Excellent, effervescent, charmingly whimsical, Kate NV’s solo début для FOR is a lovely album of rhythmelodic percussive pointillism and splayed choral vox recalling the sweetest sides of FAY, Visible Cloaks, D.K., Steve Reich or Jameszoo.
“Over the ten, symmetrical pieces of 'для FOR,' Kate NV scores her native Moscow environment with just enough whimsy to gurgle through the city cracks and grow psychotropic foliage. On her sophomore album, each sound assumes its own personality, moving through the album metropolis like miniature, mutating molecules viewed from NV’s apartment window.”
A star of multiple Music From Memory comps and reissues, Michael Turtle turns out his first new material in decades with the hypnotic charms of ‘Middle of the Road Less Travelled’ for Light Of Other Days
Penned in cooperation with LOOD’s HOVE, who was blown away by Turtle’s Are You Psychic? 12”, Middle of the Road Less Travelled emerged after the pair realised they only lived miles away from each other in Basel and Zurich, and a collaboration seemed like the natural thing to do.
The results of their efforts are as seductive as anything on Turtle’s MFM sides, but with the added light of HOVE shimmering across each cut; from the taut but fluidly rolling percussion and FM synths of Greatness in the Catapult that swaggers and sways across the A-side, to more tender, percolated ambient pads, chiming gamelan, and breezy country influences on Horses and Hippos, and finally the mellow canter of Agallo (Real), featuring perfectly enunciated vocals by Lucian Lassalle.
Greece’s Into The Light dive 20 years back into the archived treasures of Angelo Ioakimoglu, coming up with a lush haul of pearls and shimmering grooves informed by deep house, D&B, boogie, ambient 4th world styles
“Into the Light continues its journey to unearth and update overlooked Greek music. This time focuses on a smooth, warm, youthful yet intelligent work that finds effortlessly its place in the tiny Greek electronic scene of the mid 90's.
"The Nireus Years" is a rare selection of eight unheard home recordings produced between 1995 and 1997 by the then 16-year old Angelo Ioakimoglu in Athens. The album encompasses his most special productions ranging from bucolic new age to dubbed out midi electronics, jazzy r&b to Mediterranean ambient trance!
Angelo was born and raised in Zografou area of Greece's capital in 1981. It was there where his father had a typical 80's electronic lab and it was that specific environment where Angelo spent most of early childhood. A first attraction for electronic musical equipment was developed that very soon became a passion for hunting down used pieces of gear soon to form the basis of his well equipped bedroom setup.
During his teens, his connection with music was either practicing the piano at home or listening to the most recent dance hits at his uncle's place who happened to be a professional DJ. Big part of Angelo's demos around that period is driven by those two aforementioned worlds. But there were moments of escape. Moments where the music went for the unexpected. Leaving the producer following a solitary path where he could express his teenage dreams and fantasies...through extensive midi programming, live keyboards mimicking string, brass and steel instruments and sampled portions of his live percussion burst.
Angelo's work, which can sometimes seem naive or surrealistic, is supported by his unique and surprisingly energetic approach, one that gives us the courage to continue something different.”
CV & JAB is Christina Vantzou and John Also Bennett, two artists that might already be familiar to many of you from their individual work over the years for the Kranky and Spectrum Spools labels. Together they have made this slowly engrossing album for Shelter Press - who else - perhaps one of the most elusive, uncanny and multi-layered “Ambient” albums we’ve heard in what feels like a long time, a worthy follow-up to a frankly astonishing sequence of releases on the label that started with Felicia Atkinson’s modern classic 'Hand In Hand'. If you’re into anything from Chris Watson’s field recordings to Vangelis and Badalamenti at their most romantic and evocative, or even Boards of Canada’s early forays into wildlife documentary pastiche, this one will sooth your mind like nothing else.
The album is a musical interpretation of Thoughts of a Dot as it Travels a Surface, a 90m panoramic wall drawing by Zin Taylor (a reproduction of which is included as a fold-out poster that comes with the vinyl edition). Through 10 tracks they render beautiful electro-acoustic meditations on the passage of time, which follows-on from their co-work on Vantzou's No. 3 album.
Vantzou brings a wealth of experience working between auditory and visual mediums to John Also Bennett’s synthesized and acoustic sound sensitivities, which have recently applied to his action in the Forma trio and a compilation of Pauline Anna Strom’s amazing Trans-Millenia Music for RVNG Intl, with a purposefully slow and immersive flow of acoustic piano and flute wrapped up in remarkably plasmic, spatially detailed synth contours.
In 10 parts, through a combination of literal track titles and abstracted allegorical inference, they describe the movement and feelings evinced by Zin Taylor’s massive tableaux, variously transposing his imagery of Cactus with Vent into webs of crystalline harmonics that acquiesce to brownian motion, or, as with the transition of Alfred Hitchcock Haze to Rock House With Door, a vividly synaesthetic transcription of figurative drawing to brooding, doomily Lynchian sound that brings to mind a wealth of captivatingly dank and alien imagery.
The vinyl package includes a miniaturised print of Zin Taylor’s Thoughts of a Dot as it Travels a Surface to peruse while you listen, so that you, like Christina and Bennett, can also make your own interpretation, and see how far their sonic translation differs with your own. Or then again, you could ignore it entirely and let yourself drift inside their free-formed dimensions without the cues. Either way, you’re in for a beautiful, open-ended and unpredictable trip.
1980: it was the dawn of a new age. Built on the broken backs and bodies of those who had hoped and dreamed for a better world, the 80s made it clear: that world wasn’t coming.
"A generation and more plunged into the abyss. But what of Death? The Hackney brothers were no different from anybody else - in the heat and tumult of the 1970s they’d seen that new world coming. They’d raised their voices righteously, transforming with outrage and hunger their all-in-the-family power trio Rock Funk Fire Express into the legends called Death. The combination of Bobby and Dannis’ pile-driving rhythm, older brother David’s hard-rock guitar leads and an effervescent combination of lyrical angst, missionary zeal and vision-spirit were an unknown hybrid on the African-American side of Detroit in the mid-70s - and everywhere else, for that matter.
