Unmissable stuff here, collecting Japanese avant pop and ferric beats from the scene's darkest, most thrilling corners.
Compiled by Yosuke Kitazawa and Dublab's Mark “Frosty” McNeill, this latest collection of Japanese obscurities from Light in the Attic sweeps up bizarre loose threads that fall through the cracks between the label's already released collections of city pop and ambient and new age music. Those two compilations spoke to the YouTube-driven resurgence of interest in albums like Hiroshi Yoshimura's "Green" and artists like Happy End's Haruomi Hosono and Shigeru Suzuki, and "Somewhere Between" investigates the fringes, dark crevices and unpicked crates.
Here, the sounds are exceptionally varied, falling from Mammy's twinkling odd-world electronix on 'Mizu No Naka No Himitsu' and D-Day's shimmering, dry ice-laced 'Sweet Sultan', to the gloomy avant synth pop of Neo Museum's unforgettable 'Area' and R.N.A-ORGANISM's gurgling, hiss-soaked 'WEIMAR 22'. The theme that unifies all of the selections is an unshakable sense of exploration and joy from the artists. The era's optimism is palpable, and it's a rare pleasure to hear musicians driven so wholeheartedly by exploration, experimentation, innovative song forms and bold artistic strokes.
Diggers will clearly get a kick from these rarities, but Kitazawa and McNeill have done such a great job with the selection that it's far more than just a curiosity. "Somewhere Between" is an invigorating listen, like a particularly wild and wonderful mixtape handed over by a trusted friend. It's a musical time capsule to get lost in.
Luke Younger’s label grip Alexander Tucker in Microcorps mode for a sort of eldritch folk-drone techno dervish aided by guest turns from Nik Void, Simon Fisher Turner, Gazelle Twin, and Astrid Steehouder
Like some alien visitor depicted on the jacket, come to induce and soundtrack a bout of St. Vitus dance in the new dark ages, Tucker evokes a very ritualistic and eerily anachronistic feel on his new project. While it’s surely a marked step away from all his previous work, both solo and with the likes of Stephen O’Malley and Daniel O’Sullivan, it’s all still guided by an eldritch psychedelic muse that’s at the root of everything he touches. File next to your most possessive sides from Richard Youngs, Astral Social Club, CTI.
“Tucker’s ever-evolving soundworld continues to unfold with this collection of harsh realms centred around processed electronic systems, strings and vocal manipulations. On the new album, MICROCORPS employs altered voices, sound synthesis and atomised beat constructions. In a move away from previous projects XMIT investigates erasing the self, removing obvious traits of the hand and voice, and allowing a focus on the humanoid rather than the human. Instead of recognisable lyrics and coherent imagery, MICROCORPS evolved synthesised voices to generate alternate characters.
He expands, “I was investigating how language brings our world into being and how manipulating the actual grain of the voice could open up momentary shifts in perception.”
Each track is born from a balance between composition and improvisation within set parameters. At each stage audio is heavily processed and then reconfigured. Setting up systems that are non-repeatable, where decisions can be premeditated and intuitive but never the same with each performance, using hardware and instruments outside of the computer to make live stereo takes that have limited room for editing and mixing.
“I’d been looking into combining dream music with machine rhythms, but there are so many great examples out there of both music forms, so I started to cut up the drones and really filter the drum patterns to create a hybrid space.”
The album artwork features manipulated ink drawings by Tucker that originally featured in his recent comic ENTITY REUNION 2. XMIT refers to a time in which information both physical and nonphysical transfers at an alarming rate beyond human comprehension into an age which is at once banal and terrifyingly alien.
Norwegian ambient maestro Geir Jenssen blurs Beethoven into a spectral haze on this disarming suite of eerie vignettes. Fans of Akira Rabelais' unmatched "Eisoptrophobia" need this one.
On Gier Jenssen's 2016 album "Departed Glories", the Norwegian veteran used barely-audible samples of Eatern European and Russian folk music to illustrate a narrative that explored the Medieval history of Poland. These ghostly audio snippets were processed through Akira Rabelais' surrealist DSP software Argeïphontes Lyre and then smudged into echoes of a distant world. On "Angel's Flight", Jenssen takes a similar stylistic route, but uses Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 as the source material, allowing familiar traces of the German composer's favorite late work to peek through frozen drones and haunted pads.
This music, whether you realize it or not, has been repeated thru our collective consciousness again and again since its completion in 1826, so hearing it stretched, filtered and crushed by Jenssen is a fitting way to reabsorb it. "Angel's Flight" sounds like time itself wrestling with musical hierarchies, as themes and tropes dance and heave through aural molasses, inspiring the memory to land on images of movies, ballrooms, music lessons or adverts. It's also strikingly sad and beautiful, and while it relies on elements we've been assured are sad - minor keys, spooky drones, distant strings - Jenssen handles the elements with a restraint that's way too rare.
Somehow, "Angel's Flight" never descends into the realm of forced melancholy - rather it seeps into your pores slowly and affects you gradually, urging you to play it once more. Sadbient? Maybe, but this sounds strangely timeless.
J Spaceman and J Coxon play the music of The Red Krayola!
"Trems, feedback, metronomes and a music box………This recording was made during preparation for a joint performance by J Spaceman and J Coxon as part of : Art and Language: Letters to The Jackson Pollock Bar in the Style of The Red Krayola, Lisson Gallery New York, October 2019.
The idea was to attempt to do a cover version of The Red Krayola’s radical and unrepeatable performance at the Angry Arts Festival in 1967. Spaceman and Coxon listened, separately, to the recordings from the Venice Pavilion Concert and then got together to try to play a version of it without rehearsal. This is a recording of that that anti-rehearsal which they then attempted to repeat in NYC a week later at the the Art and Language Lisson Gallery show."
Unreleased Dillinja badness from the V vaults, unleashing a ’94/’95 doublet and alternate mix of the opening shot off his debut album, produced c. ’99
We’re hot for the deeper, rolling breaks of the A-side ’Selassie I Sound’, newly dusted down from DAT and making its first official appearance here after cropping up in live sets over the years. To be fair he lost me around 2001’s ‘Cybotron’ album, but fans of that scuzzed up ‘Valve Sound’ will be all over the alternate lick of his B-side.
Beat scene-inflected jazz funq sketches informed by the brittle Electro Harmonix DRM32 drum machine. There's even an inspired cover of Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road'.
Los Angeles-based sax virtuoso Sam Gendel recorded "DRM" in a single sixteen-hour session and somehow managed to avoid playing his saxophone at all. Instead, he crafted a sequence of fractured electronic homages to pop rap, using the Moby-approved DRM32 drum machine as the spiritual backbone.
Each track uses limited ingredients - wobbly guitar, a vintage Japanese keyboard that mimics the koto, his own vocals - and assembles them into songs that sound like radio R&B and rap, but not really. It's almost like hearing Drake, Kanye or Brockhampton in a dream: the vocals are almost indecipherable and smoove synthesized chords are detuned into trippy, cartoonish blips and drones.
