Los Angeles-based Cold Showers return to Dais with their third album, Motionless, wielding a pop sound that is familiar to followers, yet more sophisticated and evolved than their previous works.
"Having traversed the realm of synth-laced post punk expertly for close to a decade, their return with the new album Motionless is a process-based album that reaches into the band’s collective quiver, melding their familiar anthem infused postpunk and lush, grand pop influences.
Motionless is Cold Showers looking inward and taking control of their creative process, while retaining all of their unique songwriting signatures. Recorded in their own studio in Los Angeles with band member Chris King at the production helm, each selection on Motionless sounds like a line drawing that quickly becomes a technicolor collage of crashing shoegazed reverberation.
As compared to their previous endeavor, Matter of Choice, the similar additions of arpeggiated electronics and more recently, string arrangements, adds a new, more sophisticated depth to Cold Showers’ already dense allegories. Tracks such as “Shine” and “Faith” stand on their own as heavy-hearted melodies that have an almost “classic” impression after only one listen. The band’s cover of Sandy Rogers’ 80’s ballad “Black Sidewalk” (only available on the LP & CD) offers proof-of-concept, never fully comfortable with their formula and challenging themselves as to what defines an amazing song. “Measured Man” and “Dismiss” have Cold Showers orbiting in the palpitations of early Factory Records and present each spin with tactical layering, rather than flooding the board. "
Eliphino returns an altered beast in 2019 with a rave-ready mix of hardcore, speed garage and rude acid tweaks for the R&S-affiliated Media Fury label
Taking cues from Demsike Stare’s danceflorr gnash, the rolling heft of Joy O, and the well tucked grooves of Hessle Audio, the ‘Realistic Sex’ EP is the best thing he’s done, charging a classic but fresh energy into all five tracks, with strong highlights between the rude ’93 flex of ‘Disc Rhythm’, the haughty acid swang of ‘Remedy’, Berlin backroom vibes in ‘Realistic Sex’, and a fine mastery of 303 dynamics in ‘Formula’.
Adroit electro-acoustic improvisors Karen Willems & Jean D.L. conjure a dynamically unpredictable side erupting in noise and diffused into spectral swarms
“Aurora Borealis returns once more to Belgium, with the release of ‘Twee Lindebomen’ by the duo of experimental drummer/percussionist Karen Willems and avant guitarist Jean D.L.
After recording their album ‘Lyra’ (Luik) and playing various concerts since then, Karen Willems & Jean D.L. sought to explore their duo in a different context, searching for new modes of harmony between acoustic and electric performance disciplines. The duo were able to discover this new territory with the opportunity to record in the church of Saint Nicholas in Le Roeulx, Belgium, the village where Jean grew up.
Recorded live over the course of a two day long session last summer, the mystic atmosphere of the church provides a touch point for the musical explorations on the album. Using the echo and natural reverb of the architecture gave the duo new challenges. Space forms an important part of the duo’s work, as they respond to each setting and it’s unique architecture, both physical and acoustic.
“The reverb in the church gave us an extra force and a spatial element. We were able to play with distance and movement” says Willems. “It was a different way of playing, and we thrive on that, the uniqueness of the moment”.
The album covers 8 diverse tracks of improvisational interplay between Willem’s drums, free percussion with vocalisation, and D.L.’s palette of guitar work and tape manipulation. ‘Twee Lindebomen’ captures the duo at the height of their ﬂow, seamlessly working together to create a highly expressive and emotive album.”
Mutant grime/drill/bassline flux from Utah? on the UK’s reliably off-kilter, forward looking Coyote Records
The four tracks on ‘Bronze’ cannily escalate in intensity from the low-key, sidewinding dembow dreams and gushing synth launch of ‘Tilt’, thru the nagging strings and trap bluster of ‘Signal’, to step up from cold and sparse drill styles into Dexplicit or Zomby-like rolige in ‘Bronze’, and the shiny but grimy finishing move of ‘Polymer’.
