Redshape cuts rug with swaggering style via the razor cut but splashy drums and pendulous bass work of Blink
Strongly owing to an enduring passion for the hi-tek funk of original Chicago and Detroit house and techno, whereas the Blink (Tunnel Mix) is a dedication to the Tunnel Club in Paris, and works to a more linear, sexy sort of Franco-Teutonic darkness.
Serving a bitter first taste of Criminal, the upcoming 4th studio album by The Soft Moon
Choke catches Captured Tracks’ finest giving strong nods to NIИ, but with an off-centre swagger of their own.
Viennese techno in effect from Dan Lodig and Martin Sovinz (Dibek)
Springing the chewy acid and Rob Hood-style minimalism of Lap.AM (Mix 1) and the recoiling, subaquatic dynamics of Lap.AM (Mix 2), plus the soggier slap of Lap.AM (Palma Mix) and a hi-NRG Euro Techno House remix by Erdem Tunakan & Alpha Tracks.
New to the BEB fold, тпсб premieres a rugged deviation of his techno sound on Sekundenschlaf, leaving 4/4 in the rear-view to focus on earthier, grubbing percussion warped into jungle and footwork styles, clad in fetid atmospheres. RIYL Rezzett, Ossia, Buttechno
“Sleep-deprived, breakbeat-driven vignettes of unclear authorship, from somewhere west of Lake Lagoda, near the Russia-Finland border.
Sekundenschlaf has significant points of correspondence with contemporary European electronic music, as well as the golden age of (early) jungle and ambient techno. But its response to tradition, and to the zeitgeist, is idiosyncratic to say the least – with an atmosphere and psychogeography rooted in the tranquility and majesty of Western Russian nature, and the anxiety and distress of the country’s post-Soviet working class.
Pastoral calm meets dissonance and unease. The music has a loose, improvised feel, but its arrangements are intricate, its melodies iridescent: cascading arpeggios that stir a sense of optimism and renewal, sighing string-pads that evoke the deepest melancholy. Rhythms simultaneously hyped-up and burned-out, collapsing in on themselves as they race to destinations unknown. All bound together with field recordings of eavesdropped conversations, blurred into abstraction, a droning subliminal menace.”
Your SA dance collection is set to swell with Pantsula! (The Rise Of Electronic Dance Music In South Africa, 1988-1990), a crucial survey of the much talked about - but little known - scene that sprang from bubblegum and Shangaan Disco, and laid the roots for those Kwaito and Gqom aces which would penetrate scenes and light up dancefloors far beyond the southern hemisphere.
As the excellent liner notes describe in much more detail, Pantsula music (think of Pantsula as a style, attitude rather than fixed descriptor) in 1988-90 was the soundtrack to a difficult, fractious time in SA society and politics, which was still under Apartheid and its people subject to all the shit came with it, which meant that nightclubs and shebeens (blues/after-hours joints/taverns/you know the ones) were constantly under threat of being shut down by the dibble and the authorities, even in places like Johannesburg, where black and white folk mixed more freely.
Still, where there’s a will… and all, meant that the low key shebeens acted as an incubator for Pantsula, where DJs in the backrooms of houses-cum-bars absorbed American and European influences into their own, deeply rich dance culture, resulting a sound that rudely mirrored the hard electronic jack of Chi-house, new beat or eurobeat and the sleek swing of US and Canadian garage, and even traces of Jamaican digi-dancehall, but with natty melodies and vocals familiar to Zulu culture and SA’s wealth of ethnic minorities.
Basically 4/4 house in all its variations was the common currency of Black Atlantic dancefloors, and few places mores than South Africa, which, outside of the USA, was evidently one of the Black Atlantic’s most important hotspots during the late ‘80s international house phenomenon. With that in mind, the 12 tracks on Pantsula! form a vital historic document of Afro-Futurism, catching a uniquely funked up brace of innovative, ingenious and down right infectious dance music which, with the benefit of hindsight, we’d identity among the strongest of its era. Just, it’s taken us all this long to realise.
And the tunes? 100% gold, pal, especially if you’ve a thing for the directness of new beat or the less jazzy sides of Chicago house, as it takes in absolute peaches such as Ayobayo Band’s Sorry Bra, the inimitably tangled bassline of Chaka’s Via Tembisa, the reggae-inflected lope of Go Siami from La Viva, along with pure, brimming soul aces such as The Equals New Lover, the lusty Chi-NYC-Antwerp-esque beauty of Ushelakanjani by Jazino, or the jagged sequencer funk of Scotch Band’s Watsotsama.
For anyone who enjoys dancing, or pissing off the po-po, this one's for you.
René Margraff offers a sublime piece of microtonal organs processed with modular synths, while Malte Cornelius Jantzen follows his nose into liminal zones of stark greyscale abstraction that smell like The Hafler Trio or Thomas Köner’s isolationism
“Second Editions is pleased to present two new compositions by René Margraff and Malte Cornelius Jantzen, as a double a-side split album.
Margraff renders several organ tones with the assistance of his modular system and computer into naturally progressing, yet perfectly calculated harmonics. While Jantzen?s latest cloak-and-dagger excursion into music, or inversion of music if you prefer, slows everything down to a point beyond comprehension. Listen closely.”