These were the sounds the world knows today as ‘For The Whole World To See’ - but at the time the brothers managed only to selfrelease two songs on a basically undistributed 7” record, which caused no label anywhere to express any interest in a record deal for the band called Death. Stung by the indifference, they reconsidered their position. The three corners of their personal cosmic triangle hadn’t been enough to realize their Death ambitions. It was time for The 4th Movement.
Death had plenty of existential / spiritual elements to them; a desire to know where they stood in the big picture was always key to the Hackneys’ musical ambitions. As The 4th Movement they would direct all those inquiries to Christ. But the raw spirit of Death was still the driving force behind the music; the sound of The 4th Movement captured the trio with rough-hewn intensity as they reached new heights of composition, creating an album-length set of songs that verged on Punk / Christian opera. It would be years before it would occur to any other musical act to try such an outrageous thing. Recorded in their new home base of Burlington, Vermont and released by the group on their own Tryangle Records imprint, ‘The 4th Movement’ was destined for privatepress notoriety in the world that was coming.
But in the world in which the Hackney brothers were striving to be heard, The 4th Movement was the second seismic rumbling of Death. The 4th Movement LP was followed by several years of gigs, a single and a second self-released album. After all the time spent on both bands, the love revolution appeared farther away than ever, so David called it quits and returned to Detroit, taking with him the wild dreamer’s visions that had been so central to their direction. Bobby and Dannis stayed in Burlington and put down roots, starting families and forming Lambsbread, developing a local fanbase for whom they played regularly, until Death came calling again in 2009. The records that they’d made all those years ago had drifted first into obscurity and then into high-priced collector’s notoriety - an equally obscure destination."
2nd of two killer 7”s by Istanbul’s premiere avant-jazz unit, a partner piece to their Ornate Coleman tribute
Up top, they play it fiercely cool with alto sax and trumpet keeping their head amid flying, white hot percussive shrapnel in Z-Bop Part.I, and sharting right thru into the Part.II on the B-side.
Proper, ragged rug cutters for the jazz dancers, then.
Abul Mogard's first new solo album since 2015’s ‘Circular Forms’, a staggering suite of widescreen landscapes painted in self-built modular synth strokes. Hugely recommended if you're into Alessandro Cortini, early OPN, Coil, Brian Eno...
Above All Dreams is Abul Mogard’s beautifully absorbing new album for Ecstatic, deploying six longform pieces for the most expansive solo release by Mogard to date. Taking into account its intangible divinity and cinematic quality - the result of no less than three years diligent work - it is arguably elevated to the level of his master opus; presenting a modular distillation of Mogard’s most intoxicating strain of hauntology.
Consistent with Mogard’s music since the sought-after VCO tapes c. 2012-2013, the allure to Above All Dreams lies in his ability to evoke and render feelings which are perhaps purposefully avoided in more academic echelons of drone music. Rather than a purist expression of physics thru maths and geometry, Mogard voices his soul, improvising on modular synth for hours, days, months and years in the same way a more conventional “band” develops group intuition.
While hands-on, the intuitive evolution of process locates a newfound freedom in his music that implies a recognition of the metaphysical or post-physical, while Mogard explicitly points to influence from the Brazilian music of Tom Zé, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Chico Buarque, whose approach to shape and density, or perceptions of light and delicacy, also go some way to explaining the ephemeral intangibility of Above All Dreams.
The results are best considered as the ephemera of non-verbal communications. From the gaseous bloom of Quiet Dreams to the opiated depth of Where Not Even to the starlit awn of Upon The Smallish Circulation, and through the B-side’s keeling, 16 minute+ panoramas of Above All Dreams and The Roof Falls, the power of Abul Mogard’s dreams above all transcends sound, feeling and physics in a truly remarkable way that evades words or concrete notation.
Varg empties the contents of his hard drive on Posh Isolation. Expect ambient hook-ups with Ecco2k, AnnaMelina and Vanity Productions...
“When the fight-or-flight response edges in—adrenaline coursing and perception wired—our behaviour is especially spiked by an emotional intensity. And with that peak comes a trough. It's a chemical freefall, just like a crush.
Presented by Posh Isolation, 'Crush' marks the beginning of the end for Varg's turbulent Nordic Flora Series. Getting us lost in an exhilarating maze of fainting beauty and breaks, the fifth piece of the series invites us to relish the harmony just as much as the dissonance.
Following on from the previous iterations of the series, particularly the widely acclaimed 'Nordic Flora Series Pt.3: Gore-Tex City,' the cast of collaborators remain familiar.
Some faces are more prominent on this occasion, while others were folded into the series for the first time at last year's Berlin Atonal festival where Varg's Nordic Flora program was unveiled.
The album's most tender moments arrive when the acoustic instrumentation and ambient ascents cross and tangle with the spoken word performances from AnnaMelina and Chloe Wise. They speak in lullabies of decadence. And the sincerity catches you out, tapering the rush, awakening the crush. When working with both AnnaMelina and Vanity Productions, the gentle details get scaled up for bigger arenas, the track signalling a kinship with last year's Yung Lean collaboration.
Tracing another kind of intimacy is a collection of deft and agile club-cursed tracks that set a new level of scattered cohesion for Varg. Spirited and biting, they bump and quake with a whiplashed gait, effortless af. Not surprisingly, Varg configures this side of 'Crush' alone, perhaps letting this stormy intensity out just the once in a mournful piece with Ecco2k.
True to the Nordic Flora Series, the artwork comes from American multidisciplinary artist Cali Thornhill DeWitt. The artwork is presented in collaboration with international copyright agreements. Our burning passions light diverse paths, and as the fragility of the heart is learned and lamented, then surely a cause to celebrate this fate comes?”
Raime mutate Eski grime, post-punk, R&B, dembow rhythms and a bank of YouTube ‘Fail’ samples on this killer twelve for Different Circles, big if yr into Jon E Cash, Rapid, Rian Treanor, Gabor Lazor, Low Jack, Photek's 'Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu'...
