Wolf Eyes prototype, Universal Indians, remerge with their hairier offspring for the wild and free trip metal scuzz of ‘Four Variations on ‘Artificial Society’’ under the Universal Eyes guise.
To make it clear - Wolf Eyes are now John Olson and Nate Young, while Olson has also been part of Universal Indian with Gretchen Gonzales and the (now) former Wolf Eyes member Aaron Dilloway since 1995. To make it simpler, Universal Eyes are basically Wolf Eyes with Gretchen Gonzales.
The addition of Gretchen seems to have triggered an acute regression to their most primitive shared states, prompting an hour long cold bath of no wave rock, animalistic electronics and improvised noise that recalls a dream we once had about an orgy of hippos and seagulls on quaaludes at a busy worksite in midwinter Michigan.
Fascinating turn of private electro-acoustic designs by Italy’s Massimo Toniutti - brother of Giancarlo, of ‘Broken Flag’ LP fame - originally self-released in 1991 and now sniffed out, expanded with a bonus album’s worth of gear, and reissued by Oren Ambarchi’s faultless Black Truffle. To our ears, this little known masterpiece bridges a gap between Gruppo and Giuseppe Ielasi, rendering freely disciplined and brilliantly unpredictable arrangements of detailed field recordings and upfront sounds that happen and unfold with a naturalistic quality that’s totally key to its immersive allure. Big RIYL Roland Kayn, Nurse With Wound, Giuseppe Ielasi, Gruppo D’improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza.
“Massimo Toniutti was active in the vibrant underground industrial/noise scene of the 1980s, contributing to releases on legendary labels such as Broken Flag and RRR and self-releasing a series of cassettes between 1984 and 1988. Existing in a private world apart from the noise and dark industrial tropes of many of his contemporaries, Toniutti’s Il Museo Selvatico is an entirely singular work of domestic electro-acoustic exploration. Made up primarily of what Toniutti calls “small and rare noises” or sonic “knick-knacks” recorded between 1987 and 1990, the five pieces that make up the original LP usher us into a crepuscular space populated by mysterious traces of everyday life.
Toniutti weaves a loose net of distant clanks, dull thuds, metallic resonance, and skittering percussive sounds, allowing the sounds to breathe against a backdrop of near-silent atmosphere. Although the haunted ambience recalls the work of contemporaries like Organum, Toniutti generally steers clear of long tones and drones, preferring to arrange brief, sometimes staccato sonic objects into patterns of repeating figures and isolated events whose overall compositional shape remains somehow ungraspable. Although glimpses of recognizable location recordings and instrumental sounds can occasionally be made out, for most of the record the sources of the sounds you hear remain teasingly mysterious, an abstracted memory of everyday actions and atmospheres.
Il Museo Selvatico is accompanied here by an additional LP of material recorded at the same time, composed especially for this reissue into two side-long suites that inhabit the same haunted space as the original LP while occasionally making use of more maximal compositional strategies. Essential listening for fans of Organum, Nurse With Wound, Christoph Heemann, and the tradition of outsider musique concrete.”
Over the course of the last two decades, Detroit-based duo ADULT. (Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller) have released six albums and nineteen EPs and singles across some of our favorite labels: Mute, Ghostly International, Thrill Jockey, Clone Records, Third Man Records, and their own label, the revered Ersatz Audio. November 1998 marked their first release: the five-song 12" “Dispassionate Furniture”. This September, twenty years later, Dais Records is proud to announce ADULT.’s seventh full length album: THIS BEHAVIOR.
"The album began as 23 demos written and recorded in a remote cabin in the woods of Northern Michigan during the dead of winter. In total isolation, and with a reduced amount of gear (a modified version of their live setup) on the cabin’s kitchen table, the duo were completely immersed in an incessant inescapable studio of their own making – looping, repetitive analogue sequences grinding away day and night. At the end of the intense demo session, a handful of peers were enlisted by the band for the difficult task of paring down the demos into the final album.
The result is 10 tracks of uncompromising dark electronics, showcasing ADULT.’s return to aggressive and energetic dancefloor mastery. Album opener, This Behavior, alongside the follow-up, Violent Shakes, (which ascends into synths wailing like warning sirens over Kuperus’s commanding vocals) set the stage for an on-edge listen, while the heartbreaking “Silent Exchange” unfolds as a beautiful sad synth dirge. Perversions of Humankind breaks the mood – driving the listener into a slow and low groove before the frantic album midpoint of Irregular Pleasure. Does The Body Know? is the album’s post-punk anthem, with irresistible singalong “we’re out of order – we’re undefined!” The latter half of the album drives forward with “On The Edge (You Put Me…)” and “Lick Out The Content”, refusing rest and demanding movement and response. Everything & Nothing emerges slowly from sparkling synth textures, snowballing with nervous energy into an acid techno stomper before the album comes to a close on the icy landscape of In All The Debris, a goose-bump inducing slow electronic mantra that closes the curtain on a massive album."
Dreamtime Return  is perhaps the definitive ambient album by Steve Roach. Its title and conception relate to Steve’s interests in native Australian culture and the idea of ‘dream-time’, a notion roughly translating to a ‘time out of time’, or a prehistory populated by ancestral figures with supernatural abilities.
Naturally, Steve uses indigenous percussion and his signature electronic palette, to bring the ancient, sacred idea of Dream-time to reality in a way that has since become canon to ambient electronic music, with clear antecedents in the music of Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement and FSOL among others.
