The Tapeworm present four recordings of Mark Fell’s Focal Music, wherein Mark plays a pattern generating system thru headphones to Laura Cannell (Violin), Sandro Mussida (Piano) and Aby Vulliamy (Viola), respectively, who play along in real time, with results documenting their attempts to negotiate the pattern’s subtle and unusual changes.
Focal Music stems from a workshop in which Mark participated, led by British sound artist, composer and performer Jan Hendrickse, where Mark played the pattern generating system to drummer Patrik Jarlestam, who followed the pattern on a single snare drum.
We won’t go into the detail of the values set for those patterns, but they basically get quite tricky to play along with, especially when the timing intervals change, pushing the player to draw on their own musical training and sonic vocabulary to fill those quantum shifts, not in the pursuit of a “perfect recital”, but, rather to illustrate the difference between rigid systems, received knowledge and human nature.
Ostensibly, aesthetically, the pieces may bear no resemblance to Fell’s signature electronic palette or the rhythmic resolution of his dancefloor-oriented releases. However, thru the players’ attempts to keep in sync with Fell’s favoured, unconventional meters, and the array of strange timbral quirks that their efforts throw up, it’s possible to detect Fell’s conceptual input in each performance’s stringency and minimalist tension, and in the way in which they unflinchingly highlight what lies between illusion and reality, and the way we mis/interpret that space between.
Excellent curiosity, this: a minimalist study on the sonic themes of repetition, call/response and decay embedded in the Samuel Beckett play, Footfalls; from Glasgow-based sound artist Aleks Jurczyk, who also runs Hell’s Teeth Recordings.
Jurczyk synthesised a footfall, broadcast it on FM and then routed that sound back thru a modular synth, processing the resultant controlled feedback live as part of a broadcast at the Radiophrenia festival, 2015.
What remains gradually pronates from loud, clear “footfalls” into an increasingly dense and bent structure, as if those feet are stepping over the edge and into a psychoacoustic black hole of slow booting techno and melting noise before resolving, almost like a palindrome, back to those thudding clomps.
Micky Von Dutch’s ONO and Generic Greeting Collective present selections by Howes and Gnod’s Paddy Shine a.k.a. Tesla Coil on the Autumn edition of their seasonal mixtape series.
John Howes of Melodic and the NQ’s Soup Kitchen corrals a fine mix of music sourced from YouTube, running the gamut from African tribal and field recordings thru nature documentaries and chiming ambient tones.
On the other side, Gnod and Islington Mill’s Tesla Coil contrast with a dank and psychedelic wormhole of gloaming ambient, concrète mechanics and distended percussion, perhaps emulating the thoughts and tortuous trip of a ket gremlin trapped in the Mill’s ancient piping.
This is a reeeel bewt, featuring half an hour of previously unreleased, creamiest ambience from Huerco S. - if you loved his excellent 'For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)' album, think of this is an essential companion piece, dilating the timeframe and smudging our perception of momentum with an uncanny effect somewhere between the rolling smoke trails of Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas and the anaesthetised harmonic diffusions of Kevin Drumm’s Imperial Distortion.
Where his For Those Of You Who Have Never found Huerco at his gauziest since the lush Untitled piece on his Opal Tapes debut, this tape is a sort of logical next step within those ambient parameters. For 31 minutes, he conjures an unfathomable valerian ambience, the equivalent of longing middle distance gaze frozen in time and thawed out with each new listen, making for an experience as dreamily suggestive as it is intangible.
Totally unmissable, for you and your lucky buddy.
An hour-long mixtape/sketchbook of ideas and influences for Demdike Stare’s recent Wonderland album, contrasting its heavily rhythmic stylings with this largely ambient-affair comprising archival tracks, bespoke edits and re-contextualised classics.
Assembled with painstaking attention to detail, Circulation makes use of countless distilled parts for what is essentially a reflective companion to Wonderland. Pieced together from breakdowns, transitions, pitched-down intros and transposed versions of music the pair have been influenced by over the years, Demdike re-contextualise fragments of sound into a transformed new whole that is thematically close to Lee Gamble’s by-now classic Diversions album, and stylistically perhaps most reminiscent of Mark Leckey’s hugely influential Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore.
The effect of weaving together so many elements is disorientating; hooks appear, subside and re-emerge transformed, sort of like an old mixtape that’s been chewed up and spliced back together, the ghosting effect of old recorded layers ebbing and flowing in and out of the mix like apparitions.
The diversity of the source material; from disfigured hits to dancefloor classics, early electronic, noise and drone pieces covering half a century+ of recorded music, jazz to r&b and so many spots in between, is hard to fathom refracted through this prism of Ambience, and for our money makes for the most engrossing instalment yet in this standardly brilliant, un-shazamable series of occasional mixtapes.
Grab one while you can.
L. Pearson follows his contribution to AMXD’s Realizables with a debut solo showreel of sleep house and fluffy electronica vibes comprising 2 x 30 minute mixes of original material produced in Penshaw and Leeds between 201X and 2016.
RIYL Lee Gamble, Pole, Space Afrika.
The label behind Lanark Artefax’s debut release present super limited copies of this immersive session by L. Pearson and Haddon, processing hours of improvisation, field recordings and found sound in a gauzily seamless mix of experimental dub techno strategies.
Wichelroede juice choice 90 minute productions from Cloudface and Powder on the series’ 3rd instalment after acclaimed split sessions from Ben UFO / Beatrice Dillon + Jayda G / LNS over the last 12 months.
Representing Vancouver’s Mood Hut clan during a hardware-shopping trip to Japan, Cloudface presents material recorded in March this year at INS Studio, Shibuya, in the Dogen-zaka neighbourhood. He is joined by Moko Shibata, a.k.a. Powder, for 45 minutes of lithe deep house full of deft, supple basslines, patented chord progressions and proper, debonaire vibes.
Local Tokyo producer Powder takes the B-side for a more nuanced showreel of her previously unreleased productions, tactfully playing out an lush array of avian melodies and rolling house momentum that’s hard not to get sucked up in.
