Beguiling debut from Rupert Clervaux, the London-based composer, musician and writer who has cropped up on excellent collaborations with Beatrice Dillon and Charles Hayward over the last few years, and before that with Sian Alice Group and Spring Heel Jack. It’s the 2nd release on new label, Laura Lies In following Native’s opening gambit in 2016.
Zibaldone I Of CVX is the first in a series of LPs from Clervaux taking their name and inspiration from the title of 19th c. Italian poet, Giacomo Leopardi’s extensive notebooks, which serve as a strong analogy for the oneiric, personalised schematic of Clervaux’s music, unfolding here as a seamless, almost stream-of-consciouness collection of “sketches, vignettes and musical footnotes”, as the label put it.
Coiled in five parts over two sides, but without any gaps in the sequence, the swirling pads and mutlitracked female vocals of Zibaldone I’s entrance feels the intro to some romantic psych flick, comparable with Francesco Cavaliere’s Gancio Cielo volumes, before the rolling drums tilt into a passage of remarkably heavy, rhythmelodic swing and then diffuse into a glowing drone ether.
Sampled male voices mark time as the drums return in side B, grooving smartly and unpredictably until its all swiped away and we’re left in wide open, late night pastoral scenes, almost as if he’s just recollected and condensed a strange summer day’s journal entry into 16 minutes of music.
The combination of Rupert Clervaux’s noted studio expertise - he’s done technical work for everyone from Spiritualized to John Butcher and Space Afrika - his innate rhythmic suss, and carefully considered style of composition bely the surreal, dream-like nature of his subtle transitions and really make this album one to remember.
Rampant, proggy synth missions for hirsute space cadets
“Fresh off his tours supporting Mogwai and S U R V I V E, Majeure returns with a blistering EP of seemingly limitless synth textures and seemingly endless drum fills. Majeure – the solo moniker of Zombi and Contact cofounder, A.E. Paterra – has built a reputation as one of North America’s most interesting purveyors of synth-based rock music. Often overlooked is the fact that Paterra is also one of the world’s premiere prog-rock drummers, a fact that is emphatically obvious on Apex. Over the course of three songs stretching nearly a half hour in length, Apex is an audacious, exhilarating exercise in maximum minimalism – a disorienting journey between dystopian reality and vintage video game illusion.”
Tristan Bath’s indispensable cassette scene digest, the Spool’s Out column for The Quietus and radio show for Resonance FM, now becomes a label in its own right with Spool’s Out, Vol.1: n o w > e v e r collecting 26 songs - over 2 hours of music - drawn from their international rhizome of ferric fetishists.
It’s always great to be introduced to a swathe of artists who’ve never crossed your radar, and they’re in abundance here, with some strong green pings bubbling up in the likes of USA Nails’ blunted No Wave on Except Himself; a decaying ambient transmission from Poland’s Mikroporosty; The Leaf Library’s lonely Grouperism; and Stuart Chalmers’ Live Zither Explorations #2 (Spool’s Out Session), although we’ve heard his stuff before on ONO, but it’s worth pointing out his beautiful track!
Amazing 1983 album produced by Adrian Sherwood and featuring members of Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, Family Fodder, African Head Charge, London Underground and Art Interface for a groundbreaking dub industrial masterpiece.
"In the summer of 1983, Annie began work at Southern Studios on what would be her first full length endeavor which encompassed all of her creative assets at that time. Employing the expertise of legendary dub producer Adrian Sherwood to realize this vision, Annie pulled together members of Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, Family Fodder, African Head Charge, London Underground and Art Interface to recordher groundbreaking dub industrial masterpiece.
Upon its initial release by the unofficial Crass off- shoot label Corpus Christi in 1984, Soul Possession started the avalanche of activity that would include dozens of releases and collaborations with Nurse WithWound, Coil, Current 93, Swans and Marc Almond Dais Records proudly reissues “Soul Possession” on vinyl for the first time in over 30 years in a limited edition pressing featuring the original artwork by Eve Libertine . NON-RETURNABLE. Many influential characters graced the stage of Max’s Kansas City within the creative zeitgeist of New York City during the late 1970’s, but one local native named Annie Bandez thrust herself into the downtown scene with her punk ensemble Annie and the Asexuals, establishing her nom de plume Annie Anxiety(later known as “Little Annie”) and colliding head-on with the social norms of contemporary punk culture entangling the city at that time.
After a couple years of disintegrated pursuits in New York, Annie relocated to England, finding herself at the doorstep of the famed anarchro-commune Dial House headed by activist Penny Rimbaud. It was here thatAnnie Anxiety established herself as a singular artist and voice with her debut 1981 single “Barbed Wire Halo” on seminal Crass Records and forging a creative alliance with Crass members Penny Rimbaud and Eve Libertine. As the landscape of punk in the United Kingdom was shifting towards a more diverse,multicultural focal point, artists such as Annie Anxiety found themselves exploring musical signatures in styles such as dub reggae and rocksteady."
