Bristol–based composer Ryan Teague presents a suite of seven extended compositions that incorporate cinematic arrangements and cutting edge sound design within an algorithmic framework to striking effect. The resulting pieces combine elements of neo-classical, post–rave, and soundtrack music, to create a contemporary soundscape balanced by almost architectural use of space and restraint.
"The musical structure is derived from a custom–written algorithmic system that sequences harmonic and rhythmic events in ever–shifting patterns. Hyperreal electro-acoustic phrases and digitally synthesised fragments come and go in continual rotation, re-framed and re-contextualised by their proximity to other events in the sequence as the compositions evolve. The effect evokes a minimalist bricolage, hypnotic and kaleidoscopic in nature, and calls to mind artists such as Oneohtrix Point Never, The Haxan Cloak and Ital Tek.
At the same time, a core theme running throughout the record is a masterly use of absence and inertia influenced by the Japanese concepts of ma (間 - negative space) and the enso (円相 - circle), which serve to complement and counterbalance the diverse sound palette. By integrating these qualities, tension is built and resolved in equal measure, creating a dramatic sonic impression where fragmented rhythms, dynamic textures, subsonic basses, and delicate ambience all coexist. Recursive Iterations is a bold, powerful, and unique work that pushes sonic boundaries whilst revealing more with each listen."
Great ambient dub techno abstraction from uon, the newest moniker of Ryan Fall aka Caveman LSD and DJ Paradise, following superb pair of releases in the same vein for Barcelona’s Anòmia with this, his debut vinyl release - massively tipped if yr into Rhythm & Sound.
Stalking terrain familiar to Wanda Group, Pole, Xth Réflexion, DeepChord, the zlo EP captures a wickedly paradoxical sense of movement within static sound in four parts: meshing cooling pads with mercurial kinetics in the title cut, and pushing off into opiated, subaquatic zones with kosm, and hypnotically stumbling up/down an endless Escher staircase with the gravity defying dynamics of suB1, and diffusing your bone into deep space on kissing.
Prime material, all 35 minutes of it. Don’t sleep on this beauty!
Following dissolution of the Yussef Kamaal project, Kamaal Williams a.k.a Henry Wu spreads his jazz charms solo on a debonaire début The Return, delivered via his newly minted Black Focus label. The spectres of ‘70s jazz fusion are felt strongly on this one, but updated with a rugged South London vibe that will bring feet to the ‘floor and see some heads get hot under the collar. RIYL Dego, Floating Points, Gilles Peterson
“The Return is a natural evolution from the Yussef Kamaal project, mining the influence of visionary jazz but blended with all kinds of texture, sounds and signals from the over-saturated London streets.
Notable tracks for old and new listeners are ‘Salaam', 'Situations', 'Medina', 'LDN Shuffle' which features Mansur Brown (of Mansur's Message) and for those die hard Yussef Kamaal fans - they should hear the interpolated roots of 'Strings of Light' in the title track 'The Return’. And that signature Wu Funk can be heard on 'Broken Theme', and 'High Roller'.
The Return is the debut album released on Wu's new label Black Focus Records.”
Body-chewing abstract techno of the kind that really gets between your teeth - fresh from the machines of Germany’s by-now legendary Siegmar Fricke - a producer who has been active for 4 decades and still going strong, out now via Hamburg’s excellent V I S label.
Toiling under the Pharmakustik moniker that’s been his main hood since 2009, ‘Propulsion’ deftly dices with ideals of inexorable forward motion that have driven techno and electronic dance music over the past three decades. He’s been at it since the late ‘80s at the least, so he surely knows a thing or two about this stuff, and more importantly has worked out how to really get within the structure and f#ck with it from the inside-out.
Cannily following suit with the ‘Yield’ tape by Herron - another artist who’s recently got to grips with his style - and also compatible with the likes of L. Lund’s mutant moves on Youth, the five tracks of ‘Propulsion’ diffract the idea of forward motion in as many ways. From the gritty brownian slosh of the first, to the 2.1-step origami of the 2nd part, thru the Autechrian refusal/acceptance of linearity in the 3rd, to the fine-tuned robotic mechanics of the 4th cut, and the persistently morphing algorithmic swagger of the 5th part, this one’s a must for all hard-to-satisfy ravers with three feet and extra hips.
Hard-body synth-pop genius from SOPHIE, cooking up the 1st of two face-glazing 12”s completing her Product album after the Bipp / Elle session and Lemonade / Hard.
From the initial rush and drip-off, Msmsmsm hits with ambassador-grade narcotic potency before launching into this year’s freakiest EBM trap bounce and coldest, clammiest peak.
On the flip, Vyzee is an el3ctro-house hymn to jackin’ off your nut, soused in fluoro alco-pop impurities and warped ‘floor suss.
Class new batch of low-key dance & pop cover versions by Nathan Jenkins (Bullion) and friends including Camila Fuchs, Georgia, Jovial, Kreme, Nathan Micay, C.A.R. and more
Proceeding from Jenkins’ loveably daft remix of the Blue Peter theme, the ‘4 Down’ set lives up to his Deek label motto “Pop, not slop!” in 11 parts sequenced to get under the skin and leave silvery ohrwurm trails inside your lugs.
Tasking each artist with “singing a song you wish you’d written”, the results return canny highlights in Bullion’s own dancehall/reggaeton-toned production for Joviale’s take on ‘Storm’ by Rare Silk, his lean groove for Westerman’s Arthur Russell-esque cover of ‘Kathy’s Song’ by Paul Simon, and Nautic’s gauzily harmonised flip of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Only Over You’, while other highlights come in Kreme’s bittersweet spin on ‘Missing You’ by Larry Heard, and the strung out System Olympia take on Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You.’
Pharoah ‘Farrell’ Sanders (born 1940) is a leading figure in the world of jazz and one of the last living legends with connections to players like Sun Ra and John Coltrane. His tenor saxophone playing has earned him royal status amongst free jazz players, critics and collectors.
"Originally Sanders was interested in urban blues music, but his high school teacher exposed him to jazz and this took Farrell in an entirely new direction. Once completing high school Sanders quickly packed his belongings and headed to Oakland, where he got a chance to work with musicians of high caliber such as saxophone players Sonny Simmons and Dewey Redman (who were both later to be major forces in new jazz and free jazz). Soon the young Pharoah would meet John Coltrane and would feel being attracted to the life as a professional musician. By the early sixties Sanders moved to New York where the major jazz scene was happening. Here he’d spent most his time honing his skills at rehearsals with Sun Ra….sadly he was not making much money with the Arkestra and soon found himself living on the streets, trying to stay up all night playing and then scrounging for money during the day, often selling blood to eat.
Sanders recorded his debut album for ESP soon after, but it wasn’t until he started playing with his old friend John Coltrane that he would fully unleash the fury of his saxophone on the world of free jazz. The records Pharoah Sanders played on for Coltrane laid the foundation of what was to come for both the world of free jazz and for Sanders as a musician. After Coltrane’s tragic death Sanders would record further with Alice Coltrane, John’s widow, on the album Karma (1969 – Impulse!), which is universally accepted as Sanders’ masterpiece. Along with musicians Alice Coltrane and singer Leon Thomas, Sanders helped to create the genre of spiritual jazz.
By this point in his career & on the album we are presenting you today (Moon Child, recorded in 1989), Sanders had largely withdrawn from the kind of screeching avant-gardism on which he at first staked his reputation. Here Sanders plays with an all-star line-up consisting of Stafford James (Sun Ra) on bass, William Henderson (Roy Ayers) on piano, & Eddie Moore (Sonny Rollins) on drums. Moon Child, with its attractively spacy vocals, is reminiscent of the days of “The Creator Has a Master Plan,” and this mood is kept throughout the album and in the choice of cosmic tunes represented on it.
