Björk blooms her most impressive album in a good while with Utopia, featuring co-production by Arca and even a guest spot by Rabit, who both aid in buoying her astonishingly lush and romantic new song cycle. As sincerely optimistic as the title may suggest, Utopia is, by Björk’s own description, her “tinder album”, projecting a positive answer to the tortuous soul-searching of Vulnicura.
We can take or leave a lot of Björk on most days. But this one got us right thurrr. Whether that’s due to the seamless integration of Arca’s virtuosic flourishes, it’s difficult to say. However, the embrace of space and nature, both real and emulated, within Utopia lends an intoxicatingly out-of-body sensation to its songs which beautifully leavens her sometimes overwrought delivery, serving to free up her spirit in the most literal and fascinatingly intangible terms.
Where Arca was brought in at the late stages of Vulnicura to warp its edges, their working relationship immediately spilled over into the recording of Utopia, forging a symbiotic and hugely fruitful relationship with the artist he formerly called his idol. Now creative partners, their powers are multiplied, manifesting the longest single piece of work in either’s catalogue, and arguably their most seductive.
You can literally hear her beaming while she sings over swooping subs, gamer FX and pirouetting harps in Awakening My Senses, whilst the folk phrasing and prettiness of Blissing Me perfectly counters her operatic tendencies. Conversely, the adroit looseness of Arca’s rhythms acutely mirror the expressive meter of Björk’s classical inflections in Body Memory, one of the album’s longest, most immersive highlights, and equally in sweetly fractious form to giddy effect on Losss, which benefits from Rabit’s push ’n pull production.
And even when talking frankly about the darker side of that tinder life in the couplet of Courtship and Sue Me, she pulls off delirious, rugged - but not overbearing - rhythms and skyward-zipping flutes keeping her spirit decidedly up and forward-looking in a way that also informs the album’s heart-cupping conclusion, Future Forever.
The 11th edition of The Golden Ravedays album.
"Side A brings Brothers. With two decades of spinning experience in disco’s, nightclubs, festival arenas, shady after-party zones and intimate studio soirees there is no doubt that Superpitcher is seasoned in throwing a damn good party. Brothers is party personified and a celebration of the night and the wise owls that respect its magical rituals. Its ultra-chic disco groove and dreamy female vocals transport one to a carnival of blessings.
Side B features Sleepy Head, a hypnotic lullaby carefully tucked away in a hammock that rocks to and fro like dozing mermaids in a wavy curtain of seaweed. Sleepy Head is a smart artistic statement and whimsical pause just before the release of the grand finale of the The Golden Ravedays saga."
When Jason Molina took on another artist’s song, he willed his own universe into it, his own personal and artistic mythology.
"Be it Conway Twitty or Townes Van Zandt, their blues were infused with Molina’s own entrancing blues. This pair of newly discovered, home-recorded Black Sabbath covers is no different. Molina, a through-and-through fan of metal (seek out his high school metal band The Spineriders’ album if you haven’t yet) peels back the sinister and stoned elements of Sabbath, zeroing in on the loneliness and brooding.
He takes ‘Solitude’, from 1971’s ‘Master Of Reality’ - and one of Sabbath’s more mystical, near proggy songs - and doubles down on the title. Molina extracts Ozzy Osbourne’s gorgeously cooed vocal performance and transforms it into a high and lonesome sound, a desert campfire howler.
On his cover of ‘Snowblind’, from 1972’s ‘Vol. 4’, it becomes obvious what a guitar hero Sabbath’s Tony Iommi was for Molina. Molina seemed to pull from Iommi’s odd, simple fingerings and tunings throughout his catalogue: from his first album (known informally as ‘the black album’) to Magnolia Electric Co.’s ‘Josephine’. Molina’s brief acoustic cover dials back the bombast but you can surely connect ‘Snowblind’’s chord progressions with Molina’s own on the black album and ‘Axxess & Ace’.
Recorded in the midwest in the late 90s, these two intimate songs are a bittersweet artefact of one of the Rust Belt’s titan songwriters. Side B of this 7” is a gorgeous etching of a black ram by cover artist Will Schaff."
Second ever vinyl reissue of ACR’s first record
A collection of early demos and live recordings from 1979 gig also starring Joy Division and The Distractions. Produced by Martin Hannett, mixed by Tony Wilson.
Whities offer a flighty suite of ambient, classical and techno fusions from Jules Venturini (aka Catch ov South London Analogue Material) for the label’s last release of 2017.
While Venturini’s own label specialises in brute industrial techno forms, his own output, as evidenced here, is more open-minded and fanciful, establishing airier coordinates with pendulous, phased string loops and bleeping electrical disturbance eventually precipitating a direct techno groove in Flying Kites, kinda like Maxwell Sterling meets a kick drum, whereas the swooning, weightless string cadence of Keep Me Close comes off like some mutated Arthur Russell instrumental, and spends his techno pound proper on the James Holden-esque Trace Of Smoke.
Japan’s Jun Kamoda gives Black Acre their best session in memory with the nutty techno styles of The Distorted Haunted Ballroom, which is quite possibly an oblique reference to The Caretaker?
At the heels of his Misty Funk EP with Steel City Dance Discs, Kamoda goes in like Eric Copeland on a techno mission with the clunking, squawking Body & Soul, or like a psychotomimetic Soundhack track with the jabbing disco madness of (((BYE))), saving something like a stray Peaking Lights tune for the dubbed-out, bandy-legged strut of Dopey Forests.
Pretty, pretty mad.
The first time that Daniele Patucchi's score has ever been released on vinyl.
