UNO’s Aquarian meets French producer Deapmash for a session of rolling breakbeat techno ballistics on Bedouin Records.
Whilst approaching from opposite continents and never meeting in person, they’re both clearly up for a mucky ruck with the darkside Reese bass payload and gritty swang of Aegis and the pitbull-jawed breakbeat bite of Ballad, with he B-side’s Roam giving more room to stretch out on a fierce, zig-zagging acid ‘ardcore tip socked with bolshy kicks and breaks.
Shiny curveball from a new, London-based label - a piquant batch of hot-stepping wave pop from The Balkans, 1984, packing hooks like a fishnet repair man at a Madonna concert, with funked up bassline grooves and drum machine patter to match. DJs, expect to catch a lot of requests with this one - one of the most scintillating and coveted records of the Yugoslav 1980s.
"Recorded in Skopje in 1983 and originally released on the state-owned PGP-RTB in 1984, Bastion is the only remaining document of the short but extremely sweet collaboration between singer-actress Ana Kostovska, composer and musician Kiril Džajkovski, bassist Ljubomir Stojsavljević and film director Milčo Mančevski. One of the first electronic bands in the Republic of Macedonia – hailed by the press as “Macedonian electropop sensation” – the four young artists crafted a quick-footed jewel of eclectic, expert synth-wave, genre-curious yet grounded in a bright, glamorous pop sensibility.
Bastion moves between crazed stadium bubblegum and a serious, seductive solemnity: whirlwinds of womanly wave such as “Hollywood” and “Mister Kompleks” open onto the dark electronic landscapes of “Deca Sunca” and “Mesec u Šolji”, while “Molitva” lifts the record into a soulful, torch-lit, and typically Macedonian mysticism. Across the record, Džajkovski’s luscious, sparkling synths and Stojsavljević’s dexterous bass tease and sustain Kostovska’s vocals as she croons, chants and coos her way in and out of one of the freshest, most surprising records to have ever come out of Eastern Europe.”
Yowzers! Tokyo’s High Rise take the bleeding skin off it on reissue of their eponymous 2nd release, a truly blinding suite of turbo-charged psych shredding and diesel spitting bass revs first issued as the 2nd release on Japan’s pivotal P.S.F. Records back in 1986. Perhaps understandably, original copies of High Rise II now trade for the price of a small 3rd hand Japanese hatchback.
It’s an absolute fxcking riot, basically. From the first tinnitus-inducing blast of Cycle Goddess thru the lurching swagger of Pop Sicle these guys sound possessed. Whether that’s by good, strong acid or just a insatiable rock urge, we’re not sure, but their incendiary results will apply to fried heads and those in need of a sharp shock to the system all the same.
Cuts like Turn You Cry sounds like they were recorded at a ‘phet and whiskey-soaked lock in at Lemmy’s, and Cotton Top is the sort of tune they’d have to play behind chicken wire at a Hell’s Angels bar where the spirits are spiked with mescaline.
Take drugs. Listen to this. Have the time of your life.
Ex Nihilo is the crushing new album from arch experimentalist Bruce Gilbert (Wire), forming his first album in six years and demonstrating a super rare example of an artist who only gets more vital and far-out with age. If the idea of slipping into an irretrievable K-Hole lights up your mind, prepare to take a swan dive into this one.
Following from Ab Ovo  and the head-swallowing Oblivio Agitatum , the nomenclature of Gilbert’s latest signifies another uncommonly strong batch from one of the UK’s most persistent electronic boundary pushers. With the last five years or more spent upkeeping his legacy via various reissues of foundational work with Wire and Dome, this album drills right down to Gilbert in the here and now, portraying a brilliantly uncompromising, belligerent artist of a kind that appears unfortunately absent in so many other echelons of contemporary electronic music.
Like an instrumental, electronic music-embracing Scott Walker, Bruce Gilbert’s experience feeds into the peerless visions of Ex Nihilio, lending the innate confidence to express himself in such brilliantly discordant terms as the opener Undertow, and realise the magick and attraction of such bittersweet tones in Negative Mass, and it’s surely only from such experience of the late 20th century avant garde that majestic structures like the breathtaking hyaline spires of Hymn can arise.
But for all those head-turning moments, the inverse, quieter parts are just as important to Gilbert’s sound, as pieces such as HA8, or the smeared timbral resonance of his Alien-like Change And Not, and the spatially-searching pulse of In Memory Of MV all hold the balance in check, making this set another ideal Gilbert gesamtkunstwerk for the ages.
We Are Phuture, rewroked by Villalobos.
"The source material here is the classic 'We Are Phuture' by pioneering Chicago acid outfit, Phuture. The original is included in specially remastered form and the Chilean minimal techno hero serves up four of his own unique versions. Ricardo has been remixing for this label for well over a decade and just last year his 'Hauswiedermischung' version of Reboot's 'Are You Losing My Mind' was one of the standout tracks of Get Physicals´s oeuvre.
The original is an abrasive and jittery house track that bristles with frazzled synths, dark filtered vocals, acid twitches and coarse percussion. It's one to electrify the floor, and still does plenty of damage 20 years after it first came out on Trax.
Up first is Phutur I Remix, which strips everything away to leave a fluttering snare line, rubber drums and minimal synth that shapeshifts for nearly ten minutes. Add in some trademark Villalobos vocals that are alien and unsettling and you have a real classic in the making. The Phutur II Remix is busier, with deft drums that ride up and down and have a spoken word vocal floating up top. Alien sound designs and occult acid all join the mix later on, while Phutur III sits somewhere in between. It's masterfully arranged so as to get deep into your brain and freak you out endlessly. Last but not least, Phutur IV Remix has layers of drums and toms, hits and snares all wobbling away and pulling you deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole until the acid lines come in and take things up a notch."
Buchla synth supremo Todd Barton’s hyperstitious soundtrack to Always Coming Home, an ‘80s American sci-fi novel by author Ursula K. Le Guin, is yet another ingenious recording dug out for reappraisal by Pete Swanson and Jed Middleman’s Freedom to Spend label - a division of RVNG Intl. Expect alien folk songs in made-up language, set to richly evocative backdrops of location recordings subtly gilded with self built instruments and synth contours. Properly immersive, otherworldly - think Breadwoman meets Lonnie Holley recording for Fonal.
“Music and Poetry of the Kesh is the documentation of an invented Pacific Coast peoples from a far distant time, and the soundtrack of famed science fiction author, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home. In the novel, the story of Stone Telling, a young woman of the Kesh, is woven within a larger anthropological folklore and fantasy.
