Murky bedroom techno, jungle and ambient melancholy from Kassir, marking his solo debut on Gost Zvuk along with guest appearances from Perila, Shumopeleng, and DJ Anibari
Hazily hypnagogic but burning with a desire to dance, ‘Brown White’ plays out a fleeting mix of moods and grooves, strafing from collaged cinematic ephemera to sleepwalking deep techno recalling Morphosis and Actress in his solo works, while the collaborators help reveal further aspects of his style, from the burned-out ambient techno noise of ‘Naiv’ with Perila, thru a trio of highlights ranging from cloudrap to washed out jungle and dream-whizz techno with Shumopeleng.
Becoming a bit of a must-own label, Experiences Ltd. follow that insta-cop from LOG (aka Ulla & Perila) with this small-run 7” edition of gorgeous downtempo vibes from Dan Rincon aka NAP on the label’s first 7” release. The cream of the new ambient scene this lot...
NAP aka Dan Rincon usually plies a fine line in textured electro-techno as half of Ambien Baby with pivotal producer D. Tiffany on his Isla label, however ‘Íntima’ reveals a more sensual side to his style, adapting early ‘90s chill out room vibes with seductive rhythms in a way that beautifully whispers the sound of 2020.
The ‘Íntima’ original features Rincon reciting text written by Julia De Burgos, a Puerto Rican poet, in drowsy delivery over dreamlike pads and a dembow groove that surely recalls the sexy suss of DJ Python’s ‘Mas Amable’ album as much as Photek’s seminal ‘Into The 90’s’ classic for Metalheadz. The B-side extends the pleasure for beanbag dwellers to finish their spliff, switching out the vox for deep blue sax lines by Davie Biddle and landing in lowlit DJ Krush trip hop zones.
The debut release on DJ Python's new Worldwide Unlimited label comes from mcr lynchpin Henzo, here delivering a killer mix of dembow, hard drum, and grimy 2-step variations that speak directly to the city’s transnational dancehall links. All Label profits on this one will be donated to Manchester’s The Rec Centre - 360° no brainer innit.
As the story goes, Henzo heard DJ Python play his beats at the club he was managing in MCR’s hipster warzone - the NQ - and the pair soon hit it off, leading to Henzo now giving Python’s brand new label, Worldwide Unlimited, a killer starting point with ‘Not Like That, Not Like You’; four variations on a hyper-tropic sound that Henzo has been pushing for the last half decade and more with his Strange Riddims raves, whose upfront policy of dancehall modernism - from grime to reggaeton, hard drum and anything-goes Manc pressure - supremely informs his debut EP, proper.
Version-for-version Henzo confidently fires himself into the forward tier of Manchester producers, striking a heavy vein of dembow-meets-Mahraganat pressure in the acidic bashment of the title tune, before stepping up the ghosted dub dynamic on a driving ‘Less Of That Mix’. The other slow banger ‘For Your Consideration’ revolves around a vocal snippet saying “speak to me” - one of Python’s often-used phrases - so was naturally elected to the EP, rolling out a bubbling, sticky groove in the ‘Sauna Mix’, and a ruder UK-styled 2-stepper pivoting off woodblock snares in a screwfaced ‘Gym Mix’
A bit about the label:
Worldwide Unlimited is envisioned not only as a label, but a small gesture towards community uplift. 100% of label-side proceeds will be split between the artist and a local charity. Proceeds from WWUNLTD022 will go towards The Rec. Centre in Manchester, (https://www.thereccentre.org) a casual space in which artists, DJs, interviewers and teachers can create, record & hang out. Members of the BAME & LGBTQIA+ communities, as well as people on universal credit and/or benefits, are offered free usage of the space.
Hungarian “minimalist” instrumentalist/composer Tibor Szemző is considered a genius by many, although his accomplishments as an artist are sometimes overshadowed by the likes of superstars, Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Snapshot From The Island was originally released by Leo Records in 1987 and now 33 years later the album gets the proper reissue on his own label.
"Snapshot From The Island is a wonderful excursion into ambient-electronic-acoustic dreamscapes which could also be considered an offshoot of what many call the “minimalist movement” The title track, “Snapshot From The Island” is a 24-minute tone poem featuring Szemző performing on computer drums and flutes of various pitch. Here, Szemző provides a soft rhythmic undercurrent to balance the somewhat ethereal and delightfully hypnotic motif as he also electronically emulates bird and animal sounds which magnifies the mood or imagery of a far away “Island” paradise.
Szemző is a true artist, a painter with a fertile imagination, as he invites the listener into his introspective world of thoughts and dreams. Szemző’s lush, yet subtle flute work evokes a surreal landscape on ”Water-Wonder”. On this piece, Szemző pursues circular passages while also intelligently utilizing a dash of echo to enhance the aura of a magical or mystical place, which for all intents and purposes seems timeless or otherworldly. “Let’s Go Out And Dance” is a dream-laden piece, featuring Szemző’s “cosmic” flute performances atop a soft pulse and László Hortobágyi’s synthesizer backwashes which conveys a sense of fulfillment or perhaps a scenario of – peaceful celebration. Again, Szemző offers up more visions of paradisen, which could very well have been a subtitle to this beautiful recording. The overall organic nature of Tibor Szemző’s music makes it all seem so real or something that our imaginations can easily grasp. There are no hidden clues or underlying mysteries behind all of this as Szemző’s artistry speaks for itself. A museum piece for the ears."
Rich with FM synthesis, infectious rhythms and evocative motifs, Rester Partir transports us to a fantasised Africa, found onstage at a Lausanne Theatre in 1985. Scoring a story about a 19th Century French missionary’s trip to Timbuktu, Swiss composer Louis Crelier created his own sonic landscape, capturing the exoticism and otherness of an imaginary Mali.
"Though the hypnotic rhythms and cascading mallets conjure images of the continent, the queasy keys, dubby idents and synthetic sonatas suggest something more interplanetary - picture James T. Kirk and Spock beaming down into the ochre dust of a ruined city.
Aided and abetted by a selection of ambient interludes, jazzy diversions and polyrhythmic excerpts from Crelier’s film work, as well as the exceptionally Balearic Deep in the Dale from TV series Alpine Academy, the largely unreleased compositions on Rester Partir finally break the fourth wall to find the wider audience they deserve."
Words by Patrick Ryder, Artwork by Steele Bonus
Wolfgang Voigt's Pop Ambient series of compilations turns 21 with another selection of wistful/drift tunes from Joachim Spieth & Pepo Galán, Max Würden, Leandro Fresco & Thore Pfeiffer, Yui Onodera and more.
"As with many other Pop Ambient compilations, Pop Ambient 2021 offers a welcome platform to contributions from both old friends and new faces. It opens with the gorgeous, slo-mo drift of “Of A Vessel”, from new Kompakt signings Blank Gloss. Sending their music out into the world from their home in Sacramento, this duo makes music that’s featherlight and luscious, the muted chime of a guitar over here, the steady hum of a halatial drone over there; everything in its right place, and nothing overdone. The poise is all. Neozaïre and Seventh World are our other two new voices, the latter closing Pop Ambient 2021 with a long, lambent dreamsong, Neozaïre offering us two gaseous, morphing driftworks, “In Verschwenderischer Fülle” etched across with bell-like arpeggios.
Pop Ambient has always felt like a field for play for the KOMPAKT cognoscenti, and 2021 is no different, with Joachim Spieth collaborating with Pepo Galán on the sidereal visions of “Libration”, while Leandro Fresco teams up with Thore Pfeiffer on the lovely “Abejorro”. Pfeiffer also contributes two lovely solo miniatures of abstract longing. Yui Onodera calls in again, long distance, for their fourth Pop Ambient running, with the refracted, glinting lightscapes of “Cromo 5” and “Monochrome”, while there are also star turns from Max Würden, both solo and in Reich & Würden, and Morgen Wurde, who drops by with the ‘ethereal drama’ of “Mittsommer”.