"A bona fide Italian horror masterpiece. Directed by Franco Prosperi (MONDO CANE). Released in 1984 the story sees a batch of PCP leaked into a zoo’s water supply infecting the animals who band together and rise up to destroy their captors. It’s one of the greatest nature run amok films ever made and is in turn thrilling, revolting, scary and hilarious.
Patucchi is one of the most underrated Italian composers for some reason but we here at Death Waltz want to change that with several release lined up in 2017/18. His work here undercuts the wild action and is actually quite sombre in tone, armed with a battery of synthesisers and processed animal effects he manages to craft a score that is a world away from the usual Italian soundtracks that graced films in this period. Long droning bass tones underpin some sumptuous sax and some back breaking synth drums literally destroy everything in their path. We won’t lie, this score requires patience, but spend time with it and you begin to love it for the chances it takes."
Zomby’s near-mythical Eski grime concept album was created over an intense two week period around 2008-2009 and features 16 uniquely formulated interpretations of Wiley’s seminal Eskibeat productions. It's been in hybernation ever since and, almost a decade later (and after many aborted attempts), is finally available for public consumption - still sounding like an ancient future.
After nearly a decade in the making, Zomby finally dispatches his astonishing take on Wiley’s series of Eskibeat releases, a.k.a. the cornerstone of grime. Originally recorded over a mad couple of weeks while suffering from circadian dysrhythmia, Mercury’s Rainbow documents Zomby riffing on intricately hand-programmed arpeggios, using theories of colour and its relation to the sonic chromatic spectrum - the circle of fifths - to place an expressively avant spin on the Wiley Kat’s slyding Triton squares and frozen, post-garage drum patterns.
Rather than simply imitating Wiley’s foundational unit of grime currency, Zomby innovates with a structure of bewildering, modal styles, refracting 16 diamond-cut permutations according to a colour-sound spectrum of tonalities. In the process he effectively loosens up and liquifies the Eski riddim, rendering its bones and sinew in varying states of reactive, physical deliquescence or GIF-like micro-organisms.
For dancers and DJs, the fluid contours and viscous, displaced rhythmic anticipation of Mercury’s Rainbow suggests myriad geometries for movement in-the-mix, and serves to single-handedly put to sleep a whole genre of also-ran, prosaic “future grime” thru its methodical, inventively ground-up construction.
While it’s difficult to say with certainty, if Mercury’s Rainbow was issued at the same time it was created, it may have arguably altered the course of UK grime instrumentals in much the same way Wiley’s original template coined a whole new genre, essentially making it the last word in grime futurism, proper.
Kompakt’s moving feast of Pop Ambient returns with a 2018 edition spelling out twelve languorous and lofty definitions of atmospheric music by veteran hands - the Orb, Triola, Jens-Uwe Beyer - as well as recent additions to the series - Chuck Johnson, Yui Onodera, T. Raumschmiere.
Trust there’s no sharp edges or harsh textures inside, more the sort of music one can listen to in your birthday suit with windows open, or equally blanketed after the party, and the effect will remain as welcoming, user friendly.
Look out for lovliest moments in this volume from T. Raumschmiere’s epic stargazer, Eterna, and the amniotic cradle of Kaito’s Travelled Between Souls.
Conga Square debut on the ace Palto Flats label (Woo, Midori Takada, Roland Young, Yasuaki Shimzu) with three tracks that sound like they’re distilling all the label’s previous angles into one record. It should come as little surprise after listening that Conga Square includes a member of NYC’s Georgia in their midst, for a sound comparable with a range of styles from Tolouse Low Trax to YPY, or Pekka Airaksinen via Don’t DJ.
The A-side’s Fifth season is a charmingly slompy 9 minute psychedelic burner revolving grubbing bass, wigged-out microtonal synth fuss and percussion that sounds like it was recorded independently, out of time in the next room. B-side, the combination of avian flutes and bass pressure in Raiders recalls the vibes on Ka Baird’s recent Sapropelic Pycnic side gone deeper into the echo chamber, and Secada Mondatta digs in somewhere between the modular eyes of Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe for damn good measure.
A crucial piece of the Loren Connors jigsaw falls into place with this first ever vinyl reissue of Hell! Hell! Hell! Hell! Hell!, now presented on wax some 20 years after the original CD issue thru The Lotus Sound. Leading on from his classic Long Nights [Table of the Elements, 1995], it takes that album’s blues-noise textures into even starker, scorched ground surely irresistible to anyone snagged by his other works, for their anomalous nature if nowt else.
Revolving around 12 works in under 20 minutes, Hell! Hell! Hell! Hell! Hell! is a succinct album that sparks and growls with an anger and anguish that distinguishes it from much of his other work. It’s hardly a rager, but there are flashes of an undisclosed pain that seem to sear thru on the many of the A-side cuts, fulminating dense walls of distorted sound like heavy shag smoke that cloaks your listening space in yellow-grey palls.
He spends much of his energies churning up this intoxicating sound on the A-side, so that by the B-side he’s back to a more reserved, but still gripping, sort of expression, including some exquisitely tender, even barely-there pieces, vacillating between burned-out blues and devastatingly strung-out nocturnes, all with the sort of minimalist efficiency of expression that we really value over here.
Not to be missed!
Winking, squelchy electro-boogie from Toronto’s Cosmic Resonance to your mind, laid down thick and warm as the 1st release by Raf Reza.
“Raf's studio productions mirror the multifaceted nature of his DJ sets, drawing melodic and rhythmic considerations from a broad spectrum of dance music, both old and new, to create contemporary club music with a compositional appeal.”
Incredible, pantheistic livications delivered in a divine hybrid of gospel, soul and ecstatic R&B by Ray Charles and Alice Coltrane collaborator John Panduranga Henderson - bafflingly unknown until now, but mercifully disseminated thanks to David Byrne’s Luaka Bop. Kinda unbelievable record. Jaws will drop!
