'The Winds Rise in the North' is a colossal, trance-inducing, yet largely overlooked pillar of 20th century American minimalism.
Regarded no less than a "holy grail" by Keith Fullerton Whitman, it spans 100 minutes of atonal, amorphous string composition scored in four parts for a quintet, here performed by Linda Cummiskey (Violin), Malcolm Goldstein (Violin), Kathy Seplow (Violin), Stephen Reynolds (Viola), David Gibson (Violoncello).
By all accounts Harley Gaber was a colourful fella, a complex American artist, composer and filmmaker who dropped it all not long after release of this 1976 work to become a full time Tennis player and coach. He would return to the arts, and later music, writing soundtracks for his own films before sadly committing suicide in 2011.
'The Winds Rise in the North' is a frighteningly heavy and rewarding master-stroke, giving rise to dense, gripping harmonic overtones which prickle, seduce and get under the skin in a way that few others achieve. Lock the doors, turn off your phone and give yourself two hours with this. You won't regret it.
From behind your ear, PAN pluck a blink-and-miss exclusive: a 35 minute audio response by Mark Fell (Sensate Focus) to source material by Heatsick, somewhere between cover version, remix and deconstruction.
Along the A-side 'X' plane, tones are exploded, harmonies refracted with HD dissonance; time is extruded, made ductile yet intangible. On the B-side 'Y' axis hydraulic undulations and roiling tones expand and contract between kinetic kink and gyroscopic funk with the pointillist, freeform choreography of a Merce Cunningham piece. One for the dancers and the DJs that know!
Steven Warwick aka Heatsick cocks a unique and compelling perspective on contemporary dance music with his bold follow-up to 'Intersex', a gorgeous, layered work that those of you into DJ Sprinkles should check out without delay.
Now woven with leaner dancefloor muscle, the deeply funked views of 'Re-Engineering' are characterised by the artist as a "cybernetic poem". We can take this quite literally in his use of spoken word in pieces such as 'Re-Engineering' with its Chris Morris-esque wordplay, and the alliterative suppositions of 'Speculation', or in more abstract terms on his sound poem, 'Accelerationista', but it's maybe best understood as the artist taking license to dissect and distill the world around him. Making reference to the philosophies of Timothy Morton and Manuel DeLanda, his music implies connections between the microcosmic systems of dance music and the liquid ecology of emergent economies, cities, plants, populations and cybernetic feedback. We hear this as a mix of Brazilian samba thru Oasis covers on the U-Bahn to ambiguous field recordings meshed with the sexiest, sinuous house grooves synching spoiled sample textures with oily yet frictional rhythms bent for the corporeal. It's a visceral album that gets under your skin, sparking your bonce, beautifully balancing concept and effect with playful dexterity. We love it and reckon you might, too...
"We would like to point out that this piece is extremely quiet. Please choose the volume setting of your sound system so as to just barely mask the ambient sounds of the room"
Jakob Ullmann: "voice, books and FIRE is the result of my reflections about the relationship between music and language: language as sound and language as text, the numerous relationships between texts of different cultural and religious traditions, between the work of the human spirit in the present and in the past and the questions arising from the problem of understanding these different traditions, languages and texts and representing them in a present, which has lost knowledge about substantial parts, even of its own tradition and history."
In Jakob Ullmann's 2nd release through Editions RZ, solemn, practically whispered incantations and creaking extended vocal technique of eight singers play in half-lit, wide open mid-air against the phosphorescing resonance of viola, violoncello, saxophone and flute. Recorded 1st July, in the Abteikirche Neresheim. Recommended
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.
New York-based percussionist and sound artist Eli Keszler dropped jaws last year with his unstoppable one-two punch of the ‘Red Horse’ LP on Type and ‘Cold Pin’ on PAN. Admittedly this was the first most listeners had heard from him, but new devotees were quick to fall over each other to grab anything else Keszler had put his name to, so it’s a fan service from PAN that they’ve put together this bumper double CD that collects up all the disparate pieces of the Cold Pin recordings.