The ways of the Kesh were originally presented in 1985 as a five hundred plus page book accompanied with illustrations of instruments and tools, maps, a glossary of terms, recipes, poems, an alphabet (Le Guin’s conlang, so she could write non-English lyrics), and with early editions, a cassette of “field recordings” and indigenous song. Le Guin wanted to hear the people she’d imagined; she embarked on an elaborate process with her friend Todd Barton to invoke their spirit and tradition.
For Music and Poetry of the Kesh, the words and lyrics are attributed to Le Guin as composed by Barton, an Oregon-based musician, composer and Buchla synthesist (the two worked together previously on public radio projects). But the cassette notes credit the sounds and voices to the world of the Kesh, making origins ambiguous. For instance, “The River Song” description reads, “The prominent rhythm instrument is the doubure binga, a set of nine brass bowls struck with cloth-covered wooden mallets, here played by Ready.”
According to writer and long-time friend of LeGuin, Moe Bowstern (who pens the liners for the Freedom To Spend edition of Kesh), Barton built and then taught himself to play several instruments of Le Guin’s design, among them “the seven-foot horn known to the Kesh as the Houmbúta and the Wéosai Medoud Teyahi bone flute.” Barton’s crafting of original instruments lends an other-worldly texture to the recordings of the Kesh, not unlike fellow builders Bobby Brown and Lonnie Holley. Bowstern notes, “Other musician / makers have crafted their own Kesh instruments after encountering the earlier cassette recordings that accompanied some editions of the book.”
Both Barton and Le Guin are sensitive to the sovereignty of indigenous Californians and were careful not to trample the traditions of the Tolowa people who lived in the valley long before the Kesh. “You research deeply, and then you bring your own voice to the table,” said Barton. Within the Kesh culture, the numbers four and five shape the lives, society and rituals. Barton composed loosely around these numbers, patiently listening to the land of Napa Valley for signs and audio signals from the natural elements. Todd incorporated ambient sounds of the creek by Le Guin’s house and a campfire they built together.
The songs of Kesh are joyful, soothing and meditative, while the instrumental works drift far past the imaginary lands. “Heron Dance” is an uplifting first track, featuring a Wéosai Medoud Teyahi (made from a deer or lamb thigh bone with a cattail reed) and the great Houmbúta (used for theatre and ceremony). “A Music of the Eighth House” sends gossamer waves of the faintest sounds to “float on the wind.” Like the languages invented in the vocal work of Anna Homler, Meredith Monk, and Elizabeth Fraser, the Kesh songs and poems play with the shape of voice.”
Babes, here it is: the first batch of Johnny Jewel’s soundtrack work for the new series of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks; comprising 14 original themes, cues and songs under his own name and with his bands, Chromatics and Desire.
If you’ve been keeping up with he series, the above is surely all you need to know, but for everyone else, Windswept is the stuff dreams be made of, draped in lustrous synths evoking all the immaculate ambiguity and American Dream-like nature of the new episodes’ interweaving stories, from he romance of Heaven and The Crimson Kiss or the shimmering Americana of Slow Dreams, to the feverish horror cue of Insomnia’s tense strings and the air-conditioned jazz cool of Motel, with a massive highlight in the all-too-short synth strokes of Between Worlds and Stardust’s sexed up mystery.
Mercurial maverick of the maelstrom, John Duncan presents a definitive, new, 3rd vinyl edition of his Riot  album: re-recorded, re-mixed at EMS and expanded with material that didn’t make the initial pressings, all taken from original 8-track master tape - which required them to revive obsolete machinery - and all re-mastered by Rashad Becker for this release; which, according to the legendary avant-garde agitator himself, is finally packaged in artwork befitting of his vision. Or take it straight from the horse’s gob: “If there is any one must-have releases that defines my work in sound, this is it.”
So, for anyone who made first contact with John Duncan’s catalogue via his sublime, deathly Bitter Earth [iDEAL, 2016] LP songbook, this one may come as a shock. But considering that practically everything else in his catalogue is more akin to this record than Bitter Earth, you may have some catching up to do, and this is a perfect place to start.
Employing the chaos generated by his favoured shortwave radio, coupled with “computer program transmissions, military morse code, atmospheric interferences, random sounds”, Duncan makes a genuine, head-flossing racket on the A-side’s Riot. Scrambled not stirred, the results still stand gnarled in the historical stream of noise records, strongly representative of a pursuit for total atonality and arrhythmia - pure randomness in a state of flux always anticipating, never resolving.
Contrarily the B-side throws words, both legibly spoken in english and chopped-up in Japanese, into stark negative relief. Firstly a droll description of viciousness at an event by Paul McCarthy at a Los Angeles gallery, then a passage of fulminating noise chaos, followed by an extraction from a performance at the outdoor amphitheater in Hibiya Koen, Tokyo, 1983, and unpredictably shattered into an extreme inky blacknuss.
No messing, this is extreme music of the highest order.
New from Forest Swords' Dense Truth label - the long awaited follow-up to that amazing Dialect album for 1080p which sparked a lot of curiosity on its release in 2015. From initial listens, this one's a more occluded, gauzier and visceral affair than its predecessor. It veers from tender synth tones to distressed strings via introspective flights of fancy prone to tilt into distended techno or, when the light changes, reveal moments of genuine, heart-rendingly cinematic beauty. If you're into 0PN, Maxwell Sterling, Ssaliva, Forest Swords - this one's for you...
“Loose Blooms is the 3rd full length album from Andrew PM Hunt under his Dialect moniker, and his most raw collection yet. Inspired by several field trips to the southern desert states of America as well a trip to remote parts of the Scottish Highlands, the album was constructed in an incredibly dense sonic environment whilst living above a nightclub in Liverpool.
Made from a collage of field recordings, fm synthesiser improvisations and semi generative software jams, Loose Blooms is a weathered fossil of sound. In its shredded landscape, you can just about make out arid canyons, moonlit wilderness and the hollow echo of empty 5am streets. Conceived of both as a document of speculative-folklore, and as an attempt to communicate with the land around us- the ever mutating sounds on this record point towards an inherent instability in not only the natural world but also our relationship with it.
Whereas Hunt's last album 'Gowanus Drifts' (2015, 1080p) dealt with encroaching development on urban spaces, Loose Blooms taps into a more universal anxiety around the future of the planet and the violence it both endures and inflicts. One day our phones will be rocks.”