"Since its release in 1988, Dreamtime Return has earned its reputation as a genuine classic. The two-CD magnum opus is one of the most important, widely known and highly respected release in Steve Roach’s vast body of work. It serves as an essential benchmark within the Electronic-Ethno-Atmospheric genre.
Roach’s travels in the Australian outback, along with studies of the native Dreamtime, and his desert walkabouts in California were the lifeblood for this recording which even today sounds like a transmission from the near future and the very distant past.
“Musically Dreamtime Return richly deserves its classic status, but Roach also deserves credit for leading electronic musicians out of their sheltered studios and into an active relationship with the landscape, the wider world, and deep cultural history. The whole genre is stronger and more relevant for his example.” – Stephen Hill, Hearts of Space Radio
Three decades after its release, the true expansive depth of this iconic masterpiece has been meticulously unveiled, revealing an entirely new listening experience. With this 30th Anniversary remastered edition, mastering engineer Howard Givens utilizes his years of technical knowledge with electronic music, an extensive array of analog and digital tools, and his passion for this seminal work, to restore the original sonic nature and visionary intention, taking the listener deeper into the dreamtime.
“Steve Roach demonstrates that electronic music’s greatest potential may lie in bringing our most elusive dreams and ancient memories into focus through potent, highly imaginative soundscapes. In addition to the atmospheric harmonies and rhythms that literally engulf you for two hours the artist’s compelling style is his uncanny ability to create the illusion of suspended time. Altered chords that breathe ever so slowly, floating textures, digitally sampled native timbres, and arresting special effects lead you through a gently unfolding maze of sonic dimensions that depict a sense of mystery and confrontation with the unknown. The effect is mesmerizing, increasingly introspective, yet curiously comforting as if the primitive wisdom and renewed connection to nature this music conveys is something you were craving all along. This is without question Steve Roach’s masterpiece.” – Linda Kohanov, (excerpt from) CD Review, August 1989
“Surrounding every masterpiece there is an arcane and indecipherable energy, a divine breath that blows. Works like Dreamtime Return change the course of history and accomplish a prodigious jump forward. It is a recording that has inspired a whole generation of musicians and that contains within its two hours astounding artistic intuitions, the starting point for all of the esoteric and tribal music that is produced today. The drones of the didgeridoo, the ceremonial drums, the alien ambiences, the voices from the past, the eternal silences, the tribal atmospheres, the dilation of time, and the sculpture of space have created the tribal-ambient genre, of which Roach was the first techno-shaman. The record can be considered a soundtrack for an adventure at the edge of time, an experience that has deeply and indelibly marked Roach, whose life from that moment will no longer be the same. The channel is open.” – Gianluigi Gasparetti, Deep Listenings, August 2005
"Dreamtime Return is more than a seminal recording that has influenced a generation of musicians. It’s a portal into a universe where technological designs merge deep inside primordial moods. Roach found the nexus of primal didgeridoo growls and synthesizer drones and orchestrated them into this techno-tribal opus. When you shout out at the edge of the world, Dreamtime Return is echo that calls back to you." - John Diliberto, Echoes Radio
Suzanne Kraft beautifully paints outside the lines on ‘SK U Kno’, offering studio-rendered snapshots of material that gradually evolved into the pieces in front of you, drawing woozy connections between wistful ambient contours and more vaporous, hypnagogic loops, into unstable House and abstracted midnight Blues. One of the loveliest/smudged listens this year, huge recommendation...
On the A-side Kraft seduces with eight minutes of wilting chords and percolated synth voices in ‘Gaze’, before ‘Vast Mute’ breezes close to the kind of DJ Screw-style magick found in 0PN’s ‘Chuck Person’s Eccojams’, but to more abstracted, hazy effect.
His B-side follows with the beautifully mellow strums of ‘To Make A Stone Weep’ probing a Jim O’Rourke-like transition from acoustic balm to digital saltiness, and then we finally get to hear the full version of ‘Accelerate Me Wildly’, which now comes with an extra 12 minutes of astral synth-scaping and GRM-like electro-acoustics before it drops into killer, airborne funk trills and levitating chords with a proper West Coast US steez.
So good this one.
Finally, a vinyl version of Susumu Yokota’s ‘Acid Mt. Fuji’ , the 2nd album of ambient-acid-techno by the Japanese legend who sadly passed away in 2015
Delivered via Germany’s Midgar, Acid Mt. Fuji arrives on vinyl at a high point of interest surrounding Yokota's work, and especially these early recordings that were made some years before he went on to pen ambient classics such as The Boy And The Tree.
While patently acid techno in form and style, on Acid Mt. Fuji it’s easy to hear the more tender, esoteric elements which would later come into sharper focus, but the original tracks completely stand on their own merits, too, with some big highlights for anyone scoping ‘90s Japanese house and techno in parallel to its ‘80s synth-pop and ambient nexus, especially in the likes of his ruggedly pendulous yet delicate Tanuki, or the slow acid churn of Oponchi and Akafuji.
The Perennial Series is a new division of Lapsus Records and is dedicated to works from established artists in the universe of contemporary electronic music. The first release in this new series comes from Kettel.
"The well-established producer based in Groningen (Holland) has been releasing music for nearly two decades on respected labels including Planet Mu and Clone. In 2008 he released the spectacular "Myam James Part I" on Sending Orbs, the record label he has consistently worked with since its inception. The album -which left electronica "headz" speechless- is, in our humble opinion, a masterpiece replete with acid, electro breaks and the purest braindance style."
