Heartsick boogie aces from Anthony Naples, poking out his first release of 2016 as a sort of autumnal toddy for chapped dancers and reveries of warmer times.
Leaker swivels out on a slow, shifty electro boogie glyde with a steady core of phasing bass and ticking rimshot smudged by psychoacoustically shifty pads; sounds sorta like a sharpened NWAQ joint.
The sluggish jack of Moments Magicos feels more sore, blue, like one of V/Vm’s saltiest new beat tributes, early trance on 33-not-45, or Pye Corner Audio at their gauziest.
The 5th album from Silver Apples was originally released in 1998 on CD only. A one track album clocking in at over 40 minutes, it features
a sound collage of oscillator noises and sounds with percussion.
At the time it was billed as 'A Voyage of pure exploration beyond the broad established horizons of electronic music.It is an adventure into perceptions of an unparallel universe all it's own'.
Features AAA-rated New Beat and ambient aces inc. P.J. Istes Confocation; Chayell Beach; Mappa Mundi Trance Fusion; Periclis Fly Woman, and many more!
The 3rd and final volume of The Sound Of Belgium collects a farther 66 tracks of pivotal new beat, EBM, industrial techno and house music from Belgium between the early ‘80s and mid ‘90s, including stacks of super rare, fizzy, high percentage dance tracks that would years and a lot of money to track down individually!
It’s great to see a number of real pearls getting the shine they deserve from his set, none more so than P.J. Sites’ Confocoation, which is, to our minds, one of the bets new beats out there, but there’s also precious cargo in the likes of Pericles’ Fly Woman (addictive stuff), Zsa Zsa La Boum’s porto-hardcore acid bomb Tu Veuz Ou Tu Veux Pas, and Chayell’s sublime Beach. Might have been nice if they included the remix version of Zerocks’ You Too, but we’re not holding it against them.
Le Matin poke up from the Moscow underground with a brilliantly freaky session scaling from squirming downbeats to slow house slugs and Detroit electro mutations.
Operating somewhere between the stranger ends of ‘00s Gescom and the asymmetric anachronisms of Novoline, the six track LP and twelve track Download of Destroy The Comfort Zone aren’t as extreme as the title may suggest, but like the collaged cover art implies, it’s more psychedelic, playfully bendy, and prone to elicit hard-to-identify emotions.
Ma Voiysine La Pute gives a wonky start with a grid-melted display of overpronating drums and dub flux recalling aspects of the G.O.D. sound, whereas Experience Regenratrice bunkers down to a proper slow house throb built for the ‘floor, and Russian Drifting comes with taut but impish sort of electro impulse.
De Coeur Ton Battre returns to the melted grid to sound like something from the new Kassem Mosse album, and the murky tilt of MO5 Michel Platini leads into some dead freaky offbeats.
Your peepers do not deceive you (and neither will your ears)! Ten years since he dropped Convextion, Gerard Hanson opens a window on the most gorgeous kosmische techno zones with 2845 for the a.r.t.less department of Berlin’s Mojuba.
With considerable time under the bridge for Hanson to reflect upon his self-titled debut and 20 years of genre-defining productions as Convextion and E.R.P., it feels like he’s really taken stock of his sound and perfectly identified where to take it with 2845; plotting out a luxurious sci-fi cinematic soundfield framed as much by the influence of original German pioneers, Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze or their minimalist, dubby antecedents, Basic Channel, as the celestial jazz-techno of Juan Atkins and James Stinson or the star-eyed AI elan of early Æ and Link.
Arriving to a world currently smitten by Texan synth band S U R V I V E’s nostalgic OST for Stranger Things, and amid excitable chatter of Elon Musk’s trips to Mars, the Houston-based artist’s 2nd album feels uncannily well-timed, or at least timeless in its sense of wide-eyed, innocent wonder at the cosmos and the purest sensations of techno and electronic music in the widest, sweetest sense.
From David A. Hardy’s evocative cover artwork to the sleekly flawless, widely spacious production and the feathered nuance of Hanson’s arrangements, everything is placed with the zen-like touch of a diehard deep techno romantic who won’t sleep until he’s absolutely realised his vision. And it’s fair to say that between the patient, unfolding layers of his 16 minute opening sequence, New Horizon, to the pulsating, heart-quickening tang of Flyby he’s achieved his intention in a way that will last at least another 10 years, if not the 829 until 2845.
"Joining Bonny deep in the mix of ‘Beware’, the roll call of top players includes the band (Josh Abrams, Jennifer Hutt, Emmett Kelly and Michael Zerang) and special guests (Dee Alexander, Leroy Bach, Jim Becker, Robert Cruz, DV DeVincentis, Jon Langford, Greg Leisez, Rob Mazurek, Nicole Mitchell and Azita Youseffi).
‘Beware’ is a much more measured exploration of the soul’s frailty and the sorry state of human relationships than your typical, everyday, bleaked-out, all-and-nothing roots rock platter. Where fiddle and steel contribute their rustic timbre alongside guitars and voices, a thickening thud of low tone rolls beneath, giving the record a bottom that’s funto watch bounce in new clothes."
Reinhold Friedl and Rashad Becker interpret John Cage via a bag of toys, games, objets, garbage, mics and live electronics! Wild in the best way
“ … to consider the Song Books as a work of art is nearly impossible. Who would dare? It resembles a brothel, doesn’t it?” John Cage.
Volume 3 in the PERIHEL series on KARLRECORDS is dedicated to one of the most iconic composers of 20th century: JOHN CAGE. All 92 pieces of the “Song Books” in stunning interpretations by REINHOLD FRIEDL, recorded at RASHAD BECKER’s Clunk Studio who also contributed live electronics.
