After issuing a string of records heavily indebted to Rephlex Records, Nina Kraviz gets her hands on the real thing with Aleksi Perälä’s Paradox album for her трип label.
Playing to the colundi scale, Perälä pounds, pinches and plasmogrifies techno and electro with Braindance virtuosity across all ten tracks of Paradox. Like his recent Simulation LP for Clone Basement Series, the tracks here are curved for the ‘floor, and maybe more specifically, Nina’s ‘floor - ready for dispatch in sweaty clubs and mammoth festival stages alike.
We recommend checking it for the whirring calculations of GBLFT1740072 (Original Mix), the percolated instrumental synth-pop brilliance of GBLFT1740067 (Original Mix), and the trancey élan of GBLFT1740068 (Original Mix).
Burial’s sophomore LP, originally issued in 2007 only a year after his pivotal debut, is another masterpiece of urban UK composition and innovative imagineering whose sense of melancholic space, pop-wise dexterity and dancefloor yearn has rarely been explored or surpassed since its release.
Where its predecessor was starkly paranoid, mostly instrumental, Untrue was gilded with gorgeous, cut-up R&B and UKG vox, and interspersed with segments of nocturnal reverie that played out like the OST for a yung UK romance that replaced posh, gurning actors with real life road characters and focussed on the spaces between - between the club and home; between night and day; masculine and feminine; waking life and dream life; Maccy D’s and alley doorways; being high AF and coming down.
It was and still is Burial’s love note to UKG and R&G, and by turns gave context and validated those genres for a lot of listeners who arguably wouldn’t have touched that sound, or at least dismissed it as pop pap or with some snide, racist undertone before Burial’s revivalist instincts hybridised it with trip hop and snarling D&B memes.
More positively, however, depending on which way you look at it, this album also opened the endorphin floodgates for a whole raft of f****e garage producers to get in touch with their feminine side, especially in contrast to prevailing, laddish dubstep rave trends, and, since that sound has faded away, it’s not hard to hear this album’s influence in the vocal processing of Mssingno, in the uneven, off-kilter swing and parry of Zomby, the patch-worked constructions of Jamie xx or Evian Christ, or in Deadboy and Murlo’s more boundary-pushing creations.
As with any album that gets a lot of attention beyond its putative scene, Untrue was an unintended red rag to the cynics and rockists - and even garage purists - but for almost anyone who recognises and appreciates that more modest, aching sort of electronic, UK street rave soul, it remains a really transcendent album that still grips like few others.
Meditative, durational works for a 17th century organ, horn, trombone and microtonal tuba written by Ellen Arkbro, who has previously composed for early music ensembles and studied Just Intonation with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi - Huge Recommendation.
“For organ and brass is comprised of two works by the Stockholm-based composer Ellen Arkbro. Both works focus on tuning, intonation and harmonic modulation. In previous projects, Arkbro composed for early music ensembles, wrote a series of durational pieces utilising synthetic tones and processed guitars, and, most recently, presented a work lasting 26 days at the Stockholm Concert Hall. for organ and brass looks back to Arkbro’s studies in Just Intonation with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and their disciple Jung Hee Choi in New York, as well as with kindred spirit Marc Sabat in Berlin.
The title composition was written for an organ with a specific kind of historical tuning known as meantone temperament. It was only after locating an appropriate instrument—-the Sherer-Orgel dating back to 1624 in St. Stephen’s Church in Tangermünde, Northeastern Germany—-that Arkbro set about recording both for organ and brass and its counterpart, three. “Hidden within the harmonic framework of the Renaissance organ are intervals and chords that bare a close resemblance to those found in the modalities of traditional blues music,” explains Arkbro. “The work can be thought of as a very slow and reduced blues music.”
The work moves gradually through a series of long, sustained tones played by the organ and in parallel by a brass trio comprised of horn, tuba, and trombone. Arkbro’s treatment of pitch resembles the tuning strategies of La Monte Young. The brass parts were performed by microtonal brass trio Zinc & Copper, a group whose repertoire has included works by C.C. Hennix and Christian Wolff.
