Ostgut Ton cough up the customary accompaniment to Fiedel’s 120 minute Berghain 08 mix - the club and label’s first mix since Function’s Berghain 07 in 2015 - with four exclusive tracks by Electric Indigo, Stefan Rein, rRoxymore, and Boris with Fiedel.
Berlin mainstay Electric Indigo indulges a severely dark techno sound with Registers, which sounds like the dry clank of the till in the toll booth at Berghain taking a night off to dance and scowl with the rest of the punters. Stefan Rein contributes the furtively hypnotic dub techno of Panther, rRoxymore joins in with the pendulous bass and animalistic prowl of Tropicalcore, while Boris and Fiedel go twos up on the spunky acid wriggle ’n jak ov Div’hain.
DAF’s Conny Plank-produced 5th LP, Für Immer is the darker, stripped down follow-up to their better known early sides, Alles Ist Gut and Gold Und Liebe.
Like those LPs, it probes a fine, ambiguous line along fascistic imagery and lyrics with tracks such Kebab Träume reflecting on Germany’s relationships with Turkish immigrants, and EBM obsessions with health and beauty manifest in the title of Die Götter Sind Weiß. It’s possibly hard to think of how an act could deal with these topics in the modern day without an avalanche of social media pain.
Things were different back then, though. Or were they? Either way, check out the likes of Im Dschungel der Liebe or Verlieb Dich in mich for some proper danefloor rockets.
Beats In Space pull together volumes I + II of Palmbomen II’s Memories of Cindy together with 11 new cuts from he 4LP boxset, completing a deeply dreamy session of knackered house and gauzy synth-pop among the most defibntivie this scene has turned out.
Operating inside a now-crowded prism, Palmbomen II’s sound still sticks out from the milieu by dint of his sensitivity to textured grooves and a hazy lense of mixing trickery which frames a deeply nostalgic and melodic new age soul at its core.
Palmbomen II’s sound is displayed in all its low-key glory here, bubbling up with subliminally effective grip in the metallic acid tweaks and haunting female vocal of pyrotechnomarco and the gorgeous ethereal hymn, Forever Afsluitdijk, before giving the ‘floor something to bump with in the raggedly dubbed proto-house chops of IAO Industries, and then turning to Troma-style romance themes with Transportzone Meer, and hugging the tape tightly with his frayed, synthy slow jam Dancing & Crying.
It only gets lusher, bittersweeter in the new-to-our-ears 2nd half, which was previously only available in a limited edition 4LP boxset. From the curdled acid dream house squirm of Ultimate Lovestrory Fantasy thru the exquisite choral percolations of Wilco’s Funeral to the rugged rub ’n tug of Disappointment Island and Teresa Winter-esque coos in Cyber Tears and John Hughes movie soundtrack cues of Can It Be this new batch only serve to cement Palmbomen II’s status, right up there with Hype Williams, 1991, lueke, BoC.
Both collaborative albums from The Body and Thou are finally available together on vinyl for the first time. Raging, boundary-testing heavy metal alloy from the American South. Rip your face off and spit in the abyss business...
"The Body and Thou are bands with Southern roots that have been pushing the boundaries of heavy metal for over a decade. Both have maintained relentless touring schedules, a dedication to DIY ethics and aesthetics, and a commitment to push their respective brands of extreme music into previously unexplored territories. You, Whom I Have Always Hated is a new collaborative release that showcases both bands’ unique abilities to create music that is emotionally effecting and unrelenting.
On You, Whom I Have Always Hated, each band’s distinctive elements shine through and combine to create something more visceral than the sum of their parts. While the groups have different approaches to live performance and stylistic nuances, they share general creative ideas and have a history subsumed in themes of alienation, melancholy, and despair. They describe the new collaboration as “a twilight dungeon crawl exploring the winding, ruined halls of Mad King Duro’s Castle, best friends at your side, enemies crushed beneath your heels, mysteries solved, and treasures found.”
Nexx Yorkshireman Rian Treanor galvanises Warp’s Arcola sub-label back to action with a deadly twyst on hyper electro and displaced dancehall in signature, deviant style.
The Contraposition EP marks Warp Records’ timely return to its SoYo roots in a concerted refresh of bleep techno and soundsystem ballistics, rendering the original template as a corrupted 3D geometry of slippery chromatic contours and polyrhythmic chronics that feel lightyears removed from their early ‘90s and early ‘00s antecedents, yet patently in key with their stripped down design and rave-wrecking purpose.
A-side, Rian focusses a wickedly nervous 2-step energy into the pointillist shadow-boxing tekkers of Contra_A1, strongly recalling his work on two preceding EPs for The Death of Rave, before then testing out something new and dynamically different with the punchy recoil and canny use of echoic negative space on Contra_A2, which all leads to a deadly acid switch-up in the 2nd half.
On the B-side he reconfigures your swang schauung with a mad meld of skittish micro rhythms and cold as f**k Euro-techno motifs on Position_B1, then like Errorsmith describing Equinknoxx swatting a nano-drone with the incisive, anticipatory bait and slap of Position_B2.
Fans of Forgemasters, Mark Fell, Jamie Duggan, Beatrice Dillon will know exactly what to to with this one.
Johnny Jewel ov Chromatics returns with the picture postcard-perfect scenes of Digital Rain, his first new album proper since Windswept , which included his work for the recent Twin Peaks: The Return soundtrack.
In the most classic sense, Johnny evokes his themes with beautiful subtlety and clarity throughout the entirely instrumental suite of Digital Rain, using filigree synthesis and a rarely paralleled feel for narrative to convey the sensation of rain on skin or hail on a roof, precisely evoking all the feelings of nostalgia you’d arguably associate with electronic music’s cinematic representations of rain, romance, and enigmatic intrigue.
