Giorgio Luceri aka 6D22 strikes three soaring electro-trance missions for Singapore’s Midnight Shift Records, coupled with an excellent remix by co-pilot Heinrich Mueller aka Gerald Donald (Dopplereffekt, Der Zyklus).
Mueller’s dissection of 龍王 - Longwang is star of the show, featuring elements of the original frozen and zoomed in to microscopic degrees, revealing a crystalline electro structure formed from tightly packed but slippery lattice of pads and brittle pulses. Th other three originals by Luceri are strong, densely woven pieces of electro-trance, but none comes close to the pristine angularity and timbral tang of Mueller’s remix.
Planet Mu make a clean sweep of critical underground characters to remix Mr. Mitch’s Devout album tracks.
Mechatok proves an ideal candidate to rework the Palmistry-vocalled VPN with his clinically tight and suspenseful style; Tarquin accentuates the giddiness of Our Love with playfully twist on Afrobeats vibes; Miek Paradinas aka µ-Ziq even joins in with a slack, sludgy boogie soul take on My Life; Murlo impresses as ever with a chromatic 2-step pinch on Fate; and Bugz In The Attic’s Mark Force replaces P Money on a kinked west London house bent with his Priority remix.
A mixed bag of remixers including NHK yx Koyxen and Physical Therapy redress Eric Copeland’s Goofballs LP in devious styles.
Vancouver’s LNS gets it going with a blunted bleep electro overhaul of Mixer Shredder; Kouhei Matsunaga emphasises the tripping of Neckbone with psychoacoustic trickery; Physical Therapy gives virulent acid (Tegel Mix) and floating 2-step (Gatwick Mix) tweaks of Mixer Shredder.
‘Brasil’ was recorded in Rio de Janeiro in 1994 with a host of legendary Brazilian musicians including Sivuca, Raul de Souza and singer Joyce Moreno and has remained one of the key defining early releases from the Soul Jazz record label. Out-of-print for over 20 years, the album has now been fully digitally re-mastered for this new 2018 edition.
"The album was recorded at the height of the first wave of interest in Brazilian music in London in the 1990s. Joyce and a group led by husband, drummer Tutty Moreno, had just been Davis (and future head of Far Out Records) to perform in front f over 2,000 new young fans. Singer-songwriter Joyce had been a living legend in her native Brazil ever since the Bossa Nova movement of the 1960s and had made her first record when she was just 20 and she was described by Antonio Carlos Jobim as “one of the greatest singers of all time.”
Joyce Moreno agreed to be involved in the project to record an album in Brazil produced with a UK sensibility and Tutty Moreno’s group signed up as the house band for the project. Stuart Baker (founder of Soul Jazz Records) and Joe Davis then flew to Rio de Janeiro, searching out studios and rehearsal spaces.
During this time in Brazil more artists signed up for the project, including legendary figureheads of the Brazilian music Sivuca (who brought his own group) and trombonist Raul de Souza. Other key figures included singer / guitarist Celia Vaz, who worked extensively as arranger with the legendary Quarteto Em Cy and drummer Dom Um Romao; Wanda Sá, who played in Sergio Mendes’ original seminal bossa nova group Brasil 65 (during which time she married the artist Edu Lobo) and legendary saxophone / flautist Teco Cardoso, whose bio reads like a who’s who of Brazilian music and includes work with Edu Lobo, Dori Caymmi, Baden Powell, Joao Donato, Carlos Lyra and others.
The final piece to this Brazilian jigsaw was the addition of percussionist Pirulito, whose magically create the massive sound of Rio’s Samba Schools live inside the studio. The album was recorded over one hot summer, mixed in London and then released at the end of 1994.
Over 20 years on and Soul Jazz Records’ ‘Brasil’ album manages to capture both an important cross-cultural musical moment in time between Brazil and London while at the same time sounding as fresh as if it was recorded today. Following the original success of this album Soul Jazz Records’ continued its love affair with Brazil and went on to release a host of Brazilian albums including classics such as ‘Tropicalia’, ‘Brazil 70’, ‘Bossa Nova’, a Bossa Nova cover art deluxe book with Gilles Peterson and releases by Sergio Mendes, Baden Powell, Edu Lobo and more."
SV pluck out striking original material from Aussie post-punks EXEK, dub, grooving, and wickedly slompy stuff, slotting very neatly along with the rest of the label’s classic, reissued material.
“Melbourne's EXEK began as a studio project with frontman Albert Wolski before the 2014 formation of the four-piece line up with Andrew Brocchi (synthesizer), Henry Wilson (bass) and Sam Dixon (drums). With the addition of Nell Grant on saxophone, the group's sound entered another dimension that reveals EXEK to be conjuring the ghosts of PiL, This Heat and Swell Maps.
Ahead Of Two Thoughts, EXEK's sophomore release, pushes headlong into haunted, post-punk territories. Opening track "U Mop" pairs sneering vocals with elastic bass and spectral guitars, while the elliptical discourse of "Weight Loss (Henry's Dream)" is accentuated by reverbed drums that would make Martin Hannett proud.
Superior Viaduct's W.25TH imprint presents Ahead Of Two Thoughts, a never-ending loop of dub-infected textures and anxious lyrics. Mastered by Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control), this tightly coiled album recorded in 2015-2016 could easily be mistaken for a classic 4AD title from the '80s. Look for EXEK on tour in 2018.”
Lord of the disco diggers and editors, Chicago’s Mark Grusane shares his celebrated secret stash of personal edits with BBE, and you, after compiling the peach-packed sets ‘The Real Sound of Chicago’ and ‘The Real Sound of Chicago and Beyond’ in recent years
“A highly personal selection of modern soul, disco and a little touch of boogie, these rare tracks have all been respectfully edited, chopped up or extended by Mark himself. Apart from the odd private vinyl pressing, or occasionally handing an edit over to close friends and DJs such as fellow BBE artist Sadar Bahar, Mark has never before made these tracks available (despite the throng of people waiting around to ask each time he finishes a set).