JOHN CAGE (1912-1992) is one of the most important composers in modern music: with more than 250 compositions, many of which are considered key works of New Music, and theoretical essays on composition he significantly changed the way we think about and perceive music today. But CAGE not only left a major impact in the academic world, he is also cited as an important inspiration by a wide range of diverse musicians from a younger generation, be it electronic producers, experimentalists or noise artists. His “Song Books”, published 1970 in three volumes, is a collection of open works that contains not only songs but a strange hybrid collection of compositions, graphic scores, meditation rules, experimental settings, absurd musical instructions, performance settings, musical references, and Fluxus-inspired actions such as eating fruits or drinking cognac (CAGE loved whiskey and cognac) …
When REINHOLD FRIEDL (director of the ensemble ZEITKRATZER) entered the CLUNK Studio to record the whole cycle with RASHAD BECKER (who handled the feedback cabinet and live electronics), the idea was quite simple: to approach each single piece in an informal way but to do all 92 pieces in the right order. What came out in the end is a kaleidoscopic lecture and interpretation of the compositions with the help of a strange mixture of ancient and modern tools: new electronics, old and special microphones, self-built instruments, arbitrary garbage sounds, sophisticated live-electronics devices, quotes … “Complete Song Books” turns out to be an early hymn for sonic freedom, a sonic promenade full of beautiful references.”
Plunging return of dub techno legend Fluxion with part 2 for the 3rd volume of his seminal Vibrant Forms plucked out by Subwax Bcn and pressed up for the good of your mental echo chamber.
We’re picked up and swept away in the strong techno currents of Hordes Descent on the A-side, sprawling out over 11 minutes of elliptical bass and morphing, asymmetric dub chords that will spin a ‘floor dizzy in the right situations, whereas the relatively placid Safe Harbour bobs in practically recumbent and sung-dazed with gorgeous, swurling ambient pads - again, both cut very wide and heavy for the best soundsystems and immersive connections.
Sublime stuff. A cut above.
Plunging return of dub techno legend Fluxion with part 3 for the 3rd volume of his seminal Vibrant Forms plucked out by Subwax Bcn and pressed up for the good of your mental echo chamber.
From the prow of part 3, he spells out one of the sturdiest, supple dub techno rollers we’ve heard since the M-Series in the perpetual B-line and gulpably thick atmospheres of Tortile, with Autonomous spinning off into its own, fizzy world of shimmering abstraction, and the B-side given entirely to the low key, wave-skimming and moonlit glyde of Gradual Approach.
Sublime stuff. A cut above.
Black Sweat Records prize open the treasure chest of esoteric Italian music; come out holding the remarkable Amazonia 6891 proudly aloft for its first ever vinyl release, 30 years after it was issued on cassette only.
An ethnomusicological study, an extensive sound poem, or a fantasy field recording collage - whichever perspective you take on Amazonia 6891 everyone is sure to arrive at a similar conclusion; this record is the key to whole other dimensions of sound-colour imagery and electro-acoustic interzones.
It was conceived and finalised in 1985 as a joint project, combining ethnographer Pit Piccinelli’s collection of natural objects with electronic input and reworking by ethnomusicologist Walter Maioli (Aktuala, Futuro Antico) and anthropologist Fred Gales, who, together, committed their fascination for the mystery of native Amazonian tribes and the sounds of the jungle into a lush transcultural collage on the first disc, whilst their 2nd disc presents a library of the component sounds and samples used in the collage.
Both sides are completely transfixing in their own right. With side A/B we’re placed at the centre of a thick, heaving mass of humid jungle atmospheres and distant tribal song almost imperceptibly blended with electronic sources. The fidelity of the recordings isn’t crystal, but that only lends to the timbral chaos, making it harder to pick out what’s what and thereby smudging your consciousness into a deeper, hypnotic state when used either as low set ambient backing or for eyes-shut headphone immersion. Do so, and after 10 minutes or so you’ll be looking in cupboards or checking the train for stray monkeys.
As some kind of proof of the preceding side’s construction, the C/D sides spell out a library of individual sounds, from rattling monkey skulls to scraped coconut, the voices of the Yanoama, and slivers of synthesised electronics segued with readings of various texts.
It’s all far rawer, layered and textured than anything we’d be inclined to call 4th world, although it obviously shares many of that genre’s hallmarks. It’s maybe better thought of as a fantasy chronicle of adventures in the endlessly evocative Amazon, or a deeply trippy post club escape hatch.
Listening to the sweet, breezy brass tone and pattering drums of Obadikah’s enchanting, eponymous debut, if you squeeze your eyes tight enough and hug the radiator, we can almost imagine it’s summer in Manchester again.
Lagos, Nigeria-based brass band, Obadikah is a group of seven old friends who gather to play in churches of Logos’ Ikeja and Isale Eko districts. They include founding members of the Eko Brass Band, who’ve played with the best of Nigeria’s long-rooted reggae bands.
Their tunes are based on Yoruban melodies “often sung at bed-time” and it’s fair to say there’s a nursery rhyme charm to songs such as Iwo Ore Mi, which is sung in Yoruba to deliciously woozy and shuffling backdrops.
From 1971 to 1977, Peter Baumann was a member of the legendary Berlin band Tangerine Dream. The group were pioneers of the so called Berlin School which had such a profound impact on electronic music. He also enjoyed success as a solo artist. His first two solo works are now being reissued with extensive liner notes and rare photographs.
"He produced a number of momentous albums at his Paragon Studio (by the likes of Conrad Schnitzler, Cluster, Hans-Joachim Roedelius) and also enjoyed success as a solo artist. His first two solo works are now being reissued with extensive liner notes and rare photographs. The influence of Tangerine Dream can clearly be heard on "Romance 76", although the arrangements are comparatively minimalist-a state of affairs for which David Bowie can be held partially responsible (see below). With Peter Baumann on board, Tangerine Dream grew into one of the most influential bands in electronic Krautrock, sited somewhere between experimental electronica and progressive rock.
Open to new ideas, Baumann's positive aura and eagerness to experiment galvanized the band's music almost instantaneously. His catchy melodies, rich in positivity, propelled Tangerine Dream into the charts. After five years of chart appearances and extensive touring through Europe and North America, punctuated by several albums-including "Atem", John Peel's nominated import album of 1973-Baumann called time on his solo career with "Romance 76". "We found some time between tours and record productions, so Edgar recorded a solo disc and helped Christoph and me to develop our own music too. 'Romance 76' resulted from the urge to create new music. I felt we had begun repeating ourselves in Tangerine Dream and I was keen to discover new things, to carry on experimenting. Improvisation had been common to us all, but on your own it isn't quite so simple. I started to work on my own pieces."
