Disco Vumbi jumps from ‘Boutiq Electroniq’ for Nyege Nyege Tapes to their Hakuna Kulala sublabel for alternately heavy and light-footed dancefloor styles
‘Jo-ducuroma roma’ generates an inexorable momentum from swingeing drums and bass, while call-and-response vox echoes out above in hypnotic effect. This one will dominate any situation it’s played!
On the other hand, ‘Wilobo Man’ is much more light hearted and twinkle-toed, working clipped soca-like drum patterns and mellifluous vocal harmonies into a frothy charm.
Trevor Jackson taps into his Underdog cabinet on ‘Of The Night’, a dark blue set of trip hop nocturnes produced c. 1994-1998
The Underdog has long been the place to go for Jackson’s ruder and deeper work, from remixes of UNKLE and dozens of others, to his coveted breakbeat volumes known as ‘The Attic Tapes.’
For the Of The Night selection he’s picked out some of The Underdog’s drowsiest nodders, with special highlights found in their most depressed moments, such as the heavily introspective slug of ‘Lapis’ and the desert-crawling country smudge of ‘Dawn Burn’, which should both appeal as much to DJ Screw as The Caretaker or Express Rising.
Isle of Jura’s new Temples of Jura offshoot pay dues to On-U Sound in fine style.
Melbourne’s Len Leise holds down he front with a balmy take on Mr. Sherwood’s signature flex in For Adrian, rolling and skanking around a hot-wired and humid sort of electro-acoustic mesh of dub, boogie and endearingly dippy ‘tronics.
B-side, Isle Of Jura take over with three mixes of Udaberri Blues, slyding from the boogie downstroke of the original to a more spaced out, bumping Dub Version lapped with ocean sounds, and a lushly suspended Space Version.
Upfront studies in abrasive computer music traction for tuuun’s Copenhagen-based FLUF from Bilbao, Spain’s Sarah Rasines
‘0016A’ is the gnarlier of the two, committing minutes of amorphous, gravelly grain before calving off into black hole sonics flecked with scurrying pointillist rhythms.
In stark contrast, ’0016AA’ is rhythm driven from the outset, with brittle dembow-like patterns chipping away over stereo-rolling concrète shapes in teetering meter for a wickedly abstracted dancefloor push ’n pull.
Renick Bell follows up the gloopy dynamics of his ‘Wary’ LP for Halcyon Veil with a more spacious and percussion-focussed sound in ‘Turning Points’ for the Seagrave label
Renick’s ’Turning Points’ are concerned with pushing structures to the point of breaking down. Ok there are some moments that could be compared with Autechre or Rian Treanor, but perhaps better compared to a modern antecedent of Funkstorung and Funkarma, or the complex explorations of Dalglish.
“Renick is a computer musician, programmer, and teacher living in Tokyo, Japan. He is a graduate of the doctoral program at Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan. His current research interests are live coding, improvisation, and algorithmic composition using open source software. He is the author of Conductive, a library for live coding in the Haskell programming language."
Killer jump-up jungle jams from anonymous, incognito sources
Infectious rave goodness on both sides, teeing off a ’95-into-’05-into-’18 sound with the A-side’s jungle and grime flex, then diving in with a lush re-fusion of bifurcated happy hardcore, deep and jump-up vibes on the B-side...
Ruffhouse follow-up one of the D&B tracks of ’15 - UVB-76 - with launch of a new label of the same name.
A-side loads up their classically styled hardstep remix of Aspect & Gremlinz’ Kilo, entering with smoky intro before fully rolling out dreadnaught breaks and murkiest dancehall subbass patterns.
On the other side, Overlook & Gremlinz sustain the darkness with a numb but nimble halfstep roller veiled in brooding grey atmospheres.
First time vinyl pressing of Swans’ 1996 nod to krautrock, featuring Michael Gira singing in German and previously only available in Germany
’Die Tar Ist Zu’ finds Gira and gang at a crossroads in their oeuvre, with 15 years of blistering rock behind them, they start to feel out new horizons on this album which would be explored in much greater depth on ‘Soundtracks For The Blind’.
“Swans' Die Tür Ist Zu (German for The Door Is Closed) was initially released in 1996 as a prelude to the (then) final Swans album Soundtracks for the Blind. It was only available in Germany and was only released on CD. It has been long out of print. It shares some material w the much longer Soundtracks, but on this record I sing in German. It has never before appeared on vinyl. This release now is a 2xVinyl release, with one of the 4 sides being an etching I designed. I am pleased to throw it out into the hungry, chomping mouth of Record Store Day - Michael Gira / Swans”
Killer debut release from FUMU, coughing up 18 sawn-off tracks of fucked hip hop, warehouse and techno on Andrew Lyster’s Youth label. Definitely mark this gadge in your one-to-watch list.
Hailing from downwind of heavy North East industry, but currently sequestered in Manchester, FUMU is a member of the Return to Zero crew and a known affiliate of Modern Love’s Turinn, with whom he’s shared a studio and shares a taste for the most guttural, asphalt-grained dance music and short-circuiting electronics.
On ’Sinuate’ FUMU finally yields a peek at his working praxis, revealing a restlessly roving mind at work consolidating myriad, fractious styles at mutant angles, and in a half-cut and gauzy style that recalls everyone from Mica Levi and co thru to Madteo. It’s the sort of sound that only comes with being an omnivorous listener and hard-headed producer, the kind that pushes his gear to the point of near breakdown in order to bring out its most unique sounds.
If we’re playing favourites, the trilling pendulations and overproof bass of ‘Graeyard’ are right up there, as is the NoYo dembow bleeper ‘In The Darkness Girl’, and the honky boschment of ‘Regulator’, but to be fair there’s f*cking loads to go on, and we’re sure everyone else will have their own percy.
