Telas is Nicolás Jaar's 6th full length album, and follows Cenizas from earlier this year.
"Telas (Veils) is multiple things at once. It's a visual terrain created by artist Somnath Bhatt. It's a record by Nicolás Jaar, with key contributions from Milena Punzi (cello), Susanna Gonzo (voice), Anna Ippolito & Marzio Zorio (instrument makers), and Heba Kadry (mastering). It's a digital terrain created by Abeera Kamran where the sounds and illustrations of Telas live in their primordial states. The site was imagined by Abeera, Somnath and Nicolás as a panspermic terrain where no matter -whether existing in thought, physical form or other- has a solid or unmovable origin.
Multiple parts of the music were first played during two shows at The Kitchen in NYC in the fall of 2017, alongside performances by Africanus Okokon and Patrick Higgins."
DJ Sprinkles' classic Midtown 120 Blues, self-released by Terre Thaemlitz through his own 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
Finally available again - Second of two crucial Shackleton singles on Honest Jon's, weighted with dynamic remixes by T++ and Mordant Music.
In contrast to the coffin intensity of 'Deadman', 'Fireworks' is widescreen and viewed from above (perhaps best imagined from the perspective of the unfortunate soul in Gaspar Noé's 'Enter The Void'?), suspended in up-drafting columns of ghoulish synth voices, silvery hi-hats and convulsing kicks evaporated from viscous subs way below.
With 'Undeadman' his zombied cadaver arises again, divined like a worm from the ground by plunging subs to join the skull disco on consecrated ground. T++ is similarly averse to gravity, his agile rebuild feeling like it's being dragged upwards by the chest, limbs carving 'ardcore torque in mid-air, buffeted by sub-harmonic turbulence. There's a reference to his classic Dynamo 12" in the title 'Außen Vor', but we haven't the foggiest what it means. Kindred darkside shamen, Mordant Music plays the 'Undeadman' like a dread-dub marionette, trapped in halfstep inertia at the centre of a dizzying atmospheric pressure system. Essential!
Crackshot collection of junglist killers for Keysound.
It's a straight-up and highly effective exercise in recreating the sounds he heard whilst a wide-eyed raver chasing and buzzing off free parties back in the early '00s, and a damn fine stab at reviving that sense of youthful optimism.
Much like HATE or Zomby's 'Where Were You In '92?' album, he fetishises that vintage sound, but in stark contrast he's really gone all in to recreate the lush textures, atmospheres and complex dynamics of '94 jungle, rather than rudimentary, raving 'ardcore templates. In that sense it owes much more to Steve Gurley, Omni Trio or Dillinja than 2 Bad Mice or Manix, giving up seven sterling, emotionally-wrought constructions supplemented with Logos' sublime Vapour Dub of the title track.
To be fair, it's clearly nothing new, but the concision, efficiency and undeniably potent effect of Sully's sound here is just incredible. Well recommended.
Genuinely some of the most exciting dance music ever made - we almost couldn't believe our ears on first listen, or the tenth. It was perhaps only when we witnessed the accompanying videos on youtube that it started to settle into place, watching liquid hipped Shangaan dancers scuttle and stomp like folk possessed by something untold but completely comprehendible.
The erstwhile and intrepid ears of Honest Jon's Mark Ainley and Hardwax/Basic Channel legend Mark Ernestus have been following this niche style from Soweto, SA, for a hot minute, long enough anyway to pick out twelve extraordinary examples of 180bpm, marimba-laden, afro-dance diamonds hewn from rickety drum machines and keyboards shaped into dazzling fillips of pure dance energy.
It's not a large punt to draw distinctions between this and Chicago footwurk or Caribbean Soca styles, from the high tempo velocity to use of basic equipment all deployed with the intention of eliciting faster and more furious dance moves from the participants. Essentially this is a continuation of traditional styles, only plugged in at the studio of Nozinja Music Productions to become utterly electrified and electrifying. But these aren't simply instrumental rhythms, they're also songs with passionate, soul wrenching vocals and head-rushingly sweet synth melodies. Four exemplary contributions from the scene's lynchpin Zinja Hlungwani are worth the entry price alone; from the gripping hypertension of 'Ntombi Ya Mugaza' to the warbling duet of synthesized and human soul in 'Nwa Gezani My Love', or the alien harmonics of 'Nwa Gezani', you're paying to experience a mesmerizing sound that you simply can't hear anywhere outside of Limpopo or low-res youtube clips.
