Halcyon Veil deliver the first IVVVO EP since Mark Leckey Made Me Hardcore - his soundtrack for Raf Simons’ SS16 show. RIYL Rabit, Actress, Zomby, Soda Plains, Mark Leckey, Lorenzo Senni
On his thrilling, wide-eyed debut for Rabit’s Halcyon Veil, London-based IVVVO gets deep under the hood of rave music’s emotive mechanics and reasserts his crucial role in the borderland between lonely bedrooms and heaving clubs.
Good, Bad, Baby, Horny is a distressing but necessary distillation of contemporary worries. Largely shy of beats but heavy on symbolic, contorted references to ‘90s and ’00s pop, rave, and video games, as much as the current ecology of effluent news feeds and rampant social anxiety, it plays out like a frazzled AI attempting to parse the confusion of memory thru state of infinitely up-to-the-second hyperreality.
Its four tracks fuse visceral and highly visual sonic cues in synaesthetic rushes that mirror our sense of physicality within the framework of daily digital experience; somehow isolating the motion sick feeling of hurtling toward a shared endgame with life flashing before our eyes, whilst simultaneously remaining static at the centre of a rave and resisting the perceived tempo of reality.
Scaling from the intensely queasy sensuality of the title track’s gasps and deathly synth drop, thru the the sky-kissing guitar licks off Self Rape, to the frozen Eski shoegaze burn of I Fucked It Up and an elusive glimpse of ecstasy in Tongue Kiss Crying, the mood is perpetually high-strung yet melancholic, violent yet compassionate, perhaps best considered in terms of MDMA as a bitter salt or prism for reflective, therapeutic purposes.
It’s definitely Ivo Pacheco’s strongest work yet, and a hugely timely dispatch from one of rave’s visionary contemporary se’ers.
The return of one of the weirdest producers out there, sometimes known as DJ Yo Yo Dieting, sometimes known as Indignant Senility, this time deploying a set of syruppy chopped & screwed productions that sound something like DJ Screw processed thru guitar pedals or Lil Ugly Mane heard booming from the next block. This is basically the most satisfying out-there mixtape of the year...
Incorrigible noise mutant Pat Maher buries chopped ’n screwed hip hop in proper, cranky noise on the long awaited follow-up to his Bubblethug album as Expressway Yo-Yo Dieting. Imagine a DJ Screw tape covered in gravy, left to bake in the sun and then kneaded thru guitar pedals and you’ve got some taste of the chewy, thuggish ruggish gear on this killer dish.
While Maher may be as well known for his fractal techno as Diamond Catalog or his smeared 78 sessions in The Caretaker-esque Indignant Senility project, it was under the Expressway Yo-Yo Dieting alias that he first really got under the skin of popular consciousness, bubbling up alongside Lil B’s seminal Rain In England on Weird Forest Records c. 2010 to ruggedly reset American hip hop from oblique, avant new perspectives.
Aside from a few mixtapes, Undone Harmony Following is the project’s first appearance since then and picks up exactly where he left us, huffing up classic and little known hip hop joints and spitting them out as hazy, masticated globules of gristle and noise perfect for the muggiest, blunted listening sessions.
They’re like the sonic equivalent of a noise weirdo idly doodling graf sigils in a battered sketchbook for his own gratitude, and thankfully Undone Harmony Following allows everyone else to peer over his shoulder see what he’s scribbling; 13 raw, oozing cuts of slurred vocals and distended grooves that sag over the belt line, dripping rivulets of grease and grit, and always appearing to be on the brink of lethargic collapse.
Its ultimate value lies in that heavy-lidded space between woke and fugged-out dream lyf, and in the way which Maher drags the listener into his uniquely suspended, effected temporality that makes this record almost dangerously, druggily seductive and as vital as it gets right now...
David Moore's minimalist collective jump ship to 4AD for their third album of contemplative modern classical.
Multiple jaws dropped when RVNG Intl quietly unleashed 'Tomorrow Was the Golden Age,' the second album from previously unheralded microtonal ensemble Bing & Ruth, back in late 2014. After a subsequent RVNG re-edition of their debut Bing & Ruth LP, lead pianist and writer David Moore aligns the collective with British icons 4AD for their third studio album ‘No Home of the Mind.’
Shaving off a few musicians for a five-strong unit, Moore’s latest iteration of the perma-shifting Bing & Ruth conjure a becalming 10-track suite of transcendental compositions based around the piano, woodwind, tape delay and upright bass.
‘No Home of the Mind’ is smartly sequenced, compositions either blend into one another naturally or offer a brief silence that is swiftly punctuated by a burst of Moore’s piano. Commencing with the delicate flourishes of Starwood Choker, the album once again portrays Moore as a confident conductor, equally happy to take the lead with his limber piano playing or descend into the shadows as the entire ensemble combine for an opaquer delivery.
The movement from Scrapes into Chonchos is an early example of this and highlight of the album overall.
The first new album by Grails in six years, featuring members of Om and delivering a widescreen opus influenced by Western film scores, obscure library music, and psychedelic krautrock...
"Produced by the band over the past five years, Chalice Hymnal bears some of the European psych and experimental hip-hop production techniques of founding members Alex Hall and Emil Amos' other group, Lilacs & Champagne. Amos' meditative metal band, Om, and longtime singer-songwriter project, Holy Sons, also naturally find their way into the Chalice cauldron.
Rounding out their leaner line-up, cofounder Zak Riles (also of experimental kraut-psych trio, Watter) layers finger-picked acoustic guitars into a prog-folk hybrid that pushes Grails further into the deep end, displaying a profound resonance, both musically and emotionally. No one else sounds like Grails, and on Chalice Hymnal they sound more like themselves than ever before."
On a real roll right now, Bureau B cook up a killer retrospective for Xao Seffcheque, the Düsseldorf-based Austrian artist with a mean line in NDW persiflage, coming hot on the heels of their excellent Sammlung - Elektronische Kassetenmusik, Düsseldorf 1982 - 1989 survey and Conrad Schnitzler’s Filmmusik volumes - some of the labels best in years!
Between 1980-82, Alexander Sevschek a.k.a. Xao Seffcheque was responsible for a run of outstanding (if overlooked) releases combining synths, drum machines and playful vocals in a genuinely punkish snook at the rising wave of NDW bands such as DAF, Liaisons Dangereuses and Palais Schaumburg. This prodding, sardonic attitude - manifest in a fake compilation of covers, Sehr Gut Kommt Sehr Gut and the rollicking Ja - Nein - Veillicht (Yes - No - Maybe), which includes the amazing Du und ich - may have assuaged Seffcheque’s commercial success, but left us with a body of work which perhaps endures so strongly in the modern world because of it.