This shift in focus led him to leave Tangerine Dream towards the end of 1977. He and a friend set up the Paragon Studio in Berlin, which would earn a prominent place in music production history, but that's another story. Still a member of the band in 1976, Baumann rented a hall in the ufaFabrik, Berlin to record "Romance 76". Sonic similarities to Tangerine Dream can be explained by the fact that the group used the same space for gig rehearsals, giving Baumann access to instruments. The distinctive sound of a modular synthesizer system christened "The Big One" can be detected on "Romance 76", for example, along with a Mellotron. Some tracks on the album, such as "Romance" and "Phase By Phase", are relatively minimalist in character. This airiness lends the unusual synth sounds space to unfold in all their glory.
A state of affairs for which David Bowie is partially responsible, as Baumann recalls: "We were in Berlin and met him for dinner, then he would call in while I was recording the album, listening carefully to what I was working on. I explained to him what still needed to be done, but Bowie suggested: 'Leave it as it is, there's enough there already.'" At which point Baumann decided to look at the tracks in question as finished."
Plunging return of dub techno legend Fluxion with part 4 for the 3rd volume of his seminal Vibrant Forms plucked out by Subwax Bcn and pressed up for the good of your mental echo chamber.
He reserves one of his best for the final platter with Contact, ploughing a seriously muscular, pendulous groove pursued by lush choral pads and nagging, acidic lead ever wider dimensions, giving more room for the vaulted chords and pinging rimshot to pick their way in the dark, before Variant seckles down to a set dance of dust mites and billowing, black amorphous bass shapes.
Sublime stuff. A cut above.
Now on their 3rd volume of gloriously cranky, fizzing Smersh reissues, Dark Entries juice the best bits of their hard-to-find Deep House Anthems (1991) tape including at least three of ‘em on vinyl for the first time ever.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll no doubt know the lead track, Rhythm Crash, which previously appeared on the Cassette Pets (2012) compilation and is now presented in its highest possible fidelity, allowing that mad acid bass to cut heavier and bringing their clattering drums out of the murk and into your grill.
The other cuts are just as “deep house” as your gran, hitting up the sleazy industrial dance-pop of The Home Circus plus the ‘floor-shaking acid slam and unhinged, pitched-up vox of Motor Hum and a squally tribal banger called Hard Wired that sounds like a more demented version of what Psychick Warriors of Gaia were doing around the same time.
A Moon Shaped Pool is a lushly immersive experience wrought with flesh-creeping emotion and swaddled in their richest sonics; almost inarguably marking up their best album since 2000’s Kid A.
Arriving five years since their last LP, The King Of Limbs, they’ve consolidated the electronic temperament of Kid A with a timeless palette of string orchestrations and even some soulful, celestial jazz flourishes that really weren’t expected, yet are key to the album’s appeal.
At the centre of it all, Thom Yorke’s vocals - generally the litmus test for any Radiohead recording - are perfectly measured against the backdrops, rather than dominating or even marring them with disaffect. He still sounds pained, but here he’s coolly resigned to his matters, and stoically economical with it.
You’ve probably heard the prickly, Reichian pop swoon of Burn The Witch, but the warbling, Alice Coltrane-like beauties, Daydreaming and Glass Eyes are still warmly awaiting your surprised reveries, and it’s hard not be taken by the spiralling motorik momentum of Ful Stop, or the ghostly, latinate influences woven into the ethereal feels of Present Tense with its fado-like lilt, and especially by the slow sweeping elegance of Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief where the synthetic drum machines and electronic FX merge with symphonic strings like some stray Fenn O’Berg piece.
Your attention is definitely warranted.
"If ‘Ease Down The Road’ was Will’s Chocolate Factory (or was it the other way round?), then ‘Greatest Palace Music’ is his The R in R&B - an unstoppable hits package, full to the brim with lush luxuries for your aural pleasure. Recorded with a healthy mixture of old friends and new partners - Nashville session players and familiar (and familial) faces Ned and Paul Oldham, amongst others - Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy re-recording his fans’ favourite Palace Songs is a natural extension of the smoother goings on of ‘After I Made Love To You’ (‘Ease Down The Road’) and the countrified duets of last year’s dark masterpiece, ‘Master And Everyone’."
Plunging return of dub techno legend Fluxion with part 1 for the 3rd volume of his seminal Vibrant Forms plucked out by Subwax Bcn and pressed up for the good of your mental echo chamber.
The waters are still as warm but turbulent as the material collected on a string of 12”s and two CDs by Chain Reaction back on the cusp of the millennium, stirring up the loping, sloshing skank of Uncontained across the front and rumbling fathoms lower with the murky, stylus-troubling depths of Regional Shift on the other side - both cut very wide and heavy for the best soundsystem you can get your hands on.
Sublime stuff. A cut above.
T’riffic 3rd volume of Britxotica sauce from Trunk Records, picked out and dusted down by Martin Green, who was also behind the other two volumes, Britxotica! London’s Rarest Primitive Pop And Savge Jazz (2015), and Britxotica! Persian Pop And Casbah Jazz From The Wild British Isles! (2016).
Given that the series started in 2015 we can only laugh at the uncannily prescient genius and irony of the Britxotica! title, and the way in which the series goes deep on Britain’s particularly shallow and fruity fetishisation of “exotic” styles and stylings. Of course, it’s all “a bit of fun” and serves a strong survey of the irreverent yet innovative British magpie approach to other musical cultures back in the ‘50s & ‘60s, at the start of the postcolonial period when it oh-so-humbly “handed” back the sovereignty of countries it had bullied on the opposite side of the world, or at least signed them up to its commonwealth pyramid scheme.