Perfectly moody new wave regressions from Pascal Pinkert’s De Ambassade, boomeranging back around on blue vinyl for 2018 with its 2nd vinyl pressing
The A-side’s title cut is a groggily measured shot of Dutch language vocals penned by Miriam Bruijning with Pinkert, and sung by Pinkert to his own arrangement of jangling new wave pop guitars and nippy drum machine crack.
The B-side is even better. On ‘Geen Genade’ Pinkert’s vocals mostly take a back seat to the synths and drums, which drive like a sleek European machine down long, straight, clean roads with solid drum pulse and expressive synth strokes making it come off like a Dutch-speaking John Foxx piece.
Super strong 2nd LP on Nouvelle Ambiance, a new reissue label for African music and the diaspora managed by Sofrito’s Hugo Mendez, here focussing on the way Brazzaville, Kinshasa, Abidjan, and Douala musically informed Paris during the ‘80s. Eminently danceable and packed with never-before-reissued Rumba, Soukous, Boogie, Bikutsi. Don’t sleep!
“In the early 80s a perfect storm of social, technological, political and cultural developments brought about a unique music scene centred around Paris, away from the major labels and pop charts. Musicians, ideas and styles flew between the small independent studios and labels of the French capital and Francophone Africa and the Caribbean, experimenting with new technology and drawing in a dizzying array of influences to soundtrack clubs, bars and radio stations.
Release comes with 28 page magazine format booklet featuring previsouly unpublished photos from the archives of photographer Bill Akwa Bétotè as well as interviews with producers Cyriaque Bassoka and Rigo Makengo, musicians Michel Alibo, Denis Hekimian & John Jongos and Studio Caroline owner Jacky Reggan.”
Shalt binds emosh post-rock/‘tronica and zeitgeist-surfing club music on ‘Seraphim’.
Check for the sweeping, crushing melodramatic sound design of ‘Preserved In Amber’, the bestial torsion of ‘Fleeting’, and the schizzy switch between cooled-out, in-the-pocket dembow bumps and post-rock angst in ‘Charred, Cleansed’.
Arriving ahead of his mooted collaboration with Yves Tumor, the New Orleans-based artist and HBA runway star certainly oozes all the right attributes of “rock star” - bolshy confidence, rasping vocals and striking looks.
OK, there are some nice, subtle touches of electronics and rugged drum machines inside, but the unwieldy axe chops and some of his cheesier affectations leave us cold and put off. Check for the swagger of ‘In Your Eyes’ and the MTV unplugged styles of ’Superstar’ and make your own mind up, though.
October jacks your body like it’s the 1st of the month on the EBM-styled ‘Pay Day EP’
Following suit with the EBM-fuelled pressure of his remix for Facta and two outings on his October label, he plays up to HYNTRX’s queer romping sound in four insistent ways.
The A-side comes with a nagging, stripped down blend of splashing bleeps, cold kicks and hunky square bass line on ‘Tuesday’ and then with a more gnarled bosch riddled with itch crack bug textures in ‘Pay Day’.
B-side he keeps up the levels of stickiness and dark room sleaze with another tuff knocker ‘Urgency’, and the slow flow of ‘Rent’ completes the EP with a sloppy kiss-off that also works a treat on 45rpm.
At bleedin’ last, Cosey Fanni Tutti’s legendary solo album, Time To Tell  sees a proper, if edited, official vinyl reissue - MAGAZINE INCLUDED! - on her and Chris Carter’s Conspiracy International label. In fact, with Cosey’s utterly mind-blowing autobiography, Art Sex Music now in circulation, putting history to rights and stoking febrile interest around her inspirational, nonpareil oeuvre, the timing could hardly be any better to reissue her most sought-after and inarguably definitive solo release.
First issued on tape in 1983, some years after the initial demise of Throbbing Gristle and the start of of Chris & Cosey, and just prior to the emergence of their multimedia CTI alias, Time To Tell documents Hull’s greatest daughter, Christine Carol Newby aka Cosey Fanni Tutti, ‘fessing all about her long-running art praxis involving a deep penetration of the British sex industry - from nude modelling to striptease and transgressive performance art - all set to her signature, exploratory electronic sculptures and drily angelic delivery.
For this hugely important reissue of Cosey’s only solo record (yep, only!), she worked with husband and creative partner Chris Carter to edit the original two track release, trimming down some of the longer parts to optimise audio fidelity, and also incorporating The Secret Touch which was included on the Time To Tell (Special Edition) CD release in 1993/2000.
Thus the release spies three distinct strands or aspects of Cosey’s sound. The first, longest and most comprehensive is the LP’s title track, which, as far as we can tell, appears in a slightly abridged version, but still ties up all her key sonic themes, from pulsing, sensuous synths, sky-licking guitars and brittle drum machines to her achingly seductive Yorkshire accent, drily recounting her experiences and inside/out perspective in the sex industry. Tell us this isn’t one of the most alluring 20 minutes of the ‘80s ever recorded, and we’ll tell you to do one.
