The soundtrack to Surf Nazis Must Die, originally released in 1987 by Troma Entertainment, - the soundtrack has never seen the light of day until now.
"Set in a post-apocalyptic future where Neo Nazi group, the Surf Nazis have taken control of the beaches and terrorize anyone who steps foot in their territory. Jon McCallum’s score suits the post-apocalyptic setting with heavy synth; fans of Tangerine Dream and John Carpenter’s scores will be at home on this record. McCallum is the composer behind Miami Connection, Terror Eyes and Soul Taker. Aside from his composing work he worked on the special effects for Phantasm 2 and George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You,” music video."
Wile-out Kuduro madness from DJ Marfox, kicking off the promising Príncipe label with a rambunctious 4-tracker. The 'Eu Seiquem Sou EP' is his debut release but he's already well known in his native Portugal for his legendary 'DJ's di Ghetto' mixes which have earned him notoriety from Europe to Africa. A-side features the polyrhythmic frenzy of the title track, all cascading fairground melodies and nutty drum pressure, plus the hooting Batida hoedown 'Bit Binary'. Flipside starts the ruckus with exhilarating drops and carnival momentum on 'Mitologia' next to the Garage-infected flex of 'Pensamentos'. If you loved Mental Groove's 'Bazzerk' compilation, this is a must!
Alternating vocal compositions written 900 years apart, the Hildegard von Bingen : John Cage collection is the first release in stock on our site from Edition Wandelweiser Records, a rather incredible, uncommon label full of fringe avant-classical and Quiet goodness that we’ll be listing in the coming weeks.
Sung by soprano Irene Kurka, the suite offers a very canny comparison and contrast between two seminal bodies of work separated by eons but subtly bound by their plaintive stylistic distinctions. As the first introduction to Edition Wandelweiser for many listeners, the Hildegard von Bingen : John Cage release is a sterling demonstration of the label’s tastes, but also perhaps a misleading example of what else lies in their catalogue best known for exploring the liminal border between music and silence.
In three parts, the disc presents nine works by legendary German mystic / nun / philosopher / composer Hildegard von Bingen (1098 - 1179), followed by the nine-part cycle of Sonnekus²  by influential mycologist / philosopher / composer John Cage, before rearranges those same works in a back and forth, smartly and seamlessly segueing some 900 years of songcraft. taken individually, the bodies of work are very much of their time, yet when enmeshed they form a vehicle for temporal transcendance quite unlike any other, not withstanding Akira Rabelais or the VOX recordings.
These are beautifully haunting unadorned recordings, ripe for deep transportation. We urge you to check this one and anything else on the label at the nearest opportunity.
Amsterdam DJ/producer Marcelle van Hoof follows a pile of mixtapes released by Faust’s Klangbad with her 3rd platter of original production.
Clad in hippy cartoonish artwork and text in comic sans, you shouldn’t really judge this one by it’s cover, as DJ Marcelle churns up samples of an Indian lady talking about constipation ailing with her own extended vocal technique, all set to a ragged, primitive dancehall noise lurch on Psalm 3 - verse 1:” To Evacuate Is Difficult And Infrequent, whereas the B-side’s Psalm 3: Verse 3: Walking Around Aimlessly catches her locked in a mazy tussle of reversed loops and whimsical whistles.
You can’t keep a good Italo down - Fockewulf 190’s scandalously strong Itallo classic Body Heat is finally given the reissue treatment it deserves, making its first, DJ-friendly, appearance on vinyl since inclusion on two Clone Classic Cuts releases in 2008, and subsequently on V-O-D’s immense Microcosmos 82-86  compilation, which is an essential purchase if you ask we!
Cooked up by Milan’s Miki Chieregato and Roberto Turatti, performed by Victor Life (electronic drums) and Salavtore Nonnis (guitar, synths), and defined by Fred Ventura’s charmingly mistranslated vocal, Body Heat is nowt less than an evergreen anthem. We can only verify its effect on the ‘floor multiple times, and seriously recommend that every dance music-loving home should own a copy. DJs especially, this is the best-sounding pressing since the original!
Frank Breischneider, arch minimalist and co-founder of Raster Noton, joins Shitkatapult to release his most accessible album in eons, Lunik
Where the last decade has seen him traverse from pure glitch (Rhythm and Exp), to Soviet-era modular electronics (Sinn + Form), this one is relatively full of colour and contoured electronic soul a more conventional, dub-wise sense that’s always lurked in his music, but is now felt firmer than ever in sizzling highlights such as Sputnik and the weightless lope of Logik, or the To Rococo Rot-alike instrumental ambient pop fuss of Optik (For Yen-Nil).
“Frank Bretschneider on the tracks: "It moves, it sings... but does it swing? Anyway, it represents the soundtrack of my life, my musical influences: some San Francisco psychedelia, some London underground, some Berlin school (old and new). Krautrock from Cologne and New York minimalism. A shot of Detroit grit, a bit of Moscow dust, a splash of Paris charm?" Bretschneider was raised in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) in the German Democratic Republic. He is the founder of the East German underground band AG Geige and co-founder of the Raster-Noton label. He lives as a musician, video artist, and producer in Berlin.”
On a relatively rare excursion for his Ominira label, Kassem Mosse lovingly messes with house and techno formats in Chilazon Gaiden, divining a sort of kabbalistic techno sound that expands on the off centre flex of his Chilazon released by Honest Jon’s.
Counting nine tracks of meter-tweaking rhythms and entrancing electronics, Chilazon Gaiden yields Mosse in aerobic mystic mode with a loosely constructed yet firm acknowledgement of the link between dancing and spirituality that many others like to dance around, yet few producers render in such involving, intuitively attuned form.