The first new album by Grails in six years, featuring members of Om and delivering a widescreen opus influenced by Western film scores, obscure library music, and psychedelic krautrock...
"Produced by the band over the past five years, Chalice Hymnal bears some of the European psych and experimental hip-hop production techniques of founding members Alex Hall and Emil Amos' other group, Lilacs & Champagne. Amos' meditative metal band, Om, and longtime singer-songwriter project, Holy Sons, also naturally find their way into the Chalice cauldron.
Rounding out their leaner line-up, cofounder Zak Riles (also of experimental kraut-psych trio, Watter) layers finger-picked acoustic guitars into a prog-folk hybrid that pushes Grails further into the deep end, displaying a profound resonance, both musically and emotionally. No one else sounds like Grails, and on Chalice Hymnal they sound more like themselves than ever before."
Call Soops delivers his first official mix CD, weaving together a sumptuous 24-track selection for those “in need of undulating epiphanies” that spans Objekt, Convextion, Yves Tumour, Jega and more.
Recently seen moonlighting as Ondo Fudd and Elmo Crumb for some fine TTT deviations, Joe Seaton returns to his Call Super alias and hands a #saved fabric “a Polaroid of my way of mixing records.” Seaton’s developed a stealthy reputation as a selector these past few years, be it in numerous podcasts, alone in the booth or alongside Objekt under their infrequent Everything Is True banner. Given his close ties to Houndstooth, it is no surprise to see Call Super invited into the fabric hall of fame; and what a mix this is.
Apparently one of 28 live takes Seaton recorded, this 24-track mix displays his innate understanding of the last several decades of electronic music heritage, brilliantly obfuscating the edges of late ‘90s cuts from the Photek and Bushwacka archives, pairing Yves Tumour PAN ballads with the delicate tones of Max Loderbauer, or dropping vintage Convextion in between newer cuts from Bruce and Karen Gwyer.
The opening triplet sets the tone as Seaton finds common ground between the polymetric percussion and dub abstractions of last year’s Paralaxe Editions blinder from Rupert Clerveaux and Beatrice Dillon, Wolfgang Voigt’s late ‘90s project M:I:5 and vintage turn of the century Jan Jelinek. His craft is further displayed in the manner that a Paleo-enhanced Dresvn cut gets submerged in Objekt’s all conquering The Stitch-Up, how Don’t DJ rubs shoulders alongside a reunited Flanger or the revelation of shared sonic DNA between archival Jega and Shanti Celeste’s swooning Future Times debut.
One of the best fabrics in a long while.
In the deeply absorbing Organism for German avant-garde label, Karlrecords, Iranian artist Porya Hatami deftly tempers the sweeter tendencies of Berlin’s Arovane to realise some of the subtlest, most elusive material in either’s catalogue.
Taking shape as a series of 19 silty arabesques, each parts feel as though it was sketched in sand and oil, full of shifting patterns that slosh and evolve with a sort of gauzy brownian motion in elemental electronic microcosms.
You can feel Arovane’s intricate harmonic urges practically deferred and diffracted by Hatami’s abstract, granular processing, if effect perpetually staving off the ghosts of convention and keeping the arrangement’s emotive impact wonderfully intangible, only occasionally allowing more discernible melodic and harmonic forms to rise to the surface, before smudging them back into the piece’s quantum flux.
Maybe best to imagine yourself as a single particle flushed thru their system, detached of any handrails and left to the inherent logic of the Organism itself.
RIYL Xenakis, Jim O’Rourke & Kassel Jaeger, Anthony Manning
On a real roll right now, Bureau B cook up a killer retrospective for Xao Seffcheque, the Düsseldorf-based Austrian artist with a mean line in NDW persiflage, coming hot on the heels of their excellent Sammlung - Elektronische Kassetenmusik, Düsseldorf 1982 - 1989 survey and Conrad Schnitzler’s Filmmusik volumes - some of the labels best in years!
Between 1980-82, Alexander Sevschek a.k.a. Xao Seffcheque was responsible for a run of outstanding (if overlooked) releases combining synths, drum machines and playful vocals in a genuinely punkish snook at the rising wave of NDW bands such as DAF, Liaisons Dangereuses and Palais Schaumburg. This prodding, sardonic attitude - manifest in a fake compilation of covers, Sehr Gut Kommt Sehr Gut and the rollicking Ja - Nein - Veillicht (Yes - No - Maybe), which includes the amazing Du und ich - may have assuaged Seffcheque’s commercial success, but left us with a body of work which perhaps endures so strongly in the modern world because of it.
