Back in 2010 we said....
Ask us about Shangaan Electro a week ago and we'd ask you to speak slower. Ask us this week and we'll rave about one of the most astounding records we've heard this year.
The erstwhile and intrepid ears of Honest Jon's Mark Ainley and Hardwax/Basic Channel legend Mark Ernestus have been following this niche style from Soweto, SA, for a hot minute, long enough anyway to pick out twelve extraordinary examples of 180bpm, marimba-laden, afro-dance diamonds hewn from rickety drum machines and keyboards shaped into dazzling fillips of pure dance energy. We almost couldn't believe our ears on first listen, or the tenth. It was perhaps only when we witnessed the accompanying videos on youtube that it started to settle into place, watching liquid hipped Shangaan dancers scuttle and stomp like folk possessed by something untold but completely comprehendible.
It's not a large punt to draw distinctions between this and Chicago footwurk or Caribbean Soca styles, from the high tempo velocity to use of basic equipment all deployed with the intention of eliciting faster and more furious dance moves from the participants. Essentially this is a continuation of traditional styles, only plugged in at the studio of Nozinja Music Productions to become utterly electrified and electrifying. But these aren't simply instrumental rhythms, they're also songs with passionate, soul wrenching vocals and head-rushingly sweet synth melodies. Four exemplary contributions from the scene's lynchpin Zinja Hlungwani are worth the entry price alone; from the gripping hypertension of 'Ntombi Ya Mugaza' to the warbling duet of synthesized and human soul in 'Nwa Gezani My Love', or the alien harmonics of 'Nwa Gezani', you're paying to experience a mesmerizing sound that you simply can't hear anywhere outside of Limpopo or low-res youtube clips.
Nozinja is responsible for the breakneck speed of Shangaan Electro, responding to public demand for faster rhythms since opening his studio in 2005, even creating "boy bands" like the boiler-suited and clown mask-wearing Tshetsha Boys and producing for the rest of the artists included here. To be fair, this music is still a totally niche prospect, but initial reactions from friends we would never expect to like it have been as immediate as the music itself and there's no denying this will be one of the years most lauded albums among adventurous listeners.
This is genuinely some of the most exciting music you'll hear this year, and alongside the Footwork/Juke craze currently taking hold, you'll have heard little like it before.
Unsung West Coast maverick Carl Stone is subject of a necessary 2nd retrospective on Unseen Worlds following their Laurie Spiegel/Don Christensen and Jacqueline Humbert & David Rosenboom releases.
As revelatory as the first volume Electronic Music From the Seventies and Eighties, the temporal shift into the ’80s/‘90s in this 2nd collection opens four hallucinatory new planes of ambient enquiry yielding some of the most interesting electronic music we’ve never heard before.
Progressing farther along Stone’s timeline we find him refining the flow of his practice in four prime examples of his work within the parameters of real-time electronic music performance and process. With computerised sleight of hand, all four works reveal a magick of metamorphosis, demonstrating how fixed elements can become im/perceptibly changed over time.
In Bantreay Srey we hear a lone vocal slowed down into evaporating helixes of floating tones, while the percolated glassy chain of Sonali appears to predate the playful brilliance of his glitching pop cut-ups in its keening, frothy drive leading to a secreted Mozart chorus.
Woo Lae Oak follows with a sublime play on tension between levitating flute lines and a backdrop of strobing, hyper electronics keeping us rapt for its 23 minute lifespan, before another extended number Mae Yao aligns the senses in a sort of digitally windswept segue from hyperventilating female vocals to shimmering shoegaze radiance hinting at gamelan music, but never quite resolving at either.
To be honest, we’re still nowhere near getting our heads around Carl Stone’s body of work, but this and the last volume are a great place to start probing, and likewise his Al-Noor CD if his more popwise aspects take your fancy.
Pure Ork fuel from Belgian rave bastard DJ David Goblin a.k.a. David Coquelin, one of the nutters behind the brilliant PRR! PRR! label - close affiliates of Low Jack’s Editions Gravats
Going ham with nobs of new beat, EBM, hardcore techno and gabber, DJ David Goblin has just cooked up one of the maddest CDs that you’ll hear in 2018. It’s unmistakably daft in that suddy, sozzled Benelux style; the type of gear that could feasibly trigger an outbreak of St. Vitus Dance in modern day Brussels.