In Arkbro’s words, “the brass instruments and the organ fall into patterns of interaction in which a new breathing instrument emerges.” three, which follows the 20-minute title work, deploys the same principles of harmonic relativity. In removing the organ from the instrumentation and switching to a different meter, three acts as an intimate counterpoint to the ritual drone cycles of the title piece.
Ellen Arkbro is currently studying for her Master’s degree in music composition at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Her work has been performed in Brooklyn, Stockholm, Norberg, Bologna, Gothenburg, Berlin, Birmingham, and Malmö, and on Swedish National Radio.”
Alex Zhang Hungtai explores forlorn, strung out avant-industrial and rhythmic noise feels as Love Theme for Luke Younger’s Alter after laying his Dirty Beaches alias to rest in 2014, and more recently guesting on Dedekind Cut’s American Zen album
“If there's a single guiding motif to this debut recording from Love Theme, it's the melancholic throb of love learnt and love lost, a descent that tumbles and slips through the overall feeling of looking back. As intimately and carefully as its parts cohesively lament a narrative, it's the after-image that catches your breath, like a memory morphing as it is observed.Comprised of Alex Zhang Hungtai of the now defunct project Dirty Beaches, along with Austin Milne, and Simon Frank, 'Love Theme' is arranged from an improvised session with twin saxophones, synthesizer, percussion, drum machine, and voice.
Over the course of a year the material was edited remotely from the members' home cities of London, LA and Taipei.The record's sullen ambience is never left too long to set in. The aching wane of the saxophone arrangements frisk the propulsive aggro of the mixed percussion, forcing a melancholic halo upon the queasy stupor of the synthetic swing that closes each side of the record. It's a bizarre lust for life that's being divined from equal parts dislocation and invigoration, a potent remedy which perhaps Love Theme can call their own.
Percolating and finding form over time, the record instinctively follows a travel narrative, moving across a series of landscapes, reflecting the innate experiences of the expressions and voices that were first collected in South London back in February 2015."
The fruitful relationship between Rod Modell (DeepChord), Hanyo Van Oosterom (Chi) and Astral Industries continues to yield new beauties with Red Lantern At The Kallikatsou, as Van Oosterom rework Modell's first release for Astral Industries with lovely, low-key ambient results making for a great package clad in the label’s signature, absorbing artwork.
Over two seamlessly sequenced sides the founding member of Dutch new age experimenters Chi reenvisions Rod Modell's 'Lanterns' thru the prism of modern software, sieving their spectral airs for etheric loops and vibes which he layers into a cats cradle of soothing, tranquil atmospheres, but reserving some surprise twists to points when soothed heads may least expect it.
"I’ve never met Rod Modell (Deepchord) in person, but we have met through music. He found an obscure cassette of Chi music (from ’86), sent it to Astral Industries and paved the way for the release (30 years later) of ‘The Original Recordings’ in 2016. Since then, we’ve exchanged ideas and good music. I sent Rod a preview of ‘The Kallikatsou Recordings’ - he really liked it - and here came the idea for a remix of ‘Lanterns’. I started working on some random, lo-fi samples from Youtube, using Audacity, perhaps the simplest way of producing loops and samples. It’s the only computer based system that feels like the tape recorders I used to work with.
I sent the first sketches to Rod on Facebook, but they ended up in the wrong inbox. I forgot about them, but months later he came back saying he loved them. I decided to go back to working on them, maintaining the lo-fi approach. I began manipulating the samples: time-stretching, tempo and pitch-shifting, mixing different layers and adding old-school monophonic “old speaker” effects, delays and loops. I used a few field recordings, voices and samples from my early ambient cassettes, and they matched. Ario from Astral Industries got involved and the experiment turned into a plan - a vinyl release - ‘Red Lantern at the Kallkatsou’”.
Hanyo van Oosterom”
Pye Corner Audio brings his wood-fired analogue sound to Lapsus Records after touring the houses of Mondo Tees, Polytechnic Youth, Analogical Force and More Than Human already in a productive 2017 cycle.
In a smart play of contrasts, we hear much-loved and lesser-heard sides of PCA’s sound in Where Things Are Hollow. The supple, rolling arpeggios and acid tweaks of Resist, and his wobbly, chromatic cosmic chugger Northern Safety Route both bear the hallmarks of Martin Jenkins’ signature dancefloor romance.
