This deluxe boxed set of Graham Lambkin’s first four solo records includes an expansive 42-page book featuring unseen photos and reproductions of artworks as well as essays and anecdotal recollections providing fresh insight and divulging hermetic secrets by Ed Atkins, Mark Harwood, Matt Krefting, Lawrence Kumpf, Samara Lubelski, and Adrian Rew. Poem (For Voice & Tape), Salmon Run, Softly Softly Copy Copy, and Amateur Doubles are now remastered and finally back in print, with Salmon Run and Softly Softly Copy Copy available on vinyl for the first time.
The years between Graham Lambkin’s tenure with the legendary Shadow Ring and his more recent improvisational duos mark a distinct period of creative production within the artist’s insular career. Living with his family in Poughkeepsie, NY, from 2001 through 2011 Lambkin recorded and self-released four solo albums that valorised mundane domestic situations while revelling in the liminal spaces between the acts of listening, recording, and producing. Created through an ingenious economy of means, these solo records are as beguilingly seductive as they are uncanny. Perpetually laughing in his own duplicitous face, Lambkin breathed new life into musique concrète and sound poetry, giving outmoded forms a contemporary consciousness while setting the gold standard for a continuously unfolding canon of 21st century tape music.
'Salmon Run' is Graham Lambkin's most acclaimed full-length and it's easy to see why. The ex-Shadow Ring outsider has made a name for himself over the last couple decades with a slew of solo sets and heady collaborations (with Áine O'Dwyer, Moniek Darge, Joe McPhee, Keith Rowe and others), but few records capture his craft as effortlessly and joyfully as this one.
Here he combines narrative storytelling with outsider art, daubing classical music recordings with filthy ferric paint strokes that drip with mischievous human eccentricity. The album began as tape recordings of Lambkin listening to music while photographing himself, then these pieces were manipulated and accented with additional sounds. It makes for a more-human-than-human listening experience: we all know the feeling of listening to music alone as sounds of people laughing, running water and whatever random acts of living permeate the scene almost imperceptibly. All that is brought into the foreground: wind chimes are amplified to sound like church bells and laughs, coughs and bird chirps like horns. The reality of Lambkin's listening environment is impossible to ignore, making us think more deeply about our own ritual of listening.
Lambkin's use of the room or the situation as an instrument brings a storyline and a glorious hyperreality to the record. It's impossible to listen to "Salmon Run" and not consider our own listening habits; in making something so completely personal, Lambkin allows us to reflect effortlessly. Striking a bizarre mid-point between peaceful and chaotic poles, "Salmon Run" is a truly unmissable record and a shining beacon in an ocean of experimental DIY recordings.
The great American road trip is a tough concept to understand for those outside of the USA. Long drives across seemingly endless empty roads, pocked with occasional gas stations, McDonalds, and ominous bathrooms; landscapes that slowly evolve from flat plains to verdant mountain ranges. Somehow, British-born American-based original Graham Lambkin manages to accurately encapsulate this experience on "Amateur Doubles", an engrossing double-header of concrete recordings made from his Honda Civic on a family drive.
Each side is set to a certain piece of music, the first is Philippe Besombes and Jean-Louis Rizet's eerie kosmische "Pôle" and the second Philippe Grancher's Air-y "3000 Miles Away". Both pieces are recorded in situ, while Lambkin drives through the American landscape with air gasping through an open window and car horns and inaudible chatter pushing through the haze. Like many great experimental records, the concept is deceptively simple but the execution exceptional, bringing a deeply personal, relatable sincerity to already evocative musical cues.
Fans of Luc Ferrari's gamechanging "Presque Rien" series, Aaron Dilloway's tape-warped Midwestern underground experiments or the psychedelic dreamscapes of The Skaters' Spencer Clark should grab this immediately.
Poem (For Voice & Tape)
For 40 cranky minutes, Lambkin pitch-shifts the vocal of his bandmate Tim Goss (The Shadow Ring) to a deathly croak, set against what sounds like the chronic drip drip drip of an overflowing bath or a basement in the process of flooding, while a chamber ensemble strikes up from time to time. It’s the sort of record you could attempt to recreate at home with minimal effort, and perhaps some soggy trews, but the magick lies in the utter obstinate oddness of it all, pushing listeners to a state of discomfort with an almost psychopathic sense of purpose, only to offer glimpses of classical respite at points where it feels like we’re actually drowning in his world. As far as debut statements of intent go, it’s practically a fucking warning; approach with caution and know where the exits are located.
As both Lambkin’s solo debut in this vein, and the first release on his cultish label, Kye, ‘Poem (For Voice & Tape)’ is something of a pivotal release in the modern field, sustaining a sort of outsider art energy previously explored by likes of Lambkin’s hero Anton Heyboer in a way that somehow feels timeless and of its time. It’s arguably a landmark release that has provided a sort of lightning rod to other fringe radicals and lower case explorers such as Jason Lescalleet, Joe McPhee, Áine O’Dwyer, and most recently Bill Nace (ov Body/Head, w/ Kim Gordon), and therefore has a lot to answer for.
Softly Softly Copy Copy
Sounding every bit like wizard who lives in a bin and performs ritual experiments to magick up microcosms of life between the bin-juice and fag butts, Lambkin has our attention for this latest hypnagogic masterpiece of his. A riddle wrapped in an enigma, then crunched up, torn apart and threaded back together, it’s all typically his own confection of weasly folk strings, contact mic haptics, keys and geese and bears and whatever the fuck that just was.
If you know his stuff, one would know to expect the unexpected in a very low key, liminal way that pisses on logic and yet holds it together in quietly spectacular, peculiar form, as exemplified in this one. Approaching from the water, ’Softly Softly’ veers between plughole dynamics and folk strings that describe motorway-side cafes in slow motion, following overgrown and marshy routes of exploration that just get really odd and fragged out in a way you just can’t take your ears off, while your eyes may well be zonked. Sling the maps or apps, and let Lambkin summon the between-world, seep into your subconscious, and be your guide to absolutely chuff knows where.
