DJ Sprinkles & Hardrock Striker serve 3 deep and moody house moves on ‘Under The Ballroom’, the 3rd Skylax House explosion 12”
Phillip Lauer roll out the lustrous bass and balmy choral synth voices of ‘Bigs’ beside the deep but haughty swing of Octo Octa’s ‘Running’ on the A-side, with Violence FM & The Underground Soulsavers providing the immersive deep house sprawl of ’Soleil Mauve’ on the B-side.
Somehow still a secret, even though he’s played DJ sets under the alias...
E. Myers gets fruity again with two cuts of suave disco NRG in the crisp ‘80s swang and strapping, chromed out bass arps of I Am Alive, and the spine-tracing proto-trance/EBM mongrel, Dreamland.
Sublime, smudged and looped ambient/pop layering from Jake Muir (Further Records, Touch), the third release on sferic following Space Afrika’s excellent ‘Somewhere Decent To Live’ album. Huge recommendation if you're into Jan Jelinek, Pinkcourtesyphone, Conjoint, Studio Pankow, Andrew Pekler, Fennesz...
sferic cruise the best coast with Jake Muir, an artist and field recordist hailing from Los Angeles, California, where he’s previously recorded and released albums under the Monadh moniker for Further Records and Touch, the latter of which on the compilation ‘Live At Human Resources’, where he took part in a beautiful group tribute to Jóhann Jóhannsson along with a number of solo contributions.
On ‘Lady’s Mantle’ Muir constructs a poignant sound world crafted from samples of well loved American pop smudged with aqueous field recordings made everywhere from Iceland to the beaches of California. In nine succinct scenes, the results loosely limn a wide sense of space and place with its fading harmonic auroras and glinting, half-heard surf rock melodies rendered in an abstract impressionist manner that suggests a fine tracing of in-between-spaces, perhaps describing metropolitan sprawl giving way to vast mountain ranges and oceanic scales.
In effect the album recalls the intoxicated airs of Jan Jeinek's Loop Finding Jazz Records and Gramm project, as well as Pinkcourtesyphone (a.k.a L.A. resident Richard Chartier) and Andrew Pekler’s sensorial soundscapes and even the plangent production techniques of Phil Spector. But for all its implied sense of space, ultimately there’s a paradoxically close intimacy to proceedings which feels like you’re the passenger in Muir’s ride, and he patently knows the scenic route...
Highland electro and deep techno hustle from Neil McDonald’s ever-charming Lord Of The Isles project
Like a distant Scottish cousin to Texan Gerard Hanson (Convextion/E.R.P.), LOTI trades in a most poignant sort of sort of synthetic emotion inspired by big panorama and classic electronica.
On the A-side he rolls out two electro beauties in the poignant pads and chrome plated patterns of ‘Irafas’ and the nimble, fluidly woven arps of ‘W5 Alpha’, whereas the B-side tends to subtler sensations with the dark skied tone and tactile subbass movements of ‘Q-bit’ and a lovely kosmiche flight in ‘Three Times Eleven’ to close.
Dead lovely gear, also sounds great on 33rpm!
Funky and f**ked-up studies in DIY dance music and noise from Gunnar Wendel (Kassem Mosse) as DJ Residue for TTT
Recorded over the course of “five days in summer in an apartment with no AC in New York with random instruments found inside the apartment (a moog radioshack synth & two zildjian cymbals).”, the results are a testament to Wendel’s ingenuity and economy in making the most of what he’s got to hand.
The results resemble Powell oddities as much as the worn-down grooves of Shamos or the stoic minimalism of Thomas Brinkmann, except more lo-fi. On the A-side he roves from blank-eyed and muggy drones in ‘Blackline’ to the off-centre pump and patter of ‘Hand-Crafted Among The Stars’, and a sort of salty, needling electro-acid on ‘Triple-Arched Gateway’. On the B-side, he tramples from the discordant triage of ‘Meditation Fee’ to the pulsing slug of the title track and a sort of free jazz blatz to finish with Shallow Bowl.
Scuzzy electro and IDM-acid from the Elektronik Religion capo. Make sure to check the wild torpedo of ‘Hexciya’ and the rattling funk of ‘Swollen
“Dez Williams is coming back to Bedouin with a 100% solid EP. Against Your Will is a call to a wild dance ceremony. High definition sound waves and a reference to the Drexciyan world, through timeless electro beats. A sci-fi dip into our subconscious and back to the surface, where everything seems to be untouched but it will never be the same again.”
Blume is fast becoming one of the most crucial contemprary imprints for new and archival electronic and electro-acoustic works - and this one has once again completely destroyed us. If you’ve been snagged on the ideas and effects of sides from Áine O’Dwyer, Jim O’Rourke’s Steamroom archive, Julius Eastman or indeed Blume’s Mary Jane Leach edition, we wager this one will floor you.
The exceptional Blume series have us rapt on the edge of our listening seats with Sarah Hennies’ striking works for percussion; 'Foragers' and 'Embedded Environments', a pair of sui generis modern compositions for four players which make staggering, contrasting use of the acoustics at “Silo City” in Buffalo, NY.
In admirable, riveting pursuit of a singular sound that best represents Hennies’ identity, Embedded Environments documents her strive to achieve a sort of 3rd track or space severed from the cultural baggage of cis-gendered tradition. In order to do so, Sarah stripped hers and the players instrumental gestures down to the barest minimum of repetitive patterns which didn’t imply or appropriate this or that culture, then used the human-made acoustics of the silos to allow those sounds to mix freely, embracing the aleatoric complexity of those results, once created and released into the huge resonant chamber.
Documented in long form on each side, the results of her incisive approach vary broadly. The rolling waves of pressure from Foragers are notably intense but barely there, while Embedded Environments is raucous by comparison, yet in their own way, they both share a futuristic primitivism that’s entirely rooted in the moment of here and now.
In the first, a chronically low rumble sustains a meditative pressure that’s neither new age nor connoting religious or even erotic themes. Rather its a reinforcement of presence redolent of some aspects of work by Alvin Lucier, and sharing a canny trick in common with Áine O’Dwyer’s Gallarais when the hypnotic effect is broken by the sound of a plane passing overhead, ripping us out of one sphere and into another and then back in a way that’s subtly crude and completely shocking to experience.
On the other hand, Sarah’s B-side takes the kind of drums you may associate with Native American ritual practise, and sends them spiralling skyward, outward to find their own paths beyond pastiche, pressed by a timeless sense of urgency and near seething aggression directed at the foundations of restrictive institutions.
