Luke Younger's Helm undergoes a captivating metamorphosis from noise agitator to industrial ambient alchemist with 'Olympic Mess', his new album for PAN.
Prompted by a period of personal turmoil and a chaotic lifestyle on the road playing support for Danish punks, Ice Age; Younger expands his sonic palette here with nods to the loop-based structures and textural sensuality of balearic disco, dub techno and industrial music. When filtered into his patented mix of hi-fidelity electro-acoustic process, field recordings and intricate noise, the juxtapositions seemingly consolidate the exhausting, narcotic highs of playing live night-after-night with the serenity of ambient come-down tones and suspended states of dance/noise music delirium.
Likewise, this aesthetic could be read to reflect his recording environments, folding in the flux of people, concrete, steel and electricity between New York, Berlin and London across its ten tracks, manifest from the schizoid warp of 'Don't Lick The Jacket' to the dense grind and explosive euphoria of 'Outerzone 2015', or the unsettling intimacy of found sound in the monologue of 'Strawberry Chapstick'. We'd also read a certain Ballardian element to the whole album, from the kinaesthetic crush of the record cover's car wreck detail, to the album's titular reference to London's layered, evolving skyline, and the visceral tang and vibration of blood, emotions and momentum inherent to transient life on the road and in the city.
RIYL Tim Hecker, Deepchord, Posh Isolation.
Kouhei Matsunaga's series of 'Dance Classics' arrives at a 3rd volume of deviant techno-tronics for PAN.
Slicker, bassier than previous episodes, the emphasis here is on rolling grooves rent with playfully crafty sound design, finding incisive balance between off-the-cuff rhythm jams and probing electronic timbres - music for both bodily function and mindful reflection. Over it's eight tracks he breaks down and refracts the groove from glassy, neck-snap hip hop into a range of technoid possibilities at once recalling the more spacious grooves of Æ's 'Quaristice' versions, the knotty rolige of recent Surgeon outings, and the tweaked experimental structures of Tobias. and Max Loderbauer's NSI project, obsessively switching tack with each new groove into ever perplexing but instinctively gratifying new shapes and textural wormholes.
It's freaky, funky, and a lot of fun in a way that Kouhei has made all his own over the last 20 years, most most importantly, in that classic avant B-Boy sense, it all feels f-r-e-s-h as you like.
Nexx-level club dynamixx from Berlin's M.E.S.H. for new music thunk tank, PAN.
As a co-founder and resident at the influential Janus club-night, M.E.S.H. is hard-wired to the core of Berlin's accelerated night scene and deeply connected to the global digital arts diaspora thru collaboration with contemporary artists, Aleksandra Domanovic, Fatima Al Qadiri, Arca and TCF, among others. Operating at the intersection of electronic hip hop, techno and chimeric sound design, the 'Scythians' EP motions a bracingly fresh sound modelling skeletal 808 patterns perfused with hyper-criss foley and thrillingly sheer synthetic textures.
From the tumbling gyroscopic vectors of its eponymous opener, the EP yields a series of proper future-shocks, streaming dazzling data bursts from the hyper-detailed, diffuse techno swing of 'Interdictor' thru the breathtaking fireworks and industrial-strength slowfast 808s of 'Captivated' to the ascendant choral arrangement of 'Imperial Sewers' and the chrome-plated ambient vortices of 'Glassel Finisher'. We'll make no bones about it: the 'Scythians' EP is one of our favourite releases of 2014 so far, and comes strongly recommended to fans of Visionist, Evian Christ, E+E, TCF, Sudanim, Total Freedom…
Mind-bending, phantastically dark and complex spectral music for 16 grand pianos, saxophone and electronics, from Romania’s Horatio Radelescu, originally issued on the crucial Edition RZ label in 1990 amidst their rather important early streak of releases. Includes bilingual (German/English) liner notes. RIYL Iancu Dumitrescu, Iannis Xenakis, Reinhold Friedl, Autechre
His solo debut LP upon issue in 1990, the two pieces on Clepsydra / Astray arguably amount to Radulescu’s definitive early works, following an impenetrably technical approach to achieve highly idiosyncratic and distinguished results which place him among the most important practitioners of the tricky-to-define spectral music - a form of computer-aided electro-acoustic composition that “foregrounds timbre as an important element of structure or language” and rooted in earlier ideas by Xanakis, Stockhausen, Varèse et al.
Like we say, by its nature, it’s as tricky to define the parameters of spectral music as it is to define the notion of timbre, but the composer himself has a very good stab at it in the sleeve notes, which are among the most literally technical and baffling we’ve encountered.
However, from what we can make out, the astonishing Clepsydra, written for 16 Sound Icons - or 16 grand pianos tilted on their side and played with bows - is conceptually based around the titular, ancient greek water clock mechanism, and explores a jaw-dropping, flowing spectra of glistening, garrotting and razor sharp strings creating a 22 minute experience akin to K-holing in a gyroscope around a hall of mirrors. Queasy as hell, but rewarding with it for those with a constitution for such stuff.
By contrast the dynamic of Astray, premiered in 1984 and written for identical duos of saxophonist playing six saxes (bass, baritone, tenor, alto, soprano, and sopranino) and another on Sound Icon (grand piano turned on its side), but with each duo playing at different speeds, explores another set of timbral integers with seemingly more space in the mix, to more inquisitive, coolly probing effect.
A remarkable slab by any standards. Recommended!
Black Sites' 'Protoype EP' debuts the rapidly ascendant DJ/producer Helena Hauff and her Golden Püdel pal, F#X in a proper rugged warehouse showdown.
From their base at Hamburg's unanimously adored nightclub they've brewed an uncut take on classic hardware funk importing inspiration from Drexciya to Unit Moebius and blending it with a direct dockside attitude demanding a physical response.
Their 'Prototype' is a reet jacker, kicking overdriven bass, gungy acid lines and a probing melody under tempestuous tape distortion to leave the dance drenched and begging for more. 'N313P' is even freakier, again finding a balance between kinky noise and loony jack, but with an even more frayed and infectiously delirious impact. They're killer DJ tools in the right hands and strongly recommended to anyone into Frak, Actress, MCMXCI, Metasplice or Bunker Records!
Max Richter’s soundtrack to Henry May Long, released via Deutsche Grammophon.
"Richter’s score dates from 2007 and comprises music for piano, strings, bowed glass and bells, together with electronics. The music is structured as a series of variations on two main themes, which accompany the narrative of the film.
“The string theme operates on the societal level, while the piano theme speaks more to the interior lives of the protagonists,” explains Max.
Although the music for Henry May Long was written for a relatively unknown film, its original release on Mute Records meant that the score had a notable impact on other composers working in similar genres."
'Intersex' is the brilliant debut vinyl LP by Steven Warwick (Birds Of Delay) in his Heatsick guise.