Nozinja is responsible for the breakneck speed of Shangaan Electro, responding to public demand for faster rhythms since opening his studio in 2005, even creating "boy bands" like the boiler-suited and clown mask-wearing Tshetsha Boys and producing for the rest of the artists included here. To be fair, this music is still a totally niche prospect, but initial reactions from friends we would never expect to like it have been as immediate as the music itself and there's no denying this will be one of the years most lauded albums among adventurous listeners.
The first compilation to be released on the PAN label, Mono No Aware collates unreleased ambient tracks from both new and existing PAN artists including Yves Tumor, M.E.S.H., Pan Daijing, Sky H1, AYYA, Jeff Witscher, Helm, TCF, HVAD, Kareem Lotfy, ADR, Mya Gomez, James K, Oli XL, Flora Yin-Wong, Malibu, and label head Bill Kouligas, moving through more traditional notions of what's considered ’Ambient’, to wider variations that fall under the term.
It’s an incredibly coherent suite of tracks that quite honestly sounds like the work of a singular, multi-facted artist rather than a disparate collection of pieces, something that’s perhaps testament to Bill Kouligas’ exceptional curation skills. While the album revolves around central themes of “an empathy towards things” or “a sensitivity to ephemera”, in practice it serves to beautifully illustrate the label’s depths in unity and common purpose with tracks by key roster - M E S H, Bill Kouligas, Sky H1, Helm, Yves Tumor, Jeff Witscher (Rene Hell) - as well as a smart influx of extended family and new producers - TCF, AYYA, Flora Yin-Wong, HVAD & Pan Daijing, Kareem Lofty, Malibu, Oli XL - who refresh and perfectly expand the label’s already unfathomable breadth of styles, personnel and their perspectives.
It’s also by some distance the label’s most sublime release, shifting thru 16 subtly personalised and compatible pieces, with results that speak to a world of increasingly chaotic flux and instability by simultaneously mirroring its confusion while also providing an inclusive safe space away from it; offering mutual gridwork for a spectrum of expressive nuance that takes in the billowing lushness of Egyptian artist Kareem Lofty’s Fr3sh at one end, and the colder digital soul of Danish/Chinese duo HVAD & Pan Daijing at the other.
In the space between, Mono No Aware transcends vast, ostensibly detached time and space between Polish producer AYYA’s exquisite Second Mistake and Yves Tumor’s elusive/illusive Limerence to highlight their differences and similarities, vacillating the windswept dynamics of Helm’s Eliminator with ADR’s ambient-pop hymn Open Invitation and jumping from the needling peak of Mya Gomez’s justforu to Bill’s own ambiguous blend of agitated noise and aching melancholy in the rare outing, VXOMEG and in a tormented but optimistic way mutual to the M E S H and Sky H1 cuts and especially TCF’s C6 81 56.
On one level Mono No Aware helps to rescue ambient music from the clutches of neo-classical bores, and on another helps to firmly place it within context of the modern world. It’s a brilliantly curated, hugely satisfying collection of tracks from a label that never seems to rest on its laurels.
An absolute treasure of an album, CS + Kreme’s debut is an early contender for 2020’s best - a quietly seductive, deeply romantic and stealthily addictive long player in the most classic, enduring sense.
’Snoopy’ has got under our skin with its opiated elegance and spellbinding hooks over the precious few months we’ve had the pleasure of spending in its company. Through eight immaculate songs and instrumentals, the duo’s Conrad Standish and Sam Karmel expand on the stripped-down chamber-pop of their prized 2016 debut, absorbing aspects of baroque composition, ritualist psychedelia, spiritual jazz and avant classical into their patented framework of groggy 808 bass, slow-baked vocals and none-more-effective, hypnagogic atmospheres.