Recorded while living off-grid in a French village, Perila's debut album proper is a dissociated, erotically charged throb of curling vocals, glassy synths, creaking environmental concrète, brushed jazz drums and submerged, dubwise subs. Like early Grouper spliced with Kenji Kawai's ominous "Ring" soundtrack, then re-assembled by DJ Spooky, Jake Muir and Vladislav Delay >> it’s properly time warping gear that's ineffably beautiful without being precious or cute.
Since moving to Berlin from St. Petersburg six years ago, Aleksandra Zakharenko has developed a unique hue in the ambient music spectrum. Leagues from the club-adjacent ambient posturing that her adopted city has centered in recent years, Zakharenko's sonic universe is sensual, poetic and narcotic, using elements of musique concrète, drone, dub and noise to reflect a mushy sensitivity that's as mysterious as it is tangible. Her sound has been refined by constant collaboration and her work with Berlin Community Radio, where she assembled regular podcast WET (Weird Erotic Tension) - a fusion of surrealist ambient sound and erotic ASMR poetry. And while "How Much Time it is Between You and Me?" has mostly shelved the spoken word, this muggy air of eroticism still circles her silky drones and subtle rhythmic strokes.
Pinkish clouds of granulated harmony float above a groaning modernist cityscape, expressed in subtly manipulated environmental recordings and occasional rhythms. On 'Time Date', the trace of a beat emerges with the spectral presence of a phantom limb, bubbling eerily beneath muffled, deadpan vocals. Long, psychedelic centerpiece 'You Disappear You Find Yourself Again', levitates fluttering drones that eventually slip from the pineal into neck, activating jazzy fumbles that point towards NYC's long-overlooked illbient zone. 'Memories of Grass' takes another left turn, sounding like Grouper's blurry "Way Their Crept" stickytaped to Eno's fwd-thinking '80s FM synth experiments.
The album's gently vibrating mass of jellyfish hues, vocal shards, and uncannily amplified small sound straddles a fine line between the unresolved nature of her sound and a more poised, certain style of agoraphobic pastoralism, as though she’s absorbing the sights outside her window, while keeping her thoughts intimately indoors. From the evocative track titles to their textured strokes, everything drips with a poetic, synaesthetic sensuality, articulating her sound at its most effective - formulating a perfect listen for anyone who craves the unruly, radical sprawl of art in all its unpredictable, fleshy realism.
A remix album of Tolerance by Osaka-based electronic musician Junya Tokuda was released from remodel, a label established by Yuzuru Agi and Studio Warp.
"The production was done in parallel with "Anemic Cinema" (late August 2020 to mid-December 2020), and the basic musicality, especially the brilliant treatment of sound by dub-like spatial effects, is common to both works. However, in this album, the material of Tolerance is sometimes vague and fragmented like a torn tape swimming on the surface of the water, and at other times like a tape reel rolling down from the ocean-like sound image created by the skillful blending of pads and moving noises through the manipulation of dub effects.
The tactile sensation of poking and stroking the ears (like ASMR), which was also felt in "Anemic Cinema," is more vividly revealed by the carefully considered incorporation of a foreign object.
In addition, the instrumental aspect of Toleranece's musicianship, especially the effective use of the electric piano sound, is also impressive. Interestingly, in other tracks, the bassline exerts a strong pull and draws out the phrasing aspect of Junya Tokuda's musicianship as if in response to the electric piano.
Junya Tokuda's music, which even creates an organic feel with its deft handling of generated sounds and samples, reveals its caliber and hidden patterns through the inclusion of Tolerance voices, noises, and instruments that seem hard, rough, and axially distorted. It is an exhilarating and magical work."
YOUTH host Significant Other’s glum but resilient meditation on love and loss, a broodingly therapeutic debut album that straddles IDM and industrial Ambient signatures, reminding us of work from Bola to Jay Glass Dubs, Spectre to classic late night Rob Hall mixes.
Sharing a different side of his sound to that heard on club-cut 12”s for Spe:c, Oscilla Sound and anno over the past few years, Significant Other here dwells on feelings that “emerged from moments of extreme passion and pain", patching new and archival material to work thru a mental fug of ambient noise laments and crankily dubbed out illbient lines of thought.
The pacing is stygian and the atmosphere near still, betraying a depth of suppressed emotion that he processes over the album’s eight tracks. ‘Demonology’ evokes a hash haze contemplation with its patina of Burial-esque vapours and incidental crackle, and ‘The Future Doesn’t Exist’ taps into a classic vein of screwed NYC downbeats a la Spectre, showing off a killer instinct for crushed hip hop drums also explored on the weighty swang of his ‘Love Beat.’
‘Residuum’ doesn't fall into outright doom, preferring to skirt the event horizon of a black hole and keep the chin bobbing up with the vulnerable yet hopeful tones of ‘Pendant’, also in the Loren Connors-esque midnight peal of ‘Drifting In The Third Person’ and the elegiac closing sequence ‘Perpetual Care’, with its piano and string led coda.
On Maza Gusu, Mikado Koko transforms into Mother Goose, hissing Charles Perrault's fairy tales in her native tongue.
"Her unsettling, regressive voice is backed up by a subtle and chilling electronic soundscape sprinkled with traditional Japanese instruments, creating a realm of sound that feels both weirdly familiar and deeply unknown. Mother Koko hurls you deep down the rabbit hole, back to your darkest childhood anguishes, before gently leading you by the hand to a joyful catharsis. As you slowly get used to its disturbing familiarity, Koko’s music feels like waking up in the pale morning light, shaky but relieved after a feverish dream. In summer 2017 Mikado Koko started her solo career as a club music producer with the elements of Japanese traditional music. After many releases, remixes and compilations such as Seitō: In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun (AKU1016), she now focuses on avant-garde poetry reading related to feminism and gender equality."