Mark Grusane first came to the attention of BBE Music back in 2010 when he was running specialist Chicago record shop Mr Peabody. He and his partner went on to create two of the label’s most sought-after soul compilations, thanks to the unmatched combination of rarity and quality expressed in the duo’s selections. Still living in Chicago, still buying and selling records, Mark has also built up a sizable discography of edits and original productions on various labels, now finding his prodigious DJ skills in high demand across the globe.
Each track on ‘The Real Sound Of Mark Grusane’ has a tale to tell, precious treasures unearthed by one of the hardest working and dedicated crate diggers in the game. From an edit he made at the age of 21 to a record he discovered last year whilst in London for a gig at The BBE Store, this collection is testament to a life spent completely immersed in music.”
Warp original, George Evelyn aka Nightmares On Wax, brings up the label’s Yorkshire roots with his 8th LP Shape The Future. Currently stationed in Ibiza, the sunniest corner of Yorkshire, N.O.W. hells as close as ever to his roots in soul, hip hop and dub with a lush downbeat suite riddled by his subtle but delightful production tics and signature, “Eaze-y” vibe.
Again, N.O.W. proves himself something of a J Dilla or King Britt of UK downbeats - ok let’s just call it trip hop - with a timeless, gently offbeat style of his own, equally adept at bringing in live players as he is chopping out patterns on the sampler and blooming them to life the studio.
You can trust it’s all laid-back as usual on this one, but if you’re looking for highlights keep ‘em pealed for the deliciously slompy beat and soul aura on Tell My Vision featuring Andrew Ashong, or likewise for the dusky string orchestration and swaggering groove of Shape The Future at the LP’s core; an excellent a cappella aside, entitled and presumably starring Tenor Fly; and the Francis Bebey-like Afrobeat-electronic charms of Gotta Smile.
Robert Carlos Lange reprises his balmy charms for RVNG Intl on Island Universe Story Four, arriving some four years since Story Three with a deliciously frayed and sun-kissed suite of wonky pop songs.
Slotting perfectly into RVNG Intl’s swelling ranks alongside Breadwoman, Visible Cloaks, and Palmbomen II - to name but a few - Helado Negro is allowed to fully explore and indulge his idiosyncrasies inside, resulting an inimitably diverse set that takes in exquisite bubbles of pop soul (Come Be Me), beside more woozy psychedelic slices (ECHO 2), alien dancefloor grubbers (Mist Universe), and big-bootied beats that nod to his past as hip hop producer Boom & Birds (Glow You), and dwelling on the sweeter fringes of IDM/electronica (For A Time, Who Knows).
Peggy Gou graduates to Ninja Tune for It Makes You Forget (Itgehane), the precursor to her début album, following a brace of 12”s for Technicolkour, REKIDS and Phonica White in 2016.
Blending tender but rugged house memes from Detroit, Chicago and Berlin with Korean vocals, Peggy nails a winner with the debonaire bubble of It Makes You Forget, appearing in a rolling, extended original mix giving buff room to her virulent acid lines and flying pads, whereas the edit is cut trim and infectious for radio and DJ play.
The danceably percussive and unfathomably layered ambient designs of Imposed Order  brings the reissue survey of K. Leimer’s early phase to a beautiful close, fully remastered from original tapes and now packaged with sister album Imposed Absence, which collects previously unheard tracks produced during the 15 year gap between I/O and his return with The Listening Room in 2002.
If you’ve been following Kerry Leimer’s work via reissues thus far, it will be easy to hear the development between his earliest pieces and the lushly transcendent feels of Imposed Order, and what came afterwards.
Ambient DJs really need to check for the proto-Autechrian atmospheres of Simpel Hierarchies, the elusive, dissolving rhythms of The Human Condition, his balmy Balearic sway in Life Of The Poet, and the Bamboo Houses-like drums in Wajang Fruit.
Gang Fatale’s Neana delivers a long-awaited début EP proper with Evaser on Bok Bok’s Night Slugs.
Coming nearly a year since his self-released album, the Manchester-based producer gets fussy on a set of bucking tribal house riddims built with a magpie-like eye for rude, dirty but shiny American club styles.
Neans Anthem get down first with flash boogie stabs and percolated bass on sort of breathless filter-house/Jersey funk flex, then Cruz Control accentuates his disco inspirations with fine blend of shabby chic textures and galloping bass hingeing around giddy, strobing vocal chops with intense effect.
Tell Her is best of the bunch, weaving wavy Turkish psych-styled synth with needlepoint techno drums and mesmerising vocals to recall the styles of that CultureClash LP as much as early Goan trance, before Fidelity takes that vibe to the ballroom with a fruity canter and X-amounta emulated dust in the mix.
NYC’s Drew Lustman pursues darker, raving lines of enquiry on his follow-up to a mast 12” for Aus Music.
We detect strong influence from NYC’s subterranean early techno sound in the pounding, murky pressure of Big Room - think Frankie Bones, Adam X, The Horrorist - whereas Medium Size Room eases off with more floating, rolling rave flex licked with lush pads and sax streaks, and Small Room (Fake Smiling Faces) tilts into more turbulent, UK-styled breakbeats and soul vox with 4Hero-esque flair.
Ostgut Ton cough up the customary accompaniment to Fiedel’s 120 minute Berghain 08 mix - the club and label’s first mix since Function’s Berghain 07 in 2015 - with four exclusive tracks by Electric Indigo, Stefan Rein, rRoxymore, and Boris with Fiedel.
Berlin mainstay Electric Indigo indulges a severely dark techno sound with Registers, which sounds like the dry clank of the till in the toll booth at Berghain taking a night off to dance and scowl with the rest of the punters. Stefan Rein contributes the furtively hypnotic dub techno of Panther, rRoxymore joins in with the pendulous bass and animalistic prowl of Tropicalcore, while Boris and Fiedel go twos up on the spunky acid wriggle ’n jak ov Div’hain.
DAF’s Conny Plank-produced 5th LP, Für Immer is the darker, stripped down follow-up to their better known early sides, Alles Ist Gut and Gold Und Liebe.
Like those LPs, it probes a fine, ambiguous line along fascistic imagery and lyrics with tracks such Kebab Träume reflecting on Germany’s relationships with Turkish immigrants, and EBM obsessions with health and beauty manifest in the title of Die Götter Sind Weiß. It’s possibly hard to think of how an act could deal with these topics in the modern day without an avalanche of social media pain.
