It’s a Swedish house thing. Börft boss Jan Zwarre Svensson a.k.a Frak returns to his early project, Villa Åbo, for six deep and rude acid rub downs.
Named after the former bank he grew up in and later founded Studio Styrka, site of early Frak and Alvars Orkester recordings, Villa Åbo is a funky study in teenaged fascinations and nostalgia for dance music’s golden era.
Reprising the vibes of his 1997 releases, ’Ticketiketas’ and ‘Tagetes’, Villa Åbo pays tribute to classic NYC/Chicago/Detroit styles with the ruddy flavour his music’s become prized for, running from the slompy Chi-town grit of ‘Acid Clearout’ and the submerged deep house of ‘Rings of Cross’ to the slow swagger of ‘Elektro Formage’ on the front, then giving the floor something to bite on with the skudgy motion of ‘Zürish’, and rounding out on the killer, Anthony Shakir-esque bomb, ‘Brain Charter Disco’.
Vocal studies by Dutch minimalist Machinefabriek, working with Richard Youngs, Marissa nadler, Peter Broderick, Chantal Acda and Terence Hannum.
“With Voices is the newest recording by Dutch composer Rutger Zuydervelt under the moniker Machinefabriek. True to its title, the album’s eight pieces exhibit Zuydervelt’s use of cassette recorders, tone generators, radios, synths, and other hifi curio to construct bewildering aural architecture around vocal work from Peter Broderick, Marissa Nadler, Richard Youngs, Chantal Acda, Terence Hannum (of Locrian) and others. These human voices are featured as musical instruments rather than mere vehicles of lyrical content, resulting in a sub-linguistic mosaic of primordially stirring moods.
The initial spark of With Voices was kindled while Zuydervelt was in Taipei creating music for a dance company. In the final days of his trip, a dancer named Wei-Yun Chen caught Zuydervelt’s ear with an instagram video featuring a voice that turned out to be Wei-Yun’s own (she would end up on the album’s seventh movement, a piece that features dissected bits of Taiwanese poetry amid low-pitched murmurs and whispering fogbanks of static). The encounter stirred Zuydervelt to create a single 35 minute soundscape upon which each vocalist on With Voices was encouraged to improvise, be it talking, reading, singing, or wordless, guttural intoning. Such vocal smatterings were then used to determine how the other tonal elements should be arranged, dictating where each musical passage would ultimately lead. “The idea was for everyone to just do what came naturally” he recalls, “the element of unpredictability was important to me.”
Indicative of this approach “III” (the tracks are simply titled with Roman numerals) slowly winds like ivy through staccato phrases spoken by Zuydervelt’s peer Peter Broderick, whose micro-incantations skip along mechanically only to telescope into monastic grandeur at the track’s midpoint; the vibrations of vocal cords are often stretched to a seismic hum to form the heavy implements in Zuydervelt’s toolkit. On “V”, tape recordings of Berlin electronic artist Zero Years Kid (aka Joachim Badenhorst) sputter with their own apparent intelligence like a faulty AI attempting to interpret reels of human speech in some ruinous library of the distant future. Finally, a siren-like Marissa Nadler leads the suite to its lullabic endpoint with overlapping wisps of harmony devoid of accompaniment ending the album on an angelic note.
In these moments, like much of With Voices, warm-blooded arteries seem to have grown around bits of well-designed artifice to form something warmly alien, soberly futuristic, and inherently satisfying. More than simply an album of collaborative features, With Voices is a mutating collage of modern minimalism that challenges as often as it comforts. There is an alchemical, metallurgical quality that arises from Zuydervelt’s unique way of merging humanness with abstraction, harshness with beauty, and unintelligibility with familiarity on what may be the most affecting Machinefabriek release to date.”
The mothership has landed! Unseen Worlds finally deliver a premiere edition of Laurie Spiegel’s rare 1991 follow-up to ‘The Expanding Universe’ , filling a gaping hole in electronic music collections across the known world
The jaw-dropping ’Unseen Worlds’ was first released on CD in 1991 by Scarlet Records, but the label went defunct soon after, leaving Laurie seeing to any further pressings. She issued a 2nd CD edition on her Aesthetic Engineering label in 1994, but since that sold out, her amazing album has become very hard to find. Perhaps understandably, that scarcity is probably because nobody wants to sell their original copy, making this new pressing an invaluable window onto ‘Unseen Worlds’ in all senses of the phrase.
In the years between her debut and sophomore sides, Laurie moved away from the New York new music scene to focus on other projects, most notably the MusicMouse software; an “intelligent instrument” allowing for greater real time automation of her equipment. MusicMouse for Macintosh, Amiga and Atari gained a lot of traction with rock artists and paid her bills, and effectively allowed Laurie up to focus on the aspects of music which interested her the most - improvisation and artistic process.
Freed from the more laborious constraints of electronic music composition, Laurie’s artistic-technological breakthrough gave her greater tactility and control in the composition process. The result is some of the lushest and vivid electronic music you’ll ever hear. In the impossibly smooth pitch gradients and timbral complexities of the opening ‘Three Sonic Spaces’ trio, and the hallucinogenic harmonics of ’Sound Zones’ we hear the MusicMouse in blinding action, while the rest of the LP is no less impressive; leading us thru breathtaking black hole sonics on ‘The Hollows’; into mind-bindingly vast noise scapes on ‘Two Archetypes: Hurricane’s Eye - II’; while the shimmering beauty of ‘Riding the Storm’ are right up there with classics by Jean Claude Risset or Roland Kayn; and moments of exquisite beauty like ‘Strand of Life (*Viroid*) and ‘From a Harmonic Algorithm’ give way to the rarely paralleled scope of ‘Passage’, one of those epic electronic music works that makes wading through all the other stuff truly worthwhile.
Mirage-like new age and early-techno synth groves from Nigeria’s Hama on Sahel Sounds, the amazing label behind that sublime Luka Productions album and the ‘Music From Saharan Cellphones’ sets
Neatly summed up by the label as a re-appropriation of 4th world ethnoambient music, ‘Houmeissa’ lands on the mind’s eye like a lysergic dose. Hama’s ten instrumental songs re-voice traditional nomadic herding ballads, ancient caravan songs and ceremonial wedding chants with colourful synthetic means to resemble something like “a Saharan 1980s sci-fi soundtrack or score to a Tuareg video game.”
We advise running straight to the pulsating, ruggedly elegant charge of ‘Bororo’, the flooding chromatics of the title track, or the deeply trippy, off-key cascades of ‘Takamba’ for the strongest flavours. You’ll know exactly what to do next.
Massive tip for fans of Rizan Sa’id, Black Zone Myth Chant, early B12!