There’s two shorter cuts that should come in handy with certain DJs, namely the hi-tech folk pounder ‘Squigpipe’ for the Nkisi fans, and the relentless breakcore choppage of ‘Mordor Fuka’, but the main bulk of ‘Ork Muzik’ is two longer, megamix-styled cut-ups; 20 minutes of drunken master swagger and potty rave leads called ‘In The Klub (Goblinized Traks)’, and the mad patchwork of ‘In The Street (Goblinized Traks)’ cutting from bombed out electronics thru early Shackleton, collapsed rave classixxx and fluoro outernational soundsystem styles.
Grade A bangers!
DJ Sotofett plays out a pack of deepest house aces on his debut album, accompanied by Gilb'r and Phillip Lauer, plus some jazzy Finns and an angleic voice from The Ivory Coast.
As you might expect, there's no fuss and no fight to 'Drippin' For A Trip (Tripp-a-Dubb-mix)'; it's a laidback, party-friendly showcase of Sotofett's seductive charms and easy way with a collaboration, whether keeping the sun up with the tribalised drums and colourful bird calls of his 'Drippin' For '97' side with Gilb'r (a.k.a. Chateau Flight), getting his deepest New York smush on with the weightless beauty of the 'Space Dub' and Nimbus Mix' with Phillip Lauer (a.k.a. Tuff City Kids), or linking with Jaakko Eino Kalevi for the New Age-meets-Afrobeat sweetnuss of the 'Ibiza Dub' and 'Main Bar Mix' side.
Shocking 909 driven dancehall banger from Dug Out, the label run by Honest Jons and Hard Wax
Ruffest shot of 1988 ragga-techno from Tiger at his maddest. Nuthin' but a rattling 909 riddim topped by incendiary, unhinged vocal and that's all you need! Seriously, we've never heard anything quite like it, the groove sounds like some one-off bleep techno experiment from Sheffield gone AWOL and discovered by a manic Jamaican.
In addition to being one of America's most persistently interesting avant-garde percussionists, Jon Mueller has in recent years carved a niche for himself among more mainstream company, working with Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, and perhaps most notably of all, Volcano Choir, the acclaimed Bon Iver-related side-project that features Justin Vernon.
One way or another, Type seems to have made a habit of capturing established experimental artists at a career-defining moment or a point of creative breakthrough (something that could be argued for the label's releases of Grouper, Yellow Swans and Clams Casino albums) and once again, they seem to have snapped up Mueller just as he's poised on the cusp of taking his music to a new peak.
Having released Metals and Physical Changes for the Table Of The Elements label, The Whole finds Mueller looking outward; delving into the culture of quilt making and the Shaker crafts in his pursuit of forming his work around a fresh sense of earthy simplicity. Mueller's palette is comprised of a relatively sparse set-up: a snare, low toms, hammered dulcimer and voice, yet with these constituent parts he forms a unique vision that's equally enriched by folk traditions as it is the contemporary experimental music scene.
'Hearts' is an epic of intricate, clockwork drumming that combines with tranced-out vocal mantras and interjections of harmonised dulcimer to great effect, culminating in a thrilling final sequence that finds Mueller putting his own uniquely skewed slant on the double-time kick sounds of thrash metal. 'Hands' is another captivatingly complex and powerful drumming exercise, punctuated by deep cymbal splashes and some beautiful tom work through which you can really hear the full, booming curve of the drum's vibration.
The album is bookended by 'Remembered As' and 'Remembered' two pieces that place emphasis on the melodic potential of percussion, coaxing haunting passages from the dulcimer that really spring into life - particularly during the latter piece which embraces gong-like chimes and swelling metallic resonances.
Overdue but well on-point, Kassem Mosse’s 2nd solo album proper - his debut with Honest Jon’s - is a time-and-space bending set of ancient yet modern-sounding techno deviations that makes the rest of his field seem like frustrated, gridlocked passengers.
Blending the drum machine of Jeff Mills with the hi-tech jazz chops of Mad Mike and a wondrous feel for plasmic radiophonics and dustily organic textures, Disclosure is patently KM’s definitive artistic statement, largely steering shy of any easy anthems in favour of pursuing a mystic, abstract muse deep into the wires.
