Woiii!!! Dark Entries on their best game with this pre-Yello collection by Carlos Peron and Boris Blank, presenting the first ever collection of their near-mythical Tranceonic recordings. Includes a prototype of ‘Bostich’. Need we say anymore?!
“Tranceonic is the duo of Carlos Perón and Boris Blank of Yello who met in 1971 in their hometown of Zürich, Switzerland. At this time Carlos studied Free Jazz while Boris listened to bands like Pink Floyd and Queen. The two bonded over a conversation about The Mahavishnu Orchestra album ‘The Inner Mounting Flame’ and became musical friends. From 1973 to 1976 they played in the New Wave group Urland. After the split of the group Perón founded the Tranceonic studio with his equipment in his private flat. Carlos invited Boris over to his studio and a concentrated work began. The idea was to make experimental new music with the hopes of having a hit in the United States. Everybody at this time was into punk, but Tranceonic loved industrial and electronic sounds. Their foresight and innovation created new ideas. Perón and Blank made electronic avant-garde music informed by the Berlin and Cologne schools. By 1978 the two had enough material to record an album and made a trip to San Francisco to visit Ralph Records. The Residents promised to release the music if the duo removed all the tape hiss, which never materialized.
‘New Crime’ is the first ever vinyl compilation of material produced, recorded, performed and mixed at Tranceonic Studio between 1976-1979. The equipment set up at the studio included a Farfisa Synth Orchestra, WERSI string ensemble, ARP Odyssey with Sequencer, ARP Quadra, Roland SH 3A, CR-78, Space Echo and Korg Minipops 120P and many effect boxes normally used for guitars. Samples were self-recorded using a Revox cassette deck and turntables. Blank and Perón experimented with manipulated tape loops, echo effects and snippets of found sounds. Blank also explored foreign near-equator exotics playing Arabesque percussion and a homemade bamboo flute. Perón experimented with CV triggering and dubbing super 8 film effects from vinyl. Both members took turns singing Carlos’ lyrics. Stylistically the songs anticipate the feeling of Yello’s ‘Solid Pleasure’ album and included here is the first instrumental mix of “Bostich”.”
Remastered reissue of a freakish bag of tape experiments and punkish drum machine innovation from a lesser known nook of ‘80s France
“Alésia Cosmos was a collective of musicians led by Bruno de Chénerilles formed in the early 1980s in Strasbourg, France. The group consisted of Pascal Holtzer (guitar, synthesizer, tapes, drum machine, vocals), Pierre Clavreux (vocals, gong), Marie-Berthe Servier (vocals), Bruno (guitar, tapes, synthesizer, drum machine, vocals) and Tunisian percussionist Lotfi Ben Ayed (darbukas, bendir). In 1981 Bruno composed and wrote some sci-fi radio plays for French state radio channel France Culture. Under the influences of William Burroughs, John Cage, Pierre Henry and others, he developed tape music studio work. By 1982 he appeared for the first time under the name Alésia Cosmos Furi Show. It was a solo performance on guitar, voice, analog synth and tapes. This experimental show lead to a music project based on Bruno and Pascal’s compositions to be performed and recorded with other musicians in the beginning of 1983.
Exclusivo! was the group’s debut album recorded and self-released in 1983 on Planetarium. Pascal and Bruno would compose tunes in their personal home studios. Then they would bring the tapes, electronics, guitar lines and lyrics to experiment and rehearse with the other members of the group. Improvisations and adaptations brought more ideas and the album was recorded in a few days. The result was a musical mixing of electronic music, field recordings, North African and Asian percussion, electric guitars and voices, compositions and free improvisations. All four musicians take turns singing onomatopoeic phrases and backing vocals, even sometimes in an unknown language, a sort of mixed bag between Breton and Japanese.”
Psilocybic house from the North Wales posse behind Crow Castle Cuts. Volume 3 of the Tripp series introduces three debuts: YRD drops the thumping techno techno-house of 'Dul Doen'; Thom Brooke makes nice with the warm ambient chords and mesmerising bassline of 'Penway'; Le Causa travels further out with the saltier pink noise and Pub-like abstract postulations of 'Lacanau'. Ian Blevins is the only experienced hand, previously appearing on Disco Bloodbath, and here with the chiming house swagger of 'AA'.