No rest for the wickedest Analog Africa, bustling retro-futurist with Gyedu-Blay Ambolley’s volley of electrified Ghainain highlife, from the disco beeps of ‘The Message’ to the dubbed-out ‘Simigwa Soca’ and the unmissable synthy disco heat of ‘Burkina Faso’. Impossible to find in any original form, this is just unmissable for the Afro-disco fiends!
“Prepare yourself for new directions in Afro-funk. During the 1980s, ghanaian bandleader Gyedu-Blay Ambolley began to experiment with electronic instruments, and the result was a potent cocktail of highlife, funk, exploratory synths and righteous vocals, the sound of a restless genius intent on pushing the traditional sounds of highlife into a brave new future. On July 20 Analog Africa will release a 12” containing four of Ambolley’s hardest-driving excursions to the outer limits of eighties funk.
By the end of the 1970s, Ambolley was already a legendary figure on the ghanaian music scene. A drummer, turned guitarist, turned bassist, turned lead vocalist, he rose to prominence during the late 1960s, serving with countryman Ebo Taylor in the Stargazers and the Uhuru Dance Band before launching his own career with ‘Simigwa-do’, the 1972 hit that propelled him to West African stardom. As a founding member of the Apagya Show Band and the Complex Soundz, he stretched the boundaries of highlife with electric instruments, funky rhythms and socially charged lyrics in Fante and English.
If he had retired in 1978, Ambolley’s place in the history of ghanaian music would have been secure. Instead, he dissolved the Complex Soundz and embraced the synthesizer. With a new band, Zantoda Mak III, he recorded ‘The Message’, a seven minute funk workout built on a highlife foundation, and decorated with shimmering synths. Recorded in 1980, the song became a hit that would change the direction of Ambolley’s music: over the next decade, electronic instruments played a much larger role in his sonic experiments.
‘The Message’ receives a long overdue re-release on this 12" along with three other peaks from Ambolley’s eighties output. The futuristic funk of ‘Akoko Ba’ strips down the rhythm, raises the intensity of the vocals, and adds a dose of serpentine saxophone. On the B-side, ‘Simigwa Soca’ sets classic highlife horns against an unshakable bass groove, while the incredible ‘Burkina Faso’ is Ghana’s great lost electro-funk gem, a sleek construction of robotic bass, call-and-response vocals, and fat stabs of slippery synth.
Difficult, if not impossible to find for decades, Analog Africa is proud to make Gyedu-Blay Ambolley’s extraordinary eighties recordings available to a wider audience.”
Stunning HD orchestral // text-to -speech début by Tokyo-based artist and curator, Nozomu Matsumoto, a huge recommendation if yr into the augmented realities of TCF, James Ferraro, Mark Leckey, Goodiepal and Elysia Crampton, or the layered, highly evocative narratives of Mica Levi, Sam Kidel and Terre Thaemlitz…
Climatotherapy is Nozomu’s remarkable first vinyl release and début for The Death of Rave, conceived as a soundtrack for a health forecast given by Amazon’s Text-to-Speech interface Polly. It sounds like little we’ve heard before; an augmented reality rendered with soaring Hollywood strings and pristine arrangements evoking the hyperreal tapestry / idyllic ambient of Alva Noto’s Xerrox series paired with R&B folk tropes and a non-linear narration conveying Nozomu’s ideas with clinically emotive clarity.
The text-to-speech narration finds Polly curating our mental and moral energy into health; her prognostications framed by those strings to startling, uncannily calculated effect, using additional vocals and music to limn in HD an up-to-the minute and personal perspective on themes of morality in Artificial Intelligence which could be called key to Japan’s hauntology, also intersecting with the artist’s own experience of meteoropathic sickness, and its symptoms related to barometric fluctuations and psychic-atmospheric disturbance.
A strikingly singular work, ‘Climathotherapy’ effectively resonates with the novel musical sci-fi of James Ferraro, Elysia Crampton and T C F, as well as The Death of Rave’s own editions such as Mark Leckey’s IoT study ‘GreenScreenRefrigerator’ and Sam Kidel’s ‘Disruptive Muzak’. It’s a properly unique record of its times...
Hot off the heels of the beautiful "Obsolete Machines" [Stage Two] Gatefold LP set just released, Radius's cassette demo restoration project returns to form with the "Interpolation Tapes" series.
"The original source tapes had aged, warped and degraded and as a result we've preserved the best segments, sampled and reprocessed with a vintage prophet 2000 sampler, studio 440 and various Linn samplers to add depth and range to the original source material. We've spent nearly an entire year restoring and interpolating over 100 hours of music, processing sound and redesigning the blueprints of this long forgotten project. Every track was originally recorded down to an old Tascam 688, an 8 track cassette recorder purchased and abused since 1992 and to our ears still sounds quite impressive even by modern standards. Radius's "Interpolation Tapes" (Restoration Two) is the second part in a series of three releases featuring unreleased material culled from the vault of the long out of print Radius project, an ageless analog tapestry of sound.
This release features 8 tracks (2 of which are featured on the beautiful "Obsolete Machines" [Stage Two] vinyl LP), revisited and restored from analog cassette tapes with recordings conducted from 1994-2001 with nothing but analog/digital hardware. The original source tapes had aged, warped and degraded and as a result we've preserved the best segments, sampled and reprocessed them into an entirely new sonic spectrum. It's been a truly nostalgic experience re-visiting and re-arranging these masters, regardless of the time passed, there's so much depth and organic movement, it nearly breathes in slow motion. When considering the limitations of hardware in the era these were recorded, they've truly aged like a fine wine. From our hearts to yours."
Soundtracks For The Blind was intended to be the final studio album by Swans, released as a double disc epic in 1996.