“This time, Jonny Trunk and the legendary DJ Martin Green take the listener to a magical musical place full of tropical delights - with songs of heatwaves, coral reefs, Haitian rituals and treasure islands, not forgetting the stormy seas and the odd hurricane. 16 tracks in all from a post-war era of musical adventure, this is Britxotica at its very hottest, most exotic and very best - incredible, rare, lost and exotic music from the wild British isles. Britxotica! (pronounced "Britzotica") neatly describes an odd and yet undocumented pre-Beatles British musical scene where famed UK composers, as well as unknown singers and bandleaders, threw convention on holiday and went wild. For part three of the Britxotica series, the compilation goes to the South Seas for a musical adventure of stormy seas, Hawaiian honeymoons, spooky rituals, dreamy walks through mango groves and a few sips from the juicy coconut. But this is more than just exotic music, the talent here is breathtaking: Kenny Graham, George Melley, Ted Heath, Malcolm Lockyer, Edmundo Ros and more -legendary artists adventuring into unknown territory with incredible results. There are songs and instrumentals here to charm and even beguile - there's even an amazing British cover of "Quite Village" - when did you ever hear one of those? This is wonderfully obscure music, and only Trunk records could compile and package such a compilation of bizarre and super rare British music so superbly. This all new compilation of British treasures is like no other, and will have you booking your ticket to the South Seas for Christmas. Featuring: Lucille Mapp, Frank Weir, The Sound Of Ed White, Ron Goodwin, Geoff Love, Marion Ryan, Dick Katz, International 'Pops' All Stars, Johnny Gentle, Betty Smith And The Malcolm Lockyer Group, Martinas And His Music and Norrie Paramor.”
Dreamboat is the collaboration between dream-folk singer / guitarist Ilyas Ahmed and the lunar-inclined analog synthesizer/processed bass clarinet duo Golden Retriever (Matt Carlson / Jonathan Sielaff ).
"The collaboration between these long time friends began with a shared admiration for each others' work as well as a commonality in approach to making music, which one day begged the question, "What if our individual sound worlds intersected?". The result yielded a unifying love of exploded modal song forms, improvisation as composition (and vice versa), and a desire to interact with traditional song form.
The record is a result of intense scrutiny to arrangement as well as a commitment to reckless abandon. Imagine Tim Buckley sitting in on the first Cluster recording session or Neil Young with the Taj Mahal Travelers as Crazy Horse covering Popol Vuh and you are almost there."
Severely grotty, primordial EBM/proto-techno sludge, dredged up from mid ‘80s-‘90s Holland.
“Started in 1984 as an industrial/electronic one-man project, lately expanding as a 7 persons multimedia collective, the band mainteined always during their career a pure industrial approach, through the use of analog synthesizers, microphones, effects and distorted acoustic sounds.
For this single we have selected 4 killer tracks for you: ‘Liberation’ and ‘Stalin’ from their 1985 cassette ‘Fanaticism & Hysteria’, this last one also presented in a “Seven Sisters of Putin” remix form, plus on the b-side the killer slow industrial-techno ‘Message’ from the cassette ‘Matrix Machinations’ (1996).
If you want to approach the true 80's industrial mentality then you are in the right place.”
Ennio Morricone’s famous soundtrack composed for the 1971 Franco Rubartelli’s documentary “Veruschka, Poesia di una Donna” about the legendary Veruschka, the world’s first supermodel.
"In Rubartelli’s movie we follow the beautiful model in a shockingly surreal journey through the rural countryside of Italy on a downward spiral of self-discovery that leads her through so many whacked out head trips; heavily dark and sad with some of the most stunning psychedelic eye candy you can find from the freak out era of filmmaking perfectly tuned with one of Ennio Morricone’s best scores."
Another remarkable archival discovery, recorded in 1980 and presented on vinyl for first time by Italy’s Black Sweat Records to follow that Amazonia 6891 cracker: again hingeing on the input of ethnomusicologist Walter Maioli (flutes and percussions), this time in a live collaboration with Gabin Dabiré (balafon, percussions) and Riccardo Sinigaglia (piano, organ and synthesiser).
Isole Del Suono documents a live performance between that trio held in Piazzo Santo Stefano in Bologna. And, thanks to the fact it was recorded directly from the mixing console, and together with Giuseppe Ielasi’s mastering, the fidelity of the recording is practically like you’re there, netted in a lush, atemporal swirl.
That effect is most apparent in the widely spacious yet intricately layered harmony of the A-side, which greets with a cluster of flutes and spectral rattles before absorbing the listener in a what feels like a late kosmiche jam transported somewhere sexier, freely expressive and less portentous or proggy.
The other side, however, is much more varied, starting out by giving Sinigaglia a spot to show off waterfalls of cascading keys, whereas the 2nd track is plays like a more conventional, if esoeteric, slice of Italian library music dominated by Maioli’s flute soloing, and the last section turns to Dabiré for a mesmerising Balafon jam rent sky high with deft reverbs.
To be honest, none of those three hit the heady, transcendent heights of the A-side, but that A-side is just totally fucking incredible.
The second in this heavyweight Congotronics remix series sets Mark Ernestus of Rhythm & Sound/Basic Channel fame to task, remixing Konono No.1's 'Masikulu' in two blinding versions.
To call this a dancefloor dream come true might be hyperbolic, but wholeheartedly sincere. Ernestus tackles the material faithfully and respectfully, duppying Konono's mesmeric rhythms with a learned sleight of hand and additional percussion from like-minded ally, Burnt Friedman, resulting in two tracks of mindblowing and timeless Afro-Germanic hybrids.
Very usefully, the 115bpm pace is coolly House and Techno compatible, making for endless potential permutations in the right hands and ripe for a global dancefloor currently converging on a tribal trajectory. We could heap praise on this all day but you've probably checked the samples and know what we're talking about already.
Reissue of this absolute classic
Bowery Electric were a US post rock act but interestingly had a strong leaning towards hip hop production and most obviously the beats which gave them a sound like no other act around. With the noisy harmonic guitar textures of Windy and Carl or My Bloody Valentine and the sort of half-tempo beat loops you'd more likely expect to find on DJ Shadow's 'Endtroducing' they helped the genre take a sharp left turn and with 'Beat' created something of a milestone for the scene. Championed by everyone from The Wire to The Melody Maker of all people, 'Beat' was a much more influential record than you'd think. Hearing it now over ten years later I can make pretty clear links between this album and for instance the work of Ulrich Schnauss or M83.
You see, a shoegaze/electronic crossover had already been approached by Bowery Electric, they just maybe never achieved the sort of popularity they deserved - but listen to 'Empty Words' and you'll see exactly what we mean. With bendy, echoing guitar chords and vocals to rival the haunting tones of even Julee Cruise this is a record that stays with you long after it has ended, and if you've never heard it you should take a listen without delay. There's also some sensitive minimalism afoot on the self-explanatory ambience of 'Looped' and the sixteen-minute 'Postscript'."