Things were different back then, though. Or were they? Either way, check out the likes of Im Dschungel der Liebe or Verlieb Dich in mich for some proper danefloor rockets.
Beats In Space pull together volumes I + II of Palmbomen II’s Memories of Cindy together with 11 new cuts from he 4LP boxset, completing a deeply dreamy session of knackered house and gauzy synth-pop among the most defibntivie this scene has turned out.
Operating inside a now-crowded prism, Palmbomen II’s sound still sticks out from the milieu by dint of his sensitivity to textured grooves and a hazy lense of mixing trickery which frames a deeply nostalgic and melodic new age soul at its core.
Palmbomen II’s sound is displayed in all its low-key glory here, bubbling up with subliminally effective grip in the metallic acid tweaks and haunting female vocal of pyrotechnomarco and the gorgeous ethereal hymn, Forever Afsluitdijk, before giving the ‘floor something to bump with in the raggedly dubbed proto-house chops of IAO Industries, and then turning to Troma-style romance themes with Transportzone Meer, and hugging the tape tightly with his frayed, synthy slow jam Dancing & Crying.
It only gets lusher, bittersweeter in the new-to-our-ears 2nd half, which was previously only available in a limited edition 4LP boxset. From the curdled acid dream house squirm of Ultimate Lovestrory Fantasy thru the exquisite choral percolations of Wilco’s Funeral to the rugged rub ’n tug of Disappointment Island and Teresa Winter-esque coos in Cyber Tears and John Hughes movie soundtrack cues of Can It Be this new batch only serve to cement Palmbomen II’s status, right up there with Hype Williams, 1991, lueke, BoC.
Hilja is the sublimely half-there debut of dream pop from Glasgow-based Finnish artist Maria Rossi a.k.a. Cucina Povera. Taking her name from the southern Italian method of making-do in the kitchen, Cucina Povera works just as well to describe Rossi’s unusual, off-kilter mix of avant-garde abstraction, medieval-sounding folk and synthesised nocturnal atmospheres, which sounds to our lugs like one of the Fonal label’s folk sprites gone rogue in a parallel 4th world.
Strung out somewhere between Julia Holter’s enigmatic early work, the possessed vibes of Ectoplasm Girls, and a deeply strange episode of the Moomins, Rossi’s first release finds a fine balance of naif imagination and modestly confident vision, shaping a quietly hallucinatory and often ephemeral sound world where it’s dead easy to lose yourself within its maze of alternating physical and mental states.
Glasgow’s Night School, behind the release, aptly compare Maria’s style with magic realism, which offers a hand catch-all explanation for wtf is going on between the sylvan synths and lullaby-like glossolalia of Demetra and the worm holing in-conclusion of Totean, with results that recall Phew’s esoteric Japanese songcrasf in the multi-tracked vox of Kuparirumpu, or like one of the enchanted cuts from Felicia Atkinson’s Hand In Hand LP on Avainsana, whilst Huhuilu is a dance anthem from alternate, lushly inverse dimensions.
Gorgeous music - RIYL Phew, Julia Holter, Islaja, Tongues of Light, Félicia Atkinson
Excellent album of plasmic ambient dub pop, neatly balanced between weightless yearn and meatier industrial leanings, perhaps best grasped as some dream meeting between Suzanne Ciani, Teresa Winter and CoH?
“Air Lows is the debut solo album by Silvia Kastel. The Italian artist has been a fixture of the underground since her precocious teens, clocking up many miles in Control Unit with Ninni Morgia (“It’s like Catherine Deneuve dumped two cases of post-Repulsion psychiatric notes over Pere Ubu’s Dub Housing, lit the fuse and, ahem, stood well back" – Julian Cope), including collaborations with the likes of Smegma, Factrix, Gary Smith, Aki Onda and Gate (Michael Morley of The Dead C).
Both solo and in her work with others, Kastel has explored the outer limits and inner workings of no wave, industrial, dub, extreme electronics, free rock and improvisation. Air Lows is both her fullest and most refined offering to date, a work of vivid, isolationist electronics which draws deeply on her past experience but assuredly breaks new ground. Prompted by a late-flowering interest in techno and club music, Kastel sought to create something which combines a steady rhythmic pulse with the otherworldly sonorities of musique concrete, and avant-garde synth sounds inspired by Japanese minimalism and techno-pop (Haruomi Hosono’s Philharmony being a particular favourite).
The formal artifice of muzak / elevator music, the intros and outros of generic popular songs, the extreme light-heavy contrasts of jungle, the creative sampling of hardcore, and the very “human” synths in the jazz of Herbie Hancock’s Sextant and Sun Ra: all were touchstones for Air Lows’ conception and composition, and all strains of music addressing - or complicating - the relationship between the human and the technological.
By extension, visual inspirations also proved important: anime, and the avant-garde fashion of Rei Kawakubo. What does that shirt or dress sound like? Though used sparingly, Kastel’s voice remains her key instrument, whether subject to dissociative digital manipulations as on ‘Bruell’, delivering matter-of-fact spoken monologues, or providing splashes of pure tonal colour.
Recorded between her expansive Italy studio and a more compact, ersatz set-up in Berlin, Air Lows gradually takes on some of the character of the German capital: you can hear the wide streets and uninhabited spaces, the seepage of never-ending nightlife, the loneliness.
Air Lows is The Wizard of Oz in reverse: the glorious technicolour J-pop deconstructions of its first half leading inexorably to the icy noir of ‘Spiderwebs’ and ‘Concrete Void’. These later tracks are reminiscent of 2015’s magnificent 39 12”, Kastel in the role of numbed, nihilistic chanteuse stalking dank, murky tunnels of reverb and sub-bass. But in fact there is contradiction and emotional ambiguity to Air Lows from the outset, and throughout - a sense of both infinite space and acute claustrophobia; energy and inertia; fluency and restraint.”
Nexx Yorkshireman Rian Treanor galvanises Warp’s Arcola sub-label back to action with a deadly twyst on hyper electro and displaced dancehall in signature, deviant style.
