Black Truffle present breathtaking, mind-bending works from Alvin Lucier; premiering a pair of pieces written for and performed by Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley (Sunn 0))), Æthenor), and released thru the former’s indomitable Black Truffle label. Lovers of life-affirming avant-garde music of all stripes need to stop what they’re doing and check this one, pronto!
Both works offer an extension of Lucier’s “elegant explorations of the behaviour of sound in physical space” which have been ongoing since the ’60s, and includes his best known work, I Am Sitting In A Room , a piece that has practically become required listening for anyone with an interest in 20th century avant-garde music thought and practice.
Specifically, Lucier’s work places great focus on the infidelities of instrumental phenomena and closely tuned pitches, often using pure, electronically generated oscillations in combination with single instruments in order to both highlight and blur their tonal and timbral distinctions. This LP documents two works in this vein, firstly on Criss Cross, his debut work for electric guitars, written especially for Ambarchi and O’Malley playing one semitone each in duo, and secondly on Hanover, a much grander tribute to Lucier’s father, Alvin A Lucier, who is pictured on the sleeve in 1918 with the Dartmouth Jazz band.
The A-side’s Criss Cross is truly one of the heaviest things we’ve heard in years. With Ambarchi on the left channel and O’Malley to the right, the duo improvise on a single semitone, generating thick, viscous waves of wobbling oscillations that merge in transfixing formation at the middle . So far, so simple, but the effect - which alters brilliantly on headphones or with proper amplification - is just staggering, baffling the senses with a richly saturated, undulating sonic pressure to visceral, psychotomimetic ends.
The first time we heard this piece on headphones it just floored us, but then we tried on speakers and tried to conduct a conversation at the same time. The effect was something like an anechoic chamber - the conversation couldn’t happen because our voices sounded louder in our head than in the room. WTF?! Just to push it one step farther, I also tried listening on headphones while on a plane, and can only imagine what the EasyJet staff thought of my eyes rolling in back of my skull. Quite honestly, I haven’t heard anything quite like it since Zbigniew Karkowsi & Topher Davidson’s Processor, and that’s a proper percy.
The B-side’s Hanover is just as precise, but the intensity and tonal variation is multiplied by he number of players, including O’Malley and Ambarchi on electric guitars joined by alto and tenor sax, violin, piano and bowed vibraphone. Here the tones are far more pinched and slippery, streaking the stereo field in iridescent timbral dynamics and almost lilting cadence, and with a far more delicate, intricate appeal when compared to the other piece.
It almost goes without saying that a new Alvin Lucier work is worth your time, but in case you’re under any doubts - this LP is just astonishing, ingenious, preternaturally brilliant stuff.
Tint is an intently focussed showcase of the sound sensitivities which have made Joe Talia a cult figure in contemporary electro-acoustic and avant garde circles. If you’ve ever been caught by the work of Oren Ambarchi, Jim O’Rourke, Andrew Chalk, John Duncan or Jean-Claude Éloy, you need to clasp ears on this album!
“Tint is the first new solo recording from Joe Talia in over a decade. Australian-born but now based in Tokyo, Talia is known to many listeners as a drummer (frequently collaborating both live and in the studio with artists such as Oren Ambarchi and Jim O’Rourke) and as a recording and mixing engineer responsible for dozens of releases across the fields of contemporary experimental music, wayward pop, and jazz. Alongside James Rushford, he is also responsible for one of the most legendary releases in the Kye records catalogue, the creaking electronic morass of Manhunter (2013). Lovingly crafted over many months in his tiny Tokyo studio, Tint is an album-length electroacoustic suite that brings together Talia’s expertise as percussionist, studio engineer, and performer on analogue electronic instruments (primarily modular synth and Revox tape machine).
Ranging from minimalist austerity to kosmische lushness, Tint refreshingly refuses the dark and moody sonic palette of much contemporary electroacoustic music in favour of an airy, at times almost weightless sound-world of gliding tones, skittering percussion, and burbling field recordings. Drawing inspiration from Jean-Claude Eloy’s epic concrète love letter to Tokyo, Gaku-No-Michi, Talia makes extensive use of his own recordings of his new home, but removes any sense of audio verite, abstracting them into transparent glosses of outdoor ambience or unidentifiable chimes and creaks. Flowing seamlessly between distinct episodes, Tint is compositionally controlled while retaining a sense of played spontaneity, eventually building to a maelstrom of analogue synth zaps and tape manipulated percussion that reflects Talia’s deep engagement with the relentless yet constantly shifting dynamics of free jazz.”
