Facsimile reissue of the original Virgin pressing, replete with Bridget Riley’s mind-bending back cover artwork. Includes download code and riso-print insert with notes by Dave Segal
A definitive dose of wry, wigged-out krautrock. Back in vinyl circulation for 1st time since 2010. A massive influence over everyone from Julian Cope to Gnod and far beyond
“Faust stand among the most influential creative forces to have emerged from Germany in the late '60s and early '70s. Along with Can, Agitation Free, Neu! and others, they rejected the Anglo-American norms of rock 'n' roll to start a back-to-basics and uniquely Teutonic revolution in sound – later dubbed by the UK press with the semi-derogatory term "krautrock." They would reach near-mythical status through a series of classic albums recorded between 1970 and 1973 at their secluded Wümme studio.
As Dave Segal writes in the liner notes, "There's no consensus about which Faust album represents their zenith. But a survey of the group's fans would likely find the collage-heavy messterpiece The Faust Tapes triumphing. Its freewheeling, jump-cut nature and unlikely earworm moments conspire for more what-the-fuck epiphanies per minute than just about any other record about which Krautrocksampler author Julian Cope has raved."
Comprised of twenty odd tape-manipulation experiments and freak-out jams, The Faust Tapes stashes away some of the band's best-known songs. "Flashback Caruso," with its delicate acoustic guitar and Rudolf Sosna's airy vocals, could easily have appeared on So Far or Faust IV, while on "J'ai Mal Aux Dents," Jean-Hervé Peron's playful lyrics and this ecstatic, era-defining riff perfectly represent Faust's magical mischievousness.
This first-time domestic release of The Faust Tapes on vinyl reproduces the original sleeve design, featuring artwork by Bridget Riley.”
Another sterling pick from Sacred Summits, Morgan Fisher’s charmingly playful 'Inside Satie'  sees its first ever vinyl reissue on Lindsay Todd and Stuart Leith’s cult label.
Morgan Fisher has had a storied career as part of ’60s one-hit wonders Love Affair, thru to playing keys for Mott The Hoople in the ‘70s, and working on ambient, improv and soundtracks in the ‘80s alongside Yoko Ono, Haruomi Hosono and Dip In The Pool.
Inside Satie was recorded in Japan following Fisher’s move from the UK in the mid ’80s. Perhaps a perfect fit for the sophisticates of Tokyo at the time, the album adapts Satie’s timeless minimalism to a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments, highlighting and feeding into the similarities between Gnossiene and Gymnopedie and the new age ambient zeitgeist of Japan in 1985.
As a meditation aid, a coffee table staple, and a historic artefact, Inside Satie is a beautiful and warmly satisfying document totally worthy of reappraisal in 2018.
What were the clouds like when Huerco S was young? The Kansas-raised, New York-based producer’s absorbing ambient album For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) goes some way to answering The Orb’s fluffy little proposition…
Brian Leeds a.k.a. Huerco S’s 2nd album, following Colonial Patterns (2013) finds him working between the cracks and fissures of what we’ve previously heard from him, drawing out nine pieces of mineral ambient textures and non-percussive rhythms marking his best work since the 20 minute Untitled track off his debut for Opal Tapes in 2012.
Defined throughout by a low lit, low-lying sense of intimacy, rather than oceanic or celestial tropes, Leeds’ appreciation of lower case nuance is in warm, crackling effect with a hazy hummus like grain and bonfire glow that recalls Wanda Group’s earlier outing as The Hers, or the sweeter touches of Bellows.
Like a well timed gary, once it really begins to sink in, the warbly electronic pitches and subtly chaotic ferric details really get to work in hypnotising and making you forget where you started, suspending disbelief for a 50 minute window of time just long enough to let your mind wander over the horizon.
Time will tell, but this is surely a future ambient classic.
'Prata Bagnati Del Monte Analogo' is a sublime and truly rarified piece of occult esoterica produced by the famous Franco Battiato and originally published in 1979 on a series he curated for Gianni Sassi's Cramps Records.
This edition has been remastered from original tapes and mercifully made available again by California’s Superior Viaduct. It was inspired by the unfinished pataphysical novel 'Le Mont Analogue' by French writer Renè Daumal, himself a student of engimatic Armenian mystic Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff, whose teachings providing rich reference and spiritual guidance to the record's producer, Battiato, and its performers, Francesco Messina and Juri Camisasca.
A-side is a breathtaking 23 minute mediation played on Moog and Roland Vocoder synths, and EMS Synthi, stroking runs of gentle arpeggios over angelic pads with the sort of intimate pattern repetitions that could happily go on for infinity. Imagine a more sanguine, unhurried Iasos or Laraaji, or as Stephan Mathieu aptly puts it, "Vainqueur, Substance and Resilent as children chanting their vocodered chants" and you're there with us, floating lotus position one foot from the floor.
Raoul Lovisoni's B-side is more colourful and equally beautiful in its own right. His 'Hula Om' features Patti Tassini's purposefully wandering harp and intimate ambient sounds of the room it was recorded in, whereas the glassy resonance of 'Amon Ra' features a Lovisoni rubbing glasses to Juri Camisasca's chant.
Remastered and expanded reissue of a beautiful early K. Leimer album demonstrating his DIY Closed System Potentials method for painting lush electro-acoustic ambient scapes. It follows excellent retrospective compilations issued by RVNG Intl (a Period of Review) and V-O-D (Recordings 1977-90) to get farther below the surface, in the mind of his pioneering, homespun magic.
“Closed System Potentials is honest and intimate music, with the elements of DIY work ‘by hand’ that lends a realness and tangibility to the proceedings. Its juxtapositions are, to me, distinctly Northwestern: it is both alive and synthetic; homespun in execution, yet cinematic in aspiration; acknowledges global experimentalism of the time, yet reveals some isolation in its curious re-wiring of genre standards; grayscale in mood, but with an underpinning of hopefulness that, for me, recalls the futurism of the time.”