The Contraposition EP marks Warp Records’ timely return to its SoYo roots in a concerted refresh of bleep techno and soundsystem ballistics, rendering the original template as a corrupted 3D geometry of slippery chromatic contours and polyrhythmic chronics that feel lightyears removed from their early ‘90s and early ‘00s antecedents, yet patently in key with their stripped down design and rave-wrecking purpose.
A-side, Rian focusses a wickedly nervous 2-step energy into the pointillist shadow-boxing tekkers of Contra_A1, strongly recalling his work on two preceding EPs for The Death of Rave, before then testing out something new and dynamically different with the punchy recoil and canny use of echoic negative space on Contra_A2, which all leads to a deadly acid switch-up in the 2nd half.
On the B-side he reconfigures your swang schauung with a mad meld of skittish micro rhythms and cold as f**k Euro-techno motifs on Position_B1, then like Errorsmith describing Equinknoxx swatting a nano-drone with the incisive, anticipatory bait and slap of Position_B2.
Fans of Forgemasters, Mark Fell, Jamie Duggan, Beatrice Dillon will know exactly what to to with this one.
Johnny Jewel ov Chromatics returns with the picture postcard-perfect scenes of Digital Rain, his first new album proper since Windswept , which included his work for the recent Twin Peaks: The Return soundtrack.
In the most classic sense, Johnny evokes his themes with beautiful subtlety and clarity throughout the entirely instrumental suite of Digital Rain, using filigree synthesis and a rarely paralleled feel for narrative to convey the sensation of rain on skin or hail on a roof, precisely evoking all the feelings of nostalgia you’d arguably associate with electronic music’s cinematic representations of rain, romance, and enigmatic intrigue.
It’s an ideal album for creating your own movie on the fly, acting as a sort of soundtrack to your life, likely to turn late night drives for a pint of milk into the most dramatic scenarios, or maybe turn your next commute into a Love on a Real Train (Risky Business) situation. Might want to be careful with that 2nd one, though.
One for the lovers.
The debut album from Inga Copeland, formerly of Hype WIlliams, featuring additional production from Actress
After teasing the internet with one-offs and mixtapes for the last 2 years, (Inga) Copeland (ov Hype Williams) drops a satisfyingly challenging and incisive solo debut LP proper, 'Because I'm Worth It'. Against a backdrop of forward, phantasmic dub and electronic production by herself and Actress, Copeland's vocals are a typically mercurial presence flitting between half-heard bars and spectral, detached verse such as the brilliant "with my mind over money and the other way around, cash moves everything around me/significant of what we do, say, feel, everything is just by numbers". It contains eight songs, alternating between almost-instrumental numbers and deconstructed pop.
Arriving with the prickling sonic extremes of 'Faith OG X', she posits the empowered narrative of 'Advice To Young Girls' set to Actress' oblique production, and it's not until 'Insult 2 Injury' that you're offered some sort of more conventional structure, and even then it's a flinty, bare-boned dub salved with lush Detroit chords. The furtive dub-pop collage 'Fit 1.' is the album's centrepiece, both literally and figuratively, melting Eastern accordion, Diwali-riddim claps and Burial-esque atmosphere with woozy slow techno and her most enigmatic pop vocal beside the dissolved dub meditation 'DILIGENCE', whilst 'Inga' feels like a darker parallel to fellow Estonian ex-pat Maria Minerva, and the splashing, metallic dub tang of 'l'oreal' imparts an abstract sense of urgency, numbed poise and feminine sorta dread that neatly sums up the album's paradoxes.
It's a startling, hugely enjoyable debut.
Aksak Maboul is the long-abandoned project of Konono No.1 producer Vincent Kenis and Crammed Records label head Marc Hollander.
Back in 1977 they made a fantastic album called 'Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine', a strange delicacy full of keen young ideas that would even foreshadow Detroit techno and much modern electronica, with a widely scoped "world music" twist. Seriously, check it out! 'Un Peu De Lame Des Bandits' was their follow up, originally released in 1980 and infused with a far more avant garde jazz element next to the typical international influences, from African to Balkan and whatever else they fancied.
Super canny return from techno minimalist Akiko Kiyama, who makes a considered change of direction toward fractured, jazzy electronic funk as Aalko for her Tokyo-based label, Kebko Music.
Perhaps best known for her inclusion on Richie Hawtin’s DE9: Transitions mix, Akiko’s new output as Aalko bears some relation to her early work in terms of precision and minimalism, but that’s where the comparison ends.
No Man Is An Island is far fruitier and off-centre than her formative work, placing quarky sounds in unconventional time signatures with a bendy, off-centre appeal maybe best compared with the likes of FAY, Burnt Friedmann or even Foodman. Gilles Peterson is a fan, but don’t let that put you off.
Ricardo Villalobos, Max Loderbauer and Burnt Friedman dismantle Swiss drummer Samuel Rohrer in bendy new ways for the ’floor and afterparty
Burnt Friedman takes the brief of Microcosmoism and runs its microtonal electronics and squirming groove to the nonplace, feeds it special gasses and returns a loose, slompy groove in patented style.
On the other hand, Villalobos strips the same elements right down to bare essentials for nearly ten minutes of swivelling drum hits wrapped up in sticky syncopation with glutinous subs and ricocheting electro-dub-steppers dynamics.
Villalobos and Loderbauer then combine as VILOD for an 11 minute reshuffle of Uncertain Grace hingeing on pendulous metallic claps and a worm farm’s worth of wriggling bass, then Villalobos goes it alone with Lenina, turning in a tangle of sloshing, splayed rhythms that sounds like a jazz band playing underwater and offers pluralised possibilities for the dancers who dare to actually express themselves, rather than just do the usual line dance and finger point. You know, that Solomun move?! Fuck that and dance to this instead.
Optimo's home brewed label really comes of age with a reissue of six tracks from Throbbing Gristle's Chris Carter, recorded between 1974 and 1978 and remastered for their 1st ever vinyl pressing by the man himself.
