Back in 2017, Jerome Derradji received a call by one of Chicago's most renowned record dealers. It went like this: "Hey Jerome, I've got all these reel to reel tapes of Chicago House stuff. You want to take a look?" Less than 24 hours later, more than 160 reels were purchased and safely hauled back to the Still Music office and Jerome got to work. Around 50 of these tapes are DJ Mixes that were broadcasted on WGCI and WBMX in the mid to late eighties mostly with the Hot Mix 5. They were played on the radio only once and were lost until today. This series is an absolute window back to the heydays of Chicago House music....
Steve “Silk” Hurley and an unknown DJ are subject of the 2nd mixtape salvo rescued by Still Music Chicago from a batch of 160 reel-to-reels acquired off a renowned dealer in summer ’17.
This one features Steve’s Minimix recorded on Friday, July 15th, at 8:00pm of some unspecified year, on the A-side. At a guess we’d locate this one at the end of the ‘80s, as we can detect some New Jack Swing vibes in there, but that’s just a guess!
The flipside was recorded at Supermix Dance Party 8/11/88 and is attributed to an Unknown DJ who’s clearly in possession of some killer Freestyle house nuggets and driving jack trax that will leave you clambering for IDs. Don’t ask us, though - go pester Jerom Derradji, and maybe thank him for bringing these bewts to light.
The Co-Ho people are an ethnic group living in the southern part of the central highlands of Vietnam. They speak a Mon-Khmer language.
"Co-Ho are animists who make a division between two types of supernatural spirits: the first type, with human characteristics, is called "Yang" - these are gods which are worshipped during ceremonies and important rituals to prevent bad luck, which is represented by the second type of spirits, called "Cha" = devils. The music of Co-Ho people serves different rituals and thus there are different styles of gong music, played on both flat and knobbed gongs.
Usually an ensemble consists of six gongs. On this recording, the number of gongs ranges from 2 to 6. On the occasions where music is performed in duo , a small ritual is conducted as a means to show respect to ancestors. If one of the gong players is unable to follow the other one, the player who fails to follow needs to drink rice wine from the vase. For this album, two locations for 2 groups in total were visited. "
BFTT, Chekov, Lack and Howes deliver low key and shifty UK bass and electro-techno mutations on the latter’s Cong Burn - the label which introduced Lanark Artefax to the world back in 2015.
In suit with Cong Burn 01, which featured Howes alongside Perfume Advert and Amxd’s Haddon & L. Pearson on a subliminal house and bass tip, the 2nd Cong Burn vinyl keeps the vibe late night and smoky between the hydraulic electro action of BFTT’s Public/Private and the vintage Dynamo styles of Absent by Leeds-based Lack, while Chekov induces a canny halfstep skank with the cranky Celeste, and Howes checks out on a smudged dub house bent.
STROOM 〰 serve a compilation of dreamlike works by Brussels-based collective Pablo’s Eye drawn from their catalogue circa the early-mid ‘90s. There’s some lush passages to be found...
“Pablo’s Eye is the science of studio pressure, when engineer becomes artist. Appropriating left and right as well as front and back, Pablo’s Eye uses the mixing desk to examine and exhaust the possibilities of moments. Pablo’s Eye is a record of that examination and exhaustion, but it is also a record of its own inner space. By means of depth placement, psychoacoustics and spatial fug, Pablo’s Eye is experienced in the deeper reaches of the body, bypassing the conscious part of the mind entirely.
Pablo’s Eye is the turning of recorded music inside out to show its seams. It interrogates a song, stripping down the body of the song to reveal its bones. Pablo’s Eye is in the interstices of music, it plugs the gaps, fills the holes. Pablo’s Eye seeks out the concealed mechanisms, it is a song’s hidden agenda.
For this compilation, it was decided to present the softer air-beatings of Pablo’s Eye. More than anything, Pablo’s Eye is a temporary atmosphere, like a taste or a dream…”
Diverse, colourful psych-house, breakbeat and ambient plays from Earth Trax & Newborn Jr, following the form of their Rhythm Section Intl and Echovolt releases with this 5-track bewt for Dopeness Galore.
Working in two distinct halves, the first side dances to a cantering acid ace called Maze with stealthily building acid harmonies spiralling into a lush sort of proto-trance sound, while Where There’s A Will There’s A Way tilts to a hazy and charming breakbeat roll set off with polychromatic synth plumes.
The B-side dips deeper, shedding the beats to leave lushly suspenseful bassline and choral percolations with levitating effect in Acid Burn, then bathing in new age dub on Technoir, and swooning out into the Carl Craig-like Diamond Edge.
The Ede groups live mainly in Tay Nguyen, the central highlands of Vietnam. Gongs are one of the most valuable instruments for Ede people. Each player strokes the back or front of the flat gong by a wooden stick aggressively, to create unique rhythmic patterns.
"However, for this recording, Bamboo instruments such as Cing Kram are played by bamboo-made mallets/sticks. For Ede people, they usually practice with the Cing Kram first, before they play the gong - a sacred symbol and instrument. So, these bamboo instruments are used for their practices and they literally call it as “bamboo-gongs.”
UKF king Roska rolls out heavy but nimble on Byrd Out, a new label who’ve previously released everyone from Mark Archer to Mad Professor and Evan Parker.
Up top he meshes bolshy brass to double-dipping subbass and slippery congas in classic Roska style (actually, where’s the Roska! Roska! Roska! stabs?) before tucking simmering organs to a more clipped and swaggering groove called Warming, punctuated with bright samba whistles on the pivot.
San Antonio, Texas-based House of Kenzo add to the trail of dancefloor destruction with a debut EP of rugged hard club tracks experimenting with a fusion of gabber kicks and heavy metal slashes, now expanded with reworks and deconstructions by Rabit & Der Kindestod, and Ben Aqua.