Renowned photographer Wolfgang Tillmans demonstrates the distance travelled from his earliest musical work thru a mix of new, original material, archival finds, and remixes from Justin Strauss, on his Fragile label.
Leading on from his recent live shows with Powell, the Heute Will Ich Frei Sein EP is a typically diverse and spunky set drilling down to Tillmans’ variegated musical interests, namely darkroom EBM/house in the title track; a light headed sort of avant-ambient-trance-pop in Completely Changed; and strong nods to classic synth-pop and Salem in On My Own.
Yet, our favourite piece is perhaps the most whimsical, a 2 minute field recording of a Tired Car Alarm going thru its paces, while the speed-freak NDW styles of Fast Lane (original 1986 / 2016) recalls strapping DAF classics, and comes in dubbed-out, cosmic disco remixes by Justin Strauss.
Fusion of sleek rolling techno by LLC producer Uge Pañeda with texts John Cage, Laurie Anderson and others, for the purpose of choreography by Barcelona’s Aimar Pérez Galí
“MOM 012 is the soundtrack to a very special performance named ÉPICA. Directed by Barcelona based choreographer Aimar Pérez Galí, it was premiered at Sonar 2017. EPICA brings clubbing culture inside the theatre, to deliver a highly energetic performance, joining bodies, sound and voices of historic and political dissidence. It is about communication between bodies (without language) and the liberty of being on the dancefloor. Freedom of movement, expression and happiness through music! Okkre has provided a startling soundtrack. This soundtrack complements the performance of the dancers beautifully but also deserves to be listened on its own. It is both powerful and dramatic, fitting the title.
The music of the soundtrack has been adapted for its imminent release on vinyl. The piece begins with the rhythmic movement of beats, which provides a structured backdrop. They are complemented by a swirling bassline. Overlayed percussion of differing styles comes in and out. Harsh almost metallic synths enter after a few minutes, which also have the sensation of breathing. Later on, powerful synths battle sturdy cymbal assisted percussion. In the latter stages, everything gets even more intense techno feel and the A Side ends with dense dark synths. The music is alive!
While the other side gently mixes a melodic bassline that moves like the wind with intertwined chorus and voices, which appeal to the spirit of the artistic work, evoking space for feeling and touching. At the same time, insistent beats offer a club feeling. Scary yet empowering strings create a hypnotic atmosphere alongside falling keys and vocal impressions. The final few minutes provides a strong climax to the record. This features hammering beats, a circling bass and powerful keys. A mighty performance! ÉPICA is indeed epic.”
Lone gets it right on these rugged but lush UK ravers, nailing a crafty blend of dembow knuck and early ‘ardcore bruk spiralling to a widescreen, flute-led new age peak in Temples, then swanging out with the infectious rub ’n tug of ruffcut Detroit house and fluoro nEuro trance lines on Hyper Seconds.
A career highpoint from one of California’s most prolific electronic musicians (aka [a]pendics.shuffle, Bell Gardens, Reverse Commuter, dubLoner, Kenneth James G., KJ Gibbs, Bal Cath, Eight Frozen Modules, and Premature Wig).
"Seeking the overwhelming vibration of the genuine sound wave and its profound echo on the soul, Kenneth James Gibson has spent his career experimenting under a variety of aliases like as many brushstrokes to an ever polymorphic palette - successively releasing as [a]pendics.shuffle, Bell Gardens, Reverse Commuter, dubLoner, Kenneth James G., KJ Gibbs, Bal Cath, Eight Frozen Modules, and Premature Wig… the list is long. Near to two years after his first incursion on Kompakt with his third studio LP 'The Evening Falls', Gibson returns with 'In The Fields Of Nothing', his second full-length delivery for the Cologne-based imprint.
A piece of intricate scales and moods, by turn streaming with the quiet flow of a small meandering rill, then suddenly veering off into an oceanic kind of tumult, 'In The Fields Of Nothing' was conceived as a proper film soundtrack with its rhythmic ebb-and-flow and deep sense of immersion, pulling the strings to an imaginary scenario where the uncanny rubs shoulders with a minute care for the immersion and deep emotional involvement of its whole.
Like entangling multiple levels of consciousness through a millefeuille of textures, piano and strings as well as a flurry of subtly FX-soaked instrumentals, Gibson reflects on his new album - created and recorded right after 'The Evening Falls' came out - as hugely inspired by the lushly forested mountain landscapes of his home region, the bewitching Idyllwild, California. With each track being an essential petal in the narrative corolla figured by Gibson, it's a breathing forest of sounds that deploys, bearing the memories of Kenneth's early morning and late night wanderings in the wild, alone and not, with the ancient trees' vital force for main companion.
An attempt at capturing a slice of these ephemeral sensations felt when striding along across the steep ridges and stony paths of the San Jacinto mountains, staring at the star-studded dome or gazing into the quiet horizon at dawn, 'In The Fields Of Nothing' eludes the single genre encapsulation, opting for the all-embracing openness of scope as it hops from droney melodic interplays ("Her Flood") and roomy string-laden folk drifts ("Further From Home") through Ligetian webs of sound ("Thirsty Lullaby", "Fields Of Everything") and poignant threnodies ("Unblinded"), onto sorrowful pop ballads ("Far From Home") and lulling ambient scapes ("To Love A Rotting Piano", "Plastic Consequence")."
Lakker’s Dara Smith follows bandmate Eomac’s lead to go solo with a batch of mad electro-folk (read: definitely not turbofolk!) mutations under the new moniker; Arad, for Bedouin Records.
The Glimpse follows thru on the mystic and historic invocations of recent Lakker releases to diffract a worldly rush of inspirations thru technoid prisms, variously keening from what sounds like Irish flocked thru a vocoder and alloyed with 2-step EBM rhythms in the title cut, whereas Inti hints at North African Arabic modes, and Fried Salt simultaneously indulges his melodic and textural fascinations in sweetly elusive style.
Baked Arms then catches him percolating Afro-Latin patterns on a bed of cranky dissonance, and We Are Bacteria Sent Out Into Space forges a mix of snappy Afro-electro drums and Bruce Haack-alike vocoder expressions, and Slua Washed finds a clash of vocoloid spirits with charred noise.
Enigmatic collective De Leon, known for a pair of cult tape releases on the Aught label, casts the 3rd release on Mana, following their sides by Pierre Mariétan and Benedict Drew with a display of rippling rhythmelodies and sloshing patterns, including some ripped from their Blowing Up The Workshop mix and all bound to resonate with fans of Shackleton, Don’t DJ, or Burnt Friedman.