“In the early 1980s, Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda formed an ashram in Agoura Hills, California. There a beautiful, multi-ethnic and multi generational religious community grew up around her. The highpoint of living in this very special and loving environment took shape on Sundays when Alice would lead the community in a musical ceremony, mixing both gospel and Indian chant, to create a music she wholly invented - it was something extraordinarily powerful. The Ashram is still there today. There are still some who live there and there is still a weekly Sunday service that is open for everyone.
The folks who populated the Ashram world of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda were a very special group of people. Many of the adult members were musicians before having moved there, and many of the younger followers have become musicians and film makers as they grew older. One these amazing artists is John Panduranga Henderson.
Panduranga played organ, piano and sang with Ray Charles in the 1970’s where he was a star performer in Ray’s band. When he joined the Ashram, he became in essence a star performer there as well, though of course there were no ‘stars’. Alice sitting at the organ would say, “Panduranga” and John would come to the front and let loose one of his amazing gospel-esque solos praising Rama or Vishnu or Jesus, Muhammad, Moses and more. He made one record under his own name - a record so obscure it’s not listed on Discogs, nor found on the interweb? what?!
Today, for you dear listener, we would like to present Panduranga Henderson’s “Ocean of Love.” Om Shanti.”
"Werewolf Woman" Original score on vinyl for the first time by Lallo Gori
"Werewolf Woman is a 1976 Italian exploitation sleazefest with the emphasis on sex and violence. A beautiful young woman channels an ancient family lycanthropy curse into her hatred of men stemmed from horrific abuse at a young age. She finds, seduces, and rips out the throats of all suitors she stumbles across. It’s the kind of film that could (only?) be made by Italian’s in the '70s with serious story undertones giving way to ever more blatant sex, nudity and blood. The score by Coriolano “Lallo” Gori is absolutely wild and we can’t believe it isn’t more well-known than it is. Propulsive percussion, theremins, mono synths, funk and jazz collide to create an incredibly captivating listen. Wild synths bubbling over skittering jazz drums is thrilling enough, but Gori intersperses some beautiful mellow themes throughout to temper the madness."
The seven brothers embrace a spiritual jazz sound, sans percussion, on their first album since the group’s father, Philip Cohran, passed away in February 2017
“With its cathedral-like, richly resonant acoustics, the new Hypnotic Brass Ensemble album Book Of Sound is a brilliant expression of interplanetary principle. The album is by turns urgent and contemplative, funky and reflective, varied in its textures; but entirely of one piece. Underpinned by concepts of earth's place in the cosmos, held in place by meditation, swirling with notions of history, science, theology, ancestry, there is a rich conceptual brew here.
The album rings with what back in the 1950s the jazz critic Whitney Balliet called "the sound of surprise". Book Of Sound makes you believe again in the validity of "spiritual jazz". Talking to Cid, one of the Ensemble's two trombonists, one phrase recurs: "back to the beginning". "We wanted to go back to the beginning, when we were kids, real young, and our father would wake us up at 5AM to practice for two hours before breakfast."
One outcome -- initially unplanned but subsequently embraced -- is that unlike their two previous albums on Honest Jon's, this is an album without a drummer. "When we started, as Wolf Pack, just brothers on the street with our horns, there wasn't a kit in sight." Book Of Sound retains plenty of rhythmic heft, but the absence of a drummer opens up space for a notably varied instrumental palette. Acoustic guitar, piccolo, synthesizer, alto sax -- all have their place on the album.
Most striking perhaps are the vocal lines that thread through the album and give it a palpable warmth. Sessions were recorded in Brooklyn and Chicago, and brilliantly mixed at Abel Garibaldi's studio in the Loop, and it's the Hypnotic's hometown that permeates. For Cid this is a deeply Chicago record: "It's got the vibe of the lake, the vibe of the prairies opening up to the west." It also has the vibe of those Sun Ra Arkestra albums recorded in Chicago in the 1950s, and -- of course -- the Phil Cohran albums from the 1960s.
It's Phil Cohran (the father of all seven members of the Ensemble and their first teacher, and not just in music) who is the album's guiding spirit. For Cid it's a major regret that, in the months before their father's death early in 2017, Phil was not well enough to play on the album. But Book Of Sound is a magnificent testament to their Cohran legacy”.
Young Marco’s Safe Trip follow their dispatch of Japanese siblings Satoshi & Makoto’s CZ-5000 Sounds & Sequences with an unexpected pair of stepping, driving, melodic house tracks.
In a Corner of Asia unfurls a coiled stripe of firm 4/4 donks and wheezing organ melodies that sounds like it was put down live and direct to tape any time between 1990 and now.
Tous Les Jours is one for fans of Stinson/Donald’s more debonaire electro-house jaunts, authentically tending to their Japanese electronics setup with a clarity and melodic touch that originally inspired a lot of Detroit guys and can also be heard in the floating minimalist structures of Shinichi Atobe.
Tresor’s 300th release is a 15 track anthology of the Scopex label, a hugely coveted late ‘90s UK electro imprint whose releases by Simulant and Pollon now fetch triple figures for 2nd hand copies. When this set was announced a few weeks back, we could practically hear the collective relief of a thousand night owl neeks hooting at the moon and salivating at the prospect of fresh vinyl editions of Simm City, Out OfEther, and Electratech, all newly remastered from DATs and included here inside.
Right up there next to classic Drexciyan Storms and the black secret technologies of Ultradyne in the pantheon of 3rd/4th wave electro, Scopex releases defined ’90s electro at its tightest and mercurial best with a blend of razor sharp production and concise, sci-fi vision that’s rarely been surpassed.