Ritual Awakening comes on the B-side. Here the drum machine drops away and Cosey’s hushed vocals take a new, diaphanous form, refracted in a diamond-cut prism of electronics with near-cinematic strings, feeling out unreachable edges of the lushest void. Then we’re stranded in The Secret Touch, where her sallow synth strokes hint at an aquarian sort of new age, melding with reverberating, Denny-esque guitar against an unfathomable backdrop of possible field recordings and almost raga-like drones on her signature Cornet.
We could hammer on about this one all day, but suffice it to say: this is a totally essential purchase!
Vox Populi’s adventures in the Land of the Rising Sun, reworked by by Japan Blues, Tim Karbon, Hiroaki Oba and Shizka for the 2nd volume of ‘Field Works’
Howard Williams a.k.a. Japan Blues opens with a strolling, neon-lit rejig of ‘Chapter V’, marking up his 2nd outing of the year after a remix of Kufuki’s ‘Dodome EP’, while French producer Tim Karbon reworks ‘Chapter VI’ as a dextrously fluid fray of darting percussion and smeared arps for the canniest dancers.
Hiroaki Oba brings the vibe up to speed with debonaire ‘90s deep house styles in the satin smooth flow of their ‘Chapter VII’ remix, and Inoue Shirabe a.k.a. Shizka melts ‘Chapter VIIII’ as a mystic, airborne shimmy with effortlessly elegant results.
Incredible recordings of tropical birdsong from Venezuela, made by French ornithologist Jean C. Roche c. 1969 and often referenced by David Toop
“Sub Rosa present a reissue of Jean C. Roché's Birds Of Venezuela, originally released in 1973. The bird on the cover is a potoo; this metal-looking bird is one of the sonorous curiosities of this mad nature, the sound that he produces essentially is a death song that David Toop heard on his 1978 expedition, but was unable to record, amazement playing its role.
Jean C. Roché on his recordings: "The bird songs which I had recorded in the West Indies in 1969 made me inclined to find out more about those of the nearby South American continent, and convinced me, moreover, that musically speaking, they possessed an unquestionable originality in comparison with those of Africa and Europe. I therefore decided to carry out a series of ornithological trips on this continent, starting in the north with Venezuela. With this in mind, I disembarked at Caracas on 27th May, 1972. The unusual musical volume of this tropical country made its impact known to me on my arrival in town, where the unbearably shrill chirping of the cicadas overwhelmed me each time I passed under a tree. At night fall, around even the meanest of ditches filled by the daily rain, myriads of toads and frogs struck up a concert, which, through its sheer intensity, muffled all other surrounding noises. When I penetrated the forest, I could hear bird species literally by the dozen and individuals by the hundred, all calling and singing together at dawn and at dusk."
David Toop on Jean C. Roché: "Jean-Claude Roché (b. May 11, 1931) is a French ornithologist and wildlife field recordist. Roché recorded bird songs worldwide for over 30 years and has released over 130 records out of his recordings. Among many of his amazing records, I came across Birds of Venezuela, a beautifully produced LP of birdsong. I began to plan a trip to Amazonas, to record for myself the unearthly song of potoos and Yanomami shamanism."
Death Waltz Recording Co. revisit what's widely considered to be one of the best horror movies of the ‘80s.
"The film is unique not only due to it lacking Michael Myers (save for a brief appearance on a TV screen) but also for its score. John Carpenter and Alan Howarth completely jettisoned their previous work and deliver nothing short of an electronic masterpiece. The lead track 'Chariots Of Pumpkins' is an epic 4/4 beat-driven synth-banger that has regularly been played by DJs over the last 10 years. The rest of the score features lush pads, Linn drums aplenty and veers from beautiful blissed-out ambient drones to sinister stinger-driven mood pieces. Absolutely outstanding stuff."
Canny split between veteran mechanical soundsmiths Pierre Bastien & Cabo San Roque on one side, and the none-more-enigmatic Breadwoman improvising with soprano saxophonist Adrian Northover and Dave Tucker on guitar.
“First Terrace deliver another instalment of their split series, following on from the meditative trip supplied by Chihei Hatakeyama and Vida Vojic on FTS002 & the blissful first edition from K. Leimer & Like A Villain.
On the ‘line’ side of FTS003 we hear the meeting of three veteran improvisors - Anna Homler (Breadwoman/Pharmacia Poetica), Adrian Northover (Remote Viewers) and Dave Tucker (The Fall). Born from the fertile creative friction of the London Improvisers Orchestra, they incantate together to deliver a clutch of winding, curious, mesmeric compositions.
On the ‘circle’ side we present a recording from Pierre Bastien - an artist of startling singularity and endless, joyful creativity. Recorded at Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona with Catalonian group Cabo San Roque, Pierre takes the helm of their monumental mechanical sound sculpture - the Orquestra Mecànica de la França Xica - and guides the vast array of cogs and pistons through three movements. The orchestra was made up of thirty or forty machines, all linked to Pierre’s casio keyboard.”
Róisín Murphy meets Maurice Fulton for the 3rd of four singles to emerge throughout summer 2018
On Jacuzzi Rollercoaster Róisín sounds like a curious mix of Kate Bush and Jacko, filtering from whispers to reverb-vaulted phrases in a slippery slice of midsummer disco greaze.
With Can’t Hang On they hinge around a deeper house sound percolated with squirmy acid, keyboard and dancing hi-hats, with Róisín coming on much cooler, breezier.
