After issuing a string of records heavily indebted to Rephlex Records, Nina Kraviz gets her hands on the real thing with Aleksi Perälä’s Paradox album for her трип label.
Playing to the colundi scale, Perälä pounds, pinches and plasmogrifies techno and electro with Braindance virtuosity across all ten tracks of Paradox. Like his recent Simulation LP for Clone Basement Series, the tracks here are curved for the ‘floor, and maybe more specifically, Nina’s ‘floor - ready for dispatch in sweaty clubs and mammoth festival stages alike.
We recommend checking it for the whirring calculations of GBLFT1740072 (Original Mix), the percolated instrumental synth-pop brilliance of GBLFT1740067 (Original Mix), and the trancey élan of GBLFT1740068 (Original Mix).
The fruitful relationship between Rod Modell (DeepChord), Hanyo Van Oosterom (Chi) and Astral Industries continues to yield new beauties with Red Lantern At The Kallikatsou, as Van Oosterom rework Modell's first release for Astral Industries with lovely, low-key ambient results making for a great package clad in the label’s signature, absorbing artwork.
Over two seamlessly sequenced sides the founding member of Dutch new age experimenters Chi reenvisions Rod Modell's 'Lanterns' thru the prism of modern software, sieving their spectral airs for etheric loops and vibes which he layers into a cats cradle of soothing, tranquil atmospheres, but reserving some surprise twists to points when soothed heads may least expect it.
"I’ve never met Rod Modell (Deepchord) in person, but we have met through music. He found an obscure cassette of Chi music (from ’86), sent it to Astral Industries and paved the way for the release (30 years later) of ‘The Original Recordings’ in 2016. Since then, we’ve exchanged ideas and good music. I sent Rod a preview of ‘The Kallikatsou Recordings’ - he really liked it - and here came the idea for a remix of ‘Lanterns’. I started working on some random, lo-fi samples from Youtube, using Audacity, perhaps the simplest way of producing loops and samples. It’s the only computer based system that feels like the tape recorders I used to work with.
I sent the first sketches to Rod on Facebook, but they ended up in the wrong inbox. I forgot about them, but months later he came back saying he loved them. I decided to go back to working on them, maintaining the lo-fi approach. I began manipulating the samples: time-stretching, tempo and pitch-shifting, mixing different layers and adding old-school monophonic “old speaker” effects, delays and loops. I used a few field recordings, voices and samples from my early ambient cassettes, and they matched. Ario from Astral Industries got involved and the experiment turned into a plan - a vinyl release - ‘Red Lantern at the Kallkatsou’”.
Hanyo van Oosterom”
Pye Corner Audio brings his wood-fired analogue sound to Lapsus Records after touring the houses of Mondo Tees, Polytechnic Youth, Analogical Force and More Than Human already in a productive 2017 cycle.
In a smart play of contrasts, we hear much-loved and lesser-heard sides of PCA’s sound in Where Things Are Hollow. The supple, rolling arpeggios and acid tweaks of Resist, and his wobbly, chromatic cosmic chugger Northern Safety Route both bear the hallmarks of Martin Jenkins’ signature dancefloor romance.
However, fans should be very intrigued to hear him go beat-less and weightless in the other two parts. With Mainframe he conducts a stellar display of piquant bleep motifs and arcing choral pads converging into a gently distorted and dissonant harmonic smudge at the track’s peak, and Continental Drift seemingly operates on the opposite side of that wave with a sullen stir of low end swells and light pollution aurora reflecting the scale of the track title.
Ruff garage-techno bangers by some cat called Antonio, delivered raw and uncut on Manchester’s Natural Sciences label.
This one grips and cuts deeper than most, ragging your bones with devilishly infectious swing and bleary chords on Untitled TT and getting under the skin with itchy, nerve-tweaking finesse in Raw Love.
The recoiling kicks and chopped loops in $$$ hit right where it matters on the B-side, again balanced with some really nice pads and gritty mixing, for the clattering jungle uppercut of Untitled D to properly send us reeling.
South London soundman Parris stacks up four signature cuts of low key, crackly, sub-heavy vibes on his subtly probing debut with The Trilogy Tapes after really coming into his own over the past few years via 12”s for Ancient Monarchy, Idle Hands, and Hemlock, plus the ace TX280916 / TX111116 mix for Keysound.
The 2 Vultures EP catches Parris at his idiosyncratic best, hustling an early hours-of-the-dance feel that works beautifully well at setting mutable, plasmic pressure for heavier things to come, or just as well for eazing off in the comfort of your own space.
EP opener Lionel’s Dub is one the most orthodox, classically-rooted dubs we’ve heard from the guy, something like a dusty echo of Adrian Sherwood at his most red-eyed, whereas Hot-Blooded gets down to some Farben-esque micro-house with added steppers bass pressure. 2 Vultures then follows a masseur path into melting, brittle dub architecture, leavened by genteel jazz touches, and Hanging With The Birds can’t fail to leave you beaming its feathered confection of bird calls, bobbling bass and Mario power ups.
The Motor City maestro in effect on Barcelona’s 30drop Records, following his 12”s on Lower Parts and Tresor with a pair of harmonically sound and psychedelically dissonant aces, plus remixes by Dasha Rush and 30drop.
Digital Ladder is a spheric beauty drizzling pure chromatic bleeps on a purring 313 groove, just ripe for going eyes-shut in the dance or driving around your local post-industrial landscape. On the other hand, the wickedly abstract clangour of This Is A Test falls in line with his Different Frequencies wonder off his Like A Thief In The Night EP - embracing psychedelic tunings in daring way which many could learn from.
On remix duties, Dasha Rush reworks Digital Ladder as a darker, more jagged and acidic techno roller, while 30drop speeds up and add hi-hats to This Is A test for more driving effect.
Anthony Child (Surgeon) and Daniel Bean (Spiritland) generate gusty electronic folk drones resonating somewhere between La Monte Young and Coil...