In chronological order, you’ll find diamond-cut new pressings of Simulant’s Simm City , which is perhaps most noted for its Stinson-esque strengths in New Machines and the rare charms of Musical Box, or the low-lying missile Wav. Form (Mix), before Out Of Ether  dispenses some of the nastiest electro-funk to come from the UK in Knife Edge and the clenched swing of Access Future Audio (Mix).
Pollon’s Electratech  follows to open the 3rd disc with the tense angles of Lost Souls, as deployed by Objekt on his Kern Vol.3 mix for Tresor, and also included in a banging alternate Mix beside the epic Lonely Planet, while the previously unreleased, slow-mo sci-fi electro grunge of Optimal Flow completes the set and sees the label to its final resting place in one piece.
Come git it!
Time Machines is widely ranked among the most important releases by arcane sound chemists Jhonn Balance, Peter Christopherson and Drew McDowell. Now remastered and reissued for the first time under the collective Coil moniker, their classic chemical songbook is primed to irrevocably intoxicate a whole new batch of listeners twenty years since original release.
The now-classic chemical songbook Time Machines is one of the most focussed yet dilated works in all of Coil’s sprawling catalogue, and perhaps one of their definitive releases. It faithfully attempts to emulate or describe the effect of their favourite, mind-expanding psychedelic drugs in sonic terms, conveying their putative virtues thru the abstract contours and complex harmonic definition enabled by modular synths and electronics.
In no small feat of imagination, they take as long as needed for the effect to take hold in each part, with 7-Methoxy-β-Carboline- (Telepathine) modelling the slow, transportive effects of what is commonly known as yage or ayahuasca, and again taking over 26 minutes to really fall under spell of 4-Indolol,3-[2-(Dimethylamino)Ethyl],Phosphate Ester- (Psilocybin), in attempt to reflect the tweaky course of a magic mushroom trip.
Likewise, they reflect the relatively brief effect of 5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyl- (5-MeO-DMT) - DMT, my mate Dimitry, or HD goggles as Tony Twitters calls it - with scarily realistic clarity and timing, while 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-Ethyl-Amphetamine- (DOET-Hecate) relays something like the buzzing tone of what is better known as Mcat or khat, or some similar derivative/substitute of speed.
Like the chemicals themselves, the music is best taken under caution, and while results will vary from user to user, the outcome is likely one that will leave its mark on you for a while.
Inna Babalon is perhaps the strongest indictment of John T. Gast’s eldritch, even medieval-tinged take on UK-bassed dub themes, ‘fessed up for the natty, mystic 5 Gate Temple label.
Firmly pushing a personalised furrow of rolling, stepping drum machines and near-baroque choral arrangements, the follow-up album to Excerpts for Planet Mu is more defined by a consistent, tangible thread of logic than its predecessor, working like the soundtrack to a lo-fi, time-travelling Brit-flick set between modern day Brixton and some stone circle in Cornwall circa the 17th century.
It’s very fair to say he’s in his own world here, working away at a cauldron of bubbling drum machines and oxidised synths to reveal a sort of nostalgic regression for parallel dimensions in eight parts.
We’re totally smitten with this guy’s work, it’s kinda hard to put into words how much he’s nailing a sound we hold so dearly. And if you’re on the same tip, we urge you to check his amazing Blowing Up the Workshop mix-turned-LP if you haven’t already.
Iridescent acid jazz greaze from Hemingway on Toronto’s Cosmic Resonance.
If the Mood Hut gang all got too grown up for house and got into horoscopes and swingers clubs instead, they might make music like you’ll find on the Memoirs EP.
Staggeringly unique body of early work by cult outsider musician, Ghédalia Tazartès, including 4 full albums plus a 10" of unreleased work made in 1978.
Born in Paris in 1947 to Turkish parents, artist and autodidact Tazartès has spent over 30 years experimenting with myriad musical practices and creating a catalogue of cult recordings deeply informed by his "extra-European" and "intra-European" heritage. He's both in possession of, and possessed by, a shamanic vocal talent, with the ability to embody a multitude of characteristics. This, together with his unimpeded sense of compositional flux, swerving between musique concrete, technoid loops, piano pieces and pseudo-ethnic imagineering, makes for a thrilling experience unlike any other. This collection includes some of his most important works, among them his earliest release, 1979's 'Diasporas' - listed by Steven Stapleton in his legendary NWW list - besides the exotic collages of 'Tazartès', the enchanting and otherworldly loops and scapes of 'Transports', and the two jaw-dropping extended pieces of 'Une Éclipse Totale De Soleil', plus a further 10" of unheard, shorter cuts of hectic electronics, unhinged vocals and and bewildering composition.
This passage begins to surmount his magic appeal "He wanders through music from chant to rhythm, from one voice to another. utilising magnetic tape recorders, he paves the way for the electric and the vocal paths, between the muezzin psalmody and the screaming of a rocker. He traces vague landscapes where the mitre of the white clown, the plumes of the sorcerer, the helmet of a cop and Parisian anhydride collide into polyphonic ceremonies." At times it feels like you're watching unhinged French cartoon without translation in a Parisian asylum while a Techno soundsystem beats outside, at others you're sitting café side being serenaded in tongues, or just simply hypnotised by the consistent metamorphosis of sounds; an unending, breathlessly connected flow of ideas playfully eschewing any formal notions of what is wrong or proper, and purely informed by what feels right and most affecting. It's a hugely, hugely recommended purchase, probably the most important avant-garde reissue this year - and some of the most uncategorisable, extraordinary music you'll come across. Unmissable.
Recompiled II/II is the second of two vinyl-only archive releases by Function, which include previously unreleased tracks as well as music that has long been out-of-print.
