Erstwhile Bitstream member, Steve Conner gears up a fine 2nd 12” for Frustrated Funk, following his early trio on Brutalist Sunset and last year’s MKS-50 Tracks with three inimitably squeaky, funked-up electro squeezes.
The blend of chewy, resonant acid lines, deep blue choral synth voices and pulsating 808s in Vohx Continues hearkens back to Bitstream’s classic Double Density, whereas the clenched electro-funk of Kord Port (v2) isn’t so nice, and Drapse Harmonic finds him blending that nasty edge with beautifully offkey pads for bittersweet relief.
Low sunk and brooding post-techno explorations from Berlin-based Turkish artist, Nene Hatun, joining the ranks of Bedouin Records with four grim and grumbling sluggers.
A-side, she slunks out on the slow-motion wallop and drily caustic textures of Asceticism to sound like Adam X experimenting with knackered dabke, before scaling up crumbling walls of dub echo and decay in the trudging Double Bind.
B-side, Dementia emulates that effect with a swirl of chants and palpitating bass arranged into a thumping acidic EBM, then calving off into the uncanny autotune timbres and miscreant darkwave wobble of Altruism.
Legit reissue of a proper Belgian new beat nugget!
With thanks and gratitude to Adelaide’s Isle Of Jura label, Twilight Ritual and A Split Second founder, Charisma Chayell’s sexy new beat ace, Beach is reissued at a reasonable price, considering that original copies rocketed in value after DJ Harvey played it on Boiler Room.
Although not our favourite Chayell joint - that’s definitely Don’t Even Think About It (1989) - this 12” is a prime example of new beat at its earliest, refined and syncretic; filtering 4th world electronic voices, electro-boogie grooves and industrial-pop arrangements with that ice-cool ‘80s Belgian sensuality that we’re deeply attracted to.
Both tracks are essentially ‘floor-readied versions of Drinking Sand off A Split Second’s seminal Ballistic Statues album, the same LP that generated Flesh - which was most often played at 33rpm instead of 45rpm, a pivotal moment in the birth of new beat - and like Flesh was a staple on influential Goan, Balearic and Belgian dancefloors at the time.
Speedos in the briefcase times. Big tip!!
Coinciding with the label’s 10th anniversary, Erased Tapes Collection VIII is a highly limited transparent 2-LP set
"On February 5th 2017 Erased Tapes opened the doors to their new East London home, marking the 10th anniversary by introducing their fans and the public to the new Erased Tapes Sound Gallery. The label will be celebrating with many festival showcases including End Of The Road and Sea Change Festival in the UK, Germany’s Haldern Pop, as well as curating 10th anniversary takeovers of Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Colston Hall in Bristol, plus more to be announced.
Commencing these celebrations with a new compilation entitled Erased Tapes Collection VIII, they also welcome the iconic Penguin Cafe to the roster amongst tracks from new signing Daniel Brandt (of Brandt Brauer Frick) and Peter Broderick’s duo project Allred & Broderick. It also includes recent compositions by Rival Consoles, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Ben Lukas Boysen, Douglas Dare and Immix Ensemble & Vessel, as well as a previously unreleased Ryan Davis remix of Erased Tapes stalwarts Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm which was recently favoured by Aphex Twin and an exclusive edit of Woodkid & Nils Frahm’s score for JR’s Ellis, with spoken words by Robert De Niro."
Astral Industries salvage a sublime ambient side from the oceanic ‘90s canon with Kim Cascone’s enchanted Lunar Phase (1995) turn as Heavenly Music Corporation - now presented on vinyl for the first time, faithfully re-mastered by Noel Summerville to sound as immersive as ever.
Lunar Phase serves a timely reminder of Cascone's indelible influence over that lush, utopian phase of late 20th century ambient music, a time when his Silent label was a pivotal touchstone for that fluffy, contemplative, post-club sound, which was most likely consumed with copious amount of hash and residual gurns sliding off your jaw.
This (slightly trimmed down) reissue, licensed from Silent, clearly endures into whatever we call this decade (the shit one?) by way of its near ineffable sincerity and sense of naivety, offering crystal clear windows onto four heart-meltingly sweet and creamy spheres that probably do exist in a parallel dimension somewhere pineal, between the eyes.
It should comes as little surprise then, that Lunar Phase was composed and compiled with meditation in mind, and originally broadcast by St. Giga, Japan - a satellite broadcast radio station that transmits ambient music 24 hours a day, whose programming is based around current tidal movements.
With the exception of Seafloor Starlight, which would have pushed this set over 2LPs, you have the album pretty much as it was intended; first seducing us to his ethereal temporality with the waning synth washes and frothing acid pulses of Energy Portal, then exploring the subaquatic acid caves of St. Giga, and sailing across the B-side archipelago of Lunar Phase - warmly tipped to ambient Plastikman fiends - the new age suspension of Nautiluss and the arcing arpeggios of Cloudless Light, to the tranquil, curdling acid accumulation of Orgone.
A beautiful escape pod, there when you need it.
This 175 page A4 sized new book covers Martin Hannett and the equipment he used for producing sounds with Joy Division and early New Order plus for Happy Mondays, Buzzcocks, Nico, Magazine, Stone Roses and U2. It also covers Strawberry Studios which was opened and initially used by 10CC for their best albums and singles and block booked by Factory and Hannett from 1979 for many of the post punk recordings.
"There’s also a section on Hannett and Tosh Ryan's Rabid Records and Absurd Records, which were an influence on Tony Wilson of Factory Records. The book was conceived originally as a companion book, about Martin Hannett’s equipment, to Chris Hewitt’s other book “Martin Hannett - Pleasures of The Unknown” and the DVD “Martin Hannett - He wasn’t just the 5th member of Joy Division”.