However, fans should be very intrigued to hear him go beat-less and weightless in the other two parts. With Mainframe he conducts a stellar display of piquant bleep motifs and arcing choral pads converging into a gently distorted and dissonant harmonic smudge at the track’s peak, and Continental Drift seemingly operates on the opposite side of that wave with a sullen stir of low end swells and light pollution aurora reflecting the scale of the track title.
Burial’s eponymous debut LP is a defining beacon of post-millenium dance and electronic music. Written between 2001-2006, the follow-up to his debut 12” South London Boroughs, further consolidated what were previously mutually exclusive strains of music with unprecedented guile, vision and emotive impact, done to mind-blowing and award-winning effect.
In 2016 it’s easy for folk to forget that prior to this album, aside from a select handful of producers such as Horsepower Productions, El-B or Kode 9, effectively nobody was writing tracks circa 138bpm and using this kind of palette of samples, textures and spaces to the same ends as Will Bevan, a.k.a. Burial. And still, even fewer of them were writing without the dancefloor or radio squarely in mind.
Enter Burial, whose impressionistic, unquantized soundscapes reset the neuroses of Teebee and Bad Company’s neo-D&B with a romance and swing better associated with Steve Gurley and El-B, whilst also listening to and channelling the atmosphere of his environment in a way better likened to the spaces explored by Basic Channel and Rhythm & Sound, but animated like a Massive Attack album produced and collaged by Chris Watson; albeit a Watson raised in suburban British sprawl and smoky bedrooms playing tense computer games and watching classic anime and thrillers on VHS, or whatever obscure foreign flicks Channel 4 had on late at night.
Honestly, nowadays that period seems eons away - especially in light of streaming services where you can find thee most obscure art at the touch of keyboard - but back on original release, this record nailed an atmosphere, even a lifestyle, that was lived by many souls on the peripheries who couldn’t be arsed with the menu offered by provincial high street clubs or cable TV, or a culture artificially inflated by major labels and the media.
It almost feels daft and futile trying to explain this to anyone under the age of 30 - or those cold hearted cynics who roll their eyes at the mere mention of his name - but, quite honestly Burial’s music nailed the vibe so heavily that it felt like déjà vu, uncannily weaving together the disparate strands of culture that meant so much to the artist, and by turns, us the listeners.
There are still tonnes of naysayers, but fuck ‘em - Burial’s music is hugely danceable and mixable by the right DJs, but there’s no denying that it probably sounds best in bedrooms or headphones where you can give it your full attention, or vice versa.
Despite the temporal dislocation, the 2007 smoking ban, and the sign-posted, rictus rigidity of too much modern dance music, we’d still love to think there’s a whole new generation out there who will get and love this record as hard as we did, and do.
Ruff garage-techno bangers by some cat called Antonio, delivered raw and uncut on Manchester’s Natural Sciences label.
This one grips and cuts deeper than most, ragging your bones with devilishly infectious swing and bleary chords on Untitled TT and getting under the skin with itchy, nerve-tweaking finesse in Raw Love.
The recoiling kicks and chopped loops in $$$ hit right where it matters on the B-side, again balanced with some really nice pads and gritty mixing, for the clattering jungle uppercut of Untitled D to properly send us reeling.
South London soundman Parris stacks up four signature cuts of low key, crackly, sub-heavy vibes on his subtly probing debut with The Trilogy Tapes after really coming into his own over the past few years via 12”s for Ancient Monarchy, Idle Hands, and Hemlock, plus the ace TX280916 / TX111116 mix for Keysound.
The 2 Vultures EP catches Parris at his idiosyncratic best, hustling an early hours-of-the-dance feel that works beautifully well at setting mutable, plasmic pressure for heavier things to come, or just as well for eazing off in the comfort of your own space.
EP opener Lionel’s Dub is one the most orthodox, classically-rooted dubs we’ve heard from the guy, something like a dusty echo of Adrian Sherwood at his most red-eyed, whereas Hot-Blooded gets down to some Farben-esque micro-house with added steppers bass pressure. 2 Vultures then follows a masseur path into melting, brittle dub architecture, leavened by genteel jazz touches, and Hanging With The Birds can’t fail to leave you beaming its feathered confection of bird calls, bobbling bass and Mario power ups.