Where CS + Kreme’s debut 12” for Total Stasis irrevocably came to soundtrack a portion of our lives, especially its highlight ‘Devotion’, we suspect these coming years will be defined by the low lit allure and melancholy of ’Snoopy’. We’ve already lost count of the number of times it’s seduced us to the horizontal from the first strokes of warbly organ and Conrad’s velvet croon in ‘Saint’, only to find ourselves stunned by the hypnic tear-jerk of its denouement during the final stages of ‘Mount Warning’, and genuinely wondering how the fuck we got there/what time is it/where did everyone go?
Pay a little more sober attention to it, though, and you’ll discover the most tender, sensuous body of work inside, slipping from exquisite baroque trip hop in ‘Faun House’ to the divine, Coil-esque ritual prostration of ‘Blue Flu’, and enchanted neo-classical keys recalling Dominique Lawalrée in ‘Pussywhistle Tea’, whereas the groggy skronk of ‘The Whale’s Tail’ recalls a smudged and psilocybic instrumental echo of Leslie Winer’s downtown ennui, and ‘Slug’ could almost be a knackered Andy Stott with a dose of sleazy guilt.
We don’t say this often, but this album is practically perfect in every way. It’s like a therapist who calmly draws out your inner feelings and leaves you in floods of tears, feeling cathartic but bruised. And it may come as little surprise that CS + Kreme are intimately linked to HTRK, whose Jonnine Standish also supplies vocals secreted inside (...be kind to animals, aye), and with whom they share a deep musical pathos. If you’re still reading, you’re evidently intrigued, and we implore you to follow thru and cop the most affective album you’ll hear in 2020. We’d be very happily surprised if anyone surpasses this slab.
100% must check.
Valentina Magaletti (Raime, Tomaga, Vanishing Twin) & Marlene Ribeiro (Gnod, Negra Blanca) venture their oneiric style of “tropical concrete” in a gently head-swilling duo following Horn of Plenty’s excellent Moniek Darge reissue.
Respectively, Magaletti and Ribeiro are responsible for roles on some of the past decade’s most definitive, chthonic recordings. Working in combination for a residency at Porto’s Hysteria, on ‘Due Matte’ they gamely explore an intersection of percussion, dreamlike vocals and amorphous, spatialised electronics of an ancient-sounding calibre, calling to mind the otherworldly works of everyone from Michael Ranta to Christos Chondropoulos.
In 12 parts they deftly move perpendicular to trends and lure listeners into elusive, etheric headspaces via the finest sleight of hand and a mutual vision. With grittily fluid dynamic they melt time markers and work deep inside their own sense of temporality, with Valentina’s drumming meting out a mix of omnidirectional and drivingly head-down rhythms where Marlene flickers in the spaces between, variously picking out shards of D. Bailey-esque guitar and smearing woodwind and spittle into its smoky nooks, or cooing from somewhere behind your ears. The way they gel together is quite remarkable, and perfectly captured in the recording’s roiling soundsphere mix down, which murkily brings their idea of “tropical concrete” to life with all the slow, febrile humidity and lo-fi GRM vibes you could expect from that evocative description.
25 years since ‘Gore Motel’, Bohren & Der Club of Gore hold their smoky line of doom-jazz in a sublime, haunting 10th album that once again taps into that interzone between classic Lynchian motifs and fizzing gothic undercurrents.
The sylvan intimacy of ‘Patchouli Blue’ is a Bohren's ineffable skill at lulling listeners into richly hypnagogic states. As ever they prize a deep sense of cool yearning that hearkens back to the slow burn atmospheres of classic film noir as much as David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtracks, dark ambient and the bluest jazz, plus the doom metal of Black Sabbath, Gore, and their dusty echoes in Earth. It’s surely a velvet cloak for the senses; essentially a heavily tranquilising sound, but one fraught with an existential angst that’s won them a captive audience over the years, and is fully in effect here.
As ever, ‘Patchouli Blue’ is a strictly all instrumental affair and was recorded in Cologne and Mülheim An Der Ruhr - site of all their recordings (bar ‘Mitleid Lady’) since the seminal ‘Sunset Mission’ (2000). It was composed by core members Christoph Clöser (Tenor Saxophone) and Morten Gass (Piano, Engineer, Producer) and is performed by them along with longtime member Robin Rodenburg’s plucked, stalking bass lines in a classically sulky, gratifying way bound to make your glass of single malt taste smokier, sweeter. As such, the album is really meant to be taken in one sitting, but if we’re to point out highlights, the slow rise of slinking drum machine and creeping arps of ‘Vergessen & Vorbei’ is just masterful, as is the distant, burnished, Vangelis-like synth glow and elegiac brass of their last call, ‘Meine Welt ist schön’. Basically it’s dead good for what ail’s ya.
