New Atlantis co-founder Deadboy inhabits his J.V. Lightbody alias for the label’s lush 2nd release.
Following the gently radiant themes of their quickly sold-out V/A compilation New Atlantis Vol.1, the multifarious, London-based producer renders 12 beams of golden, shimmering vibes exploring “the inner realms of consciousness, space and time” under track titles referencing the 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching, the ancient chinese book of changes whose wisdom still resonates with the modern day.
Tapping into a new age zeitgeist which has bubbled up strongly in recent years, possibly thanks as much to a swell of reissued classics as a societal need to assuage anxieties imposed by the modern world, Inner Work arguably serves its purpose in a beautifully absorbing manner. Working to a similar brief as Yamaneko’s recent Spa Commissions for Local Action, Lightbody offers the listener tender space to unravel thoughts and dreams thru sheets of diaphanous, pastel-hued harmonies and wistful melodic flocking which, at best, offer transcendence from earthly matters, and at the least a very sweet distraction from what ails ya.
Effectively an antibiotic for SAD, or a magnetic dose of vitamin D for overworked souls, Inner Work gets right under the skin with assured efficacy, and should be warmly recommended to anyone who has encountered and fallen for the likes of Laraaji, Pauline Anna Strom or K. Leimer in recent years, or likewise been smitten by Yamaneko’s gorgeous new turn.
Seekersinternational serve intoxicating tropical ambient dancehall chutney with the Gunman Cult Classics Mix for the the’ ICS Library Records label. If you put this one side to side with their cultishly loved output from the last few years, the SKRS effectively have your whole summer seleks sorted out for 2017.
The new age badmen twist and dub convention inside-out here, meshing a slew of dancehall and R&B acapellas with lush ambient strokes, rudest boogie and sidesteps into subcontinental and far eastern sounds to coolly put a fresh - yet, crucially, faithful - spin on the dancehall/dub prisms which they’re clearly infatuated with.
Absorbing heat by everyone from Gappy Ranks and 1991 to Tom & Jerry and O$VMV$M, and rubbing in special oils from Gwen Guthrie to Jody Watley and Luciano, the results are stewed in fuzzy dub FX and practically melt before your ears, ready to spread on balconies from Hulme to Barbados.
Trust this is no dilettantish half-stepping or stylistic dabbling; their picks are pure gold and the way they put them together is just A++, primed for a long, hot summer...
Class debut of lucidly imaginative and abstract electroscapes from Manchester’s Andy Brown aka AB2020; making his maiden mission on Sheffield’s Computer Club with the Cybotronian industrial sci-fi soundtrack styles of Sagittarius.
Built atom by atom in his hardware-filled pod and conducted with a proper, late night sense of dramaturgy, Sagittarius covers a lot of ground within AB2020’s chosen dimension - taking the listener from Alice Coltrane-like string sweeps and alien bleeps in Lacu to the Carpenter-esque finale of Nuworlds via the synaesthetic tweaks of Permafrost and pulsating Drexciyan techno in the two parts of Subsurface Ocean plus a smart dose of clipped electro acid on Terraform and some excellent pieces of chromatic techno mystery in Cogewn and Exic that recall Jeff Mills’ recent deep space explorations.
Two birds, one stone: BAT brings his Excavated Tapes 1992-1999 to a close with Vol.3, which also appears as the last release on Astro:Dynamics, who’ve delivered some choice releases from 1991, Samoyed, Dynooo and El Kid/Sam Kidel in their seven years of activity.
They’ve clearly saved BAT’s best for last with six of his quietest, seductively uncertain hardware improvisations, covering Actress-gone-Memphis knocks in HiFi 120 Side A CJa, thru to barely-there, Bellows-style crackle in Lesson 15 Side A Chmycncrt, the fractured ambient crumbs of Voice Thing Side A Crck, and a lushly knotted, curdled dub chords in 94 Side A Twentyish.
Toodle pip, Astro:Dynamics. Was lovely listening to ya.
What does the sun sound like? L’Orange, L’Orange, Gregg Kowalsky’s (Date Palms) first solo album in eight years, might have the answer.
"Its vivid music – sourced from analog synths and mixed on a laptop – arrives in rays of sound that shine skyward. There are many moods in each track, but the overarching aura is one of brightness and optimism. Hence the album title, which nods toward the radiant hue of our life-sustaining star.
The warm atmospheres of Miami (his birthplace) and Los Angeles (his home of 3years) infuse the luminous ambience of L’Orange, L’Orange. Kowalsky points to the album’s second track, “Maliblue Dream Sequence.” Its lapping synth waves mirror the time he spent working on the record at a friend’s home in the beachside city of Malibu. But you can hear echoes of blue “Tuned to Monochrome,” to the rising rhythm of “Pattern Haze,” to the sandy layers of “Ritual Del Croix.”
L’Orange, L’Orange isn’t just about brightness and bliss. It’s also about engrossing your mind – creating an omnipresence not unlike that shiny orange orb whose ubiquity defines our days and whose absence fills our nights. For Gregg Kowalsky, music can have that same kind of overpowering effect. The sounds of L’Orange, L’Orange can calm your nerves, warm your mood, and maybe even enlighten your mind."
Call Super cocks a 2nd album of increasingly squirrelly electronics for Houndstooth, secreting the glittering nuts and bolts of his sound in a more fluid and dynamic brand of ambient techno mechanics.
Arriving three years on from his Suzi Ecto album, and a string of well-received DJ sets, solo 12”s and a collaboration with Beatrice Dillon over the interim, Arpo gathers Call Super’s recent studio thoughts in one place, coursing from mercurial IDM to jazzy flights of fancy and oneiric electro with a meticulous production style that’s become his trademark.
The ghosts of the 4th World, Red Planet martians, Irdiallian enigmas and golden era Warp haunt Arpo’s diffuse dimensions from the first chimes and clarinet plumes of Arpo thru the smoky electro-jazz of Out To Rust, following a silvery thread of logic that weaves between early hours dancefloor mindsets and late hours home listening from the glitchy hunch of OK Werkmeister to the sloshing brownian glitter of Music Stand, embracing Ethiopiques jazz in Arpo Sunk, and gently insistent future electro-funk with No Wonder We Go Under, and the hyaline electro-soul rubs of I Look Like I Look In A Tinfoil Hat.