Leading on from a highly memorable debut collaboration, Crys Cole and Oren Ambarchi invite us farther into their shared world with Hotel Record, a poetic four-part suite of touchingly intimate and romantic themes framed in a surreally unique, aleatoric sound world, just as you’d be warranted to expect from this pair of esteemed sonic alchemists.
Recorded between Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand; Oakland, USA; Melbourne, Australia, and at EMS, Stockholm, Sweden, the sense of heavy-lidded intimacy is similar to Sonja Henies Vei 31, but found in a multiplicity of recording spaces and situations, each with their own subtle identity and appeal, and all generated from a broader palette of instrumentation and electronic production techniques.
The chorus of cicadas, scooter engines and croaking frogs in Pad Phet Gob is clearly located to nighttime in Thailand, but the rest are anyone’s guess. It’s better to just let yourself melt into their exquisite designs, such as the silky web of vocoder whispers and languorous subbass contained in Burrata, or likewise become absorbed in the gentle harmonic cadence of breathing organs tones and mottled, glossolalic murmurs in Call Myself, which ambiguously could be a sort of ASMR exercise, an encrypted document of phone sex or pillow talk, or something entirely else, all depending your disposition.
It all adds up to a patently more accessible, dreamy follow-up to their first LP together, and quite easily one of the most quietly seductive records you’ll hear from the abstract, ambient, electro-acoustic sphere this year - strongly tipped to fans of Félicia Atkinson’s Hand In Hand, Kassel Jaeger & Jim O’Rourke’s Wakes On Cerulean, or the new Teresa Winter side.
In the 15+ years that have elapsed since 'Loop Finding Jazz Records' first shuffled out of his ambrosially dusty speakers, Jan Jelinek's most famous album has acquired an almost mythical status. Originally released via Pole's defunct Scape imprint, it now finds new life via Jelinek's own Faitiche label, for a new generation to marvel at one of the finest examples of loop-based electronic music typical of the early noughties.
Taking what reads like a pretty austere set of ingredients, Jelinek's technique revolves around a trio of elements which consist of second long cuts of 1960's-70's jazz recordings, the loop-finding modulation wheel (do your homework!) and the Moiré effect; albeit rendered in the acoustic as opposed to the image and spectral domains.
If all this sounds a bit academic, be assured that on record it is anything but; as crumbling edifices of mealy rhythms slowly pulse into life and swirl around your head like snow storms clashing with a dust devil. Taking sediments of fathom deep static then skimming the best stuff from the top, Jelinek opens through the dampened echoes of 'Moiré (piano & organ)' wherein a slow-motion thrum of spiraling clicks, rustles and analogue tones conspire to give the impression of recondite perspectives that extend well beyond the constituent elements.
Elsewhere, 'Rocky in the Video Age' instills a gratuitously optimistic blush to the aquatic micro-sound ebb, 'Moiré (Strings)' is a perfect companion to Basinski's disintegrating tape archive, whilst 'Them, Their' represents an aural crease so sleight you can only catch its distinctive gleam from the corner of your eye.
Invaluable first ever vinyl reissue for AMM’s groundbreaking and inspirational Ammmusic (1966) - a pivotal moment in the history of free-jazz/improvised music featuring the combined talents of Keith Rowe, Eddie Prévost, Cornelius Cardew, John Tilbury and others, now presented by Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label on its golden jubilee, complete with a brand new re-master from Rashad Becker.
Revolving founder members Keith Rowe (guitar) and Lou Gare (saxophone) - both formerly of Mike Westbrook’s jazz band - together with Eddie Prévost (percussion), Cornelius Cardew (piano, cello) and Lawrence Sheaff (accordion, clarinet), the enigmatically acronymed AMM more or less scrawled the very simple rulebook for free-improvisation’s infinite complexity with the recordings and sleeve notes of Ammmusic.
It was recorded by Jac Holzman and released on his Elektra label, marking a precedent juncture of experimental avant-garde and the countercultural underground (by this point Elektra were issuing classic albums by The Doors, Tim Buckley, Judy Collins) and was produced by DNA, a group that included Pink Floyd’s first manager Peter Jenner, which perhaps lead to its influence on the improvisational context of PF’s debut album, particularly Flaming which took its title from this record’s A-side, Later During A Flaming Riviera Sunset.