We were first alerted to the stonking anomaly Du und ich by a Powell DJ set, which makes a lot of sense as both artists approach their respective wave style with a similar blend of nonchalance, adroit talent and prodding humour. That deadly cut is included in this set tucked next to select aces from Gut Kommt Sehr Gut (1981) and Ja - Nein - Veillicht (1981), taking in the revved-up and say jag of Good Friends (feat. Julie Jigsaw), which sounds like some long lost NYC no wave gem, plus rabid rock ’n roll in Pogo à Gogo, and a totally messed up take on The Residents in Why We Hate the Residents, and likewise with DAF in the rictus gibber of Sample & Hold (Wer bitter I’m Munde hat, kana night süßpricken).
Compare this stuff yourself with anything else from that era and it’s patently more unhinged, daft than practically anything else coming out of the Ruhr in the really ‘80s, yet you get the underlying sense that he did made this music because it matters. But then again, he might just be taking the piss? Ambiguity is the spice o’ life!
RIYL Powell, V/Vm, Felix Kubin
Leith newcomer Joshua Sabin moulds the sounds of transit into something quite unique on this killer debut album for Subtext.
Few other labels right now are close to Subtext when it comes to genuinely engaging, rewarding exercises in concept and sound design, and their dominance continues with this rather special album from Joshua Sabin.
Terminus Drift explores how the digital age is impacting on our relationship with our surroundings, and presents Sabin as an intrepid sound explorer with field recorder by his side. A series of trips through Kyoto, Tokyo and Berlin as well as some electromagnetic fields closer to home were inspiration for Sabin, amassing field recordings of ‘sirens reverberating through station tunnels, fluctuating harmonics of subway engines, echoing tannoy systems.
It's the manner in which Sabin manipulates these sounds exclusively and moulds them into a body of work that smacks you in the face with its other dimensional qualities which particularly impresses on Terminus Drift. The ghostly remnants of a tannoy are just about discernible on the opening title track, but the shrill, crystalline dub techno fractures of U12 will have you scratching your head and wondering how he made it.
A rather neat push and pull from moments of calm and foreboding danger is present throughout - perhaps best encapsulated on the mind melting Vivo Wish - and the album suggests Sabin is quite the talent.
RIYL Emptyset, Sa Pa, Sam Kidel, Klara Lewis, WANDA GROUP.
Jens Lekman describes his new record, ‘Life Will See You Now’, playfully but also honestly, as “a midlife-crisis disco album; it’s an existentialist record, about seeing the consequences of your choices.”
"‘Life Will See You Now’ is a typical Lekman album in several ways - sly humour is key to its heartfelt nature, it inverts pop’s writing norm by making songs with sad concerns sound happy and songs with a happy subject sound sad and it plays with notions of identity and the self.
However, as the title suggests, it also represents a significant move forward, as if across a threshold. It’s the more expansive, upbeat sound of a revitalised Lekman who is just one of many characters in his new stories about the magic and messiness of different kinds of relationships."
Documenting a particularly possessed Helm, seemingly performing from the eye of a lush sandstorm, live in Cairo, 2015
Alter come through with this crucial companion piece to Helm’s killer Olympic Mess album on PAN from last year. Recorded at the Rawabet Theatre in Cairo in late 2015, this five-track cassette captures Luke Younger deep into an extensive pan-continental tour in the months following the release of Olympic Mess. Younger was clearly caught in a voodoo that night, as this recording draws you right into a maelstrom of sonic bliss, reconfiguring the crunched up sound design of Don’t Lick The Jacket into an expanding and quite captivating opening piece.
The performance briefly follows the sequencing of Olympic Mess with two monolithic variations on I Exist In A Fog (keep an ear out for an audience member whistling with delight on Fog Variations II) before introducing ‘new and "other" material.’ Time appears to shift into another dimension on the title track, whilst Downtown Rubble is the sort of abrasive palate cleanser you expect to hear in a Mumdance and Logos set.
Tempo dos Mestres (Time of the Masters) is the second album from the tireless, young Brazilian guitarist Fabiano Do Nascimento. It finds its roots in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, passed down through generations of native Brazilians, and is imbibed by the Afro-Brazilian culture that arose after Portuguese colonization.
"This blend is not new in Brazil, and is represented musically by great Brazilian musicians both known and celebrated - the guitarist Baden Powell and catalyst Hermeto Pascoal, both direct influences on Do Nascimento - and less exposed, like the experimentalist Carioca, one of Do Nascimento’s mentors, and the Brazilian psychedelic pioneer Lula Cortes, whose album Paebiru rewrote Brazilian rock’s history in 1975. It is the third Brazilian album released on Now-Again, following Seu Jorge and Almaz and Do Nascimento’s debut Dança dos Tempos. Do Nascimento's is joined on Tempo dos Mestres by his long time percussionist, Ricardo "Tiki" Pasillas on trap drums and percussion, and Sam Gendel on saxophone and flute. Vocals are performed by Thalma de Freitas and Carla Hasset.