Dead cool but fervent Algerian pop from the ‘60s/‘70s, rife with killer Chaabi breaks and twists on rock ’n roll and French yé-yé - the first compilation dedicated to Mohammad Mazouin, and including songs impossible to find elsewhere
“Mohamed Mazouni, born January 4, 1940 in Blida (The City of Roses), a city which had just turned twenty. His memory dragged around a lot of catchy refrains by Rabah Driassa and Abderrahmane Aziz, also natives of Blida, or by 'asri (modern music) masters Bentir or Lamari. He began his singing career in those years, chosing bedoui as a style. In June 1965, Algeria adopted a Soviet-style profile where everything was planned, even music. Mazouni, he followed his path, recording a few popular tunes, but he also was in the mood for traveling beyond the Mediterranean. During the 1950s and 1960s, Mohamed was dumbfounded by Oum Kalsoum's songs and scopitones. Fully immersed, he soaked up the songs of Dahmane El Harrachi, Slimane Azem, Akli Yahiaten, or Cheikh El Hasnaoui, but also those from the crazy years of twist and rock n' roll as embodied by Johnny Hallyday, Les Chaussettes Noires, or Les Chats Sauvages, not to mention Elvis Presley.
Between 1970 and 1990, he had a series of hits. Mazouni, a dandy shattered by his century and always all spruced up who barely performed on stage, had greatly benefited from the impact of scopitones, the ancestors of music videos. His strength lay in Arabic lyrics all his compatriots could understand, and catchy melodies accompanied by violin, goblet drum, qanun, tar (a small tambourine with jingles), lute, and sometimes electric guitar on yé-yé compositions. Like a politician, Mazouni drew on all themes knowing that he would nail it each time. This earned him the nickname "Polaroid singer". Mohamed Mazouni crossed the 1960s and 1970s with his dark humor and unifying mix of local styles. Besides his trivial topics, he also denounced racism and the appalling condition of immigrant workers. However, his way of telling of high school girls, cars and pleasure places earned him the favors of France's young migrant zazous. At the end of the 1990s, the distribution of Michèle Collery and Anaïs Prosaïc's documentary on Arabic and Berber scopitones highlighted Mazouni's importance. Mazouni did not stop singing and even had a few local hits, always driven by a "wide targeting" ambition.”
Skinny Pelembe meditates on grief, heartache, stunted aspirations and fresh possibilities in post-recession Britain. For his debut album, the Johannesburg-born, Doncaster-raised artist weaves together a patchwork of personal and musical touchstones; memories and observations are dreamily laced together, sun-dazzled California folk diced with the murkier corners of the UK dance lineage.
"Tipping a hat to West London broken beat as much as My Bloody Valentine, the album was co-produced by Malcolm Catto (of The Heliocentrics, who’s previously worked with Yussef Kamaal, DJ Shadow, and Madlib), who helped to distil down its bounty of ingredients into the record’s distinctive flavour. Tough, tight-programmed rhythms are washed over with fuzzy overtures, and the title track is the product of a studio session with a foundational drum & bass duo (credited under the covert alias of The Bleeding Edge). It’s the rare kind of record where the messy, in-between musical spaces are given a light to shine.
First discovered through the Gilles Peterson- and Brownswoodfounded Future Bubblers programme, Skinny has since made it onto Peterson’s iconic Brownswood Bubblers compilation series, performed and collaborated with fellow Future Bubbler Yazmin Lacey, and been tipped by the likes of Ghostpoet and James Lavelle. Praise has also come from The Observer, The Quietus and Huck, with previous singles “Spit / Swallow” and “I Just Wanna Be Your Prisoner” bumped up onto heavy rotation on BBC 6 Music’s A-List. He’s also been in demand for live sessions with The Vinyl Factory and Worldwide FM, and supported Nightmares on Wax and Maribou State."
Tokyo’s Hosanna Anniversary lands this fruity jazz house session in the same week as his ace, exploratory album for Andy Lyster’s Youth
In two parts he gets loose like Jamal Moss on a kicking Chi groove, running skudgy acid lines and jazzy riffs over Part 1, then accentuating the gritty, muscular bassline in ‘Hakkenden II’.
"If you listen carefully to the first piece, “Hakkenden I”, the first thing you will notice is how the lead electric piano line and repetitive electronic motifs – known in colloquial slang as “acid lines” – follow the same melodic pattern, as if Hoshina Anniversary was sending the same powerful psychokinetic instructions to a number of instruments at the same time.In contrast, “Hakkenden II” is darker and more hallucinogenic in tone. The use of restless, arpeggio-style bass and creepy-sounding chord sequences suggest that Hoshina Anniversary momentarily lost control of his psychokinetic powers before wresting back the initiative as the recording progressed (the return of the melodies and instrumentation heard in “Hakkenden I” in the second half of the piece supports these findings)."