Dâm Funk does it with serious finesse in his debut Garrett outing for Music For Memory, who’ve managed to coax out a sublime insight to his Private Life from LA’s most fêted funkateer. Best believe this is the slickest thing you’ll encounter all year - like glyding on rainbow in silk underwear.
For Damon G Riddick’s legion fans it doesn’t come much better, especially seeing as he’s been shy on the release front since 2016’s DJ-Kicks and the odd short format serving in recent years. Anyway this makes up for that gap in spades, swooping in with the gilded dawn of Apocalyptic Sunrise and taking it there with track, from the pointillist drum patter and arcing chords of Right Now thru the loose and sprawling vibes of Slow Motion, to chrome-squirting G-funk on It’s Time, with 12 minutes to cool out in the serene waters of Angel Reflections, before taking it Home on the downstroke to the sun-warped bliss of The End Theme.
Summer 2017 is officially heya.
Echanting, fascinating collection of Chilean folk songs, mostly vocals and guitars, with introductions by Violeta Parra, but also some ace runs into accordion and music box melodies and martial percussive pieces. Interesting for anyone looking to the Bolivian folk roots of Elysia Crampton
“Death Is Not The End reissue a rare early LP from Chilean songwriter, folklorist and visual artist Violeta Parra.
In this collection, Volume III of Parra's Folk Music of Chile series, Parra introduces us to the Cueca, a traditional folk music style and Chile's national dance, which is sung and danced at parties and festivities. Although Cuecas were played on the radio, Parra introduces listeners to popular forms of Cueca she recovered in her field work collecting traditional songs. Navigating Chile's thin land mass from Santiago to Concepción, Parra heard people in the countryside performing these songs. In her introduction, Parra identifies four types of Cueca: the short Corta, the waltz Valceada, the long Larga voluntaria, and the Balance/obligatoria where the singer individually calls on a man and then a women to dance. Casting herself in the role of ethnomusicologist, this intense musical investigation of Chile's popular folk song traditions went on to greatly influence Parra's own songwriting. The connection with her country's traditions earned her the reputation as Chile's foremost poet and folk singer.”
Yamaneko, aka Talbot Fade, bravely tackles a most painful subject in the best way he knows how: the emotional, metaphysical transcendence of organised electronic sound.
Written in the year following the death of his mother, and mantled in reference to Meiro Koizumi’s succinct and quietly traumatising video installation, My Voice Would Reach You can be taken as a bardo or form of keening music, rendering a beautifully elegiac lament for a beloved soul, described in diaphanous ambient chorales, textured field recordings and oceanic drones with often gut-wrenching effect.
Broaching a subject that still, unusually, prompts uncomfortable reactions in the western world, My Voice Would Reach You conversely seeks to offer comfort and solace through an abstract exploration of “grief, acceptance, dreams, maternal influence and communication across astral planes.” Drawing on the titular installation, as well as his mother’s record collection and the immersive depths of RPG computer games - specifically FromSoftware’s range of Souls and Bloodborne titles - Talbot Fade suggests space for reflective mediation. But, like those games and the album’s subject matter, don’t expect it to be an easy experience.
In its four movements, My Voice Would Reach You occupies wide-open yet elusive ambient terrain with Gas, Tim Hecker and The Sight Below, yet when taken with the album’s themes of loss and nightmarish conditions, its isolationist detachment adopts a sincere gravity of meaning in the plangent pall and cinematic strings of Red Jeweled Brooch and chokingly so by the time you catch windswept tears in Forgiven by the Light of Spring, whilst the entire B-side’s is spent on the arcing consolation of Depths of Spring, “ushering lost souls into a new childhood”.
Exciting new label Lost Futures tap “into the inherent idealism of rave” with this killer 1992 techno session by Arno Peeters, Sander Friedeman and Richard van der Giessen aka CultureClash, who were originally conceived at the behest of Irdial Discs’ Akin Fernandez for an hour long live performance on his Kiss FM show.
For the first time, that show has been edited to individual tracks and made available on vinyl, some twenty five years after various failed attempts to properly release its seminal slice of dancefloor history. Fans of Psychick Warriors Of Gaia, Underground Resistance, Muslimgauze or Utrecht’s U-Trax need to check this one, pronto!
Originally converging under the moniker, The Awax Foundation, the trio from Utrecht recombined their vast, personal reserves of ethnic and traditional music samples from across the world with an Atari 1040ST, a cheap mixing desk, synths and FX to effectively assuage techno’s increasingly masculine stomp. The results essentially picked up where their fellow countrymen, Psychick Warriors Of Gaia left with 1989’s tribalist EBM templates, pushing farther along those lines to a loose, driving, hypnotic sound which swerved accusations of “ethno-techno” appropriation thanks to their sincerity and results which have evidently stood the test of time.
CultreClash thus stands a temporal crossroads which perhaps resonates more with our modern times than any other. In 1992, a decade after the swell of new age, and years after the future-primitive thrust of Chicago house, or even Detroit guys fetishising Japanese electronics and synth-pop, the techno movement was in full flow, cosign to the grasp of white europeans who, on the one hand, wanted to make it more commercial, for bigger raves and the charts, while on the other hand, others wanted to explore its esoteric, aerobic mystic potential, such as these Dutch dudes.
The results of their endeavour form a killer set of DJ tracks and a necessary time capsule from that era, hingeing all kinds of mad polyrhythms, chants and sampled instrumental tones around rolling kicks and natty electronics. In the wrong hands that could have come out terribly, but these guys got it bang right with tracks like the febrile, heatsick ace Bad Dream, or like a tuffer NAD with the brooding NYC-Nonplace vibes of Mystic (House Dub) or the mesmerising acid fuss of U.U Inlands (Halal Edit) and the rolling breakbeat bustle of Zitarz, while making room for more spacious, wistful rave kisses in the sloshing, Muslimgauze-like Mama Africa and Asian Approach, or the sufi-esque dervish, Yatiyaña.
CultureClash weren’t the first and won’t be the last to try this sound, but they did it with timeless style and effect that totally deserves this reissue, which we can’t say about many other similar attempts.
One for the dreamers of the dream.
Compilation of new music from GETME! artists old and new including Lil Jabba, Becoming Real, Hello Skinny, Kit Grill and more.