Brilliant series this.
Cold, cavernous electro-acoustic scapes.
“Kamil Kowalczyk is an accomplished electronic musician/audio artist who has been experimenting with electronic music and sounds since about 2002.
Originally from Poland, Kamil is currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland, from where he produces his cutting edge music and performs live to spellbound audiences across Scotland and beyond.
Kamil has always been interested in sounds, particularly “electronic sounds”, ie those created through using artificial devices like synths or through of the synthesis of different kinds of sounds, or “anything in-between”.
Since childhood he has had a fascination for listening to the sounds that surround us, the sounds created by nature, by machines, by everyday devices and everything which seems “unusual”.
His first experiments with sounds came in 1996, when he began to use a simple old Casio keyboard and a tape deck, playing around and producing random-sounding “noise” and “drone”, without knowing the terms for such things existed.
Around 2002 he started working with computers and software to compose his music and experiment with sounds. Since 2006 he has released nine albums in mp3 format on the renowned US net label Zenapolae.
In 2010 Kamil made his live debut, playing atmospheric and boundary-breaking gigs to audiences at various venues in Scotland, Ireland, England and Poland. In the same year he also established his very first label, ‘Prototyp Produktions Ltd’, as a platform to release and promote his music and other audio visual works which will appear in the future.
He is also running a concert series in Edinburgh called Soundscapism, a series of performances which are focused on ambient, drone, soundscape and space electronic music.”
Blue-hued ambient electronica including a sweet Quiltland remix.
“Following releases on Where To Now?, Reckno, Indole Records, Slumdiscs, and BAROC, Morkebla's latest record is a 5-track EP titled A Field Of Secondary Craters. The record opens with The Ground Under My Feet Became Water, an obscure and incantatory looped segment made entirely with found sounds and field recordings (a plaintive horn, metallic sounds, water). The next tracks from A Field Of Secondary Craters pull away from the vaporous introductory loop-based process (that sits not so far from Lee Gamble's Diversions 1994-1996) and reveal a more luminous facet of his work. Utilizing some analog drum machines (Alesis SR-16 and MFB-522), tape echoes, delay effects and a Roland Juno-106, Morkebla's new EP is a twenty minute long journey throughout synth-laden textures with moments of pure reverie. While Snow Canvas is an ode to minimal composition, a celestial held chord accompanied with chugging beats, third track Infrared Ice Image is a one-minute synth bass loop in slow-motion, reminiscent of an early Boards of Canada interlude. Disrupting the peacefulness that the ambience suggests, Astro:Dynamics' signee and Posh Isolation's remix contributor Quiltland delivers a remix for Snow Canvas emphasizing on the ambient chord intro with a progression that stirs the listener up from quietude through an incursion of more assertive snares and hi-hats, finishing up with gradually built Autechre-esque synth harmonies.
To conclude Morkebla's A Field Of Secondary Craters, elegant eleven-minute long synth arpeggios entwine on Submerged Dunes with a simple hi-hat and strangled bell as rhythmic elements, leaving an unsettling feeling as the synth slides across cut-off and filtered sounds. We are now literally sunk and submerged into another world. As we let go of the fear of uncertainty, A Field Of Secondary Craters plays a second time, starting all over again from the shamanistic introduction. The dunes, the ground, the water…;”
Conor Thomas finally delivers his debut release for his own Reel Torque label with a two and a half hour New Beat odyssey that's been in planning for a good couple of years, always holding off for that one missing link to complete the picture. Here it finally is, as explained by the man himself...
At long fucking last I got my shit together and recorded a mix for Reel Torque; buckling up a 2.5 hour mix that traverses the timeline of Benelux New Beat, post-industrial and Euro-house thru to proto-gabber from Frankfurt, also incorporating the double-refractive influence of records from UK, Chicago and Detroit, all made circa 1986-1991. It’s an area of dancefloor history that i’m utterly fascinated by (OK, obsessed/borderline OCD about), despite the fact that I personally went from wearing nappies to primary school uniform over that original period. Although, for disambiguation; i’m not a 60 year old cosplayer.
The mix is intended to unpackage and sequence the composite elements of New Beat and its related Benelux styles, whilst also tracing its dialogue with other, international strains of house, synth-pop and EBM, effectively scanning the mosaic of what would become codified as techno, hardcore, trance in the process. In particular I selected the harder, kinkier, darker, cheesy and spaced out stripes of that sound, attempting to prove that it was a syncretic rather than homogenous genre when at its best.
Without giving the full tracklist away, the mix starts off with DM-producer Alan Wilder’s Excerpt From Stone - a certified New Beat cornerstone - and ends up in a timely manner at Mescalinum United’s Reflections of 2017, which was the B-side to Marc Arcardipane’s original gabber cornerstone, We Have Arrived (1991). What happens in between is a (mostly) chronological blend of styles taking in addictive euro-house by a former Belgian winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, plus a prototype of Technotronic’s Pump Up The Jam feat. Eddie Murphy, along with some of New Beat’s most sought-after holy grails (and previously unreleased blinders!), before twisting back and forth between proto-goa trance, loony Belgian techno, and even giving some context to AFX’s SAW 85-92 sound.
It was mixed and recorded off a blend of original vinyl and reissues of old tape releases which have bubbled up in recent years, with CDJs for bits that aren’t on wax, and all mixed in one take (although this is the 2nd take to be totally fair). At this point, credit is due to the obscure archiving genius of YouTube hero Ambobeat as well as the legendary Acid Alan and V/Vm, whose non pareil New Beat record collection and near-canonical SABAM series, respectively, first planted the seeds of intrigue in my mental darkroom over ten years ago. Special thanks to Mark Borgions and Dirk Desaever.