Quite importantly, Ammmusic still sounds timelessly fresh and dynamic, with all the urgent energy and unpredictability you would hope from an improvised recording of such historical importance.
Playfully enigmatic, encrypted electronics from Celular Feel, making their recorded début (under this alias, at least) with seven tracks of ‘Soft Grunge’ for Ascetic House
Possibly generative, perhaps apocryphal, probably one of the weirdest things you’ll hear this week, the sounds herein are pretty mad in a similar vein to Dave Burraston’s NYZ output or the para-dimensional computer music of Justin Meyers. We’re most feeling the curdled chromatic tanggg of Canon Key 2 and the rugged jabs of 95.
‘Surreal Air Fortress’ yields a series of liminal electro-acoustic enigmas and stark, poetic vocals by Chicago’s Coppice duo for Antwerp’s ever-probing Entr’acte label.
Cryptically weft from acoustic, studio-based recordings, digital production and processed field recordings, Surreal Air Fortress presents a suite of “songs for physical modelling and modular syntheses” by Noé Cuéllar and Joseph Kramer a.k.a. Coppice.
Melding sparingly used, solemn vocals with atonal sounds at oblique angles, the album carries itself with a dead curious mix of brute elegance and incisive abstraction according to a logic that’s brilliantly hard to unpick, and a strange pleasure to undergo.
The A-side’s Inside songs feel out three psychoacoustically probing scenarios ranging from a mix of David Sylvian-like vocals and ghostly, inverted industrial clangour in Privacy and Difference to the pure atonality of coils and fans fed thru an “inductive mixing table” on Surveillance, before the Sylvian-like vocals return amid a thicket of barbed guitar and prickling electronics in the charred rubble of The Wall.
B-side, the album goes to the Darkroom, gradually revealing three uncertain sound images that evolve from the bracing inharmonic distortion of Exposure to emerge ghostly from the murk of Solvent/Emulsion into what sounds like a fractured gothic torch song recorded by a shooting range in Wet Hologram.
Where so much music gives the answers before you’ve even asked a question, this album is a riddle within a riddle.
Typically lush ambient, neo-classical, chamber pop and film-score music from Berlin's Sonic Pieces label, this time from Spain's Rauelsson, highy recoomended if you're into Max Richter, Badalamenti, Harold Budd etc.
The album was recorded by the sea and it really comes across in the music's self-consciously grand scale, oscillating between the calm and the tempestuous.
Piano is Rauelsson's main weapon of expression, and like so many artists in this sphere, he looks to Harold Budd and Philip Glass for inspiration, his playing ranging from the digressive and heavy-reverbed to the driving and cyclical. It's hard not to feel like you've heard it all before - 'Fluvial' barely even bothers to disguise the fact that it has the same instrumental palette, harmonic progression and mood as half of Max Richter's Blue Notebooks.
But when he loosens up, there are some highly enjoyable moments: the string-laden 'Hourglass I' is a particular highlight, channeling the high sentimentality of Badalamenti's love themes with aplomb.
West Coast synthesist M. Geddes Gengras yields a lushly meditative suite of ambient music inspired by his time on Hawaiki, the big island of Hawaii, paying particular attention to glistening high register tones and a sense of wide open Pacific space
“Recorded during a vacation on the big island, Hawaiki Tapes is somewhat of an anomaly in the M. Geddes Gengras music —A series of short, improvised sequences voiced by a small plastic digital synthesizer, minimally processed in real time & jacked straight into a handheld recorder. It was made at night, on a little hotel room desk. The internal sequencer of the volca greatly influenced the pieces, since it only goes so slow and is limited in it’s voicing.
It was windy and cold for most of the trip, and the sky was gigantic and filled with massive rippling clouds that flew between the horizons in minutes. The landscape was made of endless, black rock fields with little grassy spots where the lava hadn’t hit yet. In the process, Gengras had in mind some of the formative ambient music he had listened to in his early years: Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Aphex Twin, and his focus is in the interaction between the synth, the delay and reverb effects. A perfect album for sleepless nights —A new sound statement from M. Geddes Gengras.”
Sarah Davachi’s quietly stunning first side for Sean McCann’s Recital Program. It arrives in the tremulous wake of the widely acclaimed 'All My Circles Run' album to offer a sublime reaffirmation of Davachi's genius for anyone who’s followed her work over the last few years, and also acts as an unmissable entry point for curious newcomers, especially anyone smitten with the methods and effects of music by Eliane Radigue, Kara-Lis Coverdale, or Mark Hollis.