Rolling acid house heft, sludgy electro-metal hybrids, and psychedelic house from Ransom Note boss
“Harking back to the halcyon days of hardcore, the title track marks yet another stellar entry in Clerkin’s growing catalogue of precision-tooled acid anthems. Pure sensory overload this one, and that’s LFO-K by us. ‘Some Kind of Threat’ takes the slow burn approach and arrives at a similar destination, resulting in a cyborg techno stomper that’s as hot and humid as the rainforest canopy.
Situated between these two dance floor behemoths, ‘Primary Function’ acts as something of a palette cleanser, recalling a dubbed-out Boards of Canada on a particularly warped mushroom trip. Closing things out in style, ‘Akathisia’ is as restless and jittery as its name suggests, alternating between eski synth outbursts and a bouncy fairground beat.
Timothy’s music has brought us many special moments over the past few summers and seems bound to do so again, with the new EP already getting played by the likes of Optimo, Lena Willikens and Andrew Weatherall, who memorably melted the crowd’s collective brain when he dropped Clerkin’s ‘Divisive’ at Houghton last year.
After cutting his teeth as one half of Eskimo Twins, Timothy launched his solo career in 2014 under the now-retired Heretic moniker. Having released on labels including Throne of Blood, Hard Fist and Tusk Wax, he’s now graduated to running his own Insult To Injury imprint from his new base in the Netherlands. London’s loss is Amsterdam’s gain, but thankfully he’s back on 24th May for a live set at Corsica Studios - your first chance to witness the pandemonium of ‘Unborn’.”
Big room Berlin tackle from “rising underground techno siren” Fidelity Kastrow on the rebooted Novamute.
A resident of lesser-known Berlin techno club Sisyphus, where she often plays the Hammehalle main room, Kastrow’s sound is clearly cut to match its cavernous dimensions, rolling out with stealthy, brooding bassline and furtive drones driven by walloping kicks on ‘Daughter of Darkness’, before tempering your rush with the excellent simmering percolations of ‘The Huntress’, and hammering it in the home leg of Oscar Mulero or Sleeparchive styled bleep techno, ‘Wolf Clan’.
DFA give room for Giegling’s Edward to stretch his mind and your legs, melting out in the 12 minute cosmic pool of ‘The Lagoon’, then getting down to lysergic tribal functions with the trampling ‘Mental Drive’
“On his DFA debut, German experimental techno producer Edward largely departs from the 4/4 grid he frequents and blurs the focus towards a more slippery, improvisational vibe. Fans of his Desert Sky alias, as well as his work reshaping classic tracks by Harmonia & Eno and Rolf Trostel of Tangerine Dream, will be quite pleased with Underwater Jams. These two new songs unfold at their leisure, going off on whizzing, kosmiche-influenced tangents, all the while guided by the hand drums of percussionist Geronimo Dehler. On A-side “The Lagoon,” the freedom of the long-form composition allows Edward to go deeper and more mesmeric, while the restrained stomp of B-side “Mental Dive” allows for an introspective dance floor moment.
Though he’s been releasing music for the past decade, Edward has always been a bit enigmatic, with a majority of his discography only available on vinyl. He remains as prolific as ever – in the last year alone, Edward has toured all over the world, playing esteemed clubs from Berghain to Fabric, and splitting bills with artists like Ricardo Villalobos and Oskar Offermann. His numerous releases on Giegling, Die Orakel, and White demonstrate his penchant for combining the psychedelic and the locked-in groove, but it’s the sprawling sense of adventure that makes this release one of the more idiosyncratic in Edward’s catalog.”
Debut solo album from Hayden Thorpe.