Oh, and that briefcase you see in the images here isn't included with the release - but we are giving it away, complete with the two gold tapes and a 4-colour, riso-printed A3 poster by John Powell-Jones (limited edition of 1!!), as well as a hand-engraved plaque - with space left for YOUR NAME to be engraved on it. To be in the running to get the personalised briefcase, all you've got to do is buy this release and then send an email with your order number to email@example.com and write down the best fake New Beat artist name you can think of. The one we like the best will win the engraved suitcase (although you'll have to give us a few days to get the plaque engraved) - we'll let the lucky winner know by email on or before Monday December 19th!
Absorbing session of cold, dark and amorphous electronic sound design riven with pointillist hi-tech rhythms, fresh on Melbourne’s Resistance / Restraint label.
There’s scant background info to this artist or release, yet we can tell you some parts sound like Thomas Köner 10m under the arctic, whilst others recall Donato Dozzy’s hydraulic techno dynamics or Mountlake’s sci-fi steppers…
Head-wrapping loops of wistful, wilting melodic gesture dissolved in ferromagnetic fuzz and decay. Entrancingly free and psychedelic; hits right between the eyes… RIYL Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Pauline Oliveros, John T. Gast
““Anzar” and “Emerso” are two works composed using improvisation on a tape-loop system, in which patterns of repetition create a sense of a dense, dynamic and cathartic distance. Anzar’s cover art is from a series of black ink paintings made by Marta’s father in the 1970s.
Marta De Pascalis writes: “I see these pieces as tied in a cyclical motion with their sounds moving in different directions. In Anzar, sounds are constantly “falling” from the source, landing gently and staying on the tape’s surface until they fade out to be replaced by other sounds, finally reaching an austere resolution. In Emerso, there’s a different scenario: a persistent theme in the background with sounds that slowly emerge, interact and then dissolve, ending with an abrupt change of tone. Where is the centre of this cycle? Where is the centre of this tape? The centre is moving constantly; the centre is missing. Switch sides. Repeat.” – Marta De Pascalis, Berlin, 19th August 2016.”
Glasgow’s Clan Destine grip a thistly set of mutant bangers by Canada’s Da GobliNN, reinforced with remixes from D’Marc Cantu, Sexilack (Innyster), Orphan Swords, Drum Machine, Jax and more.
Da GobliNN’s originals are mean, grubby things, with scuzzy highlights to be found in the slompy jack of Acid In Blue Major and the haywire electronics of Cold City Black Steel, and we’re also partial to the cleaner pump of D’Marc Cantu’s Prescription take on Fou a L’extereur as much as the rotten core of Fernando Seixlack a.k.a. Innyster’s lip-bitingly strong rework of the same elements.
Soft Metals’ Ian Hicks (not Mordant Music or Hixxy!) hits Glasgow’s Clan Destine with his first post-Soft Metals project; a glut of writhing, new beat, EBM and industrial compatible beat-offs built for the darkroom.
Drawing on the “capricious winter of the Pacific North West” as his bountiful muse, the Portland OR-based producer bunkers down to six cuts that are far more blunted, atonal and grubby than his much-loved synth-pop output.
Cede To A Rival rains down an intense, slow-motion EBM beating; Repression And Rectitude works in the cracks between Killing Joke dubs, Chris & Cosey and The Klinik; Extracted whips up recoiling kicks and gnawing acid to leave you with internal bleeding.
Find Inside foregrounds his more melodic sensibilities in a discordant hall-of-mirrors arrangement; Valentine canters like a trancing midnight stallion; False Awakening riffs on a killer cyber-techno theme with potential for a massive hit in parallel EBM dimensions.
Fetishistic EBM pressure from modern day Houston, TX; retching six cuts of knife-throated vocals and blistering, dead-on grooves influenced by Laether Strip, Sleeo Chamber, Ministry, and Women of Sodom.
The KVB’s unheimlich techno alter ego creeps out on Clan Destine with an eponymous session of shuddering drones, howling distortion and barely harnessed industrial pulses.
It’s nearly as nasty as that video of inmates at Forest Bank with their “dogs”. Spicy.
Dope sounds from the island - Japan not Jamaica - courtesy of producer Aquadab and the animated chatter of MC A, cut loose and surreal for South London’s burgeoning Bokeh Versions (Jay Glass Dubs, Seekersinternational, Abu AMA).
It’s perhaps lucky that in our limited knowledge of Japanese hip hop, All Over There strongly recalls the styles of DJ Krush’s RYU album, 我 (1999), only it’s seemingly been voiced by Danny Brown’s brother from a different mother in the hot gobbed MC A, throwing down in double, triple and quadruple-tracked vocals over Aquadab’s self-described “Jan jelinek meets Timbaland productions”.
On their return to Slip, the creaky shudders of Black Shuck finds Tom Challenger and Kit Downes expanding upon the dusty, spectral structures of their Vyamanikal session - a haunting session of organ and saxophone improvisations recorded at a ranges of churches in Snape Maltings, Suffolk - in two broadly spacious, keening ten minute tracts.
On the A-side a septet revolving Tom Challenger (saxophone), Kit Downes (piano), Alex Bonney (electronics), Lucy Railton (cello), Liam Byrne (viol), Emma Smith (violin), Daniel Bradley (percussion) expand and tangle the original recordings with transfixing attention to atmospheric nuance and detail - we’re on the edge of our seats, waiting for some daemon to pop out under the pew - whilst the B-side is a duo piece, far quieter and almost static, imprinted with wistful, almost jazz-like phrases that recall the minutes after Bohren Und Der Club of Gore’s Sunset Mission has ended, or like hearing a heartbroken, lonely busker who can hardly muster a parp to a crowd of no-one.
Kode9 and Toby Heys' AUDiNT project returns to Reel Torque for the second of 3 limited edition despatches.
In part 2 of AUDiNT’s cultish cassette boxset trilogy issued by Reel Torque, the secretive sonic research cell disclose two tranches of beguiling experiments by Vietnamese bioacoustics expert, computer programmer and financial strategist Nguyễn Văn Phong; one side of funeral rites and gong loops recorded c. 1955-1960 on his modified yin yang turntable, as well as one side of his early, algorithmic attempts c. 1972-1979 to forecast stock market data for his financial consultancy, IREX.