With a sack of cassettes and CDrs to his name for the likes of Not Not Fun and Alcoholic Narcolepsy, Steven explores the liminal, hypnagogic spaces of electronic music through lathered, loop-based compositions made on a shitty Casio keyboard and various guitar pedals. They're improvised meditations on primal, base forms of early electronics and dance music, borrowing from the Italo/Chicago axis of electrified body music - Roberto Cacciapaglia's new wave disco gynoid, Ann Steel, and the hip-locked repetitions of Ron Hardy - to create psychedelic, psychosexual vortices for the dancefloor of the mind.
This theme is made explicit by a titular reference to German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld "looking at how music and sexuality can operate in flux on a constantly sliding scale", and implied thru an emphasis on writhing, repetitious rhythmelodic resolution. It plays out as three main pieces; the grinding, dub-bassed oscillations of 'Ice Cream On Concrete', the entrancing disco-not-disco ellipsis of 'Tertiary' and the cosmic ambiguity of 'Von Anderen Ufer', all defined by a rare, hallucinatory, and seductive quality transcending the borders of experimental intentions and primal instincts. Fans of everyone from Hype Williams to Dracula Lewis, Maria Minerva and Pat Maherr NEED to check this out.
Beneath pulls up to PAN with a super forward platter of UK bass/techno dreadnaughts.
Combining archival rolige with up-to-the-minute missiles, PAN's 51st release operates at the crucial nexus of dubwise dancehall science and minimalist techno, pairing uniquely sculpted rhythm dynamics with a filigree feel for aerated electronic timbre. Most importantly it's aimed squarely at the 'floor with 20" rimmed riddims bound to bounce any stack, but it's his taste for spectral, holographic electronic modelling that really sets each track apart from the crowd. The roiling bass, freaky blips and EBM stabs of 'Bored 2' already have anthem status around these parts, finding the square root of bleep techno, hardcore and grime without ever feeling like an exercise in nostalgia.
'Occupy' is icier, sinuous, rolling like some decelerated Optical Prototype contoured to a Funky/Techno coda, and 'One Blings' opens up fathoms of cyber-dread space between 'floor-skimming subs and tantalising, mercurial motifs that flit and dart like digickal duppies. However, 'Stress 1' is the deepest, the darkest, refining the Sheffield foundations of Richard H. Kirk and Rob Gordon, or the lessons of Digital Mystikz, for a masterful, mid-air gyration. Ultimately it's a shocker for the dancers and a tease for the heads, or simply a vital 12" for anyone who doesn't make such distinctions.
Rod Modell (DeepChord) returns to Astral Industries’ elevated planes, this time with Chris Troy on a 20 year follow-up to their first Waveform Transmission; V 1.0-1.9 for Silent. With the 72 minute V 2.0-2.9, they present a supremely serene addition to their nebulous catalogue, paradoxically plumbing reverberant, expansive space to beautifully introspective effect.
Modell’s signature dub techniques are in effect, but only as part of a greater system of ambient processing, with having bass reserved to daubs of low end pressure in a swirling ecosystem of harmonious tone and abstract crackle that’s more widescreen kosmiche in its outlook, totally in key with the Astral Industries aesthetic that Modell has played a strong part in with DeepChord’s Lanterns and the Colours of Time (Re-Intrepreted) session with Wolfgang Voigt.
We warmly encourage pumping up your noumenal lilo and casting adrift in these epic realms.
Music From Memory blindside again with an unprecedented survey of Geoffrey Landers’ home-baked avant-pop-funk and more experimental dabs of ambient jazz, abstract electronics
“Music From Memory's final compilation of 2017 sees the release of the double album “1 by 1”, which brings together the works of American experimental musician Geoffrey Landers. During a period spanning from 1979 to 1987, this Denver, Colorado based multi-instrumentalist, composer, record producer and engineer, conceived several solo albums. Only two of these, “The Ever Decimal Pulse” and “Habitual Features” along with the single “Breedlove” were ever released on vinyl.
.Being heavily involved in the local industrial/punk/new wave scene and wanting to create a recording studio “available to record artists regardless of their financial circumstances” Landers set up “The Packing House Studio” in 1981. This analog 8-track recording facility was located in a former slaughterhouse in the stockyards of Denver and was a place of significant activity for the next three years with the studio releasing recordings from numerous artists most notably Allen Ginsberg.
It was here that Geoffrey Landers also started his own aptly named “Cauhaus” label. Indicative of the underground/DIYculture, “Cauhaus” was a subsiduary of a label called Local Anaesthetics which was started as an in-store label by independent Denver record store Wax Trax. Typically Cauhaus releases were only pressed up in small quantities and independently distributed, making Lander's music essentially elusive to a wide audience. After relocating in 1984 to an art district of Denver Landers opened the “Cauhaus Institute of Recording” studio where he continued to produce music for soundtracks, art and multi media projects for the next three years, after which Landers stepped out of the music industry entirely. He currently creates and exhibits mixed-media glass art.
Throughout the twenty tracks of "1 by 1", of which six previously appeared on CD only, we are submerged into a wide diversity of musical approaches from Geoffrey Landers. From the proto-house track “Logarhythms” and the heart breaking New-Wave Boogie/Funk of “Say You’ll Say So” to the more contemplative pieces such as the oriental insprired “Nisei” and the drenched in sunshine dub/reggae track “Mack” Landers shies away from musical expectations again and again; searching continually for innovative and new forms of expression.”
Alessio Natalizia aka Not Waving rides the wave of a lifetime on his magnum opus, Good Luck.
His second album for Diagonal is an emotional but fiercely optimistic LP of skewed cathartic dance-pop written in the midst of these dark and uncertain times, fine-tuning 20 years of recording and rave experience into a vibrant, pop-ready statement that’s never felt so necessary.
It abandons the sensitive streak hinted at on Animals, his debut LP for Diagonal, to pursue a creative hunch for concision and social unity. This new perspective drives the album’s flux of emotions and guides what some may find to be a utopian outlook, wrapping his trademark experimental urges, clever song arrangements and winking edits in a larger narrative: a new system, if you like, that offers a way out of the contemporary condition towards something pure, sweaty and wild. After all, rave ‘floors were conceived for many as a way to forget/abandon the dark undercurrents of late 80s political turmoil.
The record is constructed as an album proper and follows a novel narrative: from the ego-pinching computer punk of Me Me Me, which jabs it into action, to the new wave thrust of Tool [I Don’t Give A Sh*t] and the ambient flush of Roll Along With The Pain Of It All [I’ll Text U], Natalizia clearly delights in taking us on a frenzied ride, but he never forgets his fondness for contemporary club culture [see the fulminating iridescent EBM-pop of Where Are We — with Marie Davidson guesting on vocals — or the acidic punk jabs of Watch Yourself].
