Lisbon-based DJ and producer, Enchufada label head, Red Bull Music Academy alumnus and Buraka Som Sistema co-founder Branko embars on a new adventure.
"The renowned multifaceted artist went on a sonic journey around the world to connect with some of the most exciting music scenes out there, meeting and collaborating with a new generation of artists to create his debut solo album ‘Atlas’. After giving listeners a first taste of his exciting new work with singles Eventually (feat. Alex Rita & Bison) and Let Me Go (feat. Nonku Phiri & Mr. Carmack), the globetrotting producer now invites you to listen to solo debut album ‘Atlas’ in full. ‘Atlas’ sees Branko becoming part of an international network of artists and shaping a solid body of work that feels his own, while at the same time being truly communal and global.
This can be clearly felt both in the impressive number of artists who lined up to participate – over 20 collaborators across 5 different cities – and the hybrid nature of the music, which in true Global Club Music style connects distinct geographies and musical genres to create something new for the world’s dancefloors. Afro-house, zouk bass, gqom or baile funk are treated as pieces of a larger puzzle, put together to create a new tropical-flavored musical picture for the digital age. After hours of work in Red Bull Studios in Amsterdam, Cape Town, New York, São Paulo and Lisbon – documented in the ‘Atlas Unfolded’ webisode series – recording vocals, laying down beats and tweaking samples, 'Atlas' comes to life and the final list of collaborators is as long as it is culturally rich. From Mr. Carmack to Okmalumkoolkat, Mr. MFN eXquire, DJ Sliink, The Ruffest, Princess Nokia and Lewis CanCut – to name only a few – ‘Atlas’ is a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the Global Club Music scene, all handpicked by Branko to help him bring his colorful artistic vision to life."
The third in Low Jack’s much sought-after Les disques de la Bretagne 12” series features the first new material from Antinote co-founder Iueke in years, following a series of archival releases and pair of brilliantly unhinged mixtapes for the DDS label. For this one he opts for a complex and hard-hitting crackpot dancefloor style, something like a squahed take on T++, Dynamo,, Autechre, Gescom...
The last original productions we heard from the Antinote co-founder was on a series of archival 12”s for his label issued between 2012 and 2015, but Champion features his first new recordings in perhaps over a decade and, true to form, they’re not at all what we were expecting.
Champion (Version) deploys a a super rugged swing and recursive digital noise coming off like T++ and Gescom programming daggering robots, while Zonck brilliantly recalls Autechre's remix of Lexis’ Hypnotise - all achromatic, dense, percussive madness that also recalls T++, or more specifically, his Dynamo gear.
Dem A Burning is more glacial and spacious, swilling the dance with caustic acid noise and sloshing subbass in deadly, futurist style recalling Timeblind's much overlooked but completely ageless Rastabomba session, before Polxat expends his restless energy in a properly Autechrian madness.
Purest Tokyo disco luxury from Dip In The Pool’s Miyako Koda, covering Yumi Murata’s Ambient J-Pop classic ‘Face To Face’ is two delectable mixes
On the front is a respectful extended edit feathered with sonorous bass and electric guitar and kissed with Miyako’s gently whisked vox, all seemingly arranged for those moments when you feel like Bill Murray sipping expensive whiskey in a 30 storey bar.
On the other side they tease out a delicate, mouth-watering ‘Ambient’ mix for those times when you dive out of said window in a Gaspar Noe-style DMT trip over the rooftops below, searching for your new corporeal host.
L.I.E.S. look closer to their Paris home with Krikor Kouchian’s ersatz OST, Pacific Alley, making a fine change of pace and mood from the producer known for a string of filter house and electro releases for Kill The DJ Records, Tigersushi and Crowdspacer under myriad monikers since over the past 20 years.
Following the sought-after Linn funk of Promo 45, this is Krikor’s 2nd release for L.I.E.S., and features both tracks from the 7” as part of an 11-track suite full of vintage drum machines and gauzy synth gazes suggesting the soundtrack to long drives at dusk along coast roads or cruising California’s less salubrious neighbourhoods.
That’s partly down to the fact that the artist spent time a s a youth in SoCal, soaking up the radio, the beach and American culture in a way which has informed his music ever since (check for his France Copland takes NWA and Bladerunner!), resulting now in something like a lo-fi parallel to Dam-Funk or a more playful Palmbomen II.
Californian electronic pop duo Peaking Lights make a splash on Dekmantel with 'Sea of Sand', the band’s first release this year. It’s a kaleidoscopic melting-pot of dainty dub, experimental and leftfield beats, with wondrous sunny soundscapes that blend together the unconventional home-fashioned electronics, and windswept vocals that have defined Peaking Lights to date.
"'Sea of Sand' is the band’s first record in three years not released on their own imprint. With six tracks, exceeding 30 minutes in total, the extended EP is a prelude to a forthcoming LP. With a DIY aesthetic and approach to analogue instrumentalism, Peaking Lights retro-digital sound is one that sits perfectly with Dekmantel.
Already with a string of highly acclaimed albums across their ten year production history, the husband and wife duo that is Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis have carved out a niche of quirky electronic, and psychedelic pop sounds. 'Sea of Sand' once against sees the act once again teaming up with an international label, having released on some of the most integral and pioneering imprints in the scene. The band, who founded themselves on innovative technology, and a pragmatic approach to sound and composition recorded the EP together in their home studio, Dreamfuzz. The result, 'Sea of Sand' feels more like a mini-LP, with a diverse mix of experimental beats, and extended electronic, pop-dubs. As ever, Dunis focuses primarily on vocals, along with synths, piano, and live electronic drums, with Coyes on synths, drum programming, and dubbing on a mixing console. Recording the vocals live in the studio, the band worked a lot with tape, using tape scratching effects to the give the record an even more dubbier feel. The record kicks off with the quirky, upbeat pop track 'Blind Corner', followed by slower Italo-like 'Hypnotized'. There’s a wavey-krautrock sound on 'Shift Your Mind'; a glowing romanticism on 'Read your mind'; and a celestial ambience embedded through 'Noise of Life. The record concludes with the sonically divine harmonic piano track 'Sea of Sand', perfectly setting the template for the EP.”
