After issuing a string of records heavily indebted to Rephlex Records, Nina Kraviz gets her hands on the real thing with Aleksi Perälä’s Paradox album for her трип label.
Playing to the colundi scale, Perälä pounds, pinches and plasmogrifies techno and electro with Braindance virtuosity across all ten tracks of Paradox. Like his recent Simulation LP for Clone Basement Series, the tracks here are curved for the ‘floor, and maybe more specifically, Nina’s ‘floor - ready for dispatch in sweaty clubs and mammoth festival stages alike.
We recommend checking it for the whirring calculations of GBLFT1740072 (Original Mix), the percolated instrumental synth-pop brilliance of GBLFT1740067 (Original Mix), and the trancey élan of GBLFT1740068 (Original Mix).
The fruitful relationship between Rod Modell (DeepChord), Hanyo Van Oosterom (Chi) and Astral Industries continues to yield new beauties with Red Lantern At The Kallikatsou, as Van Oosterom rework Modell's first release for Astral Industries with lovely, low-key ambient results making for a great package clad in the label’s signature, absorbing artwork.
Over two seamlessly sequenced sides the founding member of Dutch new age experimenters Chi reenvisions Rod Modell's 'Lanterns' thru the prism of modern software, sieving their spectral airs for etheric loops and vibes which he layers into a cats cradle of soothing, tranquil atmospheres, but reserving some surprise twists to points when soothed heads may least expect it.
"I’ve never met Rod Modell (Deepchord) in person, but we have met through music. He found an obscure cassette of Chi music (from ’86), sent it to Astral Industries and paved the way for the release (30 years later) of ‘The Original Recordings’ in 2016. Since then, we’ve exchanged ideas and good music. I sent Rod a preview of ‘The Kallikatsou Recordings’ - he really liked it - and here came the idea for a remix of ‘Lanterns’. I started working on some random, lo-fi samples from Youtube, using Audacity, perhaps the simplest way of producing loops and samples. It’s the only computer based system that feels like the tape recorders I used to work with.
I sent the first sketches to Rod on Facebook, but they ended up in the wrong inbox. I forgot about them, but months later he came back saying he loved them. I decided to go back to working on them, maintaining the lo-fi approach. I began manipulating the samples: time-stretching, tempo and pitch-shifting, mixing different layers and adding old-school monophonic “old speaker” effects, delays and loops. I used a few field recordings, voices and samples from my early ambient cassettes, and they matched. Ario from Astral Industries got involved and the experiment turned into a plan - a vinyl release - ‘Red Lantern at the Kallkatsou’”.
Hanyo van Oosterom”
Pye Corner Audio brings his wood-fired analogue sound to Lapsus Records after touring the houses of Mondo Tees, Polytechnic Youth, Analogical Force and More Than Human already in a productive 2017 cycle.
In a smart play of contrasts, we hear much-loved and lesser-heard sides of PCA’s sound in Where Things Are Hollow. The supple, rolling arpeggios and acid tweaks of Resist, and his wobbly, chromatic cosmic chugger Northern Safety Route both bear the hallmarks of Martin Jenkins’ signature dancefloor romance.
However, fans should be very intrigued to hear him go beat-less and weightless in the other two parts. With Mainframe he conducts a stellar display of piquant bleep motifs and arcing choral pads converging into a gently distorted and dissonant harmonic smudge at the track’s peak, and Continental Drift seemingly operates on the opposite side of that wave with a sullen stir of low end swells and light pollution aurora reflecting the scale of the track title.
Ruff garage-techno bangers by some cat called Antonio, delivered raw and uncut on Manchester’s Natural Sciences label.
This one grips and cuts deeper than most, ragging your bones with devilishly infectious swing and bleary chords on Untitled TT and getting under the skin with itchy, nerve-tweaking finesse in Raw Love.
The recoiling kicks and chopped loops in $$$ hit right where it matters on the B-side, again balanced with some really nice pads and gritty mixing, for the clattering jungle uppercut of Untitled D to properly send us reeling.
The Motor City maestro in effect on Barcelona’s 30drop Records, following his 12”s on Lower Parts and Tresor with a pair of harmonically sound and psychedelically dissonant aces, plus remixes by Dasha Rush and 30drop.
Digital Ladder is a spheric beauty drizzling pure chromatic bleeps on a purring 313 groove, just ripe for going eyes-shut in the dance or driving around your local post-industrial landscape. On the other hand, the wickedly abstract clangour of This Is A Test falls in line with his Different Frequencies wonder off his Like A Thief In The Night EP - embracing psychedelic tunings in daring way which many could learn from.
On remix duties, Dasha Rush reworks Digital Ladder as a darker, more jagged and acidic techno roller, while 30drop speeds up and add hi-hats to This Is A test for more driving effect.