The Motor City maestro in effect on Barcelona’s 30drop Records, following his 12”s on Lower Parts and Tresor with a pair of harmonically sound and psychedelically dissonant aces, plus remixes by Dasha Rush and 30drop.
Digital Ladder is a spheric beauty drizzling pure chromatic bleeps on a purring 313 groove, just ripe for going eyes-shut in the dance or driving around your local post-industrial landscape. On the other hand, the wickedly abstract clangour of This Is A Test falls in line with his Different Frequencies wonder off his Like A Thief In The Night EP - embracing psychedelic tunings in daring way which many could learn from.
On remix duties, Dasha Rush reworks Digital Ladder as a darker, more jagged and acidic techno roller, while 30drop speeds up and add hi-hats to This Is A test for more driving effect.
From storied composer Jim Copperthwaite comes the debut album ‘Ballroom Ghosts’. As a soundtrack artist in his own right, Jim’s tracks recall the work of Danny Elfman in their haunting, choral refrains.
"However, Jim has also always had an affinity for the avant garde and his music box orchestrations are driven through with the repetitive, percussive iterations of Steve Reich, calling to mind Jamie xx’s most recent collaborations with Wayne McGregor and the Royal Ballet.
This debut album from Jim Copperthwaite stands out as his most intimate and personal work to date: a fantastical demonstration of a composer at the peak of his abilities. It is an invitation to a world that exists beneath the one we see. Close your eyes and come walk these halls. Experience the atmospheric beauty of ‘Ballroom Ghosts’."
Anthony Child (Surgeon) and Daniel Bean (Spiritland) generate gusty electronic folk drones resonating somewhere between La Monte Young and Coil...
“The title of the debut lp from The Transcendence Orchestra outlines the modus operandi of this pairing of Anthony Child and Daniel Bean. Recorded in a remote English rural setting over a period of 24 hours this is an apt location for a recording that eschews time and space in favour of methodological displacement and deep psychological navigation.
Modern Methods For Ancient Rituals is an experiment in acoustic and synthetic symbiosis which is deeply influenced by the atmosphere and acoustics of the rural location of Cats Abbey resulting in a set of recordings which can aid to the transformation of consciousness. Deploying a range of ancient and modern instruments and effects including Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy gurdy, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky and Roland RE 101 Space Echo among others, Child and Bean conjure an audio experience which encapsulates elements of drone, trance, pulse, rhythm and melody subtly shifting all into a psychologically penetrating experience beyond the aesthetic and into the comforting unknown.
Written and recorded at Cats Abbey in November 2016 by Anthony Child and Daniel Bean.
Anthony and Daniel played the Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy gurdy, symphonie, glockenspiel, hand bell, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky, Strymon DIG, and Roland RE 101 Space Echo.”
Necessary reissue of Yasuaki Shimizu’s highly regarded ambient-jazz-pop oddity Kakashi from NYC’s Palto Flats and Geneva’s WRWTFWWR, who were jointly behind that prized reissue of Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass. Off the wall and enchanting in equal measure, Kakashi is a riddling and enchanted recording from the fertile hotbed of early ‘80s Japan, compatible with the fecund, widely scoped genius of Arthur Russell and Roland P Young from that same era. In other words, a real gem.
“A wonderful, rare record wrapped in a mysterious yet playful ambiance. Or maybe it’s just the impression that the Japanese language often gives me. ‘Suiren’ is an odd jazz-fusion-wave tune that sounds like its boiling, waiting to burst but somehow manages to stay in control. Like the nervous tick of a leg fidgeting under the table of a restaurant on a first date.
Yasuaki Shimizu is a Japanese composer, producer and saxophone player. He worked with Ryuchi Sakimoto on certain arrangements, with the South Korean artist Nam June Paik on art+sound installation pieces and even DJ Towa Tei (of Deee-Lite fame). “Suiren” was released in 1981 and is the opening title on the sought-after “Kakashi” album and is my personal favorite on this overall brilliant record. It weaves behind new wave, jazz, fusion, ambient and experimental music.