‘Rare Ravers’ is The Dead C’s umpteenth album of end-of-the-line Kiwi rock, and their 6th LP dished up by Ba Da Bing! following ‘Trouble’  and a 2013 split side with Rangda.
By now regarded among noise rock’s greatest exponents, The Dead C’s Bruce Russell, Michael Morley and Robbie Yeats continue to hack new paths thru thistly fields of guitar distortion in ‘Rare Ravers’, which, for the record, has nowt to do with glowsticks or warehouses, but everything to do with ideas of reverie and a lust for psychedelic transcendence.
“Disguised as the meandering outpourings of vacant thought and activity dialed simultaneously from zero and ten. Formed in the cauldron of a fevered mistake resolute. Surrounded by ignorance, dis-interest, and the attention of the carefully self-selected. Recorded and burned through a thousand galaxies of dust and doubt and endless infinite wonder, transforming both time and space. Forever exiled to the very bottom of the world to reflect on the struggling desperate pile above. Recognizing any contribution as minuscule and insignificant when placed within the greatness of the other, the dominant insolent preening satisfied, continually shouting the pre-eminence of the first world order.
It's a long player.”
Michael O’Shea’s sole, breathtaking album ranks among our favourite of all time - yet hardly anyone seems to have heard of it. Produced by Wire’s Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis at the Dome studio in 1982, it’s an utterly singular work of magick meshing myriad, worldly modes into music that rarely fails to reduce us to tears. It’s one of those albums that basically sounds like nothing else - the only record we can draw some parallels to is Dariush Dolat-Shahi’s life changing 'Electronic Music, Tar and Sehtar’, despite it coming from the other end of the world.
First brought to our attention by Blackest Ever Black at the start of this decade, we’ve gradually developed an obsessive fascination with its sublime, rapid dervishes and warbling rhythmelodies, so it’s a pleasure to see it finally made easily available to everyone who we’ve ranted about it over the years (2nd hand copies have been historically pricey and hard to come by!), and especially replete with its enlightening new sleeve notes by archivist and writer Failed Bohemian.
A busker among other trades, O’Shea was an itinerant soul who, after a childhood and formative years spent between Northern Ireland and Kerry in the south of the country, and extensive travel between Europe, Turkey and Bangladesh, created his own instrument - an electrified dulcimer known as Mó Cará (Irish for ‘My Friend’) - which he performed on at Ronnie Scott’s, before later playing on bills with everyone from Ravi Shankar to Don Cherry, and also recording with The The’s Matt and Tom Johnson.
Aside from his two contributions to the Stano album, ‘Content To Dine In I Dine Weathercraft’ (also recently reissued by Dublin’s Allchival), O’Shea’s first and only album is the main point of reference for this unique artist. Like some eccentric expression of ancient Indo-European voices channelled thru a Celtic body, Michael O’Shea’s improvised acousto-electric music intuitively distills a world of styles into singularly hypnotic works. Using his self-built instrument; a hybrid of a zelochord and a sitar, made on a wooden door salvaged in Munich, and with the crucial addition of electric pick-ups and the ‘Black Hole Space Box’, O’Shea would absorb sounds from his travels like a sponge, and relay them back thru the instrument with effortlessly freeform and achingly lush results as elaborate as a Celtic knot or elegant as Sanskrit text.
The mercurial flow of syncretised styles in 15 minute opener ‘No Journey’s End’ catches your breath and doesn’t give it back, leaving us utterly light-headed and feeling something akin to religious experience, before his ’Kerry’ vignette most beautifully limns the epic coastline he hails from. The plasmic swirl and phasing of ‘Guitar No. 1’ is perhaps the one piece that time dates the LP to the post-punk era, even if it could have come from ancient Mesopotamia, while the album and artist’s underlying metaphysics bleed thru most hauntingly in the timbral shadowplay of ‘Voices’, and the rapidly tremulous, animist voodoo of ‘Anfa Dásachtach’.
Noted in his lifetime, not least by himself as; “…joker, transvestite, inventor, psychonaut, actor, catalyst, community worker, musician, traveller, instrument maker,” Michael O’Shea’s life was, by all accounts, every bit as colourful as his music, which only makes his untimely death in 1991 all that more tragic, as we’d practically give an arm to hear what he could have made in the early techno era, as he was purportedly getting heavy into London’s rave scene before he was taken.
Honestly no other record has cast such a strong spell over us in recent memory - to the extent of sending us on wild goose chases on the wrong peninsula in Kerry - so please pardon the gush ‘cos we can’t help but share love for this life-affirming disc and Michael O’Shea’s beautifully transcendent music.
New wave/Italo heroes of the ace ‘Danza Meccanica’ and ‘Mutazione’ comps are subject of a first full retrospective, featuring their classic single ‘Maritime Tatami / A Game Of Despair’ plus their ‘1982-1983’ demos compilation
“Victrola is the duo of Antonio “Eze” Cuscinà and Carlo Smeriglio from Messina, Italy. The band formed in 1979 but shortly thereafter relocated to Florence take part in a rich musical scene alongside Neon, Pankow, Alexander Robotnick, and Diaframma. Beginning as a 4-piece (two guitarists, bassist, drummer) they slimmed down to a synthesizer and guitar-based duo by 1982. Their sole release was the now classic ”Maritime Tatami”/”A Game Of Despair” EP from 1983, which we reissued in 2012.
‘Born From The Water’ is a 12 song collection of unreleased demos recorded between 1983 and 1985. The band sent us over 100 cassettes, through which we dug to compile the first volume of their archival darkwave ballads. They used an array of Roland synthesizers (TR-606, TB-303, TR-909, Juno 6) plus a Korg Polysix, Yamaha DX7, Casio VL-Tone VL-1, DR-55 Dr. Rhythm, and Fender Stratocaster and Jazz Bass. Some of the songs would later appear on various compilations, but the versions presented here are unique. Victrola engulfs the listener with trance-inducing synth lines, oblique minor-key bass lines, angular guitar riffs, and melancholic vocals. The songs tell tales of youth, love, karma, and the decline of civilization in modern times.”
Bittersweet noise sculpture with a signature Opal Tapes tang
“Following releases on Always Human Tapes and Panatype during 2018, Jordan Edge aka Red Hook Grain Terminal aka R.H.G.T. has broken out as an exhilarating live performer and composer. With a background in sound art, the texture of sound is of primary importance here. His work combines recordings of refined sound installation pieces (industrial fans, vibrating membranes) with savage digital rot and hyper-active, manic beat making reminiscent of some of the Hessle roster at their most unhinged.
