Baddest DJ, Beatrice Dillon re-assembles the entire RVNG Intl archive for her ‘Select/Dissect’ mixtape to mark the far-reaching label’s 15th anniversary
There’s hardly a better selector/dissector out there than Beatrice; since her emergence with the exquisite Folkways II mixtape for TTT, thru her ‘Studies For Samplers & Percussion’ with Rupert Clervaux, and a deadly Fact mix splicing computer music, avant garde classics and forward rave, she patently knows how to work fractious components into a cohesive whole.
On ‘Select/Dissect’ she puts those skills to use in a sort of narrative context, craftily spelling out a non-linear account of RVNG Intl’s adventures between new age reissues, Japanese electronics, kosmische psych and jazz-taught electronics. Sometimes she breaks tracks down to loops and stabs, at others she’ll let it roll, and often with imperceptible transitions between the material that leaves listeners gently bewildered, wondering how the fukc did we get here from there?!
There’s no tracklist, but we can spot numbers from K. Leimer, Visible Cloaks and Oliver Coates in there, as well as her Lifted bandmate Max D, if our ears aren’t mistaken. But what the chuff is that rootsy Nyabinghi bit, and what’s it layered with? Or that Oramics-y piece on the B-side? And top marks for including one of our faves from recent-isn Tashi Wada with yoshi Wada and Friends album.
Carla Dal Forno yields her self-released cover versions tape, ‘Top Of The Pops’, which was previously only available on her 2018 US tour
Recorded on the cusp of winter/spring, it features Dal Forno placing a gently haunted spin on personal pop & wave favourites by The B-52’s, Rénee, The Kiwi Animal, Liliput, Lana Del Rey, and The Fates.
Stripped down to their essence, the songs provide a fine showcase for Carla’s strong yet plaintive vocals and skill in painting and framing her subtle instrumental backdrops. The results are most alluring in her skeletal reduction of the B-52’s ‘Give Me Back My Man’, with its seaside town-in-winter ambience, and in the dark blue stripe of her take on Lana Del Rey’s ’Summertime Sadness’, but we’re sure you’ll all have your own favourites.
Sold out at source. Think quick if you’d like one.
L.I.E.S./ Gravats mainstay Krikor Kouchian presents his soundtrack to the ‘Building Arnold Schwarzenegger’ documentary by Jérôme Momcilovic & Camille Juza, pressed up on limited edition tape.
As with Kouchian’s previous string of soundtracks including ‘Pacific Alley’ and ‘Saudi’, he demonstrates a keen ability to subtly underline visual aspects with his restrained yet suggestive arrangements.
The Cali boogie spinners ‘Gold’s Gym’ and ‘Building Muscle’ surely evoke a West Coast U.S. swagger, and the grand strings of ‘The Running Senator’ are suitably stately, while the muscular bass arps of ’T-800’ could almost be an offcut from Brad Fiedel’s OG ‘Terminator’ scores, and ‘memories of Conan’ perfectly nails the schlocky camp of the big man’s fantasy classique.
Killer retro-futuristic wares, big recommendation if you're into John Carpenter, Terminator OST, YMO!
Declassified militaritulist ambience from Vatican Shadow, finding Dominik Fernow (Prurient) donning his desert fatigues for a mesmerising follow-up to his technoid outings with Ostgut Ton and Ancient Methods.
‘Opium Crop’ makes a return to what we’d term a vintage Vatican Shadow sound, steeped in nods to Muslimgauze and modern geopolitics and fringed with an aura of clammy, atmospheric terror, just how we like it.
The title piece pushes off across the front with a sort of stately, waltzing rhythm and druggy synth pads recalling John Foxx and DJ Screw as much as Bryn Jones. ‘Hellfire Hidden Tribes’ sinks into the B-side with lagging Dabke rhythm embedded in oily black backdrops, occasionally lit up with vaporous synth stabs mirroring the arc and flash of distant artillery, and leading to an exquisite ambient devotional, ‘Loyal To The Deceased’.
Techno’s arch, dark alchemist Juan Mendez rolls out a powerful 2nd Silent Servant album with ‘Shadows of Death and Desire’ , arriving some six years after his ‘Negative Fascination’ side triggered a sea-change toward EBM and gothic sonics in a way that’s never been felt more strongly. The album also features the unlikely reappearance of longtime collaborator and vocalist Camella Lobo of Tropic of Cancer.
Over the past two decades the storied, L.A.-based producer has made his presence felt both by stealth and frequency. From his earliest work on LA’s Cytrax thru his pivotal role on early Tropic of Cancer releases and as recording and visual artist with Sandwell District, then later as the go-to-guy for fusions of post-punk, industrial, EBM and techno with DJ sets and releases as Silent Servant, Juan Mendez’s myriad efforts have inarguably exerted an enormous influence over contemporary techno and dark electronics.
With his sophomore album Silent Servant presents an affirmation of his prowess with properly physical effect, wielding some of the most strapping arps, possessed vox and moody pads in his catalogue. In contrast with ‘Negative Fascination’, its influential predecessor, the seven tracks of ‘Shadows of Death and Desire’ are defined by a toothier drive and bite, moving with shark-like momentum thru ruggedest club functions while allowing little room for anything like beat-less reflection or downtime.
Locking in with ‘Illusion’, he pursues singular, writhing permutations of EBM, industrial and post punk moods; taking in slathering highlights with the agitated bruxism of ‘Harm In Hand’ and the rotor-jawed syncopation of ‘Damage’, along with the trampling drone-dirge of ‘Loss Response’, and the needling panic attack dynamic of ’24 Hours’, before drifting off centre with the glorious, swingeing torque of ‘Glass Veil’, and a swooning goth finale in ‘Optimistic Decay’ which sees mendez reunite with longtime collaborator and vocalist Camella Lobo.
Exquisitely rendered in-the-mix by Joshua Eustis, we can practically guarantee that if you fell for the first album, this one will push your buttons hard, too.
An hour of the deadliest club malfunctions from Portugal's peerless Príncipe crew taking in a proper haul of mostly unheard Batida heaters, knotted drums and deep, wavey house mutations for a frenetic and deep session of raving madness...
Príncipe continued to showcase their hyperlocal sound in 2018 with a handful of incredible releases that reached a peak with a session of fierce but soulful kuduro, R&B, trance-techno, drill and jump-up jungle hybrids from P.Adrix - in our view perhaps the most thrilling club LP we heard in 2018.