Blurring distinctions between field recording and electro-acoustic performance in a gauzy sort of esoteric dance music, De Leon have worked coolly and obscurely in pursuit of an outernational spirit since their pair of tapes for /\\Aught in 2014-15. On Mana they pick up where we last heard them on a mix of exclusive productions for the BUTW mix series, rendering material from that set along with gear produced around then, or even more recently (we’re not sure to be honest, they don’t give much away).
The vibe is essentially a sort of trans-cultural moiré of ideas, converging elements of gamelan, West African tribal drums and Native American pipes in six seamless dream sequences that feel at times like Villalobos conducting Marginal Consort or at others like a naturally occurring delta of plugged in new age techno which has mutated in order to inoculate dancers against rigid metric conformity.
*Please note: this is not a new Joanna Newsom record, It's a vinyl reissue of the second track on the 'Sprout And The Bean' CD single (originally released in November 2004 ) - a longtime fan favourite. This is the first and only time that it's been available on vinyl, and it's been dressed up as pretty as a picture - but a picture that plays music. The length of the song led Drag City to the 12" format, all the better to appreciate the design of the sleeve. Side B features an exclusive etching. All of it the elegant work of the elegant artist Becca Mann, whose visual artistry lent hue to the front cover of Joanna's 'Have One On Me' album. Limited to only 700 copies.*
Techno, Berlin style, from a relatively new guy on the ‘floor; Somewhen.
Where Ostgut Ton’s previous release, Answer Code Request’s Gens album, worked a really cheesy mix of Breaks and IDM electronica, this guy makes up for that misstep with five shots of driving, twysted, fresh techno in the EBM-toned banger Ryte, on the lusting darkwave swagger of Undress, and the lockjawed pounder AFL.
Brainwaltzera’s nostalgic braindance album Poly-Ana, remixed by a haul of veteran and new artists.
Luke Vibert gives the EP’s highlight with a ruddy sort of percolated acid take on Muddy Puddle Trot, and Gauvid also charms with a bittersweet acid rub of the same cut, whilst Philipp Otterbach takes Triangulate Dither deep into kosmiche ether.
Daniel Avery calls in some smart remix back-up for his recent Slow Fade EP - one of his strongest solo releases - with Actress, Surgeon and Inga Mauer on remix duties.
Surgeon turns Radius into a well balanced ambient techno roller, whereas Actress brings up the snaky acid of Slow Fade to a sort of haunted warehouse sound, and Inga Mauer hears Fever Dream as an echo of Baby Ford & Ifach Collective’s minimal techno lust.
After a searing run of releases and remixes, Ancient Methods makes the natural move to working with vocalists in The Asking Breath Comes To Each, teaming up with Tropic Of Cancer, Huren, Zanias, and Azar Swan for a distinctive new addition to AM’s carefully expanding catalogue.
The sole preserve of Michael Wollenhaupt for some years now, in the last few years Ancient Methods has carved towards working vocals to deadly effect on a number of remixes for everyone from The Soft Moon to Wolfsheim, beside his own edits as Room 506.
All this has clearly fed into the stonking original material found on The Asking Breath Comes To Each, which royally boots off with the harpy screech of Azar Swan over the scorched earth gallop of Swallow The Screw, before trimming back to the acidic darkroom canter of The Standards Will Come And Go feat. a possessed Dave Foster aka Huron - arguably summat of a wet dream for anyone who needs talc to help get their duds on.
Tropic Of cancer executes a perfect, pensive and floating counterpoint to the razor sharpened 16th note serrations of It Won’t Take Me on the B-side, and we’re feeling pangs of guilty glee towards the borderline cheesy/lush epicness of Zoe Zanias’ vocal on the restrained pulse of Andromeda.
This is killer - unremittingly bleak and tortuous noise from French unit Sister Iodine, plying a skull scraping fusion of harsh noise, black metal, and charred electronics ruptured by sparing percussion and pitch black ambient vortices, for Egypt’s Nashazphone. Some brilliant moments inside for followers of Nate Young, Prurient, Wold, Wolves In The Throne Room...
“French noise scene spearheads Sister Iodine return with their sixth album, Venom. Active since the '90s, Sister Iodine, which involve Erik Minkkinen, Lionel Fernandez, and Nicolas Mazet, has not lost one milligram of their radical and uncompromised approach in sound exploration and limits stretching. Following two studio albums on Parisian label Premier Sang, released in 2009 and 2013 respectively, it took almost five years to shape up Venom.
It is with the advent of the 21st century -- more than ever -- that the decisive path of Sister Iodine has taken a fascinating route. From their debut album, ADN 115 (1994), which was strongly influenced by the original New York no wave scene (Mars, DNA, Red Transistor) to their more recent works which are augmented by "newer poisons" such as black metal, or the most abrasive end of industrial music and power electronics, as well as experimental electronics -- Editions Mego has reissued an extended version of Premier Sang's Flame Desastre on CD -- (DEMEGO 009CD, 2009) -- the band has managed to survive through the years from the inhospitable French squats of the nineties to nowadays' established venues and proper tours.
Today, the band's music has changed recipients and has attracted younger generations with their organized radioactive chaos, never conceding anything from their initial intensity. Over the years, Sister Iodine will have also created their own idiosyncratic language, for which sound exploration matters and pure beauty seem to count as much as pure explosive ferocity, while intense violence and energy gets deployed in live shows. The last few years witnessed an increasing number of collaborations such as the recent sessions with Meyhna'ch (Mütiilation) or the ones with Masaya Nakahara (Violent Onsen Geisha, Hair Stylistics). Venom includes two tracks featuring the vocal contribution of Stephen Bessac, the deviant frontman of the cult French hardcore band Kickback. Sister Iodine produces a music that is actually unique and unheard anywhere else, one of eternal youth and audacity.”
The Jealous Gods conscript Varg for their 17th number, harnessing his esteemed Scando techno energies in four hardcore, pounding missiles under the title of I’ll Hold You Till We Die.
A-side hurts the best with a pair of robust 140bpm bangers, getting into gear with the tense electro of For Milan/AMG and dispensing a proper bollocking with the stampeding groove of Skrrt (Music made To Listen To In A RS6).
Turn over and he drops the tempos slightly to go in with a class party piece in Donatella Forever and then the soaring hard techno élan of Last dance (I’ll Hold You Till We Die).
