Deluxe editions of an iconic Crepuscule compilation, the labels very first release back in November 1980, now celebrating its 40th anniversary; one of the original and very best "anything goes" label comps - a timely reminder of brooding evergreens by Gavin Bryars, John Foxx, Martin Hannett, Michael Nyman and a cast of contemporary notables.
An early window into the Belgian-UK connection framed by Factory affiliates Les Disques du Crepuscule, ‘From Brussels With Love’ was introduced to these ears by a pretty girl in a back yard in Longsight many moons ago, and It’s stuck with us ever since, casting an infinitely nostalgic vision of romantic torment and existential wist for the ages that we’ll never tire of returning to.
It's one of the finest, most memorable sets of poor-but-sexy bedsit chamber music, crafted noise experiments and jangly art-pop of its era. From the gorgeous John Foxx jingles to a stray Dome ace in the janky groove of ‘Twist Up’, the set takes in all styles like some personal mixtape from your enviably stylish friends in Belgium, covering Martin Hannett’s motorik night slug ‘The Music Room’ thru to Neo-classical from Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman and Satie.
"Originally released as a cassette with a 16 page booklet packaged in a PVC wallet, From Brussels With Love featured 21 exclusive tracks from the international avant-garde and new wave, as well as contributions from the celebrated Factory Records roster. Then, as now, the featured artists include A Certain Ratio, Gavin Bryars, Harold Budd, Thomas Dolby, Dome, The Durutti Column, John Foxx, Martin Hannett, Richard Jobson, The Names, Bill Nelson, Kevin Hewick + New Order, Michael Nyman and Der Plan.
Running for 78 minutes, the cosmopolitan ‘cassette journal’ was curated by Michel Duval, Annik Honore and Wim Mertens, and also includes extended interviews with Brian Eno and legendary French film actress Jeanne Moreau. The cover art is by Jean-Francois Octave, with additional artwork in the booklet by Benoit Hennebert, Marc Borgers and Claude Stassart.
From Brussels With Love quickly sold 6000 copies around Europe, earning rapturous reviews in the UK music press. “This is a reminder – without really trying, without being obvious – that pop is modern poetry. Is the sharpest, shiniest collection of experiences. Is always something new” (Paul Morley, NME). More recently, Dan Fox of art magazine Frieze described TWI 007 as “a masterpiece of distinctly northern European post-punk eclecticism.”
To mark the 40th anniversary of From Brussels With Love, Crepuscule will issue 3 remastered editions. The most ambitious of these is a deluxe 2xCD earbook edition (TWI 007 CD) presented as a 10-inch square hardback book, with two full length audio CDs and a 60 page book including rare images, posters, sleeve designs and period ephemera, plus a detailed history of the Crepuscule label between 1979 and 1984, with contributions from Duval, Honore, Mertens, Octave, Hennebert and photographer Philippe Carly.
CD1 includes all 21 tracks from the original cassette. CD2 includes tracks omitted from TWI 007 for reasons of space, as well as related Crepuscule tracks by Michael Nyman, Bill Nelson, John Foxx, Richard Jobson, Durutti Column, Repetition and The Names, and contemporary songs by other Belgian artists including Digital Dance, Polyphonic Size, Aksak Maboul, Karel Goeyvaerts and Marine.
In addition, Crepuscule issue a facsimile edition cassette package (TWI 007), and a gatefold double vinyl edition (TWI 008) pressed on coloured vinyl (Disc 1 is black, and Disc 2 is white), with the booklet pages printed on the inner gatefold."
Loscil's dreamy 2011 ambient classic "coast/ range/ arc/" gets the deluxe reissue treatment with a fresh remaster and an additional track.
Originally released in 2011, "coast/ range/ arc/" is a dense, evocative ambient record - the kind of album that set the stage for plenty of music that now clogs up playlists, but has rarely been done more effectively. Stylistic touchstones might be Thomas Köner, Angelo Badalamenti and Stars of the Lid (to a degree), but Scott Morgan takes things to shadowier, yet picturesque places - fitting, considering he is based in the quite lovely Pacific Northwest.
It's music that evokes its setting perfectly - bubbling streams haunt 'Fromme' before sub bass hints at larger, mountainous structures looming in the distance. 'Brohm Ridge' meanwhile sounds like troubling winds rushing through trees, with a haunted melancholy that reminds of Deaf Center at their finest. Unheard track 'Black Tusk Descent' has been added to fill out this reissue and concludes the album in a fitting mist of low-end drone and glassy anxious synth.
‘Figures In Open Air’ is a supplement to the beautiful, studio based rumination of ‘Cantus, Descant’, marking the 2nd physical release of new music on Sarah Davachi’s Late Music.
For nigh on 3 hours, the set documents Sarah Davachi in mesmerising form in live settings between Berlin, Chicago, Vancouver, and L.A., imbuing a range of vintage pipe organs and synthesisers with her unique magick alongside some additional players on strings, wind and voice here and there. As anyone who has witnessed Sarah performing live will surely attest, her music has a bare power to hush a room full of people and bring them to eyes-shut serenity, chasing the most ephemeral lines of thought, and that subtle but deeply hypnotic, meditative energy is in full effect on this album.