Label co-owner JD Twitch is a notoriously avid TG fan and has hand-picked these tracks from a cassette originally released on Industrial Records in 1980 (and subsequently on CD by Mute in 1991). The work of Chris Carter will be known by many of you, but for those who don't, Carter was the musical and technical inspiration behind one of the UKs most important bands of all time, bringing art and rock music into the future with his mastery and early adoption of basic equipment like the 303 (he was the among the first in the world to use one on record), and the 808, which also makes one of its 1st recorded appearance here on bonus track 'Climbing'.
So, it's safe to say that this man has serious credentials. With this in mind, these tracks really occupy a seminal space in the history of electronic music, deeply imbued with the twin spirits of darkest misanthropy and experimental endeavour, and most importantly - they sound f*cking amazing! As JD Twitch himself says "There is a beauty, an emotion and an imagination present here that is lacking in a lot of modern machine music. This music is as vital and wondrous today as it was four decades ago". Amazing music.
Over two hours of new music from Terre Thaemlitz (including some unbelievable remixes from DJ Sprinkles), plus video pieces and text, made with lucid logic and unflinching insight to expand upon Soulnessless’ themes of cultural overproduction,moving attention to the wider framework of how patriarchal structures in society effectively undermine democracy. You’ll need to spend some quality time with this one - please remember that we support Terre and Comatonse Recordings' efforts to keep projects offline, minor, and acting queerly. When purchasing this item, we ask you to refrain from uploading and indiscriminate sharing in any form. <3
Leading on from Soulnessless , Terre Thaemlitz makes convincing arguments for Deproduction in her latest, and perhaps most significant work for Comatonse. Centred on her engrossing essay questioning the ethics of having children, the package also holds two durational collages of solo keys melded with samples from Gay and Incest Porn, plus one piano solo, and a pair of exquisite Deeperama mixes by DJ Sprinkles, all adding up to one of the most important releases you’ll encounter over the next 12 months or more.
By drilling down into societal taboos from the oblique angle of a white, queer artist based in and observing the culture of Japan, Thaemlitz makes shockingly poignant assertions about the contemporary human condition of late capitalism which, once digested, may well leave you reeling, or at the very least cognisant of her pretty-much-inarguable logic. “The recognition that having children is unethical is not to be confused with a desire to empirically stop people from breeding. It is simply pointing out an irony underlying centuries of societies using religions and other institutions to morally enslave our sexualities to the breeding of sons of men.”
How does this relate to the music? Quite directly, in fact. In a feedback of image to text and sound, Terre uses her preternaturally sensitive audition to really riff on the listener’s nerve endings quite like nobody else. In Names Have Been Changed (Sound/Reading for Incest Porn) she paints an ostensibly tranquil scene of location recordings, filigree electronics and heart-in-mouth strings fringed and underlined by the disturbing sounds of domestic violence, families arguing, babies crying - you probably know the stuff - whereas Admit It’s Killing You (And Leave) adapts that strategy to a blend of sublime, minimalist piano and cello flourishes with needling electronic interference juxtaposed with sparingly used vocal samples.
As if giving space for mediation after those two 40+ minute works, a hauntingly sustained Bonus: Admit It’s Killing You (And Leave)(Piano Solo) beautifully prompts room for reflection - more than likely leaving you devastated - before Thaemlitz adopts her Sprinkles mode for two genuinely incredible re-works, adapting the bed of strings and vocal samples in Names Have Been Changed with expressive acid bassline and feathery hi-hats in the House Arrest mix, then a ruggedly percussive, ultimately lush, dramatic and messed up Dead End version of Admit It’s Killing You.
Of course, none of this would be quite so powerful if it were heavy-handed. It’s testament to Terre’s rigorousness of thought, and grasp of both sides of the dialectic, especially when combined with her remarkable sound sensitivity and necessarily playful ambiguity, that her ideas come across as entirely balanced upon reflection, and are democratic to their core.
Unmissable. Essential. Life-affirming stuff.
Northern UK-based artist Rian Treanor re-imagines the intersection of club culture, experimental art and computer music with a super smart debut for The Death of Rave.
Galvanising and accelerating garage and techno with cuttingly crisp tonal diction and pointillist percussive palette, ‘A Rational Tangle’ demonstrates Treanor’s adroit and finely-nurtured rhythmelodic instincts through a quicksilver syntax of kerned, polychromatic 2-step patterns and whipsmart, emotive jit music.
The EP’s four tracks vacillate ping-pong ballistics and recursive melodic motifs constructed in Max/MSP, dancing from pendulous, aerobic minimalism to taut, synthetic tabla grooves with grid melting nous, whilst also taking in gamelan-esque hypeR&B through wormholes of smeared and curdled harmonics, plus one dead lush section of Detroit-via-Yorkshire styled hi-tech funk.
The production is stainlessly dry and future-proof whilst Rian’s arrangements are considerately efficient, yet it’s all blessed with a pop or ’floor-ready turn of phrase that reveals new kinks, fills and twysts with each return listen.
Whichever angle you view it from ‘A Rational Tangle’ forms a rewarding introduction to the work of a very promising and distinct new voice in electronic music.
A whirlijig of chromatic melodies and keening harmonics harnessed to folk dancing drums played by imaginary AI, Music From The Early Robotic Societies of The Basin forms a mesmerising introduction to Christos Chondropoulos’ world, offered by perennial subterranean diggers, The Tapeworm.
Wrought from alien synth voices in a cadence of queered scales and punctuated with elegant, swaying rhythms, Music From The Early Robotic Societies of The Basin feels utterly, spellbindingly ancient yet simultaneously futuristic, wrapping up a wealth of influences that make up the Athenian sound image into a steeply enigmatic tale of East meets West, North and South. Having been lucky enough to visit Athens recently, this writer can only confirm that Christos has beautifully distilled the magick of that city into these recordings. As we’re going to do, his Fingerpainting  and Athenian Primitivism tapes are on the list of what to check next.
Psychoactive disco smarts from Sweden via Amsterdam:
Daniel Fagerström (The Skull Defekts, Altar of Flies) and Luciano Leiva (Jackpot, Puppetmasters) cook up a viscous disco stew from classic analg synths such as TR-909, Waldorf Microwave, Yamaha DX7, Roland Juno-60 and Akai MPC, all primed for cosmic high times. Imagine Klaus Schulze in a sauna with Patrick Cowley. It’s bound to get sticky.