It’s an ideal album for creating your own movie on the fly, acting as a sort of soundtrack to your life, likely to turn late night drives for a pint of milk into the most dramatic scenarios, or maybe turn your next commute into a Love on a Real Train (Risky Business) situation. Might want to be careful with that 2nd one, though.
One for the lovers.
The debut album from Inga Copeland, formerly of Hype WIlliams, featuring additional production from Actress
After teasing the internet with one-offs and mixtapes for the last 2 years, (Inga) Copeland (ov Hype Williams) drops a satisfyingly challenging and incisive solo debut LP proper, 'Because I'm Worth It'. Against a backdrop of forward, phantasmic dub and electronic production by herself and Actress, Copeland's vocals are a typically mercurial presence flitting between half-heard bars and spectral, detached verse such as the brilliant "with my mind over money and the other way around, cash moves everything around me/significant of what we do, say, feel, everything is just by numbers". It contains eight songs, alternating between almost-instrumental numbers and deconstructed pop.
Arriving with the prickling sonic extremes of 'Faith OG X', she posits the empowered narrative of 'Advice To Young Girls' set to Actress' oblique production, and it's not until 'Insult 2 Injury' that you're offered some sort of more conventional structure, and even then it's a flinty, bare-boned dub salved with lush Detroit chords. The furtive dub-pop collage 'Fit 1.' is the album's centrepiece, both literally and figuratively, melting Eastern accordion, Diwali-riddim claps and Burial-esque atmosphere with woozy slow techno and her most enigmatic pop vocal beside the dissolved dub meditation 'DILIGENCE', whilst 'Inga' feels like a darker parallel to fellow Estonian ex-pat Maria Minerva, and the splashing, metallic dub tang of 'l'oreal' imparts an abstract sense of urgency, numbed poise and feminine sorta dread that neatly sums up the album's paradoxes.
It's a startling, hugely enjoyable debut.
Aksak Maboul is the long-abandoned project of Konono No.1 producer Vincent Kenis and Crammed Records label head Marc Hollander.
Back in 1977 they made a fantastic album called 'Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine', a strange delicacy full of keen young ideas that would even foreshadow Detroit techno and much modern electronica, with a widely scoped "world music" twist. Seriously, check it out! 'Un Peu De Lame Des Bandits' was their follow up, originally released in 1980 and infused with a far more avant garde jazz element next to the typical international influences, from African to Balkan and whatever else they fancied.
Super canny return from techno minimalist Akiko Kiyama, who makes a considered change of direction toward fractured, jazzy electronic funk as Aalko for her Tokyo-based label, Kebko Music.
Perhaps best known for her inclusion on Richie Hawtin’s DE9: Transitions mix, Akiko’s new output as Aalko bears some relation to her early work in terms of precision and minimalism, but that’s where the comparison ends.
No Man Is An Island is far fruitier and off-centre than her formative work, placing quarky sounds in unconventional time signatures with a bendy, off-centre appeal maybe best compared with the likes of FAY, Burnt Friedmann or even Foodman. Gilles Peterson is a fan, but don’t let that put you off.
Ricardo Villalobos, Max Loderbauer and Burnt Friedman dismantle Swiss drummer Samuel Rohrer in bendy new ways for the ’floor and afterparty
Burnt Friedman takes the brief of Microcosmoism and runs its microtonal electronics and squirming groove to the nonplace, feeds it special gasses and returns a loose, slompy groove in patented style.
On the other hand, Villalobos strips the same elements right down to bare essentials for nearly ten minutes of swivelling drum hits wrapped up in sticky syncopation with glutinous subs and ricocheting electro-dub-steppers dynamics.
Villalobos and Loderbauer then combine as VILOD for an 11 minute reshuffle of Uncertain Grace hingeing on pendulous metallic claps and a worm farm’s worth of wriggling bass, then Villalobos goes it alone with Lenina, turning in a tangle of sloshing, splayed rhythms that sounds like a jazz band playing underwater and offers pluralised possibilities for the dancers who dare to actually express themselves, rather than just do the usual line dance and finger point. You know, that Solomun move?! Fuck that and dance to this instead.
Over two hours of new music from Terre Thaemlitz (including some unbelievable remixes from DJ Sprinkles), plus video pieces and text, made with lucid logic and unflinching insight to expand upon Soulnessless’ themes of cultural overproduction,moving attention to the wider framework of how patriarchal structures in society effectively undermine democracy. You’ll need to spend some quality time with this one - please remember that we support Terre and Comatonse Recordings' efforts to keep projects offline, minor, and acting queerly. When purchasing this item, we ask you to refrain from uploading and indiscriminate sharing in any form. <3
Leading on from Soulnessless , Terre Thaemlitz makes convincing arguments for Deproduction in her latest, and perhaps most significant work for Comatonse. Centred on her engrossing essay questioning the ethics of having children, the package also holds two durational collages of solo keys melded with samples from Gay and Incest Porn, plus one piano solo, and a pair of exquisite Deeperama mixes by DJ Sprinkles, all adding up to one of the most important releases you’ll encounter over the next 12 months or more.
By drilling down into societal taboos from the oblique angle of a white, queer artist based in and observing the culture of Japan, Thaemlitz makes shockingly poignant assertions about the contemporary human condition of late capitalism which, once digested, may well leave you reeling, or at the very least cognisant of her pretty-much-inarguable logic. “The recognition that having children is unethical is not to be confused with a desire to empirically stop people from breeding. It is simply pointing out an irony underlying centuries of societies using religions and other institutions to morally enslave our sexualities to the breeding of sons of men.”