As material was being collected for this second book on Hannett, the project expanded to include a lot about his work at Strawberry Studios, Stockport and subsequently a section about Strawberry Studios in the years before Martin Hannett started to hire the place and then another section developed about the Rabid Records HQ on Cotton Lane in Withington, Manchester. Rabid was probably the first punk label to put bands into Strawberry Studios. If Rabid and Factory couldn’t afford to record the whole session at Strawberry Studios then they would use Pennine in Oldham and Cargo in Rochdale. Martin Hannett would bring the tapes to Strawberry for final mixing.
The headstone at Martin Hannett’s grave in Manchester’s Southern Cemetery states “Creator of The Manchester Sound”. He certainly created the Manchester punk / post punk sound and a lot of that he created in Strawberry with his array of electronic toys shown in this book. You could also credit Strawberry Studios with creating the earlier pre-punk Manchester sound. Graham Gouldman obviously wrote material for Herman’s Hermits / The Hollies, Eric Stewart was a Mindbender and when they recorded as Hotlegs and then 10cc they clearly put Manchester on the map and the studio was also used pre-punk by Manchester area bands like Barclay James Harvest and Sad Cafe.
The common thread running through Strawberry Studios operation, Factory Records operation, Martin Hannett and Tosh Ryan’s Rabid / Absurd Record labels operation, was that they all believed that bands and the music industry should not have to go off to London to record and put records out. They believed in the bands from Greater Manchester towns as a force to be reckoned with and wanted to create a Manchester-based music industry. As 2017 is the 50th anniversary of Strawberry Studios and the 40th of Rabid Records we can be thankful that these musical pioneers in Manchester Rock laid those foundation stones."
Loren Connors’ Family Vineyard reissue Hisato Higuchi’s compelling 2003 debut, She; newly expanded with two bonus tracks from the original sessions and remastered by Taylor Deupree. Family Vineyard were the first label to release Higuchi’s music outside Japan with Dialogue , so their reissue of his debut EP of “Tokyo’s laborer’s blues”, replete with new artwork by the quiet man himself, is pretty apt.
Our memorable first encounter of Higuchi’s barely-there sound came with his part of the Tsuki No Seika Volume Four 7” split with Zelionople in 2011, and after being reminded of that song’s frail beauty with his most recent side for Root Strata, Kietsuzukeru Echo = 消え続けるエコー this reissue offers an often shocking demonstration of his formative phase, a sound riddled with noise and blistering distortion in a way we would never have predicted.
Those gender-uncertain vocals, precise acoustic strums and the hiss of background noise are all in place from his later releases, but the seemingly haphazard bursts of neon fizz and electrical disturbances that light up and sharply contrast his acoustic parts lend She a whole other, thrilling dimension that boldly messes with expectations or presumptions.
As Family Vineyard put it, “the delicate song textures of She capture the utter feeling of loneliness and a sleep-deprived mind staring off into a blurry sky”. And it’s not hard to see that imagery hauntingly reflected in the new cover artwork - a distant red cross (pharmacy or church?) in acres of negative space - as much as the music, with sublime scene-setters such as the ghostly peal of Sirens sharing late night headspace with the sallow strums of Ghosts Ghosts and its pranging shards of noise, which also feature in a new Ghost Ghosts (Alternative take) and the solitary intimacy of Speed.
Completing the one-two of soundtrack discs from Twin Peaks The Return, this is the Music From the Limited Event Series, containing pretty much all the songs from the Roadhouse scenes; from a new Nine Inch Nails song to classic rock by ZZ Top and even Dirty Beaches’ Alex Zhang Hangtag with Dean Hurley and Riley Lynch (David’s son) as Trouble.
In classic Lynch fashion, the closing scenes were often total non-sequiturs to the madness which preceded them, and, despite a few duds, they were mostly watchable as we all tried to figure out the past hour’s events.
There are strong moments in the likes of NIN’s heaving industro-dub growler, She’s Gone Away, and likewise in the cocksure swagger of Trouble’s Snake Eyes, or the diaphanous latin torchsong of Rebekah Del Rio’s No Stars (the one with Moby on bass).
However, Julee Cruise's already familiar (and re-recorded?) version of The World Spins ends the set, and the series, to spine tingling effect - just so damn good.
ASC and Sam KDC plot new vectors thru the grey area on a sleek but rugged Saturne debut for Auxiliary.
Named after there massive planet, Saturne zoom out and scale up to vast space between techno, D&B and cosmic electronics in four parts, conjuring a strange temporal sickness with the hoofing bass and glacial atmospheres of Polarise, and gating that energy into the icy, Monolake-alike roll of Momentum.
The gritty hydraulic pump and fathomlessly wide space of Entropy is the EP’s most impressive showing for techno heads at the deep end of the pool, where Density Matrix finds them jumping off from nods to early Virus nods monotone techno into trip deep space techno zones.
Coucou Chloe pays up on the promise of her live shows and a strong debut for Berlin’s Creamcake with six tracks of plasmic new club music, both self-produced and featuring peers, Sega Bodega and Kablam.
Launched by new label, Nuxxe - also home to Shy Girl - Chloé’s Underdog spells out a distinctively aerated take on reggaeton, ambient R&B, grimy drill and hardcore techno, each perfused with her own vocals, varying from diaphanous clouds of gender fluid android accents to louche, ASMR-like whispers.
It’s all anti-banger in effect, deferring the gratification of “big drops” or breakneck drum programming in favour of plaintive but generous grooves and layers of dissonant, processed electronics moving acres of negative space, always leaving room for suggestive doubts and nervy uncertainty.