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
The superb debut by Bristol’s Tara Clerkin Trio’s is a beguiling side of smoky, blue, jazz-wise chamber-pop and trip hop comparable to a less lofty, more earthed Julia Holter record
“Tara Clerkin Trio present their self titled debut LP on Laura Lies In. Similar to that directorial effect of filming at double speed and then slowing down for playback, the record ambles with assurance, expertly paced.
Opening with a jovial cacophony before the beatific ‘in the room’ confidently relieves, washing away any unease with an innately alien familiarity.
Coming to with the padded percussive patterns of 'Helenica', taking a moment to remember where you are in this temporal smudge. The serene contemplation of 'Any of these' signals we're homeward with a dependable afterglow, a friend you don’t need to thank for a good weekend.
A record existing disconnected from the daily getyadowns, a holiday from life, optimism as resistance against mundanity, something extraordinary amongst the ordinary, positively grey.”
Finally available once again, "Keyboard Fantasies" was originally self-released on tape in 1986 and contains some of Beverly Glenn-Copeland's most fascinating material. An FM-synthesized combo of new age private press eccentricity and accidentally prophetic Detroit techno futurism. So good!
'Keyboard Fantasies' was entirely recorded using a Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer and a Roland TR-707 drum machine, giving Glenn-Copeland's third album a glassy, robust character that sets it apart from many of its contemporaries. Tangentially, he was working in the new age sphere, but his eerie homespun compositions pointed at far more more mind-expanding, idiosyncratic places.
While opener 'Ever New' (a highlight of last year's fantastic Glenn-Copeland primer "Transmissions") is charmingly light-hearted, with Glenn-Copeland's vocals layered over chiming BBC Radiophonic Workshop synths, 'Slow Dance' sounds more like slow techno, operating in the same realm as Yellow Magic Orchestra with synth bells and voices spun around a grinding 707 beat. Elsewhere, the jazzy 'Old Melody' sounds like a discarded cue from Angelo Badalamenti's "Twin Peaks" soundtrack, or an interlude from Air's "Moon Safari". Lovely.
Unreleased Dillinja badness from the V vaults, unleashing a ’94/’95 doublet and alternate mix of the opening shot off his debut album, produced c. ’99
We’re hot for the deeper, rolling breaks of the A-side ’Selassie I Sound’, newly dusted down from DAT and making its first official appearance here after cropping up in live sets over the years. To be fair he lost me around 2001’s ‘Cybotron’ album, but fans of that scuzzed up ‘Valve Sound’ will be all over the alternate lick of his B-side.
Tirzah pursues the slowest-burning soul feels on Devotion, the London-based singer-songwriter’s humbly singular début album, produced by Mica Levi and providing us with total life affirming summer listening - most probably the record we've listened to most this year so far, and one that lingers on and on...
Since her first solo 12”s and thru frequent collaborations with Mica Levi - including the Taz And May Vids  for DDS - Tirzah has quietly blossomed into one of the UK’s most precious and peculiar artists working at the fringes of experimental pop, post-grime and R&B, and Devotion is set to bring her love to a wider audience.
Plaintive and low key, Devotion presents Tirzah’s vocal in the most evocative light, framed by backdrops of bleary-eyed and bent vibes and the kind of half-finished, permanently work-in-progress production style that's become a calling card of her music and her tight knit crew including Coby Sey, Mica Levi and Brother May.
Album of the year? Aye, quite possibly.
New mixtape from Demdike Stare featuring their own - all previously unheard and unreleased - productions, edits and mixes based around an obsession with drum machines and classic Muzic Box/Ron Hardy/Poindexter/Lil Louis vibes, assembled in typically scuzzed & fucked style.