Pop Ambient gets the balance right: visions and soundscapes, long-distance communications and intimate asides, sweetness and light, drama and dreaming, all wrapped up in floral abstractions – a most beautiful distraction."
France’s Psychotic Monks formed in the bleak winter of 2015 and have spent their time since growing a following for their uncompromising and genre-splicing public performances and recordings.
"‘Private Meaning First’, their second album and their first for tastemaker label Fat Cat, was recorded in near total isolation. Composed in the French countryside, in a house far too small and far too cramped, they created a deliberately claustrophobic environment to forge their recordings from. Psychotic Monks are a band that fleet between the contortions of The Jesus Lizard, the looseness of Sonic Youth, the malevolent electronics of Throbbing Gristle and the organic pulse of Dublin’s Girl Band but ultimately create something that feels of their own. For fans of Girl Band, Thee Oh Sees, Metz, Sonic Youth and PiL."
40th anniversary reissue of Young Marble Giants’ jangling, wiry, killer post-punk pop groundbreakers from the early days of Rough Trade and the hayday of british DIY music
Originally issued in 1980, this edition of ‘Colossal Youth’ is now available on vinyl for first time, spanning the pioneering band’s debut album plus selections from the unreleased ‘Salad Days’ and various singles, adding up to a definitive survey of a band at the crest of their classic, puckered style.
Depending your tolerance for sweet-toothed hooks and chops, YBG’s sound is either mana or aspartame, but nobody can deny they’ve got a way with nagging riffs and nifty grooves, as you’ll find strewn between the likes of their droll stroller ‘Searching For Mr. Right,’ the reggae-lite dab of ‘Eating Noddemix,’ a Wire-y minimalist jag ‘Constantly Changing,’ and the tight punk-funk wiggle of ‘Wurlitzer Jukebox.’ At the time, this sound ran against the grain of noise punk posturing, effectively helping to birth a style or definition of post-punk which endures to this day, but it’s worth checking their singles and album demos for ‘Salad Days’ to catch their more experimental urges in action.
One of Coil’s most “accessible” and definitive classics finally resurfaces on Dais for a first *official* reissue 21 years after the fact
‘Musick To Play In The Dark’ is one those records that, like your first f*ck or trip, remains intractably lodged in the memory. At long last rearriving officially on physical formats with blessing of Coil’s Drew McDowell, the album could hardly be better timed to soundtrack the dread and enforced isolationism of our times.
Alongside Coil’s ‘The Ape Of Naples’, it plays to the full breadth of their enigmatic strengths, from sky-lashing doom licks and jazz noir to gibber-jawed druggy nightmares, via soaring kosmiche and breathtaking, unforgettable songcraft that rarely fails to plunge listeners into their wholly realised soundworld; hence it’s widely regarded as a vital entry point to their catalogue for anyone lingering on the fringes and wondering where to start with Coil’s catalogue.
This listener was relatively late to the album, but can still vividly recall being bowled over during the nithering winter of 2007 in Berlin, frozen to the chair and utterly transfixed by its magick appeal, which perhaps owes something to their shift in production methods from “Solar” phase to the “Moon” phase at their new studio, as well as the indelible trace of Drew McDowell’s deep granular synthesis and Thighpaulsandra’s brand of esoteric audness.
From the classic intro of ‘Are You Shivering?’ to their subbass hymn to our favourite brassica ‘Broccoli’, and the sleepwalker slant of ‘The Dreamer Is Still Asleep’; many years later the album has lost none of its capacity to reduce us to a goose-pimpled mess, and we’re just a bit jealous of anyone who’s about to pop their Coil cherry with this new pressing.
This latest from Livity Sound's Surgeons Girl is a genre-fluxing collision of analog synth transcendence and Bristolian bass weight - think Caterina Barbieri or Suzanne Ciani jamming with Peverelist and you'll get the idea.
Surgeons Girl cites Ciani, Laurel Halo and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith as influences and has a studio full of analog hardware at her disposal, so we're off to a good start here. But it's how she manages to combine her influences that most impresses about "A Violet Sleep". Rather than simply chug along the established kosmische route, Surgeon's girl infuses analog explorations with a rolling west country percussive shuffle that brings it out into fresh territory.
Opener 'Clouded Temper | Small Steps' ushers us into her world slowly, with chopped vocals spiraling around deep, brassy analog stabs, then we really get going on 'Intimate Advance' that's as euphoric as it is propulsive. There's a progressive, harmonic push that reminds of Nathan Fake and the Border Community stable almost, engineered for prime tears on the floor modes - whenever that floor might exist again.
Dippy UKG and deeper, bumping business from Facta on his spiritual home, Wisdom Teeth
‘Doves’ comes up a treat on a tight but frothy UK flex, all bubbling bleeps and pendulous garage motor, like Bobby Peru and Artwork after a big line and a balloon, while ‘MPH’ works off to the wonky side of Finn with choppy vocal motifs and melancholy licks gelling into a soul-kissing style that winks at UK and Jersey house styles.
Detroit visionary Terrence Dixon scans stellar new horizons on the awe-inspiring 3rd chapter of his most cherished, foundational and inspiring album series.
Roughly once a decade since 2000 the pioneering Afrofuturist has offered a new landmark of deep, electronic music, and ‘From the Far Future, Pt. 3’ stakes one of 2020’s - and probably the next decade’s - leading examples of Detroit techno at its furthest, most experimental limits. This series of albums has consistently been the place to go for Dixon, and by extension the 313’s, most unruly but truest works, dashing between broken drums, dissonant alien synth tones, and the deepest recesses of the warehouse mind in a rudely distinguished calibration of Motor City mechanics. For us he’s right up there with the city’s deepest heads like Jeff Mills, Drexciya, Mad Mike, or Howard Thomas for producing some of that sound’s most vital, uniquely expressive machine music.
Dixon’s latest landmark sees him double down on the proprioceptive depth with acres of abstract, spatialised synth work while fine-tuning and ruggedly fucking with rhythmic conventions. From the black hole sensations of the album opener to abandoned space station ambience of ‘Found In Space’ and ‘Remarkable Wanderer,’ and the uncharted planet atmospheres of ‘By Land’ or ‘Rotation (Delay Mix),’ he has that side absolutely on lock, and in a way that lends proper cinematic cadence to the album’s flow of raggo muscle car drive between ‘Don’t Panic,’ the warehouse donuts of ’Spectrum of Light,’ a strobing deep technohouse centrepiece ‘Unconditional Love,’ and the widescreen warehouse-in-space scope of ‘Out of Darkness.’
Bittersweet synth-pops with a kosmiche edge from Amsterdam’s Nina de Jong and Rosa Ronsdorf aka Spill Gold
Delivered with a loose feel, ‘Highway Hypnosis’ demonstrates the duo’s motorik traction and haunted pop songwriting at its sharpest since they emerged in 2017. ‘Beast Machine Alien’ barrel along with a driving confidence that manifests across the record, thru the effortlessly glyding vocal cadence and rolling, acidic groove of the title tune to the gnarled tension and dreamy release of ‘Ecotone Part 1,’ while making room for spoken word in the lay-by of ‘Oyster’, and incorporating gamelan-like tonalities into the clang of ‘Burning’ and ‘Bird Soul’ in a way that recalls everyone from Neu! to Khruangbin and Group Rhoda.