We were first alerted to the stonking anomaly Du und ich by a Powell DJ set, which makes a lot of sense as both artists approach their respective wave style with a similar blend of nonchalance, adroit talent and prodding humour. That deadly cut is included in this set tucked next to select aces from Gut Kommt Sehr Gut (1981) and Ja - Nein - Veillicht (1981), taking in the revved-up and say jag of Good Friends (feat. Julie Jigsaw), which sounds like some long lost NYC no wave gem, plus rabid rock ’n roll in Pogo à Gogo, and a totally messed up take on The Residents in Why We Hate the Residents, and likewise with DAF in the rictus gibber of Sample & Hold (Wer bitter I’m Munde hat, kana night süßpricken).
Compare this stuff yourself with anything else from that era and it’s patently more unhinged, daft than practically anything else coming out of the Ruhr in the really ‘80s, yet you get the underlying sense that he did made this music because it matters. But then again, he might just be taking the piss? Ambiguity is the spice o’ life!
RIYL Powell, V/Vm, Felix Kubin
Leith newcomer Joshua Sabin moulds the sounds of transit into something quite unique on this killer debut album for Subtext.
Few other labels right now are close to Subtext when it comes to genuinely engaging, rewarding exercises in concept and sound design, and their dominance continues with this rather special album from Joshua Sabin.
Terminus Drift explores how the digital age is impacting on our relationship with our surroundings, and presents Sabin as an intrepid sound explorer with field recorder by his side. A series of trips through Kyoto, Tokyo and Berlin as well as some electromagnetic fields closer to home were inspiration for Sabin, amassing field recordings of ‘sirens reverberating through station tunnels, fluctuating harmonics of subway engines, echoing tannoy systems.
It's the manner in which Sabin manipulates these sounds exclusively and moulds them into a body of work that smacks you in the face with its other dimensional qualities which particularly impresses on Terminus Drift. The ghostly remnants of a tannoy are just about discernible on the opening title track, but the shrill, crystalline dub techno fractures of U12 will have you scratching your head and wondering how he made it.
A rather neat push and pull from moments of calm and foreboding danger is present throughout - perhaps best encapsulated on the mind melting Vivo Wish - and the album suggests Sabin is quite the talent.
RIYL Emptyset, Sa Pa, Sam Kidel, Klara Lewis, WANDA GROUP.
Jens Lekman describes his new record, ‘Life Will See You Now’, playfully but also honestly, as “a midlife-crisis disco album; it’s an existentialist record, about seeing the consequences of your choices.”
"‘Life Will See You Now’ is a typical Lekman album in several ways - sly humour is key to its heartfelt nature, it inverts pop’s writing norm by making songs with sad concerns sound happy and songs with a happy subject sound sad and it plays with notions of identity and the self.
However, as the title suggests, it also represents a significant move forward, as if across a threshold. It’s the more expansive, upbeat sound of a revitalised Lekman who is just one of many characters in his new stories about the magic and messiness of different kinds of relationships."
Clap! Clap! (aka Cristiano Crisci) returns with his second album for Black Acre, following on from his colorful breakthrough debut LP 'Tayi Bebba'.
After contributions to Beating Heart’s Malawi compilation last year, Florence producer Cristiano Crisci returns to the Black Acre fold for a second Clap! Clap! album. Looking to expand on his vibrant 2014 debut album, Crisci retains the narrative-driven approach on A Thousand Skies whilst engaging with more guest artists on a series of collaborations. Planet Mu signees John Wizards feature alongside fellow South African folk singer Bongeziwe Mabandla, Crammed Discs duo OY and Italian beatmaker HDADD.
These collaborations add further colour to the Clap! Clap! world, the live instrumentation of John Wizards meshing perfectly with Crisci’s nimble-fingered sample manipulation on A Thousand Skies Under Cepheus’ Erudite Eyes. OY seem perfect studio partners for Crisci on the light hip hop flutter of Hope, whilst Ar-Raqis comes on like A Made Up Sound let loose on Ndagga Rhythm Force.
Its debatable how convincing the narrative thrust is, supposedly framed around a young girl’s journey skywards towards the stars, but Crisci’s colourful sonic vision is engaging enough.
Jaime Fennelly’s ever-evolving Mind Over Mirrors project shifts once again on this album for Paradise of Bachelors that features a full ensemble of celebrated vocalists and musicians
First introduced on Brad Rose’s sorely missed Digitalis platform back in 2011, Jaime Fennelly’s work as Mind Over Mirrors has centred around his mastery of the Indian pedal harmonium amidst an arsenal of synths and delay units. Each new MOM album has seen the Chicago-based musician take on an ever-more ambitious approach, and this debut on NC label Paradise of Bachelors is his most compelling undertaking yet. Drawing deeper from the subluminal aether, Undying Color originates from a two-week stint Fennelly spent recording in a cabin surrounded by the natural beauty of Southwestern Wisconsin late last year.
The project is no longer a solo endeavour however, but rather something closer to full-blown band. Fennelly’s mediative assemblage of synths and harmonium complemented by a cast of musicians that includes Janet Beveridge Bean (Eleventh Dream Day), Jim Becker of Califone/Iron & Wine, drummer Jon Mueller, and a returning Haley Fohr who featured on the last MOM LP. At 12-minutes long, you could call Gravity Wake the centrepiece here, Fennelly’s gently pulsing composition coaxing a sensual, personal vocal performance out of Beveridge Bean and Fohr.
But Color Dying remains at this stratospheric high throughout with Fennelly’s gift for the harmonium apparent nowhere greater than the closing melancholy of 600 Miles Around.
Self-produced American songwriter London O’Connor announces a partnership with New York City-based record label True Panther Sounds as well as the remastered official re-release of his debut album ‘OΔ’.
"Upon self-releasing ‘OΔ’ on SoundCloud, London’s diary-like accounts and immediate pop songs wooed both critics and fans alike. His energetic live show atop his one-of-one light cube impressed on both sides of the pond just months after the initial release of the album.
His first chapter ‘OATMEAL’, the present and relatable ‘Nobody Hangs Out Anymore’ and the I-hate-everything anthem ‘GUTS’ were instant streaming favourites that all wound up getting play on BBC Radio 1 and American radio stations, while the epic album closer ‘SURVIVE’ found a whole new meaning when a room full of music lovers and industry folk in France sang along in sync with O’Connor mere days after the tragic events at The Bataclan Theatre.
‘OΔ’ (pronounced ‘Circle Triangle’) is a post-any-genre narrative told through vivid and visual production he made from the contents of his backpack while sleeping on floors and couches in New York City. It details the suburban world he grew up in and fled from in Southern California years before. The cinematic album also acts as a rallying cry and arrived hand-in-hand with a direct message from O’Connor: “If when you hear it, you feel like its talking about where you live, then I want you to leave.”
The original version of the album lingers on the internet along with a tweet of his actual cellphone number. The creative direction of London’s body of art and the viscerality of its themes to overcome one’s environment liken the symbol ‘OΔ’ in the eyes of his fans to one perceived like the emblem for the Rebel Alliance."