It’s really dominated by two durational works recorded in Berlin and Chicago, with former channelling pastoral whims like a smudged time-lapse of Harmonia and Eno visions in its hour long arc at Rotes Salon, while the latter makes use of the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel’s 92 year old E.M. Skinner pipe organ elided with French horn in a slow exploration of monotone drone. ‘Canyon Walls’ sees Sarah at her mist ephemeral, ancient sounding on a Story & Clark reed organ at The Museum of Jurassic Technology, LA, and we’re rather partial to the keening, hypnagogic chamber sorcery of ‘Diaphonia Basilica’, captured in Montréal, Canada.
Powerful new spiritual jazz from Chile on Soul Jazz Records. Enrique Rodríguez and the Negra Chiway Band group have an instantly powerful and unique sound that is reminiscent of the ensembles of Sun Ra and his Arkestra as well as Horace Tapscott and his Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, one that channels the righteous spirits of Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp and McCoy Tyner together with a stunning Latin rhythmical and new consciousness and percussive energy.
"Added to this are elements of the Samurai film soundtracks of Akira Kurosawa, Popol Vuh’s musical spirituality (especially their work with film director Werner Herzog), Tibetan Buddhism and over-blowing chants, all combining to give a truly unique new sound. Enrique Rodríguez is a composer, percussionist, keyboardist and producer from Santiago, Chile, whose work shows many similarities with the music featured on Soul Jazz Records’ recent collection ‘Kaleidoscope - New Spirts Known and Unknown’, featuring new forward-looking jazz artists including Mathew Halsall, Theon Cross, Emma-Jean Thackray and Makaya McCraven.
Like all these artists, Rodríguez’s work is a progressive and experimental fusion of earlier influences that combine into a new and definitely 21st Century ground-breaking sound that, on account of its South American setting, give the group its truly unique feeling. Hypnotic modal piano riffs, powerful brass and flutes, an army of Latin percussion instruments and addictive vocal chants all combine in this powerful mix of radical 60s Afro-centric jazz, Eastern spirituality and cosmology and Latin American rhythmical movement."
In his first album since 2006, D&B pioneer Krust dials up the drama and tightens the screws on his swingeing step tekkers in a proper Afro-futurist epic
Weighing in at 1hr 30min long, and with tracks typically unafraid to run over 10 mins, ‘The Edge Of Reason’ is effectively a feature length, widescreen showcase for one of the UK’s pioneering Afro-futurists. Since the likes of 1997’s ‘Future Unknown’ and ‘Genetic Manipulation’, or his classic D&B album ‘Coded Language’ Krust has pushed the envelopes of D&B in his own image with typically longer track lengths allowing for deeper encrypted philosophy.
In 2020 he continues his mission with focussed, minimalist engineering and hypnotic traction, all layered with a more dramatic approach to string and synth arrangements, resulting uniquely tight spins on autonomic D&B torque and cinematic organ stabs in ‘Hegel Dialect’, the knife-edge tension of ’Negative Returns’, and a proper noirish Bristolian roller ‘Deep Fields Of Liars’.
Across eight tracks of subverted, expansive pop, Jake Luppen’s solo debut is all sharp edges, a fractured self-portrait pieced together through left-ofcentre pop maximalism.
"Although Luppen rose to prominence as a vocalist and guitarist in St. Paul’s beloved indie outfit Hippo Campus, the songs on ‘Lupin’ feel like meeting him for the first time. He puts it succinctly: “With this record I wanted to get to the point, and say how things were, as opposed to dancing around them.” Written mainly in breaks during a sprawl of 112 shows for Hippo Campus’ ‘Bambi’ from 2018-2019, Lupin was an unexpected path to confidence. It also offered an escape from the grind of endless touring and a way for Luppen to process major and stressful life events directly through songwriting.
Inspired as much by Charli XCX’s ‘Pop 2’ as it is Tears for Fears, 80s new wave and Prince, the genre-bending record holds true to a desire to make 1980s music filtered through modern technology. Featuring synth and programming contributions from Jim-E Stack and Buddy Ross, Lupin weaves together fragmented drum loops, swooning falsetto, tangles of synths and sharp guitar lines, the final product is an off-kilter popsheen, one Luppen said was guided more by intuition and feeling than anything else. Working alongside producer BJ Burton (Bon Iver, Charli XCX, Banks), the two spent intensive sessions collecting material, coalescing as many layers felt true to serve the songs."
Downwards and Sandwell District co-founder and key Brummie techno figurehead Peter Sutton is finally subject to this long-in-the-making 5CD retrospective spanning both solo albums and stacks of 12” cuts, plus a bonus unreleased 2000 session with sparring partner Regis - an important tome for all UK techno fiends and archivists. RIYL Regis, Surgeon, Jeff Mills, Fret, Justin K Broadrick, Sandwell District...
Since the mid ‘90s Peter Sutton aka Female has been a key underground figure in UK techno, setting up the Downwards label and pumping out a cultishly prized catalogue of driving dancefloor productions that define the “Birmingham” sound at its brute and infectious best. Female’s coldly atonal, drily percussive sound holds a lot in common with his peers, Regis and Surgeon, sharing strong influence from early ‘90s Jeff Mills and hard, tracky Chicago techno as much as post punk and Industrial musicks. However, Female’s emphasis on extra slinky patterns and subtly trippy filtering, articulated with a dry and cutting Black Country wit, has indelibly personalised his productions with a swingeing shuffle and mesmerising monotone atmosphere that’s entirely his own, as perfectly exhibited across this definitive survey.