The four solo parts are strong, shelling the slow, icy fire of distorted dembow drums and percolated vox in Underdog, and with an absorbingly stark, piquant take on south London road rap and Zomby’s Eski grime in Stamina, whereas GS recalls the crooked lean of early Arca and The Letter adopts a floating ambient chamber stance before calving into reggaeton drama.
However, the strongest moment is arguably Flip U, made with Sega Bodega to sound like Jam City working with a blank-eyed Siri.
Typically enchanting electro-acoustic enigma from Philip Jeck, forming a richly abstract narrative from the reactive fizz and and timbral thizz of smeared shellac textures and their keening, dissonant harmonics
“Philip Jeck studied visual arts at Dartington College of Arts in the 1970's and has been creating sound with record-players since the early 80's. He has worked with many dance and theatre companies and played with muscians/composers such as Jah Wobble, Steve Lacy, Gavin Bryars, Jaki Liebezeit, David Sylvian, Sidsel Endresen and Bernhard Lang.
He has released 11 solo albums, the most recent Cardinal, a double vinyl release on Touch. Suite, another vinyl -only release, won a Distinction at The Prix Ars Electronica, and a cassette release on The Tapeworm,Spool, playing only bass guitar. His CD Sand (2008) was 2nd in The Wire's top 50 of the year. His largest work made with Lol Sargent, Vinyl Requiem was for 180 record-players, 9 slide-projectors and 2 16mm movie-projectors. It received a Time Out Performance Award. Vinyl Coda I-III, a commission from Bavarian Radio in 1999 won the Karl Sczuka Foderpreis for Radio Art. Philip also still works as a visual artist, usually incorporating sound and has shown installations at The Bluecoat, Liverpool, Hayward Gallery, London, The Hamburger Bahnhof Gallery, Berlin, ZKM in Karlsruhe and The Shanghai and Liverpool Bienalles.
Philip Jeck has won the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers 2009. A presentation ceremony took place at The Royal Institute of British Architects, London, on 9th November 2009. He has toured in an Opera North production playing live to the silent movie Pandora's Box (composed by Hildur Gudnadottir and Johann Johannson). He has also worked again with Gavin Bryars on a composition Pneuma for a ballet choreographed by Carolyn Carlson for The Opera de Bordeaux and has recently made and performed the sound for The Ballad of Ray & Julie at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool.”
Lushly suspenseful, ecstatic and diaphanous new age magic, incorporating jazz, raga drop blues and folk-wise turns, by one of the sound’s genuine originals. Do yourself a favour and check the gorgeous lift of ‘Open The Gift’
“A collection of brand new studio recordings, recorded by Davey Jewell (Peaking Lights/Flaming Lips) and mixed by Carlos Niño (Leaving Records). A magical mixtape of tracks that run the full gamut of ‘Laraaji music’, from blissed-out percussive jams to reflective vocal hymnals to trance-inducing drones. A perfect Laraaji entry-point on his never-ending creative journey through inner light.
Laraaji is a musician, mystic and laughter meditation practitioner based in New York City. He began playing music on the streets in the 1970s, improvising experimental jams on a modified autoharp processed through various electronic effects. Brian Eno saw him playing one night in Washington Square Park and invited him to record an album for his seminal Ambient series (Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance, released 1980). Laraaji went on to release a prolific series of albums for a wide variety of labels, many of which he recorded himself at home and sold as cassettes during his street performances.
In recent years he has had his career celebrated extensively, with two All Saints retrospectives Celestial Music 1970–2011 and Two Sides of Laraaji – as well as reissues on Glitterbeat and Leaving Records/Stones Throw. He has also collaborated with a new generation of underground musicians such as Sun Araw - their recent LP Professional Sunflow (Superior Viaduct) being the fruit of the live shows they played together in 2014.”
Digging beneath the mess of the world to find the beauty underneath is perhaps the most consistent theme in Chelsea Wolfe’s expansive discography—a theme that ties together her ceaseless explorations in unorthodox textures, haunting melodies, and mining the grandeur embedded within ugliness and pain.
"With her sixth official album Hiss Spun, Wolfe adopts Miller’s quest to become empowered by embracing the mess of the self, to control the tumult of the soul in hopes of reigning in the chaos of the world around us. “I wanted to write some sort of escapist music; songs that were just about being in your body, and getting free,” Wolfe says of the album before extrapolating on the broader scope of her new collection of songs. “You’re just bombarded with constant bad news, people getting fucked over and killed for shitty reasons or for no reason at all, and it seems like the world has been in tears for months, and then you remember it’s been fucked for a long time, it’s been fucked since the beginning. It’s overwhelming and I have to write about it.”
Hiss Spun was recorded by Kurt Ballou in Salem, Massachusetts at the tail end of winter 2017 against a backdrop of deathly quiet snow-blanketed streets and the hissing radiators of warm interiors. While past albums operated on the intimacy of stripped-down folk music (The Grime and the Glow, Unknown Rooms), or the throbbing pulse of supplemental electronics (Pain Is Beauty, Abyss), Wolfe’s latest offering wrings its exquisiteness out of a palette of groaning bass, pounding drums, and crunching distortion. It’s an album that inadvertently drew part of its aura from the cold white of the New England winter, though the flesh-and-bone of the material was culled from upheavals in Wolfe’s personal life, and coming to terms with years of vulnerability, anger, self-destruction, and dark family history. Aside from adding low-end heft with gratuitous slabs of fuzz bass, long-time collaborator Ben Chisholm contributed harrowing swaths of sound collages from sources surrounding the artist and her band in recent years—the rumble of street construction at a tour stop in Prague, the howl of a coyote outside Wolfe’s rural house in California, the scrape of machinery on the floor of a warehouse at a down-and-out friend’s workplace. Music is rendered out of dissonance—bomb blasts from the Enola Gay, the shriek of primates, the fluttering pages of a Walt Whitman book are manipulated and seamlessly integrated into the feral and forlorn songs of Hiss Spun.
