Mad album of mutant EBM-in-dub from Vanligt Folk, pursuing the absurdities of their Palle Bondo’ 12” right down the rabbit hole - reminding us of that killer first Closer Musik album from the turn of the century.
Vanligt Folk, translating to ‘Common People’ in Swedish, here pay tribute to the ‘Hambo’ - a folk dance popular with your average, working class Jo(nas) in Sweden at the turn of the last century. But rather than recreate late 19th C. music, they explore a definition of rave and body music as folk music that’s very close to our own hearts, making fine use of primitive electronics, drum machines and nonsensical vocals in a unique form of social commentary that strives to subvert notions of nationalism, race and tradition.
The vibe therein is blunt yet phantasmic, with ruddy grooves screwing EBM to dancehall tempo and loaded up with an absurd range of voices, resulting in strong highlights in their percolated stepper ‘(O)Hambo’, or to darker degrees int he serpentine shimmy of ‘Dina Drömmar lever’, while ’TKO’ recalls Powell on mogadon, and ‘Grisebassen’ feels like ÉLG attempting to stoke a rave that doesn’t want to get going.
Remastered reissue of overproof and classic American R&B and Afro-jazz-funk LP from 1975, crammed with killer breaks and vibes for days. Includes previously unheard nuggets such as ‘Afrobeat’ discovered on the original master tapes
“Strut present a brand new edition of Oneness of Juju’s Afro-jazz classic ‘African Rhythms’, originally released on Black Fire in 1975 and first reissued on Strut in 2002.
For bandleader James “Plunky” Branch, ‘African Rhythms’ marked a significant return to his home town of Richmond, Virginia after a politically charged five years based on the East and West coasts. His personal journey had taken him from activism at Columbia University to San Francisco where Zulu musician Ndikho Xaba used theatre to “resurrect” Afro-Americans with a new African identity. The first incarnation of Plunky’s band, Juju, drew attention to the struggle in South Africa under apartheid, layering heavy Afro rhythms under uncompromising avant garde jazz.
Back in Richmond, Plunky tapped into the mid-Atlantic preference for Southern R&B and gospel: “Juju had always been blues-based and it was a natural progression to add R&B and dance rhythms. It didn’t change our message.”
Produced by Jimmy Gray of Black Fire Records, the new sessions included the title track (“We wanted a song to dance to with a message – ‘you are dancing to African rhythms’”), the positive message of ‘Don’t Give Up’ and political commentary on ‘Liberation Dues’.
Originally just a regional hit on the East coast and in Washington DC specifically, the album gradually spread, influencing the nascent DC go-go scene. The UK revived the album during the rare groove era of the late ‘80s and the title track has since become a soul-jazz favourite worldwide.
Remastered from the original sessions and featuring rare photos and extensive liner notes, this new repress also features Part 1 and Part 2 of the original 45 version of ‘African Rhythms’ and the previously unheard ‘Afrobeat’, recently unearthed from the original tapes.”
Sparky techno spunk from the computer of Plom, leaving his debut mark on tuuun’s uncompromising Fluf label
We can tell you precisely zilch about the artist, but we can describe ‘0017A’ as a mental ride veering from dry-humping techno to more brukken and scrambled patterns and convulsive prangs in its 10 minute duration - think Matthew Herbert meets Florian Hecker - whereas ‘0017AA’ is an obliquely arrhythmic and bitterly atonal freak out.
Thalia Zedek’s ‘Fighting Season’ is direct and raw, at times scorching and others fragile. The album features performances by guitarists and friends J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) and Chris Brokaw (Come).
"Thalia Zedek has been a been a seminal figure in the independent music scene for over 30 years as a member of Come, Live Skull and Uzi and, most recently, her trio E. ‘Fighting Season’ showcases her best songwriting and performances to date, featuring musicians she has worked with for many years, including longtime collaborator and violist Dave Curry, pianist Mel Lederman, bassist Winston Braman and drummer Jonathan Ulman.
‘Fighting Season’, a term originally coined for the period of time in Afghanistan when winter comes to an end and fighting resumes, is reinterpreted by Zedek with a the focus on a rebirth of resistance brought on by the deteriorating US political landscape. Zedek deftly combines the force of her playing with
the urgency of her unmistakable voice to spin tales of discord and struggle from the personal to the political. The potency of her message reflects her exceptional songwriting and playing."
Frank Bretschneider leads the latest concept release from Raster-Noton: ‘Sichten’, a compilation of 18 pieces by 6 artists; namely Benjamin Brunn, Mads Emil Nielsen, MiniCof, Pierce Warnecke, Retina,It, Zavoloka
The results are shuffled up and sequenced across 2 plates to demonstrate their diverse binds and differences, running the gamut of Mads Emil Nielsen’s sound designs for theatre thru to benjamin Brunn’s nervy dance music and the sheer abstraction of Pierce Warnecke’s computer music.