Collecting the albums ‘Into The Exotic’ (1997) and ‘Angel Plague’ (1999), plus a clutch of vital 12”s including some of the earliest for Sandwell District (‘Serverlan’), and a never-before-released 2000 recording of his duo with Karl O’Connor (Regis) circa their Hostage and ‘Againstnature’ recording; the set covers one of the most vital and unique strains of UK techno, brutally demonstrating how the hard, diverse, inner city rave sounds of US cities like Detroit, Chicago and NYC came to resonate with residents of post-industrial UK cities such as Birmingham (as much as Glasgow, Manchester or Sheffield), while subtly but punkishly contrasting with their Euro counterparts.
In recent years Female’s ascetically future-proofed music has arguably become a sort of secretive knowledge or preserve due to his absence from release schedules, but this newly mastered brick of a set - meticulously re-mastered by Brummie demigod Justin Broadrick - should serve a suitably punishing reminder and introduction to one of techno’s most single-minded, and most distinctive artists.
Franck Vigroux pays heavy tribute to Mika Vainio, his late collaborator and major inspiration, with a powerful album of blacksmith electronic brutality finding a logical home on Raster.
Vainio’s influence inspires Vigroux to some of his most striking work on ‘Ballades sur lac gelé’, clearly using a similar palette and style to the late great pioneer, but patenting the sound with his own sense of dramaturgy and a more direct dancefloor approach that’s got us doing the office chair bounce right now.
The surging drama of opening cut ‘Drive’ dates back to when Vigroux was working with Vainio, and when corona lockdown kicked in, he was prompted to finish it off and expand on the results in a proper tribute to his late peer. The Finnish legend’s spirit is lurking over the rest of the album, from the scowling, icy stepper ‘Cygnus X-1’, to the effortlessly whirring mechanics of ’Styx’, isolationist ambience in ‘Acqua Alta’, and his manacled manipulation of raw electric noise in ‘Atotal’.
Bad belly, end-of-earth, avant rock clangour and surprisingly sparse, shimmering passages from the Kiwi kings of this style, still holding their ground out there in Dunedin, NZ. The blunted mumble of ‘Glitterness’ and ‘The Sky Above’ are the ones for us, recalling John Duncan’s wizened covers LP heard thru a haze of eternal teenage rock angst and melancholy
“Some bands struggle to transcend their initial mythos, those stories that introduce them to the public eye. But The Dead C is a notable exception. They appeared in 1986 under a cloud of mystery, their unconventional location (South Island, New Zealand) helping to fuel their erratic sound. Name-dropped through the nineties by groups like Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo, they gained influence and acclaim but never strayed from their original mainlined performing technique, which can sound like chaos to the casual listener.
What kind of a world greets them and their new album Unknowns in 2020? New Zealand culture is better known throughout the world, not to mention a low-virus paradise. Yes, isolated as in the past, but this time for being a nation of efficacy in tackling a public health crisis. But what about the rest of us? The music of Mssrs. Robbie Yates, Bruce Russell and Michael Morley endures, partially because their errant sounds, once so alienating, now feel like they’ve been made flesh in a large part of the modern day world.
Continuing to delve inwards for inspiration with tin ears towards trends, styles and technique, The Dead C forge onward. Unpolished, dusty and gritty, these three have again taken two guitars and drums, a combo which has less to say than ever, and leave us stunned. Unknowns has Morley slurring over spiraling dissemblance, with tracks ricocheting from intense to assaultive to drained, yet consistently magnificent.
As reliable as ever, The Dead C are firmly grounded as an unassailable Truth.”
Low Jack riffs on love in the age of AI with a head-twisting collage of vaporous ambient, gamelan and candid vocal sampling for his longtime crew at In Paradisum, home to some of his most beguiling experiments.
‘Awesome’ was originally made to accompany a series of events in 2016 surrounding an exhibition by Swiss hacker/rave squad !Mediengruppe Bitnik. On its standalone release, ‘Awesome’ represents some of Philippe Hallais' most curious work; 30 minutes of queasy music reflecting a perplexing, hypermodern state of mind and a dystopian outlook at the future of AI-driven flirting, sexting, and politicking.
As with everything he touches, Hallais injects a strong, if elusive, sense of personality and sensuality that comes to resonate with the original project by Bitnik’s Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo, and the immersive nature of their ongoing Cryptoraves; a series of events accessed by participating in multi-day cryptocurrency mining sessions. The effect of the music is more immediate and visceral in a way perhaps recognisable to anyone simultaneously seduced/repelled by the disorienting, detached but euphoric and wistful experience of finding and negotiating love online.
The results recall the curdled Lynchian vibes of his ‘An American Hero’ for Modern Love, as well as his screwed mixes of Black Zone Myth Chant, the soundtracks to Ryan Trecartin’s deeply uncanny art videos or David Cronenburg’s Videodrome, or the heaving viscosity of Amnesia Scanner & Bill Kouligas’ Lexachast - effectively leaving his usual, warped dancefloor urges aside to present a captivating and insightful reading of techgnostic mysticism and eroticism in modern life.
First LP in five years from Mica Levi & co's newly renamed scuzzy garage-pop band with Raisa Khan, CJ Calderood and Marc Pell, for a new bag of jangly, guitar + vocal-centred charms.
The band’s first LP in half a decade arrives via Parisian label Textile Records, and by design or coincidence, it has something of a puckered Gallic insouciance to its mix of sweet and bitter, beret-wearing vocals, and no-no wavey skronk that sits very well next to the label’s works from Joanne Robertson & Dean Blunt and Jackie O Motherfucker.