As a record of our times, Embedded Environments acknowledges the stale accretion of psychogeographic and socio-political sonics, the binds of self-censorship, and the “norms” of contemporary composition, and seeks to plough for the now with a raging sort of stasis that’s perhaps an apt metaphor for the current status quo. As the liner notes by Bradford Bailey put it, "What She Has to Say, Has Never Been Said".
Slick, high pressure bass business from two of the UK’s baddest, Batu & Lurka, launched on the latter’s Fringe White label one year on from their debut sling.
Combining and parsing the best traits of both producers, the A-side steps and swings off 25 PSI pumped subs and hyaline hooks in a reticulated ice-snake riddim rent to the rafters with streaking dynamics before bringing it closer down with sublime, shivering pads saved for the most poignant moment.
In stark contrast, the B-side’s Struck yanks the tempo down and rubs the drums up the wrong way, swivelling heavy on a 110bpm tempo with cold, thistly, slamming drums and flat bass slaps stealthily opening out in swaggering UK style unconcerned with trends but firmly fixed on ’nuum roots and futures.
Charmingly smudged, off-kilter jazz-techno, warmly tipped to followers of Madteo, Laurel Halo, Theo Parrish...
“Korea Town Acid is unflinching, focused, absorbed and engaged in sound and all vibration. Jessica Cho has been creating buzz in Toronto’s downtown dance music community with her live, improvised electronic music performances and multi-medium DJ sets over the past nine years. A classically trained pianist with an intuition for improvisation and the sonic universe, Jess’ music transcends the dance floor into the astral strata. Her sound palette is vivid and technicolor; cerebral and kinetic; a timeless fusion of raw, fearless creativity and focus. Cho has proven her versatility in dozens of Toronto venues performing solo, and with former live house duo CHOBO. She has released a variety of tracks on labels such as Arachnidiscs, Archi-textures, Toy Tonics from Berlin, Secret Jams from Bulgaria, and her solo EP on Toronto’s Mikita Skyy.
Holed away in Cosmic Resonance’s basement studio/headquarters in Toronto, Jess improvised freely over eight straight early January days in 2018. The result was a free jazz, techno-addled synth orchestra too rich to know its own wealth of nuance. Slowly the layers began to peel away. Glimmers of diamond-encrusted synth rays started peaking out from behind massive bass-lined clouds. Mountains, then valleys, rivers, trees and a full landscape appeared."
A classic techno album resurfaces with reissue of Dan Curtin’s lush, sought-after début LP for Peacefrog
Originally dispatched in 1994, ‘The Silicon Dawn’ is Curtin’s seminal contribution to then widening Detroit techno sound. Coming from Cleveland, Ohio, he wasn’t a Detroit native, but, like other artists such as Richie Hawtin thru to Laurel Halo nowadays, he was effectively a close onlooker who mutated the sound from a relative outsider position.
But unlike the aforementioned artists, Dan’s sound was beautifully within grasping distance of Carl Craig’s jazz-techno sophistication, Derrick May’s inimitable kaotic harmonies, and UR’s hardcore rhythms.
The Düsseldorf-Detroit connexion is in e-f-f-e-c-t on this reissue of DJ SCSI’s sought-after 313 rarity, originally issued by D-Bass in 1997, now by Gari Romalis Electronix
Uptown, SCSI renders the Kraftwerk-sampling slickness of ‘Communication’ and the stripped down vocoder acapella ‘Communication (At&T Mix)’, while the ‘floor gets amped underneath with the sub-bass heave and chattering robo vox of ‘We Are One’ and the unmissable, Stingray-esque jit torpedo, ‘Mega Hz’.
Gorgeous tribal rhythms vacillate with neo-classical strings and electronic eruptions and gauzy ambient chorales in an effortlessly diverse offering by cellist Teddy Rankin-Parker and composer/producer Michael Beharie, who has appeared on records with Laurel Halo and Greg Fox. LP mixed by Jim O’Rourke and mastered by James Plotkin
“Michael Beharie (New York) and Teddy Rankin-Parker (Chicago) first met more than 10 years ago while attending Oberlin College. Since graduating, Beharie and Rankin-Parker each veered into markedly different avenues. In addition to a consistent output of solo releases on NYC-label Astro Nautico, Beharie also recently joined up with the ever-confounding New York ensemble Zs (Northern Spy, The Social Registry, Troubleman Unlimited), recently performed on albums by Laurel Halo, Greg Fox & Colin Self, and is a regular composer for dance and film. Rankin-Parker became an in-demand cellist for his prowess in the work of improvisation, avant-garde music, and the more exploratory realms of indie pop, lending his talents to a wide array of bands and collaborators, such as Primus, Iron & Wine, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Glen Hansard, Father John Misty, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Chicago Sinfonietta, and Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble.
But after a decade of geographic distance, the duo came together to write and record its collaborative debut, A Heart From Your Shadow. Rather than jump into stream-of-concious improvisation, Beharie and Rankin-Parker chose to focus the album's themes via intricately composed pieces. The end result could be described as protest music, brimming with intense energy, harrowing anxiety, and steadfast optimism. All of this finished with a few hired hands: produced by Michael Beharie, mixed carefully by Jim O'Rourke and mastered by James Plotkin.
"Intro" sets the grim scene and issues the album's M.O.. A doom symphony of urban anxiety, the song shows the expansive efforts this duo is able to accomplish. "Gully" offers muted mayhem that's highly synchronized and militantly percussive. It's an anguished two-step of hope and hopelessness. The hyper-repetitive patterns almost hypnotize you into a zoned-out stupor. "Icon" is a psych-freakout of sorts, but the bombast is counter-balanced by intermittent breaks of ambient compositions.
There's a deeper layer still, shown in "Smooth Face", equal parts meditatively uplifting and unsettlingly dissonant. Inner and outer anxieties resonate with actual police sirens in a swirl of tonal turmoil. "Fake Money" is a relatively laid-back drift down a river littered with musique concrète, rustic drones and effects pedal. "Roses" veers into backlit kosmische anthems. Midway through the track, things drop out completely into an open, fog-covered scene cloudy with keyboard-vocal tones. Closer "Petaluma" offers a sweet and sincere coda, chasing a fleeting moment of spontaneous beauty.
The orchestration chaos and permeated distortion of A Heart From Your Shadow is largely about healing, not fear.”