Editions Mego deliver a powerful and moving solo album from Posh Isolationist Loke Rahbek.
Echoing the growing influence Copenhagen’s Posh Isolation have had in recent years, label co-founder and creative instigator behind many of their acts Loke Rahbek steps out with a debut solo album on Editions Mego. Assembled over the course of 2014-16 at Stockholm’s fabled EMS studios and Rahbek’s Posh Isolation base in Copenhagen, ‘City Of Women’ effectively distils aspects of the various PI projects Rahbek has been involved in over the past few years to deliver a nine-track collection that defies easy categorisation.
There is romance here in this mythical city, witnessed in Rahbek’s sumptuous piano playing in both Fermented and A Word A Day, whilst his obvious mastery of channelling extreme noise to evoke an emotional response is evident in the title track or album opener Like A Still Pool.
Pitched somewhere between a wistful Varg and the post-Hype Williams abstraction of John T Gast, this is a fine statement of intent from Rahbek on perhaps his strongest and most absorbing production to date.
For a self confessed ‘journeyman’ musician who has spent most of his 50 year career on the road live Michael Chapman albums are curiously rare items and even more rare from his earlier years. This one, recorded by dutch “hippie” radio station ‘VPRO’ on 6th May 1971 is the earliest known live recording so far discovered of Michael Chapman after he started releasing records on the legendary UK based Harvest / EMI record label in 1969.
"This period is for Chapman fans the classic period, that more recently has drawn belated media coverage and recognition in response to the more recent kudos bestowed upon Michael from the likes of Thurston Moore, Kurt Vile, Jim O’rouke and the late, great, Jack Rose. A beautiful clear, warm and intimate recording of Chapman duetting with long time collaborator Rick Kemp on electric bass and which documents material from all three albums in a free flowing improv inflected style very much in favour at the time. it is with this free flowing vibe in mind that we include with both CD & vinyl editions the complete 90 minute concert via a download code card so listeners can experience the whole set.
Chapman sounds in a confident, gentle and relaxed mood. The Audience Is Initially Tentative, Possibly Unfamilar With chapman’s work but gradually warming to his complex dexterous ‘not folk’ playing. The recordings make for a fascinating snapshot of the time, with a loose and open approach that offers a rare chance for guitar buffs to evesdrop between songs on some those bespoke Chapman guitar tunings!. The set begins with another very rare Chapman item – a cover version - in this case of Tim Hardin’s 1965 “A Reason To Believe’. A song which had just reappeared that year as the A side of a Rod Stewart solo single (The B side being ‘Maggie May’!)."
Legendary hardcore label Praxis revive their 5th release, Bourbonese Qualk’s techno onslaught Autonomia, for a necessary reissue on the occasion of its 23rd birthday.
One of a handful of genuine post-punk/post-industrial survivors who’ve consistently held their underground mettle since the late ’70s, Simon Crabb’s Bourbonese Qualk are a vital example of the intersection between politics and music which generates the best records and raves in the UK.
Autonomia catches Crabb’s unit in 1993 going nuts for hardcore and acid techno, just like the rest of the country at that time. However, unlike a number other producers who has made the traversal from ‘80s punk and wave style to electronic dance music in the ‘90s, BQ also brought with them a scuzzy squat attitude ripe for hardcore techno warehouse raves.
That attitude comes out in no uncertain terms in the oblique, hard edged and psychedelic styles on Autonomia, which scales from full-on skull-bashing hardcore to more hypnotic styles reminscent of Psychick Warriors Of Gaia and even sounds like prototype tracky Jamal Moss gear in parts.
It’s pretty much worth it for the orange/black came jacket alone!
Brusque, Ballardian EBM techno and industrial clangers from Oliver Ho in his Broken English Club style.
The A-side’s Accidents & Romance clamps down with rottie-toothed 16th note synth snarls and back-breaking kicks whilst the owner chats like a man possessed, somewhere above the escalating madness.
B-side, Country Life bucks up some recoiling and lustrous EBM funk that burns on contact, backed with a descent into crushing industrial torpor with Private Death.
Shark-eyed EBM from the Mannequin überlor,
Making his 1st mark on Jealous God with the scorching ballistics of Harvest on the A-side, and a pair of more furtive missiles on the trampling force of Prehistory, and muscle car chug of Death and Rebirth.
Not a band who ever do things by halves, this opus from Stars Of The Lid is a mammoth three disc set and is sublime for the entire duration.
You see, although some might level that Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride have really stuck to the same style since their inception, they have been moving steadily forward with each release and have gone from whispering post-shoegaze guitar drones to something altogether more grandiose.
It would be crass to describe the music as cinematic, but the first thing that strikes me about "And their Refinement of the Decline' is its similarity to the work of Zbigniew Preisner and specifically his work with film director Krzysztof Kieslowski. Stars of the Lid share Preisner's (and Kieslowski's) sense of restraint, minimalism and stark beauty without resorting to sentimentalism. What we have here is beautiful music in its rawest form - horns, strings and that haunting reverb-drenched guitar all perfectly placed and allowed time to breathe. Nothing here is rushed, you hear passages rise and fall gloriously, sounds make an entrance and slowly disappear and nothing ever dares to outstay its welcome.
Arvo Part, Gavin Bryars or Brian Eno would all be more than appropriate comparisons for this stunning collection of work, but Stars of the Lid are almost at the point where they defy comparison altogether. Of course they have introduced further, more overtly 'classical' elements into their mix but the music they are making is quite uniquely their own - they are one of those rare bands that has absolutely defined a sound. What we are hearing is frankly two musicians who are at the top of their game, sharing their carefully measured view of the world with us and allowing us a peek into musical perfection - and you really can't ask for anything more than that.
Yasuaki Shimizu’s Music For Commercials  is here given a much needed first ever reissue some 30 years since it appeared on Crammed's Made To Measure library music series, which also included editions by Tuxedomoon and Hctor Zazou. Very safe to say that if you were enchanted by Visible Cloaks’ Reassemblage LP or their Fairlights, Mallets & Bamboo mixes, this one is a must!
In 24 parts Shimizu unfolds a tightly packed lattice of crystalline gems and vignettes crafted for TV commercials, plus the 15 minute Ka-Cho-Fu-Getsu piece for a Computer Animation Video which is practically worth the price of entry alone.
Presumably titled after the corporations who employed him, you’ll find stacks of super sweet, pastoral 4th world emulations patched from keys, sax, gamelan, drum machines and electronics for the likes of Seiko, Ricoh, Sharp, Honda, Knorr and Bridgestone, each as exactingly cute and piquant as the last.
