Sombre solo piano introspection fleshed by strings and subtly gilded with field recordings of a stormy Yorkshire
“Following his celebrated moogmemory project, Matthew Bourne returns to the piano for Isotach. Once again, spontaneity is the keyword where Bourne is concerned, catching on tape that pregnant moment when a piece begins to form.
Skeletal piano motifs, an aching use of space and sparing cello arrangements are deployed to devastating effect. Recorded in his rural Yorkshire home, Bourne’s piano placed to overlook the moors while he works, the album title is a nod to the weather, which played a part in its creation. The recordings took place during what Bourne describes as “extreme weather”. If you listen carefully you can hear the wind and rain picked up on the microphones, the sparse instrumentation providing the calm in the eye of the storm.”
CPU pay dues to their local roots with two rebuilds of obscure bleep techno aces by Sheffield’s Detromental, originally issued on their own label, Rave, in 1991.
Move is real beauty melding misty-eyed pads and chattering bleeps with massive subbass and lagging, swinging drum machines. Love that rusty-chopped Power House sample, which is presumably kept dead trim, as per the original sampler’s tiny memory bank.
Rewind is a more stripped down and ruder example of steel city styles, clearly showing the roots of the bassline garage/niche forms which would later emerge around South Yorkshire.
A faithful and timely re-run of Larry Heard's seminal technoid experiments as Gherkin Jerks.
Originally issued in 1988, it exposes a side of Larry Heard many might not recognise yet was no less important in establishing his legacy as one of the most influential Afro-futurists. It's a proper, stripped down and psychotomimetic session of six tracky jack beats and tripping sequencer melody and should be taken as a lesson in how to mix trippier weirdness with the funk for all the avant-house kids in circulation right now.
Dense, heavy yet deft dub techno from Edinburgh’s Stephen Brown
Serving the Mike Dehnert-esque heft of Sandtext’s gruff subs, gravelly drums and clipped chords across the A-side, then squeezing out the tight, squirmy skank of Wet and the Detroit techno refractions of Back Strobe on the flip.
Jackhammer industrial grit from Adam-X, back in his downtempo (do not read as ‘chilled’) alias, ADMX-71 for L.I.E.S.
With a trio of sewer dwelling bangers at roughly 113bpm he takes in the rollicking ramrod of Nuclear Hysterics, the gaunt, writhing groove and glowering synth figures of Dire Situation, and pendulous swagger in Neutron Absorber.
Originally issued in 1989, Larry Heard's forward-looking '1990' EP as Gherkin Jerks is one of the most crucial examples of technoid Chi-town music.
While some of these sounds may be alien to a lot of heads familiar with Larry Heard's jazzier fare, they're also some of the best in his wide-reaching canon, including the incredible 'Strange Creatures', the blissed-out technohouse of 'Space Dance' and the inner-city escapology of 'Red Planet'. Not to be missed.
Four Mr Fingers classics produced by the one and only Larry Heard.
It's all been said already by nearly everyone with an interest in classic Chicago house music, but these really are some diamond joints.
We get the stripped jack-soul of the seminal 'Slam Dance' and the gorgeous 'Stars' on the A-side, and on the flip two more jacker's choices in 'Waterfalls' and 'For So Long'. Proper house music that needs to be experienced by a whole generation who have grown up since its original release in 1987!
Larry Heard presents his third Loose Fingers EP on the Alleviated label.
"What Is House?" has been one of the faves of the recent Loose Fingers album “Soundtrack From The Duality Double-Play” with it’s crackilng bassline and crisp percussion. This fierce acid track comes in an extended remix on this 12". The flipside contains a special extended version of the deep and smooth "Dreaming Of Better Days".
The Hardrive bossman chops out six instrumental grime lines featuring guest spots from Swifta Beater, Sir Spyro and P Jam.
Flavours for all grime ravers, taking in the scowling drill hybrid, Infrared, a bolshy skanker Brass Off, and the frankly avant percussive madness of Time Piece on solo terms, next to a strong collaboration with Sir Spyro in TBC, lit up with jazz sax and bottomed out with bruising subbass in a really classy high water mark of 2017 grime.