“The title of the debut lp from The Transcendence Orchestra outlines the modus operandi of this pairing of Anthony Child and Daniel Bean. Recorded in a remote English rural setting over a period of 24 hours this is an apt location for a recording that eschews time and space in favour of methodological displacement and deep psychological navigation.
Modern Methods For Ancient Rituals is an experiment in acoustic and synthetic symbiosis which is deeply influenced by the atmosphere and acoustics of the rural location of Cats Abbey resulting in a set of recordings which can aid to the transformation of consciousness. Deploying a range of ancient and modern instruments and effects including Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy gurdy, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky and Roland RE 101 Space Echo among others, Child and Bean conjure an audio experience which encapsulates elements of drone, trance, pulse, rhythm and melody subtly shifting all into a psychologically penetrating experience beyond the aesthetic and into the comforting unknown.
Written and recorded at Cats Abbey in November 2016 by Anthony Child and Daniel Bean.
Anthony and Daniel played the Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy gurdy, symphonie, glockenspiel, hand bell, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky, Strymon DIG, and Roland RE 101 Space Echo.”
Unique, killer tribal techno rhythms from Harmonious Thelonious for DISK, following that superb Paradon’t 12” with a broader, layered and textured batch of knobbly grooves and hypnotic patterns.
Marking a subtle line in the sand from their previous output on DISK’s defunct sibling label, Diskant, the tracks here carry more weight for modern ‘floors, feeling as though he’s unlocked some secret drum kink which allows his rhythm to flow more effortlessly and deadly.
Uptown, he shakes out the unsteady intricacies of Sketches to sound like some inversion of techno, D&B and ancient, psychedelic drum rituals, before yoking his drums to a strobing 16th note synth in Manta Mantra, which is about the most perfect balance of tribal music and mesmerising, electrified Düsseldorf styles that you could hope for.
Downtown, he brings a sort of Konono No.1-alike tang to Shackleton-esque drum cadence in Ayranman, whose title punningly plays on the Turkish name for Ironman (what did you think?), and then trips out with another old skool Shack-style roller named I Found A New Way of Loving You.
For the 1st time since inception, Loefah’s 81 embraces new blood with Milan’s Luca Mucci aka Piezo dropping four cuts of rugged house/bass mutations after a 12” on Idle Hands.
It’s worth checking for the echo chamber oddity El Sangre and the squashed electronics in Rash, especially if you’re into 81’s Mickey Pearce or Hessle Audio’s Joe.
Kaizen stumps up a 2nd EP from dubstep/bass mutant Biome (LVLZ) - his most significant statement on vinyl in years
Testing his hand at steely, tech-out rolige (Stealth), menatasm-streaked dark garage torque (Fargo), trademark half step pressure (Yoof), 81-style swagger (Weekend), and a dank back alley bass lurker (Ancoats).
The Icelandic banger-builder tests out bendier acid-electro and techno styles in the Geothermal Sheep EP for his bbbbbb label.
The image of AFX and Rephlex Records looms large over all four cuts, but twysted with a 2017 gurn, resulting the sawn-off electro jolts and curdled Braintrance pads of Soda Sugarlicious, the scrunched and booming shapes of Klobbalegt_ix_ (Original Mix), an early ‘90s AFX-style roiler in Drab 2, and one frenetic slingshot of flashcore/drill ’n bass in yer focking face on 2 mewtwo 5 [GRX230P018] B-) aprilgabb2 (Original Mix).
Swiss disco chopper Radovan Scasascia (remember him?!) returns from 5 year hiatus with a very safe bet for fans of Anthony Shakir or Soundhack dispatched thru his What About Never label.
Flooding back memories of cutting rug to his early ‘00s releases on Dreck, he operates a coolly controlled disco trigger finger on the hypnotic pulse and lush, filtered chord washes of Shakin, whilst Nine Toms follows with a sterling example of hiccup funked vocal chops punctuated with cracking Linn drums on a twanging elastic bassline.
Aye, he’s still got it, like.
Special xmas edition of offcuts from Claude Speeed’s Infinity Ultra album
“Speeed says "I see this mainly as an alternative take on how the album could've turned out, one of the many paths it might’ve gone down. But it also serves as a neat ending, closing off that period by releasing the other material that's been kicking about my mind and harddrives for the last 5 years."
The material on ‘Other Infinities’ reaches into the darker corners of the world portrayed in ‘Infinity Ultra’, the uncanny valleys of the near future. Obliterated rave sits alongside twisted computer-generated prog rock; cathartic noise is pitted against submersed piano and dreamy, night-time synthscapes. New age meditation and lonely autumnal sadness compete with the intense drumming of a neo-tokyo cult.”
Nick Edwards fudges out a crusty new batch of Ekoplekz misshapes for Planet Mu with Cassettera, standing firm against the grain of trend to keep curiously picking away at a micro-modular mesh of lo-fi boxes and machines in his own style, shaped as a special xmas addendum to his Bioprodukt album.
“The beats are still to the fore, even incorporating elements of techno and house, but the mood is darker, with a heavier emphasis on noise and drone textures resulting in a more uneasy listen. This greyscale outlook is reflected in the monochrome variation on Bioprodukt's sleeve art. 'Bass 2 Dank' and 'Jacktrak' apply solid kicks and grooves for moody dancefloors, whilst 'Formative' and 'The Imperitive' combine convoluted percussion and cloying sub-bass with eerie atmospherics. 'Tactile' and 'Nitrate Abuse' offer minimal user-unfriendly experimental textures and the set ends with the extended grinding dread of 'The Outlook Is Bleak’.”
Perc’s 3rd LP, Bitter Music receives remix fire from Dale Cornish, Head Front Panel, Pessimist and Hodge int he 1st of two obligatory sessions.