"Rising through the queer American DJ circuit, Eris Drew and Octo Octa, co-owners of dance label T4T LUV NRG, share multiple decades between them actively participating within the dance music community and are currently both weekly residents on BBC Radio 1."
"The CD compilation was mixed from all-vinyl in their log cabin home and studio in the woods of New Hampshire, taking in cuts that span house, bassline, UK hardcore and trance. It includes exclusive tracks from both Octo Octa (‘River’, a trancey and euphoric house classic) and Eris (‘Reactiv-8’, an electro selection with Eris’s own vocals), as well as many rare 90s house gems previously limited to the collections of vinyl-heads. Released alongside the CD is a double vinyl plus digital download code format featuring ten full length tracks from the mix."
Dramatic arrangements of Kurdish singer Hani Mojtahedy with bombastic, seething electronics arriving at harsh digital noise walls
“nine-sum sorcery is the debut release of Berlin-based sonic duo Labour, the ambitious project led by Farahnaz Hatam and Colin Hacklander gaining a reputation since 2018 for their large-scale works and collaborative pieces in large concert spaces and museums such as Kraftwerk Berlin, Martin Gropius Bau and Kunsthalle Zürich. Since 2020, they have been residents on NTS with a monthly show. Grounded in the rich and enigmatic digital sound world of LABOUR, nine-sum sorcery features the renowned Kurdish singer, Hani Mojtahedy, a prolific performer and recording artist firmly grounded in the traditional vocal styles of both Kurdistan and Iran.
Following Labour's now legendary closing of Berlin Atonal's main stage in 2018 with their inaugural work, next time, die consciously (یگناگیب), the duo embarked on a grand journey with Hani Mojtahedy, towards a remarkable synthesis of traditions and practices, uniting computer music and avant-garde sensibilities with traditional vocal practice. nine-sum sorcery is a long-form piece that unfolds over two sections, A and B, and can be understood as an occult incitation to the dark energies, natural, political and otherwise, that are released when oil is extracted from the ground. This ritual is focused through the enigmatic electronic and percussion composition from Labour which alternates between foreground and background for the haunting vocal performance of Mojtahedy, who interprets Kurdish and Persian verses. This is first release on Studio Labour, the new independent label in Berlin that provides a platform for avant-gardists creating works based on sound.”
A curious, genre-baiting sci-fi oddity from writer and artist Holly Childs and Gediminas Žygus, best known for their releases on Knives and Danse Noire as J.G. Biberkopf. If you've ever wondered what an experimental rave opera directed by Peter Greenaway might sound like, "Hydrangea" is an unmissable treat.
It's too easy to dunk on experimental music for being too high-minded, conceptual or poetic, but why exactly should we dismiss something for seeking to challenge socially-gestated anti-art cynicism? "Hydrangea" is a difficult record that injects familiar contemporary tech-adjacent themes with poetry, science fiction and Dutch hardcore in a way that's sure to polarize listeners. A collaboration between artist and writer Holly Childs and producer Gediminas Žygus (who used to fashion fwd-thinking electronix under the J.G. Biberkopf moniker), the album unravels slowly and refuses to pander to polite notions of tastefulness or aesthetic hierarchy.
At times it feels like Michael Nyman's classic soundtrack work (think "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover") bolted onto James Ferraro or Oneohtrix Point Never's time-fluxing retro-futurist shovelwarez while the familiar thump of Dutch gabber echoes in the distance. Hoover sounds wobble ominously from a blurry parallel universe like anonymous machinery preparing the next line of luxury smartphones, while canned harp and flute sounds blossom and bloom in overcomplicated digital gallery spaces and hollowed-out words are muttered back and forth like half-heard conversations or fragments of daily consumption, barely-remembered.
This isn't so much an album of defined tracks intended to be sliced out of context and shared for a quick-and-dirty dopamine hit, it's a series of questions to inspire reflection and contemplation that unravels mischievously over repeat listens. In musing on the idea of truth, security, online life, the reliability of the narrator and postmodernism, it's one of the more ambitious sets we've heard in a minute. Give it time, and the stories, toxically melted into plastique sonic backdrops, begin to make chilling sense."
Serial collaborator Drew McDowall's latest collection of astral-traveling synth syrup is a series of mind-melds with some of the scene's most continuously exciting artists: Robery Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Caterina Barbieri, Kali Malone, MSYLMA and more.
The Scottish, NYC-based experimental musician has been subverting the formula for many years now, having clocked up storied work with Coil and Psychic TV back in the day. From the solo opening track 'Agalma I (Folding)', we're dragged into a sound world that's lighter and more elegiac than you'd expect .
From here, we're launched into a heavenly collaboration with Caterina Barbieri, who sings angelically over harp sounds and wobbly synthesizer drones. Elsewhere, McDowall taps fellow synth guru Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe to assist with a pair of tracks that plumb darker depths. 'Agalma IV' is most impressive, pitting seismic rhythms against Lowe's haunting vocals. Another clear standout is 'Agalma VII', which features Bashar Suleiman, Elvin Brandhi & MSYLMA and conjures up a truly otherworldy mood with disembodied vocals and santur sounds peering through temporal mists.
McDowall's original title for the album was "Ritual Music" and that makes perfect sense; these tracks all feel devotional, meditations on a lifetime in music. McDowall has spent his career devoting himself to musical progression and supporting the scene and this collection of tracks feels like a celebration of that career; an otherworldly trip into an alchemical zone that should appeal to soundtrack obsessives as much as industrial music completists.
Have you ever skanked in chaps? If u know, Bukez Finezt and NGHT DRPS have got you as Two Rangers for Mala’s Deep Medi.
Referencing Jamaican music’s classic obsession with Westerns, but in a south London style, German dubsteppers Two Rangers rub out something like Morricone at Zomby’s gaff in the title tune’s grimy digi-dub, and the duel scene drama of ‘Dusty Plasma’, while ‘Leng Pon Sirius’ goes off on a hard stepping Jon E Cash grime angle, and ‘The Marble’ looks to the skies on a mystic Mulder skank.
Neuzeit, which German electro-acoustic composer J. Peter Schwalm views through his new duo outing with the Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen, is generally taken to refer to the modern era that began in the 16th century and witnessed the rise of Western Civilization.
"Schwalm chooses to take the term on its face, however; the fusion of “new” and “time” he defines as a period marked by sudden and drastic change. To borrow another word from the German, it ably yet dauntingly captures the zeitgeist of our tumultuous moment, one in which political upheaval, global pandemic and catastrophic climate change seem poised to usher in an uncertain new existence."
Very necessary reissue of NWW’s industrial hypno-mambo trip, riddled with proper studio alchemy by Colin Potter, and newly expanded with alternate remix of ‘Subterranean Zappa Blues’. A massive RIYL Pan Sonic/Liima, Muslimgauze, Danny Hyde/Coil, Toresch.
Recognised as Nurse With Wound’s most rhythm-driven outing, ‘Rock ’n Roll Station’ is a swaggering head full of avant rock that renders a warped studio dialogue between Steven Stapleton and his studio spar Colin Potter, who regards the album as his favourite work with the legendary group.
The album came about as Stapleton and Potter returned to the work on ‘Colder Still’ from their first meeting, 1992’s ‘Thunder Perfect Mind’. With extra percussion, instruments, loops and studio animated magick, they mutated its selection of dry but sexy, swivelling grooves and pranging psychedelic touches into a bizarre and steeply hypnotic hour of music that distilled the spirits of the King of Mambo, Pérez Prado, ‘60s British R&B organist Graham Bond, and Gallic avant rock star Jac Berrocal in a grinding, rhythmic style that ran perpendicular to all that as much as the electronic dance music at the time with which it was erroneously, contemporaneously compared.