The caretakers of contemporary psych lay down acidic improvs recorded in Houston in 2017 in two sessions with no overdubs - dosing it direct to tape and your ears for optimal, slow-building, lysergic potency.
“Charalambides founders Tom & Christina Carter follow a vision of iconoclastic music as transformative force. Touching on the outer limits of acid folk, psych rock, and improvisation, their sound remains uniquely personal & consistent. Since 1991, Charalambides has released many recordings on labels like Siltbreeze, Kranky & Wholly Other.
Despite Tom and Christina Carter’s prolific solo careers and numerous other projects, Charalambides has existed in an unbroken trajectory for over two-and-a-half decades, outlasting the genres that critics and other yardstick-makers have tried to cram them into. Their recent performances and recordings retain the directness and delicate menace that mark their early releases, even as they explore an interlocking musical telepathy honed by years of artistic collaboration.
Aptly tilted "Charalambides: Tom and Christina Carter", the newest album from Charalambides furthers the duo’s deep psychic understanding of music. Laid down in two sessions with no overdubs, the album entwines their best known approaches into a raw, fragile, wordless and hypnotic whole. It’s definitely the duo at their most exquisite.”
Laidback to rude garage pressure systems from Soundbwoy KIllah inna mid ‘90s London fashion
Eazing in with the dreamy R&B snippets, ginger drums and booty-cradling subs of ‘Yours’, it gets suffer with the ragged drums, freewheeling spin backs and old skool rave stabs of ‘Come My Selector’, before shaking out the breakbeat garage ruff & tumble of ‘Abra Cadabra’, and rounding out on a Reese-fuelled 2-step with ‘Turn Off The Lights’.
Cold Beat is a San Francisco-based quartet fronted by Hannah Lew (synths, vocals) with Kyle King (synths, guitar), Luciano Talpini Aita (synths) and Sean Monaghan (guitar).
"Formed in 2013 the band has released three albums and two EPs. ‘A Simple Reflection’ is a 7-song collection of Eurythmics covers, yet feels just as personal as any of their original material. While digging through a collection of 12"s for her record shop Contact Records, Lew stumbled across the earliest Eurythmics B-sides and was floored. This lead to the discovery of their debut album ‘In The Garden'. Annie Lennox’s abstract and poetic lyrics really struck a chord with Hannah. What had started out as a single cover quickly snowballed into a full blown obsession.
The synth and drum programming resonated with her songwriting process, so reimagining them was very creatively fulfilling. The covers on this EP are simultaneously dynamic and atmospheric post-punk that plays to Lew's ethereal vocals and King’s crystalline guitar. All songs have been mixed by Mikey Young (Total Control) and mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. The record is housed in a jacket designed by Eloise Leigh, which features pink and purple clouds that evoke a dreamy softness and DIY playfulness and photos Lew in her best Lennox-inspired drag."
The Future Sound of London's long and varied history stretches back almost 25 years and as such a vast amount of unrealised material exists in the FSOL Archives.
"Archived 8 brings together another 12 such tracks; in some cases these are completed but unreleased songs from that time, in others the songs have been reconstructed or enhanced and then further mixed to form the journey. This album is not just a collection of random off-cuts. It is a fully realised album, worthy of sitting alongside the rest of the band's critically acclaimed work. Did you know - The Future Sound of London were the first band to distribute their music via the internet, in 1994."
Steve Albini’s Big Black classic - listed in the top 100 records of the ‘80s, according to Pitchfork - comes around for its umpteenth reissue
Driven by a Roland drum computer, Albini and his cohorts slash and burn thru 13 songs about fucking, Colombian execution techniques, bread that gets you high, and humanity’s inevitable descent into darkness, along with a blistering cover version of Kraftwerk’s ‘The Model’. What more could you ask from a record?
Avant-garde poetry from mid-‘70s Canada, full of extended vocal techniques. First ever vinyl reissue - original copies trade for high double figures if you can find one
“The Four Horsemen was a sound poetry group of Canadian poets composed of bpNichol, Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Paul Dutton, and Steve McCaffery. They started performing in 1970 and quickly moved from radical improvisation to the use of a notational system, with an effort to develop a scoring method adequate to the group's dynamic and visceral sound show. The four-piece soon became a living workshop with regular weekly rehearsals leading to the best refined group-conceived and group-written compositions.
The third volume in a series of sound poetry coordinated by Luca Garino, Nada Canadada, nine outbursts of controlled madness dedicated to the memory of Hugo Ball is indeed one of the highest examples of poetry as product of a community. "The number of words we still use in our poetry comes as somewhat of a surprise to us, especially in the light of this album. Strictly speaking we cannot call what we do sound poetry if by it is meant that poetry which has its basis in non-verbal, vocal, and sub-vocal elements of sound. Nor are we into the electronic ramifications of sound in any sense beyond doing a record. We are in fact reluctant to pin the aesthetic continuum on which we operate to the first wall available. Still, perhaps the best name for what we do is what it always has been: poetry". --Rafael Barreto-Rivera.”
Manchester/Bogotá charmer Florentino throws down four killer reggaeton edits of modern dancefloor anthems for Mixpak
All four cuts are staples of his DJ sets and have been featured on Florentino’s monthly NTS show - a goldmine of tunes bridging Latinx and UK bass sensibilities.
Up top you’ll catch a masterful balance of UK grime and bashy dembow rhythms in ‘El Sonido’, along with a rude AF flip of Timbaland beats in ‘Colombian Flute’. Down below, he tips out a wicked edit of the ’Diwali Riddim’ on ‘Agarrate’ and another classic Timba production in ‘Eres Un Romantico 2.0’.
Electro-tipped swingers and wrigglers from Planet Euphorique proprietor D. Tiffany
Volleyed outta Vancouver, Canada, the ‘Feel U’ 12” yields four hyperactive yet rolling workouts between the Detroit ghetto-break styles of her sweetly vocodered title track and the floating 808 suspension system of ‘AK’ up top, with the subaquatic rufige of ‘Sip & Savour’ and the Dan Curtin-esque developments of ‘Northern Light’s occupying the B-side.