"A mixed bag of sounds and genres with the likes of Kit Grill delivering his signature minimal sound, Hello Skinny jamming out with a jazz / funk flare, New York's Lil Jabba delivers his sinister mutant take on club music, Becoming Real takes us on a techno led work-out, Lixo explores tribal percussion and heavy grooves, Nicky Otter experiments with squelchy arpeggios and progressive synth lines whilst Erosion Flow soothes with ambient nuance and stripped back drums. Ten new tracks for ten formative years.
Run with love by Alex Hislop(AKA producer LIXO) GETME! has always been known for their brave and eclectic output. From it's humble beginnings as a club night in a West London pub in 2006 to now being one of the most well respected alternative institutions in the city, GETME! have long been pioneering music that isn't so easily definable."
Bristol’s No Corner celebrate 5 years of singular-minded dub mutations with a killer gangbang of classic and new, exclusive gear from El Kid (Sam Kidel), Asda, Seekersinternational, Spiritflesh, October, Jabu, Andy Mac & Ossia, Lurka, Lily, Hodge, October, O$VMV$M, Mark, Japan Blues and more.
Since its inception in 2012, No Corner the label has been a wide open meeting place for contemporary dubbers of all stripes, setting a rooted yet loosely mutable precedent that strongly echoes Bristol’s sound system heritage and is best defined as a product of that city’s post-punk, house and dubstep-drenched environment.
At 28 tracks wide, there’s a lot to take in, so we’ll head to our highlights. The Asda tracks by Seb Gainsborough (Vessel) and Chester Giles (Jabu) exemplify the breadth and dilated focus of the label somewhere between dub poetry, chamber music and concrète, best in the wist of The Desire for Light and Stars and Jubilant Songs, and no less in Japan Blues’ cracking, dub-weighted remix. Filter Dread’s Oddity meanwhile renders lushly vaporous traces of techno and up-to-the-second electronica, and Vessel’s Psychosis remix of We Need Mirrors by El Kid (Sam Kidel) spies a lesser heard, cranky niche of their industry-dub aesthetics, whereas Seekersinternational dub it hauntological on TekWeh.
However, the main thrust of the set leans towards recent, new and upcoming No Corner sounds, taking in the elusive smoke curls of Hodge’s Body Drive along with new introduction to the label such as Kinlaw with the hall-of-mirrors chords of d.3 Hash and Lurka on the weightless pressure of Friday Night Sit In The Dark, plus highly promising new projects in Spiritflesh’s echo chamber excursion, Ever Impending Doom, an exclooosey SKRS dub, TroubleRoundDiCorner, a steeply abstract one from Robin Stewart (Giant Swan), and the gully drill of Wu-Yen’s Splurge.
Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) and Jon Brooks (The Advisory Circle) metamorphosize into The Belbury Circle, incorporating their pal John Foxx on two tracks of Outward Journey.
Pulsing with proggy soft trance riffs and draped in nocturnal atmospheres, it’s one for driving your car late at night thru the conurbations, commuter villages and gentrified docklands of a pensive Brexit Britain, turning up two standout moments in the John Foxx-led highlights of Forgotten Town and the beautifully wistful Trees, with plenty of time of reflection over your milky tea on Café Kaput and the twinkly gaze of Departures Inc, with a wistful guitar solo worthy of an Alan Partridge-style despairing breakdown in a lay-by.
Cooked up especially for Samhain ’17, Croww nests a vanta-black tape of alchemical blends, special edits and original material with 'Heal Then Maim' for Faktion’s Reel Torque series.
Leading on from the decimated Slipknot mutations of Croww’s debut LP, Prosthetics for The Death of Rave, the mix encrypts a puzzlebox of ideas and themes ranging from British Murder Boys’ dalliance with Jim Jones, thru collisions of Mayhem and Conrad Schnitzler with Chino Anobi, to raging flashcore and junglist ballistics, wretching a phantasmagoric demonstration of the Manchester-based artist’s fiercely unique DJ style.
It simultaneously looks within and beyond the dance in a way that echoes the brvtalist tapestries of Rabit’s Halcyon Veil cohorts as much as the alternative timelines of Manchester’s afterhours culture. It’s a visceral meditation on body horror/body politics that crosses serrated lines between the dance, headphones and supernatural, noumenal dimensions, boldly following a non-linear path between expressive, out-of-body abstraction and kinaesthetic physicality with a confidence and vision beyond his years.
In a contemporary scene flooded with marketing/business students-as-artists and careerist DJs treating dances as focus groups, more power to Croww for having the nous to see thru it all and carve his own meta vectors across time and style. It ain’t for everyone, but those that know will go nuts for this tape.
After a long hiatus, Hyetal comes of age as a dance-pop artist in the mould of Jam City with ‘Youth & Power’, incorporating synths and songwriting by Gwilym Gold and post production by James Ginzburg (Emptyset).
"Coming together over three years since his critically acclaimed last album, Hyetal completes his transformation from off-kilter dance music producer to futurist pop visionary on Youth & Power. 'Previously my approach to writing music was very rooted in escapism,' says David Corney aka Hyetal. 'I began experiencing a sense of detachment in my life which led me to question how healthy this approach was. I wanted music to help me feel connected again.' Wrenching his music free from the 'confines of computer grids' and pushing melody to the forefront, Youth & Power's texturally rich, psychedelic palette is littered with live played synths, electric guitars, drum machines, processed noise and 'some under-loved 70s home keyboards' recorded at Hyetal's South London home studio.
'I'd describe it as experimental pop music,' says Hyetal. 'the sound is in part a return to music I was listening to as a kid, more song- and instrument-based.' Youth & Power is Hyetal's debut as a vocalist, also scrapping samples in favour of live instrumentation and hook-laden songwriting laced with myriad influences. 'I took some time out to teach myself how to sing using an app on my phone. At first I found my vocals worked best for me when there was some distance from the natural sound of my voice so everything was abstracted through a few different processes.' he explains, 'As I became more comfortable singing I decided I wanted to contrast this approach and use some natural sounding vocals that embraced the imperfections'. The album strikes a balance between robotic Kraftwerkian simplicity and soulful organic pop, contrasting the various pitch-shifting and abstracting vocal effects with sharply concise lyrics. Semblances of Hyetal's origins in Bristol's early dubstep movement are still present too, deep inside the album's meticulous rhythm beds. Elsewhere chiming retro keyboard notes and drum machine beats at times recall the likes of Yellow Magic Orchestra contrasting against waves of guitars and noise which bring to mind the influence of Bauhaus and other post punk experimentalists.