How does this relate to the music? Quite directly, in fact. In a feedback of image to text and sound, Terre uses her preternaturally sensitive audition to really riff on the listener’s nerve endings quite like nobody else. In Names Have Been Changed (Sound/Reading for Incest Porn) she paints an ostensibly tranquil scene of location recordings, filigree electronics and heart-in-mouth strings fringed and underlined by the disturbing sounds of domestic violence, families arguing, babies crying - you probably know the stuff - whereas Admit It’s Killing You (And Leave) adapts that strategy to a blend of sublime, minimalist piano and cello flourishes with needling electronic interference juxtaposed with sparingly used vocal samples.
As if giving space for mediation after those two 40+ minute works, a hauntingly sustained Bonus: Admit It’s Killing You (And Leave)(Piano Solo) beautifully prompts room for reflection - more than likely leaving you devastated - before Thaemlitz adopts her Sprinkles mode for two genuinely incredible re-works, adapting the bed of strings and vocal samples in Names Have Been Changed with expressive acid bassline and feathery hi-hats in the House Arrest mix, then a ruggedly percussive, ultimately lush, dramatic and messed up Dead End version of Admit It’s Killing You.
Of course, none of this would be quite so powerful if it were heavy-handed. It’s testament to Terre’s rigorousness of thought, and grasp of both sides of the dialectic, especially when combined with her remarkable sound sensitivity and necessarily playful ambiguity, that her ideas come across as entirely balanced upon reflection, and are democratic to their core.
Unmissable. Essential. Life-affirming stuff.
Northern UK-based artist Rian Treanor re-imagines the intersection of club culture, experimental art and computer music with a super smart debut for The Death of Rave.
Galvanising and accelerating garage and techno with cuttingly crisp tonal diction and pointillist percussive palette, ‘A Rational Tangle’ demonstrates Treanor’s adroit and finely-nurtured rhythmelodic instincts through a quicksilver syntax of kerned, polychromatic 2-step patterns and whipsmart, emotive jit music.
The EP’s four tracks vacillate ping-pong ballistics and recursive melodic motifs constructed in Max/MSP, dancing from pendulous, aerobic minimalism to taut, synthetic tabla grooves with grid melting nous, whilst also taking in gamelan-esque hypeR&B through wormholes of smeared and curdled harmonics, plus one dead lush section of Detroit-via-Yorkshire styled hi-tech funk.
The production is stainlessly dry and future-proof whilst Rian’s arrangements are considerately efficient, yet it’s all blessed with a pop or ’floor-ready turn of phrase that reveals new kinks, fills and twysts with each return listen.
Whichever angle you view it from ‘A Rational Tangle’ forms a rewarding introduction to the work of a very promising and distinct new voice in electronic music.
Optimo's home brewed label really comes of age with a reissue of six tracks from Throbbing Gristle's Chris Carter, recorded between 1974 and 1978 and remastered for their 1st ever vinyl pressing by the man himself.
Label co-owner JD Twitch is a notoriously avid TG fan and has hand-picked these tracks from a cassette originally released on Industrial Records in 1980 (and subsequently on CD by Mute in 1991). The work of Chris Carter will be known by many of you, but for those who don't, Carter was the musical and technical inspiration behind one of the UKs most important bands of all time, bringing art and rock music into the future with his mastery and early adoption of basic equipment like the 303 (he was the among the first in the world to use one on record), and the 808, which also makes one of its 1st recorded appearance here on bonus track 'Climbing'.
So, it's safe to say that this man has serious credentials. With this in mind, these tracks really occupy a seminal space in the history of electronic music, deeply imbued with the twin spirits of darkest misanthropy and experimental endeavour, and most importantly - they sound f*cking amazing! As JD Twitch himself says "There is a beauty, an emotion and an imagination present here that is lacking in a lot of modern machine music. This music is as vital and wondrous today as it was four decades ago". Amazing music.
A whirlijig of chromatic melodies and keening harmonics harnessed to folk dancing drums played by imaginary AI, Music From The Early Robotic Societies of The Basin forms a mesmerising introduction to Christos Chondropoulos’ world, offered by perennial subterranean diggers, The Tapeworm.
Wrought from alien synth voices in a cadence of queered scales and punctuated with elegant, swaying rhythms, Music From The Early Robotic Societies of The Basin feels utterly, spellbindingly ancient yet simultaneously futuristic, wrapping up a wealth of influences that make up the Athenian sound image into a steeply enigmatic tale of East meets West, North and South. Having been lucky enough to visit Athens recently, this writer can only confirm that Christos has beautifully distilled the magick of that city into these recordings. As we’re going to do, his Fingerpainting  and Athenian Primitivism tapes are on the list of what to check next.
Psychoactive disco smarts from Sweden via Amsterdam:
Daniel Fagerström (The Skull Defekts, Altar of Flies) and Luciano Leiva (Jackpot, Puppetmasters) cook up a viscous disco stew from classic analg synths such as TR-909, Waldorf Microwave, Yamaha DX7, Roland Juno-60 and Akai MPC, all primed for cosmic high times. Imagine Klaus Schulze in a sauna with Patrick Cowley. It’s bound to get sticky.
Optimo Music serve a proper peach with reissue of three Ted Milton / Blurt aces from lesser-known nooks of UK jazz/post-punk/electronics on a fresh new double-AA side.
Ted Milton is a ground-breaking saxophonist and frontman of Blurt since their inception. This 12” documents his work under both names, giving up the killer swerve and Hammer-esque vocals of Love Is Like A Violence, and his frothy freakbeat It’s Only Recently That Stalins Have Begun To Roost (what a title!) both from 1984, on top, then a dose of Blurt on the B-side, namely the unmissable charms of The Ruminant Plinth , featuring wickedly off-the-cuff vocals woven into what sounds like Afrobeat skronk played in a massive silo.
