Turbulent, gnashing techno-bass tackle from Killawatt, on a search ’n destroy mission for Tommy Four Seven’s label
‘Accupunk’ rages first with gut-socking bass hits and calloused noise to leave the dance reelin’, while ‘The Roamer’ lurches on a trampling industrial steppers’ momentum recalling recent Samuel Kerridge moves.
‘Polar Polemic’ churns with more viscous textures and pacing like a swaggering Ossia juggernaut, and ‘Glacia Systemic’ drop the energy levels into a tarry pocket of zombied bass torpor.
DJ Parris’ Soundman Chronicles cut off an EP from Etch’s first album, ‘Altered Roads Tape Vol.1’
Going deep into the breakbeat echo chamber, Brighton’s Zak Brashill a.k.a. Etch renders the stereo-shifting, tail-chasing weightless breaks of Lost Orbit (Chrime Drum VIP), along with the droning zombie-step torpor of Phenomena, along with what sounds like a quasi-speed 4Hero in Beggars Belief, and a rework of classic late ‘90s Kool Keith in Paging Dr. Octagon.
Powell loosens up and reaches out on the 2nd New Beta playground - a place to explore his more reflexive, emotive urges - with seven curious permutations that swerve from Æ-style abstraction to pointillist electro-acid and a brace of mutant diskotheek breakers. As with the first volume, he’s clearly still gassed off his new hardware, resulting in a nerve-jumping fizz and crack that sounds like he’s jamming with fingers directly in the jack ports, channelling his thoughts and feels practically unimpeded.
Like some cyborg antagonist who can’t stand to see humans plodding four square bro-si-bro in the dance, Powell fractures and gels the groove in wickedly freakish exercises, increasingly finding himself attracted to near beat-less structures to give his dancers and listeners freakier feels and more jelly limbed options for kinaesthetic interpretation.
On PosTAe he prangs out in sincere tribute to arch ‘borgs Autechre with a hot mess of haywire modular plongs, before Sneak 2_05 catches him cutting back to the ascetic funk of his earliest 12”s, this time sharper, serpentine, before Rudeboy, Let’s Funk catapults us into something like a scrap between clipped drum clatter and acid zig-zags itching for the sweat and perfume of the ‘floor.
Slippy Pig jabs the B-side into play with some of the EP’s nattiest, stepping impulses drawing a line from The Normal thru Ed Rush’s Wormhole via The Bocaccio, then Drumz VIP darts like some deviant jazz-funk oddity from West London, with its dissonant flourishes making way for the febrile blatz of Hoi!!and the EP’s surprise standout in the richly colourful and dynamic phrasing of Strobe, perhaps the smartest/goofiest iteration of Powell’s new sound in circulation.
Addendum to Yu Aseada a.k.a. Ena's 'Divided' tape & digital album including the 9th and 10th divisions of warped electronic atmospheres and glitching pulses.
His '9th Division' almost sounds like an Alva Noto & Sakamoto cut, in dub, whereas in the '10th Division' he picks crack'd concrète scabs off frayed and introspective loops to sound like Bellows meets FIS.
Killer new D&B mutations from the shady 4 6 2 5 collective of UVB-76 affiliates, including the outstanding, febrile Cassette_A rave regression.
Uptown, they go hard with splashy big beats and knee-crumpling subs in Non-Citizen, before prolapsing the murky sludge of Proles for the techno mutants.
Downtown brings a densely pressurised minimalist roller called The Barrens, and the one you really need, a shadowy scene-setter called Cassette_A which makes killer use of sample of a rave MC calling “security, come here right now!” set to a backdrop of billowing, bellicose noise, and nothing but. Top marks for that one at the very least!
3PE is the first in a series of releases by Portland, OR, based Luke Wyland under his new LWW moniker. In contrast to his previous work as AU, these are spontaneous explorations in repetition, alternate tuning systems and, for the most part, tempered minimalism.
"After the spiritual rush of ‘CTP’, there are never more than two or three sounds interacting. Unadorned single takes unfold organically to explore the textural and rhythmic possibilities within those limitations. Each piece has a distinct palette; from the rolling triumphant piano polyrhythms of ‘PNO’ (included on Nils Frahm’s official Piano Day 2018 playlist) to the unsettling oblique synthesiser angles on ‘DTE’ – Wyland stretches the boundaries of cadence and melody before snapping it all back into line. A direct link can be drawn from the tuned percussion work of ‘PRC’ to AU’s contribution to the influential Tradi-Mods vs. Rockers compilation series, which features the likes of Deerhoof and Juana Molina’s takes on the ‘Congotronics’ music of Kinshasa.