On this album the legendary saxophonist clearly reinvented himself as a more traditional improviser, capable of thoughtful and pensive deliberations. Catchy mystical New Age vocals, astrological references… Pharoah may remain an acquired taste, but few jazzmen can equal his unique formula of mastering the ‘groove’."
Sophie lands on Numbers with two razor-sharp shots of electro futurism.
'BIPP' comes off like the prodigious child of Miami Freestyle reared on AFX's 'Windowlicker' and a diet of sugar-glazed silicon; a stunning mutation of cybernetic pop syncopation. 'Elle' is its conjoined cyborg sibling, mute apart from the ability to whistle like Goodiepal's mechanical bird and so painfully beautiful that to experience it's saccharine, sliding string glissandi and elegant contours is akin to staring at the strobing eyes of a dancefloor medusa and exploding to a cloud of MDMA crystals and champagne fizz. Or something. We think it's really very good, you know.
Ancient sounding folk music and Soviet songs from south of Russia, in the only region of Europe where Buddhism is the most practiced religion.
“In early November 2014 we went to Kalmykia. Our goal was the local “Dzhangar” epic. The epic genre, as one of the most archaic, can be called a basis for Kalmyk music culture. Not so long time ago among Kalmyks there were their own professional epic storytellers - Dzhangarchi who as a socio-artistic institute today are practically absent: repertoire of modern folk singers mostly consists of late folk art of the Soviet era. But as usual in our search we did not ignore these more recent forms of traditional music that allowed us to find very valuable material. One week spent in Kalmykia was filled with meetings and record sessions. And, as we see it, the most interesting and the richest one was the day spent in the village of Bulgun (officially known as Troitskoe).
We met up with Maria Beltsikova and Tatiana Dordzhieva in this village. The energetic and charismatic grand mammas are winners of various music competitions, in the recent past they have been frequent guests of national holidays and official events. In addition both of them are self-taught grown up in conditions of respect for traditions. On the day of our meeting we were able to record more than twenty songs. In the repertoire of Maria and Tatiana there have been religious Buddhist songs, droning laments, ceremonial wedding songs, heroic ballads about Kalmyks in the Patriotic War 1812, and, of course, Soviet folklore. The songs of the “red” period was presented with a variety of songs: praising the Communist Party and workers of the collective farms and songs about the deportation of Kalmyks in 1943-1944.
Tatiana and Maria know well this period of time - with their own bitter experience: with their relatives and neighbors they were deported to Siberia. Also this album contains several songs composed by Tatiana Dordzhieva. In addition to the a-capella performance, in some of the songs you can hear traditional Kalmyk dombra playing. Maria Beltsikova is the person playing this instrument.”
Oceanic, washed-out ambient serenity from Eye Nono, channelling American new age via public access TV synth soundtracks and a rich tradition of Australian ambient music.
Respectfully written on land stolen from the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation - what is now known as the coastal area of the Sydney basin, NSW - ‘My Blue Horizon’ is a charmingly subtle and sweetly sincere demonstration of Eye Nono’s skills with analog synthesis, which enables him to evoke his subject with impressive tactility and impressionistic detail.
It’s entirely instrumental, right down to the sound of waves on the shoreline and colourful birds in the imaginary Eucalyptus trees, but the fact that it took us a few minutes to clock this, and maybe you too, is surely evidence of the artist’s natural way with filtering envelopes and tweaking nobs to brign his imagination to fruition.
Starting out very subtly, like an old tape of new age music, the session’s energies grow in small steps from the warm breeze melody and woozy kosmiche pads of the title track, to the lilting pulse of ‘Nibble’ and steel drum-like voices on New Atmosphere’, before beautifully blushing the harmonic glow of ’Shining Light’ and tremulous traces of early 0PN and Emeralds in creamy wash of ‘Another Day’ and the whirligig ‘One.’
It's a veritable bonanza for all the Disco loving kids right now in a market flooded with edits, revisions and reissues. This is one of the strongest and most hilarious reissues we've had in recently with the irresistable NY '78 styles of Buari's 'Disco Soccer'.
Disco Soccer in Sidiku Buari's own words is "...a brand new dance - also called, THE SPIRIT OF SPORTS DANCE. The most important part of this dance is the footwork of the steps. Just Remember, the "Soccer ball" is the drum beat of every disco beat, as well as this new dance - so, follow the drum beat and you will find it easy to dance. Hand swinging, head shaking, body moving, slightly kicking, jumping and stepping is a part of this dance", who are we to argue? If this LP makes you half as happy as the guy dancing with a topless broad in football boots on the cover, you'll be having a disco orgasm.
Berceuse Héroïque wheel out the heavy artillery with Pinch’s rude debut barrage for the bass and techno outpost - one of his baddest since those early Swamp 81’s at start of this decade.
Making his first trample of 2019, Pinch keeps it topical with the grimacing and soggy dread march of ‘Border Control’, coming off like a late ‘90s Virus workout remodelled for basements full of hooligans stomping their ugly sneakers into rave slush - you know the tread - before ‘Fortune Tellers’ spins us right back to Pinch’s 2010 steamers ‘Croydon House’ and ‘Retribution’ but with added time lag in a proper piece of UK bass/techno, while ‘Loose Cables’ sees him unbuckle the modular and let it all slop out in a sort of frazzled, drunken stagger that will churn the ‘floor to mush.
Murder business. For serious bassbin use only!
Exquisite ear candy from SOPHIE on Numbers.
Every bit as addictive as her debut and the 'Bipp/Elle' 12", these two feel even more sculpted, dynamic, kerning and canting every millisecond of material to visceral, kawaii effect. 'Lemonade' is just under two minutes of visionary pop architecture coming off like Florian Hecker doing J-Pop with Scratcha DVA, whilst the slow-fast hyperfunk of 'Hard' crams a delirious amounta synaesthetic detail into 3 minutes of accelerated dance-pop topped with fetishistic lyrics about platform shoes and latex from an unknown vocaloid.
It's sickeningly strong stuff. Mind yer dosage…
A pulse, humming forth from the speakers. Rhythms fracture and divide themselves, intersecting, diverging. The pounding of a heartbeat emerges, so stressed... this is a feeling of dread. Thus passes the first couple minutes of ‘1 Minute 2 Midnight’, Russ Waterhouse’s second solo release.
"It’s been several years since Russ participated in new music-making as part of the duo Blues Control, now on an open-ended hiatus. Their four albums (plus one collaborative record with Laaraji) are much-heralded sonic journeys, processing observations on community and environment to produce a diverse set of instrumental modes. In the past couple years, Russ’s solo work has coalesced as the relationships that had created Blues Control fell apart, making almost unconscious commentary on a disillusioned state of mind. This brought him back to the noise idiom that he’d started with, making cassettes as Rheum in the early aughts. Last year’s cassette release, ‘Amaro’, recorded live and mostly improvised, was a relative expression of desolation compared to the verdant collaborations of Blues Control but an evolution of his earlier work.
‘1 Minute 2 Midnight’ rides that forsaken vibe into waves of anger and frustration over lack of agency, emoted via encroaching overlays of noise and mixed with an ear for small details scattered among the big sounds, then patterned into two long-form pieces. Living in Richmond, Virginia during this time, Russ found himself in a void, with a variable response to the sense of dissipation - resistance and surrender, outreach and retreat. Eventually, something had to happen to lead him out of it. A trek to locate bodies of water led him to the intersection of the Appomattox and the James rivers - but there, the potential clarity that nature might provide was drowned out by the sounds of industrial machinery emanating from the stark environs around the city of Hopewell. Suddenly, here was something that resonated.