As Stapleton explained in 1995: "This album arrived somewhere after a dream meeting of several individuals, Graham Bond, Joe Meek, Jacques Berrocal and myself. After a few beers and a heated discussion of puncture repair we all lay down in a circle and point our penises at Venus, telepathic messages are sent out to Colin saying he can use the two golden microphones. He did, and here we are."
And here we are 26 years later, and ‘Rock ’N Roll Station’ is still beaming some of the most influential gear in its strange, nether field, running the kind of drily motorik, dubwise mechaniks that would later turn up in Pan Sonic and their killer solo works as Ø and Liima, and is surely paralleled in Danny Hyde’s work for Coil - with Hyde perhaps being the best analog for Potter’s role in NWW; an integral, if unquantifiable entity whose engineering really helps these classic works endure long beyond their conception, as he explained it to David Keenan in England’s Hidden Reverse: “What I sometimes did in the studio was to ‘over-use’ effects and processors to totally mutate a piece into something completely different”. Trust the results are staggering and not to be missed!
‘Love’ is the quietly stunning debut album by John Bence, following his thrilling vocal works for Yves Tumor’s label with a penetratingly expressive solo piano suite for his new home, Thrill Jockey. RIYL Terre Thaemlitz, Morton Feldman, Sun Ra
After making a shocking entrance with the ‘Kill’ 12” in 2018, all bets were on Bristol-based composer John Bence turning in a singular debut album, and expectations have been met, flipped, smashed with this low key extraordinary album of instrumental works. Clearly steeped in the classical world, but unstuck by convention, Bence proves an uncanny knack for nailing fleeting, ephemeral emotions in ‘Love’ with 10 succinct works that speak at the speed of thought; diffracting the pace and mood from rushing flurries of arpeggios to ponderous, Feldman-esque downturns with a striking profundity and timelessness that makes it difficult to even accurately place where or when it was made, if we weren’t told as much.
Drawing upon personal struggles with alcoholism and addiction, Bence deftly transmutes his life’s experience into an achingly sombre but ultimately life-affirming set of arrangements, each performed with such natural effortlessness and directness that it’s almost unsettling to be placed so deep in someone else’s thoughts, and especially so when held against the cold hard light of clarity that comes with sobriety. Trust one needs only a passing interest in piano music to become snagged by Bence’s train of thought, so make sure to act on instincts if the samples appeal, and you’ll be rewarded with a richly quizzical, ephemerally existential articulation for these self-reflective times and far beyond. Unmissable stuff.
Featuring Ryuichi Sakamoto, Mariah, Chika Asamoto, Jun Fukamachi, Yumi Murata, Hitomi Penny Tohyama, Yumi Seino, Kyoko Furuya, Kazumi Watanabe, Haruo Chikada, Colored Music, Akira Sakata, Yasuaki Shimizu, Shigeo Sekito and more.
"A major 2-LP exploration of Tokyo’s cutting edge 80s sound through the music of cult Japanese label Nippon Columbia and its Better Days imprint, selected by British radio presenter and DJ Nick Luscombe.For the occasion, WEWANTSOUNDS have teamed up with journalist and Japanese music expert Nick Luscombe who was granted rare access to the muchguarded Nippon Columbia’s vaults for a masterful selection encapsulating the fascinating sound of Tokyo in the late 70s and 80s.
The selection mixes electro, synth-pop, funk and ambient and features such artists as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Mariah, Shigeo Sekito, Juicy Fruits, Hitomi “Penny” Tohyama and Yumi Murata. The tracklist includes many sought-after rarities and hidden gems which have never been released outside of Japan and the set has been newly remastered by Nippon Columbia."
Pudel Produkte 33 is like a time machine back to homely MFOC ages when Rephlex' very own IG-88 used to be a resident at this very Hamburg club and MFOC-promoter Raf jokingly insulted Richard D. James (with the Aphex Twin standing right behind him, mind you).
"Blessed times indeed, which quad-ratschulz perfectly emulates with his exquisitely constructed aural body made of braindancing melan-cholodies and thrilling electro boogie. Ralf & Florian meet AFX in an elevator and do have some sto-ries to share. An EP so good you are asking yourself if the upcoming Remix EP can top that (hint: it can). Meanwhile, the dancefloor dictator issues a strict buying order! (Superdefekt)"
Max D’s Dolo Percussion supplies wigged-out, cut-up production to match the freestyle dynamics of Model Home’s Nappynappa and Pat Cain on their first shot for Future Times - think Yeah You meets Sensational and your RDA of psilocybin
As recently heard on their titles for Disciples, Model Home come thru with wicked and barely hinged bars on ’SE’, all heavily blunted in-the-mix and just about shackled by DP’s flinty, offset drums and whoozy electronic gunk. Mad as that may sound, it comes together as a sort of naturally punkish new route of rap that goes against the grain of current trends; embracing chaos and noise in a way that’s harder to explain if that’s all you know, but makes sense when considered in a vein of avant rap that reaches from Rammellzee thru Lil B and Sensational to Death Grips.
The agitation, frustration, and psychedelia of Model Home’s lives is palpable in their delivery, ranging from throttled convulsions to swaggering non-sequiturs and industrial voices, ruggedly reflected in Dolo Percussion’s reactive electronics and frayed rhythms - at best on the rattling gush of subconsciousness ’Topic’, and set to jagged electro-punk in ‘Broken Tees’; while ‘Omnipresent Love’ kills it on a cranky southern strut, and ‘Bag’ sees them drizzle in a chopped & screwed way.
Shackleton’s Tunes Of Negation ensemble return for a ceremonious 2nd album trip into expansive psychedelic terrain following their acclaimed first chapter with a pineal payload where Gurdjieff meets Conrad Schnitzler in deep dub space.
Regrouping Sam Shacketon, Takumi Motokawa and Raphael Meinhart, with Heather Leigh guesting on album highlight ’Naked Shall I Return’, Shackleton’s open-ended project continues to soar across musical borders with growing confidence in their astral clinamen that suggests themes of impermanence, rebirth, and transcendence. It's primed for gently getting out of your gourd and glyding the astral armchair highways in a way which has signified all Shackleton’s best work of late.
The six tracks are typically long enough to encourage full mind/body synchronisation and immersion, aligning your chakras in a slowly purposeful flow from the cascading organs and babbling drums of ‘Mountain and Waterfalls’, thru the spellbinding suspension of Heather Leigh’s possessed tongue in acres of Coil-esque synth plumes and militant snares on the outstanding centrepiece, ‘Naked Shall I Return’, with the rolling 15 minute epic ‘Impermanence’ illustrating Shackleton’s transition from dubstep pied piper to modern day shaman.
‘Like The Stars Forever And Ever’ is further evidence of mystic energy still out there in the ether between club music, the after-party-life, and lockdown bedrooms, and a sterling example of Shackleton's vital role in the fabric of contemporary electronic music.
Reissue housed in die-cut jacket designed by Peter Saville with infamous glass paper (or sandpaper) inner, and 7” ‘testcard’ featuring two tracks by Martin Hannett
The Durutti Column’s sublime debut album is back in circulation on vinyl for the first time in four years, presenting a definitive edition replete with the extra tracks featuring drum programming from Eric Random and a bonus 7” of two cuts from seminal producer Martin Hannett, who produced this album and many more for the legendary Factory label.
Not sure what we can add to the gushing rivers of praise for this record already out there?! Save possibly to say that in the 37 years since conception, Vini Reilly’s best loved album, The Return of The Durutti Column has clearly lost none of its evergreen charm and rarified Didsbury air. That’s possibly down to its timeless, fluid ‘simplicity’ and minimalism, or because of Martin Hannett’s future-proofing mixing desk trickery. But, either way it still floods your listening space with light and languorous, lushly introspective feelings that reams of artists have chased ever since.