From that starting point, this hour-long session - the first ever tape released by the label - continues a rough and barely containable rhythmic push and pull that starts with deep house swagger and slowed down acid styles on the a-side, turning into proper rhythmic madness on the flipside - from tribal drums to the roughest syncopated dance music and nexx gennn anthems you’ll likely ever hear, compatible with tribal house, Afro-beats, UKF and Kwaito - to maddening, adrenalised effect.
A pure dose of blazing tropical heat from one of the best labels in the game...
The last tape in the four-part Stitch By Stitch series is an hour long descent into the darkest corners of demdike stare’s archive. This one runs super deep...
The A-side sits at the opposite end of the spectrum to demdike's productions for the club, an exposition of their abstracted drone, ambient and concrète recordings made over the last 18 months and now stitched together for one extended, hypnagogic session, mixed in with field recordings, meditation tape loops and found sounds.
The B-side gets more aggy, a spectral mix of percussive edits, filtered drums and bass treatments that slowly erode back to infinite black...
Elvin Brandhi (Yeah You) and Odie Ji Ghast are Bad@Maths for the indomitable Slip label. Fractured 2-step, refracted R&B and deconstructed pop shrapnel are reframed in the most beguiling, hypermodernist and psychotomimetic style. A big tip to fans of Sensational, V/Vm, Mica Levi, even recent Raime 12”s!
“'PROSEGUR' is the obliterating Slip debut of North-Eastern security force Bad@Maths: pulped voices scrawled on wasted digital clatter.
The voices of Elvin Brandhi and Odie Ji Ghast have stamped themselves inexorably on the Slip catalogue - Ghast's swoops and blabbers and Brandhi's doosmday swaggers all over pairings with bassist Otto Willberg and pop-garbler Mykl Jaxn (as Yeah You) respectively.
As Bad@Maths, the duo's inimitable speaking-in-tongues practice lurches through electronic daggers and gunge. Elvin and Odie's roaming productions are a smash-and-grab on the furthest reaches of contemporary trap and grime, their voices re-animating 'net-culled spirits amongst whipslap beats. Modern mores, nasty drift.”
The third tape in the Stitch by Stitch series dives into deeply weird avant-pop, R&B, rap and dancehall mutations, squashed inbetween edits made by demdike especially for the series.
It’s on a proper outsider tip, feeding white noise into bassline bumps, looped horns crashing into choral refrains…gamelan transitions, extreme timbo>>araabmuzik MPC craziness, loping strings, ancient harps, bubblegum pop, garage punk, artificial intelligence, rochdale, burnley, salford..angular 2-step and curled flutes - joyous, deep and properly mind expanding.
Part four - due soon - will feature exclusively unreleased dark, colossal, abstracted brilliance - 100% demdike.
‘Kwaidan’ is a spellbindingly curious study in the “lost" art of Japanese ghost story-telling and horror folklore, marking the sublime first release on Singapore’s bijou Evening Chants imprint.
Inspired by living in Kyoto for the past two years, ‘Kwaidan’ - a form of Japanese ghost story - is focussed on musically crafting a form of “Japanese Mood”, or Meitei. Taking this word as his moniker, Meitei becomes his subject in a pointed effort to revive or at least keep this artform alive, using a combination of frayed, enigmatic backdrops to tactfully limn a specific mood.
The delicate approach and febrile, shapeshifting results recall to our ears the subtly suggestive sound sets of Sugai Ken as much as Jan Jelinek at his dreamiest, conjuring winding passages of crackle and shimmering subaquatic chords, finding beauty lurking in the low key and peripheral, spectral and metaphysical realms...
Epic 32 Track comp of exclusive tracks curated and compiled by Mumdance (also available as a limited edition 5-track vinyl sampler, and a mixed cassette) featuring a colossal haul of tracks from Space Afrika, Caterina Barbieri, Chevel, JK Flesh, Abyss X, Sleeparchive, Mumdance & Logos, Peder Mannerfelt, Nkisi, ZULI and many others...
Shared Meanings comprises 32 exclusive tracks, drawn from a panorama of contemporary electronic music—pioneers, emerging talents, brand new producers—brought together by Adams’ curatorial ear. It’s the natural next step from Radio Mumdance, the far-reaching radio project that saw Adams play back-to-back with some of his favourite artists: Nina Kraviz, DJ Stingray, DJ Storm, Surgeon, Ben UFO, Josey Rebelle and many others. Across a 97-minute session, Shared Meanings draws from the ideas and inspirations Adams’ gained across those 40 weekly shows.
The sampler 12” includes Mumdance & Logos’ massive ‘Teachers’ alongside zingers from Nkisi, Peder Mannerfelt, Caterina Barbieri and Space Afrika. On a dance tip, Mumdance & Logos pay tribute to a Chicago convention on ‘Teachers’, listing a roll-call of influential UK artists, DJs, labels and clubs in a style most famously deployed by Daft Punk, while Nkisi comes fiercely correct with the swingeing Congolese techno rolige of ‘Kinega’, and Peder Mannerfelt does his inimitable, mutant rave thing on ‘Over My Face’. But they’re only one aspect of the mix, leaving the plonging modular navigation of ‘Molecular Illusion’ by Caterina Barbieri, and the golden ambient deliquescence of Space Afrika’s piece to speak to the contrasts and breath of Mumdance’s mix and his lushly dark vision of modern dance music.
A collection of Jamaican doo wop & R&B records taken from the late 50s and early 60s.
"These records represent a period in which soundsystems were just starting to dominate the island, with Duke Reid and Sir Coxsone stepping up their rivalry by beginning to make and release their own records rather than rely on US imports for use in their dances.
Many of these records are definitely more-or-less imitations of the American records, as the uniquely Jamaican ska sound was yet to take hold - however many of the future stars of ska, rocksteady and reggae were beginning to cut their teeth in the industry on these records, incl. Jimmy Cliff, Derrick Harriott, Alton Ellis and more, and they provide a unique view into the fledgling independent record industry culture in Jamaica that would prove to be unbelievably proflific and unparalleled for an island of it's size."
Smart selectors Cera Khin & Ossia run their 3rd killer mixtape together following their ‘Blue Baboon Mix’ for JSMË and a shared side on 2017’s ‘Guided Meditation’ tape.
Dedicated to Skully the cat (RIP), the mix was recorded on a lazy summer night in Berlin, 2018, and features a far-flung haul of music ranging from Bristolian styles by Andy Mac, ASDA and Dubkasm thru to Japanese ambient vibes from Haruomi Hosono and Yasuaki Shimizu, and avant audits by Coil, Daphne Oram and Iannis Xenakis, all held together with dub from Tapes, Disrupt and 7Fo.