Upon returning home, Russ did a bit of research and found that Hopewell had been the site of a disastrous chemical spill. The sounds of this place, implying calamity, needed to be captured. ‘Hopewell’ disperses the collected sounds in a live mix that extends over nineteen minutes through a series of increasingly forbidding moments. Using field recordings, a Sears Rhythm-Matic drum box, Roland TR-505 drum machine, Korg synth and percussion (marbles in a glass jar with a contact mic), all of it tuned to the ground hum of the drum box, Russ’s mix embodies an imminent doomsday. On side two, ‘Too Many People’ grows out of the first piece and structures itself nmore readily. Based around field recordings gathered while wandering through Richmond’s Regency Square mall and climaxing with a corrosive guitar performance, nthe piece finds Russ employing tactile methodology with a greater sense of equilibrium and organization compared to the organic clamour of ‘Hopewell’."
2nd of two essential 12”s completing SOPHIE’s year-defining Product album, containing the blinding DJ tool L.O.V.E. and bon jobby stadium pop peak of Just Like We Never Said Goodbye.
The Evol-esque mentasm of L.O.V.E. is a staple of SOPHIE’s live shows, commonly used as a bridge between the big pop hitters but also more than standing out as a highlight in its own right.
Just Like We Never Said Goodbye is a stadium anthem for 2015; hopefully the kind that will be played in Wetherspoons’ in 20 years when all the old ale drinkers die and they reinstall jukeboxes.
Timely survey of early electronic wonders from Utrecht’s esteemed Institute Of Sonology, including pioneering pieces by Gottfried Michael Koenig and Konrad Boehmer that paved the way for future advancements by Roland Kayn, Jaap Vink, Leo Küpper
Originally issued on CD in 2001 and now on 2LP, ‘Institute Of Sonology 1959-1969’ covers the formative years of Utrecht’s famed facility for concrète and electronic music composition. Nowadays a part of Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the institute was founded on September 1st, 1960 with high end technical equipment from the electronic music Laboratories of Phillips Research, Eindhoven. Initially called STEM (STudio Voor Elektronische Muziek), the institute came into being under the artistic direction of Gottfried Michael Koenig (who had previously worked at Cologne’s WDR studio, assisting Stockhausen among others), and would be recognised among the premier European hotspots for advanced electronic music composition.
In recent years attention has been directed to the Institute Of Sonology via unarchived and reissued seminal works from Roland Kayn and Jaap Vink, who both made some of their most fascinating recordings at the institute during the late ‘70s and early ’80s. This set surveys the decade before that vital work, notably including a rare vinyl pressing of Gottfried Michael Koenig’s pioneering, 17’ computer composition ‘Funktion Orange’, as well as Konrad Boehmer’s 15’ microcosmic maelstrom, ‘Aspekt’, both of which patently still hold up next to modern noise musick, while the rest of the set rings from the slippery wormhole dynamic of Frits Weiland’s ‘Studie In Lagen Impulsen’, to Ton Bruyel’s ‘Reflexen’, which sounds like a Burmese drum falling down an endless Escher staircase, while Rainer Riehn’s 20’ ‘Chants Du Maldorer’ piece presents a wild belch of abstract concrète darkness.
RIYL AFX, NYZ, Russell Haswell, Pita, Jim O’Rourke, Kevin Drumm, Markus Schmickler.
Mexico City’s keen-eared Umor Rex illuminate Sol Oosel’s physical, emotive style of synthesis for the latest addition to their swelling catalogue of great work by everyone from Kara-Lis Coverdale to Rafael Anton Irisarri.
“Sol Oosel presents an album with a complex mixture of tones and structures, striking a close relation between a sort of devotional music and a trancelike state. Beyond his own specific exploration of the possibilities of electronic modular synthesis, Sol Oosel searches for hacks in different states of consciousness by way of sound.
En allégeance à l'inconnaissable - Une étude en chorégraphie pour le flux d'énergie is meant as a musical aid for visualizing the ability to dance with and manipulate attainable flows of energy. Largely produced using modular synthesizers and the Roland SH-09, Sol Oosel stretches beyond the fields of ambient music, adding a special sense of drama to this psychoactive journey. Each song is built around solid structures and infused with a mystical atmosphere. Harmonically, this album is close to Hans-Joachim Roedelius' early works; it is emotionally positive, informed by pop nuances that are rarely found in this type of ambient music. Sol Oosel also owes to the works of Klaus Schulze; however, while Schulze was concerned with space and made music of the unknown but conceivable cosmos in his mind, Sol Oosel is more interested in Earth and the force that weighs us down in this complex physical reality. His music speculates on the relationships between inner and outer worlds. En allégeance à l'inconnaissable... is a soundscape and a choreographic exercise for relaxation, intentionally disrupted by "Here (Au Bord De L'Univers)", a deconstructive piece covered in multiple layers of repetition, progressive beats and kosmische pulsation which detours from the flow. In a way, it represents the bridge between all these cosmic and earthly energies.
This is Sol Oosel’s debut on Umor Rex. He previously self-released the album Janus, and was member of several bands and projects before focusing in Sol Oosel. He lives in the rural village of Tepoztlán, México, where he works as an artist, performer, sculptor, sonic landscaper, and dancer.”
‘Patience’ is the aptly titled debut solo vinyl delicacy by New Mexico’s Theodore Cale Schafer, a quietly rising figure of the new American ambient sphere whose music we first heard on Huerco S’ RA mix.
Beautifully recalling the sublime instrumental tension of Elodie and Sarah Davachi as much as the hypnagogic electronics of the West Mineral crew, Schafer’s first vinyl release follows handfuls of tapes and CDs since 2015 for the likes of Angoisse and Lynn to render a spectrally elusive sound that perfectly fits Students of Decay’s hazy aesthetic.
Based and recording in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Schafer’s sound is suitably slow and wide open like the sun-beaten dusty landscape he inhabits. Neatly summed up as “narcoleptic and bristling with grit and light” in the press release, his sound recalls to us evening in hotter places than Manchester, when the sun dips but the world still glows with a lingering, purply phosphorescence.
Murky location recordings infiltrate and merge with electronics and washed-out strings and warm breeze chorales in opener ‘Gold Chain’, setting a delectable tone that flows thru the pealing, attack-shorn keys of ‘No Piano’ and the crackling dust mite shimmer of ‘Hunter’ with its achingly romantic, Jelinek-style drone loops. The other half then settles into the evening proper with cicadas and noctilucent pads drawing eyes to half mast across the B-side, as though we’ve fallen akip with TV in the background while we’re blissfully unaware that alien visitors have been peering in thru the windows of our dusty desert villa.
Really V good this.
Brother From Different Mothers mint their Homemade Soundsystem sublabel with two dancehall mutations by pivotal Parisian player Krikor
Switching patterns after self-releasing two soundtracks on tape (including the ace ‘Building Arnold Schwarzenegger) and a brace of scuzzy electro for L.I.E.S., Krikor picks up on prevailing dancehall vibes on both sides, working up a wicked late ‘90s-style ragga bogle with the wheezy, ruddy shunt of ‘Gun Shot Riddim’, and then on a crafty sort of digi-dancehall rub nodding to Chip E’s early Chicago club anthem as much as Prince Jammy in ‘It’s (Not) House.’
Laurel Halo lands on Latency with a cinematic suite featuring Oliver Coates on cello and drums by Eli Keszler.
Making her first move since 2017’s remarkable ‘Dust’ album, Laurel takes inspiration from her score work for Metahaven and Ursula Le Guin’s translation of the ‘Tao Te Ching’ in pursuit of a quieter, more tactile and elusive sound, moving deeper into a sort of twilight avant jazz realm that calls to mind the recently uncovered Luc Ferrari salvo on Alga Marghen as much as flashes of Conlon Nancarrow and the diaphanous swirl of Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas.