If we’re playing favourites, then the driving riffs and Mica’s grungy vocals on ‘Reaching’ are a must check, but they equally prove adept at sweeter dream-pop with sun-blistered guitar optimism in ‘Do It’, and the dubbed-out garage-pop vim of ‘Blessed’, while ‘Star’ is the one for Sterolab and Broadcast fans with hooks that won’t leave your head for days, and we can easily imagine ‘Honey’ beaming off a radio in a Glasgow (shared) kitchen circa 1985.
From the psychic fissures of 2020 bursts Mr. Bungle’s first album in 20 years - a re-recorded 1986 high school demo full of gnarly thrash metal riffs and nads out swagger, performed with Mike Patton and co’s inch-tight technicality
Now a supergroup counting Patton and original members, Trey Spruce and Trevor Dunn, plus Scott Ian of Anthrax and Dave Lombardo of Slayer/Dead Cross, Mr.Bungle let rip on 11 songs - including covers of classics by S.O.D. and Corrosion of Conformity - certain to get you scissor kicking like Nick Cage in Wild At Heart and knocking over your mam’s crockery, especially to that spat of ‘La Cucaracha’ in ‘Hypocrites / Habla Espanol O Muere’.
You’ll either be all over this like a freaking hot mess or not at all. We fall heavily in the former category and, if you’re still reading, can thoroughly recommend the gear-shifting velocity of ‘Bungle Grind’, the hot-blooded rage of ‘Eracist’, and the horsemen of the apocalypse thunder of ’Sudden Death’ for instant and lasting raging gratification, and possibly the most exercise you’ll get in this entire torrid year.
Whew, this is a LOT.
Jacszek uses the landscape of Limpopo Province, SA to conjure slow moving, crepuscular scenes, transforming field recordings of its environment and contact mic traces of the earth into hauntingly sparse, elemental works for Touch
“GARDENIA is an existing land located at the Limpopo province of South Africa, right at the border with Botswana. The place’s real name is Mmabolela and it’s a private nature reserve covering 6500ha of subtropical savanna and part of Limpopo River. In November 2019 I had a chance to visit the location and participate in an annual residency for composers and sound artists called ‘Sonic Mmabolela’, initiated and curated by Francisco López. We lived in an isolated property in the middle of savanna having a unique opportunity to exist in undisturbed touch with the African wilderness. All the natural sounds later used to create Gardenia were captured there — during longtime recording sessions over the virgin interior of Mmabolela Reserve.
The album’s field recording content was selected from several hours of birdsong, calls of frogs, insect noises, sounds of trees, bushes, grass as well as non-living natural elements like stones or shells.
These field recordings were later digitally processed and used as part of 9 musical arrangements.
However the recording sources and the location of Gardenia is defined, it was not my intention to document a South African natural soundscape nor create any other kind of strict concept album.
All I do in my work is an affirmation of beauty hidden in various aspects of the Creation. (MJ)”
The gorgeous first Sun Ra Arkestra album in 20 years is lead by Marshall Allen and solidifies their place among the most prized, and singular, jazz bands of this constellation.
‘Swirling’ by name and by nature, Sun Ra Arkestra’s glorious return sees them touch down from near perpetual tours orbiting the globe, sounding out cosmic and earthly concerns in a spirited continuation of Ra’s original directions, more than capably steered by 90 year old living legend Marshall Allen, who has manned the big band since Sonny Blount stepped off this mortal coil in 1993.
With a resurgent interest in new jazz music surrounding Chicago’s International Anthem label, and the likes of a rich London scene, Sun Ra Arkestra come to take their crown, wear it upside down, and show errrrrryone how to do it like they haven’t missed a beat, or at least all the wrong ones, for more than half a century. Long-standing members Danny Ray Thompson (RIP), Michael Ray, Vincent Chancey, Knoel Scott, Cecil Brooks, Atakatune (RIP), Elson Nascimento and Tyler Mitchell all appear beside Marshall on his Alto Sax and AVI, and come infused by new blood in the form of Tara Middleton’s powerful vocals, and the drum muscle of Wayne Anthony Smith, bolstering their Latinate rhythms where needed.
The wobbling cosmic synth noise and belting vocals of ‘Astro Black’ make a big highlight, and again it’s brilliant when the music drops out to leave stark power of their harmonised vocals in ‘Sea of Darkness / Darkness’, but if you’re after that unmistakable cosmic chaos, it’s there in the glorious clatter of ‘Infinity / I’ll Wait For You’, and right on the dissonant nose with the slinky swag of ‘Queer Notions’, while their spin on classic ‘Rocket No. 9’ will be destined for the ‘floor.
Crackshot partner-piece to 2019’s ‘There Existed An Addiction to Blood’ by LA’s rap screwballs Clipping, one of the most intriguing acts on the current Sub Pop roster alongside Shabazz Palaces
Galvanised by experiences of the past year, and riddled with a sort of nervy ‘90s horror anxiety, ‘Visions of Bodies Being Burned.’ sees the trio moving from strength to strength with a hefty payload of noisy, grizzled hip hop abstractions and hyperrealism, framed by some of their crunchiest and most starkly dramatic productions.
