram was the founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, a department she more or less single-handedly created in 1958 camping out at the BBC studios for nights on end splicing tapes and working with various modified machines to carefully arrange her abstract soundscapes. Eventually the BBC bent under her pressure and, in studio 13, created the soon-to-be-legendary Radiophonic Workshop - with Oram its first director.
Among her countless other achievements, Oram is also cited as the first woman to design and build an electronic musical instrument, one that worked around the 'drawn-sound' technique whereby strips of 35mm film would be manipulated before being fed into her home-made 'Oramics' machine which would convert and 'read' the film into sound. She was also a prolific writer and lecturer on electronic music and studio techniques, developing concepts of spatial sound years before terms like "spatial sound” were even used.
Despite her considerable and historic list of achievements, Oram's life and work remained largely unknown by the wider public for many years until Clive Graham compiled this set. Spanning 44 tracks, it demonstrates Oram's work as some of the most varied and groundbreaking electronic music ever made. As opposed to so much of the Radiophonic-era material that has surfaced over the last few decades, Oram's work is often characterised by a much more layered and introspective quality, offsetting playful interludes and commercial recordings with beautiful, immersive pieces like the breathtaking "Pulse Persephone" and "Bird of Parallax” - highly atmospheric and experimental variants of musique concrète and tape music that still take our breath away 45 years later.
It's impossible to over-emphasise the importance and influence of the material compiled on ‘Oramics’, a set that should be considered compulsory listening for anyone with even just a passing interest in electronic music.
Field recordist/collagist Kate Carr investigates the relationship between the sea and its shoreline in her compelling new recordings for Glistening Examples.
Using a synchronised swimming speaker and hydrophones, Kate takes acoustic readings of the natural and manmade properties of the sea and its liminal zones of transition everywhere from the north-east coast of Scotland to the most westerly point in Ireland and a fjord in Iceland. The results are parsed, manipulated and layered to poetically limn a series of psychogeographic studies inmparted with a curiously compelling narrative quality.
Taking a poem by Adrienne Rich, ‘Diving Into There Wreck’ as inspiration for the track titles of ‘The Thing Itself and not the Myth,’ Carr spellbindingly uses her own poetic license to shape a uniquely immersive experience, vacillating feelings of dread and isolationism with pangs of tranquility and elemental lushness that hypnotically connote her subject’s vast spectrum of spaces, textures, and their endless flux.
Oblique, then vivid, abstract and hyperreal, Kate’s intersection of morse code, honking geese, clanking hulls and dark green-brownian slosh can be heard as an attempt to grasp the logic, or the clinamen of the sea and its incessant tussle with land. The level of detail and natural effortlessness to Kate’s compositions most beautifully acknowledges the infinite complexity of the thing itself, and our metaphysical, emotive connections to it.
Killer, collaborative project of DJ Plead and T.Morimoto, contemplating their mixed Lebanese and Japanese heritages through a dense combination of digital emulations and rhythmic patterns already rinsed by Objekt, Salon Des Amateurs and Zaltan of Antinote fame...TIPPED!
"POISON investigate the uncanny abstraction whereby centuries old instruments and rhythmic patterns are encoded into files and presets; digital synths, heavy subs, 808s, and vocals from collaborator ARZ, combine with emulations of the Shakuhachi, Mijwiz, Taiko, and Darbuka among others. Enabled by commercial sound design tools, the two Australians have produced a beguiling piece of audio simulacra to be enjoyed by DJs and listeners alike."
One-take nautical folk anthems / underwater futures produced by John T. Gast and MC Boli, marrying minimalist, quasi-ceremonial orchestrations and massed pipes of un-peace to spacy Berlin-School electronics and plate-shifting, ship-sinking UK soundsystem pressure. 35 minutes of music.