The original installation was set up in Boston’s cavernous Cyclorama gallery, and finds Keszler stretching gigantic strings across the walls and letting small motorized hammers ‘play’ them at random intervals. Accompanied by a group of similarly outré minds (Geoff Mullen, Greg Kelley, Reuben Son and wife Ashley Paul) the musicians played to the randomized booming strings, and now, unlike the studio recordings we heard on the previously released LP we can hear the piece in full unedited form, together with the gigantic reverb of the room itself.
Probably the most stunning addition to the original pieces though is Keszler’s recordings of the Cold Pin exhibit he set up in Shriveport Louisiana, where the strings were stretched across two large empty water purification basins. You probably have an idea of how that might sound, but needless to say Thomas Koner’s peerless ‘Permafrost’ might be a good place to start. Elsewhere we’re treated to a full ensemble recording (with the Providence string quartet), which reframes the piece as a defiantly modern re-imagining of Ligeti – dissonant, disconcerting and gruesomely eerie. Even if you’ve already bagged the LP you won’t want to miss out on ‘Catching Net’, it’s yet more proof that at only 28 years old Eli Keszler is already one of the most important voices in the experimental music scene right now. Highly recommended.
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…
Lee Gamble jacks directly into a latent stream of electronic wonder with his dream-like 'Koch' opus for PAN.
Running to 76 minutes over 16 tracks, it's Gamble's most substantial and arguably definitive work, following the beautifully effective 'Diversions 1994-1996' and 'Dutch Tvashar Plumes' releases for PAN in 2012. Where those records deconstructed the elusive, enigmatic timbre of '90s electronic dance music - jungle, techno, ambient - 'Koch' (pron. 'Cotch' - UK slang for relax) is a sort of 'Pataphysical reflection and projection of what lies beyond; a symbolic, imaginary solution to what could be perceived as a dearth of "soul" in modern electronic dance music, searching for a feeling that's all too often forgotten in current styles. And quite crucially, 'Koch' provides considered answers from a singular, if ever-shifting perspective, at once uncannily detached yet incredibly intimate, with the acute ability to recalibrate the mind's lense between abstract dimensions.
To pick individual tracks apart would be beside the point. The album works as a wormhole, or perhaps how we've come to imagine what a wormhole is from VR representations in movies, TV, and computer games - seeming to dissolve us between first and third person narratives, club and home listening environments, and the fleeting waves of emotion (narcotised or not) which perfuse and colour the hallucinatory spaces between. It's a very timely reminder of electronic music's efficacy in expressing the alien and a contemporary "otherness", and comes with a huge recommendation for immersive heads and dancefloor freaks alike.
Faith In Strangers’ was written and produced between January 2013 and June 2014, and was edited and sequenced in late July this year. Making use of on an array of instruments, field recordings, found sounds and vocal treatments, it’s a largely analogue variant of hi-tech production styles arcing from the dissonant to the sublime.
The first two tracks recorded during these early sessions bookend the release, the opener ‘Time Away’ featuring Euphonium played by Kim Holly Thorpe and last track ‘Missing’ a contribution by Stott’s occasional vocal collaborator Alison Skidmore who also appeared on 2012’s ‘Luxury Problems’. Between these two points ‘Faith In Strangers’ heads off from the sparse and infected ‘Violence’ to the broken, downcast pop of ‘On Oath’ and the motorik, driving melancholy of ‘Science & Industry’ - three vocal tracks built around that angular production style that imbues proceedings with both a pioneering spirit and a resonating sense of familiarity.
Things take a sharp turn with ‘No Surrender’- a sparkling analogue jam making way for a tough, smudged rhythmic assault, while ‘How It Was’ refracts sweaty Warehouse signatures and ‘Damage’ finds the sweet spot between RZA’s classic ‘Ghost Dog’ and Terror Danjah at his most brutal. ‘Faith in Strangers’ is next and offers perhaps the most beautiful and open track here, its vocal hook and chiming melody bound to the rest of the album via the almost inaudible hum of Stott’s mixing desk. It provides a haze of warmth and nostalgia that ties the nine loose joints that make up the LP into the most memorable and oddly cohesive of Stott’s career to date, built and rendered in the spirit of those rare albums that straddle innovation and tradition through darkness and light.