Tirzah pursues the slowest-burning soul feels on Devotion, the London-based singer-songwriter’s humbly singular début album, produced by Mica Levi and providing us with total life affirming summer listening - most probably the record we've listened to most this year so far, and one that lingers on and on...
Since her first solo 12”s and thru frequent collaborations with Mica Levi - including the Taz And May Vids  for DDS - Tirzah has quietly blossomed into one of the UK’s most precious and peculiar artists working at the fringes of experimental pop, post-grime and R&B, and Devotion is set to bring her love to a wider audience.
Plaintive and low key, Devotion presents Tirzah’s vocal in the most evocative light, framed by backdrops of bleary-eyed and bent vibes and the kind of half-finished, permanently work-in-progress production style that's become a calling card of her music and her tight knit crew including Coby Sey, Mica Levi and Brother May.
Album of the year? Aye, quite possibly.
Giant Swan do their soggy, line-dancing taps aff thing for this Mannequin ace.
Giant Swan specialise in a form of raucous showmanship that evidently works wonders in live situations (check the numerous online vids of crowds losing their shit).
On the High Waisted EP they knuckle out swaggering drums and blunted vox of The Rest of His Voice beside the gnarly noise keen of Architectural Hangover, while the B-side slams out a wonky techno girder with howling breakdown, and the salty nothings of Palm.
A sublime compilation of cherry-picked, lysergic ambient experiments. Commemorating the ancient Roman festival of ‘Neptunalia’ with 10 tracks by H. Takahashi, David Edren, and a strong handful of Finnish artists such as Kuupuu, Marja Ahti, Ilpo Numminen, and Nuslux (who also compiled the set)
“Neptunalia, a festival of Neptune, celebrated at Rome, of which very little is known. The day on which it was held, was probably the 23rd of July. The festival was celebrated with games. Respecting the ceremonies of this festival nothing is known, except that the people used to build huts of branches and foliage, in which they probably feasted, drank, and amused themselves. From a "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities" by John Murray, London, 1875.”
Vital new electro and techno trax from the one and only Dopplereffekt, and Berlin's Objekt.
Once again, Leisure System bring out the best from Dopplereffekt, following the excellent 'Tetrahymena' 12" with some of their sharpest rhythms and inimitably romantic synth arrangements in 'Delta Wave' - the kind that only adventurous DJs will spin out, and the best crowds will appreciate. Objekt, meanwhile, keeps face with a strong effort called 'Ganzfeld' that sounds something like DJ Stingray in a step-off with Optical, all angular geometrics and moody blue pads...
Chilly Gonzales kinda puts everything else into perspective with this time-stopping solo piano delicacy. Delivered on his personal imprint, Gentle Threat, this third volume in his much loved Solo pIano series teases out fleeting emotions with each flurry of keys, sure to seduce anyone who’s still smote by the now classic album first volume.
"The album comes six years after Solo Piano II and, according to Gonzales, at “a more problematic inﬂection point”. "Like its predecessors, it’s a mostly happy ending in C major, but there is more dissonance, tension and ambiguity along the way… The musical purity of Solo Piano III is not an antidote for our times, it is a reﬂection of all the beauty and ugliness around us.”
Known as much for the intimate piano touch of best-selling albums Solo Piano I and Solo Piano II as for his showmanship and composition for award-winning stars, "Gonzo", as he is known to close collaborators, aims to be a man of his time, approaching the piano with classical and jazz training but with the attitude of a rapper. He holds the Guinness world record for the longest solo concert at over 27 hours. He performs and writes songs with Jarvis Cocker, Feist and Drake, among others, with recent collaborators including the likes of Ibeyi and Toddla T. With Never Stop, Chilly Gonzales composed a global hit for the inaugural Apple iPad 2 campaign. In 2014 he won a Grammy for his collaboration on Daft Punk’s ‘Best Album of the Year’ and composed the best-selling book of easy piano pieces Re- Introduction Etudes. With his last album Chambers, Chilly Gonzales devoted himself to ﬁnding a modern take on chamber music.
Most recently, Chilly Gonzales ventured into a new form of entrepreneurship. A culmination of recent years’ explorations in teaching, Gonzo inaugurated his very own music school: The Gonzervatory.
During this all-expenses-paid residential music performance workshop held in Paris, 7 selected students explored Musical Humanism, audience psychology and what it means to be a performing musician in 2018. After a week of intensive coaching, masterclasses and rehearsals, these young musicians performed a concert for an audience of 1500 fans with Chilly Gonzales himself as Master of Ceremony."
Ace, minimalist, rhythmelodic workouts from Andrea Taeggi, presenting the first ever recordings made at Willem-Twee synthesis studio in Holland, employing an Analog Computer previously used for flight simulations and as a measurement tool by civil engineers and the army...
Cleverly repurposing military grade gear to his civvie fancy, the Berlin-based artist generates a beguiling set of six parts strongly comparable with the squashed, pendulous productions of Ilpo Väisänen as Liima or Piiri, and the explorative approach of Raster-Noton’s Frank Bretschneider, especially on his recordings of the Subharchord found in ‘Kippschwingungen.’
However, the difference between those releases and this one lies in the unique fidelity of the computer at Willem-Twee studio (itself modelled on the blueprint for Studio di Fonologia RAI in Milan) which generated all the percussive sounds in ‘Zimní Král’. Now, we’ve probably all heard enough minimal bloops and beeps to last us a lifetime, but this demonstration still feels uniquely fresh, crisp and spacious, sloshing in myriad syncopated permutations with a focussed, entrancing intricacy that one doesn’t hear every day.