Raime reach a pivotal moment in their catalogue with the sidewinders of Am I Using Content Or Is Content Using Me?, their first plate for Mumdance & Logos’ Different Circles label and club collective.
After years of drilling their message home thru belligerent repetition, the crucial London duo here go fractiously febrile, ephemeral and non-linear, probing a certain sort of feminine pressure across four tracks drawing as much from grime, post-punk and jungle as afrobeats R&B and dembow rhythms, and cannily splashed with samples lifted from the kind of “Fail” videos that hog YouTube’s recommendations sidebar.
Taken in context of the dark humour and ‘ardcore hauntological spirit which binds all their work, the results form a radical rethink of the Raime sound allowing for more chaos, space and knife-edge vulnerability within their often chokingly tight productions. Where their previous productions may have felt like tunnelling into a dank rave at London’s core, their current sound better reflects the shifting mosaic of the city’s cultural, socio-economic and political landscape, effectively rendering a brutalist 3D gymnasium or in-progress construction site for their wickedly augmented ideas to cut loose, and quite literally embracing the failure, fleeting emotions and nerve-riding uncertainty that comes with the terrain.
In opener Some Things Can Happen, Just Like This they persistently switch the pattern from vaporous dembow bumps to synthetic chorales in a sort of mutant 8-bar dramaturgy, while Real People, Not Actors observes an everyday fine line between aggression and play with ravishing yet elusive 2-step design comparable to Total Freedom clashing Burial over post-codes or a broken fidget spinner.
The palpitating, rapid flux of Our Valleys Are Always Uncanny is more agitated and wild-eyed than anything else in their catalogue, perhaps imagining Skepta’s Stageshow Rhythm after the cast has left and the duppies come out to play, before The Nourishment Cycle wraps up razor-chopped samples and melodic percussion in a way that feels like witnessing a bleeding cross-section of the city come to life, all sinew and sawn-off syllables tessellating in suspenseful animation.
It’s thrilling, edge-of-seat music, a breath of fresh air that’s certain to flip presumptions of Raime on their head.
Princess Nokia - aka New York rapper Destiny Frasqueri - has been releasing music via YouTube and Soundcloud since she was in High School and catapulted herself to the next level with last year’s critically acclaimed rap opus 1992 ‘Deluxe’ - selling out venues across the globe and steadily gaining tens of millions of streams.
"Now, this shapeshifting emcee returns with a brand new collection of songs titled ‘A Girl Cried Red’, a self-described “emo mixtape” which will undoubtedly cement her place in the alternative underground as well as the hip hop world. “Black people created punk - the band Death was way before The Ramones,” she stated in a recent interview, “If you think about it, the wool has been pulled over our eyes. This is our shit. Very naturally, that’s why we return to it.” Drawing on influences as varied as the introverted acoustic sounds of Elliott Smith to the bombastic pop-punk energy of Paramore, ‘A Girl Cried Red’ showcases another fully formed side of Destiny that still taps into the uncompromising feminist ideology of Princess Nokia."
Para-dimensional folk suite by Glenn Donaldson (Jewelled Antler Collective: Thuja, The Blithe Sons, The Skygreen Leopards) originally penned in the psych-folk era c. 2005, and still sounding hauntingly timeless yet out of place in 2018
Recital’s Sean McCann says: “Between 2001 and 2005 Donaldson published a handful of discs under the names The Ivytree and The Birdtree. These boiled down and tanned the patient, outdoor ambiences of the long-form instrumental recordings. These were slow and pastoral and pensive songs, carried by Glenn’s haunting voice: my favorite of his work. Glenn recorded outside with field-recorders and mini-discs: in forests, headlands, and tunnels of the Bay area.
I grew up listening to his recordings – throughout high school and college in Goleta, CA. They spark many memories: driving around beach parking lots, dragging boomboxes into creeks, camping in the mountain valleys etc. I remember once driving 5 hours up to San Francisco with a group of friends to try and get into a Giant Skyflower Band concert (another Donaldson project). It was at a bar and we were under 21 – so we couldn’t get in, even after trying to bribe the doorman. As you can tell, very special places in my mind and memory. My fondness for The Ivytree never dissipated, and I always dreamed of hearing more material from that time, as I know how prolific the Jewelled Antler association can be.
On a whim in 2017 I reached out to Glenn and asked him if he wanted to publish a “best-of” The Ivytree as a limited LP. This idea blossomed and provoked Glenn to dig through his vast mini-disc archive, where he unearthed some forgotten jewels. The recordings were trickling in to my email – one by one, each better than the last… Ranging from the Robert Wyatt-esque piano ballad “Evil is Circular” to the gentle melancholy of “All the White Plumes” that could belong on Richard Youngs’ Sapphie. Unburdened Light carries on the warm breeze and innocence of the early 2000s CDr culture.
So our project then turned into publishing a new album of unreleased Ivytree recordings. A full circle youthful wish now ripens in my adulthood. I am honored to have stirred up the bees-nest to deliver you these tragically honeyed songs.”
Another sterling piece of improv history from Incus via Honest Jon’s, this time Derek Bailey’s spellbinding, teetering excursion with legendary percussionist Jamie Muir (King Crimson), who previously collaborated in The Music Improvisation Company. Less jarring, more wildly fluid and flowing into thrilling new spaces, from tribal rhythms to the kitchen sink…
“Percussionist Jamie Muir was a member of King Crimson during the recording of Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, in 1973. Staying less than a year with Robert Fripp, the Scot had already cut his teeth with another master guitarist, Derek Bailey, as part of the Music Improvisation Company, along with Evan Parker, Hugh Davies and Christine Jeffrey, whose eponymous 1970 album was one of the first releases on ECM. Muir and Bailey recorded Dart Drug eleven years later, in 1981.
There’s no shortage of great percussionists in the brief history of free improvised music but on the strength of Dart Drug alone Jamie Muir deserves a place at High Table. Unlike for example Han Bennink and John Stevens, though, you can’t hear echoes of any particular jazz drummer in Muir’s playing, even if he has expressed appreciation for Milford Graves (who himself sounded like nobody else who’d come before him).