This one’s bound to set a lot of heads on a Ted Milton tangent!
First ever vinyl reissue of Kebab Und Andere Träume 
A mad cross-pollination of new wave, punk-funk, Oriental rock and hip hop, organised by social worker Winifred Nacke, and played by students of the Weisbadener Jugendwerkstatt - a group of Turkish, German, Iranian, Polish, Moroccan musicians. Very obscure, now fetches fancy triple figure sums on 2nd hand market.
Mark Broom, Drvg Cvltvre and Mike Dred gets to grips with EVOL’s rave slime in slamming acid techno remixes of Presto!?’s Do These release for Alku.
With a combined age of well over 100, the three remixers bring some proper rave experience to the plate in a visceral, disciplined style that shows the whippersnappers how it’s done.
Up top Mark Broom teases out a burning gob of EVOL’s acid into a proper, tracky peak time slammer with percolated chords and bucking claps, leading to a pair of brain-swilling locked grooves by UK hero Mike Dred.
Down below, Drvg Cvltvre gets to work with a slompier sort of jack attack riddled with iridescent glissandi, again leading to some superb loops by Rephlex’s Mike Dred that we could happily listen to for ages.
Ruddy, off-kilter house wonk from Italian duo, The Barking Dogs.
Up top they rub out the strange barnyard disco sleaze of SWB, then tighten up a bit for the saddlesore electro swagger of Liquid Strategies, joined by a scatting loon and someone jamming out on a Farfisa.
Detroit dynamo Jeff Mills expands his soundtrack repertoire with the score for And Then There Was Light, a Japanese thriller based on Shion Miura’s novel, Hikari.
Perhaps an unexpected turn from the techno overlord, the results are arguably more palatable than his orchestral suites, and clearly demonstrate his composerly ability to match electronic music with a range of moods, emotions.
For us, the best parts play to his strengths, as with the dextrous rhythm programming and spatial detailing of The Bond of Death, the lilting rhythmelodic cadence of The Little Ones. But there are also some surprising moments in the noisy chaos of The Players Of Consequence and Lost Winners, which give way to a storming appearance of his techno classic Hypnotist in the final climax.
Two classic nyabinghi albums Rastafari and Kibir-Am-Lak onto one record
Squaring off the best Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus recorded with producer Tommy Cowan in the ‘70s, featuring heavyweight line-up of Peter Tosh, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Robbie Shakespeare, Robbie Lyn, Tommy McCook, Carlton “Santa” Davis.
The crown prince of Japanese indie-prog-pop yields his Mellow Waves LP on vinyl, his first albumin over a decade, arriving some two years since his Ghost In The Shell Arise O.S.T.
"For the uninitiated, Cornelius is the brainchild of Japanese multi-instrumentalist Keigo Oyamada. A performing musician since his teens, Oyamada created his creative alter-ego (the name is an homage to the Planet of the Apes), in the early 1990s from the ashes of his previous project, Flipper's Guitar.
With the 1997 release of Fantasma, Cornelius gained international recognition for his cut and paste style reminiscent of American counterparts Beck and The Beastie Boys and was released internationally by Matador Records. Being called a "modern day Brian Wilson" for his orchestral-style arrangements and production techniques, Cornelius subsequently became one of the most sought after producer/remixers in the world, working with a wide range of artists including Blur, Beck, Bloc Party, MGMT, and James Brown.
With 2002's Point, Cornelius' music took a quantum shift, going from sampling "found sounds" to looping organic elements and creating lush soundscapes. Using water drops as the rhythmic backbone of "Drop" on his vocoder-infused cover of "Brazil", the album dazed and amazed fans and set the path for the next phase of his career.
2007 brought this philosophy to an even higher level with the release of Sensuous. Cornelius' live shows are known around the world for spectacular visuals (all perfectly synchronized to the performance), custom lighting that doesn't simply augment the performance, but becomes another instrument within it, and a full band of equally talented and diverse players.
The companion piece to the album Sensurround + B Sides, earned the nomination for "Best Surround Sound Album" at the 2009 GRAMMY Awards.
The summer of 2016 saw the release of Fantasma Remastered, on Lefse Records. The package, a 2LP reissue of his classic album, also included 4 additional outtakes and earned Pitchfork's "Best New Reissue".
Cornelius has recorded music for Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, scored the anime mega-film Ghost in the Shell Arise, performed as the backbone of Yoko Ono's reformed Plastic Ono Band, played the Hollywood Bowl with Yellow Magic Orchestra, and co-wrote and produced the Japanese artist salyu x salyu."
Charles Hayward does the bangs and Thurston Moore wrenches a racket from his guitar on this killer free improvisation session documented by UK’s Care In The Community Records.
Recorded at Lynchmob Studios, London, 2nd February 2017, the LP catches the duo stealthily warming up in the neck-snapping breaks and face-eating distortion of the first part, to really step on the gas with the tumultuous sparring session of the 3rd part, then climaxing with some squally helter skelter pelters on the B-side which should snag even the hardest to please fans of This Heat or Sonic Youth.
Members of Total Control and Grass Widow converge a mannered, almost eldritch-tinted style of synth-pop crossing lines with Group Rhoda, John Foxx, Carla Dal Forno, HTRK
“THE GREEN CHILD is the long distance musical collaboration of Mikey Young and Raven Mahon, who met in 2013 when their bands, Total Control and Grass Widow played a show in Oakland, California. They started writing songs together in Australia in 2014 and the project has been on a slow burn since. Their self-titled debut album is the culmination of few years of putting ideas together internationally and periodically recording in Mikey's home studio. Some of the lyrical content and the band's name was inspired by Herbert Read's 1935 utopian, communist, sci-fi novel called The Green Child.