Bonfires of Urbanity showcases three of the collective in fierce fashion, tossing up the controlled rage of Ledef’s blast beat rushes, side-eying vocals and cartoonish sirens in Purity Bynez, and to Death Grips-like effect in Hangar Queen featuring barked vocals by Kelly Mizrahi, with a paranoid, claustrophobic diagnosis of American contemporary culture in the EP’s most impressive part, Tone Pardon’s fractious anti-banger, Melania Carry.
Rabit & Der Kindestod join in the fracas on the flipside with their Cunt Allstars rework of Fires Of Urbanity coming off like a Ballroom for a bar brawl outside a sleazy jazz bar, while #FEELINGS proprietor Ben Aqua breaks down Bonfires of Urbanity to resemble a Ryan Trecartin soundtrack done by Elysia Crampton.
Another fascinating instalment in the history of Jewish recorded music, this time drawn from the Syrena — ‘Mermaid’— record label of Warsaw, when the city in its gloriously diverse, cultural heyday was known as ‘the Paris of the East’, before the devastation of the 1940s
Precious, thrilling 78s thronged with people arguing, soldiering, going bankrupt, praying, dancing to Klezmer, meeting the devil, failing to have sex, complaining about modern girls… and eating. With an informative, richly illustrated, twenty-eight-page booklet.
The Bahnar are an ethnic group in Vietnam, living from the north to the south and northeast of the Vietnamese central highlands. Bahnar speak a language in the Mon-Khmer language group. These recordings were conducted in Dak Doa, Gia Lai Province.
"Bahnar people use both knobbed gongs and flat gongs; knobbed gongs mostly have a rhythmic function, the flat gongs are used for melodies. Usually a gong ensemble comprises 8 or 9 gongs in total (6 flat gongs and 2 or 3 knobbed gongs), but the number of gongs can go up to 20 (10 flat gongs, 10 knobbed gongs) or even 22 (11 flat and 11 knobbed).
For this recording, the musicians brought different sorts of sharpened twigs as drumsticks. the biggest knobbed gong was played with a jackfruits twig. For Bahnar people, gongs - equivalent in value to several water buffaloes - are acquired through exchanges with the people from Laos, Cambodia and with Kinh groups of Vietnam.
Gong music is commonly played among the Bahnar on particular occasions such as harvesting, funerals, buffalo sacrifice, wedding ceremonies, etc."
This recording consists of the music played by the only the female group of Ede (Ede-bih – subgroup of original Ede). They only play the gong on special occasions such as festivals, funerals, and welcoming guests.
Levon Vincent offers two deep cuts from his Paris  album on vinyl; Only Good Things and Kissing.
Only Good Things trades in a reserved but optimistic line of mellow technohouse stealthily developing choral synth voices and floating pads on a shifty, minimalist groove. On Kissing a stronger, undulating bass anchors some of his sweetest phasing string chords, overlapping and building to frothy pizzicato peaks in a way that resonates with his schooling by a former engineer of Steve Reich’s.
Christina Vantzou follows her role in the superb CV & JAB album for Shelter Press with the starkly haunting No.4 in her chrono-numeric series of albums for Kranky.
Her JAB foil, John Also Bennett (Forma) also assists on this one, as do Angel Deradoorian, and members of Belgium’s Echo Collective, all sensitively incorporated into her signature dimension of smoky dream sequence logic and texturally rich electro-acoustic timbres. A strong look for lovers of Angelo Badalamenti & David Lynch soundtracks, Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Global Communication - in other words: night time music.
“Belgium-based composer Christina Vantzou’s fourth full-length for Kranky ventures further into the uniquely elusive and evocative mode of ambient classical minimalism which has become her signature: a fragile synthesis of contemplative drift, heady silences, and muted dissonance. In regards to the new album she speaks of focusing particular attention on the effects of the recordings on the body, and of “directing sound perception into an inner space.”
No. 4 took shape across roughly two years, incorporating a diverse array of musical and conceptual collaborators, including fellow Kranky artists Steve Hauschildt and John Also Bennett (of Forma) as well as Angel Deradoorian (ex-Dirty Projectors), Clarice Jensen, Beatrijs De Klerck, and members of Belgium’s Echo Collective. During the creation process Vantzou wanted to “blur lines of hierarchy,” and thus allowed all ensemble members and technical assistants to add or delete elements. Despite such a spectrum of input the eleven tracks feel distinctly cohesive, weaving elegant textures and resonant open spaces within a twilit landscape of eclectic instrumentation: piano, harp, vibraphone, voice, strings, marimba, synthesizers, gong, and bells.
Vantzou describes the recording process as one of prepared spontaneity: that is, “having plenty of ideas ready to explore going into the session, but with enough time to depart from those ideas and see what happens.” This mindset of premeditated exploration informs the album’s emotive textural intuition, with hushed drones and delicate gestures eliding in the periphery of the mix. She cites sleep and “the loosening of time” as two formative practices in her private and professional life, which manifests in the quietly hallucinatory properties of Vantzou’s music. No. 4 feels both endless and ephemeral, immersive and immaterial. It’s a music of horizon lines and half-light, mapped with feeling and foresight.”
Vakula slightly changes his name but sticks to a familiar style of deep, spaced-out techno-house as Vakulism with Edelweiss Reflection
Gliding from floating ambient house structures thru beatless zones inhabited by stray Japanese voice, and over to dubbed out acid techno and lilting ambient house with Japanese inspirations.
Beta Evers ropes in Heinrich Mueller for her moody side of a split with Spatial Relation a.k.a. married NYC couple Lissette and Jacob Schoenly.
Evers’ side yields three cuts in a declension of energy and mood, from the taut acid electro of Hiding, to the weightless doom of Soundtrack For A Tomorrow and finally bringing in Detroit deity Heinrich Mueller (Dopplereffekt) to enhance the unheimlich synth dimensions of Innerhalb Der Zeit.
Spatial Relation’s tracks are spikier, driven, ranging from the spiky prod and droll vocal of Highly Questionable, thru the druggy night slug of Last Night I Dreamt to an amphetamine-dosed hot-stepper, Spectrum Of Hues.