What on earth did Muir’s kit consist of? Some instruments are clearly identifiable (bells, gongs, chimes, woodblocks); others could be… well, anything. Old suitcases thwacked with rolled up newspapers? Tin cans and hubcaps inside a washing machine? Who cares? It sounds terrific – but if you’re the kind of person who faints at the sound of nails scraping a blackboard, you might want to nip out and put the kettle on towards the end of the title track.
Dart Drug is consistently thrilling, and often very amusing – but it’s certainly not easy listening. In music we talk about playing with other musicians, whereas in sport you play against another opponent (or with your team against another team). Why not play against in music, too? That’s precisely what happens very often in improvised music, and Bailey was particularly good at it. How can a humble acoustic guitar hope to compete with a Muir in full flight? Sometimes Bailey’s content to sit on those open strings, teasing out yet another exquisite Webernian constellation of ringing harmonics and wait for the dust to settle in Muir’s junkyard, but elsewhere he sets off into uncharted territory himself.
“The way to discover the undiscovered in performing terms is to immediately reject all situations as you identify them (the cloud of unknowing) – which is to give music a future.” Bailey evidently concurred with this spoken statement by Muir, including it in his book Improvisation.
Derek Bailey is no longer with us, of course, and Muir gave up performing music back in 1989. All the more reason for seeking out this magnificent, wild album.
Very hotly recommended.”
Killer, overlooked proto-techno/kosmische from Düsseldorf, 1987, adding to a bevy of aces on Stefan Schneider far-reaching TAL label - already a home to records of Kenyan folk and Venezuelan field recordings.
Finally finding its audience on vinyl over 30 years since the original, self-made edition of 50 tapes, Arctica is a strong testament to the explorative experiments of Detlef Funder a.k.a. Konrad Kraft, whose homebuilt hardware sound attempted to bridge the clinical crispness of Kraftwerk and the psychedelia of Amon Düül with the density and force of industrial, post-punk and disco.
The cryogenically preserved results are a genuine oddity within their field and still sound remarkably future-proofed a whole generation later. Made using an 8-track tape recorder, a Mitec EX mixing desk, Roland JX3P and 808, Korg Monopoly, DX7, SPX90 and a Revox PR99, the 10 tracks of Arctica feel as though they’re fluidly in-between states; alternately vast, frozen, clear and melting with a rare tactility that would be further distilled into his run of razor sharp trance-techno output for the likes of Fragile in the ‘90s.
Emerging at the very start of his production arc, Arctica catches a sense of naive wonder from the man and his machines, rendering a lucid mind-flight that reveals from shockingly clear and detailed clouds of fizzing bleeps in Arc 2, to pieces which feel like huge glaciers beginning to fracture below your feet, and a number of pulsing, ruddy dancers that will be the biggest attraction to a lot of DJs digging that late ‘80s crevice between hardware experiments and early home computer efforts on the Amiga and Steinberg’s software sequencers.
Seriously, it’s just a no brainer for anyone into E.M.A.K., the more rhythmic experiments of Dome/Graham Lewis/Bruce Gilbert, or its modern antecedents in the whole Tolouse Low Trax/Offen Music/Valdimir Ivkovic axis.
Nurse With Wound rework The New Blocakders rare AF 1982 début, ‘Changez Les Blockeurs’ in a mechanically reclaimed reflux of the OG, as gruesome as McNuggets, and just as tasty.
For the uninitiated (or sensible-minded) listeners who are unfamiliar with The New Blockaders: they’re one of the cheeriest acts to ever emerge from Newcastle-upon-Tyne; a pair of siblings responsible for some of post-industrial/noise and avant-garde music’s greatest oddities, ranging from a severe collab with an early iteration of Coil, to pioneering cut-up recordings with Mixed Band Philanthropist, and even later recording for Prurient’s Hospital Productions. They’re basically certified noise music heroes (anti-heroes?).
As ever, NWW’as Steven Stapelton was way ahead of the curve in 1982, and the first person to pick up TNB’s début LP, which he subsequently distributed via United Dairies. 36 years later, he’s returned to that slab, seemingly with a hatchet and some steam-powered Victorian loom, to extract its guts and weave them into a sound which physically lives up the record’s title; Changez Les Blockeurs.
Across two sides, he hacks, splices and hacks up the OG in a tirade of frayed rhythmic complexity and decimated racket, at times sounding like a Saturday afternoon’s worth of striped geordies fed into a massive sausage grinder.
As grim as your life.
Stella Donnelly is a young songwriter with a knack for wrapping unapologetic, brutally honest lyrics with a soaring lullaby to mesmeric effect.
"With just one release to boot, last year’s lauded ‘Thrush Metal’, she has already garnered worldwide critical acclaim and has an undeniably bright future ahead. Full of sharp lyrical punchlines, Stella’s standout songwriting on ‘Thrush Metal’ is an empowering and relatable guidebook to life as a young woman in our age of Trump, Tinder and Third-Wave feminism.
First single ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ has been described by New York Times as “A delicate waltz [that] carries a bitter reproach to blaming the victims of sexual assault. ‘Why was she all alone/Wearing her shirt that low?’ she sings, and then her voice rises and roughens.” Written in late 2016, the track tackles society’s tendency to blame the victims of sexual assault and rape and making excuses for the perpetrators. This insightful account isn’t limited to ‘Boys Will Be Boys’.Take new bonus track ‘Talking’ which explores the ever-socommon feeling that you’re in a one-sided relationship from a distinctly millennial perspective and ‘Mechanical Bull’, a pithy but potent track that addresses the male tendency to persist unwanted sexual advances."
Kamasi Washington clearly doesn’t do half measures, as his sprawling 2.5 hour follow-up to The Epic proves in no uncertain terms. Prepare to immerse in a worldly but highly personalized bebop and jazz fusion style, brilliantly lit up by the main man’s searchingly expressive tenor sax for Young Turks
“Heaven and Earth is a double album containing 2.5 hours of new music. The Earth side represents the world Kamasi sees outwardly, the world that he is a part of. The Heaven side represents the world he sees inwardly, the world that is a part of him. “The world that my mind lives in, lives in my mind.””