With such a choice name, it's no surprise that The Green Child draw their sound from an illusory past as much as they stalk into pastures new. Broadly retro-futuristic in scope, verdant acres of lushly evocative synthesizers and blippy drum machines underpin most of their upbeat yet decidedly uncanny songs. Raven's calmly scenic and measured vocal flits like a will-o'-the-wisp throughout the tracks, proffering a guiding hand as she walks us through the often eerie, electronic concoctions.
'Traveler' opens the album all redolent, beat-minded and labyrinthine. Twisting melody lines swirl and envelop like a sandstorm, whilst Raven coolly projects on a "solitary man" lost to "green oblivion". Similarly, 'Her Majesty II' glistens with its playful yet plaintive vocal and iridescent arpeggios, whilst 'Bertha' slows things down with tumbling chimes and stately use of space.
The Green Child are adept at atmosphere, their songs are refined from gently unfolding ideas that never fail to realise and build to their potential. Tracks like 'Walking Distance' (featuring Al Montfort on saxophone) and 'New Years Eve' are exercises in evolved composition with ideas budding off and blossoming into truly resonant dimensions. The band's cover of 'Marie Elene' (by Keith Pearson) and closing track 'Destroyer' are further crowning achievements, both pieces subtly handled with poise and ample melancholic grandeur. The Green Child fix their sights on the heights they want to reach within their songs and much like the project itself don't want to rush to the finish line. When it becomes more about the unfurling journey, why not take the time to enjoy the trip and burn slower?”
After their knockout ‘Colón Man’ LP for DDS, Equiknoxx’s balmy ‘Fly Away’ bewt for Swing Ting now cut to 7” and backed with an outstanding new dub displacement exclusive to the B-side, following digital-only issues of the OG and Clean version in spring ’17. No messing, it’s worth it for the Gavsborg Dub alone!
Dem sip a red bull and fly away… Swing Ting catch an absolute belter from their longtime Jamaican fam, Equiknoxx Music ft. Alozade & Gavsborg, following a banner year which saw the crew tour UK, Europe and Japan in the wake of their incredible Bird Sound Power showcase on DDS.
Where Bird Sound Power acted as a retrospective catch up on the last five years or more of Jordan Ching and Gavsborg’s Equiknoxx output, Fly Away - like the Bubble ace snuck out at the end of 2016 - is cut fresh from the block and gives the strongest taste of their rooted but heavily current sound.
It’s a real showstopper; hair-kissing pads and heat-haze organ vamps fake left on the intro before running into mad slippy wine vocalled by veteran deejay Alozade and licked with some of the rudest, roving bass work and pointillist, technoid drums that we’ve heard in the dance of late.
The vibe is self-evident. Massive tip!
Geir Jenssen offers a very handy scan of hard-to-find Biosphere cuts c. 1991-2004 on his Biophon label, the latest in a comprehensive reissue agenda which has turned up some real charms so far.
The set ranges from his earliest dalliances with bleep techno rave, superbly so in the sub-loaded killer Hypnophone  off an obscure Norwegian rave compilation, thru to the coruscating ambient loops of Reef  for the Gonzo Circus magazine, taking in gorgeous Lynchian ambience with The Third Planet  and floating ambient structures redolent of X-Files atmospheres in The Seal & The Hydrophone , while catching him at his most wistful and cinematic with Bird Watching , and his subsequent, post-2000 turn toward textured ambient neo-classicism, such as the spectral interceptions of Vi Kan Tenka Digitalt, Vi Kan Tala Digitalt , the stark but sensuous lushness of Valchirie , and his organ work, Visible & Invisible  for Touch.
Definitely not just for the fans, this is a discreet slice of ‘90s ambient history for lovers of icy electronic romance.
A substantial, hugely immersive release from a true drone shaman, 'Cocon & Oiseau De Nuit' is one of our favourite O'Malley releases and is here pressed (in updated form) for the first time on vinyl following a limited cassette release several years ago.
The album was originally created and explored as a thought experiment leading up to O’Malley’s work on SUNN O)))’s Monoliths & Dimensions sessions throughout 2007-2008; those recordings were then revisited and developed fundamentally in 2010 for the initial cassette release and again in 2017 for this vinyl edition.
It's similar in form to his 'Keep An Eye Out' LP for Table Of The Elements and the 'Salt' album for iDEAL, wresting the blackest sub-harmonics and inherent micro-tonal shifts from ultra-minimal guitar technique. The effect is utterly immersive whether experienced on headphones or speakers, saturating your surroundings in scarred and bruising amp feedback below dry, dull clouds of ferric interference.
As the piece evolves O'Malley generates ever-more hypnotic swells of visceral, churned feedback conducted with stoic, instinctive control, flooding the space with abstract shapes and ghostly apparitions.
Len Faki puts his weight behind three powerful remixes of Philipp Gorbachev and Nocow.
In the master boschenheimer’s mitts, Gorbachev’s anthemic 5th New Century is rebooted with proper size 12’s, while later is returned as a wallbanging Chicago-via-Moscow-and-Berlin pounder saving the eye-spinning trance lines t’til they really matter, and Nocow’s K$$$$ is underlined with mad, buzzing mid-subs for effortlessly floating, locked-in pressure
Great ambient dub techno abstraction from uon, the newest moniker of Ryan Fall aka Caveman LSD and DJ Paradise, following superb pair of releases in the same vein for Barcelona’s Anòmia with this, his debut vinyl release - massively tipped if yr into Rhythm & Sound.
Stalking terrain familiar to Wanda Group, Pole, Xth Réflexion, DeepChord, the zlo EP captures a wickedly paradoxical sense of movement within static sound in four parts: meshing cooling pads with mercurial kinetics in the title cut, and pushing off into opiated, subaquatic zones with kosm, and hypnotically stumbling up/down an endless Escher staircase with the gravity defying dynamics of suB1, and diffusing your bone into deep space on kissing.