Good Luck is a thrillingly positive record — like a big slice of pink and blue sponge cake, it’s delicious, sweet, creamy and wonderful. And that’s the thing: even the title feels like a much-needed injection of optimism, a return to the utopian ideals of rave. Contemporary politics/culture/life/love/music/media seem to be infected by a feeling of impending dread — of fear, alienation, division. Perhaps it’s the job of artists to present an alternative vision for the world [and music] rather than simply to reflect one’s reality back into the echo chamber of their own lives.
30/70 are the latest collective to emerge from Melbourne's buzzing scene.
"Lovingly referred to as a community rather than a band, 30/70 is, at its core, a quintet made up of Allysha Joy, Ziggy, Henry, Thhomas & Jarrod that swells up to an 11 piece ensemble as and when the music calls for it. The sound of 30/70 is a cosmic mélange of boom-bap dynamics, neo-soul harmonies and jazz-funk licks, all steeped in a deep spiritual tradition reaching from Alice Coltrane to Kamasi Washington.
Despite their influences coming from across the pacific, the 30/70 sound is unmistakably Melbourne. The band came of age in the wake of Melbourne’s soul scene hitting global success, a local phenomenon which shone a light on the Northside community and paved the way for a new generation of bands to take this sound and make it their own. Melbourne’s relative isolation could in fact be a blessing in disguise. It's resulted in a pressure cooker of talent; a tight-knit, well practiced network of musicians who’ve put in the hours, paid their dues and are ready to explode into the wider global consciousness. 30/70 are leading the pack with their latest offering.
Working closely with and Paul Bender of Hiatus Kaiyote and Jamil Zacharia to produce the forthcoming record entitled ‘Elevate’. The resulting recording is a sublime statement; at once a cry for help and a call to arms, it balances delicate poetry and potent aggression with ease - all of this done with a beguiling pop sensibility. This collection of songs, their second studio effort after their debut LP, ‘Cold Radish Coma', is set to elevate them to the international stage. Under the management of Wondercore Island (Hiatus Kaiyote, Oscar Key Sung, Daniel Merriweather) and with the release set to drop on Bradley Zero's Rhythm Section Intl. (Al Dobson Jr, Silent Jay x Jace XL, Henry Wu), 30/70 are ready to take their message from Northcote to the world.”
The 10th edition of The Golden Ravedays album unveils two tracks that are distinctly different in zeal but both transmitting spooky and thrilling male voices adding a sense of humorous horror. These two tracks are testament of Superpitcher’s ability to skillfully merge depth and playfulness.
"Side A is Rock N Roll Baby. Could it be that someone with a curious but naïve mind had the courage to ask the scariest man in the club, no the world, about the origin of music? The answer rides on a tribal beat, escalates to Armageddon-like heights and an eerie voice repeatedly assures us that it’s all Rock N Roll Baby.
Side B features Shining. Don’t be distracted by the deep comfort this warm and fuzzy sound bath brings to your veins. Quite a surprise is waiting for you when you are heading down the dark hallway in your birthday suit just when your hand is anxiously trying to find the light-switch of your room. "
Glasgow’s premier exponent’s of modal disco, Richard Youngs, Luke Fowler, Michael Francis Duch, and Paul Thomson aka AMOR lock into a sterling 2nd excursion for Night School
Committing the plaintive, bluesy jag of Higher Moments - think Jandek-meets-DJ Sprinkles - and the more uptempo urgency of Amnesia, where Youngs’ distinctive vocals seem to run around the room, chasing his own echo on a tight but skewed groove recalling a Polmo Polpo oddity.
Eminent DJ Helena Hauff returns to her hardware for the 1st time in years with the banging, queered box jams of Have You Been There, Have You Seen It for Ninja Tune.
Expect a salty, raw selection of house and electro in all four parts: filtering her own breaths and murmurs with anaesthetised pads and merry-go-round melody on the recoiling jack of Nothing Is What I Know; then with dangerously brut bass in the smelly acid sock of Do You Really Think Like That? and its electrode counterpart Continuez Mon Enfant Vous Serez Traité En Conséquence, while exercising her Drexciyan funk muscle with live and direct-to-tape style on the wistful Gift.
Let’s just say it’s all perfectly juxtaposed at odds with the Mall photo studio artwork.
Julien Baker releases her second album, ‘Turn Out The Lights’, via Matador Records.
"‘Turn Out The Lights’ arrives nearly two years to the day after Baker’s debut album, ‘Sprained Ankle’, which was widely acclaimed by outlets including The New York Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Noisey, and MOJO, among others. • Recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Baker’shometown of Memphis, TN, ‘Turn Out The Lights’ expands upon the sound and vision of ‘Sprained Ankle’ while retaining the haunting, confessional songwritingstyle for which she has become known.
Throughout the album, Baker reflects on experiences of her own and those closest to her, exploring the internal conflicts that wrestle inside us all: how we deal and cope with our struggles and how it all impacts both ourselves and our relationships of all kinds. The result is a deeply empathetic album that • ‘Turn Out The Lights’ was written and produced by Baker and mixed by Craig Silvey (The National)."
Rapture 4D reps Glasgow’s instrumental grime scene hard with Lambert & Yoker for the always intriguing Astral Black.
Returning to the scene of his debut crime, Black Ice off the Frass FM 3 compilation, he coughs up a killer, far sharper VIP version alongside some deadly unique twists on eski and 8-bar convention, from Lee Gamble-meets-Sully style jungle grime in Multidimensional to the spooling crazy legs screw of 0141 and something really special in the creamy swerve of Unidentified.
Seriously, keep an eye/ear out for this one!
Returning with his first album in 13 years, Errorsmith’s ‘Superlative Fatigue’ long-awaited release on PAN arrives as his perhaps most optimistic record yet. It’s guaranteed all-killer, nay filler, pet.
At long fucking last Errorsmith relinquishes his long awaited new LP for the good of the dance, twysting Black Atlantic rhythm patterns with computer music in a way that pushes all of our buttons at once. The album’s key is cheekily embedded in the title, as the arch Berlin disco sound designer assuages Superlative Fatigue by properly drilling down to the truth of the matter - the purest, most effective grooves and scintillating sounds to flip wigs like nobody else.
As with Erik Weigand aka Errorsmith’s strongest club productions such as the legendary Donna  as part of MMM with Fiedel, thru to Protogravity  with Mark Fell, the dancefloor is squarely in focus on Superlative Fatigue. However, this is Errorsmith solo, and as such it serves to bridge a fair gap between the innovative, oblique constructs of his Errorsmith #1  EP, and the unflinching documentary of his avant practice in Near Disco Dawn - Live Recordings 2001-2003 , perfectly consolidating his avant-garde and populist tendencies with little concession to either side of the dichotomy.