Tracks like 'Expand Yourself' and 'Let Me Leave' detach themselves from reality through abuse of audio software, crushing any notion of tempo and key. While 'Rebuild Me' and 'Particle Dispersion' hold up a microscope and peer into audio phenomena such as the complex worlds within liquids or the interaction of spaces when two huge fans phase against each other and an audience. Savage, surreal and disorientating music.”
Christoph De Babalon cuts onto Luke Younger’s Alter with the roiling gloom of ‘Hectic Shakes’, coming in the wake of an operatic link-up with WDIT and the reissue of his gothic jungle opus, ‘If You’re Into, I’m Out of It’, a total classic of its genre.
Intersecting Alter’s wide-ranging tastes from an oblique new angle, ‘Hectic Shakes’ despatches a tempestuous brace of shivering, jabbing and gnashing jungle breaks splayed with Dungeon-style synth motifs in isolationist, cinematic arrangements that fairly fall under Mark Fisher’s idea of a “depressive hedonism”.
Aye, they might not light up the pleasure centres of your average, proper-up-for-it-me raver, but those predisposed to the darkside will surely appreciate the feel of De Babalon’s style most strongly across ‘Hectic Shakes’. From the clash of grand, stygian strings and chattering cenobite breaks in ‘Harakiri’, to the scorched brass fanfare and shadow-dancing ,squat basement impishness of ‘Endless Inside’, and then thru to the pensive poise and acrid synth tone of ‘Raw Mind’, this is prime material for seeing in the end of days, for dancing in the face of annihilation.
Following a trio of sprawling, planet-gargling double-LPs, 2013’s self-titled LP on Skrammel, and Second Launch (2015) and Eclipsed (2017) on Blackest Ever Black, Bremen – J. Tiljander and Lanchy, previously best known for their contributions to Brainbombs’ long rapsheet of genius-and-brutality, but latterly exponents of a rarefied cosmic melancholy – return with Enter Silence, their most concise, and powerful, album to date.
"Once again the Uppsala multi-instrumentalists combine elements of trogged-out psychedelic rock with a deadly serious Arctic minimalism and weeping modal improvisations that owe more to the outer limits of jazz and burnt-out free music from Japan. It’s connoisseur’s space music, grown-up and grievously honed; outwardly inclined towards the epic but studded with details that reward attention and introspection.
There’s always been a strong undercurrent of sadness animating Bremen’s work, and that existential burden is present and correct on Enter Silence, culminating in the all-out cosmic anguish of ‘Palladium’. Even ‘The Middle Section’, whose ragged chords are nothing if not the sound of optimism and defiance, sounds like it’s navigating some kind of unsayable trauma. But this band has always allowed plenty of room for bonehead slash-and-burn as well: see here especially the Stoogeian/39 Clocks-ish rock’n’roll of ‘Aimless Cruising’ and the pulpy quasi-cinematic tension of ‘Sinister’, or the brilliant ‘Too Cold For Your Eyes’, a blast of voidal motorik that sounds like a cranked-up Clean. "
Avant-rock, concrète and jazz blasts from the time-served Gallic vanguard. RIYL Nurse With Wound, Ghédalia Tazartès, Lol Coxhill
“Jac Berrocal, David Fenech and Vincent Epplay return with Ice Exposure, their second album for Blackest Ever Black. A sequel and companion piece of sorts to 2015’s Antigravity, its title couldn’t be more apt: sonically it is both colder, and more exposed – in the sense of rawer, more volatile, more vulnerable – than its predecessor, capturing the combustible energy and barely suppressed violence of the trio’s celebrated live performances with aspects of noir jazz, musique concrète, no wave art-rock, sound poetry and spectral electronics all interpenetrating in unpredictable and exhilarating ways. While there are moments of great sensitivity and even a cautious romanticism, the prevailing mood is one of anxiety, paranoia, and mounting psychodrama: close your eyes and Ice Exposure feels like a dissociative Hörspiel broadcasting from the seedy backstreets of your own troubled mind.
Before he picks up an instrument or opens his mouth, Berrocal’s unique and compelling presence can be felt: a combination of studied, glacial cool and anarchic, in-the-moment intensity that has served him well over a long and storied career. It was honed during his time as a theatre and film actor, and in the 70s Paris improv scene, it powered his influential Catalogue group in the 1970s, numerous seminal, sui generis solo sides, and far-sighted collaborations with the likes of Nurse With Wound, Lol Coxhill, Pascal Comelade and James Chance which have seen him come to be valorised by two generations of avant-garde agitators and eccentrics. Now in his eighth decade, it comes with an added gravitas, perhaps, but no less energy or vitality. On Ice Exposure, his lyrical, instantly recognisable trumpet playing is a key feature – see especially the ghostly, dubwise take on Ornette’s ‘Lonely Woman’, the dissolute exotica of ‘Salta Girls’, and the sublime echo-chamber soliloquy ‘Opportunity’. But more often it’s his voice that commands centre-stage, whether casually discharging surreal poetic monologues or moaning in animal despair – a vocal tour de force that transcends language and culminates in the Dionysian frenzy of ‘Why’, Berrocal’s half-spoken, half-howled exclamations jostling with David Fenech’s slashes of dissonant guitar, over Badalamenti-ish, panther-stalk drums.
Fenech’s origins are in the mail-art scene of the early ‘90s, when he led the Peu Importe collective in Grenoble, and since then, in addition to his own recordings he has worked as a software developer at IRCAM and played with Jad Fair, Rhys Chatham and many others. Together with Vincent Epplay he is responsible for Ice Exposure’s inspired arrangements and vivid, vertiginous sound design. Epplay is a visual artist and composer with particular interest in aleatory composition, concrete, and the reappropriation of vintage sound and film material. He and Fenech fashion a remarkable mise-en-scene for Berrocal to inhabit, one that embraces cutting-edge electronics while also paying homage to the best traditions of outlaw jazz and libidinous rock’n’roll (‘Soundcheck’ invokes the brutish spirit of Berrocal’s hero Vince ‘Rock N Roll Station’ Taylor). On ‘Blanche de Blanc’, Berrocal’s voice is framed by a groaning, ghoulish orchestra of industrial drones, while ‘Equivoque’ evokes the most humid and hostile Fourth World landscapes and ‘Panic In Surabaya’ lives up to its name, a hectic, pulse-quickening concrète collage that leaves you gasping for air.
This is a searching and singular trio operating at the absolute peak of their powers, with an interplay that transcends studio and stage and occurs at an almost telepathic level. Ice Exposure is a triumph of that group mind, an underworld dérive as life-affirming as it is unnerving and psychologically precarious.”
