Hanno Leichtmann (Static, Denseland, Groupshow) showcases what he can do with the Pearl Syncussion SY-1 Drum Synthesiser in two parts for The Tapeworm, who previously issued his Unfinished Portrait of Youth Today .
The follow-up to Hanno’s The Future Of Discipline collab with Valerio Tricoli follows a similarly encrypted logic. Hanno treats the drum synth as a completely malleable object not just in terms of rhythm but in terms of matter, variously melting, diffusing and re-connecting it in various states thru an ER-301 Sound Computer on recordings made at Static Music, Berlin and 4D Sound, Budapest, which were both originally presented as a sound installation at SYNCUSSION FESTIVAL, BERLIN, 2017.
Soul Jazz Records deliver a new edition of their long out of print classic first “Deutsche Elektronische Musik – Experimental German Rock and Electronic Music 1972-83” is ‘a near-definitive guide to some of the world’s most extraordinary music’ (The Guardian).
"The album comes as two separate double-vinyl releasses, featuring a stunning line-up of groups including Cluster, Can, Faust, Popol Vuh, Neu!, Amon Düül, Harmonia, La Düsseldorf and Tangerine Dream as well as a host of lesser known groups such as Kollectiv, Ibliss, Between and many more. This new edition is fully re-mastered and features all the original artwork and tracks.
The first seeds of German rock and experimental electronic music were planted in 1968, as students and workers in Paris, Prague, Mexico and throughout the world demonstrated against mainstream society, the war in Vietnam, imperialism and bourgeois values. The birth of a counter-culture, drug experimentation and social change expanded musical worlds. Germany experienced its own cultural revolution fuelled by these worldwide student and worker revolts and by a generation’s desire to rid itself of the guilt of war.
German rock and experimental electronic music grew out of this worldwide counter-cultural revolution of 1968. The objectives were to create new music, ‘free’ from the past, many German youth turning their back on mainstream society. From the opening of the first collective/cooperative, Kommune 1, in Berlin, to the formation of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group and the bombings, kidnappings and killings of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (RAF), young Germans sought out new values and a lifestyle outside of ‘the system’.
These cooperative and communal experiences led to a number of new collective German bands forming such as Amon Düül, Faust, Can (all featured here) and others and these ideals drove this new movement. A music that gave seed out of the cultural ‘nothingness’ that young Germans felt as a consequence of Germany’s role in the Second World War. A generation who grew up stifled by the recent history of Nazi atrocities, the guilt of their parents’ generation and their disillusionment at the reintegration of old Nazis into mainstream society.
Influenced equally by the electronic experimentalism of Stockhausen, the progressive rock of Pink Floyd and the black American jazz and soul music played at the occupying armed forces bases, young German artists seamlessly created out of this a new unique music with its own unique identity."
Max Richter presents a properly widescreen album befitting of the panoramic cinematography in Hostiles, a 2018 feature by directed by Scott Cooper and starring Christian Bale, set in 1892 as an evocative study of fraught relationships between Cheyenne people and the American army.
The composer himself states “The landscape is a huge part of this film”, adding that “It offers this sort of medium for the characters to find their story in, but it’s all held in this extraordinary landscape, which can be populated also by music.”
Coming off the back of Richter’s first Emmy nomination for Taboo, his Hostiles soundtrack finds the UK composer drawing from avant garde techniques in order to paint a soundscape of textures and lush orchestrations, and not just wide-angled shot littered with emotive signposts.
In a sense he’s encroaching on territory recently explored by Scott Walker’s The Childhood of a Leader and Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto’s OST for The Revenant - a sterling addition to that section of your collection, then.
Your eyes do not deceive you! Ten years since leaving us all hanging with Two/Three, Tadd Mullinx a.k.a. Dabrye gives up Three/Three, loaded with guest spots from Guilty Simpson, Doom, Ghostface Killah, Jon Wayne, Shigeto, and many mo.
As one of the original architects of the instrumental “beat scene” which emerged from late ‘90s hip hop and morphed into more electronic-based structures during the ’00s, Dabrye forged a rugged, warped new sound which would predate the lurch of half-time dubstep and influence a stack of producers such as Hud Mo and Machinedrum who’ve become key, influential producers in their own right in the years since.
After leaving the Dabrye alias c. Two/Three in 2006 to focus on his JTC and Charels Manier aliases - which, in their own way, also triggered or predated sea changes in the wider dance/electronic scenes - Tadd Mullinx picks up like he never left us with Three/Three, reprising a natty, wonky style that pretty much ignores contemporary trap/drill trends in favour of super bass-heavy and psychedelically detailed productions that match the classic steez of his vocalists.
From first listens we’re most impressed by the woozy nudge of Dr. Shroomen feat G&D, and it’s hard not to get snagged on Doom’s hooks in Lil Mufukuz, definitely Ghostface Killah’s delivery on Emancipated, which sounds like a sharp update of some Dilla/Raymond Scott flex, and easily The Appetite feat. Roc Marciano, Quelle Chris & Danny Brown on some Clipse meets Kraftwerk vibe.
Puur jazz-funk adult contemporary schmaltz.
“The comeback of the growing bin‘s favourite private german Jazz Funk gem. Spring is in the air and groove is in the heart for Hamburg’s most loveable record label. Following the freak beat festival of Wolf and Wandt’s ‘Instrumentalmusik’ comes a release that’s been in the pipeline since the organic imprint first took root; the first reissue of the beautiful ’Señora’. Beguiling and brilliant, this private press princess makes you want to dance, dream and do cartwheels, then breaks your heart when you realise you’ll never meet her - a rare beauty indeed. So it’s time to let Basso play cupid and introduce you to the love of your life.
Eagle eyed associates might recognise the sleeve as Basso’s everyday avatar, chosen in tribute to his favourite jazz-funk record of all time. Originally released in limited quantities back in 1981, the self titled ‘Señora’ was the sole release from a quartet of German groove greats, coming together in one ecstatic union of rhythmic precision, smooth riffing and melodic mastery.
Take opener ‘Paul’ for example; a continent away from the West End, this sublime slice of raw guitar, silken keys and gliding bass could have made Mel Cheren proud. From there we’re taken on a journey through the syncopated slide of the jazzy ‘My Way, Your Way’, the samba sway of the mild and mellow ‘Easy Going’ and the poetic piano of ‘Pearl’, a triumphantly esoteric tone poem to close the A-side. ‘Señora’ ups the tempo on the flipside, galloping through tight triplets, fusion guitar and mind expanding synth play. The B2 brings a strolling bassline and tender tonality, executed with all the ease of the Sunday morning which dawns on the extended and expansive cooler which brings the LP to its final emotional release. Light a candle, change the linen and put the rosé on chill, you’re about to fall in love with Señora.”