Premiering to the world at large, Tony Conrad’s gobsmacking quintessential opus Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain is now available to hear for the first time, featuring Laurie Spiegel and Rhys Chatham and arriving via Superior Viaduct just over a year since the death of the iconoclastic avant-garde violinist and composer in 2016.
Conrad’s sprawling, innovative practice - binding film, sound and performance in peerless and unprecedented style has been a huge influence on his myriad collaborators and far-flung body of avowed admirers. Just like the amazing and revelatory documentary, Tony Conrad: Completely In The Present , this steeply immersive 1hr, 30 minute recording should also attract a whole new wave of listeners to his truly sui generis music and cement his place in the 20th century avant-garde firmament, if it wasn’t already.
Recorded at the piece’s premiere at The Kitchen, NYC, in 1972, this release of Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain effectively forms some of the earliest documentation of Tony Conrad solo, one year before his legendary ..with Faust LP. Accompanied by Rhys Chatham playing the Long String Drone - a six-foot strip of wood with bass strings and electric pick up, prepared with tuning keys, tape and metal hardware - and Laurie Spiegel thrumming a crunching arrhythmic bass throughout, Conrad leads the 1hr 28 minute piece with the sustained caterwaul of his favoured violin (often the most battered model he could find), scraping back and forth in a pitching, phasing, mind-bending performance dating to just after his time spent developing this technique as part of The Theatre of Eternal Music with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and John Cale - whom cites Conrad’s sonic philosophy and contributions to early live Velvet Underground actions as a pivotal formative influence over the esteemed artrock pioneers.
Completely mesmerising, the instinctively fearless results are belied by a conceptual and mathematical rigour that boldly asserted Conrad’s convictions in a unity and transcendence of all things. And yet whilst divorced from the visual aspect of the performance - a row of quadruple projections arranged side-by-side, incremental overlapping to form a pulsating picture - which was surely a major part of the piece, the sonic results still carry a potent meaning through its durational reinforcement of purely dissonant tunings and insistently dragging yet forward motion - an inexorable drive intently focussing themselves, and the listener, in the eternal traction of the present.
In terms of that effect at least, we could compare the piece’s intensity and heightened hallucinogenic qualities with extended studies such as Éliane Radigue’s Transamorem - Transmortem, Alvin Lucier’s Music On A Long String Wire or Harley Gaber’s Wind Rises In The North, for example, yet there’s something utterly primal at play that bucks all those references, and appears closer to a prescient, overproof distillation of folk immediacy, rock’s lusting urge, and the hypnosis of tribal/trance/techno musics.
It’s a completely stunning piece of music that will repay the attentive, attuned listener with endless rewards.
Almost all of the afro-Cuban music in this compilation fell under the new marketing category ‘salsa’ (up till then it would have been simply called Latin music), and its cradle was New York City, where the tradition flourished amidst the constant mix of ethnicities and so many styles of music.
"It was inevitable that afro-Cuban music would proliferate in new genres reflecting its new home. Afro-Cuban jazz was born in New York City, through the amalgamating creativity of musicians like Chano Pozo, Machito, Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie. Likewise Boogaloo in the mid sixties, coming out of Harlem, joining Guajira and son with soul, R and B and doo-wop.
The recordings on Son Cubano NYC were made over the decade beginning 1972, for the new Salsoul and SAR labels and their sisters Mericana and Guajiro. For the trumpeter Chocolate, the music has ‘broader harmonies and touches of jazz phrasing, but never leaves the raices and cinquillo… Cuban music is natural - its essence is its raices [roots]’. For the singer Henry Fiol, ‘New York salsa is a hybrid. When Cuban music moved to New York it added another flavour.’
Latin music was exploding in the City. You could hear deejays like Polito Vega playing on the radio at any time of day; you could go dancing any night of the week, throughout the boros, at clubs like Corsos, Casablanca, Bronx Casino, Ochentas, Club Cabrojena, Carlos Ortiz’ Tropicana, Hunts Point Palace. And yet — held back because of the unmistakable Cuban personality of its music — ‘the success of SAR was due mainly to word of mouth’, as co-founder Sergio Bofill recalls. ‘We didn’t get airplay and found that we could do without it and still sell albums in the USA, Europe, and Africa’. This was still the period of the Cold War — when Eddie Palmieri was accused of ‘communist salsa’ for his song Mozambique (which isn’t even salsa) — and the radio stations did their bit to suppress Cuban culture.
Within a few years — by the mid-80s — New York salsa was becoming stagnant: ‘boring and monotonous’, in the words of historian Max Salazar; for Charlie Palmieri, ‘Europeanized’ in its disavowal of improvisation. The music-making on this album was dismissed as old-fashioned. Actually — in the glory of its long, flowing, rootsy forms, in the irresistible spell it casts on dancers everywhere — it is timeless."
Rabit returns with a killer 40 minute mixtape/collage of weightless grime and industrial ambience originally issued on CDr in 2016 and now on tape thru Ascetic House and also featuring samples from Croww (The Death of Rave)
This is the closest we’ve heard to an American take on Burial’s introspective collage style, - and if you know what that means, it’s kinda unmissable. Buy on sight!
Newly reissued on Superior Viaduct with Cover photography by artist Michael Snow
'Four Organs' / 'Phase Patterns' are two of Steve Reich's earliest recordings and were originally released in 1970 on the French label Shandar. They still sound magnificent, futuristic and elemental today, some 40 years since they were first realised.
With 'Four Organs' Reich applies the idea of slowing down a piece of sound until many times its original length without changing pitch or timbre. In it, Jon Gibson's maracas play a fast eighth note pulse while the four organs - played by Steve Chambers, Philip Glass, Art Murphy and Reich - stress certain notes using an 11th chord, creating a hypnotic cycle with trance-inducing rhythmic subtlety. 'Phase Patterns' follows a similar schematic, sans maracas and was Reich's first piece to be performed in a large traditional setting.