“»sichten« refers both to »opinions« as well as the »examination of material«. in lose sequence, we will invite friends and colleagues, but especially music lovers to share their opinions on music with us or to look through their collected materials in order to present music that tends to be out of the focus of current media channels.
as a label for electronic music our focus is on examining exactly this genre. but in the context of the series, we are rather looking for more hidden, unknown, perhaps forgotten music. we want to present the yet undiscovered, and also offer a platform for other cultural environments with different musical approaches.
each issue will be supervised and compiled by a curator. an introductory text shall explain the artistic approach of the respective curator. in this sense, the format of a double lp can only provide a first insight and wants to invite to a more in-depth research.
for the first issue of the series, »sichten 1«, we asked frank bretschneider to compile his own, very personal selection of current electronic music. his choice fell on six artists, whose different styles meander between accessible music on the one hand and very abstract compositions on the other hand.”
Gerald Mitchell and Jeff Mills’ jazz-techno group with Kenji Hino and Yumiko Ohno, a.k.a. Spiral Deluxe, cut loose in debonaire ways, backed with a Terrence Parker mix
‘E=MC” unfurls 12 minutes of jazz-technohouse for a lounge in sector 7 of a gargantuan shuttle to Mars, while ‘Voodoo Magic’ shows off the quartet’s unfeasibly nimble mastery of drum machine and live instrumentation, with buff slap bass for measure. ‘The Paris Roulette’ is more low-key, p[riemd for suave run-cutting, and the satin deep house groove of ‘Let It Go’ featuring Tanya Michelle appears in plush original and edit forms, plus a coolly up-for-it house remix by Terrence Parker.
At long last the Ø & Panasonic soundtrack to ‘Sähkö - The Movie’ has finally been discovered and available for release nearly 20 years after the movie was made, and 1 year since it was premiered by the Boiler Room
Recently discovered in a box of Jimi Tenor demo tapes at the Warp offices in London, the 1995 film’s soundtrack is now compiled and issued to coincide with the Oslo memorial for Mika Vainio this September, 2018. It’s very safe to say that a lot of techno heads are going to be very happy right now.
With the exception of an edited version of ’Syväys’ from the 2012 EP of the same name, all the material here is previously unreleased, but sounds very close to material found on Mika’s legendary ‘Metri’ LP and the ‘Röntgen’ and ‘Kvantti’ EPs, or Panasonic’s ‘Vakio’, which were all produced during the same period as the film.
The techno bods really need to check for the tentative minimal techno probe of ‘Scene 1’ and the pulsating miniature ‘Scene 2’, while those with a noisier tooth will gert a good kick out of the rest.
Erstwhile Coil guy Drew McDowell puts 50p in the meter for a 3rd batch of voluminous modular synth misshapes with NYC’s Dais Records
After testing out a mutant dancehall sound with Hiro Kone on ‘The Ghost Of Georges Bataille’, McDowell picks up where he left us with ‘Unnatural Channel’ , plumbing deep into the guts of his modular array to extract the most effluent and ungodly electronic prangs and machine gremlin voices.
A product of ritual, conceptual immersion, ‘The Third Helix’ projects 8 eight hallucinatory visions conceived for ritual immersion on the listener’s behalf, unravelling relatively simple units of sound into 3D webs of entrancing complexity along unfathomable spatial coordinates.
Depending your tolerance for vivid nightmares and psychotropic substances, the effect of ‘The Third Helix’ will vary from user to user, but in ideal conditions - dark room, inebriated, at night - it’s likely to induce the rarest sensations and push the most intent ears to the brink.
Debut slice of rugged, swaggering, psychedelic club tackle from Cómeme’s new signing, Katerina
“Katerina from Helsinki - Finland via Sofia - Bulgaria is a passionate music lover, a skillful DJ, an imaginative music maker and an emotional and hyper sensitive artist. She produces music that is essential and timeless, tracks that feel necessary in your life once they have entered it.
Katerina has already contributed to the ever growing, always radical and forward thinking catalogue of the Cómeme music collective, with tracks on the compilations “Solidarity Forever” Vol. 1 and 3. She also hosts a show on radio Cómeme called Radio Emotsiya, in which she generously shares her broad musical knowledge and her very particular musical obsessions, for instance her steady – and in our opinion very understandable - veneration of DJ Quik.
And yes, her music breathes the emotionality of Hip Hop, the sensitivity of well placed, swinging beats, and that steady survival mode, that essential melancholy in dance music: where melodies tell about love and longing, and rhythms help you to keep going on. “Just when you thought it was over”, here we go again, it’s another day on planet Emotsiya, from where Katerina sends us reports about her adventures, always sided by her already legendary white cat Nöpö.”