Though we're currently listening to it at close to zero, Skully Mix is really ideal midsummer music, conjuring a sense of hazy headiness through both the sections and the way they’re mixed: sometimes layered; sometimes dub smudged; and sometimes in jump cut edits - all serving to make a winding, outward-looking yet intimate, and psychedelically romantic narrative...
An impossible-to-find, ’95 Memphis rap tape surfaces on vinyl for 1st time via Gyptology, a new "Egyptian Archaology" styled re-issue label
Leading on from Shawty Pimp’s ‘Comin’ Real Wit It’  - which was dished up by Delroy Edwards’ L.A. Club Resource and sold out within days back in 2014 - its sequel, ‘Still Comin Real’ reprises that woozy slow drawl on 11 slurps of syrupy goodness.
As to be expected, noise artefacts carry over from the original, short-run tape edition, but it wouldn’t be a proper, OG Memphis rap session without that haze of tape grit. Safe to say that Gyptology know this, too, and see vinyl as the most faithful, sympathetic form of preservation.
Thus, you can trust the sound is raw as; a distinct adjunct to the prevailing NYC and LA hip hop styles of 1995’s golden era, working with rude, stripped down production values and vibes that have significantly withstood the test of time, and since laid the roots for a lot of contemporary southern rap, hip hop and R&B.
Ever since that incredible 'Au Revoir, Mogadishu' mixtape of Somalian obscurities was released back in 2015 we’ve been obsessed with Çaykh’s mixtapes, always offering a haul of impossible to categorise gems from who-knows-where, pulling us deep into the wormhole. This new one for Nina and Tobias' V I S label is predictably another doozy; a snaky knot of hypnotic, outernational gems slipping from amazing Arabic rhythms to etheric disco, intoxicating drone-pop, keening communal rituals and spiritual jazz. Honestly, there are few selectors that dig quite this deep.
Enviably crammed with rarified, heady and impossible-to-identify goodness, and regularly prone to take the unexpected path, ‘V I S C 09’ is a treat that keeps on giving, opening along multiple axes of exploration while maintaining the cool head of journeyman who knows it’s all about the trip and not the destination.
A star chart for armchair navigation; a late, late night party induction; or a vessel for vast mental transportation; however you use this mixtape, the effect will be wonderfully absorbing, disorienting and refresh your most neglected chakras. Wormholers - take note.
Aman!!! is a newly formed project by Tasos Stamou (Greek bouzouki & Turkish saz) and Thodoris Ziarkas (blues guitar).
"The duo explores the borders of improvisation in the context of traditional music, especially focused in the musical heritage of Greek Rebetiko and other styles of the South East Mediterranean. The project reflects reflects both musicians' interest about reinterpreting traditional music in a contemporary, non sterilized form whilst dealing with music tradition in their very own special way; abstract prepared-strings improvisations blend back-and-forth with original old songs of '30s and '40s phonography.”
A proper dub-house love-in from Remote_ and A New Line (Related), sharing previously unreleased material recorded between the late ‘90s and 2017.
We have no idea who did what or when, but that may be missing the point slightly, as the two artists make such comfortable bedfellows.
On the Remote_ side, Mike Oliver follows the woolly handle of his 12”s for the Meanwhile and Smallfish labels with 43 minutes of scudding chords and low sunk subbass shift smudged into a drowsy shimmer that holds dancers and reclined bodies in a cats cradle moire of ambient dub rolige, gradually nudging the energy levels until you’re in the grip of proper Detroit style tekkers.
Andrew Johnson (Hood, The Remote Viewer) also makes us feel like it’s 2005 eternal on the B-side, coaxing out 44 minutes of sublime, claggy chords and undulating dub house, holding the line into blunted tribal percussion, thrumming slow techno and touches of gentle ambient pop.
Following their recent 'Passion' doublepack, Demdike Stare unveil 'Stitch by Stitch', an epic four hour mixtape series recorded over summer 2018 and split into 4 distinctive parts in turn exploring UK-centric ‘nuum pearls, concrète, library music+noise and outsider pop - with the last tape reserved for unreleased material recorded especially for the series. It documents and re-shapes archival oddities, treasured finds and important influences that have inspired Demdike over the last decade since their first recordings; a vast, sprawling world of sound.
The first tape - Part 1: Stem is an hour long session made up of DDS edits of mostly UK-centric Techno, UKG, Grime and hardcore Jungle funnelled through unspooled pop, R&B and dancehall. It’s a spacious, frenzied builder that joins the dots between David Sylvian, the two G’s and Wiley in a way that you’re unlikely to have ever heard before - a proper headmelter that’s in turns deep and delirious.
Part 2 - Chain dives deep into an ocean of abstracted recordings; from site-specific art records to found noise tapes, unlabelled library records, lo fi 78’s, field recordings, garbled spoken word, slowed down free-jazz, gongs and bells - properly indefinable weirdness collected over the last two decades and deployed here to terrifying, engrossing effect.
The third and fourth parts will follow in the next few weeks - keep ‘em peeled.
Heart-on-sleeve dramatics from Seoul-born, Boston-based 24-y.o. artist MMPH - a classically-trained musician whose Cello studies at Berklee College of Music soon evolved into these grandiose, romantic and tragic electronic symphonies
In recent months MMPH has been credited with production on records by serpentwithfeet, David Byrne, and Lauren Auder, as well as a tender remix handling of ‘Braid’ by Perfume Genius. Followers of Nico Jaar, 0PN, Arca will likely get something out of MMPH’s angsty emotive gut load.
Ruff AF post-techno glitch and knotted rhythms from Japan’s Sofheso. RIYL NHK, Autechre, Richard Devine
“First Terrace Records are honoured to present a major retrospective of prolific yet unsung noise-maker Sofheso. Having been writing, performing and recording relentlessly throughout Japan for at least the last decade, the tracks that form this archival release have been selected from a huge quantity and variety of sessions, and arranged in a way that we hope serves as a fittingly monolithic (yet ultimately penetrable) introduction to Sofheso’s singular and thrilling creative vision.
The sound is the process, and the process is architectural, layering drums and short samples into a contorting mass of concrete and steel. In photography the camera lens enjoys a vast intricacy of scaffolding or the skeletal beginnings of a modern building much more than the glossy outer layer, and just so here. There is a deep satisfaction in hearing the construction, witnessing the casting of each new sculpture. Sofheso has created a sonic language entirely his own, with which he is able to articulate seemingly infinite rhythmic and textural possibilities.”