Repetitive and hypnotizing, punctuated by exclamation marks on most first mesures, the muted triangle percussion hits me straight in the heart. About 90 seconds into the song, the saxophone makes its appearance and the song goes from “this is cute” to “oh, this is some serious shit!”. Shimizu’s saxophone frees the song from the rest of the elements which are more calculated and repetitive.
A joyful, mysterious slow-moving train ride led by the artist’s mellow voice that rocks us with this calming but funky lullaby. Every phrase is punctuated by the xylophone there to energize the piece, albeit very subtely.”
A single composition clocking in at 60 minutes, 'Silent Night' is a new work from the veteran American composer William Basinski, wherein he embarks on an indescribably tranquil and variegated mediation which will submerge you completely. Allowing aural tendrils to rise slowly (almost like smoke), what at first seem indistinct and untethered soon begin to take on a greater significance as structures loom through the shrouded, ineluctable broadcasts. Slow-motion it may be, Basinski nonetheless gets you where you're going in no time at all. Incredible music.
One of our favourite albums of 2017 - the anticipated and tipped debut LP from JASSS; a measured, rugged blend of industrial dub, African and dark jazz inspirations that comes highly recommended if you’re into more abstracted and experimental electronic/dancefloor excursions or the work of Christoph De Babalon, Toresch, Mecanica Popular, Throbbing Gristle etc.
Very much an antecedent of Spanish industrialists such as Diseño Corbusier, Xeerox / Krishna Goineau, or Mecanica Popular/Randomize, Jasss firmly builds on that heritage with a uniquely pensive balance of percussive suss, synthetic bite and reverberating spatial dynamics that makes her music heavy-as-sin and deliciously deft with it, patently forgoing Industrial music’s angry guy glare in favour of far more feminine and latinate pressure systems.
She does so with an aching patience in the opener, Every Single Fish In The Pond, escalating from a lone cymbal motif and location recordings to a pulsating darkroom boldness by the end of an incendiary scene-setter, before really getting her fangs in with the clenched but driving EBM torque of Oral Couture, recalling a spiked Toresch or CTI hovering at the darkroom’s entrance.
From here on in a dream sequence of events take place, morphing from febrile, hash-induced triplet pirouettes in Danza thru the martial free jazz/industrial cut-up of Cotton For Lunch, to a definitive apex of sprung, stepping cybergoth in Weightless, with a pause for Alberich-like reflection on Theo Goes Away, before the voodoo rises once again with the druggy swagger of Instantaneous Transmission of Information, and her stoic, blunt-edged mauler, To Eat With Dirty Hands.
It’s rare to hear industrial music done with such variation and individual distinction as Weightless, making it shine in a field so often associated with greyscale and monotone signatures.
At the behest of Aus Music, Falty DL shapes his jazzy electronic inclinations into a rolling, jacking house format
Sprouting the simmering, wavy acid house of Wondering Mind on a weird sort of S’Express tip, then a sort of deep Todd Terry or Nu-Groove style licked with the pads from Snoop’s Sensual Seduction in the ace Paradox Garage, and a ruddy slice of filtered, rolling breakbeat house called I’m Missing You.
Unique, killer tribal techno rhythms from Harmonious Thelonious for DISK, following that superb Paradon’t 12” with a broader, layered and textured batch of knobbly grooves and hypnotic patterns.
Marking a subtle line in the sand from their previous output on DISK’s defunct sibling label, Diskant, the tracks here carry more weight for modern ‘floors, feeling as though he’s unlocked some secret drum kink which allows his rhythm to flow more effortlessly and deadly.
Uptown, he shakes out the unsteady intricacies of Sketches to sound like some inversion of techno, D&B and ancient, psychedelic drum rituals, before yoking his drums to a strobing 16th note synth in Manta Mantra, which is about the most perfect balance of tribal music and mesmerising, electrified Düsseldorf styles that you could hope for.
Downtown, he brings a sort of Konono No.1-alike tang to Shackleton-esque drum cadence in Ayranman, whose title punningly plays on the Turkish name for Ironman (what did you think?), and then trips out with another old skool Shack-style roller named I Found A New Way of Loving You.
For the 1st time since inception, Loefah’s 81 embraces new blood with Milan’s Luca Mucci aka Piezo dropping four cuts of rugged house/bass mutations after a 12” on Idle Hands.