Written as a form of catharsis for Hyetal in his search to return his music from detachment, Youth & Power seeps a sense of hope. 'I found from a distance the most immediate workings of humanity can appear extremely brutal', says Hyetal, 'but when looking through this lens you miss the beauty that happens in the moment.'
After a period of silence and despair, British synth-wave group Natural Assembly returns and this time for Hospital Productions.
"The band has developed in their time off, pushing the atmosphere with the welcome addition of foreground cold guitar background-gaze vocals. A new version of their amazing underground classic track ‘When We Two Parted’ appears here reworked with new guitar modes. Natural Assembly has returned and the malaise carries on. You can see it in the eyes."
After almost a decade in incubation this incognito down-time project from two of the UK's most esoteric and fastidious purveyors of the "absolute obsolete" finally comes to fruition via a handful of club-recordings from carefully selected European events which were open minded enough to de-robe the audio-visual theatrical-trash / industrial-post-punk / battered-disco of La Stanza Nera.
Scraped from the shelves of hundreds of Minimal punk 45s, free-jazz unknowns 8mm reels, VHS tapes and repetitive mechanical funk Canty and Votel reveal an inverted side of their combined personality which has previously taken projects like the euphoric modular-electronic Neotantrik (featuring Suzanne Ciani and Bruno Spoerri) and longstanding Demdike Stare / Votel art collabs to almost every major city on the map.
Conceptually based around obscure art-house theatre and black-room cinematic dream sequences La Stanza Nera draws from a bottomless well of restrained uniformed film collages meshing trash cinema, agit-theatre, high-art and low-fidelity (in collaboration with Neotantrik's Andy Rushton) complete with a drum-heavy soundtrack of irreverent metallic disco and plastic punk... not exempt from the duo's stylistic bolt-holds of avant-garde noise and fringe-giallo sound effects).
Exacted with typified trail-and-error technique from seldom aired vinyl and cassette sources splicing treasure to trash and channelling tequila and tin-foil this series of unique one-off sporadic events and recordings come as a much welcomed outlet for Canty and Votel to combine the sleazier corners of their enviable record collections and provides an extra glimpse into the uncompromised reaches of this longstanding duo's private inverse-pop penchants.
Bombed-out power electronics by Rusty Kelley in his Country Club manner, new on Hospital Productions.
Launching combustible kicks against a wall of sampled voices, sirens, banking distortion and his own, throttled vocals calling for (or denouncing, we’re not sure) genocide and such. Proceed with caution!!!
Bittersweet, downbeat electronica ushered in careful, minimalist style with a pop appeal betraying the artist’s indie-pop background
““By restricting myself, I feel like I'm connecting with a larger arc of producers throughout time,” explains Leo Maymind. “People who were crammed into a corner of their bedroom with headphones on while the rest of the world was out gallivanting.”
Following nearly a decade entrenched into the Brooklyn DIY scene, a move to Los Angeles signalled a change in approach for Maymind, limiting his gear to a small tabletop hardware setup, sometimes as little as a single drum machine and a rackmount effects unit. Illumina is Maymind’s first full length release since this change of location and approach, focusing in on the liminal and transitional moments within the musical spectrum. The limited timbres across Illumina shift and evolve before your ears, each track unfolding at its own pace. Sometimes they reach a resolution; other times simply fading off into the ether.
“I think the commodification of music and having streaming available at all times has made listeners very impatient,” says Maymind, “even when it comes to ambient or drone music.” Illumina battles against this, the deep buried rhythms consistently getting disrupted by stray new percussive notes, or the gently sketched melodies getting spliced overhead, mutating into new textures. Inspired in part by his own stuttering problem, this element of aleatory interruption informs Maymind’s adroitly crafted minimalism on Illumina. “I wanted to make music that mirrored life more closely,” says Maymind. “Things cutting off sharply—life is full of twists and turns.””
Pompin’ teutonic techno riddled with playful nods to classic krautrock and Kölnisch ‘90s dance music...
“Hailing from Cologne, Mikrovolt is the nom de plume of music journalist and radio author Veit König. Recorded sporadically over the last six years, his first release I is the culmination of a hitherto undocumented musical journey. König has always made music for the last two decades, initially starting more pop-oriented before heading into a space disco direction, ultimately arriving at the retro-robotic synthesizer kraut of Mikrovolt’s I.
Assembled in his DAW from a host of vintage organ, mellotron, drum machine, and rhythm loop samples, König stays true to this music’s cybertronic roots, locking into epic robotic pulses that sprawl into futuristic jams. König colors the synthetic palette with guitar, harmonica, or other percussion when necessary, but it’s his dab-hand for driving grooves that defines the music here. While the influence of classic German acts like Neu!, Cluster or Kraftwerk is discernible, Mikrovolt’s sprawling minimalist grooves owe just as much to composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass, Italian horror movie soundtracks and the era of techno and electronica in which he grew up.”
Low-key, decayed and moody ambient electronica from Switzerland via Mexico City and Chicago.
“Recorded with a modest hardware setup in Geneva - one drum machine, a few synths, a sampler, plus effects - the ten miniatures on LEVELS’ debut S/T are nonetheless dense in atmosphere and mood, often immensely beautiful beyond their means. As suggested by the project’s name, each track has the feel of a new level on a video game; a new environment to explore, to feel around for new clues, and ultimately to conquer.
Referencing classic anime, movie, and videogame scores, LEVELS’ willfully minimal sound palette is designed to give the listener a cinematic sensation. The sparser and more lo-fi sounds on side A have the listener tentatively exploring futuristic new spaces, wandering hallways of ambient beds and kick drum heartbeats. However, the busier rhythms and crisper melodies of the second side tell of the action that happens next, picking up the pace for keyboard-heavy chases, drum machine action sequences, and some gorgeously redemptive emotional peaks.”