"‘Diviner’ is a deeply emotional album: lyrically generous in its candid tone and selfawareness, the melodies resonant with sense memory. The album feels like a startling departure from Thorpe’s previous work with Wild Beasts and also unlike anything else being made at the moment. Written in a deep period of flux; at points in California, Cornwall and at his home in London - the latter acting as a womb-like space where he worked out his new life, story and belief systems. “My adulthood was based on a certain belief system, a band, a family. When it shifted entirely, I had a ghost I had to find a new haunt for,” Thorpe notes. But his belief in songs as transformative entities kept him going. “I believe in the medicinal properties of songs. I believe in their healing properties,” he says. “Songs defy time, they don’t erode or denature, they come with you and reform anew in your mind as and when you need them.”
Throughout the record, Thorpe’s voice is a beacon - paired with weaving piano, ambient guitar drifts and propulsive bass lines - his sound is even more powerfully unfettered than before, as if he’d found a new inner voice, a new way to use his instrument."
In reverential mode as Floorplan, Robert Hood kicks out two deep techno-house trax on M-Plant
With 'So Glad' he brings up from the toes to your nose with powerful kicks and filtered gospel vocals that break out into full choral exultation, whereas ‘I Feel Him Moving’ swangs out with bumptier bassline and signature organ riffs.
Another JK Flesh slaughter darkens our doorstep, this time very slowly for Kevin “The Bug” Martin’s Pressure label.
Slamming at a sullen 75bpm, ‘In Your Pit’ sets the pace with sludgy distorted leads wrapped to a metronomic tick borrowed from Andy Stott's paitr of 2011 knackered blueprints, wind tunnel nightmare styles, before The Bug remixes it with a killer, swaggering kink in the step for a deathly depth charge. JK Flesh then forces out a vein-popping strain of effluent flow in ‘Paranoid Archetype’, and wipes off with the howling shudder of ‘Rub Me Out’. Big one.
Further to Daehan Electronics’ excavations of Liquid Liquid drummer Dennis Young’s archive, Athens Of The North pull out a Young album developed between the late ‘80s and 2004, to sit neatly alongside his late ‘80s new age/dance output
“After Liquid Liquid disbanded in 1985 I continued to record electronic music at my home studio inEdison,New Jerseybut I decided to mix the songs for "Concepts" at another studio so I could have another set of ears to help with the mixes. I was lucky when I looked in the local music ads that I to find Gabriel Farm Studios inPrinceton,New Jerseyowned and operated by Andy Gomory. Andy was a true talent, a keyboardist and arranger, we hit it off immediately. After he recorded my mixes we would record songs together. Andy played drum machines and keyboards while I played percussion, keyboards, & guitar and we both sang. When Andy and I parted ways in the late 1980's I decided to add both drums and percussion as well as overdubs from guest musicians many of which are included on this album. The albums timeframe ends in the year 2004. The later recordings have a jazz feel to it yet still had dance music elements mixed in. The title track "Primitive Substance" really sets the tone as you hear the great playing of Michael Gribbrook on Frugel horn/Trumpet and Gerry Carboy on bass. Also, my favorite song on the recording "Forgiveness" has David Axelrod (not the famous one) playing beautiful melodic bass guitar thru out.
Special thanks to Euan Fryer of "Athensof the North" for releasing this album. As I listened to the songs I decided to use for this recording it brought back memories of the hours spent adding the extra sounds and instruments to the point where I wanted to listen to them again and again to see what I missed hearing . Keep a close ear this might happen to you after hearing "Primitive Substance”.”
Lone reworks DJ Haus’ big-boned jacker ‘See U In My Dreams’ with a patented bag of tricks and lip-smacking MDMA flavour
Where the original is stripped to the essentials, Lone adds loads of new ingredients to the mix, adding restlessly killer, early ‘90s AGCG-style breakbeat torque and samples, turning the vocals into scudding, flyaway thought-bubbles, and licking it up with deft daubs of Radiophonic-like analog synths. You don’t hear this kinda break chopping every day. It’s very well done.
Maverick Afro-latin rhythms from Cómeme’s German/Chilean bosslad Matias Aguayo, notching his first new album in six years
Still as freaky as you like, and churned with rhythms that sound like a DJ divining the mythic 3rd track from rugged, disparate sources, Aguayo trustingly plays up to expectations on ‘Support Alien Invasion’, his 4th album total, landing 14 years since his seminal Kompakt debut.
"Paradoxically loose but pensile, hard but slinky, Aguayo’s 9 trax spell out a unique conception of dance music that draws from the best of Chilean and South American rhythmic heritage as well as wickedly slippery, up-to-the-second, psychoactive electronic production.