"On ‘Domestic Saga (All Is Lost)’, wistful reeds extemporise against white tides of high-lonesome synth drift, sonar bleeps and sparsest percussions tumbling through 20,000 leagues of reverb…drowned-world echoes of John Surman’s kosmic Cornwall, Anna Själv Tredje’s epic alpine ego-dissolve, even Namlook/Hawtin’s horizontal techno meditations, all rendered ultra-uncanny by JTG soundboy mischiefs x the conservatoire poise/formality of Boli Group. ‘Ava Maria’ comes at you like an army of pissed-off, undead sailors through the fog – slow but tooled-up and sure of purpose, 100% bad news for you and anyone else unfortunate enough to be holidaying in this til-now quiet and idyllic fishing village with no internet or mobile reception. Properly heavy, heady material: bellows-blown thickening the air around you, pressing on your temples, eventually threatening the full Kananga.
But 'Thank You Lord' - with its centrifugal, quintessentially Gast flute-loop (or harmonium or melodica or whatever it is) locating the pagan-folk energies in grime and vice versa - effortlessly steals the show. Propelled by torpedoing sub-bass and bombastic martial string/brass vamps fit for the court of Neptune (release the motherf*****g kraken!), draped with silken weather-storm keys and a surreal voiceover that sounds like a rogue Danish naval officer narrating his own mental collapse, it's just... woii. Unlike anything else out there and too, too good. The kind of all-at-sea strangeness that can’t be assimilated, and therefore must assimilate you..."
One of the most potent new acts in the EBM/synth-pop/darkwave resurgence deliver an achingly well-sculpted, goth-veiled sophomore side
Moving in line with the music industry’s 30 year frame-of-reference phase shift, Boy Harsher turn cues from mid-late ‘80s styles to their acutely emotive, aerobic purpose in ‘Careful’.
If you’re looking for instant gratification, the strapping EBM arps and gynoid vox of ‘Come Closer’ gives a strong indication of what to expect, while the likes of ‘fate’ and ‘LA’ wickedly tap into a stream of Wax Trax!-styled industrial sauce, and ‘Tears’ serves deliciously discordant synth tanggggg along with the Italo-esque elan of ‘Lost’.
Properly satisfying charms for dance-pop goths, then.
One of the most minimal releases we’ve heard from the cultishly adored producer...
‘Kode’ yields three stripped down pieces ranging from the the hypnotic whistle cadence and purified electronic drips of ‘DE 2.1’ to the sexy smooth arps and piquant bleeps of ‘PKL 7’, and the precisely subtle, phase shifting mechanics of ‘MM5’.
Ric Kaestner’s impossible-to-find, esoteric ambient gem surfaces on vinyl for first time, taken from one of only 2 known copies of the original tape. Happy endings for all collectors of obscure new age and under-the-radar ambient music! RIYL Dominique Lawalrée, Brian Eno, JD Emmanuel...
“Recorded and released in 1987, the original cassette bore a minimalist plum tree design on the cover and music soothing to match. There are only 2 confirmed copies of the original cassette, one of them was used in the restoration and revival of this classic new age album.
Five years after the New Age cult-classic album Music For Massage hit the shelves, it’s sequel was silently released. Never intended for consumer sale, Music For Massage II was only known to a select few masseuses and tape collectors. The very definition of esoteric. Musically, it’s both an homage to how far the genre had come in those five years and served as a predictor of what was to come. Comprising elements of Folk, Drone, Ambient, Ethereal, Minimal, Modern Classical, the recording is quintessential of all things New Age. These are sounds meant to induce healing, therapy, and relaxation. Hand crafted by Ric Kaestner and inspired in part by an encounter with one of the fathers of modern music, John Cage, for actual massage or for casual listening, it holds its own almost four decades later.”
The main player behind the dictaphone moniker is Oliver Doerell, a multi instrumentalist originally from Brussels who now resides in the musical heartland of Berlin.
The last 3 years have been spent working on the Dictaphone project, assisted by the saxaphone and clarinette playing Roger Doering. Their past has been spent in similar fields, Oliver has composed numerous scores for theatre work, and Roger has a film soundtrack for ‘Alaska.de’ which was a major box-office hit in Germany.