Working on, off, and around the beat in delicious, brownian motion and slippery geometries, Mosse deftly realises a long-pursued aesthetic in these tracks, giving the club, DJs and dancers something to really work with and effortlessly interpret, rather than commanding them like a martial drill - pulling toward a sound that consolidates the offbeat swerve of Theo Parrish and Actress with the drily sculpted purism of Sleeparchive thru a devilish sleight of hand .
Dancefloor music for body ’n soul.
Bass sage Liam Blackburn’s been on the mushies again, tuning into the Ancestral Voices in his head and relaying their psychedelic chorus in Mycelia: the 1st spore from his new label; The Fifth Kingdom.
Picking a most worthy subject for the latest recital of Ancestral Voices, Liam invokes the power of the naturally ubiquitous yet unethically policed psychoactive flora in an undulating suite ranging from widescreen synth panoramas to hyaline peaks and radiant revelations
Dragan Lakic tests out a snarling sort of industrial techno sound for Power Vacuum after a string of straighter bangers for the likes of Planet Rhythm records.
Like Limewax or Current Value trying out techno for size, Oleka lunges for the jugular in all four parts, resulting a proper filthy bollocking in Ostentiferous, the skull-cracking bezerker Thereoid, and the dry wretch/hump of Hamartia.
Jung Am Tagen fire one of the strongest, most forward new techno records in recent memory - Agent Im Objekt - for the ever-amazing Editions Mego. In all 12 cuts the Viennese computer techno wizards do their part in closing the gulf between techno’s original, faceless abstraction and thrill of the new, and the current milieu of ubiquitous fizzogs playing to trampling herds in European megabarns.
Where their previous album Das Fest Der Reichen was given to cosmic urges, abetted by Ensemble Economique and friends, this time they get to grips with proper dancefloor / freaky electronics in a balance of severity and playfulness that’s going to light up a lot of heads and make a lot of others ask for some Marco Carola.
Like Florian Hecker on the bosch with DJ Nigga Fox, or NHK executing a courtship ritual for a robot, Agent Im Objekt pushes all the right buttons to short circuit the conventions of rote techno with its mix of probing technical suss and infectiously off-centre rhythms that don’t simply sound like big room templates or sample packs.
Working in a lineage of direct and forward techno native to Vienna since UR visited during the early ‘90s, JAT dare to mess with the form while remaining true to its function, meshing mind-messingly dissonant, curdled tones with both jacking and heavily swung grooves to a mix of delirious and sober effect that makes a lot of other modern techno appear to be made by pedestrian jocks with colouring-in books, rather than the innovative, hypnotic sensual and viscerally exciting sound it can be - just like this LP.
The series’ penultimate instalment...
Rotates the balearic hip-house of Bufiman’s Hymn To The Moonfaced (Break Mix) next to a ruder strip of raw house from Betonkust & Palmbomen II riffing on Art of Noise, while the B-side brings airy Detroit style techno-funk from Space Dimension Controller, and the salty swagger of Neue Obakel from Lena Willikens.
Julio Bashmore and T. Williams harness a 2nd session of supple, rolling UKF mutations on their Conch label.
Returning to base UKF after a number of raids on the house of disco and boogie that no doubt earned them £’s, but inverse returns on decent dance floors, they gets back to basics with cool results in Conch 002; keeping the pressure bubbling down below with the A-side’s bare bones swagger and percolated synth voice, while the B-side strips back down to a sound like early Dettmann or Nodge lost in South London, then like Roska dissolved in a bath of acid.
Sweden’s Anna Von Hausswolff plays the gothic diva figure with gusto, accompanied by her band and darkside über-producer Randall Dunn on ‘Dead Magic’; her first album since 2015’s ‘The Miraculous’.
Cosmic TRG switches moniker to Com Sin for the fluid techno-house hydraulics of Fiere
Backed with the Matthew Herbert-esque blend of grubbing bass and off-kilter electronic chimes in Vedenie, and meshing monotone bass to keening loops in Miere.
Gully, bittersweet UK pressure on the cusp of grime, hip hop and dubstep
Turning up highlights in JT The Goon’s phthalo-sino grime ace Blizzard, the nimble 16th note shuffle of Nightfall by Dr. Hugo, a crucial sidewinder from Glasgow’s Polonis, and the room-razing shoulder roller Filthy sax from Filthy Gears.
Mango-sweet roots reggae starring the mellifluous tones of Cornell Campbell
...an OG ska and rocksteady artist, here recording later in 1982 on rides played by The Aggravators, produced by Buny Lee and mixed by Prince Jammy at King Tubby’s Studio.
INA-GRM’s Christian Zanési, artistic director behind the invaluable Recollection GRM archive reissues with François Bonnet and Editions Mego’s Peter Rehberg, cues up his own turn on the series with 1st ever download and vinyl editions of Stop! l’horizon ; his absorbing debut of electro-acoustic process for the Parisian institute’s nonpareil label.
Notching up Recollection GRM’s 20th release since the label started with Pierre Schaeffer’s Le Trièdre Fertile  in 2012, the two works Grand Bruit / Stop! l’horizon offer a grippingly fascinating insight to Zanési’s personal oeuvre and, by turns, the ears behind some of the most important, educational electronic music reissue series to emerge in the last decade.
Both works on offer are relatively modern, when compared with much of the Recollection GRM catalogue, which dates back to ‘60s. In that sense, they feel comparatively fresh, with Grand Bruit  recalling a densely layered and techno-psychedelic sci-fi soundtrack, like some extended scene from Alien 3 spent hiding from a xenomorph, while Stop! l’horizon  could just as easily be the accompaniment to a scene from Alien where Ripley gets utterly lost in the maze of air ducts on Nostromo.
Safe to say this is a must-listen for fans of sci-fi sonics and abstract electro-acoustic music. But of course that’s just one glib interpretation of these brilliant works, so we’ve included Zanési’s own notes for disambiguation below.