Many of these recordings date back to the period shortly after AU’s final release ‘Both Lights’. The bubbling energy remains, while Wyland’s musical dexterity is all the more startling in these stripped down, unrestricted forms. “There’s a certain fleeting magic to capturing unselfconscious improvisations to tape,” Wyland explains. “A quality that is often lost when tracking an album you intend to release to the public.” Opening epic ‘CTP’ serves to bridge the gap between AU and LWW – “the first track is the only improvisation that I’ve dissected and evolved into a more maximalist composition. The rest of these songs are simple one take snapshots into my process of research - essentially conversations with myself.””
Sublime, smudged and looped ambient/pop layering from Jake Muir (Further Records, Touch), the third release on sferic following Space Afrika’s excellent ‘Somewhere Decent To Live’ album. Huge recommendation if you're into Jan Jelinek, Pinkcourtesyphone, Conjoint, Studio Pankow, Andrew Pekler, Fennesz...
sferic cruise the best coast with Jake Muir, an artist and field recordist hailing from Los Angeles, California, where he’s previously recorded and released albums under the Monadh moniker for Further Records and Touch, the latter of which on the compilation ‘Live At Human Resources’, where he took part in a beautiful group tribute to Jóhann Jóhannsson along with a number of solo contributions.
On ‘Lady’s Mantle’ Muir constructs a poignant sound world crafted from samples of well loved American pop smudged with aqueous field recordings made everywhere from Iceland to the beaches of California. In nine succinct scenes, the results loosely limn a wide sense of space and place with its fading harmonic auroras and glinting, half-heard surf rock melodies rendered in an abstract impressionist manner that suggests a fine tracing of in-between-spaces, perhaps describing metropolitan sprawl giving way to vast mountain ranges and oceanic scales.
In effect the album recalls the intoxicated airs of Jan Jeinek's Loop Finding Jazz Records and Gramm project, as well as Pinkcourtesyphone (a.k.a L.A. resident Richard Chartier) and Andrew Pekler’s sensorial soundscapes and even the plangent production techniques of Phil Spector. But for all its implied sense of space, ultimately there’s a paradoxically close intimacy to proceedings which feels like you’re the passenger in Muir’s ride, and he patently knows the scenic route...
Trust Music From Memory to serve the loveliest thing you’ll hear all week with Orquesta De Las Nubes’ ‘The Order Of Change’
Continuing their excavation of Suso Saiz’s 1980s gems with a sublime 10 track compilation showcase of his new age/ambient band.
Echovolt pull out a string of deep techno pearls with Priori’s sublime yet tumultuous ‘Noogenesis’ EP
It’s practically worth it for the floating pads and offset acid techno roil of ‘Waves (Gibraltar Mix)’ alone, but turn i over and you’ll also find a very canny, early ‘90s sounding deep ’n bleepy house option called ‘Noogenesis’, and the B12-styled half-stepper ‘Port Romance’ to push you in the right direction.
The venerable Ethio-Jazz composer turned his hand to Afro-Latin fusion in 1966, resulting the perfect balance of slinky sensuality from both ends of that spectrum in ‘Afro Latin Soul (Vols. 1 & 2)’. Seriously, if you aren’t taken by the swinging mix of Elephant calls, sizzling claves and call ’n response vox in ‘I Faram Gami I Faram’, the swingeing drums on ‘Soul Power’, or the suave hustle of ‘The Panther (Boogaloo)’ and ’Girl From Addis Ababa’, we can't help you!!!
“Strut continue their essential work with the “Godfather Of Ethio Jazz”, Mulatu Astatke, with the first official reissues of his early classics ‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 from 1966, recorded as The Ethiopian Quintet.