Death Is Not The End unearth Ercilia Costa’s haunting 1920’s and 1930’s Portuguese Fado recordings made in Madrid
As played in the label’s 20’s & 30’s Fado Special for NTS, Ercilia’s songs epitomise the melancholy elegance of Fado, a style of Portuguese folk music with roots in Moorish guitar music, and connections to old Portuguese trading routes and colonies.
Near the end of Reagan's first term, the Western Massachusetts Hardcore scene coughed up an insanely shaped chunk called Dinosaur. Comprised of WMHC vets, the trio was a miasmic tornado of guitar noise, bad attitude and near-subliminal pop-based-shape-shifting. Through their existence, Dinosaur (amended to Dinosaur Jr. for legal reasons) defined a very specific, very aggressive set of oblique song-based responses to what was going on. Their one constant was the scalp-fryingly loud guitar and deeply buried vocals of J Mascis.
"A couple of years before they ended their reign, J cut a solo album called Martin + Me. Recorded live and acoustic, the record allowed the bones of J's songs to be totally visible for the first time. Fans were surprised to hear how melodically elegant these compositions were, even if J still seemed interested in swallowing some of the words that most folks would have sung. Since then, through the reformation of the original Dinosaur Jr lineup in 2005, J has recorded solo albums now and then. And those album, Sings + Chant for AMMA (2005), Several Shades of Why (2011) and Tied to a Star (2014) had all delivered incredible sets of songs presented with a minimum of bombast and a surfeit of cool.
Like its predecessors, Elastic Days was recorded at J's own Bisquiteen studio. Mascis does almost all his own stunts, although Ken Miauri (who also appeared on Tied to a Star) plays keyboards and there are a few guest vocal spots. These include old mates Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), and Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, etc.), as well as the newly added voice of Zoë Randell (Luluc) among others. But the show is mostly J's and J's alone. He laughs when I tell him I'm surprised by how melodic his vocals seem to have gotten. Asked if that was intentional, he says, “No. I took some singing lessons and do vocal warm-ups now, but that was mostly just to keep from blowing out my vocal cords when Dino started touring again. The biggest difference with this record might have to do with the drums. I'd just got a new drum set I was really excited about. I don't have too many drum outlets at the moment, so I played a lot more drums than I'd originally planned. I just kept playing. [laughs] I'd play the acoustic guitar parts then head right to the drums.”
There is plenty of drumming on the dozen songs on Elastic Days. But for those expecting the hallucinatory overload of Dinosaur Jr's live attack, the gentleness of the approach here will draw easy comparisons to Neil Young's binary approach to working solo versus working with Crazy Horse. This is a lazy man's shorthand, but it still rings true. Elastic Days brims with great moments. Epic hooks that snare you in surprisingly subtle ways, guitar textures that slide against each other like old lovers, and structures that range from a neo-power-ballad (“Web So Dense”) to jazzily-canted West Coasty post-psych (“Give It Off”) to a track that subliminally recalls the keyboard approach of Scott Thurston-era Stooges (“Drop Me”). The album plays out with a combination of holism and variety that is certain to set many brains ablaze. J says he'll be taking this album on the road later in the year. He'll be playing by himself, but unlike other solo tours he says he'll be standing up this time. “I used to just sit down and build a little fort around myself -- amps, music stands, drinks stands, all that stuff. But I just realized it sounds better if the amps are higher up because I'm so used to playing with stacks. So I'll stand this time.” I ask if it's not pretty weird to stand alone on a big stage. “Yeah,” he says. “But it's weird sitting down too.” Ha. Good point. One needs to be elastic. In all things. - Byron Coley
I suppose people shouldn't be too surprised that J. Mascis's latest solo outing is a peaceful, near-acoustic affair. He did after all help out his chum Thurston Moore on the gorgeous 'Trees Outside the Academy' LP, and here we find the Dinosaur Jr. feller pushing the rock and roll out into the cold and embracing something truly beautiful. He's not alone either, Mascis has enlisted some enviable names; Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Vile, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) and Matt Valentine all pop up to lend their expertise. This level of skill transfers perfectly to the songs themselves and there is a quality that is impossible to replicate with studio trickery. The English folk-tinged title track is a clear standout - violin and guitar soar behind Mascis's well-worn rasping vocals and you wonder why he's never gone on this route before. His characteristic songwriting feels so appropriate in this context; the small, delicate melodies and riffs that we once heard shrouded in feedback, and blasted through knee-tremblingly huge Marshall stacks are now bare and subtle. 'Several Shades of Why' is a brave record, and a hugely enjoyable one - whatever the background of its brave creator.
J Mascis’ ‘Tied To A Star’, the follow up to his acclaimed Sub Pop debut ‘Several Shades Of Why’, is led by the songs ‘Every Morning’ and ‘Wide Awake’, was recorded and produced by Mascis and mixed by John Agnello at Bisquiteen in Amherst, MA. ‘Tied To A Star’ also features guest appearances from musicians Ken Maiuri, Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion) and Chan Marshall (Cat Power).
Captivating, lower case pop music from Newcastle-based Competition, coming off like Hype Williams meets Autre Ne Veut at Mica Levi’s art-pop research lab. One spin thru the pinched vocals and sample chicanery of ‘thisisfine.gif’ should alert any keener ears to Competition’s modest, naturally effortless, and comfortably fringe pop nous. Tunes you will return to...
“'You turned into a painting' is Competitions's Slip debut: laser-etched micro-songs of bruised vocals, sample grabs, and tenderised chamber MIDI.
Competition is Newcastle-based Craig Pollard, whose confessional productions also spill into curation and a wider visual art practice (much of it, recently, as one third of the 'Wild Pop' crew).
This mini-album sees Craig atomise songcraft, probing its remnants for signs of soul. Like the post-mushroom recall from which it takes its title, 'You turned into a painting' is a queasy scavenging of the mundane. Pollard's voice achingly wears as he circles through lilting observations; his arrangements squeeze something unctuous from innocuous browser snatches and lowly sample packs, eschewing tricksiness in favour of low-key, loving twists.”
Yeah You’s Mykl Jaxn & Elvin Brandhi wreak fresh havoc on Slip and Opal Tapes with KHOT<, where the improvising father/daughter duo steer their battered unit down the grimmest ginnels between Black Metal, freestyle rap and surrealist performance art. Making up their 3rd release of the year already, KHOT< follows the KRUTCH LP and VHOD tape with a typically obstinate and expressive new blast of avant guts sure to keep the dilettantes at bay and keep the pair’s cult following beguiled by their every move.