The lush promise and spirit of mid ‘90s IDM deeply informs Darling’s ’Tulipa Moves’ for Young Marco’s Safe Trip
The latest in a highly endearing volley of 12”s from the enigmatic Amsterdammer, Tulipa Moves offers a welcome dose of melodic escapism articulated through classic hardware in a manner recalling classic AFX, Plaid, Kettel and loads of stuff that already sounded charmingly nostalgic in the ‘90s with echoes of Japanese electronics, new age ambient and minimalism also bubbling to the surface.
We direct you straight to highlights in the radar ping 808s, angel breath chorales and classic AFXian bassline of Tulipa, as well as the introspective shimmy of Free Hand, and the featherlite spine strokes of The M Song (Feat. Lexi) for the finest feels, and you’ll know exactly what to do next!
Martyn comes ruff, rugged, and emotional on ‘Voids’, his first album in four years, underlined with a signature knack for tactile bass and restlessly syncopated percussion
Voids is the first fruit of Matyn’s labour following a heart attack and recovery period which pushed the artist to rethink his music. During that time, the first album he properly paid attention to when out of hospital was Max Roach’s M’Boom , an album of heavily percussion-focussed arrangements whose space and production instantly struck a chord with the producer and seemed to resonate with his personal sonic ontology.
We can only imagine that whatever strife he was going thru was only compounded by the untimely 2017 death of Marcus Intalex, the D&B legend behind Soul:r and Revolve:r, who issued the earliest Martyn records c. 2005. After a surreal intro collage, Voids, he deals with those issues in the best way on Manchester, which reprises the swing and dubby depth of his early Broken/Shadowcasting as a fine tribute to the man and city before rolling thru some solid classic business in the acidic stepper Mind Rain and the tabla coda of Why, saving a melancholy moment of reflection for the dark blue modal jazz of Try To Love You, and ultimately resolving to a mix of raved-up feeling between the bolshy torque of Cutting Tone and the drizzly jazz abstraction of Dreamers.
Coil’s unearthly garden continues to bloom posthumously with the Astral Disaster Sessions - including a whole bunch of previously unreleased and rare cuts from the Un/finished Musics recordings finally seeing the light of day, transferred from analogue tapes onto Gary Ramon’s Prescription label a year after the remastered original sessions crept out on vinyl reissue.
Notoriously recorded in the former debtors prison-turned-Iron Maiden studio beneath the River Thames, on Samhain, 1998, the Astral Disaster Sessions - Un/finished musics serves a haul of previously unreleased or hard-to-find versions of tracks from the original Astral Disaster [1999/2016] LPs, which are widely regarded a seminal highlight of Peter Christopherson, Johnn Balance, Drew McDowell, Thighpaulsandra and Gary Ramon’s time together as Coil.
On the A-side you’ll now find swirling raga-noise meditation The Sea Priestess (Early Mix) next to a sublime, previously omitted Part 2 tract of The Mothership and the Fatherland, and a skinnier, plasmic Alternative mix of The Avatars, but we imagine the big attractions for Coil fiends will be the Instrumental mix of I Don’t Want To be the One, which was previously only found on a rare 1999 promo-only Prescription sampler, and most particularly the ghostly and invasively psychedelic 14 minutes of Cosmic Disaster, which was the original working title for Astral Disaster, and has never been released on any format.
Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s score for the new Lynne Ramsay and Joaquin Phoenix film ‘You Were Never Really Here’.
"Greenwood once again displays both beautiful and harrowing string arrangements performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra and experimental string player Olly Coates (‘Under The Skin’), married with experimental synthesisers, drum machines, recorders and guitars. This will appeal to fans of Greenwood’s previous work, including scores to ‘There Will Be Blood’, ‘Inherent Vice’, the Oscar-nominated ‘Phantom Thread’ and, of course, to fans of Radiohead."
No hype, this record is the maddest belter you’ll hear this year. A rinse thru three hundred and three acid cherries pitted and sequenced, tweak for tweak, into the only rave weapon you’ll ever need.
Taking Evol's obsession with Roland’s squelchy grey box to an ultimate, logical conclusion that leaves dancefloors turned utterly inside out and begging for track ID’s, it’s the kind of idea that has been floated in raves, smoking areas and afterparties for the past 20 years but has never been executed with such precise method and inexorable effect, until now.
Taking way too many classics to mention, EVOL modulate a cascade of liquified riffs that last anywhere between 1 beat and a few bars before shifting to the next pattern, and so forth. The cumulative effect of elastic undulation is mind-bending and body-jacking in the extreme, yet uncompromisingly crafted at the immediate service of the rave.
It feels as though much of EVOL’s practice to date, from mixes for FACT and Reel Torque, to their experimental objets for Alku and blasts for Presto!?, Diagonal and BUS have been leading to this point: the ultimate acid rave tool.
‘Surreal Air Fortress’ yields a series of liminal electro-acoustic enigmas and stark, poetic vocals by Chicago’s Coppice duo for Antwerp’s ever-probing Entr’acte label.
Cryptically weft from acoustic, studio-based recordings, digital production and processed field recordings, Surreal Air Fortress presents a suite of “songs for physical modelling and modular syntheses” by Noé Cuéllar and Joseph Kramer a.k.a. Coppice.
Melding sparingly used, solemn vocals with atonal sounds at oblique angles, the album carries itself with a dead curious mix of brute elegance and incisive abstraction according to a logic that’s brilliantly hard to unpick, and a strange pleasure to undergo.
The A-side’s Inside songs feel out three psychoacoustically probing scenarios ranging from a mix of David Sylvian-like vocals and ghostly, inverted industrial clangour in Privacy and Difference to the pure atonality of coils and fans fed thru an “inductive mixing table” on Surveillance, before the Sylvian-like vocals return amid a thicket of barbed guitar and prickling electronics in the charred rubble of The Wall.
B-side, the album goes to the Darkroom, gradually revealing three uncertain sound images that evolve from the bracing inharmonic distortion of Exposure to emerge ghostly from the murk of Solvent/Emulsion into what sounds like a fractured gothic torch song recorded by a shooting range in Wet Hologram.