Grand Bruit (1991), 28’55
The great mobile sound bodies have an ordinary yet amazing ability to place the listener-traveller within, as if he or she was inside a giant double bass, in this case a train stroked by a double bow: the rails and the air. In 1991, I explored this phenomenon during my daily commute from the studio to my home. I used only a 21 minutes recording and treated it as a single sound object. I then processed and enhanced it as a photographer would have done, immersing it in successive 'baths'. The title I chose for this singular form was Grand Bruit.
Stop ! l’horizon (1983), 18’05
Saturday morning, nine o’clock as I reach the studio.
No one here. I only turn on the spotlights as the fluorescent tubes are too noisy. I switch the power on, shut the door, unplug the telephone. I then switch the mixing desk on, which sends an electronic impulse into the amps. The four speakers react individually with a very brief and low hiss. A kind of presence. I haven't listened to anything since the evening before and my ear is refreshed by a night’s sleep.
I feed the original mix into the master recorder and sit down in the centre.
Remote control: PLAY
With the first sound I close my eyes. The studio instantly vanishes. Another place, a much larger space opens up.
I enter it.
I have the very distinct feeling that music is merely a “great noise”, chiselled inside with a thousand details. It opens up like a living organism to let my hearing wander across it. A magnetic relation quickly occur and all the sounds that constitute this great noise draw me towards the East.
I accept this direction.
Later, much later, I reach a distant point on the horizon which pulls me towards it.”
Such a madness, Ismo Laakso’s Ofelia comes off like a wild pre-echo of Mica Levi, Teresa Winter and Paavoharju on its long overdue release thru Sähkö’s Puu after languishing as a demo CD in a drawer for nearly 20 years, only to be rediscovered last autumn.
In a way that resonates with our most febrile musical dreams, Ofelia sounds like a scrambled radio transmission which modulates with jazz-wise logic and timing between myriad sources, juxtaposing their lopped ends in a spellbinding play of anticipation-baiting, oneiric logic.
One moment we’re listening to an almost machine-like english vocal serrated by radioactive electronics (Translucent), while the next we’re in the midst of sloshing, unsteady breaks and ambient soul vocals joined by angelic, Hassell-style chorales (The Favourites of the Emperor), or disoriented by fusions of Finnish monologues with field recordings and visceral electronics (Koskenhaltija). Soon enough we’re drawn into a surreal scene of baroque and jazz-wise chamber music (Smell), and then what sounds like Charlemagne Palestine duetting with Maja S.K. Ratkje (Ofelia), and never with any kind of explanation or reason for how we got from points A to B. For some folk, that actually probably sounds like a nightmare, but if you’re a bit of weirdo, we reckon that it’s all is going to spin you out in the best sense.
Very highly Recommended!
After being enchanted by Sugai Ken’s UkabazUmorezU LP for RVNG Intl, we play catch up with the Japanese artist’s On The Quakefish album from last year, issued by the excellent Lullabies For Insomniacs label who were also behind that mental Lazslo Hortobaygi reissue.
Here, we’re privy to another array of deliquescent electronics and mercurial hooks, framing Ken’s vision of the Japanese nightscape with absorbingly evocative, impressionistic effect. Based in Kanagawa, Japan, on the edge of the Tokyo megatropolis, Ken draws from his surroundings to paint immersive scenes in succinct, pointillist dashes and vaporous strokes that dissolve into acres of enigmatic, negative space.
Quite boldly, Ken is unafraid to embrace sounds perhaps unfamiliar to the classic Japanese records we’ve heard, or the swell of ambient/new age reissues from that region. He freely vacillates these stranger, abstract sounds with more conventional gestures in a way that adroitly brings his subject - the Japanese night - to life in a way that doesn’t simply soothe the listener, but keeps their ears intrigued, moving around the sound sphere attempting to locate their possible sources.
This effect relates to the Zen tradition of Satori, “imagining circumstances and atmospheres that are so silent, one can hear the sounds of the wind and water streaming”. For us this effect also recalls the studied audness of Rashad Becker’s Traditional Music For Notional Species, as much as Luc Ferrari’s poetic concrète scapes, or a very canny first person computer game or avant-garde film soundtrack; exactly the kind of stuff to bed down with during long, dark winter nights over here.
Reissue housed in die-cut jacket designed by Peter Saville with infamous glass paper (or sandpaper) inner, and 7” ‘testcard’ featuring two tracks by Martin Hannett
The Durutti Column’s sublime debut album is back in circulation on vinyl for the first time in four years, presenting a definitive edition replete with the extra tracks featuring drum programming from Eric Random and a bonus 7” of two cuts from seminal producer Martin Hannett, who produced this album and many more for the legendary Factory label.
Not sure what we can add to the gushing rivers of praise for this record already out there?! Save possibly to say that in the 37 years since conception, Vini Reilly’s best loved album, The Return of The Durutti Column has clearly lost none of its evergreen charm and rarified Didsbury air. That’s possibly down to its timeless, fluid ‘simplicity’ and minimalism, or because of Martin Hannett’s future-proofing mixing desk trickery. But, either way it still floods your listening space with light and languorous, lushly introspective feelings that reams of artists have chased ever since.
Highly recommended? Essential!
Members of Total Control and Grass Widow converge a mannered, almost eldritch-tinted style of synth-pop crossing lines with Group Rhoda, John Foxx, Carla Dal Forno, HTRK
“THE GREEN CHILD is the long distance musical collaboration of Mikey Young and Raven Mahon, who met in 2013 when their bands, Total Control and Grass Widow played a show in Oakland, California. They started writing songs together in Australia in 2014 and the project has been on a slow burn since. Their self-titled debut album is the culmination of few years of putting ideas together internationally and periodically recording in Mikey's home studio. Some of the lyrical content and the band's name was inspired by Herbert Read's 1935 utopian, communist, sci-fi novel called The Green Child.