The reissue of Rimarimba’s little-known but golden catalogue of rhythmelodic beauties continues at a genteel pace on Pete Swanson & Jed Bindeman’s Freedom To Spend
Robert Cox's Rimarimba project was fairly short-lived (1984-1988) but was nontheless a remarkably singular project which has somehow escaped the attention of all but the most dilated diggers, until now.
Previously unrealized and unreleased, Rimarimba’s ’Light Metabolism Number Prague’  is exclusive to the reissue set and now sees the light of day for the first time. It’s a perfect example of Rimarimba’s free and playful approach to rhythmelodic patterning, stretching out into veld-like terrain with the low lying drones and plangent, splashing strikes of ‘Glass Abattoir - End’, then with weightless elan in the glittering cascades of ‘Egg Foo Young’, while the sozzled and squashed loops of ‘Why Do You Squeak’ give way to a totally blindsiding piece of pastoral post-punk pop with tremulous, warped vocals that will else listeners pinching themselves.
Great stuff once again from this fine, fine imprint.
After spreading his wings with The Animals, James Holden really stretches out with North African Gnawa musician Maalem Houssam Guinia in ‘Three live Takes’
Holden helms modular synth while Houssam Guinia provides mesmerising vocals and jangling lines of the three-string Guembri (or Sintar), underpinned by backing vocals and rasping Krakebs (large iron castanets) from Hamza Guinia, Mohamed Benzaid, Amine Bessi and Khalid Charbadou.
In all ‘Three Live Takes’ Holden traces and gilds Maalem Houssam Guinia’s Gnawa fire with washes of astral colour and whirligig chromatic spirals, firstly reservedly on ‘Youmala’, until they collectively reach a transcendent terminal velocity, before taking taking a more central role in the roiling swell of ‘Pass Through The Fire + Bouri Bouri Manandabo’ with its cascading climax, and then gelled in hypnotic, swingeing, and incendiary style synched with the raucous chorus of ‘Baba Hamouda’.
Sumac are guitarist and vocalist Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer, ISIS), drummer Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists, Erosion) and bassist Brian Cook (Russian Circles, Botch) - their third full length ‘Love In Shadow’, is a brutalizing dive into love and all its raw emotions.
"The album was recorded live in a single room at Robert Lang Studios in Washington by Kurt Ballou (Converge), who later mixed the album at his own studio GodCity. The album flows with the continued momentum from their acclaimed collaborative release with legendary Japanese artist Keiji Haino (Fushitsusha, Painkiller) earlier this year, ‘American Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On’, incorporating more freeform abstraction into their raw, bombastic, and jagged sound."
The fairer Kraus sibling, folk singer Sharron, melds tremulous vox and lilting psych-pop for Ghost Box’s Other Voices series, backed with a fizzing remix from Belbury Poly...
Sharron’s original ‘Something Out of Nothing’ is a pastoral folk beauty spiked with spiralling organs and shimmering patina of FX potent enough to make the world melt away for 4 minutes.
On the remix, Jim Jupp a.k.a. Bilberry Poly sounds as though he necked some special herbs before kitting ‘Something Out of Nothing’ with fizzing drum machine percolations for a more sizzling, even sexy effect - that is, if you tend to go on-the-pull in village halls and harvest dances.
XGLARE is Jessee Egan, a Brooklyn-based producer, sound designer and multimedia artist.
"She has released music under multiple aliases since 2011, most notably on AY Japan. Her latest incarnation, XGLARE, balances warped sound design, unearthly atmospheres and experimental rhythms that reject genre boundaries.
Beats and dance elements take center stage alongside impossibly powerful, almost elemental transitions. Track 1, Lymph sets the tone with an updated halcyon rave sound. Imagine standing in a field in the countryside at an illegal rave at 6 in the morning as the sun is rising, wind blowing in the air. Track 2 Fossa feat ARIADNE, an Opera trained singer, immediately submits you to whisper shouting, a highlight of the album.
In between more dance floor-oriented tracks, Spore and Plexus, sit two sound design gems, title track Morph with its pounding rhythmic charges and vast reverberated rooms, and Ganglia, which reminds of early Do You Know-era Squarepusher. "
Western Vinyl present Brocker Wey’s original score to Netflix documentary series ‘Wild Wild Country’ - the story, which you simply couldn’t make up, about a controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), his assistants, and their followers in Wasco County, Oregon in the 1980s
While there’s nothing particularly outstanding about the soundtrack, it simply did its job accompanying the images without distracting from them, there are some stronger moments to be found inside on the electronic work Be Grateful for This Beautiful Home, and the grandiose symphonic swells of The Burning Ghats, with its epic piano flourishes.
RIYL Osho, brainwashing, Sainsbury's vinyl section, vinyl frames.