From storied composer Jim Copperthwaite comes the debut album ‘Ballroom Ghosts’. As a soundtrack artist in his own right, Jim’s tracks recall the work of Danny Elfman in their haunting, choral refrains.
"However, Jim has also always had an affinity for the avant garde and his music box orchestrations are driven through with the repetitive, percussive iterations of Steve Reich, calling to mind Jamie xx’s most recent collaborations with Wayne McGregor and the Royal Ballet.
This debut album from Jim Copperthwaite stands out as his most intimate and personal work to date: a fantastical demonstration of a composer at the peak of his abilities. It is an invitation to a world that exists beneath the one we see. Close your eyes and come walk these halls. Experience the atmospheric beauty of ‘Ballroom Ghosts’."
At the behest of Aus Music, Falty DL shapes his jazzy electronic inclinations into a rolling, jacking house format
Sprouting the simmering, wavy acid house of Wondering Mind on a weird sort of S’Express tip, then a sort of deep Todd Terry or Nu-Groove style licked with the pads from Snoop’s Sensual Seduction in the ace Paradox Garage, and a ruddy slice of filtered, rolling breakbeat house called I’m Missing You.
Unique, killer tribal techno rhythms from Harmonious Thelonious for DISK, following that superb Paradon’t 12” with a broader, layered and textured batch of knobbly grooves and hypnotic patterns.
Marking a subtle line in the sand from their previous output on DISK’s defunct sibling label, Diskant, the tracks here carry more weight for modern ‘floors, feeling as though he’s unlocked some secret drum kink which allows his rhythm to flow more effortlessly and deadly.
Uptown, he shakes out the unsteady intricacies of Sketches to sound like some inversion of techno, D&B and ancient, psychedelic drum rituals, before yoking his drums to a strobing 16th note synth in Manta Mantra, which is about the most perfect balance of tribal music and mesmerising, electrified Düsseldorf styles that you could hope for.
Downtown, he brings a sort of Konono No.1-alike tang to Shackleton-esque drum cadence in Ayranman, whose title punningly plays on the Turkish name for Ironman (what did you think?), and then trips out with another old skool Shack-style roller named I Found A New Way of Loving You.
For the 1st time since inception, Loefah’s 81 embraces new blood with Milan’s Luca Mucci aka Piezo dropping four cuts of rugged house/bass mutations after a 12” on Idle Hands.
It’s worth checking for the echo chamber oddity El Sangre and the squashed electronics in Rash, especially if you’re into 81’s Mickey Pearce or Hessle Audio’s Joe.
Kaizen stumps up a 2nd EP from dubstep/bass mutant Biome (LVLZ) - his most significant statement on vinyl in years
Testing his hand at steely, tech-out rolige (Stealth), menatasm-streaked dark garage torque (Fargo), trademark half step pressure (Yoof), 81-style swagger (Weekend), and a dank back alley bass lurker (Ancoats).
Swiss disco chopper Radovan Scasascia (remember him?!) returns from 5 year hiatus with a very safe bet for fans of Anthony Shakir or Soundhack dispatched thru his What About Never label.
Flooding back memories of cutting rug to his early ‘00s releases on Dreck, he operates a coolly controlled disco trigger finger on the hypnotic pulse and lush, filtered chord washes of Shakin, whilst Nine Toms follows with a sterling example of hiccup funked vocal chops punctuated with cracking Linn drums on a twanging elastic bassline.
Aye, he’s still got it, like.
Special xmas edition of offcuts from Claude Speeed’s Infinity Ultra album
“Speeed says "I see this mainly as an alternative take on how the album could've turned out, one of the many paths it might’ve gone down. But it also serves as a neat ending, closing off that period by releasing the other material that's been kicking about my mind and harddrives for the last 5 years."
The material on ‘Other Infinities’ reaches into the darker corners of the world portrayed in ‘Infinity Ultra’, the uncanny valleys of the near future. Obliterated rave sits alongside twisted computer-generated prog rock; cathartic noise is pitted against submersed piano and dreamy, night-time synthscapes. New age meditation and lonely autumnal sadness compete with the intense drumming of a neo-tokyo cult.”
Nick Edwards fudges out a crusty new batch of Ekoplekz misshapes for Planet Mu with Cassettera, standing firm against the grain of trend to keep curiously picking away at a micro-modular mesh of lo-fi boxes and machines in his own style, shaped as a special xmas addendum to his Bioprodukt album.