There’s a certain LA Lynchian-noir/‘90s teen slasher/body horror atmosphere that percolates the album from its intro to Dungeon rap flex of ‘Say The Name’ or ‘’96 Neve Campbell’ and the cracked, needling trap drama of ‘Enlacing’, holding together a ruggedly fractious set that’s prone to bouts of darkside paranoiac panic on ‘Something Underneath’ and lunges into clashy industrial D&Breakcore on ‘Pain everyday’, and even some kind industrial-rap-jazz fusion with Chicago staple Jeff Parker on ‘Eaten Alive.’
0PN mounts a definitive opus with his rapturous 9th studio album, entirely produced during lockdown, with “executive production” by The Weeknd, who also supplies vocals alongside Arca and Caroline Polachek.
‘Magic Oneohtrix Point Never’ is titled after the mispronunciation of Magic 106.7, a local radio station in Boston, Massachusetts; the state where Daniel Lopatin aka 0PN grew up, and where the album was created. The radio station’s adult contemporary programming is a formative and enduring influence on 0PN’s music, and it’s clear that he’s saved this album title for some of his most accomplished tributes to his influences, but refracted thru his prismatic styles to illustrate the distance between that era, and this, with some of his most elusive, illusive and beguiling sound design wrapped up in a mix of stunningly mazy and pop-toned arrangements.
0PN is one of those artists we’d imagine took to lockdown quite naturally, sequestering themselves away to immerse in their art for the good of everyone outside. Written between March and July, the results of ‘Magic Oneohtrix Point Never’ speak for themselves as 0PN’s most broadly appealing record, typically placing avant-inventiveness and curiosity at the service of a tumultuous narrative that really needs some kind of road-trip simulation game to go along with its possessed dial-strafing.
You’re probably familiar with the album’s opening sequence, which appeared on a lead single, and includes the lushest FM synthesis of 2020 in ‘Long Road Home’, and the rest of the album follows suit with a profligate approach to genre, cutting from phased dream-pop grunge in ’I Don’t Love Me Anymore’, to hypnagogic ident collage in ‘The Whether Channel’, and The Weeknd’s romantic ‘80s power pop turn on ‘Lost But Never Again’, crucially fractured with cut-scenes and mutant jingling of the ‘Cross Talk’ parts that tie the album’s story together with something approaching a sonic-visual analog of Safdie Brothers’ choppy editing gone lysergic.
Barely known outside of his home country during his lifetime, the late Japanese ambient music pioneer Hiroshi Yoshimura has seen his global stature rise steadily in the past few years.
"The 2017 reissue of his lauded debut, Music For Nine Post Cards, along with a slow building cult internet following has helped ignite a renaissance in his acclaimed body of work, much of which has never been released outside of Japan. Known for his sound design and environmental music, Yoshimura worked on a number of commissions following the 1982 release of Music For Nine Post Cards, including works for museums, galleries, public spaces, TV shows, video art, fashion shows, and even a cosmetics company.
Originally released in 1986, GREEN is one of Hiroshi Yoshimura’s most well-loved recordings and a favorite of the artist himself. Recorded over the winter of 1985-86 at Yoshimura’s home studio, the compositions unfold at an unhurried pace, a stark contrast to the busy city life of Tokyo. As Yoshimura explained in the original liner notes, the album title in the context of this body of work is not meant to be seen as a color, but is rather used to convey “the comfortable scenery of the natural cycle known as GREEN”—which perfectly encapsulates the soothing and warm sounds contained on the album, although it was created utilizing Yamaha FM synthesizers, known for their crisp digital tones.
This edition marks the first reissue of the highly sought-after and impossible to find album. It features the original mix preferred by Yoshimura himself, previously available only on the initial Japanese vinyl release (a limited edition remixed version of the album, with added sound effects, was released on CD in the US)."
Arizonan kosmiche/wave duo Trees Speak are bound to light up retro-vintage synth heads with their 3rd album in a year for Soul Jazz. RIYL Can, Neu!, Goblin, Suicide
Pushing all the right buttons for fans of faithful ’70s homage, ’Shadow Forms’ packs X amount of driving motorik rhythm, hypnotic minimalist fretwork, pulsating arps and cinematic panoramas in its 11-track run. Nods to a litany of inspirations are all clear and present, but what sets the duo aside is their concision, mostly keeping their instrumental tracks around a popwise 3 minutes, rather than the sprawling track lengths one might associate with krautrock, and thus closer to the horror film and no wave cues that are also key to their sound, and which keep the album fleeting from track to track in a filmic, absorbingly wordless narrative that culminates in one long blow out on the escalating 8’ finale.
This box-set collects all the available recordings by seminal japanese group tolerance.
It includes both their albums released released between 1979 and 1981 on japanese cult diy label vanity records, along with never before released tracks recently discovered in agi yuzuru's archives.
Swingeing, daring, deep Afro-Latin jazz finesse from Irreversible Entanglement’s Aquiles Navarro & Tscheser Holmes on Chicago’s amazing International Anthem label - another gem that may well refresh and reaffirm views on modern jazz, and its place in contemporary music
"Heritage of the Invisible II" follows Navarro and Holmes’s rise to prominence as members of free jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements. In March of 2020 in "The Nation" writer Marcus J. Moore said "Irreversible Entanglements’ fearless music takes to task the police, American politics, capitalism, and racism." The revolutionary ethos that drives Irreversible Entanglements is no less present in Navarro and Holmes’s duo work, though their duo finds them much more wholeheartedly and jubilantly embracing their Latin and Afro-Caribbean foundations.