Arriving after Astatke’s life-changing years studying at Berklee College in Boston, the albums were the first experiments in his pioneering sound, fusing Ethiopian cultural music with Afro Latin and jazz forms. “I have always felt a deep connection between Latin and African music,” he explains. “I travelled to Cuba and listened to their musicians; the tempo, rhythm and feeling was very similar to different African forms. In the mid-‘60s, I formed a band called The Ethiopian Quintet in New York comprising Ethiopian, Latin and Afro-American musicians - the band included trumpeter and pianist Rudy Houston who later played with Yambu and Felix Torres who played with La Sonora Poncena.” Supported by Worthy Records’ Gil Snapper who offered to record the quintet,
Astatke began to experiment during two separate sessions: “We created a different feel and different arrangements. On the first recording, I played an adaptation of an ancient Ethiopian warrior song, ‘I Faram Gami I Faram’ - the lyrics were translated so that the singer could sing it in Spanish. Some compositions were important steps for me: ‘Mascaram Setaba’ (‘Summer Is Coming’) ‘Shagu’ and ‘Almaz’. With the second album, a personal favourite is ‘Girl From Addis Ababa’ which worked very nicely as a fusion of Ethiopian modes and R&B rhythms.” Astatke would start to perfect his Ethio jazz sound on his later album for Worthy
in 1972, ‘Mulatu Of Ethiopia’ (STRUT129) but the two volumes of ‘Afro Latin Soul’ stand as important recordings documenting his early career. “It was a very interesting time to be in New York during the mid-‘60s. I was there at the same time as Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Fela Kuti and we each tried to play our part in putting Africa on the map of contemporary jazz.”
‘Afro Latin Soul’ Volumes 1 and 2 come in their full original artwork and are painstakingly remastered by The Carvery. All formats feature personal liner notes by Mulatu Astatke.”
Techy, atmospheric future garage from Edinburgh's Kuoyah. 'Radium' takes cues fromt he more ghostly ends of the Berlin dub-techno sound and re-engineers the rhythms with a 2-step flex, whereas the intricate complexities of 'Solar' are more comparable to the spacious moves of James Blake or the tricky grooves of Downliners Sekt. When he settles into a straighter groove the results are equally ace, as with the pulsing, delicately textured 'Barely You'. Fans of T++, Pole or Hidden Hawaii should check this.
Retro, guitar-driven post-punk/art-pop from Leeeds
“Blending wiry, dark post-punk with unpredictable art-rock, Drahla have established themselves as a formidable and distinctive band across their two sold out 7” singles and the 2017 Third Article EP. Formed in late 2015, Drahla quickly found their identity in Yorkshire’s fertile music scene with their minimal yet robust bass-heavy sound. Their reputation as a fervent live act is ever-growing, with the band being asked to share stages with the likes of Parquet Courts, METZ, Ought, Buzzcocks, Hookworms, The Cribs and more. Their Third Article EP, produced by Hookworms’ MJ, was released at the end of 2017 on the band’s own Blank Ad label followed by their first European tour supporting Metz. Third Article finds the band at their most captivating, with track ‘Silk Spirit’ exhibiting Luciel’s mesmerizing spoken drawl, paired with the steady unrelenting wall of sound from Rob Riggs on bass, and Mike Ainsley on drums.
After watching the band’s self-made video for ‘Silk Spirit’, Mike Sniper, founder of Brooklyn independent label Captured Tracks, was immediately hooked. The band signed to Captured Tracks shortly after.
Now, having just completed a tour supporting Ought, the band are releasing their commanding new 7-inch single Twelve Divisions of the Day, featuring a B-side remix that strikes with as much fervor as the original but leaves a different bite mark. As they commence a slew of May and June shows, including an invitation to play Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival, the band are poised to take their mark as one of the most visceral and exciting new bands on the scene.”
30 minute theatre soundtrack by Siberian trio, presidiomodelo. Field recordings meshed electronics and snatches of classical and folk music in a style recalling mysterious scores for Tarkovsky flicks or the spectral sensations of Jacob Kierkegaard, Kreng
“The Shaman - older than Christ - survives an endless winter of over two millennia as if preserved in permafrost like the mammoths and prehistoric horses littering the bowels of his mother Siberia.
The Shaman - named ‘the priest of the devil’ by dutch explorers - endures the horror of the Soviet labour camps. He has access to the Axis and inhabits more worlds than one.
NKT presents The Inner Empire , the work from Siberian trio presidiomodelo where misty atmospheres are infused with a murky, industrial aesthetic. Following previous NKT investigations into inner conflict and alienation, The Inner Empire is a meditation on themes of self confinement and interior exile. Originally composed for theatre, here revisited to include the full original recordings, presidiomodelo ’s release is an evocative thirty minute journey that burrows deep like the diamond mines.