Properly Entrancing recordings of Eliane Radigue’s ferric alchemy come to light again on vinyl, this time on a better vinyl pressing with calmer surface noise allowing for a finer grasp of her pulsing, filigree microtones and pealing timbral partials. Also, that new cover art is....!!!
Stunning Alga Marghen issue of two previously unreleased masterworks by Eliane Radigue recorded at Pierre Henry's studio between 1967-68. At this time she was working for Henry at his studio, given the enviable task of organising his vast sound library according to different criteria for use in his future compositions and also helping edit his masterpiece 'L'Apocalypse de Jean'. During downtime she had access to an unrivaled array of equipment and created these two compositions. Jouet Electronique' (1967) or 'Feedback on magnetic tape' features two Studer and two Tolana reel tape machines - Radigue would set one to record another and manipulate the discrepancies of phasing feedback loops, or "larsens" with delicate, fine-tuned pitching, "slightly caressing certain potentiometers" to elicit a range of low pulsations and very high pitched sounds as though she were playing a rather unwieldy instrument. The results are ethereal and often alien, yet conducted with an uncannily restrained and human sleight of hand.
Even more visceral is 'Elemental I' (1968) or 'Feedback of natural sounds on magnetic tape' comprises four movements associated with the four basic elements: water, fire, air and earth. Thanks to her former employer, the artist, Arman, she now had a small, portable Stella Vox which she used to record sounds in open air during walks around her home in Nice, capturing the sea, the wind, the rain and fire to form a small sound library. The sources in each section are discernable, but transformed into breathtaking abstractions at her home studiio.
A genuine holy grail of Italian post-industrial music, The Cop Killers’ sole, eponymous tape is remastered and issued on vinyl for the first time via Alessio Natalizia’s Ecstatic label. Fetching triple figures on the 2nd hand market (there’s a copy on scogs atm for £300) this is an indispensable slice of ‘80s Europe’s underground experimental rhizome.
An important release for Ecstatic and one very close to their heart, ‘The Cop Killers’ was originally released in 1982 on the legendary Trax label and features the industrial power trio of Trax co-founder Vittore Baroni and label regular Daniele Ciullini assisted by UK’s Mark A. Phillips (Five Times of Dust) in supposing a sci-fi narrative set in a not-so-distant future society.
While clearly drawing influence and literary license from classic sci-fi by Orwell, Ray Bradbury and William Burroughs, the trio also take cues from the not-so-distant history of Italian fascism to offer a subtly coded and subversive warning against right-wing ideologies. In the process The Cop Killers distinguished themselves by preferring to plants seeds of hope amid the rubble of their peers nihilistic/apocalyptic visions, implicitly turning the album into a sort of “pacifist parable”.
The political aspect wouldn’t be half as crucial without the music, though. A coarse blend of Italian-accented english vox with backing tracks ranging from jaunty synth figures to cloven drum machine malfunctions and noisier wig-outs, it was mixed on a dual cassette deck and mixer from numerous tapes in just over 90 minutes, and successfully carries the narrative and its message to the point it’s become such a sought-after classic - not just for its obscurity, but also its charged energy, a condensation of candescent anger focussed into a pointedly oblique yet smartly allegorical condemnation of fascism.
Vittore Baroni: “As a music journalist and fan of radical and avant-garde audio researches, at the start of the 80s I was becoming increasingly bored by the mannerism of so many industrial and noise bands, and also annoyed by their gratuitous and stereotyped use of images of death, Nazism, war, with titles and texts soaked in right-wing ideologies. I wanted to produce an antibody to this depressive trend, with seeds of hope well concealed under a nihilistic-apocalyptic “industrial” camouflage."
Breezy, sub-tropical Electro-Hop with a sideways yacht pop spirit from Henry Laufer aka Shlohmo.
'The Way U Do' is a tidy portside burner with whirring 808 triplets and slow, yearning chords etched with a distant, distorted diva wail for sunset gazing, while 'Wen Uuu', takes it below deck with a warmer R&B flavour, and 'Rained the Whole Time' does that smashed-on-red-wine-and-sleeping-pils vibe of James Blake to the letter.
The remixes are of a suitably high calibre. Airhead follows those two Brainmath 12"s and a Mount Kimbie remix with a beautifully diffuse and meticulous rendering of 'The Way U Do', while Salva and Groundislava give supremely dextrous Footworking Boogie-Hop refits of 'Wen UUU :)'. Nicolas Jaar complements these with a lushly unstable slowfast remix of 'Rained The Whole Time'.
After returning to resounding acclaim with The Thing in 2012 and then solo on 2014’s ‘Blank Project’, Neneh Cherry channels her timeless soul into the Four Tet-produced ‘Broken Politics’, her 2nd solo album for Smalltown Supersound.
“Following the release of her first earth-quaking single in 4 years at the beginning of August, counter-culture pop icon Neneh Cherry announces her fifth solo album Broken Politics, produced in its entirety by Four Tet.
Continuing her blurring and conflation of the personal and the political, the second single Shot Gun Shack tackles the link between violence and deprivation using poetic logic. The track deals with the ever-present and always-global issue of gun violence in society. The track's name was the result of inspiration that sprung from a half-remembered conversation Cherry had at the funeral of late jazz great Ornette Coleman.
Broken Politics pointedly asks the question; how do we conduct ourselves in extraordinary times? In an era where the signal-to-noise ratio is more uneven than ever, what are the measures we must take to retain and remember our own personhood? It searches for answers, patiently and with great care, and with a fearlessness to acknowledge that sometimes the answers don't even exist. It’s a record that’s equal parts angry, thoughtful, melancholy, and emboldening, as Cherry and her collaborators continue to expand her ever-widening sonic palette to craft truly singular and potent music.”
Some time around 20 years ago, Dub Surgeon made an absorbing album of beautiful dub infused with ambience, found sounds and horizontal rhythms. 'The Lost Future' was recorded at the former Amsterdam Film Academy, engineered and mastered by Ricardo Villalobos who put it through several vintage mixers and recorded it to 2 inch tape. Then, tragedy struck: a storm surged and ignited a fire that ravaged the studio. The master copy was thought to have been lost forever.