Unexpected, brilliant R&B/ambient metamorphosis by J. Albert as JIO for Brooklyn’s Quiet Time Tapes
Well established as a producer of prime, rugged US house and broken beats, the Queens-based artist here follows his haunting ‘Envy Turned Curiosity’ EP for TTT with a fully fledged style of songwriting and intimate lyrics over nine gauzy, loose takes on up-to-the-second R&B and hip hop that reveal his strong but tenderly cracked vocals for the first time.
“TFW is about the revolving thoughts and seemingly never-ending internal dialogue that happen during times of hardship that so many of us experience as young adults– breakups, family trouble, unemployment, etc. For Jio, writing these songs on his phone on public transit, or out somewhere late night in an altered state, then returning home to record in his bedroom, this was a way of exporting those thoughts and compartmentalizing, breaking the endless feedback loop.”
Slowdive, Gwenno, Mark Peters and XAM revise Sobrenadar’s sultry shoegaze EP, ‘Y’ for Sonic Cathedral
As you may have predicted, Slowdive offer the strongest highlight with the dreamlike momentum of their take on ‘Del Tiempo’, while Wigan’s Mark Peters - former bandmate of Ulrich Schanuss in Engineers - also gets it right with a gently buoyant version of Cruce’, and ‘Inhabit’ becomes a sloshing, recursive pop gem peppered with pitching vocal treatments, shimmering synths and sweetly elusive rhythms at the hands of XAM.
Deep soul pearl reissued digitally for the first time
“Jack Jacobs grew up in Philadelphia and started out his singing career with an acapella doo-wop singing group before becoming lead singer in some Philly R&B bands. After a while he decided to take up the keyboard so he got a full sized Hammond B-3 organ, which he used to lug back and forth to gigs from his 3rd floor apartment. Jack is remembered by friends and family as an incredibly talented musician and one of the most soulful vocalists they’ve ever known.
Childhood friend and jazz guitar great Pat Martino recalls: “I’ve had a chance to work with some seriously heavy duty singers, such as Ray Charles. He (i.e. Jack) was so spontaneously prolific; he was a poet. I can play some things for you right now and you would be shocked to find out he had no idea what he was about to sing. The lyrics were absolutely phenomenal, and they were extremely spiritual in context in terms of the message he was talking about. They were Biblical lyrics; absolutely overwhelming – just incredible”.
After Jack moved to Atlantic City in the 1970s, he wrote and recorded “I Believe It’s Alright”, initially released on Libra, a small local New Jersey music label. The record barely got any exposure at the time despite how good it was. It channels honest, raw soul energy in its purest form - a truly uplifting song!”
Max D a.k.a. Solo Percussion cooks up a trio of drum-heavy aces, vocalled by Sir E.U
The 2nd vocal excursion on Future Times in recent times following Nappy Nappa’s ‘Bang On Em’, this one features Sir E.U’s effortlessly louche yet dextrous bars on a pendulous Afro-latin crack with ‘Ocean’, while ‘Brand New Bag works up slipper rhythms and electronics under a mumbling, freeform vocal, and their title track stretches out for 10 minutes of dreamy groove and properly stoned/mushied vocal recalling Phloston Paradigm productions and angles of Shabazz Palaces.
Continuing Subtext’s exploratory electronics and devastating sonics is the expansive Ego De Espinhos, the debut full-length from twenty-two year old Porto, Portugal-based artist Gonçalo Penas.
“Described by Penas as a series of “self-exorcisms,” Ego De Espinhos is the cathartic outcome of a highly introspective process. Shaped by opposing forces and instincts, the LP touches on themes that are at once intimate, yet omnipresent. Splendor confronts destruction; id confronts super-ego.
Created solely with digital instruments designed and built by the artist, Ego De Espinhos is the result of Penas’ improvisations. Tracks such as “Introdução, Umbigo” and “Tecto Falso” were recorded in one take, and evidence a stark, dramatic emotional palette.
The release begins as Penas chooses to reject rigidities, customs and conventions of experimental electronic music. Of his process, Penas says: “Personally, I feel that creation should come from a completely free act of will. It is a place where there should be no rules, no expectations, no rights and no wrongs.”
In Ego De Espinhos, Penas turns away from his own technical background, and towards a journey of forward experimentation. This follows his education in Music Production and Technologies at Porto’s School of Music and Performing Arts. For the first time, he finds the freedom to articulate himself sincerely, unearthing beauty and acceptance amidst wreckage and devastation.”
Fleet-hoofed NDW with extra, star-searching electro leads. John Maus fans should check for ‘Foggy Weather’, and Dopplereffekt heads should try out the sexy slow darkness of ‘Humanly Possible’
“Stratis is an electronic duo from Cologne, Germany, formed by Antonios Stratis and Albert Klein in 1981. They took inspiration from the progressive electronic synthscapes of Tangerine Dream & Vangelis and the proto-techno of Chris & Cosey and Yello, as well as jazz and funk. The duo recorded 5 cassette-only albums between 1982 and 1986 – Exotic, New Face, Musica da Ballo, Film Musik, and Raging Beauty – which were released on their own label Creative Tapes (later called Temporary Music), and which were also licensed to Colin Potter’s Integrated Circuit Records (ICR) label.
‘New Face’ consists of eight future-fixated tracks that could have been composed for movies like Blade Runner or Tron. A wide range of minimal electronics are presented, from robotic synth pop to melancholic cold wave to Neue Deutsche Welle electro. The masters for this reissue came from a new transfer made by Colin Potter at ICR in May 2018.”
Banging, trilling, forward funky house fevers from Rushmore, dropping their first new release since the ‘Ours After’ album in 2016
Pulling from current Afrobeats and Carribbean dance musics, the five tracks restlessly turn from the dark, concentrated pressure of ‘Connecting Energy’, which sounds like something from a Marcus Nasty or Petchy set 10 years ago, thru to the Gqom-esque darkside drones of ‘Dream Escape’, mad chromatics in ‘Lasting Levels’, and Fis-T-style warpers in ‘Sidewalk’, which shares a strong drum palette with ‘One nation [‘My House’ Aaron Carl tribute - RIP]’.
Kora-player Sourakata Koité’s ‘en Hollande’ is one of ATFA’s most treasured digs. It’s been available on their blog since 2010 and only now sees a proper reissue, rendering a spellbinding session of quicksilver melody and buzzing harmonies on the 21-string instrument, sometimes combined with vocals, as on the arresting, almost rap style of ‘Djonol’ or the anxious melancholy of ‘Dioula’
“Sourakata Koite is a Paris-dwelling kora-player from Senegal. He is a griot, which means he is a story- and history-teller and singer. He accompanies himself on the kora. The kora is the most representative instrument of Manding music and culture. It is a harp-lute with 21 strings. The instrument is more than 600 years old and has existed in its present form for about 400 years. The griots often make their koras themselves, using a great dried gourd, a thick stick and two smaller sticks and a scraped goatskin. In the old days they used strings of skin, but nowadays often plastic fikshingline is used. The kora is held with the last three fingers of each hand at the small sticks on both sides of the strings. The strings are played by both thumbs and forefingers. With one hand the accompanying part is played and with the other the more free melody. Koite has performed in most African countries and also in a great deal of Europe.’