Rumbling synths oscillate amongst delicate beds of chimes whilst ghostly chants and guttural tones vibrate around the sound of handmade instruments and hypnotic drums, all immersed into the humid Siberian forest.
The soundtrack drifts unbroken throughout sections as if shifting through different thresholds of consciousness, dilating time and projecting images of ancient scenes and archaic practices.
The Inner Empire also reflects the feeling of mismatch between private and public persona in the modern world. It carries a primordial sense of imprisonment and inescapability, a familiar yet inaccessible inner empire.”
Oneirc avant-jazz-fusion, keening from the spiritual to the arcane and back in almost palindromic form. The players’ decades of combined improv experience is patently obvious. Exquisitely recorded and mixed by Jim O’Rourke, another adventurous side from Oren Ambarchi’s excellent Black Truffle...
“The first release from the duo of two important yet often underappreciated musicians, Eiko Ishibashi and Darin Gray. Ishibashi is a singer-songwriter, keyboardist, drummer, and multi-instrumentalist, known in Japan both for her own elaborately conceptual solo albums and for her frequent collaborations with figures such as Jim O’Rourke, Merzbow, and Phew. Darin Gray is a bassist and multi-instrumentalist known for a multitude of collaborations (with O’Rourke and Loren Connors, among many others), for On Fillmore, his cinematic post-exotica project with Glenn Kotche, and as one half of Chikamorachi with Chris Corsano, one of the finest free-jazz rhythm sections around.
Presenting the entirely of a live set performed at Tokyo’s Super Deluxe in March 2013, the set begins as a duet for Ishibashi’s flute and Gray’s upright bass. Calmly melodic yet harmonically inventive, with shades of ‘spiritual jazz’, the pair’s acoustic ruminations are gradually joined by Ishibashi’s lush electronics, which randomly flicker between chords in a manner recalling the classic work of David Behrman. As the electronics build into a gloomy fog of slowly cycling loops, Gray lays his bass aside and turns to making strangely mournful interjections on a mouthpiece.
Eventually Ishibashi moves to the piano, enveloping the audience in rippling pools of sustained, octave-doubled melody, provided by Gray’s bass with a fluid and dynamic foundation. For much of the second side, both Ishibashi and Gray turn to electronics, ultimately arriving in a bizarre space of melancholic arpeggios and random sputter and sizzle, oddly reminiscent of 70s outsider prog acts like Wapassou.
An uneasy coda of rich piano chords ends the set. Captured in warm room ambience and beautifully mixed by Jim O’Rourke, Ichida is a rare combination of improvisational acumen and emotional directness, both adventurous and immediately accessible.”
“An Ardent Heart is a focused techno mini album that brings forward Stefan Goldmann's most dancefloor-centered material in a decade. The tracks push and pull relentlessly. Despite their linear appeal, there is an intricately balanced interplay between the heavy-handed kicks, the bouncy bass accents and the sizzling, yet clear-cut details whipped up by the rallying drums.
The peculiar, seemingly “vocalised” mode of synthesis is maybe the most unifying sonic characteristic of the six tracks and one coda. Formant shaping, vowel filters and airstream perturbations let a wide range of sounding elements speak in the tongues of a cybernetic Babylon. Layered polymetric patterns perforate the aural plane with alien scripts. Clearly structured, yet opaque messages that seem to have traveled for aeons emanate from the red-hot circuitry. They spill into a network of delays, channeled down into labyrinthine corridors, enveloped in electrostatic noise.
Most tracks build on chance patterns evoked with hardware sequencers and freeform modulation sources. The resulting synthetic systems are as cohesive as they exhibit vast internal variation and range. Thus balancing simplicity and complexity right in the middle, the results are just as immediately gripping as they can feed sustained attention. A wide palette of distortion and overtones mark the contours of individual elements that seem to have near-physical qualities – as if there were metallic strings, thick membranes, a resonating sphere, all struck by electric mallets, caused to vibrate by mechanical bows and sung by silicone lips.”
The producer fka fLako, Dario Rojo Guerra adopts the Natureboy Flako mantle for a cooler study of his style in ‘Theme For A Dream’ with East London’s Five Easy Pieces
Where the preceding 8 years have heard him cut a path from wonky hip hop to more melodic electronica, he arrives at a crisp and spacious fusion of the two in ‘Theme For A Dream’, traversing from the sci-fi cinematic intro and clash of classical pomp and trilling trap beats in ‘From The Shadows’, thru the title track’s rugged lean, to the shiny grimy styles of ‘Ancient Lands (Carmo Viejo)’, and the off-kilter, bittersweet synth tang of ‘Wolkenlos’ with an assuredly deft swagger.
