Another collection of handpicked, anonymous and mostly impossible to ID archival treasures selected and compied by Light Sounds Dark.
This one wades through Radiophonic detritus via some derelict industrial wastelands and what sounds like cybepunk electro played on cardboard boxes. Later on, Ambient transitions steer us deeper into a darkened space where 4th world tribalism and pagan rituals spool themselves to tape at some point over the last 50 years. Good luck shazzaming this lot...
“November 2016, 10 years of OTPMD. Vincent Bertholet, still resolute, finally realises his old dream of a ‘real’ orchestra. And thus was born the project to expand the known horizon. The orchestra became XXL by assembling accomplices from the first hour, who had never really disappeared from view, and an English string section met along the way.
From now on, they will be 14 on stage. An anniversary tour, prestigious stages and makeshift squats, unrestrained agitation as in the first days, and a larger chorus, more percussive than ever. The multi-headed Hydra gives voice in concert and the frail stages that host it groan under its weight. Nevertheless, it is in the studio that the foundation of a new adventure is forged. Back to England, in the imposing and magnificent building that houses Real World Studios. After Rotorotor (2014), John Parish is again at the controls.
It’s called Sauvage Formes, a shrewd title, because everything here is as geometric as it is organic. The incisive rhythms, doubled in XXL, trademark of the pack, mingle with the unusually melancholy brass. The guitar riffs express themselves in minimalistic cascades, and since the number of strings has tripled, they allowt hemselves the luxury of entwining with each other, like a carnal embrace without epilogue. The voices, more numerous than usual, recite, chant, lead the dance and poeticise, sometimes in French, sometimes in English, and, in the same spirit, the chorus takes the opportunity to shape the pediment of hymns to elsewhere.
Non crossing these 8 songs as beautiful as they are adventurous, it seems to be a story of a voyage, a torn logbook. On the horizon however, neither boat, nor rickety plane, neither map nor compass. Is it because the continent that is mentioned in these texts and melodies is not a known place, but rather a dream world, a land of asylum for rebels and the insubordinate, for the daring and the benevolent?
The fourth Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp album is like a road, a purpose, an ideal of shared and shareable lives. And the writing of this music is like the defences of an imaginary seafront, like an act witnessing an intertwined destiny, an extraordinary adventure. The story of a chamberless orchestra, a sensitive battalion of unlimited generosity, a wild form that never needed a master to tame its imagination and determination.”
KIller shots of spiky rock with Algerian style, Arabic vocals and tight traces of reggae, dug out from France ’77 and delivered in 2018 by Geneva’s Bongo Joe
“The 45s series goes on and presents for the first time music from the past. This fifth single focus on legendary algerian kabyle rock band Abranis founded in 1967. The band pioneered the fusion of chaabi (traditional) music with 60s-70s western rock, proudly singing in their own berber kabyle language while wearing hippy rockers outfits. Their shows - in deeply influenced by Pan-Arabism conservative Algeria - where often cancelled by governors and the band once was arrested by the police, generating riots. The band kept on playing and recording until mid 90s. This 45t presents two majors tracks from the band:
A Side: Chenar Le Blues released in 1977 have been a big hit on algerian national radio. The band response to The Doors.
B Side: Avehri released in 1983 shows the band’s obsession to merge different music styles with the North African traditional airs. This one goes strangely reggae.”
Acre presents a new digestion of technologically advanced cyber-grime on the ‘Hollow Body’ album, a ten track answer to the age old question “when will the robot kill me?”.
"Earlier music on Tectonic, Codes and Brainmath has solidified Acre’s music as a station of future ready bass music. This issue through Opal Tapes, takes the trans-humanist art of Stelarc, the rattling of kinetic sculptures and reductions of the grime sound palette into new direction entirely. Collectively ‘Hollow Body’ is both a warmer and more fleshed out face to Acre’s work while also taking the statuesque sound design and bone shaking bass of his productions into new spaces.
Opening track ‘Trial 6’ degenerates into error and computer pollution before huge sheets of brightly resonating plastic synth sail off like Steve Roach playing the most ambient of Eski-beat in some unknown void. Signatures of error and failed translation continue in ‘Android’, a signal sent to re-awaken an earlier version of your metal self. ‘Suicide Drone’ plays with sample-rate in a kaleidoscope of broken glass and blast a part-gabber, part-industrial jack hammer into your head. ‘Glow’ and ‘Direct Registering’ close out the first side with a Chain Reaction-esque procession of flickering zero points, stubbed out chords and fluttering visions recalling the plastic bins behind the call centre.