Their first full length work, ‘m.=addiction’ is a beautifully crafted album that trancends classification with all it’s references to midnight jazz, old film reels and heartwarming, nostalgic found sounds. Points of reference range from the Cinematic Orchestra through to Boards of Canada and down to a deeply unconscious underground aesthetic, the beauty of this album is wrapped in an incomprehensible warmth - its indecipherable accessability and its undeniably microscopic, home-baked construction.
Restored and remastered reissue of Sir Shina Peter & His International Stars’ sought-after 1986 Afro-psych blinder ‘Sewele’, including the classic ‘Yabis’ burner that appeared on Strut’s acclaimed ‘Nigeria 70 (Lagos Jump)’ compilation in 2008
“Strut present an exclusive new reissue of a great (and now very rare) original album from the early career of Nigerian juju star Shina Peters, ‘Sewele’ from 1986.
“‘Sewele’ represented a time of transition in my music career,” explains Peters. “I had branched out to start as a solo artist after spells with Ebenezer Obey, Prince Adekunle and Segun Adewale and I was trying to find my own voice and to play juju in a more progressive direction. This was an important time for me. Three years later, I had honed that sound into Afro-Juju, and my ‘Ace: Afro Juju Series 1’ album broke me as an artist.
On ‘Sewele’, Peters explores different themes on four extended juju workouts, showcasing his incredible guitar work and his sense of fun as the odd Bob Marley and Abba riff pops up in the grooves. The title track means ‘shower of blessings’: “it’s like a prayer for my fans throughout Nigeria and the diaspora.” The funky Afrobeat of ‘Yabis’ is about being proud to be African and not to follow American ways and ‘Agbe’ere De’ states proudly that Peters is coming again with something different: “I always wanted to get the message across to my fans that I was keeping things fresh and creating melodies and music that people would enjoy.” The final track, ‘Late Aboderin’, is a moving tribute to Peters’ mentor, the late Chief Aboderin: “He helped me in many ways including legal aid in a court case against a record label. He also bought a van to carry the band to concerts.”
The Utopia EP is Mira Calix’s first release on Warp in a decade.
"A decade in which mixed media installation and exhibition work, with a focus on classical instrumentation, has been the main focus of her practice. Her most recent project was a sound installation that featured an ambitious choral work, performance artists and a unique speaker diffusion system. Part of Beyond the Deepening shadow at the Tower of London, it ran from 4-11 November and saw over 300,000 visitors, creating an international media storm.
The basis for the new EP title and lead track – rightclick – was Utopia, a Random Acts film written and directed by internationally acclaimed novelist Adam Thirwell (released on 6 December 2018). In the short film starring Lily Cole and Lily McMenamy, a girl tries to set up a commune in a tiny apartment and finds her ideals of utopian living tested and expanded as an alternate version of Calix’s fragmented track acts as the bedrock throughout.
“the past few years I’ve been making mostly installation, which I find thrilling, but the nature of my practice means I tend to work with many hands, many speakers, many materials, many musicians over long periods. It was really refreshing to make this EP, to give myself a time limit, a strict set of rules, a tight sonic palette and be fully autonomous as a writer, producer and musician. In a way it’s going back to my roots, my first ever release on Warp was a 10’, but it also felt completely fresh, playful, to just build some tracks around a cinematic scene – something for friends to move to in the early hours of a louche house party!”
Detroit beatdown legend back again on FXHE, now 25 years in the game!
Detroit’s original Norm Talley commits a killer new EP to F.X.H.E. following that incredible Norm-A-Lize set. It's some of the rawest, deepest, most soulful 313 gear we’ve heard since the last Omar-S LP. - 100% essential!
Isolée make his first move in 2 years with a sprawling ode to Cornish savoury snacks
Purportedly inspired by a late night experience in the dark rooms with a swede, some spuds and a fair bit of mincing, ‘Ginster’ hugs the A-side tight with a reticulated tech-house groove and shifty, surface-level synth modulations that sound like an AI attempting to emote in gasps, before turning into a slinky minimal jazz ride.
B-side, ’Sudden Frost’ wraps up gently seductive disco bass and loping drums with a folk-accented guitar lead, and ‘Leap-Second’ dances out in buoyant, sloshing dub-house style.