To be clear; Superlative Fatigue is a proper party record. Entirely written using Weigand’s self-developed Razor software (as wickedly deployed by Mark Fell on the Manitutshu album), it inventively gives voice to the impish computer spirits that have been dancing around his head all those years since his last solo output; placing a keen knowledge of current macro trends and myriad, classic subgenres to utterly compelling service, then ratcheting the effect thru singular manipulation of their accents, tropes and structures with a necessarily scientific approach perhaps only comparable to Rashad Becker’s on the Traditional Music For Notional Species volumes.
No messing, the pinging dancehall of Internet of Screws is in our top 5 tracks of 2017, and the uncanny valley anthem of My Party is likewise among the year’s most ear-worming, while the likes of Centroid and the face-twysting sourness of I’m Interesting, Cheerful and Sociable place the freshest spin on UKF and electroid Afrobeats we could hope for, and the suspension-lowering Retired Low Level Server is possibly the baddest acid-hall riddim since Acid Rain Records’ year 2000 template.
For anyone into anything from Nídia, Equiknoxx, M.E.S.H., Marfox or Nigga Fox, this remarkable record is a real no brainer - one of the deadliest, freshest club records we've heard for years.
Remix and new version of material from Maria Rita Stumpf's Brasileira
"In order to properly remake "Kamaiurá", they recruited Paulo Sergio Santos and Carlos Gualda, aka Carrot Green. At Vice-Versa studio in São Paulo, Paulo Sergio Santos recorded 12 different instruments and Maria Rita Stumpf sang in a studio after more than 20 years, on a different arrangement than the original. Concerning the "Lamento Africano/Rictus" remix, Joakim was just very interested about the singer, the instruments used, the lyrics, and jumped aboard this project quickly.”
One of the most nattered about new Bristol acts, Giant Swan pile forth on Batu’s Timedance with the cranky, rusted techno jag of Celebrate The Last 30 Years of Human Ego
They tuck away the fibrillating techno charge of IFTYLOYL somewhere between Tessela and Phase Fatale styles but with added briztle grunge for flavour.
Pye Corner Audio's darkling synthetic transmissions had been hovering under the radar for a couple of years before 2012's Black Mill Tapes collection on Type brought them to a wider and grateful audience. Now, Martin Jenkins finds himself equally lauded by the likes of Sandwell District's Juan Mendez and Minimal Wave's Veronica Vasicka as by the UK hauntological set - a testament to the scope and adaptability of his stygian productions.
Nonetheless, this album release feels right at home on Ghost Box, and it follows Jenkins' contribution to the label's 7" Study Series last year. If The Black Mill Tapes focussed on the unheimlich but decidedly driving meta-techno side of the Pye sound, Sleep Games gives as much time to exploring its more abstract and oneiric peripheries. Nonetheless, rhythm is foregrounded throughout: from the woozy, tape-warped Boards of Canada-ism of 'Sleep Games', via the Xander Harris/Umberto-esque giallo-disco chug of 'The Black Mill Video Tape' through to the distant, dubby pulse of 'Palais Spectres' and the rolling toms of 'Underneath The Dancefloor'.
Eschewing the tweeness which has arguably softened the impact of recent Ghost Box releases, Sleep Games is refreshingly drug-hazed and zonked-out yet shark-eyed, minimalist and full of post-apocalyptic, cold-wave menace: you can more easily imagine this stuff soundtracking a car ride through the deserted industrial zones of coastal America than a ramble round the Belbury parish and its bucolic environs. At the same time, this feels like a Ghost Box release through and through: 'Print Through' is a radiophonic seance right from the grimoire of Eric Zann, 'Deep End' has the school textbook sci-fi sigh of classic Belbury Poly and 'Yesterday's Enemy' the occult public service broadcasting vibe of early Advisory Circle.
Exit Index combines the abandon of pop with the unease of American life in 2017, cloaking its hooks in a clamor of samples and distortion, its agitation expressed in its dreampoetry lyrics.
"The album as a whole is a study in contrasts—light meeting dark, ampli-er fuzz surrounding big melodies, sampled friction squaring o with fluidly played basslines. Album opener "The Directory" shrouds itself in synth-dappled mist until Johnson, backed by ghostly harmonies, asks with increasing intensity, "Where are my millions, my millions, my millions?" "Dietrich," meanwhile, pins itself on a steady bassline, its guitars whirling into a maelstrom as Johnson sings promises of fealty to a far-away target Grooms laid down the skeleton tracks for Exit Index, the Brooklyn band's ¬rst album since 2015's Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair, at the storied New York recording studio The Magic Shop—the last band to record there before its closure in March 2016. "It was the end," recalls Johnson. "We ended up bashing out 13 or 14 songs—of which we kept 10—in about six hours, because it was the last day. The engineer was like, 'I can't believe it.
This is like working on a record in the '60s, where the band comes in and they know everything super well, because they have to.'" Johnson, drummer Steve Levine, and bassist Jay Heiselmann had battened down in a Brooklyn recording studio for a month to write Exit Index, ¬guring out the bones of tracks like the pummeling "Magistrate Seeks Romance" and the tensely amorphous "Turn Your Body." The lyrics on Exit Index combine honest expressions of anxiety with heady imagery that elicits icy, barren landscapes and dead-end streets. ("There's so few things we can talk about/Our endless words, overheard/We're not dead, we're being straightened out/We're semi-tough, it's not enough," he sings on the swirling "Softer Now.") "It's a heavier record than I've ever written lyrics for," says Johnson. "I was writing it while I watched every single debate last year—I don't know why I did that to myself—and after my wife would go to sleep, I would stay up with headphones on, recording and making samples—synths and quiet guitar, stu like that. While I was doing that, I would also be zoning in and out of YouTube, and I was just so freaked out by how the debates were absurd, terrifying things to watch."
The heavy distortion on the group's guitars helps add to the gloom as well; Johnson, who has co-owned the Brooklyn pedal company Death By Audio E ects since 2008, made a limitededition distortion pedal to celebrate the album's release. "There's a lot of tremolo on Exit Index," he says, "so I made a fucked-up-sounding trem." Collin Dupuis (Angel Olsen, Lana Del Rey) mixed the album, adding a few ¬nishing touches to intros and song structures Exit Index is a portrait of unease, its abstracted poetry and sonic murk giving rise to a catchy, dense disquiet. "In a way, I feel like it's a really appropriate record for this time," says Johnson. "It feels unintentional, though—I wasn't thinking, 'I want to soundtrack 2017,' or anything like that. It's hard for me to listen to it now, because I'll listen to it and I'll be like, 'God, I wish that this were a fever dream, but it's not.' But that lines up with what's going on in the world, too."