Something beings to unspool as b-side opens with ‘Hollow Body’, sub-wobbles under lay a stumbling loop of disembodied voice. Guns are out for ‘DNT’ as the metal body which was earlier awoken, dresses and arms itself. All the forward momentum of bass music is inverted into a lumbering swagger replete with cyborg horn. ‘Taking Over’ offers a soft relief of aliasing tones clashing into each other like fucking modems before ‘Second Escape’ stokes the fire once again in an obliterating crush of noise percussions and jewel like synths. Closing track ‘External’ is the desert, the dust of the universe. After the earlier crush everything has to settle and fall back down.”
Boy Harsher’s début LP Yr Body Is Nothing is one of the strongest admissions to the recent wave of EBM and darkwave influenced synth-pop. This is a new edition pressing, following self-released version and a DKA Records release.
Revolving around cinema fiends Augustus Muller and Jae Matthews, Boy Harsher really came into their own on first album Yr Body Is Nothing , which paved the way for the Country Girl EP which landed to resounding cult acclaim on Ascetic House in 2017.
On Yr Body Is Nothing they work the barest essentials into slick (but not too slick) songs specially balanced with a classic mix of dancefloor pressure and emotive pathos, generating strong club potential in the grim burn of Suitor, the tight swerve of Morphine, and the pneumatic strut of Deep Well, but it works even better as an album end to end.
There are two previous The Best Of Fra Lippo Lippi releases on CD (1995 and 2003), but this is the first on vinyl.
"Only having limited playing time on vinyl, we had to make some tough decisions, but in the end the song selection very much gave itself. The dark horse here is "Stitches and Burns", an overlooked gem of a song from the final studio album "Dreams" that didn´t make the previous 15 track collection, but has in mysterious ways gained new life through organic streaming, with over 20 million YouTube views. Included is also "Angel" featuring the late, great Walter Becker on guitar and production duties."
New full-length from the New York City-based art pop ensemble Erica Eso.
"Operating within a radical conceptual framework, but channeled through the voice of modern pop music, Erica Eso bridges aesthetic and musical gesture in a way that could only be found in our contemporary post-everything information age. While the band's 2015 debut album '2019' had a more "bedroom pop" essence in its recording and execution, '129 Dreamless GMG' refines, expands, and evolves the Erica Eso sound from home studio experimentation to a full-fledged band format, with live drums (Rhonda Lowry), bass (Nathanial Morgan), back-up vocals (Ellen O, Angelica Bess), and collaboration more central to the arrangements. Under the leadership and compositional vision of Weston Minissali (Cloud Becomes Your Hand; VaVatican), Erica Eso delivers the newness of microtonality fused with enough melody and harmony to satisfy the ears of listeners from all different inclinations."
Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles presents his new album ‘Persona’.
"Recorded at his studio in south-east London, ‘Persona’ benefits from Ryan’s exploration of a dynamic production process that combines analogue-heavy synthesisers, acoustic and electric instruments with a shoegaze-level obsession with effect pedals. A greater depth of emotion and confidence can be heard across the album. From the deconstructed movements on ‘Unfolding’ that starts the album with a snap of delayed snares, the apocalyptic drones of the title track and thundering drums in ‘Phantom Grip’ to more restrained ambient feels of ‘Dreamer’s Wake’, ‘Rest’ and ‘Untravel’.