‘Drum Machines’ sequences an hour of studio fragments in a killer stop/start stream of Roland shrapnel and gnarled samples, done with a freehanded style that surely betrays their influences running from Mage-like Detroit artist Anthony Shakir to garage house pioneer Todd Terry and the ruinous patterns of Aaron Dilloway. It’s Demdike at their loosest, freakiest, and inventive best, all blessed by a jump-cut sleight-of-hand familiar to earlier Mark Leckey soundtracks; yano it’s just deadly!
From the stereo-phasing intro of a German Intercity train engine, re-engineered to play a musical scale as it speeds up and departs, to pockets of obliterated scuzz and sizzling Millsian rug-cutting, it sounds like they had a load of craic making ‘Drum Machines.’ Their aforementioned, modded Roland TR-606 is the constant, if fractured, backbone for a proper rass-out session, twisting into recursive wormholes and spat out on the other side into scenes of gurning joyriders in a car park, or dropping a hip into swingeing machine funk hustle that craftier DJs would be wise to chop out and use in their own sets. It even contains samples of Sean’s notorious arrest for possession (lolz)
What a madness?
Includes the first commercial recordings from Asia made in Japan in 1903 - Japanese gagaku, shakuhachi, shamisen, storytelling, folksong and more - Collected and compiled by sound artist Robert Millis - The beginning of Japan’s homegrown record industry, including a few sides taken from Japan’s notorious bootleg 78rpm industry.
Compiled by sound artist Robert Millis from recordings made by Fred Gaisberg, a legendary producer and recording engineer who travelled the world working for the Gramophone Company (later His Masters Voice), these collected gems offer a return trip to the now-distant past. Swaddled in a dreamlike haze of surface noise that emphasises their alien allure and peculiarity, the set is all the more remarkable for the fact it was recorded only a decade after flat disc recording and playback technology was invented as a successor to Edison’s wax cylinder tekkers. For anyone struck by Robert Millis’ sets such as ‘Indian Talking Machine’, ‘Victrola Favourites’, or perhaps most pertinently his deeply cherished ‘Scattered Melodies: Korean Kayagum Sanjo From 78rpm Records’ collection, this set is absolutely required listening.
They cover a gamut of styles and instruments including gagaku, shakuhachi, shamisen, storytelling, folksong and more, each admitting the listener entrance to what is, to these ears, a whole other world, long before Western imperialism went into overdrive. It documents for posterity a number of important voices who took their turn in front of Gaisberg’s recording horn, regaling their tales in a range of disciplines of which some have endured or been revived, while others have been lost to the mists of time. Safe to say one would never stumble across these recordings in the field without mountains of effort, so all credit due to Millis and his multiple trips to Japan for preserving and sharing these utterly beguiling sonic postcards.
Dozzy does D&B: the cultishly praised Italian producer exerts clinically sharp minimalist spins on rolling 160bpm+ rhythms in a style also explored by his peer Neel
Shaping up in a similar style to his remix of Homemade Weapons, also for Samurai, Dozzy articulates a classic Italian feel for crisp and supple electronic tone in four slingshot parts, teasing out killer slow/fast pulses in the beating wing moires of ‘Mai’, before charging up boisterous toms and halfstep subs in ‘Dusty Bones,’ and hingeing on the halfstep in a DJ Python-esque way with the pealing high end of ‘Sanza High,’ and cold killing it with the title tune’s DJ Krust-like, inch-tight steppers dynamics.
Sax deity Evan Parker joins Joshua Abrams' Natural Information Society for this self-styled "party album" that sprinkles Chicago house elements into the framework of improvised jazz.
'descension (Out of Our Constrictions)' is the sixth album from Natural Information Society and was recorded at London's Cafe OTO. Split into four chunks, the piece is a single 75-minute improvisation rooted in the transformative modern jazz skronk of Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane, but augmenting decades of soul, dance music and sounds from the diaspora.
The element that sticks out is Parker's sublime interplay with Jason Stein's bass clarinet. The two seem to dance with each other, winding squeals against each other and flitting between Abrams' and drummer Mikel Patrick Avery's innovative rhythm section. Lisa Alvarado fills in the gaps with effected harmonium, that adds an almost synth-esque throb to the slowly building improvisation.