Prime material, all 35 minutes of it. Don’t sleep on this beauty!
Pendant is the artist formerly known as Huerco S, and this is the debut release on his new label West Mineral Ltd, following on from his acclaimed ‘For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)’ album.
The artist sometimes known as Huerco S. ushers a phase shift of sound on the shoegazing harmonic gauze of Make Me Know You Sweet, his immersive debut proper under the Pendant alias. In this horizontal mode he relays abstract stories from a headspace beyond the dance, placing his interests in the Romantic landscapes of JMW Turner, Robert Ashley’s avant-garde enigmas, and Indigenous North American philosophy at the service of a more expressive, oneiric sound that sub/consciously avoids the trapfalls of ‘chillout’ ambient cliché.
Across seven amorphous, texturally detailed tracks he establishes far reaching coordinates for both Pendant and the West Mineral label, which aims to release everything except commonly accepted, traditional forms of late 20th/early 21st century dance music, while also representing the work of his inner circle of friends, producers and artists. In that sense there’s a definite feeling of “no place like home” to his new work, but that home appears altered, much in the same way The Caretaker/Leyland Kirby deals with themes of memory and nostalgia.
It’s best described as mid-ground music, as opposed to the putative background purpose of Ambient styles, or the upfront physicality of dance music. Rather, the sound here billows and unfurls with a paradoxically static chaos, occupying and lurking a space between the eyes and ears in a way that’s not necessarily comforting, and feels to question the nature and relevance of ubiquitous pastoral, new age tropes in the modern era of uncertainty and disingenuity.
The results ponder an impressionistic, romantically ambiguous simulacra of reel life worries and anxiety, feeling at once dense and impending yet without centre. From the keening, 11 minute swell of VVQ-SSJ at the album’s prow, to the similar scope of its closer, Pendant presents an absorbing vessel for introspection, modulating the listener’s depth perception and moderating our intimacy with an elemental push and pull between the curdling, bittersweet froth of BBN-UWZ, the dusky obfuscation of IBX-BZC and, in the supremely evocative play of phosphorescing light and seductive darkness in the mottled depths of KVL-LWQ, which also benefits from additional production by Pontiac Streator.
Make Me Know You Sweet taps into a latent, esoteric vein of American spirituality that’s always been there, yet is only divined by those who remain open-minded to its effect.
The Pilotwings revise the salty psych disco of Lunga Strada from the Prins Thomas 5 LP in two fancy ways
First on a colourfully plumed Bubble Zouk mix chock with bird calls, xylophone vamps and latin freestyle-esque edits, then a more stripped down Bonus Beat emphasising those mad edits and freaky dubbing.
A marriage made in dub house heaven, the Accumulate EP is 1st in a series of collaborations between Fluxion and Rod Modell aka Deepchord, to be released via the former’s Vibrant Music label.
Converging from subtle differing yet wholly compatible angles, Deepchord & Fluxion’s Transformations duo explore an elegantly widescreen sound that sounds familiar, yet remarkably altered and uncharted in either artist catalogue.
Layered from fathomless bass pads and swooning string figures, Accumulate runs to just shy of 25 minutes across the two sides, with the 13 minute Pt.1 subliminally flowing and expanding across into Pt.2 in such a lush, hypnotic manner that you’ll almost be irked at having to get up and flip the disc, but then you’ll just flop back and restart the zoot and ride out into its diaphanous, dusky sunset.
Leaving Records’ head honcho Matthewdavid tips out a few years worth of cracked, sun-dazed hip hop, jungle and freaked grooves on Time Flying Beats - the Julia Holter and Flying Lotus-collaborator’s 1st serving since A Meditation On Events in 2016.
It’s a sterling dose of psychedelic West Coast styles meets rugged trap and Deep South sensibilities, working in and around the Low End Theory sound with a polychromatic, distorted flux of Memphis rap knocks, DJ Screw-like gangsta vibes and top40 trap bangs smartly messed up by properly lysergic electronic processing.
In a similar way to, say, Black Zone Myth Chant or even SKRS International, Matthewdavid really fxcks wi the format while somehow remaining true to its original intent, resulting some great work in his Steve Miller Band-gone-footwork freak Slipppin’, on his meter-messing shelter skelter Millenial Midnight, the Thriller-esque warped boogie slammer Flow With The Go, and his killer sunset mission Contemporary, but you’re advised to indulge this one whole, or even better with something stinky and green.
The Lasry Baschet duo’s pioneering mechanical instruments come to life on a reissue of their 1957 debut 7”, newly dispatched just over 60 years since release. Sounds remarkably electronic, but entirely made with acoustic means - glass rods, balloons, wet bows and metal sheets
“As a truly indispensable bookend to any listeners with the slightest interest in experimental music, French culture or the foundations of mechanical songwriting this inaugural release by these Parisian musical revolutionaries not only predicts the future sound of modern composition by almost 60 years but detangles the deepest roots of European popular culture celebrating an important historical family unison in the process. Combining the infant steps of Magma, the sonic blueprint of 1970’s TV theme Picture Box and the sculptural creations of Polly Maggoo this important and groundbreaking 3 track 7” EP takes us back to the very first aural glimpse of the future of pregressive Europe at the hands of physical sound sculptures glaring in the face of premature technology.