The woozy eldritch charms of Pram return for the first time in over 10 years...
“The return of Pram. Across The Meridian is a celebration of Pram’s unique vision, focused into a beautifully constructed and tautly produced soundworld. Across The Meridian is their first album since 2007’s The Moving Frontier.
As with their previous albums, Across the Meridian mixes instrumentals and songs, weaving a gleeful path through the musical territory of film scores, 30s jazz, sun-drenched pop, electronica, and post-punk experimentation. Haunting and wistful vocals are set to a variety of soundscapes, sometimes appearing as a snatched fragment of the subconscious and dreamlike, at others crafting a story of longing or regret, drawing the listener into Pram’s uncanny world through the mirror. Newcomers to Pram will find a richly detailed collage of influences ranging from exotica, Krautrock and the forgotten film soundtracks that went on to inspire contemporaries Stereolab & Broadcast.
The band convened at the remote Foel studios in Wales to improvise on ideas and record some bases for tracks, before finishing them in their studio in Birmingham. Pram have a working process that has developed over many years and reflects shifts in band personnel and technological advancements. Across The Meridian is a testament to the band embracing these new approaches without losing any of their original allure.
The band line up now consists of Matt Eaton, Sam Owen, Max Simpson and Harry Dawes.”
Florian Hecker, DJ Stingray and Tale Of Us cap a banner year for Lorenzo Senni with stunning, divergent remixes of his 2nd Warp release, ‘The Shape Of Trance To Come’
With XAllegroX, Florian Hecker casually knocks out perhaps the deadliest remix of the decade, smashing its atoms into 12 minutes of unrelenting, needle-toothed PointilisticT that just leaves us a mass of burned out synapses. Seriously, this is what we’ve been waiting for - extreme trance noise ecstasy at its most clinical and breathtaking. Fcuking bravo, maestro.
DJ Stingray keeps up his end with a deep sci-fi electro take on XAllegroX, all oil-spattered Detroit mechanics meets razor-trimmed trance riffs, while stadium tech-house heroes Tale Of Us rework The Shape Of Trance To Come for the slow burn, teasing out the original arps in a pendulous big room groove.
That Hecker remix, though!!!
The third album by Nathan Salsburg, one of his generation’s most idiosyncratic acoustic guitarists.
"It’s been five years since his last solo record (Hard for to Win and Can’t Be Won, 2013) — but not because he hasn’t been playing guitar. In the intervening years he’s backed up Joan Shelley on three releases and several hundred live dates; put out a collection of guitar duets with multi-instrumentalist James Elkington; teamed up with fellow Louisvillian and neighbor Bonnie “Prince” Billy on an EP; and contributed playing to records by The Weather Station, Wooden Wand, Watter (what’s with the Ws?), Jake Fussell, and Red River Dialect. Meantime he’s also managed to keep his head above water at his day job as curator of the Alan Lomax Archive.
The original pieces on Third, his first strictly solo guitar record—no singing, no guests—were composed in fragments of down-time, with little expectation that they would ever come to comprise a collection: Impossible Air, was written in a converted cow-shed outside of Eeklo, Belgium; Sketch from Life, while watching college basketball on TV. Exilic Excursions resisted completion for nearly four years. The songs, as others have before them, distill a love of old-time dance music and rural ragtime; the melody-centric compositions of American guitarists Peter Lang and William Ackerman; and the work of Scottish and English folk-revivalists like Dick Gaughan, Dolly Collins, and especially Nic Jones, whose monumental arrangement of the pipe tune Planxty Davis has been adapted here in turn. And they all display a notable increase in confidence and ease, as Salsburg has quietly, persistently established a style marked by a depth and a complexity that are utterly his own. "
Bristol’s purple sound pioneer Guido returns with a pack of hard, bolshy and economically colourful rhythms on his State Of Joy label
Guido’s sound is less exuberant here than earlier outings, with more attention placed on his diamond-cut drums, but still lit up with super shiny lixx; most impressively in the mix of glinting, Mid-Eastern rhythmelodies with percolated synth voices, brassy flashes and trepanating snares in ‘Would Oud Mind’, and in the hard, slippery Bristolian dub drill of ‘Unknown’.