Compilation of glittering cosmic and pulsing synth music from obscure French husband/wife duo Fondation - a strong look for fans of Tangerine Dream/Klaus Schulze
“In the early 1980s, the French musical duo Fondation, comprising Ivan Coaquette and Anannka Raghel, released three tapes of fantastic electronic music which owed much to the experimentalism of the seventies. Synthesizer, drum computer, solo guitar. Repetitive, meditative, hypnotic -- between ambient and synth pop. Les Cassettes 1980-1983 presents a selection of their finest pieces from this period. During an extended sojourn in Italy around 1970, the multi-instrumentalist Ivan Coaquette contributed to the highly experimental artist collective Musica Elettronica Viva, who were on a mission to liberate music from every form of convention. Back in France, he played in various experimental prog rock bands such as Spacecraft and Delired Cameleon Family. His wife Anannka began learning to play the piano at the age of four, studied music theory, and sang together with her father, a professional vocalist. Her focus subsequently shifted to theater and dance, but she would return to music, taking up piano and singing lessons again and playing in bands like Spacecraft, Pandemonium, Zed, and Chantal Grimm.
Between 1980 and 1983 they managed to release three lovingly crafted cassettes. Opting for this format rather than the LP was not solely an economic decision. The duo stated a preference for the longer playing time which cassettes afforded. All three tapes had a running time of around 60 minutes. Fondation created sonic collages underpinned by synthesizer, organ, drum computer, and guitar, enhanced by bursts of noise, field recordings, diverse percussion instruments, and the occasional wordless lament sung by Anannka Raghel. Although synthetic sounds are the "foundation" of all Fondation pieces, synthesizers are not -- in contrast to "classic" Berlin School (Berliner Schule) acts such as Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze -- especially prominent in their music. Noteworthy is the use of a Korg X-911 guitar synthesizer, related to the popular black series Korg MS-20 synthesizer. The X-911 transforms a monophonic input signal into synthetic sound.
The source instrument for this signal is revealed in its name. Thanks to their use of the X-911 guitar synthesizer, Fondation was successful in blurring the distinction between synthesizers and guitars with a synthetic sound. For this album, Bureau B have selected the most intriguing and illuminating tracks from the three tapes Metamorphoses (1980), Sans Etiquette (1980), and Le Vaisseau Blanc (1983).”
BleeD’s yung American signings Archivist & Fugal coolly furnish the label with its strongest release yet in Undertow, rotating three tracks of menacing, entrancing deep techno backed by a steely Acronym remix.
Hailing from Seattle via Berlin, the pair have previously dispensed 12”s on secondnature and Seattle’s Medical Records en route to the Undertow 12”, which stretches out from sleek, gothic trance techno recalling an icier take on Prurient’s Through The Window on Being And Nothingness, to the drier big room boom and aqueous chords of Far Horizon, which also appears in a tunnelling Acronym remix, before passing out into the Milton Bradley-esque acidic modulations and steepled reverbs of Undertow.
Without doubt one of the most idiosyncratic artists working between Black Metal and electronic music, Wold’s Fortress Crookedjaw dials in a blinding new Black Mecha album from the very limits of intergalactic techgnostic perception with Counterforce.
After initiating the project via AA  for The Death of Rave, successive Black Mecha releases for Profound Lore and their own Internal Masonry Publications have plotted inimitably technoid new routes for hypnotic electronic music, expressing a densely raw, vivid hyperstition thru a disciplined rendering of arcane geometry, conceptual ballistic proprioception, and brutalist sci-fi themes.
Essentially, Black Mecha is making some of the most far out techno in the world right now, and he’s not even a techno artist. Where this past decade has seen a gaggle of roughshod interlopers offer shabby chic, defanged takes on techno, Black Mecha has sharpened his alien incisors with deadly intent and effect, shaping a highly personalised music which applies just as well to proper, extreme, eyes-in-back-of-head transcendence as times of stone cold sober focus, depending your own disposition.
In that sense, Counterforce reaches where even the hardest nEuro techno bosch fests fail to deliver, as Black Mecha circumvents hard techno’s rote formula of 4-to-the-floor kicks and predictable filtering in favour of harnessing brain-eating hooks in a durational torrent of mainlining, shark-eyed rhythms and pineal-pinch noise which deliver an untrammelled, breathlessly anaerobic experience where the only predictable aspect is that the engines will keep combusting until this part of the mission is complete and the receiver is transformed.
Of course it’s not for everybody. But then again, what the fuck is, apart from oxygen? Yet you can take it on trust that if you’re prone to the heaviest, elemental rhythm and noise, Counterforce offers an unmissable space to immolate the senses.
RIYL Astral Social Club, Merzbow, Hypnobeat, Conrad Schnitzler.