The album's centerpoint is the cover of Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' that reduces the world-beating original to a sparse collection of electronic wobbles, plucked strings and vintage percussion. In many ways it's the perfect elevator music: lite jazz, but make it deconstructed.
Overmono come off like FSOL doing speed garage, backed with a Four Tet-like glittery techno play
‘Pieces of 8’ announces itself with bustling garage drums and techno mystic flutes that calve off into choral stabs and proper bass wamp built for festival and big club rooms. ‘Echo Rush’, by contrast, offers a slice of swinging, pastoral atmospheric techno.
Anthony Di Franco (Ramleh, Skullflower, AX) debuts on L.I.E.S. with his infamous JFK project. Starting in 1987, Di Franco was immersed in the burgeoning UK "tape exchange by mail" scene which fostered many different strains of extreme and experimental sounds being developed during this time.
"Initially working in a murky, decayed industrial sound, as the project has progressed to the the present, JFK has transformed the early approach into a now razor sharp, hi- fidelity, punishing wall of sound that still envelops the listener in the same way as his early music but now with a refined and massive sonic attack.
Throughout Avalanche Zone's six tracks we get Di Franco in top form alternating from blistering machine gun rhythms to stand still slow beat metallic crushers with synthetic electrified drama forcing the air from the speakers demonstrating full on sound pressure. This is a welcome addition to the JFK catalog and further expands how the artists vision has developed as the years have passed. Complete and total heaviness!"
Returning with another debut album for 2021, Music From Memory introduce a new band, The Zenmenn, with their first ever release ‘Enter The Zenmenn’. Whilst little about the band is made known, their work is described by writer Winton Rousseauas an “experiment in harmonic convergence emerging from a deep respect for cosmic symmetry and a resistance to the prevailing Zeitgeist.”
"‘Enter The Zenmenn’ sounds as old as it sounds new, as organic as it is electric, as harmonic as it is rhythmic, and the album’s fusion of different palettes, colours, tempos, instruments and sources offer a harmonious balance and unity that already feels like the perfect soundtrack to a better world. In a time of what they see as spiritual neglect, it offers a “human kind of stillness” through the “dualistic fusions of complexity and simplicity, mystery and clarity and East and West”.
A proper sore thumb of new wave soul-jazz from 1984/87 returns to orbit on vinyl, featuring jazz experimenter Roland P. Young weaving a singular path thru synth-pop, boogie dance and new age-tinged downbeats
Long sold-out since its 2013 pressing, this reissue/compilation packs the four cuts of ‘I-Land’ (1984) with choice morsels from ‘Hearsay Evidence’ (1987) for a strong primer on a true ‘80s outlier. It’s hard to ignore an influence from Prince, but Young takes it off on his own, rawer route that makes up for studio science with a breezy new wave dance-pop flair, soul-slapping directness and stacks of memorable melodies.
Dished up in parallel to Japanese label EM Records’ comprehensive reissue scheme for Young’s work, this set is studded with club ready bops between the beaming bump of ‘Go Away’, the almost Prefab-esque ‘Different Package’ and ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’, and ruder electro-boogie swag of ‘Edge of Disaster’, along with a superb string of downbeat pearls in the likes of his acidic new age nugget ‘Ballo-Balla’, and the suave swivels of ‘So Very Easy’ and ‘It Hurts So Bad.’
UK Broken beat royalty, Dego (4Hero) and Matt Lord (Bugz In The Attic) hustle slick chords and slinky drums on the former’s 2000Black division of Reinforced
One for the soon come bar sessions and BBQ’s, Lord & Dego’s eponymous quartet cuts a suave figure between the swivelling hip action and Fender Rhodes vamps of ‘BMX Beats’ to the uptempo Brazilian bustle of ‘Stop at the Petrol Station’, plus the more even disco keel of ‘Mandarin Delight’, and boogie downstroke of ‘Beee Side Inside.’
AJ Tracey assumes the character of a rising young basketball player appearing in a livestreamed press conference to reveal his next move: a lucrative deal with major franchise Revenge Athletic ahead of a crucial playoff game.
"The broadcast ends with the true reveal: AJ’s highly anticipated sophomore album ‘FLU GAME’ will finally arrive. Always pushing boundaries with his creative output, AJ’s campaign draws influence from the story of Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls team in the late 90s, with ‘FLU GAME’ referencing one of MJ’s most memorable championship games where he overcame a nasty bout of food poisoning (brought on by a dodgy takeaway pizza) and took the Bulls to the championship. Revenge Athletic are a franchise on the brink of a massive championship win and AJ is their new star. All we know for now is that AJ is about to take us into this new world, as he dons the number 10 jersey and states he’s “ready to get going [and] do what I’ve always done.”
‘FLU GAME’ sees AJ showcasing twelve brand new tracks, with tantalising features including Kehlani, T-Pain, SahBabii, NAV and Millie Go Lightly. On the production front, AJ calls on regular collaborators Nyge, The Elements, Kazza, AoD and Remedee. The project also features the UK Top Five singles ‘Bringing It Back’ with Digga D, ‘West Ten’' with Mabel and the Platinum smash ‘Dinner Guest’ featuring MoStack. AJ Tracey is a man on an unstoppable, independently built trajectory. 2020 was his biggest year to date, with (certified Gold) single ‘West Ten’ alongside Mabel landing in the wake of chart-scaling ‘Dinner Guest’ featuring MoStack (Platinum), Number 1 charity single ‘Times Like These’ (alongside Dua Lipa, Rag & Bone Man and The Foo Fighters) and the Platinum-certified TikTok sensation ‘Rain’ with Aitch, which went on to become the most watched UK YouTube video of 2020. AJ finished the year with a stand-out feature on Headie One’s enormous anthem ‘Ain’t It Different’ alongside Stormzy, a Platinum certified track that peaked at Number 2 in the UK Singles Chart."
Experimental drone blacksmith James Welburn revisits Miasmah for their 50th release, leading down the ravine from their release of his 2015 slab ‘Hold’ into cavernous percussion and billowing hybrids of shoegaze metal feat. notables of the Norwegian underground; Tomas Järmyr (Motorpsycho, Zu, Barchan), Hilde Marie Holsen (Hubro Records), and vocal artist Juliana Venter (W/V, Phil Winter).
On Sleeper in the Void, Welburn expands the domain of his sound, unveiling surprises until the very end of the album’s 36 minute playtime. While the character of the record is unmistakably his own, the tracks veer into many different territories, including a banging foray to the dancefloor.
The LP begins slowly with Raze, where Järmyr’s ritualistic cymbals introduce layers of Welburn’s signature sculpted bass drones and noise, building into a heart-wrenching epic of a track. This is perhaps the closest we ever get to Hold - Welburn’s previous LP. Falling from Time immediately surprises with it’s subdued mechanical techno beat, stark and cold as a glacier. Welburn’s texture-work is the star of the show, creating curious nooks and crannies of drone adorned with eerie melodies straight out of oblivion. This sense of wonder shines through to the album’s title track as well, where Welburn and Järmyr build another patient, echoing, and deeply cinematic piece, the drum patterns slowly shifting around a metallic hum that evokes the vision of church bells, ringing out under tonnes of seawater.