Vinyl repress remastered from 24-bit digital transfers of Alan Lomax’s original tapes, and annotated by Arhoolie Records’ Adam Machado and the Alan Lomax Archive’s Nathan Salsburg.
This has gotta be a piece of history right here. These 12 songs comprise Alan Lomax's first recordings of the legendary Fred McDowell in an incredible, on-the-spot document of his soul-stomping, spirit-wrenching blues. Fred is joined by Miles Pratcher on second guitar for a number of songs, and accompanied by Annie Mae McDowell's vocals and Fanny Davis on hair comb, running through a repetoire of spirituals and original songs. We're by no means Blues experts, but you don't need to know jack sh*t to feel this record... And we're really feeling it. Hallelujah.
Russian producer Vladimir Karpov dives headfirst into the fourth world on 'Anciente', evoking the humidity of the rainforest with two lengthy collisions of trippy percussion, fuzzy analog synthesis and hazed environmental recordings. On the Jon Hassell, Visible Cloaks, Emeralds tip for sure.
With releases on Not Not Fun and Constellation Tatsu, Karpov has built up a sturdy reputation in the nu new age scene. "Anciente" might be his most convincing set to date though, focusing the heady psychedelic experiments of his last decade into two 20-minute explorations into utopian daydreaming and meditative fourth world moods.
Both tracks adopt a similar fusion of slow, human rhythms, waved-out pads and picturesque field recording, but the album rarely overstays its welcome as Karpov obsesses over the repetition and world-building. Loops don't just repeat, they grow and flow like a mystical stream through an unfamiliar land; the music grips you and drags you through its psychedelic spiral and there's little left to do but lie back and enjoy the trip.
Apparently it's been over a decade since avant jazz deity Pharoah Sanders recorded any new music, it took Sam Shephard aka Floating Points to coax the 80 year old out of near-retirement.
Anyone familiar with Sanders' work will know how life-affirming his music can be, from his early work with John Coltrane, through 1967's mind-altering "Tauhid" to his spiritual pairing with Alice Coltrane on "Journey in Satchidananda". Here, he takes a more restrained role, offering bursts of tenor to compliment Shephard's pretty snippets of piano and synth. As "Promises" builds, the London Symphony Orchestra's presence becomes more stark, evolving the slow-moving work into cinematic levels of grandeur.
It's pretty senseless comparing "Promises" to Sanders' early catalogue as he's most definitely in a completely different place mentally. But his cloud-reaching brilliance is still a joy to behold; when his familiar overblown phrases appear from Shephard's gossamer synth clouds, it's hard not to smile. We can't help but wonder how different it might have been if Sanders had been paired with Dean Blunt, mind you. Just saying.
Arvo Pärt has become something of a yardstick by which contemporary sacred music has been measured, and 'Alina' is arguably his most loved and imitated piece of work.
Für Alina was first performed in Tallinn in 1976, and has become one of Pärt’s most-loved and widely appreciated works - regarded by many as an early, defining example of his signature tintinnabuli style. In the years since its release, Pärt has become the most performed living composer in the world, his approach to religious music seeping deep into our cultural landscape, from the avant garde to the mainstream.
Rendered with nothing more than piano and violin, this definitive ECM version from 1999 features Vladimir Spivakov, Sergej Bezrodny, Dietmar Schwalke and Alexander Malter providing alternate versions, handpicked by Pärt himself from recordings that were originally several hours long. It’s a masterclass in simplicity; an almost painfully beautiful rendering of emotional landscapes that, in the wrong hands, could have (and has, on many occasions, by so many) turned to schmaltz.
Contemporary classical minimalist Jürg Frey transmutes the poetic landscape observations of Gustave Roud (1897-1976) into haunting chamber works for Another Timbre.
Gustave Roud was a poet from the French-speaking part of Frey’s native Switzerland. He studied literature at the University of Lausanne and realised he didn’t want to return to life as a farmer, instead returning to live with his sister in the family’s farmhouse for the rest of his life, mooching in the countryside and mountains, detailing his thoughts in what would become a three volume Collected Works, as well as diaries and critical writings, plus lesser known work as a photographer.
After immersing in Roud’s work, Frey composed this collection in his honour, as he explains: “I first encountered Roud’s work more than 10 years ago, and the impact of his work on my music has been profound. I feel a close relationship to a poet whose mode of operation and sensitivity make a precise resonance in me. It’s a unique poetry that speaks from beginning to end of searching for the essence. I would like to compare his mode of work with that of a painter. Every day he went out, not with an easel, but with his notebook, and he wandered through the landscape as a flaneur, observer, writer, laying the foundations of his work with his notes. For me his work constitutes a kind of ‘field recording’, not with a microphone and sounds, but with his soul and body, recording his environment in the broadest sense. He perceived existential dimensions in the finest nuances of the weather, the landscape and its inhabitants, and made it the basis of his work.”
With quietly gripping results, Frey - and Stefan Thut (cello), Dante Boon (piano), Andrew McIntosh (violin), Regula Konrad (soprano), Stephen Altoft (trumpet), Lee Ferguson (percussion) - sensitively limn the Roud’s work with a painterly play of light and space, and quite literally thru the track titles, with the most enchanting of these bringing it all together, strings, wind, percussion, and transfixing vox based on Roud’s words, in the otherwordly evocation of ‘Farbiose Wolken, Glück, Wind (2009-11).’
Jürg Frey is present in his 7-piece Ensemble Grizzana, performing a suite of more conventional works that go easier on the silences.