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.
Vincent Koreman indulges a Drexciyan fantasy with H-World: Adapted Gills under his Drvg Cvltvre guise
Embarking with the slow subaquatic descent of Adapted Gills part 1, synthesising strange deep sea creatures and motifs in Adapted Gilsl part 2, and getting his Stinson funk on with Subatomic Metropolis, and some ace slow-fast pressure in The Enewetak Experiment.
Dark Matters give STL room to roam free with two durational house and dub pieces plus a contemplative downbeat.
In temporal declension, he starts out widescreen and gaseous for the first half of No More Words, all clogged filter fuzz and melted subs, before loping on the offbeat in his typical dub-house swagger for the 2nd half. Maybe too deep for the club but canny at home?
On Smooth Selector he equally takes all the time needs for ten minutes of lagging bass bumps and claggy atmospheres recalling one of Rhythm & Sound’s slow-motion specials, before NWAQ-style keys and twinkle out of the mix along with chords that place it closer to Moritz Von Oswald and Juan Atkins’ Borderland output, and he lets the sediment/sentiments settle in the Detroit hip hop downstroke of Out Of The One.
Always got time for this guy and sound.
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.
Wet, socking techno trample from Stockholm’s Shxcxchcxsh
Pushing off their Rösten label with four idiosyncratic sound designs ranging from the weathered grain of Stämma #1, to the alien synth voices communicating thru the fog of Stämma #2 and Stämma #3, and more distended, blown-out structures in Stämma #4.
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.
Vivienne is the artist name of Evelyn Privitera. A first year student at Goldsmiths, studying fine art, Evelyn started writing this album when he was just seventeen. Stud is Vivienne’s debut release, signed after meeting at an Objects Limited workshop when he started sending songs to the label.
"‘Stud' is a mixture of acoustic singer -songwriting and electronic textures that are held together with Vivienne’s mixture of soft, feminine and punk vocals. Its topics range from self-reflection to playful angst with a lo-fi feel throughout. Lyrics are based on the complex emotions of a person finding out about their sexuality and identity. As Vivienne himself explains “Stud is emotional longing and apathy and hatred disgustingly writhing alongside a sexuality that relies entirely on traumatic experience and feeds on dangerous situations and bodily functions.”
Karin Dreijer’s Fever Ray returns with the first release in 8 years since the celebrated self titled debut in 2009. She now tweaks the formula while retaining the enigmatic air of ‘80s synth-pop at the project’s core, redressed with rhythms better related to the modern Afro-Latin diaspora and underground fetish clubs, thanks to co-production by Príncipe’s NÍDIA, Peder Mannerfelt, Paula Temple, and Deena Abdelwahed.
Where Fever Ray was blue and black, achingly gothic, Plunge is ultraviolet and lusting, with Karin Dreijer aka Fever Ray poised like some gynoid harpy, enunciating her uniquely seductive, stressed and clipped syllables in a spectrum of screeches, naif sing-song, autotuned turns-of-phrase and etheric flights, all matched by equally piquant, urgent synthetic backdrops.
Highlights are myriad, striking from the front with evil, EVOL-esque synths wrapped to a industrialised dembow swang on Wanna Sip, and floating a superb blend of Errorsmith-like squeaks with railing reggaeton snares and a deliciously bittersweet duet with Tami T in A Part Of Us, whilst the NÍDIA-produced zinger IDK About You is surely primed for widespread dancefloor aktion, and the syncopation of giddy arpeggios and dancehall-meets-EBM drum programming in To The Moon And Back underline a piece of modern pop perfection.
There’s maybe one dud, when the folk strings spoil Red Trails, but ultimately this is a hugely satisfying listen, and a dead welcome return form one of this century’s most innovative pop stars.
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.”