Lena Willikens takes Dekmantel’s Selectors series for a slow-to-midtempo psychedelic jag with 12 tracks of munted acid, soiled EBM, and cosmic tribal chug, including exclusive gear from Jasss to Parrish Smith and obscure vintage from Sandoz and Varoshi Fame.
A fine representation of what Lena plays in her famed DJ sets, both solo and often with Vladimir Ivkovic, the set is bound by shared tastes for crunching but shifty mechanical rhythms and expressively bittersweet electronics.
Jasss gives a big highlight with the slurred bass and streaking mentasms of Little Lines, her first new track since the world-taking Weightless album, and Parrish Smith also impresses with the recoiling hot-stepper Minima, while the set also reveals new sensations in the sheer, sexy grub of Deep Space from Sysex, and the immersive comic slosh of Amalgame from Vromb, and Chekov’s re-edit of the jagged EBM piece Voice of Command  by Varoshi Fame.
These songs originate from the city of Sanaa, the sheikdom of Lahej and the port of Aden.
"This record contains oudh playing, percussion and singing from Yemen. The three Kawkabani brothers sing traditional poems and play oudh (lute), double drums, tambourine and, occasionally, the kanoun (zither). They were recorded in Sanaa in 1973. The oudh player Hassan al Zabeede and his double drum playing brother sing songs in the Lahej style and were recorded in Taez in 1973."
Bocian Records give Kevin Drumm’s grim archival piece gtr/synth 2000 some room to breathe on tape, presenting the full 40 minute work which was excerpted as Old Shit on Drumm’s Necro-Acoustic boxset.
Compared with the pensive hi-register focus of his recently reissued Interference, for example, this is a much older, tempestuous Drumm working in the bowels of his sound, eking out a grittily textured roil of guitar and synth in a way that defined his late ‘90s explorations of the guitar as a member of the forward-facing Chicago school.
To be specific, he uses prepared guitar and analog synthesiser here to create an immersive tangle of atonal shards and viscous drone, the sort of stuff that feels like committing yourself to a pool of quicksand in the hope that there’s something worth it below the surface.
What occurs down there is a lightless and intensely physical experience, as though systematically dissolving your flesh and bones thru attrition into you’re nourishing the earth around your emulsifying cadaver.
A timely reminder of Derek Bailey’s mould-breaking expressive genius, sparring Han Bennink on drums on the 2nd ever reissue of their Selections From Live Performance At Verity’s Place- originally recorded in 1972 and now repackaged with an extra side of the duo’s improvisations made in September 1973.
For the uninitiated, this pairing is a formidable and perhaps hard-to-grasp proposition, but their combination of playfulness and feral nature is underlined by cutting precision and dexterity that’s hard to ignore, especially if you’re intrigued by the chaos of noise music proper or the deviant angles of dance music’s more extreme, grid-warping innovators.
For everyone else - from blues scholars to avant-rock freaks and free jazz nuts - you’ll probably already know that Bailey / Bennink’s early free improv hook-up is a genuine blinder.
Pangaea goes in with ’92-style ‘ardcore pressure on Bone Sucka, plus a stripe of pumping Belgian techno-meets-UK bleep in Proxy, unleashing two of the strongest cuts on Hessle Audio in years.
The ruffkut and deviant breakbeats of Bone Sucka instantly recalls the rolige of one of our favourite Panagea cuts - Inna Mind  - but the filigree mixing trickery and layered sound design defines the distance his productions have come since that relatively early strike.
Proxy on the other hand metes out a tufted jack working somewhere between the muscularity of early Belgian techno and the hypnotic pressure of SoYo bleep bouncers, but with an up-to-date, mid-fi gaze that will draw you deep in during the late hours.
Derek Bailey’s incredible debut solo showcase is given a necessary, expanded reissue as part of Honest Jon’s reissue series of important releases on Bailey and Evan Parker’s Incus Records. The original LP of finger-flaying improvisations and Bailey’s takes on works by Gavin Bryars and Misha Mengelberg is now augmented by an extra disc of farther improvs, including a solo show at York University in 1972.
The late, great guitar pioneer’s Solo Guitar remains pivotal testament to his endeavours in dismantling modern instrumental music and freeing it to more curious routes of expression, much in key - so to speak - with the US free jazz and improvised music which it evolved from. Love it or not, this record remains a totem of late 20th centre musical exploration.
“Recorded in 1971, Solo Guitar Volume 1 was Bailey’s first solo album. Its cover is an iconic montage of photos taken in the guitar shop where he worked. He and the photographer piled up the instruments whilst the proprietor was at lunch, with Bailey promptly sacked on his return.
The LP was issued in two versions over the years — Incus 2 and 2R — with different groupings of free improvisations paired with Bailey’s performances of notated pieces by his friends Misha Mengelberg, Gavin Bryars and Willem Breuker.
All this music is here, plus a superb solo performance at York University in 1972; a welcome shock at the end of an evening of notated music. It’s a striking demonstration of the way Bailey rewrote the language of the guitar with endless inventiveness, intelligence and wit.”
London based record label Purely Physical Teeny Tapes (PPTT) presents its fourth offering A Crude Explanation of Russell’s Paradox by Baltimore based artist Max Eilbacher.
"A follow up from his release A System that Slips, on Nick Klein's Primitive Languages, A Crude Explanation of Russell’s Paradox sees Max continue his system based, sound generation practice delivering 11 piano, tone and snare based arrangements informed by the mathematical principles of Bertrand Russell. "These recordings originated with a system created on my computer that played abstract samples of a piano. I discovered the system worked better using only a select few of the many piano sounds I had recorded and intended to use. I found it also worked well with no piano at all. Instead, I employed white noise, a solid tone, and wavefolders. Randomly generated patterns control the sequencing, routings and various sound parameters in the system. I created rules for my system based off of my crude understanding of Bertrand Russell’s Paradox theory that then modulates those patterns"
- Max Eilbacher
Honest Jon's reissue Lee Scratch Perry's 1980 masterpiece, the final record made at the Black Ark studio before its ultimate demise.