No doubt at all it will piss off the bro’s fishing for big tuna, but for anyone else who can dance outside of the lines there’s stacks of crafty time-signatures, alien electronics and loose-limbed patterns to get with, from the bitter dissonance of Stepping on Salt to the frayed bustle of Drift Model and the sun-melted techno of Galaxy Series 7, whilst Monomer trades in Tevo Howard-style Chicago class and it’s hard to deny the Memphis-style percolations of Aluminosilicate Mirrors or the Molecular Memories’ Africans With Mainframes-esque projections.
Strong Bass styles for all fans of Joy Orbison and Doc Daneeka! On the front Chesus X Diverse Concepts whip up a slick killer in 'Baduka' with frisky Garage/Funky drums, yearning vocals and deep house motifs that already caght the attentions of Gilles Peterson, MAH, Martyn, Seiji and the rest! On the other, C.R.S.T really impresses with the light-footed flex of 'Bump' winking to classic El-B styles. Killer!
Brooding mix of post-rock and electro-pop by Ricardo Donoso + childhood friend Thiago Kochenborgor, betraying mutual influence from Depeche Mode to NIN in eight parts
“"The sailor cannot see the north, but knows the needle can".
‘Human Resources’ marks the first official album by two friends playing together since the age of twelve, separated by oceans and time, attempting to reconnect with the same collaborative, exploratory and enthusiastic spirit that they felt fifteen years prior.
Under the alias RDTK, the roots of the collaboration were planted fifteen years ago in a small one-bedroom apartment in Rio de Janeiro as an outlet for two seventeen year olds to learn and abuse the intricacies of electronic production, composition and home recording. Its initial roots remain intact: combining a hybrid of traditional rock instrumentation and arrangements with electronic programming, sound design and an intricate and sophisticated production style.
Ricardo's musical vocabulary draws as much from contemporary composition, drone, to techno and noise. Songs like album opener ‘Affective Forecasting’ contain a mind blowing intensity which is often felt throughout ‘Human Resources’. Cinematic textures and progressive rhythms are the very essence of the record as we are invited in to the immersive sound world of RDTK.
‘There Is Still Time’ conjures up images of barren landscapes and dreamlike imagery, with a spine chilling tension that is a far-cry from the sounds of Samba and Bossa Nova, while the piercing strength of ‘Surface and Together’ set against a back-drop of melancholy keys and krautrock electro beats offers a depth and urgency that is strikingly emotive.”
Two of Constellation's acclaimed solo instrumental artists join forces on this tremendous album of original compositions for horn and violin.
"Stetson and Neufeld first began playing in duo formation while on tour together as soloists in 2012, joining each other on stage for one or two of their respective pieces. Duo compositions for their debut album emerged throughout 2014, and were road-tested that spring with performances at the Festival de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (Canada) and Moers Festival (Germany). The album was recorded without overdubbing, looping, sampling, cutting or pasting at their farmhouse attic studio in rural Vermont by Hans Bernhard and mixed in Montreal by Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire).
Never were the way she was is guided by the metaphorical narrative of the life of a girl who ages slow as mountains; excited, exalted, and ultimately exiled in her search for a world that resembles her experience. The album's expansive sonic trajectory and multiplicity of structures and voicings belies the fundamental economy of two acoustic instruments combining in real time. The result is a musical chronicle that powerfully establishes its own spatial and temporal horizon, a soundtrack that requires no images but profoundly compels the imaginative. From the filigreed ostinato polyrhythms of “The sun roars into view” and “In the vespers” to the stately long tones of “And they still move”, the dark drone-inflected sea-saw waltz of “With the dark hug of time” to the growling, pulsing thrust of the album’s epic centerpiece “The rest of us”, Stetson and Neufeld offer up an incredible (and impressively diverse) integration of composition, performance, timbre and texture while holding their respective instruments in sparkling juxtaposition.
Never were the way she was is a sum quite definitively and thrillingly greater than its parts."