Highly recommended? Essential!
By 1995 Kwaito was already a well established and distinguishable sound compared to the International House Remixes that preceded. The tempo was slowed down, Soulful vocal samples were replaced by catchy and repetitive hooks and versus sang in vernacular. The new hit sound had a template and studios worked around the clock to pump fresh releases into the demanding market.
"After the successful 1995 release of Import mixes Vol 4, The Groove City team behind the productions now decided to venture into the territory of Mid Tempo. They would craft an album for a young frontman with the help of Kwaito pioneer Oscar Warona, and without much trouble, the team had their first hit on their hands. Filling the boots of their cars with copies of the cassettes and taking the stock to various townships around Johannesburg the tape quickly circulated and sold out every new batch that was printed. Demand was high for the release but as with much of the music at the time, the fast paced demand for the music moved on. Without a follow up release Scotch failed to ride the momentum built by the debut and remained largely unknown although he is still in the music industry to this day.
Even with their first artist release being a success, the following years proved more difficult in reaching such a large audience for the Kaleidosound studio. With popularity for the genre growing, the simple templates for early classics were changing as Kwaito fused with hip hop. Rapping took over as the preferred vocals for the masses. Mysterious production teams and labels that served as guides for music lovers were eclipsed by frontmen and groups that could draw crowds. The fight for fresh sounds continued as the airwaves became the main battleground for artists and the more club oriented music was pushed back underground, eventually evolving into some of the earliest examples of Deep House seen on the continent. The Kaleidosound production team would finally strike gold again in 1997 when reviving Groove City for vol. 5 which acted as the debut for the newly formed group Chiskop. The group would become superstars of the new commercial era that followed, sparking solo careers for the members and creating some of the biggest hits the genre knew.
To this day Scotch remains one of the best albums to come out of the golden era of Kwaito. Although it was outperformed by other groups from the time it has a special place for those who knew it and can still be found as a treasured piece in many collections. The various people involved created a one off fusion of sound that has remained fresh for 25 years. Playful lyrics over floaty grooves resulted in favourites like “Jam Alley” which uses catch phrases from the beloved TV show and “Bafana Bafana” guaranteed to get the boys on the dance floor. Here you have these two tracks taken from the album pressed on a club ready Maxi Single for the Deejays"
If you purchased a snake plant, asparagus fern, peace lily, or what have you from Mother Earth on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles (or bought a Simmons mattress from Sears) in 1976, you also took home Plantasia, an album recorded especially for plants. Subtitled “warm earth music for plants...and the people that love them,” it was full of bucolic, charming, stoner-friendly, decidedly unscientific tunes enacted on the new-fangled device called the Moog.
"Before Brian Eno did it, MortGarson was making discreet music. Julliard-educated and active as a session player in the post-war era, Garson wrote lounge hits, scored the 1969 moon-landing and plush arrangements for Doris Day, and garlanded weeping countrypolitan strings around Glen Campbell’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” But as his daughter Day Darmet recalls: “When my dad found the synthesizer, he realized he didn’t want to do pop music anymore.” Garson encountered Robert Moog and his new device at the Audio Engineering Society’s West Coast conven-tion in 1967 and immediately began tinkering with the device.
“My mom had a lot of plants,” Darmet says. “She didn’t believe in organized religion, she believed the earth was the best thing in the whole world. Whatever created us was incredible.” And she also knew when her husband had a good song. Novel as it might seem, Plantasia is simply full of good tunes.
This release marks the first official re-issue of the long sought-after cult classic.Hearing Plantasia in the 21st century, it seems less an ode to our photosynthesiz-ing friends by Garson and more an homage to his wife, the one with the green thumb that made everything flower around him. “My dad would be totally pleased to know that people are really interested in this music that had no popularity at the time,” Darmet says of Plantasia’s new renaissance. “He would be fascinated by the fact that people are finally understanding and appreciating this part of his musical career that he got no admiration for back then.” Garson seems to be everywhere again, even if he’s not really noticed, just like a houseplant."
'Lux' is Brian Eno's first solo album for Warp Records and his first solo album since 2005's 'Another Day On Earth'.
It's an absorbing 75 minutes of slow moving, glassy harmonics, plangent piano keys and evaporating strings, all bathed in reverb and allowed to serenely waft about the space with a seemingly aleatoric logic. The album breaks down to four long sections, yet in the classic tradition of Eno's finest ambient works, once you've settled into its pace and space it becomes hard to tell where one starts and the other ends - much like the effect he intended to achieve with his iPhone app, Bloom, essentially a generative ambient music system - subtly expanding and dilating our sense of time and place with filigree alterations to sound-colour, spatial dynamics and and tantalising, allusive emotion.
Gothenburg trio Dark Horse present their new album "Listen". The band, comprising of John Holmström (piano), Alfred Lorinius (bass) and Mårten Magnefors (drums) recorded their second album in a remote cabin by the ocean in Norway, owned by Holmström's family. The natural sound of the album owes a lot to the relaxed surroundings and the result is some high degree of improvised music turning into collective composition as the music unfolds.
"The album recording took place at a very active spot in the trio's calendar, following extensive touring in Europe, Japan and their native country Sweden. The two days of improvising were edited down to highlights that easily fill an album's worth of quality listening and reveal what playing live brought to the three musicians: A natural ability to react to ideas, build on them and form coherent, compositional tracks on the spot. A task much easier said than done.
"We're a non-conceptual basement band all the way", laughs pianist Holmström. "We have been moving from free form music into collective composition and this is our pinnacle recording with that idea thus far. We just set out to play as honestly as possible and this is what followed."
A testament to the power of a fixed band unit developing over time, "Listen" comes across as a work by a group constantly keeping its nose to the wind when it comes to developing their music. The long-form opener "Allas Favorit" is a monumental piece building and releasing tension along its 12+ minute length. First single "Brutet Groove" assumes a fascinating, almost mechanic-sounding swing while assembling and reassembling the pieces of the puzzle, and the closing track "Fjäll-låten" gives us something of an ever-shifting sonic landscape in glorious colors, much akin to its name ("Mountain Song" in Swedish).
"That one [Fjäll-låten] includes some of the best musical moments of my life so far" confirms bassist Alfred Lorinius. "It's actually an edit of a 20-minute improvised sequence, and it has the real feeling of the band coming together and doing something new and fresh in the moment. I feel it's something you can revisit as many times as you like and there's always something to find in there."Dark Horse formed in 2012 after Lorinius joined Holmström and drummer Mårten Magnefors to complete the group. Things quickly started taking shape musically from there on, but the group took their time in honing their craft with a method they now refer to as "tryout development". Their self-titled debut album appeared in 2015 and the current We Jazz album "Listen" marks the first internationally distributed release for the trio.The roots of Dark Horse lay firmly in the buzzing creative music scene of Gothenburg, Sweden, where the members have close ties with local establishments such as the legendary venue BrÖtz, and the city's vast scene of highly-regarded musicians."
Dusky guitar 'n field recording compositions steeped in never-more-urgent contemporary environmental concern from master of the genre Mike Cooper. Touching and emotional, but never cloying - huge recommendation.
Mike Cooper's latest finds the veteran guitarist touching on familiar themes, exploring again his concern for people across the world threatened by rising sea levels due to global warming. To highlight these fears, he juxtaposes field recordings made in Pulau Ubin, Ko Phayan, Ko Lanta, Sri Lanka, Bangkok, St. Lucia and Martinique with charged playing that drips with emotion. Cooper's gleefully diverse catalogue hovers haphazardly between experimental ambient synthwork, humid blues and fuzzy tropicalia, but "Playing With Water" is a gentler, somber affair.