The 2015 double album features Frey on clarinet surrounded in various arrangements by Mira Benjamin (violin), Richard Craig (flute), Emma Richards (violin), Philip Thomas (piano), Seth Woods (cello) and Ryoko Akama (electronics), performing 19 works written 2009-2014. Less prone to long, searching silences, as found on Frey’s more radical works, the music is still borderline liminal, but largely held back from ephemerality.
Frey’s clarinet is accompanied by Seth Woods’ sallow cello in the set’s beautiful opener ‘Petit Fragment De Passage’, which becomes a recurring piece performed by various configurations, from the perspectives of Ryoko Akama’s organ and Philip Thomas’ Piano keys, a string duet by Emma Richards (Viola) & Mira Benjamin (Violin), and Richard Craig (Flute) with Emma Richards (Violin) again, each as quiet captivating as the other.
But their strengths lie in the assembled ensemble pieces, which locate a tremulous democracy between their various voices in ‘Fragile Balance’ and the watercolour landscape of ‘Extended Circular Music No.8’, and with remarkably rich effect in the titular seven-part suite. Fans of Philip Thomas’ quietly unmissable ’Morton Feldman Piano’ set for Another Timbre will no doubt be charmed by his solo performance here, ‘Lieues D’ombres’, and in trio with Seth Woods and Frey on the haunting 30’ work ‘Area of Three’, and we’re reminded to the sacred sublime tension of Jakob Ullmann’s quiet music in the mesmerising hush of the ensemble’s ‘Ferne Farben.’
2021 re-press of Thomas Köner's 1995 album, "Aubrite".
"Thomas Köner is one of the most influential modernist minimal composers. His music is often defined as dark ambient or drone, because of the use of low frequencies, material from gongs,shadowy resonances and boreal ambience, but at the same time its sound with constant fluctuation and vulnerability of sonic events, what makes it organic, human and almost comforting.
Köner's soundscapes are no longer simply dark, the question now is that of a profound blackness. Such is the generic darkness of the abyss, the void and vacuum, the darkness of more than silence, of catastrophe and cataclysm, but also the soundscapes have utopian moments. It is a cosmological blackness, the black of nonbeing.
The more subtractive, the blacker the sound synthesis, Köner writes. Such blackness is non-music. Music will never be music until it ceases to represent and begins to sound like non-music or monochrome.
"Whoever hears the distortion of all sounds, will soon become Ultrablack. Whoever listens to this world, but has no affection for any of its sites, even to the place of Black Noise, may soon reach Ultrablack." Thomas Köner
Aubrite was first released 1995 on the label Barooni. Roland Speckle helped with production of the album. Aubrite is the name of a group of meteorites named for Aubres, a small achondrite meteorite that fell near Nyons in 1836."
Last seen sparring with Lucy Railton, pianist Kit Downes here duels with composer and pianist Matt Rogers. Evocative, physical music that bridges the gap between improvisation and composition for fans of Keith Jarrett.
'Premonitions of the Unbuilt City' is based on Matt Rogers' opera "She Described it to Death", which was reduced to piano by Christopher Mayo before being arranged and edited by Downes and Rogers. With Downes adding his signature improvisation, the piece took on new life - something that no doubt inspired the change of title. It's a virtuoso performance from both players, who appear to be locked in debate as they trade harmony and texture between two pianos. Anyone into the slickly accomplished ECM catalogue - particularly Keith Jarrett's recordings - would do well to check this one.
Philip Thomas’ spellbinding solo piano performance of ’Circles and Landscapes’ is a result of Jürg Frey’s residency at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF), 2014
As with his masterful renditions of Morton Feldman found in the unmissable 4CD boxset, Thomas’ performance of these six Frey pieces bring the composer’s work to light with requisite precision and care at St. Paul’s Hall, University of Huddersfield, 4th and 5th August 2015.
Acid Jazz continue their licensing arrangement with Albarika Store, the legendary record label that defined the sound of Benin and influenced the entire region of West Africa and beyond.
"Recorded and issued in 1974, Le Sato is one of the earliest releases on the Albarika label and it is also one of the deepest. Sato is the term for the traditional rhythms that soundtrack Vodun (Voodoo) rituals and ceremonies in Benin. Performance of Sato is reserved for these sacred rites, which evoke the spirits of the dead and can last for several days and attract hundreds of people. Sato rhythms cannot be played outside of Vodun. A large ceremonial Sato drum is used, which measured over 1.5m in height. This drum is played using wooden stick beaters, the drummer dancing while playing. The Sato drummers are supported by percussionists and other drummers playing smaller drums. Together, they create unique, layered, trance-inducing poly-rhythms."
My Jazzy Child aka Damien Mingus releases his latest album with Parisian label Akuphone.
"« Innéisme » : The title alone sums up perfectly the 8th album of French artist My Jazzy Child. Inspired by Noam Chosmky's "universal grammar", it refers to man's innate ability to develop language. It is that English, Occitan, French patois, Hindi, Pygmy or French cohabit on this record, juxtaposing on rhythms and beats that appear as a fantasized primordial tradition.
If My Jazzy Child, questions languages about Innéisme, he also questions musical languages, mixing Asian rites and free jazz, electronic wanderings and traditional percussions. A virtuoso and experimental collage that nevertheless knows how to remain melodic and, in the end, strangely pop."
DJ Sprinkles' classic Midtown 120 Blues, self-released by Terre Thaemlitz through their Comatonse imprint and finally available again.
Bringing deep house back into contact with its club culture roots, Terre Thaemlitz created one of the most essential house albums of the last two decades with 'Midtown 120 Blues'. Terre was originally working as a DJ under her Sprinkles alias in the gay clubs of midtown Manhattan and New Jersey in the late 80's when deep house began to blossom. It's this early period of House history which Terre has beautifully recreated over 10 tracks, making a pointed comment with the intro track taking shots at Strictly Rhythm for becoming 'Strictly Vocal' and pulling no punches towards "Most Europeans who think deep house means shitty hi-NRG vocal house".