These tracks were recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, straight to 2” analog-tape, and only sparingly mastered to focus on the subtleties of the performances. Do Nascimento’s fans include legendary percussionist Airto Moreira, who recorded Dança dos Tempos and can be found playing live with Do Nascimento. "He’s Brazilian but (his mind is) from a place in Brazil that is not common.” Moreira states. “Fortunately, we still have some musicians who like to play music and who like to touch the instrument and who like that energy!”
Do Nascimento takes his music, and his place in Brazil’s lineage, seriously, and he often travels the vast country, spending time in the rainforest, living life as it was lived in the distant past, while studying with still living masters as he searches for new directions of the path trod by the geniuses whose influence abounds in contemporary music, but whose names are still unfamiliar. “Being a musician - feeling, studying, experiencing, living music -this comes first, right?” Do Nascimento questions. “ Second, we hope that the depths of knowledge in the music from the masters before us can be shared more, each time, to the younger generations coming.” In Tempo dos Mestres Do Nascimento answers himself with a beautiful entry into the evolving language of timeless Brazilian music."
Clap! Clap! (aka Cristiano Crisci) returns with his second album for Black Acre, following on from his colorful breakthrough debut LP 'Tayi Bebba'.
After contributions to Beating Heart’s Malawi compilation last year, Florence producer Cristiano Crisci returns to the Black Acre fold for a second Clap! Clap! album. Looking to expand on his vibrant 2014 debut album, Crisci retains the narrative-driven approach on A Thousand Skies whilst engaging with more guest artists on a series of collaborations. Planet Mu signees John Wizards feature alongside fellow South African folk singer Bongeziwe Mabandla, Crammed Discs duo OY and Italian beatmaker HDADD.
These collaborations add further colour to the Clap! Clap! world, the live instrumentation of John Wizards meshing perfectly with Crisci’s nimble-fingered sample manipulation on A Thousand Skies Under Cepheus’ Erudite Eyes. OY seem perfect studio partners for Crisci on the light hip hop flutter of Hope, whilst Ar-Raqis comes on like A Made Up Sound let loose on Ndagga Rhythm Force.
Its debatable how convincing the narrative thrust is, supposedly framed around a young girl’s journey skywards towards the stars, but Crisci’s colourful sonic vision is engaging enough.
Jaime Fennelly’s ever-evolving Mind Over Mirrors project shifts once again on this album for Paradise of Bachelors that features a full ensemble of celebrated vocalists and musicians
First introduced on Brad Rose’s sorely missed Digitalis platform back in 2011, Jaime Fennelly’s work as Mind Over Mirrors has centred around his mastery of the Indian pedal harmonium amidst an arsenal of synths and delay units. Each new MOM album has seen the Chicago-based musician take on an ever-more ambitious approach, and this debut on NC label Paradise of Bachelors is his most compelling undertaking yet. Drawing deeper from the subluminal aether, Undying Color originates from a two-week stint Fennelly spent recording in a cabin surrounded by the natural beauty of Southwestern Wisconsin late last year.
The project is no longer a solo endeavour however, but rather something closer to full-blown band. Fennelly’s mediative assemblage of synths and harmonium complemented by a cast of musicians that includes Janet Beveridge Bean (Eleventh Dream Day), Jim Becker of Califone/Iron & Wine, drummer Jon Mueller, and a returning Haley Fohr who featured on the last MOM LP. At 12-minutes long, you could call Gravity Wake the centrepiece here, Fennelly’s gently pulsing composition coaxing a sensual, personal vocal performance out of Beveridge Bean and Fohr.
But Color Dying remains at this stratospheric high throughout with Fennelly’s gift for the harmonium apparent nowhere greater than the closing melancholy of 600 Miles Around.
Pye Corner Audio’s slow techno suite Prowler (2015) is rendered in Half-Light via remixes from Silent Servant, Not Waving, Clesse (Jon Brooks), and Cloudface, alongside two acid and industrial slugs from The Head Technician Martin Jenkins hisself.
The two PYA originals are ace: Corrupt Data roll out seriously hefty square bass and suspenseful pads precipitating an acid line that eats it from inside out and up to the bittersweet, whereas Octal Run, on the other hand, is one of his eeriest warehouse groove, like John Carpenter soundtracking the last goblin standing in a cavernous shell at 8am.
And you can trust Jenkins’ mutual Ghost Box spirit Jon Brooks (The Advisory Circle, Georges Vert) to suit the remix brief with his first release as Clesse, turning She Hunts At Night into a lush, shapeshifting acid beauty, while Silent Servant also impresses with an off-kilter, opiated reduction of Morning stung up with EBM jabs, and Ecstatic label boss Alessia Natalizia a.k.a. Not Waving clearly has fun charging Prowler with rabid, rasping drum machines.