Tilting in with something like Actress meets Mark Ernestus at Machu Picchu in ‘The Fold’, the album delivers some deeply infectious workouts with the likes of ‘Pikin’, which sounds like Georgia sparring with Rian Treanor, along with the swingeing, impending drama of ‘2019’, and the bolshy oddity of ’Support Alien Invasion’, while a couple of cuts smartly tend to the downstroke in the crushed Cumbia or Tarraxho-compatible ‘Insurgentes’, and the beatless plane of ‘Between The Risings.’"
Swans’ Norman Westberg and former bassist Algis Kizys meet Lynn Wright (Bee and Flower) under the enigmatic mantle of This Is Where for a psychedelic excursion between textured lysergic ambience and sky-clawing avant-rock eruptions
“This Is Where is the collaborative project of Algis Kizys, Norman Westberg and Lynn Wright. Having previously released a limited edition cassette tape in 2016 under the name of ALN, their self-titled album for Hallow Ground is to be considered the three-piece’s definite studio debut as This Is Where.
Recorded and mixed by Kizys, »This Is Where« delves even deeper into the psychedelic and at times cosmic drone sound previously to be heard in the New York City-based trio’s live recordings. As a logical next step after what the Swans guitarist Westberg has presented on recent solo albums like »The All Most Quiet« for Hallow Ground, it integrates three distinct musical visions into a whirling ocean of sound.
This Is Where's sound is neither dominated by the thundering brutalism of Swans - where also Kizys took over bass duties for a while - nor the gloomy Doom Pop of Wright’s Bee and Flower. Instead Kizys, Westberg and Wright use delay, reverb and effects to weave a pulsating web of sonic textures, moving effortlessly from dark depths to almost jubilant high notes. With Kizy’s roaring bass guitar as a sonic backdrop, Westberg and Wright give rise to a musical dialogue marked by density and tension.
Over the course of 40 minutes, This Is Where create a mesmerising musical experience, divided into four discrete movements. »This Is Where« is a blissful journey through space, time and most of all a yet unheard-of approach to guitar-driven Drone and Ambient music.”
Jimmy Edgar and Travis Stewart (Machinedrum) lather up in iridescent greaze and get down with slippery mutations of R&B, electro-soul and hip hop on their debut J-E-T-S album
“There is “Potions,” which chops and warps the militaristic funk that Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis once supplied for Janet Jackson. It’s what Rihanna should be asking her A&Rs for her next album: 32nd Century bass music with huge drums offering the propulsion and thrust that SpaceX is permanently seeking. “Fire Fly” is both gothic and gauzy, with pop synthesizers crushed into purple cosmic dust. The album was produced in layers, starting with basic tracks that sounded like futuristic R&B, but then deconstructed and assembled with vintage instruments—encoded with a new DNA that can’t be decrypted.
“Look Out” is a slice of post-trap futuristic R&B with a traditional hip-hop breakdown that almost recalls vintage turntablism. “Play” features exotic percussion and Mykki Blanco breathing fire like the ideal soundtrack to a reboot of Paris is Burning. “Ocean PPL” answers the question what would Aaliyah sound like in 2019. While “Real Truth” synthesizes jerkin’, ratchet, hyphy and dance music into something that resembles the avant-garde hip-hop beats that Edgar and Machinedrum have made for Vince Staples and Azealia Banks.
Yet the proceedings feel quintessentially different and skewed from anything past or present. 808 drum rolls are warped and bent. Old samples offer a gritty sound. The melodies incorporate ambient and new age synths. Effects from the ‘70s and ‘80s offer welcomed scuffs and creases. This is the world of J-E-T-S, a hybridization of different and distinct ideas, fearless, fast-paced and full of telepathic communication, but playful and without pretension. The future we’d dreamed about, not the one that we deserved.”
The king of Malian hip hop, Luka Productions follows up the sublime new age synth styles of ‘Fasokan’ - one of our top albums of 2017 - with a much broader window on his sound in ‘Falaw’, taking in cosmic folk, Afrobeats dance music and Indian-flavoured disco
Based in a small studio on a busy street in Mali’s capital, Bamako, Luka Productions writes beats for some of the region’s biggest artists, such as Supreme Talent Show, Ami Yerewolo, Iba One, Van Baxy, and Sidiki Diabate, earning him a reputation as one of Mali’s most prodigious and revered producers.