It's immediately obvious that this is a special release in Laurel’s catalogue. Two 10 minute works bookend the release; the sublime title track with its oneiric mesh of woodwind, early electronic music gestures, and almost funeral organ; and at the opposite end, a stunning symphonic piece that unmistakably recalls Gas, but also unlocks that sound’s potential from the grid thanks to Keszler’s free meter and an embrace of kaotic harmony deeply rooted in Derrick May and Carl Craig’s Detroit classics.
But that’s not to discount the bits in between; they’re also brilliant. From her pairing of Keszler’s inimitable snare rushes with dark blue keys and smudged, plasmic electronics in ‘Mercury’, to something like Mark Fell commanding an underwater gamelan orchestra in ‘Quietude’, and the rapid flux of keys in ‘The Sick Mind’, this one has us rapt from every angle.
So this one’s been a lonnnnnng time coming. The Nurse With Wound List is a by now legendary list of artists and bands that original Nurse With Wound members Steven Stapleton, John Fothergill, and Heman Pathak included on their debut album 'Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella' (1979) and then expanded on 'To the Quiet Men from a Tiny Girl (1980)'. In the 40 years since the list was first published, it’s become something of a shopping list for collectors of outsider and avant-garde music - with many of the names on it only becoming known in recent years - and many still completely unkown. On this first volume of a new series, Finders Keepers undertake the massively rewarding task of issuing as much of the list in a series of themed volumes, kicking off with ‘France’. Wigs will be flipped with this lot, including deadly psych downbeats by Igor Wakhevitch, lysergic wooze by Jean Cohen-Solal, Pierre’s Henry’s haunting ‘Générique (Thème De Myriam)’, the joyful voodoo of Horrific Child, and syncopated machine rhythms by Jean Guérin.
“After years of mythology, misinterpretation and procrastination Nurse With Wound’s Steven Stapleton finally chooses Finders Keepers Records as the ideal collaborators to release “the right tracks” from his uber-legendary psych/prog/punk peculiarity shopping list known as The Nurse With Wound List, commencing with a French specific 'Volume One' of this authentically titled 'Strain Crack Break' series. Featuring galactic Gallic rarities (previously presumed to be imaginary red herrings) this deluxe double vinyl dossier demystifies some of the essential French free jazz and Parisian prog inclusions from the alphabetical “dedication” inventory as printed the anti-bands 1979 industrial milestone debut.
When Steven Stapleton, Heman Pathak and John Fothergill’s anti-band Nurse With Wound decided to include an alphabetical dedication to all their favourite bands on the back of their inaugural LP the notion of creating a future record dealers’ trophy list couldn’t have been further from their minds. By adding a list of untravelled European mythical musicians and noise makers to their own debut release of unchartered industrial art rock they were merely providing a suggestive support system of existing potential likeminded bands, establishing safety in numbers should anyone require sonic subtitles for Nurse With Wound’s own mutant musical language. Luckily for them, the record landed in record shops in the midst of 1979’s memorable summer of abject apathy and its sound became a hit amongst disillusioned agit-pop pickers and artsy post-punks, thus playing a key role in the bourgeoning “Industrial” genre that ensued.
On the most part, however, the list , like most instruction manuals, remained unreadable, syntactic and suspiciously sarcastic… As potential “real musicians” Nurse WIth Wound became an Industrial music fan’s household name, but in contrast many of the names on The Nurse With Wound List were considered to be imaginary musicians, made-up bands or booby traps for hacks and smart-arses. It took a while for the rest of the record collecting community to catch on or finally catch up. Since then, many of the rare, obscure and unpronounceable genre-free records on The Nurse With Wound List have slowly found their own feet and stumbled in to the homes of open-minded outernational vinyl junkies, D’s and sample hungry producers, self-propelled and judged on their own merit, mostly without consultation of the enigmatic NWW map.
But, to the inspective competitive collector’s chagrin, one resounding fact recurs, NWW got there first! via vinyl vacations, on cheap flights and Interrail tickets, buying bargain bin LPs on a shoestring while oblivious to the pending pension worthy price tags after their 40 year vintage, Stapleton and Fothergill, even if you’ve never heard of them, were at the bottom of the pit before “digging” became paydirt. And NOW at huge international record fairs that occur in massive exhibition halls (or within the confines of your one-touch palm pilot) amongst jive talk acronyms such as SS, PP, BIN, DNAP and BCWHES the coded letters NWW have begun to appear on stickers in the corner of original copies of the same premium progressive records accompanied by a customary 50% price hike to titillate/coerce the initiated as dealers extort the taught. Like “psych” “PINA” or “Krautrock” did before, “NWW” has become a buzzword and in the passed decades since its first publication The List has been mythologised, misunderstood and misconstrued.
It’s also been overlooked, overestimated and under-appreciated in equal measures, but with a growing interest it has also come to represent a maligned genre in itself, something that all members of the original line-up would have deemed sacrilegious. Bolstered by the subtitle “Categories strain, crack and sometimes break, under their burden,” all bands on the inventory (many chosen on the strength of just one track alone) were chosen for their genre-defying qualities… A check-list for the uncharted.
Forty years after Nurse With Wound’s first record, Finders Keepers Records, in close collaboration with Steve Stapleton remind fans of THIS kind of “lost” music, that there once existed a feint path which was worn away decades before major label pop property developers built over this psychedelic underground. As long-running fans and liberators of some of the same records, arriving at the same axis from different-but-the-same planets, Finders Keepers and Nurse WIth Wound finally sing from the same hymn sheet resulting in a collaborative attempt to officially, authentically and legally compile the best tracks from the list, succeeding where many overzealous nerds have deferred (or simply, got the wrong end of the stick). Naturally our lavish metallic gatefold double vinyl compendium would only scratch the surface of this DIY dossier of elongated punk-prog peculiarities hence out decision to release volume one in a series which, in accordance with Steve’s wishes, focuses exclusively on individual tracks of French origin, the country that unsurprisingly hosted the highest content of bands on the list. Comprising of musique concrète, free jazz, Rock In Opposition, Zeuhl School space rock, macabre ballet music, lo-fi sci-fi, and classic horror literature inspired prog, this first volume of the series entitled Strain Crack And Break throws us in at the deep end, where the Seine meets the in-sane, introducing the space cadets that found Mars in Marseilles."
Political dance anthems in a new beat/new beta-style from Not Waving’s Alessio Natalizia, following from a series of collabs with Jim O’Rourke, Mark Lanegan and Jay Glass Dubs over the last year.
Closing out a banner year with a club-ready boot up the ass, Not Waving follows those divergent 2019 outings with a wildly driven lunge for the strobes, balancing pure escapism with a reminder to dance and laugh at the populist peckers that dominate global politics right now.
The A-side’s Belgian new beat-styled détournement ‘Tremendous’ makes ironic use of a foamy-mouthed but blithe Tr*mp speech about the Paris attacks, sliced and jacked into a strapping mix of jagged EBM arps and Italo/Detroit chromatics with a naggingly playful aesthetic that harks back to Belgian new beat and UK rave’s mix of politics and subversive escapism.
The B-side ’S.M’ then opens with a rabble-rousing recording of Italian students chanting “Salvini, merda” against Matteo Salvini - Italy’s immigrant-hating far-right former deputy Prime Minister - over a bucking, pulsing electro groove that sounds like CoH jamming Ro Maron.
Acts of subversive defiance such as this, encouraging dissent and ridicule of pompous right wing blowhards - and no matter how small in the wider scheme of things - have never been so vitally required in the modern day.
Tunes of Negation is a new project from Shackleton, featuring Heather Leigh, Takumi Motokawa, and Raphael Meinhart in a world of binding rhythms and ancient harmonics meshed in multidirectional flows, highly recommended for lovers of mystic drumming, psychedelia & syncretic sonic traditions...