Magisterial, glacial, attention-demanding and powerful exposition of Buchla 200 synth tones mapped to acoustic woodwind and brass by a promising young composer; Stockholm’s Kali Malone. A strong tip to fans of work by Caterina Barbieri, Emptyset, Sarah Davachi.
Arriving in the resonating wake of her self-released solo début Velocity of Sleep , and flanked by the recently issued Organ Dirges 2016-2017 tape for Ascetic House, the Cast Of Mind LP gently but grandly expands the constellation of Kali Malone's solo releases, next to her Upper Glossa collaborations with Caterina Barbieri, a tape with Ellen Akrbro, and acclaimed live performances.
Joined by Yoann Durant (Alto Sax), Isak Hedtjärn (Bass Clarinet), Gabriella Varga Kalsson (Bassoon), and Mats Äleklint (Trombone), Kali’s Buchla 200 Synthesiser forms the basis for a quartet of diaphanous and slowly unfolding electro-acoustic landscapes that externalise a highly personalised form of emotive topography.
In the titular opener, wood and brass trace the swooning ellipses of Kali’s Buchla contours in stately procession suggesting a sort of resigned march to battle, before the Buchla appears to dominate in the warped streaks of Bondage To Formula, but listen closer and it’s harder to tell whether it’s electronic or organic sources so fully lending flesh to her rich sound field.
The answer to that question is much clearer in Arched To Hysteria, whose keening, hunched electronic forces hold powerful potential to conversely induce paranoia and heavily hypnagogic effects, whilst Empty The Belief yields a lustrous, Raga-like drone capturing a marriage of Buchla and bassoon at their most transcendent and steeply attractive.
This one should be filed for reference and safekeeping beside recent transmissions from Sarah Davachi, Anna Von Hausswolff, and Catarina Barbieri = properly good.
Bright, punchy jack trax from Videopath, following in the footsteps of Ciel, Chekov and Fred onto Shanti Celeste’s excellent Peach Discs
There’s no mistaking that the good times synth vamps and rugged swang of A Cure For Melancholy lives up to its name with giddy alacrity, while And So Do Eye follows suit with proper US happy house ’n garage burn, full of organ riffs and dreamy early ‘90s style vocals.
Hypnotic new EBM techno project from Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant and Ori Ofir, highly recommended if yr into Nitzer Ebb, DAF, Boy Harsher, Phase Fatale!
Juan Mendez a.k.a Silent Servant finds his ideal EBM vocal foil in Ori Ofir under their Sterile Hand moniker. The duo’s first vinyl round for Not Waving’s Ecstatic label is a dark and sleazy run of deviant industrial techno and pugilistic EBM cuts made over the last year.
Following Silent Servant’s killer split 12” with Not Waving and Pye Corner Audio in 2017, and two fierce 12”s with Marcel Dettmann and Phase Fatale in 2018, the L.A.-based artist behind Sandwell District and Jealous God is at the apex of his game right now, combining EBM and techno in faithful but inventive new ways. If there was anything previously missing from Silent Servant’s music, it’s only become apparent thru the seamless and natural incorporation of Ori Ofir’s classic-styled but unique vocals.
The two L.A.-based artists push each other down tightening alleys of EBM and industrial techno, with Ofir’s stark, blunted declamations haunting and highlighting the most fetid corners of Mendez’s rolled-steel productions. It’s a style that works to cryptic, head-turning effect in the Voigt Kampff-like probe of Personality Test, then with increasing dancefloor force in the Nitzer Ebb-esquer flow of The Hunter and the punishing, gnashing bite of Security, whereas Listen For Water and the creeping figures of Untitled explore the esoteric powers and parameters of Sterile Hand in mesmerising psychoactive detail.
Raw, loose ambient house trax by Australia’s River Yarra on the Paris-based Antinote label
“In 1978, Brian Eno started what would become his seminal Ambient series with Music for Airports. If he was to add a fifth volume to the series in 2018, he would probably call it “Music for Social Medias”, wouldn’t he? We’re not 100% sure that this is about to happen, so, instead, we take the lead and have Oz’s River Yarra giving his own take on Music for Social Medias (and the result doesn’t sound at all like ambient music).
At least, we might accurately call it “music from social medias”, as it sometimes feel it’s been generated by a possessed creative algorithm. Starting with the opening track, Aorsom Wislhs (whose name must have been given by a deficient Messenger chat bot), one might feel disoriented by the extremely weird and wonky lead melody. The melody of Sli Ggogg (sic) – the slow jam opening the flip side – is equally uneven; add to this the unsettling (slightly) human-sounding voice and you’re in for a trip to the Uncanny Valley.
But there’s a sense of non-human randomness infusing all of these four songs. Take the intensely mesmerizing Respiration Alternée with Elen Huynh, for example: there’s a high probability that its lyrics come from some random meditation tutorial found on YouTube, translated into French by an anxious Google Translate bot, eager to bring some (cheap?) spirituality to IRL dancefloors.
With this debut EP, the Ozzie producer succeeds in rounding up disparate & dubious elements together in a serious way without departing from a non-serious attitude - the record even rounds off with a very “put your hands in the air” moment with Space Gekko’s ravey sirens. “Music to party on the River Yarra to” (just Google it).”
The overdue and overproof sophomore Young Echo album is finally upon us, dispensing an epic 24 tracks of subby, red-eyed and distinctively Bristolian vibes set to dank-out smoky dwellings everywhere. Arriving five years after Nexus, their eponymous second album features cuts from each of the 11-strong mob, framing a fractious mosaic of style and pattern rooted in dub and the dancehall, but unafraid to fxck with noise, techno, ambient pop and grime in their own way.
It’s a proper group effort, playing to their strengths in diversity and unity in the best way by keeping individual track credits close to their chest, only allowing the album to be taken as a whole. Yeh, of course everyone’s going to have personal favourites, but they’re only facets of a much bigger body, and it’s to their credit that the whole thing feels coherent, a shared experience, and doesn’t simply sound like a compilation of music by like minds.
Young Echo have always been a bit of sore-thumb in the scene - are they a band? A label? A soundsystem in the mould of The Wild Bunch? The one takeaway from all their material is a sense of shared purpose and democracy - not in the usual, arrogant indie band style, or in-your-face political militancy - pivoting around mutual ideas of economy of expression and a sensitivity to space, rhythm and tone that effectively all pulls back to dub, no matter their individual heritage.