“The beats are still to the fore, even incorporating elements of techno and house, but the mood is darker, with a heavier emphasis on noise and drone textures resulting in a more uneasy listen. This greyscale outlook is reflected in the monochrome variation on Bioprodukt's sleeve art. 'Bass 2 Dank' and 'Jacktrak' apply solid kicks and grooves for moody dancefloors, whilst 'Formative' and 'The Imperitive' combine convoluted percussion and cloying sub-bass with eerie atmospherics. 'Tactile' and 'Nitrate Abuse' offer minimal user-unfriendly experimental textures and the set ends with the extended grinding dread of 'The Outlook Is Bleak’.”
Perc’s 3rd LP, Bitter Music receives remix fire from Dale Cornish, Head Front Panel, Pessimist and Hodge int he 1st of two obligatory sessions.
John Heckle aka Head Front Panel handles the barbed roil of The Thought That Counts with chainmail loves, turning in a spiky, writhing techno bomb. Hodge runs his signature bass clout all over the face of Chatter with trampling force. Pessimist m,meanwhile turns Exit into something like The Caretaker hosting a grey area supper rave, and I Just Can’t Win is sliced into firm but sloppy jack bu Dale Cornish.
Osiris Music UK strafe deeper into the no man’s land between bass, techno and concrète musicks with Adam Winchester’s grey area investigation, Interferenza.
Previously known as Wedge and Bleecker for the likes of Apple Pips and If Symptoms Persist, and currently working in the Dot Product duo with Chris Jarman (Kamikaze Space Programme), Winchester reveals a lust for darker, abstract sounds here, descending from the noise textures of Surface thru weightless, plasmic space in Terminal Transition to the full sunken structures of Resurrection Effects and the bombed out Figure Ground, before allowing more spectral high register tones into his electro-acoustic sphere with Blue Ghost Tunnel, and The HJaxan Cloak-esque designs of Extant.
One of UKF, broken beat and bass music’s OG producers Altered Natives returns to the fray with a 20 track payload of dank, heavy and experimental-edged rufige on his Eye4Eye Recordings.
Making no concessions to trend, the London-bassed artist sticks to his guns with great results working deep into the darker fissures of house, techno and bass styles found scattered across the set.
If we’re playing favourites, it’s hard to ignore the likes of his super moody, even radgy rasa-out Get Real, or the off-kilter trust of Acid Black, which sounds something like we’d imagine Terrence Dixon to, if he came from London not Detroit. For proper, sub-heavy ghetto bangs, check out the pressure on Gravity, whilst darkside nuttahs need to cop the PCP-strength knock of Lucifer, and The Terror sees him ball forward with searing synthlines on a mad bruk beat, while he saves his crookedest dancefloor tests for the brutish acid of Weißer Junge Schwarzer Musikclub and the bucking acid burial Kung Fu Trans Anaconda.
The G.O.D. squad’s Sabla joins the Disk cabal with a deeply knotted, introspective rhythm trip that sounds like the mutant techno output of The Threshold Houseboys Choir. Trust, the voodoo is strong on this one!
For only his 2nd full release Turin’s Sabla stakes out some heavily idiosyncratic ground with Danzaguida, luring us into some fetid K-hole headspace with the queered digital timbres, curdled chorales and blacksmith rhythm of the title cut, recalling Peter Christopherson’s infamous project crawling out of a club sewer, before Fire/Wire simmers back to a gunkier acid style, all protein-gargle and over-the-shoudler darkroom intimation. W gives a more brittle, psychedelic display of pygmy hoots and slow, thrumming drums, and then Tohc kinda single-handedly shows a lot of the grey area stuff as, well, just a bit uninspired, by taking that style’s rhythmic points of interest into tripper realms of plasmic layering reminding of Ruben Patiño’s ace Lag_OS output.
Brainwaltzera’s nostalgic braindance album Poly-Ana, remixed by a haul of veteran and new artists.
Luke Vibert gives the EP’s highlight with a ruddy sort of percolated acid take on Muddy Puddle Trot, and Gauvid also charms with a bittersweet acid rub of the same cut, whilst Philipp Otterbach takes Triangulate Dither deep into kosmiche ether.
SKRS INTL go double deep on this platter for Bokeh Versions/No Corner, twysting the styles of their LoversDedicationStation LP and the brooding Oran Vip / BwoyTestVIP 7” into more smoked out alleys of the dance.
Their sample trigger-happy collage style is rewired to leaner, more linear 4-track structures inside, with results smudging like a dark blue clash between Mikey Dread, Prince Jammy and classic Rhythm & Sound and Pole, in effect.
Up top, RunComeTest tumbles in slow motion around an MC Escher-esque dub staircase littered with evasive samples and mad DJ chat, then FurdaMurda plumbs more gaseous depths of the echo chamber with intoxicating, weightless dynamics.