Serving to expand the project’s chronology both prior to, and post-, Magdalena Parker’s Reel Torque Vol.16: Recordings 1964-1972 (which sold out in less than 24 hours upon release in 2015) and after the Martial Hauntology (2014) LP, the 2nd instalment in the series focuses on Văn Phong’s elaborate history of research into the methodological overlaps between occidental religion and innovative technology, and, likewise, their synaesthetic, cybernetic and mystic applications in the field of phantom sonics.
Side A consists of two Inverse Rites and six Yin Yang Turntable pieces recorded between 1955-1960, both drawing on Văn Phong's studies at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology in the ‘50s, where he specialised in practical heterodyning techniques - processes in which simultaneous ultrasonic tones were harnessed to produce interference patterns.
The two Inverse Rites manifest that research in palindromic loops of back-masked funeral chants intended to be played in conjunction with the sacrificial act of burning ghost money (as included in the boxset), which, according to Eastern theology, is a sort of Western Union for the departed. The six moebius strip-like Yin Yang Turntable tracks follow, using bespoke records cleft and reassembled along an S-shaped line, further demonstrating his conception of gong music and the 3rd Ear’s potential for blurring distinctions between sound and unsound - the audible and non-audible - and the way they shadow each other like yin and yang. For Văn Phong, it is these two opposing, yet complementary forces - whose tension and collision generates everything - that hold the key to his research.
Side B is where it gets properly asymmetric. In eight Channelling The Market tracks, realised between 1972-1979, Văn Phong supplements his earliest experiments into the physiological effects of interference patterns on the 3rd Ear with knowledge of Korean brainwashing techniques deviously acquired at an academic conference in Shanghai, 1959.
Utilising those techniques years later, the results of Văn Phong’s experiments are patently psychotomimetic on one level, but, when decrypted according to his technique, in the final analysis Văn Phong has effectively produced a mathematical algorithm for transcoding the voices of the undead into implementable market data, rendering the phantom economy of Ghost money into tangible assets. And it should be considered that Văn Phong undertook these experiments knowing the potential that his body could be hijacked by these phantoms voices, which could effectively turn him into a zombie, or transductive cadaver.
Another sterling instalment from NYC’s Quiet Time, looking close to home with MONEY’s nuanced, serpentine slide thru the undergrowth of lo-fi house, cyboogie and unheimlich ambient musics, helping to piece together the label’s elusive image alongside tape packs from Huerco S, BABY and Aquarian.
This one appears to be equal parts mixtape and original material, strafing moody blue electronics to hypnagogic filter house and Lorenzo Senni-esque pointilllisticT via poignant samples of rave classics, emphasising the importance of creating your own world and inhabiting it, as they do here.
In the best sense of a mixtape, Quiet Time With MONEY affords a perfectly obfuscated view on their warped perspective, scanning a scene of discrete cultures becoming mongrel and united by plasmic electronics, and punctuated by the infidelities of contemporary technology.
An absorbing ambient abstraction from LA-via-NYC, Quiet Time With Baby unfurls serene simulacra in key with corresponding instalments of somnambulant and sci fi-styled sonics from Huerco S, MONEY and Aquarian also recently issued by New York’s Quiet Time.
BABY is a new name to us, at least, and one who appears to be in possession of a widely varied sound palette, one just as likely to take in chromatic new age wormholes as avant-garde pop flights.
Perhaps the nearest analogies for this sound, in terms of its waking dream surreality and freeform nature, range from the psilocybic aspects of Finland’s Islaja and Tomutonttu thru to Grimes’ warped pop refractions or the unsettling oneiric logic of Julia Holter and Jenny Hval, but the way in which BABY traverse all those reference points without missing a step is impressive and distinctive around its smudged edges.
Biting Tongues were formed in 1978 to improvise a soundtrack to the screening of a 16mm experimental film of the same name at Tony Wilson's original Factory Club in Manchester. A core membership was soon established that was to last until 1984: Howard Walmsley (sax) Ken Hollings (texts), Eddie Sherwood (drums,) Colin Seddon (bass) and 808' State's Graham Massey (guitar & noise).
"Their performances, an unpredictable 'post-punk avant-funk' mix of spoken word, percussion, random tapes, films and freeform soloing, were mostly confined at this time to clubs in Manchester and London. The release of their first three albums 'Don't Heal', 'Live It' and 'Libreville' between 1981 and 1983 widened their audience, and Biting Tongues found themselves performing more and more in theatres, arts venues and galleries.
'Still On Hawaiian Time' captures two Biting Tongues performances from this later period. The Library Theatre in the centre of Manchester was a large seated venue with an even larger stage, meaning that the group members could spread out more and incorporate additional percussion, tapes and electronic devices. It also shows Biting Tongues cutting up and rearranging themes from different recordings, allowing for the free play of existing material - the performance also anticipates their work on 'Feverhouse': their full-length experimental feature film released in 1984 by Factory Records' video offshoot IKON, together with a soundtrack album as FAC 105.
'Feverhouse' had its first London screening at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith as part of Factory's residency there in the summer of 1984. Biting Tongues had played the same venue three years previously at a time when they were beginning to expand and broaden their sound. The improved facilities available in a theatre venue, including greater space, better acoustics and more time for a sound check, meant that Biting Tongues could concentrate on the performance, producing some of their most aggressive and demanding work.
During the early 1980s Biting Tongues excelled as a live band, always seeking to challenge both themselves and their audiences. These two recordings are fascinating documents that conveysome of the immediacy and commitment of their performances - something that can still be felt in these old tapes some thirty years after they were first recorded."
Part of a really killer batch, Quiet Time With Aquarian renders a deeply faded mixtape of illbient, soul, flashcore and jungle from Toronto-via-NYC’s Aquarian to accompany ace Quiet Time instalments from Huerco S, BABY and MONEY.