Dub Surgeon stopped making music and disappeared into the shadows after just two EPs on Future Dub in 2002/3. But one day, 15 years later, and totally out of the blue, he received a demo of The Lost Future. "Pay attention to this," it said.
Attached was a demo version of the long lost album which now, finally, has found a home on Dubai's Ark to Ashes imprint, so named in homage to the story of Lee "Scratch" Perry burning down his Black Ark studio to rid it of demons.
Newly mastered by Rashad Becker, the album adopts its full form as a killer dub excursion which, with hindsight, can be marked up next to other electronic dub classics of its era, arguably right up there with the first two Pole albums, but also wickedly prescient of wilder, out-of-the-lines styles to come from Jay Glass Dubs to Seekersinternational, and even flashes of Hyperdub and Burial’s more abstract, introspective moments.
Dean Blunt keeps everyone guessing with the 'Black Metal' follow-up to his widely acclaimed LP, 'The Redeemer' (2013).
Let's get it out of the way: it's not black metal, in the cold, Northerly sense, at least. Musically, its palette actually bears more resemblance to early Factory or Rough Trade records by The Durutti Column or Scritti Politti - or even Serge Gainsbourg - than anything remotely connected to Bathory or Burzum. And taken in light of his oeuvre, both with Hype Williams and solo, it's actually a canny appropriation of the term, subverting pre-conceived and connoted ideas of genre, race, and sub-culture on their tired heads.
The production is unfussy, dry and lo-fi - but by no means limited to any one sound or bank of sounds: across 13 tracks in 53 minutes he touches on string swept pop-soul, dust bowl panoramas, synth music, dub and noise with equally profuse and diffuse results. Alongside previous single tracks, '50 Cent', 'Mersh' and 'Grade', there's big highlights in the hushed duet, 'Molly & Aquafina', the drifting 13-minute centre-piece 'Forever', and the Badalamenti-esque 'X', but they're all part of a unified body which needs to be explored in its entirety.
Cliff Martinez teams up once more with the producers of ‘Drive’ for the first time since collaborating on the now-classic soundtrack.
"Reminiscent of his work on ‘Drive’, Cliff Martinez’s score to ‘Hotel Artemis’ is a tense, dark synth masterpiece. The soundtrack also features brand new song ‘Gilded Cage’ by Father John Misty written exclusively for the film, plus music by The Mamas & The Papas, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Elyse Weinberg."
An Island In The Moon is the perfectly conceived minimal ambient project from Italian composers Pier Luigi Andreoni (Doubling Riders, ATROX) and Silvio Linardi. Andreolina being a mix of the names of the two musicians who were both deeply involved with the label Auf Dem Nil on which the album was originally released in 1990.
"The duo stick to a disciplined and simple palette using only two synthesizers and a Roland S50 sampler. They are joined by fellow electronic journeyman Riccardo Sinigaglia who contributes piano and samples on two tracks. Taking influences from Italian minimalism while adding some jazz hints Andreolina sprawls, weightless instrumentals that never stay soporific for too long on this singular rare album. Auf Dem Nil or ADN was one of the most adventurous Italian record labels of the 80's and early 90's with releases by De Fabriek, Riccardo Sinigaglia and Pierre Bastien. Leaving their mark on the experimental music scene back than and influencing musicians worldwide up until today."
DIY home recordings of ambient synth and modern classical solo piano, meandering with a lovely, day-dreaming quality that feels like a lower-fi, subtly crazed adjunct to Dominique Lawalrée’s genteel ambient flocking
“Le Raccourci is a welcome introduction to the world of modern classical identity Sebastian Gandera. The impressionist landscapes of a sensitive soul self-reflecting, these miniature compositions alternate across a rudimentary set up of piano, field recorder, sampler and four track. Melancholic utterings hastily captured some 100km east of Paris.
Classically trained by the same teacher as his parents, Gandera first began recording in the confines of his university dorm room, inspired by a C60 from friend and future collaborator Bernard Odot (A Gethsémani). Humbly existing without sparing a thought to music industry or career, Gandera’s personal effects surfaced via the European and US cassette networks from 1988 to 1994. Impressively accomplished for the DIY scene they orbited, these tapes were issued in scant quantities, rendering his pieces as private secrets shared and duplicated in small concentric circles. Aside from a sole, avowedly traumatic performance, the material was never shared in a live context.
Selected by Sky Girl co-conspirer Julien Dechery, Le Raccourci culls 15 tracks from Gandera’s extensive cassette discography, discarded DAT recordings, and split CD with Lyon toy music project Klimperei. These sentiently charged compositions only hint at his larger catalogue, but act as a compelling cross section of the artist’s oeuvre. The identity is further detailed by archival images, Glen Goetze penned liner notes and original artwork from Perks and Mini’s Misha Hollenbach.
While Gandera’s nostalgic melodies incidentally parallel with the piano key manoeuvres of Pascal Comelade, Robert Haigh and Dominique Lawalrée, Le Raccourci could only stem from the escapist desires of one Eric Morin.”
Neil Landstrumm began producing in the early ‘90s after moving to Edinburgh from Inverness. Initially producing within a variety of groups often with Christian Vogel, he began his solo production in 1993 influenced by the Sheffield school of bleep as well as electro and Miami bass.
"Landstrumm’s unique sound soon caught the ears of a wide variety of some of the worlds finest electronic labels and he went onto record for Tresor and Planet Mu as well as his string of EP’s and album for Peacefrog. His playful sense of humor and penchant toward unpredictable song structures and bizarre sounds have continued to offer humour in a world often dominated by serious minimalism.
Threesome features Landstrumm’s three Peacefrog EP’s originally released between early 1995 and 1996. Highlights include the minimalist Chicago jack track Takks, dancefloor destroyers such as Swing / Jerk and Blam The Target, along with the off kilter raw stomping funk of Sniff And Destroy. To this day Landstrumm remains one of the true innovators in UK techno."
UUUU features Edvard Graham Lewis, Thighpaulsandra, Matthew Simms and Valentina Magaletti.