Comprised of b-sides, demos and outtakes from the album’s progenitive sessions...
"Having collaborated with the likes of Jeremih, Tory Lanez, Lil Yachty, How To Dress Well and Banks in the years since ‘Bad Vibes’, these tracks recall a simpler, more intimate time in Shlohmo’s career and whether it’s the live mix of “Seriously” or the temporally defined “11_9_10 Asleep On The 22” that bridges the gap for you, these tracks will surely make waves for fans past, present and future."
When most people think about Nigerian music, the first thing that comes to mind is Lagos—the country’s main commercial center, the glittering megacity that spawned Yoruba-speaking music luminaries such as Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Sir Shina Peters and Wizkid. But Nigeria is a country of rich diversity, especially in its music: From the Igbo highlife and rock bands of east-central region, to the deep Edo roots rhythms from the midwest, to the keening, ornamented Fulani melodies of the north.
"But one region whose music has remained largely underexplored is the south eastern land of the Efik and Ibibio ethnic groups in Cross River and Akwa Ibom State—the region colloquially referred to as “Calabar.” A cradle of culture, this region was one of the earliest outposts of Nigerian popular music. Its primordial rhythms traveled across the Atlantic during the slave trade to provide the part of the foundation for Afro-Cuban grooves that would go on to influence the development of jazz, rock & roll, R&B and funk.
With the new Calabar-Itu Road compilation, Comb & Razor Sound presents15 heavy tracks recorded in the decade between 1972 and 1982, spotlighting rare music from “Calabar” superstars such as Etubom Rex Williams, Cross River Nationale, Charles “Effi” Duke, The Doves and Mary Afi Usuah. The package features a magazine-style booklet containing a wealth of information about the milieu with rare photographs and illustrations. The Calabar-Itu Road is the major artery linking modern-day Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. And Calabar-Itu Road: Groovy Sounds from South Eastern Nigeria (1972-1982) will link the region’s music to the rest of the world!"
Every so often, an album or collection crosses our path and makes us wonder how the hell we've managed to miss out on something so important for so long. Celebrating 100 years of Harry Bertoia, the divine Sonambient box set firmly fits that description; presenting a comprehensive overview of the esteemed sculptor-cum-sound artist’s elemental, near-sacred, long-form recordings of resonant metal rod sculptures and gongs and their incredibly lush harmonic overtones at his barn near Bally, Pennsylvania, USA. Honestly, this set has completely destroyed us...
Established as a renowned American printmaker, sculptor and industrial designer, Harry Bertoia (1915 - 1978) spent the last twenty years of his life dedicated to making these jaw-dropping recordings. Beginning in the late ’50s, after finding financial security with the commercial success of his famous Diamond chair design, he was able to devote himself to sculpture, and, in the ‘60s began experimenting with “sounding sculptures” of vertical metal rods on flat bases that created naturally complex washes of harmonic overtones when played by hand, or even wind.
So enraptured by their possibilities and transcendent appeal, Bertoia dedicated the next 20 years to developing the barn and what he he defined as Sonambient sound, often recording the results with 4 overhead mics onto 1/4” tape. He would release his first, privately pressed Sonambient record in 1970, and, during his final months in 1978, produced a further 10 albums from his archive, which were posthumously issued following his burial beneath a giant gong behind his Sonambient barn.
After remaining untouched until the late ‘90s, this box set collects all 11 albums - which have since become serious collectors items - for the first time. Whilst it’s unnecessary to break down each disc, it is certainly worth noting the remarkable, complex variation between them, yielding a radiant, immersive spectrum of complex noise and rhythm which intersects so many strands of music that we hold dear, that it’s kinda frying our heads to be honest.
Whilst entirely acoustic and improvised - there are no edits or overdubs - the recordings bear a strangely striking resemblance in parts to Roland Kayn’s cybernetic computer music (also recorded around the same era) and Volker Heyn’s ferric cantos, whilst clearly resonating with the gong traditions of south east Asia and the “healing vibrations and shimmering harmonics of Indian classical music, singing bowls, The Well Tuned Piano or Benjamin Franklin’s glass armonica.”
Comparisons aside, though, this is purely unique music from a wholly unique set-up (that still exists as a museum on the same site in Pennsylvania) and should provide countless hours of reflective, metaphysical immersion for those willing to submit themselves. Seriously, this is one of the most beautiful, illuminating, brilliantly put together reissues we've ever come across: here's praying for some vinyl at some point down the line.
Fronted by Malka Spiegel and vocalist Samy Birnbach (aka DJ Morpheus, freestyle DJ extraordinaire and compiler of the Freezone series), Minimal Compact were one of the most inspirational bands of the '80s. They blended funky rock rhythms and incisive guitars with flavours from their native Middle East.
"The band were active from 1981 to 1988, and released 6 studio albums and a live album. They had a large and fanatic following all across Europe and the USA, where some of their tracks became underground club favourites.
In 1981, having left their hometown in search for a more stimulating musical environment, four enthusiastic Israelis try forming a band in Amsterdam. They had met at the core of the then-tiny Tel Aviv scene. Rami Fortis (vocals, guitar) and Berry Sakharof (guitar) are confirmed musicians, Malka Spigel has just started learning to play the bass, and Samy Birnbach is mostly known as a poet and a songwriter, he has collaborated with Fortis on his provocative “Plonter” album, Israel’s first punk-rock opus (1978).
After several months, Fortis returns home, and the other three record a couple of tracks in their living room: “To Get Inside” and “Creation Is Perfect” (the latter based on a text by beat poet Bob Kaufman). Samy sends these demos to an old friend, Marc Hollander, who has just founded his Crammed label. Marc invites the as-yet-unnamed band to come and record these songs in a little studio out in the Belgian countryside. With the help of coproducers Marc H. and Dick Polak, what was intended to be a one-off 7” single quickly develops into a groundbreaking mini-album.
Five songs are recorded, including “Statik Dancin“, which will become a classic. The self-titled mini-album (rechristened “One” when it was later re-released on a single CD also including the “One By One” album) comes out at the end of ‘81. It draws a lot of attention from the UK, French, Belgian & Dutch press, and immediately puts Minimal Compact in their own, unique position on the musical map.”