The album finds the band's sound taking various disparate forms, from the droning ambient tones of opener 'Red Velvet Corridor', to the odd pulsing techno of 'Volcano' via more conventional (if that's even a word that can be associated with Swans) song-based recordings.
This is an album that's all over the place in stylistic terms, but given the volume of material, it takes on something of an epic feel, somehow making sense as a single drawn out narrative. The spooky dulcimers of 'Secret Friends' match up with the atmospheric dissonances of 'I Was A Prisoner In Your Skull' and the nerve jangling, haunted house songwriting of 'Her Mouth Is Filed With Honey'.
Stones Throw serve two highlights from the reissued Prophet album on a very tasty 7”
‘Right On Time’ is a total diamond, emerging from serious spacetime synth warpage into a blazing ’84 funk swerve that doesn’t let go until it’s done. Prince and Dâm-Funk fans eat your purple hearts out.
Flipside he gets even funkier with the mad, pendulous, syncopated claps and chord chops of ‘Tonight’ doing strange things to our bodies if we go with his swing.
Wicked and wild.
Luke Younger's Helm undergoes a captivating metamorphosis from noise agitator to industrial ambient alchemist with 'Olympic Mess', his new album for PAN.
Prompted by a period of personal turmoil and a chaotic lifestyle on the road playing support for Danish punks, Ice Age; Younger expands his sonic palette here with nods to the loop-based structures and textural sensuality of balearic disco, dub techno and industrial music. When filtered into his patented mix of hi-fidelity electro-acoustic process, field recordings and intricate noise, the juxtapositions seemingly consolidate the exhausting, narcotic highs of playing live night-after-night with the serenity of ambient come-down tones and suspended states of dance/noise music delirium.
Likewise, this aesthetic could be read to reflect his recording environments, folding in the flux of people, concrete, steel and electricity between New York, Berlin and London across its ten tracks, manifest from the schizoid warp of 'Don't Lick The Jacket' to the dense grind and explosive euphoria of 'Outerzone 2015', or the unsettling intimacy of found sound in the monologue of 'Strawberry Chapstick'. We'd also read a certain Ballardian element to the whole album, from the kinaesthetic crush of the record cover's car wreck detail, to the album's titular reference to London's layered, evolving skyline, and the visceral tang and vibration of blood, emotions and momentum inherent to transient life on the road and in the city.
RIYL Tim Hecker, Deepchord, Posh Isolation.
Steven Hitchell a.k.a Radius transmits his Variant Reworks of ‘Obsolete Machines’, a batch of his earliest, diaphanous dub techno recordings dating back to the mid-late ‘90s
"In celebration of Radius's "Obsolete Machines" [Stage Two] LP edition, Echospace release the variant reworks and redesigns (conducted and compiled over the past 10 years) release. These versions build on the very essence of the originals, but with fathoms-deep layers and subtle tonalities transforming the originals into an ethereal ocean of space and bass. We truly hope you enjoy reliving these magical times of music, very inspired by all that was happening in those years, there was just something in the air, an undeniable energy, long may it live on... "
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s incredible recordings with Harry Bertoia’s sound sculptures are here documented on a beautiful new edition for Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint, coinciding with his appearance on the cover of this months issue of The Wire magazine.
Lowe is something of a polymath; having started out as part of Math Rock outfit 90 Day Men and doom metal trio Om, he progressed to forge his own solo work (often under the Lichens moniker), as well as a slew of collaborations including work with Johann Johannsson on scoring both Arrival and Sicario, an acclaimed album with Ariel Kalma for RVNG Intl’s FRKWYS series, plus involvement in site specific video art and sound installations. His most recent work has seen him release diverse music for Type, Latency, More Than Human and, of course DDS - who have here presented what might just be the most beautiful Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe artefact thus far.
in 2016 Lowe was commissioned by New York’s museum of Arts to contribute to a Harry Bertoia exhibition, which he undertook alongside video director Johann Rashid. He was asked to create sound recordings with Sonambient sculptures; metal rods and gongs that produce highly distinct, resonant sounds when struck, brushed or touched. Beginning in 1968, Bertoia set up an eighteenth-century stone barn on his property in Barto, Pennsylvania, to house these sculptures and from which he would go on to record works for his highly collectable Sonambient label, recently documented on Important Records' breathtaking box set and reissue series. Lowe was given full access to the barn, beautifully filmed footage of which can be found online.
Lowe’s work with these sculptures is unlike anything you might have heard from the original Bertoia recordings. Instead of serendipitous improvisation, Lowe weaves his way through the sculptures on a path that was mapped out in advance, imbuing them with a more “composed” and arranged feel.
As he explains to The Wire “The technique I developed in engaging with those sculptures was different than the ways i’d seen other people do it. It was sublime to be in that space with the air touching the sculptures and moving them, you had these sort of apparitions that were moving around with you”. As well as the familiar Sonambient sound palette, he subtly manipulates and feeds in vocal layers that take proceedings into ever more ethereal and haunting dimensions.
It’s a beautiful, inspirational recording from an artist that’s impossible to pin down. "i don't give a fuck. i do what i do, and that’s the end of it”.
Another ocean of sound from Steven Hitchell’s CV313 project. 2CD. Over 2 hours of music.
"The furthest depths of sound are awakened in this distinctive sonic environment inspired by ocean movements and its mysteries. Beginning anew, cv313 delivers an etheric approach in, "analogue oceans" that fearlessly illuminates the culmination of 25-years of sound design, a continuous transformation that engages the listener in ways it never has before.
Shimmering metallic washes of color meet sub-aquatic tones, creating an immersive sonic world unlike anything heard before, this is hands down some of most engaging sound worlds this project has ever explored. Engineered, written & produced by cv313. Tape Transfers, digital conversion and mix downs in Echospace. Reworked & Redesigned by Variant. Additional Modular development and concepts by N.S. and S.B @ Antique Modulation, Ann Arbor / Detroit, MI circa 2012-2013. Field recordings conducted in Gamma, Japan & Maui, Hi. This sonic mysticism is the essence of our time.