Where so much music gives the answers before you’ve even asked a question, this album is a riddle within a riddle.
Kazuashita – the first record by Gang Gang Dance since the acclaimed Eye Contact in 2011
"It's an intoxicating mix of shoegaze and electronic ambience, all held together by Lizzi Bougatsos and her otherworldly vocal. Bougatsos, alongside founding members Brian DeGraw and Josh Diamond, formed the group as an improvisational outfit in the early 2000s, and have consistently worked to blur the boundaries between music and art; as comfortable today performing at the Whitney Biennial as they are at Coachella, and count Dash Snow & Nate Lowman, Tinchy Stryder and the Boredoms as previous collaborators.
Kazuashita was produced by DeGraw after recording sessions across several New York studios and art spaces, the band worked with drummer Ryan Sawyer (who met the band through the Boredoms’ BOADRUM project) and Jorge Elbrecht (who worked on additional production and mixing duties).”
Bogdan Dražić drops a volley of salty machine workouts on TTT following blasts for Giallo Disco
Trampling in wigged-out terrain between Eric Copeland, Muscleworks era James Feraro and Lutto Lento, the Dangnabbit EP flexes sinewy muscle in four parts, starting with the Troma horror-core funk of Nag Nubia, then spitting the gob of hacked muscle and screws called Goa, Goa, Gone, before yoking up the wonky-wheeled ride of Jack Dat Wabbit, and the swaggering jakbeat, Trip This Joint with X amounta madness.
The great Robert Lippok (To Rococo Rot) returns with his first solo album in seven years, Applied Autonomy for Olaf Bender's Raster. A survey of what he’s been up to, as much as a statement of intent for here and now, Applied Autonomy reprises the fine balance of tuff-edged minimalism, spatial illusion and melodic delicacy that emerged with Redsuperstructure , but ratcheting its effect with a renewed vigour for a frankly epic impact.
As the title makes explicit, Robert’s 3rd solo album is concerned with autonomy, which feels like an apt subject for the age of automation, when humans are increasingly negotiating their role in context of the machine and AI, and vice-versa. The systems Robert set up for Redsuperstructure now come into deeper relief, as he applies a greater understanding of their workings in order to eke out, sculpt their possibilities in his own image.
Much of the material came from improvisation and sketches made in preparation for his live shows. This quickfire process amassed a range of material which was then more considerately cut to shapes and layerd not applied Autonomy, which ranges from almost Rian Treanor-esque stutter drums mixed with dense yet wide atmospheres in his title track, and twisted across the album, from frenetic acid dancehall mutations in Varieties of Impact, to the meter-messing trance of Scene 3 which sounds like something Vladimir Ivkovic might play, and thru to the necessary, hoped for dose of emotive lushness with brimming optimism of All Objects Are Moving.
But he really saves some of the best for last in Samtal, a 14 minute piece recorded in duo - but not together - with Klara Lewis at EMS Stockholm, where we effectively hear two autonomous minds at work, making for a smart contrast with the singularity of the preceding tracks.
The surrealist scenes of ‘Bloody Sirens’ documents London-based choral ensemble Musarc performing three works by Neil Luck at Extra City Kunsthal in Antwerp, Sunday 3rd October, 2015
Luck’s 4th work composed for Musarc, following from Misty (2010), Namesaying (2013), and Any’s Responses (2015), his new piece Bloody Sirens is presented as a report from an imaginary baseball match which conceives of the singers as individuals, rathe than a singing ‘mayuss’, who read from a score that includes a skull and plenty of errors and ellipses.
Yet another singular release on the boundary-oblivious Entr’acte, Bloody Sirens presents avant garde compositions for vocals which are simultaneously timeless, ancient, yet up-to-the-moment, both democratic in organisation and collectively keening towards a framework familiar to the Slip label’s excellent vocal works by Object Collection and Laurie Tompkins, as much as a wealth of historical works.
Jamal Moss serves his 2nd Jai/Mahl 12” with ‘#DontjusttalkaboutitBeAboutit’ for Midnight Shift
Arriving in a most fecund phase for the Chicago badboy, this one doesn’t shirk on quality. The A-side comes with a spiky dose of Afro-cubist acid woven with his own vocals - a leitmotif of his work right now - on #Daretomatter, while #ICU locks into a rolling and sumptuously heady slice of deep house psychedelia that gets right under the skin, up yer nose, drawing eyes into back-of-skull.
B-side, he’s back to jack with something like a wild spin on early ‘90s KMS hardcore styles in the raving whirligig #Uwillnot, before coolly resolving with the title cut’s elegant, mid-tempo sashay.
An evening in a coffee house in Kyoto forty years ago has lingered fondly in the memories of those who were there. Now, the stellar performance of John Renbourn that night is available for all to hear on ‘Live In Kyoto 1978’.
"John Renbourn, along with his sometimes partner Bert Jansch (with whom he formed Pentangle in the 1960s), has been passed away for these past few years - but the music that he made continues to inspire, alongside the works of fellow travellers like Jansch, Davey Graham, Wizz Jones and John Martyn. Over fifty years ago, Renbourn and these men were at the forefront of the British folk revival as it mingled with the blues boom that was exploding at the same time.
Renbourn’s style mixed these traditions with classical, jazz, world and early music techniques and his picking was second to none. John made records and toured from the early 1960s until his death in 2015. His repertoire was vast and among the songs he played on this night at the Jittoku coffee house were pieces played at many of his concerts over the years, including songs by Reverend Gary Davis, Davey Graham, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Arthur Smith, William Byrd and Charles Lloyd.
‘Live In Kyoto 1978’ is a remarkable document of Renbourn’s talent spun out over an evening’s-worth of performances, during which his ease of playing left the audience speechless afterwards. The recording was made by the late Satoro Fujii, whose archive of recordings was discovered posthumously and have begun to see release in recent years. Satoro captured the performance with pristine detail, allowing us to hear the fine detail of John’s fretwork and the warmth and delight in the room as he played."
We’re not sure what strain woke Al Cisneros and Matt Pike to the idea of reviving Sleep as a recording entity, but we wouldn’t mind a toke.