Dictaphone’s love of innovation that slowly creeps its influence onto the smokey traditions of Jazz and film scoring has made for an inspired fusion of musical styles old and new.
After their acclaimed debut album ”M.=Addiction", Dictaphone have spent time in the studio teasing their instruments back to life and eventually delivering another mesmerising set of tracks. ”Peaks" and ”Warszawa w nocy" are based around recordings made in a rehearsal room somewhere in Berlin with microphones hanging from the low ceiling. Roger Döring (saxophone & clarinet), Stephan Wöhrmann (drums) & Piotr Rybkowski (bass) met up for a couple of sessions over the last two years, fragments of which were taken away and re-assembled by Oliver Doerell in preperation for these new tracks.
”Peaks" is more than a hommage, inspired by the theme of a well known TV-series, it takes that haunting groove and transforms it into the most perfect setting for Döring's saxophone. The B-Side features two timeless Dictaphone tracks, made by Doerell and Döring evoking the same breathless haze of late nights that their album managed to portray so vividly.
Deeply cinematic music.
"First Appearance" develops and expands upon the curious and strangely familiar soundworld of 2017's "Gabriel," with the Good Captain Schray luxuriating in those expansive, warm waters that one associates with new age, balearic, sophisti-pop, and art rock, adding to them potent distillations of his own concocting.
"There is a nostalgic component to this music to be sure, with echoes of Vini Reilly and The Blue Nile in the periphery, as well as forgotten 80's studio projects where the engineer decided it was important to elide the highs and lows to make a more comfortable space in the middle. But Schray's idiosyncrasies as a writer and player void any readymade comparisons. Rather, with him at the helm we get sonic gems such as the loping dub bass emerging from nowhere in the final act of the most excellently titled "His Peculiar Livestreams" and the metallic resonances and wide open spaces conjured in "The Cruel Psychic," compositional sleights of hand that make "First Appearance" a record to play and replay in an effort to decode its odd and many mysteries."
Alex Cobb, November 2018
Oliver Doerell and Roger Doering's revive their much-loved Dictaphone project, last active in the early-mid 2000s on City Centre Offices.
Joined this time around by Alexander Stolze on violin, they generate a lavishly cinematic sound, at times distinctly Continental, at others given a decidedly Arabic lilt, especially on the gorgeous 'Manami' and 'Soylent Green (1973)'.
There are echoes of the micro-level loop-finding experiments of Jan Jelinek, at others the midnight arthouse blues of Julian Neto, but Dictaphone have got their own thing going, and Poems From A Rooftop is an elegantly constructed work of modern electronic jazz, suavely bohemian without being flip, beautifully detailed without being over-fussy, and warmly recommended.
“Vertigo II” is the second album from Oliver Doerell and Roger Doring under the Dictaphone tag, further honing their homespun tape loops and jazz variants into a new midnight sound.
The serendipitous coming together of Oliver Doerell and Roger Doering, 'Vertigo II' marks a clear evolution from the sound on 'M.=Addiction'; while diluting none of the spirit which made it so irresistible to begin with. Laying down a bed clicks and sliced digitalis, 'Vertigo II' resembles the intricate bedrock of artists such as Jen Jelinek or Angelo Badelamanti, building layers of aural sediment around this smoky foundation.
Enraptured by sonorous bass, 'Vertigo II' allows loose-limbed horns and digital detritus to roam the spectrum without becoming detached from the guiding core. Shortwave-interference and found-sound further imbue proceedings with a nostalgic quality, only magnified with the passage of time since its original release.
New cassette by this cult industrial collective from the hospital roster dealing with the crisis at hand...
Geography Of Hell is a mysterious collective with an international cast of members. While their refusal to answer questions or make their identities known, the dedication to familiar subjects presented without explanation makes this band one of the more intriguing propositions on Hospital Production's sprawling roster.
Playing live, members of GOH are concealed behind homemade masks, whole their music fits into cinematic compositions as well as contemporary avant-garde electronics and even the nether regions of neoclassical punk.