We’ve had an ear on this producer ever since his technoid mutations began creeping out on UNO circa their pivotal Arca releases in 2012. He’s been relatively quiet since then, with a digital single release Bad Feeling / Insulin to his name in 2016, and this 19 minute mix ’n blend of original material making up his broadest, dankest trench of material to date.
It’s one of those mixes that transcends the sum of its parts, reorganising his original components into a sort of writhing, lurching organism or nocturnal cyber golem that morphs from sludgy crack to palpitating techno and vicious jungle in convulsive, shapeshifting spasms with grippingly haptic twists.
Leaving Records presents its second archival installment with legendary New Age composer Laraaji, all material previously self-released and distributed in ltd. quantities during the 1980s.
“LR101 Sun Zither 1&2 1984; “A refreshing new sound journey through ecstatic hammered open-tuned zither string board, through jazz-funk rhythms with improvised rubber-tipped mallets, through rattled, stopped Zither. Chaos with wooden chopsticks, through ethereal steel slide string sound exploration to take the classic zither sound way out of the box. An exploratory adventure in sustained open modal tuning, elegant electronics and virtuoso performance mastery”
LR102 Tonings 1&2 1980s; “Tonings 1: Shimmering celestial Zither and OM chant continual deep induction listening for expanded inner-stillness.” “Tonings 2: OM chimes ladder, Kalimba (African thumb piano), hand chimes, spontaneous laughter release, chant, & chimes distortion (heavy at times towards end.)”
LR103 Celestrana / Deep Chimes Meditation 1980s; “Celestrana: Calming, gentle, continual, patient, relaxed-pace solo electric zither feeling. Home cassette recorded 1980’s. Mood of contemplative stillness. Peaceful, introspective listening.” “Deep Chimes Meditation: Classic, Space, Peace, Zen, Timelessness” -Laraaji
Ecstatic present a companion piece to their retrospective of Paper Eyes material from Gavin Russom with this limited tape featuring two live shows from 96/97 and a fake radio show also from '97 with a live studio appearance in which he interviews himself...
Previously restricted to a series of self-released tapes, Gavin Russom’s early Paper Eyes project was given a much-needed reappraisal by Ecstatic who dropped the warped delights of Source Cognitive Drive – Transmissions 1996-1998 back in May. Providing an intriguing snapshot of Russom’s state of mind in the months following his arrival in NYC from Providence, the 16-track Source Cognitive Drive channelled a harsh and abrasive spirit that was comparable to Container, Wolf Eyes and Carlos Giffoni.
In contrast to the previous Paper Eyes record on Ecstatic, this cassette presents the project in a different light. Two uncredited performances recorded sometime between 1996 and 1997 sit on the B side, the gritty quality of the recording only enhancing the shredding nature of Russom’s sets! Complementing these, Ecstatic have scored a fake radio show from ’97 in which Russom spoofs it up as Jonny Stardust, interviewing himself before delivering another scorching Paper Eyes meltdown.
Brilliant, mad and noisy shit just in time for crimbo...
12 tracks from the 20s/30s/40s with an eerily pertinent subject matter for the present day, feat. recordings from the likes of Blind Willie Johnson, Elder Beck, Two Gospel Keys, Sister Mary Nelson & Rev. Gary Davis + more.
"The perfect cassette-shaped Christmas gift for a friend/relative/person who is unfathomably depressed with the state of humanity. Happy New Year!
Profits from this release will be split equally amongst Refugee Action & The Southern Poverty Law Center.”
Hi, hello, and how do? This is the 2nd part in a trio of mixtapes released in 2016 by moi, Conor Thomas, following At The Expense of Others for the Krokodilo series and arriving ahead of a long overdue Reel Torque instalment.
It’s a tribute to a series of "free parties"/raves held in Manchester over ten years ago, including a lot of records which were either played there or that i used to cane in that era. Using the benefit of hindsight, it’s a sort of a snapshot or perspective of the era after the '90s "Madchester" and “sulphuric soul” (gip) thing. Of course there were other things happening, lots of techno/electro/breakcore/electronica and early dubstep, but for me, this was the sound of cracked warehouses and abandoned mental hospitals when I moved here in 2002, and it remained like that until dubstep really took a grip after 2007.
The mix was recorded on a suitably drizzly day in Moss Side, summer ’16, and all tracks are from original records released between ’93 and ’04 (apart from the Leckey snippet), with a healthy amount of vinyl crackle and particular focus on the darkside late ‘90s flex which bled from that era into a lot of what came after it.
I only found out years after that time that other people had nicknamed me The Smoking Man, probs cos i look a bit grey and tended to hang in the shadows with a big spliff when i wasn’t brukking and gurning. Not because i wore a flasher mac and had links to secret government agencies.
Those days are long gone but I fucking loved them and all the people, raves of that time. Out to them.
Dem mucky pups, J M S Khosah and Brassfoot, get right at it with a side each of raw, porno-sampling machine funk definitely recommended for your morning headphone commute on crowded, busy trains and buses.
To be fair, the samples are craftily used, so you’re not just listening to rutting sounds, but the main hook for the J M S Khosah’s first track is basically “f**k me in the asshole”, so go figure. That side soon enough switches into some kinda Belgy-Frankfurter new beat sleaze, sans vox this time, calving off into knackered boogie and rubbing up what sounds like a Dance Mania knee-knocker on 33-not-45, via some saucy chat, before the side’s end.
Flipside, enter Brassfoot on a smudged R&B bent, working the downstroke to def before using that mad youtube clip of a guy regaling his liaison with a ghost, “I wasn’t tripping’”, aight pal, before keeping it on that slow and low tip with a succession of Screw-style chops overlaid with dialogue, and laying down a killer bit of near-V/Vm style new beat-into-rave smuts.
Get your goat. You’ve pulled.
Slint-guitarist David Pajo returns with his first new Papa M album in 15 years...