American author Solnit inspired Parisian producer Jonathan Fitoussi's debut album for Further Records, Imaginary Lines.
"He used those words and the concept of Harmony Of The Spheres to create the six ravishing interstellar evocations on Imaginary Lines, to spin his own intriguing yarns about the cosmos. While conjuring the vastness of space, Fitoussi imbues the journey with profound feelings of awe and beauty.
“This idea that the constellations are an imaginary representation that man drew in the sky to serve as landmarks in space and on Earth is greatly appealing to me, and works very well with the story behind this album, on which each song title bears the name of a constellation,” Fitoussi says. “With Imaginary Lines, I wanted to work with this idea as its core; on one hand geometrical and linear, like the shape of the constellations, characterized by the use of repetitive sequences, and on the other hand, through sections of improvised organ to evoke the more spiritual dimension, and l’invitation au voyage.”
Imaginary Lines sounds like it was made with acute academic rigor yet it is also lavishly beautiful and sensuous. “I like having a mixture of a solid base to work from,” Fitoussi says, “which is characterized here by a repetitive sequence, that leaves room for improvisation as well. This is something that recurs often in my work: creating a stable structure which then allows me to create spaces within it. I also love architecture, with its lines and volumes, and I think this influences my work as a composer.”
To manifest Imaginary Lines, Fitoussi mainly employed an EMS Synthi AKS synthesizer and a Yamaha YC45D organ, which he processed through tape echo with two tape recorders. In addition, Fitoussi says, “many of the sounds were also fed back into a large metallic resonator (similar to the Ondes Martenot), which produced beautiful reverberations.”
Wow this is a stunner. Else Marie Pade's 'Electronic Works 1958-1995' is a truly precious survey of a lone, pioneering voice in electronic music.
Born in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1924, Else created the first piece of electronic music played on Danish radio, 'Syv Cirkler (Seven Circles)', marking the early development of an (up until now) largely hidden body of work inspired by her experiences while interred at a Nazi prison camp as a teenager, and subsequent studies with Pierre Schaffer and Karlheinz Stockhausen in the following years.
To date she's mostly remained an outpost unto herself, save for Dacapo Records efforts in the '00s with the 'Et Glasperlespil' CD - and some remixed arrangements in 'Face It', plus a handful of compilation appearances, before Jakob Kirkegaard stepped up to work with her on the collaborative 'Svævninger' album and curate 'Electronic Works 1958-1995'. These are her most important works; a microcosmos of plangent bleeps and spectral tones illuminated by her inner moonlight.
The most obvious comparison is with Daphne Oram, who, at the same time was conjuring her very own electronic worlds from imagination and engineering, and also manifesting a sense of quiet wonder and trepidation towards the world in her compositions. As she explains: "The sounds outside became concrète music, and in the evening I could imagine that the stars and the moon and the sky uttered sounds and those turned into electronic music.”
This set is arguably one of the most evocative, enchanted examples of early electronic music we’ve encountered yet - another totally immersive find from Important Records
Oldham's in life-altering good form here - harmonically there's hints of the mastery he displayed acoustically over a chunky folk-rock groove, somewhere between a downhome David Crosby and sticky fingers period Stones. They're running down the ragged boogie here, and yet with an inimitable poise that is prime Oldham - shifting between quiet, loud, country, rock. Checking the short but beautiful Paul Bowles piece inserted, discussing the various merits and problems associated with alcohol and cannabis, there's an analogue for this predictably wonderful album, at once both inside and outside, recessive and outgoing, dynamic and apparently static. Looks like a keeper, we're happy to say.
Having collaborated with the likes of Jeremih, Tory Lanez, Lil Yachty, How To Dress Well and Banks in the years since ‘Bad Vibes’, these unreleased tracks recall a simpler, more intimate time in Shlohmo’s career
Recorded immediately after 1974's Rock Bottom, Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard received a less favourable critical reception than its predecessor, consisting of new arrangements of other artists' material rather than entirely new, self-penned songs, as had been the case a year earlier, although 'Soup Song' proves to be of particular interest for stretching back to 'Slow Walkin' Talk', a Wyatt song that had its roots in his pre-Soft Machine songbook.
Apparently, there's a version of this recorded with Jimi Hendrix, but the reworked rendition here is strange and angular enough to fit in with its peculiar surroundings on the B-side. Actually, it's not denoted as a B-side as such: the labelling reflects the album title, and so the first half becomes 'Richard', whose content is markedly more intelligible than the often quite wild and silly 'Ruth' material on the flipside. Awesome.
Inspired by Eno’s “vision of a psychedelic Africa,” English dub producer Adrian Sherwood and master Jamaican percussionist Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah have collaborated on a series of studio experiments under the African Head Charge moniker for over 35 years. This anthology documents the white hot heat of their first 5 years over 5 discs: ‘My Life In A Hole In The Ground’ (1981), ‘Environmental Studies’ (1982), ‘Drastic Season’ (1983), ‘Off The Beaten Track’ (1986) and ‘Unreleased Tracks & Version Excursions’ (11 rare and unheard tracks from the period on CD for the first time).
Eight of the unreleased tracks on CD5 are available concurrently on vinyl as ‘Return Of The Crocodile’ (ONULP133).
Madrid’s Downbeat don Jose Rico is doing some very trippy things with beatdown/deep house grooves here on his debut platter for Jordan GCZ’s Off Minor.
Fair to say it’s maybe harder than ever to make an original house record these days, 30 years into the genre’s lifespan, but thanks to some inimitable chops Rico offers some spellbindingly unique spins on a classic sound in Dreams With The Mirror Planet, working killer clipped percussion into the salted caramel flow of Long To Nowhere and with mystic Afro-latin shuffle in the swirling depths of Community, before uncoiling the sublime, extended rhythm trip of the EP’s title track cut deep and lustrous for optimal immersion across the other side.