Known for his numerous albums, soundtracks, and collaborations including with the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Bjork, this is perhaps Shimizu's most sought-after and influential work and one that perfectly encapsulates our collective yearning for peace and quiet in an increasingly commercialised, chaotic world.
RVNG Intl parse Pauline Anna Strom’s incredible new age recordings on this collection of boundary-smudging synth journeys, containing material originally released between 1982 and 1988. They've spent almost a decade trying to bring this collection to life, kudos to them once again for compiling and conceiving it with so much care and attention to detail.
Drawn from seven obscure tape and vinyl releases made between 1982 and 1988, Trans-Millenia Music lives up to its mantle with a sense of ancient knowledge transposed into the contemporary future of the 1980s, realising a latent, transcendent sound that was perhaps just waiting for technology to catch up so it could speak freely.
Through the circuitry of pioneering synth tools, the blind composer and keyboardist from San Francisco feels out a spectrum of unfathomably celestial and synaesthetically-heightened sound colour along myriad, psychedelic vectors, haptically connecting diffuse spatial coordinates with a gossamer web of FX and morphing filter envelopes.
It’s music for oceanic introspection, beckoning listeners to fall deep inside themselves and diffract profound visions through their own lens, where you can interpret her descriptions of sonic flight in Crusing Altitude 36,000 Feet and In Flight Suspension, or decode the entheogenic synth voices of Mushroom Trip according to your own understanding of the cosmos and its play of energies, and draw your own meanings.
Gorgeous music, highly recommended if you're into Suzanne Ciani, Laurie Speigel or indeed Midori Takada.
Excellent album of plasmic ambient dub pop, neatly balanced between weightless yearn and meatier industrial leanings, perhaps best grasped as some dream meeting between Suzanne Ciani, Teresa Winter and CoH?
“Air Lows is the debut solo album by Silvia Kastel. The Italian artist has been a fixture of the underground since her precocious teens, clocking up many miles in Control Unit with Ninni Morgia (“It’s like Catherine Deneuve dumped two cases of post-Repulsion psychiatric notes over Pere Ubu’s Dub Housing, lit the fuse and, ahem, stood well back" – Julian Cope), including collaborations with the likes of Smegma, Factrix, Gary Smith, Aki Onda and Gate (Michael Morley of The Dead C).
Both solo and in her work with others, Kastel has explored the outer limits and inner workings of no wave, industrial, dub, extreme electronics, free rock and improvisation. Air Lows is both her fullest and most refined offering to date, a work of vivid, isolationist electronics which draws deeply on her past experience but assuredly breaks new ground. Prompted by a late-flowering interest in techno and club music, Kastel sought to create something which combines a steady rhythmic pulse with the otherworldly sonorities of musique concrete, and avant-garde synth sounds inspired by Japanese minimalism and techno-pop (Haruomi Hosono’s Philharmony being a particular favourite).
The formal artifice of muzak / elevator music, the intros and outros of generic popular songs, the extreme light-heavy contrasts of jungle, the creative sampling of hardcore, and the very “human” synths in the jazz of Herbie Hancock’s Sextant and Sun Ra: all were touchstones for Air Lows’ conception and composition, and all strains of music addressing - or complicating - the relationship between the human and the technological.
By extension, visual inspirations also proved important: anime, and the avant-garde fashion of Rei Kawakubo. What does that shirt or dress sound like? Though used sparingly, Kastel’s voice remains her key instrument, whether subject to dissociative digital manipulations as on ‘Bruell’, delivering matter-of-fact spoken monologues, or providing splashes of pure tonal colour.
Recorded between her expansive Italy studio and a more compact, ersatz set-up in Berlin, Air Lows gradually takes on some of the character of the German capital: you can hear the wide streets and uninhabited spaces, the seepage of never-ending nightlife, the loneliness.
Air Lows is The Wizard of Oz in reverse: the glorious technicolour J-pop deconstructions of its first half leading inexorably to the icy noir of ‘Spiderwebs’ and ‘Concrete Void’. These later tracks are reminiscent of 2015’s magnificent 39 12”, Kastel in the role of numbed, nihilistic chanteuse stalking dank, murky tunnels of reverb and sub-bass. But in fact there is contradiction and emotional ambiguity to Air Lows from the outset, and throughout - a sense of both infinite space and acute claustrophobia; energy and inertia; fluency and restraint.”
Hyperdub reveal a spine tingling ambient episode in the Burial saga, finding the enigmatic protagonist pursuing the atmospheric themes of Nightmarket - the B-side to his previous 12” - into a liminal grey area of esoteric, sino-futurist techgnosis in Subtemple / Beachfires.
Implanted in the subterranean consciousness in the wake of Burial’s distinguished remix for Goldie’s Inner City Life, the reclusive artist’s latest episode frames some of the most enigmatic material in his era-defining catalogue, effectively removing the beats entirely and leaving us wandering acres of negative space lit up by cryptic sonic signposts and paranormal disturbances.
On both sides he uncannily echoes aspects of the Ghost In The Shell soundtrack as much as Nguyen Van Phong’s spectral Yin Yang gong loops and experimental funerary rites, as divined by the 3rd Ear/IREX project and archived on Reel Torque in 2016; dialling in encrypted patterns of crackle, cinematic dark ambient strokes and snatches of dialogue seemingly intercepted from the ether.
With Subtemple he appears like a safecracker or furtive agent tapping clandestine discussions from Shanghai; in headphones it feels like listening into important but impenetrable messages left by a time jumper in an evacuated mollusc. Beachfires follows with the equally illusive/elusive shimmer of wind chimes and fallen angel cries calcifying around the pineal gland, again with totally beguiling electro-acoustic depth of field and prompting all kinds of fevered speculation.
A pattern or narrative seems to be forming, or perhaps revealing itself in an inverted entropic schematic. Either way we’ve just got that Burial feeling again, and there’s scant few artists who can keep us rapt so consistently.
The myzterious Rezzett applies salty digits on two sore, nervy pieces for TTT further to their string of widely praised 12”s, 7” and tape over the last coupla years.
Doyce feels particularly damaged, approaching the ‘floor from the back door with bristling breaks knotted and frayed in undulating, tabla like whorls and scuttling patterns whilst a cold sweat sheen of electronics evaporates in in noxious harmonics from its thizzing skin.