A camp as owt disco cover of Anarchy in the UK, anyone? We’ll have a double scoop, please! Hinge Finger keep it perfectly unpredictable with Thomas Bullock a.k.a. Tom Of England’s Care To Destroy following in a similar vein to the TTT issue of Bullion’s Blue Pedro, but serving an even saltier lick of pop nostalgia.
The conga and chicken scratch guitar-loaded original cut a saucy figure across the front, primed to turn any club into your parent’s living room circa ’79, with Babycham and vol au vents all over the shagpile. It’s a lot of novelty fun, though, and backed with the Skull Snapz style breaks of The Mammal meets Crazy Girl and the claggy practice room jam Sensitive Man feat. Bobbie Rene, Jaspar Sharp and Charlie Uzzell.
It’s f*cking daft but lots of fun.
Coil member Stephen Thrower’s super sought-after score for gay porno Trouser Bar lands on vinyl in wake of the film’s long overdue release, backed with three works taken from his soundtracks to Peter De Rome short films, Fragments  and Peter De Rome: Grandfather of Gay Porn .
As the story goes, in 1976 Peter De Rome was sent a screenplay by a friend who may or may not be named Wakefield Poole, the same who directed Boys In The Sand , which is considered the first ever cross-over gay porn flick. Fast forward to 2007, and De Rome mentions the unmade screenplay in an interview with David McGillivray. In 2014 De Rome, who couldn’t be persuaded to make the film, dies. The project is picked up by McGillivray, who casts Julian Clarey among others, as well as requesting a soundtrack from renowned cineaste Stephen Thrower.
Set in 1976, Thrower played to the sceenplay with 20 minutes of disco indebted to Donna Summer, Chic and Cerrone, contained on the A-side of this pressing. As you might expect from someone who was in Coil, and writing for a gay porn film, the results aren’t exactly boring, as Thrower injects some wicked FX, singing synths and tempo changes into the mix for a sound as close to amyl-fuelled NYC disco as Berlin school synth music.
Meanwhile, the B-side tracks are smokier, downbeat and more porous to Thrower and De Rome’s broad listening tastes, opening with the stylish jazzy sleaze of Fire Island Kids Pt.1i, taking in the creamy psychedelia of Encounter, and closing with the flaring synth brass of Fire Island Kids Pt.2.
Sean McCann’s Recital leave us in an altered state with Pretty As Ever, combining two records by the great Loren Mazzacane Connors for optimal emotional punishment with susceptible listeners and wounded lovers.
Ghostly as any Connors release, the spirits are felt super strongly on this one, taking songs originally issued on Sails [Table of the Elements, 2005] and The Little Match Girl [Road Cone, 2001] and slightly reshuffling them for a heart-rending effect which is only enhanced thru the addition of the artist’s own book of haunting pencil drawings of “Suzanne” and his succinct take on a classic tale set on Christmas Eve.
The A-side’s Pretty As Ever parts are just devastatingly intimate, like listening to an old friend unclamming about a failed relationship, while the B-side songs are just gut punchingly stark and eviscerating, barely even in the room with you. It’s the rawest emotion, distilled on black plastic.
Fascinating compilation review on Tel Aviv´s New Music Scene...
"Rothschild 12" operated between 2009 and 2017 in the heart of Tel-Aviv, near the bustling intersection of Herzl street and Rothschild boulevard. Located on the ground floor of an elegant eclectic-style building which was built by Mr. Abraham Fogel exactly 100 years before it opened, "Rothschild 12″ began as an art gallery and quickly became a popular relaxed café and bar. While its front terrace faced the hustle and bustle of the city's main boulevard, in its back room "Rothschild 12" hosted nightly live shows by a variety of established as well as up and coming independent musicians.
What started off as improvised jam sessions soon developed into a full program ranging from jazz and rock to world music, hip hop and electronica. Now that "Rothschild 12″ is relocating to a new venue on Herzl street, it is time for a summary – a snapshot of the musical diversity which filled its walls – in the form of the compilation you are now holding. This musical summary of "Rothschild 12" brings together a modern remix to a pioneering Israeli-Yemenite disco number from the seventies, a bundle of colourful and psychedelic beats..."
Craig Clouse’s restless Shit & Shine plop another steamer for 2017 after already shredding our guts to bits with Some People Really Know How To Live and the raucous Total $hit.
This time they return to Rocket Recordings, site of their great split with Gnod in 2012, for a three part dirty protest against boredom, corralling samples from The Fast Show with grinding noise techno rhythms and amorphous distortion in the destructive slog of That’s Enough, before Simon Cowell and a feisty Pop Idol contestant open up the acidic wormhole of The Worst, and I Like You betty launches a spring loaded sort of hardstep D&B noise assault.
A pair of total synth-boogie pearls from South Africa, 1986!
Just clap ears on the blazing vocal and big juicy digital basin on Smile and you’ll be grinning era to ear, while Nobody To Love nails a slightly moodier but resolute vibe with positive vocal harmonies and killer marimba vamps. All remastered to sound as fresh as it did in 1986. Scorchers!
One of Sun Ra’s most celebrated celestial bodies returns to orbit on vinyl via Art Yard. This is Sun Ra doing cosmic disco jazz as only he and the Arekestra can. A true perennial...
“On Jupiter is near ideal as an introduction to the musical worlds of Sun Ra. It has a magical mix of colours from Sun Ra’s varied palette. Beneath its compelling surface lie many layers of musical detail, and numerous hints as to where Sun Ra was coming from and where he was heading. It combines real depth with beauty and hits you the first time you hear it. On Jupiter represents Sun Ra’s closest encounter with the world of disco. In the late 1970s he made other albums which also gesture in this direction – Lanquidity has a jazzrock feel while remaining firmly part of the Ra omniverse, this is true too of Disco 3000 despite its title. On Jupiter really has only one track which fits the ‘disco’ tag – “UFO” – but this piece is such a strong statement that it becomes the centre of gravity of the album. This has meant that the other tracks here have been somewhat overlooked.
“Seductive Fantasy” is a fine performance, with a rare chance to hear James Jacson’s bassoon in both its opening and closing stages. “Seductive Fantasy” has an ensemble theme stated twice during the performance, featuring John Gilmore, who also offers a very fine tenor solo. Before this there is a fine understated solo by a baritone saxophonist, as well as contributions from Marshall Allen on oboe, electric guitars and bass. There is a cameo for Eloe Omoe’s bass clarinet, and towards the end of the piece unidentified arco string players make an appearance.