Limited edition split 7"
"Fathers of grindcore Napalm Death pushed the envelope of metal to new extremes of ear-splitting intensity, rejecting all notions of melody, subtlety and good taste to forge a brand of sonic assault almost frightening in its merciless brutality. Formed in Ipswich, England in 1982, they trafficked in the usual heavy metal fare for the first few years of their existence but by the middle of the decade they began to expand their horizons by incorporating elements of hardcore and thrash into the mix. Ultimately, Napalm Death’s sonic experiments evolved into a blistering mutation of metal that they dubbed grindcore, a kind of extremist noise attack characterized by incredibly brief song lengths, demonic vocals and eye-openingsociopolitical lyrical commentary.
Japanese noise rock band Melt-Banana found more success in the US and the UK than in their own country, gaining a small but dedicated fanbase among American and European punk rock fans. Although their music sounds noticeably different from any sort of traditional punk, it contains some punk elements: shrieking vocals, overdriven guitars, and one-and-ahalf- minute songs. Melt Banana’s unique style, however, comes as a result of the distinctly piercing vocals of lead singer Yasuko O., as well as the frenzied, effect-charged playing of guitarist Agata. Searing, intense, and mind-blowingly fast are perhaps the first adjectives that come to mind when listening to Melt-Banana’s music. Try to imagine an even more energetic incarnation of The Boredoms."
From 1971 to 1977, Peter Baumann was a member of the legendary Berlin band Tangerine Dream. The group were pioneers of the so called Berlin School which had such a profound impact on electronic music. He also enjoyed success as a solo artist. His first two solo works are now being reissued with extensive liner notes and rare photographs.
"Trans Harmonic Nights“, Baumann’s second solo album, sees him continue to break free from the gravitational pull of Tangerine Dream. Hans-Joachim Roedelius was recording the „Jardin au Fou“ album at the same time in his Paragon Studio and some of his carefree positivity seems to have rubbed off on Baumann, judging by the music he came up with.
The production phase for “Trans Harmonic Nights” covered 16 months or thereabouts. Having built the studio and taken care of production on albums for Cluster, Asmus Tietchens, Conrad Schnitzler and Hans-Joachim Roedelius, many of which came out on the French label Egg, he had neither the time nor the inclination to focus on his own compositions. Numerous tracks on the album were actually created at the end of the working day, on downtime, just for fun in the unfinished studio. Peter Baumann explains: “It was a completely different time for music, everything we did was spontaneous, in the moment.
My first two records happened when I was working in the studio, simply expressing myself as a musician, sensing which emotions, timbres, rhythms and melodies were closest to me.” This approach shines through the music, underpinning its authenticity and making the album such a delight to listen to today: carefree, playful, unbelievably euphoric. Synth lines are exhiliratingly entwined with synthetic plucks, experimental sounds crystallize into sweet melodies, building into ecstatic breaks.
Majestic Mellotron choirs and added vocoder tones lend an ethereal, surreal touch. It is virtually impossible not to get caught up in this rapture, to be swayed by the infectiously upbeat nature of the music. Hans-Joachim Roedelius was producing his Jardin au Fou album at the same time and one might be forgiven for thinking that his carefree positivity rubbed off on Baumann. Not long after releasing this album, Peter Baumann relocated to the USA where he recorded two more albums by the year 1983, dominated by wave and synth pop sounds.
In 1984 he founded his own label, Private Music. In the late 1990s he withdrew from the music business altogether, only resurfacing in May 2016 with a new solo album entitled “Machines Of Desire”.
Francesco Tristano puts a big posh donk on it for Derrick May’s Transmat, including four collaborations with the captain of Detroit’s dance music industry himself - his first new productions for 20 years.
Recorded in Barcelona, Detroit, Rome, Paris and Mauritius, Surface Tension can be broadly cleft in two halves; the good bits with Derrick May, and the bits with crap minimal house grooves.
We’ll focus on the former, better parts, where May balances Tristano’s input with a healthy amount of funk in the nervy swang of The Mentor, or underlines the delicate chords of Infinite Rise with a super slinky ride, and with epic effect in the lush roll of In Da Minor.
However, two tracks do cannily buck that trend. On Rocco’s Bounce, Tristano impresses with a nimble fusion of far-Eastern strings wrapped to a bumping Chicago house swerve, and Esoteric Thing catches the pair completely devoid of beats, just drifting along in a placid pastoral ambient scene and blowing sweets nothings at Ryuichi Sakamoto and Brian Eno.
Released in 1982, Nothing Can Stop Us was a compilation album, drawing together various songs recorded as singles and B-sides during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Only the downbeat, woozy opening track 'Born Again Cretin' is a Wyatt original, the remainder of the material is made up by covers, including a brilliant reworking of Chic's 'At Last I Am Free', Ivor Cutler's 'Grass' and Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit'. The arrangements and song selections remain eccentric and experimental throughout the collection, and although it never really feels like an album as such, it's certainly a bold and compelling set of songs - and once again comes with a massive recommendation.
The music from the motion picture ‘Run Lola Run’ (1998) released for the first time on vinyl.
"A heart pounding Möbius strip of cause and effect, ‘Run Lola Run’ (‘Lola Rennt’ in German) follows Lola (Franke Potente) on a quest through Berlin to find 100,000 Deutsche Marks in under 20 minutes to save the life of her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu). The film unfolds virtually in real time, presenting three variations of Lola’s seemingly impossible task.
Writer director Tom Tykwer’s multidimensional narrative and breakbeat soaked score encapsulate the creative energy of late 90’s Berlin perfectly, rendering this an international cult hit upon release. The film contains all the makings of a classic heist - diamonds, a lost bag of money on a train, the mobster it belongs to and the lengths one woman will go to rectify the situation in the name of true love - albeit with a postmodern twist. ‘Run Lola Run’s cinematic adrenaline rush is matched only by the accompanying soundtrack, which until now was never released on vinyl.
The film score was helmed by Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil, combining their love of German new wave, classical and techno (and taking the role of auteur to new heights). The result is a sonic journey into split second decisions and sheer determination; an iconic audio counterpart inextricably intertwined with the film that still resonates to this day."
Immersive snapshots of A’dam’s Juju & Jordash jamming Live At Downbeat Night. Madrid, December, 2015, presented on vinyl for discerning DJs and duvet diving at home.
A maze of slo-mo acid woven with samples nudging and winking at highlife, 4th world ambient and electro-jazz thru the most dilated prism of house music and electronic psychedelia.