Tonal computer dronescapes and ambient colour scales. 2nd release on Egyptrixx’s label
“Sign of the Cross Every Mile to the Border is an album of material sound and concrete emotion - tranquil, concussive electronics.
Seven meditations on optimism and faith through the prism of environmental cataclysm. Euphoric and dismal; partial survival as hypercolor swirls in fuel spills - econoline psychedelia. Conflicted, synthetic celebrations of the industry of human spirit // the malevolence of the human race; faith as optimism // optimism as escape.
The music is glacial, brittle and incomplete - low-key grandeur. Flippant scrolling through preset menus as virtuosity and casual anthems of indifference to bounty. Digital shatter is washed out by lucid drones and again by programmed noise, a reminder that advocacy builds itself on a foundation of prophecy but speculation can be crystallized in an instant. Dense sound mimics massive blankets of haze that clarify the primary forces: consumerism, institutional paternalism, genuine human resilience and ingenuity. Life on earth.
Active since 2014, Sign of the Cross Every Mile to the Border is the first official Ceramic TL release.”
Here comes the drums!
Latest in Metalheadz’ digital remaster and reissue series gives up Doc Scott’s eternal jungle classic VIP Drumz, loaded with one of the sickest mentasms of all time, and a pristine version of Goldie’s spine-freezing, Japan-sampling jungle masterpiece, Ghosts of My Life.
Essential. Nuff said.
The legendary Ron Trent gear up his 4th instalment of Humans Drums & Machines
...with devilish interplay of scissoring hi-hats, nagging Italo arpeggio and a phasing chord to lip-biting effect in Dimensions, and with some properly pendulous swang in the kiss-myself fleeced house of Beyond.
For the dancers.
Iceland’s Bjarki hits a vein of icy trance techno and braindance on his 6th release with Nina Kraviz’s трип label.
On the A-side he reins in the braindance tics of recent releases to get back on the boom boom with moody, deriving effect in Thodn Med Skit a Master and then at an old skull AFX angle with the brooding, off-coloured harmonics of This 5321.
Turn over and you’ll find him mashing those styles with breaks and grumbling acid a la Astrobotnia on Galopinn Muninn, before erecting the steepled braintrance dimensions of Fimmtudgur 16-2 to sound like a a night lost in the smoke at Havoc or in some Hackney warehouse.
Featuring exclusive tracks and collabs feat Jlin & Zora Jones, DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn, Murlo, L-Vis 1990, v1984, Swing Ting, Famous ENo, Sinin Hawke and many more...
Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones weigh in a wide and heavy 20-track volley of collaborations with everyone from Jlin to Swing Ting and v1984 on Visceral Minds 2; a hypercoloured showcase of the audio components to their ongoing A/V explorations - run go to their Fractal Fantasy site to see them in context!
Coming quick on the heels of Sinjin Hawke’s solo expo, First Opus, this suite exemplifies the bountiful bonds both he and Zora have developed with a worldwide network of artists who share a mutual vision of optimistic and forward-leaning dancefloor pressure in the contemporary field.
Adept at every style they turn their four hands to, from Zora’s warped footwork bender Dark Matter with Jlin to Sinjin’s footwork hypersoul turn with DJ Spinn & DJ Rashad which bookend the set, thru to the knee-bending bashment of Killa Season with Swing ting and Trigga, or the weightless turbulence of Zora’s Don’t head-spinner with Martyn Bootyspan, they’ve clearly got the sport of chops that should make many other producers very jealous.
That Swing Ting joint is a really big highlight, but we’re also most partial to the highly strung orchestrations of All Black featuring Sinjin with Rihcelle and Xzavier Stone, which starts out sounding like Maxwell Sterling then switches up the hardest drums we’ve heard in a minute, whilst one of the strongest moments comes from their own steam in the Zora & Sinjin zinger, No Shame.
No mistake, this set is a shiny peak of club music in 2017.