This EP and its varied three-pronged assault is the first step in the legacy of the Lasry Baschet unison uniting the husband and wife team of Jacques and Yvonne Lasry plus their son Teddy (who would later create Magma with Christian Vander) and hard material sculptors François and Bernard Baschet (who would later work with William Klein). It was this creative unison between visual art and experimental music, witnessing the Lasry family exchange their orthodox music skills in favour of crystal rods, balloons, wet bows and metal sheets, that would potentially change the course of European music which was already on the extreme verge of electrocution with the rise of tape music and embryonic synthesised instrumentation.
Promoting the phrase Instruments Non-électroniques (as celebrated on the sleeve of the Cacophonic full-length release 11CACKLP) the Lasry-Baschet collective’s humanistic music (an attitude upheld by composers like Michel Magne) would later spark the imagination of Jean Cocteau leading to installations at the Museum Of Modern Art leading to a huge shift in the way people approached experimental melodic music alongside the efforts of Harry Partch and other music machine makers. The appropriation of their music in art, theatre, ballet, film and television came closest to UK shores when their composition Manège was used as the long running theme for the children’s TV compendium Picture Box spanning three decades (rivalling both The Moomins and The Booktower for the most indelible and nostalgic spooky theme tunes in the history of British TV) by which time Teddy Lasry had independently become one of France’s most creative instrumental composers of all time.”
Necessary 1st vinyl edition of Laraaji’s 1984 new age devotional suite. Effectively gospel soul in the key of Om, written and performed on Casio keyboards, depending on your disposition it’s either worthy of comparison with Arthur Russell, or an extended Tim and Eric sketch. Take your pick…
“Vision Songs Vol. 1 (1984) is the LARAAJI album like no other, located at the intersection of new age and gospel, his outlier and magnum opus, the feel-good DIY tape of the century. Casio synth jams recorded at spiritual retreat guest rooms and a tiny bedroom on the Upper West Side, lysergically-spectacular anthems for a continually arriving new moment. “Channeled from the sky,” humbly offered as digital download for the first time, this is where this is going on, this is where this is taking place, this is how this is going on. Is this very clear?”
The Rapture’s rhythm section break away on a hi-velocity cosmic disco mission for The Ran$om Note. Hang on to your garys, this one’s got some serious thrust…
“Mother of Mars is the latest evolution of Vita & Druzzi, two New Yorkers who have provided the 21st century with some of its most innovative dance music. The duo first came to fame as the rhythmic backbone of The Rapture, NYC pioneers who found global fame with their angular post-punk and howling disco. Since then Vito & Druzzi have had a prolific career as remixers and producers, producing leftfield disco killers for a range of labels including Warp and Throne of Blood.
Their first release as Mother of Mars sees the duo fuse live krautrock drums with pulsating synth loops, creating two epics of space and rhythm that owe a debt to ‘70s kosmische pioneers like Tangerine Dream and are receiving support from the likes of Andrew Weatherall, Trevor Jackson and Francis Inferno Orchestra.”
Knackered, buckled industrial/EBM blatz for fans of Nick Klein, Smersh, Liquid G
“Amsterdam's worst kept secret makes it back to Unknown Precept with his long-awaited album and first solo output since the acclaimed Divine Bovine cassette mini-album. Inspired by an evening spent in a restaurant next to a car demolition site, Eindkrak's long player debut echoes the distant sound of steel being crushed and cars pressed into cubes. All this noise, in combination with the taste of good Italian food, lead to the eleven tracks making up for the aptly titled Brullend Staal — loosely translated to weeping steel. A leisurely stroll on crumpled metal sheets, the acidic hints of oxidized metal and the smell of gasoline. Inaudible and distorted vocals as if smothered by the clatter and smokestacks of steel factories. Eindkrak's first full-length is all about this disquietude made of melted and straightened metal. A resounding and tumultuous din. Try to eat some nice gnocchi while listening to this album, and you'll see what it is all about.”
Brilliant, mind-bending disco anachronisms from Dutch dude Arp Frique featuring musicians from Surinam and Cape Verde, all recorded in the modern day, although you’d swear it was from the ‘70s!
Arp Frique is Niels Nieuborg from Rotterdam, a key member of the Dutch live music scene who has saved his first recorded works for this session, bringing Americo Brito on vocals for the freaky Afro-disco-dub adventure of Nos Magia, before spinning out like Black Devil Disco Club in Lagos, ’78 with Kamajo, and the Afro-beat burner Ijo Ya, both set off perfectly by vocals from Orlando Julius.
Natty, tracky DJ tools from a cool-handed trio on Sven Rieger’s much-loved SUED label.
The bossman himself appears as Svn ‘longside regular spar Dynamo Dreesen, and Dave Huismans a.k.a. A Made Up Sound in a disciplined democracy of minimal nudges and tweaks yielding infectiously unsteady yet rolling grooves.
From the A-side’s swanging, bucking jack track, to the sloshing tribal percussions and dissolving dub patterns of the B-side producer is seemingly trying to under-do each other to the benefit of the ‘floor.
Metro Area’s seminal, eponymous debut album of disco resuscitations struts back onto the scene for a 15th anniversary edition, having lost none of its lustre over the interim years.
Morgan Geist has been releasing records for years on numerous labels such as Metamorphic, Clear, and his own Environ imprint, hitting gold with the future-disco purpose built for his Metro Area label.
For a taste of the funk, head for ‘Miura’ with it’s handclap beats and accapella samples enhancing the good side of the 70’s dance craze, but with no brass section in sight. Synth’s galore and floor bound grooves litter the LP and it runs superbly as an album, but also as single tracks, hence the poularity of the 12”s.
Expansive new opus by one of the world’s leading film soundtrack composers...
“Cycles 7-16 is a natural progression from Matt Dunkley’s deubt solo album, Six Cycles, released on Village Green in 2016. Like the debut, it was recorded in Berlin with the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg. With this album, however, Matt pushed himself further, expanding his writing horizons.