The debut album from this Norwegian-American trio consists of two long tracks that move between intimate lyricism and hardcore expressionism, shaping one of the strongest free jazz offerings we have heard for quite some time.
"Filipino-American Jon Irabagon has topped both the Rising Star Alto Saxophone and the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone categories in Down Beat´s critics polls and been named one of Time Out New York´s 25 New York City Jazz Icons. Among the seemingly endless praise we can read "stalwart technique and a deep understanding of avant-garde vocabulary" (JazzTimes), "a musician of intense concentration who wants nothing more than to indulge a spirit of play, emphatic and unreserved" (New York Times), "some of the most galvanizing jazz of the past few years" (Time Out New York) and "one of the strongest, most flexible, and daring saxophonists at work today" (Peter Margasak).
A founder member of Mostly Other People Do The Killing, he is also an integral member of the Mary Halvorson Quintet, Dave Douglas Quintet and Barry Altschul´s 3Dom Factor and has taken part on a vast number of records. Guitarist John Hegre and drummer Nils Are Drønen have both been central on the fertile music scene in Bergen for many years, Hegre possibly most known for his long partnership with Lasse Marhaug in Jazzkammer and Jazkamer, while Drønen has played in a number of project and groups including The Last Hurrah!!. They met up with New York resident Irabagon during one of his many visits to Bergen where he has established a deep musical friendship with The Last Hurrah!! founder HP Gundersen.”
Batu is back at the Timedance controls on this triplet of warped dancefloor deviations.
After scooping plenty of plaudits last year thanks to a series of shapeshifting records from Bruce, Ploy, Laksa and Lurka, Timedance primes for action in 2017 with three fresh productions from label boss Batu that once again demonstrate his continued studio innovation.
Leading out, Murmur dovetails between slippery polyrhythms and lurching bassweight textures before veering skywards into a succession of tunneling hardcore reductions that recall EVOL and Lee Gamble. The sound design on Groundwork is just as crafty, with Batu exploring a sense of space and dynamism that no doubt sounds mind warping on the system at the Timedance label nights down a Bristol cellar.
The shifty Whisper closes out and recalls vintage West Country dubstep but transports it well into the 23rd Century. This might just be the Bristol producer’s knottiest collection yet. Great artwork from Atelier Superplus too.
NYC post punkers Parquet Courts collaborate with rapper Bun B on a remix of ‘Captive Of The Sun’, which initially appeared on this year’s ‘Human Performance’ album.
The 12″ also features a ‘Chopped Not Slopped’ remix of the track by iconic Houston producers DJ Candlestick and OG Ron C.
After years of touring, PVT wound up cast far and wide, residing each in a different continent. 2017 sees members Dave Miller along with brothers Richard & Laurence Pike return home to Australia with their fifth album, New Spirit.
"This album contains that beautiful type of music written out of compulsion, a calling and an impulse to explore the new place that Australia has become -- a hotbed for political and cultural intolerance. The country has succumbed to divisive politics and irrational fear. Obvious fraud and immorality driven by a gutless media and an indifferent public. PVT's uncompromising approach to musical self-determination has never been this sharp, and especially never this political.
The sound of the record itself is that of a stark digital future, but under the surface there's nostalgia for a different time, another way of thinking, another life. PVT are exploring. Expanding on expectations. They carry with them the bravery and courage of the old explorer with the tolerance and understanding of the new."
Doomy, synth-heavy film score performed live by Mondkopf, among others, and recorded in a 16th Century gothic church. Pressed on electric blue vinyl. Includes download code
“EARTH is the third opus of FOUDRE! - a telluric drone qu artet composed of Frédéric D. Oberland (Oiseaux-Tempête, The Rustle Of The Stars , FareWell Poetry ), Romain Barbot (Saåad, I Pilot Dæmon) , Grégory Buffier (Saåad, Autre n oir), Paul Régimbeau (Mondkopf, Extreme Preca u tions , Autrenoir ) , featuring electric chimeras by Christine Ott on ondes martenot.
Commissioned by Silke Schmickl from Lowave for the festival 'Singapour Mon Amour' in Paris, this album was recorded in the 16th century gothic church of Saint-Merry in June 2015 as a live soundtrack performance for EARTH - an experimental film directed by one of the most important Singaporean contemporary artists, Ho Tzu Nyen . Acclaimed by art and film critics worldwide and presented at some of the most prestigious international film festivals (Cannes, Venice, Rotterdam..) , EARTH is inspired by the works of classical European painters such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Delacroix . The film unfolds dramatically as the camera moves across a theatrically choreographed scene involving 50 actors, as the details of a post-apocalyptic landscape are revealed frame by frame.
Ho Tzu Nyen on E ARTH :
“We see the site of an unknown disaster, the debris of history that constitutes the story of Earth. Upon the site, lay fifty 50 humans oscillating between consciousness and unconsciousness, life and death. Sometimes, one of them emerges into the foreground - clutching a fist, batting an eyelid, or weeping for his neighbor. At other times, these figures recede from the light, losing their individual shapes to form a gigantic organism, breathing in unison, pulsating like a jellyfish, though their journey across Earth.”
From widescreen to introspective techno, Robert Hood, Etapp Kyle, Bambounou and Edanticonf rework the Italian/Icelandic pairing of Hunter/Game and Kúra’s Landside collaboration in their own image.
At the front, Rob Hood serves one of his stomping stealth bombs with the granite-cut kicks and pill-belly progressions of his take on Signs Of Change, really getting some purchase on that ripping lead synth in the final half. Etapp Kyle follows with a more gauzy and blue perspective on the same elements, which Parisian player Bambounou hears as a dubbed-out, silty underwater shuffler recalling vintage Shackleton.
Edanticonf rounds off nicely with a rolling, wistful techno take on Desert Lake, taken from Landside’s Chains EP.
Ghost Box’s single series returns with another rewarding collaboration from Belbury Poly and Moon Wiring Club.
Ghost Box main man Jim Jupp mints his second Belbury Poly appearance on the Other Voices series with another collaboration, again linking up with Ian Hodgson’s Moon Wiring Club for a doublet of forays through dreamy soundscapes.
The Music Room is Krautrock Tango brushed with that typically folky Ghost Box mysticism and just a faint whiff of Gotan Project, whilst the bass lines and odd sampledelica of Moonling recalls vintage late-’90s BOC.
First Narrows was the third Loscil album and the first in which Scott Morgan used real instruments and input from other musicians.
"Using sound sources that ranged from sampled instruments to miscellaneous lo-fi mini-cassette recordings, Morgan generated music on computer by custom programming sequencing and processing designed so that no two performances of the patches would be exactly the same. In turn, Jason Zumpano on fender rhodes piano, Tim Loewen on guitar and Nyla Rany on cello improvised over those electronic sequences. Morgan then edited and mixed the live and premixed sections together.