Grassroots selection of 17 covers played, recorded and mixed by Glasgow youth at Green Door studios. Includes satisfyingly raw, freaky and swaggering takes on Bowie, Joy Division, Gloria Jones, Devo, The Normal…
“One glance at this brazen cassette's track list offers a litany of seminal funk works, garage rock standards, R&B classics, loose disco, and new wave dirges, as well as several artifacts that seem to derive from no extant source. Unsurprisingly, this is not the cover compilation of a music-by-numbers, keyboards in the classroom, kumbaya-strumming enterprise. This is the real deal: music made by Glasgow youth not in employment, education or training (NEET).
Created, inexhaustibly managed, and exhaustively taught by Emily McLaren, Stuart Evans, and a host of Glasgow's musical players, the Green Door Studio's NEET course allows young people to record & mix their own efforts– for free– by drawing on production techniques of modern history's wildest studios: those of Phil Spector at Gold Star, Lee Perry's Black Ark, Visconti's Good Earth Studios, Sly & Robbie at Compass Point, and Conny Plank in his farm at Wolperath. Banded together in session groups, the young people run through old instructional staples, take these to heart, take them apart, bring new things to bear, and record the results.
Spiraling teenage riffs; loping, mopey bass lines; vocals both sanguine and sangfroid; haunted percussion; rude sequences; and baggy drums are whirled together through really reel-to-reel analogue production that leaves David Bowie's mix of Raw Power in the dust. With a kick drum mic taped to a brick, this is a sweet, kaleidoscopic slice of life in the Green Door Studio, and many seasons' worth of work that might make other musical efforts sound like cynical after-school specials.
Witness the next: extreme Martin Hamnett-baiting drum gating on Digital; why-not strings for synths on Jocko Homo; the essentialist sweat of Me and My Baby Brother; an office-party photocopy of Hurdy Gurdy Man; one of the best versions of Tainted Love ever recorded; plus two more large handfuls of precious stones and rough gems– rooftop bootlegs, hair-raising rip-offs, dead-thing-prodding freakouts, and lengthy excursions across the highways out of here– that openly defy your rules and question your technical comprehension.”
First ever presentation of The Lower Depths , Charlemagne Palestine’s epic, systematic 3-part investigation of his trusted Bösendorfer grand’s capacity to produce notes lower than any other piano. Keener observers may have noticed a track called The Lower Depths on his Godbear LP, which was reissued last year by Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle, but this set was recorded at his famous red and gold loft on North Moore Street in Tribeca, and predates that recording by some ten years.
Totalling nearly 3 hours of works made over 3 consecutive performances at his loft space, the recordings effectively describe a transition in cadence from the centre of piano’s keyboard in CD1, to a register two octaves below in CD2, finally arriving at its thrumming Lower Depths before dramatically rising back up again in CD3, all offering a raucous, transfixing testament to the man’s genius in stunning full flow.
As Palestine himself refers to the trilogy of pieces as being “like a soap opera… you get your share of tears and laughter… i watch the afternoon ones that aren’t as visionary, keep it real, the yicky ones” you should have some idea of the typical levels of melodrama and emotion that he puts into these works, which while definitely avant and experimental, also work on an immediate and transcendent level meant to be understood and felt by anyone with ears and an empathetic heart.
With pedals pressed for maximum sustain throughout all parts, Palestine wreaks increasingly intense havoc right on the line between ecstasy and violence across the trilogy, coursing from jagged, jabbing flurries and their lushly discordant harmonics in the first, to panic-raising levels by the time he really hits the lower ends in track 2 of Part 2, and then really gunning for the Bösendorfer’s bowels in a jaw-dropping, thunderous descent, then spiralling back up for breath in a manner that may leave listeners with the bends.
Of course, that’s a simple description of the work’s general dynamic, but the nuance lies in the way Palestine can simultaneously bathe us in fire and still give us the chills, baffling the senses with its majestically chaotic yet sublime clangour. If you’re susceptible to the power of his glissandi as much as us, we rate you’ll fall hard into this one.