There is much excellent Sun Ra piano to be heard throughout the whole of “Seductive Fantasy”. The title track, “On Jupiter”, features Marshall Allen’s oboe and Sun Ra’s piano, along with guitars and bass and multi-layered percussion. This is the first appearance on record of this piece, afterwards to remain a frequently performed item in the Arkestra’s book. “UFO” bursts into life with the full Arkestra in disco mode, and contains solos from John Gilmore, Taylor Richardson and Michael Ray. “UFO” is one of those pieces which Sun Ra seems to have added to the band’s book only for a short time, after which he left it alone. This is its second known appearance, the only others being from a few concerts, all within a few months of each other in mid 1979. This studio recording was made around May 1979, according to drummer Samarai Celestial, who identifies it as predating his tenure with the Arkestra – he plays on the other two pieces on the album, recorded in October that year.
Sun Ra would reportedly rehearse his band to the point of exhaustion, but in the studio his was usually a one-take approach, close to a concert performance. This did not necessarily mean that every album appeared in the form it was recorded. On Jupiter, like Lanquidity (but unlike Disco 3000, essentially a live recording) owes a lot of its final sound to post-production. The album was mixed by Michael Ray, who layered in prerecorded material with that produced in the studio – Sun Ra sent Ray back to the Arkestra base during the mixing session, and Ray returned with “a handful of tapes”. Close listening would suggest that some of the guitar and percussion and possibly some vocals were added in this way."
Nonesuch presents the début release of two major new Steve Reich works; Pulse , performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, and Quartet  played by the Colin Currie Group, who both, respectively, gave the world premiere performances of these pieces.
“Reich says, “Pulse, for winds, strings, piano and electric bass, was completed in 2015 and was, in part, a reaction to Quartet, in which I changed keys more frequently than in any previous work. In Pulse I felt the need to stay put harmonically and spin out smoother wind and string melodic lines in canon over a constant pulse in the electric bass and or piano. From time to time this constant pulse is accented differently through changing hand alternation patterns on the piano. All in all, a calmer more contemplative piece.”
He continues, “Quartet, when mentioned in the context of concert music, is generally assumed to mean string quartet. In my case, the quartet that has played a central role in many of my pieces (besides the string quartet) is that of two pianos and two percussion. It appears like that or in expanded form with more pianos or more percussion in The Desert Music; Sextet; Three Movements; The Four Sections; The Cave; Dance Patterns; Three Tales; You Are (Variations); Variations For Vibes, Pianos and Strings; Daniel Variations; Double Sextet; and Radio Rewrite. In Quartet, there is just this group alone: two vibes and two pianos.
“The piece is one of the more complex I have composed. It frequently changes key and often breaks off continuity to pause or take up new material. Though the parts are not unduly difficult, it calls for a high level of ensemble virtuosity. The form is one familiar throughout history: fast, slow, fast, played without pause. The slow movement introduces harmonies not usually found in my music.”
One of Rob Hood’s most in-demand 12”s comes back around for a necessary repress over 20 years since original release.
As The Vision, Rob Hood provided Detroit techno a pinnacle of the artform. It may be justifiably best known for the lip-bitingly strong minimalist transport of Detroit: One Circle with its sparing central refrain “Detroit” and spine-playing riffage, or for the killer Explain The Style variant, but for us the EP’s shortest and freakiest number Modern And Ancient is also one of its strongest, a mad, half-stepping slice of Afro-futurist electro encryption that still blows our mind today.
Perfect record. 10 outta 10.
A mad proto-industrial Italian library rarity from one of its scant few female artists, Binsy’s eponymous suite is the definition of a holy grail. It’s now been exhumed and revived by Cabiria Records more than 40 years since original release by Phonotype Record, over which time it’s become one of the most obscure library gems imaginable - and we place emphasis on the gem part; it’s not just another one for the collectors!
In her time Miriam Bordoni a.k.a. Binsy was among a handful of female artist working within the Italian library music world, with credits on the same records as Egisto Macchi and Ennio Morricone. With hindsight, we can now hear that her music as Binsy however stood out from the crowd, pursuing an expressive mix of sci-fi space music themes, strange vocal processing and pulsating rhythms that leave a lot of other guys in her scene for dust.
The first side feels like an initiation of sorts, as she dispenses a number of creepy waltzes remisncent of early Kraftwerk or E.M.A.K., along with clanking mechanical folk dances and unmissable works of vocal abstraction and salinated proto-Drexciyan styles, before the B-side properly goes in with a blinding display of atemporal rhythms, cascading bleeps and atonalities practically worth the price of admission alone.
Don’t sleep on this one!
Hanz hits up Tri Angle with part 2 of his Plasty session
Veering from mutant swing techno in Number One Stain and the febrile cut-up The Approach, to take in his favoured drum breaks on Psychic Dog, whilst Fifty Yard Stare and Clutched recall the CDJazz of OAHT, and Three Min Surgery hearkens back to late ‘90s NYC illbient.
Mule Musiq move with the times to, erm, the ‘80s, via Studiomule’s superb cover version of Taeko Onuki’s exquisite Japanese disco classic Carnaval , with Taeko’s role overtaken by model/singer Miyako Koda of Dip In The Pool.
The A-side is a sharpened-up rework of the 1980 original, buffed up with a sharpness and playful digital quality that sounds from slightly later in the ‘80s, but was written in 2017. On the B-side’s extended edit, Kuniyuki Takahashi, leader of the Studiomule’s rotating assembly, tweaks the groove to a steadier, disco-house-compatible pulse again lit up with Miyako’s vox.
~raw débuts with the squashed torque and thistly textures of Hyperlucid, which ruggedly benefits from mixing by Nino Pedone a.k.a. Shapednoise.
In four parts Francesco G. Gagliardi shapeshifts industrial and traditional forms in an immersive session segueing sloshing rhythms, fragrant Indian vocal samples and coruscating noise in Enathenai to something emulating the effect of being buried alive while under sleep paralysis in Hypnagogia, whereas Bright Star recalls to us an atrophied contraction of its breakcore namesake, the Fennesz remix of Pure & Christoph Fringeli’s Darkstar, and Subsists A Presence of Midnight scratches out eviscerated industrial rhythms before giving it up to a haunted chorale and caustic atmospheric disturbances.
“The Hyperlucid Gaze hides in waking dreams where the foundations of perception are laid. This corrupted society has fed the eye with tantalizing, soulless imagery and the mind has absorbed it all, seeping into the corroding, disheartened body.
If the eyes would instead turn skywards, to gaze upon the cascade of lights, those sparks of memories where the spirit resides, then a freshly drawn reminiscence of previously perceived dimensions would be revealed.
Francesco G. Gagliardi aka ~raw is a Milan-based creative coder and sound explorer. The tracks in this suite were recorded with a self-built cello-like spring instrument. Subsists A Presence of Midnight sample an unreleased track from Left Side of Lower Jaw. Mixed by Nino Pedone (Shapednoise).”