With such a choice name, it's no surprise that The Green Child draw their sound from an illusory past as much as they stalk into pastures new. Broadly retro-futuristic in scope, verdant acres of lushly evocative synthesizers and blippy drum machines underpin most of their upbeat yet decidedly uncanny songs. Raven's calmly scenic and measured vocal flits like a will-o'-the-wisp throughout the tracks, proffering a guiding hand as she walks us through the often eerie, electronic concoctions.
'Traveler' opens the album all redolent, beat-minded and labyrinthine. Twisting melody lines swirl and envelop like a sandstorm, whilst Raven coolly projects on a "solitary man" lost to "green oblivion". Similarly, 'Her Majesty II' glistens with its playful yet plaintive vocal and iridescent arpeggios, whilst 'Bertha' slows things down with tumbling chimes and stately use of space.
The Green Child are adept at atmosphere, their songs are refined from gently unfolding ideas that never fail to realise and build to their potential. Tracks like 'Walking Distance' (featuring Al Montfort on saxophone) and 'New Years Eve' are exercises in evolved composition with ideas budding off and blossoming into truly resonant dimensions. The band's cover of 'Marie Elene' (by Keith Pearson) and closing track 'Destroyer' are further crowning achievements, both pieces subtly handled with poise and ample melancholic grandeur. The Green Child fix their sights on the heights they want to reach within their songs and much like the project itself don't want to rush to the finish line. When it becomes more about the unfurling journey, why not take the time to enjoy the trip and burn slower?”
The killer third Errorsmith album contains a selection of live interpretations of classic disco and r'n'b songs. Digitally synthesized, distorted and filtered clubmusic which go far beyond the source material.
More dancefloor compatible than the two previous Errorsmith releases, this album relates closely to stuff from Smith'n'Hack and his MMM project with spar Fiedel, both projects involving Erik integrally. These were live laptop sets like you've never seen, employing a self built digital live tool, a combination of a simple sequencer and a synthesizer. Errorsmith uses this tool to manipulate both rhythms and triggered sounds in realtime.
With a huge degree of freedom playing his instrument, every gig was different. Initially planned as a release of studio versions, Errorsmith decided to keep the raw, live feeling of these amazing recordings.
Brilliant, mind-bending disco anachronisms from Dutch dude Arp Frique featuring musicians from Surinam and Cape Verde, all recorded in the modern day, although you’d swear it was from the ‘70s!
Arp Frique is Niels Nieuborg from Rotterdam, a key member of the Dutch live music scene who has saved his first recorded works for this session, bringing Americo Brito on vocals for the freaky Afro-disco-dub adventure of Nos Magia, before spinning out like Black Devil Disco Club in Lagos, ’78 with Kamajo, and the Afro-beat burner Ijo Ya, both set off perfectly by vocals from Orlando Julius.
Mannequin head Alessandro Adriani yields some of his fiercest EBM jackers on this white label for Mannequin.
All three are proper hoofers, rolling out stacked synthlines and rasping drum machines in a Tuning Circuits style with A Man who would come here of his own free will, then on a slightly deeper EBM trance trajectory with he is everything and nothing, and finally in the deathly jack of You never sleep.
The crown prince of Japanese indie-prog-pop yields his Mellow Waves LP on vinyl, his first albumin over a decade, arriving some two years since his Ghost In The Shell Arise O.S.T.
"For the uninitiated, Cornelius is the brainchild of Japanese multi-instrumentalist Keigo Oyamada. A performing musician since his teens, Oyamada created his creative alter-ego (the name is an homage to the Planet of the Apes), in the early 1990s from the ashes of his previous project, Flipper's Guitar.
With the 1997 release of Fantasma, Cornelius gained international recognition for his cut and paste style reminiscent of American counterparts Beck and The Beastie Boys and was released internationally by Matador Records. Being called a "modern day Brian Wilson" for his orchestral-style arrangements and production techniques, Cornelius subsequently became one of the most sought after producer/remixers in the world, working with a wide range of artists including Blur, Beck, Bloc Party, MGMT, and James Brown.
With 2002's Point, Cornelius' music took a quantum shift, going from sampling "found sounds" to looping organic elements and creating lush soundscapes. Using water drops as the rhythmic backbone of "Drop" on his vocoder-infused cover of "Brazil", the album dazed and amazed fans and set the path for the next phase of his career.
2007 brought this philosophy to an even higher level with the release of Sensuous. Cornelius' live shows are known around the world for spectacular visuals (all perfectly synchronized to the performance), custom lighting that doesn't simply augment the performance, but becomes another instrument within it, and a full band of equally talented and diverse players.
The companion piece to the album Sensurround + B Sides, earned the nomination for "Best Surround Sound Album" at the 2009 GRAMMY Awards.
The summer of 2016 saw the release of Fantasma Remastered, on Lefse Records. The package, a 2LP reissue of his classic album, also included 4 additional outtakes and earned Pitchfork's "Best New Reissue".
Cornelius has recorded music for Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, scored the anime mega-film Ghost in the Shell Arise, performed as the backbone of Yoko Ono's reformed Plastic Ono Band, played the Hollywood Bowl with Yellow Magic Orchestra, and co-wrote and produced the Japanese artist salyu x salyu."
In which members of Caribou, Floating Points, Hot Chip, Junior Boys and Simian Mobile Disco team-up as a synth super-group to render two performances of Frank L McCarty’s 1973 graphic score to Tactus Tempus. The percussive side could find some traction on odder ‘floors
“Tactus Tempus is a, lost, graphics based, experimental score by prolific composer Frank McCarty. The piece was originally conceived and performed in 1973 by McCarty's group BIOME on 5 EMS Synthi synthesizers.
By following a set of simple, yet subjective instructions the piece begins as a sparse moire pattern of bursts and tones before evolving in density and intensity as the players symbiotically interact guided only by the illustrated curve found on the score.