Laica is the pseudonym of Cambridge’s Dave Fleet, co-owner of the Arrell imprint and a prolific recording artist in his own right.
"A single 22 minute track, ‘One Quarter Dust’ evokes the personal tribulations and ultimate redemption that bore it. As Fleet puts it, “this is my catharsis record. After some difficult times, it took me an age to get my head around making any kind of music, as I saw it as part of the reason for those upheavals.” The piece bears this out, spanning eerie gossamer strands, degraded half-heard echoes and deeply unerring maximal drone, before engaging a sense of release in its final, juddering death throes.
It calls to mind none so much as Broken20’s outgoing art director Erstlaub aka David Fyans, in the segmented yet holistic approach that spans numerous discrete sections yet feels entirely selfcontained. It’s clearly proved to be a fruitful exercise, with Fleet now working on a collaboration with Graham Dunning, scoring a documentary film and a remix of Chra from her ‘Empty Airport’ album [Editions Mego].”
Tom Ware is a Grammy nominated engineer, producer and musician from Omaha Nebraska.
"Throughout the 70s and 80s Tom was the drummer for many bands, including Norman & The Rockwells, Toy boat Toy boat Toy boat, and Hit N Run. Because of his love for electronics, mechanics, and machines of any kind, he was always the only one who truly knew how pa systems worked. Tom got an entry level job at a Rainbow Studios and would work at the recording studio during the day, play evening gigs till 2 in the morning, then go back to the studio and work on new ideas all night. During these teeth cutting sessions, Tom worked by himself, following his instincts and creating sounds he loved to listen to.
His reckless abandon approach and thrill to learn was a high octane fuel that resulted in his first solo self-titled album. The album’s 10 songs were recorded and mixed between August & December of 1983 and self-released in early 1984. The album would be re-released in 1985 by independent Krautrock/Kosmische Musik label Sky Records in Germany and re-titled ‘The Fourth Circle’. Some of the instruments used on the LP were a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, & Pro One, Simmons SDSV electronic drums, Roland TR-606 drum machine, & Hammond B3 organ. While recording this album Tom was influenced by new wave sounds of Yellow Magic Orchestra, the Berlin and Düsseldorf schools of pulsing synth music and the celestial realms of Jean Michel Jarre.”
Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss is the mixtape which established Mykki Blanco as a pre-eminent queer hip hop MC upon its release thru UNO NYC in 2012.
Framed by production from Gobby, Brenmar, Matrixxman, Le1f, Gatekeeper and Flostradamus, ao., Mykki owns his sound with fierce style, giving voice to non-binary concerns and his sexuality in a way that doesn’t just prize subject over style, but rather makes a bold new style out of subjects that he’s lived and needs to represent. It’s still an authentically unique and outstanding dispatch five years later.
"Blind Jacks take us on another Tripp, not just any tripp. A collectable series of musical journeys and dreams. This journey begins in the Fontainebleu Forest of Paris and on to Nőtincs via the Hungarian hills of Börzsöny concluding in the secretive depths of Coed Y Quad."
SHXCXCHCXSH slop out another bucket of stranger techno creations on Rösten 2
Ranging from what sound like Stanislav Tolkachev filtered thru a wet sock in Stämma 5; or Phurpa at Tresor in Stämma 6; then with a lush but salty sort of psychedelic delirium in Stämma 7; and the elegant attrition of Stämma 8 letting it decay gracefully.
Subtle, class grooves from Joseph Deenmamode
Daring the dubbed-out, bifurcating syncopation of High Spirits, next to arabesque vignette Purim, a heat hazy bazaar scene called Axum, and the elasticated kick drum slips of Kick Pattern.
Dark Entries and Emotional Rescue team up to tap Psychic TV’s legendary vein of ersatz acid house, resting the virulent acid swagger of Dave Ball’s Blue Pyramid production
Featuring middle eastern-style violin by Virginia, alongside a whirring EBM acid re-lick by Bucharest’s Khidja, plus Bezier’s breakbeat electro-acid version, and the chunky funk of MBM’s Mark Pistel.
35 song set which is also being released via three single LPs. We were gonna write summat on these but decided to copy/paste these sales notes cos they're just too fucking funny. nice one Alan.