Sleeper in the Void feels like a story in two parts, rising lethargically, but with gargantuan power. The second begins with the momentous In and out of Blue, where Juliana Venter’s disembodied, spectral dirge takes center stage among the furious drums and bassy riffs, reaching a full crescendo with seconds to go. Parallel marks a release - Hilde Marie Holsen’s nostalgic soundscapes, pristine as glass, meeting the distant thunder of Welburn’s strings on the horizon. And finally, Fast Moon ends the record in a most surprising way - a tribal industrialized banger, complete with vile distorted beats and every other spice in demand on a blackened dancefloor.
Welburn’s Sleeper in the Void is a generous shapeshifter. Every inch of its soundwave breathes emotion and imagery - an invitation to take a dive and linger.
Berlin-based Frenchman Laurent Jeanneau digs once more into South East Asia's cultural mythology, melting field recordings into abstract electronics and highlighting themes that remain mostly invisible in Europe.
Jeanneau has been documenting his world travels for decades, and this time he dives into the conceptual world of James C Scott's "The Art of Not Being Governed, an Anarchist History of Upland South East Asia". Zomia is the idea that there were two worlds in South East Asia that could reflect a number of opposing elements: Buddhism vs Animism, the valley vs the highlands, the state vs anarchy or property vs squat.
This album is the first in a series of releases that will celebrate the region's mythology of contradictions and Jeanneau explores this by juxtaposing futuristic sound design with his extensive library of on-location field recordings. From 2001 to 2014, in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China and Thailand, he sought out musicians and recorded them as well as he could, releasing a collection of 160 CDRs.
Now those recordings form the backbone of a more creative project, which sounds like a spliced mutation of sound collage and sci-fi electronics. Synth gurgles, rhythmic edits and processed instruments are lost and rediscovered in a patchwork of almost unidentifiable clips of chattering, playing, singing and performance. It's a trip.
"One would think that after the “Gullvåg Trilogy” - two double and a single album in a mere three years - this ultra productive trio might be in need of a break of sorts... but on the other hand, riding a golden wave like never before in their 30+ year existence, why stop now? Especially when constantly upping their own quality standards.The bulk of the album was recorded in France back before the pandemic, but was added to, expanded, tweaked and eventually finished last year. The initial idea was to collect big riffs on one album and do a pure hard rock record, but the objective changed along the way as they rediscovered their folkish bent and how this lighter touch gave it all a nice contrast. That said, the main musical thrust is pretty full-on, even by Motorpsycho standards.Kingdom of Oblivion was mixed by Andrew Scheps and produced by Bent Sæther.Reine Fiske guests on several tracks.Cover art is by Sverre Malling and cover design is by Håvard Gjelseth."
Quietly stunning, sensitive songcraft by boundary-pushing avant gardist John Duncan on a starkly haunting and timelessly beautiful new album of observations on society and intimacy, featuring Eiko Ishibashi, Stefano Pilia and friends, and highly recommended if yr feeling Scott Walker, Keiji Haino, Jandek, Tom Waits, Mark Lanegan, David Thomas & Two Pale Boys.
In pursuit of the haunted muse that’s informed Duncan’s boundary-pushing work since the late ‘70s, and which has lit up the iDEAL catalogue over the past half decade, ’Soft Eyes’ renders Duncan’s oblique reading of the psychic zeitgeist in subtly contrasting sides of furtively rhythm-driven and richly atmospheric songcraft. In keeping with his reputation as a sort of avant garde shaman or psychopomp, there’s something unfathomably timeless and ineffably eternal about his work on ’Soft Eyes’, which follows the course of his modern classics such as the songbook of wizened covers ‘Bitter Earth’ (2016), and last year’s ‘Red Sky’ 2CD, without feeling like he’s retreading old ground, and still sounding vitally unusual.
The record’s first half centres on Duncan’s thoughts on social energy and failure, from crowds to tribal gatherings, in a low-key but extraordinary style. Chamber wind meets a metallic pulse somewhere between dembow and Yemeni folk to underline his achingly hoarse vocals on ‘The Rabid Position’, while the lurking vox of ’Say No’ smartly reaffirms his counter-cultural cache, and the queered ambience of ‘Homecoming’ sees him slip into a sort of curdled tribal reverie.
On the other hand, the B-side dwells in a starker, more intimate half light, with songs stripped to a spectral quintessence between the petal-fall keys and prickly sax of ‘Foreplay’, a face freezing, ASMR-triggering beauty titled ‘Frenzy’ (featuring synth and mixing from Eiko Ishibashi), and an unmissable, abyss-hovering vision ‘Resolve’, and pooling into the miasmic folk strings and stygian glyde of ‘The Beautiful Attempt.’
Other-worldly Canon singing from Mien hill tribes in China, Vietnam, and Laos - For fans of Bulgarian choir, Javanese Court Gamelan and Sundanese vocal styles - Recorded and produced by Laurent Jeanneau (Kink Gong).
"Although their name comes from a pejorative Chinese expression that means “dog” or “savage" – stemming from a legend that they were founded by a dog who saved the life of the daughter of a Chinese emperor and thus was rewarded with her hand in marriage – the largest branch of the YAO minority call themselves MIEN, which means simply “people". They number 4 million and are spread over the southern Chinese provinces of Guizhou, Guangxi, Yunnan and also migrated to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand over the last centuries.
Part of the Miao-Yao (Hmong Mien) group of the Sino-Tibetan ethnolinguistic family, they have many subgroups, usually defined according to colors of their traditional clothes. Because of their Chinese origins, the Yao consider themselves to be culturally superior to other hill tribes, having incorporated elements of Taoism into their own beliefs as well as adopting the Chinese written system for men. The Yao women produce wonderful embroidered cloth and that’s the main reason why they’re being noticed by outsiders. Recorded and produced in the field by Laurent Jeanneau (Kink Gong), this limited edition LP comes with a two sided insert of photos and liner notes with extended track descriptions by Laurent Jeanne."
Unmissable return from UK bassbin stalwart SP:MC on a seeeerious 2-step tip for Youngsta’s Sentry Records.
Behind some of dubstep’s very deadliest plates for Tempa circa 2008-2013, SP:MC has been conspicuous by his absence in recent years, until the murky tremors of his ‘Pondlife’ 12” for System marked his territory in 2018.
18 months later he steps out of the halfstep mire into 2-step garage proper, coming off like El-B’s pivotal Ghost workouts with the devilish swivel and guttural bass ructions of ‘Vintage’, then recalling everyone from Steve Gurley to Dem 2 and Burial in the lip-bitingly tight rolige of ’Slugfest.’
Fuzzy, synth-heavy art pop from underrated Belgian lo-fi mad scientist Jan Van den Broeke, who remixes and remasters 36 years of material.
If you've never come across Van den Broeke before, "Lost and Latest" is a great starting point. A career retrospective that contains six unreleased tracks, it shines a spotlight on his various musical projects: The Misz, Absent Music, Canto De Mundo and June11. And while some of his material has been reissued in recent years - STROOM issued a compilation in 2017 and Minimal Wave collected The Misz material on 2019's "The Lonely Crowd" - Van den Broek is still mostly under-appreciated.