"Individually these humans have implanted feathers in caps such as Coil, Dome, Wire, Tomaga, etc. Collectively they form UUUU, a powerhouse construction of fierce and free sonic exploration, as liberating as it is frightening, resulting in, the richly rewarding. The artists united present a project of exquisite curiosity and confident chaos where the individual thumbprints mesh into a gloriously muscular frenetic free sonic soup. It's Going All Over The Floor presents itself as a terse meeting between dance, ambient, abstraction and improvisation. The Latent Black Path Of Summons Served proceeds in a tense energy field where random elements bounce around until locking into a fourth world pattern designed to fall into a dense mass of ecstatic noise. Boots with Wings is classic Lewis - a pop tune from the other side of the mind.
UUUU is a schizophrenic seething/soothing masterpiece of a past/present hybrid equally at home in the club, the home and the mind.”
Slow techno guy Positive Centre and D&B producer Overlook merge styles as Carrier for the darkside inception of ‘47017’ on Tommy Four Seven’s label
In one of the few instances we can recall where these parallel style have crossed over, Carrier nail a mutant sound that can’t be accused of techno or D&B, but rather sits heavy in a noisily textured and highly pressurised no-person’s-land of the rave.
Up top they work out the crushing torque and divebombing dynamics of ‘Blue Nine’ beside the galloping grey area rolige of ‘Counter Illumination’. On the flipside they open out into more spacious, fluidly rhythmic terrain with the cold knocks and streaking underwater scenes of ’Suggestion’, and eaze off on the halfstep with the serious steppers techno rufige of ‘Foreshadow’.
Deep, direct and puckered US house, electro and techno from Brooklyn’s Acemo, on vinyl cut and pressed in Detroit
Glyding in with the satin pads and wistful arps on the nagging swang of ‘R.E.M. Dance’, he turns up a super peachy garage-electro piece laced with ohrwurming Korg hook in ‘Get It From The Sound’.
On ‘The Essence’ he makes great use of entrancing garage-house bleep riffs and needling electro patterns, and ‘Speedn N Smokin’ catches him cruising on a rugged, nocturnal, 313-style house ride.
RIYL Omar-S, J. Albert, Person Of Interest.
Men of many monikers Jordan Czamanski and William Thomas Burnett cover a spectrum of styles with the rapidfire rhythmelodies, choral synths and dank ambience of ‘Setting The Scene For An Island Battle’
Adding up to something like a short-film soundtrack, the pair shape up a progressively pensive episode travelling from the fluttering, ritualistic charge of ‘Krazy Kalimba’ and the mesh of pygmy-esque electronics and bubbling choral voices in ‘Island Life’, to the reflective ambience of ‘Pitter Patter’, before matters take a dark turn into the Giallo-ish strings and slunking groove of ‘Incoming Fire’, and the cold palpitations of ‘Survey The Scene For Survivors’.
Spiritual jazz meets ambient tranquility midair on Matthewdavid’s blessed Leaving Records
‘Wilkes’ is the title track and lead single off the debut from Sam Wilkes, an L.A.-based jazz bassist, multi instrumentalist and producer for Knower, Pratly, Jacob Collier.
Perhaps Luke Slater’s best known alias, Planetary Assault Systems, debuted on Peacefrog in the early 1990’s with the Planetary Funk series of 12” releases.
"The popularity of the series lead to Planetary Assault System’s first full length album; Electric Funk Machine released in 1997. Planetary Assault Systems compelling mix of techno from Detroit and Europe blessed The Electric Funk Machine with a wide variety of styles and sounds covered through it’s nine tracks; Fast paced melodies, uplifting synth stabs, pounding peak time bangers and darker monotonous grooves sit side by side with lush soulful dreamy Detroit infused journeys."
Swaggering, tunnelling industrial techno and crushed sound design by UK’s Positive Centre
Arriving in parallel to Positive Centre’s first collaborative output with Overlook as Carrier, the ‘Ancestor One’ firmly defines the former Berlin-dweller and current Lisbon resident’s solo sound.
The A-side turns out a wicked highlight with the grunting, offset heft of ‘Isolated Arp’, recalling Regis’ CUB aces, whereas ‘Tension Arm’ is all about militant boom with echoes of AM, and ‘Idle Roller’ hits a lethal rip current of keening 4/4, and ‘Sum Tolerance’ descends into glum, industrial halfstep.
Rick and Morty is the critically acclaimed, half-hour animated hit comedy series on Adult Swim that follows a sociopathic genius scientist who drags his timid grandson on insanely dangerous adventures across the universe.
"This release is the first official collection of music from Rick and Morty. All formats feature 26 songs, 24 of which are from the first 3 seasons of the show, and 18 of which were composed by Ryan Elder specifically for the show. The album also includes songs by Mazzy Star, Chaos Chaos, Blonde Redhead, and Belly, all of which have been featured in the show, as well as two new tunes from Chad VanGaalen and Clipping inspired by the show. The box set includes a special bonus track on a 7”."
Exhausted Modern turns nostalgic inspiration from the ‘90s CzechTek scene into a moody range of slow sluggers and floating electro pieces
“Co-founder of Endless Illusion, Exhausted Modern returns to brokntoys with a limited white label. Ampér shows the Czech producer running the gamut across 6 tracks covering melodic acid, hypnotic slomo grooves and celestial electro.”
Susie Ibarra’s feted percussive skills mingle with the the DreamTime ensemble for a heavy-lidded, melancholy, and contemplative album of jazz, folk, avant-classical and world music themes...
“Susie Ibarra is one of the most significant female percussionists and composers of our time, known for her work as a performer within contemporary, avant-garde, jazz, classical, and world music, having worked with the likes of John Zorn, Yo La Tengo, Mamadou Kelly, Marc Ribot, and many more. Perception, self-released in December 2017 and now being distributed through Thrill Jockey, is a beautiful piece of art, layering sound and centered around the way one perceives the world around them, and how this dictates one’s reality. Ibarra also released an album earlier this year on Thrill Jockey, Flower of Sulphur, with multi-instrumentalist YoshimiO (Boredoms, OOIOO, SAICOBAB) and artist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens, OM).