Lårry debuts with a slick brace of sci-fi electro on Uncertainty Principle, following their ace first release by FFT in 2017
Reportedly the first in a series of 12”s from Lårry, ‘sys_001’ starts out furtive with shortwave transmissions infiltrating the icy bleep matrix of ‘Systems_Hyperthread’, before sicking the turgid robo-beast of ‘Systems_Obfuscate’, while ’Systems_Online’ shows off his sound designer skills in vast negative space, and he goes Monolake style with the pinsharp percussion and subbass surges of ’Systems_Encoder’.
DJ Apres Ski returns from jollies on the slopes with four low slung electro tunes as Melly for Dublin’s Major Problems
Uptown, he arrives with the fluttering arps and airborne glitter of ’Shrubbery’ for the weightless movers, then leans in heavier with pendulous syncopation in the electro groove and delayed dub chords of ‘Health Is Wealth’.
Downtown he tucks it in-the-pocket on ‘The Beds’ for a natty, angular sort of electro-dub strapped with iridescent arps, and the tight latinate shuffle of ‘Mineral Water’ sees to the runout and a very canny locked groove for the DJ hypnotists.
DJ/Rupture and Matt Shadetek's Dutty Artz imprint continue a heavyweight run of form this year with 'New York Tropical', gathering eleven new tracks from the likes of Rita Indiana (remixed by Kingdom!), Lamin Fofana, Maga Bo, DJ Orien, Nguzunguzu, Chief Boima and more. It's essentially a brilliant overview of the label's aesthetic and the wealth of Tropical fusions occurring in the crucible of the Big Apple, covering the spectrum of international dancefloor rhythms Brooklyn style. Top of the pile is Kingdom's scorching rework of Caribbean megastar chanteuse Rita Indiana, cut with his usual blend of tranced-out R&B and big bwoy rhythms. Then there's La Ola Criminal, who take it uptempo Soca styles with 'Sin Gas'. Other highlights have gotta be the WTF fusions of Knight Magic's 'El Baile de la Cumbia', sounding like Bruce Haack meets El Hijo De la Cumbia. Or the Zomby-esque gallop of Nguzunguzu's 'El Bebe Ambiente'... but we gotta give it dues, the whole comp is just outstanding. Fans of Radioclit, the Shangaan Electro comp, or any of the Dutty Artz releases should consider this album a priority purchase.
Jürg Frey’s first work for string quartet, composed in 1988 and focussed on perceptions of audibility, here realised by Quator Bozzini in five parts recorded between 1988 and 2000, and originally issued in 2006.
It is worth the admission alone for ’Streichquartett II (1998-2000)’, a spectral 29 minute work with an uncanny presence that feels between worlds, inhabiting a gripping, liminal meta-space of timbral perception where the strings eventually appear to be singing, and we mean genuinely sounding like vocals, although there are none on the recording. It’s beautifully, deeply unsettling and spellbinding music
“"Material can be anonymous. Consider, for example, the middle voices in medieval hymn books: unadorned, not artful, a simple handiwork, a leisurely alternation of single notes. It might be a scale, or, beyond music, the stones of a wall, not artfully stacked, but simply and properly, the formal idea being nothing other than that of a wall.
When I was working on the String Quartet (1988), I encountered the painting of Agnes Martin. I saw clear-cut forms, not overgrown with rhetoric and figuration. Instead, sensuality, radiance and intensity gripped the entire space. There was a kind of visibility to her art, which I felt corresponded to the audibility in my music. Audibility: the moment when sound waves move in space and the air touches the body. The eardrum is the sensory connection between the outside and the inside world: we hear the sound and the composition.
Over the years it became more and more clear to me, that there is no anonymous material - each material has its shape, and as soon as it exists in space and time, it carries a distinct handwriting. Anonymous material is rather an idea that brings the work to a point where concentration on what is essential becomes possible, and allows one to feel that he is starting from zero."
Jürg Frey, translation: Michael Pisaro”
Smiling C gone done it again with this super sweet Euro-house peach from Karya, outta Czechoslovakia, 1991
A true cult collectors number, the original 7” is highly sought-after on the 2nd hand market, making this brand new, remastered 12” cut hugely desirable to people with ears and turntables.
Up top, the original ‘Muž Ze Skla’ works a slow and sexy sort of Euro-house with swanging groove, angelic synth chorales and breathy vocals inflected with a patina of classic early ‘90s spirituality.