"The sound of water is deep, its form is serpent-like, its color green, and it is best heard in the roaring of the sea." -The Sufi Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan "
For Cora [R.I.P.] 10/04/2017
This release features 4 epic moments ranging from 12-20 minutes each passage from cv313, where a vintage trident desk, hand crafted analog effects units and a vast array of synthesis sculpted and shaped what would become, "beyond dreams".
"One of the recent highlights of the alchemy edition of cv313's opus, "Dimensional Space", an intergalactic journey into an ocean of analog bliss. These recordings were digitally transferred using Apogee convertors to ensure the integrity of original master tapes were preserved. All four passages have a life force all their own, deep and hypnotic, sonic submersion."
Picture postcard-perfect post punk pop jangles from modern day Olympia, Washington, USA, recommended for obsessive fans of The Slits, The Raincoats, and Bush Tetras...
"The band’s mindset with putting songs together is about throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. The music, as a result, is blanketed in chaotic discordance, a wild, vaguely confrontational jumble of jagged chords and shouted vocals. Comprising of Pascal Luther (guitar and vocals), Ella Svete (guitar and vocals), Aidan McNellis (bass) and Bryn Ackley (drums), Table Sugar began on a whim after 3/4 of their members met in art class at The Evergreen State College. That early “let’s start a band!” enthusiasm translates to their songwriting.” —Adam McKinney OLY ARTS”
Side for side, Jamaican Recordings pit two heavyweights inna dub soundclash i
Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark classics such as ‘War Inna Dub’ and Vampire Dub’ rhythms stepping up against Bunny “Striker” Lee’s ‘80s killers produced at Channel 1 and King Tubby’s studios.
Further to Hailu Mergia’s ‘Lala Belu’ album, ATFA give up two more cuts from he same recording sessions
On the A-side, ’Yegojam Mamesh’ is a class little soul booster full of bustling, splashy drums and natty organ and synth vamps from your man, Mergia, whose beaming vocals are wildly contagious, whereas the B-side works a ruder instrumental funk tilt with hazy organ lines over robust breakbeats, building to a mean synth solo in patented, psychedelic style.
Four beautiful, exceptional ambient nocturnes bloom again on a very welcome 30th anniversary reissue, newly packaged together by Grönland for the benefit of your health...
David Sylvian and Holger Czukay’s Plight + Premonition  & Flux + Mutability  bouquets remain some of the most enigmatic ambient recordings of the ‘80s since their conception at Czukay’s converted cinema studio in Köln, 1986. But, while Sylvian was ostensibly coming to record vocals for the last track on Czukay’s Rome Remains Rome LP, the legendary Can figure ended up surreptitiously recording Sylvian improvising on whatever was at hand, only stopping the recording when the results started to become too “structured”, in effect capturing moments of less conscious, more freeform expression, and preserving them for what would become some of the most spellbinding and transportive recordings in either artist’s catalogue.
Recorded during their fateful first meeting just as glasnost was beginning to thaw the cold war, the two parts of Plight + Premonition tentatively mirror this transition from the shadow of nuclear war towards open windows of possibility in the dawning mists and gently windswept synths of Plight (The Spiralling of Winter Ghosts), and the again with a genteel flush of harmonic colour perfusing shortwave radio signals and glimmering keys hinting at the promise of seductively warmer uplands in Premonition (Giant Empty Iron Vessel). On the follow-up side, Flux (A Big, Bright, Colourful World) that horizon comes clearer into view with the earthy percussion of Jaki Liebzeit joining Czukay and Sylvian to beckon the light along with Can’s Michael Karoli and woozy, Hassell-ian Flugelhorn by Markus Stockhausen, son of Karlheinz, before the lead pair calibrate a mutual vision of reserved but quietly optimistic lushness in Mutability (A New Beginning is in the Offing).
Following suit from last Christmas' 'Truant', Hyperdub present three new pieces from the shadowy producer.
It's a fine salve for seasonal woes, ripping loose with running man-style rave breaks and darkcore motifs across the dystopian sonic fiction of A-side, 'Rival Dealer', whilst the flipside reveals a whole new dimension to his sound with the soaring harmonies, twinkling chime-trees and '80s power drums of 'Hiders' and the tortuous, cinematically edited narration of 'Come Down To Us'.
The heads will have a feast picking this one apart - what's up with all the references to sexuality or his newfound penchant for FM synth sounds? - and we can practically hear the synch departments licking their lips in anticipation already… but ultimately the sincerity and delivery still brings a salty bead to the duct. You know what to do.
Demdike Stare is a long-in-the-making hookup between two shady characters operating at the fringes of Manchester's fragmented music scene: Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty.
Miles has been a longtime affiliate of Modern Love as one half of Pendle Coven and under his own MLZ alias, while Canty is one of the city's most recognisable vinyl collectors, carrying an obsession with everything from obscure Nordic Doom records to Anatolyan funk albums, fuelled by his dayjob helping out at the Finders Keepers label. The project is named after Pendle's most famous witch: Elizabeth Southerns, aka Demdike. The tracks on 'Symbiosis' are drawn from elements of Turkish, Indian, Iranian, African and West Indian film soundtracks alongside Norwegian drone records, classic House templates, punctured dub, modified techno and the arctic noise perfected by Mika Vainio.