Reissue of Richard Pinhas’ majestic solo synth mission, out of print on vinyl since 1980, now bundled with a 25 minute bonus track, ‘Wintermusic’. Beautiful, classic, proggy synth music for fans of Vangelis, Cluster, Fripp & Eno, Tangerine Dream
“Originally released in 1979, Iceland is Richard Pinhas’ third solo album and his first following the breakup of Heldon. While moving away from the maximalism of his old band, paring down Heldon's hybrid of otherworldly sci-fi imagery and pummeling psych-prog riffs, the journey through Iceland is decidedly more inward.
Consisting of longer, brooding synth-based pieces as well as short proto-industrial études and interstitial sketches, Iceland features Pinhas’ delay-ridden electric guitar, pulsating machine rhythms and analog synthesizer washes – all vivid in texture and timbre, notwithstanding an undeniably chilling ambience.
This first-time vinyl reissue includes "Wintermusic," an immersive 25-minute bonus track recorded in 1983 and appearing here on vinyl for the first time. Pinhas’ excursions channel the season's stillness and sublimity, its majesty and its threat. Without a doubt, one his finest moments.”
FaltyDL rolls out on a London-meets-NYC-style deeptech and acid session, backed with a spiralling Octo Octa remix
‘If All The People Took Acid’ is one of the straightest but juiciest rollers in FaltyDL’s arsenal, whereas ‘Flesh Of Acid’ budges on a ruder sort of Luke Vibert flex with frazzled drums and glowing synth skin, and ‘Scream Acid’ gets its teeth in with wickedly nervy, chattering, psychotomimetic effect and funky turns of phrase.
Octo Octa’s ‘Loop Me Into Infinity Remix’ of ‘If All The People Took Acid’ lends it a more romantic/psychedelic rave flush.
Proper rave banger from Nightwave with a killer remix on the flipside.
"Psychic Tonic is exactly what we are all about rolling breakbeats and thunderous kick drums and is the perfect addition to the DEXT LTD series. And if that's not enough, another of our favourites Jerome Hill (Super Rhythm Trax) comes along for the ride, and flips it totally on its head on the Remix"
Bowery Electric’s millennial trip hop dread and gauzy shoegaze reheated and served up by the Arkive
Out of print since its maiden release in 2000, ‘Lushlife’ hearkens back to the onset of a 20th century comedown that’s never fully passed. The combo of rustling breaks, minor key strings and opiated female vocal.
Subtly shaded, lower case dance music goodness from Chekov, Lack, Flaty and Martinou on the 4th Cong Burn 12”
St. Petersburg’s Flaty twysts out the slippery, subaquatic electro dynamics of ‘Clearances’ next to the slow and pendulous minimalism and nosedrip tanggg of Lack’s ‘Multiplier’ on the A-side, before Chekov bumps the tempo only slightly with his eerie, spherical strutter ‘First Thought’, and Sewer Sender label boss Martinou shuffles off into a dawning horizon with the nimble dub house shimmy of ‘Guide Pattern’.
Dublin’s Frank B a.k.a. Sias turns out tuff, jacking but melodic cut sfor All City’s Jheri Tracks
‘May 1932’ hits harder and bittersweet with cold EBM kick and chrome burning electro-trance lead.
‘Of Cotton’ is ruder, going on with tetchy, grimy drum programming and stressed-out synth squabble.
First vinyl edition of the powerful, cult dark ambient debut by Black Mountain Transmitter, reissued on its 10th anniversary of release, by London’s Aurora Borealis. RIYL Kevin Drumm, Decimus, Wicked Messenger
Originally transmitted via CDr on the artist’s Lysergic Earwax label in 2009, ‘Black Goat Of The Woods’ atmospheric menace and immersively viscous qualities have seen it become a cult classic in the zone between dark ambient and experimental noise.
The 39 minute work now breaks down over two sides of vinyl, transitioning from washes of sheet metal thunder and whirligig organ riff into wide open spaces perfused with shivering metallic percussion, acephalic voices and cavernous doom drones, mainlining an opiated doom intensity that doesn’t let go until the blue hour redemption of the final passage.