Young Echo is an organic complex where light hardly penetrates its papyrus-like walls, and much of the most crucial communication is made via infrasonics and atonality, relaying messages and emotions both as metaphorical/physical vibes and quite literally thru a morphing voice, which might be gruff poetic realism of Rider Shafioque one minute, the crisply enunciated diction of Jabu or Chester Giles the next, while a number of ghostly, sampled characters also haunt its corridor, perfusing half-heard messages thru their smoky matrix.
It adds up to an album symptomatic of the times in which it was made, yet does so timelessly, bridging the original, super plush studio trip hop creation of their geographic forebears, Massive Attack or Portishead, with a more road-level appreciation of economy and soul which might be best recognised by members of their generation, but should also be felt by any open-minded and empathetic souls the world over.
It’s definitely not another fxcking coffee table record, we’ll give you that for free.
‘Dragon Wave’ is a slo-mo tribal tripper from Amsterdam’s Dazion, b/w the beautiful, aghivering figure of ‘VX LTD’, which sounds like it got separated from AFX’s SAW 85-92 sessions and somehow turned up in Holland 25 years later
“Urgent: it has come to our attention that the Safe Trip organisation has taken to the water in a bid to spread their coded musical messages far and wide. We understand that they have recruited young operative known as Dazion, a keen windsurfer, to develop a method of broadcasting their addictive and mind-altering musical missives wherever there is a suitable body of water.
Our operatives tracked Dazion to a remote spot on the dutch coast, where he was spotted trialling this new technology with his favoured F2 dragon board. As he rode the choppy waves, we were able to detect and record rhythmical electronic music emanating from the board itself. we enclose this recording, which features the kind of tribalistic, delay-laden drums, swelling electronics and exotic melodic refrains that are known to inspire frenzied dancing in members of the public. we have christened this recording “dragon wave”.
After exiting the water, Dazion packed up his top-secret windsurfing technology and drove to a backstreet address in a quiet area of Amsterdam. There, in a light industrial unit, he continued to tinker with the technology, testing it out by broadcasting another musical composition. this was more poignant and melancholic in tone, utilising spacey electronic melodies, gently bobbing chords, heart-aching guitar flourishes and a tough but broken rhythm track. the recording – code name “VX Ltd” – had a huge impact on us emotionally and even reduced one operative to tears.
It is our belief that the Safe Trip organisation will only increase in strength with Dazion’s involvement. We recommend watching the waves and winds intently for further developments.”
The Breeders' biggest selling and probably most-loved album, larely due to the massive success of Canonball.
It's a more easy-going, sometimes humorous and without question hooky set, and although for us it never quite hit the same visceral spot as Pod or Safari, you just cant argue with an album that's at once so singular and life affirming...
Spellbinding soul-jazz salvo from Sudan ’92, sung in Arabic and english, and played with pronounced American and Ethiopian influences to strikingly unique effect. A real beauty. Hard to believe it was made in the ‘90s. Sounds like an unreleased ‘60s or ’70s peach! If you copped ‘Habibi Funk (An Eclectic Selection of Music From The Arab World)’, you need this one, too…
“Songs about the unity of Sudan, peace between Muslims and Christians and the fate of war orphans, backed by grooves equally taking influence from Arabic sounds, American funk as well as neighbouring Ethiopia.
Kamal Keila was among the first artist we met in Sudan during our two trips to Khartoum and Omdurman last year. He is one of the key figures of the Sudanese jazz scene that was a vital part of the musical culture in Sudan from the mid 1960s until the islamist revolution in the late 1980s. When we meet Kamal he luckily presented us with two mold covered studio reels.
Each tape included five tracks. One with English lyrics and another with Arabic ones. Musically you can hear the influence of neighboring Ethiopia much more than on other Sudanese recordings of the time, as well as references to Fela and American funk and soul. His lyrics, at least when he sings in English which gave him more freedom from censorship, are very political. A brave statement in the political climate of Sudan of the last decades, preaching for the unity of Sudan, peace between Muslims and Christians and singing the blues about the fate of war orphans called Shmasha.
A note inside one of the boxes specified the track titles, durations and the fact that the sessions were recorded on the 12th of august 1992. Both sessions stand as a hearable testament how Kamal Keila stuck to a sound aesthetic from decades ago, while incorporating current events into his lyrics.
Kamal Keila's album is the first in a series of releases covering the Sudanese jazz scene on Habibi Funk. Be on the lookout for albums by The Scorpions and Sharhabeel coming soon.”
Moog-assisted Nigerian disco pearls originally issued in 1976 and practically impossible to get hold of ever since. First vinyl reissue, officially licensed from the band
“Official Mr Bongo reissue of the ultra-rare album by ‘Super Elcados’. A fusion of heavyweight Nigerian funk, soul & disco, originally released by EMI Nigeria in 1976.
The ‘Super Elcados’ (and ’Elcados’ on other recordings) recorded three albums in the mid and late-70’s, this is their first. It was followed by ‘This World Is Full Of Injustice’ and ‘What Ever You Need’.”
Keith Kenniff’s output as Goldmund has established him as one of the preeminent composers of minimal piano-based ambient music alongside peers like Hauschka, Dustin O’Halloran, and even Ryuichi Sakamoto, who himself once described Kenniff’s work as “so, so, so beautiful”.
"Hyperbolic as it may sound, Goldmund’s newest collection Occasus may be his most exquisite yet. Where his previous recordings trod faithfully and sincerely on paths of dimly lit, polaroid-esque nostalgia, Occasus deepens the undeniable aesthetic that was hard-won over eight previous Goldmund albums, while expanding the palette to include desultory clouds of synthesizer and a tastefully distressed analog sheen.
The word Occasus means downfall, end, or the rising and falling of heavenly bodies. The title is apt in more ways than one: while the emotional tone of the album denotes bittersweet feelings of conclusiveness, it also perfectly soundtracks the quiet moments when we look up to the sky, and humbly relearn the smallness of our lives as cosmic objects churn slowly overhead with bewitching indifference. Occasus feels deeply personal, private, and hushed yet simultaneously grand, colossal, and profound. Remarkably Kenniff is able to capture micro and macro with equal fidelity.
Tangential to prior Goldmund material, there are a few moments of Occasus that feel dark and menacing like “No Story” and “Thread”, both of which broach urgent paranoia, and provide a refreshing counterweight to the idyll typical of the project. Kenniff’s music has always been unquestionably gorgeous, but seeing it set against an occasionally manic backdrop makes the moments of light shine that much brighter. Even when elements of Occasus play by the rules harmonically, they tend to unfold with a satisfying level of rhythmical disregard. “I like mistakes, I like when things don't go perfectly,” says Kenniff of his wabi-sabi ethos, “I do have a tendency to want for things to be perfect and precise, but I have to also realize that a lot of things I like about music and art are very rough and impulsive, the slight imperfections that give something or someone a unique voice.”