Refusing to lapse into anything that may be deemed conventional or commercial, Elvin sprays improvised verbal pebbledash against her dad’s cranky backdrops of piercing electronics and crippled beats in a way meant to keep everyone at arms length. And that’s where the “fun” lies, as any attempt to latch onto or follow Elvin’s exasperated yowls and pronged phrasing becomes even more difficult as her dad’s cheap infrastructure of inside-out Casio keyboard coupled with dictaphone both shields and distorts her wretched truths, fireproofing them against easy or half-arsed reception.
By their own admission; “This is the worst album Yeah You has ever made”, which conversely translates to a pleasingly foul experience for those already attuned to Yeah You’s dare-to-differ style, especially in the traverse from shrieking electronics to sourest BM gestures between Krutches and “Yeah You”, and again with the headlong plunge into rotted bleeps and techno squabble in Reap Your Defects and the burned out resistance of The Apologetic Extra Accidentally Invades Emblem?
Make no mistake, Yeah You are among the most vital, prickly and unmissable units in contemporary UK music, and KHOT< is yet another fiercely in/direct and cuttingly impulsive showcase .
Golden Ratio Frequencies, the private label from Alex Macarte (Gnod, Ahrkh), divulge a divine session of time-dilating, resonant drone meditations made by Salvaticus Selvatico on Gongs, Himalayan Bowls, and synths. Lovely, focussed music, full of presence and room recorded intimacy, that rewards focused, durational attention with transportive effect...
“Golden Ratio Frequencies is proud to realise the first physical release of ACTIVATIONS : CONTEMPLATIONS, a sprawling and expansive collection of sound explorations by Simone Salvatici AKA SALVATICUS SELVATICO.
For over a decade Salvatici has explored resonance and interaction between holistic, intuitive and sacred instruments, such as Gongs and Himalayan Bowls, in combination with Synthesisers, processed sound, and controlled feedback. With ACTIVATIONS : CONTEMPLATIONS, we see the Italian-born, London-based artist observing and disclosing the hidden connections of contrasting elements, such as movement and stillness, acoustic and processed sounds, as he draws melodies rising out of drones, returning to them, in activation and contemplation, weaving a fragile balance between two polarities continuously evolving.
A trained sound practitioner, Salvatici has studied under masters of the craft such as Grand Gong Master Don Conreaux, and at a number of prestigious academy programs, including The British Academy of Sound Therapy (BAST). He has released records and collaborated with projects such as Clorindine, Polbrone, and has worked with filmmakers, directors and visual artists performing in such venerable institutes as Tate Modern, Cafe Oto and Centre of Contemporary Art Glasgow. Salvaticus Selvatico illuminates for us but one shade of colour from Salvatici’s prism of talent, drawn from a source of pure and free commitment to sound in its elemental form.
Originally self-released by the artist digitally online in 2017, GRFRQ is honoured to bring this spell-bindingly beautiful and delicate work into the material realm, offering a wonderfully considered deluxe double-cassette release, with over two hours of sublime sounds professionally dubbed to magnetic tape.
ACTIVATIONS : CONTEMPLATIONS takes the listener on a journey in and out of deeper layers consciousness with gentle ebb and flow, rise and fall, and crescendo and plateau that melts away its mammoth two-hour duration into a mind state where neither time, space nor the self are of concern—a mental, physical and spiritual refuge in which we are gifted the experience of peace and contemplation.”
Drums, computer & electronics... Jon Wesseltoft is a Norwegian multi-instrumentalist musician and composer based in Oslo. Working equally with acoustic sources as with electronics. Performing in a wide variety of projects, and solo under his own name.
"Balázs Pándi - When the time predicated finally comes & human clones are reproduced enmasse': my vote for the first musician to be dub'ed is the almighty Balazs Pandi. Home base as Budapest Hungry: this looming drummer has all the corner chops covered from Repulsion-blast beasts to the futuristic urban free scree of the New York Art Ensemble. Starting out a metal thrash & hardcore skin pounder of local energy units: Balazs soon got hit headfirst into the avant jazz world and has since jammed with Wadada Leo Smith, Arthur Doyle, Trevor Dunn, Jamie Saft,Joe Morris & Roswell Rudd. If that wasnt threatening enough: Pandi has also branched into the PA-Mangling World of free electronics scattered with continued live and studio recordings with the master of noise Masami Akita aka Merzow, also with free-sludge rockers Porn, world consumer Bill Laswell and Mr. Godflesh himself Justin Broadrick- and jazz crossed-stream polluters Mats Gustafsson & Sonic Youths' almighty Thurston Moore.
Whoa! Enough sound-flesh-ink to make a library shake in fear but its Balaz's knowledge of the importance of local & global cultural as he is seen being a Hungarian Journalist of music and culture and mainlining the importance of maintaining a grassroots DIY hard work local esthetic that keeps him firmly planted to the drum stool to blow minds in both swagger and swing knowledge. If musical history is a bench press, B.P can rock 250 LBS + no probs. And find me another Hungarian that can flip OMEGMA sides while thumbing thru the pages of DJ Screw's "History Of Houston Rap" book and you can eat all my Eastern European Progressive rock Lps. In conclusion: a full artist & musician of the highest CLONE-ABLE character."
John Olson: Life Is a Rip-Off
Kostis Kilymis is a Bristol-based artist. He performs electronic and noise music based on live synthesis, rhythm and found sound. His work focuses on immersive environments, feedback systems and the notion of representation. He has been an improviser, performer and collaborator – his encounters including Lucio Capece, Nikos Veliotis, Greg Pope, Leif Elggren, Sarah Hughes, Stephen Cornford and Phil Julian amongst others. He has published work on labels such as Rekem, I Dischi del Barone, Strange Rules and Coherent States.
"Following up on Arctic Saturation, this is a "live" record of sorts, its mood and good chunk of material captured live at a gig in Stockholm brilliantly organised by Masskultur Stockholm – they brought in a quad PA, and after the gig I traded one of my 7"s for a drink. The rest is me in a little lonely room overlooking the garden in Haringey trying to do dub ambient field recordings on the B-side. It's all quite languid but slippery, vague tonal ebbs weave through the field recordings. Never really settles on anything obvious, rather pulls you into its own hole of spiralling echoes – did I already mention the word moody? It features some of my most cherished sound captures, the seagulls of Gothenburg and a young soprano practicing next door, not to mention a gratuitous amount of audible delay effects.