The 2nd of two class Function retrospectives, Recompiled II/II brings the world up to speed with producer/DJ Dave Sumner’s shark-eyed output; hustling 13 tracks spanning his transition from resident at Limelight in late ’90s NYC to the period prior his current residencies at Berghain, Berlin and Bassani in Tbilisi.
The results frame all aspects of Function’s ascetic, driving, but often emotively wrought style, drifting in with the morning-after ambience of Ember (Field) cycle thru the slinky Receptacle  from The Dialectric Coefficient, to the frozen bleeps of Isotope  off his 2nd 12” with Sandwell District, touching on the ruddy Balance of Power  and Montage  rollers for his Infrastructure New York label, and perhaps most definitively - for us at least - the potent, nasal-drip acid techno dynamics of Burn from his Anticipation 12”, which I distinctly remember winding up our neighbours with in 2008.
Sonny Clark’s reputation as one of the finest jazz pianists of his era has grown in recent years, with many folks rediscovering his classic Blue Note recordings like ‘Cool Struttin’, ‘Dial ‘S’ for Sonny’, ‘Leapin’ and Lopin’, as well as session work with Lee Morgan, Grant Green and others. Cut down by heroin addiction at age 31 in 1961, Clark’s legacy continues to expand.
"The Time sessions were produced by the late Bob Shad, owner of Time and Mainstream Records. The reissue includes the original Time album re-mastered from the original tapes by Dave Donnelly, plus an extra disc of alternate takes previously unavailable on vinyl. Nat Hentoff wrote the original liner notes, included in the reissue package, and former New York Times critic Ben Ratliff contributes a new 3500-word essay. The set was produced for reissue by Mia Apatow (Time Records) and Josh Rosenthal (Tompkins Square)."
The refractive hyaline ambient dimensions of Ceramic TL’s Perfect Lung form the 3rd and final LP to be released in 2017 by David Psutka (Egyptrixx) in various configurations via his Halocline Trance label.
Working remotely from his Toronto base with Istanbul-based composer Ipek Gorgun, Psutka follows his Egyptrixx LP Pure, Beyond Reproach, and his ANAMAI collaboration with Anna Mayberry, What Mountain to pursue a more esoteric and elusive electronic muse throughout the crystal clear yet somehow disorienting spaces of Perfect Lung.
With its clash of bi-continental sonorities and signifiers rent in tessellating, refractive designs, the effect of the music emulates or at least recalls to us time spent on the bus at night travelling thru the realest ends of a large city, with streetlights, headlamps and neon signage playing out surreal refractions in myriad sheets of glass.
Felix Kubin takes the pulse of capitalism with an incisively smart, playfully anachronistic , and poetically dadaist suite of percussive pieces inspired by educational and industrial 16mm films. RIYL Faitiche’s Ursula Bogner, the recent C-Schulz reissue, and Bruno Spoerri...
“Originally developed as a film score Takt der Arbeit is inspired by a handful of industrial and instructional films from the early 1960's until the early 1990's that portrait different forms of work. Felix Kubin is translating these historic documents into a musical poem of conceptual depth. Takt der Arbeit - the beat of work - is not only serving as a title but also as constructive element in this endeavour.
Being hunted down by the ever accelerated pulse of our reality is an omnipresent issue in capitalist societies of the the Western world. Living in times of constant exhaustion, it's not only our bodies that have been disciplined by and synchronized to the rhythms of working processes, but also our minds that rage in the tempo of our surroundings. Following an almost analytical effort, Kubin and an ensemble of 3 percussionists are investigating the different qualities and intensities of time that are catalyzed in working processes. While picking up precise temporal and motoric motives of the films, condensing paces and excavating rhythmic patterns, the ensemble is mapping out an animist choreography, shifting from a time when labour was still relying on bodily efforts to a time when machines and ticking clocks seem to reign and model our perception. While Side A is dedicated to procedures that are still based on manual and mechanical movement, Side B is inspired by the digital age, marked by invisible processes and subcutaneous pulses that we internalize.
The result is a critical and poetic reflection on the rhythms of our daily life and yet another example of Felix Kubin's skills as a composer, placing him in the field of orchestral music.”
Growling, mongrel techno from the crooked NYC-Berlin axis of DJ Spider & Franklin De Costa, teamed with a battering ram remix by Shifted to properly haul ass for yer maw’s favourite label; Berceuse Heroique.
Following two doses for KilleKill in 2014-15, the duo’s 3rd meeting on vinyl coughs up the viscous black chunk of F Planet on the front, squaring lop-sided bassline with scratchy synths and wormy acid in a plasmic, subaquatic sound sphere to hold the dance under, whereas Astral Pilot operates in more rolling sort of sci-fi industrial style with oozing, effluent bass and the kind of calving guitars sounds more usually spotted on a psyche rock record.
The remix is a gritty bewt from Shifted, piling his weight into an hypnotic whorl of reversed-edited loops and pea soup fog dynamics with choking intent.
For his follow up to 2016’s purely improvised studio recording Strength & Power (a cooperative quartet album featuring pianist Jamie Saft, bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Balazs Pandi), the ever adventurous trombonist composer Roswell Rudd made a decided shift in direction on his first RareNoise Records release as a leader by embracing jazz standards he has loved and played throughout his long and illustrious career.
"Accompanied by the brilliant pianist Lafayette Harris, upright bass virtuoso Ken Filiano and soulful vocal sensation Fay Victor, the 81 year old jazz master delivers with rare potency and poignancy on the aptly titled Embrace.
This intimate, drum Less quartet session is brimming with conversational playing between all the participants, with Rudd and Victor partaking in some particularly interactive exchanges on jazz classics like Billy Strayhorn’s “Something to Live For,” Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” Thelonious Monk’s beautiful ballad “Pannonica,” the standard “Can’t We Be Friends” and the traditional “House of the Rising Sun.”