On the B-side’s remix they drop the breathy vocal, letting the synths do all the work with mesmerising effect.
Rezzett own that fuzzy mid-fi electronic sound on a cracking eponymous début album, landing nearly 5 years on from their self-titled EP, also issued on Will Bankhead’s TTT label.
In possession of a sound that feels like exotic birds nesting a vintage studio inside your ear, Rezzett, along with the likes of Jamal Moss, Actress, Terekke and Huerco S., have been responsible for redressing the fidelity of dance music with fairly radical yet subtle incision and insight over the best part of this decade.
Thru various process of attrition, they've made a virtue of purposefully muddy and unclear resolution, embracing and fetishising the infidelities of analog hardware noise for a sort of shabby chic appeal that lends itself to closer attention in headphones as well as a sort of psychedelic friction on the ‘floor.
It’s perhaps fair to say that Rezzett have really come to define that sound at its murkiest, most romantic, and diverse, pulling from house, jungle, garage and ambient noise paradigms to forge something viscerally affective and memorably their own, as experienced between the mottled VHS memory-bank shakes of Hala, in the squirming, sore but lush Sexzzy Creep, and the salty angels tears of Yunus in Ekstasi, with the rusty grime and jungle shanks of Gremlinz and Worst Ever Contender lending a cranky, rinsed out finale.
Droopy techno abstraction from Yard, making the maiden voyage on the meandyou.-affiliated Youth label.
In four parts the Portland-based producer coaxes out a greyscale spectrum of machine mumbles and squirmy 303 graffiti; testing your patience with the wobbly nothings of Void, then descending into the claggy dub-house and silty acid piece, White Fog, before giving you something to dance with in the effluent flow of Canopy, and finally ripping out a stripe of caustic 303 modulations in Marshall Acid.
The third volume of electronics-savvy saxophonist Colin Stetson's New History Warfare album series, and if you ask us, the most pungent and poignant of the lot - thanks in no small part to the dab hand of Ben Frost, who recorded its 11 tracks in single takes and has done a splendid job of capturing the molten intensity of a Stetson live performance.
Pre-release chatter has focussed on the presence of Justin Vernon, who handles lead vocals on four of the tracks: particularly noteworthy are the pulsating, cyclical opener ‘And In Truth’, which sounds like Philip Glass's 'Floe' sung by the Beach Boys, and a cover of Washington Phillip’s gospel song ‘What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?’, in which the Bon Iver mainman comes over like a spiritually wracked Randy Newman (i.e. you have to be in the right mood, to say the least). Vocals appear elsewhere throughout the record, but as more of a spectral, gaseous presence supplying texture above all else; but of course it’s Stetson’s extraordinary sax-playing that’s the star of the show, providing as it does rhythm, tonal colour and flights of aching, jazzy lyricism, often in the space of a single piece. It’s impossible to separate the instrument from the musician: Stetson’s sax feels like an extension of his soul,if you'll forgive the cliche, possessed of a fluency and fire that demands your full attention.
We’re particularly blown away by the aptly named ‘Brute’, a grinding, propulsive industrial blues that conveys more violence and viscerality than a hundred blown-out noise sides, but are getting just as much succour from the gothic melodrama of ‘To See More Light' and the more plaintive chamber-style pieces like ‘Among The Sef’, which summons 70s John Surman and even the Michael Nyman Band - though the tremulous calm of the harmonies contrasts with the sound of Stetson’s fingers furiously gunning the keys. It’s incidental details like this, not just Stetson’s profound virtuosity, that make this record such a worthy proposition.
Dry your eyes, mate; if you missed out on the aRSeD vinyl edition, Metalheadz have you covered with this digital delivery of Goldie’s Inner City 2017 and its hauntological redress from Burial.
The 2017 rebuild from Goldie and Ulterior Motive is a nice idea but unnecessary if you’ve got the original already, but at the very least it pays respect to Diane Charlemagne’s soaring vocal - which surely remains a definitive, enduring highlight of ‘90s UK pop culture, up there with Shara Nelson on Unfinished Sympathy.