Optimo Music serve a proper peach with reissue of three Ted Milton / Blurt aces from lesser-known nooks of UK jazz/post-punk/electronics on a fresh new double-AA side.
Ted Milton is a ground-breaking saxophonist and frontman of Blurt since their inception. This 12” documents his work under both names, giving up the killer swerve and Hammer-esque vocals of Love Is Like A Violence, and his frothy freakbeat It’s Only Recently That Stalins Have Begun To Roost (what a title!) both from 1984, on top, then a dose of Blurt on the B-side, namely the unmissable charms of The Ruminant Plinth , featuring wickedly off-the-cuff vocals woven into what sounds like Afrobeat skronk played in a massive silo.
This one’s bound to set a lot of heads on a Ted Milton tangent!
First ever vinyl reissue of Kebab Und Andere Träume 
A mad cross-pollination of new wave, punk-funk, Oriental rock and hip hop, organised by social worker Winifred Nacke, and played by students of the Weisbadener Jugendwerkstatt - a group of Turkish, German, Iranian, Polish, Moroccan musicians. Very obscure, now fetches fancy triple figure sums on 2nd hand market.
Ruddy, off-kilter house wonk from Italian duo, The Barking Dogs.
Up top they rub out the strange barnyard disco sleaze of SWB, then tighten up a bit for the saddlesore electro swagger of Liquid Strategies, joined by a scatting loon and someone jamming out on a Farfisa.
Detroit dynamo Jeff Mills expands his soundtrack repertoire with the score for And Then There Was Light, a Japanese thriller based on Shion Miura’s novel, Hikari.
Perhaps an unexpected turn from the techno overlord, the results are arguably more palatable than his orchestral suites, and clearly demonstrate his composerly ability to match electronic music with a range of moods, emotions.
For us, the best parts play to his strengths, as with the dextrous rhythm programming and spatial detailing of The Bond of Death, the lilting rhythmelodic cadence of The Little Ones. But there are also some surprising moments in the noisy chaos of The Players Of Consequence and Lost Winners, which give way to a storming appearance of his techno classic Hypnotist in the final climax.
Surely one of the most ear-catching and unique reissues of the year, Christoph De Babalon’s 'If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It' is a late ‘90s neo-noir ambient and D&B masterpiece - imagine if The Caretaker made fierce, unrelenting Jungle and you almost get an idea of what’s inside - reissued to mark the occasion of its 21st anniversary to plaudits from a new generation of listeners.
Christoph De Babalon was a key member of Germany’s mutant splinter cells who fused UK rave music with more experimental, Teutonic techno, Ambient and hardedge politics to brutal effect during the mid-late ‘90s. 21 years later, this music has patently withstood the test of time, distinguished by a haunting atmospheric pallor and ruffneck way with Jungle that still makes us feel just as clammy and psychotic as when we first heard it (most likely on a trip to Berlin or via Christoph Fringeli’s invaluable C8 database).
For us, If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It really distills a feeling of that era, as the utopian outlook of rave’s early years had evidently given way to something much darker, more maudlin, perhaps symptomatic of ennui with dance music’s hyper-commercial land grab, or even a pre-echo of pre millennial tension. Either way it provided the perfect soundtrack to ravers who were spending more time developing virtual lives online, or (speaking from experience) who weren’t yet old enough to go raving, but were shelled with media images and 2nd impressions of the culture, which had by then morphed into the prevailing trends of garage, trance, and prog house, and was but a ghost of its original, loony self.
If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It therefore feels torn between extreme states. On the one hand it goes harder than the rest in killer rave moves such as the hardcore rattler Dead (Too), the epic amen + drone blow-out My Confession, or the cutthroat beast Water. But on the other, he goes darker, more haunting than the rest of his field with remarkable cuts such as the 15 minutes of billowing dark ambience that open the LP in Opium, or with the sublime, Gas-like suspension system of Brilliance, and the funereal, bombed-out bliss of High Life (Theme).
De Babalon effectively plotted out terrain that bridged DJ Scud’s rugged jungle breakcore with soundscaping more commonly associated with Thomas Köner or Deathprod, and in the process set the ground for myriad contemporary producers and sounds ranging from Raime and Blackest Ever Black to Demdike Stare, Pessimisst and beyond. If You’re Into It, I’m Out of It was, and still is, a deadly statement of intent, whose rhetoric and aesthetic still strongly resonate with subcultural concerns in 2018.
C L A S S I C
Charles Hayward does the bangs and Thurston Moore wrenches a racket from his guitar on this killer free improvisation session documented by UK’s Care In The Community Records.
Recorded at Lynchmob Studios, London, 2nd February 2017, the LP catches the duo stealthily warming up in the neck-snapping breaks and face-eating distortion of the first part, to really step on the gas with the tumultuous sparring session of the 3rd part, then climaxing with some squally helter skelter pelters on the B-side which should snag even the hardest to please fans of This Heat or Sonic Youth.
Geir Jenssen offers a very handy scan of hard-to-find Biosphere cuts c. 1991-2004 on his Biophon label, the latest in a comprehensive reissue agenda which has turned up some real charms so far.
The set ranges from his earliest dalliances with bleep techno rave, superbly so in the sub-loaded killer Hypnophone  off an obscure Norwegian rave compilation, thru to the coruscating ambient loops of Reef  for the Gonzo Circus magazine, taking in gorgeous Lynchian ambience with The Third Planet  and floating ambient structures redolent of X-Files atmospheres in The Seal & The Hydrophone , while catching him at his most wistful and cinematic with Bird Watching , and his subsequent, post-2000 turn toward textured ambient neo-classicism, such as the spectral interceptions of Vi Kan Tenka Digitalt, Vi Kan Tala Digitalt , the stark but sensuous lushness of Valchirie , and his organ work, Visible & Invisible  for Touch.
Definitely not just for the fans, this is a discreet slice of ‘90s ambient history for lovers of icy electronic romance.
A substantial, hugely immersive release from a true drone shaman, 'Cocon & Oiseau De Nuit' is one of our favourite O'Malley releases and is here pressed (in updated form) for the first time on vinyl following a limited cassette release several years ago.