By the album's concluding section, Abrams' guimbri (a West African bass) and Avery's drums beat out an almost 4/4 house rhythm, allowing Parker and Stein to go head to head, seemingly attempting to outdo each other with every lick. It's an exhilarating set from beginning to end, showing the energy and power that jazz can have to embody emotion, cultural history and human interaction.
Perpetually keeping us on our toes, a Colourful Storm assemble previously unreleased works by cult Swiss synth-pop and NDW legend Christian Pfluger aka Die Welttraumforscher, essential listening if yr into owt from Cleaners From Venus to Skanfrom, Stano to Frederik Schikowski and The Kitchen Cynics.
Pfluger's sorely unsung, naïf pop recordings - loved and cited as an influence by everyone from Felix Kubin to Yello’s Dieter Meier and astronaut Hans-Joachim Roloff are introduced here with a kind of primer for newbs, packing sterling, previously unreleased examples of his endearingly oddball, near-mythical NDW style, perfectly distilling the oneiric appeal of the lo-fi imaginary universe he inhabits.
Since the early ‘80s he’s dished out dozens of releases spanning records to films and illustrations, mostly on his label, Das Moniflabel, but thanks to his German language lyrics, Pfluger’s music has been largely reserved to German speakers who perhaps best pick up on the subtleties of his wit and pathos. However, the sharply melodic instrumentals and vocal delivery are so timelessly enigmatic, that his music is surely ripe for wider appreciation by new ears.
The spirit of early ‘80s DIY craft is integral to the charm of Die Welttraumforscher music, imbuing his fanciful arrangements with a kitchen sink quality so prevalent in UK post-punk at the time. Daily life, or “coffee, cake, and comets” as he pithily puts it, provides the impetus behind each vignette-like song; channelling the eccentricities of waking life via guitar, synth, drum machine and tapes into discretely self-contained songs that sound as though they were recalled from a dream while still rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. As far as introductions go, one could hardly ask for a more carefully assembled, immersive entry point to this secretive, fantastical microcosm.
Unmissable stuff here, collecting Japanese avant pop and ferric beats from the scene's darkest, most thrilling corners.
Compiled by Yosuke Kitazawa and Dublab's Mark “Frosty” McNeill, this latest collection of Japanese obscurities from Light in the Attic sweeps up bizarre loose threads that fall through the cracks between the label's already released collections of city pop and ambient and new age music. Those two compilations spoke to the YouTube-driven resurgence of interest in albums like Hiroshi Yoshimura's "Green" and artists like Happy End's Haruomi Hosono and Shigeru Suzuki, and "Somewhere Between" investigates the fringes, dark crevices and unpicked crates.
Here, the sounds are exceptionally varied, falling from Mammy's twinkling odd-world electronix on 'Mizu No Naka No Himitsu' and D-Day's shimmering, dry ice-laced 'Sweet Sultan', to the gloomy avant synth pop of Neo Museum's unforgettable 'Area' and R.N.A-ORGANISM's gurgling, hiss-soaked 'WEIMAR 22'. The theme that unifies all of the selections is an unshakable sense of exploration and joy from the artists. The era's optimism is palpable, and it's a rare pleasure to hear musicians driven so wholeheartedly by exploration, experimentation, innovative song forms and bold artistic strokes.
Diggers will clearly get a kick from these rarities, but Kitazawa and McNeill have done such a great job with the selection that it's far more than just a curiosity. "Somewhere Between" is an invigorating listen, like a particularly wild and wonderful mixtape handed over by a trusted friend. It's a musical time capsule to get lost in.
Luke Younger’s label grip Alexander Tucker in Microcorps mode for a sort of eldritch folk-drone techno dervish aided by guest turns from Nik Void, Simon Fisher Turner, Gazelle Twin, and Astrid Steehouder
Like some alien visitor depicted on the jacket, come to induce and soundtrack a bout of St. Vitus dance in the new dark ages, Tucker evokes a very ritualistic and eerily anachronistic feel on his new project. While it’s surely a marked step away from all his previous work, both solo and with the likes of Stephen O’Malley and Daniel O’Sullivan, it’s all still guided by an eldritch psychedelic muse that’s at the root of everything he touches. File next to your most possessive sides from Richard Youngs, Astral Social Club, CTI.