John Heckle aka Head Front Panel handles the barbed roil of The Thought That Counts with chainmail loves, turning in a spiky, writhing techno bomb. Hodge runs his signature bass clout all over the face of Chatter with trampling force. Pessimist m,meanwhile turns Exit into something like The Caretaker hosting a grey area supper rave, and I Just Can’t Win is sliced into firm but sloppy jack bu Dale Cornish.
Osiris Music UK strafe deeper into the no man’s land between bass, techno and concrète musicks with Adam Winchester’s grey area investigation, Interferenza.
Previously known as Wedge and Bleecker for the likes of Apple Pips and If Symptoms Persist, and currently working in the Dot Product duo with Chris Jarman (Kamikaze Space Programme), Winchester reveals a lust for darker, abstract sounds here, descending from the noise textures of Surface thru weightless, plasmic space in Terminal Transition to the full sunken structures of Resurrection Effects and the bombed out Figure Ground, before allowing more spectral high register tones into his electro-acoustic sphere with Blue Ghost Tunnel, and The HJaxan Cloak-esque designs of Extant.
One of UKF, broken beat and bass music’s OG producers Altered Natives returns to the fray with a 20 track payload of dank, heavy and experimental-edged rufige on his Eye4Eye Recordings.
Making no concessions to trend, the London-bassed artist sticks to his guns with great results working deep into the darker fissures of house, techno and bass styles found scattered across the set.
If we’re playing favourites, it’s hard to ignore the likes of his super moody, even radgy rasa-out Get Real, or the off-kilter trust of Acid Black, which sounds something like we’d imagine Terrence Dixon to, if he came from London not Detroit. For proper, sub-heavy ghetto bangs, check out the pressure on Gravity, whilst darkside nuttahs need to cop the PCP-strength knock of Lucifer, and The Terror sees him ball forward with searing synthlines on a mad bruk beat, while he saves his crookedest dancefloor tests for the brutish acid of Weißer Junge Schwarzer Musikclub and the bucking acid burial Kung Fu Trans Anaconda.
The G.O.D. squad’s Sabla joins the Disk cabal with a deeply knotted, introspective rhythm trip that sounds like the mutant techno output of The Threshold Houseboys Choir. Trust, the voodoo is strong on this one!
For only his 2nd full release Turin’s Sabla stakes out some heavily idiosyncratic ground with Danzaguida, luring us into some fetid K-hole headspace with the queered digital timbres, curdled chorales and blacksmith rhythm of the title cut, recalling Peter Christopherson’s infamous project crawling out of a club sewer, before Fire/Wire simmers back to a gunkier acid style, all protein-gargle and over-the-shoudler darkroom intimation. W gives a more brittle, psychedelic display of pygmy hoots and slow, thrumming drums, and then Tohc kinda single-handedly shows a lot of the grey area stuff as, well, just a bit uninspired, by taking that style’s rhythmic points of interest into tripper realms of plasmic layering reminding of Ruben Patiño’s ace Lag_OS output.
Brainwaltzera’s nostalgic braindance album Poly-Ana, remixed by a haul of veteran and new artists.
Luke Vibert gives the EP’s highlight with a ruddy sort of percolated acid take on Muddy Puddle Trot, and Gauvid also charms with a bittersweet acid rub of the same cut, whilst Philipp Otterbach takes Triangulate Dither deep into kosmiche ether.
SKRS INTL go double deep on this platter for Bokeh Versions/No Corner, twysting the styles of their LoversDedicationStation LP and the brooding Oran Vip / BwoyTestVIP 7” into more smoked out alleys of the dance.
Their sample trigger-happy collage style is rewired to leaner, more linear 4-track structures inside, with results smudging like a dark blue clash between Mikey Dread, Prince Jammy and classic Rhythm & Sound and Pole, in effect.
Up top, RunComeTest tumbles in slow motion around an MC Escher-esque dub staircase littered with evasive samples and mad DJ chat, then FurdaMurda plumbs more gaseous depths of the echo chamber with intoxicating, weightless dynamics.
Down below, TrialByFire stokes a rooted fusion of mellifluous singjay and charred bleeps laced with natty ohrwurms, while TroubleRoundDiCorner kicks up a heady fuss of squashed 8-bit tones and vaporous FX synched perfectly with stoned minds.
Killer cover. Mint sounds. Tip it!
After his Gone Mad shot with JME in summer ’17, Tottenham’s Blay Vision serves a massive 2nd batch of instrumental grime/trap/house hybrids on J-Cush’s Lit City Trax.
From initial listens a handful of highlights stand out. We’re talking about the icy shimmy of BadGal Ri-Ri with it’s iciclephone hooks and elegant strings; his sharp fusion of classical key vamps and tool-sharped drill crack in Swammy; the neckle tropical house bump of Inside; and the the killer Ikeda-meets-Danjah styles of Amnesia.
Dax J, Lucy and Matrixxman take Perc’s 3rd LP Bitter Music on a brisk mission to the ‘floor.
Gaffe-prone DJ/producer Dax J goes for the jugular with a pounding take on Unelected; Lucy turns Wax Apple into a tentative but trippy dose of swinging techno-house-electronica, and Matrixxman harnesses Rat Run into his signature, hardworking jackers’ framework.
However you might try to find the words for it, Total Control's caustic charm is stunning and oblique. A sensible account of the band typically focuses on its parts—the associated groups, the touring configurations, etc.—as if finding ways by which Total Control is divisible gleans critical information for breaking through their cryptic sheen.
"With tonic, wry twists, and forever employing aphoristic brevity for the comic/cosmic dynamite that it is best reserved for, the band seems to indulge this with each new release, or tour, or whatever's put on the counter. The bands European tour tape from 2015 was a sure reminder of this. Their new 12", 'Laughing At The System,' is a succinct statement, but it feels like the sharpest thing they've ever assembled. Written and recorded over the past couple of years in various lounge rooms, bedrooms, and rehearsal studios, across Melbourne, regional Victoria, and Western Australia, Al Montfort, Daniel Stewart, James Vinciguerra, Mikey Young, and Zephyr Pavey are—for the record—all accounted for in the process. 'Laughing At The System' is bookended by a title track in two parts. The scattered mania of the opener is an unsettling beginning, with cascading madhouse-riffs somehow finding a ricocheting unison.