"If you really want to know more about the music, search for the LP version descriptions online (I'm sure they were copy/pasted across many websites) where you'll discover a treasure of valuable assessments contained within. This two-CD edition is primarily being made available to facilitate 41 of my 133 'fans' who will be thrilled that it comes out on Compact Disc -- and at an affordable price in comparison to what buying all three LPs would cost. I think I pressed at least 172 copies of this two-CD so there is room for another 39 'fans' to climb aboard my champion ship. I keep hearing that many of the CDs you've acquired in the past don't work anymore. CDs are supposed to rot, scratch and die after a few years and have therefore become a flawed medium. Sounds more like a pragmatic description of humanity to me. But I have thousands of CDs. Some are commercially manufactured discs and the rest are CDRs and every single one of them works.
Yep, I hired a bearded guy from New Hampshire to check them all and many are 10, 15, or 20 years old. But my mother always told me I was blessed. Or perhaps I have a magic CD player? But people used to say the same about cassettes and now tapes are the cat's fuckin meow. In fact, I know a record store owner who recently sold an entire car full of cassettes. So don't bring your CDs when you jump aboard Julijonas Urbonas' suicide roller coaster (which hopefully gets built soon in order to facilitate plenty of you imbeciles) -- leave them behind for others to enjoy. Getting back to my new album, go find my sampler on YouTube if you want to know what it sounds like. It's better than your new album, that's for sure. Maybe I'll have to do a cassette version of this record in the future so that I can write another one of these fuckin' promotional sheets."
Monkeytown’s Gajek feeds forward the free musik spirit of Berlin ’71 into ’17, a roving sophomore album that sublimates rave tropes along etheric, kosmiche and mercurial noise vectors following his debut, Restless Shapes . Check for highlights in the polymetric roil of Das Ewige Fest and the bestial abstraction entitled Vom Hammel.
“Moving through polyphonic pulses, layers of grooves and sounds, zooming in and out of ever evolving patterns of concentration and decomposition, the ten tracks of Gajek's '17 are electrifyingly futuristic clubmusic true to the almost five decades old motto of Berlin's Zodiak Free Arts Lab: „Total freie Musik“ - totally free music. Paying tribute to electronic pioneers like Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Florian Fricke - while staying clear of historical mystification - Gajek revisits the abstract clarity and improvisational audacity of 1970s electronics from a perspective firmly rooted in the digital now – this is not '71. Today, motoric rhythms emerge and elapse from postdigital aural scapes, intense and sublime, linking the thermodynamic to the ephemeral. Beyond the echoes of past utopias, '17 discovers present signs for possible tomorrows.”
Finnish band Liima (featuring all three members of Efterklang) return with their second album, ’1982’.
"In the year 1982, Time Magazine chose the first ever non-human “person of the year”; the Personal Computer. It’s also the year that Liima’s Casper Clausen was born, with the other three band members born in the surrounding years. Though ‘1982’ is not an album that tries to mimic the sounds of that year, it is an album borne of influences and circumstances that stem back to that point in time. It’s an album that sees the band questioning the concept of identity and our place in time - as much an album of existential questioning and of looking forward as it is of nostalgia and reflection.
“I think our collective memory and consciousness as a band is shaped from being born in the beginning of the 80’s” explains Clausen. “It’s a time and place that I keep returning to, to understand and make sense of. It has a lot of personal relevance and so little at the same time, because in time and space it is far away… Everything is changing all the time, nostalgia is looking back, but I’m on the run, even when I stand still.”
The video for the album’s title track, shared online today, was created by director and visual artist Baby Duka: "Liima reached out to me while I was in the middle of developing a computer game - the melancholy world of synths and wet drums fit perfectly with an idea I've been toying with for a while: to mix the pixel graphics of the Atari and C64 with a 3D camera. I saw it as a cool opportunity to visualize an Orwellian dystopia where the dream of being in another place is always present in the human individual. “
Liima was born as much of breaking old habits as building new habits, and their second album, ‘1982’, provides a masterclass in pushing beyond one’s established comfort zones.