Specially cut to 7” for all the DJs with fat fingers, Kyle Hall follows up Speed of Life with the psychedelic beatdown swang of Teacher Plant and a scuffed soul nudge called D.S.P. (Dear Sweet Potato).
An educated guess would assume that Teacher Plant is Hall’s ode to the putative lushness of ayahuasca, giving up four minutes of earthy breakbeats and sweeping synthwork with a sweetly psychoactive effect.
D.S.P. (Dear Sweet Potato) on the other hand, slumps into a more laid-back state with crumpled drums and pitch-bent chromatic key strokes projecting a sort of arabesque, geometric lightshow for the back of your eyelids.
From Peckhm’s rooted hotbed of dancefloor fuss, the FYI Chris duo follow up up 12”s for Rhythm Section and Lionoil Industries with the skewed house hustle of Spirit Animal
Twisting from Afro-psyche-funk inspirations woven into Captains Patilla and the grubbing, glinting shimmy of Dance Bebey to more pendulous percussive heft in Silk, neatly balanced by light-footed flutes and bleeps.
For the early evening/late morning dancers!
Wigged out, grubbing dub and rooted outernational styles from Mo Kolours, landing square between Ras-G and Clap! Clap! vibes
“Side A opens with ‘Cerasee Doctor,’ a classic Mo Kolours production. Hip Hop meets Dub Reggae, with a catchy vocal loop throughout, equipped with a healthy dollop of dub sirens – this one is sure to grace many a soundsystem worldwide! ‘Margoze’ follows and takes the listener on a journey to West Africa where cowbells and syncopated rhythms take lead whilst the distant sound of local dialogue blends seamlessly in and out of the mix, rooting it deep in its African foundation.
Side B begins with ‘Goya,’ which brings about a fusion of traditional Vietnamese folk mixed with snippets of slap bass to create a collage of worldly sounds – a technique synonymous with the acclaimed producer. The EP finishes with the title track ‘Meroe,’ where Mo Kolours once again effortlessly fuses ancient and modern sounds to create a dancefloor winner. Its up-tempo rhythm keeps heads nodding with it’s low pulsing bass line rumbling beneath, whilst tribal chants bring euphoric moments to the mix leaving the listener feeling positively uplifted.
In conclusion it’s a mini EP that packs a big punch! And most importantly it sees the return of a heralded music maker.”
Fresh product from Peckings Brothers
Burning four new vocals on The Gatherers’ Black Ark roots riddim Words; with Ras Charmer’s Hard Knocks on a jam rock tip, next to the sweetened lovers / R&B inflections of Carolene Thompson, and a woozy, horn-led Patrick Matic mix, plus the OG dub.
A playfully wigged-out wonder from the bowels of Glasgow’s avant garde, 'Cable to the Grave' quietly and steadily bucks boundaries and descriptive shackles at every turn, in a way perhaps best compared to Ghédalia Tazartès jamming with NWW and Maja SK Ratkje.
“Vernon & Burns (Mark Vernon & Barry Burns) are a duo of sound makers who create radio plays, records and performances through a mix of samples, field recordings, voice and music.
‘From the Cable to the Grave’ includes 19 new tracks featuring harmony bombs, erotic grotesque nonsense, frolicsome demon beats, stimulators of vice, confusion ciphers, faster silences, declarations of indulgence, necessary noise, abstract paradises, and excerpts from the minutes from the AGM of the Dream Prognostication Circle & Astral Radiation Trance Club.
In summary: A once in a lifetime’s clinch with gaiety.”
Peckings Brothers nice up the dance with fresh vocals on Carole Kalphat’s immense African Land roots rhythm.
Teddy Dan gives the soul aching Jah In Glory; Troublesome kills on Oh Jah; The Emererians make it lush and mystic; Peckings Allstars treat the original riddim with the respect it deserves.
Prince Jammy dubs the Augustus Pablo production for Hugh Mundell’s Africa Must Be Free by 1983 in heaviest style at King Tubby’s studio, turning Mundell’s signature falsetto and Pablo’s melodica into an echo chamber maze of smoke and mirrors.
Stone cold superb.