The album opens with the sickening bang of “Spun”, where a lurching bottom-heavy riff provided by Chisholm and Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure) serves as a foundation to a sultry mantra of fever-dream longing and desire. The first third of Hiss Spun—whether it’s the ominous twang and cataclysmic dynamics of “16 Psyche”, the icy keyboard lines, restless pulse and harrowing bellows of Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, SUMAC) on “Vex”, or the patient repetition and devastating choruses of “The Culling—all carry the weight of desperation, lost love, and withdrawal. Wolfe’s introspection and existential dread turns outwards to the crumbling world around us with “Particle Flux”, an examination of the casualties of war set against an aural sea of static. White noise is a constant thread through Hiss Spun, with Wolfe finding solace in the knowledge that radio static is the sound of the universe expanding outwards from the Big Bang—a reminder that even dissonance has ties to creation. The electronic thump of “Offering” serves as an ode to the Salton Sea and the encroaching calamities stemming from climate change. The obsession with white noise and global destruction carries over into “Static Hum”, where the merciless percussive battery of Wolfe’s former bandmate and current drummer Jess Gowrie helps deliver the dire weight of a sonnet dedicated to a “burning planet.” By the time the album closes with “Scrape”, Wolfe has come full circle and turned her examinations back inward, reflecting over her own mortality with arguably the most commanding vocal performance in her entire oeuvre.
“The album is cyclical, like me and my moods,” Wolfe says of Hiss Spun. “Cycles, obsession, spinning, centrifugal force—all with gut feelings as the centre of the self.” And it’s an album that Wolfe sees as a kind of exorcism. “I’m at odds with myself... I got tired of trying to disappear. The record became very personal in that way. I wanted to open up more, but also create my own reality.”
A fitting, posthumous remembrance for original Can drummer, Jaki Liebzeit (R.I.P.), Compass renders five rare and transfixing examples of his Drums Off Chaos unit - an all-percussion ensemble he started in the ‘80s, who have made only sporadic appearances on record for Magazine and Emotional Rescue since then.
For dancing, rambling, or whatever takes your fancy, Compass mines a fine vein of rhythmelodic brilliance in accord with the play-it-monotonously agenda Liebzeit worked into his Can recordings, resulting highly infectious body music in the swingeing flux of Clockwise Instinct and the grubbing hustle of Nine out of Nine, with more experimental, eastward-looking infections in the splashing shimmer of On Circles and Turn Off Blue.
Omni-talented Roxanne Clifford (Veronica Falls) embraces the flashing lights ever fonder with the New Order-esque perfection of ‘White of an Eye’ and the levitating lullaby, ‘Blue Sparks’ for her pals at Glasgow’s Night School
“Patience – aka songwriter Roxanne Clifford – may have begun as a solo refuge from the Manchester-born, LA-Resident’s band duties but White Of An Eye, her 3rd single, is a fully formed, dancing-with-a tear-in-your-eye, confident Pop Moment. The attempt at shedding memories to embrace the present, an ode to the moment. Like her previous two singles The Church and The Pressure, Lewis Cook of Happy Meals engineers Clifford’s vision to Jacno-esque synth pop perfection. Blooming with a tentative synth cadence and nonchalant spoken word introduction, White Of An Eye soon erupts into perfect disco melancholy, with Clifford’s imagery perfectly nailing that nagging regret that haunts every new adventure. With the first appearance of a guitar hook in a Patience song, it’s a classic pop moment enunciated perfectly by Clifford’s instantly recognizable vocal.
“Melted skies, horizon lines are floating overhead” Blue Sparks Is a nocturne peppered with impressionistic imagery, romantic and doomed. Minimalist and affecting, here Patience is simply two synth lines and Clifford’s vocal. It’s Patience’s version of a Berntholer-style sadness, even evoking a Yazoo ballad. Like a Johnny Jewel production injected with passion, Patience captures the spark between two human hearts, the elusive, indefinable chemistry of sleepless, endless nights.”
In our clammy mitts at last, one of two soundtrack sets compiled from the incredible 3rd season of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks.
This is the instrumental collection, featuring 18 tracks including recurring evergreens such as Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks Theme and Audrey’s Dance along with Badalamenti and Lynch’s Thought Gang, gems from Lynch & Dean Hurley, and the hair-raising Threnody To The Victims of Hiroshima which accompanied the climax of Part 8, arguably one of the most brilliant pieces of TV in recent memory.
Everyone who has seen "The Return" will no doubt have their favourite moments - Wally Brando’s fleet homecoming is among our’s - but musically speaking, two of them appear here, firstly with David Lynch’s cracking DJ Screw-style re-drag of Muddy Magnolia’s American Woman, as deployed in the 1st episode, and particularly the mottled jazz loops of Lynch & Dean Hurley’s Slow 30’s Room, also from he amamazing Part 8, that was originally realised for a Lynch retrospective in Paris - also found on his The Air Is On Fire  release - and sounds uncannily like a special dram from The Caretaker’s dusty teak cabinet.
The version of Windswept included here is different to Johnny Jewel's original and is to die for, while the closing track will take you straight back to that fade to black final moment as the credits rolled up to bring the whole thing to a close...
With signature gusto GY!BE put the world to rights in Luciferian Towers, a statement of individual vulnerability and communal resistance holding steadfast against complex, crenelated forces.