Following a decade playing bass for Disappears, Damon Carruesco aka TüTH forwards a more expressive solo sound with the meterless greyscale prangs and looming drone shadows of Transgression
“Aiming to search out his own limits, potential, and abilities as an artist, the atmospheric sounds on Transgression are Carruesco’s attempt to make atmospheric electronic music that exists outside of "the grid". Transgression draws from field recordings and hand-made sounds, taking key inspiration from brutalist architecture, the acousmatic music of Romanian composer Iancu Dumitrescu, and the passing of somebody very close to the artist. Throughout Transgression throbbing tones play out into cavernous otherworldly atmospheres, while bass demons collide with far icier synthesizers issuing moody melodic patterns.
The references for this deeply abstract music are few and far between - the most fractured and sparse dub, Tangerine Dream’s earliest primordial trips, György Ligeti’s creaking galactic symphonies - so with Transgression, TüTH has appeared as his very own, unique, and fully fledged new voice.”
Hayley Fohr tends to her Circuit Des Yeux alias after last year’s country excursion as Jackie Lynn, returning to relay a compelling tale about a pivotal, existential awakening she experienced in early 2016, all delivered via her signature vocal - somewhere between Nico, Diamanda Galas and Scott Walker - against a varied topography of brooding brass, stirring folk strings, arpeggiated keys and synths, and intermittent rocking squalls.
Reaching For Indigo is arguably set to become a modern classic in the same vein as her In Plain Speech [2015, Thrill Jockey] record, mostly thanks to a number of standout songs such as the plaintive power of Brainshift and Black Fly at its prow, and the natural, dreamlike possession of her swelling Geyser beauty and the free-floating kosmiche elegy, Falling Blonde.
It takes some sort of special virtue to make an indie-folk record that doesn’t sound super cliché nowadays, and evidently Circuit Des Yeux has it in abundance.
Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen's Kiamos duo follow their 2012 debut 12" with a fully fledged LP of posh dance music.
Both artists approach the project from similar angles, marrying mutual taste for mnml tech-house rhythms with more mannered neo-classical sensibilities. It includes the previous single track, 'Thrown' plus seven new compositions, at best in the elegant swing of 'Swayed' and the melancholic electro-house shuffle of 'Bent'. "“We decided to start almost completely over with this record, so most of the material is written this year with the idea of making a record that can stand as one piece rather than a collection of songs. I am very excited to get a proper record out exploring a different territory than I am used to. I touch a lot on electronic genres in my own music but never have the opportunity to go full out electronic like we do here.” – Ólafur Arnalds. “
The Kiasmos project has been around since 2009, but because of all our other projects we never really got the time to sit down and write all the tracks we always wanted to. So when we early this year finally found the time to sit down and make a full length album there was so much we wanted to try out. The result surprised us a bit, it's deeper and more emotional than we imagined it to be, but that's the beauty of being able to make an album.” – Janus Rasmussen"
A 45 minute mix of previously unreleased Untold productions with a 45 minute studio-recorded live PA by Duckett, following on from Hodge and Don’t DJ’s initial edition.
Untold runs the gamut of lop-sided techno, digi-dancehall drops, pneumatic grime and deconstructed club stuff drawn from no less than 25 unreleased dubs on his side.
Duckett draws for a special, studio-recorded live PA on his turn, wiggling thru spades of slinky minimal tech-house and bleeping, grubbing electronic mutations.
Co-founder of Berlin’s Fith, Enir Da saddles up a brooding “imaginary soundtrack” featuring his bandmate Dice Miller’s vocals on one track, but mainly exploring a forlorn instrumental solo sound strung out somewhere between the intros of GY!BE, the Western filmic influences of Monte Cazzazza, or the dustbowl atmospheres of Jon Porras.
Definitely one for those who like to sketch full scenes on the back of their eyelids while in darkened rooms, Accalmie conjures an impending tension across its 38 minute span, animation the sort of sound that comes from a lifetime absorbed by the subtleties and enigmatic emotive signposts of underground and classic cinema and its soundtracks.
Reverberating guitars, electronic contours and stripped percussion frame its seven parts, arching up with a blood red dawning vibe with the horizon-scanning guitar jangle and cantering drums of Desert, teasing tape loops into slow swirling dust devils around Dice Miller’s gently plangent vocals in How I See You, and seemingly diffusing her into dynamics gasps around the electronically swept L écume, whilst the honky swagger of Present suggest some kind of quizzical saloon scene, and Sky and Colours smartly ties it all together with an uncertain, dreamlike resolution of scrabbly electronics and minor key molasses bass shift.
The erstwhile wild man of Can captured in full flight, backed by the best Berlin had to offer that night.
“Damo Suzuki in performance with Château Laut, recorded at Ausland, Berlin, 30.iv.2010 by Stephan Laackman.
Château Laut's Stefan Fähler writes: I contacted Damo in 2009. He didn't reply immediately and at one point I just forgot about it… So, it was a huge surprise when he replied, exactly a year to the day later, explaining his email's calendar was weird and he had only just now received my mail. Quickly, we arranged all details for our concert-to-be.
We first met a couple of months later, at the airport. We picked him up in the morning and were stoned just an hour later in our kitchen. The energy for the whole day was so peaceful and warm. On the way to soundcheck we saw barricades and police vans on the streets in readiness for 1 May – a date famous in Berlin for rioting and protest. We joked about this predictable riot, marked in calendars for all to see.
The gig at Ausland proceeded organically. We shared many beautiful moments, both on and off stage. Damo was so much into the atmosphere and the crowd that, after our main set, we went on-stage a second time. Afterwards, we crashed at our place, downing a couple of whiskeys before going to sleep, happy.
We kept in touch. He became something close to a spiritual mentor for me. He gave us contacts around the globe for travels and put me in touch with many nice people. He once said to me, one of the most important things in life is to travel. We were glad he stopped by our place on his journey. – Stefan Fähler, Berlin, 23.viii.2017”
Mesmerising instrumental blues duets from Toronto’s Kevin and Patrick Cahill, whose symbiotic, fraternal connection is beautifully self-evident on this, their 2nd tape for the UK’s blues obsessives at the Death Is Not The End label.
On Fayet the brothers regale a quietly captivating narrative or dialogue in two extended parts, gently stereo panned - or just recorded that way - in a hushed but urgent back and forth that leads us upriver, across mountain trails and inside the log cabin of their shared mind.