Porridgy breaks and skudgy techno from The Maghreban, backed with an ace, meter-messing remix by Batu running at c. 160bpm
‘Monster VIP’ is a slompy shot of breakbeat hardcore from the echoplex, whereas ‘Carpet Bombing’ traces undulating techno with zig-zagging psych-funk synth squirms.
Batu’s remix is the best thing on offer, making a rare foray into higher tempi with an initially tentative, but ultimately roguish joyride consolidating ghetto-tech, footwork and rolling UK bass styles with inimitable style.
Pivotal solo cellist and producer Oliver Coates (LCO, Apartment House) proceeds collaborations with Mica Levi and Radiohead with Shelley’s on Zenn-La, an indefatigably endearing 3rd solo album, new for RVNG Intl.
We can hardly think of many artists beyond Oliver’s own circle who can meld dance music with avant-electronic and classical instrumental expression quite like Oliver does here. From the raw electric buzz and spattered breaks underlined with layered cello in Faraday Movement, to the abraded BoC-like downbeats of Lime, thru to wayward disco treks like Charlev, Analord-style braindance in Norrin Radd Dreaming, and the final swoon between wide-open string composition and balletic IDM in Perfect Apple with Silver Mark, Oliver is making wonderful music unconstricted by convention, but patently happy to play with it.
Four cuts of jacking Chicago acid inna London style from Downfall Recordings
Consequence follows their role on the label’s first V/A EP with the chunky but streamlined pressure of ‘They’re At It Again’, and Type-303 pursues their 12” for I Love Acid with a ruddy bit of acid juice in ’Acid Will Survive’.
The Auditor works the offbeat with natty swagger on ‘Get Down’, and Nuff Trip really makes his little grey box sing ’n squelch with ‘Free Your Soul’.
Three of the world's foremost extreme sound artists/producers collide 'In The Studio' on a highly limited and opulent spot-gloss gatefold album.
Recorded days after the live performance captured on 'Shall I Download A Black Hole and Offer It To You', this is Keiji Haino and Pan Sonic witnessed in the controlled environs of a Berlin studio, serving eleven utterly compelling examples of freeform noise, vocal gymnastics and power electronics. The track titles, from the hand of Haino, indicate the abstract esoteric nature of the recordings, with 'If I could incarnate this feeling would you consider it a creation' attached to 1 minute of Keiji's blood curdling vocal catharsis, and the jawdropping 'In the hollow created between the eyebrows, what offering would be most appropriate' signifying seven minutes of lucid operatic falsetto descending into diabolical undertones of strafing drones and oncoming clouds of caustic noise.
The dilated scope of the session is perhaps best heard on 'Imperious doppelganger of tears, playing catch with objectivity that evades ultimate responsibility', where spasmodic jazz/metal drums pound clustered chunks of percussive flesh over walloping synthetic bass hits and shadowy, dynamic alien shapes invade the space at will. On '"Without Doubt", an attestation written from that time, will no longer have effect, because the wound has widened so much' Haino riffs away on guitar over Mika & Ilpo's reinforced machine beaten industrial squalls, and appears again in a more sombre form, articulating acutely melancholy axe signatures to bleak, blank bass drones in 'Perhaps there is no need to return', a sublime meeting of mystical and uncompromising minds from opposite ends of the world.
The heavyweight nature of the music is beautifully represented in Stephen O'Malley's stunning sleeve, firmly enhancing the irresistible allure of this album. Very highly recommended.
Mika Vainio measures out one of his finest releases to date, bar none, in the staggering 'Kilo' for Blast First Petite.
With a barely tamed sense of aggression, it more or less finds the perfect crux point between our office favourite, the beats-driven 'Oleva' (2008) under his Ø alias, and the granite hewn and bloodied metal excursion, 'Life (…It Eats You Up)' (2011), shaping ten tracks of a vivid and viscerally affective aesthetic whose themes of mass, dynamic and tone are succinctly reflected in context of his shipping-themed track titles, and surely implied by its frighteningly physical presence. It feels very much like one man taking control of his daemons, strengthening his whip hand and honing his ability to deliver deadly force where it matters, making every pause between the beats count with breathtaking efficiency.
Each ductile synth snarl, thunder-strike riff and bouldering drum occurs with space docking precision. From the midnight drop of 'Cargo', his 'Cranes' and 'Load' toil pendulous beats big as a troll's clackers, and 'Docks' places us out in the cold, waiting for the fog horn synth to deliver payload. 'Sub Atlantic' is the incredibly scary centrepiece, imagining the paranoia of listing in the hull of a sinking vessel far from shore, and 'Rust' is maybe the resultant decay manifested as pure power electronics.
For sonic thrills, the lungful oscillator decompressions and pensile Bonham bosh of 'Wreck' make for grave highlights, whilst the slow, purposeful navigation of 'Freight' and the beatless, brobdingnagian mass of 'Weight' appropriately evoke imagery of supertankers carving down narrow, manmade canals and gauging docking depths in the midst of man-eating storms.
Divine gospel modern soul boogie LP written, composed and produced by Jeffrey Roberson, first released in 1982 on Black Diamond Records.
"Every once in a while, an exceptional talent impacts the gospel industry and leaves an incredible impression. The anointed and Grammy nominated Jeff Roberson is one of the those rapidly expanding gospel artist who have done just that.