'Lost and Latest' shows his versatility as he flits between synth pop, eerie soundtrack music, eccentric oddities and icy new wave. Vocals are recorded in French, English and Spanish, and while the productions are mostly synthesized, they don't seem to follow any particular rules or other. Van den Broek's newer material almost sounds like Bill Callahan jamming with The Notwist, or Light in the Attic's enigmatic Lewis. There's an otherworldly weirdness to his music, and we can't help but fall under his spell.
NWAQ’s sole and resoundingly influential album is finally back in print, serving a best in class session of beatdown, MDMA-kissed deep house including all tracks from the original CD now cut to 3LP - 100% unmissable
Now 14 years old, ‘The Dead Bears’ has been a go-to classic for us since original release, forming a sort of comfort blanket that never fails to absorb in its gauzy warmth. Over the years, it’s been hailed by likes of Actress as a big influence on his sound and it’s not hard to hear how - it’s an ideal bridge between the fathoms deep US house and techno, and European electronica, that Dutchman NWAQ was immersed in during the ‘90s, and is dearly close to the heart of a style Actress would expand upon over the past decade. There aren’t many albums of its ilk that still hold water nowadays, heck there’s not many albums of its ilk, period, and if you still don’t know, we can’t urge you enough to get properly acquainted.
Vacillating systolic deep house slugs such as ‘The Force’ and the balmy wooze of ‘Avon Sparkle’ with moments of peerless bliss in ’Shine Eyed’ and ‘Kemo Sabe’, it all reminds us of watching the grass melt and chatting breeze on the sofa while soundtracked by its unobtrusive but high tog presence. It’s almost hard to write about this record without getting at least a bit choked up - it’s just one of those LPs that becomes a soundtrack to life, forming a connective tissue between loves, friendships, high times and downtime. We’ll probably never be able to shift that feeling, and don’t want to either.
An all time highest recommendation.
It was in Benin City, in the heart of Nigeria, that a new hybrid of intoxicating highlife music known as Edo Funk was born. It first emerged in the late 1970s when a group of musicians began to experiment with different ways of integrating elements from their native Edo culture and fusing them with new sound effects coming from West Africa s night-clubs.
"Unlike the rather polished 1980 s Nigerian disco productions coming out of the international metropolis of Lagos Edo Funk was raw and reduced to its bare minimum. Someone was needed to channel this energy into a distinctive sound and Sir Victor Uwaifo appeared like a mad professor with his Joromi studio. Uwaifo took the skeletal structure of Edo music and relentless began fusing them with synthesizers, electric guitars and 80 s effect racks which resulted in some of the most outstanding Edo recordings ever made.
An explosive spiced up brew with an odd psychedelic note known as Edo Funk. That’s the sound you’ll be discovering in the first volume of the Edo Funk Explosion series which focusses on the genre’s greatest originators; Osayomore Joseph, Akaba Man, and Sir Victor Uwaifo: Osayomore Joseph was one of the first musicians to bring the sound of the flute into the horn-dominated world of highlife, and his skills as a performer made him a fixture on the Lagos scene. When he returned to settle in Benin City in the mid 1970s - at the invitation of the royal family - he devoted himself to the modernisation and electrification of Edo music, using funk and Afro-beat as the building blocks for songs that weren’t afraid to call out government corruption or confront the dark legacy of Nigeria’s colonial past. Akaba Man was the philosopher king of Edo funk. Less overtly political than Osayomore Joseph and less psychedelic than Victor Uwaifo, he found the perfect medium for his message in the trance-like grooves of Edo funk. With pulsating rhythms awash in cosmic synth-fields and lyrics that express a deep personal vision, he found great success at the dawn of the 1980s as one of Benin City’s most persuasive ambassadors of funky highlife. Victor Uwaifo was already a star in Nigeria when he built the legendary Joromi studios in his hometown of Benin City in 1978. Using his unique guitar style as the mediating force between West-African highlife and the traditional rhythms and melodies of Edo music, he had scored several hits in the early seventies, but once he had his own sixteen-track facility he was able to pursue his obsession with the synesthetic possibilities of pure sound, adding squelchy synths, swirling organs and studio effects to hypnotic basslines and raw grooves. Between his own records and his production for other musicians, he quickly established himself as the godfather of Edo funk.
What unites these diverse musicians is their ability to strip funk down to its primal essence and use it as the foundation for their own excursions inward to the heart of Edo culture and outward to the furthest limits of sonic alchemy. The twelve tracks on Edo Funk Explosion Volume 1 pulse with raw inspiration, mixing highlife horns, driving rhythms, day-glo keyboards and tripped-out guitars into a funk experience unlike any other."
Fizzing with nostalgic goodness, Ssiege’s follow-up to the cherished ‘Fading Summer’ album is kissed with a similar sort of brittly blissed serenity and melancholic appeal
Marking his debut with Knekelhuis, the five tracks on ‘Meteora’ join the dots between romantic ‘80s synth soundtracks, the kind of emotive post-industrial explored by Caroline K, and the eternally effective wooze of BoC or Bochum Welt, but articulated with a personalised melodic voice that really speaks to us, and maybe you, on this one.
Equally sharply poised between its precision tooled machine drum patterns and lissom arps, Siege injects a beautifully warm spirit to the album with a grasp of extended melody that wraps the record up in ribbons. On ‘Il Re Delle Mandorie’ he slips us into daydreamy reveries with searching arp leads and lilting guitar that sounds like Vini Reilly reworking BoC’s take on ‘Poppy Seed’ by Slag Boom Van Loom, and ‘Nebbia Spugnia’ shares a gorgeous sort of shoegaze-meets-sad rap air with the recent Sharp Veins album. ‘Il Peso’ follows to the EP’s slowest, brooding point recalling a desiccated adjunct to Pye Corner Audio, while the title tune shores up in witch house interzones like some Salem cut that could have feasibly appeared in 0PN’s soundtrack for ‘Uncut Gems’, or even one of the most aching moments on Made’s ‘Untitled’ album (which was crafted with vintage Æ synths.)
Timelessy effective, we’re sure you’ll agree.
This lot have released 5 x 12”s anonymously over the last 3 years via Hardwax and there’s no info about them anywhere, pretty sneaky.
They now land on Mana, a label so esoteric it has a flowchart on its website showing you how to get from Luc Ferrari to Nico Jaar in one short leap.
There are 4 long tracks, one per side, each clocking in at 15 mins and each taking time to expand into being. There is persistent water drumming, the a side is all exotic melodica, nature sounds and bells with Flanger-esque bass humps plus some water drumming, side 2 has a very burial mix sounding bassline sat low in the mix to give the water drumming more presence, side C is more reflective and serene tropical vibes, with side D giving it some classic dub pressure and location recordings which we think we once heard Bill Kouligas play on the radio a few years back and which is dope as fuck.