One for autumn days with the rambleman.
Jay Glass Dubs melts Guerrilla Toss’ hyperactive post punk styles into air on this killer overhaul of tracks from the Boston band’s GT Ultra LP with DFA, resulting a spellbinding sound holding etheric space between Maximum Joy and Golden Teacher, for example.
If you know anything of either act, you’ll be aware of the gulf between their respective styles. And while it’s maybe fair to say that Guerrilla Toss have refined their sound slightly for the new DFA release, when compared with the zaniness of their Tzadik, NNA Tapes and Feeding Tube Records releases, Jay Glass Dubs has radically diffused their mad energy into something practically unrecognisable, far more elusive here.
Like Mad Professor with Massive Attack or Dennis Bovell with Golden Teacher, the selected song structures of GT Ultra are progressively dissolved and and sublimated in the echo chamber in a woozy declension from the D&B-style intro and thunderous pressure of Skull Dub to the nagging, almost Forest Swords-like plangency and steppers roil of String Dub, then coming to pool in the horizontal scan of TV Do Dub, and letting it all ride out for ten minutes of reclined trip-hop in Can I Get The Real Dub.
The curious label arm of Lucerne’s zweikommasieben magazine, Präsens Editionen introduce local artist Bella Winnewisser and Berlin’s L. Zylberberg with this trippy little split tape, making up the label’s 10th release after scattershot releases ranging from a Raime lathe cut to a C60 by Robert Turman.
Both artists are new names to us, at least, and PE-010 gives a subtly enigmatic account of esoteric sounds that should lure listeners you farther down their respective rabbitholes.
Lucerne’s Belia Winnewisser blesses the A-side with a brooding three part suite of concrete electronics and vocals that speak to her background in goth unit Evje as well as the darkwave duo a=f/m with Rolf Laurels, who has previously released on Präsens Editionen. Belia’s Mattress of Wire is a dank display of bruised toms, keening drone and eerie strings, like Bourbonese Qualk at a tea dance with The Caretaker, whereas the percolated ambient steppers drums and choral motifs of Voices comes across like Karen Gwyer meets Kara-Lis Coverdale, and the stark mix of industrial and new age elements in My Life Is Your History feels like a blissed out Burial Hex piece.
The B-side is taken by Chatter from L. Zylberberg, a regular at Berlin parties; Sameheads, Griessmühle, O Tannenbaum. Hers is 15 minutes of ethereal kosmiche electronics with a certain sylvan quality, like strolling a secret garden of artificial flora under synthetic moonlight.
For fxck’s sake, Ste Spandex mind-dumps his debut album on Cerberus Future Technologies: the home-baked label home to his myriad, nefarious disco activities involving Licking Mirrors, The Zest and Montauk Boys (which could get you locked up in some countries if done at the same time).
The Video Collection follows Spandexedrine’s pair of EP’s for Red Laser Records, and one for Tusk Wax, with 17 tracks harvested from recording sessions at The Brown House and The Boneyard over the last 5 years, including a handful of guest vocals by his bae Sarah Bates and pal Crispy Duck.
Huffing influence from Detroit, Chicago, New York and Brescia, as well as the last 30 years of Manchester club/disco history, he turns gold into potent crud, most often improvised on banks of vintage (read: a bit knackered) hardware and all recorded direct to VHS - Jamal Moss style - for that crudest, shabby chic crunch.
That said, these are some of the smartest, punchiest cuts in his special medicine cabinet, roving from the Italo/dub techno hybrid of Mother Tiger, thru strapping EBM torque in Untitled, to bandy-legged cosmic dub in Orgone Matrix Material and with two highlights in the aforementioned vocal pieces, namely the DMT-affected whorl of Ducky’s First Blast, and particularly Sarah’s spot on the chugging boogie flare, Got To Give The People (Album edit).
African Ghost Valley gets right down to the nub of it with DMIR, a dubwise package of prolapsed rhythmic noise rumble and atonality perhaps best described as the bridge between Thought Broadcast, Uon and Wanda Group.
DMIR is dub-noise in effect. Luring us in with the unheimlich mystery of Curo’s moist, gravelly ginell, he offers scant handrails inside, with the oceanic NK only offering the faintest, plasmic resonance of scudding dub chords to keep your head above, before Tanz consumes all light into its viscous black mass.
Viv finds him inverting that aesthetic as easily as he shifted shape between the first two, leaving us in eviscerated sci-fi terrain to be welcomed by the first light of a phosphorescing harmonic presence, then DMIR slydes along that scale into denser, overgrown noise, smothering the chords until then glint there in the last strokes, where Timothy appears as the most tangible silhouette of murky, acidic ambient dub recalling Helm’s Olympic Mess sound.
Uncannily Coil-esque meditation aid from Cera Khin & Ossia, reprising their duo heard on the sold-out Blue Baboon [JSMË, 2016] mixtape, but this time with a dangerously heavy-lidded appeal perhaps best received during chemsex come-downs or particularly tedious, packed-out commutes for optimal effect.
The first product of Cera Khin and Ossia’s Lazy Tapes, Guided Meditation is just that: a suite of sounds for the moments after your head has (or wants to) hit the pillow; meshing slopped ’n screwed vocals in an Alvin Lucier-meets-DJ Screw style on a stygian descent into the sandman’s hands, which just happen to be plastered in rubble and fragments of metal as the trip becomes denser and slips your lucid dream past possible hyping jerk triggers to a sort of burial at sea by the time it finishes.
Where the collaboration ends, Cera Khin picks up with her first solo material. On Frogs In My Bed she commits a bleak tract of echoic croaks and wide-open spatial dimensions recorded on a trip to Tunisia, proving a real patience and sleight of hand when it comes to dream-state atmospheres. Ants Don’t Have Lungs follows with a stranger blush of anaesthetised, chromatic convolution collaged from field recordings into a steeply hallucinogenic finale with an effect that Coil would surely have approved of.
Originally released in 1991 as a limited run of 100 self distributed cassette tapes.
The 5 tracks touch upon Ambient, Dub, House and Balearic styles and show an ambition to create timeless music in the vein of Ultramarine and The Orb. 25 years later these songs finally reach a wider audience....on cassette, again....
Memorias Vol.1 - Bugandan Sacred Places is based on a series of recordings made by Ross Alexander in 2016 at sites of sacred importance to the Bugandan Kingdom and other associated clans.