Kjartan Sveinsson, former member of Sigur Rós, releases his first solo project, a four act opera - ‘Der Klang Der Offenbarung Des Göttlichen’ - which translates as ‘The Explosive Sonics Of Divinity’.
"Sveinsson composed the score for his and Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s opera inspired by Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness’ novel ‘World Light’. ‘Der Klang Der Offenbarung Des Göttlichen’ premiered at Berlin’s Volksbhne theatre in February 2014 where Sveinsson was joined by The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg and the Filmchor Berlin for the 50-minute show.
The live performance sees each of the four movements set to a different theatrical tableau, with scenery changes and slight weather events sweeping in and out of the set, all of which occurs without a single actor gracing the stage. Kjartansson says that ‘Der Klang Der Offenbarung Des Göttlichen’ is a banally romantic opera inspired by Halldór Laxness’s cunning texts about the longing for beauty. Since 2011 Kjartan Sveinsson has collaborated with Ragnar Kjartansson on various projects including the durational performance installation ‘Take Me Here By The Dishwasher’ performed by ten troubadours and ‘S.S. Hangover’, a brass sextet for a sailing boat, as well as the globally acclaimed installation ‘The Visitors’.
These projects have been performed in museums around the world, as well as undertaking multiple film score work, also with the Icelandic director, Rúnar Rúnarsson - ‘Sparrows’, ‘Volcano’ and ‘The Last Farm’. ‘Der Klang Der Offenbarung Des Göttlichen’ is released via Bel- Air Glamour Records, a joint label between Kjartansson, artist Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir and The Vinyl Factory"
This second Galaxie 500 LP (from 1989) tends to be regarded as the band's finest, and in hindsight it sure sounds like a formidable piece of work.
Using a similarly slowed down, thinned out combination of guitar strum and plodding drums the band somehow continue to forge a unique sound that's helped terraform the subsequent indie rock landscape. Bands like Low owe a great deal to this trio's proto-slow core concoctions, and their songwriting never sounded better than on this LP, with great songs like 'Blue Thunder', 'Strange' and 'Tell Me' all helping cement the group's cosmically charged sound.
Further to the originals, towards the end of the album the band's take on a couple of covers, including Joy Division's 'Ceremony', The Red Krayola's 'Victory Garden' and best of the bunch, the George Harrison song 'Isn't It A Pity', which sounds great in this context, rendered in all its weary simplicity.
The starting point for these new recordings was an improvised recording session with Giuseppe Ielasi, but as with all RLW works nothing is quite what it seems to be.
"Cutting out the moments of “glory” and recombining them Wehowsky reassembles them into new more detailed compositions. Further improvised sounds were treated and added to the mix. The result may seem like an authentic representation of a real time improvisation, but in reality the pieces are nothing like that…in fact nothing is quite what it seems to be. His music is impossible to pigeonhole into one simple bracket. It is neither industrial or musique concrete, nor computer music nor improvisation.
In fact it could be all of these. Ralf Wehowsky is one of the most respected electronic composers of our day and was also a founder member of the seminal German group P16.D4 and the label Selektion whose ground breaking releases influenced many working in today’s experimental music scene. Previous releases have seen him collaborate with such well known and diverse artists such as Merzbow, Bernhard Guenter, Jim O’Rourke, Achim Wollscheid and Lionel Marchetti."
‘The Complete Works Of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’ contains an incredible 51 albums across 29 CDs, spanning Fela’s entire career.
This new deluxe edition includes bonus rarities plus previously unreleased tracks. The box set also contains the DVD documentary ‘A Slice Of Fela’, which features live performances as a 52 page booklet with Fela’s biography andalbum commentaries by Chris May
This 1990 Galaxie 500 album draws its title from the classic Ornette Coleman LP of the same name and transpired to be the group's final studio outing.
There seems to be a slight expansion of the Galaxie 500 sound on this outing, expanding upon the dream-pop building blocks of prior outings with a heavier drum sound and more textural guitars. Songs like 'Hearing Voices' and 'Spook' soar magnificently, while elsewhere, the woodwind solos of 'Way Up High' and miniature fanfares in 'King Of Spain Part 2' take the group's aesthetic into fresh directions - there's really not a single moment in Galaxie 500's discography that's not imbued with some measure of magic.
The closing cover of the Velvet Underground's 'Here She Comes Now' makes for a fitting full-stop in the band's lifespan as a recording entity, effectively bringing their sound full-circle.
Immersion is a project by Colin Newman of Wire and Malka Spigel of Minimal Compact/ Githead.
"It was shelved just before 2000 and has now been brought back on their Swim imprint. Analogue Creatures Living on An Island is glorious synthetic dream pop that lacks structure or rhythm, it nears on drone, but with an undeniable sunshine to it.”
Kevin Drumm, Samuel Kerridge, Bleed Turquoise (James Ginzburg a.k.a. half of Emptyset) and Japan’s Endon flash their fangs on blood-letting remixes of Aaron Turner (Isis), Brian Cook (Russian Circles) and Nick Yacyshyn’s (Baptists) 3rd album as Sumac; What One Becomes for Thrill Jockey.
Naturally we’re drawn to Kevin Drumm’s remix first - technically only his 4th remix to date - executing a sickening drone descent into the disembowelled guts of Rigid Man where the guitars and drums are fxcked off, leaving only the distant whisper of Turner’s 50-a-day vocals mumbling from oblique corners of a stone-clad gloaming soundsphere. No mistake; it’s the most memorable Kevin Drumm outing in recent years.
The other mixes, meanwhile, are perhaps more faithful to the muscle and gristle of Sumac’s originals; Samuel Kerridge reconstitutes Rigid Man and Clutch of Oblivion as the empty-stomach technogre of Rigid Oblivion, whilst Emptyset’s James Ginzburg appears like you’ve never heard him before in a proggy, star-screaming rework of Clutch of Oblivion under his Bleed Turquoise alias, and the EP’s other highlight comes from Japan’s extreme experimentalists (emphasis on the ‘mentallist’ bit), Endon who tighten up Image of Control with garrotting strings and clod-hopping drums before lurching into a proper wall of noise, face first.