Shackleton works up hypnotic group energy alongside avant-goddess Heather Leigh, percussionist Takumi Motokawa, and mallet player Raphael Meinhart in their debut as Tunes of Negation for Shapednoise’s label; Cosmo Rhythmatic. ‘Reach The Endless Sea’ is a heady blast of lysergic, chromatic colour and syncopated rhythms that partly imagines an alternative musical timeline where Hawkwind and Ashra Tempel fans, proto-Humanoid types, and new age travellers who made up the UK’s rave vanguard prevailed against the law to enact a freely psychedelic dance music.
The album follows in the vein of Shackleton’s previous trio of vocal-focussed trips for Honest Jon’s and his Woe To The Septic Heart! label to find the mystic pied piper’s spirit bolstered and tempered by a collaborative, multi-directional flow of energies. Split into five durational parts running between 10-15 minutes each - or long enough to draw listeners into their dilated temporality - the music comes in waves of pointed, timeless intensity and illusory suggestion, subtly shifting pattern with an acid-dosed logic.
Following her triumphant ‘Throne’ LP’ in 2018, Heather Leigh provides sacral vocals to the canto couplet of ‘The World Is A Stage’ and ‘Reach The Endless Sea’, providing an elevated constant between its moire of possessed vibes and lilting rhythms, before the trio of instrumentalists take the reins on a mazy trajectory between the harmonic lather of ‘Tundra Erotic’, thru the sanguine meditation of ‘Nowhere Ending Sky’, and an epic, 15 minute invocation of ancient Indian raga traditions and mountaintop kosmische in ‘Rückschlag / Rising, then Resonant’, before they all come down together in the Amazonian delta flow and oozing sprawl of ‘The Time Has Come.’
While no single description will sum up the potency and conviction of Tunes of Negation, their mission can be summed in a line from a poem by 13th C. mystic Rumi which inspired the album’s title, stating that ‘Reach The Endless Sea’ strives to “aid transmutation and enter into the light.”
Electro-acoustic explorer John Chantler expands his timbral horizons with a subtly dynamic suite recorded at INA-GRM, Paris; Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg; and 1703, Stockholm, in a commission for the GRM’s François Bonnet.
Chantler absorbingly pays attention to the nanoscopic and macro details of his sound here in a vast cosmic entanglement of subatomic chatter and arcing harmonic structures that describe a real head-fuck of awesome electronic abstraction. On the surface it can appear formidably alien, but those parts always lead somewhere sweeter and gratifyingly inquisitive.
“Australian born, Sweden based artist John Chantler returns to Room40 with his fifth solo edition. 'Tomorrow Is Too Late' was commissioned by INA GRM for their Présences Électronique festival in 2018 and sees Chantler significantly expand the horizons of his acoustic palette. Moving from subtle microtonal movements to passages of intense harmonic saturation, Tomorrow Is Too Late is his most dynamic work to date. A powerhouse of reductive intensity that bares witness to Chantler’s uncompromising sonic articulations.”
Mark Korven uses a range of anxiety-inducing instrumentation to soundtrack Robert Eggers film about two Lighthouse keepers, or “wickies” holding fast to a rock in shitty weather.
Directed by Riobert Eggers and starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as the “wickies”, ‘The Lighthouse’ is underscored by a fittingly tempestuous soundtrack rich with dark harmonics and gripping textures that help emphasise the imagery. To our ears the music reveals everything from Sir Richard Bishop & W. David Oliphant’s ‘Beyond All defects’ to the bleak expanses of Deathprod and Kevin Drumm in foul weather mode. No denying most copies will be purchased for that die cut sleeve, though.
Promising 1st EP from Aussie, Destiny71z, proving a dab hand at sculpting freaky garage, house and techno from a stacked modular set-up for Floating Points/Alex Nut’s Eglo
With a gauntleted, hands-on approach your guy wrestles four cuts that bristle with raw electricity primed for the ‘floor. ‘Softbeta’ sets it off with sparky 2-step that dissolves into fractal electronic madness, whereas ‘Destiny71z’ short circuits garage rave and fidget house like a frazzled Solid Groove zinger. The liquified jazz-funk chords and Herbert-like tics of ‘Foodprogrammevoltage’ prove more clearly why he’s signed to Eglo, while ’Sinescannerz’ flaps about with fluttering IDM/techno like a hyper Border Community workout.
Vicki Bennett’s brilliant People Like Us short-circuits easy listening and psychedelia in her familiar-not-familiar style for a seriously trippy new one on Discrepant.
Still going on like The Caretaker’s twisted sister, here Vicki relays the results of a 2018 A/V show ‘The Mirror’ alongside a piece with her regular collaborator, avant-songwriter Ergo Phizmiz, from her 360º immersive cinema piece ‘Gone, Gone Beyond’ to provide a headful of none-more-elusive ohrwurms recalibrate at uncanny angles and in combo with myriad others. If you’ve followed her work thus far, you’ll know exactly what to expect, and get it just as you couldn’t imagine, but if you’re new to her work, prepare to pinch yourself and check you haven’t been overdoing the microdosing.
“Each song is singular. And each song is a collage of and undefined number of other songs from other artists. It sounds familiar because that has been the modus operandi of People Like Us since the early 1990s. But “The Mirror” plays with the notion of familiar, driving around a collection of famous pop songs/artists, messing around with the memory of the listener and, of course, his unique comprehension of those specific songs applied in a new context.
Because of the use of familiar pop sounds, “The Mirror” is often grandiose. Like an epic film only with highs, never letting the listener down or letting him doubt the power of pop. Even, of course, when the coordinates are twisted, mixed, over or underrepresented. Each moment feels like something that could only happen in a parallel universe.
Although that may sound naïve, it’s just a lost thought of reaction to the beautiful collages of People Like Us in “The Mirror”. This mirror doesn’t reflect an image of ourselves or an image of pop. But an image on the way memories drift and are being constant rebuilt. An unfinished collage.”
Floating Points links jazz and electronica on his 3rd studio album, ‘Crush’, following from ‘Elaenia’ and a handful of interim club excursions. From milky ambient to woozy garage and modular experiments.
“Fresh from the release earlier this year of his compilation of lambent, analogous ambient and atmospheric music for the esteemed Late Night Tales compilation series, Floating Points’ first album in four years, Crush, twists whatever you think you know about him on its head again. A tempestuous blast of electronic experimentalism whose title alludes to the pressure-cooker of the current environment we find ourselves in. As a result, Shepherd has made some of his heaviest, most propulsive tracks yet, nodding to the UK bass scene he emerged from in the late 2000s, such as the dystopian low-end bounce of previously shared striking lead single ‘LesAlpx’ (Pitchfork’s ‘Best New Track’), but there are also some of his most expressive songs on Crush: his signature melancholia is there in the album’s sublime mellower moments or in the Buchla synthesizer, whose eerie modulation haunts the album.
Whereas Elaenia was a five-year process, Crush was made during an intense five-week period, inspired by the invigorating improvisation of his shows supporting The xx in 2017. He had just finished touring with his own live ensemble, culminating in a Coachella appearance, when he suddenly became a one-man band, just him and his trusty Buchla opening up for half an hour every night. He thought what he’d come out with would "be really melodic and slow- building" to suit the mood of the headliners, but what he ended up playing was "some of the most obtuse and aggressive music I've ever made, in front of 20,000 people every night," he says. "It was liberating."
His new album feels similarly instantaneous – and vital. It’s the sound of the many sides of Floating Points finally fusing together. It draws from the "explosive" moments during his sets, the moments that usually occur when he throws together unexpected genres, for the very simple reason that he gets excited about wanting to "hear this record, really loud, now!" and then puts the needle on. It’s "just like what happens when you’re at home playing music with your friends and it's going all over the place," he says.”