The latter transverses six beatless minutes of undulating melodies representing “a limbo space, a feeling of ennui, of not really ever being known to others and others not ever really being known to you”. ‘Be Kind’ reveals a musical connection with fellow Erased Tapes artist Nils Frahm, with its minimal approach and improvisational nature. On the more complex sounding ‘I Think So’ Ryan aims to replicate a colour collage with sound. Like a musical kaleidoscope, a flashing and convoluted mass. Written after he saw Slowdive perform live last year, ‘Hidden’ builds from whispers to landscapes of controlled noise. In an interview with XLR8R magazine, Ryan explains: “once you start trying to make a sound loud, then you turn your back on thousands and thousands of sonic possibilities. One of the best things to do is to start a track with a really quiet, weak sound.” T
aking this idea to its ultimate conclusion, ‘Fragment’ closes the album as an innocent sounding ambient piece, almost nursery rhyme like, yielding time for reflection on how the persona has changed. ‘Persona’ follows the success of a series of releases — the ‘Odyssey’ and ‘Sonne’ EPs, long player ‘Howl’, and 2016’s mini album ‘Night Melody’ — that saw Ryan mature into what Pitchfork has called a “forward-thinking electronic musician with his own ideas about sound”. Atypical of instrumental-electronic music, Ryan has achieved a signature sound that’s unmistakably identifiable as Rival Consoles. Going beyond typical electronic music production, Ryan defines it as “songwriting with an electronic palette of sounds”.
On its 20th anniversary, the brothers D’Arcangelo’s debut EP of cranky braindance for Rephlex is now remastered and reissued on Canada’s Suction Records to get right in your back teef again.
In a sharp contrast of sweet ’n sour sides, the A-side of D’Arcangelo has lost none of its lustre ‘cos it had none in the first place. The bone-rattling ink of Somewhere In Time, the blistered techno of Ro-hn and obliterated breaks of Skrakt are still jagged and tonally abrasive as ever, and something of a mark in the sand for modern noise techno. On the other hand, the B-side’s trio of Diagram’s are still beautifully bittersweet, sashaying in with the floating choral synths of XI and running wild with he sleepy electro in the head-curdling tang of VII Milk MX, while VII (80’s Mix) rides into the horizon with dusky pads and rubbery-crisp electro push.
After a long gap the legendary British dadaist group Hastings of Malawi have finally released their second album.
"Another musique concrète jewel created with the same peculiar, disjointed, uncommercial and totally original Hastings of Malawi aesthetic. 35 years after the release of their critically acclaimed album Vibrant Stapler Obscures Characteristic Growth the British dadaist group Hastings of Malawi have released a new album - an epic sound poem entitled Visceral Underskinnings.
It is a 40 minute film without light that reflects on the human condition, on modern society, on the nature of telephony and electricity and an attempt to make sense of the world in which we live that provides no answers. It is a sound collage of diverse elements including the voices of George Washington Johnson ('the whistling coon' 1846-1914) and Dr Hastings Banda - the first president of Malawi. It includes randomly generated computer music, voice synthesis, recordings of cold war number stations, American military sound weaponry and recordings of the some of the many sound sculptures produced by Hastings of Malawi over the last 30 years. Hastings of Malawi produce sounds that sit in that grey area where sound art and music meet but they reject both labels and cannot be comfortably placed in either camp. This is not an easy album to listen to but persevere and you may or may not be able to decipher its meaning."
Berlin mainstays, Max Loderbauer (Sun Electric) and Tobias Freund (tobias., Hypnobeat) reprise their exploration of quietly refined electro-acoustic dimensions, variously touching on Satie-esque solo piano works, strung-out desert blues, Lakeland Kirby-like midnight etudes, warbling gamelan-like tones and a spectrum of shadowy integers between them
“A decade has passed since Tobias Freund and Max Loderbauer aka Non Standard Institute (NSI) released their enigmatic collection of ‘non-standards’. Playing with mystery is the name of the game here as well. The new CD, entitled with the code ‘5863′, is the result of collecting creative moments over years and stringing together twenty short pieces that jointly amount to almost an hour of playtime.
Meditative, reflective, introspective, but also occasionally exhilarated… All these descriptions come to mind. But there’s more to the story line which emerges in patient increments as the album unfolds. Music comes mostly in the form of sparse but evocative piano improvisations, layering personal expression and subtle references anchored within the depth of the musicians’ experience. As the cryptic title suggests, the scope of examined experience can be symbolized through dates or years. But what counts for much more here is the sonic narrative itself with all its openness to interpretation. Some of these concise tracks can swiftly transport the listener to iconic harmonies of other musical contexts as they seamlessly relink the piano avant-gardism of Erik Satie with echoes of modern psychedelia and futuristic soundtracks.