First Narrows is named after the first gap to the entrance of the Burrard Inlet, over which the Lions Gate Bridge spans; the main entrance into Vancouver from the Pacific Ocean. By including a loscil track on their compilation of Canadian electronica alongside artists like Tim Hecker, Polmo Polpo, Ghislain Poirier and Thomas Jirku, the intr_version label confirmed that Loscil deserves placement among the unique practitioners of electronic sound arrangement."
PAN rogues, Steven Warwick (Heatsick) and Ralph Cumbers (Bass Clef), double down for Angela Bulloch’s art imprint, ABCDLP, with Blaue Stunde, which recently debuted with a performance at la Villa Sarasin in Geneva.
Aside from the playfully droll, plaintive vocals of Heatsick, it’s difficult (maybe arbitrary) to work out who’s doing what in Die Blaue Stunde - does Angela make a contribution? - but would seem that he and Bass Clef bring the best out of each other.
The best parts are those where they hold an etheric mid-air space, as with the pinched high of Seychelles, or when Warwick is diffracted into a mutant barbershop quartet of himself on Holiday, and in the drifting ambience of Blaude Stunde where Cumbers’ softly fondles his ‘bone into creamy acidic squirts like a modern answer to Peter Zummo’s downtown experiments...
Hamburg’s Fallbeil run the acid industrial voodoo down on Mannequin’s “Death Of The Machines” series, backed with a mean Innsyter remix and coming in hot pursuit of zingers from Jass, Alessandro Adriani and December.
The Healer is star of this floorshow, catching your boys Kluentah and Wosto a.k.a Fallbeil ripping out a potent stripe of barbed 303s and cranky, snapjaw electro impulses laced with glimmers of disco that will put a rocket under any club’s sweaty buttocks.
The Innsyter remix meanwhile harnesses that groove to a tarmac-tearing, truckin’ techno groove that bites and frightens in the right places, saving the remaining wax for Fallbeil’s lacquer-crackling, freestyle electro killer, Voice of Thunder.
Oh my days, this is choice! Bureau B dive into Düsseldorf’s underground scene during the ‘80s and come up with an amazing collection of wayward, feral/ferric and deeply trippy electronic music that may have lain by the wayside without the label’s excellent efforts in preservation. We direct you to the likes of Konrad Kraft’s spikily playful F, the wind-powered kralutrock of The Beginning by Frigorex, and the downward spiral of Dino Oon’s Nr.6 and you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Recommended to any and all fans of weird, whacked out and abstract ‘80s electronics
“Post-war apartments dominated the views of Düsseldorf in the early 1980s - cement slabs, the "art bunker" known as the Kunsthalle, and the elevated railway called "The Millipede". Yet reconstruction was in full swing - bank buildings on the "Kö" received postmodern interiors, the old town became stylishly retro-rustic, and advertising agencies displaced industrial companies. Music took all of this on. Punk was finished, but its pathos drifted through pubs and shared flats. At the same time, synthesizers, due to digital electronics, had become increasingly affordable. This music pushed ahead slightly in order to dock onto the electronic sounds of the 1970s krautrock. But most chose the detour via records by Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, or the more unfamiliar experimental sounds on the The Elephant Table Album compilation (1983).
Cassettes from labels, like Klar! 80, were available on Aachener Straße. LPs, like those found at Pure Freude on Derendorfer Straße, were also available. This shop served as an umbrella for the disparate strands of the electronic side of post punk. Almost all artists on this compilation could be seen there. Perhaps that is why the encounter with "Electronic Cassette Music" seems like a glimpse into a mysterious parallel world. Indeed, everyone knew of each other, but often only as a name. Kurzschluss was Catherine Ledit's project. Where her threatening pads had an almost meditative character, Dirk Grützmann's Le Petit Mort drew listeners into virtually occult scenarios, not far from Current 93. Ledit and Grützmann later collaborated as the duo Temps Perdu?. Trance, as propagated by Chris & Cosey, could have been the inspiration behind the duo Wooden Barrows.
Isolated searching found expression in forms of deviant sexuality - a leitmotif in those days. It's astonishing how subtly many of the pieces exemplify this movement. It's almost terrifying on the track by Strafe Für Rebellion when a voice whispers "the cashbox is empty" and a staccato rhythm replaces the ticking of a clock. Ralf Dörper, on his way to international success Propaganda, saw ADD preferring him trapped in a nightmare. The cassette generation did not bother crossing over to pop music. They were pioneers of a music which would develop into drone, ambient or hypnagogic. Features: Konrad Kraft, Deux Balaines Blanches, Ettlinger, Mentocome, Frigorex, Dino Oon, Pfad Der Tugend, Kurzschluss, Wooden Barrows, Le Petit Mort, Strafe Für Rebellion, Maria Zerfall, and ADD.”
Paula Scassa and Théo ‘Panoptique’ Delaunay hit the timemachine and head for Nag Nag Nag on this throwback Succhiamo outing for Zaltan’s Antinote label.
Perhaps offended at the suggestion recent output has them pigeon-holed as part of the new age revival, Paris label Antinote pull a curveball on this dose of electroclash love from the newly-formed Succhiamo.
Bordeaux duo Paula Scassa (of J.C. Satan infamy) and Panoptique’s Théo Delaunay are clearly approaching Succhiamo with electroclash’s brash, rude n’ lewd spirit in mind. Both the romping title track and Al Supermercato delight in their cheap, meaty synths and over-saturated drums backed by Bassa’s delirious dominatrix delivery.
Yung squad of Parisian dubbers link up vintage Bunny Lee riddims from the ‘70s with vintage Scientist riddims form the ‘80s, clashing old skool with the new via dub and vocal effects from The Scientist Dubwize software.
Features vocals by Horace Andy and Tippa Irie, rhythms from The Aggravators and Roots Radics, and production by Scientist.
Hot jazz-house dancers from yung Ben Hauke, slinging down a ‘floor-turning debut on London’s Church featuring some of the ruggedest gear in the label’s healthy catalogue.
Uptown he cuts loose with killer garage breaks hustle, fructose Rhodes and syrupy double bass lines snaking all over I Kinda Missed It, before eventually locking into an effortless 4/4, and kicking up the tussling drums and soundsystem-ready street rave subs of She Moved To My Area.
Downtown he tucks the vibe a little deeper with he crimson-hued, blushing bustle of Take That Blame, and then on a dusty house swing with Just A Crush.
Check that A-side!
Oren Ambarchi meets octo-limbed percussionist Eli Keszler on East London's Dancing Wayang for a deeply beguiling, improvised session of drone, noise and avant-rock.
Both performers approach the project arguably at the peak of their powers - Ambarchi off a stunning run off releases in 2014, Keszler ever fine-tuning his near algorithmic proprioceptions - and utterly free to challenge and question music at its fundamental levels - time, space and timbre.