And anyway, just when you think it might stay in the zone forever, it all gets dry and matter-of-fact and checks out… I took the files and mixed them at the house of ORILA during the hottest week I've ever come across in in Athens, stuck indoors and treating the music as my lifeline. Properly sat on the results, almost forgetting about them in one of those aimless periods that you begin by thinking you'll have it all sorted by November, but two years down the line you're in a different town in another tiny room not sure where the plot is anymore, yet all of a sudden you realise there's nothing actually to achieve or realise, just you should let things go and move on. Panos Alexiadis was then kind enough to master it. Hope you enjoy this."
Kostis Kilymis, Bristol, 4.x.2018.
Zeno van den Broek is a Dutch-born, Copenhagen-based composer and artist. Van den Broek works in a multi-sensory way to research and express physical, social and acoustic notions. He utilises immaterial, digital and temporal means to create site- and concept-specific works. This trans-disciplinary method has a strong conceptual foundation, originating from his background in architecture, which enables him to comprehend and reveal the richness and complexity of spatial, visceral and physical perception.
"Typically in my work I deal with fixed concepts and defined parameters. With "Entrop" the concept was to not deal with such notions and instead to embrace chaos. I built a noisy little synth – a Ciat-Lonbarde Esoterica Spike Ring – which I modified with further feedback loops to intensify its unpredictable nature. The drum track is not programmed – instead the drum computer follows the pulses of the synth. The recordings on this tape are edited and layered from several sessions. I find it to be one of my most musical works – less rational, almost purely instinctive."
Zeno van den Broek, Berlin, 22.vi.2018
One of NAAFI’s strongest new players, Debit follows her killer debut LP ‘Animus’ with a keener focus on tonal composition in the steeply absorbing ‘Love Discipline’ for Quiet Time Tapes - blown away by this one.
After setting out her style on the edges on Latinx electronix and dark club music, ‘Love Discipline’ marks Debit’s shocking but welcome turn into sheer sound designer territory. Shaping up as five tracks of billowing, beat-less structures enriched with sci-fi cinematic appeal, the result are comparable to Leyland Kirby or BJNilsen as much as Rabit or The Sprawl, but with an iridescent spice of her own creation.
V Highly Recommended!
"Where Moth and Rust Consume takes the multitude of influences always present in Sone Institute’s work to create a record he describes as his ‘pop album’, but very much one which build on the weird and disorienting approach present in all his work. Where Moth and Rust Consume is at once living and also decaying, uplifting and deeply unsettling. He says “I wanted to create electronic pop music, but from the only possible perspective I have”.
Where Moth and Rust Consume is the third Sone Institute album, following Curious Memories (2010) and A Model Life (2012). He is also responsible for contributions to the Long Division with Remainders projects ’14 Versions of the Same EP’ and ‘Collision/Detection’, and a collaborative EP with Dollboy (Oliver Cherer) – The Sum And The Difference.
This new release also marks the first volume of a new series on Front & Follow – Ex Post Facto – which seeks to celebrate experimental electronic music in all its forms, showcasing new work and old, exploring the relationship between the current and the past, how they influence and shape each other and our experiences of them.
For each volume in the series we ask artists to create a new project of their own choosing and present it alongside a retrospective of their past output. Volume sees Sone Institute create Where Moth and Rust Consume, which is presented alongside Past and Spared, a collection of tracks from the Sone Institute archive, including remixes and previously unreleased music (Past and Spared comes FREE with all physical orders of Where Moth and Rust Consume).”
‘Disappearer’ is Ron Morelli’s 4th album of grot for Hospital Productions.
The L.I.E.S. boss (and fellow Parisian resident Krikor Kouchian as co-pilot on a handful of cuts) produces his tightest, most hard-hitting material to date, from the gothic slime of ‘Narco Frq’ to the slurried ’Squeeze’, vacillating between heavy techno, kerb-crawling electro and passages of tonal terror with a persistent stare-down mentality, giving up highlights in primitivist knocks and coenobite chatter of ‘Laugh Taker’, the Prurient-esque squall of ‘Golden Oldies’, a recursive missile named ‘Hole In The Head’, and the gloomy creeper, ’Snow On The Headstone’.
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.
Fred Welton Walmsley III (Lee Bannon) completes his esoteric ambient metamorphosis with Dedekind Cut’s melancholic Tahoe album for arch American electronic drifters, Kranky Records - home to some of the some of the finest atmospheric ambient works of recent decades by Stars of The Lid, Loscil, Tim Hecker.
In key with Kranky’s heritage, Dedekind Cut very neatly plays to the label aesthetic on Tahoe with a widescreen suite of slow, windswept synths layered into expansive harmonics evoking cinematic and psychedelic sensations. They range from pop-ambient pockets of bittersweetness to more brooding tracts of durational immersion, with each connected by an overarching feeling of sadness or unresolved strife.
It’s all very much what you’d expect from a Kranky release, until you start paying closer attention. Where Kranky’s chorus of ambient angels have often spent decades on their craft, developing personalised timbral sensitivities and sound identities, the shapeshifting Dedekind Cut’s newness to this particular field is betrayed by the more elusive reach of his soundsphere, but the artist makes up for a lack of tonal richness by conveying his intent more directly thru the arrangement and overall feeling, or soul connoted by his compositions.
Improv noise and sludge rock; a split tape featuring the return of the dungeon masters Angela Valid with broken rock splices by Sparrows Herne (from Hey Colossus).
"Angela Valid return from spawning —whoopy shit. Bob from Hey Colossus added the string plucking on this number and single-handedly churns up a two piece pong on the flip under the newly hatched Sparrows Herne moniker.”
Lisbon’s finest Bruno Silva aka Ondness aka Serpente aka a bunch of other monikers (google it) presents a schizophrenic split EP on Sucata Tapes, featuring different projects on each side.
“Ondness showcases what Bruno’s ‘main’ project has been elegantly and quietly doing for a while. Sound debris, chopped beats and rejected samples are intertwined to create two unique epic tracks that travel far and wide between the zones where you wished you would be.
Serpente delves deeper into Bruno’s repetitive mantra styles. Blasting sample based beats into a disparate whole, and coherently collaging it all through vivid sleep walking techniques.
In our (not so humble) opinion, an extremely welcome addition to the ever growing Sucata Tapes catalogue.”
Forever developing her ‘Music as Art’ aesthetic into a meeting point between technically brilliant Plunderphonic technique, and ludicrously funny Toilet Humour, Vicky Bennett’s ‘People Like Us’ project reaches another zenith with the release of this excellently titled ‘Recyclopaedia Britannica’,
It's a compilation of selected works recorded between 1992 and 2002, utilising an array of distinctly british quirks in the construction of mock-lounge music intercepted by gaffs, blips, and narrative absurdities. Vicky has become a master of malladjusted social commentary. Fans of John Oswald, Stock, Hausen and Walkman, Negativeland and Matmos will want to check.