So yeah, it sounds a bit like a k-hole version of Burnt Friedman & Atom Heart’s early Flanger gear crossed with Burial Mix and that incredible water drumming vid dust to digital posted a while back on there tweeter.
Rattling, slinky house variations from Nervous Horizon co-founder Anunaku, with bizarrely effective choral vocals.
Anunaku returns to AD 93 with another plate of left-leaning house, this time adding whispered vocals and church music to the mix, you know, just because why not? It works too, with the wavering monastic tones adding a fresh texture to the driving 4/4 on opener 'Spirale'.
Elsewhere, Anunaku throws down the euphoric techno gauntlet on 'Ninfea', sounding like Berghain at 3am, and goes for a '90s downtempo/side room shuffle on 'Luminosa'. Good stuff.
An advanced masterclass in Berlin beat science, ‘Wireless’ is the final and arguably strongest solo release by T++; aka Torsten Pröfrock, an artist with a long lineage of important releases under numrous aliases - Dynamo, Erosion,Log, Resilent, Traktor, Various Artists and more - a true pillar of Berlin's Techno legacy.
First issued by Honest Jon’s in 2010, the 2x12” features samples of singer and ndingidi-player Ssekinomu (originally found on the EMI archival dive ‘Bellyachers, Listen - Songs From East Africa, 1938-46’) reworked by Pröfrock into a volley of rambunctious but rudely disciplined club workouts some 75 years later. In many other hands, this could have been just another passable cut ’n splice edit, but T++ treats the material with a balance of reverence and raving license, highlighting an instinctive understanding of the original music's intent and purpose, and their deep rooted connection to modern fast rap and hardcore dance musics.
The four tracks amount to a contemporary classic in their field and also exist in a strong tradition of German artists ranging from Stockhausen to Can and Basic Channel whose music has crucially incorporated the fluid, rolling nature and spectra of African drumming patterns. However, it’s vital to point out that T++’s take on African drumming is also filtered thru a love of UK music - Jungle, D&B, garage, dubstep - meaning that his rhythms are properly underlined with syncopated, technoid basslines owing as much to Kingston, Jamaica as Brixton and Sheffield in the UK.
For anyone who had been intently listening to Pröfrock's output since his Traktor gems, thru his Dynamo aces, to early work with Monolake and his string of seminal T++ 12”s in the 2000’s, on its release in 2010 ‘Wireless’ quickly came to epitomise his approach to broken techno production at its most open-ended and inexorable. Between the itchy, sprung step of ‘Cropped’, the puckish darkside torque of ‘Anyi’, a voodoo communal in ‘Voice No Bodies’, and the reanimated spirits of ‘Dig’ you have some of the finest mutant techno ever cut to vinyl.
An absolute must-have for dancers and DJs.
Tranquil and crystalline beatless cello and synth transfusions for difficult times. Heady and personal but never self-serious; for fans of Richard Skelton, Arve Henriksen, Laurel Halo.
'Blutt' strikes a delicate balance, manipulating heady ideas and alchemical compositional formulas to fabricate distinctly personal, light-hearted and vulnerable tone clouds. Cellist and composer Patrick Belaga is no newcomer, having spent the last few years touring incessantly and collaborating with and impressive list of innovators, from Lafawndah (he played on her brilliant "Ancestor Boy" LP) and Asma Maroof to Wu Tsang and Ioanna Gika. "Blutt" follows his 2017 debut "Groundswell", and was conceptualized on an Italian adventure as he wandered around small towns hearing muffled jazz and classical music in the distance. The result is a disarming commingling of classical instrumentation and electronic manipulation, where the core elements - cello, vocals, synth, pan pipes, field recordings - dissolve into one another lysurgically, mirroring the confusing, alluring architecture of a dream.
Belaga has plenty of experience scoring for movies and television, but to pass "Blutt" off as simply cinematic would do it a disservice. The album isn't so much evocative of a particular narrative as it is a set of emotions or neurological triggers. As he allows cello scrapes to dematerialize into a blurred haze or vocals to disintegrate, Grouper-style, into dense reverb trails, it's moods that spring to mind rather than visuals. That feeling of walking around a new place, awed by its history and fascinated by the capacity for stories; the sense that people are dreaming, loving, scheming, living around you at an incomprehensible level. Belaga reflects this by never overcomplicating his productions, deceptively simple recipes of few ingredients expertly cooked to perfection. Fleeting cello melodies, faded pads, dissociated drones - each track is sparse but refuses to leave you wanting. Our brain fills in the gaps, allowing each of us to build our own unique relationship with the music.
Yao Bobby & Simon Grab return to LAVALAVA Records with a loud & cantankerous 7".
"Black Revolution is a track that could be passed as a reaction to recent events, with Black Lives Matter protests across the world and all the positive movement that comes with it, and of course sad realisations of still existing division and prejudice that come to prominence yet again, and need correction.
There’s a new much needed momentum for ‘Black Revolution’, i.e. equality and justice for all – a kind of rejuvenation of tackling overdue problems and wrongs of history that have been swept under the carpet for too long. With this in mind, Yao Bobby ignites the flames with his word sound, venting frustration and calling for further action, making himself heard as one of many black voices, creatively, with all the beauty and power of music, for everyone to sing along to, and – once again – when dancefloors open for us all again, for everyone to mosh out and get wild to.
Sparring partner Simon Grab delivers the backbone for Yao’s wildstyle, with the pairs most hard hitting beat to date, a heavyweight K.O. of drum, bass and rhythmic pulse, fizzing through Simon’s no-input feedback mixer like the embers that feed the flames from below.
Flipside, Senegal’s one and only Ibaaku steps forward for a remix, twisting the rhythm around it’s own axis, guided by a kind of kalimba-esque melody that recalls, to us at least, a certain ‘sound of Africa’ and places the track firmly on the map along with the huge amounts of great experimental dance music to come from the continent in recent years."
Finnish future jazz eccentric Jimi Tenor collects a bevy of unreleased tracks from his fertile Warp era on this fun, free and funky set.
Between 1993 and 2000, Jimi Tenor was composing and recording music at an alarming rate. His bundle of Warp albums was honored on last year's "NY, Hel, Barca" set, and "Deep Sound Learning" goes deeper, exploring the Finnish multi-instrumentalist's extensive vault of unfinished demos and unreleased material.
Anyone who hear Tenor's classic run with albums like "Organism" and "Out of Nowhere" should know what to expect. Brittle tropicalia, leftfield jazz, sweaty library music funque, eerie Italian giallo vibes and slippery acid house. Tenor inhabits his own universe completely, not lifting music styles but folding them into his peculiar, effervescent and unashamedly passionate celebration of sound.
First time Vinyl re-issue of Future Sound of London’s 'Dead Cities', marking 25 years since its original release in 1996.
“Herd Killing” and “We Have Explosive (Herd Killing mix)” both feature several samples from the Run DMC album Tougher Than Leather. Title track “Dead Cities” contains a vocal sample at the beginning of Laurence Fishburne from the film Deep Cover. Single “My Kingdom” features A vocal sample of “Rachael’s Song” (aka “Rachel’s Song”) by Vangelis, from the Blade Runner soundtrack."