The album was originally created and explored as a thought experiment leading up to O’Malley’s work on SUNN O)))’s Monoliths & Dimensions sessions throughout 2007-2008; those recordings were then revisited and developed fundamentally in 2010 for the initial cassette release and again in 2017 for this vinyl edition.
It's similar in form to his 'Keep An Eye Out' LP for Table Of The Elements and the 'Salt' album for iDEAL, wresting the blackest sub-harmonics and inherent micro-tonal shifts from ultra-minimal guitar technique. The effect is utterly immersive whether experienced on headphones or speakers, saturating your surroundings in scarred and bruising amp feedback below dry, dull clouds of ferric interference.
As the piece evolves O'Malley generates ever-more hypnotic swells of visceral, churned feedback conducted with stoic, instinctive control, flooding the space with abstract shapes and ghostly apparitions.
Len Faki puts his weight behind three powerful remixes of Philipp Gorbachev and Nocow.
In the master boschenheimer’s mitts, Gorbachev’s anthemic 5th New Century is rebooted with proper size 12’s, while later is returned as a wallbanging Chicago-via-Moscow-and-Berlin pounder saving the eye-spinning trance lines t’til they really matter, and Nocow’s K$$$$ is underlined with mad, buzzing mid-subs for effortlessly floating, locked-in pressure
The Pilotwings revise the salty psych disco of Lunga Strada from the Prins Thomas 5 LP in two fancy ways
First on a colourfully plumed Bubble Zouk mix chock with bird calls, xylophone vamps and latin freestyle-esque edits, then a more stripped down Bonus Beat emphasising those mad edits and freaky dubbing.
A marriage made in dub house heaven, the Accumulate EP is 1st in a series of collaborations between Fluxion and Rod Modell aka Deepchord, to be released via the former’s Vibrant Music label.
Converging from subtle differing yet wholly compatible angles, Deepchord & Fluxion’s Transformations duo explore an elegantly widescreen sound that sounds familiar, yet remarkably altered and uncharted in either artist catalogue.
Layered from fathomless bass pads and swooning string figures, Accumulate runs to just shy of 25 minutes across the two sides, with the 13 minute Pt.1 subliminally flowing and expanding across into Pt.2 in such a lush, hypnotic manner that you’ll almost be irked at having to get up and flip the disc, but then you’ll just flop back and restart the zoot and ride out into its diaphanous, dusky sunset.
Leaving Records’ head honcho Matthewdavid tips out a few years worth of cracked, sun-dazed hip hop, jungle and freaked grooves on Time Flying Beats - the Julia Holter and Flying Lotus-collaborator’s 1st serving since A Meditation On Events in 2016.
It’s a sterling dose of psychedelic West Coast styles meets rugged trap and Deep South sensibilities, working in and around the Low End Theory sound with a polychromatic, distorted flux of Memphis rap knocks, DJ Screw-like gangsta vibes and top40 trap bangs smartly messed up by properly lysergic electronic processing.
In a similar way to, say, Black Zone Myth Chant or even SKRS International, Matthewdavid really fxcks wi the format while somehow remaining true to its original intent, resulting some great work in his Steve Miller Band-gone-footwork freak Slipppin’, on his meter-messing shelter skelter Millenial Midnight, the Thriller-esque warped boogie slammer Flow With The Go, and his killer sunset mission Contemporary, but you’re advised to indulge this one whole, or even better with something stinky and green.
The Lasry Baschet duo’s pioneering mechanical instruments come to life on a reissue of their 1957 debut 7”, newly dispatched just over 60 years since release. Sounds remarkably electronic, but entirely made with acoustic means - glass rods, balloons, wet bows and metal sheets
“As a truly indispensable bookend to any listeners with the slightest interest in experimental music, French culture or the foundations of mechanical songwriting this inaugural release by these Parisian musical revolutionaries not only predicts the future sound of modern composition by almost 60 years but detangles the deepest roots of European popular culture celebrating an important historical family unison in the process. Combining the infant steps of Magma, the sonic blueprint of 1970’s TV theme Picture Box and the sculptural creations of Polly Maggoo this important and groundbreaking 3 track 7” EP takes us back to the very first aural glimpse of the future of pregressive Europe at the hands of physical sound sculptures glaring in the face of premature technology.
This EP and its varied three-pronged assault is the first step in the legacy of the Lasry Baschet unison uniting the husband and wife team of Jacques and Yvonne Lasry plus their son Teddy (who would later create Magma with Christian Vander) and hard material sculptors François and Bernard Baschet (who would later work with William Klein). It was this creative unison between visual art and experimental music, witnessing the Lasry family exchange their orthodox music skills in favour of crystal rods, balloons, wet bows and metal sheets, that would potentially change the course of European music which was already on the extreme verge of electrocution with the rise of tape music and embryonic synthesised instrumentation.
Promoting the phrase Instruments Non-électroniques (as celebrated on the sleeve of the Cacophonic full-length release 11CACKLP) the Lasry-Baschet collective’s humanistic music (an attitude upheld by composers like Michel Magne) would later spark the imagination of Jean Cocteau leading to installations at the Museum Of Modern Art leading to a huge shift in the way people approached experimental melodic music alongside the efforts of Harry Partch and other music machine makers. The appropriation of their music in art, theatre, ballet, film and television came closest to UK shores when their composition Manège was used as the long running theme for the children’s TV compendium Picture Box spanning three decades (rivalling both The Moomins and The Booktower for the most indelible and nostalgic spooky theme tunes in the history of British TV) by which time Teddy Lasry had independently become one of France’s most creative instrumental composers of all time.”
Necessary 1st vinyl edition of Laraaji’s 1984 new age devotional suite. Effectively gospel soul in the key of Om, written and performed on Casio keyboards, depending on your disposition it’s either worthy of comparison with Arthur Russell, or an extended Tim and Eric sketch. Take your pick…
“Vision Songs Vol. 1 (1984) is the LARAAJI album like no other, located at the intersection of new age and gospel, his outlier and magnum opus, the feel-good DIY tape of the century. Casio synth jams recorded at spiritual retreat guest rooms and a tiny bedroom on the Upper West Side, lysergically-spectacular anthems for a continually arriving new moment. “Channeled from the sky,” humbly offered as digital download for the first time, this is where this is going on, this is where this is taking place, this is how this is going on. Is this very clear?”