The closing part has the familiar head-charge of Total Control's most gnashing moments, with the guitars balancing the equation between running-too-fast and drinking-too-fast in one queasy commitment. With a brilliantly acerbic wit, we're implored to gather that there's some equivalences here. And it's this kind of impulse that's kept up throughout the 12". Drizzled with Vinciguerra's fraught fills, which have the rare quality of being unmistakably his in both electronic and acoustic form, this punctuation comes in and out of focus between elegiac moments and breezy experimentation, the latter including the elated instrumental 'Cathie and Marg.' Throughout, Stewart scripts a tumultuous wake for a flatlining reality, forever nudging the listener to second-guess themselves about the sincerity and intent. Far from cynical, but earnestly neurotic, the potency of the atmosphere that Total Control has mustered across 'Laughing At The System' registers as a deeply commanding, though bleak, psychedelicism for the future."
With the 2nd single from Utopia, Björk begins to bloom her and Arca’s songs in beautiful new ways
Bringing Tri Angle’s Serpentwithfeet on board for a late ’90s style R&B duet, while the original album version appears retitled as Blissing Me (Harp Version). We look forward to hearing where the singles series wants to take us.
For the impeccable MAT label, Denamrk’s Central tends hitherto little known ambient aspects of his sound as Palta with a fine selection of feathered rhythms and gauzy, painterly sounds.
Nesting amid good company for this kind of thing, Universel quietly unfolds scuttling, jazz-wise geometries and keening subaquatic chords in the title track, then drifts with scratchy tribal drums and tropical greenhouse sounds in Tabt Optagelse into frayed, frothy new age feels in På Gensyn.
It would appear he indulges those experimental urges in order to prepare listeners for full immersion in the B-side, where At Ville takes hold with subliminal effect, buoying ears on a bed of viscous bleeps and synth fronds with the lushest, entrancing intent, before Optagelse 16A smudges aut into purest balearic atmospheres.
Memory In Vivo Exposure presents maverick percussionist Valentina Magaletti (Raime, UUUU) and her bandmate Tom Relleen at their most dextrous in four pieces ranging from a superb meld of Afro-Reichian phrasing and location recordings in the 2-part title cut, thru to busted post-punk knocks on The Inexorable Sadness of Pencils, and back to rhythmelodic hypnotism with Il Fiume Di Ferro.
“London band Tomaga are back with their fourth release under the Hands in the Dark banner: Memory in Vivo Exposure.
The EP consists of four original tracks and yet another new musical evolution for the duo. Whilst they still use complex layering and harmonic polyrhythms in developing their original approach, this time the sonic tales they have shared are much more cinematic and dreamlike. These visions are locked up into emotionally charged loops to convey the sensation of a dream in which half remembered things become new zones of feeling.”
Killer album of glowering drone and clanking percussion from Martin Maischen aka Goner.
Flanked by noise-cellist Unter Lala and Mark Godwin (a musician/sound engineer whose discography includes work with Coil), Yogascum feels like a ghosted, atrophied and entropic versioning of hard-edged dancefloor sounds chanelled through the darkest recesses of your mind.
Over the first extended side he explores peripheral deep and complex drone works, plumbing a space somewhere between Mohammad’s deathly invocations and the dense dankness of Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement with a combination of greazy, slyding pitches, peripheral tones and dense electronic oscillations roiled in vast electro-acoustic space.
The other side, however, is given to beat driven structures, with YS 2 involving Mark Godwin on a clanking, ritualistic rhythm that sounds like it managed to escape from Coil’s latter-day archive, whilst also recalling his work as ZK for Skam, whereas Endtitle catches Goner solo on a dense rhythmic tip.
Lucerne, Switzerland’s Hallow Ground follow that COH plays Everall zinger with Martina Lussi’s claggy mix of queasy ambient, field recordings and lop-sided minimal techno
“On the LP Selected Ambient, Martina Lussi brings together a collection of sound material from her practice to date. The material oscillates between electroacoustic composition, sound art, and live performance. The pieces are named after precious gemstones, all of which are traditionally ascribed with special powers. In using these names, the artist seems to refer to the esoteric roots of the genre invoked by the LP’s title. The compositions, however, resist the genre’s characteristically naïve re-enchantment of the world and distrust holistic esotericism’s promise of healing and restoration. Instead, they are defined much more by an interest in affective uncertainties. The gemstones don’t speak, and they don’t convey the mythical forces ascribed to them—rather, they rest in their own materiality. They don’t want to affect or influence—they simply want to exist as witnesses of/to the ultimately incommensurable reality that lives beyond our own horizon.
“Sodalith” is characterized by a melancholy sensibility; the piece is carried by a boundless synthetic surface over which a guitar melody swirls. At first, “Citrin” seems to want to unravel into orbiting, meditative qualities, but in the second part, the mood collects in the peculiarity somewhere between sustained calm and frequently disrupted rave euphoria. “Achat,” which borrows most clearly from the electroacoustic tradition, develops relatively late and unexpectedly into a subtle techno track that then repeatedly interrupts the very momentum it has engendered. Lastly, “Opal,” which was originally written for Lussi’s installation “Composition for a Circle,” writhes in seemingly stochastic contortions that lightly shake the centripetal dynamic of the piece.
In these four compositions as in other works, Lussi creates a sound world in which circling correlations raise more questions than they answer—in contrast to esotericism, which insists on imbuing its material with meaning. Lussi therefore facilitates a listening experience that refers to ambient at its best and most radical: her music represents neither a dissolution of the self in complete uncertainty nor a contemplative internal landscape, but rather a tremulous hovering over the border between the two.