With the intentions made clear, Terre develops a masterpiece of serene melancholy and sublime deep house crafted with the skill and dedication of someone who you know lived this music through every fibre of their being. From the rich subbass driven tones of 'Midtown 120 Blues' with plaintive pianos slowly encircling one another, to drag queen monologues over the deepest ambient brushed rhythms on 'Ball'r (Madonna-Free Zone)' or head-meltingly warm chords and caressed percussion of 'Brenda's $20 dilemna' - this will suck in and swallow you whole - transporting you to another place, another time.
A total pleasure.
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
One of those records that’s been steadily creeping up on us to a point of near obsession, Norwegian sax virtuoso Bendik Giske’s new album is a proper slow burn, building sound-whirls that tick all the usual contemporary sax reference points - Colin Stetson, Alex Zhang Hungtai’s Love Theme - but dripping with a kind of humid intensity that’s unlike anything we’ve heard before.
Built as an exploration of the studio-as-an-instrument, there’s a pure physicality to these recordings that blurs the lines between Giske’s playing and the deft touch of producer André Bratten. A technically demanding process, Giske builds sax phrases that feel as if they're looping - even when they're not - augmenting sounds with extraordinarily subtle electronic treatments that offer a humanist synthesis of the organic and digital worlds.
On an album best enjoyed as a single playthru, ‘Cruising’ is perhaps it's most hypnotic centrepiece. Starting out as a sort of Lynchian study of circular breathing, it almost imperceptibly intensifies over the course of 10 minutes to loop out of phase until we’re stranded in a thick cloud of narcotic smoke, with stray shimmers of saxophone glistening through the fog. It’s unspeakably charged, electric music - quite honestly worth the cost of admission alone.
The title track goes deeper still, like some 100000% slowed down torch song blurred to the point of total smudge, with what were once wind instruments replaced by floating vocal layers, like Grouper’s 'Way Their Crept' transported from a barren forest to the heart of the city on an airless night.
Album closer 'Matter (part 3)’ is also its most skeletal, Bratten’s mixing desk here left largely untouched for a pure rendering of Giske’s visceral playing, deployed like some post-exorcism ritual, banishing and purifying the air as a sort of angular coda to all that came before it. It’s a startling end to a wondrous, multi-faceted album, one that greatly rewards with each repeat listen. Our recommendation - spend some time with it, it’s an astonishing piece of work.
Lusia Kazaryan-Topchyan's second solo album under the Margenrot moniker is a mind-expanding journey into Armenian musical history, channeled through industrial experimental electronics. RIYL Muslimgauze, Lara Sarkissian, Shackleton.
On 'Nazani', a rolling Massive Attack-esque dub bassline cuts thru scraping industrial noise and blood-curdling vocals. Through this gaseous atmosphere, Kazaryan-Topchyan filters in Armenian vocals that pierce the darker sounds like a crack of sunlight in dense fog. If this sounds like an unusual blend of influences, it's certainly rare. Kazaryan-Topchyan's debut album "Zangezur" introduced the concept, but it's developed here even further; the fusion of sounds is unfamiliar, but entirely fitting. With a background playing in post-punk bands, Kazaryan-Topchyan has a well-developed grasp of industrial electronics, and as she explores her interest in Armenian traditional sounds, she finds unexpected harmonic resonances.
The cold wave 4/4 pulse that introduces 'Bitumen Poem' is eventually joined bytraditional percussion and woodwind, while a noisy oscillator gurgles in the background. A skeletal trip-hop beat guides the title track - like an industrial 'Teardrop' - but flourishes when it's met by Eastern-scaled synths that straddle two worlds. At other times, Kazaryan-Topchyan's intentions are more veiled: 'Signal' is a fuzzed-out rhythmic experiment that sounds like early Muslimgauze, while 'Sedation' is closer to Shackleton's recent psychedelic voyages, with disorienting electronic microtones, pinprick percussion and dubwise bass.
Queer deep house pioneer Terre Thaemlitz hustles her entire DJ Sprinkles solo catalogue beyond the seminal ‘Midtown 120 Blues’ album in a crucial 19-track set of NYC-via-Tokyo gold, including many tracks popping their digital cherries for the first time.
‘Gayest Tits & Greyest Shits: 1998-2017 12-inches & One-offs’ sums up twenty years of action deep in the bowels of house with a precious suite drawing from rare and hard-to-find pearls scattered between the late ‘90s and end of the last decade. They span the specificities of a sound rooted in the gay scene of NYC from the late ‘80s onward, testifying to the minimalist, bass-heavy style that Sprinkles played at DJ residencies in transsexual clubs and would later take to Tokyo after moving there at turn of the millennium. For our money they’re some of the strongest, most distinctive deep house cuts of our time, holding true to the fundamentals of a style that would become mistranslated, misunderstood, and coopted by successive waves of deep house dilettantes.
Newly collected and presented in tandem with the ‘Midtown 120 Blues’ reissue, the 19 heavyweight club grooves still kill the old way, focussing on proper jackers drums and sphincter-tickle levels of subbass sparingly ornamented with samples in purist integrations of function and politics that don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. From the earliest Sprinkles cuts in ’Sloppy 42nds’ (1998), a tribute to the 42nd St. transsexual clubs destroyed by Walt Disney’s buyout of Times Square, and 2001’s ruddy nods to that classic Adonis motif in ‘Bassline.89’, thru to proper red-lit basement pressure in ‘Glorimar’s Whore House’, puckered darkroom suss in ‘Kissing Costs Extra’ or ‘Masturjakor’, and up to the heart-punching 10min+ reworks of his Terre Thaemlitz material, it’s a totally unmissable set for proper house heads and far beyond. It’s a document of phase-shifting times helmed by one of the most interesting and important artists of our age.