Total Control drummer Trevor swerves from grotty, strangled electronics to clod-hopping rhythmic fractals and strange bedtime stories in his solo debut for Luke Younger’s Alter, after their 2018 issue of TC’s ‘Laughing At The System’
“‘Becoming A Bed’ gathers seven tracks that run the gamut between battered drum-machine beats, minimal-wave, scratchy noise and spoken word. ‘Romp with Monty’ is the album's least demented moment and delightfully evocative of it’s title with simple melodies and rigid drum machine patterns. A sharp contrast to ‘Cabbage Land’s flailing gabber and breaks combination, resembling something akin to Jamal Moss or Beau Wanzer experiencing a severe breakdown of both mind and hardware. These hybrids of erratic, free percussion and wild synth blurts (see also ‘Midi 2’) lend the album a charming edge, favouring a playful kind of experimentation which extends to the album’s calmer moments too. ‘Bedtime Story’ provides one such bit of respite and the only appearance of Vinciguerra’s voice, processed here in a cold, curious monologue that ruminates on lethargy and illness, atop looping dark ambient textures. It's position in the album providing a centrepiece of cavernous and confounding simplicity.
Elsewhere, tongue-in-cheek end skits sound as if they were heckled at the end of a gig and then decidedly left on the tape. The reckless rave of closing cut ‘Speed Ave’ reflects this in-the-moment sensibility, the machines being close to escaping their captain. It may provide the most didactic dancing effort on the record, but neatly aligns with a loose and uninhibited mindset that skirts around the same warped techno vision as label affiliates Cru Servers or Acolytes.”
Matana Roberts returns from an extensive, celebrated live tour with the fourth volume of her deeply personal but resoundingly immersive ‘Coin Coin’ chapters.
The onetime member of Exploding Star Orchestra looks south to Memphis and the memory of her grandmother (that’s her on the cover) for a typically passionate investigation of her roots, using a patented combination of storytelling and ethnography brought to life with free-metered vocals and strong echoes of early blues, jazz and cajun music.
Make no mistake though, it doesn’t sound old, but raucously psychedelic, contemporary and avant-garde in a totally peerless fashion. Matana’s legion followers hardly need to be told this, but if you’re new to her sound and keen to dip in, expect a helluva journey. Seriously feels like we’ve drunk a gallon of moonshine after listening to this one.
Sal Principato (Liquid Liquid), Shabazz Palaces, Tune-Yards, and Xenia Rubinos guest on Battles’ 4th studio album of mathy, scattershot percussion and cranky melodic calculations.
“Battles return this autumn with Juice B Crypts on Warp Records to follow their complex, mind-bending predecessors Mirrored, Gloss Drop and La Di Da Di. Their latest album is a sensory overload of information that throws everything you thought you knew about Battles into flux once again. Battles redefined line-up puts Ian Williams (Keys, Electronics) and John Stanier (Drums) at the core of the covertly named Juice B Crypts, which was produced and mixed by Chris Tabron (Trash Talk, Mobb Deep, Ratking).”
Schizoid mix of raw, haptic, haphazard electronics and deadpan pop tones from Manchester’s Michael Cutting and Vitalija Glovackyte on the Preston-based Them There Records
Skip over the caustic opener ‘Bleach’ and you’ll find a fine collection of songs-in-flux, sweetly illuminated by Vitalija’s vocals which prove to be the big attraction of Hyperdawn’s debut outing.
From the floating, gauzy structure of ‘Millenial Pink’, with Vitalija channelling Laurel Halo circa ‘Quarantine’, the album opens out as a gently febrile dream between the mix of scuffed electronics and folk-wise cadence in ‘Laugh And Laugh’, to a piece of deliciously decayed eldritch chamber-pop recalling Alexander Tucker on ‘Plastic’, and in their transition from faded, cranky vibes to the suppressed ecstasy of ‘End Of The World’, and the mutant cybeR&B dimensions of ‘Avalanche.’
“Tokyo Stories” captures Francesco Tristano’s deeply held admiration for the city in 15 original compositions for piano, synthesizers and electronics.
"The album reflects his long personal connection to Tokyo, with each piece or ‘story’ crystallizing experiences that range from the profound to the happily serendipitous.
Composed by Tristano and recorded primarily in Tokyo, the album features a variety of guest artists on several tracks, including the Japanese musicians U-zhaan, Keiichiro Shibuya and Hiroshi Watanabe, Argentine electronic artist Guti and legendary French musician Michel Portal."
Angel Bat Dawid is an enigma; her debut album 'The Oracle’ (released earlier this year on tape) is a total anomaly. Dawid recorded, overdubbed and mixed the album on her own after a brain tumor diagnosis disrupted her music studies, she plays every instrument you hear (except for some drums), appears on the cover and produced every flawless twist and turn you’ll find inside. 'The Oracle’ is basically a head-slapping, tear-jerking introduction to the spiritual jazz cosmos of an artist who has become one of Chicago’s most revered and ubiquitous players in recent years, beckoning classic comparisons with everyone from Sun Ra to Nina Simone, or Matana Roberts to Moor Mother in the modern day, but ultimately revealing her own path with shockingly natural ease.
From the opening bars of ‘The Oracle’ it quickly becomes apparent something special is about to happen, and that feeling burns until the end of the LP. Variously designated as “celestial psalms, spiritual jazz experiments & homemade hymns” on the obi strip, Angel is truly channelling something from above and beyond in her incredibly earthy but skyward style.
One gets the feeling that music comes as naturally as breathing to Angel. So it makes sense that she favours singing and playing the clarinet, but that’s only half of the story to ‘The Oracle.’ Apart from the sizzling drums on ‘Cape Town’, Angel remarkably plays all other instruments on the record, as well as overdubbing and mixing everything by herself, too (not to mention appearing on the front cover), which is a rare proposition in many musical fields, not to mention free jazz, which often favours recording engineers and post-production to “get it right.” Safe to say that Angel gets it more “right” than most thanks to her proximity and ease with the material, and the way she ultimately conveys her experience with an unbroken sense of urgency and concentration.
From the quizzical melodies and effected vocals that flow out of ‘Destination (Dr. Yusef Lateef)’ to the incredible catharsis felt at the close of ‘Cape Town’, and cemented in her subsequent closer ‘The Oracle’, the album leaves us ragged and with a lump-in-the-throat, with thanks to the rarely paralleled conviction and utter freeness of her playing and arrangement. Frankly, fans of everything from John and Alice Coltrane to Ornate Coleman, thru the South African styles of Ndikho Xhaba & The Natives and up to Matana Roberts are bound to be bowled over by the ancient but timeless emotive clout of Angel’s solo debut. Incredible.
First released in 1984, Osondi Owendi is a cucumber-cool highlife album that was instantly received as Osadebe’s magnum opus, the crowning event of an exalted career stretching back to the early years of highlife’s emergence as Nigeria’s predominant popular music.
"Stephen Osadebe first appeared on the music scene in 1958 as a spry, twenty-two year-old vocalist in the Empire Rhythm Skies Orchestra, directed by bandleader Steven Amechi. With his dapper suits, urbane Nat King Cole-influenced vocal stylings and jaunty, uptempo, calypso-scented dance tunes, he personified the frisky spirit and anxious aspirations of a young, educated generation that had come of age in the wake of the Second World War, in a Nigeria that was rapidly shaking off British colonization and marching towards an independent future. 1959 would be the year that he truly made his mark in the business with his debut solo single “Lagos Life Na So So Enjoyment.” A giddy exhortation of the music, sex, fun and freedom availed by life in the big city, the song became a sensation and an anthem, and Stephen Osadebe became the leader of his own popular dance band, the Nigerian Sound Makers.
Osadebe would ride this wave of acclaim through most of the nineteen sixties, but a change in direction would be called for at the dawn of the seventies. As Nigeria emerged from a devastating civil war, so did a new generation of youth inspired by rock and funk, confrontational sounds reflective of a more violent, less idealistic era. All of the sudden, the idioms of the post-WWII dance orchestras that nurtured Osadebe’s cohort seemed quaint, the stuff of nostalgia. Osadebe needed to evolve to respond to the new tumultuous, turned-up times. His response? He cooled it down."