Martina Lussi lives and works in Lucerne. She holds a Master of Arts in Contemporary Arts Practice. In 2014, Lussi’s debut EP, “Komposition O08”, was released on Präsens Editionen. Lussi has performed work between the disciplines of sound art and music performance at places like LUFF (Lausanne Underground Filmfestival) or the festival Oto Nove Swiss at London’s Cafe Oto.”
Terry Riley’s Sri Moonshine label gives an unmissable opportunity to fall under the spell of Pandit Pran Nath. Truly life-affirming music.
““The raga cycle given by Pandit Pran Nath at the Palace Theater in Paris 1972 was the first time a Master Indian Classical Vocalist had presented three consecutive days of ragas sung at the appropriate times of day, giving the Western audience insight into the characteristics that inform the moods and atmospheres of evening, afternoon, and morning ragas.
“The recording here is from the Saturday, May 27, 1972 afternoon concert and features Raagini Bheempalasi and Raag Puriya Dhanaashree. This is the Maestro at the very summit of his creative and vocal powers. His inspiration merged with his excitement of being in Paris and added to the uniqueness of these performances. As he guided his ragas at an unhurried pace with a surety and command of the musical language, details emerge in the music so profound that new delights continue to surface.
“Pandit Pran Nath was born in 1918 in Lahore, India which was to become Pakistan. He was one of the foremost disciples of the legendary singer, Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan, Sahib of Kirana. Khan Sahib was known for his long extended renditions of ragas in the melodic Kirana style, often lasting hours. His knowledge of raga science was unparalleled, allowing him to unveil endless permutations and combinations of phrases. Pandit Pran Nath absorbed this knowledge of raga from his Guru, building on these majestic forms in a unique and inimitable way. Pran Nath’s rich vocal quality and imaginative renditions of well-known ragas singled him out as one of the greatest masters in the history of Indian Classical Music.
“Pan Nath’s music is ancient and modern, full of fresh flights of imagination. It is no wonder that his numerous performances in the West attracted devotees and students. Besides La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, he instructed musicians of the American avant garde, including Jon Hassell, Lee Konitz, Allaudin Mathieu, Charlemagne Palsestine, Sufi Pir, Shabda Kahn and many others. His impact on contemporary music continues to grow.” —Terry Riley”
CoH Plays Everall is a remarkable turn by singular synthesist Ivan Pavlov, who pays tribute to the late UK electronica/industrial pioneer John Everall (Tactile/Sentrax) with six transmutations of analog material originally meant for a collaboration between the two artists, plus CoH’s Hunger collab with Jhonn Balance ov Coil.
Working somewhere between Powell’s recent New Beta jaunts, Lorenzo Senni’s circumvented trance arpeggios, and the rapid ear movements of Gábor Lázár, it’s by far some of the most colourful, kinkily swung gear we’ve ever heard from Pavlov aka CoH, but trustingly articulated with a cold northern melancholy.
Proceeding from Hallow Ground’s reissue of CoH’s Soisong and their recent issues of Dedekind Cut and Siavash Amini records, CoH Plays Everall is a real credit to their catalogue, not least as a great tribute to Everall, but also as one of the rarest glimpses of CoH in kinetic action, gambolling between electric blue nEuro-trance pulses in 2016 to the TCF black MIDI styles of Wavetrap and the hyper, head-pinching strobes of Overbeat with an energy bordering on gleeful that we’ve hardly heard from CoH before.
Seriously, any lovers of razor-sharp, forward electronics from Errorsmith to Lorenzo Senni need to check this, pronto!
Scorching Afro-psych-funk fuzz ’n grub from outta Cameroon, c. mid ‘70s, picked and dusted down by Samy Ben Redjeb’s ever-dependable Analog Africa label. Those drums, that vocal - liable to take yer eyebrows off, or at least set your ass on fire.
“I remember the day clearly. I was searching for treasures in a record shop in Yaoundé, the Capital city of Cameroon, when suddenly I came across a 7-inch record with a picture of a young man wearing a traditional hat and bearing the marks of several imposing vertical scars on the side of his face, carved when he was just a boy as a reminder of his heritage in the Musgum tribe of the northern part of the country.
The record contained two songs – ‘Gandjal Kessoum’ and ‘Touflé’ – by an artist I had never heard of before named Hamad Kalkaba. Both cuts were raw classics of fuzzed-out bass, pin-sharp horns, built upon the unshakable foundation of Northern Cameroon’s mightiest rhythm: the Gandjal. The shop owner - who noticed that I was listening to the same record over and over again - mentioned that ‘There is another single with a green cover of the same artist’.
Over the next six years I searched for that ‘green cover’ and finally found it in a record collection belonging to an old bar in Parakou in northern Benin. While most of the records had been beaten and worn by a life spent in the jukebox, this one had been sitting in its paper sleeve for forty years, untouched and unplayed, seemingly waiting for us to pick it up and rip the two soulful Gandjal tunes from it, the masterpieces ‘Fouh Sei Allah’ and ‘Tchakoulaté’.
These two records, plus a third simply named ‘Nord Cameroon Rythms’ constitute the entire discography of Hamad Kalkaba. Neglected for decades by all but the most devoted collectors of Afro music, Hamad Kalkaba and the Golden Sounds at long last gathers together the body of work of one of Cameroon’s forgotten geniuses.
But unlike many musicians who emerged from nowhere, recorded a few singles and vanished again, Kalkaba hadn’t disappeared. Far from it. He was a distinguished public figure, a retired Colonel in the army of Cameroon, and a former member of Cameroon’s Olympic Selection Committee. When we tracked him down he was serving as president of the Confederation of African Athletics. And Although Kalkaba’s job kept him busy, and he seemed initially dismissive of the music he’d made as a young man, he turned out to be an enthusiastic ally in this project. He arranged interviews, helped fill in the blanks and, when we finally met him in Yaoundé in 2016, provided us with photographs, lyric sheets and notes.