To that end there are few artistic voices as distinct as Goldmund’s. Using only a few simple ingredients (piano, synthesizer, reverb, and a little more) Kenniff’s sound has become so universal that you'd be forgiven for not knowing who it belongs to. Knock offs be damned, every Goldmund recording is cut from an inimitable fabric woven out of emotional intelligence, honesty, vivid imagination, and skillful restraint. Occasus is another strong chapter in an ever more gratifying catalog.”
First ever reissue of the wild duo jag between pioneering UK improvisor Bailey and his cello-playing Canadian foil...
“Honest Jon's Records present a reissue of Derek Bailey and Tristan Honsinger Duo, originally released by Incus in 1976. Born in Burlington, Vermont, and conservatory-trained in the US, the cellist Tristan Honsinger moved from Montreal to Amsterdam in 1974, quickly linking with Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg and opening a long and fruitful musical relationship with Derek Bailey.
Recorded in 1976, Duo displays a performative musical approach already characterized by the lack of inhibition which would later endear him to The Pop Group: he is knockabout, exclamatory, explosively rhythmic; burping Bach and folk melodies with spasmodic lyricism, in amongst the garrulous textures and accents of his scraping, bowing, and plucking, and gibbering like a monkey; throwing out his arms and stamping the floor, grappling with his instrument like an expert clown, always tripping himself up. You can hear Bailey reveling in the company, as he ranges between scrabbling solidarity and an askance skewering of his partner's antics, on prepared (nineteen-string) and standard electric guitars -- and a Waisvisz Crackle-box, for the garbled, quizzical, cross-species natter which closes "The Shadow".
Throughout, the spirited interplay between laconic, analytic wit, and guttural, sometimes slapstick physicality is consistently droll, often laugh-out-loud funny; vigorously alert, alive, and gripping.”
Ghost Box’s best loved project, Jon Brooks’ The Advisory Circle, unfolds a beautifully affectionate and absorbing hauntological study based around the theme of photography for his nostalgic fellows. Clad in some of the finest Julian House artwork to appear in the label’s 14 years so far, this is one instance where you can truly judge the record by its sleeve: It’s 24 carat synthy gold.
Where previous transmissions have been guided by prevailing to kosmiche whims and darker shades, Ways of Seeing arguably comes from a school of ‘80s inspirations; from the typography to the collaged snapshots and the beautifully poignant music itself, the feeling is less kitschy ‘70s and more cyber-sensual, with that key sense of English reserve and pastoralism, as opposed to say, the more ecstatic (read: cloying) aspects of US new age or the frivolity of Japanese 4th world styles during that era.
Sequenced in 12 succinct stages, the tracks never outstay their welcome, and often leave us wanting more, projecting a screen reel montage of imagery onto the mind’s eye.
L.A.’s Benedek pulls out a balmy disco package for Music From Memory’s Second Circle sub label.
Uptown, he delivers the liquified 4th world trumpet and keeling boogie of Earlyman Dance before swapping out the trumpet for synth keys and wilder dubbing in the Canyon Version.
Downtown, on Maca he percolates natty percussion in a clipped strut soaked in lush pads and acidic bass, while Tengu’s Mystery pulls toward YMO-esque instrumental influences, and Sixtern gives it some glam slouch.
Very necessary reissue of Derek Bailey’s astonishing Guitar - Lot 74 Solo Improvisations, a completely captivating slab of improvisations recorded by Martin Davidson in 1976 for a single-sided pressing on Bailey and Evan Parker’s Incus Records. Now, more than 50 years later, Honest Jon’s have done a sterling reissue job, sending the tapes to Abbey Road for transfer and roping in Rashad Becker at D&M to get Bailey’s dynamic range, including those amazing tremulous highs and the biting point distortion of ’Together’, sitting just right on the record. This is the sh*t, this is!
"In 1974, when Derek Bailey was planning his second solo LP on Incus, he decided to include a side-long solo using his stereo electro-acoustic set-up. Unfortunately, he never seemed to have a 20-minute stretch of time free of interruptions in his home, so he asked if he could record it at my place. After a fairly lengthy drive across London on the arranged date, he discovered that he had brought all his gear except the actual guitar. So he had a cup of tea and a chat, then drove home again. He came again about a week later, on May 13th, this time with everything. I set the level too high for the first two takes, not quite allowing for his enormous dynamic range (which really was not suitable for analogue recording and reproduction equipment). The result was too much distortion for his liking. The level was corrected for the third take which was the one used as the title track on the LP, even though he preferred the music on the earlier takes.
All but one of the short pieces on the second side of the LP were recorded by Bob Woolford around the same time, probably at Derek's home. (The exception, 'Improvisation 104(b),' was recorded the previous year and originally released on one of the Incus TAPs -- mini reel-to-reel tapes that were an attempt to bypass the technical problems of going from tape to vinyl. They were reissued by Organ of Corti.) 'Pain In The Chest' and 'In Joke (Take 2)' feature the unamplified 19-string (approx) guitar, which was probably the only instrument that Derek modified -- he otherwise used standard guitars.
There was a shortage of good vinyl at the time, making it difficult to get decent pressings. (The original pressing of the solo Steve Lacy Emanem LP sounded as though it had been recorded in a hail-storm.) We were recommended to go to a pressing plant that specialized in 'classical' music. (At the same time that Derek was trying to get Lot 74 pressed, I was also working on his duo album with Anthony Braxton.) The first test pressing of Lot 74 was very muffled, and we discovered that the cutting engineer had played the tape up-side-down, so that the music had been filtered through the tape backing (used on professional tapes to reduce print-through). The cutting was subsequently redone correctly, resulting in an acceptable test pressing. However, the plant manager was completely incredulous and perplexed, as he was used to checking pressings using his library of scores of Beethoven sonatas and the like. How could he tell if the vocal and feedback howls at the start of side two ('Together') were correct?
Over thirty years later, advances in technology have eliminated most of the technical problems we had then, so that this magnificent music can be heard sounding better than ever. Every so often, I get someone asking me to issue things on vinyl -- my response is usually not very polite." Martin Davidson
Stephen Hitchell’s earliest productions, carefully salvaged and remastered from demo tapes. Basic Channel-inspired deep, dub techno, originally recorded 1993-2000...