A pair of side-long, headlong pieces ensue, mapping out unfathomably turbulent terrain punctuated by visceral, collapsing walls of noise, regularly pulling the carpet from underneath your feet, metaphorically speaking, and communing in the most complex yet base gestures, from the bewildwring percussive chaos and buckling space of the A-side, to the face-melting, ecstastic expressions of Ambarchi's turnt electric guitar howl across the B-side.
Wonderfully disorienting syncretic composition from field recording specialist Laurant Jeanneau a.k.a. Kink Gong; collapsing space into time with a suite of hybrid pieces blending unedited acoustic recordings with computer modified parts for his ever-dilated Discrepant label.
Melding contact mic recordings of various turkish instrumentation - Saz, Cura and Tanbur (played by Remi Solliez) - with archival location recordings made in South East Asia (the most common site of Kink Gong’s focus), the Berlin-based Frenchman has forged yet another surreal and alien addition to his illustrious catalogue of outernational sound collage.
Like Rashad Becker’s Traditional Music for Notional Species, a radio conflating its frequencies, or a big-eared ET with a cracked copy of Ableton, Kink Gong’s geographically decontextualised sound arrangements push the listener’s limits of perception to short-circuit the senses and create new neural pathways which transcend geography and temporality.
We know where the recordings were made, and what they’re documenting, yet the sounds and the cryptic logic behind their organisation eludes any descriptive grasp, or in terms that we already know, at least. To be quite honest, it all elicits some of the rarest sensations imaginable; a feeling of being utterly lost in unfamiliar surroundings, as in a dream, or wandering some mazy bazaar in the mind of Muslimgauze.
If you like records to light fires in your mind and synthesise new smells, sensations that aren’t understood or forgotten easily, you really need to check this one out.
Arriving alongside the almighty Locust, Irish multi-instrumentalist and singer Áine O’Dwyer’s Gegenschein is another mesmerising iteration of her improvised energies, this time harnessed in a durational context over two long pieces excerpted from recordings made at the Franciscan Friary, Limerick City, Ireland on the Winter Solstice, 21st December 2012 - the same day as the world was predicted to end according to the Mayans - and then again in 2013, after the world proved it wasn’t giving up, or was maybe on the cusp of a major phase shift.
In contrast to Áine’s earlier solo releases, Gegenschein is notable for the both prominent presence of her vocals on 12/12/12 and the length of its pieces, consisting of 25 minute and 15 minute works, respectively, which are both broader than anything on her acclaimed Music For Church Cleaners album or Locusts; documenting the multi-instrumentalist docked at the organ seat and rendering two billowing scapes painted in thick, lustrous waves of physical sonic pressure, and resulting a genuinely astonishing spectrum of coruscating, complex overtones.
Like Locusts and Music For Church Cleaners, Áine’s Gegenschein is all the more amazing for the fact that prior to Music For… she had little to no qualifications for playing the pipe organ she was self-schooled as a Harpist and signer - but, thru her personal musical philosophy and improvised compositional approach she manages to generate a totally otherworldly sound from that most crenellated, lofty instrument in way that unflinchingly embraces its infidelity and complexity, and in a documentary style which has become a defining, alluring feature of her beautifully flawed and plangent art form.
The longer of the two at 25 minutes is World Ending, which was recorded after the world was supposed to be kaput, depending your beliefs. It is then, perhaps an elegy for a world that passed, or a prelude for things to come, bubbling between mystic drone and ecstatic fanfare before keening into tempestuous, swelling figures and cascading into harmonic skyfalls that signal a sense of spiritual confusion and turmoil which is only compounded by the recording spaces’s imposing ‘natural’ reverbs - we say ‘natural’ because, although they’re made of stone, they were definitely made by man with a mind to altering the congregation’s mental state, and Áine beautifully turns that in on itself.
Meanwhile on the 15 minute B-side, 12/12/12, Áine’s vocal makes a vital, if detached and distant, appearance buried amid the steepled harmonic gasps of her pipe organ, sounding like a mythical Irish folk goddess heard across a stormy lake, or belting it out from the tunnel of prehistoric New Grange, which coincidentally aligns with the winter solstice and probably bears some intrinsic relationship with the Mayan prophecies, to our imagination anyway.
We’re pretty much floored by this side and Locusts. Your attention is required to both, immediately.
Exceptional, mind-expanding liturgical opus from Áine O’Dwyer, presented as a kind of celebration of the pipe organ's acoustic capacity to tap into electronic pulses, making for one of the most facinating, absorbing records we've had the pleasure of hearing this year. Huge recommendation if you're into anything from Eliane Radigue to Maja Ratkje to Nikos Mamangakis, or generally for anyone interested in being transported to the sublime...
Sometimes, after guzzling tonnes of processed electronic music, one needs a reminder of acoustic music’s unique fidelities and metaphysical ability to bind and transcend space and time.
Áine O’Dwyer’s properly enchanting Locusts album, originally issued on tape by Fort Evil Fruit in 2016 and now given a necessary vinyl edition by Mark Harwood’s Penultimate Press, is exactly the reminder we all need; a sublime dispatch that was seemingly caught in a massive butterfly net during the Irish artist’s stints in 2015 at St. James’s church, Barrow-in-Furness, England, and the first unitarian congregational society church in Brooklyn Heights, New York.
Leading on from recent roles in experimental folk band United Bible Studies and MIE’s sought-after vinyl pressing of Áine’s modern avant classic, Music For Church Cleaners Vol. I And II (2011, 2015), her latest work serves as a breathtaking, etheric demonstration of why the multi-instrumentalist, singer and dancer is considered one of the most distinctive improvisors and performers of her generation by peers and critics alike.
Drawing on a practice influenced by an Irish catholic childhood - giving an awareness of religious music and church space’s unique acoustics - but equally aware of her pagan side, whilst also combining an instinctive approach to what is usually considered a difficult-to-master instrument, the Harp, with a love of keening, discordant folk laments and studies in fine art, Áine’s music can be heard as an attempt to occupy and consolidate contradictions, positing herself as a sort of conduit for ancient currents which lie at the edge of perception, waiting for someone like her to hyperstitiously bring to life.
Áine presents that idea literally and metaphorically in the LP’s incredible Psychopomp - from Greek, meaning “the guide of souls” - where she executes a transition from quivering, sylvan organ tones and siren-like vocals into abyssal, frightening bass drones, cannily using the church’s unique spatial settings - originally realised to put you in your place - to ironically remove us somewhere completely other and wonderfully introspective.