During the interview Kalkaba explained how the songs recorded in the mid 1970s were part of a movement, a movement initiated by musicians from all around Cameroon who, with the help of keyboards, drum kits and electric guitars, had started to modernise the traditional rhythms of their regions. For Kalkaba it was no different and backed by his band the Golden Sounds, devoted himself to the promotion of the sounds of northern Cameroon.
One of the aims of Analog Africa is to showcase the colourful diversity of styles that exist in Africa and its diaspora and today we are very proud to be able to give these Gandjal tunes their first worldwide release.”
Classically-skooled deep house excellence from Italy’s Rhythm Of Paradise
Showing the new waves of leaden line-dancers how to do it with swing and sexiness in three sterling cuts: the lush Detroit/NYC lift of Dreams; an NYC garage-taught dancer named Into Your Eyes; and the spiritual Nu Groove sophistication of U; and a square-bass tied rework of Dreams from fellow Italian producer, Cosmic Garden.
Carl Michael von Hauswolff sonifies the invisible, the unheard in Still Life - Requiem, presenting the sounds emitted by physical matter, as extracted and revealed through emission spectroscopy executed at Linköping University, Sweden. Its a direct continuation of CMvH’s role as chief ghost hunter or Egon Spengler of the contemporary avant garde, and an eerily fascinating listen.
In the true sense of a psychopomp, CMvH acts as a bridge between dimensions and perceptions of life and inanimate matter, analysing its frequencies or entropic aura, then pitching up, amplifying the results until comprehensible by the human ear (between 15 and 14000Hz).
So far, so scientific, but the art creeps in where CMvH farther manipulates that material by stretching, looping and equalising it into something else. When heard in context of his intentions, those sounds form a requiem - a sort of comforting dedication to lost souls, which are usually human or animal, but in this case not necessarily so.
If you like listening at the threshold of perception and drawing your own conclusions from freaky sonics, your lugs deserve this one.
Shenzhou is next up in Biosphere’s album reissue schedule.
Original issued in 2000, it finds the Norwegian artist following the wistful loops of Cirque farther down the rabbit hole, leaving behind the purely electronic contours and beat-driven elements of his early work for a subtler, textured electro-acoustic style comparable with The Caretaker and Leyland Kirby or William Basinski’s faded tape loops. Your attention is required to the mesmerising string swells of Houses On The Hill, the cinematic midnight jazz gesture of Path Leading to the High Grass, and the Deathprod-alike gloam of Lorry Shuttle Shaft.
Killer, massive collection of Redman’s ’80s + ‘90s digidub productions, sourced from rare 7”s. This one’s a lot! Check for Tony Tuff’s ‘Careless People’, Admiral Tibet on the ruddy ride of ‘New Tactics’, and particularly the handful of dub versions!
“Two years after the release of Sleng Teng, a young vigorous producer, who was originally a sound system operator, was maturing his tactics to rule over Jammy’s position. His name was Hugh ‘Redman’ James. Soon the producer was in the limelight during the late 80’s to the early 90’s for releasing a number of hits from his own Redman International label.
The sound system operator turned producer employed Steely & Clevie for his rhythm section like other major producers including King Jammy, King Tubby and Winston Riley. But the rhythms he created were literally new when compared to the works of other 80’s labels. Many would still say that Redman’s style is very similar to King Jammys. But at the same time, he identified his music by dripping the essence of Jamaican roots music, which inevitably distinguished his sound and originality.
Themes that Redman accompanied were very obvious in titles, which he produced. Titles such as ‘Weh Dem Fah’ and ‘Danger’ by Carl Meeks, ‘Dangerous’ by Conroy Smith, ‘New Tactics’ by Admiral Tibett, ‘Careless People’ by Tony Tuff and ‘Concrete Jungle’ and ‘Runnings’ by Dave Bailey are considerably some of his best productions that featured those clear themes and conscious messages from those artists.
A major breakthrough came to Redman when he versioned a Studio One classic ‘Run Run’ by Delroy Wilson to create a massive hit ‘Koloko’ by Clement Irie. On the same rhythm, Johnny P, Daddy Lilly, Rappa Robert & Tippa Lee have also recorded other striving songs. In addition, he produced many talented artists like Red Dragon, Frankie Paul, Courtney Melody and released other quality productions.
Throughout the Redman’s catalogue, all of the songs and rhythms were basically created to target patrons at various dancehall venues as he was originally a sound system man. Also dub versions to his rhythms were very remarkable productions. For these reasons, his music is still highly demanded and respected from the day that Redman founded his label over twenty years ago.”
Available to download for the 1st time
Jon Hassell’s 1978 debut studio album for Lovely Music - released years before his seminal and hugely influential ‘Fourth World Vol. 1 - Possible Musics’ album with Brian Eno. Definitely worth checking if you fancied the recent Bjørk album, of which Hassell was a key influence
One of 2017’s most hotly anticipated mixtapes delivers in style, as Clara La San’s bedroom-crafted Good Mourning is finally ready to take pride of place in iTunes folders the world over. Clara writes, sings and produces all her own material - save for some assists from Jam City - and her significant debut is set to catapult her into pop consciousness.
As a member of South Manchester’s Gang Fatale, and with prior convictions for DVA (Pink22) and Mssingno (Fone), as well as soundcloud posts racking up over 200k listens, Clara arrives fully formed into the world with a pitch-perfect, yet sweetly damaged style of R&B emotional punishment whose one-two of razor-sharp, upfront production and frankly confessional lyrics have won her comparisons with everyone from contemporary stars such as Kelela and Tinashe, thru classic ‘90s/‘00s feels from Monica and Aaliyah.