“Tucker’s ever-evolving soundworld continues to unfold with this collection of harsh realms centred around processed electronic systems, strings and vocal manipulations. On the new album, MICROCORPS employs altered voices, sound synthesis and atomised beat constructions. In a move away from previous projects XMIT investigates erasing the self, removing obvious traits of the hand and voice, and allowing a focus on the humanoid rather than the human. Instead of recognisable lyrics and coherent imagery, MICROCORPS evolved synthesised voices to generate alternate characters.
He expands, “I was investigating how language brings our world into being and how manipulating the actual grain of the voice could open up momentary shifts in perception.”
Each track is born from a balance between composition and improvisation within set parameters. At each stage audio is heavily processed and then reconfigured. Setting up systems that are non-repeatable, where decisions can be premeditated and intuitive but never the same with each performance, using hardware and instruments outside of the computer to make live stereo takes that have limited room for editing and mixing.
“I’d been looking into combining dream music with machine rhythms, but there are so many great examples out there of both music forms, so I started to cut up the drones and really filter the drum patterns to create a hybrid space.”
The album artwork features manipulated ink drawings by Tucker that originally featured in his recent comic ENTITY REUNION 2. XMIT refers to a time in which information both physical and nonphysical transfers at an alarming rate beyond human comprehension into an age which is at once banal and terrifyingly alien.
Debut album by the new creepy and romantic basement organ project of Romain Perrot.
“The other night I dreamt about a parallel universe in which Klaus Schulze had some sort of government-paid job installing contact mics and analog synths (which I suspect was mainly to annoy Tangerine Dream) in all the big European cathedrals to "modernize" the pipe organs. I told him how they used to make cobwebs in the early Dracula movies; you punch a small hole in a yogurt pot full of liquid latex attached to an electric drill, point roughly where you want the cobwebs to go, shut your eyes and hit the trigger.
This got ol' Klaus drooling, and pretty soon every church (not to mention cemetery) ceiling in France was dripping with stringy latex goo. He also decided to add more gargoyles (inside, on the altar) and impose a black metal warpaint dress code for Sunday mass. Roro worked part-time as the Hunchback (every church had their own, so as well as Notre Dame there was The Hunchback of The Sistine Chapel, The Hunchback of Unarius, and even, controversially, The Hunchback of Scientology) and also hung out in front of Pere Lachaise trying to get people to sign a petition to change the name of the cemetery to "The Dario Argento Museum".
Reclusiveness aside, Romain and I sometimes like to meet up near Notre Dame at a Japanese restaurant run by one of the members of Les Legions Noire, serving "necro-sushi" and so on... One sunny afternoon, sighing as he removed the fake Quasimodo teeth and the cushion stuffed into the back of his shirt, he handed me the new Trou Au Rats LP, cursing the backache which was the result of his job. "Give this to Klaus" he said, in a deep voice a few octaves lower than usual. Now, dear reader, let me assure you, I don't know and I don't want to know what kind of entities he'd done deals with in his basement catacomb, but a few days after Klaus heard that album, Roro got to lay down his hunch for the last time, and scored his dream job as full-time organist. Mind you, dream job or not, he does still have to wear the plastic vampire fangs, somehow managing to remain the perfect gentleman, even if they do make him talk funny. Now, if you are aware of his other projects (Vomir being one), chez Roro there's no such thing as a coincidence, and there's always a lot more going on that meets the eye... That might explain why, shortly after his promotion to organist, as if by majic(k), weird record shops called things like "Bimbo Tower 2" started opening up all over Europe in the tiny streets round the backs of cathedrals or near to old cemeteries (and even inside pyramids, or so I was told), right next to where the crazy old witches sell gory upside-down crucifixion dioramas and Free As Dead tshirts in the most happenin' European cities. Which must be why you are reading this right now”
Andy Bolus (Evil Moisture, Royal Sperm) Paris January 2018
Norwegian ambient maestro Geir Jenssen blurs Beethoven into a spectral haze on this disarming suite of eerie vignettes. Fans of Akira Rabelais' unmatched "Eisoptrophobia" need this one.