The dark lord of Berlin techno unleashes four pieces of brut elegance as the 30th release on his cultish Zhark Recordings
Uncompromising in the extreme and deadly functional, the Heinrich EP gets into gear with the trampling rolige and cavernous warehouse atmospheres of the title cut with its elusive finale, before stripping it all right down to the barest bones with Rattledisco.
On the dead murky swaggernaut Let Me Fly Away From You he hinges on the offbeat with aching effect that resolves with increasing intensity, and Beyond The 4th Alignment finds him tending to his most gothic sensibilities with a rare lick of melody enmeshed into its steely industrial design.
Pivotal solo cellist and producer Oliver Coates (LCO, Apartment House) proceeds collaborations with Mica Levi and Radiohead with Shelley’s on Zenn-La, an indefatigably endearing 3rd solo album, new for RVNG Intl.
We can hardly think of many artists beyond Oliver’s own circle who can meld dance music with avant-electronic and classical instrumental expression quite like Oliver does here. From the raw electric buzz and spattered breaks underlined with layered cello in Faraday Movement, to the abraded BoC-like downbeats of Lime, thru to wayward disco treks like Charlev, Analord-style braindance in Norrin Radd Dreaming, and the final swoon between wide-open string composition and balletic IDM in Perfect Apple with Silver Mark, Oliver is making wonderful music unconstricted by convention, but patently happy to play with it.
Kouhei Matsunaga on a dancefloor pivot for DFA. Check for the slippery swang of ‘Pio’ and the bustling acid-electro-breaks of ‘Mutually (remix)’
“Exit Entrance is the DFA debut for Kohei Matsunaga aka NHK yx Koyxen. Kohei has been making / releasing music since 1997 and has recorded for such iconic labels as Mille Plateaux, Important, Pan & Diagonal. His latest recordings explore intricate drum programming, lush melodies & sparkling arrangements. Touchstones include the legendary Clicks & Cuts compilations from the 1990’s as well as Aphex Twin & Autechre. RA called his music “bombastic techno funk….unpredictable but rarely disappointing.”
Exit Entrance is a collection of new songs that snap and flicker unlike anything Kohei has done in the past. There is a clarity and beauty to these tracks that bursts out of the speakers in a three dimensional way, matching the 3D glasses that the artist wears during all his live performances. The elegant arrangements and crisp drum breaks match the concise song titles – Kohei foregoes the typical impenetrable track names made up of numbers and shorthand, and opts for a more direct emotional sincerity through the sonic themes of the record.
Not all the music here falls into the same exact formula. As the album heads towards a close, after several tracks of harmonious beauty, we get “Outset (for Mika Vainio),” a somber hushed techno tune, dedicated to his late friend and musical collaborator, who unexpectedly passed away earlier this year as the record was being completed. What follows after this track is perhaps the real catharsis, as “Dented” ominously kicks off with acidic stabs and rolls into a tumultuous dirge of gritty techno.
In this regard, Exit Entrance can play out like a life cycle, a mini opera of birth and beauty, of sorrow and mourning. It is one of the most direct and honest records Kohei has ever made, and DFA is beyond proud to present this work from such an esteemed creative force in the electronic avant-garde world of music.”
Where Neon Goes To Die’ explores a complex relationship full of highs and lows. From sultry pop to heart aching ballads, the album retells Clark’s travels through the city’s nocturnal fantasyland through hooky, R&B-infused synth pop - file alongside Prince and Frank Ocean...
"Of course, when Clark writes about his city he’s really writing about himself. ‘Where Neon Goes To Die’ retells Clark’s travels through the Miami’s nocturnal fantasyland. At its core, it is the story of a musician casting aside the distractions of his youth and discovering not only a new level of maturity but a new level to his talents."
Thomas Ankersmit, last seen on a pair of excellent albums for PAN and Touch (in 2011 and 2014, respectively) pays tribute to legendary Dutch composer / electronic and tape music pioneer Dick Raaijmakers with an extended study in electronic music, utilising Serge Modular feedback and sine/pulse/random generators, contact mic, and tape speed variation to mirror some of Raaijmakers’ deeply weird experiments. As the label so eloquently explain - despite the abstract nature of the material, a sense of loss somehow pervades.
Raaijmakers is a genuinely legendary figure in the history of electronic music, and Thomas Ankersmit’s fitting homage lands almost five years to the date of his passing, aged 83, in September 2013. Replete with experiments with sounds not found in the music, but generated by the listener’s own ear as a strange side-effect, this extended piece re-contextualizes Raaijmakers’ ideas about composition and spatial experience to focus on the sounds of raw electricity through creatively abused electronics, composing with analogue micro-sounds, and the three-dimensional sound fields; referencing storms, thunder, crashing and falling objects, and distant radio transmissions.
The concept of the recording is directly inspired by Raaijmakers’ thoughts on “holophonic” sound fields to be individually explored by the listener. With this phenomenon, the listener’s inner ears actively generate sounds that don’t exist in the recorded signal, and which can change with a small movement of the head. In other words; it’s unlikely that you will experience this piece of music in quite the same way as anyone else, or that you will experience it that way more than once. And it’s perhaps this sense of transience; of not quite knowing whether what you’re listening to has a real, physical presence, or is a direct result of strange otoacoustic phenomena, that imbues this work with such unexplained melancholy.
Listening to music borne out of conceptual curiosity, it's rare to suddenly find yourself staring into space, thinking about time, about the intangible essence of experience and beauty, of life itself. Homage To Dick Raaijmakers is an exceptional recording; approach with patience and care.
After announcing he’s winding down from duties in The Orb, Thomas Fehlmann “checks the juice” with a fine, squashed set of ambient-dub-techno jaunts. Make sure to check for the roiling acid-dub flow of ‘Morrislouis’, the way that the bassline on ‘Window’ practically drops out of the speakers, and the spiralling waltz of ‘Freiluft’.