Class selection of early Ska aces taken from the seminal Kentone Records - a subsidiary of Federal Records
Surveying Jamaican music at the point it transcended Jazz, rock, soul and calypso influences to create the foundations for what would become reggae music. The bookending acoustic pieces by The Sharks and Federal Singers are icing on this big slice of Ginger cake.
“Founder of Jamaica’s first recording studio, Ken Khouri produced early ska classics 14 first-rate ska pieces including previously unreleased materials from undoubtedly the industry leading Federal Records that consisted the virtuoso Ernest Ranglin and co.”
Time-and-worry-melting minimalist songs composed by Taku Unami (guitar, engineer) and played along with Moé Kamura (vocals) and Tetuzi Akiyama (guitar) as Hontatedori for David Grubbs’ Blue Chopsticks
Unspeakably sublime and delicate, Hontatedori’s ‘Konata Kanata’ revolves around four exquisitely chamber-like works absorbing and distilling traces of medieval plainchant, psychedelia, and gossamer ambient-pop into gently glowing and dreamily poetic paeans to the ‘Planets’, an ‘Iron Fence’, the ‘Horology of the Surf’, and ‘A Boy’.
RIYL Hisato Higuchi, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Elodie
Kerry Leimer captures a sound in flux of fractured temporality and decay, with melancholic motifs emerging thru hazy drizzle and construction-site-at-night atmospheres, taking its cues from music by Arve Henriksen, David Sylvian, Taylor Deupree and Biosphere
"Threnody by K. Leimer is a music of disorientation, error and loss. Free of any particular sense of continuity or structure, Threnody dwells in an absent-minded and forgetful state, inhabiting an aftermath of events too disorienting to be completely comprehended. Highly atmospheric, the music draws from influences as diverse as Arve Henriksen, David Sylvian, Taylor Deupree and Biosphere. Shattered phrases emerge among shrouded details in a state of sustained incompleteness. In a departure for Leimer, this music is highly improvised, mostly studio-generated in real-time. 'I approached the work by repeatedly abandoning it and, at some later time, after pursuing some other task, after days or weeks of new outrages, wandered back and tried to once more pick up the threads.' Threnody is music tuned to a fractured time. K. Leimer founded Palace of Lights in 1979. Leimer's work has also been issued by Autumn, First Terrace, Les Giants, Origin Peoples and RVNG and his cassette work is included in the critically acclaimed VOD box set American Cassette Culture. Leimer has been actively producing music since the mid 1970s -- his current catalog includes eighteen solo albums plus collaborative albums with Savant and Marc Barreca. His work is included in the collection of The British Library."
Sarah Davachi renders another sublime, haunting slice of magick with ‘Evensong’
A passage of sylvan solo keys and spectral glossolalia working at a stately pace and grace, taken from her eagerly anticipated ‘Gave In Rest’ album for Ba Da Bing Records.
Popcaan delivers one of 2018’s biggest dancehall albums with ‘Forever’ for Mixpak
Leading on from his roundly loved ‘Where We Come From’  album, the 17-song ‘Forever’ reprises that infectiously romantic trancehall sound at full wingspan with big highlights to listen up for in the breezy freshness of ‘Happy Now’, the weightless lean of ‘Lef My Gun’, and the diamond trance sparkle of ‘Deserve It All’ and ’Strong Woman’.
El mysterioso, Black Lodge pops the cork on a mad new collection of cut ’n paste dance music and other oddities with ‘Bitter Blood (A Collection of Archival Recordings)’ for the Disciples label
Cut and stitched from a dash ’n grab collection that's made entirely from analogue recordings and environmental ephemera similar to his trips with Mo Wax and The Trilogy Tapes, this, his first release since 2010, is peppered with cameos from Manchester nobility, erstwhile and otherwise, along with the sound of his shaking spray cans and sprained grooves snaffled from the lower racks of myriad charity shops and record emporia.
Nowadays he doesn’t make this kinda stuff because he sold all his gear to buy a gong, but he clearly saw fit for these ones to creep out of his notorious archive and make everyone feel a bit queer for 43 minutes in their otherwise boring lives.