That sense of intangible yet intoxicating space and spirit is manifest in myriad other way’s, too; from the way the low rumble of distant traffic serves to underline and detach from the organ’s spectral voice in opener Sleigh Bells Descend, or the way in which the overtones of Alter Boy and Interruption become reinforced to a choking yet lush sensuality, or how she makes the church groan like cthulhu in a way that could hardly be recreated by modern electronic plugins on Machine Drum; persistently and playfully short-circuiting or inverting conventions to the ends of a heart-rending melancholy and feminine pressure resulting from her own unique energy translated thru huge metal pipes and imposing physical space.
It’s a completely enveloping record, we're still reeling from it's relentless grip.
Bureau B profile the fertile DIY tape scene of East Germany prior to the wall falling on their latest compilation.
Picking up on the themes of Mannequin’s under-rated 2016 KlangFarbe primer, Bureau B widen the scope to profile 14 bands active in East Germany’s DIY tape scene in the last few years before the GDR was dissolved in 1990.
The strict State measures in place demanded these musicians flirt with prosecution to establish the self-distribution networks that proliferated their work on cassette, and it also cultivated the disillusion and despair that resulted in some startlingly creative work. The seeds of so much to follow are evident throughout ‘Magnetband’ as Bureau B highlight work by musicians that largely released on cassette but would go on to form Raster Noton, Rammstein, Kuntskopf, To Rococo Rot and Tarwater.
The various KlangFarbe projects of Raster Noton founder Frank Bretschneider feature prominently throughout, with the hushed guitar freakout of his A.F. Moebius track Böser Traum the sort of thing you’d find in a Beau Wanzer mixtape. Beyond Bretschneider there is plenty to enjoy for the avid archivalist. Stoffwechsel’s Fly, Fliege, Fly sounds like John T. Gast after a weekend on the sensimilla, the brilliantly-named Choo Choo Flame deliver one of the shortest but most unnerving moments in the creeping ambient of Nein and Aponeuron’s Jab Gab Hej is a bracing slab of gurning EBM with added wookie screams.
Best of all perhaps is Gesichter’s SK 8 Gesichte which offers a dizzying frenzy of primitive sampling you’d mistake for early Hype W from Inga and Dean.
The first Hemlock release of 2017 comes from Bruce, who follows aces for Timedance, Idle Hands and Hessel Audio already in 2016 with three melancholic and minimalist examples of his more avant-leaning tastes for Untold’s label.
He impresses with the eviscerated tone and hulking sound design of Before You Sleep, although the melody is little too cloying, Ghosting Season-esque. In Line makes up for that with some trippily refractive hall-of-mirrors dynamics recalling Paleman’s recent Ice Parade melting into gas, and Sweat nimbly buckles down to some very Bretschnieder-styled buzzing minimalism.
New sub-label from Mumdance and Logos’s Different Circles crew, featuring Grime producer Boylan (Oil Gang, ‘Norman Bates’) re-working Logos’s mighty 'Glass', previously only circulating amongst a handful of DJs on dubplate.
This one shouts for itself: OG grime producer/engineer Boylan runs amok with a Devil mix of Logos’ Glass, given a side to itself ‘cos basically nothing else can withstand its heat.
Boylan reduces and amplifies Glass’ original shards of jungle breaks and scything mentasms with pensile application of drop forge bass and super wide, vaulted sound design, in the process turning it into some kind of petrified rave fulgurite.
It’s quite possibly the most ferocious turn-up from the grime X hardcore X weightless nexus which has emerged in recent years, largely due to the efforts of Different Circles. One might call it a Different Circles anthem, but whatever you want to call it; this one’s massive.
Having anthologized his ‘60s songbook with 1976’s overdue long-player Positive-Negative, Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Tommy McGee was eager to place something more modern into the marketplace.
"Brass at Brunswick and MCA failed to hear a hit in McGee’s sultry-yet-assured delivery of “Now That I Have You.” Unable to find a home for the romantic anthem, McGee issued his 2-step masterpiece on his own TMG Records in 1981. McGee would revisit the composition later in the decade, dressing the tune with drum machines and synthesizers for a run of 12-inch singles. However, this 45-only version from 1976 captures the progressive soul stepper at its most organic"
De-Bons-en-Pierre is a project from Beau Wanzer & Maoupa Mazzocchetti, brought to you via Dark Entries.
Likeminded freaks, Beau Wanzer (Civil Duty, Streetwalker) and Maoupa Mazzocchetti (PRR! PRR!), yank out six grotesque and warped EBM bangers as De-Bons-en-Pierre for Dark Entries. That’s them sozzled on Orval and with crepes draped on their faces in the art insert.
Crepes is the result of a 12 hour session recorded in Brussels on April 4th, 2016 between 11:00AM and 11:00PM (CET) and documents the pair harnessing six feral machine improvisations, together with heir own messed-up vocals, all right on a red-line biting point.
We were already big fans of both operators but this collaboration is even greater than the sum of its parts, giving a winkle-picker to the glutes with the messy thrust of Seul Comme Sombre before running out some proper dancefloor belters with he insectoid electronics and snapjaw EBM groove of The Mudman Is Coming and a clattering industrial charge called The Eyebrows Salesgirl. There’s also a coupla mad ones such as the hot stepper Francine and the corkscrewing dynamics of Démissionne En Tuant Ton Patron for the nimble DJs and smashed dancers.
Smells like fun. Sounds like fun. Must be fun, then!
Brilliant electronic explorations from Konrad Jandavs aka No UFO's following up a smattering of really strong releases for Spectrum Spools, Public Information and Nice Up Int’l a few years back, returning here with his debut album proper for the always-excellent Root Strata imprint.
Making use of a range of tape machines, foley libraries and rare synthesisers; this album is a curious thing, slowly probing the listeners perception of space, texture and tone with aleatoric enigma that goes from suffocating to blissful from one moment to the next. It’s a trick that’s first evident on the opening Apocryphal Blues, wherein a dense fog of simmering drone and found sounds abruptly give way at the 100 second mark to emotive shafts of light, delicate pads and washes of sound transporting you to the haze of a summer morning. And then, all too suddenly, you hear the tape spool grind to a halt and we’re back in the midst of an apocalyptic tableau.
The rest of the album carries on in this vein, from intricate concrète passages that sound like the most terrifying Italian Library recordings ever committed to wax, to sudden displays of emotional vulnerability - such as on the simple but magnificent Classic NU Shit - sounding like the more fxcked-up elder sibling of Boards of Canada, accompanied by intimate found sounds that could have been recorded 50 years ago for all the little they give away.
The more you listen to this album the more you get sucked into Jandavs’ very peculiar sonic vocabulary, constructed with a myriad microscopic elements, yet somehow managing to avoid sounding like a sterile academic exercise. As such, it ultimately makes for one of the most unique and satisfying quiet electronic albums of the year thus far.
Remastered reissue of The Neon Judgement’s Cockerill-Sombre (1983), including the all-time wave classic, The Fashion Party in its original form - as heard in Dave Clarke’s classic World Service and hundreds of other mixes.