Skulking hardware cranks from Hamburg’s Fallbeil duo, cooking up 90 minutes of K-holing, atonal digital noise recursion on tape along with two slices of grot on vinyl, especially for Nina’s V I S label down by the docks in Hamburg.
After first appearing on Helena Hauff’s Return To Disorder label with Ultima Ratio in 2016, and turns for Boidae, Hafenschlamm and Mannequin in the meantime, the Fallbeil duo have made no concession to higher fidelities and remain resolutely grubby and visceral on all both sides of Satan Im Sattel.
On tape they do the drag-ya-backwards-thru-a-hedge thing, only the hedge turns out to be a labyrinthine sewer maze overgrown with briars and an echoing with the clamour of a trapped rave crew sending SOS signals via drum machines built from the bones of ravers who couldn’t hack it down there.
With the 7” they distill that unpleasant buzz in the acid jag of Sam Hawkens, packing swollen subs under clanking industrial rollers’ drums and goblin-like BM vox, while on the B-side it’s time for the stressed-out electronics of Satan Im Sattel, which sounds like a squad of alleycats imitating a ’90s squat electro sound.
First ever vinyl reissue of ACR’s 4th studio album, catching Wythenshawe’s most daring group of the ‘80s in full on jazzdance mode with buff fretless bass vamps offset by their moody Manc pop chops. A mid-career highlight, Force was the Manchester band's fifth album, originally released on Factory in 1986.
"Described by Donald Johnson as 'the Mike Tyson of funk', Force marked a convincing return to form for Ratio, mixing the robust funk grooves of single Mickey Way with downtempo tracks, as well as Si Firmi O Grido, the percussive tour de force which provides a reliable climax to live performances. In addition to pin-sharp rhythm and groove the album also displayed real consistency, and even a pop sensibility, courtesy of guest vocalist Corinne Drewery of Swing Out Sister. The album was also one of the first to utilise the brand new Akai S900 sampler."
Jealous God’s Issue No. Nineteen is an unexpected industrial brawler by Esteban Adame, who’s best known for knocking out slick, latinate Detroit house and techno as part of UR’s Galaxy 2 Galaxy, I can, and Los Hermanos.
As Frequencia, however, he wrestles with a bruising industrial style, ranging from what sounds like a manic Jamal Moss edit in the cut-up hollers and churning rhythm of Adultery and Guilt, then with clenched EBm funk in Golden Hands, and like a Regis wrong ‘un from ’98 with the monotone jag of Live For Lust.
Deep and banging techno is the mode for Dekmantel 10Years08
Taking in the slippery chassis and plunging wormhole dynamic of Storta by Donato Dozzy & Peter Van Hoesen; a gliding Dutch/Detroit ace in Serval by Deniro; the banging but deferred acid gratification of Talismann’s Aciano; and a straight-up acid house rub by Matrixxman.
For the discerning digger, a previously unreleased haul of rare library cuts c. 1971-1979, picked out and dusted down from London’s Cavendish Music vaults by Mr Thing and Chris Read
“Join two of BBE’s most prolific artists and compilers, Mr Thing & Chris Read on a voyage into the mysterious, strange and wonderful world of Library Music, courtesy of Cavendish Music. Founded in 1937 and originally known as Boosey & Hawkes Recorded Music Library, Cavendish Music is the largest independent Library Music publisher in the UK and also represents a host of music catalogues across the globe.
During the Library Music heyday of the 60s and 70s, thousands of original instrumental tracks were produced across a broad range of genres for companies like Cavendish, who then created vinyl and tape collections, often arranged by theme or mood, for their customers in radio, television and film. Cult British TV shows such as The Sweeney and The Professionals as well as documentaries and feature films relied heavily on these catalogues, and companies like KPM, De Wolfe and Boosey & Hawkes went a long way toward defining the sound of British popular culture at the time.
Never commercially available, music created for these libraries that never made it to the promised land of TV or Radio was destined to languish in Cavendish Music’s vast London vault; only recently unearthed by a new generation of DJs and producers searching for rare gems or a perfect sample.
Mr Thing & Chris Read were first invited to examine the contents of the Cavendish Music archive in 2014 as part of WhoSampled’s ‘Samplethon’ event in which producers created new tracks against the clock using sample material mined from the catalogue. Whilst digging through box upon box of records and tapes looking for interesting sounds, the pair also discovered a host of 70s library music which has not only stood the test of time, but deserves to be heard in its original form.
From dramatic big band numbers reminiscent of Lalo Schifrin’s film scores to atmospheric proto-hip hop instrumentals produced before the genre’s existence, right through to fairly straightforward jazz and funk cuts; this amazing collection of music is sure to inspire and delight DJs and beat-makers the world over.”
Sub Rosa extend an invitation to peruse the dreamlike parallel dimensions of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film soundtracks - a quietly transportive and transfixing blend of field recordings made on location in Thailand, interspersed with pop and folk songs, ambient electronics and incidental sound.
“Apichatpong Weerasethakul is recognised as one of the most original voices in contemporary cinema today. His seven feature films, short films and installations have won him widespread international recognition and numerous awards, including the Cannes Palme d'Or in 2010 with Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Compilation album 'Metaphors' contains 14 soundworks carefully selected from his past cinema and other visual works since 2003, which includes Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Syndromes and a Century, Fever Room and more.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul has regularly worked with the same sound designers since 2003 and has always given importance to the personality of on-location sounds giving his films a sense of continuity. In post-production, he's fascinated by the manipulation of these 'live' sounds in order to express 'reality'. This reality doesn't necessary represent the actual sound of the places, but more a representation of the world in layered memories. Similar to the way he treats images, Apichatpong sometimes calls attention to the physicality and the fragility of the audio (and its apparatus) and to the process of audio manipulation itself.