The tracks flash by in a rapturous onslaught, crystalizing in incantations by Spanish poet Marcos de la Fuente (an apocalyptic fever dream on “Initial Meditation”), vocalist Brigitte Zozula (the bliss of bustling nightlife on “A Night in NY”), Navarro’s mentor and collaborator Carlos Garnett (the banality of economics on “$$$ /// billete”) and their own musings on friendship and community (the stoned soul picnic of “Plantains”). Of the album’s de facto anthem “Pueblo,” Navarro says “it’s a celebration of life, the coming together of the people, el pueblo, a celebration of who we are, where we come from, it’s our pueblo, our people, a feeling of openness, hope, and a future of unity from el pueblo, the people.” Identifying as active listeners and audience members as well, Navarro and Holmes step back on “M.O.N.K (Most Only Never Knew)” to shine a light on the solo improvisation of pianist/composer Nick Sanders. On the 8-minute duet “NAVARROHOLMES,” the two players reach a summit as they face off in spirited alliance, conjuring visions of legendary free jazz telepathics – Braxton and Roach, Coltrane and Ali, Cherry and Blackwell.
Navarro and Holmes never idle on "Heritage of the Invisible II," choosing instead to ponder their origins in a devout charge of ecstatic cooperation. Meditating on the unseen constructive forces of culture and rhythm as a cadence encoded in one’s heritage, with "Heritage of the Invisible II" they share a volume of their story in rich color – a brilliantly imagined testament to generations of memory, creation and existential joy.”
Omnivorous sampler alchemy from Marc Richter’s Black To Comm, unfurling a captivating side-long tapestry recalling Coil and Goodiepal, plus a side of surreal enigmas resembling Eastern European folk, 4.1 world phantasies, and cubist computer jazz
“The music of Black To Comm is as powerfully intoxicating as it is subtly unnerving. Shapeshifting producer and sound artist Marc Richter has established himself as one of the most inventive and ambitious voices in contemporary music. Richter’s mastery of sonic manipulation is matched only by his astounding clarity of vision. Working heavily with sampling and electronic processing, each of his phantasmagoric works is meticulously constructed from a truly omnivorous array of smudged samples, found sounds, and other sonic detritus, collected by Richter from across the history of recorded music and altered into beguiling new shapes.
Sound sources seem tantalizingly familiar and yet forever just out of reach, flickering at the edges of memory and perception or submerged in a bristling sea of static. A single piece might strafe elements of Eastern European folk, medieval plainsong, sky-clawing metal and shimmering ambient music, all ingested by Richter into his singular sound-world. Oocyte Oil & Stolen Androgens sees Richter’s turn his wild imagination to an exploration of the human voice, compiling some of his most immediate and affecting music to date.”
Nico Jaar chases up his production for FKA Twigs with his 4th solo album, landing nearly a decade since his head-turning debut ‘Space Is Only Noise’
The result is a typically slow moving batch of nocturnes enhanced with very sensitively detailed atmospheric touches, entwining nods to his Chiléan heritage with nods to ’70 spiritual jazz, psychedelic rock, classical music, and the kind of timeless but futuristic ambient pop balladeering also explored by the likes of Elysia Crampton and Arca.
Actress returns with singers in tow for an ambitious but very real 7th album of greyscale and chromatic electronics - his first since the Ai project with Young Paint and 2017’s ‘AZD’.
On his definitive new opus Actress ushers in vocalists for the first time, allowing Sampha, Zsela, Aura T-09, and Rebekah Cristel to voice his music alongside additional keys from Italian pianist/composer Vanessa Benelli Mosell. The result is layered and spaced out to accommodate other souls in a hazy matrix of tenderised melodies and amorphous rhythms. If you’ve followed Actress' work thus far - since his cult beginnings in the mid ‘00s, or since the acclaim for his subtly game-changing run of LPs from ’Hazyville’ to ‘Ghettoville’ circa 2008-2014 - the crystalline intricacies of ‘Karma & Desire’ feel like a natural progression of his music into a form of dematerialised dancefloor/bedroom metaphysics that many others have tried to imitate, yet never quite executed with this sort of deeply enigmatic, dreamlike appeal.
Recent years have seen Actress incorporate classical and Ai inspirations thru his work on ‘Lageos’ with the LCO, and his Ai Jade Soulform on ‘AZD’ and the ‘Young Paint’ album. Now ‘Karma & Desire’ feels like the consolidation of all his work in this direction, achieving a unique sense of timeless, soul-burning immanence and detached, OOBE-like qualities that can safely be called Actress music. Sampha proves an ideal foil for his ideas on three of the albums’s quietest highlights; inhabiting ‘Many Seas, Many Rivers’ with the tenderest warbles, and almost channelling a tremulous Linda Sharrock in ‘VVY’, while found at his most vulnerable in the drizzly swing of ‘Walking Flames’, featuring Kara-Lis Coverdale on fliute. And likewise he finds the perfect sort of club music muses from Zsela in the deep blue house of ‘Angels Pharmacy’, Aura T-09 on the slackened garage of ’Loveless’, and Rebekah Christel on the LP’s jitty highlight ‘Loose’.
The instrumental arrangements here still ooze amorphous expression in every hiss, lop-sided drum and smudged chord, from the the scuzzy electro-soul swerve of ‘Diamond X’ to the air-stepping keys and bass wamp of ‘Leaves Against The Sky’, to what sounds like Coil’s studio ELpH’s emerging in the great matter probe ‘Reverend’, and a jaw-dropping masterstroke in the panoramic strings and funereal thuds of ‘Save’.