"Establishing a picture of his current artistic condition, as suggested by the title - los lagos / die lage / the situation (literally translating to 'the lakes' but taking the meaning of 'wassup' in the context of a relaxed discussion between friends), the album refers to Fehlmann's "musical motivation, dreams and wishes" through the language of music exclusively: a way to "allow myself to techno" he says, "to techno as a means to deconstruct and rebuild again. Set up an area of tension, loose it in the flow of the grooves. Magnifying some detail out of proportion, regroup around that and slowly knit a texture. Expand."
"It was time to take a bend and head where the sun rises or sets, wherever my heart drives me." This is pretty much the kind of decision Thomas Fehlmann has made. 61 and shining, longstanding member of The Orb, multi-talented composer and boundless experimentalist, had to make in the twilight of his collaboration with Alex Paterson, eager to taste the flavours of the unknown on his own again. "It was the moment when felxibility would have become compromise”. Far from being the demise of their joint dream, this was bound to split it in two distinct, parallel fantasies - rich of their own singularity.
As goes with that essential love of his for the free-flowing nature of electronic music, a fascination born out of its "lack of borders", capable of "inventing, changing the emphasis, experimenting with an unpredictable outcome", 'Los Lagos' "freely connects disparate extremes. Art, disco, minimalism, schmalz, jazz and funk". As he likes to say, Fehlmann's head functions as a sampler, capturing elements and re-assembling them under his own embracing perspective ; not afraid to leap from a deep, dubbed-out hypnotism ('Window', 'Morrislouis', 'Freiluft') to the playfulness of '90s-style bleepy schaffel ('Tempelhof' featuring Max Loderbauer), through out-there, muscle-flexing dancefloor cuts ('Triggerism') onto the calmness of ambient ('Geworden’).
In need to keep his inner balance in check, Fehlmann committed himself to "switch off the control" and follow his intuition, which isn't so much of an easy process as he also wanted to incorporate the side disturbances experienced: "it’s a complex process of search and destroy to bring out a new beauty trying to expand my vocabulary". With 'Los Lagos', Fehlmann looked at finding "the structure that's surprising, disturbing and rewarding". The artwork for the record, courtesy of contemporary artist and friend Albert Oehlen whom he shares lots of artistic ambitions with, echoes the producer's "funky use of shape and space, sludge and clarity" like a second skin. A search for light and harmony that Fehlmann sums up eloquently: "Does your inner musical voice respond?", that is the question. Then "doors open up in unexpected corners, rays of light appear; you follow through and you're in - in your oasis."
RIYL: Jon Hopkins, Pantha Du Prince, Yann Tiersen, mum, Public Service Broadcasting, Tunng, Efterklang...
"‘There Is No Elsewhere’ is Haiku Salut’s third album and sees the acclaimed trio from Derbyshire continue their distinctive re-imagining of dreampop and rural electronica. Influenced by the evocative film soundtracks of Yann Tiersen and Benoit Charest, the genre-melting electronica of early Mum, and the impressionistic writing of Haruki Murakami, the band have previously released two critically acclaimed albums whilst last year they collaborated with Public Service Broadcasting on the track “They Gave Me A Lamp”, which featured on the PSB’s top five album, Every Valley. Yet it is this release that sees the band finally find their place, both musically and politically.
“It is an album about occupying your space, being proud of what you believe in and who you are,” says Sophie Barkerwood from the band. “It’s about making small life changes, making better decisions, writing better songs, having better conversations, knowing that these can lay foundations for change. It’s about finding who you are and not being dictated to about what you should be. It’s about celebrating others. It’s about making changes for a better future.”
This sense of solidarity and community prompted Haiku Salut to work with Glastonbury Brass on “Cold To Crack The Stones” and “The More And Moreness”, both of which marry the band’s ambitious interweaving of nelectronic and organic, natural and unnatural with the triumphant warmth of a brass band in full flow (with the former featuring a manipulation of a NASA recording of pulses emitted by lightning). It also provided the emotional core of the hypnotic electronic attack of “Occupy”, the genre-melting joy of “We Are All Matter”, and the startling “I Am Who I Remind You Of”, a seven minute pastoral symphony that sees treated vocals and glitched electronica blur into tradition, history and a sense of belonging, like waking up to sunshine after a long and dazzling dream."
Jacking NYC house from erstwhile witch house queen Lauren Flax (ov Creep) for UTTU’s Dance Trax series
Leading on from her turn for NYC institute Nervous Records, and a previous hook-up with Kim Ann Foxman, Lauren rides the acid groove proper on ‘It’s Ours’, which Jimmy Edgar reworks as a slinkier metallic groove in the vein of Larry Heard’s Gherkin Jerks.
On ‘Your Mom Likes Flange’ she slips down tripper wormhole of recursive delays to a darkroom ready bass canter, before rubbing out the wilder ’Acid Ghetto’ and cutting loose with splashy chromatic riffs on the staccato jack of ‘Sequenc_tial Discord’.
Highly impressive new full-length from Ipek Gorgun. Eschewing any notions of easy-to-consume ambient music, Ipek instead orcestrates an ambitious mass of sound indebeted to musique concrète but also taking in field recordings and a documentary style that lends the album its winding narrative structure. If you're into anything from Lenka Clayton’s collage work to Ilhan Mimaroglu’s pioneering electronic works - we wager this one will rule your world.
"Ecce Homo explores the lighter and darker shades of the human psyche, behaviour and existence, and humanity's ability to create beauty and destruction. What lies in the essence of such complexity has become a core idea for the album, while Gorgun seeks to figure out if there is a true meaning to being human, and human being.
Starting with “Neroli” as a human fascination with nature and finalising with “To Cross Great Rivers”; a never ending hopeless dream of the mankind to conquer and control the world, the album reflects the contemplations of a spectator being exposed to the human civilization, and witnessing human activity, including his/her own.