The results range from Demdike Stare-esque library record abstractions such as A Cross Inverted, thru to bleary, brassy psychedelia in Bitter Blood and collage patchworks such as Ginny Spinner or the wheezing Jamais Vu, along with super pert synth-pop in Wodwo, and a Tony Conrad/VU-ish drone elegy named Withershins.
Ty Segall and White Fence are become one again, regrooving what was once called ‘Hair’ into what is now ‘Joy’.
"‘Hair’ grew out of a simpler time. If, as the duo indeed affirm on ‘Joy’, rock in 2018 is dead, don’t come around here looking for no burial. Instead, find ‘Joy’ caught up in the commencement of onbeyond rock; music made with the old tools but emitted from a fresh new, single-celled organism. This time, the old one and one make one’ line does not apply. ‘Hair’ had the quality of emulsion - drops of Segall suspended in Fence; a compound of White dispersed over sheets of Ty. With ‘Joy’, Tim and Ty arrive without travelling from the same place, occupy one single headspace, finishing the other’s phrases, pulling licks from each other’s places. Singing and thinking and laughing as one.
Both these fellows have been known to trifle with tropic pasts and reactivate vintage visions within their new music. Not now. Now is the only time this time - ‘Joy’ is their own sound of today, a shared individuality, prisming all possible stances into an unseemly metastasis that flows for 15 tracks."
Brilliant, super limited vinyl only LP from Powell breaking down and recombining styles in a way that hearkens back to the syncretic clusterf*ck of musics - house, industrial EBM, early electro, glam and synth-pop - which made up original, late ‘80s Belgian New Beat, and which fed into the emergence of an early rave techno sound.
New Beta Vol.1 finds Powell also hacking and splicing formative influence from late ’90s UK D&B, noise and cantankerous No wave electro into a breathlessly taut, mercurial alternative to modern day familiarity, briskly refreshing his sound while making no bones about its roots or compromise to its fractious nature.
The seven tracks of New Beta Vol.1 find smarter, looser points of connection and juxtaposition between their mutual and exclusive binds, better consolidating his dancefloor impetus with an emotive thrust that he’s previously preferred to dance around or assuage in favour of outright madness.
Whether its the bittersweet bubble of opener Teddy, the cascading synth harmonies of Freezer, or in the brain-frothing ambient strokes of Electric Sheep, the shocking flashes of pathos which began to emerge from certain angles of Sport are now rendered with more space to move and cause affect, tempering his pinched, nipped and ripping grooves with a vacillating ambiguity and tempestuous quality that bears up to closer listens at home or on headphones.
Ultimately New Beta Vol.1 is definitely still Powell, but perhaps reveals a truer reflection of the artist’s musical make-up, one sure to lasso new fans as well as pique the interests of those who’ve intently watched his development since 2011.
Emptyset’s James Ginzburg morphs into Bleed Turquoise with the slow, seething swagger and inflamed electronic textures of his eponymous debut album for Other Other Recordings
Picking up where the buzz of Emptyset’s ‘Borders’ left us, and with something of Vessel’s prurient noise keen, ‘Bleed Turquoise’ is unmistakably tied to a visceral strain of dark, neon Bristol blues and post-punk experiments.
From its sluggish pacing to its disciplined intensity, it’s hard to avoid comparisons to putative Bristolian sounds, but rather than stoned and cocooning dread, the album’s seven tracks bristle and burn at the edges with a different sort of negative ecstasy, at best in the sooty bass revs and incendiary iridescence of ‘Timed Indigo’ and the crushing gait of ’In So Far As’, or the razing, Vessel-like drill of ‘Divide Red’.
Rod Modell saves some of his finest recent efforts for this divine release with Astral Industries - home of his acclaimed ‘Lanterns’ side and his Waveform Transmission LP with Chris Troy. What starts out tranquil subliminally surges into a fast dub techno flight, cannily in flux between serenity and ecstasy...
“Rod Modell returns as Deepchord for his first solo release on Astral Industries since inaugurating the label with his sought-after ‘Lanterns’ EP. Consisting of two stunning long-form pieces split on one side each, 'Immersions' captures the emotive, halcyon sound that Rod has long become synonymous with. Opening with glistening ambient textures, ‘Immersion I’ grows into an 18-minute piece of deep rolling dub techno. On the other side ‘Immersion II’ paints pristine soundscapes of soft, lapping waves, underpinned by submerged pulsations that rise to the surface to continue its deep space explorations. Two highly refined and inspiring tracks that sit on the apogee of this sound.”