"David Pajo’s been writing lines on the guitar since he was a kid. It sustained him through a lot of groups, like Maurice, Slint, Aerial M, Tortoise, The For Carnation, Dead Child and Papa M. The sounds he’s made on albums with names like ‘Live From A Shark Cage’ and ‘Whatever, Mortal’ implied danger, violence and total alienation alongside a peaceful, easy, good-willing and wide streak of broke-toothed black humour.
With a humble combination of sources Papa M has traditionally traced his music from aboriginal blues all the way through the rock and on into 21st Century classical, exploring moments via an audio-diary vérité. With each encroaching moment of ‘Highway Songs’ it sounds more and more like good old Papa M, as David throws back the veil of tears from recent times to bear witness to miasmic mood-clouds passing not over but through him. Music from where the mind goes when the body is broken. Reflecting time spent hooked up to machines. A good person with bad thoughts, a story told in fragments picked up off the bathroom floor.
The Papa M approach is laced with fun amongst the bristle, with loads of tasty playing and a dynamic that pits darkness vs light vs irreverence in a Mexican standoff. As before, it’s pretty much all played by Pajo, whose multi-instrumental flair (and Def Leppard-inspired one-legged drum technique) speaks of the gumption and optimism that has always run under his bridge, along with the blood and water and sperm, massed together in a hypnotic flow. All these things are what makes Papa M and it’s good to hear them and him again."
The new album from Dedekind Cut, brought to you via Non Worldwide and Hospital Productions.
Over the last 12 months Lee Bannon’s transition into Dedekind Cut has yielded some of the most curious, immersive electronic music from the USA. His transformation now appears to be complete with the strikingly spacious and absorbing ambient sound designs of $uccessor, the NYC-based artist’s debut album in this guise.
It feels as though Bannon's previous releases, American Zen for Hospital Productions, and the scything torque of R&D with Rabit, were cleverly planned stepping stones into this brave new world, where he establishes a dream-like topography of diaphanous ambient pads pitted with the shrapnel of grime and trap, ultimately revealing a simulated, otherworldly environment deeply personal to the artist.
His amalgamation of layered ambient dimensions with haunting harmonic figures nods to early ‘90s AI and electronica from FSOL to Coil via the antecedent spheres of modern sci-fi and computer game soundtracks, whilst also existing in a history of North American computer music and noise that connects to the spirits of Prurient and Carl Stone.
We’re parachuted in like an avatar in No Mans Sky to the lush levels of Descend From Now, streaking across the iced out sino-eski zones of Instinct to the heart-rending eight minutes of Conversations with Angels and the perpetually elusive rhythms of Fear In Reverse, before the hyaline harmonies of ☯ makes his most faithful, explicit nod to Coil, and Integra reaches to more optimistic new age planes before culminating in the aching chamber figure, 46:50.
It's telling that the album is brought to you via two highly individual labels such as Non and Hospital Productions - this meeting of worlds provides a context for the music itself, making for an album that we'd recommend as much to those of you who have enjoyed recent outings by Chino Amobi, Rabit or Arca, as much as followers of Prurient or, indeed, Dominick Fernow's Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement project.
It's easily one of the most absorbing, sometimes disturbing Ambient albums you'll hear in 2016.
Antithesis to normality; barely-hinged and off-the-cuff; pissing into the winds of change. A fine taste of Manchester’s feral improv underbelly.
“’WHATSAPPITE' is the batty collaborative debut from Mancunian long-time sparring partners Otto Willberg and Odie Ji Ghast: a bewildering assemblage of feral double bass and vocal vignettes spliced with rabid interjections from a handpicked cast of eccentrics.
Willberg and Ghast’s cuts ditch polish, finesse and good taste in favour of animal propulsion, taking base, off-the-cuff melodies and rhythms on a skew-wiff joy ride.
Bolstered by brain farts from Gwilly Edmondez, Elvin Brandhi, THF Drenching, Rachel Margetts, Sam Andreae, Arshon, and Biz, 'WHATSAPPITE' marries proper abandon with unabashed ears for a hook.
Check for Howlround’s 24 minute mulch
“Front and Follow present the second in a new series of split releases bringing together two of our most loved artists. Volume 2 features the mighty talents of Time Attendant and Howlround.
‘The Blow’ project brings two artists together to formulate a collaborative release of their own making. Each artist has a side of audio (approx.. 30-45 mins in length) to do whatever they want with. The two artists are encouraged to work together on the release, but the length and depth of this collaboration is completely up to them and agreed on a release-by-release basis – there are no set parameters, no fancy rules, no memorandum of understanding, no initiation ceremonies.”
Intoxicatingly forward, dank dub manoeuvres from Jay Glass Dubs, racking up his 2nd album of 2016 for South London’s excellent Bokeh Versions, who’ve already left us reeling with a series of aces from Abu AMA and Seekersinternational this year.
The title of New Teeth for an Old Century perfectly sums up Jay Glass Dubs approach, which is not so much emperor’s new clothes, as a refinement of vintage styles; sharpening the old vampire’s incisors so he can affectively sustain his nocturnal activities.
It’s hauntologically apt, forming a coming-to-terms with still lingering echoes hungover from his native Greece’s recent past, and also resonating with an all too uncertain, chaotic future thru a blend of over-pronating FX and a most explicit embrace of negative ambient space.
Existing in dub’s most classic/forward paradox it’s gripping yet diffuse stuff, working to heavily hypnotic effect in a way that recalls future-proofed productions from John T. Gast to Muslimgauze.
Prime dockside darkness from Hamburg’s Christoph De Babalon and V-I-S boss Nina ov Golden Püdel infamy, comprising original material by the former, and a mix from the latter, housed in killer artwork depicting Elizabeth Saxe-Coburg-Gotha riding a doughnut-headed steed thru a bull-fighting ring.