Luka’s 3rd release for Sahel Sounds follows the quietly stunning ‘Fasokan’ album with blend of that album’s balmier moments and the African pop and rap styles on his debut ‘Mali Kady’ tape, offering a much wider testament to the breadth and sweetness of his sound.
Meshing live traditional strings and flutes with synths and software percussion, plus myriad vocals, ‘Falaw’ fully spells out Luka Productions’ style, drifting from the title track’s languorous folk soul at one end, to the driving, UKF-compatible banger ‘Dogonodoon’ (note the reference to the enigmatic Dogon tribe) at the other, taking in a very healthy set of dance trax such as the reggaeton-like ‘Bbni’, the charming twang of Sitars on a disco beat on ‘Indienfoli’, and the devilish twyst of ‘Badjan’ alongside more fragrant, spacious and unexacting downbeat highlights in the grubbing sway of ‘Forêt’, and something very close to the ‘Fasokan’ sound with ‘A Tara’, where he gently flanges Kora strings under his hushed vocals to gorgeous, spine-playing effect.
Again, warmest recommendations for this one.
Dylan Carlson and Adrienne Davies return Earth to its fundamental state - raw, slow burning and sensually psychedelic - in the “witches garden” of ‘Full Upon Her Burning Lips?’, their 9th studio album marking 30 years since the band’s formation
Doing away with the increased polish of Earth’s albums since they returned with 2005’s ‘Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method’, the singular band now prize a more direct route to the core of their sound. Still geologic in pace, their 1000 yard stare is here as transfixing and strung out as their early “ambient metal” classics, but of course with the addition of Adrienne’s workhorse drums underlining and urging Carlson to drag every riff out to the horizon.
The album’s 10 songs are titled with reference to historic, mind-altering drugs and animals that, in Carlson’s own words, “people have always held superstitious beliefs towards”, and it’s in this timeless, countercultural frame-of-mind that Carlson really comes into his own. Like a time-travelling bard who’s somehow seen it all, from the ravages of the American civil war to the darkest side of contemporary rock culture, Carlson’s expressively detuned licks regale heavily accented, instrumental stories of life and death and the liminal spaces between, and most crucially with the labouring quality of a resident act who plays five-nights-a-week in a dusty saloon.
Two durational highlights really set the scene at the album’s dawn and midnight, where he really rinses every last bit of distorted twang from his guitar, and both cuts act as gathering/diffusion of energies for what’s to come. In the first half ‘Datura’s Crimson Veil’ gives way to the sky-searching axe calligraphy of ‘Exaltation of Larks’ and comes down to bruxist grind of ‘The Colour of Poison’ and unpredictable turns of phrase and lacunæ in ‘Descending Belladonna’. At the album’s midnight, ’She Rides an Air of Malevolence’ then parts to the nocturnal solitude of ‘Maiden’s Catafalque’, but there’s a glimmer of hope cracking over distant mountaintops in ‘The Mandrake’s Hymn’, that ultimately follows with the resolute but resigned summation of ‘A Wretched Country of Dusk’.
Fire! Orchestra, mnow a 14 piece group, still feature the core trio of Fire! (Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin) and the two singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg - between them the only constant members of Fire! Orchestra since their inception.
"Apart from this reduction, the main line-up difference is the introduction of a string quartet. This "cleanup" has worked wonders, keeping the rhythm and horn sections to their bare necessities, with the string quartet expanding the canvas and bringing a new, exciting dimension to the table. And on top of their game; the two powerful and sublime singers, quite different, but still blending perfectly.
We also have to mention drummer and producer Andreas Werliin for his work in the audio department; rarely have we heard such a detailed, warm, deep and dynamic mix from a relatively complex combination of instruments. While their three previous albums can be considered as uniform works, if not conceptual, Arrival is a collection of more individual compositions and songs, including two stunning cover versions. Blue Crystal Fire by visionary guitarist Robbie Basho was first heard on his 1978 album Visions of the Country. At Last I Am Free is today probably best known from Robert Wyatt´s version, but originally written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers of Chic.