As thrilling and unpredictable as anything in Deerhunter’s near 15-year career, ‘Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?’ was recorded in several strategic geographic points across North America and produced by the band, Cate LeBon, Ben H. Allen III and Ben Etter.
"Forgetting the questions and making up unrelated answers, Deerhunter’s eighth album is a science fiction album about the present. Exhausted with the toxic concept of nostalgia, they reinvent their approach to microphones, the drum kit, the harpsichord, the electromechanical and synthetic sounds of keyboards. Whatever guitars left are pure chrome, plugged straight into the mixing desk with no amplifier or vintage warmth."
From raving screwballs to darkroom EBM and tribalist heat, Hodge sees 2018 out in fine style for BH following a smart hook-up with Laurel Halo
Hodge’s 2nd Berceuse Heroique 12” of 2018 sees the Berlin-based Bristolian working deep into his signature style of busy-but-cool groove with excellent results in the mentasm-streaked rolige of ‘Raptors’, and the clenched punch of ‘Xenomorph’, whereas the other two are all about swingeing percussive parry and Afro-Latin flex.
Concept-driven collagists/producers Kepla & DeForrest Brown Jr side-eye white privilege and ambient imperialism in their follow-up to ‘Absent Personae’, again for Geng’s excellent Brooklyn-based Purple Tape Pedigree.
“'The Wages of Being Black is Death' is an exhausted and defeated audio documentation of the alienation - and eventual distillation - of the Black Body as a subject and content of the social sphere by Kepla & DeForrest Brown, Jr. Written and recorded in a week’s time between file-sharing and overnight home studio binges, the mixtape is framed as a deadpan comedy that follows a slothful and downtrodden Black Body as it drifts amongst the ambient commons of the Whites. Artist Ryan Kuo states that, “Whiteness acts by dictating the terms and categories that describe everything in the universe except itself.” 'The Wages of Being Black is Death' in turn serves as a reversal of the nominal gaze of categorization, a paranoid disavowal of an uneven and silent social contract as well as an intimate encounter with the daily, incessant slights and traumas felt by the Black Body in everyday life.”
Nkisi rolls out a modern classic with ‘7 Directions’ for UIQ. A masterful debut album informed by African Cosmology and Congolese rhythms, it’s aesthetically comparable with music ranging from Autechre's ‘Incunabula’ to The Connection Machine’s ‘Painless’ and Lee Gamble's hyperprisms, but ultimately it’s peerless in the (hyper)modern field...
Specifically referencing the writings of Kongo scholar Dr Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau and the African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo, ‘7 Directions’ is offered as a gateway to hallucinatory mindstates via aerobic mysticism, focussed on the idea that rhythm has the capacity to modulate and experiment with conditions of perception.
Nkisi inimitably unlocks and retunes the body’s rhythmic anticipation with breathless batteries of polyrhythms that arguably make the majority of Western dance styles sound like rote line dance music for folk with little imagination in their bones. In each direction, her drums writhe and rattle in a simultaneously ancient/futuristic style - ancient because they explicitly reference percussive traditions way older than Western civilization, and futuristic because they’ve never been presented in this way before, alloyed with cosmic synth pads that draw lines from Detroit to the Lowlands and back to source, way out in the cosmos.
But rather than closed systems for study and analysis, Nkisi’s trax feel like living, bristling organisms, virulent systems that only become activated with user participation, where those ideas can begin to take root, grow and mutate via kinesis.
Theatrical late ‘70s synth music from Sweden, released for the first time by Dais
"Recorded between the release of Sand (1977) and Lost Secrets (1981), Symphonic Songs is a formerly unreleased work that chronicles the dynamic shift and development in experimental Swedish composer Ragnar Grippe’s canon.
Following his seminal release Sand in 1977, Swedish experimental composer Ragnar Grippe worked on various art and performance commissions, often returning to Stockholm during the summer months to focus his efforts on his compositional practice. It was there at the famed EMS Studios where he began employing the Buchla synthesizer and the facilities multi-tracking capabilities as new instruments to map his mining of sound and movement.
During the late 1970’s, Grippe formed a creative collaboration with choreographer Susan Buirge, specifically writing compositions for her works “Restes” and “Tamis”, thus pushing Grippe to start working in a more intricate studio environment. These passages inspired Grippe into a more complex layering process that focused more on placement and structure, rather than the aural floods and flourishes of his previous Sand album, eventually germinating in his first full 24-track composition entitled “Orchestra.”
After debuting “Orchestra” in 1980 at the Electronic Music Festival in Stockholm, Grippe holed up at EMS Studios with those lessons and the fussy Buchla synthesizer, in which Grippe affectionately recalls “needed to be tuned and calibrated every 20-30 minutes.” He emerged with a new commission for Susan Buirge later formally titled Symphonic Songs and used in her avant-garde theater piece “Ci-Déla” which debuted in Paris in 1981. Symphonic Songs showcased Grippe’s sound au courant, pushing dense against sparse, calm into cacophonous, using each track as its own intersecting plane. Using the machinations of studio and structure to drive Symphonic Songs’ voice, Grippe culled a haunting, often cinematic electronic work that dots and darts into unexpected corners with curious aplomb.
“Listen to the words, both terms have their root in classical music, but not in its form but because now I had so many more stems or voices that could be played simultaneously compared to my earlier pieces. Coming from a classical background, but with big nostrils for pop and jazz music, I can now see a thread in which classical got a new costume, dressed up in Buchla synthesizer and real bass sounds” Grippe says.”
K Leimer reissue double-header, packing the systems-based modern classical experiments of 2007’s ‘The Useless Lesson’ and ‘Lesser Epitomes’
“Originally released in 2008, The Useless Lesson and Lesser Epitomes have been revisited, remixed, remastered and expanded with the 40-minute bonus EP Three Adaptations. K. Leimer founded Palace Of Lights in 1979. Leimer's work has also been issued by Autumn, First Terrace, Les Giants, Invisible Inc., Origin Peoples and RVNG. His early cassette work is included in the critically acclaimed VOD box set American Cassette Culture and will be included in Cherry Red's upcoming Noise Floor series. Leimer has been actively producing music since the mid 1970s -- his current catalog includes eighteen solo albums plus collaborative albums with Savant and Marc Barreca. His work is included in the collection of The British Library."