We're hesitant even to call the album "ambient" exactly - it's low key, but the pensive moods require dialed-in active listening. Influenced by a 1987 novel written by James Hamilton-Paterson, Cooper explores his global presence with worry, but not nihilism. His music is animal; it's living and interconnected, and completely unafraid of that fact. When he talks politically about floods, storms and drought, you get the sense that he feels this viscerally.
"We could quite possibly all be looking forward to an island existence in that future where all of our cities, or Wetropolis, will be floating worlds of Aquatecture and Aquaculture will provide all our food, powered by wind, solar or mechanical energy from the tides and the waves," Cooper explains in an accompanying press release. His eerie, weightless compositions are an apt soundtrack to this harrowing near-future reality. Huge recommendation.
‘Umwelt’ is a filigree elision of explorative electro-acoustic disciplines, forming the first collaborative release between two leading lights of avant-garde and experimental music
Acoustic alchemist Lucio Capece, sought after by everyone from Mika Vainio to Vlaislav Dely for his inventive talents, meets Ben Vida, one of computer music’s most interesting composers, in a suite of liminal and surreally absorbing works recorded over the past four years between Brussels, Berlin, and New York. Capece brings a unique versatility on bass clarinet, slide saxophone, cardboard tubes, analog synth and filter to Vida’s synthesis, sampling, and digital arranging, resulting in four pieces that get up the nose and and under the skin with deeply, rarified effect recalling works by Jim O’Rourke and the depths of the GRM archive.
The duo’s efforts are full of psychoacoustic, proprioceptive audness that almost gets us sliding off the chair with its mind-bending subtleties, whether crumpling time/space perceptions like liquifying tinfoil in the transition between iridescent rhythm and hypnagogic chamber drones in ‘Asmodea’, or doing the strangest things to our heads with the air-bending sorcery of ‘Umwelten’, and Rashad Becker-like off world psychedelia of ‘The Three Graces.’ Seeing Lucio play at a Berlin gallery 13 years ago was a quietly pivotal experience of experimental music for us, and this work with Ben Vida highlights the immanent power of his music in a way that still has our attention rapt.
Ned Lagin's Seastones is a pioneering electronic composition interweaving metaphors from nature, science, art and music and the origins of music. Reflecting the technology, science, modern art, new ecological awareness and optimism of the times and culture, Seastones embodies the history of electronic music by taking full advantage of tape music, analog synthesizers, and computer technology to create pieces that are dynamic, rich, and deep.
"Originally released by the Grateful Dead's Round Records in 1975, Seastones' reputation as a gem of electronic music was further enhanced by the celebrity of the musicians who contributed to the source material. Seastones musicians include Ned Lagin (processed piano, clavichord, organ, prepared piano, electric piano, synthesizers), Jerry Garcia (processed electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, voice), Phil Lesh (processed electric bass), David Crosby (processed electric guitar and vocals), Grace Slick and David Freiberg (processed vocals), and Mickey Hart and Spencer Dryden (percussion).
This new LP presents two crafted Seastones sets (Sets 4 and 5, 18 tracks) drawn from the entire Seastones composition and contains gorgeous extended processed vocals by Garcia, Crosby, Slick, and Freiberg, and beautiful abstract instrumental passages by Lagin and all.
Lagin is considered a pioneer in the development and use of minicomputers and personal computers in real-time stage and studio music composition and performance. He had classical music training in piano, counterpoint, harmony, orchestration, composition, and the history of music. Growing up in 1960s New York he was deeply influenced by modal and free jazz, and by modern art. Lagin studied jazz improvisation, arrangement, and piano and played in small jazz groups and a big band. Seastones was influenced not only by modern jazz and forms for improvisation, but also by Lagin's studies of early, Renaissance, and 20th century music. He was a touring, studio, and guest keyboard player with the Grateful Dead from 1970 to 1976.
Seastones composition began in 1970, while Lagin was attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1974, with a minicomputer and an E-mu modular analog synthesizer, Lagin was able to play a polyphonic keyboard and hybrid computer-controlled instrument, as well as create simple generative musical processes. The normal controls found on the analog synthesizer were customized to accept computer control and the system was large enough to input audio and control voltages from the other musicians' instruments. This means that the synthesizer controls which were processing the incoming audio from the musicians could be controlled by what the artists were playing. These control voltages and timing signals derived from the amplitude envelope shapes of what the musicians played, as Lagin puts it:
"... became the sources of modulation that are the imprints, the musical touch and articulation, personality and presence of each musician. Interweaving multiple musical identities within an interconnected group. Ensemble interaction and improvisation through instrument and compositional interconnection."
Each track on Seastones is what Lagin refers to as a "moment form". Each track is self-contained, like a sea stone on the beach, a moment in time full of feelings and meaning, an entire world unto itself. Again, Lagin:
"Each stone on a fragment from another place and time. Some are just one mineral, some made of many; some are crystalline; some magnetic; some meteorites from the birth of this solar system or the universe; some contain fossils of ancient lives and little life form's, their stories are imprinted. Ephemeral existence."
"Like real sea stones, the Seastones moment forms are each a placetime, a time island, a droplet of time. They are composed and synthesized and skeletal improvisational forms. Some moment forms are ideogrammatic; the communicate their own self-contained structure, each a sensuous object in and of itself. Some of the moment form compositions are individual, some are related."
"Some are metaphoric abstracted forms derived from geology, and natural history and paleontology, electronics and electricity, organic and biochemical synthesis, physical processes, mathematics, physics and quantum mechanics, language and linguistic structure, and different forms and perspectives from pictorial (and abstract) visual art (paintings - cubism, pointillism, impressionism, expressionism and color field). And some from the sea with tonalities that are complex ocean surface and deep wave forms and currents, with the superposition of many waveforms from many sources. Some moment forms are just one waveform cycle."
The BBC celebrated them, Jon Spencer produced them, records proliferated. And then in 2017, the honeymoon period passed; Cyril was alone. Within the same space-time, Cyril Bondi hit the road: Diatribes, La Tène, Insub Meta Orchestra, the most adventurous projects of the Geneva scene all included this percussionist in search of unheard beats
"Of all the Cyrils born in the city of Calvin (Geneva) at the dawn of the '80s, these two were bound to find each other. Two Cyrils like two dizygotic souls whose contingencies have brought their meeting forward. Cyril Cyril. A liberated hydra, born in this city of diplomats where Borges duplicated his rejuvenated ego in The Other (1972). A muezzin without borders, Cyril Yeterian came to the disheveled world through Mama Rosin, a three-piece that stirred the ghosts of the rogue bayou, the clammy Mardi Gras of some electric Louisiana. Soon, the world fell in love with their flair. The BBC celebrated them, Jon Spencer produced them, records proliferated. And then in 2017, the honeymoon period passed; Cyril was alone. Within the same space-time, Cyril Bondi hit the road: Diatribes, La Tène, Insub Meta Orchestra, the most adventurous projects of the Geneva scene all included this percussionist in search of unheard beats. He soon found an accomplice for musical prospecting, another Cyril in tune with his rebellious instinct. A guitarist and an accordionist, Cyril Y. took on the banjo, adding effect pedals to it to turn it into a puny bouzouki, an epic bağlama or a krar. Cyril B. cobbled some cannibal drum kit together, with massive jingle bells and tropical nut shells embedded in his marching bass drum.