On Gier Jenssen's 2016 album "Departed Glories", the Norwegian veteran used barely-audible samples of Eatern European and Russian folk music to illustrate a narrative that explored the Medieval history of Poland. These ghostly audio snippets were processed through Akira Rabelais' surrealist DSP software Argeïphontes Lyre and then smudged into echoes of a distant world. On "Angel's Flight", Jenssen takes a similar stylistic route, but uses Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 as the source material, allowing familiar traces of the German composer's favorite late work to peek through frozen drones and haunted pads.
This music, whether you realize it or not, has been repeated thru our collective consciousness again and again since its completion in 1826, so hearing it stretched, filtered and crushed by Jenssen is a fitting way to reabsorb it. "Angel's Flight" sounds like time itself wrestling with musical hierarchies, as themes and tropes dance and heave through aural molasses, inspiring the memory to land on images of movies, ballrooms, music lessons or adverts. It's also strikingly sad and beautiful, and while it relies on elements we've been assured are sad - minor keys, spooky drones, distant strings - Jenssen handles the elements with a restraint that's way too rare.
Somehow, "Angel's Flight" never descends into the realm of forced melancholy - rather it seeps into your pores slowly and affects you gradually, urging you to play it once more. Sadbient? Maybe, but this sounds strangely timeless.
Beyond the samples, your guess is good as ours? Don’t consume on an empty stomach...
““Porest's fourth long-player, Modern Journal of Popular Savagery is a damning collection of parallel realities told in song and sound. Following 2006's masterful Tourrorists, MJoPS pits post-globalized hate pop, cabalistic text-to-speech drama and violent tape music against soapbox anthems and swirling barbed-wire psychedelia -- sometimes within the same track. The result: a terrifying and ridiculous audio shakedown that both avoids and completely indulges the inherent trappings of art and politics. Fuzzed out guitars and keyboards, epic modulated grooves, "samples" and far-out fucking field recordings index the colonization of our consciousness. You're already dead -- and none of your intellectual friends can save you. Guests include Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls), Peter Conheim (Negativland), and Jake Rodriguez (Bran?Pos). Recorded between California, Syria, Vietnam and points in between.
Across decades, Porest (aka Mark Gergis) has issued a trail of confounding agitprop sound art, tilted pop, diabolical radio dramas and carefully rearranged realities on the Abduction, Seeland and Resipiscent labels. Porest's blatant embezzlement of human syntax and cultural misunderstanding broadcasts vital mixed messages. Collaborations have included: Aavikko (Finland), Sun City Girls (USA), and Negativland (USA) among others. Gergis was a co-founder of the long-running experimental Bay Area music and performance collective Mono Pause -- as well as its offshoot Neung Phak, performing inspired renditions of southeast Asian musics. Since 2003, with the Sublime Frequencies label, an ethnographic music and film collective out of Seattle, Washington -- and more recently, with his own record label -- Sham Palace, Gergis has shared decades of research and scores of archived international music, film footage and sound recordings acquired during extensive travels in the Middle East, South East Asia and elsewhere.”
5599 is a new duo featuring France's electronic improvisation giant Jean-Marc Foussat on EMS Synthi AKS and Augustin Brousseloux on electric guitar and alto saxophone.
"Heureusement que le sang seche vite features 3 tracks where guitar and saxophone interplay with analog synthesizer to create psychedelic, dense and textured soundscapes of aggressive noise onslaughts and moments of bliss. Born in Oran (Algeria) in 1955, Jean-Marc Foussat played in several experimental rock groups before he started a career as a sound engineer in diverse studios which progressed towards recording live improvised music around 1979. He has collaborated with labels such as Incus, Hat Hut, Po-Torch, Rift, Rec Rec, and Celluloid where he recorded a number of songs for Bill Laswell's seminal Massacre on the album Killing Time in 1981.
In 1983, he self-released the groundbreaking Abattage which deserves its position on a pedestal amidst the greatest French improvisation records. Since the 1990s he returned to playing in improvisation groups such as Marteau Rouge, alongside Makoto Sato and Jean-Francois Pauvros, and Aliquid with Sylvain Guerineau. Born in 1999, saxophonist and guitarist Augustin Brousseloux is a young prodigy currently storming the French improvisation underground. At the age of 16, he has already collaborated -- live and on albums -- with heavyweights such as Noel Akchote, Costes and Jean-Marc Foussat."