Roaring with raw emotion harnessed in banks of guitars, drums, brass and electronics, the Montréalais phalanx cluster as one tight and powerful unit in four parts, reprising the format of their last two LPs to pack all you need into one satisfying disc.
For disambiguation, the band were informed by, in their own words; “the following grand demands: an end to foreign invasions + an end to borders + the total dismantling of the prison-industrial complex + healthcare, housing, food and water acknowledged as an inalienable human right + the expert fuckers who broke this world never get to speak again”.
For the listener, that results in some of GY!BE’s sorest and most swollen work, with Undoing Luciferian Towers aiming their fire at the shiny obelisks of big money which adorn every big city, while Bosses Hang rails against “labor, alienated from the wealth it creates” with optimistic militancy, then Fam/Famine heads for burning orchestral horizons, and Anthem For No State laments kanada’s ecological crises with dustbowl-scanning country and raging rock tropes fired up to get listeners off the sofa and joining the march.
Radioactive funky house rolige from Frederique catering to Roska's Kicks & Snares sound.
'Just Me' balances slinky, technoid swing with nasty-edged synth buzz; 'Moving On' yokes dubstep-style sawtooths on a jackin' UK rhythm.
Coventry's Andrew Diggs ratchets 'Moving On' with a loco remix built for peak time slaughter. We'd love to think he's some distant relation of Russell Haswell…
The Black Dice freak ratchets his most fecund phase in years with a hyper new batch of dancefloor x-ing garage-punk-tronic oddities
“Eric Copeland (Black Dice) returns to DFA with a brand-new set of hyper & hectic leftfield club music. Goofballs places its emphasis on playful melodies, ear worm hooks & vocals mixed with trademark machine funk rhythms that hit hard and land off-balance. Any other way would be too obvious for an artist like Eric. Perhaps he even invented a new dance genre: ‘Goofstep’. We’ll see if that one sticks…
Eric explained the creation of this new LP to us via email from his home on an island in lovely Balearic Palma Spain:
“i made it here in Palma at my studio, this is the first full record i’ve made entirely here since moving. some of this material was road tested September 2016 on tour supporting Animal Collective. This album was the result of real isolation here, countless hours, focused only on this. The whole recording & writing was a fast process. I focused most on the bass groove. I had a very minimal gear setup: 90’s drum machine, cheap bass machine and a sampler. But most important was a homemade ‘drum brain’ that Barry’s London custom made for me. Barry was in the Van Pelt Soldiers of Fortune & Oneida. That piece of gear was a big part of this record and informed the direction it took the most.”
Eric Copeland is a founding member of Black Dice as well as a prolific solo artist. Besides DFA, he has released albums on L.I.E.S., Post Present Medium & Paw Tracks.
Goofballs was mixed by Rusty Santos (who has mixed everyone from DJ Rashad to Panda Bear to Owen Pallett) and mastered by Joe Lambert. It is Eric’s third solo album for DFA Records.”
Stripped back, natty drum machine and glassy sequencer sparkles from St. Louis, Missouri, c.1987, all making 1st ever appearance on vinyl. File somewhere between bedroom boogie and new age 4th world hybrids...
"Music From Memory return with their penultimate EP of 2017, this time with four tracks drawn from Virgil ‘Vincent’ Work Jnr’s little-known cassette only debut from 1987, ‘Fast Forward’. Following on from a previous compilation of works taken from one of Virgil’s collaborative projects as the duo ‘Workdub’, this album under simply ‘Vincent’, reflects a more stripped back and raw musical approach from the St. Louis musician.
Experimenting with rhythm programming, midi, layering, sequencing, digital effects and sound synthesis the ‘Fast Forward’ sessions grew out of a series of late night jams with Vincent’s brother Scott who was then living in Kansas. With nothing planned in advance and no written music involved in the final recording sessions, the songs that would form ‘Fast Forward’ very much evolved out of improvisation lending a unique often spatial and searching quality to the tracks. Virgil’s equipment at the time very much lead the experimentation with the album being produced on a Yamaha DX7 Synthesizer, Korg DW-8000 Synthesizer, Yamaha RX-15 Drum Machine, Korg SQD-1 Sequencer and a sequential TOM Drum machine. As Virgil himself explains the title of the album in fact came about because it felt “as if I had fast forwarded to a different sound”.
Bedroom produced, the "Fast Forward" album had an initial run of only 100 copies, of which none were commercially available and were simply sent to friends and family along with a handful mailed out to local radio stations in his hometown of St Louis. Although the album received a good response from local radio DJs and music magazines, the album sadly never gained enough momentum or demand for a further run of copies. Fast forward to 2017, exactly thirty years are their production, and Music From Memory are delighted to be able to finally make Vincent’s music commercially available again."
Roska on the buttons for this ruddy ace from Ramzee decrying all the bullshit of social media: “i’m like nobody cares, see ya insta, but nobody cares /see ya snapchat, but nobody cares / see ya WhatsApp, but nobody cares”.
Addendum to Object Collection’s Fugazi-inspired opera-in-suspension, ‘It’s All True’, Slip present three further tracks of their densely tooled, discordant avant-punk extrapolating from Fugazi’s iconic live archives.
“Object Collection was founded in 2004 by writer/director Kara Feely and composer/musician Travis Just. Based in Brooklyn, the group operates within the intersecting practices of performance, experimental music and theater. They are concerned with simultaneity, complexity, and radicality, combining dense layers of text, notation, objects and processes. They work to give audiences unconventional viewing experiences through our merging of theatricality and pedestrian activity. Their works upset habitual notions of time, pace, progression and virtuosity. They value accumulation above cohesion.”