Appearing after his equally seminal series of 'Super Ape', 'War In A Babylon', 'Police And Thieves' and 'Return Of The Super Ape' LPs, it finds Perry during a turbulent period - his Black Ark compound has been occupied by occult Rasta factions, his wife has left him and nobody came to visit any more - but the music within is evidently some of the greatest he ever made.
It opens with the eleven minute sexual boast 'Bed Jammin', a psyched-out and heavy rolling session with nutty lyrics set to humid, grinding groove, besides the stunning, almost-baroque Casio keys and lagging steppers' drums of 'Untitled Rhythm' or the swooning 'Give Thanx To Jah', thru to the cuckoo soul of 'Who Killer The Chicken' and the blunted delirium of 'Some Have Fe Holla'.
This music is everything, there's pop, electronic experimentation, soul, and funk, all imagined with the most incredible, psychedelic vision - a combination which should only be ignored by the foolish. A stone cold classic record.
Killer, super-rare Yugoslavian New Wave / Pop from 1984 - originals of this go for £££ - now thankfully reissued by this new, London-based label with connections to BEB / Low Company, offering a piquant batch of hot-stepping diamonds packing hooks like a fishnet repair man at a Madonna concert, with funked up bassline grooves and drum machine patter to match. DJs, expect to catch a lot of requests with this one.
"Recorded in Skopje in 1983 and originally released on the state-owned PGP-RTB in 1984, Bastion is the only remaining document of the short but extremely sweet collaboration between singer-actress Ana Kostovska, composer and musician Kiril Džajkovski, bassist Ljubomir Stojsavljević and film director Milčo Mančevski. One of the first electronic bands in the Republic of Macedonia – hailed by the press as “Macedonian electropop sensation” – the four young artists crafted a quick-footed jewel of eclectic, expert synth-wave, genre-curious yet grounded in a bright, glamorous pop sensibility.
Bastion moves between crazed stadium bubblegum and a serious, seductive solemnity: whirlwinds of womanly wave such as “Hollywood” and “Mister Kompleks” open onto the dark electronic landscapes of “Deca Sunca” and “Mesec u Šolji”, while “Molitva” lifts the record into a soulful, torch-lit, and typically Macedonian mysticism. Across the record, Džajkovski’s luscious, sparkling synths and Stojsavljević’s dexterous bass tease and sustain Kostovska’s vocals as she croons, chants and coos her way in and out of one of the freshest, most surprising records to have ever come out of Eastern Europe.”
Killer new tape from Idiosyncratic Estonian artist Mihkel Kleis (Edasi), exploring his funky self as Ratkiller for Jon Rust’s equally wayward Levels label following a dedicated programme on Jon’s much-loved NTS show of the same name.
Keener eared listeners who recognise Kleis’s anomalous black metal output as Edasi from the start of the decade (remember that acetone-stained tape case?!) may have trouble consolidating their memory of that artist with the same guy who released the wigged out side, Meltdown of the Highest Order on Estonia’s Porridge Bullet in 2017, but strangely, and brilliantly enough, it’s one and the same guy - equally adept at conjuring medieval metal fantasy as the severely buckled and hypnotic boogie and exotica on Filtered Relics.
If Fortress Crookedjaw did Star In Their Eyes as Delroy Edwards, it may well sound a bit like this tape, as your man gets properly salty and rugged with a six track cycle of natty, knackered drum machines and synths, sifting an array of pads and choral voices that keen between 2 minute knots of murky library synth nostalgia in Pigfunk, to the alien vignette Filtered Relics via 8-bit EBM in Colourful Guts and Tropical Palms’ lounge music in Gimmick and Clowntown.
This is the kinda gear tapes were made for.
Exceptional recordings by this New age maestro only recently re-discovered by his friend JD Emmanuel & the band Sun Araw. Originally released on cassette in 1983 and now for the first time available on Vinyl. For fans of Joanna Brouk, JD Emmanuel and Lasos.
"Randall McClellan was a founding member of the electronic music studio at the Eastman School of Music in 1967 where he later received a Ph.D. in Composition, Theory and Musicology. A growing interest in North Indian music and vocal technique prompted him to develop his personal compositional practice into an active platform for inducing altered states of mind. He constructed his concerts to be spaces for harmonization of mind and body through a musical practice informed by his esoteric studies of ancient mystery schools and sacred geometry, believing these to be primarily teachings on intentional resonance.
This album is the second volume in the series, previously issued as a cassette in 1983, and part of the cassette box set published by Sun Ark in 2013. This music is based on principles outlined in Randall’s book, The Healing Forces of Music: History, Theory and Practice. These compositions are selected for their meditational and healing abilities. EQ settings of treble and bass levels determine the music's effect upon you. Please explore until the most comfortable settings are found."
Perky as you like Afro-funk and Funaná from ‘70s Cape Verde’s Pedrinho, written when he was 18 years old after arriving in Lisbon, Portugal where he made his new home...
“Mar & Sol first release Is Aleluia Lp from the Cabo Verde singer Pedrinho. At the time, late 70's, this Lp was one of the biggest successes from Cabo Verde music. Singer Pedrinho moved to Lisbon when he was 18 years old, and recorded this album, the first one of his career.
Aleluia was produced in the same street where Mar & Sol is based nowadays, in Rua de S.Bento, Lisbon, Portugal. This street was also where Pedrinho come to live when he arrived in Portugal, like the majority of the musicians and emigrants from the old African Portuguese colonies move at that time, to try a new luck.
A big community grew here and these artists got the opportunity to record their own traditional music by the hands of local labels. Now is the time for Mar & Sol to give a new life to all this music, this is the first of many reissues that are coming to start the series of the label.”
Four cracking Sun Ra pieces, roving from the possessed tongues and earthy hustle of Island In The Sun, thru more astral, free vectors in New Dawn, to the wonky big band vibes and growled vox on Unmask The Batman, and amazing Afro-Astro hustle in I’ll Wait For You.