Like its predecessor, ‘1982’ was written during four residencies, beginning in January, 2016 – before Liima’s debut ‘ii’ was even released – at The London Edition, where Casper Clausen, Rasmus Stolberg, Mads Brauer and Tatu Rönkkö worked in a club in the hotel’s basement, sometimes watched by small crowds, much as PJ Harvey was during the making of The Hope Six Demolition Project at London’s Somerset House.
They reassembled at another hotel in Copenhagen before embarking upon tours of North America, South America, and Europe. Even then, they’d reconvene between trips to continue work, first in the less glamorous surroundings of a music conservatory in Viseu, Portugal, in July 2016, then, finally, in August, at Berlin’s Michelberger Hotel. By the time they gathered in Mankku Studios in Porvoo – again in the Finnish countryside – Liima were more than ready to begin recording with Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor as co-producer.
‘1982’ finds Liima - musically and lyrically – exploring themes that shaped their youth while looking forward to a future in times that feel as uncertain as they ever might have been, and in which we all struggle to find our identity. “Finding values of life, giving up on values of life… Our civilisation, our way of life and our liberal thinking is threatened and challenged…” Clausen muses. “I say our time, but could it be MY time, MY age. Was it like that for my father when he was 35 years old? I’m wondering, I guess the album is wondering.”
Here, amidst the contemplation and questioning, the musicians stake their claim firmly to both their new band and their new sound. For a band originally founded upon enthusiastic acts of spontaneity, ‘1982’ represents a huge, sophisticated leap forward. The decision to form Liima may have been as bold and radical as their new sound, but the consequences speak for themselves."
Exciting new label Lost Futures tap “into the inherent idealism of rave” with this killer 1992 techno session by Arno Peeters, Sander Friedeman and Richard van der Giessen aka CultureClash, who were originally conceived at the behest of Irdial Discs’ Akin Fernandez for an hour long live performance on his Kiss FM show.
For the first time, that show has been edited to individual tracks and made available on vinyl, some twenty five years after various failed attempts to properly release its seminal slice of dancefloor history. Fans of Psychick Warriors Of Gaia, Underground Resistance, Muslimgauze or Utrecht’s U-Trax need to check this one, pronto!
Originally converging under the moniker, The Awax Foundation, the trio from Utrecht recombined their vast, personal reserves of ethnic and traditional music samples from across the world with an Atari 1040ST, a cheap mixing desk, synths and FX to effectively assuage techno’s increasingly masculine stomp. The results essentially picked up where their fellow countrymen, Psychick Warriors Of Gaia left with 1989’s tribalist EBM templates, pushing farther along those lines to a loose, driving, hypnotic sound which swerved accusations of “ethno-techno” appropriation thanks to their sincerity and results which have evidently stood the test of time.
CultreClash thus stands a temporal crossroads which perhaps resonates more with our modern times than any other. In 1992, a decade after the swell of new age, and years after the future-primitive thrust of Chicago house, or even Detroit guys fetishising Japanese electronics and synth-pop, the techno movement was in full flow, cosign to the grasp of white europeans who, on the one hand, wanted to make it more commercial, for bigger raves and the charts, while on the other hand, others wanted to explore its esoteric, aerobic mystic potential, such as these Dutch dudes.
The results of their endeavour form a killer set of DJ tracks and a necessary time capsule from that era, hingeing all kinds of mad polyrhythms, chants and sampled instrumental tones around rolling kicks and natty electronics. In the wrong hands that could have come out terribly, but these guys got it bang right with tracks like the febrile, heatsick ace Bad Dream, or like a tuffer NAD with the brooding NYC-Nonplace vibes of Mystic (House Dub) or the mesmerising acid fuss of U.U Inlands (Halal Edit) and the rolling breakbeat bustle of Zitarz, while making room for more spacious, wistful rave kisses in the sloshing, Muslimgauze-like Mama Africa and Asian Approach, or the sufi-esque dervish, Yatiyaña.
CultureClash weren’t the first and won’t be the last to try this sound, but they did it with timeless style and effect that totally deserves this reissue, which we can’t say about many other similar attempts.
One for the dreamers of the dream.
’90s-styled indie-rock/shoegaze on Big Dada?