Terre Thaemlitz and Robin Rimbaud feature in quiet, abstract musical dialogue on the 2nd Premature Records release, which also includes a remix from label owner Ben Galyas.
On Terre loves Robin the artists also known as DJ Sprinkles and Scanner render a side of timbral thizz and low end fluctuations nestling soft piano keys and crackle like a fragment of some joint project between The Caretaker and William Basinski.
Ben Galyas sweetly reads between the lines with his Cloud Version, expanding the cut to the peripheries of the soundsphere resulting high register prickles and bottom end disturbances stressing the original’s quiet, receding beauty.
The title says it all; this is 100% road-level grit from Toni Moralez for Germany’s FTP (FreiTanzPlatten)
Dispensing proper bullets in the dance mani-styled perc of Ghetto Techno, then Detroit it flavour in the 313tro Mix, and the spanking snares and swerving synth torque of I’m From Detroit, while the B-side brings heavyweight wears in the pendulous 313 (MRg Mix) and makes ‘em go like a prime steed in the R&Booty jam Pony (313 Mixx).
M.E.S.H., Peder Mannerfelt and Kangding Ray remix the 2nd EP from Aleksandra Grünholz’ We Will Fail.
The pent techno rolige of the original come reworked as a hard-nosed grimy techno ruction by Fever Ray-producer Peder Mannerfelt, while Kangding Ray takes Night for a teched out darkside joyride, and M.E.S.H. impresses most with an anxiety-inducing scuff-up of the same cut full of unsteady rhythms and scratchy electronics.
Shed puts his back into a pair of high-velocity techno bombs under his lesser spotted Equalized guize.
A-side is a bunker-pounding peak time ace on the edge of early ‘90s KMS styles; B-side starts out tunnelling, hypnotic then rolls out with ruder, undulating swagger, all packing that trusted Shed production touch.
Sharp-shooting bubblers from Jackie Mittoo
Coaxing out the funkiest organ vamps and strutting disco-dub groove with The Sniper, backed by Mittoo’s turn on King Tubby & The Aggrovators’ reeling Dub Fi Gwan.
American painter and musician Tor Lundvall presents a time-stopping new album on NYC’s Dais Records.
Just as the sublime lead single Quiet Rooms promised, the full album is a beautifully measured dream sequence of ambient electronics, finding the artist tentatively balancing pastoral atmospheric themes with more introspective, cold and lonely feels, weaving sparingly used vocals into somnambulant scenes fringed with a sort of gothic air of decadence/despair.
It reminds us of tonnes of stuff ranging from Signer to Deepchord’s Coldest Season thru to Closer Musik, HTRK, Hood or Alessandro Cortini - basically really lovely ambient electronica with poised, etheric vocals.
Kinda hard to ignore this one.
Stunning, revelatory set of sweeping electronic composition by the late Mitar Subotić, a.k.a. Rex Ilusivii (The King of Illusions), dug out by Salon Des Amateurs resident Vladimir Ivkovic to mint his Offen Music imprint.
'In The Moon Cage' captures six lush and spellbinding shots of previously unheard material realised by the Serbian producer circa 1988, framing a vast, digitally-rendered world perfused with Eastern-enchanted vocals, amorphous synth scapes, balearic bird calls and plangent ambient guitar work tripping lines between abstract, esoteric styles best associated with Coil, Muslimgauze, or even JG Thirlwell.
Like many other listeners, this is our first introduction to the work of Subotić, who was born in the Former People's Republic of Yugoslavia before latterly transferring his lauded production skills to Brazil, where he died in a studio fire in 1999 on the eve of release for his 'São Paulo Confessions' LP as Suba.
What remains with 'In The Moon Cage' marks him out as a sorely missed talent, mixing classical training and a keen taste for cutting-edge sounds with a timeless spirit, manifest in a spatially diffuse, yet intensely emotive and detailed sound. Kudos to Offen Music for rescuing this collection from obscurity, it's a real beauty.
Czarface meets Metal Face is the 1st album with MF Doom’s name at the top this decade, arriving nearly 30 years since he arrived with 3rd Bass and K.M.D.. No biggy, eh? Safe to say it’s a heavy satisfying return from one of hip hop’s most enduringly consistent underground characters.
Reprising his hookup with Inspectah Deck (Wu Tang), 7L & Esoteric’s Czarface after their Ka-Bang 10” in 2015, the metal faced one drops legit heat on a selection of beats that could have feasibly appeared on the Special Blends instrumental cookbooks, lacing classic boom bap with choice samples and in a way that’s bound to light up Joe Budden, but may sound a bit verbose to a new generation of hip hop fiends who are perhaps more accustomed to monosyllabic hooks and trap trills.
Killer suite of Ruhr region night slugs from Detlef Weinrich (Tolouse Low Trax) and Viktoria Wehrmeister (La! Neu?), mixed and edited by Kunstkopf’s Gordon Pohl and clad in designs by Jan Wagner, director of the Filmwerkstatt in Düsseldorf.
The follow-up to Often Music’s reissue of Serbian synth obscurity In The Moon Cage by Rex Ilusivii follows darker paths into narcotically grinding industrial rhythm and noxious atmospheres humanised by the vocals of Viktoria Wehrmeister, a Mexican sculptor who was last spotted singing in Klaus Dinger’s La! Neu? group of the ‘90s.
Six tracks absorb and reflect the heavy industrial landscapes and history of their locale to convey a raw, austere and shadowy sound strung out between the overworked machinery of The Hill and the burned-out bogle of Comida para Todos, taking in the pensile industrial dubbing of Laquella and swanging tribal slop of Quedarte en route.
Seriously stylish business, don’t expect this to stick around…
Remarkably dextrous grooves from Berlin-based Iranian tombak virtuoso Mohammad Reza Mortazavi, issued by Portugal’s Padre Himalaya.
Mortazavi pursues polymetric spirits deep into the rhythmatrix, using his preternaturally honed classic skills, plus over 30 new self-developed striking and finger techniques which have revolutionised tombak performance, to reprogram the listener’s sense of timing and proprioception in-the-moment.
It’s an absolute pleasure to even attempt to follow and anticipate these flurries and inventive syncopations, which seem to cascade from the player in a complexity that sounds like more than two hands on the drum. In an important way, these are the kind of patterns and emotionally informed playing that a computer could never recreate, although we’d love to hear somebody giving it a crack.
Drum Thing explores a percussive fetish for Trax Couture
Holding down bubbling claves and natty hooks reminding of Leonce in Switchfoot, whereas Stutter and Hakone have an almost Gqom-flavour to their skeletal swang, and Come Up recalls NKC’s stripped down club tools for Her Records.