This EP features two new performances of the score featuring members of Caribou, Floating Points, Hot Chip, Junior Boys, Simian Mobile Disco and friends. Gathering in a rare moment of collective down time in London in July 2016 the spontaneously formed group performed the piece at Joe Goddard's basement studio. Each participant used a separate synthesizer or modular synthesizer system and while the original slides were projected on the wall, the ensemble recorded two versions of the piece, each one recorded live in one take, lasting 15 minutes. One version is tonal the other on percussive timbre."
A pivotal side in the history of rock and electronic music
Pierre Henry and Michel Colombier’s Les jerks électroniques de la Messe Pour le Temps Present  is an much-mined source of samples form myriad producers, and most famously includes Psyché Rock, a.k.a. the template for the Futurama theme tune. Proto-everything from the last 50 years.
Superb debut album by one of the UK’s more distinctive new pop voices and producers. After cutting her teeth with idiosyncratic releases on No Pain In Pop and Kassem Mosse’s Ominira, Throwing Shade adopts her birth name, Nabihah Iqbal for a more personalised set of songs, adapting influence from ’80s goth, Egyptian mythology, and Teutonic psychedelia to realise a striking, unexpected sound, especially when judged against her early work.
Weighing Of The Heart finds Nabihah firming up and expanding upon her identity as a female British Asian artist in a way that doesn’t play into cliché or expectations. There’s no discernible sonic correlation between her heritage and the music, but that’s most likely symptomatic of her London environment more than anything else. Immersed in the great NTS radio station and busy with myriad art and film projects, her sound is better considered in terms of a sense of pop-wise unity and appeal, as part of a greater sum than herself.
Her vocals alternately lend themselves to comparison as much with The Streets as Teresa Winter, whilst the gated ‘80s snares are a common hinge between stripes of synth-pop, rare groove and proto house, essentially forming a mesh of dream-pop that neatly and knowingly exists within and outside of its temporal context. From our perspective, it sounds like a very London album, and maybe that’s the point; that London is a world or identity unto itself, inextricable from her own.
Avant-garde Japanese vocalist Phew follows her sublime Light Sleep for Mesh Key with this album of purely vocal works combining extended vocal technique with Dadaist sound poetry and complex, alien electronic processing.
Voice Hardcore a deeply strange and surreal listening experience, which flits a fine line between real, natural recordings and their warped reflections, gauging a wide space for free expression and, by turns, interpretation, which requires no understanding of the Japanese language in order to grasp its otherworldly beauty.
RIYL Kurt Schwitters, Toru Takemitsu, Joan La Barbara.
The 15th and possibly best known title in Moondog’s legendary catalogue
The Story Of Moondog  is a true evergreen from the fringes of experimental, jazz and big band paradigms. Andy Warhol’s mum, Julia Warhola, did the calligraphy on the cover - Andy took credit for design - assuring its place in the pantheon of influential avant-garde classics.
Heavyweight roots reggae and dancehall dub vibes, now available to legitimately download for the 1st time. Recorded and mixed between Channel One, Joe Gibbs Studio and King Tubby’s.
Stone cold aces, especially Prince Hammer’s shuddering King Selassie M.16.
Nope, not the ‘90s house act, but rather Philadelphia’s original ‘80s synth trio, The Nightcrawlers, are subject of this revelatory compendium from Mexican Summer’s Anthology Recordings. Spanning 14 works in just over 2.5 hours, The Biophonic Boombox Recordings form a gateway to distant, lo-fi but fantastical dimensions
“Deep, diverse, and unheralded, the Philadelphia ambient electronic music scene of the 1980s is explored with The Nightcrawlers’ The Biophonic Boombox Recordings, an expansive archival collection documenting the hard-knuckled kosmische synthesizer trio’s home recordings self-released and distributed over 35 cassettes between 1980 and 1991.
Featuring the farthest reaching spacescapes of those cassette releases – improvised straight into the mic of a JVC Biphonic Boombox – none of these performances have been released beyond the original format, and essentially went out of print when Nightcrawler Peter D. Gulch got tired of dubbing them to blank tapes to mail-order through his Synkronos label and sell at live shows. Restored and recalibrated from the original cassettes, The Nightcrawlers’ music has never sounded better or so readily accessible.”
Getting in there just as his new album proper drops, Ben Frost presents his tense soundtrack to Super Dark Times, a new flick directed by Kevin Phillips and hailed as “an unnerving cross between ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘Donnie Darko’” by IndieWire.
Like his work on Fortitude, and his acclaimed A U R O R A album, the Australian composer diffuses scarily close strings thru diaphanous soundscapes to mirror both the film’s imagery and his own internal landscapes.
More specifically, Frost picked a palette of sounds appropriate to the film’s setting in ‘90s upstate New York, generating a temporally sensitive tension that drew on his formative experiences with digital delays, Boss Metal Zone distortion pedals and Peavey Amps that was also pretty ubiquitous to that era.
The results sound like the downstrokes of NIN, threaded with thwarted techno impulses and rent with a gripping sense of digital awe.
In pursuit of the ambient zeitgeist, Vakula presents a suite of metaphysical, esoteric research in Metaphors via his Leleka label.
Arriving months after release of Techno Game for Arma Recordings, Vakula’s scope is dilated to encompass a world of influences from Soviet electronics, Ukrainian folk melodies and traces of Detroit techno, amounting to a hypnotically layered and vertically inclined album drvien by an underlying, kinetic pulse that keeps it hovering between the armchair and the dancefloor of the imagination.
Abyss X follows a notable turn for Halcyon Veil with her steeply enigmatic début of mystic composition for Aïsha Devi’s Danse Noire
“Taking its title from a Minoan legend that deals with rage, greed and destruction, the latest release from Abyss X expands and reconstructs conceptions of aural space and time. Out on Danse Noire, Pleasures of the Bull finds the multi-disciplinary artist and producer flirting with the sounds of hard jazz while mystifying the parameters of experimental music across several distinct movements, thus allowing the listener to break free from their sonic principles.