In his cinema, Apichatpong prefers natural sound sources over music. Nevertheless, he often boldly incorporates popular songs that were persistent during the shooting. He doesn't shy away from using tunes that relate to his own personal memories. In this sense, Apichatpong values the spirit of authenticity much more than rigid manipulation of audio and weaves a complex and dreamlike soundscape in his cinematic repertoire.
Born in Bangkok, Apichatpong grew up in Khon Kaen in north-eastern Thailand. He began making films and video shorts in 1994 and completed his first feature in 2000. He has also mounted exhibitions and installations in many countries since 1998 and is now recognised as a major international visual artist. His art prizes include the Sharjah Biennial Prize (2013) and the prestigious Prince Claus Award (2016), the Netherlands. Lyrical and often fascinatingly mysterious, his film works are non-linear, dealing with memory and in subtle ways invoking personal politics and social issues.”
Klara Lewis and Biosphere rework highlights of Carmen Villain’s Helge Sten-mixed album, Infinite Avenue, beside the original version of Borders featuring Jenny Hval.
One of the record’s rhythm driven points of interest, Borders stars Hval switching between gaseous and plangent vocal styles, perfused into the ether over loping, wooden drums and keening bass pressure.
In Klara Lewis’s hands, however, Borders becomes a sighing swell of melancholic harmonies and sloshing, almost seasick rhythms with Hval reserved to a more enigmatic presence. Meanwhile Biosphere hints that he’s been listening o a lot of the new weird rap instrumentals outta ATL on his mix of Red Desert, convecting his best Lynchian atmospheres over skewed, skinny trap tics with Villain crooning blue in the upper registers.
Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label coughs up the eighth live document of his nonpareil trio with the legendary Keiji Haino and Jim O’Rourke. All considered, these guys are pretty much the tightest/loosest avant instrumental group out there right now, blessed with a time-and-space bending dexterity that allows them to fuse some half century of research in free jazz, out rock and kosmiche electronics into blinding new forms.
On the A-side they prowl like a pack of predatory animals hunting down a noble but tired old prey, methodically and precisely attacking and breaking down the lumbering body of rock music in an increasingly ferocious whirlwind of fanged guitar slash and tearout percussion until they’re bathing a strangely tranquil bloodbath. With the B-side they lock into a martial distortion drill around Ambarchi’s steady, Wold-like snares rolls and sky-collapsing harmonics with stoically unrelenting force.
Side C brings the trio at their most abstract, moving from near silence, perforated only by the shivering chimes of toy piano, spookily signing into he ether where Haino exclaims in English from somewhere deep in the unfathomable mix, and O’Rourke petrifies the air with ungodly, alien EMS synth voices that speak to us in the uncanniest way. All change again on Side D, as they broach the 4th wold thru some back door entrance, scanning its undergrowth with Haino’s flute, vox and guitar urged on by pouring tribal toms until hey lay waste to the scene with pure guitar napalm.
Fully freaked electro from mid ‘80s-early ‘90s Japan, drawn from dead hard-to-find LP and 7” and reissued on vinyl for the first time! Loads of vocoders, wobbly funk lixx, and gangsta-leaning flamboyance for those who like it greazy and freeky as hell. Think Arabian Prince meets Haruomi Hosono at Funkadelic’s hut!!!
“Japanese Electro original, Minoru Hoodoo Fushimi, self-released four albums. Two vinyl LPs and two CDs between 1985 and 1992. Melbourne`s Left Ear Records have selected twelve tracks, for a double vinyl retrospective. 10 tracks from Minoru`s four albums and a further two unreleased tracks from the archives.
Minoru set out to combine his love of all things Funk with traditional instruments and song from his homeland. He uses shamisen on Thanatopsis. Where Parliament`s Flashlight, George Clinton`s Atomic Dog, ride with Osamu Kitajima`s Masterless Samurai. Shakuhachi on Mizuko No Tamashii Hyakumademo. Nohdashi puts koto with a Jimmy Castor riff. All set to popping and locking beats.
Minoru`s vocals switch between raps about cellular metabolism and haemoglobin, Soul croon and vocoder. On Shinz-San he adds Metal guitar to vintage Sugarhill. And he goes crazy with his sampler. Scratching in cats, frogs, babies, laughter, giggles, traffic jams, failing ignitions, opera singers, and amorous sighs. Furarete mixes elephant roars and Go-Go. Creating unique avant grooves that share something with Tackhead`s ON-U Sound System, Savant`s tape experiments, and fellow countrymen EP-4.
The G.O.D. squad’s Sabla joins the Disk cabal with a deeply knotted, introspective rhythm trip that sounds like the mutant techno output of The Threshold Houseboys Choir. Trust, the voodoo is strong on this one!
For only his 2nd full release Turin’s Sabla stakes out some heavily idiosyncratic ground with Danzaguida, luring us into some fetid K-hole headspace with the queered digital timbres, curdled chorales and blacksmith rhythm of the title cut, recalling Peter Christopherson’s infamous project crawling out of a club sewer, before Fire/Wire simmers back to a gunkier acid style, all protein-gargle and over-the-shoudler darkroom intimation. W gives a more brittle, psychedelic display of pygmy hoots and slow, thrumming drums, and then Tohc kinda single-handedly shows a lot of the grey area stuff as, well, just a bit uninspired, by taking that style’s rhythmic points of interest into tripper realms of plasmic layering reminding of Ruben Patiño’s ace Lag_OS output.
One of the strongest we’ve heard from Beau Wanzer or Jealous God, Issue No. Twenty beats out six meaty EBM treats for those who like it hard and salty.