However, all those comparisons stop short of the fact that Clara is the boss of her show, and while her hooks and arrangements are R&B/pop in the purest sense, there’s also a ethereal thizz and lush weightlessness to her sound that beckons comparison with Laurel Halo or 0PN as much as The Dream, thanks to her songs’ achingly careful blend of futurist soul with timeless, romantic appeal.
If we’re playing favourites, the widescreen, dry-iced ‘80s glyder Strangers is right up there with our favourite Sally Shapiro bits, cleanly pointing to influence from US movie OSTs, while the glitching intro and combustible dynamics of opener Rivers leaves us heart-in-mouth, also recalling 0PN in its experimental pop turns-of-phrase, and the rugged combo of Reese bass, frighteningly confident vocals and fierce drill drums in Alright is just lip-bitingly strong and memorable songcraft.
Unless you’re a diehard harsh noise fan or a genuine techno curmudgeon, you’d be daft to not check this one out.
With the Reassemblage album still glistening in the background, Visible Cloaks unpackage the filigree designs of their Lex mini-album for RVNG Intl., framing six lucid peeks into their hyperprism of ‘80s Japanese electronic music and noumenal new age inspirations.
Offering a sublime, absorbing survey of the uncanny perceptive valley between nature and electronic emulation, speech - both human and synthesised - is the central focus of VC’s 4th release. Used as legible chunks and also diffracted in myriad harmonic shimmers and psychoacoustic tones, human and synth voices lend melody, structure and weightless soul to Lex, blended with flurries of keys and punctuated in a way that feels we’re eavesdropping on a sweetly effortless dialogue between two or more AI, describing their feelings and opinions to each other in a language of gaseous harmonics, abstract acidic gestures and almost avian digital chatter.
The first five parts are all neatly succinct, arranged with an adroit, natural dynamism that recalls moments from Sugai Ken’s Japanese nightscapes in Transient, for example, as much as The Dirty Projectors’ wistful R&B chamber music on Frame, or James Ferraro’s Human Story or Burning Prius pieces in Keys or Lex. However, the most impressive part is World, where Spencer Doran and Ryan Carlile push the ambient envelope to 14 minutes of floating hyaline structures and anaesthetising pads so effective that you’ll forget what you were listening to and just drift away within the first few minutes for the duration, we promise.
4th world pioneer Jon Hassell’s 1995 album of deeply psychedelic wormholes inspired by Cameroonian ceremonial music, available to download for the first time. Definitely worth checking if you fancied the recent Bjørk album, of which Hassell was a key influence
“The style of music which I call "Fourth World" is a continual exploration of ways in which exotic musics from the tribal cultures of the Southern hemisphere might be fused with the technological possibilities of the Western World (primitive/future). It is an attempt to create music which dissolves the dichotomy between the structural and the sensual (classical and popular in western terms).
The music for Sulla Strada is partially inspired by ceremonial music of the Beti and Bemileke of Cameroon. This is blended with other compositional and less geographically-specific elements in an attempt to create a kind of musical scenery which is not entirely "primitive", not entirely "future" but someplace impossible to locate either chronologically or geographically. In the stage production one musical section gradually evolves into another over long stretches of time.
The aim is to create a dense, ritualized sound atmosphere in which the stage action might take place and be formed within, in the same way that the density of water can be said to form the movements of a swimmer. jon hassell, April 1992, Florence”
Excellent second solo album from Thom Yorke, reissued.
He's joined by regular production foil Nigel Godrich, credited with production and editing, and his Radiohead bandmate Colin Greenwood chimes in with beat programming on 2nd song, 'Guess Again!'. It's a melancholy thing built from tenderly bruised bass and a filigree palette of "silver darkness" shot thru with fluoro tones reflected in the sleeve art's colour scheme.
Highlights include the feathered 2-step and phasing chords of 'The Mother Lode', the buoyant techno pulse of 'There Is No Ice (For My Drink)' and a future-fave closer, 'Nose Grows Some' are Thom Yorke at his most bruising, and, when coupled with the charms of Basinski-esque, decaying keys in 'Pink Section', or the lushly skewed harmonies of 'Interference' make for his most engrossing record yet.
Playful neo-classical works for piano and electronics, recorded by Brian Eno.
“Finding Shore is the sound of Tom distilling the essence of what he does after a protracted musical journey from childhood until now. He took the traditional route of music lessons and learning notation before starting composing “properly”. As a 17-year-old he had the odd contrast of being taught by the composer Harrison Birtwistle but also working as lounge pianist in a dilapidated hotel in Peterborough. He spent some time in New York playing jazz, recording with Reid Anderson of The Bad Plus, and had a successful career with post-rock group Three Trapped Tigers, yet however enjoyable that experience was, he admits it was “definitely a diversionary tactic”. Everything seemed to be an escape from the classical world or, as Rogerson himself puts it, “falling out of my ivory tower very slowly”.
Masquerading under aliases for the last few years, Luke Blair coughs up gritty techno mutations on the Twisted Blood EP for his Glum label.
Each cut sounds like it was captured mid-mutation or formed from reactive substance that burn on contact, convecting the oxidising garage-techno torque of Twisted Blood and the submerged techno stress-test of Another Victory for Furniture for more adventurous dancefloors, along with more knackered, impish alien folk dance with crooked budge of The Yips, and something like a corrupted pastoral ambient scene with Doom.
Riveting compendium of stark, raw blues by an erstwhile sparring partner of Loren Connors, recently salvaged from an old shoebox of tapes, restored by Taylor Deupree and mastered by Carl Saff.
"I would go as far as to say that the few recordings that exist of these Robert Crotty sessions are among the finest and most beautiful blues documents of all time." -- Loren Connors
In the years 1978 to 1981, Robert Crotty would show up on Loren Connors’ doorstep in New Haven, Connecticut with his tiny, almost toy guitar. The two would then spend hours playing acoustic blues, the likes of which was absolutely staggering in its truthfulness.