"Strut and Art Yard present another exclusive from the vast catalogue of cosmic jazz pioneer Sun Ra: a previously unreleased radio session most likely recorded at the WXPN FM radio studios in Philadelphia, 1974-5.
This newly discovered session features a new version of Ra’s earlier ‘Island In The Sun’, a romping, raucous rendition of ‘Unmask The Batman’ and the first studio recording of ‘I’ll Wait For You’ There is no bass player on the sessions and Ra’s left hand beats out a rhythmic bass pattern on the piano. All tracks are remastered directly from the original tapes. The album package features a newly commissioned painting by legendary Bristol urban artist Guy Denning and new sleeve notes by Paul Griffiths.
Recently discovered in the Sun Ra archive, the recording forms part of a series of sessions that Ra and the Arkestra recorded for WXPN-FM between 1974 and 1980. The ‘Antique Blacks’ album was recorded there in ’74. Based on the campus of The University of Pennsylvania, WXPN’s station manager Jules Epstein and music director Russ Woessner were instrumental in the exposure and recording of The Arkestra in their broadcast production studios. Geno Barnhart, founder of The Empty Foxhole concert collective, Jules and Russ broadcast an on-going series of jazz concerts covering a wide spectrum. The Arkestra performed at The Foxhole in Philly many times from 1974.
Personnel: Sun Ra: Piano John Gilmore: Tenor Saxophone Marshall Allen: Flute, Alto Saxophone Danny Ray Thompson: Baritone Saxophone, Percussion Atakatune: Oboe, Congas Eddie Thomas: Drums Elo Omoe: Bass Clarinet, Hand Claps Akh Tal Ebah: Trumpet, Vocal James Jacson: Congas, Vocal"
Dint does grim goth industrial in the vein of Raime and Hospital Productions for Horo
Grinding out the charred bass and noxious atmospheres of Hooker with its laughable “f*ck you” sample, the Prurient-like scowler, Shovel, and a Sam Kerridge-esque pummel horse for the darkroom gymkhana in the 10-minute B-side Skewer.
Geir Jenssen aka Biosphere rounds up 18 tracks in honour of Christian Hollingsæter, director of the Insomnia Festival, who died unexpectedly in May 2017, only 35 years old.
All material comes from artists based in Trømso, the Norwegian city within the arctic circle, covering a gamut of styles from Ande Somby’s yoiking to the wistful space of Biosphere’s Northern Oscillations and blue techno by Mental Overdrive. All proceeds from label sales go to Christian’s son, Julian.
One of Techno's slipperiest operators presents his debut album statement in the subtle but lush structures of 'Suzi Ecto' for Fabric/Rob Booth's Houndstooth.
Over the last four years the London-based musician has garnered the respect of everyone from PAN's Bill Kouligas to Ben UFO and Objekt, exemplifying his artistic versatility and aptitude for transcending cerebral and club dimensions. With 'Suzi Ecto' he opens a lucidly gorgeous space between the 'floor and our imagination, sweeping us thru eleven concisely detailed prisms refracting classic IDM and exotic 4th world ambient thru minimal techno and garage frameworks.
It's all got a very contrary English quality to it, contradicting sheer and prickly textures with blissful and melancholic emotions to discern a systemic sound that plays and feeds off its binaries, from the meld of glassy electronics, airborne jszz sax and mnml dancehall bump of 'Sulu Sekou' to the dank but brittle techno jag of 'Hoax Eye', and the gyroscopic, head-gone whorl of 'Acephale I'. Most crucially he nails that balancing act of esoteric intent, and physical, tactile function, proving himself one of the most intangible, elusive - in terms of aesthetics - producers from the UK right now.
A captivating survey of Charlie Morrow’s glorious festive celebrations recorded on or around solstices in America between 1970 to 2014. Massed horns, drums and conch shells sounding utterly ancient and communally transcendent. Warmest recommendations!
“It is with such pleasure that I introduce the first vinyl LP by composer/event-maker Charlie Morrow. Toot! Too culls performance recordings from 1970 to 2014. It focuses on his Wave Music series, which are compositions based around swarms of like-instruments; i.e. sixty clarinets, conch choruses, and an army of drums and bugle horns, etc. A personal favorite is the 1978 piece, “100 Musicians With Lights,” which was performed at dusk in Central Park. One hundred players (brass, reeds, percussion) congregate and march in spiral formations, playing their instrument with penlights attached to them. The piece dissipates and ends as each player marches through the park to their respective homes. The sound is fascinating; a tape recording made by an audience member swirling and dancing through the performance.
Charlie is an organizer: one of instruments, with the pieces that landed on this LP and dozens more; one of events, through decades of public Solstice celebrations across the world; one of publications, including New Wilderness Audiographics and EAR Magazine; and, one of friendships as Charlie has kindly introduced me to many fascinating players in this quirky game of ours. He views networking as an art form, always connecting friends with other friends, building a larger web for us to dance throughout.
In working on this LP over the past years, Charlie Morrow and I have become close. It has been a joy to have him in my life. At the age of 73, he is determined and creative and as positive as ever. Each time we speak, new projects arise – like a mysterious soup boiling up fresh aromas. One of my favorite memories with Charlie was us staying up ’til the wee small hours of the morning drinking a bottle of sweet potato shochu, me listening to him tell funny and poignant remembrances. I am happy to share these lovely recordings, just a pinky toe in his artistic footprint, but wow, such a gorgeous toe!”
Mark Broom, Drvg Cvltvre and Mike Dred gets to grips with EVOL’s rave slime in slamming acid techno remixes of Presto!?’s Do These release for Alku.
With a combined age of well over 100, the three remixers bring some proper rave experience to the plate in a visceral, disciplined style that shows the whippersnappers how it’s done.
Up top Mark Broom teases out a burning gob of EVOL’s acid into a proper, tracky peak time slammer with percolated chords and bucking claps, leading to a pair of brain-swilling locked grooves by UK hero Mike Dred.