There’s a lot of fun to be had toggling between 33/45rpm with two cuts, namely the grungy/jacking signal jammer Speaker Sisters, and the churning/fast/slow bounce of Kipper Hunk, while the rest deliver proper darkroom thrills between the distorted torrent of abuisvie nose in Shitty Ear Cough 17, the rictus DAF-style tang of Cave Mace, and the starkly echoic funk up, He Pushes Meals.
Justin K Broadrick puts his club foot forward for Downwards on four trampling techno bombs gathered under the Exit Stance EP. With no prizes for guessing what the title is about, he further girds us against broken Britain’s grim future following his Suicide Estate 2LP for Hospital Productions.
This is some of Broadrick’s most direct, primitive, and ruggedly impactful gear, forged in the belly of the black country with charred traces of late ‘90s Brummie techno edged by sparingly used daubs of patented, pollutant synths and plasmic dubbing.
A-side; he offloads the rollicking hydraulics of Exit Stance, a rallying charge of tribal bass drums and cranky percussion from the Female/Regis skool, whilst the droning, beat-less squabble of Motivated By Jealousy takes an acute measure of blighty’s radgy pulse.
B-side; his Bullied By Love comes off as a grimacing answer to Ancient Methods’ industrial steppers, then Caveman goes on like a chips ’n curry sauce-fed analog to Muslimgauze-via-Vatican Shadow vibes.
Aye, we’re all fxcked. But at least we can dance about it with JK Flesh.
Freshest ear-floss from Masami Akita a.k.a. Merzbow on Bedouin Records, following that brilliant hybrid CD/vinyl Hyakki Echo for Dirter with two typically longer form pieces of squabble and scree.
Like the intensely variegated new styles revealed on Hyakki Echo, his Tomarigi session is neither harsh wall-of-noise nor avian ambience. Instead, he locates a sort of unstable mid-ground flux, veering from fractious shrapnel and pronged lashes to passages of lacquer-bubbling rhythms and a thicket of trance inducing pressure recalling Black Mecha onslaughts in the middle of side A, while the B-side starts with a brace of shockingly spacious and clear sine waves hat soon enough erupt into a spirit-dousing inferno and freewheeling pitches practically describing avian flight.
Clod-hopping techno ructions by the Berlin-based British producer
Getting down like a bull in a tar pit with lumbering, viscous mass of The Trace, and swaggering like the bull that got out on I-4, whereas Hornet picks up some steam with rolling barrage of drums and dive-bombing noise formations, and the brilliant S77 gets off on a mean sort of dancehall-noise-techno hybrid that’s definitely going to see some play up our way.
Nigeria’s Kingsley Bucknor’s ‘Just U and Me’ LP gets the long-awaited reissue treatment from Left Ear Records.
"After cutting his teeth playing with Fela in the 70’s and releasing two afrobeat LP’s Kingsley travelled the globe before finding himself in London, it’s here that he laid down 6 distinctive electro-funk tunes inspired by African rhythms and music he’d heard through his travels in the States and in Europe.
Originally issued on Kinglsley’s own KAB records in ’85 and according to Kingsley the release was well received at the time, but due to constraints of international marketing the record remained mostly unknown outside of his homeland. Fast-forward to 2017 and the stage is set for a new global audience to appreciate the distinct sound of KB."
Toulouse Low Trax, Tuff City Kids, Dreems and Junto Club remix Sascha Funke’s bendy tech-house trax from the Lotos Land LP.
Detlef Weinrich aka member of Toresch and Tolouse Low Trax reduces Twirl to a blunted swagger with his patented, effortless swing and nice touches of bittersweet, sion-facing synths. Australian newcomer Dreems steps on Im Feirern Und Feuer with a flanging, psyched out version making heavy use of guitars. Tuff City Kids give Purple Hill a slow, acidic 4/4 poke, and Glasgow’s Junto Club sound out a very Optimo-ready version of Comala.
Jealous God introduce American avant-rocker Alex Barnett (Oaketare, Barnett + Coloccia) into their fold as Champagne Mirrors with Extended Communication Techniques
Pushing a virulent take on industrial EBM that leans between unearthly steppers’ palpitations recalling Marc Verhaeren and Sabien Voss’ Para project in Earless, thru to the Powell-esque nudges of Mud, and a dank bedroom floor crawler with Luggage.
L.I.E.S. document Svengalisghost’s performance on French TV in 2015 with this set recorded direct to the studio board.
Expect six track of deathly trudge and queasy industrial synth streaks laced with Marquis Cooper aka Svengalisghost’s processed vocals. Think John Carpenter meets Atrax Morgue in gotham city at midnight.
The translucent blue LP release includes ‘Blue Bucket Of Gold’ on one side, a cover of Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ featuring Gallant on the second side and a digital download code for the full 16-track set from his ‘Carrie & Lowell’ live show.
White Material co-conspirator DJ Richard yields his 1st new EP in three years with the brooding electro swerver, Path of Ruin sure to garner moody screwfaces on the ‘floor.
It’s really all about the 10 minute title tune, reprising the darkside, Reese-like strokes of his Leech2 classic from way back in 2012, but with a slinky malinky electro swing that’s very much of the ’97/’07/’17 zeitgeist. The first five minutes of floating pads and stark dub chords could almost be mistaken for an early Claro Intellect or Andy Stott piece, before the lustrous bass sets it on its own trajectory into the night.
Gargoyle is a solid six minutes of slow industrial/EBM at 105bpm, coated with noxious harmonics in a way recalling Para or Dirk Desaever, and Stygian Freeze lives up to its mantle with a stately but doomed descent into beat-less synth zones redolent of Dopplereffekt.