Robert Crotty with Me: Loren’s Collection (1979-1987) is the first anthology of the late bluesman’s work, as selected by his former playing partner. These are the unheard tapes of Crotty and Connors communing with the spirits of Delta and County Blues through their own revisions of standards and tingle-inducing improvisations. These also some of the legendary Connors' earliest available recordings showing the development of iconoclast guitar style and vocal moan.
Crotty was a New Haven lifer and linchpin of the region’s blues scene yet, he never achieved much recognition outside local bars and house parties — until now. The album features never before heard recordings, unseen photos, liner notes by Connors and Crotty’s brother plus a bonus CD: the first-time reissue of Crotty’s ultra rare sole LP Robert Crotty Blues and Prove It! 7-inch -- both released on Connors’ private St. Joan imprint in the late 1980s.”
C Spencer Yeh presents an album of electro-acoustic music made on the legendary but defunct RCA Mark II modular synth - nicknamed ‘Victor’ - at Columbia Uni. An ingenious concept, captivatingly executed.
“The RCA Mark II is a follow-up to Yeh’s recent vocal work and is focused solely on the non-musical operation of the famed RCA Mark II synthesizer. Built and installed in 1959 at Columbia University, it was the first programmable synthesizer and became the bedrock upon which the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center was founded. The machine has not worked since 1997.
While visiting a friend at the university, Yeh discovered the synthesizer and began to make regular trips to work with it acoustically: flipping switches, rubbing surfaces, turning knobs, and plugging/unplugging cables. Using contact and room microphones, Yeh recorded these operations over the course of several sessions, and the recordings became the basis from which he composed this 12-track LP. The artist then further manipulated and processed the material through a series of live performances, which were recorded and edited to complete the album.
The finished tracks are jagged, sparse, and hypnotically rhythmic. In listening to the record, one does not so much hear the original synthesizer, but rather an artist dismantling the historical weight of the source through a composition of its transformation from a legendary machine to a one-ton hunk of scrap metal no longer operational. It is here perhaps that Yeh finds virtuosity and spectacle in the most basic acts of instrumentation, the movement and clank of mechanical parts.”
Khotin crosses Heart To Heart with with four analog house bubblebaths, Canadian style.
One year on from 1080p's debut LP introduction, 'Hello World', he coolly operates in orbit of that label's gauzy aesthetic and just in reach of Mood Hut's romantic ambience.
'For U To Feel' opens with a fluffy measure of marshmallow bass and creamy acid squiggles beside the dub-spilt deep house contours of 'XP Waste'.
Flipside takes flight with a feathered lick of the same Morricone track sampled in Pita's 'Get Out', but here applied to a simmering, mystic Chicago jack pattern in 'AT03', whilst 'AT04' meditates on modulated acid and serene deep house drones.
Adroit sound designer/producer J.G. Biberkopf makes a fine addition to Aïsha Devi and co’s Danse Noire label with Fountain Of Meaning, offering a far more mannered and dreamlike follow-up to the deadly fwd cyber-punk-techno of his two LPs for Kuedo’s Knives. Make sure to check ‘Dance of Relating’!
“Fountain of Meaning is a new sonic fiction from sound artist J.G. Biberkopf following last year’s Ecologies II: Ecosystems of Excess released on Knives. Emerging out of a situation of overflow, the record burrows deeper into his practice of palpable audio theater with a study of object and relations across space-time specific sounds.
The Fountain as a theme reflects a spouting and spilling of information, an erotic gushing of imagined aural history. “The Fountain was the source of water in the public space in cities,” J.G. Biberkopf explains. “Now it’s pretty much a sexualised architectural gesture of both beautification and the spectacle of dominant ideologies.”
The western classical musical canon, much like the perpetual coming of the fountain, flush the headphone space with stimuli. Reflex and memory guides the listener through a semiotic architecture of processed recordings of masses in Catholic churches and contemporary performances of pre-medieval music. A liquidity of structure has an anxious influence and is a closed system approach to form and imagination. When water flows, it fills every space, then spills over to claim more. History is equally abundant and alive. We have never had as much history as we have now. We have never been able to see ourselves as we can now.
A knowledge of a grander architecture of knowing and recalling oppress the ecologies of human decision-making.The nature of the archive has transformed into a total and panoptic intelligence. A life is a gamble as the inventory of the world overflows into the production of a spectral third, an other, a confrontation. Fountain of Meaning offers a dynamic tension and release. A molecular tragedy, our abject recovery into a collaborative reimagining of a trauma long forgotten. “
NYC techno survivor and Synewave bossman Damon Wild delivers his 3rd album, only 13 years since his last
Expect 15 tracks of well skooled techno depth - gritty, pulsing 909 sequences, misty-eyed synths, salty bleeps - for the hard working DJ and demanding headphone listener.
This compilation spanning a period of 37 years features Burnt Friedman's releases and edits thereof from vinyl-only labels (Latency (FR), Marionette (CA), Dekmantel (NL) amongst others) plus 4 hitherto unreleased tracks, making them available on digital formats.
"Friedman's music from 1980 to 2017 covers a broad spectrum of played and programmed rhythmic styles that traverse not only club music from techno, electro and dub, but, above all, trace Friedman's own artistic development. A trajectory that owes a lot to his long-standing collaboration with Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit, who died at the age of 79 in 2017. Like Liebezeit, Friedman already explored even and uneven rhythms back in the late 1980s. This selection of 17 tracks documents this pursuit while bringing rough or discarded tracks to light, which did not fit onto any album or were intended for the Nonplace label.
The compilation runs the entire gamut of his work on percussion, keyboard, samplers and toys of all kinds using various production methods (tape, Atari, Midi, sampler, hard disk recording, digital audio tape). Studio work (instant-composition, programming and recording) underwent major technological changes and revolutions in the 1980s and 1990s, but Friedman's distinctive signature style prevails throughout. Surprisingly danceable tracks, interrupted by alien atmospheric periods, defy any genre.”