It’s worth checking for the echo chamber oddity El Sangre and the squashed electronics in Rash, especially if you’re into 81’s Mickey Pearce or Hessle Audio’s Joe.
Kaizen stumps up a 2nd EP from dubstep/bass mutant Biome (LVLZ) - his most significant statement on vinyl in years
Testing his hand at steely, tech-out rolige (Stealth), menatasm-streaked dark garage torque (Fargo), trademark half step pressure (Yoof), 81-style swagger (Weekend), and a dank back alley bass lurker (Ancoats).
The Icelandic banger-builder tests out bendier acid-electro and techno styles in the Geothermal Sheep EP for his bbbbbb label.
The image of AFX and Rephlex Records looms large over all four cuts, but twysted with a 2017 gurn, resulting the sawn-off electro jolts and curdled Braintrance pads of Soda Sugarlicious, the scrunched and booming shapes of Klobbalegt_ix_ (Original Mix), an early ‘90s AFX-style roiler in Drab 2, and one frenetic slingshot of flashcore/drill ’n bass in yer focking face on 2 mewtwo 5 [GRX230P018] B-) aprilgabb2 (Original Mix).
Swiss disco chopper Radovan Scasascia (remember him?!) returns from 5 year hiatus with a very safe bet for fans of Anthony Shakir or Soundhack dispatched thru his What About Never label.
Flooding back memories of cutting rug to his early ‘00s releases on Dreck, he operates a coolly controlled disco trigger finger on the hypnotic pulse and lush, filtered chord washes of Shakin, whilst Nine Toms follows with a sterling example of hiccup funked vocal chops punctuated with cracking Linn drums on a twanging elastic bassline.
Aye, he’s still got it, like.
Erased Tapes reissue the original Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s last ever studio album Union Cafe to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of founder Simon Jeffes’ passing in 1997.
It was 1972 in the South of France when Simon had an unfortunate experience with food poisoning which lead to a much more fortunate circumstance when a vivid dream, induced from his illness and depicting a dystopian future, conceived the Penguin Cafe; a charming place where solace, harmony, and the orchestra’s unique music could be found amidst brutal concrete structures and darkness. For the following 25 years, Simon carried out this vision bringing brightness into a world full of noise. Sadly, after his passing, the original orchestra disbanded, but the doors to this happy place reopened when his son Arthur decided to continue his father’s legacy under the name Penguin Cafe.
The continuation of the PCO began at London’s Union Chapel in 2007 when Arthur and the original musicians commemorated Simon 10 years after his death. Another 10 years forward, 2017 will see Penguin Cafe pay tribute to him once again at the Union Chapel on December 11th where they will perform Union Cafe in full – a union from all corners of this magical world.
Union Cafe was the fifth, and the last studio album by Penguin Cafe Orchestra. It was initially released in 1993 merely on cassette and CD, and will now be given a new breath of life, and another chance to reach old and new fans alike.”
Special xmas edition of offcuts from Claude Speeed’s Infinity Ultra album
“Speeed says "I see this mainly as an alternative take on how the album could've turned out, one of the many paths it might’ve gone down. But it also serves as a neat ending, closing off that period by releasing the other material that's been kicking about my mind and harddrives for the last 5 years."
The material on ‘Other Infinities’ reaches into the darker corners of the world portrayed in ‘Infinity Ultra’, the uncanny valleys of the near future. Obliterated rave sits alongside twisted computer-generated prog rock; cathartic noise is pitted against submersed piano and dreamy, night-time synthscapes. New age meditation and lonely autumnal sadness compete with the intense drumming of a neo-tokyo cult.”
Nick Edwards fudges out a crusty new batch of Ekoplekz misshapes for Planet Mu with Cassettera, standing firm against the grain of trend to keep curiously picking away at a micro-modular mesh of lo-fi boxes and machines in his own style, shaped as a special xmas addendum to his Bioprodukt album.