De Babalon works at the most lightless angles of an aesthetic developed over the last 20 odd years on releases for Zhark International, FatCat, CFET and DHR. For 45 minutes, he throttles and screws hardcore breakbeats amidst a viscous drone residue, allowing few firm structures to grasp onto and encouraging us to fall deeper into an abyss of spectral ambient secretions and windswept howl, coming across somewhere between Kareem’s chasmic Porto Ronco album and his own, classic LP If You’re Into It, I’m Out of It (1997).
Nina’s side follows on from her No Observable Effect (2014) mix for Krokodilo Tapes, seemingly taking a stygian cruise thru Hamburg’s underground waterways, steering thru Reeperbahn run-off and mutant, droning and distended techno-slop with fearless, unflinching vision. F**k knows what the source material is, but it’s mucky as hell!
With the gauzy bliss-out, No More Dreams, Sweden’s Axel Backman a.k.a. 1991 reminds us that his run of sublime releases for Opal Tapes and Astro:Dynamics in 2012 weren’t simply a figment of our lushest reveries.
Issued on the new and tributarily-named, No More Dreams label, 1991's first release in four years courses with similar levels of intangibly gorgeous harmonies and ferric noise, although his rhythmic structures now feel smudged farther into the background, or even barely there at all, leaving behind a salty-teared water stain of synthetic shimmer.
We’re guessing it must just be incredibly beautiful where he lives, or he’s just one of those helplessly melancholy souls, but either way, there’s something unquantifiable lurking behind his sound that we can return to over and again, and look forward to doing so with No More Dreams.
SeekersInternational reap Canada’s rich history of ragga-jungle - it was among the first places outside the UK to foster a jungle scene, thanks to a large ex-pat Jamaican community - for a maaad soundclash tape on Diskotopia.
Effectively doing what they did to lovers rock and street soul on the ace LoversDedicationStation, this time they go ham with a bucket of jungle dubs, radio rips and soundclash tape samples, keeping the pressure bubbling on the hot foot with lots of layered blends and tiered fades emulating the effect of wandering around a caribbean carnival mentally mixing myriad soundsystems into a fractious polymetric daydream.
It’s right on that disembodied, ghostly dancehall sweetspot for us, also recalling the first hour of Bill Kouligas’ amazing NTS show from earlier this year (can’t remember which date, but it’s the one with an hour of dancehall clash madness) or sounds from the Western floating into my flat on summer’s bank holiday evenings (to be fair it’s usually hype bashment, but sure i heard a jungle set years ago).
Solo debut full length from Wand’s Cory Hanson.
"The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo was recorded during May of 2016 in various locations across Los Angeles County and features string arrangements by Heather Lockie. Hanson’s lyrics here are his best to date. By turns naked, leering, playful, evasive, they present a mute, parading statuary - doughy figures waltzing in doomed configurations through bleeding watercolour backdrops across terrains of tangled information.
The music is gorgeous and liveable. Every surface threatens with the promise of an untold depth; every depth threatens to collapse into a surface. Every place you ply a solution turns out to be an intractable edge. You go looking for the soul, but there is no soul - just the things you had to lift to look behind."
Brooklyn’s FaltyDL finally commits his main project’s material to Blueberry Records, the label he’s run for the last three years, releasing aces by Elysia Crampton, Dego, and himself, although that was under the Tenant alias.
Heaven Is For Quitters is an optimistic mantra than rings true with FaltyDL’s ever user-friendly and life-affirmingly warm sound. As the title for his first album on his own label, it also signifies a sense of going-it-alone resolve, as this is probably the first time he’s seen an album thru to completion from every aspect.
With that in mind, Heaven Is For Quitters is perhaps the truest reflection of his sound to date, embracing a raft off vocalists, namely Hannah Cohen, Jose James and Suraj in a session that touches on all elements of his sound, from the nimble breaks of Frigid Air to the burning soul of Drugs and ecstatic, weightless dimensions of Shock Therapy.
Death is Not The End hunker down to their first release of new music, from a pair of Toronto-based siblings; for fans of Robbie Basho, John Fahey, Jack Rose
After 14 releases spanning early gospel, blues, folk and field recordings, Death Is Not The End reveal their first ever release of "new" music. A reissue of a tour tape made earlier this year by East of the Valley Blues, aka brotherly acoustic guitar duo Kevin & Patrick Cahill out of Toronto, Canada.
Recommended for fans of sprawling Bashovian raga & Fahey-esque american primitive.
Nina’ and good news' V I S label snaffle a totally transfixing album of psychedelic gestures from German artist, Nicolas Sheikholeslami a.k.a. Çaykh, the same fella behind Au Revoir, Mogadishu - Songs before the War, Vol.1, a much-loved and widely devoured mixtape of ’70s/’80s music from pre- 1991 civil war Somalia. This one is steadily blowing our minds...
The slow baked sounds of VISC02 are clearly steeped in folk styles from the horn of Africa as much as a history of kosmische noodling, owing as much to Can’s communal jams as the Ethiopiques series and even the ribboning solo keys of Emahoy Segue-Mariam Gabru, resulting a sound that fronds on the edges of Don’t DJ and the Diskant crew or even Jan Jelinek and Andrew Pekler’s most seductive, far flung Faitiches.
The Portable Archive reissues three volumes of Thomas Shrubsole’s humbly absorbing ambient studies/contemplations on soil dynamics, which were recorded as Sub Loam and originally released on the cult Cotton Goods label between 2009-2010, and are now teamed with an equivalent amount of unreleased pieces made over the same period. Big Recommendation if you followed the Cotton Goods label, or if you're into the ambient side of works by Move D, Jan Jelinek, To Rococo Rot etc.
First and foremost it’s lovely to be immersed back into the project, whose naturally textured and decaying structures emerged as quietly as they dissolved back at the turn of this decade, finding good company amidst the rustle and hum of Cotton Goods and, in a way, could be said to preempt the focus of FIS’ research in similar, if noisier, rugged terrain on his From Patterns to Details album.