As well as being almost double the length, this album boasts a broader sonic palette than its predecessor, such as the full symphony orchestra on ‘Cycle 12’ or the seven solo pianos used on ‘Cycle 14’. On others, Matt returns to his classical roots, using a string chamber orchestra on ‘Cycle 11’ and ‘Cycle 16’.
Touring and travelling over the last two years, influences arose from spending time in different cities and places. The wintry, tense ‘Cycle 7’ was inspired by an early morning in Berlin, while ‘Cycle 15’ was written whilst on a conducting trip to Norway.”
Persuasion scopes some deep techno swing in the rhythmic engines of Quatermass for Opal Tapes’ Black Opal series.
Following more delicate ambient releases under his birth name Devon Hansen and as Stéfan Jos (on a split with Austin Cesear), Quatermass firms up a proper dancefloor sound between the effortless, sub-fuelled momentum and wooden knocks of In The Atrium - think Mike Dehnert at his most meditative - beside the rolling, subaquatic structural stress test of Damask Silk, the off-centre step of Quatermass, and an hypnotically engaging winner named Xaviera.
Mumdance, Logos and Shapednoise remerge The Sprawl for a banging, incendiary second EP in their trilogy inspired by William Gibson’s Neuromancer - the 1984 sci-fi novel which uncannily presaged The Internet and aspects of AI which have since morphed from fiction into reality.
EP2 is about ‘Data Flow’ and thus catches the trio in flux between flashbacks of noise as information overload and brutalist techno chronics seeming to emulate the sensory obliteration of full frontal temporal sickness.
Each producer’s individual characteristics are parsed and consolidated in a fractious transfer of energies, placing themselves as cybernetic semiconductors in a quantum network of emerging AI consciousness, pooling corrupted memory banks of physical and pharmaceutical ecstasy, excess and synaptic muscle memory to manifest premonitory visions of future hardcore rave as hyperstitious, viscerally IRL.
The A-side picks up directly from EP1 with the invasive strategies of Burning Chrome - so titled in reference to Gibson’s short story which first coined the term “cyberspace” - fulminating pure sound designer noise in bruxist shockwaves punctuated by lush pads, before the cyberpunk terror of Black I.C.E. hacks into the nervous system with sickening, arrhythmic dynamic, strung out between chest bursting ecstasy and stomach churning panic.
That’s all seemingly in preparation for X System, a 150bpm bunker breaker lodged on the B-side with a cold fusion of lamping bass drum and slithering plasmic timbres sounding like some Dutch or NYC ‘90s techno bomb dialled in via a faulty ISDN connection, which makes for a stark contrast with the emotive pathos of Online Seance, a searingly transcendent vision of cinematic synth noise modelled on occult hivemind behaviours and redolent of moments from Leyland Kirby’s Intrigue & Stuff volumes.
Hanz rakes over vintage hip hop, post punk and industrial ground with a cineaste’s eye to locate new mutations in the undergrowth of Plasty I, the North Carolina, US artist’s follow-up to the Reducer  LP for Tri Angle.
Lodging somewhere between the ears of BAT, a lo-fi MBM and the asymmetric designs of Co La, Plasty I breaks down to a ruffcut patchwork of processed and sawn-off samples wrapped up in dream-like electronic atmospheres and laced with a trippy experimental edge.
It’s pretty much a 2017 answer to the more frayed fringes of UK trip hop and NYC illbient vibes.
An illustrious cast including William Basinski and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma present faithful reworks of Clear Language, the 2017 LP by Texan shoegazers, Balmorhea.
They’re in trustworthy hands throughout, with notable highlights in Christina Vanztzou’s nervously unsteady meld of electronic and acoustic spheres prone to drift into The Caretaker territory on her take of Sky Could Undress, and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma in gloriously strung-out mode with the same track, while Basinski works his alchemic magick on Lost In Translation to utterly transportive ends, like a sonic analog to Idris Khan layering myriad desert panoramas.
Hidden Operator and Samo DJ indulge a rugged digi dub session on Kings Chamber
Four wonky dancehall sidewinders ranging from natty acid dub and Skweee-like bumps to ruddier dancehall mutation with sloshing tablas, and one wicked bit sounding like late ‘90s Lenky productions.
Les Disques du Crepuscule presents an expanded edition of classic festive album Ghosts of Christmas Past, featuring favourites from the original 1981 and 1982 editions now joined by newer tracks by Crepuscule artists.
"Sometimes witty, sometimes melancholic, the original version of Ghosts of Christmas Past in November 1981 featured exclusive contributions from luminaries such as Tuxedomoon, The Durutti Column, Paul Haig, Michael Nyman, Aztec Camera, Thick Pigeon and The Names. Subsequent editions in 1982 and 1986 added songs by Antena, Mikado, The French Impressionists, Pale Fountains and Winston Tong.
For this new double CD version in 2015 Crepuscule have now added more chantons noel by Blaine L. Reininger, Section 25, The Wake, Marsheaux, Deux Filles, Stanton Miranda, Virna Lindt, B Music and Ultramarine.
“Crepuscule's Christmas cracker is here to rescue the festive season from the fogies and bores"(Melody Maker); "Aztec Camera's Hot Club of Christ is a busy, Django-esque run through a few well-known Christmas ditties, Michael Nyman's Cream or Christians is a silly but loveable fragmented organ collage in a typical English eccentric tradition, Tuxedomoon are in playful Residential mood” (NME)
Cover art by Jean-Francois Octave.
Reissue of a soulful reggae burner from Jamaica, 1978.
Produced and vocals by Lloyd Parks - a member of Skin, Flesh & Bones, who sang on some early rocksteady nuggets with The Termites and The Invincibles. Now includes a stack of mystic dubs.