Uniquely wicked package from Lisbon’s Príncipe label, hustling cuts from DJ K30, DJ NinOo and Puto Anderson under the crew’s mantle, Firma do Txiga, which translates to english as something like “Come Close”, and coolly signifies the set of ideals which ties their styles together.
After shots dispatched on the Cargaa 3 and Mambos Levis D’Outro Mundo compilations, K30 steps to his solo debut plate with the most mercurial vibes of all three. A-side he explores “a more synthetic approach to the syncopated PALOP sound of the streets, a sort of avant-garde technoid expression of the bated identity” with four mercurial grooves dancing from the plasmic string licks and syrupy bump of Era Uma Ve(z) to curdled organ riffs and nimble drums in Hora da Casa and one rot the oddly stark turn of System and the BIG highlight of warped techno chords, thizzing pads and brittle shuffle in Melodias do K30.
DJ NinOo follows with a deeply sweet but rugged pair on his plate, forming a perfect introduction tot he world at large with the Moments In Love-styled choral voices and downtempo romance of Ambientes Leves backed by the wistfully dusky and up-shuffled bustle of Saudades do Russel, before Puto Anderson charges up the final plate with two archival zingers; the hypnotic pressure of Éh Brincadira and the completely inimitable, scuffling woodblock cadence and parry of Gritos do Infinito, which is surely one of the maddest, distinctive grooves we’ve heard in years.
A total no brainer, this. Highly recommended!
In advance of E Ruscha V’s Who Are You album, NYC's Beats In Space give up the title track reworked in collaboration with english pastoral ambient-pop type, Woo, who chimes in sweetly with the original’s gently melting vibe, while their dub reels and peals off in lysergic flutters.
Yet another blinder from Príncipe and Lisbon’s enviably talented pool of producers: the solo debut of whacked out and infectious metakuduro from Normal Nada.
From what we’ve encountered so far, this is Príncipe’s maddest release, effortlessly covering everything from nagging futurist folk dance in Aurabi to a string of giddily joyful, tumultuous 150bpm bangers, plus the techno/funky-compatible aerodynamics of Azouse-1 and what sounds like Richard D. James-era AFX doing Afro-latin style in Tarraxinha Da Calopsita v2.
Yally is a new project from Raime, designed to "explore Bass Futures indiscriminately”. The release inaugurates 12 x 12, a new series of one-sided releases from Boomkat Editions which will run over the next few months. We’ve asked twelve of our favourite artists (old and new) to contribute a release each to the series, the first instalment featuring two scudding, killer steppers productions from Raime’s expert bladesmen, Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead, moonlighting here for the first time under a new alias on a rare away-day from Blackest Ever Black.
With a deep blue, skunked-out appeal right on the lip of late ’90s garage and early ’00s grime, London’s dankest duo compound, reflect and relieve the choking intensity of their recent 2nd album Tooth on the paranoid bruiser Burnt and its dread inversion Sudo, making up their most ‘floor-dedicated session in more than five years of operations.
Toeing a line in the shadows between nervy but enervated, crushed and high, both cuts transpose the indelible impression of raving in a very different London landscape - pre-smoking ban and extreme financial bifurcation - with a patently shocking sense of economy and pressure that feels as vitally subversive as ever in the face of current capitalist realism.
Drawn from muscle memory of 2-step’s transition from champagne-soaked knees-up into paradoxically dense but spacious, stoned and impending sound designs, they form a sort of coming-to-terms with that epoch’s innovations in much the same way that their Moin releases firmly grappled with inextinguishable influence from the studio genius of Steve Albini and This Heat.
Burnt pins us by the windpipe with Stanley shanked hi-hats and ratty claps whilst cavernous, amorphous subs bruise flesh and dislocated yelps of pleasure/pain break thru rictus jaws. Think El-B or Hatcha echoing out of a graveyard slot on pirate radio circa ’03. With Sudo they pronate on the tightest, simmering halfstep; harnessing illicitly overloaded, vintage Air Max PSI allowance with shoulder rolling organ motif and nerve-tying ligature, perhaps imagining the pre-echoes of earliest Hyperdub or a Black Ops joint that even Jon E Cash was too shook to issue.
Boomkat Editions began life in 2012 as an occasional series of diverse releases pressed up in limited runs and not tied down to any particular genre. Coming into the label’s fifth year, and Boomkat’s 20th year of selling independent records, the BK12X12 series will host a series of what we consider to be crucial platters from our favourite artists; producers and musicians who have defined, expanded and soundtracked modern musical spheres beyond the mainstream.
Mystical, mesmerising jakk trax by Portuguese brethren, Photonz - one of the early releases on one of 2013's finest imprints, Príncipe.
Originally released in 2011, these two trax depict Photonz at their most epic and stellar, stretching out over 11 minutes of roiling 303, lush pads, discordant electronics and 'floor-screwing darkside drops in 'WEO', and churning up a mind-melting mix of body-tugging drums, squirrelly synths and oceanside atmosphere in the ten minutes of 'Chunk Hiss'.
Lifted is a stellar new project sparked off by Matthew Papich (Co La) and Future Times overlord Max D for PAN.
Realised and rendered together with Jordan GCZ and Gigi Masin, among others, their debut LP '1' is an elegant exercise in breaking free of the grid, consolidating a spectrum of congruent ideas and idiosyncratic styles with a beautifully communal spirit putting a contemporary spin on the freedoms of '70s jazz fusion. From initial studio sessions recorded by Matthew and Max in their respective Baltimore and Washington DC studios, they incorporate synth and piano overdubs dialled in from Amsterdam and Venice, hashing out an inter-continental web of hyaline electronics, jazz ballistics and alien dance patterns that surprises and delights with every turn.
Stepping into vividly new territory with the fractious post-footwork spurts of '3D', their kaleidoscopic world twists between the sheer computer jazz fusions of 'Intoo' and visionary 4.1 World house in 'Total Care Zero', glyding on the digitally creamed quintessence of 'Bell Slide' to the intra-dimensional ambience of Gigi Masin's keys and Papich's 3D FX in 'Silver', and adroit Afro-futurist jazz in 'Mint' starring 1432R co-founder Dawit Eklund on bass + synth. On a lysergic level of production detail, '1' is up there with Pete Kember's work on the recent Panda Bear album, but the dextrous grooves and intoxicating jazz vibes place it over the horizon, just beyond Move D's classic Conjoint project or Detroit's Urban Tribe classics.
That's our summer listening sorted, then!
Frankly, Lisbon’s Príncipe are just showing off with this fever-inducing 23-track showcase of their full crew in heaviest effect; including stacks of label debuts and strong showings from their core players.