‘Somebody’s Knocking’ is the eleventh album from Mark Lanegan. The album pulsates with energy echoing the punch of Eighties garage metallers Raw Power and the sweep of brooding atmosphere concreted by late Joy Division.
"With his love for electronic dance dating back his youth, tracks on ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ act as a callback to these days whilst simultaneousl signifying a definitive shift in his sensibilities and very approach to songwriting. It’s unsurprising then that ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ was cowritten by Rob Marshall - of Exit Calm and collaborator on 2017’s Gargoyle - alongside Martin Jenkins of electronica project Pye Corner Audio.
In Lanegan’s own words, he approached working with the two “from the perspective of a fan.” This is unsurprising; Lanegan’s love for European dance music even led to Jenkins contributing album remixes for both 2015’s ‘A Thousand Miles Of Midnight’ and 2017’s ‘Still Life With Roses’, Pye Corner once again proving to be the perfect foil for Lanegan’s more overtly electronica infused approach. Mostly recorded in LA over an eleven-day session, ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ is a shift in perspective for Lanegan, showcasing his maturing approach to songwriting and remaining instinctive, elusive and unflinchingly honest."
Russian-style bass music from Champion Sound on Leipzig’s Defrostatica label, including remixes by Nmesh and Sun People
Featuring a vocal by Kingston, JA’s Hawkeye, ’Ghetto Youth’ comes off like a dubstep tune that just woke in a panic from a K-hole in 2009; ‘Talk’ follows on an Eski-meets-footwork tip; Nmesh provides a skittish halfstep rework of ‘Ghetto Youth’, and Austria’s Sun People spank ‘Talk’ with a ghettotech D&B spoon.
Bill MacKay is back to harmonic atom-splitting with all six of his guitar strings in this new collaboration with cellist Katinka Kleijn, ‘STIR’.
"Bill is an avid collaborator (see ‘SpiderBeetleBee’, with Ryley Walker) and over the past seven years he and Katinka have used live performance to build their chemistry into a surprising, organic density, with sharply-etched colours drawn from avant-rock, folk, jazz classical and experimental music. It is at once an unlikely and perfect pairing as both musicians are known not only for their chops but for their creativity, curiosity and range.
Together they form a fluid, intuitive, dialogical and improvisational pair. ‘STIR’ is centred on a series of MacKay’s compositions, partially inspired by Hermann Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf. You can try following along with the book but don’t expect any ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’/‘Wizard Of Oz’-type moments. This is a concept unhindered by the conceptual but it has a beautiful through-line to its organization. The repetition and expansion of themes borrows from the chamber music world, while the distortions, free play and edge of much of the work clearly draws from the duo’s friends in noise and the avantgarde. Were Jim Hendrix, Henry Flynt, John Cage, PJ Harvey, Duke Ellington, Eric Satie or Body/Head to appear in your mind as this disc was spun in your house - no one would less than inspired. Bill MacKay is a guitarist-composer-songwriter who has vitalized the experimental rock, avant and folk scenes for over a decade.
He gre up in Pittsburgh and has made Chicago home since 1998. Katinka Kleijn is cellist and veteran of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and International Contemporary Ensemble among many other groups. She hails from The Netherland and has lived in Chicago since 1995. Both musicians have appeared as guests on numerous records andtour domestically and internationally, when they are not playing concerts in Chicago. ‘STIR’ is their first full-length record together. All music is arranged by MacKay and Kleijn."
This is Clipping’s transmutation of horrorcore, a purposefully absurdist sub-genre that flourished in the mid-90s.
"If some of its most notable pioneers included Brotha Lynch Hung and Gravediggaz, it also encompasses seminal works from the Geto Boys, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and the near-entirety of classic Memphis cassette tape rap. The most subversive and experimental rap has often presented itself as an “alternative” to conventional sounds, but Clipping respectfully warp them into new constellations. There Existed an Addiction to Blood absorbs the hyper-violent horror tropes of the Murder Dog era, but re-imagines them in a new light: still darkly-tinted and somber, but in a weirder and more vivid hue. The album contains interludes with hissing recordings of demonic invasions, and guest appearances from Griselda Gang’s Benny the Butcher and Hypnotize Minds horror queen La Chat.
Other tracks feature contributions from noise music legends The Rita and Pedestrian Deposit. It all ends with “Piano Burning,” a performance of a piece written by the avant-garde composer Annea Lockwood. Yes, it is the sound of a piano burning. There Existed an Addiction to Blood fits neatly into the broader scope of the band’s career, which has seen them expand from insular experimentalists into globally recognized artists. Since the release of their first album in 2013, Diggs has won a Tony and a Grammy (both for his acting/rapping work as Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in Hamilton), as well as co-written and starred in 2018’s critically hailed Blindspotting, while Snipes and Hutson have scored numerous films and television shows. Clipping’s last album, the 2016 afro-futurist dystopian space opus Splendor & Misery was recently named one of Pitchfork’s Best Industrial Albums of All-Time.
Commissioned for an episode of This American Life, their 2017 single “The Deep” became the inspiration for a novel of the same name, written by Rivers Solomon and published by Saga Press. But their latest masterwork embodies what the band had been building towards — a work that finds them without peer. This is experimental hip-hop built to bang in a post-apocalyptic club bursting with radiation. It’s horrorcore that soaks up past blood and replants it into a different organism, undead but dangerously alive. It is a new sun, blindingly bright and built to burn your retinas."
The Twilight Sad’s ‘Òran Mór Session’: a collection of reworked, stripped-back versions of tracks from the album, B-sides and a cover of Arthur Russell’s ‘I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face’. Now repressed on white vinyl.
"Recorded upstairs at Glasgow’s Òran Mór, a popular arts and entertainment spot in the west of the city, we see the skeletons of the songs that comprised the bulk of ‘Nobody Wants to be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’ presented as they were initially composed: stark, unadorned and with their melodies laid open and their meanings made clear; a chance to hear another side to the band’s repertoire but also to revisit what made the originals so special in the first place."
Elena Colombi’s Osarè! Editions kicks off with a batch of gunky machine offbeats by US/Lithuanian duo Free Range - a strong look for fans of Beau Wanzer, early Powell, Tolouse Low Trax, Trevor Jackson.
Trading in 6 stripes of bilgy pump, blunted vocals and discordant klang, ‘King Of Snake’ cranks into action as the first example of of Elena’s curatorial skills, tying up her various disciplines as a daring NTS radio host/DJ/digger and art designer in one canny package.
Leading on from Free Range’s turns with 2MR, Pinkman and Night People, they come into their own with a set of coruscating, cranky rhythm mechanisms riddled with oddball spirit. They barely get out of first gear in the groggy slump of ‘Home Security System’, but more nimbly find their feet in murky alien steppers styles on ‘Relax It’s Just Eggs’, while the quagmire swag of ‘Washing Machine Speaking’ conveys a mistrust of modern technology. ‘Toyota Mirror’ follows a grubbing acidic hunch for slow, pendulous dance moves into the possessed psych churn of ‘Translucent Ashtray’ and ‘Trip To Nairobi’ wraps it up with a wickedly soggy slug no dissimilar to Nate Young’s trip metal rollers.
Ambient healing music from Japan. The first in a series tending to the archive of prolific Japanese ambient music pioneer Fumio Miyashita, formerly of psych/prog-rock band Far Out/Far East Family Band.