As a whole, however, the minimal instrumentalism of NSI is as much about the notes and emotions that punctuate the electronic soundscapes generated by Tobias’ unerring use of studio as it is about the space created between them.”
Basic Channel's Main Street offshoot managed to put together 5 EP's in the space of 6 years, each one a masterpiece in its own right.
Starting with the Chicago House vibes of Round One produced by Ron Trent, and ending up with the whispered dub echoes of Rhythm and Sound w/Tikiman on Round Five.
Put together on one standout collection - perfection guaranteed - and one of the finest collections of music ever to have emerged from Berlin.
Pete Swanson's Freedom To Spend label unearths and dusts off this total killer from Marc Barreca for this handsome, much needed reissue
With 4th world pioneer Marc Barreca’s ace solo debut Twilight now back in circulation thanks to K. Leimer’s Palace Of Lights, Jed Bindeman and Pete Swanson’s promising new label Freedom To Spend present Barreca’s stranger successor album Music Works For Industry (1983) on vinyl for the first time after a necessary issue of Michele Mercure’s Eye Chant oddity.
As opposed to Twilight, which found Barreca working solo with Eno-esque systems-based music, Music Works For Industry finds him taking contributions from members of Seattle’s close-knit community of electronic explorers, and working them - albeit as unrecognisable from the original source - into a series of playfully spiky creations as porous to influence from synth-pop, industrial as ambient music, and sounding much rawer, primitive, skronky and surreal than most else coming from the 4th world nodes at that time.
Rendering the original tape in its entirety - no edits or altered track list - the session slips and slides between cute, almost cartoonish pulses, hooks and voices in Community Life to rudimentary, swampy funk chops in the closer Church and State. What happens in between is akin to the soundtrack for some Canadian TV for schools programme or a series of calisthenic exercises for post-punk and new wave mutants; an assembly of off-grid rhythms and dislocated sounds kerned, smudged and processed to recall a very early iteration of the ‘dances’ from Rashad Becker’s Traditional Music For Notional Species or a colder, distant precedent to the kind of crooked creations coming from Luis Delgado and Eugenio Muñoz’s Mecanica Popular studio.
'London Is The Place For Me 3' is a fantastic collection of African music originally recorded as 78's on the Melodisc label.
The product of Ambrosa Campbell and his West African Rhythm Brothers/Stars, tracks like 'Lagos Mambo' and 'We Have It In Africa' combine a keen jazz aesthetic with gorgeous chiming guitar and Caribbean rhythms. Capable of evoking summer sunshine in slate-grey February, the impact of this music in post-war Britain must have been astonishing - a situation which is vividly documented in the extensive liner notes.
The only authorised reissue of all time classic dub album originally released by Starlight Records on 1981 Now matched with a second disc of original vocal versions...
Includes previously unreleased tracks from Junior Reid and Ranking Dread Roots Radics at Channel One, produced by Linval Thompson and mixed by Scientis. This newly created 2LP combines the classic 1981 album with vocal hits on the same rhythm tracks...
The only authorised reissue of all time classic dub album originally released by Starlight Records on 1982 Now matched with a second disc of original vocal versions...
"Includes previously unreleased tracks from Hell & Fire, Sister Nancy and Papa Tullo Roots Radics at Channel One, produced by Linval Thompson and mixed by Scientist & Prince Jammy New cover art by Tony McDermott
More classic dub sides from Roots Radics band, paired with the vocal versions on the rhythms."
Boy Harsher’s début EP Lesser Man returns for a fresh pressing on Nude Club, who are also behind a new reissue of B.H.’s Yr Body Is Nothing album.
Thanks to an achingly tight blend of rictus grooves and perfectly gaunt vocals, Boy Harsher have steadily caught the attention of listeners worldwide, leading to the dispatch of their resoundingly acclaimed EP with Ascetic House in 2017.
This one packs some proper heat, tracing the pair’s metamorphosis from Teen Dreamz into the Boy Harsher of today thru the gothic darkwave elan of Lust and the infectious canter of Modulations, to the hypnotic engine of Pain, and taking in Hi-NRG zingers such as Run beside the drone descent Crimea, and the sore, sludgy synth-pop romance of Love.