Trying to acquire a glimpse of the multiple layers of such narrative, the sound of the album aims to present a diversity of the sonic spectrum, with tracks varying between ambient and noisy landscapes.”
‘And Nothing Hurt’ is Spiritualized’s eighth album, the follow up to 2012’s ‘Sweet Heart, Sweet Light’.
"From the opening lullaby of ‘A Perfect Miracle’ through to the fading Morse Code at the close of ‘Sail On Through’, it painstakingly wraps layer upon layer of gloriously transcendent sound together to create a mesmerizing and cinematic collection of songs. There are points - the thunderous climax of ‘On The Sunshine’; the spectral waltz of ‘The Prize’; the towering guitar solo on ‘I’m Your Man’ - where the waves of blissful noise are almost overwhelming, where one can imagine the studio’s speakers vibrating themselves off of the walls. Which is an incredible feat when you discover that the album was conceived and recorded almost entirely by one man - Jason Pierce, AKA J.Spaceman - in an upstairs room in his east London home. Sat in an edit suite in Whitechapel a month or so after finishing recording, Jason talks honestly about the painstaking, frustrating process of creating ‘And Nothing Hurt’: “Making this record on my own sent me more mad than anything I’ve done before. We’d been playing these big shows and I really wanted to capture that sound we were making but, without the funds to do, I had to find a way to work within the constraints of what money I had. So I bought a laptop and made it all in a little room in my house.”
For the listener, the nine tracks on ‘And Nothing Hurt’ effortlessly replicate the scale and power of Spiritualized’s previous releases, whether it’s the sonic blowback of ‘On The Sunshine’, the last dime in the jukebox love letter of ‘Let’s Dance’ or the swell of an imaginary orchestra that seems to lift ‘Damaged’ towards the heavens as it plays out."
Beautifully haunted, tripped out and richly absorbing set of apparitions recalling the most sylvan shadows of Aphex Twin's ‘SAW II’, Leyland Kirby / The Caretaker at his creepiest and the spectres of Loren Connors “airs”, a huge recommendation to followers/fans of any of the above...
Blue Chemise is the alias of Australia’s Mark Gomes and this is his debut for Students Of Decay, recorded direct to Dictaphone with minimal post-production to convey something poignant and eerily intangible.
Following from two similarly etheric gestures, both self-released on Greedy Ventilators, and a 7” with I Dischi Del Barone, Gomes here supposes 16 new passages of time that hold the listener’s aural gaze with uncanny ability. Most effectively, they conjure the sensation of solitude shared with paranormal spirits,, drawing the listener into possible parallel dimensions with a dusky, autumnal subtlety.
If you've been charmed by the desiccated but richly absorbing atmospheres of fellow antipodeans such as F Ingers or LST, those early BoC wildlife documentary interludes, or even the creepiest stuff on Mark Harwood’s Penultimate Press, we wager this one will rule your world. We’ve been listening to it on a loop since early in the morning and really not sure if we’ll shake off that hypnagogic feeling for the rest of the day...
Teklife’s Heavee charges up a strong debut solo album with ‘WFM’, featuring guest spots from DJ Rashad, DJ Phil, DJ Paypal, Gant-Man and more
Moving on from last year’s link-ups with Fractal Fantasy and the ‘Panic’ track from Teklife’s ‘On Life’ package, Heavee spells out his definition of footwork and juke, personalised with a soulful deftness and playfully forward funk.
You want highlights? Go get ‘em in the frenetic then squashed flex of ‘It’s Wack’ featuring DJ Rashad, the minaimlist mix of rap and footwork on ‘Cloud Rise’ featuring DJ Phil, and the hyper, intricate pointillism of ‘So High’ with DJ Paypal, then let your jaw drop at the wild discipline of ‘Scream At Me’, with Gant-Man, DJ Paypal and Sirr TMO on board.
Wolf Eyes prototype, Universal Indians, remerge with their hairier offspring for the wild and free trip metal scuzz of ‘Four Variations on ‘Artificial Society’’ under the Universal Eyes guise.
To make it clear - Wolf Eyes are now John Olson and Nate Young, while Olson has also been part of Universal Indian with Gretchen Gonzales and the (now) former Wolf Eyes member Aaron Dilloway since 1995. To make it simpler, Universal Eyes are basically Wolf Eyes with Gretchen Gonzales.
The addition of Gretchen seems to have triggered an acute regression to their most primitive shared states, prompting an hour long cold bath of no wave rock, animalistic electronics and improvised noise that recalls a dream we once had about an orgy of hippos and seagulls on quaaludes at a busy worksite in midwinter Michigan.
‘Another Life’ is Amnesia Scanner’s hyperreal début album for PAN. The Finnish production/design duo’s most significant release locates their EDM/pop voice proper after a string of prism-pushing singles, EPs and mixtapes issued since 2015 by Young Turks and Gum Artefacts
Bending EDM pop with warped sound designer sensibilities and a sci-fi visionary’s lust for post-human possibility, Amnesia Scanner’s music has come to define its era with unflinching form. They embrace the most compelling, even grotesque aspects of hyper-commercial dance-pop with an accelerationist alacrity that’s also shared by the boundary-realigning styles of fellow artists such as Arca and Sophie, who, like AS, started out in the sound designer’s playground of mid-’00s electro and tech-house minimalism, but have evolved into something mutant, transcending and redefining conceptions of humanity in their music.
Informed by a singular perspective on technology and the way it mediates contemporary experience, ’Another Life’ is ostensibly binary in the extreme - you’ll probably either love or hate the upfront garishness and unapologetically cybernetic nature of their music. But on another level, the character of AS’ synthesised voice, known as Oracle, and their warped pop conventions, both inherently play with ultra contemporary ideas of ambiguity in a way that’s symptomatic of a socio-political climate dominated by notions of gender fluidity and fake news. In effect ‘Another Life’ can be heard as an attempt to locate the analog nature of human sensation within computerised systems.