Mambos Levis D’Outro Mundo is accompanied by a quote from Guinea-Bissauan and Cape Verdean liberationist Amílcar Cabral, which points to the label’s social-democratic ideals and is worth reposting here:
“As to strategy, we learned in the struggle; some people think that we adopted a foreign method, or something like this. Our principle is that each people have to create its own struggle. Naturally, we have something to learn from the experience that can be adapted to the real situation of the country. But we bettered our struggle in the culture of our people, in the realities of our country, historical, economical, cultural, etc, and we developed the struggle, supported by our people which is the first and main condition: the support of the people.”
Within that spirit of independence and celebrating the reality of cultural struggle, the set approaches the ‘floor - an unparalleled site for cataylsing cultural expression - from myriad angles, flipping from wild-eyed, raving futurism in DJ Lycox’s Dor Do Koto to the aerobic mysticism of Swaramgami from the scene’s pivotal producer DJ Marfox, to whacked-out techno by Niagara, whilst also making enchanting introductions to the breezed out roll of Dadifox or the Gqom-like darkside hustle of DJ Safari’s Tempo Do Xakazulu, and the romantic flex of DJ Ninoo & DJ Wayne.
Basically there’s loads of reasons you need this lot in your life. Highly recommended!
Vladimir Ivkovic’s excellent Offen Music present a superb, long-lost album by Mitar Subotić a.k.a Suba, a Serbian producer who moved to Brazil in the ‘90s after making amazing, cinematic records as Rex Ilusivii, and whom sadly died in 1999 when on the cusp of becoming one of Brazil’s most prominent producers. If you’ve been following Offen Music’s amazing records by Toresch and Rex Ilusivii, fell hard for that CultureClash LP on Lost Futures, love Muslimgauze, or hanker for lush ’90s vibes that you’ve never heard before, this one’s a total must-check!
Originally realised in 1995 at Suba’s Wah Wah Studio in São Paolo, Brazil, only shortly after the release of Subotić’s album as part of the Angel’s Breath duo with Milan Mladenović, Wayang discretely echoed that album’s esoteric pop themes and, at the time, was intended as Suba’s début release. For reasons undisclosed, the album was shelved in the archive, and he eventually released São Paolo Confessions in 1999 as the first Suba album, proper.
It may have taken over 20 years, but Wayang now finally finds its audience, and at a time when the scene has been perfectly massaged by waves of interim reissues and especially the DJs sets of Vladimir Ivkovic and Lena Willikens, whose shared rhythmic senses find a lot of common roots in this record. From the almost-junglist temporality of its opening cut, thru flashes of tribal rhythmic psychedelia, to passages of arcane incantation and some blindingly avant arrangement strategy, Suba proves he is a visionary artist and storyteller with tales for days.
After swirling our swedes for the last few months, we can assure you that Wayang is a distinctly psychotropic episode from a richly imaginative producer, with a proper play it again and again factor that hasn’t diminished since we first heard it.
Sub Rosa’s vital Early Electronic Series yields a fascinating and unprecedented collection of Indonesian Electronic Music 1979-1992 with the 1st survey of work by Otto Sidharta; a graduate of music composition at Jakarta Institute of Arts, electronic music composition at Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam, and recently a doctorate from Institute Seni Indonesia Surakarta.
A pioneering figure within Indonesian Electronic Music since his début composition Ngendau , Sidharta has operated amid a small network of prism pushers in relative seclusion from the power centres of electronic music for nigh on 40 years. Since the start of his oeuvre, Sidharta’s work has been concerned with environmental sounds, integrating natural and electronic sources in a way that could be said to reflect the sound ecology of his home land as much as his personal imagination.
As the first collection to reveal Sidharta’s work beyond his home country, this set serves an increasingly rare encounter by revealing a hitherto un or little-known, yet fully formed and genuinely new, perspective on electronic music ranging from deliquescent gong works to dense blocks of gamelan abstraction, computerised chimes and totally unearthly oddities.
Make no mistake though, this isn’t some sort of Hassell-esque 4th world simulation or recreation of traditional music with plugged-in means. Rather, it’s better regarded as a fine mix of academic rigour and methodical electronic music techniques realised at the service of romantic, esoteric notions of space and place; vividly conveying sensations of heat, psychedelia, violence - both natural and political - with an immersively dreamlike effect from both within and post Soeharto’s brutal dictatorship.
Simply, if 4th world music is too fluffy for ya, but you like its Eastern-oriented ideas of new tunings, rhythms, imaginary spaces, this one is strongly recommended, especially to fans of Coil, Rashad Becker, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Pauline Oliveros.
Cottam returns to FCR with a more fleshed-out release that takes his signature Deep-House into new territories. ‘Locked In The Groove’ is a three track EP with lashings of Disco, Funk, Dub and South-Asian influences, broadening the palette of Cottam’s already eclectic releases.
"The title track is a solid continuation on Cottam’s previous FCR release, ‘I Can’t Carry On’, while it’s just as progressive in structure and instrumentation, ‘Locked in the Groove’ feels lighter in tone and more playful with its slomo-disco drums, funk bass and waves of filtered samples. Impossible to fully unpack in one listen, Cottam once again boasts his skill of fleshing out a groove with plenty of intricacies that require repeat listens.
Both tracks on the B-Side flaunt the meditative side of Cottam’s productions. The aptly named ‘Sample Heavy Dub’ displays the producers tentative use of percussion amongst a whirring drone that feels more like the soundtrack to a tribal ritual than a club tune. Like most Cottam tracks, the lengthy duration of ‘Sample Heavy Dub’ flies by as if time had stood still. The EP finishes with ‘Dreaming of Another Place’, a brilliantly paced track that recalls ‘Pink’ Era Four Tet after too many painkillers. Underpinned by a wildly organic beat, the subdued dub brass and mystifying vocal sample constructs a haze in which the EP slowly fades away into the memory of the listener and stays there.”
Lone follows the more wayward trajectories of the Levitate  LP with his first EP in three years, coolly catering to the deeper house ‘floors in two parts, plus a lovely ambient bit.
From the front Mind’s Eye unfurls an effortlessly lush vision of early deep house styles, remaining the depth of Dream 2 Science’s sub-loaded NYC classics with a touch of early AGCG percussive nous and Larry Heard jazziness, but all withing a widely spacious swirling mix that’s sweetly 2017.
On the other hand, Looking Glass locates a smart balance of gruffer, Detroit-styled groove with cascading chromatic electronics and tangy synth jabs, straddling a finer line between debonaire and rudeness, whilst the whisked froth of Under Cherry Blossoms (Mind’s Eye Reprise) lets you know he’s definitely a sweet-lad at heart.