“EERA, the moniker of the Norwegian-born, London-based musician Anna Lena Bruland, will release her debut album Reflection Of Youth via Big Dada. Today she shares two tracks, “I Wanna Dance” and “Christine”, showcasing two facets of the upcoming, much anticipated Nick Rayner-produced record. On the upbeat “I Wanna Dance”, the pressures of modern life - financial, romantic and existential - are kept at bay by intervals of good, old-fashioned hedonism. “Christine”, a gentle song about courage, advice and family, is the album's emotional core.
Reflection Of Youth - which was recorded in a studio on a working dairy farm deep in the wilds of West Wales as well as in the producer’s home studio in Cork, Ireland - is an album of visceral beauty and blistering honesty. It is a brave, candid and uncompromising record about finding purpose from confusion and strength in your weaknesses. It’s about learning how to work through your problems and take charge of your own life, instead of relying on others to do it for you. Its ten songs were largely composed in the small hours of the night and are arguably best experienced in that context, when soul-searching and introspection come naturally.
For Anna Lena, the album is a document of a tumultuous chapter in her life. It’s very much about living through your twenties, which in Norwegian society are “the years when you’re supposed to figure everything out.”
Reflection Of Youth follows the release of last year’s eponymous debut EP which received radio support from Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), Lauren Laverne and Tom Ravenscroft (BBC 6 Music) as well as critical praise from the likes of The Sunday Times and Time Out New York who included “Drive With Fear” in their Best Songs Of 2016 list.
On Reflection Of Youth, EERA’s sound has already evolved into something rawer, rockier and noticeably angrier. "It was a really odd experience to listen back to the record and realise what I'd made," says Anna Lena. "I was surprised by how different, how much more powerful it felt from the EP. Those songs sounded like I was quietly knocking on the door, trying to get in, whereas the album feels like I'm stepping through it." If Anna Lena set out to achieve anything, she says, “it was to make an incredibly honest record that would give people a real sense of who I am. I think it’s important to be vulnerable, to not be afraid of showing emotion and be open about it with the people around you. We all face problems in our lives, so why not meet them head-on?”
James Holden and pals converge on a raucous psych-folk-tronica sound presumably meant for cider-soaked harvest festivals and grazing thru fields of magic mushies. Ecstatically giddy and eldritch-tinted stuff.
“Let yourself be transported to a magical other world of instinct and intuition with this bold new set of synth-led folk-trance standards from electronics guru James Holden and his newly-expanded band of fellow travellers The Animal Spirits. A wild ride that unites the characteristic propulsive melodic vigour of his custom-made modular synthesizer system with an unlikely supporting cast of brass, wind and live percussion, the expansive and transformative psychedelic journey of The Animal Spirits is certainly eternal outsider Holden’s most ambitious work to date – but surely also his most direct and accessible.
Since the release of 2013’s epic pagan saga The Inheritors, the kraut-tinged synth-and-drum core of the live touring outfit assembled by Holden to spread his alternative electronic message around the world has picked up several additional members along the way. Legendary jazz band leaders Don Cherry and Pharoah Sanders provided the blueprint for this quest to assemble “something like a spiritual jazz band playing folk / trance music”, but here cornet (Marcus Hamblett) and saxophone (Etienne Jaumet) function as the complement to the star soloist of Holden’s ever-strident synth. Meanwhile drummer Tom Page’s is inextricably bound to Holden's synth care of self-coded interactive drummer-following software, keeping pace with the almost imperceptible – yet unmistakably human – micro-errors in timing which lend live drums their natural magical groove. Thus Holden’s drummer is liberated from the brutal tyranny of the click track and a new organic symbiotic relationship between human and machine is unlocked. Producer Holden’s creative control over the project is absolute, from building his own synth and software, writing the musical backbone and steering his players, to self-recording, self-mixing and eventually also self-releasing the finished collection on his own imprint.
This heady blend of the electronic and the acoustic came into being during the hot and sticky summer of 2016 under the direction of fledgling band leader Holden at his Sacred Walls studio in London. In a bid to capture what he calls the unfakeable “psychic communication” of a group performance, The Animal Spirits was recorded live in one room together in single takes, no overdubs, no edits, in accordance with his own self-imposed dogma.