Outrageous 1981 Italian sexploitation horror schlock from Joe D’Amato.
"A group of scientists land on a deserted island to discover a rather well endowed radioactive sex-crazed monster that takes a liking to the female scientists in the group. Loaded with X-rated sex scenes and generous amounts of blood and gore, it's sleazy enough to avoid showing your parents or loved ones. The score by Nico Fidenco is another one of his incredible blends of funk, moody synth and fuzzed-out disco. Easily up there with ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST and his EMANUELLE films."
Essential stuff from an unsung maestro. First time ever on vinyl.
Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca and Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, names that have turned heads in alternative Arabic music with solo albums and conspicuous collaborations.
"With Lekhfa they give birth to an off kilter sound where layers of grit and beauty intertwine in and around the dystopian poems of their contemporary Mido Zoheir, whom they've dubbed the fourth member in this creation and one of the most talented Egyptian poets of their generation. Mixed by Khyam Allami, Mastered by John Dent at Loud."
Limited 7” of tracks only available on CD Version of ‘Lekhfa’.
Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca and Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, names that have turned heads in alternative Arabic music with solo albums and conspicuous collaborations
"With Lekhfa they give birth to an off kilter sound where layers of grit and beauty intertwine in and around the dystopian poems of their contemporary Mido Zoheir, whom they've dubbed the fourth member in this creation and one of the most talented Egyptian poets of their generation. Mixed by Khyam Allami, Mastered by John Dent at Loud."
After a long hiatus, Hyetal comes of age as a dance-pop artist in the mould of Jam City with ‘Youth & Power’, incorporating synths and songwriting by Gwilym Gold and post production by James Ginzburg (Emptyset).
"Coming together over three years since his critically acclaimed last album, Hyetal completes his transformation from off-kilter dance music producer to futurist pop visionary on Youth & Power. 'Previously my approach to writing music was very rooted in escapism,' says David Corney aka Hyetal. 'I began experiencing a sense of detachment in my life which led me to question how healthy this approach was. I wanted music to help me feel connected again.' Wrenching his music free from the 'confines of computer grids' and pushing melody to the forefront, Youth & Power's texturally rich, psychedelic palette is littered with live played synths, electric guitars, drum machines, processed noise and 'some under-loved 70s home keyboards' recorded at Hyetal's South London home studio.
'I'd describe it as experimental pop music,' says Hyetal. 'the sound is in part a return to music I was listening to as a kid, more song- and instrument-based.' Youth & Power is Hyetal's debut as a vocalist, also scrapping samples in favour of live instrumentation and hook-laden songwriting laced with myriad influences. 'I took some time out to teach myself how to sing using an app on my phone. At first I found my vocals worked best for me when there was some distance from the natural sound of my voice so everything was abstracted through a few different processes.' he explains, 'As I became more comfortable singing I decided I wanted to contrast this approach and use some natural sounding vocals that embraced the imperfections'. The album strikes a balance between robotic Kraftwerkian simplicity and soulful organic pop, contrasting the various pitch-shifting and abstracting vocal effects with sharply concise lyrics. Semblances of Hyetal's origins in Bristol's early dubstep movement are still present too, deep inside the album's meticulous rhythm beds. Elsewhere chiming retro keyboard notes and drum machine beats at times recall the likes of Yellow Magic Orchestra contrasting against waves of guitars and noise which bring to mind the influence of Bauhaus and other post punk experimentalists.
Written as a form of catharsis for Hyetal in his search to return his music from detachment, Youth & Power seeps a sense of hope. 'I found from a distance the most immediate workings of humanity can appear extremely brutal', says Hyetal, 'but when looking through this lens you miss the beauty that happens in the moment.'
Moritz Von Oswald is a name that needs little introduction to anyone who has followed Techno, Dub or any kind of electronic music over the last 15 years. Since the early 90's he's tirelessly applied his discipline to a range of styles and genres with seminal work as part of Maurizio, Basic Channel, Rhythm & Sound and his own name besides a mind blowing number of side projects, mastering jobs and engineering work.
His most recent project has attempted to consolidate the studio processes which have defined the majority of his output with a live or improvisational element as part of his "trio" including the capable skills of sound designers Vladislav Delay aka Sasu Ripatti and Max Loderbauer of Sun electric and more recently NSI fame. The trio have performed some dozen live shows over the last two years, featuring Ripatti at the drummers stool, Loderbauer contributing synths and live electronics, and Moritz in control of live mixing effects and organ.
'Vertical Ascent' is essentially the best parts of these live improv sessions, edited, tweaked and mixed to perfection by mixmaster Moritz (we hope this name doesn't catch on!) and the result is at once a clean departure from and a reinforcement of the sound you'd normally associate with each of the performers. Live performance and in-the-moment moods lend the set a fluid quality and the lengthy track times, between eight and fourteen minutes, allow the group to develop their ideas around groove based structures definitely informd by African percussive styles. It's no coincidence that Moritz is heavily involved with the ressiue schemes of African music from Honest Jon's. 'Pattern 1' initiates the ceremony with a slow heave of bass and tangled polyrhythms from Ripatti before blooming to reveal a menagerie of strange and unusual synth sounds with one ear on their Krautrock forefathers. 'Pattern 2' bobs into motion on a rich bed of subbass, providing a cushion for scratchy strings and metallic synth scrapes lending an uneasy and ominous feel, but also exploring the spaces in between with ultra-subtle mixing techniques and cleansing the space ready for elevation to the next level. 'Pattern 3' reintroduces more discernable and tangible rhythmic patterns, like the gaseous forms of '2' have coalesced into a gentle tropical downpour, with steel drums panned to the peripheries of auditory perception before a current of slow and delicate chords wash into view. The effect is sublimely lush and truly psychedelic.
The final 'Pattern 4' is the closest you'll come to any Reggae influences (bar the dub mixing techniques), resting upon a bulbous swell of subliminal bass shapes the group delve deep into their machines to eak out atonal organ motifs and head-swimming reverberations designed to resonate in your mind long after the CD has finished. Much like any project Moritz is involved in, the sounds will live up to intense scrutiny for years to come, with each listen revealing layers of minutiae created by his intricate mixing desk manipulations. I'm on my 10th listen and i'm still coming back for more.
Interstellar Funk kicks off his Artificial Dance label with Job Sifre’s debut volley of classy, Amsterdam-style sleaze
Swerving from taut EBM funk with cool, not cheesy, vocals in Worries and the bozing musculature of Intex Excursions, nailing some cranky Belgian industrial styles a la Dirk Desaever on Element, churning your body in Flotter’s molasses swang.
Kenneth Bager’s Music For Dreams release much needed new material from Dub Tractor - his first album in almost a decade and sounding as sublime as ever...