Although the rest of the tracks are credited to Berthling, Gustafsson, Werliin and Wallentin, it´s important to stress that this time the orchestra members have had considerable creative input throughout the process. Arrival is light and shade, joy and despair, structure and improvisation, performed by an ensemble of excellent musicians."
Masterful solo debut by Rupert Clervaux, regular collaborator with Beatrice Dillon, including the voice of Breadwoman alongside Clervaux’s own in a dreamlike recital of his poetry, set to a mix of wonderfully hypnagogic and unpredictable music backdrops ranging from twilight ambient to traces of Detroit techno, decayed solo piano, and spirited free jazz...
“‘After Masterpieces’ sets six recitals of Rupert’s poetry in unique, unpredictable and expansive musical scenery. The enigmatic and densely compacted texts, reworked and gently honed throughout the album’s slow creation, find an aerial perspective from which a lifetime of reading, listening and thinking is carefully re-mapped. The broad thematic scope takes in aesthetics, ancient mythologies, the origins of language and music, epistemology and ecology––to name just a few––all of which remain tightly intertwined, resistant to abstraction, and imbued with a sense of inquisitive ambiguity which treats all certainty with suspicion: the listener is invited to find their own threads, draw their own conclusions and think their own thoughts––as Anna Homler once aptly said of her own work, “…it’s not didactic, it’s poetic.”
Initially deriving its impetus from the mood and rhythm of the words, the album’s music utilises a wide-array of performance and production techniques. Clervaux draws on his full range of musical interests, creating long-form pieces that at turns support the recitals and then lead the way for the instrumental swathes within and between them. The sounds of ‘After Masterpieces’ revolve through the melodic ambience of ‘Her Fingers of Pink Light’; the dark electronics and multi-layered samples of ‘In Shadowlands of Like and Likeness’; the tentative interplay of piano and voice on ‘Damper and Drum’; and the riff-like patterned percussion and free improvisation of ‘Make Nature Speak.’ As the LP draws to a close, Homler and Bull join Rupert on ‘L’amore che Muove il Sole’—a sprawling anti-hymn, echoing the structure of ‘The Divine Comedy’, which discovers, in place of Dante’s heavenly paradise, a fragile optimism for positive change in the wreckage of failed grand narratives.”
Giddy, playfully rhythm-driven electronica on Swiss/Italian label -ous
“Temporary linearity in a lysergic world. Imagination and reality, science and humanity: SPIME.IM weave their audiovisual tales from the ethereal textures that shape our worlds.
Their album «Exaland» synthesizes reality by combining human expression with technological potentialities in an infinitely changeable virtual world. The seven tracks are defined by razor-like sounds, crystal textures and digital overload, captured in those weightless seconds on a parabolic flight. Just as SPIME.IM’s live performances, this album is a temporarily linear journey through a narrative space shaped by psychedelic landscapes, synthetic colors, mutating objects and transient life-forms.
Bruce Sterling’s «spime» describes the possibility of tracing an object through space and time for the duration of its existence. By juxtaposing his concept with «I am», SPIME.IM are the being that is intertwined between the artificial and the natural.
Affirming digital reality, the Turin-based media art collective SPIME.IM explores the boundaries and possibilities of identity and perception in a world where virtual doppelgängers take on an all-
Composer, author and GRM overseer François Bonnet aka Kassel Jaeger commits a beautifully surreal batch of electroacoustic works to the Latency label following their LPs by Sam Kidel and Laurel Halo.
Usually found on Editions Mego, Kassel Jaeger releases are notably admired for their attention to the finest textural detail, and for the way he classically draws a sense of dreamlike narrative from the ostensibly abstract and the non-musical. On ‘Le Lisse et le Strié’ the french composer typically puts that finesse at the service of of exploring two opposing concepts of “smooth” and “striated” within the electroacoustic sphere, where, “If the “smooth” is linked to “nomos” as an open space of organic distribution, the “striated”, on the contrary, is associated to “logos”, as an enclosed space defined by a grid.”
Working in noumenal space between the “smooth” and ‘striated” aspects, Jaeger uses alchemical process to highlight sound’s unparalleled, amorphous ability to manifest or suggest structural changes that practically don’t occur in any other framework of nature other than musical perception. His sounds emulate paradoxical, conceptual leaps between physical states, melting our perception of time and space and the “grid” in the process, and pointing to a inception of encrypted, camouflaged sound as beguiling as a magic eye image for the ear.