What has emerged out of these sessions is a genre-blending new form of universal music that feels inherently fluid and alive. Just one example of the record's wide-ranging influences, the relentless, elastic and hypnotic polyrhythms of 'Pass Through The Fire' grew out of Holden’s 2014 trip to Morocco to work with legend of Gnawa music Maalem Mahmoud Guinia. The first song he wrote for the band, 'Pass Through The Fire' took shape over months of pre-show dressing room practice, as Holden set about transmitting the distinctive Gnawa rhythm to drummer Page. It soon made its way into the pair's live shows, adding Jaumet's on-the-hop improvised sax contributions further down the line. Holden says, "This was where I got the idea that songs are just backbones or seeds and the strong ones teach/reveal themselves to the players rather than the other way round."
As promised, Throbbing Gristle cough up what is essentially their Best Of… on vinyl for the first time, repackaging and expanding their 2004 CD, The Taste of TG (A Beginner’s Guide to the Music of Throbbing Gristle), with Almost A Kiss, taken from the Part Two - The Endless Not album, which serves to now bookend the collection between 1975-2007 and offer a broader, truer picture of the nonpareil, infinitely influential group’s jagged timeline.
There’s nowt we can add to the mountain of writing already on Throbbing Gristle. But, in context of the release, for the uninitiated, afeared, or just plain ignorant listeners out there who haven’t a clue what TG are about, we advise cupping this album with both hands and drinking deeply, then deciding which of their bloods tastes the strongest, and pitching yourself down the rabbit hole of their corresponding catalogue. Then read Cosey Fanni Tutti’s Art Sex Music to put it all in historic context.
You’ll thank yourself for it soon enough, even if the neighbours don’t.
Surely the UK’s most prized punk-funk group, Golden Teacher tighten the screws to loosen your hips with No Luscious Life, an instant-classic debut album of seven incredibly infectious tracks getting to grips with all of GT’s worldly influences, and then some.
Since emerging on Optimo Music to a round of acclaim in 2013, the band have revealed their Green Door Studios home to be an unparalleled hotbed of creativity for themselves and Glasgow’s finest freeks, but arguably keeping a neck ahead of everyone else thru their untamed diversity and skill at refreshing vintage aesthetics.
No Luscious Lie is the strongest, well-rounded testament yet to their sound, kicking off with the ESG space bounce of Sauchiehall Withdrawal to cycle thru influences ranging from Senegalese talking drums - think Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force on bucky - with Diop, before cooling out with the preppy Detroit funk of Spiritron and the heat-warped Afro-disco soul strut of The Kazimier, reprising the dubby depth of their Dennis Bovell hook-up with Shatter (Version), and playfully bending time ’n space like some Bruce Haack-meets-Craig Leon screwball on What Fresh hell Is This?
Beautiful new album from longtime Room 40 friend and collaborator Ueno Takashi
"I confess to being in a state of ceaseless awe when it comes to Tokyo guitarist, Ueno Takashi. I have had the pleasure to know Ueno now for well over 10 years. In that time he has remained a source of constant curiosity and surprise. Just when I think I have the man pegged, he throws out some unex-pected musical gesture that completely catches me off guard. Whether it be his work with Saya in Tennis-coats, or his almost endless stream of solo releases, many of which exist in very short run editions, his mu-sic typifies a tireless desire to explore. Recently Ueno’s curve ball has been his project Off Strings with Vice Japan, where he talks to leading Ja-panese guitarists. It’s an incredible series of interviews, which I heartily recommend checking out.
The re-sults have been quite extraordinary and his session with Haino Keiji a personal favourite of mine. Yet an-other pleasant surprise from this maestro. Over the course of his previous solo recordings for Room40, Ueno has tested very reductive compositional approaches. Each of the records has created a precise and unique approaches to guitar. Sui-Gin, his first solo for us, almost 10 years old, remains one of Room40’s most individual sounding recordings. It’s a col-lection of alien tones, uneasy yet beautiful. To this day I still can’t quite imagine how he drew so much harmonic richness from such a limited palette; one instrument and one pedal. Smoke Under The Water, a title I can only assume maintains at least a little humour about it, is easily the most beautiful record Ueno has made in recent years. Here, the lushness of his playing meets head on this is minimalist compositional heart. This record bares a close attention to detail. That is not to say it is fussed over or seeking some kind of state of perfection. On the contrary this is a record about perfor-mance, about taking a beautiful compositional idea and seeking to document it with the life and breath that is so critical to solo instrumental works. I implore you to listen to one of Japan’s true master’s of his craft."