“The new album by Danish legend Dub Tractor. One of the founding fathers of electronica in Denmark in the early 90s, Anders Remmer has remained a reluctant beacon of Copenhagen's scene ever since, with his musical legacy still a work in progress. As well as being a member of Future 3, Remmer has released material under a number of different aliases, but his most frequent guise dating back to 1994 has been Dub Tractor. Under this name, he gently crafts complex yet warm and organic electronic music that flirts with ambient, dub and IDM.
With Hello Ambient Wash', the first Dub Tractor album since 2009, Remmer explores further the possibilities of Dub Tractor after the more pop-oriented & shoegaze-flavoured approach of his last album "Sorry". In addition to new material, the second half of Hello Ambient Wash' presents a retrospective of hand-picked tracks from his first three albums on Flex Records (the label which Music For Dreams founder Kenneth Bager ran with Ole Mortensen from 1994 to 2007). Two "Discrete Recordings" tracks from 1994 highlight the atmospheric dub origins of Remmer's sound, while the two tracks from the 1996 album "An Evening With.." see Remmer at his most accessible and funky. The four cuts from his seminal 2000 album "Delay" still sound as vibrant and fresh today as they did then, and perfectly add weight to this unique collection.
Back on the new material, we see Remmer experimenting further with the style he has become synonymous with. On tracks like "Wow" and Flutter', he plays with elements of distortion and layers of sound to create an atmosphere of fragility and nostalgic haze. Loops trapped in reverse over the delicate but intense humming of lo-fi ambient noise create a sense that these tracks could fall apart at any given moment, but still push forward at a cautious pace. The melodic side of Dub Tractor shines through on the opening track "C8 90", the title track "Hello Ambient Wash", and "A7 94". Coming off as crackly old cassette recordings of some lost Southeast Asian folk music filtered through the high-tech dub engines of Remmer, the sound of the new Dub Tractor proves a heady stew of influences that still sound wholly their own.
Stay Home' echoes more the shoegaze direction Remmer took on "Sorry" with a melancholic sway which layers ghostlike vocals over muted lingering chords. While on tracks like "SIne Song" and "Ltl" Remmer truly gives cause to the name Dub Tractor, as he ploughs down tight rhythms over sub-bass frequencies and a myriad of trickling effects. Like walking through a dense rain forest of sound, drum clicks stick to your body like moist leaves - these tracks conjure the sensation of a cannabis high or an ASMR episode (google that if you don't know it). Remmer must have tapped into some masterful technology of sine wave manipulation to push the listener into these mind altered states.”
Death Waltz deliverclassic horror soundtrack fresh from the depths of hell - Clive Barker's HELLRAISER with music by genre composer Christopher Young.
"You know how the story goes; you pick up a strange puzzle box, try and solve it, and get pulled into hell where you're subjected to infinite torture by a guy with pins in his head. Bad day, bad day. But HELLRAISER is a gothic horror masterpiece celebrating the transcendence of pleasure into pain and the question of what can come after death. One thing's for sure: there will be blood. And rats nailed to the wall.
Young's main theme mirrors the Lament Configuration, the Rubik's cube of the damned that is the centre of all this bloody mayhem, underlining the seductive nature with violins before opening up with the full orchestra to foretell the true nightmare contained within. The score features industrial elements reminiscent of the band Coil (who were originally due to score the film) intertwined with the sensual gothic overtones illustrating the next level of gratification the box offers, and it explodes in the final act as Pinhead and Co. come for their student of deviancy. Composer Christopher Young wen’t back to the original reels for this anniversary remaster celebrating 30 years of the coenobites and the twisted mind of Clive barker."
Adam Taylor’s emotional, swelling score to “The Handmaid’s Tale”.
"Taylor is a film score composer based in Long Beach, California known for his subdued, emotional, and minimalistic scores. He has become a prominent and sought after composer in the indie film space, most recently scoring BEFORE I FALL from director Ry Russo-Young.
“The systems are the antagonist of the series, a relentless and indifferent force that is slowly disfiguring society and the inhabitants of Gilead,” Taylor explained. “I thought about it like waves of sound, waves that slowly grew in volume and dissonance until it overcame the senses.” This score will appeal to fans of Brian Reitzell’s “Hannibal”, along with more acoustic works by Clint Mansell and Cliff Martinez."
Moritz Von Oswald, Max Loderbauer and Sasu Ripatti play out a sterling third album as a trio, "their darkest and most driving… their best yet." The basic material for 'Fetch' was improvised and recorded in a four hour session at the end of summer 2011 and features additional live contributions from ECM's Marc Muellbauer (bass) and Tobias Freund (effects).
Von Oswald later overdubs Jonas Schoen (flute, clarinet, saxophone) and trumpeter Sebastian Studnitzky to four uniquely fluid and spacious grooves. Converging in jazz-wise dialogue on opener 'Jam', Ripatti and Muellbauer's rhythm section coolly paces the palatial surroundings while trumpet and clarinet speak to the night. 'Dark' follows at a pensive stride, checking viscous dread bass, purring FX and percussions picked out of the mix by Von Oswald's illusive sleight of hand, creating a tension that's soon resolved by 'Club', the LP's pulsating steppers' techno centrepiece juxtaposing gravelly drum quirks and a quietly noisy atmosphere against velvet-clad kicks and his ghostly ensemble for twelve minutes. Meanwhile, 'Yangissa' closes at a mid-tempo tilt, simmering brass and tumbling nyabinghi-style drums weave in a dub-frayed chamber shuffle, locked-in and hypnotic as you like. If you liked their other LPs, you'll love this.
Aketi Ray are an all-acoustic dub-jazz group, playing original compositions grounded in the instrumental music of post-independence Jamaica -ska, rocksteady, reggae, rockers, dub -but drawing inspiration and influence from Ethiopian and US jazz, west African percussion traditions, all with the mind set of UK steppas.
"An outernational sound: Kingston to Chicago to Addis Ababa to Dakar to London.The sound of "From Ever Since" draws on the vibes and heritage of pre-electr(on)ic music, but gives that traditional sound new power through the use of dub techniques of reverb, delay and EQ manipulation.The Aketi Ray sound Band leader 'Mikus' Gorecki explains: At the time I was listening to a lot of tuff digital dub tunes, and much as I love that sound still, I thought there was a lack of dubwise music getting made that had that live feel of the 60s and 70s. At the same time I didn't want to just rehash the past - the best you can do is come close to replicating that sound, you definitely won't beat it. So I decided to try something different, and bring in other connected jazz and African influences to the mix. '
Sometimes when people fuse different music traditions it can sound a bit of a collage, the elements are all there but they don't actually fuse together. I think we have our own sound, and it's greater than the sum of its parts.'