Nearly 10 years since they returned to live scene, and over 20 since they more or less forged the stoner rock genre with ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Dopesmoker’, they remain a heavy proposition, now bolstered by percussion from Jason Roeder (Neurosis) who replaces Chris Hakius, while Cisneros and Pike venture into more proggy metal motifs.
Ok it’s not really the same Sleep, and it’s no Dopesmoker, but The Sciences still kicks in parts, most powerfully on the dread-fuelled trudge of Giza Butler, and more concisely in the billowing distorted licks of The Botanist.
Berlin’s Mechatok, one of the most nattered-about artists to emerge in recent years, caters to Lorenzo Senni’s Presto!? label with four effervescent spins on melodic dancehall and PointillisticT.
Practically taking on Lorenzo at his own thing, Mechatok keeps it perfectly icy and low-key with the simmering hustle of 12 Years, then stealthily starts to come up with the layered trance arps and choral voices of Skies Of Tomorrow, until the big room coda of All My Time takes us by the hand to a hard trance wonderland, or something, where the barely-there dynamics of Flee trace out the phosphorescent afterglow of a trillion garys in the fashion of an avian murmuration.
Big RIYL to fans of rkss, Pavel Milyakov, Lorenzo Senni, Kamixlo
Deep, jazzy twysts on a rooted house theme from Dawit Eklund, following up last year’s ace drum track session with Dolo Percussion, and the tripping broken beats of his ‘Ouroborous EP’ 
In all four parts Dawit entwines his East African heritage with heavy references to American house and funk with inimitable style. On Gravity that comes out in a wicked push and pull between earthy, grubbing drums and purple hued, ascendent G-funk licks, while New Life gets it up with a rolling mesh of dubbed out funk chords and gently cattle-prodded drums to get the best out of the dancers. Flipside, he takes that vibe more introspective with the loosely smudged hustle of Sufferation Dub, before Luna’s Melody hardly touches the ground in a very special turn of autotuned soul vocals with chromatic keyboard licks and wickedly pendulous, effervescent breaks designed to marionette dancers from the shoulders and waist.
Augustus Pablo fronts an allstar Rockers International Band on ‘Eastman Dub’ weaving woozy melodica, organ, piano and clavinet into skeletal riddims circa 1988.
A1 Only Jah Jah Dub
A2 Eastman Dub
A3 Look Within Dub
A4 Isn’t It Time Dub
A5 It Up To Jah Dub
B1 Big Yard Connection
B2 African Step
B3 Original Scientist
B4 Corner Stone (Chapter 3)
Filigree detailed, vaporous sound designs carved from the Yamaha ex5r from XIII for Turin’s Gang Of Ducks. RIYl Visible Cloaks, Haruomi Hosono, Japanese electronics
“Eocity is the result of a study on technological failure and the imagination of a non-existent urban landscape. This project features the use of a Yamaha ex5r, one of the first synths to ever implement VL synthesis.
The Yamaha Virtual Acoustic Synthesis tone generation was born to try to accurately emulate the complex vibrations and other acoustic phenomena of real instruments and their sounds within space, but the dubious results of this technology gave birth to something more.
Its output sound happens to be cold and synthetic while being also organic and warm at the same time, welcoming the listeners into a feeling of an artificial world that is neither digital nor analog.
In this world man is not around anymore and the binary language survived him, communicating with the rest of the natural environment, in respect of its laws and dynamics, becoming one indistinct entity.
Eocity is a place that exists in between the imaginary and the real one, gently oating as a digital tactile experience.”
ASC keeps moving forward with the rolling techno momentum of ‘Artefacts of Rotation’ following dispatch of two albums and 3 x 12”s already in 2018
At this rate of release, we’re practically hearing his work in various stages of refinement, and these four tracks feel like some of the most effortless examples of his grey area exploration.
From the elegance of Coriolis Effect to the subtle shuffle of Sidereal, thru the grumbling rolige of Sun Storm to the moire bleep lattice of Synodic, these are arguably some of the slickest, most infectious works from ASC in recent memory.
RIYL Jeff Mills, Mønic, Regis
New mini album from Sudan Archives.
"The violinist and vocalist writes, plays and produces her own music. Drawing inspiration from Sudanese fiddlers she is self-taught on the violin and her unique songs also fold in elements of R&B and experimental electronic music. Photography by Jack McKain with art by Stones Throw creative director Jeff Jank."
Space Age Recordings are pleased to announce the first official CD release of the album "For All the Fucked Children of This World” featuring Sonic Boom a.ka. Peter Kember (Spectrum / E.A.R.) and Jason Pierce (Spiritualized).
"This is the latest release in an on-going co-ordinated campaign which will see the complete Spacemen 3 catalogue re-issued.
For All the Fucked Up Children of This World” from the neo-psychedelic trio Spacemen 3 was first released as a bootleg record in 1995. The record consists of Spacemen 3's first ever recording session from 1984. The music itself sounds like a primitive version of what the group were to become; the dominating sound of the record is a slow, droning psychedelic blues performed with sparse instrumentation.
A drum set is matched with a pair of distorted electric guitars, all of which provide a swirling foundation for Jason Pierce's vocals. The album's liner notes replicated here are actually an early review of the band by Gary Boldie, where he contemplates the city of Rugby and finds it an odd source for this new sound, and he declares Spacemen 3 as the "all singing, all dancing answer to the problems of a grey 1985."
Repress of Andrés’ funky 2012 downstroke as DJ Dez for Japan’s Root Down Records
A-side swings out with funky positivity and old skool Detroit swagger for the Dilla nuts on New World, while B-side’s Brain is primed with slouchy soul chops bound to entice the KDJ and Mahogani Music fiends.
Sleep and weep, peops.