Natsukashii's 'Driving East' is a foundational landmark in functional music intended to occupy a particular space.
"Their minimalist composition techniques prove that only a prophet of the quantum cycle may manifest this harmonising of intention. One could describe this previously unreleased cult album as ambient or new age, perhaps drawing similarities to minimalist contemporaries of the early 1980's, but if you look within and realise you have never experienced this rekindling on a cosmic scale, it can be difficult to believe. The stratosphere is calling to you via frequencies. Can you hear it?"
On ‘Salvaged Space’ UK-based sound designer Fermata layers and filters field recordings into emotive electronic narratives riddled with myriad voices and details
“Written and recorded between 2014-2018 in many different places, the sound collage // field recordings and noise improvisations on this tape were constructed entirely out of phone and handheld recordings of quiet moments, street performers, instrumental improvisations, and noise pollution; Salvaged Space is a document of the last few years that I've spent experimenting with different methods of arrangement and composition.
I aimed to prevent myself from overthinking the musical material, instead focusing on shaping and warping sound so that it shared the same alive/imperfect nature of the recorded soundscapes each piece is inspired by.
The captured moments that drive this record hold great value to me when remembering significant days and nights over my time at university (DMU). Including many social occasions, trips abroad, projects, performances, and mental states. I hope it can bring you some kind of respite during these interesting times.”
Brilliantly cut-up soundtrack to Lena Willikens & Sarah Szczesny’s audio-visual drama; ‘Phantom Kino Ballett’ smartly blurring the lines between soundtrack and mixtape in a way recalling the best Demdike Stare mixes, but taken to a more purposeful level of arrangement, with a whole side of original material by Willikens & Szczesny on the b side.
Salon Des Amateurs' Lena Willikens has already carved out a reputation as one of the most interesting and varied selectors around, fuelled by years of experience DJing on the radio and at her residency at Salon Des Amateurs, together with a rarified knowledge of outernational rhythms and weirdo techno. We’ve been waiting for a proper follow up to her Phantom Delia EP for Cómeme back in 2015 - a properly unique, brilliant EP of darkside dancefloor mystique heavily influenced by '80s wave heritage, and she now comes good on this collab with Sarah Szczesny (with whom she studied at the Dusseldorf Art Academy) for this mixtape/score for audiovisual performance piece Phantom Kino Ballett, incorporating elements of video art and dance.
It would spoil the surprise to give away too much of the tracklist, but suffice to say this is the first tape we’ve ever heard that transitions between Bowie, Amanda Leer and Silvia Plath, or makes such brilliant use of Liz Taylor, one of many strong female presences telling a “story of domestic dissociation, public scrutiny and suffering”on the tape’s A-side.
The B-side, however, is the real prize here, unfurling a 40 minute soundscape called "Passage Transkript" created by Willikens & Szczesny inspired by their time in Kyoto, Japan during autumn 2017 and tapping into the most evocative turns of abstract soundscaping imaginable.
All Commend proceeds from this release will be donated to agisra e.V., a non-profit organization advocating on behalf of migrant women and against sexual and racist violence. agisra is based in Cologne, Germany, and was chosen by Lena and Sarah. — agisra.org.
Steeply hypnotic and immensely powerful mix of possessed drone, doom metal and pounding motorik rhythms from Manchester’s Primitive Knot, who, being local and all, we’re ashamed to say we’ve never seen before, but will do on the strength of this evidence presented by Aurora Borealis (home to The Haxan Cloak, KTL, Burial Hex)
“Hailing from Manchester, UK, Primitive Knot have created a cult underground following with their prolific output and aura of arcane mystery. Primitive Knot cover a lot of musical ground, from motorik Krautrock to primitive thrashing doom metal, garage rock to the kind of industrial pop bombast associated with latter era Sisters of Mercy. Yet at all times, the sound is pure Primitive Knot. ‘Thee Opener Of The Way’ sees Primitive Knot exploring the spiritual outer realms with drone, doom and dark ambient methodology, delivering over an hour of shamanic cosmic drift.
‘Thee Opener Of The Ways’ collects the sold out tape releases of ‘DOOM I’ and ‘DOOM II’, combining them with the tracks ‘Thee Opener Of The Way’ and ‘Devotion And Decay In Interstitial Space’ to bring this material to a wider audience in a cohesive album format.”
‘A New Mix In An Old Language’ reels out 45 minutes of prime Israeli new wave/post-punk/synth pop selected and mixed by reputed Entr’acte bossman Allon Kaye. A charming exercise in nostalgia as much as a treasure trove for researchers and diggers
The title ’A New Mix In An Old Language’ refers to the fact most songs inside are sung and titled in Hebrew, which is arguably a rarity in the swollen reissue market, yet offers no impediment to our enjoyment of the music; a slick blend of sugary pop and disco along with darker, sleazier, rugged strains that recall sounds from the UK, U.S., Germany and the Lowlands between the mid ‘80s and mid ‘90s.
We can point to the few English-titled cuts, DXM’s little known grim grinder ‘Down The Ground’ and the rollicking no wave of Rest/Unrest as highlights, but you’ll just have to check the rest and do a bit of research (like learning a bit of Hebrew) if you want to ID the others.
Legendary DIY synthesist Colin Potter finishes off a project started in ’82 with ‘Blacksound’, a tarry streak of dissociative drones originally conceived as an expansion of the track ‘Forest Of Galtres’ which lay unfinished for decades until he recently returned to it with the idea of slowing down and manipulating the material the old skool way. Recording on 4-track and only using the analogue instruments available to him back then - Korg synth and sequencer, a fuzz box, an E-bow guitar and primitive tape echo - Potter has now made the results available on this limited tape.
Perfectly self-described as “…like looking through the wrong end of a telescope’, the results form a kind of immersive regression to the Forest of Galtres’ medieval history, or to our mind they do at least. Actually, we’re probably thinking of regression in terms usually depicted on TV or in film - all swirly mists, verdant oaks and peasants in brown rags digging for turnips - and their accompanying soundtracks, which this session strongly recalls.
If you’re at all familiar with the area surrounding Potter’s IC studio, nestled in the Ridings south of the barren North Yorkshire Moors in the Forest of Galtres, it’s not difficult to place this album in context, where it really takes on a life its own.
Highly recommended for halloween, this.
Barrie, Dom, Noah, Sabine, and Spurge – collectively known as Barrie – began releasing music together in the early months of 2018. Their first single, “Canyons," arrived in February, quickly resonating with fans of ambient, dreamy pop.