The compositions are forward-looking, form-pushing, and although there are no vocals, they are message-driven, concerned with conditions of modern life, spirituality and politics. Mikus says The music definitely has a message. Each track has a very clear subject in mind when writing it, but it's down to the listener to tune in to that and take from that what they will. I find you can say more with the abstract language of music than you can in words.'
Lion—and the mean ecstasy of “You’ve Got A Woman,” the B-side to their sole release—comprise a rare burst of psychedelic-Western soul from two names best known for Dutch progressive rock and new wave.
"Drummer Peter de Leeuwe, departing from the symphonic leanings of Dutch prog-fixtures Ekseption, penned it in 1975, layering syncopated explosions of hand-claps, vibraslap and slick drumwork with neutron-star density, with super-producer Hans van Hemert nearly bursting Glenn Robles’ vocals through the fore. The “Shoes Subtle Edit” provides exactly that, gently teasing the organ- and requintohinted contours of the track to better suit the treasure within. Chicago-based septet Whitney have brought some attention to “You’ve Got A Woman” with a recent cover, and the faith with which they recreate much of the original instrumentation proves the extent of Lion’s accomplishment."
Moritz Von Oswald conducts a cabinet reshuffle, exchanging Vladislav Delay for legendary Afrobeat percussionist Tony Allen on his superb fourth Trio album and follow-up to 'Borderland' with Juan Atkins.
Alongside original member Max Loderbauer, the trio embark on a new and deeply charming chapter of elemental rhythm and sound exploration, positioning them ever closer to some modern day version of the Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. Dub is still the foundation, and jazz the teacher, but the languid roll of Allen's drums and Loderbauer's lissom bleeps now hint at a sort of retro-vintage Afro-futurism; a filigree brand of psychedelic, radiophonic jazz-funk.
For our money, it's the lushest and loosest MvO Trio LP to date, flush with keening, sweetly dissonant keys and deliquescent subbass shapes tantalisingly suspended within the mix around Allen's pensile, poised percussion, whether cutting thru the sound field like a rivet thru soft wood, or diffused into tinfoil refractions. It's very simple: if you liked or loved the first few MvO Trio LPs, you'll adore this one to bits.
Necessary reissue of fiyah South African and Turkish psychedelic jazz funk fusion from 1976, delivered by the ace Matsuli label behind that Ndikho Xaba and The Natives LP
“Matsuli Music is proud to be releasing another forgotten gem of the South African jazz diaspora – the 1976 Istanbul session featuring Johnny Dyani and Okay Temiz fusing deep roots and new routes, integrating folklore and rhythm within an experimental, avant-garde vision of love and life.
Remastered by Frank Merrit at the Carvery, Witchdoctor’s Son is presented as a deluxe gatefold sleeve including new liner notes by Francis Gooding uncovering more of Dyani’s creative collaborations with Temiz. Also included are previously unpublished photographs by Hank O’Neal.
Available for the first time since Yonca Records originally released only 1000 copies in Turkey, this album has remained an elusive and sought after landmark in South African exile Johnny Dyani’s discography.
The recording captures a complex, funky and musically together exploration of folk themes, jazz messages and popular directions. After many years together discovering both South African and Turkish sources, Temiz and Dyani were intimately versed in each other’s traditions. Side one features material arranged by Temiz, and the second has material arranged and composed by Dyani – including a stunning arrangement of Don Cherry’s Elhamdulilhah Marimba with Dyani on piano and voice.”
Pivotal Amsterdam producer Tom Trago puts the classic DX7 synth thru its paces
Yielding a piquant array of digital spices between the glittering cascades of Harvest, the lushly harmonised electro swang of XYZ, a purring Detroit house roller named Rain Room, and the floating electro-techno ebullience of Opulent (Without Mix), and its more urgent Opulent (Within Mix).
Following the almost unanimous praise for their previous studio masterpiece, Moritz Von Oswald (Maurizio/Rhythm & Sound), Max Loderbauer (Nsi./Sun Electric) and Sasu Ripatti (Vladislav Delay) present 'Horizontal Structures', the jazz-suave and rolling x-axis to the kosmische y of 'Vertical Ascent'.
The curve of their projections becomes more complex with the addition of Paul St. Hilaire (aka Tikiman) on guitar and ECM artist, Marc Muellbauer's double bass infusing deeply instinctive jazz moves into the cats-cradle of organ, percussion and electronics. There's a more leveled spirit and cruising groove to this album, their deft interactions creating a deeply engrained blue moodiness and playful efficacy whose potential is beautifully rendered in Moritz's mixing desk. As the elements begin to fuse like condensed gas particles in the bell jar sphere of 'Structure One' its clear to hear the group's evolution as the groove subliminally coalesces with a looseness that wasn't there before, Tiki's Afro-lilting guitar swirling about like fragrant hashish smoke and Muellbauer's eyes-shut bass adding daubs of melodic colouration. 'Structure 2' is more urgent and soundtrack-y, melody stripped back while the rhythm section ripples away with infinite Krautrock essence, before 'Structure 3' reintroduces the dub with moonboot skank rhythm hinging on crisp snare punctuations and offset chords in the dreamiest headspace.
The 20 minute 'Structure 4' is perhaps the craftiest, Moritz the mixing board illusionist deftly weaving the acoustic and electronic, the synthetic and the real with a sleight of hand that makes this music at once electro-acoustic jazz and dub concrète, yet with the fundamental grace and glide of deep techno. Highly recommended!
Godlike Snake was the first Ufomammut album, originally released in 1999.
After 18 years the band decided it was time to release a new version of the album. Urlo remixed (from the original tapes) and remastered the entire album to make it sound like it was supposed to, years ago.
After exploring the nether regions of disco and related spectrum of psychedelic styles, Light Sounds Dark turn inward to locate The Acceptable Presence, revealing a worldly, mostly downtempo collection of fancies from Enno Velthuys, Necronomicon, Pseudo Code, Delta-Sleep-Inducing Peptide and other esoteric oddballs of the late 20th century.
In the classic vein of eccentric British collectors, they present a real cabinet of curios and obscurities this time, putting names to some tracks we’ve heard before, but never knew the names of (Pseudo Code’s haunting Far Away From My Own Land) and introducing a spellbinding ruck of new-old names and gems to explore, including the ethereal High Spirits Choir of Holy Spirit School, and a proper quaalude rock dose from The Instant Automatons. Basically decades worth of prime digging research distilled in 2 slabs of (slightly crappy quality) wax.
From LSD’s own tongue: “What is love? we had away once then we lost it. So Russ told us we got to find it and Yazz said it was up but Elvis said it was down. The West went out and Harrods went in if only Essex could have shown us before Sid bloody murdered it. No matter. At Light Sounds Dark we like ours with Kurds anyway. Unequivocal love, 100% pure love love on top of love.. its hard.”