For Cyril Cyril, music is a way of the world, a joyful decentration offering new keys to comprehend chaos. The point here has nothing to do with some globalized country excursion nor some gluten-free exoticism. Apart from tracing back the family pathway of some Lebanese dialect, Yeterian chants rhapsodies in French, the merciless terms of which say it all about coming insurrections. Certaines Ruines is thus a wordy lampoon of hoaxers, of neo-post-everything killjoys. Cyril Cyril know the superior power of suggestion, of temperance, of happy sobriety. A single word, a single cry can say a lot, as long as it is soulful. The sound of a duo reduced to its simplest expression: rhythm, a riff, a voice can bear within itself an infinitely luxuriant musical organism. Cyril Cyril, so real, so rich."
"Directly following an ambient collaboration with modular synth master Alessandro Cortini (Illusion of Time) and a club 12" with Roman Flügel as Noun (Meeting of the Minds), Daniel Avery finished a solo LP and spontaneously decided to release it with no advance hype.
"Love + Light touches on several sides of Avery's personality, delivering propulsive dance tracks as well as reflective experiments, and diverting into other modes that he hasn't explored as frequently. "Dusting for Smoke" and "Dream Distortion" are prime examples of the type of hissing, hazy techno he excels at, with heavy, pounding beats and tense, dreamy synth textures, all fine-tuned for major club impact. "Darlinnn" keeps up a steady beat but builds much more gradually, working up to a frothy peak and then simmering down. Surrounding all these tracks are experimental pieces like the distorted drone of "London Island" (echoing his work with Cortini) and the gentle, floating harp interlude "Katana." "Searing Light, Forward Motion" takes things in a much harsher direction, with clattering, distorted breakbeats reminiscent of Christoph de Babalon or DJ Scud, and furious acid synths sounding like an angry robot on the rampage. "Infinite Future" is much more serene, with shoegazey synths gliding over a slightly jittery post-dubstep beat, and other tracks like "Into the Arms of Stillness" and "A Story in E5" dip into swirling, tenderhearted downtempo IDM in the vein of Casino Versus Japan or Freescha. "Fuzzwar" is in a similar vein, yet somehow it's one of the least fuzzy-sounding tracks on the album. Wrapping it all up is "One More Morning," a light, shimmering electro piece perfect for greeting the sunrise. While Love + Light feels a lot rougher than Avery's first two solo albums, and initially takes a few more listens to fully appreciate, it's just as inspired and creative."
Transfixing field recordings of folk ballads and buzzing, polyrhythmic dances from central and southern Madagascar, a unique place in the Indian ocean (the 4th largest island in the world) where myriad cultures from Arabic to East African and Indian have historically combined into an inimitable musical language and spirit...
“This is Sublime Frequencies’ second volume of transcendent musical field recordings from central and southern Madagascar, produced by Charles Brooks. Like the grand beauty and wonder of its flora and fauna, Madagascar’s music is completely unique. Whether the tempos are fast with polyrhythmic precision or slow in the form of a Kabosy ballad, once one gets familiar with its sound, it can never be mistaken again. Charles Brooks has been traveling to Madagascar and living with these spectacular artists for many years and has managed to document countless examples of their work, and regardless of how formal or informal a recording is made, the results always turn out magical. The following is an excerpt from Brooks’ liner notes:
The musicians on this album are storytellers and much of their craft is improvised and has a strong foundation of expertise in their respective cultural traditions. These field recordings have been collaborative from beginning to end and here, I’ve attempted to represent the finest of these talented artists. Their music journeys across endless landscapes with some movements having the qualities of a start and finish and yet no apparent end… Seeking, recording, and sharing the intangible experience, the best of all of this, is to catch a ghost.
Charles G Brooks (2018)”
Autonomic synth-pop by Donato Dozzy and Eva Geist, expanding on the retro-futurist allure of Dozzy’s Men With Secrets album with a full LP of needlepoint arps and laser-guided grooves landing somewhere between IDIB, dBridge, and Italian potpourri.
“Raster presents »Il Quadro di Troisi«, a project by Andrea Noce (Eva Geist) and Donato Scaramuzzi (Donato Dozzy). The record is a colorful ode of an Italian scented vision, overflowing of details and profound intensity. The contemporary world condition, the pandemic in Italy and around the world define »Il Quadro di Troisi« as a unique and right-on-time release.
This record is a enigmatic collaboration between the two Italian natives Andrea Noce and Donato Scaramuzzi. Andrea Noce takes lead on the vocals, with Donato Scaramuzzi carving the dreamlike soundscapes of the record. The record was born with a correspondence between the two artists about the late actor and director Massimo Troisi, and this exchange soon became an inspirational source of identification. Andrea Noce’s lyrics are sensitive and multi-faceted, they perfectly cling to the musical phrases and flow like a filmic monologue from the oeuvre of that very Troisi.
In a highly creative and confident manner, entire decades of national music history are comprehended and transformed into the here and now. The record takes its cue from the italo-disco, synth pop tradition corroborated by the contribution of artists such as the legendary Twilight Music co-founder, Paolo Micioni, as well as Stefano Di Trapani who wrote »L’ipotesi«. With »Il Quadro di Troisi«, Noce and Scaramuzzi prove their eclecticism, and passion for their home country.
»Il Quadro di Troisi« is a collaboration between Raster and the Milan-based festival Terraforma. With this release, the first with a purely Italian focus on the label, Raster celebrates its long standing relation with Italy and the Italian audience, encapsulated in the label's project ›Electric Campfire‹ held in Rome for ten years. Terraforma is an international experimental and sustainable music festival taking place since 2014 in the park of Villa Arconati, where Dozzy has been invited at every edition in different forms, DJing, live performing both in solo and with Voices from the Lake (together with Neel).”
‘Sign’ is Autechre’s first new album-album proper since ‘Elseq’ and contains some of their most emosh compositions in eons, perhaps since ‘Tri Repetae’.
Practically pocket-sized in comparison to their sprawling torrent of live material and radio recordings in recent years, ’Sign’ is a return to the sort of concision found circa ‘Exai’ and their earlier albums. Effectively they’ve gotten better to grips with their live set-up, and the hyper ideas found in their work-in-progress demonstrations on the five volume ‘Elseq’ and 8hrs of ‘NTS Sessions’ have been refined into moments of crystalline ambient baroque beauty and liquid-limbed swag on ’Sign’.
After their music has undergone what could be called a growth spurt in recent years, the acrid plasma of their complex, hyper-inorganic systems feels to congeal, create more intricate snaps across the album, from the lush cosmic collisions of ‘M4 Lema’, to the rhizomic arp weaving on ‘F7’, while refining their tendons and muscle in the gyrostep of ‘au14’ and ‘such.mefd2’. The anthropomorphisation of their synthesis accelerates with the album’s 2nd half with the elegiac catharsis of ‘Metaz form8’ displaying a greater emotional intelligence, while their shapeshifting synthesis grows semblances of glowing hair and teeth and skin in ’th red a’, and even a plaintive human heartache in the systolic thud and bloo pads of ‘psin AM’ that rawly bleeds out in the album’s future classic closer ‘r cazt’.
This LP was hinted at by Autechre as one of two albums ready for 2020, so we’ll take it this is their “U Ok Hun?” one to some possibly more hardcore turns in the future. Have it.
It´s safe to say that after 25 years Motorpsycho has cemented their position as an institution in Norwegian music, no rock band has even been close to achieving the same status when it comes to longterm quality, credibility, integrity and respect.
"For most of the recording sessions the core trio was augmented by guitarist Reine Fiske. Best known for his work in Swedish psych-combos Dungen and The Amazing, Reine is an old acquaintance of the band, and his recent exploits with Ståle Storløkken's Elephant9 had made the pairing seem like a potentially interesting one for Motorpsycho as well. So well, in fact, that he tagged along for most live shows as well as the recording of the new magnum opus "Behind The Sun".