Jeff Roberson was born and raised in Long Island, New York, the son of Pentecostal parents who had a compelling love for music. Actually, he is endowed by God with a melodic intrinsic distinctive rooted and grounded in the splendid tradition of the church. His keen interest and focus in music was so intense that his parents encouraged him by purchasing a piano. During his teenage years, he was significantly blessed to be tutored by the late Rev. Timothy Wright, and the late Professor Benny Cummings and the Kings Temple Choir. It was during this season of his life that he continuously developed his skills as a keyboardist and songwriter.
Not only is he a skillful world-class vocalist, his talents transcend various creative art forms such as a skillful musician, innovative producer, accomplished pianist and organist. He simultaneously projects his uncompromising vocal talents and musical gifts to an unprecedented level of artistic achievement. Simply stated he excels in the excellent - (Excerpt taken from Jeff Roberson’s biography).
“Ever since I can remember, music has been to me, as a mother is to her child. Just as the sun enhances daylight, music is my life throb. Music puts life and joy in that sacred dimension. It fills the void of darkness and brings with it New Life.”
Volume five of the killer Britxotica! series, looking this time at 16 super rare and briliantly bonkers latin and percussive pop cues from the wild British Isles! All cues mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle .
"Britxotica! (pronounced “Britzotica”) neatly describes an odd and yet undocumented pre-Beatles British musical scene where famed UK composers as well as unknown singers and bandleaders threw convention on holiday and went wild wild wild! Put together by Jonny Trunk with DJ / tastemaker and Smashing nighclub legend Martin Green, these groundbreaking new compilations shine new light on lost and forgotten corners of British culture and sound.
For this, Part Five of our planned Britxotica! series we head to lively latin tinged dancefloors where Brits could cha cha cha to the KIrchin band, “Jump In The Line” with Frank Holder and Mambo with Ido or Don. This killer collection of British dance obscurities brings us lively sounds from the rarest UK record bins, including this time an amazing cover version of the legendary loungecore hit “House Of Bamboo” plus the stunning “Jonny One Note” by Ted Heath, the track that originally introduced John Craven’s Newsround. To sum up, this is another exciting, wild and occasionally bonkers compilation by Jonny Trunk and Martin Green, two of the UKs most wild record collectors. Also, there are men in underpants on the sleeve, What’s not to like?"
The Beta Band's hugely collectable‘The Three EPs’, available for the first time on a deluxe vinyl reissue.
"Arguably one of the most acclaimed and loved bands of the past 20 years, by both fans and their musical peers alike, The Beta Band formed in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1996. Innovative and singular, their unique musical and aesthetic approach to everything they did set them far apart from their musical contemporaries. Together for a relatively short period of time, the three albums and three EPs they released between 1996 and 2004 would nonetheless help define them as one of the most exciting and cherished bands of their generation.
This is a deluxe vinyl edition gathering in a slipcase the EPs ‘Champion Versions’, ‘The Patty Patty Sound’ and ‘Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos’ with remastered tracks and coloured vinyl edition."
While their name night suggest a bad post-dubstep experiment, Marshstepper is actually one of the U.S. underground’s most revered live acts, here revolving core members JS Aurelius and Nick Nappa playing at Berlin Atonal 2016, flanked by Coil’s Drew McDowell, Juan Mendez a.k.a. Silent Servant, and Jonas Rönnberg a.k.a. Varg
Following records for Downwards USA and a fistful of original and live recordings via JS Aurelius’ Ascetic House label, their massed performance at Atonal is an ill-minded exorcism of guttural vox, roiling techno effluence and sheets of abstract electronics that tumbles down rabbitholes and crops up at sublime junctures, only to continue misstepping on the most acrid, foul and fucked-up ground between ritualistic, primordial electronics and white noise rage. In other words; good stuff.
A “Lost” Aegean club hit from D.E., the alias of Akis, whose ‘Into The Light’  album inspired the name of Greece’s smartest reissue label
Recorded in 1992, ‘Giant Step (Club Mix)’ is a sultry beauty marrying New Jack Swing funk with brooding synths in a way recalling early Wild Bunch or cuts from that Pablo’s Eye reissue on Stroom.
However, the B-side’s ‘Giant Step - Demo Version’ is the payload for us. Recorded in 1989, it’s more stripped down and edging on a sort of slinky, crooked new age boogie, pan pipes and all.
Subs-heavy, slinky house and techno from Ahu on the 2nd Dichotomy release
Up top Ahu follows their 2017 debut album ‘Nord Dream’ with the rolling, eyes-shut, minimalist depth of ‘Skyway’, while the B-side presents the slinky percolations of ‘M-Pale’ in a way recalling classic Morphosis and Ra.H, and ‘Searching’ returns to harbour in the dawning hours with a gently pendulous bobble.
Sonic Youth's quintessential 1988 Top-40 tribute album by their alter ego Ciccone Youth now available from the band’s own Goofin’ imprint.
Includes the classic “Burnin’ Up” featuring Mike Watt and Greg Ginn. Alternate mix of “MacBeth” appears as a hidden bonus track. In 1988, after hinting that a tribute to the Beatles’ White Album was in the works, the band about-faced and delivered this brain-sick celebration of pop-culture, experimental rock, Neu! and The Material Girl in particular. The album features such favorites as “MacBeth” (as well as a hidden bonus alternate mix of the track) and “Into the Groovey,” and includes Mike Watt’s “Burnin’ Up” featuring Greg Ginn.
Reissue of "Odyshape" the second album by The Raincoats originally released on Rough Trade Records in 1981 - liner notes by Kim Gordon.