Steffi follows up her Doms & Deykers LP alongside Martyn with a plush 3rd solo album harmonising classic Detroit, UK and Dutch AI and electro-techno styles with personally expressive style.
“World Of The Waking State is Steffi's third solo album for Ostgut Ton and a musical departure for both her and the label. It's also a serious statement of intent. Over ten tracks she embarks on entirely new electronic terrain for her productions, marking industrial spaces with superlunary warmth while exercising a refined knowledge of polyphony and arrangement. Subdued melodies interact with each other over implied harmonies and microcosmic drum patterns, luring us into a world that is introverted, bewildering and gratifying all at once.”
OG UKF hero Jook 10 on the hot foot for Roska Kicks & Snares: piling in with the techno-updated skank and parry of Slaughter; then with a mad natty thing named Lockdown which is perhaps best described as a cubist Dego & Pépé Braddock collaboration, or just a straight up fucking dancer, in other words.
Deep dark tribal house rolige, latinate UK style from Bristol’s Majora.
If Rhythmic Theory linked with Loefah, the results may sound like Majora’s wickedly reserved one foot shuffler Urges with its super wide bass signals and trim, clipped drum patterns. Likewise, Lint Roller finds that sweetspoit between tucked-in south London rolige and bubbling Bristolian pressure with irresistible effect.
Jamie George cuts out two wicked UKF/UK house roller for Roska’s label; summoning flies and macaques to the floor on the trim and natty Apple Grumble, before getting freakier with the colourful 8-bit squirts and nipped soda-house knees-ump, Life Lien.
Miami’s Marks pulls back to Coyote Records with a wickedly cold, stripped-down fusion of footwork, drill and grime components. Coming off the back of his Green EP in 2016, this one goes shades darker and ropes in Spokes on a stellar cyberpunk trap remix.
Drain is an icily perfect example of Afro-Cuban drum patterns applied to eerie grime/drill dimensions; South Cold glares with dissonant synths and hard-bitten, reticulated percussion on a tight-belly halfstep[/triplet waltz; Lantern and Dash are like schizzy sides of the same coin - like medieval themes for snow-slinging trap baws.
What those riddims perhaps lack ion spatial sophistication, Spokes makes up for with a staggering remix of Drain that sounds like it was ripped right out of the upcm,going Bladerunner OST, framing the original deeper in-the-mix against snarling brass flares and reverb contrails, precipitating a toxic shower of Salem or Araabmuzik-style hardstyle/trap rhythms.
Next in line for Metalheadz 2017 remaster treatment, Optical’s pivotal 1997 debut for the label, also featuring a lush anomaly from his brother, Matrix.
With To Shape The Future Optical did just that, setting a taut, hi-tech production precedent for TechStep D&B that defined and ushered in a whole new era for that sound, also explored in the lip-bitingly tight roil of Raging Calm.
For stark contrast, Matrix shapes up one of late ‘90s D&B’s most curious outliers with the ambient sound design of Undersea Flight, a totally beatless number that’s better compared with Biosphere than anything else from his scene.
From member of Matt ’Toast of London’ Berry’s backing band, Jonas 3, to cooking up whirring techno as Cocktail Party Effect, Charlie Baldwin has seemingly led a more exciting life than most.
Following a split 12” with Nomine and his solo album, Helloyellow in 2016, he goes hard and crafty on Pinch’s Cold Recordings with four rogue rollers; leaning in the IDM-like intricacies of Battered, bubbling up rugged UKG/dubstep in OOYFM, and then with punchy Breaks on Intens, and the El-B styled dark swang of I Kno3.
Heavy dose of Roska’s distinctive UKF styles.
Check for some vintage sounding but subtly updated UKF templates in the Afro-Cuban swerve of Make Way and the simmering percolator, Level Up, and certainly make some time for Live Life featuring UKF royalty, Princess Nyah, which sounds like it coulda come from one of his early plates.
Straight from his Saturne duo with ASC, Sam KDC pushes off solo into the grey area with four cuts of rumbling techno pressure and Burial-esque darkside rolige.
With his atmospheric instincts to the fore, Sam feels out expansive, gloomy industrial space around the offset kicks of Oracle, and what sounds like an early Burial in the back-masked loops and low lying Reese basses of Pareidolia.
Mercurial Dreams catches him tucking the rhythms where the sun don’t shine as he operates in a murky foreground of RPG-like sound design, then drawing lines from early Suicide up to modern D&B with the palpitating menace of Tower of Babel at the EP’s perimeter.
Late night UK house pressure from Roska's ever-rolling Kicks & Snares label.
Transcode in the driving seat for a slick set at best in the Reese-bassed darkside rave house of 'The Way I Feel' and the deeply swung romance of 'Intellect' for Cooly G followers.
Not Waving’s ode to onanistic online narcissism
Me Me Me offers a playful 1st bite of his ratchet new album, Good Luck. Not for the first time, but certainly the most prominent use of his own vocals, laid nonchalant over burning MS-20 buzz and hacked EBM drums like a dafter DAF or Powell.
Instrumental Grime’s forward standard bearers back on road with four straight bullets from new and staple players.
Fresh blood comes from Manchester’s Fallow, squeezing off the Jon E Cash-style 8-bar murder of Rearmament, and Rebore keeps the energy levels up with the bullet riddled and highly strung Campaign.
From the more experienced quarters, Boylan & Oil Gang unload the spartan soundsystem clash of MurderOne and trust Slackk and Logos to take it farther out with the intricate construction of Moroccan Squares, mixing Logos’ signature atmospheres and synth washes with powerful but slippery mid-range torque.