“The beats are still to the fore, even incorporating elements of techno and house, but the mood is darker, with a heavier emphasis on noise and drone textures resulting in a more uneasy listen. This greyscale outlook is reflected in the monochrome variation on Bioprodukt's sleeve art. 'Bass 2 Dank' and 'Jacktrak' apply solid kicks and grooves for moody dancefloors, whilst 'Formative' and 'The Imperitive' combine convoluted percussion and cloying sub-bass with eerie atmospherics. 'Tactile' and 'Nitrate Abuse' offer minimal user-unfriendly experimental textures and the set ends with the extended grinding dread of 'The Outlook Is Bleak’.”
A new album of exclusive, previously unreleased material from The Caretaker released in memory of and for Mark Fisher, the legendary writer, cultural theorist and pioneering blogger (k-punk) who passed away on the 13th January 2017. Copies of this release were given to all attendees of The Caretaker's Barbican performance for Unsound Disclocation last week. There are now 350 individually numbered copies signed by The Caretaker, available for sale. 100% of proceeds from this release will be donated to MIND, the mental health charity.
Ever since he wrote the extensive liner notes for The Caretaker’s Theoretically Pure Anterograde Amnesia boxset in 2005, Mark Fisher was instrumental in contextualising the complex, abstract nature of The Caretaker’s music to beguiled listeners across the world. Along with the music of Burial and Broadcast, for example, The Caretaker’s output fell under what Fisher described as “Hauntology” - a portmanteau of haunting and ontology which is rooted in Derrida’s study of the failure of Marxism and the left - which Fisher applied to contemporary culture, distinguishing merely “nostalgic” and revivalist culture from hauntological art and culture which is typified by its “refusal to give up on the desire for the future.”
The Caretaker’s work, including this billowing new longform piece, has always resonated with and fed into Fisher’s ideas, so we could hardly think of a more fitting send off from Leyland Kirby’s cherished vessel. We wholeheartedly recommend this CD, and also reading all of Fisher’s work - from his collected writings for The Wire and other publications, to his daringly seminal Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative?, which proposes a direct link between increased diagnoses of mental health problems and the incessant trudge of capitalism, and suggest a way beyond the assertion that “it is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism”.
LEF comes off like a raging David Sylvain, flanked by Bill Laswell, Nils Petter Molvær, Ståle Storløkken and others.
“LEF's debut as a leader, the intriguing multi-media project HyperSomniac, is easily his most ambitious and impressive undertaking to date. LEF’s music serves as the companion soundtrack for a breathtakingonline interactive graphic novel based on dystopian tale written by LEF himself, featuring drawings by Nana Octopus Dalla Porta, animated and ported to the web by LEF and Italian software engineer Pier Luigi Rocca.
The music is performed by an all-star band featuring American bassist Bill Laswell, Norwegian guitar visionary Eivind Aarset, Norwegian future jazz trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, thunderous Norwegian drummer Kenneth Kapstad (of Motorpsycho), British saxophonist Rebecca Sneddon (of Free Nelson Mandoomjazz) and Norwegian organist Ståle Storløkken (of Supersi-lent, Motorpsycho and Reflections In Cosmos).”
Perc’s 3rd LP, Bitter Music receives remix fire from Dale Cornish, Head Front Panel, Pessimist and Hodge int he 1st of two obligatory sessions.
John Heckle aka Head Front Panel handles the barbed roil of The Thought That Counts with chainmail loves, turning in a spiky, writhing techno bomb. Hodge runs his signature bass clout all over the face of Chatter with trampling force. Pessimist m,meanwhile turns Exit into something like The Caretaker hosting a grey area supper rave, and I Just Can’t Win is sliced into firm but sloppy jack bu Dale Cornish.
Osiris Music UK strafe deeper into the no man’s land between bass, techno and concrète musicks with Adam Winchester’s grey area investigation, Interferenza.
Previously known as Wedge and Bleecker for the likes of Apple Pips and If Symptoms Persist, and currently working in the Dot Product duo with Chris Jarman (Kamikaze Space Programme), Winchester reveals a lust for darker, abstract sounds here, descending from the noise textures of Surface thru weightless, plasmic space in Terminal Transition to the full sunken structures of Resurrection Effects and the bombed out Figure Ground, before allowing more spectral high register tones into his electro-acoustic sphere with Blue Ghost Tunnel, and The HJaxan Cloak-esque designs of Extant.