Down below, TrialByFire stokes a rooted fusion of mellifluous singjay and charred bleeps laced with natty ohrwurms, while TroubleRoundDiCorner kicks up a heady fuss of squashed 8-bit tones and vaporous FX synched perfectly with stoned minds.
Killer cover. Mint sounds. Tip it!
After his Gone Mad shot with JME in summer ’17, Tottenham’s Blay Vision serves a massive 2nd batch of instrumental grime/trap/house hybrids on J-Cush’s Lit City Trax.
From initial listens a handful of highlights stand out. We’re talking about the icy shimmy of BadGal Ri-Ri with it’s iciclephone hooks and elegant strings; his sharp fusion of classical key vamps and tool-sharped drill crack in Swammy; the neckle tropical house bump of Inside; and the the killer Ikeda-meets-Danjah styles of Amnesia.
Dax J, Lucy and Matrixxman take Perc’s 3rd LP Bitter Music on a brisk mission to the ‘floor.
Gaffe-prone DJ/producer Dax J goes for the jugular with a pounding take on Unelected; Lucy turns Wax Apple into a tentative but trippy dose of swinging techno-house-electronica, and Matrixxman harnesses Rat Run into his signature, hardworking jackers’ framework.
South London soundman Parris stacks up four signature cuts of low key, crackly, sub-heavy vibes on his subtly probing debut with The Trilogy Tapes after really coming into his own over the past few years via 12”s for Ancient Monarchy, Idle Hands, and Hemlock, plus the ace TX280916 / TX111116 mix for Keysound.
The 2 Vultures EP catches Parris at his idiosyncratic best, hustling an early hours-of-the-dance feel that works beautifully well at setting mutable, plasmic pressure for heavier things to come, or just as well for eazing off in the comfort of your own space.
EP opener Lionel’s Dub is one the most orthodox, classically-rooted dubs we’ve heard from the guy, something like a dusty echo of Adrian Sherwood at his most red-eyed, whereas Hot-Blooded gets down to some Farben-esque micro-house with added steppers bass pressure. 2 Vultures then follows a masseur path into melting, brittle dub architecture, leavened by genteel jazz touches, and Hanging With The Birds can’t fail to leave you beaming its feathered confection of bird calls, bobbling bass and Mario power ups.
Anthony Child (Surgeon) and Daniel Bean (Spiritland) generate gusty electronic folk drones resonating somewhere between La Monte Young and Coil...
“The title of the debut lp from The Transcendence Orchestra outlines the modus operandi of this pairing of Anthony Child and Daniel Bean. Recorded in a remote English rural setting over a period of 24 hours this is an apt location for a recording that eschews time and space in favour of methodological displacement and deep psychological navigation.
Modern Methods For Ancient Rituals is an experiment in acoustic and synthetic symbiosis which is deeply influenced by the atmosphere and acoustics of the rural location of Cats Abbey resulting in a set of recordings which can aid to the transformation of consciousness. Deploying a range of ancient and modern instruments and effects including Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy gurdy, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky and Roland RE 101 Space Echo among others, Child and Bean conjure an audio experience which encapsulates elements of drone, trance, pulse, rhythm and melody subtly shifting all into a psychologically penetrating experience beyond the aesthetic and into the comforting unknown.
Written and recorded at Cats Abbey in November 2016 by Anthony Child and Daniel Bean.
Anthony and Daniel played the Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy gurdy, symphonie, glockenspiel, hand bell, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky, Strymon DIG, and Roland RE 101 Space Echo.”
The Icelandic banger-builder tests out bendier acid-electro and techno styles in the Geothermal Sheep EP for his bbbbbb label.
The image of AFX and Rephlex Records looms large over all four cuts, but twysted with a 2017 gurn, resulting the sawn-off electro jolts and curdled Braintrance pads of Soda Sugarlicious, the scrunched and booming shapes of Klobbalegt_ix_ (Original Mix), an early ‘90s AFX-style roiler in Drab 2, and one frenetic slingshot of flashcore/drill ’n bass in yer focking face on 2 mewtwo 5 [GRX230P018] B-) aprilgabb2 (Original Mix).
Trevor Jackson flexes his wiry EBM muscle as PinkLunch, reviving his old moniker for a full LP of darkroom sleaze from the top drawer of his cabinet.
Douglas J McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb joins in on definitive album highlight, On The Floor, and Chloé Raunet ov C.A.R. lends gynoid vocals to the slow, ruddy jacker Inamorata, but Jckon is left to his diverse for the rest of the album, working out finely calculated variants of EBM and darker, electroid house music with highlights in the blank-eyed swagger of Other Side, in the haughty acidic thrust of Load Warrior, and with a doom core thirst recalling The Horrorist in A.N.T.I.