Polish legend Aldona Orłowska breaks out with a mental platter of Euro House exclusively intended for play on Yachts and in Opera houses. Includes a hidden locked groove...
“These songs were not born in the club, nor were they written by producers' algorithms. So where did these hits come from? Maybe from poolside changing rooms (Aldona Orłowska is the Polish champion in butterfly style swimming)? Or maybe from opera singing lessons with Professor Olga Olgina, the melodist born at the beginning of the 20th century in Tsarist Russia? She feels as good in performing on yachts as in beautiful churches. Aldona marries the virtues of an opera singer and a disco star. She creates together with her husband, an outstanding instrumentalist and unconventional producer. They don't care about trends, they go where the music is. For a quarter of a century they've been splitting their lives between Malmö and Mallorca, Swedish piano houses and beaches. Aldona Orłowska. WOW! VINYL RECORD INCLUDES A SPECIAL HIDDEN LOCKED GROOVE”
Belgian wave archivists Walhalla Records rustle up A Compilation of Belgian Cold Wave and Post punk 79-86, featuring cherry-picked numbers by the foundational pioneers and architects of that widely influential sound such as Siglo XX. Compiled by Lieven De Ridder.
We spy under-the-radar highlights of the era in Secret Life’s skinny, primitivist post punk lament Passing Day, on Vibe’s PiL-like Clinical Death, and the melancholy jangle of No Conversation Between People by Nausea.
Rolling, bass-fuelled minimal house layered with soft trance inflections on Mirrors, backed with the Plastikman-style acid bass and cirrus synth lead of Broken Mirror, and its Tin Man-like acidic reduction
Broken Mirror (Wa Wu We Reflection).
By no means a release of new or current Don Caballero material (and originally released in 1999), ‘SinglesBreaking Up (Vol. 1)’ offers quite a range of the band’s history to appreciate.
"The oldest recordings found here were recorded in a ½” 8 track studio by Lee Hollihan of Valencia, PA (the original ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ man) for only $25 an hour. The next batch were recorded by Steve Albini in his once homestudio and were a part of the For Respect sessions. Program 10 was also recorded in this same studio by colleague engineer Bob Weston.• Program 11 was recorded in Detroit by engineer Al Sutton and was a part of the sessions for ‘Don Caballero 2’. Lastly, programs 12-13 were recorded again by Steve Albini in the B room portion of this Chicago studio Electrical Audio. simply this: 7” phonograph singles breaking up, in the kindof setting of giving Abby Road back to the people.
With the exception of programs 12-13, these songs were recorded in the early part of the 1990s. The intention was not to release them in this form, if at all but to give therecord company a rough idea of the songs Don Cab at the time. The ‘punky’ songs were written with the sole intention of obtaining a record contract. It seemed at the time that contracts flowed like water for this kind of music. did, eventually, manage to sign a deal with Touch and Go. It is interesting to see how some of these songs, or parts of them, developed into others that have become wellknown."
Alessandro Cortini returned to his Make Noise Shared System modular synthesizer last summer, to create two variations of a patch that could be described as “…a gorgeous sunrise over a decimated landscape…”
Using the same Make Noise Shared modular synth patch developed on 2013’s ACMN 1 & 2 release, and also explored by Richard Devine and Keith Fullerton Whitman, the NIN synthesist wrests two sprawling, coruscating sound images which smudge and oil across the mind’s eye with a late-night, psilocybic sci-fi quality that’s key to all his solo work.
With Quest he follows elliptical, arcing contours from root drone to sky scraping harmonic blooms in its 11 minute duration, before isolating and feathering out one of its plumes into the B-side’s more brooding agenda, again slowly building from tentative starts to really sink its flags in by the apex and leave us drained and bleeding, roadside in the inky blacknuss of nighttime LA.
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.
Proper dancing gear from the trustworthy DJ Qu, following up the Afro-Cuban black magick of his Conjure album with lip-bitingly kinky rhythms in No Poetry
Including the squashed harmonic brilliance and sloshing dreams of the title cut, then the the crazed sub-bass pressure of Brut, some mesmerising voodoo on In Trance, and, best of all, really letting fly with the drums in a style reminding of DJ Python or DJ Osom, but tuffer, deadlier on Seespotrun.
Seriously, all fassy house blokes making turgid, pedestrian, shabby chic 4/4 house and techno need to take note and learn how to loosen up like this guy. Your dancers will thank you for it.
First-ever fully licensed compilation of this music to be released outside Japan.
"There was something in the air in the urban corners of late ‘60s Japan. Student protests and a rising youth culture gave way to the angura (short for “underground) movement that thrived on subverting traditions of the post-war years. Rejection of the Beatlemania-inspired Group Sounds and the squeaky clean College Folk movements led the rise of what came to be known in Japan as “New Music,” where authenticity mattered more than replicating the sounds of their idols.
Some of the most influential figures in Japanese pop music emerged from this vital period, yet very little of their work has ever been released or heard outside of Japan, until now. Light In The Attic is thrilled to present Even a Tree Can Shed Tears, the inaugural release in the label’s Japan Archival Series. This is the first-ever, fully licensed collection of essential Japanese folk and rock songs from the peak years of the angura movement to reach Western audiences.
In mid-to-late 1960s Tokyo, young musicians and college students were drawn to Shibuya’s Dogenzaka district for the jazz and rock kissas, or cafes, that dotted its winding hilly streets. Some of these spaces doubled as performance venues, providing a stage for local regulars like Hachimitsu Pie with their The Band-like ragged Americana, Tetsuo Saito with his spacey philosophical folk, and the influential Happy End, who successfully married the unique cadences of the Japanese language to the rhythms of the American West Coast. For many years Dogenzaka remained a center of the city’s “New Music” scene.
Meanwhile a different kind of music subculture was beginning to emerge in the Kansai region around Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. Far more political than their eastern counterparts, many of the Kansai-based “underground” artists began in the realm of protest folk music. They include Takashi Nishioka and his progressive folk collective Itsutsu No Akai Fuusen, the “Japanese Joni Mitchell” Sachiko Kanenobu, and The Dylan II, whose members ran The Dylan cafe in Osaka, which became a hub for the scene.
Even a Tree Can Shed Tears also includes the bluesy avant-garde stylings of Maki Asakawa, future Sadistic Mika Band founder Kazuhiko Kato with his fuzzy, progressive psychedelia, the beatnik acid folk of Masato Minami, and the intimate living room folk of Kenji Endo.
Nearly 50 years on, this “New Music” is born anew."
Diverse batch of deep, blue house styles by new name, Jorge C, on Wouda’s Dopeness Galore.
Check for highlights in the more off-kilter, percolated jazz percussion and pensile chords in En Esíritu, and the slippery, acrid garage soul vibes of Dando Notas.