Original sources and dense analogue experiments weave around eachother with little care for convention or stylistic expectation, instead throwing the pair's extensive musical knowledge into a set of tracks that, quite brilliantly, defy categorisation. The album opens with 'Suspicious Drone', a dense 6 minute opening that chugs a long like a malfunctioning mechanical beast, honing in on Lancashire's dark industrial landscapes before moving onto more exotic, balmy territory. 'Haxan Dub' (named after the film narrated by william burroughs about witchcraft) deploys fragmented dub echoes infused with displaced horns and African signatures, taking its time with one of the jerkiest rhythms you'll have the pleasure of hearing, before 'Jannisary' tangles in and out of an Iranian hook and a squashed Congolese rhythm that creates an asymmetric, geniusly constructed dancefloor killer.
By the time the album comes to a close with 'Ghostly Hardware' an hour later, the cycle is complete with a return to icy tundras and chugging machinations steeped in the traditions of Scandinavian machine music and pure analogue frequencies, expertly handled by those masterful technicians over at Berlin's Dubplates & Mastering.
4th Album from Andy Stott, a follow-up to 2014’s Faith In Strangers, featuring Fourth World pop variants joining the dots between Haruomi Hosono & Ryuichi Sakamoto, Newworldaquarium, Ruff Sqwad and Theo Parrish...
Too Many Voices is the fourth album from Andy Stott, recorded over the last 18 months and drawing for inspiration from the fourth-world pop of Japan’s Yellow Magic Orchestra as much as it does Triton-fuelled Grime made 25 years later. Somewhere between these two points there’s an oddly aligned vision of the future that seeps through the pores of each of the tracks. It’s a vision of the future as was once imagined; artificial, strange and immaculate.
The album opens with the harmonised, deteriorating pads of the opening Waiting For You and arcs through to the synthetic chamber-pop of the closing title track, referencing Sylvian & Sakamoto’s Bamboo Houses as much as it does the ethereal landscapes of This Mortal Coil and Dead Can Dance. In between, the climate and palette constantly shift, taking in the midnight pop of Butterflies, the humid, breathless House of First Night and the endlessly cascading Forgotten.
Longtime vocal contributor Alison Skidmore features on half the tracks, sometimes augmented by the same simulated materials; voicing the dystopian breakdown on Selfish, at others surrounded by beautiful synth washes, such as on the mercurial Over, or the dreamy, neon-lit New Romantic.
It’s all far removed from the digital synthesis and the abstracted intricacies that define much of the current electronic landscape. The same cybernetic palette is here implanted into more human form; sometimes cold, but more often thrumming with life.
Fresh outta Maccie D's, William Emmanuel Bevan aka Burial drops his 2nd solo EP of 2012 'pon Hyperdub.
Much like his 'Kindred EP', he focuses on long-form composition with two tracks hovering around the 12 minute and 14 minute mark respectively, taking license to really stretch out into fragmented, impressionistic and cinematic scapes strafed with elements of vintage hardcore, heartbreaking vocal samples and murkiest atmospheres.
Of course, you already know that, but it's great to hear him really running about as far from the club as he's ever done, leaving us with something to dance to in our bedrooms over the festive season, 'cause f*ck knows you'll want to escape inevitable repeats on the telling box.
Chilly Gonzales kinda puts everything else into perspective with this time-stopping solo piano delicacy
Delivered on his personal imprint, Gentle Threat, Chilly’s ‘Pretenderness’ teases out fleeting emotions with each flurry of keys, sure to seduce anyone who’s still smote by his now classic album, ‘Solo Piano’. All points to the full ’Solo Piano III’ suite becoming another Gonzales ace...
Beneath's Mistry label draw the best out of Batu in this quaking two-headed beast.
With each release he seems to step further into his own sound, whilst also remaining true to a shared aesthetic/tempo with peers such as Beneath, Pinch, Lurka, and most recently, L.Sae on his home-brewed Timedance label. For this headstrong mission he comes with the noisy, technoid mutation of 'Dakalb' up top, alloying radioactive subs with rusted snare crack and floor-scanning sirens to murder the dance. Backa plate, 'Collate' runs industrialized roto-toms and scooping bass with the ruddiest junglist swagger crowbarred into a 130bpm template. They're both a big look those that know.
Andy Stott has developed a unique sound since his debut for the Modern Love label back in 2005.
His first demos were heavily influenced by the square-bassline techno variations of Claro Intelecto, a longtime friend, mentor and eventually labelmate and collaborator. His first release, 'Replace' featured a mixture of disciplines that took in elements of Detroit Techno and Chicago House which fast captured peoples imagination with intuitive, warm melodies and fathomless bass weight.
From that point on Stott continued to shift and adapt his sound to take in ever disparate influences, from the driving techno of Dave Clarke's 'Red' series through to Basic Channel, Dubstep, Garage and the minimalism of classic Sahko. His restless shift from traditional Techno blueprints through to the bottom-heavy signatures of dubstep and the steppers arrangements of garage have also placed him at the forefront of the dubstepXtechno hybrid sounds that have started to dominate the electronic music scene in 2008 alongside the likes of Martyn, Peverelist and T++.
This compilation brings together selected tracks dating back to Andy Stott's debut back in 2005 and reaching all the way to his most recent material in 2008 - with none of them ever available on cd until now. Tracks feature here from the 'Replace', 'Ceramics', 'Handle With Care', 'Hostile', "Bad Landing', "Fear Of Heights', 'Massacre' and 'Nervous' EP's and stream through his fascination with deep, almost uncontainable basslines and ever inventive percussive shifts.
Standardly grim and grizzled monotone techno from Shifted’s Avian
introducing Desroi to the nest with five stealthy cuts, at best ion the Miek Parker-esque hydraulics of Lines Of Sight, the undulating turbulence of A Glimpse of Bliss, and his steely but chattering roller Dwell In Motion.
Karim Maas debuts in commanding style on UVB-76 Music, backed with a sick Huren remix
A new vent for Ruffhouse’s Tom Cooper, the Karim Maas sound operates shades away from Ruffhouse’s D&B missiles, edging a style of rolling D&B that’s equally porous to influence from noise and industrial techno.