Following the much needed reissue of his classic Loop-finding-jazz-records earlier this year, Jan Jelinek returns to his Faitiche label to further develop the sonic fiction surrounding his occasional muse and potential alter ego Ursula Bogner.
Jan Jelinek put together a first album from Bogner’s tape archive a decade ago, followed in 2011 by a second volume compiled by Andrew Pekler. For Winkel Pong the tape archive was passed on to Lucrecia Dalt. The Berlin-based Colombian sound artist and musician chose three tracks from the 1980s (exact dates unknown), editing the tape recordings for their release on Winkel Pong.
Gudrun Gut (Malaria!, Einstürzende Neubauten), an activist and reluctant chronicler of Berlin’s underground scene since the 1980s, has worked with Lucrecia Dalt. She is also familiar with Ursula Bogner’s work. Reason enough to ask her for an interview:
Jan Jelinek: Gudrun, how does it feel to be constantly obliged to talk about the 1980s Berlin underground as someone who was there at the time?
Gudrun Gut: I’ve learned to live with it as there are clearly too few people who witnessed it first-hand. Maybe it’s even important to do these interviews as a woman – so that someone actually says that women, too, have written music history. Men tend not to mention this. But it’s true, people do always ask the same questions.
JJ: Did you know about Ursula Bogner in the 1980s? Did you ever meet her?
GG: No, I never met Ursula Bogner in person and I only discovered her in 2008 thanks to Faitiche. But that’s no surprise: firstly, I don’t know every single woman artist, and secondly, far too many women artists never see the light of day. In the male-dominated art and music market, women are not considered important – or worse still, they are not understood. Look at artists like Sonia Delaunay, Eva Hesse, Bebe Baron, Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram. Some of them have now been discovered – but only recently. A lot has changed in the last few years: there is a growing awareness of art and music made by women.
JJ: But isn’t it annoying that the conventional distribution of roles still applies? One example: in many articles, Ursula Bogner has been presented as an “electronic housewife”.
GG: When Ursula Bogner is referred to as an electronic housewife, then sadly that reflects the situation of many women artists at the time. Women could only pursue artistic activities in private – transcendence was reserved for men. This has still not been overcome. But today, the home has become a site of professional production for all. I’m talking about bedroom producers: it is totally normal to make art and music at home. And that makes things interesting, because “working at home” is no longer associated solely with women.
JJ: For Winkel Pong, Lucrecia Dalt compiled and remixed three pieces from the Bogner archive. You know Lucrecia and you’ve already worked with her. How did you meet?
GG: I met Lucrecia through MySpace – I think it was 2007. Back then she was still living in Medellin, Colombia. Lucrecia’s father made loop machines for her that she still uses. The Sound of Lucrecia was part of my 4 Women no Cry compilation series on Monika Enterprise, each with four producers from different countries. She’s great fun to watch as a performer because she has a unique sense of rhythm and feel for music. Above all I’m impressed by her sustained approach as an artist, someone who can and does think around corners. I’m thinking specifically of her album Ou, for which she ploughed her way through post-war German cinema, using it as a source of inspiration for a soundtrack. This is proof that she thinks like an engineer – so it makes perfect sense that she would want to explore the work of Ursula Bogner.
Subtly rewarding, super minimalistic works for guitar and loop pedal, respectively touching on strung-out narcotic scapes and quivering timbral studies...
“Alessandra Novaga delivers a stunning LP, a compelling investigation of her resonantly spacious guitar playing that dismantles the instrument's unique properties through relentlessness. Movimenti Lunari speaks of the relentlessness of natural forces. Something that seems to have no development, but instead advances inexorably. A form developing out of a memory progressively coming into focus; never still, constantly pulsating and vibrating with new elements. Beyond any rational, analytic thought, a sound that belongs to remembrance. Sandro Mussida's "In Memoria" questions this relationship between movement and stillness in the form of a piece of music.
The piece is a meditation on memory, technology, and sound; the repeating theme recalls bells chiming over and over, drawn out into lines as long as the horizon. Francesco Gagliardi's "Untitled, January" speaks of a sound evoked by an image. A photograph. A foggy landscape seen from a train. Accompanied by a single instruction: "A drone, or drones. Any duration." Simultaneously timely and timeless, Movimenti Lunari has the feel of artistic invention, a canvas of delicacy melding into intense streams of sound.”
Amos & Sara’s wickedly twisted post-punk dub session, Invite To Endless Latino [War Boys, 1983] sees its first ever vinyl cut thanks to the efforts of Alga Marghen’s Emanuele Carcano, who deserves a pat of the back for effectively pressing up one of his favourite tapes to share with the rest of us...
Comprising all tracks from the cultishly coveted original cassette by The Homosexuals affiliates Jim Welton & Chris Gray, from the nutty nattiness of Mr. Sinister to the keening disco-not-disco of Insomnia Samba and the ragged hustle of Pain Mambo, it’s not hard to hear why this LP is such a cult classic.
It just drips with playful innovation and tongue-in-cheek ambiguity, putting together a mad mixture of authentically sensuous swerve and nagging pop hooks under relatively crude conditions that recalls some concoction of colourful pills in a wine-soaked barm bought from Brenda Naffi’s butty bar.
Genome 6.66Mbp star Rui Ho foregrounds their melodic sensibilities on a bright début for Lara-Rix Martin’s female/non binary-focussed label, Objects Limited (home to Ziúr and Jana Rush)
“Berlin-based Chinese producer RUI HO makes electronic music that bridges modern club influences with traditional Chinese sounds. After releasing their well-received debut EP 'Tales 戰記' in May 2017 on Shanghai-based 'Genome 6.66 Mbp', They have prepared a whole new set of tracks for Lara Rix-Martin's Objects Limited label. 'Becoming Is An Eventful Situation' moves on from the heavy club influence of their first EP, bringing out more melodic and ambient vibes, with percussive elements fulfilling a more supporting role.
The title track's expansive, cosmic soundscape opens the EP leading well into 'Theia Impact' whose name is taken from the moon formation hypothesis and the Titaness of Greek mythology. 'Albafica' gets its title from the Japanese fantasy manga Saint Seiya and is formed with a more aggressive and distorted approach to rhythm and sound. 'Supernova' is inspired by classic, epic trance tracks pushing the emotion and euphoria to the maximum. The final three tracks are all reworks. RUI HO adds grimy drum sounds to Theia Impact while Berlin-based US producer Dis Fig adds her own vocals to a stunning remix of Albafica, ending with Canadian producer and sound artist x/o's distorted techno take on 'Supernova’.”
Mark Pritchard makes great use of an original vocal by The Space Lady and a Gregory Whitehead sample on The Four Worlds, his sweetly concise LP follow-up to Under The Sun .