Lawrence English, October 2017
Bibio makes his most affective move in a while with the wistful, nostalgic reflections of Phantom Brickworks; an elegant ambient meditation on the intangible aura or spirit that people imbue places with, and vice-versa.
Over the years since Fi, Bibio’s BoC-like (or lite) debut for, we’ve variously heard Bibio as ambient dreamer, soft-boogie whiz, and folktronica bard. However, by swiping away the beats entirely and following his improvisational instincts, Phantom Brickworks seems to dwell at the square root of all those styles, divining and calling forth a ghostly, melancholic spirit which lingered in the background and between the cracks of all his previous releases.
In terms of its autumnal, decayed pallor and silty sense of depth perception, not to mention to obvious themes of nostalgia and memory stimulus, Phantom Brickworks operates in very similar realms of the imagination to The Caretaker, conveying a very particular, elusively eldritch brand of sehnsucht or hiraeth; a feeling that defies concrete description, but you know when you feel it.
No hyperbole; Phantom Brickworks is the loveliest album Warp have released in a while.
Severely killer gothic darkwave volley from Norn Iron’s Autumns, proceeding the examples of Terrible Tuesday for Downwards and a clutch of tapes and LPs for Clan Destine with their fiercest material yet
A jagged ramp called Self Consumed that sounds like Silent Servant on meth; the jabbing 16th note synths and EBM shunt of Headache Tablet; bitterest wave sentiments in You’re A Right Useless Cunt Aren’t You; and supremely messed up drum machine fizz in City Secrets and Distorted Thinking.
RIYL Factory Floor, Powell, Not Waving, Marie Davidson.
"Say what you wanna say, but you have to give Strahil Velchev this: the man's a powerhouse. Recording and playing live under the KiNK alias, he went on to become one of finest purveyor's of funk in techno and house. What it is, by definition, ain't exactly clear. And that is the beauty of it.
KiNK's music is unifying in the best possible way. Channeling the spirit and feeling of a time where it didn't really matter who the faces behind the music were, KiNK plays with the elements of genres and sub-genres as if the future of it all is still wide-open. At the same time it could be accused of retro-fetishism, as much as the Pope himself is infallible.
The pure need to recreate moments, feelings and experience - rather than carbon copies of existing designs - was what started KiNK's production work. Hailing from Bulgaria, it was nearly impossible to get your hands on all the records and music that fed into a system of raves, clubs and record shops that seemed far away from Sofia, and financially it might as well have meant another galaxy. Wanting to DJ without having access to the tracks that spun the carousel meant that you had to create them yourselves. So, here we go with a private bootlegger gone public mastermind and one of the loudest voices in house, techno and beyond.
From KiNK's early productions with Neville Watson to his smash-hit for Ovum, a cerebral album for Macro, tons of remixes & tracks and his mind-bending live act, Playground seems to take all that into a blender. Simultaneously a sound-summary, the harvest of a field of ideas, and the exhibition of an artist in his prime, it also works as a sort of KiNK dictionary: avant-garde soundscapes stand next to boisterous bangers, classic club tracks and peak time emotions find their idiosyncratic and contemplative counterparts – all of it coming down like a torrent in a drought."
Russia’s Paval Milyakov, aka Buttechno, tends to his screwier, inquisitive side for TTT with a gauzy batch of ambient, folk and house experiments, swerving between the lines of his records for Japan’s City-2 St. Giga, Collapsing Market and his Gosha Rubchinskiy AW16 soundtrack, to the dankest parts of his bedroom-baked club sound.
This is music for hanging out on cold, concrete corners in your most flammable trackies, taking in pastoral electro-folk meditation Gosha Medvedeva, his Pole-esque Slow Dub, and the skinny, bone-pinching swing of K4 on the one hand, before decorating those skeletal structures with more fleshly samples of Russia pop in the low key seduction of Poleva, and something like a roadside house rave played on empty vodka bottles, oil drums and cardboard boxes in the Brinkmann-like Metallo, and a nervily grubbing, spooked-out house ace named Super Siziy King.