RIYL Tropic of Cancer, Xeno & Oaklander, The Soft Moon
A result of the flowering links between Ugandan music and the UK, the début record by Kampala’s Mubashira Mataali Group showcases an hypnotic style of mataali drum music on Blip Discs.
Four tracks of rolling rhythmelody feature the captivating vocals of musician/filmstar Sulaiman Sulait against backing vocal harmonies, sung and almost rapped in devotion to Islam.
Emaali Ya Bamulekwa (Orphan’s Property) opens their account with a bounce that carries into the percolated patter of Kulika Hijja (Welcome Back From The Holy Pilgrimage), whereas Mutume Nabbi (Prophet Muhammad) holds to a slower, swanging groove with more urgent call-and-response vocals, and, best of all the swingeing Obufumbo Bwa Kati (Today’s Marriage) Pt.1 works out its syncopation hingeing around a tuff bass and entrancing vox.
Listen to it with your body: we’re sure you’ll agree Mubashira Mataali Group’s traction is inexorable.
Tony Allen and Ricardo Villalobos hold down the penultimate instalment of Dekmantel’s 10 Year Anniversary celebrations with two extended reworks of Asiko (In A Silent Way) nipped and tucked for the tech house wigglers and funky minimalists.
The chronic futurhythmelody of Allen’s Afrobeat is faithfully handled by Villalobos, turning in 29 minutes of elastic roil and parry split over two sides and designed to fluidly untangle your limbs in timeless, forwardly intuitive style.
Moscow’s Buttechno reverts to his birth name for this tranced-out doozy on his own RASSVET Records, who previously dispatched his 1984  12”.
Coolly adapting Lorenzo Senni’s PointilisticT tekkers to his own ends, Milyakov riffs on virulent, beatless trance arps in four ways on the front, including one perfect locked groove, while the B-side renders a more ragged and unpredictable rogue rhythm called B A D which obstinately bears practically no stylistic relation to the other tracks.
The trance bits are the big reason you need this one, though. DJs, dancers, trancers and MDMA romancers - your time!
John Tejada returns to Kompakt with his thirteenth full-length, 'Dead Start Program' - an eleven-track journey spanning a prismatic array of styles and patterns, from John's signature soulful techno tunes to the further mazy, hypnotic motifs of his trancey electro hybrids.
"Be it solo or through a host of multifaceted collaborations, Tejada keeps himself busy on all fronts in and off the club environment, be it by contributing the 44th number in Fabric's seminal mix series, playing drums for Detroit legend Daniel Bell (as DBX),testing the limits of acid with Tin Man or joining forces with the hilarious self-proclaimed "disinformationist" Reggie Watts as Wajatta.
Since his beginnings and the drop of his debut 12", 'Waxing', released through his own label Palette Recordings over twenty years ago, John has been carving out a lane of his own - combining and assembling elements from all ends of his wide-spanning spectrum of reference in a way that allows a more direct transition from the realm of the mind to the circuits of the machine, as confirmed by the deliberately limited studio setup used in the making of the present album.
Navigating across the lines, from the arrhythmic machine spook of the album's opener 'Autoseek' via the straight out thumping and jacking pulse of 'Hypochondriac' and heavy-lidded breakbeat of 'Sleep Spindle' onto the kosmische-infused vibrations of 'Telemetry', vibrant slo-mo inertia of 'Loss' and wistful club-ready winds of 'Duty Cycle' and 'Heal', John threads his way through genres and tempos with optimal chameleonic effect.
Cloaked in a beautiful sleeve art courtesy of John's long time friend Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant - another key contributor to the Los Angeles scene worldwide, based upon a picture by Mark Richards, 'Dead Start Program' draws its title from the analog start up program used to boot an old CDC 6600 computer from a dead start and which metaphorically invites in John's own words to figure a "reboot from the challenges life throws at you".
Kings is a 2018 crime drama film directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang). Scoring duties for Kings fall to Nick Cave & Warren Ellis of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds fame.
"In recent years, they have become a force to be reckoned with in the world of soundtracks, thanks to their impressive work on films like Hell or High Water, Wind River, and the National Geographic series Mars. Cave and Ellis, the later a repeat Ergüven collaborator, pull from their rich history in the music world to deliver an unexpected score that immediately transports the listener to a specific place in time – the hot, angry streets of Los Angeles in the summer of 1992"