Kjetil André Mulelid – piano Bjørn Marius Hegge - double bass Andreas Skår Winther – drums
"Following in the footsteps of In The Country and Espen Eriksen Trio, Kjetil Mulelid Trio is the third piano trio to appear on Rune Grammofon. Although they can be placed in the same musical landscape, it´s also fair to say there are certain obvious differences. There´s a solid dose of youthful playfulness and curiosity at work here, at the same time they show an assured maturity that belies their age (26, 26 and 29).
The music is based on compositions by pianist Mulelid - inspired by everything from psalms to free jazz - but there is also room for collective improvisation. It can be energetic, rhythmically complex and harmonically rich, but also intimate and with a beautiful melody. They work purely with acoustic sounds and timbres and are constantly reaching for new ways to express themselves within these frames."
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.
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.
Farväl Falkenberg is an album by Erik Enocksson and a soundtrack to the movie of the same name. It is 10 years old this year and in celebration of that Posh Isolation is rereleasing it in a remastered version with new artwork, giving it its first widespread LP release to date.
"When Farväl Falkenberg was originally released, the record label responsible, Kning Disk, wrote in their press release “— having not only created a lush record full of thick, backcountry piano and raw, acoustic guitar waltzes, Enocksson has more importantly produced an album that effortlessly translates the feeling of isolation (both geographically and emotionally) in an intensely personal way you don’t often come across.” With such a statement it seems only natural that now 10 years later it should find a new home via Posh Isolation. “It is hard to overstate the importance Erik Enocksson’s work in relation to the discography of Posh Isolation.
Years before we met, his release “Apan” completely changed how I thought of music. Something similar happened when i later heard Farväl Falkenberg for the first time. I was in a car going from Prague to Berlin sitting on the backseat, the person next to me had tears down her cheeks in the middle of the first song, by the end of the record the whole car was silent and remained so for the rest of the drive. It is rare to witness music with such effect and it is not often that a record could have that effect still, ten years after its initial release. I think Farväl Falkenberg can. The work of Erik Enocksson has been an inspiration since the first time i heard it and i imagine it always will be. It is in honour to be able to present this work again now on its 10th year. -Loke RahbekAsking Enocksson about the record and what to say of it he said; “When I turned twelve my dad took me out back to fire a shotgun for the first time”
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.
Retrospektiv is a full spectrum exhibition of Thomas Brinkmann’s contributions to techno and experimental electronics over the last 20 odd years.
From slamming, full throttle bangers to off-kilter dancehall and downtempo trips with vocalists, all unified by principle of dub minimalism, it’s a perfect entry point for anyone intrigued by one of Germany’s most distinctive techno exports as well as a strong refresher for anyone who’s been aware of his work over the years, especially so in smarts such as the raging noise techno assault Livelong, the robotic ragga experiment 2 Suns, and party-ready house steppers such as What You’re Doin or the breezy Margins.
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!
Robert Haigh, who is perhaps better known as D&B legend Omni Trio, reprises the solemn, autumnal contemporary classical styles heard on his V-O-D retrospective and early releases for NWW’s United Dairies, this time in the esteemed comapny of Laurie Spiegel, Carl Stone, Lubomyr Melnyk on Unseen Worlds
“A new album of piano driven ambient music from British composer Robert Haigh. Following in the path of his albums for the Japanese Siren label, Creatures of the Deep is an underground vantage of a meeting between the musical worlds of Harold Budd and Erik Satie. With a storied musical career that has ranged widely in style — from his industrial-avant-garde works on Nurse With Wound’s United Diaries label as SEMA to his legendary ambient drum and bass records as Omni Trio on Moving Shadow — Robert Haigh's work occupies a space between music and mystery.
With Creatures of the Deep, Haigh is at the peak of his powers. Among noir, minimal, neo-classical landscapes are robust scatterings of bright reflection and a musical expression that is subtle and elusive yet uniquely Haigh’s in its voice and masterful execution. The closer we examine, the more is revealed, and the less is defined.”
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.