Save for its extensive opening track, there’s a glaringly notable lack of drums on The Four Worlds, which is a big part of its strength. As the first Mark Pritchard album in memory not made for or even bothered by the ‘floor, it reveals a whole other, intriguing side to his oeuvre, taking the listener from the magic carpet glide of of its lush opener Glasspops, which feels something like like a Morphosis meets John Carpenter piece, to the jazzy new age pool of Circle Of Fear, and much farther onwards far onwards.
Gregory Whitehead’s stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks vocal from Ziggurat (as previously used on DJ/Rupture’s incredible Minesweeper Suite mix) is framed by a lushly brooding synth backdrop, initiating listeners to a remarkable B-side run that takes in spiralling kosmiche à la Eno & Roedelius on The Arched Window, beside the intergalactic lilt of S.O.S., featuring The Space Lady at her charming best, and onto resonant meditation of The Four Worlds in a thoroughly satisfying style.
Scuzzy, swooning and reverberating post punk pinched with up-to-date digital tweaks. Weirdly out of time and place, but entirely of its era. Echoes of Jay Glass Dubs, Vazz, Brenda Naffi abound
“Transitioning from Kym Sugiru’s fractal debut single, Diskotopia is elated to present Aemong’s staggeringly imaginative debut LP, 1000. Currently based in Berlin, Aemong is comprised of members Henrique Uba and Yu-Ching Huang; from Brazil and Taiwan respectively. The amalgamation of their shared backgrounds, influences and sonic identities encompass exactly what Diskotopia has been about from day one: the juxtaposition of cultures, sounds and ideas to forge exciting new paths.
Influenced by no wave, noise rock and legendary bands such as Fugazi and Big Black; Aemong had set out to build a denser sound with this album than with what they had done on their previously released material. The tracks comprising 1000 distill elements of new wave, dub, industrial and pop which are then meticulously siphoned into off-kilter compositions with mesmerizing effects. Unabashedly psychedelic, playful yet executed with deadly precision, Aemong have delivered a truly resounding body of work with the 1000 LP.
Album opener Slug fizzles to life with sludgy steps lumbering through splashes of feedback before a cyclical distorted bassline props up Yu Ching’s dreamlike vocal. Chinese Tales is perhaps the most literal meeting of minds with both Henrique and Yu Ching offering lyrics in their native tongues set against a dub-refracted backdrop sounding like Mad Professor engineering for Sonic Youth. Other highlights include Mother Earth’s Twin where some of the aforementioned hardcore influences shine through, albeit in an extremely splintered, chopped and screwed sense; the séance-like Dead Ghost with its static and stuttering interference squealing around Yu Ching’s lullaby-like melodies; and Old Lady Sings which kicks off a textured two-stepping dub psych-out, as if Adrian Sherwood’s mixing desk was circuit-bent with Mogwai’s pedal rack.
The album as a whole showcases Aemong’s penchant for layering dense, cavernous tones and loping siren confessions, whilst driving bass, drums and vocals provide the only thing keeping our collective heads above water. With this paragon in polychromatism and disorientating cross-pollination, Aemong have succeeding in creating an impressive and incredibly apt climate barometer for those struggling to keep afloat in the modern world.”
The great Dave Burraston (NYZ, Noyzelab, Dave Noyze) renders a sweltering mass of drones made on his self-built version of the Serge/CGS Paperface analog synth to Psome Psi Phi. While it sounds like heavy machinery, it’s recommended not to listen while using them - you’ll only do yourself a mischief. Best turn off the lights and let this one devour you
“David Burraston returns to Psøma Psi Phi with possibly his most expansive release to date - PPLZ SYNF. A gigantic 3.5 hour work consisting of seven pieces created using an ongoing self-build (as Burraston notes) of the Serge/CGS Paperface analog synthesizer, in conjunction with a custom built modular rig. Laid to digital disk space at Burraston's Noyzelab studio in August, PPLZ SYNF is a monolith of drone synthesis that absorbs the listener into some kind of greater collective metaconsciousness. It is both an impressive exercise in longform drone music, and an immersive and hypnotic atmosphere that confounds the mind, transfiguring your surroundings from its unique and singular perspective. A monument, literally and figuratively, in the sound field, etched and erected by a master of the craft.
Given the scope and size of such a release, PPLZ SYNF has been committed to a very special, and very limited, triple-cassette set, housed in a dustproof binder. These are extremely finite and assembled by hand in every possible way, making no two copies exactly alike. The digital version available at Bandcamp consists of cuts from the first of the three tapes, while the full release is spread across two 60-minute tapes and one 90-minute tape.”
One of the strongest finds on Awesome Tapes From Africa kills us again with Aroo, which springs directly from his Trotro EP with the same drum pattern underlining the NRG of Aroo, whereas African Techno sounds like some stray Dance Mania jacker, Ghana Baby is a more hook-riddled quicker banger, and Monkey brings a sunny highlife flavour.
“DJ Katapila’s Aroo EP is the latest addition to the iconoclastic producer’s catalog of fast-paced, pan West African-influenced dance music. From a young age, Ishmael Abbey was a beloved local DJ in Accra, Ghana’s competitive and rapidly-evolving music galaxy.
DJ Katapila’s debut release with Awesome Tapes From Africa, 2016’s reissue of Trotro, ignited international acclaim for the Ghanaian DJ and producer: The New York Times, Pitchfork, Resident Advisor and FACT heaped praise on his work. Katapila launched a touring career beyond his grueling schedule of all-night parties around Ghana’s southern coast and neighboring countries, heading to Europe and the UK, where he performed at festivals and clubs the past two years. Katapila brought Ghana’s street party culture to audiences overseas; a wave of joy and happy dancers were left in his wake.
While traveling this past summer in Europe, he continued to work on the minimalist electronic music steeped in his hometown rhythms that has made him a growing and singular voice in West African music. Having never traveled outside his region before, the contemporary sounds of London impacted his sonic palette, triggering new song “African Techno.” He explains, “In Europe and the UK they like these techno songs and house music. They have songs that sound like African music, and we have songs that sound like house music and techno music.””
Sur Les Autres Mondes finds its title and a fitting visual inspiration in a publication by French astronomer Lucien Rudaux (1937, Larousse) in which he imagined the landscapes of other planets in our solar system through scientific descriptions.
"Partly composed for a performance at the prestigious Louvre museum in Paris, the album is the band’s first full length output since 2012, and we can assure you that it has been worth the wait. Their sharp ear for detail and the epic worlds evoked through the album make for an auditory voyage which is as graphic as the words inked by Rudaux.
The duo is bringing the 70’s kosmiche genre back to life in a very fresh, bold way, offering a strong shot of pure analogue sound and a fantastic, melodic approach to synth-based ambient music.”