Not bad for the first ever remixes of PYA. Not bad at all.
Self-produced American songwriter London O’Connor announces a partnership with New York City-based record label True Panther Sounds as well as the remastered official re-release of his debut album ‘OΔ’.
"Upon self-releasing ‘OΔ’ on SoundCloud, London’s diary-like accounts and immediate pop songs wooed both critics and fans alike. His energetic live show atop his one-of-one light cube impressed on both sides of the pond just months after the initial release of the album.
His first chapter ‘OATMEAL’, the present and relatable ‘Nobody Hangs Out Anymore’ and the I-hate-everything anthem ‘GUTS’ were instant streaming favourites that all wound up getting play on BBC Radio 1 and American radio stations, while the epic album closer ‘SURVIVE’ found a whole new meaning when a room full of music lovers and industry folk in France sang along in sync with O’Connor mere days after the tragic events at The Bataclan Theatre.
‘OΔ’ (pronounced ‘Circle Triangle’) is a post-any-genre narrative told through vivid and visual production he made from the contents of his backpack while sleeping on floors and couches in New York City. It details the suburban world he grew up in and fled from in Southern California years before. The cinematic album also acts as a rallying cry and arrived hand-in-hand with a direct message from O’Connor: “If when you hear it, you feel like its talking about where you live, then I want you to leave.”
The original version of the album lingers on the internet along with a tweet of his actual cellphone number. The creative direction of London’s body of art and the viscerality of its themes to overcome one’s environment liken the symbol ‘OΔ’ in the eyes of his fans to one perceived like the emblem for the Rebel Alliance."
Techno alchemist Tin Man spells out 17 variations on a 303 theme certain to satisfy even the most demanding acid connoisseurs.
It’s practically a library of acid music, with each track’s subtle variation distinguished by the title and beautifully contoured with infinite mutations of sliding ostinato cadence driven by alternately purring, slamming, and rolling machine grooves.
You know the stuff, there’s reams of it out there, but only a rare amount lives up to Tin Man’s calibre.
The debut album from this Norwegian-American trio consists of two long tracks that move between intimate lyricism and hardcore expressionism, shaping one of the strongest free jazz offerings we have heard for quite some time.
"Filipino-American Jon Irabagon has topped both the Rising Star Alto Saxophone and the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone categories in Down Beat´s critics polls and been named one of Time Out New York´s 25 New York City Jazz Icons. Among the seemingly endless praise we can read "stalwart technique and a deep understanding of avant-garde vocabulary" (JazzTimes), "a musician of intense concentration who wants nothing more than to indulge a spirit of play, emphatic and unreserved" (New York Times), "some of the most galvanizing jazz of the past few years" (Time Out New York) and "one of the strongest, most flexible, and daring saxophonists at work today" (Peter Margasak).
A founder member of Mostly Other People Do The Killing, he is also an integral member of the Mary Halvorson Quintet, Dave Douglas Quintet and Barry Altschul´s 3Dom Factor and has taken part on a vast number of records. Guitarist John Hegre and drummer Nils Are Drønen have both been central on the fertile music scene in Bergen for many years, Hegre possibly most known for his long partnership with Lasse Marhaug in Jazzkammer and Jazkamer, while Drønen has played in a number of project and groups including The Last Hurrah!!. They met up with New York resident Irabagon during one of his many visits to Bergen where he has established a deep musical friendship with The Last Hurrah!! founder HP Gundersen.”
Perhaps the most ambitious and absorbing album yet from Lawrence English, featuring a whole host of friends and collaborators including Swans’ Norman Westberg, The Necks’ Chris Abrahams and Tony Buck, Mats Gustafsson, Werner Dafeldecker and The Angels of Light’s Thor Harris. It’s an arctic, ice-cold meditation rendered in the most beautiful drone and semi-orchestral variants - think somewhere between William Basinski, Akira Rabelais and Badalamenti at his most terrifying. A huge recommendation.
Lawrence English carries the weight of the world in the emotive blows of Cruel Optimism; his tortuous yet somehow triumphant follow-up to the Wilderness of Mirrors (2014) LP, which was conceived prior to the present socio-political sh*tstorm, and attempts to present “a meditation on these challenges and an encouragement to press forward towards more profound futures”.
Inspired by the title of a critical text by American theorist Lauren Berlant, whose analysis of the contemporary crisis points to the elusive promise of neoliberalism - particularly its inherent sense of hauntological trauma - Cruel Optimism is offered by English as a reflection “on how power consumes, augments and ultimately shapes two subsequent human conditions: obsession and fragility”, and does so in a way that viscerally resonates with the long-standing, recurring themes of his work: deferred ecstasy, textural decay and the way they affect perception.