We’re not gonna lie; the other tracks are just filler here: you really only need it for the minty crisp cut of The Fashion Party and Dirk Da Davo’s liner notes explaining how they made the song on a 4-track recorder in a tiny basement.
Joy Orbison makes up for five years of no solo releases by starting his own label, Toss Portal, with a brace of four sticky, bouncing UK techno experiments.
It’s hardly like he’s been asleep for the last five years - he’s kept his workmate up both in collaboration with Boddika on SunkLo, and with Herron as CO/R - but the last we him solo was on Ellipsis way back in 2012, so you can consider this one a tad overdue.
We can hear traces of the SunkLo sounds riddled all over the Toss Portal EP, but it’s also possible to see where Boddika’s Breaks-ier styles were holding him back, as the reticulated funk of Rid cuts loose with a proper feminine pressure that recalls his earliest Joy O work, while the grumbling, cranky Walworth Window morphs with a more messed-up, kinkier appeal of his own, and Rite Ov even introduces a lilting reggae vocal, Main Street or Rhythm & Sound style, on a sloshing steppers groove.
Under the Botany moniker, Spencer Stephenson creates rich psychological and emotional experiences through audio. His music is a thoughtful attempt to convey the non-verbal through his particular mental prism, where sounds have potent symbolism in ways that are all but forgotten in the hermetic modern world.
"He explains, “Sounds have archetypal connections to things in nature the same way visual symbols do. Low-end might be associated with thunder, or the sound of a mother's heartbeat as heard from inside the womb, or an approaching stampede, or earthquake. Low-end generally indicates something bigger and more powerful than you. Treble sounds indicate something deadly rattling through foliage or something vital like water flowing close by. Reverberation has a connection to the holy and transcendent, it implies spatial largeness. It’s fun to hear these symbols coming out of ear-buds in a world where they aren’t useful on a daily basis, but are still so subconsciously powerful."
Though Stephenson sees these constituent signi¬ers, he has a holistic vision of music "…functioning as a single pulsating thing, instead of a band with distinct parts," which parallels his idea of the universe as an ever emergent, single conscious entity-- a concept he ¬nds spiritually gratifying, and one that’s pervasive in his music. On Dimming Awe, the Light is Raw, the 28-year-old producer and composer continues dissolving the borders between his disparate-yet-beloved psych, hip hop, and ambient influences. Album standout "Au Revoir,” is a shimmering piece of sampler-psychedelia that bolsters verses by rapper Milo, and gracefully leads into the drum-less hum and crackle of “Birthjays”. Matthewdavid—the high-priest of ambient bass himself—lends a rare vocal feature to the uplifting burner “Glow-up" while the electro-inspired “Bad CGI” stitches Bambaataa chants and sci-¬ flutters to a shamanic pulse, then morphs into a late-night opiated channel-sur¬ng montage, and the seams rarely appear.
Unlike his previous album Lava Diviner (Truestory), which peaked and valley-ed through a narrative arc, Dimming Awe focuses on the artist's ever-unfolding, present state of mind. As a former jazz student, spiritual/free jazz philosophy regarding what he calls “emergent” music has increasingly become a guiding light when he creates"
Smart survey of productions by members of New Order, including classic tracks released on Factory Records between 1982 and 1985. Bonus material on the CD includes the full 22 minute version of Video 5-8-6 and a Section 25 song produced by Ian Curtis and Rob Gretton in 1979!
New Order Presents Be Music is a compilation of productions by members of New Order, including classic dance and electro tracks released on Factory Records between 1982 and 1985, as well as more recent remixes for current artists such as Factory Floor, Marnie, Tim Burgess and Fujiya & Miyagi.
"The generic tag Be Music was first used in 1981 and covered studio production work by all four members of New Order: Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert. Sumner often teamed with Donald 'Dojo' Johnson of A Certain Ratio, including the pioneering electro cuts featured here by Quando Quango, 52nd Street, Marcel King, Paul Haig and Surprize. Morris and Gilbert worked with Thick Pigeon, Life, Red Turns To and also 52nd Street. Although more rock orientated, Hook proved he was no slouch on the dancefloor either with the mighty Fate/Hate by Nyam Nyam.
'Producing was a really important sideline,' recalls Bernard Sumner of the Factory era. 'It's OK doing it because although all the groups are skint, you learn a lot and you're helping somebody.'
After 1985 the band focused more on producing their own records, both as New Order and solo projects such as Electronic, Revenge, The Other Two, Monaco and Bad Lieutenant. However in recent years Stephen Morris in particular has remixed several newer artists, notably London industrialists Factory Floor, as well as former Factory workers A Certain Ratio and Section 25.”
The elusive Eugene Hector a.k.a. Dro Carey a.k.a. Tuff Sherm rubs out four smartly infectious techno-house plays for Canada’s Normals Welcome label.
It was 2015 when we last heard Tuff Sherm (although Dro Carey recently made a strong show with Queensberry Rules) and he sounds more energised, colourful now than we ever remember.
A-side he hits the vibe dead on with a mesh of plasticky strings and dry, gritty bass heft that sounds Derrick May and Levon Vincent going offroad in Fonder & Denison, before cutting back to swampy acid funk with Method Men, whilst B-side yields the teasing synth lead and slinky swerve of Squire’s Skull and the skilful balance of crank, hollow techno tones and breezy house feels in Waldron Mug.
Strange but true. Good sex.
Nice ’n easy yet heavy as heck, Augustus Pablo’s King David’s Melody pulls together 11 mesmerising examples of the melodica maestro previously issued on hard-to-find singles between 1975 and 1982 thru his Rockers and Message labels.
It’s strictly instrumentals on offer, channelling the higher powers of Rastafari into fluid, ribboning melodies over beautifully cut grooves turned out by some of the island’s finest.
If we’re playing favourites, the effervescent rhythm box patter and cirrus keyboard licks of Kent Road, the collection’s sweetest number, is right up there, as is the haunting title cut, the weightless suspension of Mr. Bassie, and the disco-ready hustle of West Abyssinia. But to be fair the whole set is a dream collection.
Jamal Moss lives that loosey goosey Gherkin Life in three psycho-activating Chicago jackers.
Over the last few years, whilst he’s hit starry heights with The Truth Theory Trio and J.I.T.U Ahn-Sahm-Buhl, Jamal’s Gherkin drops have been the go-to place for his rawest, juiciest club tools.
The Ginger Snaps EP is no different, serving three briny bangers taking in some gorgeous keys, floating voices and bustling swerve with Part 1, whereas Part 2 is firmly moored in pounding kicks, but yearning to fly at astral trajectories.
The other side is different, though; on Black Herman he decelerates to a squashed and loose limbed strut, riffing on salty 303s and chewy grooves for a more laid-back, hypnotic momentum.
Mega selection of of King Jammy’s digidubs, from classics to rare cuts, compiled and dished up 30 years since they revolutionised Jamaican dance music and, by turns influenced myriad stripes of soundsystem music around theBlack Atlantic and farther afield.