One of UKF, broken beat and bass music’s OG producers Altered Natives returns to the fray with a 20 track payload of dank, heavy and experimental-edged rufige on his Eye4Eye Recordings.
Making no concessions to trend, the London-bassed artist sticks to his guns with great results working deep into the darker fissures of house, techno and bass styles found scattered across the set.
If we’re playing favourites, it’s hard to ignore the likes of his super moody, even radgy rasa-out Get Real, or the off-kilter trust of Acid Black, which sounds something like we’d imagine Terrence Dixon to, if he came from London not Detroit. For proper, sub-heavy ghetto bangs, check out the pressure on Gravity, whilst darkside nuttahs need to cop the PCP-strength knock of Lucifer, and The Terror sees him ball forward with searing synthlines on a mad bruk beat, while he saves his crookedest dancefloor tests for the brutish acid of Weißer Junge Schwarzer Musikclub and the bucking acid burial Kung Fu Trans Anaconda.
The G.O.D. squad’s Sabla joins the Disk cabal with a deeply knotted, introspective rhythm trip that sounds like the mutant techno output of The Threshold Houseboys Choir. Trust, the voodoo is strong on this one!
For only his 2nd full release Turin’s Sabla stakes out some heavily idiosyncratic ground with Danzaguida, luring us into some fetid K-hole headspace with the queered digital timbres, curdled chorales and blacksmith rhythm of the title cut, recalling Peter Christopherson’s infamous project crawling out of a club sewer, before Fire/Wire simmers back to a gunkier acid style, all protein-gargle and over-the-shoudler darkroom intimation. W gives a more brittle, psychedelic display of pygmy hoots and slow, thrumming drums, and then Tohc kinda single-handedly shows a lot of the grey area stuff as, well, just a bit uninspired, by taking that style’s rhythmic points of interest into tripper realms of plasmic layering reminding of Ruben Patiño’s ace Lag_OS output.
Brainwaltzera’s nostalgic braindance album Poly-Ana, remixed by a haul of veteran and new artists.
Luke Vibert gives the EP’s highlight with a ruddy sort of percolated acid take on Muddy Puddle Trot, and Gauvid also charms with a bittersweet acid rub of the same cut, whilst Philipp Otterbach takes Triangulate Dither deep into kosmiche ether.
SKRS INTL go double deep on this platter for Bokeh Versions/No Corner, twysting the styles of their LoversDedicationStation LP and the brooding Oran Vip / BwoyTestVIP 7” into more smoked out alleys of the dance.
Their sample trigger-happy collage style is rewired to leaner, more linear 4-track structures inside, with results smudging like a dark blue clash between Mikey Dread, Prince Jammy and classic Rhythm & Sound and Pole, in effect.
Up top, RunComeTest tumbles in slow motion around an MC Escher-esque dub staircase littered with evasive samples and mad DJ chat, then FurdaMurda plumbs more gaseous depths of the echo chamber with intoxicating, weightless dynamics.
Down below, TrialByFire stokes a rooted fusion of mellifluous singjay and charred bleeps laced with natty ohrwurms, while TroubleRoundDiCorner kicks up a heady fuss of squashed 8-bit tones and vaporous FX synched perfectly with stoned minds.
Killer cover. Mint sounds. Tip it!
After his Gone Mad shot with JME in summer ’17, Tottenham’s Blay Vision serves a massive 2nd batch of instrumental grime/trap/house hybrids on J-Cush’s Lit City Trax.
From initial listens a handful of highlights stand out. We’re talking about the icy shimmy of BadGal Ri-Ri with it’s iciclephone hooks and elegant strings; his sharp fusion of classical key vamps and tool-sharped drill crack in Swammy; the neckle tropical house bump of Inside; and the the killer Ikeda-meets-Danjah styles of Amnesia.
Dax J, Lucy and Matrixxman take Perc’s 3rd LP Bitter Music on a brisk mission to the ‘floor.
Gaffe-prone DJ/producer Dax J goes for the jugular with a pounding take on Unelected; Lucy turns Wax Apple into a tentative but trippy dose of swinging techno-house-electronica, and Matrixxman harnesses Rat Run into his signature, hardworking jackers’ framework.