Perception was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Olivier Chastan and performed with the DreamTime Ensemble, consisting of Claudia Acuña (vocals), Jennifer Choi (violin), Yves Dharamraj (cello), Jake Landau (piano and guitar), Jean-Luc Sinclair (electronics). While processing grief and loss in her life, Ibarra found her senses more vivid and channeled those heightened feelings into dynamic, expressive pieces, from melancholic contemplation to percussive bombast to jagged grooves. Ibarra crafted the detailed arrangements of the album to reflect varied impressions and perspectives of the album’s musicians as well as the listener’s. The range of sounds and emotional artistry on the album are bolstered by Ibarra’s own unique perspective as a practitioner of traditional Philippine Kalinga music, jazz, and contemporary composition.”
One of the year’s most crucial wave reissues, Stano’s debut LP ‘Content to write in I dine Weathercraft’ is a seminal and sought-after Irish post-punk album starring two rare appearances by the near-mythical Michael O’Shea. Nothing less than an essential recommendation to anyone familiar with the Michael O’Shea LP, Finders Keeper’s ‘Strange Passion’ compilation, or early Dome experiments!
We can barely contain our buzz over this reissue. From its wild DIY drum machine programming to the appearance of O’Shea’s cymbeline-like home-built instrument and the cut ’n splice, layered song arrangements, ‘Content to write in I dine Weathercraft’ is one of those blue moon reissues that, in hindsight, seem to blow away so much other, better known material from the era whence it came.
As spotted with ‘Town’, a highlight of Finders Keepers’ great Cache Cache compilation, ‘Strange Passion’, Stano’s mix of hands-on drum machine rhythms and bittersweet songcraft remain among the strongest examples from Dublin’s punk/post-punk scene of the early ‘80s. And judging from the 2nd hand asking prices of ‘Content to write in I dine Weathercraft’ in 2018, quite a few other listeners are patently aware of his prowess, too.
A former member of The Threat (also found on ‘Strange Passion’), John Denver Stanley or Stano recorded his first album in Dublin’s Alto studio, in the basement of late C.18th Irish Nationalist leader Robert Emmet’s house, where he made sublime use of the studio’s natural reverbs, inviting around pals and peers to work in a musique concrete-like method of playing, processing and editing to achieve the wickedly unpredictable, flowing chicanery of his first album.
The two appearances of Michael O’Shea and his Mo Chara (a self-built, 17-string, zither or cymbeline-like instrument with pick-ups) are noteworthy not just for their haunting beauty, but also their rarity, amounting to the near-mythical busker’s only known recordings outside an eponymous classic for Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis’ Dome Records. Whether meshed with Stano’s drum machine and echoplex FX in ‘Seance of a Kondalike’ or layered with his Sitar and Stano’s tabla-esque tweaks in ‘A Dead Rose’, the effect leaves us a shivering mess, to be honest and still scratching our heads why there’s no recent, significant reissue of O’Shea’s own work.
The rest of the LP is no less brilliant in it’s own way, roundly speaking to the diversity Stano, a self-described “non-musician”, and his intuitive way with sound. From the almost lusting funk of ‘White Field (In Isis)’, to the wild-pitching drum machine of ‘Blue Glide’, thru the icy elegance of the grand piano in ‘Out of the Dark, Into the Dawn’, to the sheer concrete sound design of ‘Melting Grey’ and again with that deadly machine swagger on ‘Emma Wild’ and ‘Room’, we’re left in no doubt this LP is a true, overlooked classic of its time.
Switched-On Eugene documents the Eugene Electronic Music Collective and some of the many synthed-out gures in and around Oregon’s iconic hippie stronghold during the 1980s.
"Whether connected by membership, geography, or the tape trading scene, the artists in and around the EEMC shared compelling visions of the future we now inhabit, vividly captured on home-recorded tapes and distributed via zines, classi eds, and local radio. Switched-On Eugene is a deep dive into a heretofore forgotten sonic microcosm unlike any other."
Phantasmagoric sci-fi soundtrack styles from Swedish synth-fondler Johan Öhman Sollin, landing square between the styles of early 0PN, Hype Williams, and James Ferraro.
Marking his debut for iDEAL after more than a decade of trading as Johan Rohbau, Time Deleters, Knife and Ape, Minimen, and Sphinxes for a handful of secretive labels, J.Ö.S. draws from classic pulpy ‘80s cyber-goth and video nasty horror soundtracks for a personalised and totally immersive suite of home-brewed, synthy hauntology.
Essentially relaying the sound of loooong Scandinavian nights where there’s not much else to do other than frighten yourself to sleep, ‘Ultra’ perfectly connotes the clammy feel of ‘80s horror/sci-fi soundtracks and their fixations with body horror, technology, and the occult, figuratively using tape recording techniques and embracing the infidelities of decay to conjure 10 bittersweet, poignant scenes that could have feasibly accompanied the imagery of ‘Decoder’ or some John Carpenter knock off...
CAVE are kind of beyond time. You might feel like it’s been a while since you’ve seen or heard them but when you see or hear them again, that moment will feel like ‘Allways’.
"During the making of the last album, ‘Threace’, CAVE was in the process of becoming a quintet. They toured the world afterwards, playing on four continents and eighteen countries - as close to everywhere as they could get. Then they took a minute. They recorded it over time, in Chile and then Chicago. You can hear all of this, the energy of liveness, the reps, and consolidating expanded possibilities within their new alignment, the time away, the distance and the freshness of returning to recorded sounds, everywhere on ‘Allways’.
In the past, much has been made of CAVE’s use of particular compelling tropes but their inspiration comes from everywhere - Miles, psych, beats, exotica, library music, rock, punk, the Germans, the New York guys too, minimalists, the Dead, music from India, everywhere. This is a bunch of guys playing rock-based music in a way that pushes them forward from everything they’ve experienced. When you listen to the new CAVE you hear guitars - lots of them - bubbling under, scratching, fanning, locking in and taking off, soaring on acid-washed wings, with keys that pump, burr and whoosh in and out of the rhythms.
Half-speed mastering of ‘Allways’ at Abbey Road has allowed the activity at all frequencies to present with a liquid fullness and ripe detail. ‘Allways’ is a blueprint for your ears to read and a map for CAVE to follow through the world."
The songs of Will Oldham have been written most often for the aliases of Palace or Bonny. Their identities, kept necessarily separate from Will’s, the songs were written to create a singular encounter, to be shared among those who choose to listen.