However, the Burial version is a massive bonus. Pretty much evacuating all original elements bar the vocal, which itself is pitched and processed to get right on the nerves of the Dilberts anyway, the prodigious one perfectly captures that ‘90s music video aesthetic of running-thru-tunnels and dark warehouses quite literally with a rush of running man breaks and sharp-cornered scene cuts held with a near-breathless tension, kinda like those few minutes before the garys kick in and you’re about to be sick/fly around the club, which basically kicks in with the final minute’s head-spinning pivot on the cusp of happy/dark ‘ardcore.
“But you can’t play it in a club?!” oh fuck off and do your hot-nobbing clown step where we can’t see you.
A hauntingly spirited minimal/progressive/new age classic from 1978 with liner notes by the author and Kieran Hebden.
"Lino Capra Vaccina's immense 'Antico Adagio' was originally intended to be a double album, but was eventually scaled back to a single disc, self-released by the author in 1978; and thanks to the breadth and scope of Die Schachtel's excavations, the second unreleased album from the 1978 session is now available.
"Before an aberrant idea of progress and workaholic ethic ludicrously sped up our daily lives, even in the hectic city of Milan it was possible to "play slowly" – with no pressure, simply following the path your art was showing you. After a classic artistic journey and an experimental stint with Aktuala and other brilliant fellow musicians (like Franco Battiato, above all), Lino Capra Vaccina, near the end of the 70s, recorded Antico Adagio. It was an amazing album, anticipating countless future experiments in the field of new age and world music but also in avantgarde and electronic music.
Apart from a few violin parts and the extraordinary vocal lines (sung by Vaccina himself and Juri Camisasca), Antico Adagio is an album fully built on percussions. But, at the same time, it's the farthest thing from the typical idea of percussions. You won't find a single trace of African or primitive beats: instead, this is a collection of rather long, subtle and thoughtful compositions, crafted with vibraphones, marimbas and gong. Together they create a work which will remain unique – both in Capra Vaccina's discography as well as in a more general sense."
A new label from the Sofrito family; classy new wave rumba hybrid from mid ‘80s Paris, compatible with early ‘80s Detroit styles. A very promising start for the Ambiance label
“4 tracks spanning rumba, disco, new wave and reggae experiments from Congolese singer Albert Siassia and his group Tokobina, including two previously unreleased tracks taken from original demo tapes.
Originally from Pointe Noire in Congo, Albert Siassia came to Paris in the early 80s as part of the Ballet Nationale du Congo and joined forces with a young French reggae group called Dread Lion – a band he re-christened “Tokobina” (Lingala for “let’s dance”). Keen to broaden their audience the group played a mixture of reggae, rumba, disco and new wave styles, often using drum machines and synths.
They released one 12” EP, further altering the spelling of the name – “Tokobina” was phonetically anglicised to “Talk-Hoby-Night” in an unsuccessful effort to increase international sales. The record failed to make much of an impact and soon after Albert Siassia moved back to Pointe Noire to become an evangelical preacher. He passed away in 1999.
Dancefloor sureshots Mama Africa and Pointe Noire are taken from the group’s only 12” release. In the world and Sangui are taken from demo cassettes from the archive of drummer Franck Benhamou. Sangui was originally scheduled for release on a 7” but the release was withdrawn due to a pressing fault.”
Holy mother of noise, what the devil have we here? Superior Viaduct cough up the 1st ever vinyl reissue of Basil Kirchin’s mind-blowing experimental masterpiece Worlds Within Worlds, which has bafflingly somehow escaped wider attention until now. While Trunk Records have done a fantastic job of returning Kirchin’s work to critical acclaim since their issue of Quantum in 2003, this very necessary reissue inarguably and surely reasserts the British jazz drummer and composer-cum-studio experimentalist among electronic music’s greatest pioneers. Trust, this is a record you’ve been looking for forever, but just didn’t know it existed!
Conceived as the follow-up to Kirchin’s Worlds Within Worlds parts 1 & 2, which were discernibly scored for a jazz sextet (including Evan Parker) and various bird, animal, and amplified insect sounds, and released on LP by Columbia in 1971, Kirchin’s 1974 follow-up of the same name contains parts 3 & 4 and finds him combining similar instrumentation with the sounds of a Gorilla, Hornbills, and Flamingoes in a heavily abstract, tape-processed style that’s just completely messing us up right now.