The results are effectively an exaggerated, syncretic synthesis of current Caribbean dance-pop, nu-metal, and trashy electro-punk with all elements turned up to 11 on their virtual amp, presenting a shockingly surface level reflection of contemporary culture that’s revealed a line in the sands of time between listeners of differing generations, and how they read meaning into their music. In other words, AS are the ‘ugly’ sneakers of modern music.
Psychedelically enhanced synth experiments from Amsterdam’s Ben Penn on Young Marco’s label; ranging from psilocybin-soaked ambience to sticky, funked up synth boogie
“June 2018, Amsterdam, NL: 12 months ago we concluded a series of experiments with a test subject named Ben Penn. A year on, we decided to repeat this experiment at his Tilburg base. Once again, the results were startling...
After being provided with a sizeable dose of an enhanced and notably stronger derivative of 4-Ho Met (codenamed ST011), Penn not only reported intense hallucinations but also enhanced music production capabilities. With the aid of electronic instruments and hardware, he worked quickly, producing both his trademark “higher level inter-dimensional funk” and compositions that defied our previous expectations.
During the early stages of his ST011 experience, Penn completely ignored the provided Rhythm Composer and instead crafted a colourful, humid, jazzy and beat-free track entitled “Nix”, which boasted loose and fluid synthesizer motifs. As his hallucinatory experience intensified, Penn giddily tapped out tropical rhythms on the provided beat-making device, smothering them in alien electronics and sticky melodies. When we asked what this devilishly good cut was called, he simply replied: “Not Important”.
As the test went on and the most intense symptoms died down, Penn was much like his old self. Before the ST011 wore off completely, he was able to finish two examples of his trademark “inter-dimensional funk”: the skewed, introspective, bassline-driven wooziness of “Ben” and the mazy, kaleidoscopic goodness of “People”. The latter composition was particularly potent and ear pleasing, suggesting that his ST011 experience had finished on an intense high.”
Finally, some new music from pianist Kelly Moran following her involvement in Daniel Lopatin's 0PN live ensemble.
Helix (Edit) is a stark, sublime piece for what sounds like prepared piano, synth and organ. As is so often the case with the best kind of Minimalism, it gently creeps up on you; those chord changes - flanked by a mechanical arpeggio, bring everything to a standstill for its restrained 5 minute duration.
Can't wait to hear the album this is presumably lifted from...
Over the course of the last two decades, Detroit-based duo ADULT. (Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller) have released six albums and nineteen EPs and singles across some of our favorite labels: Mute, Ghostly International, Thrill Jockey, Clone Records, Third Man Records, and their own label, the revered Ersatz Audio. November 1998 marked their first release: the five-song 12" “Dispassionate Furniture”. This September, twenty years later, Dais Records is proud to announce ADULT.’s seventh full length album: THIS BEHAVIOR.
"The album began as 23 demos written and recorded in a remote cabin in the woods of Northern Michigan during the dead of winter. In total isolation, and with a reduced amount of gear (a modified version of their live setup) on the cabin’s kitchen table, the duo were completely immersed in an incessant inescapable studio of their own making – looping, repetitive analogue sequences grinding away day and night. At the end of the intense demo session, a handful of peers were enlisted by the band for the difficult task of paring down the demos into the final album.
The result is 10 tracks of uncompromising dark electronics, showcasing ADULT.’s return to aggressive and energetic dancefloor mastery. Album opener, This Behavior, alongside the follow-up, Violent Shakes, (which ascends into synths wailing like warning sirens over Kuperus’s commanding vocals) set the stage for an on-edge listen, while the heartbreaking “Silent Exchange” unfolds as a beautiful sad synth dirge. Perversions of Humankind breaks the mood – driving the listener into a slow and low groove before the frantic album midpoint of Irregular Pleasure. Does The Body Know? is the album’s post-punk anthem, with irresistible singalong “we’re out of order – we’re undefined!” The latter half of the album drives forward with “On The Edge (You Put Me…)” and “Lick Out The Content”, refusing rest and demanding movement and response. Everything & Nothing emerges slowly from sparkling synth textures, snowballing with nervous energy into an acid techno stomper before the album comes to a close on the icy landscape of In All The Debris, a goose-bump inducing slow electronic mantra that closes the curtain on a massive album."
Afro-futurist talent Scott Xylo releases his debut album 'Find Us When You Get There' via Black Acre.
"23 years old, Scott Xylo makes gloriously fragmented electronic structures that are as delicate as they are intoxicating. Sitting somewhere between hip-hop, neo-soul, left field electronics, and UK system culture, his work reaches a new level on the incoming full length."
UKF pioneer and veteran Roska weighs in a deep and vocal-heavy debut LP nearly bang on 10 years since the first Roska releases on his feted, eponymous label
Roska’s rhythms have been a healthy part of our dancefloor diet ever since he dropped ‘The Climate Change EP’ and ‘Feeline’ back in 2008, so it’s a good buzz to hear him shape the UKF sound to an album format, which, apart from Cooly G, not many from that scene have ever attempted to do.
Very fair to say he’s nailed theit with panache and finesse, bringing stacks of vocalists on board to add extra flavour to his already spicy drums, glutinous bass and singing melodies - most effectively with Newham Generals’ Footsie and D Double E on the rudee ‘Tonight’; with Jammz on a sidewinding UKF/grime flex ‘Don’t Get Gassed’; on a infectious Afrobeats tip with ‘Winning Team’, and ‘Unknown Language’; and with sweetest feminine pressure in ‘Over You.
‘Burn Slow’ is a 10-track album from Chris Liebing with vocal contributions from a diverse range of artists: Miles Cooper Seaton (Akron / Family), Mute labelmate Polly Scattergood (onDeadWaves), Cold Cave, Aleen and, of course, Gary Numan.