"In 1969, he was an original member of the rock musical, ‘Hair’, in Tokyo. He formed the progressive rock groups Far Out and Far East Family Band, releasing ground-breaking albums and touring internationally. Always interested in oriental philosophy since studying karate at a young age (he became a black belt in high school), he became interested in oriental medicine after an injury on stage that only healed after undergoing acupuncture. In 1977, he immigrated to the United States, where he continued to study oriental medicine, philosophy, the Chinese Five Elements and also began, in earnest, to research music therapy.
In 1981, he decided to return to Japan, moved to Shinshu Iizuna Highlands and established Biwa Studio. One reason for choosing Iizuna Highlands was because it’s altitude is 1,250 meters and during his studies he learned that this is a very positive and healthy altitude for the human body to reside in. There he created numerous works, including music CD’s and image videos. His passion was for creating music that was helpful to people and his recurring theme in his works was relaxation and healing for the mind and body. He named his music ‘Healing Music’ and he established his own unique style of music therapy."
Pretty solo piano recordings by Italian Bavota, whose music has appeared on popular playlists and high profile TV placements in recent years
“Bruno Bavota – the young, prolific Italian composer whose music has often been labeled with earnest, adjective-laden descriptors such as “disarmingly sincere” and “extraordinarily emotional” – has experienced a self-imposed creative transformation over the past few years. Where his early records were pristine, piano-driven expressions of universal themes, his more recent works have found him in a place of thorough meditation and self-examination. As Bavota explains, “While at the beginning of my music and career, I focused on crystal clear piano sounds, eventually all the time spent at the piano day after day changed my sense of the piano itself. I started to see the piano like a living instrument.”
Get Lost is Bruno Bavota’s first studio album since the 2016 release of Out of the Blue helped thrust him into that peculiar world of anonymous but significant success via high-volume streaming playlists and high-profile TV placements. Out of the Blue marked the beginning of Bavota’s drift from immaculate, traditional piano music. If Get Lost isn’t a complete reinvention, it is at the very least a radical new direction. Rather than obsess over the sound of the piano itself, Bavota now explores the sounds around the piano – the resonance, the silence, and the acoustic ambience of the living, breathing space in which the piano resides. He employs an array of outboard effects pedals and processors to not just capture those sounds that are often overlooked, but to sample, loop, and reposition them as central figures in a story.
Bruno Bavota gave Get Lost its name when he found himself drifting deeper into the darker side of his music. Inspired by a familiar observation of modern life, Bavota confessed, “I think people are becoming more selfish and don't seem to have time to listen to other people who need to be heard. We don't show much empathy.” Much like Bavota’s evolving approach to the piano, he has discovered profound purpose and influence in the people and places least visible but most meaningful.”
Evil spirit in the machine, Bad Tracking tacks to Bokeh Versions for their label debut and 3rd gob of acrid industrial noise misshapes
Also feared as members of para-rave radgies Avon Terror Corps; Bristol’s Bad Tracking is now revealed as the alias of jungle producer Gordon Appds (Relapse) and poet / VHS artist Max Kelan (who has lent his visuals to videos from Hodge, The Pop Group, OM Unit and Young Echo among others). They continue to run amok between blvck metvl, noise, and industrial dub strains with a sourly puckered, slow and abrasive volley in ‘Widower.’
‘Ericsson’ sees him spread leathery wings in proper, delacquered BM style, and the rinsed out cadaver of ‘Widower’ follows thru with a rusty shank of industro-dub bother. ‘Banned From Motion’ catches them trampling with structural stress-test squeals in unforgiving fashion, while ‘Banned from Fini’ reiterates that idea to swollen extremes, and ‘Wellspring’ leaves no prisoners with its full frontal physical assault of atonal shudders and the sort of vocals that require a full packet of lozenges after recording.
Superb, variegated debut LP of twysted vintage drum machine crack and cinematic techno synths from Maria Inês Borges Coutinho’s Violet for Dark Entries, marking one of their rare forays into contemporary productions.
Covering all bases between Serpente-like jungle deviations to lamping, latinate techno, metallic boogie and ambient breeze, ‘Bed Of Roses’ ‘fesses to the full spectrum of Violet’s style, as previously heard in 12”s for her Naive imprint, and the One Eyed Jacks and Paraíso labels since start of this decade.
The 10 songs were conceived as a “healing device” or “a sort of childhood-teenage memories diary” and see her come to terms with nostalgia and buried feelings. As such she strikes a fine balance of introspection and dancefloor escapism, taking in the Jasss-like fusion of dark, lustrous synths and deviant, reticulated junglism with her striking opener ‘Tears in 1983’, while the FM synth-refracted feel and title of ‘Bed Of Roses’ harks back to herself as a 9 y.o. with a thing for Jon Bon Jovi. But if you’re after proper club gear, best check the whirling metallic dembow of ‘In The Aquarius’, or the Nite Jewel boogie flex of ‘They Don;’t Wanna Know’, and the bruxist thump of ‘Spectral.’ But they’re really all best heard in the flow of the album, along with its swaggering downstrokes in ‘Half Crazy’ and the Teresa Winter-like vectors of ‘Never Leave.’
Carla dal Forno’s keenly anticipated 2nd album pays dividends on the promise of her debut, returning a gorgeous, stately suite of chamber pop that certifies her among the most vital songwriters in her field. Tipped to fans of Nico, HTRK, CS + Kreme, Dome, Julee Cruise...
Forming an exquisitely pruned bouquet of midnight wildflowers, ‘Look Up Sharp’ makes the shrugging pop of Carla’s debut LP ‘You Know What It’s Like’  feel almost naif by comparison. With her vocals cleanly poised high in the mix, as though throned in a wide, high-ceilinged room lofted above the city, Carla speaks to a sort of resigned state of mind, coolly coming to terms with a sense of impending doom that resonates with early post-punk concerns over nuclear war and how the old world informs the present.
It’s perhaps best seen as an exercise in snatching relief from the jaws of misery; an idea is conveyed in the plaintive reserve of her vocals and the urge of the album’s title, and arrestingly enunciated between the album’s most immediate standouts, from the driving gothic succour of opener ‘No Trace’, to the elegant self-realisation of ‘I’m Conscious’, leading her to similarly downbeat but not beat conclusions as HTRK in the smoky shuffle of ‘Took A Long Time’ and the quietly optimistic closer, ‘Push On.’
Chalk Hill Blue is a record of electronic ruralism channeling lives threaded through the chalk landscapes of Southern England.
“Will Burns is Caught by the River poet-in-residence, and Hannah Peel is a frequent fixture of Caught by the River festival stages – both with the ‘cosmic colliery’ electronica of her solo work, and with orchestral place-rock band The Magnetic North (of which Chalk Hill Blue producer Erland Cooper is also a member.)
As part of their collaboration, Burns, Peel and Cooper walked the landscapes around Burns’s Wendover house together: their chalk-heeled boots tracing shared routes through the rhythms and repetitions of the place. What emerges in Chalk Hill Blue is a site-specific-non-specific record of creative place portraiture; an album that traces elements of a living landscape, and reworks them into something that is as sensitive and finely-observed as it is visionary.
Burns’s words and Peel’s sounds – deftly fused by Cooper’s sympathetic production – channel the minute shifts in the air and atmosphere of a place, and their resulting emotional effects. The spoken words and sound worlds on Chalk Hill Blue often seem to emerge from subliminal processes of call and answer; a fertile blurring of collective inspiration and intention circling this abstracted chalk landscape.
Perhaps if Delia Derbyshire’s later years in Cumbria had been happier then a record like this might have emerged from the fells, or alternatively if Virginia Astley’s gardens had contained a modular synth or two. Other triangulation points might include Hans Joachim Roedelius’s bucolic kosmiche reveries, Joanna Brouk’s new age minimalism, or James Yorkston’s ambient spoken word experiments. Like the butterfly with which it shares its name, Chalk Hill Blue is a rare thing: a glorious electric pastoral shimmer.”