"It was The Raincoats I related to most. They seemed like ordinary people playing extraordinary music. Music that was natural that made room for cohesion of personalities. They had enough confidence to be vulnerable and to be themselves without having to take on the mantle of male rock/punk rock aggression…or the typical female as sex symbol avec irony or sensationalism. (Kim Gordon, Sonic Youth,1993). // We just really loved what The Raincoats were doing - they were a really exciting band.
I think the thing that was good about The Raincoats simply was that the tradition that they were playing in was their own and so they had an original voice. You couldn’t ignore them - they were undeniably fascinating - the interplay between the two voices and the sound of the group was something original and that was what was exciting about them. (Geoff Travis, Rough Trade Records, February 2009)"
An evergreen ambient classic and FACT's #10 album of the ‘80s, also in Pitchfork’s Top 40 Best Ambient Albums of All Time, Steve Roach’s Structures From Silence returns to its spiritual home on vinyl more than 30 years since it first came into this dimension.
On his 3rd album, self-taught synthesist Steve Roach made a break from his previous two sides of Berlin-skool kosmiche and ambient to foster a far more delicate, focussed yet heavy-lidded style of new age ambient music that was mercifully shy of the style’s more cloying cliches, favouring subtly phasing repetition and suspense over space soap opera dramatics or hippyish fantasy.
The result is a seductively minimalist suite of space music in three parts, gently flowing upwards and outwards to beautifully introspective ends on Reflections In Suspension, before Quiet Friend cradles your heart in diaphanous sheets of satin synth, and Structures From Silence imperceptibly returns to 0 in a creamy wash of aqueous pads that feel like a Vangelis romance theme slowed to alien temporality.
Ambient gold, this. Don’t miss!
Killer compilation from Honest Jon's focussing on the dancehall vocal and dubs that the Unity Sounds label and sound system dropped to mad effect in the mid eighties. Recorded by a cast of talented amateurs on a Casio keyboard and four-track recorder before being tested on the Unity soundsystem...
The album was recorded by the Unity Sound label workers after the introduction of the early digital sound system, later supplemented by vocals and overdubs in the studio.
Genius throughout with spot-on mastering from Moritz von Oswald at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Informative liner notes, lush high quality sleeve makes this as essential a comp as 'Darker Than Blue'.
Legendary material, reissued with love.
Richard D James' classic album from 1992, re-pressed countless times but still sounding as vital as it did way back when. Still probably the most uplifting and nostalgic thing in the AFX catalogue...
Best electronic music album of the late 20th century. A proper gateway drug to the myriad microcosms of Richard D. James a.k.a. Aphex Twin. 100% essential in any collection.
The master is in session.
Johannes Auvinen a.k.a. Tin Man presents an expanded edition of his virulent début album, retitled Acid Acid Acid, with the extra Acid referring to a vintage batch of three track tacked on the end, including the ratty grind of Heated Acid, the rolling glyde of Crisp and Cozy Acid (ooooh, see what he did there?!), and the rudely slompy Jack It Acid. We hardly need to say it, but the original 10 tracks are all Class A’s, too.
Essential 303 business!
Originally released in 1979, The Raincoats' debut album gets another reissue, this time remastered and via the band's own We ThRee imprint.
This edition includes the Kurt Cobain liner notes from the 1994 reissue, along with text from the band's own Ana Da Silva and Gina Birch. The album is an outright classic of the post-punk era, underlining the free-spirited mish-mashing tactics of the time with its integration of Vicky Aspinall's violin into the barbed guitar formation that leads the charge.
Tracks like 'Fairytale In The Supermarket', 'No Side To Fall In' and the gloriously weird 'The Void' still sound terrific, and the band's notorious cover of The Kinks' 'Lola' remains inspired, reproducing the original affectionately and accurately, albeit with a heap of ramshackle instrumentation. Co-produced by Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis and The Red Krayola's Mayo Thompson, this record is steeped in history, and its immediacy, vitality and all-round inspirational qualities have lost none of their impact in 2009.
The nine track, 35-minute album features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at his piano captured in 1983.
"The private rehearsal provides a rare, intimate glimpse into Prince’s creative process as he worked through songs which include “17 Days” and “Purple Rain” (neither of which would be released until 1984), a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case Of You”, “Strange Relationship” (not released until 1987 on his critically acclaimed Sign O’ The Times album), and “International Lover”."
Remastered reissue of overproof and classic American R&B and Afro-jazz-funk LP from 1975, crammed with killer breaks and vibes for days. Includes previously unheard nuggets such as ‘Afrobeat’ discovered on the original master tapes
“Strut present a brand new edition of Oneness of Juju’s Afro-jazz classic ‘African Rhythms’, originally released on Black Fire in 1975 and first reissued on Strut in 2002.
For bandleader James “Plunky” Branch, ‘African Rhythms’ marked a significant return to his home town of Richmond, Virginia after a politically charged five years based on the East and West coasts. His personal journey had taken him from activism at Columbia University to San Francisco where Zulu musician Ndikho Xaba used theatre to “resurrect” Afro-Americans with a new African identity. The first incarnation of Plunky’s band, Juju, drew attention to the struggle in South Africa under apartheid, layering heavy Afro rhythms under uncompromising avant garde jazz.
Back in Richmond, Plunky tapped into the mid-Atlantic preference for Southern R&B and gospel: “Juju had always been blues-based and it was a natural progression to add R&B and dance rhythms. It didn’t change our message.”