"These recordings were combined with recorded sounds from urban Kampala, extracts from a recording session with musician Albert Sempeke and the sounds of a Nilotika Collective drum circle. Further notes and tones were added using the Yamaha DX7 and programmed FM synthesis.With deepest thanks and praise to the people of Uganda, Albert, JaJa and the Nilotika collective, Arlen, Derek, Richie Tevin, Vincent the driving king, Nessim and the Nyege Nyege tribe! Love is peace, and freedom is harmony! "
Vicki Bennett’s People Like Us in often hilarious effect with 30 minutes of collaged Early Radio Works prodding the soft, protruding underbelly of talk radio, radio plays, and MoR music stations.
All material on the 1st was collaged from recordings made between 1992 & 1999 - Originally released on Lowest Common Dominator (1994), Jumble Massive (1996), Beware The Whim Reaper (1996), Lassie House (1997), Thermos Explorer (2000) & A Fistful of Knuckles (2000) - and the 2nd comes from her Guide To Broadcasting (1994) & Thermos Explorer (2000).
Miami’s Marks pulls back to Coyote Records with a wickedly cold, stripped-down fusion of footwork, drill and grime components. Coming off the back of his Green EP in 2016, this one goes shades darker and ropes in Spokes on a stellar cyberpunk trap remix.
Drain is an icily perfect example of Afro-Cuban drum patterns applied to eerie grime/drill dimensions; South Cold glares with dissonant synths and hard-bitten, reticulated percussion on a tight-belly halfstep[/triplet waltz; Lantern and Dash are like schizzy sides of the same coin - like medieval themes for snow-slinging trap baws.
What those riddims perhaps lack ion spatial sophistication, Spokes makes up for with a staggering remix of Drain that sounds like it was ripped right out of the upcm,going Bladerunner OST, framing the original deeper in-the-mix against snarling brass flares and reverb contrails, precipitating a toxic shower of Salem or Araabmuzik-style hardstyle/trap rhythms.
Cosmogony was commissioned by and created for ina GRM and features 45 minutes of brand new and exclusive Demdike material based on, inspired by and making use of GRM’s extensive archive. This is Demdike at the top of their game: a harrowing and brilliant set of collage-pieces splicing sampled fragments with newly composed material.
"We were asked by Ina GRM to create a performance for their yearly festival Presence Electronique, exploring their archive of phenomenal avant garde releases using our own GRM records. In essence the material here features sections of releases by Pierre Henry, Bernard Parmegiani, Guy Reibel and many others interwoven with our own improvisations using two elektron octatracks, various effects units (Eventide h3000, Time factor, Space, Ekdahl Moisturiser, and Akai MFC42) and two technics 1210's.
We planned for certain channels to be mixed across GRM's unique Acousmonium system, (a unique surround sound setup) complete with GRM’s software Tools at our disposal. This allowed us to send and modulate certain sounds and effects to any point around the venue, which were throughout. The full sonic potential of the Acousmonium can't be replicated on tape unfortunately!"
Demdike Stare, 2017
Violence seemingly refreshes the proggy, avant chops of John Zorn and Mr. Bungle for the PTP gang and post-genre, anti-banger kids in 2017
“Olin Caprison, a visual artist and multi-instrumentalist originally hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, composes and performs all aspects of the VIOLENCE project. Compositionally, each of their songs fearlessly disrupts any notions of genre division – creating a universe that is equal parts at-home in the realms of noise, rap, industrial, and the more extreme deviations of metal. Lyrically, VIOLENCE meditates on the oppressive nature of history, and explores ideas of archetypal memory and the stigmas which come with those memories.
"The focus of 'Human Dust to Fertilize the Impotent Garden' is the overwhelming quality of history's perpetual occurrence. My palette consists of the shattered micro-architecture of an unprejudiced, undiscerning, cosmopolitan, anti-culture massive music archive. A piece of this, a piece of that. The shattered remains of the ‘genre’, utilizing the mythopoeia behind each cultural movement to fight for meaning, schizophrenic terror, where you can’t tell which real aspect of a life coincides with which narrative, which model, or which came first. This music is a struggle. It is a struggle from within this anti-history vacuum, a struggle against the all-embracing, multicultural, ahistorical ecosystem of contemporary music that renders all hierarchies impotent and null.””
Altered States Tapes and Creep Dreams proprietor Cooper Bowman unspools a greyscale thread of unsteady loops and fizzing synthesis on Resistance Restraint after self-releasing Six Loops [For Gregorian Sweepstakes] and Isle Of Isms with Berlin’s Portals Editions already in 2017.
In its free, keening structure, gritty plasmic texture and off-kilter feels, Maud Variations feels very much like a partner piece to Bowman’s Portals Editions release. Cleft in six, the pieces seem to expand, contract and dissolve with a combination of elastic and viscous qualities; thrumming rhythms ooze and slosh in tarry sequence, convecting vaporous harmonic and dissonant overtones as noxious/alluring as fresh bitumen infused with valerian.
With subtly curious effect, it all serves to convey s fine range of emotive sensation, from somnolent drowsiness to paralysingly pensive tension and melancholic enigma recalling Arca’s heartsore electronic hymns as much as Helm’s discomfiting concrète ambience.
A proper bobby dazzler, this; DJ Finn ramps his favourite regional U.S. heroes - DJ Technics, Jammin Gerald, Rod Lee, DJ Tameil, Dukeyman and more - to a hi-energy 150bpm, regardless of their original tempo, and the results are just fucking irresistible, really.
It’s a concept and tempo close to our tachycardic hearts and executed with all the enviable adroitness we’d expect from one of the baddest yung DJs in Manchester and beyond. One for the whip!
DBA catch a batch of off-the-cuff house experiments with some canny results calling Jamal Moss in full flow, or Legowelt going eyes-shut in the studio...
“Hamburg's Achim Maerz arrives on DBA with an expansive twelve track package. Split across a 12 ep and a cassette, 'Experiments' is a collection of live, improvised house jams recorded in the summer of 2015 in the artist's home studio. The title refers to the fast and rough recording of the material, with the aim of catching a mood before process and self-awareness take over. Fans of Maerz' previous releases on the essential Wake Up! label amongst others will immediately recognise his trademark, ethereal house sound.”