The rolling steppers juggernaut ‘c_c_e_d’ gives a solid footing for subsequent departures into crushing sci-fi sound design on ‘Lizzard King’ and an obliterated remix of the dread rave scenes in ‘Cassette_A’ by industrial techno pioneer, Dave Foster a.k.a. Huren a.k.a. Teste.
Deeper in, ‘Zombissim’ works a murkier rut of pendulous grey area techno grit echoing the dread sentiments of Pessimist, and ‘Civilize’ takes that momentum to a logical conclusion with brute, bone rattling force.
Turbulent, gnashing techno-bass tackle from Killawatt, on a search ’n destroy mission for Tommy Four Seven’s label
‘Accupunk’ rages first with gut-socking bass hits and calloused noise to leave the dance reelin’, while ‘The Roamer’ lurches on a trampling industrial steppers’ momentum recalling recent Samuel Kerridge moves.
‘Polar Polemic’ churns with more viscous textures and pacing like a swaggering Ossia juggernaut, and ‘Glacia Systemic’ drop the energy levels into a tarry pocket of zombied bass torpor.
Summing up a palpable zeitgeist, J M S Khosah & JR Chaparro limn the feeling of ‘Global Paranoia’ on NCA’s latest killer tape...
For 60 minutes, the pair mulch a wealth of salvaged samples and original material into a groggy trip that keeps on keeping on, but with an ever looming sensation of impending fu**ry around the corner.
Smudged drum machines, electronics, hip hop instrumentals and fizzing deep house cuts are punctuated with sawn off samples likely culled from TV, radio and net Tubes, resulting a frayed patchwork of anachronisms that suggest a time out of joint, haunted by its past, and realising itself in a world of Orwellian surveillance and double speak. And that would all be really bloody depressing and reduce us to torpor if cats like Khosah and Chaparro couldn’t make us dance and chuckle at the ridiculousness of it all.
A frayed, knotty excurzion in lo-fi/dub tropics from Glasgow troupe, Grim Lusk. Imagine Golden Teacher at their loosest, most discombobulated, intersecting Vazz-like wave-pop and the cruddiest psychedelia...
“For those who are already familiar with Grim Lusk’s varied recording projects, established elements are further developed as sublimely demonstrated on the sample and loop based ‘Search’, a dub / lo-fi hip-hop excursion that shuffles and shimmers before becoming more narcotically lysergic. Free from constraints, we transcend into ‘It’s My Nature’, as all of that serotonin depletion is suddenly transformed into nutritional sustenance.
A gleaming, hallucinogenic, hypnotic collage of exotic rhythmic disco percussion patterns which blossom and take flight to the sky above like the wildlife on the front sleeve with uninhabited adventure and freedom; a luscious, evocative, beguiling anomaly. ‘Sea Club-Rush’ develops the experimental shape shifting, with a dense, sludgy quagmire of oddball techno discombobulations, before the record submerges into the deepest of voids, a k-hole induced sense of purposeful confusion and disorientation.
Depressurized as if drifting in the mysterious vacuum of space whilst subtle layers of distorted bass prod at you to keep you afloat, ‘It’s Happening’ utilises a descending Risset glissando to leave you barely clinging on to reality, almost as if you are experiencing an astral projection but trapped within a detached nightmare that you can’t escape. ‘Yes He Did’ has an infectious and killer bouncing boogie bass guitar spread over a lopsided beat which never quite settles; weaving in and out further bewitching your mind. The record culminates in the downtempo ‘Laces’, pulling you into the all-consuming squelch and pressure of the suction below; a claustrophobic suffocation that intensely builds up suspense, squeezing and melting as it develops. Reminiscent of Adrian Sherwood’s exceptional technique of incisively slicing, cutting and pasting manipulated dub / industrial percussion, ‘Laces’ works equally well at 45rpm."
Earth's Hex album, despite transgressing doom genre boundaries, turned out to be something of a touchstone for many artists in the field; its American gothic landscapes were quickly swallowed up as a new fixture in the death ambient vocabulary, and countless records seem to have been made since that have tapped into its stately Western gloom.
The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull is a natural progression from Hex, taking the same template of slow, simplistic progressions and low-end riffing whilst adding liberal smatterings of keyboard instrumentation - hardly the sort of thing you'd expect from Dylan Carson and co. Some of this material is actually rather... pretty. 'Hung On The Moon' is augmented by Steve Moore's Hammond textures and jazzy piano, transforming the repetitive doom structure into a far more interesting, matured sound, loaded with a harmonic ambiguity.
Another key additional musician is Bill Frisell, who clearly spent some time looking for his distortion pedal for his stint on this album. In amongst the riff-mongering belligerence guitar passages break loose to open up the narratives. 'Engine Of Ruin' is a particularly fine example, with an end passage decked out with arcs of vibrant string bends and expressive, melodic phrasing.
A considerable evolutionary shift, this album sounds like the work of a very different group from the more ominous, monochromatic work of their droning past.
Raw, deep and itchy techno from 1997, dished up for reissue by Prisoner of Sound Records
Originally dispatched by UK’s Ideal Trax in ’97 and now fetching a fair penny on 2nd-hand market, this reissue could hardly be more welcome to the old skool techno fraternity.
The first plate launches with the sputtering Brummie techno clatter of ‘9.2%’ and settles into slinkier grooves with the Chi-styled prance of ‘R-E-C’, and the dancing bones of ‘Fumbling 2C’.
On the 2nd plate, it’s back to jagged and wickedly off-beat techno with ‘Stringed Funk’, while ‘Dream States’ tens to a lusher Detroit style, and the mesmerisingly loose yet driving ‘H-V-CAT-R’.