More than 15 years after we first heard his music, Actress still works our hearts, feet and minds like no other, we can’t wait to spend time entangled in this one.
The first new Magik Markers album in six years is a great reminder why we always loved the psychedelic blues-sludge trio: this is mind-altering clatter-rock of the highest order that hangs out bumming rolling papers at the intersection of Neil Young, Popol Vuh and early Sabbath.
Elisa Ambrogio, John Shaw and Pete Nolan have always been a formidable trio, with a startling slew of material emerging in the mid-00s on labels like Ecstatic Peace!, Textile and even Dominic Fernow's Hospital Productions. But since 2009, they slowed down considerably; the trio's last full-length "Surrender To the Fantasy" appeared in 2013. "2020" is a blistering return to the spotlight, following July's short "Isolated From Exterior Time" EP, and finds the band stepping right back into their alluring, endless psychedelic groove.
Ambrogio's characteristic vocals and fuzzy riffs yet again anchor the tracks, fleshed out with Spectre Folk's Pete Nolan's assured drumming and additional elements (memorably Mellotron on chirpy album highpoint 'Born Dead') from John Shaw. There's something unshakeably American about this music - rooted in blues and then shaped by riot grrl punk, 70s psychedelia and basement noise. The title is almost a joke - the music never feels rooted in the present, and that might make it more 2020 than anything else.
Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker announces two new albums, songs and instrumentals, out October 23rd on 4AD. songs and instrumentals are two distinct collections, both written and recorded in April after Big Thief’s March tour was abruptly cut short due to coronavirus. After returning to the states from Europe, Lenker decamped to a one room cabin in the mountains of western Massachusetts.
"Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker announces two new albums, ‘songs and instrumentals’, out on 4AD. ‘songs and instrumentals’ are two distinct collections, both written and recorded in April after Big Thief’s March tour was abruptly cut short due to the pandemic. After returning to the States from Europe, Lenker decamped to a one room cabin in the mountains of western Massachusetts."
Beggars Arkive reissue of The Fall’s 10th studio album, 1988’s THE FRENZ EXPERIMENT.
"The reissue contains the original album, plus singles and B-Sides. The CD version also includes a previously unreleased 4-track BBC session and “A Day In The Life”, a Beatles cover recorded exclusively for the NME charity compilation Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father in 1988, plus a 24-page booklet with new interviews. The LP version contains extensive sleeve notes with new interviews. The notes included with both formats contain brand new interviews conducted by Daryl Easley in May 2020."
Triple CD presenting the music of the three double LPs in all their glory. Sixty-one gems of stomping, rollicking, desolate, ravishing gospel music, intermingling with soul, blues, doo-wop, jazz, r&b, disco and boogie.
"Disc one: stomping, rollicking gospel music, intermingling with raw soul, searing blues, hard-rocking doo-wop and jazz, and storming r&b. Infused and incandescent with the hurting, surging indignation of the Civil Rights movement, here are twenty-four precious scorchers by giants like the Staple Singers and Jimmy Scott, alongside devastating sides by less celebrated names like the Harmonising Five of Burlington, North Carolina, and teen-group the North Philadelphia Juniors, culminating triumphantly with slamming, sanctified versions of Hit The Road Jack and Wade In The Water.
Disc two brings sublime crossings of gospel with the soul, funk and jazz of the Black Power era. Twenty rapturous cuts dot dazzlingly between Muscle Shoals soul, screwed breakbeat, Mizells-style fusion, disco and proto-house. Triumphant re-workings of Sly Stone, Donny Hathaway and Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters will have listeners throwing their pew cushions into the air.
Disc three: seventeen gems of fierce funk, rapturous soul and transcendent disco and boogie, super-charged with celebration and affirmativeness, loaded with roaring choirs, rocking horns and popping bass guitars, from the years leading up to Savoy’s acquisition by Malaco. Some seriously rare cuts here; for instance, the stupendous opener by Edith Moreno only appeared as a blank-label promo, in a tiny run."
Blaine L. Reininger needs no introduction. He is an American post-punk, new-wave and alternative pop singer, songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist (particularly violin), writer and performer. He is known for being a member of the group Tuxedomoon since 1977 after co-founding it with Steven Brown and, latterly, for a notable music and theatre career, both as a soloist and contributor to other artists' recordings, including The Durutti Column, Snakefinger, Anna Domino, Savage Republic or Paul Haig.
"After learning the violin and guitar during childhood and studying music theory in San Francisco, Reininger formed the band Tuxedomoon with composer, singer, musician and college-mate Steven Brown and appeared on early albums such as Half Mute, Desire and Suite En Sous-Sol before departing early in 1983 to pursue a solo career.
He permanently rejoined Tuxedomoon in 1988 and has subsequently appeared on more recent recordings such as Vapour Trails, issued in 2007 by independent label Crammed Discs. Songs From The Rain Palace was released in 1990 by Les Disques Du Crepuscule in Belgium on CD and cassette. It features amongst other guests Tuxedomoon's Peter Principle. For this re-issue, the album was remastered by Martin Bowes and features 5 bonus tracks - two off compilations that came out at the time and three from Blaine's archive."
William Basinski’s Sparkle Division drop this sexy bomb of an album for optimum distraction from the world outside, properly surprising this one.
