After turns by Burnt Friedman and Max Loderbauer, Marionette return attention to Benjamin Kilchhofer’s lilting drum patterns and bittersweet electronics on The Book Room, his broadest and most significant release to date. Followers of Burnt Friedman’s rhythmelodic arrangements, the ersatz ethno vibes of Don’t DJ or Shackleton’s hypnotic patterning will find lots to delve into here.
“Benjamin Kilchhofer is not new to the world of recorded music, yet he doesn’t seem to fit into a particular scene or group. As an outsider he is, however, fully immersed and melded into his own universe. He mentally escapes to a parallel world and weaves an alternate reality which would otherwise not exist in his daily life. Kilchhofer avoids the spotlight and therefore isn’t really visible in today’s culture of ever changing content and social media. This is where Marionette steps in to attempt to shed as much light as possible on this unique and incredibly talented artist.
The Book Room is Kilchhofer's musical diary, it's his library of emotions. It's a fairytale, an imaginary place shaped by exotic cultures, an escape from modern society, a collage of real and imagined experiences. You can hear influences abstracted from a wide number of musical approaches: the story-telling nature of folklore music, naive and conflicting rhythms of tribal drums, melodies and pads reminiscent of classical minimalism and microtonal experimental music, the freeform approach of early electronic music and krautrock, and buried deep within the tracks some hints of hedonistic dance and club music.”
D.K. does his debonaire, Far Eastern-oriented synth thing for Second Circle, leading on from his ambient split LP with Suzanne Kraft for their sister label, Music From Memory in 2017.
The Mystery Dub EP can be roundly summed up as disco music from the equator, as D.K. entwines percussion indigenous to South East Asia into patterns more reminiscent of African and South American Latin styles, using canopies of bird calls and humid synth atmospheres to bind those elements into their own sweet dancefloor ecologies.
Zola Jesus, Naked, M. Lamar and Gazelle Twin leave their mark on Blanck Mass’ World Eater album tracks
Resulting highlights in Naked’s masochistic pulverisation of Rhesus Negative and the darkroom excesses and drama of Gazelle Twin’s The Rat revision.
Having recently contributed to Goner's "Yogascum" LP, reissued in late 2017, Mark Godwin now returns to the Swiss label together with his musical partner Gareth Ormerod as zK.
"Formed in 1999 as a live project, zK first released on the legendary Mancunian Skam label in 2003, toured throughout Europe and were invited by Autechre to play the All Tomorrow's Parties festival. In the following years, Godwin and Ormerod produced a slew of records that at once paid tribute to their roots in the emerging British rave scene while pushing the envelope of experimental electronica. Combining their interest for visual art and psychology with their spiritual connection to bands like Coil, some of whose records Godwin has worked on as a mastering engineer, zK have carved out a niche for themselves with a multi-disciplinary approach to music. "Last Night", their first proper studio album in five years, was recorded in Godwin's new home Bangkok.
Drawing heavily on musique concrète techniques, synthesizers, and sampling to create an immersive experience bordering on the synaesthetic, the six tracks capture the nervous energy of Thailand's capital after dark. Moving from the opener "Ouside Broadcast" with its collage-like juxtaposition of every-day sounds and squelching noise to the aptly titled "Cognitive Dissonance" and the aleatoric modular excursions of "Feral Confection" towards the more sombre, lysergic undertones of the B-side, ending in the both elegiac and haunting final track "Fleshpotting", Godwin and Ormerod explore the sharp contrasts which characterise the city. zK navigate through the weird, the eerie and sometimes even the grotesque and occult, they provide a thorough exploration of a metropolis marked by tradition and progress alike."
Natty jack attacks, wonky ghetto bass and mutant hi-tek jazz from Secret State on CPU.
Like music from some parallel, skewed 313 dimension, Zero Zero One locates a familiar yet subtly altered reflection of Detroit styles between the tweaky jacker CIA UFO Google Search, some percolated Jit business in De-Pattern and the spheric harmonics of The Sleep Room, both recalling an Urban Tribe from different mothers, while Weep For Joy leans on a sort of off-Red Planet vibe.
Firecracker’s elusive Gavin Sutherland (Fudge Fingas) relays a mystic house doozy with Pattern Transform under his Other Lands alias, as last heard on the Mac-Talla Nan Creag  compilation.
Framed as “occupying the space between alien-revisited exotica, classic jacking house workouts and a BoC 'Chromakey Dreamcoat' kinda vibe” by the Edinburgh label, its a trustworthily deep end trip finding its maker taking his beloved house music to new limits of the style.
A-side; he comes off like Carl Craig taking a trip around Orkney island stone circles with Julian Cope on Descent Into Nasqueron, which is worth it for the outta-nowhere drop alone, whilst Chapel Perilous Closed practically usurps Actress at his own game with a mid-fi swirl of synth-brass and strings in smoky electro-acoustic air driven by a well-cladded kick drum. B-side is just as strong, catching a breezier spring in his step with the gaelic plies and Detroit jazz pivots of Late Feeling Yourself, then giving it those come-tae-beed bucky eyes on A Paddle Around The World, which riffs in the same warm, alien waters as Sun-Ra, Jamal Moss, or Les Gracies.
Yo La Tengo return with their first proper full-length since 2013’s ‘Fade’.
"There’s a Riot Going On is an expression of freedom and sanity and emotional expansion, a declaration of common humanity as liberating as it is soft-spoken. While there’s a riot going on, Yo La Tengo will remind you what it’s like to dream. The sound burbles and washes and flows and billows. If records were dedicated to the cardinal elements, this one would be water. There are shimmery hazes, spectral rumbles, a flash of backward masking, ghostly flamingos calling “shoo-bop shoo-bop.” Even if your mind is not unclouded - shaken, misdirected, out of words and out of time - you can still float, ride the waves of an ocean deeper than your worries and above the sound.
For Yo La Tengo this is a slow-motion action painting and Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew did it all themselves, in their rehearsal studio, with no outside engineer (John McEntire later did the mix). They did not rehearse or jam together beforehand; they turned on the recorder and let things coalesce. Songs came together over long stretches, sometimes as much as a year going by between parts. You’d never guess this, since the layers are finessed with such a liquid brush. You’d imagine most of the songs had sprung forth whole, since they will enter your head that way. Within two listens you will be powerless to resist the magnetic draw of ‘Shades of Blue’, will involuntarily hear ‘She May, She Might’ on your internal jukebox first thing in the morning and ‘Let’s Do It Wrong’ late at night. While there’s a riot going on you will feel capable of bobbing through like a cork.
In 1971, when the nation appeared to be on the brink of violently coming apart, Sly And The Family Stone released ‘There’s a Riot Goin’ On’, an album of dark, brooding energy. Now, under similar circumstances, Yo La Tengo have issued a record with the same name but with a different force, an album that proposes an alternative to anger and despair."
Space Dimension Controller, a.k.a. Jack Hamill, may be landing his debut release on Dekmantel, but he’s definitely no stranger to their shores.
"With the three-track EP ‘Gaining Time’ clocking in at over 35-minutes, phasing between cosmic kaleidoscopic house, and serene, epic ambient, — a sonic atmosphere reminiscent of the background resonance the galaxy permeates on a daily basis — Hamill’s Dekmantel debut is closer to that of an album, than your average set of club tracks."