Galvanising strength through collaboration, as opposed to the solo introspection of Wilderness…, English elected to work with a number of his peers for this record, who all gauzily serve to enrich these recordings, which each carry the subtle, if distinct presence of plural spirits in the mix. Object Of Projection is especially hard-hitting, recalling Deathprod’s life-changing Treetrop Drive with its looped refrains, albeit here submerged underneath a tonne weight of sonic detritus that triggers nostalgia and dread in the most evocative manner imaginable - perhaps the most astonishing 5 minutes in all of English’s by-now sizeable catalogue of work.
English carefully consolidates every element on this album within the democracy of the soundfield; we may be able to discern the crucial gestures of Norman Westberg’s clanging chops in Hammering A Screw or smudged into the soberly grand dimensions of Requiem For A Reaper/Pillar Of Cloud and the waking dread of Somnambulist, but, in effect, thru English’s enigmatic processing, his ego is properly sublimated into the ether and as vital as any other to the record’s sense of swelling, aching communal pathos.
Batu is back at the Timedance controls on this triplet of warped dancefloor deviations.
After scooping plenty of plaudits last year thanks to a series of shapeshifting records from Bruce, Ploy, Laksa and Lurka, Timedance primes for action in 2017 with three fresh productions from label boss Batu that once again demonstrate his continued studio innovation.
Leading out, Murmur dovetails between slippery polyrhythms and lurching bassweight textures before veering skywards into a succession of tunneling hardcore reductions that recall EVOL and Lee Gamble. The sound design on Groundwork is just as crafty, with Batu exploring a sense of space and dynamism that no doubt sounds mind warping on the system at the Timedance label nights down a Bristol cellar.
The shifty Whisper closes out and recalls vintage West Country dubstep but transports it well into the 23rd Century. This might just be the Bristol producer’s knottiest collection yet. Great artwork from Atelier Superplus too.
Chicago’s Teklife turn up a 23-track cross-section of primest footwork from the full squad and extended family with ON LIFE. It’s a proper group showing, exemplifying the label’s strengths in depth and unity and expanding their binds with the world beyond The Windy City. Tracklisting features RP Boo, Traxman, Boylan, Dj Deeon, Dj Taye, DJ Manny, Dj Earl, DJ Paypal, Gant-Man, Taso, Weezy and more...
Raw, soul-fuelled, and stylistically advanced, the vibes run deep and wide on this one. There’s too much to absorb or even mention in one sitting but, from first encounters we’re straight on the smoked-out trap styles of On Deck, accredited to TEKLIFE (who dat?); it’s hard to avoid Boylan and DJ Deeon’s filthy rude ghetto banger 3 Fine Hoes; Heavee’s laser-slicing hardstyle riffs on Panic Attack; the effortless insistence of Don’t Just Stand There from DJ Big Hank and Sirr TMO; Lorenzo Senni-styled trance pointillism reasoning in mel G and Sirr TMO’s Kant Fuck With Us; AND YES SOMEBODY FINALLY DID A MAC VOLUME BUTTON TRACK!!! Check DJ Paypal’s Volume for the canniest push button vibes; whilst Moscow’s A. Fruit represents for the label’s extended family with her weightless, well tucked soul flow in Took A While.
Like we said, there’s heaps of killer gear inside. Dive in!
NYC post punkers Parquet Courts collaborate with rapper Bun B on a remix of ‘Captive Of The Sun’, which initially appeared on this year’s ‘Human Performance’ album.
The 12″ also features a ‘Chopped Not Slopped’ remix of the track by iconic Houston producers DJ Candlestick and OG Ron C.
Moiré responds to the current state of sh*t affairs on a second album of ‘London techno’ for the Ghostly crew.
Aligning with Ghostly Intl after a 12” salvo on their Spectral division last year, the pre-eminent, perennially hat clad exponent of ‘London techno’ Moiré delivers his second album. Referring to the Orwellian nightmare currently unfolding in front of us both sides of the Atlantic, as well as the perennially-troubled nature of London’s nightlife, No Future doesn’t necessarily offer any answers. It does expand on the producer’s palette of well-crafted, robust techno and ambient leaning house previously shown on Rush Hour, Werk Discs and R&S.
Moiré reveals his junglist roots in linking up with Good Looking vet MC DRS for two tracks; Delroy Pottinger’s trademark delivery adding a new dimension to the twilit house slink of Bootleg. South London poet James Massiah also features, intoning the stuttering glide of Façade with his unique cadence. Otherwise, this is Moiré on a solo flex, delivering on the potential displayed on that Werkdiscs debut LP back in 2014 for a rewarding document of house and techno that mixes foggy tones with highly-realised rhythms.