Dog Person is the deserved culmination of a whirlwind few years for Kean Kavanagh. His debut project, the ten-track collection prominently features his aforementioned semi-fictional, cigarette-bumming, binge-drinking, lovestruck alter-ego; a persona with just an echo of his real personality reverberating throughout the record.
"A developed sound, the single delved deeper into Kean’s incredible versatility as an artist - drawing a grittier sound and formulating a high-octane single that wouldn’t sound out of place in a festival headline set. This all served to prove that Kean Kavanagh had firmly stepped into the limelight; garnering support from the likes of i-D, DIY Magazine, Clash, Notion and more. Cofounder, producer and A&R of Irish Label Soft Boy Records, Kean had previously pulled the strings behind the scenes; but is now becoming one of the most exciting names on the emerging music scene. A story-teller, word-smith and dexterous musician with a strong imagination, Kean’s career is set to project far beyond his Irish roots. .
Founded in 2015, Soft Boy Records morphed into a cultural behemoth that gripped the Irish music scene and has refused to let go - alongside his co founder Kojaque, Kean found himself sharing stages with big names such as Slow Thai and Lana Del Ray, as well as his consequential solo-slots opening for Maverick Sabre and Vampire Weekend. Earlier this year, Kean appeared on the Everything is Recorded project ‘FRIDAY FOREVER’, (curated by Richard Russell of XL Recordings) alongside Aitch, Flohio, Maria Somerville, Ghostface Killah and others, and aligning himself with a tastemaker and hot tipped selection of musical peers. A sensational debut offering showing dexterous musicianship and lyrical magic, Dog Person places Kean as one of the most exciting emerging talents coming through."
Samuli Tanner is known for his work in Siihhi, World Bank, Tiiu Helinä and Myttys to name a few. Music for 1-Year-Old Samuli Tanner is the first album released under his own name and was previously released in USA by Sun Ark Recordings in CD format.
"Now the album is finally released on vinyl and digital format by Fonal Records, Ikuisuus and Peace Files. Music For 1-Year Old Samuli Tanner consists of playful improvised sci-fi compositions and “beats” made with self-built samplers, old tape machines and new computers.
Sami Pekkola (Oaagaada, Taco Bells) plays tenor saxophone and duduk on the closing track. Cover is a painting by Arsi Keva based on the original CD artwork. “Always cut things out way too soon. Nothing is better than a really catchy hit melody played only once.” – Samuli Tanner
Debut full-length from Bala Club co-founder Endgame, who twists abstrakt club shapes into gaseous forms - like Burial, Felix Lee and Chino Amobi masterminding a soundtrack to a new Spawn movie.
'Surrender' has been a long time coming. Endgame has made a name for himself over the last few years both as a DJ and as a producer, hosting the legendary NTS show (and more recently, label) Precious Metals and releasing a slew of influential records on PTP, Infinite Machine and Hyperdub. Now his particular vision, a blend of dust-stomping club rhythms, heavy metal attitude, pop sleaze and sci-fi dystopia, has materialized in long-form and it's a trip.
'Fathless' opens things with a blast of atmospheric rainfall, hydraulic kicks and laser snares, bringing us into a Todd McFarlane-esque crumbled cityscape that's one part Blade Runner and one part Hellraiser. It's not all doom(core) and gloom though - Endgame's regular collaborator Yayoyanoh pops up on 'Barbed Heart' to raise the temperature and cut through the mood with sickly, tongue-twisting vocals that drip between knife-sharp percussion.
Somehow, the album managed to cram in all of Endgame's stylistic leanings - from hardcore punk to slippery ambience - without sounding busy or chaotic. It's a dark album, that layers contemporary anxiety and unease into syfy club forms, but it's not suffocating or indulgent. Using his own vocals to play against angular shards of noise and rumbling bass, Endgame creates music that's rich with contrast - as vivid and emotional as it is bleak and overcast.
'Mas Amable', our record of the year 2020.
Call it deep reggaeton, avant-dembow, whatever; Mas Amable was easily our most rinsed record of the year, a sidewinding trip through slippery, mutable 90/180bpm metrics for lovers of rhythm and sound of all shapes and colours.
Following the reticulated deep house-paced hybrids of his acclaimed 2017 debut, 'Mas Amable' displays a serpentine guile that surely lives up to Brian Piñeyro’s moniker. Through 50 minutes, he dangles the dance by a fine conceptual thread that ties a constant rhythmic skeleton to subtly shifting tonal and textural variables. We start from shoreside ambience and lush field recordings, into hip-gripping dembow permutations and tripped-out vocals, elegantly and rudely shifting the pressure gauge from a gentle propulsive sway to darker steppers and wavey, whistling melodies, before neuro D&B stabs light up the dance and it all fades out on a deep blue reggaeton tip.
Like a mutable organism imperceptibly transforming before our eyes, ‘Mas Amable’ is both effortless and unfathomable, a heady trip through liquid, morphing tressilo drums and junglist markers that, at their peak, provide ample space for LA Warman’s vocal narration, imbuing proceedings with an eerie prescience and an existentially weary message. It all makes for a unique and richly immersive experience that we said back in April would rank among the definitive records of 2020. And at the end of this brutal, relentless year... here we are.
After the exceptional first volume of ‘Rakka’, Vladislav Delay is taken by the wanderlust again for a ravishing 2nd album of elemental electronics inspired by the Finnish wilderness. RIYL Shackleton, Rian Treanor...
Where 2020’s ‘Rakka’ represented some of Sasu Ripatti aka Vladislav Delay’s most intensely noisy textures and rhythmic complexity, as inspired by walks in his native Finnish wilderness, his follow-up further draws on and refines that experience in a beautifully brutalist bouquet of brambling distortion and tempestuous pulses that speak to the chaotic power of nature’s ecological interdependence. In the process ‘Rakka II’ fulminates Delay’s reactive sound even closer to the styles of Shapednoise, but still distinguished by his signature, freehanded style of percussive tumult that reaches beyond techno and club music into an ecstatic, holistic hybrid of power ambient, black metal, avant-dub, free jazz, and extreme dance musicks.
While still breathlessly busy and densely overgrown, ‘Rakka II’ is intended as the romantic answer to the more hostile first volume. Its seven parts balance a sense of febrile passion with hyper-disciplined logic in more explicitly emotive, optimistic gestures that emerge from its atonal murk and convulsive structures. Boundaries of discord and harmony are smudged almost into the red, but rendered with the spatial definition that become a hallmark of Delay’s best work for over 20 years, but never heard quite so wild and lushly semi-conscious as on cuts such as the soaring and collapsing ‘Raato’, or the craggy might of ‘Raaha’, and the heart-in-mouth headiness of ‘Rapaa.’
Effortlessly funked up, classic 1998 Detroit tekkers from the master, making us absolutely gag to get jacking under strobes and smoke
‘Black Man’s Word’ is pure 313 gospel, ticking up to a classic ‘90s pace and layered with signature strings and nagging organ code that can’t help but make us fling a limb. ’Sleep Is The Cousin Of Death’ centres the pressure with shark-eyed drive, offset with gasps of female vocal for proper, eyes-shut, heads-down body pumping, and ‘Hard To Kill’ holds that line with stereo-phasing chords wrapped around a clinically trim groove primed to be flicked in the 3-deck mix.