"An unreleased classic from the vaults emerges with newly remastered content from Radius's celebrated "Obsolete Machines" double album & two of the most epic creations featured on the "Interpolation Tapes" CD series, available for the first time ever on vinyl format. Many of the songs featured in this project were initially sent to Rod Modell & Mike Schommer shortly after they launched their brilliant deepchord label in 2001. (Recorded from 1993-2000).
They were incredibly kind in saying it was the best demo they had ever heard and passed it on to Octal records for release, sadly, that didn't materialize and since then these masters have been collecting dust in our cassette rack for nearly 20 years now. We've spent months doing our best to restore the old tapes from our Tascam 688, an 8 track cassette recorder purchased and abused since 1992 and to our ears still sounds quite impressive even by modern standards. We've had nearly every component replaced and re-calibrated to bring this obsolete machine back to life, it's been a truly nostalgic experience re-visiting and redesigning these masters."
DJ Spooky raids the VP vaults for a rugged, mutant dancehall mix ’n blen of vintage samples with new instrumental parts by Apple Juice Kid and Fourth Shift, sounding out somewhere between Equiknoxx, Major Lazer and Low Jack’s ‘Riddims du Lieu-dit’ EP
“Paul Miller, better known by his stage name DJ Spooky is a music producer, arranger, DJ, author and performance artist. His unique brand of experimental hip-hop, dubbed ’illbient’ has resulted in collaborations with a diverse range of artists including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Kronos Quartet, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Killa Priest. With remix projects for Trojan Records, Manifold Records and Six Degrees among others to his credit, Miller created Phantom Dancehall for his exploration of the Greensleeves/ VP Records reggae catalogue.
The musical tapestry is built on samples from familiar (and not so familiar) reggae tracks over electronic beats and melodies produced by Miller and protégé Stephen Levitin (stage name Apple Juice Kid). Selected tracks include the keyboard work of Alex Thompson aka Fourth Shift.
Guest vocals from Walshy Fire (Major Lazer) and dancehall new comer Sanjay added to vocal samples of Busy Signal, Lady Saw and Garnett Silk give the project an eclectic, modern dancehall flavor.”
Doris Norton was Apple's first music "endorsement" and Roland affiliate, and is one of the most important female pioneers in the use of synths and in the early electro / computer music field. This 3rd album of experimental computer works is anther peach, and includes the beautifully lush 10 minute medieval/prog regression ‘Don’t Shoot At Animals’ and the whirling psychedelia of ‘Iran No Ra’...
"As a teenager, Norton was drawn to medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music, not to mention quantum physics, differential equations, organic chemistry, the experimentalism of John Cage and animated movie soundtracks. Her love for modules and circuits found expression through the waves of an old harmonium, the frequencies of a Minimoog, a Roland System 100M, a Roland System 700 and the ARP 2500/2600.
In 1980, Norton began her solo career by recording at Fontana Studio 7, the Milan studio of the composer and musician Tito Fontana, resulting in the electronic opera "Under Ground". Norton became more prolific, continuing her adventures in experimental electronics and computer music with Parapsycho (1981), Raptus (1981), Nortoncomputerforpeace (1983), PC (1984) – whose album cover prominently features Apple’s colored logo – and Artificial Intelligence (1985).
Third studio album, 'Nortoncomputerforpeace' involved Doris Norton, Antonius Rex and Rudy Luksch (hardware engineer). "Don't Shoot At Animals" was used as original soundtrack for the RAI tv program "Rumore Di Fondo" directed by Umberto Marino.”
Tolouse Lowtrax, I:Cube, DJ Normal 4, and Dalo queue up reworks of Benedikt Frey’s ‘Artificial’ LP
Picks of the bunch are the the woozy, viscous take on ‘H For Hysteria’ by Tolouse Lowtrax, and a frazzled acid breakbeat rave rework of ‘Private Crimes’ by localisch guy DJ Normal 4.
I:Cube serves a straighter-played acid house version of ‘H For Hysteria’, and DaLo (who dat?) reworks ‘Private Crimes’ with a pendulous swang before locking into a tuffer 4/4 momentum.
Cranky, bashy UK electro-techno subsets from the echo chambers of Bristol’s Batu and Lurka.
They’ve cleft a sound square between their respective styles, coming with square-bassed cyber ruffige sparked off by glancing ice-pick snares on the A-side, whereas the flip digs a tangy metallic techno sound busy with squirrelly synths in a spacious sound design, before going slow and low on a bugged-out bit of Bristol dancehall.
Via Maris turns out a lovely lightshow of sparkling arps, vaporous synth chorales and sprung subbass for Peverelist’s Livity Sound
Making a fine contrast with the density of his preceding Shelley’s EP for Beneath’s Mistry, this session is all about space and lightness. The A-side renders an elusive scene of percolated subs and flyaway synthetic flutes seemingly designed for impish midsummer folk dancing as they do in the deep South West, before it finally locks into a ruggeder bass coda.
B-side the barometric pressure switched to even lighter sensations with bubbling bass and skittish synth voices swirled in a lush vortex recalling Skee Mask or indeed Peverelist at their respective best.
Freerotation’s Duckett rolls out a mixed bag of Afro-inspired, bittersweet and gritty grooves for Berceuse Heroique
The rhythms are all a bit too regular and pedestrian for us, especially when compared with the crookedly attractive drum workouts of Don’t DJ already released by BH, but adherents to the cult of "Freero” will surely find some nice moments inside...
Jay Glass Dubs diffracts Sade thru his inverted prism with delicious results for Berceuse Heroique following the dispatch of his immense ‘Dubs’ comp on Ecstatic and the ‘YMFEES’ collab with Leslie Winer...
Perfectly timed for summer in the northern hemisphere, The Safest Dub yields three deep ’n rugged takes on a definitive ‘80s soul anthem, swiping away the vocal to refocus the groove in a patented, fluid and spectral style of dub process that’s brought so much attention to Athens-based Dimitris Papadatos a.k.a. Jay Glass Dubs in recent years.
Uptown, he synchs trickling marimbas with slippery bass and balmy synth voices in The Warmest Dub to lush, radiant effect, before the night comes in properly with the vaporous brass and groggy, red wine-soaked slosh of The Safest Dub. Downtown, he opens the groove out to 9 minutes of sun-dazed breeziness, sounding like a stray studio take where Sade smoked a blunt and could barely get her words out in the booth, leaving Jay as the man behind the glass, dubbing the groove something sublime.
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.