"‘Songs Of Love And Horror’ is a rare entry in this oeuvre: a Will Oldham album, with the writer taking a turn as singer. As befits the nature of this project, the songs are sung and played by Will alone, in a setting enjoyed by fans of his music - that of one voice and one guitar, the better to savour the spare changes and starkly-cut lyrics, operating in quiet tension and ultimate collaboration.
Will brings to the songs all that he has learned from his stage-crafting fellows over the years, singing new versions that quiver like fresh young things in the air of today."
Geotic is a new project from Baths.
"Ask Will Wiesenfeld to contrast his project Baths with the music made under his Geotic alias, and you'll get a simple response: Baths is active listening, Geotic is passive listening. But behind this straightforward duality exists two projects that are equally poignant yet starkly distinct, reflective of the emotional complexities of its creator.
Don't mistake passive listening for anything remotely resembling apathy. Over the course of nine self-released albums plus a handful of singles & EPs (all released on Bandcamp), Wiesenfeld has certainly proved the contrary. With Abysma, his first release for Ghostly, Wiesenfeld solidified this notion as Geotic makes his label debut in tandem with the projects first ever physical o ering. In 2018, Wiesenfeld presents his second full-length for Ghostly: Traversa.
Part of Wiesenfeld's inspiration comes from his own domestic situation. A native of the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, the classically trained musician has settled on the Westside, inhabiting an apartment a short ride from the ocean. "It's a relaxing and slightly displaced vibe that informs the project. It's full of art everywhere, all my comics, an amazing media set up," Wiesenfeld says. "It's all the stu that I've saved for and wanted to have in my life but didn't feel comfortable [setting up] until I moved in here. We nested the shit out of this place."
"So much of dance music is about partying and going out and having a really hardcore social experience," Wiesenfeld says. "Dance music has never been that for me. So much of my experience listening to music is being by myself - at home or in my car. Those feelings are especially apparent on the tracks that comprise Abysma: songs that feel lived-in and comfortable - imbued with feelings that cant be faked or compart- mentalized. "
Restless sound explorer James Ginzburg (Emptyset) commits his definitive solo opus with debut LP ‘Six Correlations’, an immersive trench of dense harmonic expression consolidating influences ranging from Gaelic folk music to Iranian and Indian classical styles and generative composition techniques.
Originally composed for a commissioned performance in Berlin and recorded in early 2018 over three days, ’Six Correlations’ considers the relationship between the organic and the digital world as a meditation on whether modernity implicitly represents a long slow goodbye to nature: to everything that is not integrated into the networked world.
Rather than a eulogy to the Anthropocene, Ginzburg renders an optimistic, imaginative solution to the disappearance of nature and non-digital culture, seeking out new, harmonious relationships between organic instruments and technological process. Using a hand drum, piano, voice, shruti box and Roland SH-101, he beautifully puts that idea into practice on 6 tracks that short circuit and play around with conceptions of consonance as organic bliss and dissonant noise as chaotic malevolence.
Between the undulating box drone of ‘Light, Timed - A River’, and the swelling gust of bagpipes in ‘Above Water, Inside’ he locates and conveys a mercurial, bittersweet soul at the biting point where consonance and dissonance dissolve into pure sensation, conjuring a harmony of feelings that transcends time, space, light and sound with the lushest yet, crucially, humble and broad appeal.
Swooning, melt-on-the-mind solo piano studies from Shida Shahabi, an Iranian-Swedish composer in possession of a sublime grasp of melody and airy meter, as revealed across eight pieces clearly inspired by Erik Satie and warmly recommended to fans of AFX’s prepared piano works, or the melancholy of Goldmund and Dustin O’Halloran.
“Shida Shahabi is a Swedish-Iranian pianist / composer, currently based in Stockholm. The beautiful, intimate and homespun piano of ‘Homes’ marks Shida’s debut release and the fourth in a row of new albums by female-fronted artists released on 130701 this year.
The entirety of the album was recorded at various home locations. During the writing process, Shida was renting a one bedroom appartment which she used as a studio space, before moving to a new house in the midst of the recording. So the music was actually written in one home studio and recorded in two different living rooms, hence the title, ‘Homes’. A sense of this homeliness and unpressured ease is clearly audible across the album – something utterly natural and unforced. There are no whistles and bells attached here, no big name guest performers or hired studio hands. Absolutely beautifully played and composed, it is a deeply charming record that exudes a confident warmth and an emotional depth and honesty in every note. Its production eschews the prioritising of cleanliness, with a warm, fuzzy noise floor audible from the very first track immediately immersing the listener into this sublime yet imperfect reality – as though the whole existed beneath a layer of dust. It posits comfort over obsessive cleanliness. Living comfortably with traces of wear and decay, the recording makes audible intimate acoustic details and imperfections – creaking and hissing; tiny distortions; the pressure exerted by fingers and feet against the piano’s pedals and keys.”
‘Kontrapoetik’ is a tumultuous and cinematically absorbing suite reeling from dark ambient to burning organ and Buchla 200 synth fanfare, all laced with samples of field recordings and archival Swedish radio recordings. More specifically it is a lament for peripheral communities and also a hymn to satanism. It’s a lot, aye, but highly considered and powerfully sculpted in a way that will appeal to fans of Kali Malone, as much as Emptyset or Stephan Mathieu.
“Kontrapoetik is a very personal and simultaneously historical investigation, tackling the deceivingly serene, yet turmoiled past of composer Maria W Horn’s home region Ångermanland in the North of Sweden, and her own counter-exorcism project thereof. Drawing from archival material in the region she taps directly into the conflict of this bastion for the worker’s movement with the Swedish military in the 1930’s that left 5 dead and nearly triggered a revolution. Even before that it was the site of Sweden's largest documented execution of women accused of witchcraft in 1674 in the form of burnings and decapitations. Constituting two thirds of Sweden's total area, Norrland is sometimes referred to as "the colonies" because of the uneven distribution of the wealth generated by the natural resources of northern Sweden, a small portion of which is reinvested in the area. Since the 1970's it has seen increasing depopulation and disintegration of the welfare state. The piece Ångermanländska bilder is based on material from a collection of Super-8 films that depicts the environment of Ångermanland from 1930-1940; the manor houses of the rural community, the steamboats transporting timber along the river that runs through the landscape, the power plants and sawmills.