An enchanting suite of ‘Early Music’ composed by John Cage and performed by Edwin Alexander Buchholz (accordion) and Joanna Becker (violin), including: ‘Dream’ ; ‘In A Landscape’ ; ‘Six Melodies’ ; and ‘Souvenir’ 
Serving to upend preconceptions of Cage being more valued for his concepts than his music, this set holds some truly magickal sound organisation that requires no prior knowledge of the artist or his ideas in order for it to be enjoyed.
The majority of’Early Music’ was first conceived in the post-WWII years, at a point when Cage had already explored prepared piano techniques and founded a long-running relationship with Merce Cunningham and her dance company, and was beginning to discover an interest in Eastern philosophy that would come to radically impact his music - prompting a change of focus from writing music as a result of composer’s ego, to a form of composition defined by chance and strongly influenced by nature, as summed in Cage’s oft used quite by Ananda Coomaraswamy - ‘The responsibility of the artist is to imitate nature in her manner of operation.”
Those works include the lushly romantic cadence of Buchholz’s Bugari Bayan Anatomic accordion in ‘Dream’ , and the more expansive, wilting melancholy of ‘In a Landscape’  - a version of which was also a highlight of Edition RZ’s ‘Klang Der Wandlungen’  compilation - before Joanna Becker duets on violin with Buchholz in the much breezier segments of ‘Six Melodies’ . For smart contrast, Cage’s ’Souvenir’ , a piece commissioned by the American Guild of Organists, who were looking for something similar to his ‘Dream’ , closes this collection with a sparser arrangement performed again by Buchholz and demonstrating the distance travelled over those 35 years with a captivating, elemental push and pull of harmonic/dissonant forces.
Michael Pisaro’s intently focussed piece, ‘An Unrhymed Chord’ performed and assembled alternately with acoustic and digital methods, respectively, by Greg Stuart and Joseph Kudirka
Greg Stuart’s acoustic percussive realisation is almost static, shimmeringly in-transition, whereas Kudirka’s digital realisation of the same composition is denser and more chaotic, thanks to its source material arriving from some 70 artists, interestingly featuring John Maus among them.
an unrhymed chord is a deceptively simple piece. from the score we see that each performer picks a single sound, sustains this sound for one to fifteen minutes in each half of the piece, and that amplitude is inversely proportional to duration. it does not seem like much in the way of instructions for a piece that lasts just over an hour. however, after I started making a realization I quickly realized how dynamic the situation the piece presents actually is. I had never heard a music quite like it: a continuously shifting harmonic mass where a sound could be clearly present, disappear, and reappear at a later point sounding markedly different. at other times the addition or subtraction of a sound would make a sound that had been present not disappear but bend slightly. all of this is accomplished by the inverse relationship between amplitude and duration, and like an elegant mathematical proof, it simply has to be this way in order to function. for this version I used a wide array of percussion instruments, household items and found objects (metal, stone, clay, ceramic and skin). all of the sounds, of which there are seventy, were made by friction—either by bow, stick or hand.
this version of an unrhymed chord was assembled from sounds supplied as audio files, sent to me by a group of musicians known to michael and myself. the only condition I placed on the contributions was that sounds were to be electronically generated in a non-performative fashion, the goal being to make this not a recording in the traditional sense, but rather a digital realization, designed to be equal in all listening environments, as none of the parts were created in a way dependent on a particular physical space or time. apart from the final mixing done by michael and I, no performers had knowledge of what the others had done. my work consisted of placing sound files in time (usually at times in accordance with very specific clock-timing instructions given by contributors), and setting their volume levels respective to one another. the volume of each part was determined by a mathematical formula suggested by the score, though some levels were changed based on perceived volume by ear.”
SKRS INTL go double deep on this platter for Bokeh Versions/No Corner, twysting the styles of their LoversDedicationStation LP and the brooding Oran Vip / BwoyTestVIP 7” into more smoked out alleys of the dance.
Their sample trigger-happy collage style is rewired to leaner, more linear 4-track structures inside, with results smudging like a dark blue clash between Mikey Dread, Prince Jammy and classic Rhythm & Sound and Pole, in effect.
Up top, RunComeTest tumbles in slow motion around an MC Escher-esque dub staircase littered with evasive samples and mad DJ chat, then FurdaMurda plumbs more gaseous depths of the echo chamber with intoxicating, weightless dynamics.
Down below, TrialByFire stokes a rooted fusion of mellifluous singjay and charred bleeps laced with natty ohrwurms, while TroubleRoundDiCorner kicks up a heady fuss of squashed 8-bit tones and vaporous FX synched perfectly with stoned minds.
Killer cover. Mint sounds. Tip it!
Proper chicanery from Copenhagen’s Mads Kjeldgaard on the excellent, Berlin-based Conditional label
Inspired by scenes of a burning car outside their flat in Paris, Mads takes a conceptual leap to emulate a state of emergency - or ‘Undtagelsestilstand’, literally; state of exception - in sound, opening a mental space where logic and known physics fly out of the window and leave the listener in a bewildering flux where “…all laws are foldable, perspectives may be modulated and time reversed in a deep, zen-like void.”
Definitely one for more intrepid listener and fans of rollercoasters, ‘States of Emergency’ sustains that sensation of suspended disbelief for 14 minutes of complex, unravelling rhythm dynamics and elusively mercurial tones in ‘DAF342wregsf’, whereas ’874uHD’ feels as though in transition from viscous plasma to intoxicating ether with a mind-bending quality that recalls recent Autechre or Meyer’s ace ’Struggle Artist’ side for Shelter Press.