Intoxicating, ambient textures mesh with Abyss X’s own expressive vocals, as well as the sounds of the traditional Cretan lyra, played by Maria Skoula. Her sound modification creates a collage of temporalities – allow yourself to move outside linear dimensions, and her to confide in you. Prog rock guitar lines twist stolidly beneath warped vocal samples, and the timbre of the bowed lyra permeates the atmosphere in a thick, suffocating haze.
As the listener travels through space and time, so too does the artist. Abyss X delves into the fullness of her craft, drawing from her background in theater and performance, in addition to the frenzied energy of her live shows as a musician. The music throbs with a frantic yet unmistakably deliberate drama. Pleasures of the Bull feels like a gentle punch in the gut; a compelling auditory performance and a bold exploration of the narrative album format.”
Metrist does his salty abstract techno thing for Where To Now?
Packing some cranky swang into the discombobulated techknots of An Soaep, coming like an itchy garage bog monster with On Golden Seize, and progressively decimating the groove in Pantomimer Tongue and the barely-standing Caccel The Horze.
Celldöd keeps it ice cold but sweaty with a slamming EBM session for Rivet’s Kess Kill label.
Clearly skooled on the classixxx and fuelled by deadly dancefloor intent, Kess07 hits the ‘floor jacking with his throbbing bomb Flodvüg, whereas Dom Kommer Aldrig is slower, swaggering and blunt in its delivery.
Our favourite however is the beastly Inom Dig with its tinnitus-inducing intro giving way to a dastardly, wall-bucking rhythm that doesn’t let go, before Alltid Vi clocks out on a zig-zagging kerb crawler tip.
A late pinnacle of the Drexciyan oeuvre, Storm 2 aka Transllusion's 'The Opening of the Cerebral Gate' is availed as an expanded 3LP pressing to include (almost) all the tracks on the CD version, compared to the original 2LP
It's all remarkably bass-heavy, even saturated, compared with a lot of other Drexciyan workouts, resulting some of their most ruggedly stripped down electro-techno functions ranging from the pounding might of 'Transmission Of Life' to the militant march of 'War Of The Clones' and the funked come-on, 'Do You Want To Get Down'. On the other hand, it also features stacks of gorgeous Drexciyan melodies in the aquatic flux of 'Cluben In Guyana' and the twinkling keys of 'Unordinary Reality', and to darkest effect on 'Crossing into the Mental Astroplane'.
Highly recommended to all aquanauts.
Understandably regarded as thee holy grail of Italian Minimalism, Giusto Pio’s totally sublime debut LP Motore Immobile (1979) starts a very necessary new life cycle, licensed and pressed on vinyl by new label Soave for the first time in nearly 40 years.
Produced by Pio’s then student, soon collaborator and massive Italian pop composer, Franco Battiato, the strikingly radiant masterwork Motore Immobile forms an impeccable distillation of what connected and separated Italian Minimalism from its American counterpart - namely an intimate sense of restraint, sound sensitivity and quiet ecstasy, as opposed to more grandiose landscapes or swelling communal gestures of the heavyweights from the west such as Riley, Glass or Reich.
Coming from a country of steeply progressive yet sometimes conservative musical traditions, Motore Immobile was realised and originally appeared amid an influx of innovative, spiritualised domestic recordings which took lessons from their American counterparts and mixed them with a typically hi-fidelity approach to recording and production which, by the late ‘70s, had made Italian studios famed as the natural choice for post-production on some of the biggest rock and pop recordings ever made.
It is somewhere between these points that we can locate the enigma of Motore Immobile’s tremulous, spectral beauty. Adapting the exploratory and perfectionist techniques of major studios, experimental ensembles and the classical avant-garde, Pio and Battiato imperceptibly, tactfully separate sounds from their sources, effectively removing the centre of attention out into ostensibly simple drones which shimmer with an incredible richness of harmonic timbral detail, mingling in weightless dimensions with dreamlike vocals and hot streaks of violin that linger like shooting stars on a completely still, balmy night in the 17 minute title piece, whilst the proceeding Ananta follows that curve even more gradually on a bed of weightless, floating organ tones dusted with precise and spine-tingling flurries of keys.
This is music that suggests transcendence in the most unhurried, timeless manner; a centre-less sound that gently encompasses and encourages the listener to find their personal locus thru the process of infinite diffusion, or travelling without moving. There’s no higher praise we can give than to say it’s music best consumed with eyes shut for optimal results and back-of-eyelid geometric projections.
It's quite uncanny that Pio (b. 1926) passed this mortal coil on February 12th, 2017, only weeks before this reissue now makes its overdue return from obscurity and serves to assuredly place him within the Classical Minimalist firmament.
From lesser-travelled tributaries of American soul and disco comes the Bay Area’s T.J. Hustler Metaphysical Synthesised Orchestra and their Age of Individualism , which has been mercifully and legitimately reissued on vinyl for first time by Companion Records - mercifully because OG copies are known to trade for £1500!
Recut from a pristine copy lent to the label by Josh Davis (DJ Shadow, we presume?), the results were certainly worth the effort, sounding seemingly dialled in from some parallel disco universe, whites actually just the imagination of Tim S. Jones a.k.a. Preacher man and T.J. Hustler.
They’re pacy, extended disco burners in a very stripped down but drivingly hypnotic and colourful style, each peppered with T.J.’s vocals, which range from speaking voice to call-and-response with himself in lower and higher pitched voices, spelling out his ideas about universal consciousness, sex, and other such esoteric notions.