Hamburg’s Phil Struck joins Quiet Time Tapes’ somnolent series with a steeply acousmatic session of grayscale tones and organic electronics that feels like the results of Basic House on a febrile bender with Helm in Wanda Group’s basement, which just happens to have a secret hatch into Henry Spencer’s apartment.
Found in a half light between lo-fi, small sound scrabble and ambient queasy listening, QTT5 unfolds in eight parts along the reel’s ∞ axes, dragging the listener across the tapehead from the reclaimed mechanical ambience of 24, to zoom in on Black To Comm-alike sci-fi dankness in Telescope and document some arcane game involving rusty pipes and seagulls in CCLT, before bathing in puddled new age tones with Untitled.
Rosegate opens the B-side at a more abstract angle with piercing string glissandi, waterlogged chords and spasming electronics like something that escaped from Actress’ studio late at night, before the beautiful, mirage like Amber hovers into view like a Huerco S vision, dissipating into the noxious atmospheric swamplands of Delta and the bittersweet harmonic resolution of Oaoa at its perimeter.
The sense of ambiguity is strong and key to the appeal of QTT5, which operates right on that jagged line between OOBEy detachment, romantic introspection and discomfiting yet compelling sensations of “maybe I shouldn’t be here, but…”
NYC’s Solpara keeps Quiet Time Tapes’ ambient agenda mutable and off-kilter with a lucid dream of alternately crisp and melting hyaline structures following releases for Nico Jaar’s Other People, and his own Booma Collective label.
Where his previous releases explored rugged strains of techno, here he follows his instincts along more abstract lines of enquiry on a roaming dérive from subterranean chromatic whorls in Psyzch to the fluffy electronica charms of Dodokéhidra, traversing thru lushly resonant sound sculptures recalling Phil Julian’s Relay CD such as Broken Turbine and the algorithmic chain reaction of Ego Death, to find a contemplative centre in Meditation of the Wounds and a contrasting, piquant counterpoint of distorted, crystalline design in Aguirré.
The 2nd half seems to flow with more urgency, lurching into action with the panicky Brush Leaves and possibly pointing to his Lebanese heritage with the rapid, tar-like twang of Fungi In Communication and the recalling the strange metastable states of Aught’s Xth Reflexion or Anòmia/Hospital Production’s Exoteric Continent, then settling down into the pointillist minuet of Ristretto, which almost feels like a orchestration of dripping taps in an abandoned, glazed tile-clad restroom at the bowels of the city.
Here it is, kids: volume 1 of Kyle Dixon & Michel Stein’s widely adored soundtrack to Stranger Things Season 1; all 36 tracks, 68 minutes of its synthy feels.
From the cute charms of Castle Byers to the ethereal theme of Eleven and the pensive quantum dynamics of The Upside Down Now you can relive all your favourite scenes, only sans Winona Ryder’s melodramatic gurns and the creepy hairline of Matthew Modine.
We recommend shaving your head, building a fort and inviting your mates around for a spot of psychokinesis while you consume this collection.
The Second Volume of the ‘Stranger Things’ OST.
"Volume Two seamlessly wanders through the 80s world of ‘Stranger Things’, breeding an unthreatening serenity with a gentle shift toward a darker mood. Floating between sweeter moments which temporarily blossom amidst the danger and decay, VolumeTwo is the second part of the ‘Stranger Things’ score, reaching climactic highs as the series comes to an end.
This soundtrack is instantly reminiscent of works by John Carpenter (‘Halloween’, ‘The Thing’), Tangerine Dream and Vangelis (‘Blade Runner’), whilst also delving into the ambience of Aphex Twin and more modern composers such as Cliff Martinez (‘Drive’, ‘Solaris’)."
Diagonal’s Elon Katz (Streetwalker, White Car) and Robert Girardin (Jaws, Sex Boys) couple up as Zero Grow for a tuff-playing, wonkily psychoacoustic batch of techno screwballs landing somewhere between Physical Therapy or Actress on their “pseudo-debut” 0g - self-described as a “tongue-in-cheek draft on electronic music’s metaphysics in the age of media accelerated liberalism.”
Swerving common tropes in favour of mutant, off-kilter tones, 0g has little aspiration for “brand platform or big rooms” as they put it, with production specifically attuned to “the spaces of the individual like headphones, automobiles and laptop speakers”, which is both astutely contemporary and yet fairly unique in its intentions, for techno or dance music, at least.
In that sense, 0g plays out a funky analysis or reflection of dance music’s current condition, where breathless mix-downs disrupt the democracy of sensuality and automated FX perhaps encourage a solipsistic homogeneity that refers to nothing beyond the end of its nose, whether thru ignorance or just plain stupidity, we’re not sure.
Through the EP’s seven parts, Katz and Girardin find routes beyond those binds to express a strangely absorbing narrative kicking off with the fierce velocity and insectoid disturbances of Angel Motto and taking in cranky, breakbeat-laced slugs such as Play Dead Baby and the febrile tribalism Johanis, making turns into deeper, Actress-like house abstraction on Ddeok, and invasively psychoacoustic techno with Brick People, before Coughin’ collapses into fizzy bass murk, and checking out at a squirmy IDM angle of Final S.
Make no mistake, the theory never gets in the way of the tunes or their effect, but it does come thru in the level of detail and subtly off-kilter drive.
Bokeh Versions finds Equiknoxx and Modern Love soundman daggering with crampons in Glacial Dancehall II, following Jay Glass Dubs’ lead with a side each of ruggedly slow, warped riddims and noise.
Coming after a busy year of releases for Modern Love and his Editions Gravats label, Paris-based Low Jack flips classic and lesser-known Jamaican riddims in his own, acidic style for 30 minutes of screwed ‘90s bashment, diffused steppers and duppied electronics that rudely smudge the divide between edit, remix and version.
Time Cow’s B-side wickedly follows suit with a more frayed, freakier adjunct to his Equiknoxx output alongside Gavsborg for Swing Ting and DDS, coughing up five loosely sprawling pieces that push dancehall into abstract, electroid terrain between the grungy slam of Yellow and Purple Equals Yurple, and the echo chamber collapse of How They Clap In North Korea.
No doubt this will sellout in a flash. Run come get it!