The Rapture’s rhythm section break away on a hi-velocity cosmic disco mission for The Ran$om Note. Hang on to your garys, this one’s got some serious thrust…
“Mother of Mars is the latest evolution of Vita & Druzzi, two New Yorkers who have provided the 21st century with some of its most innovative dance music. The duo first came to fame as the rhythmic backbone of The Rapture, NYC pioneers who found global fame with their angular post-punk and howling disco. Since then Vito & Druzzi have had a prolific career as remixers and producers, producing leftfield disco killers for a range of labels including Warp and Throne of Blood.
Their first release as Mother of Mars sees the duo fuse live krautrock drums with pulsating synth loops, creating two epics of space and rhythm that owe a debt to ‘70s kosmische pioneers like Tangerine Dream and are receiving support from the likes of Andrew Weatherall, Trevor Jackson and Francis Inferno Orchestra.”
Knackered, buckled industrial/EBM blatz for fans of Nick Klein, Smersh, Liquid G
“Amsterdam's worst kept secret makes it back to Unknown Precept with his long-awaited album and first solo output since the acclaimed Divine Bovine cassette mini-album. Inspired by an evening spent in a restaurant next to a car demolition site, Eindkrak's long player debut echoes the distant sound of steel being crushed and cars pressed into cubes. All this noise, in combination with the taste of good Italian food, lead to the eleven tracks making up for the aptly titled Brullend Staal — loosely translated to weeping steel. A leisurely stroll on crumpled metal sheets, the acidic hints of oxidized metal and the smell of gasoline. Inaudible and distorted vocals as if smothered by the clatter and smokestacks of steel factories. Eindkrak's first full-length is all about this disquietude made of melted and straightened metal. A resounding and tumultuous din. Try to eat some nice gnocchi while listening to this album, and you'll see what it is all about.”
Natty, tracky DJ tools from a cool-handed trio on Sven Rieger’s much-loved SUED label.
The bossman himself appears as Svn ‘longside regular spar Dynamo Dreesen, and Dave Huismans a.k.a. A Made Up Sound in a disciplined democracy of minimal nudges and tweaks yielding infectiously unsteady yet rolling grooves.
From the A-side’s swanging, bucking jack track, to the sloshing tribal percussions and dissolving dub patterns of the B-side producer is seemingly trying to under-do each other to the benefit of the ‘floor.
Expansive new opus by one of the world’s leading film soundtrack composers...
“Cycles 7-16 is a natural progression from Matt Dunkley’s deubt solo album, Six Cycles, released on Village Green in 2016. Like the debut, it was recorded in Berlin with the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg. With this album, however, Matt pushed himself further, expanding his writing horizons.
As well as being almost double the length, this album boasts a broader sonic palette than its predecessor, such as the full symphony orchestra on ‘Cycle 12’ or the seven solo pianos used on ‘Cycle 14’. On others, Matt returns to his classical roots, using a string chamber orchestra on ‘Cycle 11’ and ‘Cycle 16’.
Touring and travelling over the last two years, influences arose from spending time in different cities and places. The wintry, tense ‘Cycle 7’ was inspired by an early morning in Berlin, while ‘Cycle 15’ was written whilst on a conducting trip to Norway.”
Persuasion scopes some deep techno swing in the rhythmic engines of Quatermass for Opal Tapes’ Black Opal series.
Following more delicate ambient releases under his birth name Devon Hansen and as Stéfan Jos (on a split with Austin Cesear), Quatermass firms up a proper dancefloor sound between the effortless, sub-fuelled momentum and wooden knocks of In The Atrium - think Mike Dehnert at his most meditative - beside the rolling, subaquatic structural stress test of Damask Silk, the off-centre step of Quatermass, and an hypnotically engaging winner named Xaviera.
Mumdance, Logos and Shapednoise remerge The Sprawl for a banging, incendiary second EP in their trilogy inspired by William Gibson’s Neuromancer - the 1984 sci-fi novel which uncannily presaged The Internet and aspects of AI which have since morphed from fiction into reality.
EP2 is about ‘Data Flow’ and thus catches the trio in flux between flashbacks of noise as information overload and brutalist techno chronics seeming to emulate the sensory obliteration of full frontal temporal sickness.
Each producer’s individual characteristics are parsed and consolidated in a fractious transfer of energies, placing themselves as cybernetic semiconductors in a quantum network of emerging AI consciousness, pooling corrupted memory banks of physical and pharmaceutical ecstasy, excess and synaptic muscle memory to manifest premonitory visions of future hardcore rave as hyperstitious, viscerally IRL.
The A-side picks up directly from EP1 with the invasive strategies of Burning Chrome - so titled in reference to Gibson’s short story which first coined the term “cyberspace” - fulminating pure sound designer noise in bruxist shockwaves punctuated by lush pads, before the cyberpunk terror of Black I.C.E. hacks into the nervous system with sickening, arrhythmic dynamic, strung out between chest bursting ecstasy and stomach churning panic.
That’s all seemingly in preparation for X System, a 150bpm bunker breaker lodged on the B-side with a cold fusion of lamping bass drum and slithering plasmic timbres sounding like some Dutch or NYC ‘90s techno bomb dialled in via a faulty ISDN connection, which makes for a stark contrast with the emotive pathos of Online Seance, a searingly transcendent vision of cinematic synth noise modelled on occult hivemind behaviours and redolent of moments from Leyland Kirby’s Intrigue & Stuff volumes.
Hanz rakes over vintage hip hop, post punk and industrial ground with a cineaste’s eye to locate new mutations in the undergrowth of Plasty I, the North Carolina, US artist’s follow-up to the Reducer  LP for Tri Angle.
Lodging somewhere between the ears of BAT, a lo-fi MBM and the asymmetric designs of Co La, Plasty I breaks down to a ruffcut patchwork of processed and sawn-off samples wrapped up in dream-like electronic atmospheres and laced with a trippy experimental edge.
It’s pretty much a 2017 answer to the more frayed fringes of UK trip hop and NYC illbient vibes.