Tense interplay of grandiose prog noise and ascetic, Mika Vainio-esque minimalism
“New full length album by France’s most singular contemporary composer. Reflecting on ancient culture’s use and reverence for emblematic monuments which most often represent myths and stories, the album’s narrative has been infused with such symbolic and depicts an envisioned mythology, unfolding through it’s 10 aural pieces. Franck Vigroux‘s music is unique and comprised of tectonic tension, pulsating rhythms and abrasive analog textures like few can produce. Applying his own calculated personal signature in his sonic explorations his distinctiveness comes not only by his unique approach to sound but also by his incorporation of new media practices and performing arts into his A/V work.”
Hypnotic, percussion and horn-driven ceremonial music from Priangan in west Java
“This release aims to provide a spectrum of kasenian réak and its music. For this reason, on the first side it is possible to listen to a classic réak ouverture, played by one of the two founding groups, Juarta Putra. On the other side one may hear Putra Jaya Melati: one of the groups that
most attempts to push towards a contemporary, aggressive and experimental version of réak music, without leaving the cultural and spiritual background of the style behind. In this record, it is even possible to hear an electric guitar, gongs, a kendang and a very open repertoire of songs.
“Kasenian réak is a genre of performative art from the Priangan area of west Java, organized during hajatans (life-cycle celebrations) and nowadays primarily held during weddings andcircumcisions. The style, known as a seni lungsuran, is part of the greater family of Javanese horse dances, originally known in their most famous forms of jathilan and kuda lumping. Javanese horse dances, which could be as old as animistic Java, may already have been practiced before the eight century, travelling through the island and reaching Priangan in the thirties, when réak is believed to have been originated and popularised by musical groups Juarta Putra and Maska Putra. While bearing more than some resemblances with its family, kasenian réak benefits of structures and aesthetic tracts of its own, being not only one of the newest developments of horse dance if not the newest, but also its rawest and most extreme outcome.”
Ciel proves why her name is everywhere right now with the off-beat house and techno styles of ‘Why Me? for Spectral Sound...
At every turn Ciel stamps her individual style all over ‘Why Me?’, starting with the tentative percussion and curling garage subs of the title cut with perfectly deferred gratification, before ‘Go Fish’ cuts loose with a lather of pendulous kicks and crystalline electronics.
‘Hipwrecked’ follows with an uptempo energy boost riding quick and hi-tech jazzy in a Lone fashion, where ‘Uri’s Song (feat. Wiretapping)’ keeps up the pace in a tussle of breaks and quasi-timed, piquant electronics that beckon bodies to move with eyes shut in the middle of the ‘floor.
Infiné task Enyang Ha, Lord of the Isles, Ital Tek, and Dawan with remixing Deena Abdelwahed’s resoundingly well-received debut album
Seoul/Berlin’s Enyang Ha reworks the smoky Arabic vocal and rugged swang of ‘Rabbouni’ as a skudgy, offset techno roller with subtle, abstracted use of the vocal, while the mutant Raï rhythms of ‘5/5’ are stretched out to the horizon by Scotland’s LOTI.
The spiralling mysticism of ‘Ababab’ provides an elusive soul to Ital Tek’s tuffened-up IDM acceleration, and the enigmatic hustle of ‘Fdhiha’ is teased out into a spare, pensile stripe of broken beat acid techno by Tunisia’s Dawan.
Bashment murder from Lady Lykez, going in hard on ‘DRMTRK’ productions from Scratcha DVA, most potently on a buffed-up remix of ‘Muhammad Ali’, and the sweeping strings and dancehall pressure proper of ‘Lyke U’ while ‘Buzz Lightyear’ lands on a ruffneck UKF/grime mutation
Tresor reissue TV Victor’s 1989 ambient album ‘Moondance’ for its 30th anniversary of release on Big Sex Records, a now defunct subsidiary of Tresor’s parent label, Interfisch
“Udo Heitfeld's first solo productions started in 1990 under his TV Victor pseudonym, the first fruit of which was the "Moondance" album (Interfisch): experimental music with classic Pop structures but more an indicator of his move in more Ambient directions.”