Chicago’s Stave (half of Talker with Karl Meier) pelts four techno mutations on Ruffhouse’s ace UVB-76 Music
Following 12”s for Shapednoise and co’s Repitch Recordings, Trensmat, and France’s alia recordings, Stave’s ‘ATK’ session unfolds four ways between the clipped canter and impounding drones of ‘ATK’ and the brittle, shuddering mass of ‘Silva’ on the A-side, before putting his weight behind brut primitivism of ‘Ambient Out’, and the dancehall doom of ‘Undead’ on the B-side.
Laurel Halo stakes an eagerly and widely awaited return with the beguiling 4.1 world techno dimensions of 'In Situ' for Honest Jon's after cutting her teeth with highly acclaimed albums and EPs for Hippos In Tanks (R.I.P.) and Hyperdub.
Arriving two years since the Ann Arbor-quartered musician began testing a new hardware set-up on 'Chance of Rain', Laurel has refined those slightly clunky experiments here with a fluidly dextrous approach to Afro-inspired, rhythmelodic drum programming taught by psychedelic jazz and cosmic electronica.
It's a mental playground of fantastic dancefloor geometries, blooming at every angle with refreshed ideas of alien scales and hieroglyphic drum patterns designed to be deciphered by bodies in motion and heads in flight.
With nods to Afrikan Sciences, Kerry Leimer and Actress, she commands her machines with a deceptively loose sense of control, encouraging them to chatter freely, coolly, resulting in the ingneous, midnight groove formations of 'Focus I' and the future primitive techno funk of 'Drift', beside the discombobulated topographies of 'Nah' and the footworking centrifuge, 'Leaves'.
Time will tell, but this may well be one of the 2015's most impressive, nuanced collections of new electronica. A massive recommendation!
Techno don Dave Foster (Teste) follows his fecund form with a 2nd Huren mauling dispatched on Clan Destine
Physically and emotionally guttural, ‘Shitpusher Sinfonie’ finds Foster pulling away from techno proper and into more unpredictable, strung-out styles that play up to his noisy, gothic moody c*nt side.
Arriving two years after his ‘CHANGE R00M VI0LATI0N$’ tape, Huren’s latest batch is one of his most varied in memory, keening from the chopped & screwed styles of ‘[Endlostonband]’ to turgid rhythmic noise in ‘Balalaika Crypt’, and what sounds like Salem or Mark Hollis slowed 200% in the extruded blooz of ‘Immobilien Kosmiche’.
‘Spank Mag Disposal’ is a filthy black hole of head-squashing distortion, constrastin smartly with the prolapsing relief of ’Temirtau’, while ‘Поп 3итĭt¥’ comes off like a severely blunted mix of the ‘Lyubov’ bewt which closed his recent Teste 12”.
mhah mos hit square between the ears of Lord Tusk, Black Zone Myth Chant and John T. Gast on their mystically frazzled debut EP with Kinlaw’s Ceramics label
In ‘loot’ they traverse a steeply psychedelic 10 minutes of sawn-off and slowed-down voices, lysergic synth licks and whirligig rhythms that black out and collapse into mystic ambient dimensions with an abstract but absorbing logic.
With ‘gov’ mos pursues a soggier rut of slow techno chug into an increasingly thick and hazy maze of strobing chords and noisy decay that eventually breaks down under its own density to a whimpering synth voice.
Russell Haswell runs amok for Diagonal on a zinging 5-track “mini-LP” featuring, for the first time on a Haswell record, vocals; by performance artist Sue Tompkins ov Glasgow’s Life Without Buildings.
Taking cues from his formative teenage years listening to John Peel and discovering Factory, Mute and 4AD and Chicago house - prior to stints as a Christian missionary and chimney sweep at Sellafield - Haswell mangles those reverential memories as only he can in Respondent, resulting a blatz of blitzed bangers and curious aural probes making a significant new dimensions to his sound.
The highlight is undoubtedly his hook-up with Sue Tompkins, whose assertions that “records are round” nestle among more enigmatic confessions on the creased Chicago house-meets-freestyle abstraction, Special Long Version (Demo), while the runner-up prize goes to the EP’s final cut, Let Suffering Become You, which cannily opens with a sample of Jonathan Guiness being snooty about punks, then calves into the sickest acid techno bosch.
His other cuts are cool too, revealing a lesser-heard and relatively “clean” tonal aspect in the warped synthline of The Surface Is Unrevealing, and some proper DJ tackle in his lazed-misguided missile First In Man (Williams Mix).
We reckon you’ll all be coming back to that cracker with Sue Tompkins.
Funky and f**ked-up studies in DIY dance music and noise from Gunnar Wendel (Kassem Mosse) as DJ Residue for TTT
Recorded over the course of “five days in summer in an apartment with no AC in New York with random instruments found inside the apartment (a moog radioshack synth & two zildjian cymbals).”, the results are a testament to Wendel’s ingenuity and economy in making the most of what he’s got to hand.
The results resemble Powell oddities as much as the worn-down grooves of Shamos or the stoic minimalism of Thomas Brinkmann, except more lo-fi. On the A-side he roves from blank-eyed and muggy drones in ‘Blackline’ to the off-centre pump and patter of ‘Hand-Crafted Among The Stars’, and a sort of salty, needling electro-acid on ‘Triple-Arched Gateway’. On the B-side, he tramples from the discordant triage of ‘Meditation Fee’ to the pulsing slug of the title track and a sort of free jazz blatz to finish with Shallow Bowl.
Deeper, jazzier tricks from LT, carrying the vibe to RSI from earlier appearance on YAM Recordings
It’s pleasant, summery stuff with noteworthy cuts in the jazzy NYC house sensibilities of ‘Untitled (Chesney)’, and, better yet, the gauzy jungle dream sequence of ‘Forest Floor’, which sounds like a melted LTJ Bukem.
Bradley Zero and Mali Baden-Powell offer extra production on the other two tracks, a jazzy breakbeat number named ‘Mesosphere’, and ‘North Circular’.