Includes the first commercial recordings from Asia made in Japan in 1903 - Japanese gagaku, shakuhachi, shamisen, storytelling, folksong and more - Collected and compiled by sound artist Robert Millis - The beginning of Japan’s homegrown record industry, including a few sides taken from Japan’s notorious bootleg 78rpm industry.
Compiled by sound artist Robert Millis from recordings made by Fred Gaisberg, a legendary producer and recording engineer who travelled the world working for the Gramophone Company (later His Masters Voice), these collected gems offer a return trip to the now-distant past. Swaddled in a dreamlike haze of surface noise that emphasises their alien allure and peculiarity, the set is all the more remarkable for the fact it was recorded only a decade after flat disc recording and playback technology was invented as a successor to Edison’s wax cylinder tekkers. For anyone struck by Robert Millis’ sets such as ‘Indian Talking Machine’, ‘Victrola Favourites’, or perhaps most pertinently his deeply cherished ‘Scattered Melodies: Korean Kayagum Sanjo From 78rpm Records’ collection, this set is absolutely required listening.
They cover a gamut of styles and instruments including gagaku, shakuhachi, shamisen, storytelling, folksong and more, each admitting the listener entrance to what is, to these ears, a whole other world, long before Western imperialism went into overdrive. It documents for posterity a number of important voices who took their turn in front of Gaisberg’s recording horn, regaling their tales in a range of disciplines of which some have endured or been revived, while others have been lost to the mists of time. Safe to say one would never stumble across these recordings in the field without mountains of effort, so all credit due to Millis and his multiple trips to Japan for preserving and sharing these utterly beguiling sonic postcards.
A high water mark of ‘90s UK culture returns on its 25th anniversary, reminding older heads of the best times, and a history lesson for the critical mass of junglists developed during lockdown
Produced in 1995 by the gold-grilled hardcore/jungle/D&B pioneer, engineered by Rob Playford, Dillinja, and 4Hero’s Dego and Mark Mac, with vocals by the legendary Diane Charlemagne (R.I.P.), ’Timeless’ was and still is an ambitious and enduring example of British Afrofuturism. The album’s sense of discipline and crucial style was symptomatic of the scenius developed by a tight circle of mostly Black and mixed race British artists who drew on their African and Afro-Caribbean roots to develop a unique artform that expressed their identity, which would in course become adopted by a wider generation as their own.
A pinnacle of its artform, arguably never bettered, the album was practically ubiquitous during the mid-‘90s, with its introductory anthem ‘Inner City Life’ - part of the album’s opening three-part suite - a staple on MTV2 and mainstream radio, which helped transcend its urban roots and infect a whole generation beyond big cities and their clubs. It’s almost hard to imagine such a futuristic album quite like this appearing and exerting so much effect on the popular consciousness in 2021, but the ‘90s was a very different place and time, and we can only live in hope that the next decade will foster the next Goldie.
Oh, one last thing - AGCG's 'Black Secret Technology' came out almost exactly 5 months before 'Timeless', it didn't quite have the same promo budget behind it, but it's legacy seeps even further and deeper than 'Timeless' - and is perhaps, on the quiet, the most influential electronic album of the late 20th century. Just sayin.
Tin Man sheds the acid, and the moniker, to reveal a wide-eyed suite of deep kosmiche ambient works produced under his real world surname; Auvinen
Johannes Auvinen is regarded among the best to ever wield a 303, but here commits his love for classic European synth music in a convincing style that holds up to comparison with inspirations ranging from Ash Ra Temple’s Jenseits to the iciest contours of the Sähkö label.
Rather than his usual all-night-long vibes, ‘Akkosaari’ is patently intended for the hours after the party has finished, and thus smartly finds its place in the seemingly endless post-party era of the early 2020’s. To give some measure of the meter he’s working with, it takes until halfway thru the album on ‘Kyläläiset Tanssii’ before any rhythmic structure appears, and even then it’s stark as fuck, in a Vainio-esque school of thought.
It’s arguably all best received in downtime states, when the contemplative effect of ‘Mummon Tarina’ will absorb listeners into a deep blue state of mind that’s beautifully sustained throughout the album’s haunted choral pads and chamber-like sense of slow, elegant purpose up to the ice-cavern ambience of ‘Akkosari’ at its furthest perimeter.
Driving 2nd album of punkish EBM Industrial styles from Barcelona duo Dame Area, hard on the drums and synths, and with class vocals positing them like Liaisons Dangereuses meet N.M.O.
Smartly updating vintage styles with a modern reserve and swagger, they hinge around big bad snares in ‘Scopri Le Tue Passioni’ drawing canny lines between OG EBM and electro D&B, while lashing sick, sinking synthlines to tumping toms in ‘Linea Retta’, and slinkiest drum work recalling N.M.O. on ‘Corazon de Fuego, Corazon de Hielo’, and on a sort of gabber punkish tip with ‘La Danza Del Ferro.’ At their darkest ‘La Doble Luna’ lands shades away from their Spanish brethren Jasss, and rub up close to the slow pressure of Toresch, but with their own snotty snarl in ‘Triangolo Segreto.’
Packaged in a lavish 2-piece matt laminated box set, with each soundtrack packaged in its own unique sleeve. Includes 16-page booklet with exclusive photos, sleeve notes and artwork by George Tyebcho and Carsten Aermes. Comes with high-definition digital download of the audio.
"‘Soundtracks’ is the complete set of Apparat (aka Sasha Ring)’s four film score chapters, released digitally across 2020 and now available for the first time on vinyl. The box set comprises the successive releases ‘Capri-Revolution’, ‘Stay Still’, ‘Dämonen’ and ‘Equals Sessions’. ‘Capri-Revolution’, the Italian-language directed by Mario Martone, won Best Soundtrack at the Venice Film Festival, alongside a David di Donatello, the Italian equivalent of an Academy Award. ‘Stay Still’ is an independent German / Italian film directed by Elisa Mishto. Based on a theatrical production of Dostoevsky’s Demons, ‘Dämonen’ was originally performed live by Ring and frequent collaborators Philip Thimm and Christoph Hamann. The tracks were later re-arranged for Apparat’s second collaboration with director Sebastian Hartmann after Krieg und Frieden (Tolstoy’s War and Peace). ‘Equals Sessions’, from the American film Equals starring Kristen Stewart and directed by Drake Doremus which premiered at the 72nd Venice Film Festival in 2015."
New record from LA electronic post punk trio Automatic containing reimagined tracks from their debut album ‘Signal’ plus remixes from Sudan Archives, Peanut Butter Wolf, Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus), JooJoo (Froth), Peaking Lights and Panther Modern.
"The B-side features a 20-minute extended mix of ‘Calling It’, originally composed for fashion house Céline. Automatic are Lola Dompe (drums / vocals), Izzy Glaudini (synths / vocals) and Halle Saxon Gaines (bass / vocals)."