Working closely with his studio guy, Preston Wendel, Basinski reveals a whole other side to his vibe, cracking out his sax in sultry and free-jazzing style over killer rhythm tracks tilting between footwork, disco and lounge lizard swerve. And you can trust that coming from a guy who can rock a snakeskin shirt, he’s packing nuff swagger in every cut, proving Wendel’s input as the ideal foil and catalyst for the sexiest record in his 20 year wide catalogue of exquisite washed out classics.
As Basinski so eloquently puts it, “Lotta babies gonna be born from this one” to the ravishing footwork jazz of ‘Oh Henry!’, the feel of the whole album is just smoky and full of moxie, from that ridiculous cover art, to Basinski’s lowdown sax shredding on ‘You Ain’t Takin’ My Man’, thru lushest ambient loop jobs reminding of Co La and 0PN in ‘To The Stars Major Tom’, purest duvet diving ambience with Basinki’s sumptuous touch in ’To Feel’, and an unmissable outro sounding like Tender Love SND jamming with Angel Bat Dawit in ‘No Exit’. Whew. Time for a cig.
dunno, just dunno how to feel about a label called 'a strangely isolated place' releasing a christian kleine record. it's like a meta timebubble.
"When you’re young, you’re heavily inspired by what you love and will do anything to be a part of it. The more you create, the more familiar you become as the years move on, and your ambition to perfect it becomes even stronger.
This natural evolution is something Christian Kleine is well versed in and since his first releases in the early 00’s, Christian has been synonymous with perfecting a particular sound that draws from early IDM, breaks and influences as far reaching as Punk music.
Touch & Fuse continues the melodic, drum-driven finesse he has become known for, but instead of trying to perfect anything new, different or conceptual two decades later, we’re treated to an album unconsciously inspired simply, by the wide variety of music he likes.
The slow waltz of album opener Return of The Underground; the nostalgic synthesizers in Nearfield to Nowhere; the electro-punk undercurrent of Number 6; the acid-tinged Val 2, or the Shoegaze-lulls in album closer Room In The Mirror; Touch & Fuse plays like a trip through Christian’s musical upbringing - snapshots in time, told in a timeless manner.
“Touch & Fuse is my way of reflecting where I am and what interests me, in the hope that other people find something for themselves in there as well. For me, music has the power to change my perspectives on time - it can act like a drug pretending I have seen and experienced things I never would have otherwise” - CK.
Martin Rev's fourth solo album See Me Ridin' was released on the New York label Reachout International Records (ROIR) in 1996.
"Received by the critics with amazement, it proved to be a watershed moment in his career. Martin Rev's vocals are as minimal as they are sentimental, wonderfully poetic like a latter-day Chet Baker perhaps, or Jonathan Richman. This solo album not only blindsided Rev's critics and fans alike, but also painted a personal, nostalgic portrait of his home, New York; fading out the noise and contradictions of the city to channel the romantic energy of the metropolis."
The origins of Three Point Circle go back to 1980, when K. Leimer, Marc Barreca, and Steve Peters met for two sparsely-attended shows in Olympia, WA. Some forty years later, they have regrouped as Three Point Circle.
"Perhaps better described as a process than as a musical group, Three Point Circle has developed a collaborative system that replaces standards of improvisation and authorship with a new, independent, compositional identity removed from the individual habits and traits of the members. Layered Contingencies presents the first results in this quest for uncertainty -- five long form pieces of sharp and smooth contrasts taking place in a soundstage of rest, unrest, shallows, and depths that manage to maintain an unpredictable coherence."
Global Communication are Tom Middelton and Mark Pritchard. They began recording in 1991 and in a short space of time released a huge amount of music collectively and individually, in a broad range of styles, including records under names such as Link, E621, Reload, The Chameleon and Jedi Knights. It’s the work they made together as Global Communication however that has proved to be the most enduring.
"This is in no small part down to the formidable reputation of their sole studio album, 76:14, widely considered to be an ambient techno classic, hailed by The Guardian as "an unfathomably beautiful out-of-time masterpiece" and no.11 in Mixmag’s best dance albums of all time.
This new anthology is the most definitive overview of their music to date, issued on the group’s own Evolution label and remastered from the original DAT tapes, with care taken to retain the full dynamics of the original recordings. Every detail has been painstakingly overseen by Tom and Mark, accompanied by in-depth sleevenotes by Ben Cardew and beautifully updated sleeve designs by Mark Gowing. As well as 76:14 presented in stunning new sound quality, it also contains two other albums. Pentamerous Metamorphosis was their revolutionary full album overhaul of the Blood Music album by labelmates Chapterhouse. Whilst retaining some elements of the shoegaze guitar music of the original recording to use as building blocks, Global Communication essentially crafted their own album out of the results, and the result is a lesser known but equally fine-crafted companion to the much-loved 76:14.
The third record in this set is a special compilation Mark and Tom have assembled of classic non-album 12” tracks and radical remixes of other artists, something also flipped on it’s head by a brand new cover version by Lone (R&S Records) of the anthemic 5:23. Curated Singes & Remixes highlights that even within the framework of Global Communication, Tom and Mark were music enthusiasts first and foremost and their restless experimentation did not rest on one particular musical genre. As well as the tracks from debut EP, Keongaku, which signposted what was to come with 76:14, there’s also the house classics “The Way” and “The Deep” and their stunning reconstructions of tracks by The Grid and Sensorama (Roman Flügel and Jörn Elling Wuttke). On the CD is a previously unheard cassette demo of 7:39 which will be a must-hear for fans of the group."