Burial skulks back to the ‘floor with the deep, bumping swang of Rodent, backed by a footwork flexing Kode 9 remix.
Switching tack from the sublime, beat-less Subtemple 12”, Rodent follows in the vein of Burial’s remix for Mønic’s Deep Summer with a tender grip on deep garage house styles, cruising out on a 120bpm chassis flecked with looped R&B vox, ambient synth voices and flinty percussion, with a certain crackle of anxiety that’s more minutes-before-come-up than anything darkside. Eyes down in the darnce.
Kobe 9 ain’t having any of that on his remix, tho. His take on Rodent is razor sharp, alert and hungry, pinning scuttling footwork hi-hats and palpitating subs around that vocal motif at a quickened pace akin to tracks off his excellent Nothing album, drawing a jagged line from his ‘90s junglist roots right up to the modern nanosec.
Henry Keen tees up his 2nd 12” as The Room Below for DBA
Doing his thing with jazzy broken beat flair with On The Rhodes; tending to African influences with the lissom, sloshing hustle of marimbas and percolated percussion in Icy; eazing off into slow-mo boogie with Ants In Amber, and dropping a hip to the devilishly swung offbeats of Black Cast.
On FABRICLIVE 94, Midland shapes up a smooth playing transition from deeper Berlin and Detroit house to melancholy electronica, dub and techno, including some choice picks by Beatrice Dillon, Convextion, Shinichi Atobe and LFO, among many others.
Really enjoyable set...
Shanti Celeste introduces hotly-tipped producer Chekhov with Rotlicht, the variegated 3rd EP on her Peach Discs label.
Where the label’s previous 12”s from Shanti and Fred have looked to Detroit, early UK techno and classic deep house for inspiration, this one draws from more greyscale styles of knackered industrial techno and salsa-spiced electro for flavour.
Bierce follows a rugged hunch of murky, oozing bass and curtly clipped shuffle that gets under the skin with hypnagogic stealth, turning the dancefloor to zombie marionettes and the DJ as puppet master.
Rotlicht picks up the energy levels with a squirming sort of electro-disco-dub flux in floating effect, and Toothru brings an icy cool swerve imagining Kraftwerk set adrift in warmer climes.
Legendary zombie flick The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue is the latest vintage horror soundtrack to receive the deluxe Death Waltz remaster and reissue treatment.
Giuliano Sorgini provides a lushly string-heavy accompaniment to the scenes of gore and themes of technology and countryside all located and filmed in and around Derbyshire's peak district and Manchester. A wicked blend of '60s psych breaks, chilling electronics and ghoulish, processed wails - often from the director Jorge Grau himself - add up to a definitive horror sound, regarded by the label as "a benchmark for Suspiria", the equally legendary flick which was scored three years later by Goblin.
Honey Soundsystem’s Robert Yang returns to scene of his debut crime, Dark Entries, with a trio of moody slow techno and burning electro zingers.
From the front, he locks into 1st gear with the viscous disco drag coefficients of Primes, then slickly builds up the pace to a thrumming, trilling synth-pop momentum with the thrills of Stranger, before setting his sights on the far side of the ‘floor with a 13 minute+ vision of lilting cosmic synth spumes and keening slowest groove, persistently hitting the thrusters but never quite reaching orbit, as much as your feet want to.
Earnest post punk indie-pop, new on Dark Entries.
“Flesh World is a dream punk group formed in the summer of 2012 in San Francisco. The quartet includes Scott Moore (Guitar, Synths) Jess Scott (Vocals, Guitar) Andrew Luttrell (Bass, Backing Vocals) Sam Lefebvre (Drums). Jess and Scott met while loitering around the Panhandle district , listening to records, gossiping, and playing live shows around town with their bands (Scott plays in hardcore group Limp Wrist and Jess played in the indie pop band Brilliant Colors).
The pair immediately bonded over a shared love of The Velvets and The Mary Chain. They began writing songs in Scott’s lofted bedroom in the City and took their name from a XXX magazine . The fully formed band released their first self-titled 6-song EP in December 2013 for London punk imprint La Vida Es Un Mus Discos. Two 7” singles were followed by their debut album ‘The Wild Animals In My Life’ released in 2015 on Iron Lung Records.
‘Into The Shroud’ is Flesh World’s fifth release and sophomore album, and their first for Dark Entries Records. Each of these songs speak to a chaotic or sometimes eclectic period of influence of different books, ideas, drawings, saints, stories, and aims gathered in the two year writing process since the previous album. Themes of this record include writer, advice columnist, and Dreamland actress Cookie Mueller, the youth’s effect on the general political psychosis of nostalgia , icon Billy Fury, and the writings and drawings of Jean Cocteau as a hovering guide for living with less rules. The record is a topological map showing the cities of the Bay Area and Los Angeles in rapid change, looking to the books, records, and artists paid study to in order to create continuity in the constant flux of the city, the punk show, the gay world, and the rest of the environments Flesh World insulate themselves in for survival.
The group’s dynamic has greatly solidified on this album with a brilliant new rhythm section . Flesh World find it easy to be influenced by a range of musicians from the guitar flourishes of Alan Rankine of the Associates , the swinging notes Johnny Marr of the Smiths, to the romantically desperate vibe of Roland S . Howard and Nikki Sudden, to the razor thin vocals of Jenny Ross from Section 25, the androgynous vocals of Roy Orbison, to the structured synths of OMD. Imagine bodied guitar hooks blending into desaturated pop vocals, injections of synthesizer melodies and anxious drum builds, peaking into a pure punk-driven dream.