Lloyd James a.k.a. King Jammy, proprietor of the eponymous label, struck gold with his casio-built Sleng Teng riddim in 1985, single-handedly marking a pivotal milestone in the dancefloor which he followed up with countless riddims over the next four years, as documented in this killah pack.
Vocal for vocal - Dennis Brown, Wayne Smith, Johnny Osborne, Nitty Gritty - version for version - Heavenless, Love Punnany Bad, Far East Riddim, it’s a pure heavyweight anthology, running rare collector’s numbers such as Anthony Johnson’s Dancehall Vibes next to the pounding Original Kuff, vocalled by Chaka Demus and also included as original version, or the nattiest styles of Wayne Smith’s E20 and Little Kirk’s astute warning, Don’t Touch The Crack.
For the dancehall novice this set is a perfect jump-off point, but likewise old heads will surely appreciate a fresh cut of Jammy’s most crucial dancehall foundations.
Letherette upholster their new label, Wulf, with a charmingly warm and rude follow-up to their early beat reels for Alex Nut’s Ho-Tep label.
EP3 finds the sweetspot between boogie, electro, hip hop and electronica by way of a really melodic soul, resulting some absolute gems in the R&B turn of Langsette, and not least in their crafty-ass 100bpm screw of Shari Vari, titled On Video, whilst Cartoon Haunt trades in booming Pete Rock styles, and soul heads will be melting for the vibes on Suzette and Sweeter, leaving Ruffamuss as a faithful nod to classic Madlib and Dilla.
All killer, no filler.
Deeply contemplative, heavy-lidded and weird music sounding somewhere between the out-of-time Hypnagogia of James Ferraro and the quieter end of Ghédalia Tazartès' instrumental pieces. Entr’acte have a habit of pulling this inspirational shit out of the bag, and this one really is a total revalation...
Cryptically poetic lower case electronics from Belgian musician and visual artist Gerard Herman, making his first mark on Entr’acte with Die paste, die wrong in the wake of self-released titles on his Opgewarmde Groenten label and for the like-minded Belgians at (K-RAA-K)³, plus numerous multidisciplinary collaborations with Dennis Tyfus, among others.
A record of heavy-lidded mind states as much as a musical document, Die paste, die wrong mirrors the surreality of Herman’s visual artwork - ranging, as far as we can see, from minimalist images of piss stained corners to playful mutant figures - in its slight, single-line make-up and the way it evokes those sensations lesser felt in other, more conventional electronic recordings.
It feels to us like the sound of mooching narrow medieval port city streets after midnight with a belly and headful of delirium tremens, detached and floating to the sound of distant, clanking buoys, melodically dripping gutters and muffled rituals executed behind heavy wooden doors.
Whatever the Belgian word for eldritch is, that’s the vibe.
Fire Walk With Me is an altogether more brooding affair than the Twin Peaks series soundtrack. Badalamenti won a grammy for the title track of this LP and it’s not hard to see why- it’s dangerous, and bursting with smokey jazz thanks to Jimmy Scott. We went back to the master tapes in the Warner Archives and had this recut to fit across two LPs as the score clocks in at 51 minutes. It sounds incredible and punchy, but super nuanced too.
The soundtrack to the much maligned Fire Walk With Me, a film which divided opinion at the time but which has gotten considerably more impressive with age - and another standout, smokey soundtrack from an Angelo Badalamenti at the top of his game.
We didn't know what to do at the time, but looking back now at the film and it's clearly a work of twisted, unpredictable genius - hinting at the sort of heady weirdness Lynch managed to achieve with Lost Highway and Mullholland Drive later on.
In true Badalamenti style he revisits the soundtrack that made him a household name and reworks it into menacing submerged jazz. The soundtrack is also notable for showing many of us the incredible 'Sycamore Tree', a track which almost sums up everything David Lynch is about; distant, haunted strings and a vocal (from Jimmy Scott) which sounds absolutely out of time and out of place.
The Pink Room is perhaps the pivotal track on the soundtrack, etched in the memory due to the captivating scene that seems to contain key dialogue relating to Laura Palmer's double existence but which is completely obscured by the music and a demented strobe light. Totally genius - even if no one appreciated it at the time.
A true noir masterpiece - available on double vinyl for the first time ever.
Dramatest is a collection of experimental library music published in 1974 by Fonovideo and signed by Oscar Rocchi (and his moniker Chiarosi) - an excellent pianist and composer, who worked with many Italian jazz heavyweights - and Fabio Fabor.
"Dramatest" consists of 14 slightly eccentric explorations of the electronic spectrum, casting pure experimentalism, melody and no fillers whatsoever. One of the best examples of the lost art of Italian libraries!
Three major Arvo Pärt works collected on vinyl for the first time from the Deutsche Grammofon catalogue.
Gil Shaham and Adele Anthony take lead and second violin respectively, on Fratres (1977, 1992) for violin, string orchestra and percussion, and the masterpiece Tabula Rasa (1977) for two violins, string orchestra and prepared piano; with side B’s Symphony No.3 (1971) performed by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.
Every home needs to own a copy of Tabula Rasa on vinyl!!!
Holger give Cologne’s Barnt room to run his synthiest fancies with the steepled majesty of A-Seite 1-5 and a steely techno thruster titled If She Says She Is A Healer, She Is A Healer.
From the artwork to the tunes this is a class package. A-side he oscillates between ecclesiastic, kosmiche and peak trance synth styles with a poised, wide-eyed lushness that will works wonders on the ‘floor, whereas the B-side makes up for that relative whimsy with a regulated kick to the chest precipitating a massive lead like some Levon Vincent meets The Mover fantasy.
It’s a straight ace from Lil Silva, making up for a few dodgy missteps with the natty skank of V1 backed by a spartan funk drill, Cyrup. In both cases he recalls his early, rugged and rude winners, but with a craftier sound design that actually works well with the picture disc format, which is not generally known as a DJ’s favourite.
A-side he strikes up a killer sort of electro-acoustic UKF noise with V1, strangely working live, acoustic-sounding drums and synths in a widescreen, inter-fidelity sound that’s neither lo-fi, nor hi-fi - just Lil Silva, we guess?
Turn it over and Cyrup rolls out like Raime doing UKF, nimbly racking up snaggletoothed drums and barking vocal stabs on a swollen bass hustle locked to dancefloor functions.
The debut LP of skewed electronica from Canterbury producer B£AMS. Brimming with warm washes of drone, Patches morphs through stoned hip-hop to gospel and highlife. Densely layered percussion, drunk synth, lost voices and temporal distortion flit in and out of earshot, inducing a joyful lostness. Riding this sea of colourful wooz, B£AMS channels Madlib, Delroy Edwards and Matthew Dear with stumbling ADHD enthusiasm.