As a bonus, they’re all long enough for a DJ’s bog break, and the 45rpm plate also sounds great at 33rpm! We’d love to imagine that T.J. and Charanjit Singh were telepathic pals but told nobody.
Innovative approach and method generates naturally distinctive and driving electro-acoustic results in the début solo album by Jason Sharp - a regular collaborator and member of the scene surrounding Montreal’s Constellation. Imagine Colin Stetson recording for Cologne’s Magazine label and you’ve nearly got the measure of this one
“This music was performed wearing a customized heart monitor providing a single pulse to trigger analogue drums, sine wave patterns, controlled feedback, and synthesizers in real time. All electronic rhythmic material stems from this source…
Jason Sharp has emerged as one of Canada's most fascinating New Music composers in recent years. From his roots as a saxophonist in Montréal's fertile jazz and improv scene, Sharp developed as a soloist with drone-based durational music, circular breathing, and an increasing exploration of the body and technology.
His impressive 2016 debut A Boat Upon Its Blood was a molten and musically diverse work of modern composition inspired by a Robert Creeley poem, distinguished by Sharp’s use of a heart monitor and amplified breath to trigger various rhythmic and textural electronic elements – alongside his own saxophone playing and contributions from guest players on violin and lap steel guitar.
Stand Above The Streams expands on this approach, with Sharp having further developed his custom Midi and synthesis apparatuses, and most notably collaborating on these compositions with Adam Basanta, whose renowned practice in sound art, sound installation and autonomous sound systems makes for impressively immersive, layered and complex new work.
All sound sources on Stand Above The Streams originate with Sharp (with the exception of violin from the album’s co-producer and mixing engineer Jesse Zubot on one song): bass and baritone saxophones, heartbeat, pulse, and breathing are played/processed in real time through Sharp's own signal-bending synthesis rig and through Basanta’s bespoke 'controlled feedback' amplification system. The album's rhythms are generated wholly from Sharp's similarly controlled breathing and heart rate. The results are utterly gripping, with melodic and micro-tonal elements flowing amidst waves of atmospheric pink and brown noise, low-end modulation and calibrated distortion.
Through four parts each running in the 10-minute range, Stand Above The Streams conjures an evocative, abstracted survey of organic nature, perhaps from on high, like a satellite scanning and processing data across diverse and slowly changing landscapes. The album also sits very comfortably alongside the recent resurgence in synth-based soundtrack music (John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream et al) – though as alien as it can sometimes sound, there is an unmistakable human element and underlying warmth that courses through the tensile strength of this music, electrifying it with the viscera of the body.”
One of The Helen Scarsdale Agency’s most prized units, Fossil Aerosol Mining Project vent a cryptically elusive, hauntological suite of mid-fi compositions working on the cusp of ambient noise and avant-garde electronics in a way that should resonate with fans of the recent Pendant album on West Mineral Ltd, the romance of William Basinski’s knackered loops, or the shoegazing tinder of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. We warmly recommend shutting your eyes and wrapping yourself up this one for a properly gauzy and deeply synaesthetically heightened trip.
“The Fossil Aerosol Mining Project continues their post-industrial dialectics through their "songs of enhanced decay and faked resurrection." This cryptic ensemble from the American Midwest has been quietly producing such works since the '80s, with a deep catalogue highlighting a uniform brilliance in the exquisite reconstruction of exhumed cassette tapes and moldering 35mm film stock.
On August 53rd, Fossil Aerosol has collaged their reclamations of found sounds into an inquisitive, dynamic cinema of the ear. The tape loops and recombinant samples create elliptical orbits and vertiginous spirals. Down-pitched, disquieting rumbles form the foundations for much of Fossil Aerosol’s compositions, which mutate the fractured, crumbled, and mildewed artifacts into patterned yet shifting phrases. The result seems like hybrid, time-compressed mimicry of the evolution of our media-driven language.
The official statement from the ensemble reads as such:
"This album, arranged specifically for Helen Scarsdale, might be considered a prequel to The Day 1982 Contaminated 1971, featuring the damaged remains of certain pop culture pleasantries in a less decomposed state than found on the previous vinyl release. August 53rd, a month extended to accommodate a changing climate, predates the day 1982 contaminated 1971."
Such inquiries characterize the many non/fictions that contextualize the work of Fossil Aerosol. Through the process of decoding lost melodies and dialog of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, Fossil Aerosol intentionally or unintentionally deflates the vanity of consumerism while at the same time providing an archaeological view of contemporary culture.
These conceptual frameworks would be meaningless if Fossil Aerosol did not deliver on the aesthetics. And deliver the Project most certainly does. August 53rd harbors the rich enigmas of distressed sound collages found in the work of likeminded artists such as Philip Jeck, Felicia Atkinson, and of course Fossil Aerosol’s occasional collaborators :zoviet*france:.”
Japan’s fearless multi-instrumentalist and cultural provocateur Keiji Haino has made a career out of his free-form musical improvisations and diverse collaborations. Whether deconstructing American blues to a few rogue notes hanging across chasms of empty space in his solo endeavors, sparring with the nebulous fringes of psychedelia in Fushitsusha, or teaming up with musicians like Faust, Boris, Jim O’Rourke, Stephen O’Malley, John Zorn, and Peter Brötzmann for fleeting aural experiments. Haino’s work is never pre-planned or structured, but rather a completely spontaneous exploration of chemistry, texture, and dynamics.
"SUMAC’s tenure is much younger than Haino’s, though guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner has covered a similarly large swath of musical territory across numerous projects and collaborations, from the sedated drones of recent projects with Daniel Menche and William Fowler Collins to the modern compositions of Mamiffer and all the way back to the restless evolutions of post-metal stalwarts ISIS. With his cohorts Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists, Erosion) on drums and Brian Cook (Russian Circles) on bass, Turner has dissolved the rigid forms of heavy music, searching for a balance between disciplined precision and unhinged musical barbarism, crafting music that vacillates between meticulously detailed instrumentation and uninhibited forays into oblique abstraction.