Grime OG Scratcha DVA juggles the dance with four ruggedly stripped down rhythms bending Gqom and Kuduro with UK style pressure
‘Kodjo Darko’ goes on a warped blend of sino-grime licks, UKG bass and Gqom drum cadence; ‘Kong (Deeped It Mix)’ comes with a sort of astral-Afro-technoid flavour recalling Nkisi and Bonaventure productions; ‘Untitled 999’ ramps UK grime with unyielding tribal drums trouble; and SA/UK bass guys LV boost the fructose levels of ‘Dumpling Riddim’.
Caspar Brötzmann Massaker’s masterful second album from 1989 - remastered.
"The power trio’s blunt force execution is directed by Brötzmann’s explosive and exquisite six string conjuration. Channeling Hendrixian vibrations, mixed with hard German industrial atmosphere."
Caspar Brötzmann Massaker’s masterful debut album from 1989 - remastered.
"The power trio’s blunt force execution is directed by Brötzmann’s explosive and exquisite six string conjuration. Channeling Hendrixian vibrations, mixed with hard German industrial atmosphere."
Dublin’s Frank B a.k.a. Sias turns out tuff, jacking but melodic cut sfor All City’s Jheri Tracks
‘May 1932’ hits harder and bittersweet with cold EBM kick and chrome burning electro-trance lead.
‘Of Cotton’ is ruder, going on with tetchy, grimy drum programming and stressed-out synth squabble.
Premiere release of a plangently sore synth work inspired by the Yom Kippur war in ‘70s Israel
“’The soundtrack of my mind. Sounds derived from the war which still and always live in my mind'
“This record is a previously unheard masterpiece of Israeli multimedia artist Ami Shavit. As a professor of both philosophy and art and established kinetic artist in the 1970s Shavit was fascinated with new and interactive technologies. While mostly focusing on visual art and mixed-media installations, a trip to New York in 1972 introduced him to synthesizers and triggered his curiosity to do some explorations into the world of music or "sound" as he preferred to call it. Ami's research was focused on the concept of meditative music that would help people to relax and create a cosy mood associated to the alpha brain waves and biofeedback.
Before starting his artistic career, like all Israeli citizens, he had to serve in the army to his personal regret. Shavit had an operational position, which meant a high probability to get involved in a so called 'hot situation'. When in 1973 the Yom Kippur war broke out, Ami was enlisted again and got the unfortunate opportunity to encounter, in Hanoch Levin's words 'the dead'. Being an operation officer he was in charge of evacuating Israeli wounded officers from battlefields to hospitals. Some 6000 injured men passed through us during that war, he recalled one year later in a newspaper interview.'I witnessed some sights that I can hardly forget. On the one hand I felt that as an artist I had to express the war events, on the other hand I felt that this is an almost impossible mission. Only Goya and Picasso, in his Guernica, addressed this topic successfully.'
Yom Kippur is the final and seminal of Shavit's sound experiments ever recorded and now finally available to the world. We believe that this is an extraordinary strong piece in which the hectic moods and terrific experiences of war are deeply transmitted to the listener. May all soldiers, who are often forced to go through traumatic experiences beyond their own will, find ways to artistically digest and process the unwanted memories.”
Potent midnight melancholy from Brussels, featuring Victor De Roo debuting under his own name after introductions made as Vanderschrick on a delectable 7” for Stroom
Picking up where his 7” left off, and with more room to play with on ‘Nachtdichter’, De Roo unfolds his sound along more lonesome, lofty lines with the chirruping tape nose and hushed downbeat delivery of ‘Gewoon’, before penning the kind of red-lit synth-pop we could imagine cropping up in a Gaspar Noé flick with the slick but brooding dungeon boogie of ‘Voorbenachte Rade’. On the other side, the artist’s Belgian synth heritage bleeds thru in the floating spectral figures of ‘Beland In Bed’, and the EP’s title cut regresses to a sort of smacked-out drone rock dirge recalling Clay Rendering as much as Pseudo Code.
Quietly unmissable, this.
Séance Center survey the ghostly soundtrack work of Storm Bugs’ Philip Sanderson in the ‘80s, after leaving the cult industrial group to pursue solo interests...
“By 1981, after four years of DIY electronics, it was time for a change. For Philip Sanderson that change came in the form of film. At first, requests came from friends for soundtrack work, and by the end of the decade he was making short experimental 8mm films himself. On One of These Bends is a collection of unreleased songs, soundtrack work and obscure cassette-only pieces from the 80’s which reflect Philip’s shift in focus. It was a departure from the industrial music he had been making with his group Storm Bugs, having more in common with Nino Rota and Henry Mancini, albeit as seen through a DIY lens, and with a reel-to-reel orchestra comprised of an EMS VCS3, vibraphone, DX7, Roland SH-101, Roland TR-606, tape delay, acoustic guitar, fretless bass and Yamaha FB-01
On two numbers, Philip jokingly asked an American chanteuse to “sing it like a cross between
Streisand and The Shangri-Las”, and to his surprise she did, the results sounding like a loungey AC Marias, or a lost early Crépuscule recording by Anna Domino. Counterpointing this are tracks such as E For Echo made with just an acoustic guitar, and the very first piece Bright Waves which combines the choral vocal talents of Nancy Slessenger with a Revox tape delay system, originally released on his own label Snatch Tapes, under the pseudonymous duo Claire Thomas & Susan Vezey.
These tracks are presented with the ‘picture turned down’ so to speak, and as such the music acts as a kind of memento mori for the absent moving images, and maybe even for the decade itself.”
Shadowy Berlin techno stalwarts Pom Pom sell up to Ostgut’s A-TON with a typically enigmatic album of murky ambient, industrial and electronica
For years the preserve of techno neeks and anyone intrigued by the racks of identikit black labelled and sleeved 12”s in X-Berg’s Hardwax and Space Hall racks, Pom Pom has done well to maintain its anonymity in a the current, hyper-commercialised and surface level state of things in techno right now.
Still, nobody has a clue who’s behind the label, apart from maybe A-TON, who bring the artist(s)/label to a wider audience with ‘Untitled II’, which, to our ears, sounds like the work of more than one person, as it ranges from comedown drones to purring electro offcuts and arpeggiated nightflights with a subtle shift in accents that, to be fair, could be the work of one as much as many.
Jordan GCZ (Juju & Jordash, Magic Mountain High) delivers with a proper Dutch/Detroit techno funk twang for Rush Hour
The A-side is a high velocity, hi-tech jazz ace in the model of Mad Mike / Juan Atkins / Orlando Voorn - all propulsive synth vamps and needlepoint 909 funk - whereas the B-side tracks were recorded at the WORM Studio in Rotterdam and take a tuffer tack into deep techno with ‘Yellow Jackets Descend’ (a premonition of the Gilet Jaune movement?!), and slo-mo cosmic chug with ‘Minor 7 Resin’.