"‘Burn Slow’ is a minimalist electronic epic and the start of a new chapter for one of techno’s leading authorities. It might not be what you expect for a DJ synonymous with fast, hard and heavy techno but, according to Chris Liebing, he’s always been something of a slow starter: “I’ve wanted to do something like ‘Burn Slow’ all my life,” he says.
While retaining the framework of the techno beats that Chris Liebing has dedicated his life to for the past 25 years, here he also seeks out new harmonic territories, taking aim at the heart rather than the feet, in order to tackle some deep themes. The key concept of presence - the idea that everything is happening in this moment and that everything in the past is mere memory - form the thematic backbone of the record. It’s something Liebing got in touch with via philosopher Alan Watts, not to mention decades of getting entire dancefloors lost in the present: “If people would stay in the now, everything in the world would just have a bit more harmony,” explains Liebing.
Liebing has teamed up with Ralf Hildenbeutel (a key part of the long since defunct Eye Q family) for ‘Burn Slow’ and it was at his new musical ‘enabler’ Hildenbeutel’s Frankfurt studio that Liebing began drifting into new territory."
Sludgy. stoned, avant-rock madness from NYC performance art troupe Hairbone on the exploratory Blank Forms Editions
“Despite Hairbone’s prolific, obsessively-documented life as a performance art group, Earth To Momma is the band’s first studio LP, distilling their sprawling live shows into 12 distinct pieces of lyrical, art-damaged rock and pop music. Their institutional success begs for comparisons to artists’ bands like Destroy All Monsters or Die Tödliche Doris, but Hairbone’s confusion of high and low culture fits them equally into peerdom with the classic American underground of the Butthole Surfers and Sun City Girls. A native of Mexico, de Nieves delivers bilingual incantations that are bolstered by Stead’s synthetic drum sampling and guitarist Whipple’s acid-fried neoclassical shredder excess. The record is a shapeshifting suite that fits veiled commodity critique, volcanic convulsions, blasé songcraft, and a breezy instrumental into a hallucinatory vision haunted by abject clowns and the grain of twisted emergency police calls. With tongue set firmly in cheek—through Stead’s ode to Chateau Diana bodega “wine product,” and de Nieves’s simulated Kim Gordon sighting—Hairbone maintain an irreverent authenticity in an era when the mere notion has become a barren field.
Hairbone is a New York-based power trio of artists Raúl de Nieves, Jessie Stead, and Nathan Whipple, formerly known as Haribo. Functioning mainly in the art world, Hairbone has inflicted their carnivalesque live shows upon audiences from museums to decrepit basements for nearly a decade. Each unique, narrative multimedia performance features frontman de Nieves inhabiting new personae in a sculptural actionist mode, brandishing oversized, text-emblazoned props as if they were picket signs, then proceeding to destroy them as Hairbone’s near-opera burlesque freak shows unfurl. Obliquely political, theirs is a protest music without didacticism.”
Brendon Moeller offers up his ‘Set In Motion’ EP on Echocord sub-label Echo Echo, comprising three originals from the Dub Techno veteran.
New York based producer and DJ Brendon Moeller aka Beat Pharmacy/Echologist has long been respected as one of the pioneering figures in ethereal, dubbed-out Techno with regular appearances at global hot spots like fabric, Berghain and Cielo as well as releases on labels like Third Ear, Kimochi, Neovinyl and Echocord. Here though we see Moeller joining the roster of the latter’s sublabel Echo Echo, marking its fourth release.
Title-track ‘Set In Motion’ leads with Brendon’s signature murky synth textures at its core whilst lumpy low-end tones, shuffled hats and spiraling dub echoes fluidly undulate amongst one another throughout. ‘Eastern Beach’ follows, and as the name would suggest, nods towards brighter sounds with airy pads, soft bell chime synths and pulsating subs driving the composition alongside swinging, heavily reverberated percussion. ‘Economy’ then closes the package, stripping things back to gritty dub stabs, dusty 4/4 drums and billowing noise sweeps."
Ital Tek re-emerges with ‘Bodied’, his 6th album of sci-fi electronic scaping, with an increasing emphasis on the sci-fi part, and more sparing, spacious use of rhythm. make sure to check for highlights in the escalating energy of ‘Hymnal’, the teetering sound design of ‘Lithic’, and the staggered fulminations of ‘Bodied’
“Ital Tek's 'Bodied' is the follow up to his acclaimed 2016 album 'Hollowed'. Stepping in a different direction from that album, It’s as if Hollowed's detailed world has been fleshed out and filled with the spectre of human voices.
As on his last album, the sounds on 'Bodied' are highly designed, but this time barely a whisper of dance music remains. Instead it's built around acoustic elements and ghostly choral arrangements, refracted and transformed into atmospheric, alien forms which are given the time to settle and transform. Rhythm is used only as a tool to give his world a sense of dark, mechanical momentum.
Alan explains; "After completing 'Hollowed' I had over a year away from writing any of my own material. I was working, composing music for a video game and a number of different projects. I needed to find a way back in and I rediscovered the joy of music being a release as opposed to a job. I was getting up really early and sketching out lots of ideas very fast, squeezing in quick bursts of writing at the beginning or end of long studio day spent working on other musical projects."
"It was important for me to define the world that the album was going to inhabit before taking it any further, so I put a much greater focus into the sound design and palette than I had before. I wanted to make the music sound very physical, geometric, and monolithic, as if it inhabited a physical space."
"On 'Bodied' the music focuses on the interplay between the minuscule and the vast, beauty and brutalism. With this album I was much more concerned with dynamics and the discipline of holding tension; the use of space and silence to provide a counterpoint to the intensity."