Brilliantly skewed deep house, wobbly acidic weirdness and free-floating rhythum tracks made on a bespoke sequencer by Tallinn, Estonia’s finest
Flitting away from their usual home at Estonian dance stronghold Porridge Bullet / Pudru Kuul, the duo cooked up these three during 2020, making fine use of a sequencer that looks a bit like a cash register and was custom built by local underground don Andrevski. It’s in best effect on the lead tune ‘Signal’ which sounds a bit like 808 State meets the Analord with its piquant, twirling top line and blushing pads really dancing not he nerve ends and sure to tweak out any club crowd. The others however are more low-key, trading in a gorgeous slice of trickling triplets and hazed strings in ‘Swim’, and jettisoning the kick drum for the loosey goosey glyde of ‘Lock.’
Skuzzy death rockers Cardinal & Nun return to L.I.E.S. with a full LP course of fossil-fuelled basslines, synths and morbid guitars following their entrée 12” in 2019.
Seemingly exhumed from the Parisian crypts some time in the wake of Joy Division, and spliced something Frankensteinian with essence of Suicide and Bauhaus, ‘Dancing In The Evil’ wears its gothic influences grimly. It’s a proper album in itself, but DJ’s should be looking out for witching hour goth dance bullets for the flouncers and jackers in the scowling swag of ‘Hear My Voice’ and ‘Danse macabre’, the leathered trewed strut of ‘Lost’, and the more swooning movement of ‘Pandemonium’ underpinned by a Sisters Of Mercy-esque bassline.
Dozzy does D&B: the cultishly praised Italian producer exerts clinically sharp minimalist spins on rolling 160bpm+ rhythms in a style also explored by his peer Neel
Shaping up in a similar style to his remix of Homemade Weapons, also for Samurai, Dozzy articulates a classic Italian feel for crisp and supple electronic tone in four slingshot parts, teasing out killer slow/fast pulses in the beating wing moires of ‘Mai’, before charging up boisterous toms and halfstep subs in ‘Dusty Bones,’ and hingeing on the halfstep in a DJ Python-esque way with the pealing high end of ‘Sanza High,’ and cold killing it with the title tune’s DJ Krust-like, inch-tight steppers dynamics.
Shine-eyed deep acid rubs and iridescent Detroit vibes from the Amsterdam don, Jordan GCZ
It gets off to a melancholic start with the title tune melding a kind of new wave spirit with Chicago and Detroit-orbiting vibes - think Thomas Dolby meets Larry Heard at Convextion’s gaff - and gets incrementally optimistic thru the Rolando-esque Detroit percussion and vibrant leads of ‘Jaguar Dreaming’, before really pushing the pace and eccie levels in ‘Spring Has Sprung’ and the head high swanger ‘Wild Bounce’ on the backside. Pushes a lot of our buttons this.
Goldie presents new remixes of classic ‘Inner City Life’.
"Each remix brings out distinctive qualities that accentuate the 1995 classic - an iconic collage of sounds that capture a fragmented and urbanized London. 'Binary State executes restraint towards the dramatic and subtle notes of the original, interweaving the late Diane Charlemagne’s expansive and powerful vocal performance with a rubbery tech-house journey. It’s a tightly knit and perpetually driving reworking with a the four-to-the-floor dancefloor pulse. Drum & bass don dBridge is enlisted by Goldie to provide a seismic, unconstrained and at times amorphous remix; an uncompromising breakdown of the creative boundaries we experienced in the original. Continually challenging a drum & bass accepted norm - and the delicate eccentricities a classic remix opportunity provides - this package also embraces a poignant jazz rendition of ‘Inner City Life’ by [re:jazz]; a cover that provides smooth relief and timeless lust for the original masterpiece."
Traditional Heart“ is the second album by Gianni Brezzo - the band or the studio project – of the Cologne-based musician Marvin Horsch.
"The title is by no means to be understood in the sense of an authenticity pathos à la love in times of Tinder, but addresses the process of musical production itself. Says Brezzo: “This time the process of making music was more important than the product. Not to allow even a thought regarding the effectiveness of the music; pick up the instrument on impulse and put it away again; record again. Finding a rhythm during the process. At home.”
Following last year's brilliant "Trinity" mixtape and LEYA collab "Angel Lust", Alexandra Drewchin returns with her most assertive record to date, a fiery collection of modern dream-folk that blurs the lines between ambient, shoegaze and experimental pop.
Following the dusty road traced by Cocteau Twins, Mazzy Star, Björk and Grouper, Eartheater assuredly carves out a space for herself by fusing effortlessly haunting songs with bleak orchestral elements or the kind of disintegrating electronic detritus u would more readily expect to hear on a Total Freedom mix. It's a pop record that sits on the outskirts of the contemporary wyrd club zone, but avoids any of the trappings of "hyperpop", instead choosing to languish in a sensual melancholy: isolated and maudlin but never sexless.
Drewchin composed, produced and arranged "Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin" mostly while she was on a ten-week artist residency in Zaragoza, Spain. Alone in a small Spanish town, she was able to trap the artistically freeing feeling of solitude after incessant touring and recording, tipping boundless thoughts into a suite of songs that flower and grow with each subsequent listen. Her vocals and guitar sit at the center of the album, fleshed out by contributions from close friends and collaborators Marilu Donovan (harp) and Adam Markiewicz of LEYA (violin) and whisper-soft orchestral elements from Ensemble de Cámara.
Each song manages to fizz between familiarity and passionate, alien uniqueness as Drewchin's voice resonates through words that hum over themes of love, togetherness, absence and existence. These aren't merely empty syllables, but lived experiences tied into a dreamscape of sparse instrumentation and sparser rhythm. Honestly we haven't heard many more records this year that are so accurately aimed at our hyper-specific needs - "Phoenix" is an album that muses on loss but feels unsettlingly hopeful, convinced of humanity's latent goodness even in the midst of disaster. We can't recommend this one any fucking higher.
'Dreem Static' is the latest transmission from South London machine-funk android Quaid - a sludge-sleaze night ride into soulful neon electronix and VR beatbox experimentation. Like a malfunctioning AI trained on Drexciya, Prince and DJ Screw.
For his Apron debut, Quaid lands his spacecraft on earth, shrinking it down to microscopic size and traveling into the furthest reaches of the mind. "Every good story has a dream sequence," he explains. The music rattles through a nether-universe of purple haze and sonic surrealism, with overdriven techno-funk rhythms, plucked analog bass and the kind of echoing synth flourishes you'd expect to hear from Detroit royalty.
This is soundtrack-influenced music that avoids the trappings of our era: it doesn't sound like an Italian giallo flick or "Stranger Things". Rather Quaid hits his stride supping ideas from '80s video store oddities, sci-fi Blaxploitation flicks and mind-altering psychedelic excursions. It's a little like a full record of the interludes on Carl Craig's early run of classic records, but constructed with a Funkadelic-fwd beat scene mindset, like Madlib producing an Other People Place record on acid. And if that doesn't interest youwe don't know how we can help.