Men of many monikers Jordan Czamanski and William Thomas Burnett cover a spectrum of styles with the rapidfire rhythmelodies, choral synths and dank ambience of ‘Setting The Scene For An Island Battle’
Adding up to something like a short-film soundtrack, the pair shape up a progressively pensive episode travelling from the fluttering, ritualistic charge of ‘Krazy Kalimba’ and the mesh of pygmy-esque electronics and bubbling choral voices in ‘Island Life’, to the reflective ambience of ‘Pitter Patter’, before matters take a dark turn into the Giallo-ish strings and slunking groove of ‘Incoming Fire’, and the cold palpitations of ‘Survey The Scene For Survivors’.
Immense, churning debut from 55 y.o. Japanese producer Baptisma, backed with a badass Hodge remix for Don’t DJ’s Disk label
Baptisma is the production alias of 菊永洋, who runs an art space and concert venue called Spacio Rita. We’re not sure how long he’s been making music, but his first release is highly accomplished, sounding out a pure rhythm & noise session that echoes Cut Hands’ investigations of Congolese percussion and occluded atmospheres as much as Don’t DJ’s own tricksy rhythms or the Indonesian artists spotlighted on Disk’s celebrated ‘Animisme’ 12”.
In his three originals, Baptisma turns out a grittily fluid flood of drums and dynamic, layered atmospheres, carrying a heavy momentum from the voodoo of ‘Pes#1’ thru the militant trample of ‘Pes#2’ to a sublime mesh of war-cry horns and slow, keening gamelan structures in ‘Pes#3’. Hodge is honoured with the task of remixing ‘Pes#1’, returning a colder distillation of pinched modular bleeps, deadly bass drum and bodily cross-rhythms.
Sähkö’s Jazzpuu sublabel reissue a superb piece of post-Soviet “free jazz” electronics by Vladimir Tarasov, part of his long-running ‘Atto’ series
Originally dispensed by state label Мелодия in 1990, the 4th ‘Atto’ volume features Vladimir effortless rolling out on a 35 minute piece in two parts built from pranging percussion, hunting horns and electronics.
It’s a hypnotic study in sublime tension and spatial perception, with low-lying, distant bed of waltzing arps in the background, and sparing, pranging percussion in the foreground organically building to a pensive thunder and precipitous chime tree shivers in the first, before the rhythms double and triple up in the 2nd part, reminding us of Oren Ambarchi’s recent rhythms excursions with Ricardo Villalobos and co in the process.
Killer, deconstructed dance music from the late ’00s, dug out by Elon Katz (Streetwalker/White Car) for his Zero Grow boutique
Written in 2007 and released on his website in the same year, the 10 tracks that have become ZG004 were arguably ahead of their time, effectively doing to B-More what Lorenzo Senni has done with Hard Trance, and likewise Mark Fell with deep house and garage, or The Automatics Group with trance pop and electro-house anthems: extracting their essence and homing in on the styles’ structural tics and aesthetics.
However, perhaps a more acute comparison would be Co La, who has also also taken B-more as bedrock for some of his strongest, decimated workouts, but they differ in terms of sound design, as Zucconi’s work takes the rough along with the smooth, resulting in dead canny dance tracks on the likes of his jagged ‘Glasshouse’, the crumpled buck and strolling chords of ‘A.P.I.’, and the warped rave intensity of ‘In My Arms’.
A classic Legowelt adventure returns to circulation, for the first time available to officially download
This is Danny Wolfers a.ka. Legowelt at his pulpy best, evoking straight-to-video ‘80s slasher and action movie soundtracks with his trusted arsenal of era-appropriate analogue synths.
We recommend getting an 8 ball in, locking the doors, shutting the curtains and using this album to score your own Narcostate drama. Please record it to video and send us the results.
Tenderly sensitive ambient introspection from Belgium’s Milan Warmoeskerken, paying a 1st solo visit proper to Ekster after various, enchantingly melodic outings as Crumar Young and a part of the Mittland Och Leo trio in recent years
Last heard in highlights of Ekster’s EX02 and EX03 volumes, Milan W gives a much fuller account of himself here, sketching a sort of blue self-portrait in glistening arps peppered with nimble drum programming and gently resonating within spacious FX envelopes.
Most crucially, for us at least, is the way that that Milan W.’s take on ambient music actually speaks to us. In each part, motifs are recycled, but they don’t feel repetitive. Rather, his compositions burble and chatter in a way that feels like the wallpaper is gently coming alive, with its textured flocking designs blooming as colourful flowers and crystalline figures that catch the light in different ways as you move thru the LP, or appear to slide over each other in moire patinas of synthetic chorales and skin rippling rhythms.
“The harlequin turns the handle. The contraption sucks in air, and breathes. Blows out tone poems. Wordless ballads that soundtrack enchanted scenarios. Issues forth magic. A sorcerer’s apprentice casting its spell. Animating the inanimate. To everything a life. Sets the frozen fluttering / skipping. Pirouetting in red shoes. Illuminates what was dark. Astma sings a Gamelan lullaby. Summons comforting angels to a post-Industrial landscape. Glaasjes has Jazz ghosts inhabit an empty bar room. Spirits stealing excuse-me`s under its deserted spot. In Limbo amplifies their whispers. Lead soldiers court jewellery-box ballerinas behind shuttered shop fronts. OnHeraldic Snippets, a tin infantry marches. Ten thousand men up to the top, and back down again. Keys make-believing that they are massed brass and fife.
The bellows pump, and the pipes all the while wheezing. An automaton philharmonic at the bidding of a steam-punk master. Analogue and digital. Clockwork and glitch. Malady finds sounds isolated, extrapolated, mutated. Orchestral`s organ-grinder moves with urgency, and alchemy. Spinning straw into gold. Snare rolls become bubbling mercury. Metallic, yet fluid. Racing at the speed of flight and escape. Slope is the music of water chasing through crystal caves. Slow Runner, a funeral crawl. Shoved into motion by a drama of strings remembered.
Like the charismatic Rat-Catcher of Hamelin, the harlequin turns the handle, and we bang the cup. (Text by Robert Harris)”
Surprise new release on Low Jack’s much sought-after Les disques de la Bretagne series, a tropical spell from Dominick Fernow’s Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement on a lights-out dancehall voodoo tip - the first RSE release outside of Hospital Productions.