"Most importantly, I was keen for there to be a human acoustic foundation, so I did a lot of live recording of cello, violin, harp and guitar - anything I could get my hands on. I was certain that I wanted there to be a greater vocal presence - nothing lyrical or at the forefront but to give it an underlying organic quality - to impart some humanity into the music."
As Ital Tek moves further from his roots, he's creating new sounds and spaces in which his music can exist. It's up to the listener to decide what kind of world 'Bodied' evokes, but it's certainly one that's beautiful and rewarding to spend time in.”
Excellent, overcast atmospheric electronic pressure systems from Iranian artist Siavash Amini.
“After 2017's Tar', Foras is Iranian sound artist Siavash Amini's second album for the Hallow Ground and his sixth solo album in only six years. The four tracks see him returning to his singular approach that blends harsh electronic noise with lush granular synthesis and classical compositional techniques. Over the course of roughly 38 minutes, the album navigates between different and at times seemingly contradictory moods, thus mirroring its underlying concept. Foras explores how individual sorrow relates to and is triggered by space.
Similar to what the late theorist Mark Fisher has dubbed the "eerie," the LP focuses on how landscapes and buildings connect to and transform the inside world and thus the psychological experience. May it be by passing through a space haunted by collective memories of loss or tragedy, or by means of interpersonal dialogue, or even a memory of such events in each individual's mind elaborates Amini on the starting points from which Foras dives further and further into the darkness. It is no surprise then that the incredibly lush soundscapes of Foras evoke distance as much as depth.”
Heart-on-sleeve dramatics from Seoul-born, Boston-based 24-y.o. artist MMPH - a classically-trained musician whose Cello studies at Berklee College of Music soon evolved into these grandiose, romantic and tragic electronic symphonies
In recent months MMPH has been credited with production on records by serpentwithfeet, David Byrne, and Lauren Auder, as well as a tender remix handling of ‘Braid’ by Perfume Genius. Followers of Nico Jaar, 0PN, Arca will likely get something out of MMPH’s angsty emotive gut load.
Written and recorded live in the Invada studios...
"Showcasing the lyrical side of Beak>, ‘Brean Down’ sounds as though Nirvana are gatecrashing a Bronx B-Boy mconvention. ‘Brean Down’ is the first single taken from the band’s forthcoming third album ‘>>>’."
London’s Toma Kami brings some serious drums to his debut platter for Livity Sound following a strong of self-released 12”s on Man Band Rec.
On ‘Sharp Tool In The Shed’ he deftly churns up a polyrhythmic fuss for 2 minutes before calving away into sparking electro-funk at full wingspan, whereas ‘Land Of The Insane’ grubs around at slower tempo with swingeing woodblock drums and piquant synth arps in super colourful tessellation.
This is really good; a first taster of Factory Floor's score to Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece Metropolis; with a surprisingly assymetric take on New Beat on the A-side's Transform, and a slowed down, pulsing charmer on the flip sounding something like a more angular take on HTRK. This is the second reease on Factory Floor's own imprint H/O/D Records.
"Transform, a section inspired by Maria's transformation from human into the robot, reveals itself in a haze of accumulating ambience and scattered percussion that evolves into the heavy repetitive bass groove reassuringly stabilizes Maria's journey into metamorphosis.
The slow tempo and atmospheric wash of synths and electronics on side B 'Wonder' offering a hesitant hush contrast."
Kromestar runs amok on two lethal remixes of Pinch classics
The dread trial swagger of ‘The Boxer’ is amped to wide-eyed and ravenous degrees on the ‘Southpaw remix’, while the shutting half step of ‘Swish’ comes on noisier, raging and unrelenting.
Third in the 'Diving Bird' series from Andy Mac for Idle Hands.
"The third in the series sees Mac draw on Highlife and Dub influences.The A side leads off with 'Sketch 3' a rough hewn House track with live elements while 'Dancehall Style' does what it says on the tin.
On the B side Acido's Dreesen and PST remix 'Longships' from Diving Bird #1 into a hypnotic and subtley subby track with a Dub Techno feel."
Osiris Music UK triangulate a dank area of UK bass pressure with aces by Overlook, Pessimist, and Mønic
In stylistic and temporal declension, the EP sets out with Overlook’s scowling 170bpm D&B roller ‘Former Self’, before Pessimist takes the reins for ‘Indigo’, a beat-less acidic serpent flecked with scaly drums in his super minimalist style that we much prefer over his bashier big beats.
Feeling slower and rawer still, Mønic herds rumbling bass and sparking industrial drums into ‘Stampede’, then rounds out with the sullen half step of ‘Cutting The Ties That Bind’.
Neel makes his first solo foray in 2018 with four tracks of pulsing deep techno for Token
Each track was recored in one single take, and range from the hyptnoic thrum of ‘Afnio’ to the underwater immolation of ‘Renio’, the hydraulic drag co-efficients of ‘Osmio’, and the purist 4/4 thunder of ‘Vanadio’.
Klon Dump, an artist located in Berlin, known for his monthly Cashmere Radio interruptions and a collection of deft, pacey trax served on a double disc via A Colourful Storm last year, as well as recent excursions under a different alias, is now about to make his mark on NoCorner with a 32 minute and 19 second delivery of cold 'electro-acoustics...
Field recordings, tapes, radio snippets and sounds recorded and produced in Cairo. The gleaming heat of Egypt was processed into a grinding 40-minute live set, contrasting the layered atmospheres with Bit-Tuner's signature staccato beats.
"Swirling sounds fall into place as the recording evolves. As blasts of wind carry away the dust, sights of a dense and vibrant metropolis are set free. After his previous works The Japan Syndrome and The China Syndrome, Bit-Tuner's new recording Arabian Nights takes an edgy approach: Bit-Tuner extracts grainy physicalness from his sounds and brews them in his high-energy arrangements. It is this directness, that marks Bit-Tuner's distinctive qualities as a live act. He manages to tell stories through waves of sonic pressure."