For a neat contrast, Doyce (Yavas) burns off the twitching rhythm to leave those ambient soul gases floating across the flipside like dawn mist from a burned-out rave.
Glass offers the sublime results of a collaboration between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto), as performed and recorded at Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut during the private opening to Yayoi Kusama’s installation marking the 110th anniversary of Johnson’s birth.
Making sterling use of the landmark architectural work’s pellucid dimensions, the pair fixed contact mics to its glass walls, which they effectively played as an “instrument”, rubbing it with rubber gong mallets to generate delicate tones which they combined with a sympathetic palette of singing glass bowls, crotales, keyboards and mixers.
The seamless performance of floating, weightless tones and exquisitely quivering timbres is without doubt one of their finest. For the duration we’re held static and spellbound by the pair’s interplay of microtonal shifts and plasmic chronics, keening the listener thru hazes of digital dust and vortices of angelic harmonics to locate, alchemise and resolve a rarified, deeply mysterious spirit before the piece closes.
As the follow-up to their OST for The Revenant  and the warbling keys of Summvs  before that, the achingly lush tension of Glass is perhaps the purest testament to the clarity of vision and endless minimalist mutability of this highly revered duo.
Deaf Center and Svarte Greiner’s Erik K Skodvin has long been perfecting the kind of music that's tailor made for cinema, and here he does just that - providing a score for Danish film "Darling" (2017), alongside a collection of outtakes from it.
Made in collaboration with Raúl Pastor Medall (Rauelsson), the pair were commissioned by director Birgitte Stærmose to score her film about life as a dancer. The resulting material is remarkably cohesive, especially so considering it’s made up of pieces Skodvin and Rauelsson made in collaboration, as well as individually. You can imagine the sort of sounds the pair create - if you’re into the work of Jóhann Jóhannsson you’re in the right ballpark - but what differentiates A Score for Darling is the unique use of low end rumbles and pulses that anchor these recordings and imbue proceedings here with a cohesive, album-like feel.
Generally, the material here is brimming with dynamics and diversity, featuring violin by Christoph Berg, cello by Anne Müller as well as a mass of other sounds like church organs, synths, guitar amp violation, electro-acoustics, piano and more, all layered together into 15 beautiful mood pieces. The final piece of the album Breathe - featuring Otto A Totland on piano and Katinka Fogh Vindelev on voice - can be seen as their own lamenting end-title to a longer period of work with this album, finally finished. It’s also, hopefully, a glimpse of what new material from Deaf Center might sound like, if we’re ever lucky enough to get to see that happen.
Hospital Productions return with Dual Action's Industrial mutations of Techno, D&B and electronic variants smudged with clammy ambience, compiling the hard-to-find 'Babe Beer Bar Car' tapes released between 2014-2016. If you’re into John T. Gast, Christoph De Babalon, The Haters or Frak, this one’s for you.
Compiling some of Matthew Folden, aka Dual Action’s most sought-after material, this set of forays into distorted Ambient, mutant House and Jungle - even weird sorta Grime and Footwork variants - was originally released on his hard-to-find Babe Beer Bar Car tapes, issued between 2014-2016 - and compiled here onto vinyl for the first time.
A core figure on Prurient’s label, affectionately described by Fernow as an “uninvited guest sort of figure who travels around fxcking shit up on the lonely”, Folden has appeared on numerous and seminal Prurient recordings including the demo version of the groundbreaking Bermuda Drain album, the final tape recordings made at the original hospital productions brick and mortar store as Prurient’s ‘Oxidation’ and the new released 7LP of doom electronics Rainbow Mirror which arrived in 2017 to commemorate the 20 years of the project.
Babe Beer Bar Car takes in signature sluggers that sound like The Haters gone house, thru to rolling D&B and footwork rhythms fringing on the grey area, each half-lit by patented atmospheric pollutants.
The set builds a murky picture of a character who spends long nights with his drum machine - it’s hard to shift the feeling that this is the kind of music - numbly expressive, rudimentary and bluntly driven by urges - that someone befitting of the great American lounge-lizard/drifter stereotype might make, or at least listen to, after dark.
Its a quintessentially Hospital Productions sound - deeply satisfying in its mix of black humour laced with flashes of demonic genius.
Having recently contributed to Goner's "Yogascum" LP, reissued in late 2017, Mark Godwin now returns to the Swiss label together with his musical partner Gareth Ormerod as zK.
"Formed in 1999 as a live project, zK first released on the legendary Mancunian Skam label in 2003, toured throughout Europe and were invited by Autechre to play the All Tomorrow's Parties festival. In the following years, Godwin and Ormerod produced a slew of records that at once paid tribute to their roots in the emerging British rave scene while pushing the envelope of experimental electronica. Combining their interest for visual art and psychology with their spiritual connection to bands like Coil, some of whose records Godwin has worked on as a mastering engineer, zK have carved out a niche for themselves with a multi-disciplinary approach to music. "Last Night", their first proper studio album in five years, was recorded in Godwin's new home Bangkok.
Drawing heavily on musique concrète techniques, synthesizers, and sampling to create an immersive experience bordering on the synaesthetic, the six tracks capture the nervous energy of Thailand's capital after dark. Moving from the opener "Ouside Broadcast" with its collage-like juxtaposition of every-day sounds and squelching noise to the aptly titled "Cognitive Dissonance" and the aleatoric modular excursions of "Feral Confection" towards the more sombre, lysergic undertones of the B-side, ending in the both elegiac and haunting final track "Fleshpotting", Godwin and Ormerod explore the sharp contrasts which characterise the city. zK navigate through the weird, the eerie and sometimes even the grotesque and occult, they provide a thorough exploration of a metropolis marked by tradition and progress alike."
Natty jack attacks, wonky ghetto bass and mutant hi-tek jazz from Secret State on CPU.
Like music from some parallel, skewed 313 dimension, Zero Zero One locates a familiar yet subtly altered reflection of Detroit styles between the tweaky jacker CIA UFO Google Search, some percolated Jit business in De-Pattern and the spheric harmonics of The Sleep Room, both recalling an Urban Tribe from different mothers, while Weep For Joy leans on a sort of off-Red Planet vibe.
Equiknoxx’s debut album proper, following the hugely acclaimed 'Bird Sound Power' (Number 2 in both RA and FACT albums of the year 2016), featuring 13 brand new nuggets recorded over the last 12 months and featuring darker, more psychedelic, starkly dubbed perspectives on up-to-the-second dancehall. Well worth checking out if you’re into anything from Lenky to Haruomi Hosono, RZA to Errorsmith...!