Oooshh! this strange, funky devil is a rare-as-owt gospel soul oddity from Detroit circa f**k knows (maybe late ’70s?), now newly dug out and dusted down as Jazzman’s 26th Holy Grail release. If those quizzical faces or masked dude on the cover haven’t piqued your interest, the music surely will
“Known in the record-collecting world as an incredibly rare album with just a handful of known copies, Jazzman Records present for the first time the full-length album reissue of the Two Sisters From Bagdad album as performed by LaVice & Co.. Originally intended to be sold alongside performances of LaVice Hendrick’s ambitious but ill-fated musical theater production, the album’s scarcity was swiftly ensured as Two Sisters From Bagdad ran for just two weeks at Detroit’s Bethel A.M.E. church amid poor attendances due to scant promotion. With only a handful of copies sold in that brief window, many of the remaining copies were subsequently destroyed in a basement flood, meaning that until now few people have ever heard the album in its entirety.
A varied set of jazz and gospel infused funky soul, Two Sisters From Bagdad was composed and orchestrated by two precocious young talents, E.J. Garrison and Rhodia McAdoo. It’s an album full of surprises, and is notorious for the heavy funk workout Though’s Were The Days. Not only have Jazzman Records unearthed and faithfully reissued this true obscurity as the 26th part of their ongoing “Holy Grail” series, but through interviews with Garrison and McAdoo themselves, they have uncovered the beguiling back story to the music, the play and the life and times of its original creator, the late LaVice Hendricks. As always the detail is revealed for the first time in Jazzman Records’ extensive new sleeve notes.”
Members of Total Control and Grass Widow converge a mannered, almost eldritch-tinted style of synth-pop crossing lines with Group Rhoda, John Foxx, Carla Dal Forno, HTRK
“THE GREEN CHILD is the long distance musical collaboration of Mikey Young and Raven Mahon, who met in 2013 when their bands, Total Control and Grass Widow played a show in Oakland, California. They started writing songs together in Australia in 2014 and the project has been on a slow burn since. Their self-titled debut album is the culmination of few years of putting ideas together internationally and periodically recording in Mikey's home studio. Some of the lyrical content and the band's name was inspired by Herbert Read's 1935 utopian, communist, sci-fi novel called The Green Child.
With such a choice name, it's no surprise that The Green Child draw their sound from an illusory past as much as they stalk into pastures new. Broadly retro-futuristic in scope, verdant acres of lushly evocative synthesizers and blippy drum machines underpin most of their upbeat yet decidedly uncanny songs. Raven's calmly scenic and measured vocal flits like a will-o'-the-wisp throughout the tracks, proffering a guiding hand as she walks us through the often eerie, electronic concoctions.
'Traveler' opens the album all redolent, beat-minded and labyrinthine. Twisting melody lines swirl and envelop like a sandstorm, whilst Raven coolly projects on a "solitary man" lost to "green oblivion". Similarly, 'Her Majesty II' glistens with its playful yet plaintive vocal and iridescent arpeggios, whilst 'Bertha' slows things down with tumbling chimes and stately use of space.
The Green Child are adept at atmosphere, their songs are refined from gently unfolding ideas that never fail to realise and build to their potential. Tracks like 'Walking Distance' (featuring Al Montfort on saxophone) and 'New Years Eve' are exercises in evolved composition with ideas budding off and blossoming into truly resonant dimensions. The band's cover of 'Marie Elene' (by Keith Pearson) and closing track 'Destroyer' are further crowning achievements, both pieces subtly handled with poise and ample melancholic grandeur. The Green Child fix their sights on the heights they want to reach within their songs and much like the project itself don't want to rush to the finish line. When it becomes more about the unfurling journey, why not take the time to enjoy the trip and burn slower?”
A welcome surprise from Nik Colk Void and Peter Rehberg, aka NPVR, 33 33 finds the Factory Floor lass and Editions Mego boss gelling in predictably fractious formation, smudging the boundaries between techno, noise, avant-garde and whatever the fuck else you want to call it.
The results are uncompromisingly abstract, visceral yet completive, finding a balanced, symbiotic equilibrium where neither attempts to outdo each other. Rather, they converse in free-flowing and jumpy dialogue, roiling from the gremlin-chatter electronics and stilted rhythm of Meantime, Pt.4 thru the piercing harmonic chaos of Twin Cases and the ruptured, throaty acidic gargle of Free Founder and the mercurial noise blatz of DEABG (#1 &2) with a logic that will only be properly known by them, but we can all have fun chasing its tail.
Ekman comes back to bang on The Trilogy Tapes with a 3rd plate of raw, bloody-nosed electro knockers in Onomatomania after the Entropy (2014) and Aphasia (2015) sessions.
The dutch producer pull few punches between the harsh hydraulic electro-techno of Onomatomania 1, the biting point primitivism of Onomatomania 2, and the grimacing, brutish force of Onomatomania 3, saving the snap jawed acid of Onomatomania 4 to eat whatever’s left on yer bones.
Memotone’s follow-up to the overlooked ace Chime Hours finds him fully indulging his more avant, abstract inclinations in strong blend of instrumental virtuosity and electronic processing with often spellbinding, unpredictable results.
Philadelphia’s Dave Coccagna a.k.a. Chaperone vacillates textured, greyscale noise with moments of solemn solo piano keys and rhythmic noise in his cloudy session for Bedouin Records’ Bastakiya Tapes.