Tessela revisits his finest moment on a chopped up, techno-steeled Hackney Parrot (10_Ton_Mix) backed with the filter-house/‘ardcore hybrid of Headland.
With the Hackney Parrot mix he comes off like an old skool producer returning to one of his ’92 productions in ’93, re-armed with whatever new software was then made available for a more rolling, teched-out revision, simultaneously demonstrating the rush of innovative progression back then, and how much it’s slowed down in the last 20 years.
Headland is more a smart exercise in anachronism, retrofitting filter house with rolling jungle tekno like a Roulé track trapped in a timewarp.
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.
Dub specialists SKRS Intl. rinse out Red Snapper’s mid-‘90s coffee table classic Prince Blimey in wicked style, meting out nearly 40 minutes of re-chopped jazz funk breaks and hacked loops that sound far wilder, restlessly gripping than the original record ever did.
A strong look for anyone who got snagged by SKRS’ immense series of mixtapes and original material for Bokeh versions, etc over the recent years.
L-Vis 1990 marks 33 years on earth with 12 Thousand Nights, a sort of mixtape saga giving form to his current explorations of R&B, hip hop dancehall and pop, cut specifically for the vocal indentities of Flohio & Cassive, Gaika, Tali Whoah, Mista Silva and many more.
The icy UK drill of Yeah Yeah is a big highlight, providing a cold platform for London’s Flohio & Cassive, while the glinting Afrobeats bling of 121 shows off his sweetie side, suitably blessed with vox by Mista Silva, who’s previously linked with J Hus and Gaika, as he also does on the chromed out R&B splash of Sunlight, whilst some of the sharpest production pinches come from L-Vis’ collaboration with Sinjin Hawke on Cake, and likewise in the rude-af Buck with NA (Nguzunguzu) and Tiko Texa$.
In his element on the album format, The Cyclist swirls myriad vintage dance tropes with rootsy signposts and x-amounta fuzz in the mix
“Having given us a taster of things to come back in September 2016 with the 'Pressing Matters' single, The Cyclist returns to Hypercolour with a brand new, full length album. As the title suggests, 'Sapa Inca Delirium' leans heavily on South American mysticism, not just musically, but in the visual imagery that the eleven-track album paints so well across its various tempos and rhythms. From the tropical burst of mood setting opener, 'Go Back' to the steamy and pacey percussive flow of 'Inhale/Exhale' which features regular collaborator Tanaya Harper on vocals, The Cyclist's fourth long player is crammed full of intriguing atmospheres and soundscapes.
'Antiexist', with its down-tempo rolling snare fills and ethereal Gregorian chanting segues effortlessly into 'A Blind Girl Drinks Ayawaska', a suitably discordant and hallucinogenic skit that ensures the album flows into the more rhythmic cuts like 'Skateboarding In The Jungle' and 'Mirrors' (the second album cut to feature Harper on vocals). Even the traditional jazzier vibes of 'When We All Break Down' featuring Joni are kept rugged and boisterous, with heavyweight bending bass, choppy breakbeats and FX'd ambience amongst the smooth jazzy chords and sweet vocal delivery. 'Sapa Inca Delirium' is one of those albums that will reward on repeat listen, such is the diversity of style on show here, and the detailed and wide eyed curiosity offered up across the long player's fifty three minutes.”
Fanfare, please, for the first release from the funniest programme on UK TV right now; People Just Do Nothing’s Kurupt FM and Suttin Like That, transmitted direct from the slums of Brentford.
Sounding like a pastiche of Wiley’s Wot Do U Call It from an also-ran Channel U act, Suttin Like That is the debut calling card from MC Grindah, DJ Beats, Steves and Decoy. We were hoping for guest bars from Craig, but the Grindah/Beats one-two “Is It House Music / Nuttin Like That” will do for us.
The Mecanocentric Worlds of Pierre Bastien documents a bewildering duet between the peerless, eccentric French instrument builder and one of his creations, ‘The Mecanium’, recorded live at Studio M - the historic studio-concert hall of Radio-Television of Vojvodina, Serbia.