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
Techno’s answer to Basquiat scrawls freehand bangers and a smudged 16 minute scape on his first mission since those badass releases for DDS a few years ago
Yielding his first new material for a bit, the title of ’Str8 Crooked’ perfectly sums up Madteo’s loose-limbed irregularities squashed within. Picking up where he left off with the skewed techno boogies of the ‘Dropped Out Sunshine’, 'teo reaches deep in the top pocket for the wickedly scrappy log drums and rug-shredding syncopations of the title track before evening the keel with the rough hewn heft of his slompy jakbeat drums and unexpected pass-outs in ‘Build Back better Sweatshops.’
However, his magick best comes to the fore on ‘Episcopi Vagantes’ as he sprawls out over its 16 minute canvas with aerosolised pads, scribbly electronic voices and gasping dub chords that sound best if you take a step back, and squint a little, to properly take in its gently delirious form.
Tip, innit just!
Lorenz Lindner aka Mix Mup/MM returns to his Molto project on this nebulous set of minimalist improvisations, compiled from various live performances and recommended fer the Visible Cloaks, Rupert Clervaux set.
'Centre De Recontre' is a whisper-quiet listening experience that hones in on the tiniest sounds, allowing them to grow carefully but assuredly. While 2015's "Versatile International Service" was hinged around jazz and library music, this new one feels rooted in Hiroshi Yoshimura's stripped-down environmental music, minimal dub and lower-case improv. Tracks like the 10-minute opener 'Set' live in mostly negative space, giving focus to percussive elements that might usually be drowned out. Rattling woodblock clacks and tin can smacks are the rhythmic accompaniment to electronic keys that meander - seemingly aimlessly - before being joined by faint general MIDI vox.
Lindner crafts chilling improvised soundscapes, but doesn't do it without humor; although the sonics are considered and precise, there's always a sense that by using these canned sounds and repurposing them so purposefully, he makes them more potent and eerie. 'Adore' mutates from quiet rattles and jazzy keys into an almost dubby grind, sounding like Juan Atkins and Moritz Von Oswald's "Borderland" collaboration on half speed. The title track meanwhile, a weighty 12 minutes of bells, pads and percussion, sounds as if Visible Cloaks were scoring an '80s giallo movie reinterpreted by an Eastern European theater company.
On the cover: Faust: On the eve of a new box set chronicling their 1970s music, the German band’s members and crew discuss their contrarian art of falling apart that has kept them going over 50 years. By Daniel Spicer. Plus, a survey of Faust’s often equally fractious contemporaries including: Amon Düül: A Bavarian psychedelic legacy. By Edwin Pouncey. Klaus Dinger: La Düsseldorf and other Neu! adventures. By David Elliott. Dieter Moebius: Clusters of collaboration.
Mary Lou Williams: Taking in vaudeville, bebop, gospel-inflected hard bop, free jazz and beyond, the late composer’s career is littered with gems of a prescient modernity. By Alexander Hawkins
Invisible Jukebox: Theresa Wong × Ellen Fullman: The Bay Area experimental musicians tackle a mystery record selection. Tested by each other
They Hate Change: Florida duo Tampa with rap’s DNA. By Neil Kulkarni
id m theft able: Water palaver for the improvising tuba player. By Joe Murray
More Eaze: Suburban collage from the Texas based composer. By Antonio Poscic
Siksa: Polish duo confront oppression. By Miloš Hroch
Unlimited Editions: C/Site Recordings
Unofficial Channels: Song Work
Global Ear: New York’s TIME:SPANS festival revives the intimacy of live sound
The Inner Sleeve: Carlos Casas on a Batavia gasometer pressure gauge plate
Epiphanies: Thomas Köner recalls formative vibrations
Print Run: New music books: sound art and climate change, a Deep South punkhouse, John Lurie’s memoirs, and more
On Screen: New films and DVDs: Great Noises That Fill The Air: Music, Poetry And Performance On Film; What Is Man And What Is Guitar?: Keith Rowe
On Location: Recent festivals, live events and streams: Alligator: Go!, Jazz Em Agosto, Bang On A Can Loud Weekend, Charlemagne Palestine, and more
On Site: Recent art shows: Ilia Rogatchevski & Laura Rogatchevskaia’s Echo Chamber; Sonambiente
The first Grouper album in 4 years finds Liz Harris stripped of FX, pairing her vocals with skeletal piano gestures in beautifully pregnant space. For anyone familiar with the miasmic fuzz of Grouper’s previous releases, the relative clarity is quietly shocking in effect, revealing her songs and sound at their most vulnerable, and, in the process, locating a newfound strength in fragility.
Grid Of Points was recorded in Wyoming shortly after Liz finished recording Grouper’s Ruins out in Aljezur, Portugal, and on the most immediate level it seems to describe the difference in recording locations between windswept Atlantic coastline and sparse, landlocked insularity. The seven songs were written over a week and a half, with the process curtailed by a bout of what she describes as “high fever”. What remains forms some of Grouper’s most legible lyrics and intimate instrumentation, with each piece framed by stark, unprocessed space working in the same role usually occupied by her billowing sheets of harmonic distortion.
Untreated and unfiltered, Grouper's voice rings plaintively clear, sometimes layered in ephemeral harmonies or curling off with jazz-soul wise inflections shadowed by modest piano phrasing in a crepuscular style that links back to all her previous work. Yet, in places the clarity is such that it almost feels like we the listeners have just been hearing her songs with clogged ears for the past decade and longer.
Ultimately, these results perhaps most acutely resonate with the etymology of Liz’s moniker - ‘Grouper’ as in member of a Fourth Way commune, The Group, which was inspired by the philosophy of George Gurdjieff, whose mystic meditations surely linger in the magick of Grid Of Points.