Produced by Jimmy Gray of Black Fire Records, the new sessions included the title track (“We wanted a song to dance to with a message – ‘you are dancing to African rhythms’”), the positive message of ‘Don’t Give Up’ and political commentary on ‘Liberation Dues’.
Originally just a regional hit on the East coast and in Washington DC specifically, the album gradually spread, influencing the nascent DC go-go scene. The UK revived the album during the rare groove era of the late ‘80s and the title track has since become a soul-jazz favourite worldwide.
Remastered from the original sessions and featuring rare photos and extensive liner notes, this new repress also features Part 1 and Part 2 of the original 45 version of ‘African Rhythms’ and the previously unheard ‘Afrobeat’, recently unearthed from the original tapes.”
Thalia Zedek’s ‘Fighting Season’ is direct and raw, at times scorching and others fragile. The album features performances by guitarists and friends J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) and Chris Brokaw (Come).
"Thalia Zedek has been a been a seminal figure in the independent music scene for over 30 years as a member of Come, Live Skull and Uzi and, most recently, her trio E. ‘Fighting Season’ showcases her best songwriting and performances to date, featuring musicians she has worked with for many years, including longtime collaborator and violist Dave Curry, pianist Mel Lederman, bassist Winston Braman and drummer Jonathan Ulman.
‘Fighting Season’, a term originally coined for the period of time in Afghanistan when winter comes to an end and fighting resumes, is reinterpreted by Zedek with a the focus on a rebirth of resistance brought on by the deteriorating US political landscape. Zedek deftly combines the force of her playing with
the urgency of her unmistakable voice to spin tales of discord and struggle from the personal to the political. The potency of her message reflects her exceptional songwriting and playing."
A momentous celebration of one of the last century’s most important composers, offering insight, recognition, and critical investigation, long overdue and lovingly produced. Including an extensive, lavish 120 page book, with numerous unseen images and 10 historic, sought-after and impossible to find albums pressed on 180 gram vinyl - unquestionably one of the most beautiful and important archival releases of the year.
The perfect jump-off for anyone intrigued or beguiled by Lucier’s oeuvre and looking for a way in, ‘Illuminated by the Moon’ was recorded in October 2016 at the Alvin Lucier 85th Birthday Festival at the Zurich University of the Arts and spans pioneering classics such as ‘I Am Sitting In A Room’  thru to his recent piece for Stephen O’Malley and Oren Ambarchi, ‘Hanover’. Along with a fistful of rare works, it adds up to an unprecedented, overdue survey of Lucier’s cross-disciplinary efforts in locating the metaphysics of sound in minimalism, and is arguably the most crucial boxset of 2018 alongside Roland Kayn’s immense ’Simultan’ session.
In deliberate depth and detail, ‘Illuminated by the Moon’ highlights Lucier’s intersections with pivotal contemporaries including Joan La Barbera and Charles Curtis, right up to his work with disciples such as Sunn 0)))’s Stephen O’Malley and virtuoso minimalist Oren Ambarchi, each proving, where needed, evidence of a deeply focussed yet open-minded approach to the phenomenology of acoustic sound.
From ostensibly simple units of sound Lucier extrapolates incredible, otherworldly dimensions, using various extended techniques and recording methods to probe ideas of auditory and musical reception and perception. In historical context, he wasn’t the only artist doing so back then, as the likes of Steve Reich with ‘Come Out’, or his group mates Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley and David Behrman in Sonic Arts Union also explored hybrids of text/speech/composition, but Lucier’s work stands out for its enduring patience and subtle playfulness in its transformative transitions of texture and tone, highlighted here in his liminal, tip-of-tongue take on ‘Nothing Is Real (Strawberry Fields Forever)’ , and the absorbing roil of his percussive piece, ‘Music For Solo Performer’ .
As with the most recent work on show, including ‘Hanover’ and a number of modern compositions from 2002-2016 with Joan La Barbera and young American cellist Charles Curtis, Lucier’s work has only grown more intently focussed and transcendent over the years and has quietly shifted the understanding of what music can be; laying a mark on history and the expectations of nearly everything to come, while radically expanding the field.
Neatly whisked, warm electro-dub froth from 7FO, waddling and bobbing in space between Jackson “Tapes” Bailey, Sugai Ken, Lolina or Steven Warwick instrumentals, or the lysergic wibble of Black Zone Myth Chant.
"7FO: pronounced “nana f o” in English, “nana” being seven. Ryu no Nukegara: “dragon’ s husk” . These are the only difficulties you’ ll encounter here. This is warm, friendly, very relaxed music, very “understandable” and yet intriguing, sure to appeal to fans of electronic ambient, dub and chill-out music, as well as artists like Haruomi Hosono, Captain Ganja, La Monte Young, Equiknoxx and Tapes.
The Osaka-based 7FO combines groovily sparse electronic percussion with similarly sparse dub-feel synth bass, as well as pentatonic synth and steel pan melodies, the latter with an intriguing Okinawa/Sunda/Malay feel. Sparkling dub-influenced processing and thoughtful mixing gives us a music which is trans-oceanic, warm, and enveloping. Following releases on RVNG, Bokeh Versions and Metron, Ryu no Nukegara is available on digital, CD and 12” LP, featuring a suite of four tracks and the 20-minute title track, whose titular dragon is Asian: a potent symbol of water, strength and good luck.”