‘Into the Shroud’ was recorded with J ack Shirley at The Atomic Garden in East Palo Alto, California . There always seem to be incidental forces at work in gathering characters for a Flesh World record: during the previous LP, Scott had just finished reading The Secret Historian which profiles gay lifestyle photographer and pornographer J. Brian, and when the group found the LP cover photo at a garage sale they realized it was also taken by J. Brian. This time around Cookie Mueller seems to be watching over the process; Scott recently saw two art shows in one day in New York; one that was imagined merchandise that would have been produced if John Waters films were marketed to children and the other about AIDS, the common thread was Cookie, whom Jess wrote about in “This Great Cheap Face” on the current record.”
Shelter Press collect all three volumes of the compelling Movement Building works for dance by Gabriel Saloman (Yellow Swans) in a handy double CD set, providing a first opportunity to listen and immerse yourself in the noise deity’s most refined and touching body of work since going solo after Yellow Swans’ demise.
Starting in 2014 with the follow-up to his split side with Peter Broderick and the agitated themes of Riots Don't Just Happen and Soldier's Requiem, the two parts of The Disciplined Body make up Volume I with a desolate drone tract of keening strings under fire from militant "poly-vocal drumming" before seceding to shimmering guitar chords and a blistering post-rock crescendo almost worthy of Godspeed or MBV over its 37 minute duration.
Volume II meanwhile factors inspiration from the novel Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata - a tragic Japanese love tale - with nods to the structures of Gagaku, or classical imperial court music, and the emerging field of ASMR, in a methodical combination of burning psych guitars and visceral noise tones punctuated by taiko drumming, plus a cover of Miles Davis’ My Funny Valentine, all written for the choreography of experimental theatre company Theatre Replacement and the dance creators 605 Collective.
Movement Building Vol. III simultaneously wraps up and expands the project to its logical endpoint thru a steadily tempered and stealthy narrative inspired by the choreography of Vanessa Goodman, matching the themes of her What Belongs To You  piece - namely shelter, love, self-actualization, as per Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs” - with a stoically emotive cadence reflected in Salomon’s dread filled drums and his slow burning, apocalypse-dawn shoegaze panoramas. The effect could be said to resonate as much with those ancient concerns as the paranoia induced by corporate driven, social media enabled surveillance state - but the resolution is ambiguous; do we look to a sore past for hope, or fear the future as time marches forward?
Scotland’s bonniest indie/noise experimentalist pays homage to the divine discordance of Pibroch - the art music of Scottish Highlands bagpipers - along with a bunch of esteemed pals; Alasdair Roberts, Oren Ambarchi, Simon Wickham-Smith, Neil Campbell, Norifumi Shimogawa. Ideally you should cop this and head as far north as your clogs will take you before listening for full immersion.
“A welcome return from Richard Youngs to Fourth Dimension Records, a label that has supported his work since the early 1990s via collaborations with Simon Wickham-Smith. The latter returns to this set, a double album based around the notion of songs featuring special guests and, paying cryptic homage to the title of a certain PIL album, entitled This is not a Lament. Spread over the two discs, eleven here assume all manner of sonic guises that are often difficult or sometimes blissed-out but always rewarding.
Most include guests, themselves from a wide variety of backgrounds (taking in all from groups such as Trembling Bells and Vibracathedral Orchestra to folk, bagpipe music and abstract electronics), and are each named after a geographical location for reasons only the artists know. All of the guests are noted above on their respective tracks. Spanning almost two hours, This is not a Lament not only once again illustrates precisely how prolific an artist Richard Youngs is but firmly compounds his place as one who can comfortably traverse all from avant-strained forms of songwriting to those even less charted spaces.
As visionary as Robert Wyatt, he unwittingly exudes everything most perceive the very idea of English eccentricity as being. So-called ‘outsider’ music rarely arrives so pronounced and at the same time so warm and inviting. The guests here pay testament to this.”
Erstwhile Yellow Swan Gabriel Saloman completes his Movement Building cycle of works for dance on Shelter Press with a pensively climactic third volume which contains his strongest work outside of the now defunct duo with Pete Swanson. Plangent echoes of monotone Krautrock and militant snare rolls march across a cinematic no-man’s-lands, urged by shoegaze guitars and neo-classical chamber orchestration to a bittersweet conclusion. Highly recommended if you’re into Stephen O’Malley, Lawrence English, Grouper, Johann Johannsson or Tim Hecker.
Movement Building Vol. III simultaneously wraps up and expands the project to its logical endpoint thru a steadily tempered and stealthy narrative inspired by the choreography of Vanessa Goodman, matching the themes of her What Belongs To You  piece - shelter, love, self-actualization - with a stoically emotive cadence reflected in Salomon’s dread-filled drums and his slow burning, apocalypse-dawn shoegaze panoramas.
The effect could be said to resonate as much with those ancient concerns as the paranoia induced by corporate driven, social media enabled surveillance state - but the resolution is ambiguous; do we look to a sore past for hope, or fear the future as time marches forward?
From the outset, it’s clear that Salomon has really focussed on the percussion, which punches like a stony heartbeat or distant drum communication below banking, coruscating string figures in What Belongs To Time in a way recalling a more clipped Stephen O’Malley or Johann Johannsson, before the magisterial momentum of What Belongs To You evokes imagery of possessed rituals executed under grey-black skies, especially when it rains pure guitar fire in the closing quarters.
Those remarkable drums return to open up What belongs To The Fire with a mean sense of purpose recalling the drama of GSYBE, parting way to the LP’s most impressive electronic apex in What Belongs To The March, where the drums are buried and perfused through stark corridors to pools of moonlit tranquility and out into a raging shoegaze climax, before yielding to the bass strung cradle of What Belongs To The Line and What Belongs To The Rest in the LPs ever decreasing spiral.