World premiere edition of Luc Ferrari’s incredible ‘Atelier de Libération de la Musique’ - a series of prescient, shockingly free-jazz styled improvisations recorded in February and March 1975 during rehearsals for the Concerts Électrovisuels at Pont F and Musée Galiera in Paris
Adding a whole new stripe of colour to everyone’s perception of music by Luc Ferrari - the fabled co-founder of the GRM, with Pierre Schaffer and François-Bernard Måche - Atelier de Libération de la Musique was, as printed on the LP sleeve, Ferrari’s self-stated attempt to “…free music from the constraints of style and aesthetics; to free the arts from the abstraction to train him for comprehensible actions; to be rather a craftsman of imagination.” And under these directives, Ferrari on electric organ, together with NWW-listed Martin Davorin Jagodic (electric piano) and Alain Petit (sax, flute, clarinet), plus Philippe Besombes (synth) realised this remarkable record which, somehow, until now, has remained unheard by the public.
Where we’re more used to hearing slow moving poetic tapestries or fleeting sceneries implying surrealistic scenarios from Ferrari, these recordings are more stripped down, verging on American minimalism, but too fractured to be called so. The A-side collects a number of succinct, enchantingly free and dynamic works ranging from windswept percussion and flute in the first, to passages of supremely playful, pastoral synth-jazz and elegiac melancholy, via a very Gallic passage of swaying, elliptical freeform jazz. On the other hand, the B-side’s parts are breezier, like someone opened a few windows in the room while Reich was developing his phasing minimalism, or as though Arthur Russell got lost in a trance while penning his Instrumentals, 1974.
For a Luc Ferrari record to surface like this is one thing, but for it to contain such gestures of beautiful genius, and so ahead of their time, like this record, is really quite special and unmissable.
Snarling, calloused techno rollers from Rommek
Making his 3rd outing on James Ruskin’s Blueprint with a robust pack ranging from greyscale ambient to the lockjaw trample of Obsidian, a tangy modular stinger named Rhyolite and the grungy workout of Scoria.
DJ Spooky raids the VP vaults for a rugged, mutant dancehall mix ’n blen of vintage samples with new instrumental parts by Apple Juice Kid and Fourth Shift, sounding out somewhere between Equiknoxx, Major Lazer and Low Jack’s ‘Riddims du Lieu-dit’ EP
“Paul Miller, better known by his stage name DJ Spooky is a music producer, arranger, DJ, author and performance artist. His unique brand of experimental hip-hop, dubbed ’illbient’ has resulted in collaborations with a diverse range of artists including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Kronos Quartet, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Killa Priest. With remix projects for Trojan Records, Manifold Records and Six Degrees among others to his credit, Miller created Phantom Dancehall for his exploration of the Greensleeves/ VP Records reggae catalogue.
The musical tapestry is built on samples from familiar (and not so familiar) reggae tracks over electronic beats and melodies produced by Miller and protégé Stephen Levitin (stage name Apple Juice Kid). Selected tracks include the keyboard work of Alex Thompson aka Fourth Shift.
Guest vocals from Walshy Fire (Major Lazer) and dancehall new comer Sanjay added to vocal samples of Busy Signal, Lady Saw and Garnett Silk give the project an eclectic, modern dancehall flavor.”
Greek producer Pasiphae pushes a tense, furtive and killer electro-Italo-EBM sound on Interstellar Funk’s Artificial Dance
Recalling classic Murder Capital vibes as much as Helena Hauff’s contemporary scum budgers, but with an added air of ancient Hellenic intrigue, the Siphax EP is a strong testament to Fotini Kappa’s solo sound following her introduction on the Made Of Glass  hook-up with Intergalactic Gary for Bio Rhythm.
A-side, she bites down with steel-fanged jaws in the Giallo-esque scene-setter, Tachyons, then shifts down a gear for the aching sleaze and drama of Vertical Rotation, urged by evilly turgid subass and nerve-gnawing synths. B-side keeps up the pressure with Bladerunner-esque stacks of brassy synth flare in Quelque Chose De Mauvais recalling Afrodeutsche’s recent ace for Skam, logically pursued by the funereal Quelque Chose De Mal to an exceptional parting shot with the unharnessed, Italinate arps of header working just as usefully as an outro or dramatic set-starter in the right claws.
Istanbul’s premiere avant-jazz unit converge on two blazing tributes to Ornette Coleman
A-side they work up a steam train momentum from rattling drums, rolling double bass and spurts of fiery harmolodic sax and trumpet delivered with pure gusto, whereas the B-side is just the sax and drums chasing themselves dizzy in a manic avant-jazz caper.
Sasha Grey features on the well oiled glam disco of ‘Honey’ by Richard Fearless and Chris Blakey as DIV
Backed with a slippier backdrop to the dark room lit up with neon synth tweaks in ‘Witchdance Dub’.
Cursor Miner gets back on the strong gear for Bleeper, a sister label to Jerome Hill’s Super Rhythm Trax
Uptown, he tramples out the booming kicks and streaking 303s of Vampire Acid and the coiled, cold and distorted sock of Thooom; downtown he goes wild on a hoofing groove called Owl Massage Acid, then rustles up the clonqing doofs of Clockwork Banana.
Hypnotic ambient techno-electro hydraulics from Finland’s Rasmus Hedlund
A-side drops in with the wide, cavernous bass rolige and crepuscular string pads of Bas Emfas, saving a curdled chromatic lead for when it matters, followed by the rasping, bittersweet electrodes of Luminös Klang.
B-side, he locks off the silty brownian Braindance motion of Conflux Sevens, and the weightless, half-stepping ambient pressure of Sonisk Morgonsyn.
The ferocious ‘Showgirl’ is the third and last instalment of the band's early singles period, produced by Frank Ocean and James Blake collaborator Sean Oakley, who also helmed the band’s 2017 debut single, ‘Lies’.
Reissue of Peggy Gou’s 2nd release and debut for Phonica White
A-side features a trimmed and filtered take on Tronco Traxx’ Drops ; B-side is a raw, deep and rude acid burner layered with her own dreamy vocals.
Smoky seance of barely there strums and possible psychokinesis, ideal for fans of Loren Connors...
“The first duo performance between DG and the mysterious Portguese guitar legend; a real-time, documentary feel in which athematic, non-repeating musical gestures are rendered with an extreme sensitivity to microscopic soundworlds brought about by fingertips, strings, and tube amplifiers.”