If any LP deserves the mantle “lost classic”, it’s this one. From the first seconds of distended, hellish moans and flanging analog artefacts in Emergence (Part 3) you know this is going to be a serious trip and it never once sells the listener short. For the next 20 minutes he unspools a fantasy tableaux of warped, grainy harmonics and warbling sonic oddity, smudging samples of autistic children in a Swiss community with the sounds of the docks in Hull, where he lived, to forge a practically unprecedented alternate dimension of atonal, arrhythmic immersion that genuinely feel like a transmission from the other side, much in the best way of music from Aphex Twin thru to Broadcast or NWW.
On the B-side Evolution (Part 4) follows suit into the void without the handrails of convention, effectively landing somewhere between the combustible, metallurgic experiments of Gottfried Michael König, Annea Lockwood’s Tiger Balm, and the vast, cosmic spectral music of Iancu Dumitrescu in terms of space and texture, with 18 minutes of dense, layered concrète chicanery that pulls the ear’s eye almost out of its socket in a seamless, keening traversal of metastable, decelerated sonics from Gorilla growls to submerged clangour and astral flange that uncannily parallels COUM Transmissions from the same era and city, although we’re pretty sure there was no crossover between the two.
Suffice it to say, this record is one of the best things to ever come out of Yorkshire or the British electronic music underbelly. Just fucking incredible, psychedelic music. Highly recommended!
Broken English Club flashes his industrial gnashers on the 1st part of a new LP trilogy for L.I.E.S.
Otherwise known as Oliver Ho, Broken English Club has become the bloodied ground for his most unrepentant, grotesque and personalised productions, a place where the bones of EBM/acid/techno rest in pieces beside the desiccated batteries of power electronics and the ghosts of late ‘70s/early ‘80s post-industrial styles.
Leading on from last year’s ‘The English Beach’ LP, Ho focuses his energies into 9 bitter cuts in ‘White Rats’, ranging from the coruscating noise guitar wizardry of the title cut and the clenched industrial strength force of ’Funny Games’ on the front, to thoughts about modern day Brexit Britain in ‘Animal Town’ - “barking nazi’s in plastic tracksuits” - along with the skudgy acid EBM burn of ‘Let’s Play’ and blown-out power electronics of ’Stab Boy’ on the other side.
RIYL Throbbing Gristle, Parrish Smith, Sandra Electronics...
"For this limited edition single, the songs were performed by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & The Cairo Gang with Ben Boye, Van Campbell, Danny Kiely and Angel Olsen, who toured in the latter half of 2010 with Bonny & Cairo. Special guest Rob Mazurek (whose work brought air and light to Bonny’s Beware) solos delicate on “Island Brothers,” which features stacked harmonies from Bonny, Cairo and Angel. The careful arrangement of dynamics that marked all the songs on The Wonder Show Of The World is present on both songs, with “New Wonder,” more indicative of the ballad style that was explored throughout that album."
Reissue of Charly Kingson’s hot disco platter, produced by Klaus Weiss in Germany, 1982, and shifting for triple figures on the 2nd hand market...
A-side is the horny Afrobeat funk fuss of ‘Born In Africa’ with its slithering bassline and call ’n response vocals, while B-side is juicy ace named ‘Nimele Bolo’, working a squirmign synth bass with chicken scratch guitar and horns for pure late night heat.
Ace 3rd group outing from John Howes’ Cong Burn clan, including deeper gems by Lack and Duckett...
Tending to intimate/introspective hours of the club and afters, Leeds-based Lack impresses with the grubbing undulation and dark blue pads of ‘Unttiled’ - imagine E.R.P. meets Batu - and Duckett also gets it right with the frayed groove and hyaline lead of ‘Lost In Israel’ recalling Actress and Morphosis gear.
Chekov plays it dead subtle and breezy with the dusty shuffle of ‘Spring’, and Haddon pushes the edges into out limits dub abstraction in ‘Anabiosis’.
"'There Is No God' / 'God Is Love' is the new single from Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and features the musical talents of Emmett Kelly, Ben Hall, Pete Cummings, Peter Townsend, Billy Contreras, Cassie Berman and Rachel Korine."
The Bug finally steps it up proper with his first full length player since his 'Pressure' set laid down the industro-dub gauntlet with a fair clanging smack some 5 years back.