Yowzers! Tokyo’s High Rise take the bleeding skin off it on reissue of their eponymous 2nd release, a truly blinding suite of turbo-charged psych shredding and diesel spitting bass revs first issued as the 2nd release on Japan’s pivotal P.S.F. Records back in 1986. Perhaps understandably, original copies of High Rise II now trade for the price of a small 3rd hand Japanese hatchback.
It’s an absolute fxcking riot, basically. From the first tinnitus-inducing blast of Cycle Goddess thru the lurching swagger of Pop Sicle these guys sound possessed. Whether that’s by good, strong acid or just a insatiable rock urge, we’re not sure, but their incendiary results will apply to fried heads and those in need of a sharp shock to the system all the same.
Cuts like Turn You Cry sounds like they were recorded at a ‘phet and whiskey-soaked lock in at Lemmy’s, and Cotton Top is the sort of tune they’d have to play behind chicken wire at a Hell’s Angels bar where the spirits are spiked with mescaline.
Take drugs. Listen to this. Have the time of your life.
An excellent Arvo Pärt primer...
"Arvo Pärt creates music of deceptive simplicity, and listening to his work can be a transformative experience. Imagine taking your ears on a retreat, and you’re some way to understanding why his work is so popular.
The Estonian composer underwent his own transformation in the 1970s, having explored dense avant-garde music in the early part of his career. He put himself through an eight-year creative exile, and emerged with a new, purer voice. The Arvo Pärt that many people are devoted to today (including R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and Björk) creates music that cleanses. A sonic detox."
For anyone who knows these records already - you won't need much of a sermon from us about their stature and greatness. If you don't know them - you're in for a treat.
Rhythm & Sound was the project that Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald turned to after their seminal series of recordings as Basic Channel came to an end. From 1997 until 2002 the label released seven 12" EP's which pretty much defined the direction so much electronic music would turn to in its wake - and it still continues to exert a colossal influence, for better or worse. It's perhaps hard to remember over a decade later just how little these productions sounded like anything that preceded them - taking the essence of dub and breaking it down until all that was left was a vapour trail of melody and a colossal bass echo. We could spend an hour listing all the music that basically came along and copied this template in the intervening years but, the thing is, none of what followed comes anywhere near these productions in terms of substance, none of it has aged in the same way.
"Mango Walk / Mango Drive" was the second release on the label and, for many, remains its finest moment. The a-side features an original production from the Wackies vaults by Azul & Bullwackie recorded in 1979, with an incredible 9 minute revision from Mark and Moritz on the flip. The version that appeared on the Rhythm & Sound 'Compilation' is over two minutes shorter.
After decades in the making Finders Keepers present the first-ever pressing of Serge Gainsbourg’s most elusive and coveted soundtrack studio recordings – co-written, arranged and orchestrated by the genius Jean-Claude Vannier (Histoire De Melody Nelson) during what many consider to be the dynamic duo’s most definitive creative period.
Its the first time on vinyl for this previously unreleased Gainsbourg/Vannier soundtrack to a saucy, psychedelic gallic classic starring Jane Birkin and Gainsbourg in leading roles. Interesting for its forays into traditional sub-continental styles, and one track of heavy petting, alongside the usual Gainsbourgian string arrangements and smoky winks.
Believed to have been lost in a studio fire by Gainsbourg enthusiasts for over forty years (a myth that also shrouds Morricone’s lost Danger Diabolik soundtrack) the misplaced master-tapes for the drug-fuelled/Mai 68 cash-in/road-movie Les Chemins De Katmandou have been widely considered the final audio jigsaw piece in an immaculate discography/filmography thus earning this soundtrack bone-fide Holy Grail status amongst the most avid disc detectives.
Featuring the original crack team of Paris based players now recognised as French library music royalty, this LP epitomises the inimitable musical direction and expert psychedelic pop musicianship that graced classic Gainsbourg/Vannier soundtracks like La Horse, Cannabis and Sex Shop. Laying the stylistic, future-proof foundations for subsequent decades of forward-thinking Gallic funk mastery. Comprising Vannier’s signature recipe of thick plucked bass lines, close-micced drums, biting Clavinet and Eastern influenced strings and percussion (and a sprinkling of subtle traditional French instrumentation) the soundtrack to Les Chemins De Katmandou (aka The Road To Katmandu or The Pleasure Pit) captures Vannier and Gainsbourg in the first year of their creative partnership capturing their unique embryonic energy.”
For their first multi-artist compilation, Music From Memory take us on a trip to the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Outro Tempo: Electronic and Contemporary Music From Brazil, 1978-1992 is a double LP that explores the outer reaches of Brazilian music, where indigenous rhythms mix with synthesizers and where MPB mingles with drum computers.
"As Brazil faced the last years of its military dictatorship and transition to democracy, a generation of forward-thinking musicians developed an alternative vision of Brazilian music and culture. They embraced traditionally shunned electronic production methods and infused their music with elements of ambient, jazz-fusion, and minimalism. At the same time they referenced the musical forms and spirituality of indigenous tribes from the Amazon. The music they produced was a complex and mesmerising tapestry that vividly evoked Brazilian landscapes and simultaneously reached out to the world beyond its borders.
.The product of extensive research, this compilation is a unique introduction to this visionary music and features many fresh discoveries in a country well trodden by record diggers. It gathers tracks from obscure albums that have for too long been neglected by even the most avid collectors of Brazilian music. It includes now highly sought after music by Andréa Daltro, Maria Rita, and Fernando Falcão, as well as unknown gems like those of Cinema, Carlinhos Santos, and Anno Luz. This is an essential release that reveals a broader spectrum of Brazilian music, striking a unique sonic signature that is full of innovation, experimentation, and beauty.
Compiled by John Gómez and featuring extensive liner notes, Outro Tempo showcases this overlooked corner in Brazil’s rich music history for the first time."
Basic Channel heads Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald keep the burial mix series going with its most ambitious release to date - a collection of one-rhythm tracks featuring vocal contributions from Basic Channel collaborators old and new.
"See Mi Yah" is a classic collection of one-rhythm tracks, typical format and production approach in Reggae, featuring ten vocal versions and one instrumental of the See Mi Yah rhythm (an additional 3 are only available on the 7" collection), strictly roots!
After Paul St. Hilaire (formerly known as Tikiman) had lent his voice to quite a few Rhythm & Sound releases over the years, the starting point for this project was to work with him once again and also with his brother Ras Perez, their fellow Berlin based Dominicans Koki and Ras Donovan (also known from his collaboration with Mapstation), the Berlin based Jamaicans Freddy Mellow, Walda Gabriel, Bobbo Shanti, Lance Clarke as Rod Of Iron and Joseph Cotton aka Jah Walton.