"It wasn’t until June that the group shared their second single “Tal Uno," a shimmering tune that recalls 80s synth tones and haunting vocal melodies. The third and final single in the series, “Michigan,” also features a shift in production style, this time opting for the more traditional rock-band instrumentation of drums and guitar. Collected together for a 12" release with Winspear, the 3 singles make up side A. For the B-Side of the record, the group wanted to involve the work of some friends from the Brooklyn house and techno community. FaltyDL & Shura, who Barrie met through The Lot Radio, handled a downtempo remix of “Canyons," while Brother Michael, a long-time friend and engineer, remixed “Michigan."
Converging upon Brooklyn from all over the world, most of the band initially met via their involvement with The Lot Radio, a Brooklyn-based online radio station. A regular at The Lot found Barrie’s music online and approached Spurge and Noah (who both DJ at The Lot) about forming a band with Barrie. With the addition of the fresh-from-London- drummer, Dom, the band was nearly formed. The last hill to climb was finding a bassist. The answer… setting up a Tinder profile to track one down."
Classic horror soundtrack fresh from the depths of hell - Clive Barker's HELLRAISER with music by genre composer Christopher Young.
"You know how the story goes; you pick up a strange puzzle box, try and solve it, and get pulled into hell where you're subjected to infinite torture by a guy with pins in his head. Bad day, bad day. But HELLRAISER is a gothic horror masterpiece celebrating the transcendence of pleasure into pain and the question of what can come after death. One thing's for sure: there will be blood. And rats nailed to the wall.
Young's main theme mirrors the Lament Configuration, the Rubik's cube of the damned that is the centre of all this bloody mayhem, underlining the seductive nature with violins before opening up with the full orchestra to foretell the true nightmare contained within. The score features industrial elements reminiscent of the band Coil (who were originally due to score the film) intertwined with the sensual gothic overtones illustrating the next level of gratification the box offers, and it explodes in the final act as Pinhead and Co. come for their student of deviancy. Composer Christopher Young wen’t back to the original reels for this anniversary remaster celebrating 30 years of the coenobites and the twisted mind of Clive barker."
Geographic North present an expertly curated, horror-themed compilation of exclusive aces from Félicia Atkinson, Pinkcourtesyphone, Ka Baird, Suzanne Kraft, CV & JAB, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Eluvium, Clarice Jensen, Arp, Ilyas Ahmed, Algiers and many more, all right in time for Samhain 2018
Mantled in reference to the seminal Nicolas Roeg flick, ‘Don’t Look Now’ , Geographic North’s 2nd collection of Halloween music shares much in common with the titular film’s classical scenery and unsettling psychology, with each contributor preferring inference and shadowplay over anything explicitly gory or sh*t-the-bed scary.
Bookended by prologue and epilogue from Sweden’s Arp, the set runs to 21 pieces in total, amounting to induce a nervously furtive state of mind fleeting between clammy anxiety, pensive midnight romance, and unshakeable uncanniness. It’s testament to Geographic North’s fine-tuned ears that the whole thing works so well, holding our attention by a silk thread for its feature-length 90 minute duration.
Like a movie, it’s best consumed in one go, but it’s worth pointing to key scenes such as Ka Baird’s nest of shivering keys in ‘Clearing’, and the cool tension between spiralling rhythms and tranquil chords in Felicia Atkinson’s ‘Little Things’ as crucial to the sequence, especially when contrasted with the more dread-filled nooks such as Robert Donne’s crushing dedication to Mika Vainio in ‘Rakkauslaulu’, the carmine seep of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s viscous organ wooze in ‘O Virtus Sapiente’, and the starkly sepulchral dynamic of ’Stabbing’ by Suzanne Kraft.
For our money comps rarely work, but much like PAN's Mono No Aware, Geographic North prove that with the right curation you can sometimes end up with something much more weighty then the sum of its parts, in this case an engrossing narrative full of darkness and light.
Alejandro Morse is Edgar Medina’s latest ambient/drone project. Founding artist and collaborator at Umor Rex, he published his first full albums as Alejandro Morse – Landscape Memories (2006) and Obelisks (2007) – on the label. Medina is also known as Transistor – his dancefloor-oriented music.
"His album Liminal was developed through a 2-year process involving recordings from several disparate places in Mexico, USA and Switzerland. Field recordings are painstakingly processed to be used as layering, which in an emotionally and touching way are entangled among arrangements emanated by digital synthesis. He applies intricate sound processing to the interwoven elements adding complexity to the listener experience.
Liminal zones and their temporal dimensions are the creative input for this album, in which each zone is related to sudden events, since death has knocked in Edgar’s life lately. There is an ominous space between moving on and drowning in. In a liminal space, the individual experiences revelations of sacred knowledge, such as giving birth, ecstasy, enlightenment, orgasm, epiphanies and death. So, hopefully these works will have served as a digital monument and sonic exegesis for those going through a liminal zone. May these sound-wanderings let them move on into new and more complex dimensions and meaningful experiences.
Written, Produced and Processed by Edgar Medina aka Alejandro Morse. Artwork by Daniel Castrejón, Photos by Diego Berruecos."
Austrian composer Dino Spiluttini stares down the void on No Horizon. While tape loops have featured heavily on previous Spiluttini releases, they form the core of No Horizon’s claustrophobic sound world, representing Spiluttini’s own internal battles with the limbo that surrounds somebody switching medication. “No Horizon is basically the feeling that no antidepressants will ever work, and that I'm forever stuck in this hopeless mood,” says Spiluttini. “Don't worry I feel much better now,” he adds.
"Heavily distorted and processed, tape-loops of tumbling notes are at times indistinguishable, squashed into beautiful melting slabs of amorphous melodies. On ‘Healer’, Spiluttini moulds a meditative piano line into soaring ambience, constantly mutating throughout. Both ‘Permadeath’ and the title track have luminescent piano notes fighting their way out of a foggy noise bed. Closer ‘Endurance’ ushers the album out on an (almost) hopeful note, with criss-crossing piano loops cascading around the analogue warmth of Spiluttini’s sonic space. Structured like the emotionally fragile prison of a mind mired in hopelessness and depression, No Horizon is one of Spiluttini’s most delicate recordings to date. His keen sense for moody melody and dramatic sound design are working in total unison here, leaving behind a poignant musical experience that’s as cinematic as it is internal.
Produced by Dino Spiluttini in late 2017 and early 2018. Artwork by Daniel Castrejón, Photos by Diego Berruecos."