In that time we've seen The Bug become a linchpin of the South London Bass scene with unruly rave smashers released on Hyperdub, Soul Jazz etc directing us to the future sound of bashment and proper heavy bass musics. 'London Zoo' corrals a guest vocalist lineup featuring some of the finest ragga soundsystem toasters London and JA has to offer, with everyone from longtime collaborator Warrior Queen, to the legendary Tippa Irie and Spaceape, helping Martin to define his abstract heavyweight riddims in fine style.
The big 'n bashy wreckers from the 12"s are all here from 'Poison Dart', 'Jah War' and the punishing 'Skeng' but the set doesn't rely on these tried and tested cuts for support, ramming in a ruck of fresh material from the robo-ragga of 'Fuck*z' to the shockout drum styles on 'warning' or the apocalyptic finisher 'Judgement' with Rinky Ranking truly saving the best til last.
The production levels really couldn't be any higher and needless to say the bass is unbelievably heavy, thoroughly primed for home hifi and dancehall soundsystem testing. Proper heavy!!!
Andy Lyster’s Youth label wrest four stripes of punky blooze from Shamos, who steers away from the rugged house knocks of his Apron 12”s to nervier, faded headpieces in YO2TH.
Acquainted thru London’s NTS studio, Lyster and Shamos have conspired to reveal alternate aspects of the latter’s aesthetic, sidewinding from what sounds like one of Delroy Edwards’ Teenage Tapes cuts in the grungy wave stepper Found Grace to Lukid-esque alien tribalism in 13213132, then with a gristly, blank-eyed slug of EBM in TMF, and desiccated Detroit boogie in Nuws.
Lush, reticulated reggaeton, deep house and breakbeat fusions from man o’ many monikers, Brian Piñeyro (Deejay Xanax, DJ Wey, Luis) as DJ Python, following the sterling example of his ¡Estéreo Bomba! Vol. 1 for Antony Naples’ Proibito with an immersive expansion of that sound in Dulce Compañia.
Taking reggaeton along new, instrumental routes intersecting NYC’s rave history, DJ Python has pretty much cooked up his own style of deep reggaeton, a title which should probably be taken with a pinch of salt, but serves well to identify his angle amidst an upswell of LatinX producers who are spinning dembow beats and tropes into all kinds of new spaces - from DJ/Rupture and co, to Florentino and Kelman Duran, for example.
Almost as close to the sound of Ben Cenac’s Dream II Science, new age experiments from Laraaji, or even Andy Stott as any of the above, Dulce Compaña finds Python alloying reggaeton’s nagging, signature bump with chiming electronic meditations in Las Palmas, and with squashed jungle breaks in the style of his Deejay Xanax alias on Cuál, both setting the innovative, deviant agenda for the rest of the set, recoiling from eyes-shut ambient rave infusions on Todo Era Azul (Version Afuera) and its cosmic Siempre Dub, to something like B12 on holiday in Caracas with q.e.p.d, but also making room for more rugged swerve in Acostados and the acidic tang of Yo Ran(Do).
But if any one track is going to melt your pants off, it’s the plasmic, aerial ambient shuffle of Esteban, which provides the sweetest window on Piñeyro’s unique Python sound, and everyone will know what to do next.
The impeccable 12th Isle return with 'Palta Og Ti På Den Tolvte Ø’, a balmy suite of downtempo bliss-outs gently coaxed along by burbling rhythms by Palta & Ti...
“Seemingly drawing from a slightly different well of influence from that seen across their prolific back catalogue, the Aarhus duo – going by the less common shroud of Palta & Ti – have hereby woven together a stylistically varied yet tonally concentric 3 track EP. Having produced a wealth of some of the most lovingly referential and consistent music of recent times, the tracks making up “Palta og Ti på den Tolvte Ø” are slightly harder to pin down to exact genre markers. Each song is busy yet never overcrowded with elements; building concise and playful grooves which if forced we would say positions them somewhere in the ambient space between jazzy-improv-house and dubby, hypnotic electronics. That’s as absolute in adjectives as we would ever care to be...
Expertly crafted both technically and musically, we are more than excited to be able to present this to you as our fifth instalment.”