With a toasting style heavily influenced by the legendary U-Roy, Cotton was a central figure in the jamaican DJ scene of the 70s and 80s. To cap it all off, on a visit to Berlin, the great Sugar Minott and Willi Williams (famous for Studio 1 classic Armagideon Time) did their versions in the Rhythm & Sound studio!
For each tune the rhythm is arranged and mixed differently. The legacy and genius of Basic Channel and all its myriad offshoots seems more relevant and important now than ever before, they have a knack of creating music that lives on in the listener's head long after voices, rhythm and sound have long gone. Highly recommended!!
Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label rustles up a reissue of this absolute classic, Annea Lockwood’s 1970 tape piece Tiger Balm - unavailable on vinyl for over thirty years. The LP also includes a pair of unreleased pieces; the vocal and percussion study Amazonia Dreaming, and the beautifully suspenseful microtonal electro-acoustic levitation, Immersion. Breaking entirely with the dynamic language of musique concrète, Lockwood used a select palette of mainly unprocessed sonic elements chosen for their mysterious and erotic characteristics to open a space of dream logic and mysterious associations between nature and culture, the ancient and the modern.
“"Created while Lockwood was living in the UK, the side-long 'Tiger Balm' is a singular work within the cannon of tape music. Inspired by research into the ritual function of music, the piece explores the possibility of evoking ancient communal memories through sound. These unusual and evocative field recordings (a purring cat, a heartbeat, gongs, slowed down jaw harp, a tiger, a woman's breath, a plane passing overhead), presented as no more than two sounds at once, allowed one to flow organically into the next, their shared characteristics highlighted, opening a space of dream logic and mysterious associations.
The B side presents two pieces for percussion available here for the first time. 'Amazonia Dreaming' (1987), performed by Dominic Donato, uses unaccompanied snare drum and voice to evoke the nocturnal soundscape of the Amazon rainforest. Unorthodox techniques and materials (marbles, chopsticks, a plastic jar lid) transform the snare into a resonant field of sensual textures. 'Immersion' (1998), performed by Donato and Frank Cassara, is a slow-moving exploration of gentle beating tones, performed on marimba, tam tams, and gong. Like the other two works presented on this LP, it provides captivating proof of Lockwood's belief in the complexity that deep listening can reveal within seemingly simple sounds." --Francis Plagne
T++ presents his much anticipated doublepack for Honest Jons, his final release under the T++ moniker.
For this project Torsten Pröfrock was given access to the label's vaults, selecting a handful of samples from two recordings of the singer and ndingidi-player Ssekinomu, made in East Africa at the end of the 1930s and in the mid-1940s. He deftly weaves snippets of these recordings into his matrix of rhythms, adding a human (albeit acousmatically warped) element to his music that we've never heard before. In a certain sense, it follows a very long tradition of German electronic auteurs looking to Africa for inspiration, from Karlheinz Stockhausen, to Can, to his peers Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, seeking to connect his consciously futurist ambitions with something more primal and innate.
The result is a crop of tracks that take the lurching urge of 2-step, techno, dubstep and D'n'B and re-sculpts it into twisting new forms, mutating bare bones kick/snare syncopations into a coded double helix, around which connective tissues of adroit FX and sub-bass coalesce.
Lotic takes a stunning lurch forward with Power, their début album for Tri Angle following from the Heterocetera EP, and the Agitations  mini-LP for Janus Berlin. Where we’ve previously alluded to strong comparison between the music of Lotic and Arca, here the Berlin-based American artist really comes into their own, using vocals for the first time - ranging from syrupy rap to tortured torch song - to perfectly gel their de/constructed R&B, ambient and avant-electronic style in a way we haven’t previously heard.
Power was originally intended as a study in empowerment, but circumstances changed when Lotic lost their apartment and the subsequent two years were spent in state of flux, with windows of opportunity to record coming only every three months or so. In those windows, Lotic formed a fractious mosaic of a musical self-portrait, consolidating various aspects of their character into eleven illusively iridescent and tightly-packed crystalline structures. The effect of Lotic’s revelation is equally enthralling, serving to light up the complexities of his sound from striking new angles and providing a natural (if processed and extreme) counterpoint to their favoured high-register twinkles and asymmetric arrangements.
We can imagine cuts such as the pent dembow bumper Hunted and the severely warped R&B drill of Nerve to kill it in the club, but the album is most interesting when it’s pushing at more oblique angles, as with the Total Freedom-esque rush of Power-drums against banking discord in the title cut, or exploring pure alien terrain in Bulletproof, while it all comes together most affectively in the warped hardscrabble texture and mutant torque of Resilience, and deeply sophisticated yet animalistic expression of Heart.
If you’ve been struck by records from Arca, Yves Tumor, Björk or Ziúr in the last year, this one’s a must-have.
The debut album by UK/South African duo Okzharp and Manthe Ribane.
"Okzharp says 'most of the music came out of headphone moments in hotel rooms, planes and airports in the brief periods of time that we spent together, mainly on tour, in Paris and later Vienna', a city Manthe describes as a 'beautiful dream place'.
Okzharp describes Manthe as a ‘co-producer’, ‘she selected instrumental sketches and we developed them together, sometimes just keeping the bare bones or a melody or rhythm, or trying different elements or sounds.
Even thought the album was built long distance, the short periods they spent together were the ground zero for creativity, Okzharp recalls 'One particular moment in Milan last year, ‘we had a whole free day before our flight so we visited the Salone di Mobile design show. We were so
inspired by an installation there just walking around, listening to the amazing soundtrack.
That evening our flight was delayed, so we sat on the floor of the airport terminal putting musical ideas down for 'Time Machine' on the laptop speakers and writing the lyrics. "Tic Toc time, we'll be fine /Airport queues, cerulean blues / Viper trails cross the skies / Lights reflect in your eyes...'
The album has a softness and openness that contrasts the tougher sound of the EPs. Manthe explains, 'The new music is a 360 turn, It an expression of my “Lady” side, I grew up listening to Jazz, Classic and Gospel, I am a very soft spoken person, and it resonates with being confident with that. It's been crazy finding balance and finding a smart way to strengthen my weaknesses, I had to trust the process.’ Of the songs she says ‘They are part of the world now, I hope everyone feels motivated and inspired to be more after listening to the album.’”