Down below, Drvg Cvltvre gets to work with a slompier sort of jack attack riddled with iridescent glissandi, again leading to some superb loops by Rephlex’s Mike Dred that we could happily listen to for ages.
Pivotal techno pioneer Susanne Kirchmayr a.k.a Electric Indigo presents a filigree detailed début album of high-end techno electronica with 5 1 1 5 9 3 for Robert Henke’s Imbalance Computer Music label.
Mainstay of the Berlin scene since she moved there from Vienna and took a job at Hardwax in the early ‘90s, Electric Indigo’s name and output is synonymous with the city’s leading edge of clubs and sound art thanks to her uncompromising aesthetics and vital work with the Female:Pressure group, which she established in 1998.
After some dozen 12”s with her name at the top, including a recent turn on the Berghain 08 EP, Electric Indigo now offers a definitive cross-section of her sound in 5 1 1 5 9 3, combining her praxes in the ostensibly opposing but often interrelated spheres of academic sound art and club music, in 10 uniquely twisted permutations of computer music, electro-techno and electro-acoustic styles.
While unremittingly greyscale in tone and minimalist in structure, 5 1 1 5 9 3 still possesses a depth of colour and striking variation of pattern within those parameters. The result is Berlin techno music at its probing, icy best, especially in the rhythm-driven highlights such as the recursive electro-noise vortex of Excursion, the purist pressure of 4.31Hz and quite strikingly in the Anne-James Chaton-esque rhythmic vocal cut-up of Trois, and to neck-cricking degrees with the immense spatial proprioceptions of The Landing.
Few artists make listeners as aware of their own being as Andrew Chalk and Timo Van Luijk’s Elodie, as the experience of listening to Le Manteau d’Etoiles uncannily makes us acutely aware of our breathing and the slightest movements when in the presence of the immaculate near-stasis and fragile ephemerality of their sound.
Working beyond trend and convention, Elodie make a sound that feels like it comes from a dreamlike and surreally etheric place. In effect, we’d compare it to the way the atmosphere, pacing and mise-en-scene of arthouse cinema (or even TV) and fiction can somehow connote a sense of reality which literal representations tend to fail to grasp.
Joined by Tom James Scott on the piano stool, and the clarinet of Jean-Noël Rebilly, the quartet seduce us with every turn of Le Manteau d’Etoiles, beautifully upholding a sublime tension from the first icy breaths of Cristaux de Lumière to the solitary, hovering notes of Le Temps Suspendu and the air-bending deliquescence of Le manteau d’Etoiles at its close, and in a way which lingers privately with the listener long after the record stops.
Impossible to convey in words just how beautiful and quietly evocative this music is.
Let’s just call it magick, shall we?
In a sweet turn of events, electro pioneer Egyptian Lover remixes I’m An Arabian Knight, an obscure Australian electro gem clearly influenced by the L.A. OG’s early releases.
Up top, he sees to a fresh and spacious dub mix redressed with chiffon pads and boogie chords and saving some class 808 boom crack for the final strokes. Downtown, there’s a tight vocal edit showing off Shahara-Ja’s tremulous soul vocal with extra, Arabic-sounding synth vamps and his own raps, while the Instrumental serves it up neat and stripped to its sexy bones.
Dollkraut does a nippy rejig of Eefje de Visser’s melancholic synth-pop ditty Scheef, the lead track from her self-released 3rd album, Nachtlicht .
Eefje’s pulsing, folkways dream-pop original is a relatively rare - for us at least - example of Dutch language pop, with floaty results that sit rather nicely on the ear. Dollkraut’s remix takes Eefje in another direction entirely though, with dancefloors full of shuffling waifs and foppish wave flounders squarely in mind.
Octal, ANFS, Codex Empire and OAKE queue up to kick the sh*t out of Dint for Horo.
NYC/Serbia’s Ontal retune Shovel for extra unyielding leverage in the dance; ANFS drag Skewer down to sewer level with trampled jungle tekno breaks and bilious drones; Codex Empire hybridize a screeching industrial mutant ion Skewer Shovel; and OAKE extract a cinematic drama from Hooker sounding like Laibach soundtracking a documentary on Peter Sutcliffe.
For anyone who knows these records already - you won't need much of a sermon from us about their stature and greatness. If you don't know them - fuck you're in for a treat.
Rhythm & Sound was the project that Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald turned to after their seminal series of recordings as Basic Channel came to an end. From 1997 until 2002 the label released seven 12" EP's which pretty much defined the direction so much electronic music would turn to in its wake - and it still continues to exert a colossal influence, for better or worse. It's perhaps hard to remember over a decade later just how little these productions sounded like anything that preceded them - taking the essence of dub and breaking it down until all that was left was a vapour trail of melody and a colossal bass echo.
We could spend an hour listing all the music that basically came along and copied this template in the intervening years but, the thing is, none of what followed comes anywhere near these productions in terms of substance, none of it has aged in the same way.
Arikon’s thistly “drum & drone” session The Prophet’s Blood Is Boiling churns up myriad references to soundsystem pressures, industrial sub-genres and Jewish mysticism in a fierce solo début album of biting point distortion and roiling rhythms.
Using similar production techniques to those in his Gainstage duo with Pierce Warnecke, Arikon sculpts and dry-freezes a decaying world of polyrhythmic clatter and seething drones across the album’s eight tracks, combining a drummer’s dexterity and rhythmic timing with an unflinching approach to noise dynamics that sets this record apart. And when coupled with the arcane nods to ‘beasts of holiness’ - mythological creatures that appear in the Hebrew bible and Jewish apocrypha (non-canonical scriptures) - it becomes a fearful prospect as evocative as the still ‘dead’ cover image.