Kevin Martin has tapped into a kind of unfathomable strain of desolation this year, first on King Midas Sound’s ‘Solitude’ - one of the most painfully lonely albums of recent times, and now on the first album under his own name, ’Sirens’, released by Lawrence English’s Room 40 label. It’s a startling record lost in its own thoughts, the soundtrack to personal tragedy and rebirth somehow mirroring Hildur Gudnadottir’s recent score work for Chernobyl, but in much more personal space.
Despite being a more or less constant presence on our radars since the late 90’s when we first opened our doors (actually, from way before that - 1995’s 'Macro Dub Infection' comp and 97’s 'Köner Experiment' are both foundational records here) - and despite a constant barrage of bangers under myriad guises (but mostly as The Bug), various strains of Martin's work seem to have only just recently converged into something entirely distinctive. Both ’Solitude’ and ’Sirens’ are neither showy nor self indulgent - this is music that’s ice cold yet intimate, barely-there - but utterly compelling. While its easy to make sudden impact with scudding basslines, here Martin takes a more lonely route into numerous strands of contemporary music; from dub to noise and across the abyss between, into a dimly lit corner that somehow brings out the best we’ve heard from him in over 20 years. It's nothing short of an isolationist classic.
“When I was 22 I managed to acquire Techno Animal’s Demonoid 12” at a local record store, Rocking Horse Records. I can still recall the intensities of sound that marked the first moments of listening to it. The sense of bass as a tactile surface, that rolling groove and the howling sine waves and dub sirens that scorched with a type of sonic burning sensation that to this day makes my hairs stand on end. A year later I heard Ice’s Bad Blood, from there I discovered The Bug through a release on Wordsound, a band called God, a sound movement called isolationism and much more; all of these projects had one nexus point - Kevin Richard Martin.
In 2015, Kevin and I book-ended a series of concerts at Berghain for CTM festival. For his performance, Kevin debuted a new work I’d heard very little about called ’Sirens’. I remember two things distinctly about the performance. The first thing is he opened the set with a blazing passage of bass and dub sirens that instantly transported me back to those initial moments of encountering his work. The second was the feeling of absolute, crushing bass. Not before, or since, have I felt a sense of sound pressure like this. Unlike his other work with The Bug for example, the consistent bass carrying in the space was literally breathtaking and there were moments when it seemed difficult to see clearly as my eye sockets were vibrating in a way I’d never experienced.
Sirens, which documents the intensities surrounding the delivery and early days of his first child, carries in it a sense of deep affect. The album, unlike the live work, traces out a dynamic sound world that is both tender and caustic. It charts the emotional rollercoaster that is the arrival of parenthood, heightened through the complex circumstances of his wife's emergency procedures during the birth and two further life threatening operations for his son, in the first month of the child's life. Within each piece, microcosms of sensation unfold, Kevin clearly and deftly manoeuvres us through the tumultuous journey. Seconds become hours, and hours become seconds; Sirens somehow creates a sense of time that is without anchor and is foggy in a way that is profoundly unique (and frankly pleasurable).
Kevin Richard Martin has remained a point of constant inspiration for me over several decades now. To have the opportunity to share his first ever solo recording, one that arguably opens an entirely new side of his practice, brings me the utmost pride. His work has impacted so very much on me at various points and I know I am not alone in this situation. His new work, Sirens is a life journey transposed into sound that is truly personal, but effortlessly universal. It is the start of a new chapter for Kevin and one that I know will only strengthen his place as one of the critical voices in contemporary electronic music.
Lawrence English, March 2019”
For their first multi-artist compilation, Music From Memory take us on a trip to the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Outro Tempo: Electronic and Contemporary Music From Brazil, 1978-1992 is a double LP that explores the outer reaches of Brazilian music, where indigenous rhythms mix with synthesizers and where MPB mingles with drum computers.
"As Brazil faced the last years of its military dictatorship and transition to democracy, a generation of forward-thinking musicians developed an alternative vision of Brazilian music and culture. They embraced traditionally shunned electronic production methods and infused their music with elements of ambient, jazz-fusion, and minimalism. At the same time they referenced the musical forms and spirituality of indigenous tribes from the Amazon. The music they produced was a complex and mesmerising tapestry that vividly evoked Brazilian landscapes and simultaneously reached out to the world beyond its borders.
The product of extensive research, this compilation is a unique introduction to this visionary music and features many fresh discoveries in a country well trodden by record diggers. It gathers tracks from obscure albums that have for too long been neglected by even the most avid collectors of Brazilian music. It includes now highly sought after music by Andréa Daltro, Maria Rita, and Fernando Falcão, as well as unknown gems like those of Cinema, Carlinhos Santos, and Anno Luz. This is an essential release that reveals a broader spectrum of Brazilian music, striking a unique sonic signature that is full of innovation, experimentation, and beauty.
Compiled by John Gómez and featuring extensive liner notes, Outro Tempo showcases this overlooked corner in Brazil’s rich music history for the first time."
Purely Physical Teeny Tapes excavate Aussie post-punks He Dark Age’s debut tape, originally issued in 1986 and absolutely impossible to find, now given a first ever vinyl edition destined to catch attention from Severed Heads, SPK and Pelican Daughters disciples.
Arriving on PPTT in the wake of aces by Laila Sakini & Lucy Van, Max Eilbacher, DJ Fitz and M. Quake, ‘Ecce Homo’ frolics in the scuzzy twilight of post-punk between 1983-1986 in and around Brisbane and Sydney, where He Dark Age’s Paul Newsome and Tony Millner forged a cranky and playfully janky style. They were part of a loose scene summed up on Efficient Space’s cherished ‘Oz Waves’ compilation, to which they contributed a highlight ‘Holding Out For Eden’, and explored a sound patently in thrall to some of Australia’s post-punk/post-industrial pioneers, with a possible clue to their name in SPK’s ‘Another Dark Age’ as well as a sampledelic wit no doubt inspired by Severed Heads, but also with a grubby oddness that recalls the gothic tint of Sydney’s cult properties, Pelican Daughters.