Gnarled Midwest acid techno badness from Heckadecimal on Philly’s faithfully noisy Great Circles
“2018 played host to a bumper crop of sounds from some of Philly’s grittiest, including Great Circles mainstays M//R and Chaperone. To close out the year that was, we are pleased to present Heckadecimal’s ‘Murder Tape.’
A Minneapolis-based producer and acid auteur, Heckadecimal has been a fixture within the vibrant Midwestern electronic music community for nearly 20 years. Founder of the legendary ‘Anti-human’ events and co-curator of the ever-prolific Always Human Tapes imprint – alongside Ryan Wurst and Peter Lansky – Heckadecimal’s reputation is one of unrelenting creativity and tireless advocacy for sonic experimentation. His work has found its way to light via a slew of pseudonyms and stage monikers, including The Worm, noface and Wonder Sirens.
In short – Heckadecimal lives and breathes the sonic matter that he leaves pouring out of studio monitors, busted bar systems and finely tuned rave stacks, wherever his travels take him.
Live performance lies at the core of Heckadecimal’s practice. When he stormed through Inciting HQ in Philly earlier this summer, he took command over an arsenal of hardware that reminded us of how Octave One or Shawn Rudiman might show up. These were machines that he had lived with; touched with custom modifications, hand-drawn stickers and pockmarks incurred in battle, one got the sense that the gear was a personal extension of the artist.
Perhaps it’s a bit maudlin, but we feel a certain kinship with this project. Indeed, these tracks at times feel very much of a piece with the gnarled tonalities in which our stable typically traffics; all low-slung riddims that reach at equal lengths towards mutated IDM aesthetics and post-Packard Plant techno extrusions. These are future perfect grooves that glide along under the vast Midwestern sky, providing a fertile communication conduit with the City of Brotherly Love.”
111 angelic MIDI cascade' is Ralph Cumbers' exquisite Slip debut: a finely forged collection of joyous electronic music built to surge and heal.
"This is Cumbers' first deliberate Bass Clef album since 2012's 'Reeling Skullways' on Bristol institution Punch Drunk, and a forceful departure from the bubbling, rogue club 12"s since issued on The Trilogy Tapes, PAN, and Idle Hands.
Drums are almost entirely absent, making way for a braiding of soaring machine melodies, and taut harmonic threads. To be clear: this is no ambient record. No drifty clouds, no cocoons, no sonic platitudes. Recorded in Rotterdam in August 2018, amidst an immersion in the history of clairaudience, scrying, and natural philosophy, '111' is a leap into pinpoint mysticism, with Bass Clef as happy alchemist."
'Futuro' is Not Waving’s engrossing, highly original soundtrack to Sean Rogg’s world-renowned art/theatre project. It features Ambient, environmental and tonal works & abstractions that come highly recommended if yr into Laurie Spiegel, Steve Roach, Brian Eno, Shuttle 358...
’Futuro’ is Not Waving’s sublime synth/ambient soundtrack to one of the world’s most intense art/theatre experiences: Sean Rogg’s radically immersive ‘The Waldorf Project’ - fusing choreography, spatial design, music and performance. Drawn from more than 20 hours of material recorded between 2013-2018, it finds Alessio Natalizia exploring a style of tonal and spatial minimalism that works as a fine palette cleanser for much of what you’ve heard from him in the past.
While not a new solo album, per se, the longform, Eno-like results of ‘Futuro’ demonstrate the full wingspan of Not Waving’s obsessive knowledge and emotive feel for electronic composition, making it in some senses one of the most substantial and unusual releases in his catalogue thus far. It ranges from highly emotive, site-specific synth meditations thru to bittersweet Kosmische intuitions, and milky, Eno-esque beauties.
But if any part sums up Futuro's widescreen scope, it’s the final side’s 17 minutes of awning, gently curdled synth pads - originally used in a performance to 4000 people in Thailand laid in pitch black, with bodies formed in triangles while dancers caressed their faces. It ends the album with such memorable effect as to make it something of a modern day environmental/ambient classic - and perhaps our favourite Not Waving release in an already enviably deep catalogue.