Bastien plays kundi, rubber band, prepared trumpet, video loops, nail violin and râbab, while the Mecanium - an ensemble of musical automatons constructed from meccano parts and activated by electro-motors - ‘plays’ amplified meccano parts, drums, reeds, rubber bands, paper, nails and flutes.
The results sound like the future when machines have taken over and start getting all nostalgic for their human ancestors/programmers by imitating tribal rituals and free jazz performances while sipping battery fuel from reclaimed jam jars.
3rd album from Om Unit, maturing his signature blend of jungle, hip hop and brooding bass to incorporate vocals by Rider Shafique, DRS and Amos...
“Since Jim Coles took on the mantle of Om Unit, the English producer has sought to challenge himself and his audience by going beyond the confines of genres and styles he has so far explored. In the process he has found success by striving for more feeling, for a more human and daring electronic music. This journey continues with 'Self', Coles' third album as Om Unit and a true follow-up to his 2013 debut 'Threads'.
'Self' captures Coles in a period of growth, change, and experimentation. Inspired by personal psychological and emotional healing work, and a vision of the self as an egg — which Coles later on discovered is a Jungian archetype — the album blends dubwise, bass-heavy music with the space of experimental ambient compositions and the daring imagination of a cold wave science fiction soundtrack.
The first Om Unit album on Coles' own Cosmic Bridge label, 'Self' offers new forms amid familiar touches. Stripping away what people might expect, Coles deconstructed and reimagined his work so far as a challenge to himself and, in turn, to his fans.”
Weightless, diaphanous synthscapes and abstracted techno from the Posh Isolation cabal
“Much needed reissue of 'Brazil,' a collaborative work by three spearheads of Scandinavian electronic music today. The original edition was presented in a limited run of four cassettes, boxed and with an accompanying book. This timely reissue comes as a remastered double LP set and digital release, inviting a new set of listeners to the work.
Four sides of uniquely textured summer ambience, industrial rhythms, synthesizer pieces, and piano works, complete 'Brazil.' The luxuriant melodic drones of Loke Rahbek’s Hvide Sejl project converge with the percussive work of Varg and the largely acoustic work of Frederik Valentin of Kyo, producing a fragile beauty.
There is a sense of narrative to 'Brazil.' The work cryptically leads us through a small collection of moving panoramas. Keeping its distance, the storyline remains perpetually obscured. Like a crime unsolved, or a nameless love letter, as greater detail comes into focus the intrigue blooms. A multifaceted affair for multifaceted affairs.
"Things were somehow so good that they were in danger of becoming very bad because what is fully mature is very close to rotting."
Aleksi Perälä (Ovuca) puts the Colundi sequence to work on a batch of floating techno tracks for the Clone Basement Series
Generating some fine results with the squelchy electro of NLL561606935, a rugged acid pressure bomb called NLL561606936, and the uniquely resonant tang of NLL561606938.
Firecracker’s sister label, Unthank, embraces a “micro-cosmic opera” from Italian producer Raffaele Arcella a.k.a. Whodamanny, the Early Sounds Recordings affiliate and capo of Periodica Records.
Not gonna lie, we could spot an Italian electronic vibe from the first ambient section iris Primum and certainly in the pulsating disco track indigo Auctoritas that follows, and all before we’d clocked his name. Not sure what that says apart from an assurance of high quality electronics recalling the innovations of legendary Italian library producers and reams of go-to studio heads.
The rest follows in suit, conjuring giddy library style animations in the playfully wigged-out Crystal Aestus, and a spot of tropical synthesis with Iris Secundum, saving the cosmic canter of Wise Glaciem and natty Alessandro Novaga/Jamal Moss/Faces Drums flex on Neuter Gyrum.
Capel Celyn is Bibio’s bittersweet, improvised synth meditation on the eponymous Welsh village, which was flooded in the ‘60s to provide a reservoir for industry in Liverpool and The Wirral.
It’s one of the loveliest pieces we’ve heard by Bibio. He should release this sort of thing more often.