RIYL early Kassem Mosse on Workshop, NWAQ, Terrence Dixon.
Ryan Carlile and Spencer Doran traverse the outer reaches on this killer Visible Cloaks document for RVNG.
We just knew last year's debut Visible Cloaks offering for RVNG, the Miyako Koda-featuring Visible Cloaks single Valve, would be the prelude to something greater from Ryan Carlile and Spencer Doran. Reassemblage marks the Portland pair's second album and further expands upon the Visible Cloaks 'verse, calling on Motion Graphics and Root Strata alum Matt Carlson for assistance.
Inspiration for the album stems from a video essay of the same name by Trin T Minha-ha, which explored the impossibility of ascribing meaning to ethnographic images. With this in mind, Visible Cloaks set about transposing the inherent futurism of acts discovered on their inspirational Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo mixes well into the 21st Century through modern sound design.
This results in an album whose eleven tracks possess a startlingly lucid and vibrant vision, forming new structures and ideas in the process. The aforementioned Valve features early in Reassemblage, Miyako Koda's presence gaining even more meaning within the context of Carlile and Doran's intentions for the album.
Elsewhere, vocals are deployed with a more abstract bent, VC playfully skewering Matt Carlson's voice through digital manipulation on Neume for one of the album's forays through musique plastique. Circles offers a genuinely spine-tingling moment of modern classical, whilst Motion Graphics follows his avant-jazz Future Times gripper with some illuminating assistance on the digital tranquility of Bloodstream.
Wonderful stuff all round.
Ahead of ADULT’s comeback LP, Detroit House Guests, Clone Classic Cuts survey Adam Lee Miller’s former project with Ian R. Clark, namely Le Car, in a comprehensive 21 track set of Detroit electro brings served ice cold and as sharp as ever.
It’s a 20 years thing, reviving tracks from their earliest EPs and sole LP c.1996-2000 in the years just prior to ADULT having a worldwide club hit with Hand To Phone.
Anyone into raw, nimble electro at its most reduced and sparky will find a lot to get their teeth into between the rugged swerve of Vinyl Seat, the infectious funk of AF16 (The Concept Car) or the jacked-up synth-pop of Warm Humans and Model 500 style in Cinematic Automatic, and much more beside.
After years of touring, PVT wound up cast far and wide, residing each in a different continent. 2017 sees members Dave Miller along with brothers Richard & Laurence Pike return home to Australia with their fifth album, New Spirit.
"This album contains that beautiful type of music written out of compulsion, a calling and an impulse to explore the new place that Australia has become -- a hotbed for political and cultural intolerance. The country has succumbed to divisive politics and irrational fear. Obvious fraud and immorality driven by a gutless media and an indifferent public. PVT's uncompromising approach to musical self-determination has never been this sharp, and especially never this political.
The sound of the record itself is that of a stark digital future, but under the surface there's nostalgia for a different time, another way of thinking, another life. PVT are exploring. Expanding on expectations. They carry with them the bravery and courage of the old explorer with the tolerance and understanding of the new."
Doomy, synth-heavy film score performed live by Mondkopf, among others, and recorded in a 16th Century gothic church. Pressed on electric blue vinyl. Includes download code
“EARTH is the third opus of FOUDRE! - a telluric drone qu artet composed of Frédéric D. Oberland (Oiseaux-Tempête, The Rustle Of The Stars , FareWell Poetry ), Romain Barbot (Saåad, I Pilot Dæmon) , Grégory Buffier (Saåad, Autre n oir), Paul Régimbeau (Mondkopf, Extreme Preca u tions , Autrenoir ) , featuring electric chimeras by Christine Ott on ondes martenot.
Commissioned by Silke Schmickl from Lowave for the festival 'Singapour Mon Amour' in Paris, this album was recorded in the 16th century gothic church of Saint-Merry in June 2015 as a live soundtrack performance for EARTH - an experimental film directed by one of the most important Singaporean contemporary artists, Ho Tzu Nyen . Acclaimed by art and film critics worldwide and presented at some of the most prestigious international film festivals (Cannes, Venice, Rotterdam..) , EARTH is inspired by the works of classical European painters such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Delacroix . The film unfolds dramatically as the camera moves across a theatrically choreographed scene involving 50 actors, as the details of a post-apocalyptic landscape are revealed frame by frame.
Ho Tzu Nyen on E ARTH :
“We see the site of an unknown disaster, the debris of history that constitutes the story of Earth. Upon the site, lay fifty 50 humans oscillating between consciousness and unconsciousness, life and death. Sometimes, one of them emerges into the foreground - clutching a fist, batting an eyelid, or weeping for his neighbor. At other times, these figures recede from the light, losing their individual shapes to form a gigantic organism, breathing in unison, pulsating like a jellyfish, though their journey across Earth.”