For American Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You're Too Hideous To Look At Face On, Keiji Haino and SUMAC met up in Tokyo’s Goksound recording studio to track a series of unrehearsed, completely non-premeditated sessions. Captured across several reels of tape, the collaboration harnessed Haino’s tension-inducing use of empty space on songs like “I’m over 137% a love junkie, and it’s still not enough” while pushing SUMAC’s dissident metal vocabulary on “What have I done (I was reeling in something white...)”. Throughout the course of its hour-plus length, American Dollar Bill pushes and pulls at the strictures of metal and bends the stylistic formalities of improvised music to create a sonic purge unencumbered by convention.”
DAF go balls-to-the-wall on their Conny Plank-produced Gold Und LIebe
Feat 10 strapping tunes including hi-velocity highlights in the hyper rock ’n roll swagger of Absolute Körperkontrolle and the earlier-written zinger Werschwend Deine Jugend, plus a popcorn-like charmer Liebe Auf Den Ersten Blick.
A massive influence on everyone from Powell to Helena Hauff, DAF are among the most important electronic artists of the ‘80s and a massive influence on electronic dance music ever since.
Kouhei Matsunaga swings the dance ass-first with the quantum funk of Parallel Tempo for excellent, emergent Swiss/Italian label -OUS.
Furthering his hot streak of releases that takes in Hallucinogenic Doom Steppy Verbs  for Diagonal, thru his Sparrow’s Garden for L.I.E.S., and the Exit Entrance LP for DFA in 2017, the Japanese producer/illustrator renders five bendy aces between the zig-zagging, pendulous form of Parallel Displacement, a masterful mutation of EBM and 2-step in Blue and Purple Horses, and the colourful, crisply weightless swingers dynamics of Universal Gesture.
“NHK yx Koyxen walks at any speed and on any surface he desires to trance-scend. His Parallel Tempo EP takes a mindful plunge into layers of rigorously murmuring gestures. Speed is relative to size. As they are streched and bent, the planes engage in parallel movement. this is an exploded drawing, unlocked from time.
The Japanese artist and producer NHK yx Koyxen has been unveiling his unique vocabulary through a continuous stream of sound for many years. Performing on electronic music's timeless DNA, he offers those who step in a resonating space, in which loose objects are bound to embrace each other.
Afro-Cubist house prophet Jamal Moss dons his Hieroglyphic Being robes for the most varied, layered and timbrally rich solo mission in his cosmic musical arc thus far. Think Sun Ra, Thelonious Monk, The Weather Report, Larry Heard, Marshall Allen, Pekka Airaksinen, Adonis, Miles Davis, Armando Gallop, Jon Hassell - but most of all think of deep Black musics and Chi house as a portal to other dimensions.
Armed to the gills and wingtips with the plushest hardware line-up we’ve seen on a Jamal Moss recording - organic flutes, piano, guitar, drums, alto sax, Hammond organ, Korg Triton, Linn drum, Korg DDD-1, DR 5 drums, Casio RZ1, Ensoniq Mirage Firelight CMI Series III, Moog Mother 32, Allen & Heath Zed 24 mixer - it’s perhaps understandable that the results feel more lustrous and grand than his usual, stripped and tracky results, seemingly pulling some influence from recent years work with instrumentalists such as Sarathy Korwar, Shabaka Hutchings, Orphhy Richardson and more.
In a subliminal and physical elevation and expansion of styles, the album shapeshifts thru 9 stages variously wrestling with and dancing around the ‘floor, making for one of the first Jamal Moss albums we’d genuinely say sounds as great on headphones, walking around absorbing sights, as it does on home stereos or jabbing you to dance.
Moor Mother and DJ Haram roll their first 700 Bliss release into play with the ticking bombs of Spa 700 for Rabit’s Halcyon Veil - following up the label’s mighty Les Fleurs Du Mal LP and MHYSA’s widely acclaimed fantasii album late last year.
Both graduates of the Philadelphia house party scene, Moor Mother and Haram operate on a clearly intuitive and woke level, matching aggressive but agile lyrics and delivery with taut but dextrous fusions of Arabic drums and pumping Jersey bass. After débuting their 700 Bliss alias on the track 29th from Moor Mother’s The Motionless Present , the YY + YY pairing question club music’s fringes with the kind of razor sharp insight and direct yet freaky effect that we’ve come to expect from a Halcyon veil release.
Across the EP strings and drums intersect Moor Mother’s distinctive, urgent vocals and lean jabbing electronic production in a manner ripe for avant clubs, turning up strong highlights in their straight winner Ring The Alarm with its choppy Timbaland-meets-Mutamassik flex, and with a cold militancy on Scully, whilst Cosmic Slop is perhaps the most powerful example of their seething pressure.
The avant-garde answer to a collab between Martine McCutcheon, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jools Holland, anyone?
“Privately pressed to LP in 1978 under the name J. Jasmine and made especially for the Ann Arbor Film Festival, with artistic collaboration from the festival’s founder and Once Group artist, George Manupelli, My New Music is the debut album by Jacqueline Humbert and David Rosenboom. Featuring a cast of Mills College personalities like David Behrman and Sam Ashley on backup vocal duties, this song cycle is at every turn boundary-pushing and gender-busting, yet still hilarious, sweet, and genuine, all delivered in a post-genre, art-song, cabaret musical style that happens to boast some serious avant-garde chops, courtesy of Rosenboom. If it weren’t so spot on, you’d swear it was a guilty pleasure.
As J. Jasmine writes, My New Music is a collection of personal stories and private desires, exposed, articulated, performed and dedicated to the hope that one person's fantasies can contribute to another person's freedom. Get lost in J. Jasmine’s world for a little long while, and be free.”