The soundtrack to the Netflix original movie ‘1922’, based on the Stephen King novella.
"Mike Patton (Faith No More, Tomahawk, Fantomas,Peeping Tom, Mr Bungle) composed the score and this soundtrack release features music from the film as well as expanded tracks that didn’t make the cut.
Heavily orchestral, with rich, funereal strings, the score is punctuated by distinctly Pattonian touches, such as bursts of jarring dissonance and a skittering strain of percussion that’s eerily dreadinducing.
Previously, Patton composed the scores for ‘The Place Beyond The Pines’ and ‘Crank: High Voltage’."
Scorching, deep fwd Gqom from scene OG, Griffit Vigo, back to bang on Gqom Oh! after appearing on ‘The Originators’ 12”
Leading on from the necessary drop of his Ree’s Vibe classic, Griffit gives up some blindingly strong dancefloor futurism in four ways, ranging from bare boned, nagging buzz of the brutally stripped down original, to a concise Video Edit, before knocking us out cold with the heat-warped chromatic convolutions of Gqom 6 (Remastered 2018), and the exhilarating thunder of Come To Durban.
Properly overproof, this stuff. Untouchable.
Samurai Horo play the dark and mysterious card with DiNT's intrepid debut trip. It's immaculately conceived dread in three parts, following suit with that evil Pact Infernal 12" or the label's FiS output to explore the stress points between D&B, doom metal and noise with a clear and unrepentant vision and affect. A-side is depressed with ominous drones and cranky drums like some duel between Demdike Stare and Shapednoise in 'The Black Drug' and the reactant drone textures of 'No Way Out', before they stretch out on the flip with a lugubrious beast called 'Visceria' built from chain-dragging drums and distended bass patterns. RIYL Raime, Demdike Stare, FiS, The Sprawl
That cheeky lad Mickey Pearce coughs up ‘Club Tools 001’ on his Box of Toys label
This is Pearce at his most playful and proving, with four tracks variously built to move the club in different ways, from he jerky jack ’n pivot of Rinsed, thru the clenched tension and funky release of Highly Strung, to the balmy swagger of Brass Tacks, and the nutty jack track, Washed.
UTTU catch Deadboy at his best on the ‘Psychic Hotline’ EP with 6 tracks of fuzzy, bleary-eyed house primed for festive gatherings...
Side A charts a dawning trip from filtered, keening and harmonised house in So Cold thru the deep burning swang of No More into the positively uplifting shimmer of Silicon.
The B-side sees that vibe channelled between the natty Afro-Sino grub of Ryuichi, to spheric footowrk-meets-new age impulses on Dervish, and a gently slouchy wash of gauzy chords and sloping groove in Venus & Mercury.
RIYL Justin Toper, Russell Grant, Derek Acorah
Classic grime instrumentals back on (digital) road!
Garna loads up a full clip of proper old skool badness, including his & Garna’s OG of ‘Magik Circle’ from the ‘Magik Circle EP’ , plus a high-tension VIP, and multiple variations, at best in the cold neck-snapper ‘MagikAlarm’ and the evil squeak of ‘BlackMagik’.
Inkke tees up steel-tipped drill drums, pointillist garage and searing synth melodies on the ‘Lil Plasma EP’ for LuckyMe, mounting his fiercest, most forward assault on the ‘floor since emerging on Astral Black
Leading on from the Secret Palace 12”, Inkke kills with surgical precision in the Lil Plasma EP, bending a body between the biting-point metallic synths and fanged drums of Lil Plasma, to some super tangy, hyper garage a la Rian Treanor in Rome, and the laser-guided trap of Incense.
Dixon and Underground Resistance tweak out Radio Slave’s ‘Trans’ for Rekids.
Head straight to the B-side for Mad Mike in a foul mood, reworking the bass as an effluent acidic grunge splashed with sparking funk guitar and riveted in place with hard snares, stealthily coming up to an entrancing 2nd half.
Dramatic future garage moves from Kuoyah for Frijsfo. 'Sun Resonate' rolls in from a toweringly dramatic intro to go deep into minimalist garage mode with hints of T++ or Kontext. 'Grain Pulse' also takes the scenic route to the dancefloor before unraveling a superb tangle of glitchy 2-step patterns, and 'Solar' takes notes from recent Scuba moves to craft a dynamic dubtech roller. Heavy.