Further to his last LP, The Last Panthers, Chris Clark unfurls the whirligig dynamics of Peak Magnetic like some ancient rave fairytale soundtrack; all giddy melodies, dervish techno and ethereal eldritch vocal harmonies licked into lip-wobbling post rock surges.
From widescreen to introspective techno, Robert Hood, Etapp Kyle, Bambounou and Edanticonf rework the Italian/Icelandic pairing of Hunter/Game and Kúra’s Landside collaboration in their own image.
At the front, Rob Hood serves one of his stomping stealth bombs with the granite-cut kicks and pill-belly progressions of his take on Signs Of Change, really getting some purchase on that ripping lead synth in the final half. Etapp Kyle follows with a more gauzy and blue perspective on the same elements, which Parisian player Bambounou hears as a dubbed-out, silty underwater shuffler recalling vintage Shackleton.
Edanticonf rounds off nicely with a rolling, wistful techno take on Desert Lake, taken from Landside’s Chains EP.
Ghost Box’s single series returns with another rewarding collaboration from Belbury Poly and Moon Wiring Club.
Ghost Box main man Jim Jupp mints his second Belbury Poly appearance on the Other Voices series with another collaboration, again linking up with Ian Hodgson’s Moon Wiring Club for a doublet of forays through dreamy soundscapes.
The Music Room is Krautrock Tango brushed with that typically folky Ghost Box mysticism and just a faint whiff of Gotan Project, whilst the bass lines and odd sampledelica of Moonling recalls vintage late-’90s BOC.
Ruggedest IDM floorshow from Lviv, Ukraine’s Noumen, finding his place on the CPU motherboard.
Taking stylistic cues from late ‘90s and early ‘00s Æ and AFX, Otto Von Schirach or Mike Paradinas, White Silence fires four wildly kinetic but tautly disciplined pieces between the hip hop-cracked techno flow of the title track and Fear, and the discombobulated Hangable Auto Bulb styles of Alpha & Omega.
Parris Mitchell’s Dance Mania classic burns again on a first ever digital issue for 2017.
This one comes from the deeper, suave side of the DM vaults (the other side definitely has faded pages ripped from jazz mags and pasted on the wall, prison style, in our minds anyway) with four tracks wiggling form the fruity bass and nagging organ riffs of his Lifestyles of The Rich Mix thru a Chez ’N Trent-style, chord riding Do It Tonight Mix, and two slinky Future Groove Mix versions.
The Netherlands’ electronica duo Robin Koek and Nick Lapien arch up a debut album of moody blue ambient atmospheres and off-centre techno rollige with Kinship.
They’ve effectively distilled everything that was good about their run of 12”s with Prologue, Field Records and Konstrukt into these seven tracks, transducing influence from Detroit, mid ‘90s UK AI and their home country’s heritage of deep techno into a sublime pieces such as Entering The City, Kinship or the BoC and Basinski-esque Tapeloop 1, while also firmly tending to dancefloor needs with the snap-jawed electro of Somatic Dreams and the Lost Trax-style acid of Fernweh.
Earthen Sea follows the lead of his Mi Ami bandmate, Ital, into the deep and dub techno end of the dancefloor pool. RIYL The Sight Below, Varg, Marconi Union
“Jacob Long’s newest recordings under the Earthen Sea moniker deepen his compelling synthesis of shadowy rhythms and opaque atmospherics, drawing on the most potent qualities of melancholic ambient and dub techno. An Act Of Love follows 2015’s Ink, released via Ital’s Lovers Rock imprint, and was inspired by internal tribulations and the experience of exploring an empty nocturnal metropolis.
Careful waves of tones drift and decay; beats materialize and pulse across twilit landscapes; a noir mood reigns. Given Long’s background as bassist for revelatory tribalpunk trio MI AMI, this album showcases a musician in the midst of transcendent redefinition, crafting an immersive language of texture and motion.”
Shanti Celeste steps up with a full EP for Future Times following her killer/standout contribution to the Vibe 3 comp...
Simmering, proggy tech-house backed with lush electro and ambient bits by the hotly-tipped, Chilean-born and Bristol-based producer, making her debut with Future Times.
Being is the big number, sprawling the A-side with pensive Detroit strings and rubbery bass grubs nestling an hypnotic, glowing organ hook and dancing keys. On the flip she tends to an E.R.P.-styled piece of electromance Good Spirits, and the feathered Derrick May styles of Being (Ambient Mix).
B12 actually on it this time with the best results of their return to the fray since 2016. All four tracks hinge around a tucked, quicksilver slow/fast temporality displaying their patented drum programming and atmospheric modelling at its most adroit and effective.
Check for strong highlights in the pendulous heft and sky scraping synth strokes of Last Man Standing and the full sunken, queasy shuffle of Experiment Camp Alpha.