No mistake, though; Sub Loam’s music is endearingly tactile and better defined by its textured, nuanced fidelity: Shrubsole handles his material like an environmental researcher or botanist making sketches on his rambles, offering poetic observations on the interactions of organic matter with “ditches, hedgerows, alleys, pavements and hill tops” modelled with an electro-acoustic palette and tape loops that quietly represent his subject’s subterranean root systems and intuitive sprawl in a series of concentric spirals and microtonal whorls.
Within his chloro-centric weltanschauung, Sub Loam divines the music of “rhythmic footfall, creeping rootstock, vaporous billows, transformational marginalia” in an esoteric yet tangible way that should sweetly resonate with anyone who appreciates the ebb and flow or warp and weft of nature on the smaller scales, as well as its larger form landscapes, and who can appreciate the same within the parameters of ambient music.
A beautiful package.
Warp’s hirsute wax hunter, psychedelic shaman and mystic wildman turns up the distortion on his 3rd album, arriving four years since MU.ZZ.LE and cramming 19 salty, sawn-off songs more related to outsider garage rock and psych-pop one-offs than the California hip hop scene whence he came.
Callus is best considered as a weather-beaten reaction to life’s travails, built up from coarse-textured samples and his signature, croaking vocals which are further soused in lacquer-cracking levels of distortion, future-proofing himself and his sound for the times.
In the best tradition of any psychedelic storyteller, the album is a sprawling, rambling thing, employing a wide palette of sources and sonic figures to unwind a yarn about psychic torment and life on the road absorbing all the realities and surrealities it may chuck up.
It’s prone to skinny changes of pace and varying bouts of manic depression, matching “ups” like the motorik raga of Krishna Punk with sore, cranky downs such as Old Man Sufferah, while also strafing a legacy of hurt and passion that’s present in much of the music he samples from, whether its blues, punk, Ethiopiques jazz or psychedelic folk.
Callus is an accretion of all these things, and more, proudly displayed as battle scars and signs of vulnerability as strength.
Since 2009, the fuzzing rock power of Purling Hiss has taken many different forms, all emanating from Mike Polizze's instinctive approach to playing guitar, writing songs and hooking a feeling from disparate memories, sensations and desired effects. High Bias moves with raging, dazed humor and soulfulness against the darkening times in which we find ourselves.
"With no way out, Purling Hiss hit today's bullshit head-on, employing pounding psych-rock and punk effects, slipping signature Hissian backup "oo-oo-ooh"s and Polizze's blistering guitar pile-ups in a full-bodied, head-ripping brew. Mike puts together a Purling Hiss album as a whole thing, with songs striking defiant and wistful tones in turn, mixing in odes to impermanence, spite-filled rebellion and bemused recollections along the way.
High Bias kicks off at 11, blowing with first take energy into a mood of ominous portent. Right away, the power of the band all together is sick - the guys that came on for Weirdon have grown into a full-fledged Purling Hiss, with Ben and Dan feeding off each other, providing fresh rhythm ground for the songs to romp over. This creates seamless motion between disparate styles, from streamlined futurist radio-wave to blatzing punk, sweet indie-pop song craft and barely-contained group riffage.
The first single, “Fever,” kicks things off with a brave and bold blast of disparate rock 'n' roll that lays it on the line to keep the rebellion alive in the streets of our mind! This is rock we will need in our ears as we venture into the darkness, and the next unexplored stretch of the wasteland.”
Big Peace (fka Big War) furthers ONO’s fecund run with his sprawling debut beat tape demonstrating a dreamy knack for deceptively loose, user-friendly rap instrumentals with Peace, following a teasing mixtape split with Originally A Dancer earlier in ’16.
As one of the DJs and captains of rap club night No White Tee’s alongside Joey B and **** ***, and a mainstay of the Generic Greeting Collective, your boy Big Peace holds down a wide range of styles rooted in regional and current US hip hop, but is also liable to wander into more vaporous electronica, latinate Dembow rhythms and blunted boogie, finding the woozy, hypnotic commonalities between all sorts of good stuff.
In some respects he shares a lot in common with another Ono alumni, Tom Boogizm, especially the downbeat pacing and red-eyed vibes. However his output differs when it comes to sampling, offering a looser blend of cherry-picked licks and loops combined with low-key original production and drum programming; an aesthetic perhaps best defined in the respectfully titled Aisha, which turns a choice lick of Fatima Al Qadiri’s Ayshay into a lean sort of cloud rap instrumental.
The subsequent 19 tracks follow a mazily syncretic, oneiric route of his own, whether warping reggaeton with a weird Reese bass cadence in Knew Too Much, stroking off some greazy ambient boogie in Bodyhigh, and serving the dancefloor with the coiled bump of Bonus Edit.
If you fancy something like a lo-fi Equiknoxx, a leaner version of Actress’ Thriller bits, or a wigged-out adjunct to Astral Black’s output; this one you!
‘22, A Million’ is part love letter, part final resting place of two decades of searching for self-understanding like a religion and the inner resolution of maybe never finding that understanding.
"The album’s 10 poly-fi recordings are a collection of sacred moments, love’s torment and salvation, contexts of intense memories, signs that you can pin meaning onto or disregard as coincidence. If ‘Bon Iver’ built a habitat rooted in physical spaces, then ‘22, A Million’ is the letting go of the attachment to a place."
Death Is Not The End, following their cassette reissue of Harry Smith's Anthology, present a collection of recordings of Sacred Harp singing (a traditional sacred choral music with origins in the American South) taken from the late 1920s through to the late 1930s.
Fourth batch of wigged-out, mongrel disco glamour from Cerberus Future Technologies’ multi-faceted lynchpin, Ste Spandex, accompanied by his pals Preston Brooks and Metrodome on a coupla cuts.
If you can handle your gear, you’ve probably got a head, even a taste, for the excesses of FAV4’s highlights, such as the illicit boogie pleasures of Snake Police’s Fly Porn, the amyl-flooded basement EBM of Skullcrusher by Montauk Boys, or the chufty thizz of Ste Spandex’s Saturn flight.
RIYL Jamal Moss, bruxism