The musical territories explored by Horn on Kontrapoetik are vast, but at the heart of each piece is a strong fundament of reductionist technique no matter how maximal the results may sound. Deceptively simple harmonic progressions are refractured through the means of inversion and repetition, presented either in a pure state or being crushed and deformed by layers of distortion. Coupled with this is an almost tactile relationship to texture as well as an immaculate sense of the physicality of sound. This work, while saturated by an almost overbearing sense of longing and loss, never gives in, but stands steadfastly defiant.”
In the past three years since Michael Greene's breakout LP on Ghostly International as Fort Romeau, the British producer has toured the world many times over and recorded for labels such as Running Back, Live At Robert Johnson, and his own Cin Cin imprint.
"Coming off the acclaim of "Pablo" — designated by Pitchfork as “Best New Music” and a candidate for the song of summer 2018 — Greene drops a three tracker for Ghostly’s Spectral Sound imprint that finds him in fine form.
“Untitled III” pulses out from the onset, riding a serpentine melodic line into a haze of impressionistic house before its final demystified minute. The drama swells in the back half while never losing its resolute calm. “Organelle” slows the pace with twilight stabs and warm subs in check, claves echoing down the hall. “Empire” revs the tempo back up, all twinkling synths and gnarled bass, the cerebral, celestial sequence starts off as a night drive and ends well above the road. A fitting close to a stately return to the fold."
John Carpenter’s soundtrack for the new ‘Halloween’ movie. Spoiler: it sounds a lot like the previous ‘Halloween’ scores
“When the new Halloween movie hits theaters in October 2018, it will have the distinction of being the first film in the series with creator John Carpenter’s direct involvement since 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Carpenter serves on the new David Gordon Green-directed installment as an executive producer, a creative consultant, and, thrillingly, as a soundtrack composer, alongside his collaborators from his three recent solo albums, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies.
The new soundtrack pays homage to the classic Halloween score that Carpenter composed and recorded in 1978, when he forever changed the course of horror cinema and synthesizer music with his low-budget masterpiece. Several new versions of the iconic main theme serve as the pulse of Green’s film, its familiar 5/4 refrain stabbing through the soundtrack like the Shape’s knife. The rest of the soundtrack is just as enthralling, incorporating everything from atmospheric synth whooshes to eerie piano-driven pieces to skittering electronic percussion. While the new score was made with a few more resources than Carpenter’s famously shoestring original, its musical spirit was preserved.
“We wanted to honor the original Halloween soundtrack in terms of the sounds we used,” Davies explained. “We used a lot of the Dave Smith OB-6, bowed guitar, Roland Juno, Korg, Roli, Moog, Roland System 1, Roland System 8, different guitar pedals, mellotron, and piano.”
Unlike the Lost Themes albums, where the composers wrote the soundtracks for imaginary movies, Halloween saw the Carpenters and Davies collaborating on music set to images for the first time. Though it marked a significant change from their previous creative process, the trio thrived under the constraints and tight deadlines that film scoring work demands.”
French electro specialist Maelstrom returns to Sheffield’s CPU for a smart 2nd session
Working within sharply defined parameters, he turns out four distinctive cuts ranging from the stilted lurch of ‘Fragment’ to the punchy knocks and squirrelly synth jabs of ‘The Scope’, then slows down for a cranky acid turn in ‘Ussidd’, and a proper, Stingray-style shadowboxer titled ‘Utility Shift’.
Jagged avant blues rock from the Dead Rider Trio joined by catalytic narrator Mr. Paul Williams
“Hot enough to jam, Dead Rider welcomes ghostly presence/wild card Mr. Paul Williams to the mic, resulting in a delightful exquisite corpse four-car pile up for the mind's eye and ear!”
Joachim Nordwall and Henrik Rylander pound out a powerful new Saturn And The Sun album on the former’s iDEAL Recordings, following up an album for The Tapeworm and the death of their band, The Skull Defekts, with a monotonous, harsh missive from the cold North.
Recorded at the legendary Gothenburg Sound Experiment in 2017, ‘In Love With The Extreme’ finds the duo explorating core influences, consolidating everything from ‘60s minimalism to early techno and tribal musics into a densely textured, future-primitive sort of rhythmic noise possessed with mesmerising traction and troubling distortion.
With brute force and admirably unrefined, intuitive intent, the pair palm out four hot streaks of molten electronics, fulminating tarry basses and noxious clouds of buzzing metallic overtones with pineal-pinching effect. This approach manifests stealthily in the subliminal transition from viscous atonal roil to undulating noise techno on opener ‘In Love With The Extreme’, while the bitter thizz and grungy bass distortion of ’Saturn War Chant’ feels like a slowed-down, ancient Viking battle cry to alien foe.
On ‘Cross The Line’ they invoke the elemental might of Mika Vainio in a hauntingly gutted and head-engulfing tract of high-register stress and sickly subharmonics, and again the charred electronics of ‘Pleasure Is Relief’ clearly nods to their departed peer’s Pan Sonic output.
A new album from How To Dress Well, Co-produced by Joel Ford (Ford & Lopatin, Airbird), this record plays as a single continuous piece of 21st Century psychedelic music.
"The stories Krell sings on this record - some biographical, many from the most knotted corners of human life - are deeply personal and human(e). ‘The Anteroom’ - with its blizzardous electronic noise, fragile melodies and poignant poetry - reclaims the experimental core of the How To Dress Well project."
Rag-ass jack joints and ruddy rare grooves from Steven Julien (Funkineven) on his Apron label
Landing nearly 10 years into his release schedule, ‘8 Ball’ presents a pleasingly unrefined, and yet still super deep, batch of productions from a producer who has firmly held his line since the start.
On the A-side he works up a percolated jackers fuss with the drum machine gun-spray of ‘Blk808’, and most cannily without resorting to bass drums on the four. With the B-side he unleashes the kicks with proper, recoiling force in the warehouse demolition job of ‘Pot808’, before ending up somewhere more debonaire, rarified in the floating pads and thistly wriggle of ‘Teer’.