With nine tracks clocking in at just over an hour, the album also brings the "Hell, Part 1-3" from "Still Life With Eggplant" to a conclusion (?) with "Hell, Part 4-6" and the closing track "Hell, Part 7".And as with "Still Life With Eggplant" the recording was done in Brygga Studio in their hometown of Trondheim where they had recorded a few of their first albums (“Soothe”, “Demon Box” and “Timothy's Monster”) some twenty years ago. Guests this time, in addition to Reine Fiske, is Ole Henrik Moe on viola and saw and Kari Rønnekleiv on violin, both known from their Norwegian Grammy winning album "Ciaccona/3 Persephone Perceptions" (RCD2068) from 2007.
Nearly three decades since it was created, The Durutti Column's "lost" fourth album is finally issued - with Factory Benelux catalogue number 36, and all.
According to legend, the original album was scheduled for release on Factory's Belgian subsidiary but an executive decision from Tony Wilson shelved it in favour of 1984's 'Without Mercy'. Darla Records have picked up the thread in reverent fashion, commissioning a prime remaster, and new artwork from Crepuscule designer Benoit Henneber.
Some tracks have appeared on Crepuscule's beautifully curated compilations over the years, but ultimately this is a real missing gem from the early Factory era: those skeletal drums, the sparse daubs of synth and violin, or Vini's iconoclastic virtuosity, and just the feel of the pieces, all transporting us to some high-ceilinged apartment in Brussels or Didsbury with the hum of hash in the air. For Manchester old-timers, Balearic types and dream pop lovers, this record is hugely recommended.
'Translate' is the first solo artist album in six years from Norfolk synthesizer specialist Luke Abbott: a strikingly direct and assured return to the solo music-making game following a productive diversion into live improvisation with his experimental jazz trio Szun Waves.
"At times dark and ominous, others bright and welcoming, these eleven electronic vignettes form a dramatic and undeniably cinematic body of work which functions as a fitting widescreen soundtrack to our new now.
The lumbering rhythms, strident synths and distinctive touchstones of 'Translate' represent a musical reconciliation with the directness of the wave-making rolling synth-kraut of Abbott’s forthright debut 'Holkham Drones'.
Newly-reinvigorated and with a new sense of musical purpose, this is Luke Abbott’s sound fully realised and never so sure of itself."
Rabih Beanih's Morphine presents another head-mashing set here, this time from Egyptian experimental ensemble PRAED Orchestra!, who cross shaabi and mouled forms with psych rock, free jazz and wyrd world electronics.
Since 2006, Raed Yassin and Paed Conca have been experimenting with a fusion of Arabic popular music, free jazz and experimental electronics. This latest set finds the duo operating with eleven additional players (including Alan Bishop, Nadah El Shazly and Sam Shalabi) as an orchestra, exploring the popular Egyptian genre shaabi and traditional trance music mouled. Each of the set's seven tracks weigh's in at between ten and twenty minutes, giving time to let each sound and phrase breathe life into the waves of repetition and sonic investigation.
Familiar percussive patterns loop into a psychedelic infinity, while washes of synth, sax and organ wobble hypnotically. Occasionally, funk or jazz elements move into the center stage and occasionally we're reset into pure splatter-core synth experimentation. At all times, the PRAED Orchestra! retain a playfulness that distances it from fussy, dull improv and connect it more concretely with the omnipresence and populist thrust of shaabi. We might not be able to travel far very easily right now, but "Live in Sharjah" is a tidy outerzone voyage that should almost make up for it.
Sea-legged, lamenting electronics from Australian artist Shaun Leacy’s Suburban Cracked Collective, snagging neatly with A Colourful Storm’s more doleful post rock, noise and ‘tronica whims
‘Swimming Amongst The Dregs’ follows the similarly cheerfully titled ‘Private Failings’ (2019) for No Confidante Dictae Recs. with a selection of sunsore melodies and cracked textures wrested from lo-fi instrumentation and hypnotically set in cranky DIY electro-acoustic parameters - sounding to us like the wordless rantings and clanging of seaman slowly unravelling on a rusty vessel, with a wheezing accordion plus spanners and the galley’s whisks for percussion.
Re-mastered 2010 album from Bobby Bird’s Higher Intelligence Agency
Picking up where Bobby Bird’s Birmingham based unit left off in 2000 on a collaboration with Biosphere, the ‘Discatron’ EP takes its title from a unique portable 7” vinyl player invented in Birmingham in the ‘60s, and follows thru with a charmingly retro-futurist sense of nostalgia for the mid ’90s, back when HIA were regulars on Warp’s seminal ‘Artificial Intelligence’ series, and often heard in chill-out rooms and gouchy afters across the UK and beyond.
The five tracks smartly find their find in a new world that can’t get enough of that early ‘90s ambient promise, rolling from the title tune’s supple slow acid and the wavier 313 bent of ‘3P,’ to the slow settling harmonic hues of ‘Colourmotion,’ a shine-eyed kiss of AI lushnuss in ‘B-theory’, and a crunchier Autechrian downstroke on ‘Sound Matter.’
Reissue of Brian Eno’s 1992 album dedicated to Russian artist and friend Sergei Shutov, and a continuation of the atmospheric ambient work found on records such as On Land and Thursday Afternoon.
Eno had discovered that Shutov often painted to his music but was unable to obtain many of his records in then-communist Russia. He resolved to collate a tape of previously unreleased material (recorded between 1985 and 1990) to give to Shutov and upon listening himself discovered a previously unnoticed thread that ran through the pieces, creating an unintentional full length work. Each piece is named after and derived from one of Eno’s audio-visual installations.
Resina’s soundtrack to the latest release from the cult videogame, one of the most popular tabletop RPG games in history. The video game came out in September and Resina’s soundtrack is released on Polish label Coastline Northern Cuts in collab with FatCat.
"Signed to FatCat’s pioneering 130701 imprint, Resina has steadily been making a name for herself through her striking, emotionally-resonant recordings and her powerful live performances. Her sophomore album ‘Traces’ was released in July 2018.
Besides this soundtrack, Resina is currently working on a new solo album and two collaborative albums - with Christina Vantzou and Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch"
Playfully calculated rhythm trips from mysterious Berlin project, Pretty Sneaky, vibing out a heady brew of Ethiopiques-like keyboards and slippery rhythmic intricacies
This 6th edition of the series follows Pretty Sneaky’s extended away-day on Mana this summer with five tightly tucked strips of rhythmelody “on the quest for non linear grooves,” with results that could almost be Mohammad Reza Mortazavi on an Ethiopiques jazz tip, but it’s really anyone’s guess as to who’s the whiz in charge of the sticks and buttons here. Are they even sticks? Is this sequenced or played? Tight either way.
Late Japanese free improv legend Toshinori Kondo goes toe-o-toe with Moscow’s jazz-punks Brom in white hot shots of shredded trombone, drums and electronics
‘The Sea Is Rough’ throws it the fuck down with rabid discipline, ganging up diesel-spitting bass revs and freely psychedelic rock caterwaul in the first, before reeling off into atonal bluster and muscular jazz-rock rhythms in the second part, only for the band to drop out and leave Kondo flying in the cavernous space left by their free improv tornado.
Reissue of Brian Eno’s 1992 album which found him returning to a more rock-oriented sound, albeit skewed through an aesthetic that is simultaneously playful, funky and claustrophobic, and featuring a mixture of vocal and instrumental excursions. Includes contributions from Robert Fripp, Robert Quine and John Paul Jones.