Dominick Fernow (Prurient) and Low Jack untie for this latest incarnation of Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, after stumping one of 2018’s biggest surprises with their dread-filled collaboration ‘Red Ants Genesis’
On the A-side’s noxiously swampy ‘Bridgetown Dub’ they come to bury the dance with mesmerising chants and skeletal drums and powerful electro-dub subs - brought to life in-the-mix by Paul Corley - while lightning and thunder threaten collapsing skies. The synthetic vocal edits and drums take this deeper into steppers territory than any other RSE (or for that matter any of Fernow's many aliases) we can recall - proper vibe.
‘Price To Pay’ on the flip follows in bassy suit, starting off almost shorn of drums and licked with currents of tropical warm air chords that lull you into a state of a most welcome mental paralysis, before those kicks come in again for a delirious sense of momentum.
Powerful spells, strongly recommend to fans of Demdike Stare, Equiknoxx, Shackleton, Burial.
Venerable experimentalist Alvin Lucier keeps us beguiled with the high-register acoustic phenomena of ‘Ricochet Lady’, his first piece for Glockenspiel and latest significant work for Oren Ambarchi’s peerless Black Truffle.
Exactingly performed by Trevor Saint, the world’s preeminent specialist in performing experimental works for Glockenspiel, ‘Ricochet Lady’ is presented four times, each recorded in a dissimilar space with unique acoustic characteristics: an arts centre hall, a chapel, an empty forge, and a 36-metre tall grain silo (same site in Buffalo, NY, used in Sarah Hennies’ ‘Embedded Environments’). In keeping with Lucier’s earliest practice and ever since, the results speak to metaphysical perceptions of place, and embody his “…approach towards sound’s individual function and mobility within space.”
For each piece, Lucier instructs Saint to play his tuned percussion instrument while facing a wall or other reflective surface. While the exact same piece of rapid, repetitive patterns is played in each space, the results are the same yet remarkably different depending the space and the way it creates its own matrix of overtones. As the glockenspiel is already limited to higher registers only, and the piece itself follows a simply rising cadence from one end of the keyboard to t’other, the effect of Saint’s playing and the space itself lead to some seriously trippy results.
Likely psychotomimetic for some, and a pleasure for others (it’s both for us), the pieces’ visceral pointillism generates some deeply uncanny side-effects with the breathless, needling peal of the Blum Hall recording, compared with the wider plangency and head-squeezing squeal of the Chapel of The Holy Inncoents piece, and likewise between the increasingly broader dimensions felt out in the Basilica Hudson recording, and thru to the decidedly colder, spiralling scale and screeching buzz generated in the Marine A Grain Elevator part.
Exceptional hi-tech steppers and rollers from Paradon’t - the Black Forest-based duo of Florian Meyer (Don’t DJ) and Volker Weismann (Paraklang) - debuting with a distinctive take on experimental tribal techno for Disk, a new arm of the Diskant label. A very strong look for fans of Photek, Shackleton Pessimist, N.M.O., Cut Hands!
In hot pursuit of a polyrhythmic swerve that transcends techno, D&B, African tribal practice - all that good stuff - the Thrd Mpct EP delivers some of the sickest syncopation we’ve heard since Soul Jazz’s Voodoo Drums sets on both sides of this record.
Up top on Chunwangk Kyuh Hay (thru mpct) they unwind a venomous, reticulated roller coming off like Photek meets Optical at Shackleton’s hut - all wooden drums and noxious atmospheres pregnant with a lethal sense of dread designed to keep dancers well on their toes.
Down below, N Bun Kan Kan (bad rm) pushes farther into a noisy grey area with slithering, salty electronics setting a scratchy course for polymetric patterns pivoting off crisp woodblocks and shards of electronics, kinda like N.M.O. upping the ante for a fierce game of Kabaddi, then Gonyungk Wadt (mtrx) comes off like Marcus Schmickler rinsed out by Rashad Becker.
This is one mean platter, we’re telling ya!
OG grime figurehead Scratcha DVA follows the idea of his ‘Interludes’ set with ‘Intros’
A smart collection bundling his idents for the Grimy Breakfast Show on Rinse along with vaporous R&B daydreams, prank calls, hyper synthfunk vamps, and guest appearances from Michael Red, Kush Jones, and Traxman.
After no-wave legends Liquid Liquid broke up in 1984, singer Salvatore Principato took some much need to time to revaluate his musical direction. Renting a studio on the Lower East Side with Ken Man Caldiera. It was there that they started their next musical project, Fist of Facts.
"In 1985 Ken Man showed up in the studio with this IBM AT computer. It had a 1/2 MB of RAM and some Voyetra software that could sequence music, becoming the duo’s backing band. Fist Of Facts contributors included Mark Cunningham from Mars, Felice Rosser, Genevieve De Monvel Boutet, Carlos Vivanco, Scott Hartley from the Liquids and a whole host of others.
Fist of Facts expand the natural groove that Liquid Liquid established over their quick career, with a strong political message combined with abstract dub soundscapes."
Nyege Nyege usher in the new year with the hyper blaze of Jay Mitta’s debut LP ‘Tatizo Pesa’, kicking off a trio of searing Singeli albums from the sound’s ground zero - the Sisso Studios of the Mburahati ghetto, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Proper 180bpm+ headmelters taking traditional music into orbit of contemporary, accelerated styles ranging from Grenedan Jab Jab/Soca to Chicago footwork, hardcore UK rave and French flashcore...
A breathtaking boost of frenetic rhythms, syncopated loops and nagging hooks, ‘Tatizo Pesa’ notably introduces 14 year old MC sensation Dogo Janja alongside nine knockout instrumentals that make much western dance musics seem prissy and pedestrian.
Despatched by the acclaimed Nyege Nyege Tapes outta Kampala, Uganda; it presents the raw, untrammelled energy of Tanzanian Singeli with immediate effect. Like his peers, Bamba Pana, DJ Balotelli, and DJ Longo, Jay Mitta combines traces of older, local folk melodies with elements of ‘Bongo Flava’, or up-to-the-minute Swahili rap music, but at breakneck tempos that give the sound its inexorable energy and verve.
Jay Mitta’s debut offering renders the lushest, variegated spectrum of Singeli since the style emerged in its current form only a few years ago. On the one hand he plays up to pure rave needs with outright steamers such as ‘Don Bet’, and the ratchet tension of ‘Mwakidimba’, but they’re balanced with hip hop swagger in the standout title tune featuring 14 year old Dogo Janja, and the deep south bounce-esque of ‘Masera’, while the mercurial quickstep of ‘Dura’ and ‘Mchuma Bet’ are bound to snag wider-eared ravers with their so-fast-they’re-weightless string and key arrangements.
It’s very hard to ignore that with ‘Tatizo Pesa’ Jay Mitta has produced a new and unmissable high-water mark of the ancient yet up-to-the-second East African music bound to translate directly to all willing bodies.