‘Ecce Homo’ (1986) remains a definitive testament to He Dark Age’s mid ’80s run, deploying a range of Korg MS10, Yamaha RX-11, a borrowed vocoder, guitars and bass in the years just prior to the advent of home computing. The original album’s 23 rough hewn but enchanting songs have been pruned back to 13 for this first reissue, from lissom new age in ‘I Have Come Back Deborah’ to the killer club banger on ‘Repent’, taking in American preacher Rex Humbard’s biblical declarations on ‘Jesus Didn’t Beat Him Over The Head’ and scalding EBM skronk on ‘The Book of Common Prayer’, tucking away their Oz Waves ace ‘Holding Out For Eden’, with their blend of gloaming noise and preacher samples in ‘The Master’ reminding of BMB’s ‘Hate Is Such a Strong Word.’ An idiosyncratic piece of the Australian underground music puzzle, Ecce Homo forms a unique DIY document from a part of the world that seems to have dominated our listening this last couple of years.
Glowering debut LP of concentrated, razing guitar noise and resonant atmospheres from Christina Nemec (Chra) and Christian Schachinger, both erstwhile collaborators with the dearly departed Peter Rehberg in Shampoo Boy and Peterlicker
Practically picking up where Shampoo Boy left us, mid-decade on Blackest Ever Black, but with notable absence of their close spar Rehberg, Paradiso Infernal explore stark negative space with nods to the precise minimalism of Giacinto Scelsi on their eponymous entrance. The sound is chasmic, abstract and roiling, also reminding of KTL’s skull-scraped guitar textures between the squirming shapes and prickling surfaces of ‘Unrest’, and a nastier echo of Fennesz in ‘Fluch’, while summoning daemonic spirits with claw handed gestures on ‘Lack.’ Nearing its summit, ‘Kalk’ affords some respite with only stereo-swarming electronics shedding scant light on what appears to be a vast ice cavern, before the cavemen yank out walls of feedback, granting access to the album’s boss level 17 minutes of ‘Frosthart’, rent with unfathomable spatial parameters which they steadily flood with a raw but disciplined torrent of needling distortion.
The 8th Instalment on Blundar, from Malmö-based producer Sacred Grove aka Teodor.
"A Sacred Grove Is A Place In A Forest Thought To Hold Spiritual Powers. Throughout History, These Sites Have Been Places Of Worship And Ritual. Since The Rave Boom Of 89’ - A New Generation Has Found An Alliance With Nature Steeped In Hedonistic Abandonment. So It Is A Befitting Alias For Teodor To Use In Order To Serve Us These Spiritual Excursions Into ‘Open Air’ Territory. While He Has Previously Donned This Mantle To Provide Atmospheric Lo-Fi Techno On The Japanese Label City-2 St. Giga (Then As A Duo With His Friend DJ Natto) - Here He Hits Closer To The Deep House Palette Of His 2017 Album ‘Neo Geo’ Under The Alias Fyodor The DJ.
For The 8th Instalment On Blundar, The Artist Has Worked Closely With The Label In Picking Out The Right Tracks From His Vast Archives. While The Tempo Sometimes Staggers Well Towards BPM Levels Of Hardcore Techno, The Touch Remains Gentle And Soft. This Genre-Defying Characteristic Owes A Lot To Video Game Music, And Especially Japanese Games, Where Teo Finds A Lot Of His Inspiration.
The First Track Bathes Us In Tropical Field Recordings Before Tripping Off Into A Relentless Tribal Groove - Countered By Meandering New Age Flutes. A2 Is A Fluid And Complex Piece, Vibrating With A Warm Tenderness All The While Maintaining A Minimal Progressive Path. A3 Deals In Crunchy Breakbeats And Layers Upon Layers.
On The Second Side, B1 Builds Through A Hazy Fog Of Tape Hiss, Pierced By The Bouncing Thud Of Sped-Up Bongos And An Arpeggio That Escalate It All Into Transcendental Euphoria. B2 Goes ‘Off The Grid’ For A Heady Trek Of Slippery Beats That Spill Out Into Small Flecks Of Breaks, All The While Gleaming Through The Doorway To A Sombre Ambient Jazz Score. Closing Off This 12” Is A Chilling High-Speed Chase Through A Neon-Flashing Night, Propelled By A Numbingly Hard Hitting Drum Machine Sequence.
The Artwork For BLUNDAR8 Is As Always Photographed By Mutantexture. The Photos - Which Were Taken During A Hot Summer By The Western Harbour Of Malmö - Were Picked Out By Teo As This Is A Place Of Great Significance For Him. A Place For The Daydreams Of Sun-Dazed Ravers."
Astral Industries’ fave Hanyo van Oosterom (The Chi Factory) re-enters the label’s orbit in duo with fellow dutch ether explorer Radboud Mens for a minimalist but lush ambient trip
Following the 2019 death of The Chi Factory’s J. Derwort, ‘The Transition Recordings’ see Hanyo continue to expand the group’s legacy, looping in explorative sound artist and producer Radboud Mens to assist in unfurling his vision of diaphanous pads threaded with silvery solo piano keys, murmuring ether voices and mesmerising touches of Hassellian 4th world wind.
In combination they cultivate a sort night garden sound full of sensory inference and esoteric suggestion, where sounds synaesthetically take on both visual and olfactory symbolism but never fully reveal their whole shape, kept in a state of transient impermanence or ephemerality that totally seduces the horizontal and plays out on the back of one’s eyelids.
Cavernous industrial and EBM techno welters from Madrid’s DJ Virolo on Argentina’s Interplanetary
Check for proper muscle in the meat motor EBM techno of ‘go on machine’ and full sunken techno pressure in ‘pitochewer’ and its oxygen depleted ‘Mascapito Version.’