If you’re a right rum type, tracks such as the swaggering opener City Cum Temple with its cattle-prod EBM stabs and keening heft, the shuddering Nahash Akalaton, and the title track’s pendulous boulder drums will make for prime dance catalysts, but they’re better considered as part of a whole, which comes on in destructive waves to reveal moments of aching ecstasy in Shadow Of Leviathan, and glorious cinematic invocations such as Ziz Saday Imadi.
‘Challenge Me Foolish’ is an almost lost album of µ-Ziq material circa 1998-99, an era that saw Mike Paradinas release ‘Royal Astronomy’ on the now defunct Virgin subsidiary Hut records, and also tour with Björk.
"It’s an era of his music that’s definitely worth re-exploring, in which Mike went against the grain by producing music that was baroque, melodic and whimsical, while the IDM movement he was lumped with made instrumental music that was often neurotic and complicated. His taste for melody and dreamy beauty above roughness and intricacy confused people who were hanging on too tightly to the rules. He even brought in Japanese vocalist Kazumi, adding an extra human touch.
‘Challenge Me Foolish’ is something of a companion to the Royal Astronomy record; arguably even better given the fresh ears selecting the material. It’s imbued with a confident sense of pastoral colour, and a gentle optimism, utilising bells, studied orchestral arrangements and airy synthesisers that sit the album somewhere between, Jean Jacques Perrey (the French electronic composer whose whimsy was always balanced with serious innovation and chops) and the colourful, optimistic soundtracks of Joe Hisaishi. There’s a strange sense of the old and new throughout, the sentimental and utopia, with nary a hint of darkness. Even when the album dips into the hyperkinetic rhythms of jungle, the melodies and mood still retain a sense of gentle warmth. Dive into peak time Paradinas."
UNO’s Aquarian meets French producer Deapmash for a session of rolling breakbeat techno ballistics on Bedouin Records.
Whilst approaching from opposite continents and never meeting in person, they’re both clearly up for a mucky ruck with the darkside Reese bass payload and gritty swang of Aegis and the pitbull-jawed breakbeat bite of Ballad, with he B-side’s Roam giving more room to stretch out on a fierce, zig-zagging acid ‘ardcore tip socked with bolshy kicks and breaks.
Minimal techno boss Phillip Sollman cues up a smart 22-track DJ mix
Features cuts from his Efdemin alias, Pom Pom, Margaret Dygas, Inland, Steve Bicknell, Konrad Sprenger and many more for Curle, following from last year’s experimental excursion Gegen Die Zeit for Dial’s Sky Walking label.
Live at Human Resources documents 8 performances from the L.A. launch event for Yann Novak’s 2nd album with Touch, The Future Is A Forward Escape Into The Past
Including a group tribute to Jóhann Jóhannsson amid contributions by Zachary Paul, Robert Crouch, Garek Druss, Jasmin Blasco, Jake Muir, Geneva Skeen, and Yann Novak.
Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner return with their most inventive album to date, Dimensional People.
"The new album finds the Berlin-based duo reunited with Thrill Jockey, a powerful aesthetic partnership marked by such seminal albums as Radical Connector (2004), Idiology (2001), and Niun Niggung (2000). After a series of notorious dance floor releases, Dimensional People reveals them working deep within their own vernacular, digging into fertile terrain of their inexhaustible vault of digital and acoustic experimentation, and charismatically making elemental components new again. This album makes clear how their craft is of discovery, of finding new contexts for places, sounds, memories, sensations, ambiences, technologies, relationships, and of course, people.
A number of prolific guests joined the production: Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Zach Condon (Beirut), Spank Rock, Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National), Swamp Dogg, Eric D. Clarke, Lisa Hannigan, Amanda Blank, Sam Amidon, Ensemble Musikfabrik, and about 20 more musical collaborators. The cast of characters are as unique as they are vast, clearly a rich quarry for the prodigious duo.
Dimensional People, initially titled new konstruktivist socialism, gives each participating guest a platform to imprint the album as whoever or whatever they want to be: a narrator, a perfect moment, a jam, an ensemble member, an abstract sound, a multiple persona, a mood, a soloist. Originally premiering as a spatial composition using object-based mixing technology playing with the possibilities of sonic design and collective musicianship, the recording expands upon these ideas. Dimensional People expresses itself as a dynamic 50-piece orchestra, telling a story in sound. Each player is a multifaceted character, the recording an imagined stage, and the production is direction, lighting, and setting changes. Mouse on Mars offer sound as a means to encourage open-minded societies, aided by cutting-edge technology including their own MoMinstruments music software or a spatial mixing technique called object based mixing, with which a spatial version of the work was created. It is a conceptual puzzle composed around one harmonic spectrum within one rhythmic scheme, mostly in the tempo of 145bpm (inspired by Chicago footwork, so the dance floor is not entirely absent). Looking ahead, Dimensional People will also be realized through installation, presenting the work as an immersive listening experience, as well as performance.”
Forest Bathing, or Shinrin-yoku, is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. “Taking in the forest atmosphere” became the inspiration for A Hawk and A Hacksaw’s newest album.
"Their forest bath of choice is the Valle De Oro National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. This new album features ten original compositions by Heather Trost and Jeremy Barnes. The opening track “Alexandria” features Barnes on the Persian Santur, an ancient hammer struck dulcimer, and Trost’s string and woodwind melodies. The composition evokes the long trader’s route between what is now Bulgaria and the wealthy cities of Istanbul and Alexandria. The band has always had a bird’s eye view of this part the world— looking for the connections between places and even eras: a belief in the power of music to reach across borders and unite. The band is based on the idea of collecting music and inspiration through travel.
They are not of a place, but their music evokes places along a route. This is not urban music. It’s rural: songs of the woods and roads where there are no sidewalks or street lamps to light your way. While the bulk of the music heard on this record is played by Barnes and Trost, they do have some incredible guest performances, namely the clarinet virtouso Cüneyt Sepetçi, from Istanbul, Hungarian cimbalom master Unger Balász, and closer to home, Chicago trumpeter Sam Johnson, Deerhoof’s John Dieterich and Noah Martinez, of the band Lone Piñon."