Colón Man is the exceptional debut album proper by visionary Jamaican dancehall artists Gavin Blair (Gavsborg) and Jordan Chung (Time Cow) plus their extended crew, aka Equiknoxx - once again for Demdike Stare’s DDS label. Where their widely acclaimed Bird Sound Power primer compilation, issued on DDS in 2016, brought the rest of the world up to speed with the music produced between late ‘00s and 2015, their first album now brings a 2020 sound into sharp, technoid focus thru a baker’s dozen steely, heat-seeking riddims galvanised with clinical electronics and a Midas Touch approach to sampling.
The record’s title, Cólon Man refers to a Jamaican tale (and song) about a mysterious character, whom, like Marcus Garvey, was one of over 100,000 Jamaicans who returned from working in Cólon on completion of the Panama Canal - regarded among the greatest feats of engineering known to humankind, physically connecting the greatest bodies of water on the planet. In context of the album, Gavsborg and Timecow take the story as a metaphorical foundational for a roots and future sound, acknowledging the vital groundwork of previous generations of producers, whilst soundly contextualising their mutant new advancements of Jamaican Dancehall.
Recorded between December 2016 and June 2017, Colón Man forms a stark, stripped down and conceptually blinding record. In tone and texture, the duo favour far colder, more abstract sounds, crucially lit up with sparingly used samples that lend the record its dissonant, harmonic colour and bittersweet hooks, stylishly feeding forward their playfully weird sense of humour into a rugged, nutty and even noisily imagineered set.
Bookended by the gauzy, Detroit-compatible synth looks and acid hall grind of Kareece Put Some Some Thread In A Zip Lock, and the mesh of Motor City sleekness with Far Eastern strings on Waterfalls In Ocho Rios, they distill and diversify their bonds in myriad ways across the album. There’s a killer dancehall/trap hybrid in the percolate chorales and man trills of Plantain Porridge, along with the secretive dub-into-dancehall transfusion of Addis Pablo’s melodica in the belly rolling Melodica Badness, while Ceremonial Eating Dog and the hyaline designs of We Miss You Little Joe - a tribute to their pal Alty Nunes - are arguably the most fwd Jamaican riddims you’ll hear in 2017, and Enter A Raffle… Win A Falafel uncannily recalls the clockwork mechanics of Haruomi Hosono’s Alternative 3, from his S-F-X  LP.
No matter what electronic box or boxes you subscribe to, Colón Man is a hugely inventive, compelling album for the ages, a remarkable iteration of Black Secret Technology for 2017 and far beyond.
New on Feeding Tube.
"Recently we touched base with the New Zealand ex-pat guitarist Dean Roberts. He's living in Berlin these days, teaching, playing and staying out late. When asked if there were any interesting, unheralded players we should know about he immediately mentioned Julia Reidy. Julia is also a guitarist currently based in Berlin, but the city from which she's apart is Sydney, NSW. While there she was embroiled in the Australian improv scene, and played with the likes of Jon Rose et al. She was focused exclusively on electric guitar back in those days.
Since relocating to Europe she has split her concentrations between electric and acoustic, playing in two duos -- Tennis of All Kinds (with bassist Adam Pultz Melbye) and PALES (with percussionist Samuel Hall) -- among other settings. On All Is Ablaze Ms. Reidy plays both an acoustic 12 string and an electric, both of which sound unusually raw and exciting in her hands. Each side of the record consists of a single piece, the A is 'All Is Ablaze,' the flip, 'Thatched Steel & Rain.' In his notes, Dean writes about the beautiful contrasts of the music's textures, drawing apt comparisons to everyone from Robbie Basho to Tom Cora. As these namechecks might suggest, Julia's first LP embraces a nearly unknowable field of sonic detailing. Her technique can sound precise and smudgy at almost the same moment. The intent of her journey seeming to shift with her breathing patterns. There is an organic depth and weight to the music here, displaying an exceptionally wide breadth of influence, knowledge, chops and imagination. We would like to thank Mr. Roberts for introducing us to the music of Julia Reidy. You will soon be doing the same."
Byron Coley, 2017 Edition of 300.
Le Frère debuts with a smudge of ambient and slow electro works on the Slow Glass 12” for Zürich’s Light of Other Days label.
Inspired by travelling the world for the past two years, Slow Glass forms a gauzily nostalgic trip into Le Frère’s mind, encapsulating snapshots or moments of memory in four parts ranging from the wistfully pastoral tones of Nice to more slanted strokes nodding at jazz and post-rock and even Lena Platonos in Candid, before the B-side gently coaxes in some rhythm with the drizzle on a warm day feelings of V1b1n’, and a sort of salty electro chugger called N8ttt that begs comparison with Low Jack or Krikor Kouchian workouts.
One of the most unique, ambitious and experimental game soundtracks ever made. Now on vinyl for the very first time.
"Similar to the task of condensing Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima’s abundance of ideas into a Mega Drive cartridge in 1994, it feels impossible to convey the influences, technical achievements and sheer ambition of their masterpiece into a single paragraph today. By combining automatic composition methods, custom programming languages and a complete sense of artistic freedom, Koshiro and Kawashima transcended their medium and created something so incomparable that it’s hard to believe it came from any games console, let alone a 16bit one. Streets of Rage 3 is urgent, demanding and a complete rejection of the notion that video game music is either pedestrian or predictable. We are honoured to be releasing it."
Describing his first solo record for nine years as “the most free I’ve felt making a record since my debut Small Moments”, David Kitt’s sense of freedom is bound up in themes of renewal, movement, and a constant reshaping of his musical preoccupations.
"The last number of years have seen him touring and recording as a member of Tindersticks, producing other musicians’ work, exploring techno, disco, and house under his New Jackson moniker, remixing everyone from Shit Robot to The XX, and producing intriguing, eclectic DJ sets and radio shows.
All of these experiences have been brought to bear on his latest record Yous, which mingles a sense of freedom, and calm reflection, with an independent impulse, “There was no pressure whatsoever with this record,” he says. “No label or manager, or anyone breathing down my neck. I was happy to wait as long as it took to have the right 10 songs”.
Yous is a finely wrought and elemental piece of work, folding in electronic hisses and beats that ground carefully finger-picked guitars (inspired by the likes of Mississippi John Hurt and John Fahey) and stirring violin, weaving between glorious pop-kissed melodies and stark, immersive, poignant compositions – something Kitt does so well."