Sarah’s work has been intimately concerned with the phenomenology of sounds and the way in which, once “released” from the player and instrument, they move in chaotic and unpredictable ways, effectively taking on a new life of their own. In order to exert some control over those factors, it’s perhaps understandable that Davachi's music is most often slow and the result of ostensibly simple gestures, but thanks to her preternatural attention to space and tone, those careful motifs generate a complexity of overtones that have become her coveted secret ingredient.
After alchemically turning her hand to whatever instrument is within reach (she’s been known to turn up at venues without an instrument and improvise on unfamiliar gear) for previous releases and shows, Davachi opts for the Mellotron and an electronic organ on Let Night Come On Bells End The Day, rendering five variegated improvisations that feel vulnerable yet somehow increasingly assured in her perceptive powers.
Most impressive among them are the gently coruscating chamber figure of Mordents, which makes an imperceptibly glacial transition from legible motifs to a gorgeous blur, and the heartbreakingly funereal drift of Buhrstone, especially when it really starts to keen out of the lines. But that’s not to say less of her hyaline beauty At Hand, or the time-melting dimensions of Hours In The Evening - as with all of Sarah’s work, they’re just aspects of the same, amazing whole.
The surrealist scenes of ‘Bloody Sirens’ documents London-based choral ensemble Musarc performing three works by Neil Luck at Extra City Kunsthal in Antwerp, Sunday 3rd October, 2015
Luck’s 4th work composed for Musarc, following from Misty (2010), Namesaying (2013), and Any’s Responses (2015), his new piece Bloody Sirens is presented as a report from an imaginary baseball match which conceives of the singers as individuals, rathe than a singing ‘mayuss’, who read from a score that includes a skull and plenty of errors and ellipses.
Yet another singular release on the boundary-oblivious Entr’acte, Bloody Sirens presents avant garde compositions for vocals which are simultaneously timeless, ancient, yet up-to-the-moment, both democratic in organisation and collectively keening towards a framework familiar to the Slip label’s excellent vocal works by Object Collection and Laurie Tompkins, as much as a wealth of historical works.
A veritable clash of the titans: Merzbow and Oren Ambarchi kick up a blistering freeform noise storm for the latter's Black Truffle imprint.
Recorded live May 13, 2012 at the Aurora Festival, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Australia, it features the pair duelling it out in bleakest, unrepentant, yet somehow controlled form. Across two sides they wash up waves of coruscating white noise over roiling, looming black bass shapes with attuned logic, culminating brobdingnagian banks of outright filth and noise with a cathartic and sometimes transcendent impact. Not for the faint of heart...
Wire’s first three albums need no introduction. They are the three classic albums on which Wire’s reputation is based. Moreover, they are the recordings that minted the post-punk form. This was adopted by other bands, but Wire were there first. These are the definitive re-releases. Each album is presented as an 80-page hardback book – the size of a 7-inch, but obviously much thicker. After a special introduction by Jon Savage, Graham Duff provides insight into each track. These texts include recording details, brand-new interviews with band members, and lyrics.
The original album is presented on its own CD, accompanied by discs that feature relevant extra tracks: singles; B-sides; demos; and many previously unreleased songs. Pink Flag is a two-CD set; Chairs Missing and 154 have three CDs each. All audio has been painstakingly remastered (or, in some cases, mastered for the first time).
This stunning set of presentations also includes a range of images from the archive of Annette Green. Wire’s official photographer during this period, Green also shot the covers for Pink Flag and Chairs Missing. Promotional and informal imagery – in colour and black and white – is featured throughout the books. Most of the photographs have not been seen for 40 years – and many have never been published anywhere before.
It has been a number of years since these albums were readily available. The aim with these new vinyl and CD releases is to approximate the original statements as closely as possible, but with remastered audio. The vinyl releases have the same covers and inners as the originals (minus the Harvest logo). The digipack CDs have identical tracklistings to their vinyl counterparts. These versions should be considered Wire’s classic 1970s albums, pure and undiluted.
Please note: although the three original albums remain available through digital stores and streaming services, the extra tracks from the special editions will not be released digitally."
Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label rustles up a reissue of this absolute classic, Annea Lockwood’s 1970 tape piece Tiger Balm - unavailable on vinyl for over thirty years. The LP also includes a pair of unreleased pieces; the vocal and percussion study Amazonia Dreaming, and the beautifully suspenseful microtonal electro-acoustic levitation, Immersion. Breaking entirely with the dynamic language of musique concrète, Lockwood used a select palette of mainly unprocessed sonic elements chosen for their mysterious and erotic characteristics to open a space of dream logic and mysterious associations between nature and culture, the ancient and the modern.
“"Created while Lockwood was living in the UK, the side-long 'Tiger Balm' is a singular work within the cannon of tape music. Inspired by research into the ritual function of music, the piece explores the possibility of evoking ancient communal memories through sound. These unusual and evocative field recordings (a purring cat, a heartbeat, gongs, slowed down jaw harp, a tiger, a woman's breath, a plane passing overhead), presented as no more than two sounds at once, allowed one to flow organically into the next, their shared characteristics highlighted, opening a space of dream logic and mysterious associations.
The B side presents two pieces for percussion available here for the first time. 'Amazonia Dreaming' (1987), performed by Dominic Donato, uses unaccompanied snare drum and voice to evoke the nocturnal soundscape of the Amazon rainforest. Unorthodox techniques and materials (marbles, chopsticks, a plastic jar lid) transform the snare into a resonant field of sensual textures. 'Immersion' (1998), performed by Donato and Frank Cassara, is a slow-moving exploration of gentle beating tones, performed on marimba, tam tams, and gong. Like the other two works presented on this LP, it provides captivating proof of Lockwood's belief in the complexity that deep listening can reveal within seemingly simple sounds." --Francis Plagne
Oren Ambarchi sniffs out another rare cult classic for Black Truffle: presenting Max Eastley / Steve Beresford / Paul Burwell / David Toop’s assortment of Whirled Music improvisations on bull roarers, bird whistles, spinning gongs, and much more, on vinyl for 1st time in nearly 40 years.
Whirled Music was recorded live in performance at the IKON gallery, Birmingham, at the London Musician Collective, and at various outdoors spots during 1979. It pretty much marks the ground between the early work of instrument builder/musicians Structures Sonores Lasry-Bachet, the modern materials research experiments on Alku by EVOL and Edwin van Der Heide, and myriad, far-flung ethnic rituals ranging from Australian natives to football fans. The A-side is a single performance making use of all instruments at their disposal, whereas the B-side breaks down to a series of shorter recordings of specific instruments.
"It's one of the key documents of the inventive and energetic scene around the London Musicians Collective in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Originally released on Toop's own Quartz label in 1980, the LP features a remarkable series of performances made entirely with whirled and swung instruments and objects. Part of the second generations of British free improvising musicians, the prolific scene centered around the performers heard here chafed at the limitations present within the music and ideology of improvising legends such as Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Tony Oxley, and John Stevens. Where the first generations of British free improvisers often demonstrated a rigorous commitment to non-idiomatic free improvisation and instrumental virtuosity, musicians like Beresford reconnected with the dada antics of figures like Han Bennink and surrendered to joyful musical promiscuity, gleefully disrupting expectations around 'serious' improvised music through quotations (of anything from Beethoven to reggae) and deliberate amateurism. . . .
Beginning in 1979, Whirled Music was the title given to a series of performances in which a variety of instruments and objects, both home-made and store bought, traditional and invented, would be whirled to produce sound. In addition to variations on traditional instruments such as the bullroarer, Whirled Music also made use of whirled whistles, hand drums, radios, and microphones. Due to the danger this represented for both performers and audiences, the performers wore protective masks and were separated from the audience by a net. . . . Presented in glorious cassette-recorded room fidelity, the LP's first side features a single extended live performance in which percussive chattering, resonant gong-like tones, mysterious wind tones, and swells of delirious noise join together to create a sonic landscape as reminiscent of an environmental recording (wind in the trees, the squawking of birds) as of an ethnographic recording of the music of an unknown civilization. Although purely acoustic, the music has an unstable, dispersed quality reminiscent of the pioneering live electronics of the Sonic Art Union or even early Voice Crack. The LP's second side presents a series of shorter excerpts, including some beautifully sparse outdoor recordings where the sounds of the whirled instruments blend indistinguishably into the backdrop of environmental sounds." --Francis Plagne”
John Duncan and Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio) explore the greyest areas of psychoacoustic and psychosexual drone noise back in 1991, newly remastered for this reissue on Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle.
“Black Truffle is thrilled to announce the first reissue of legendary performance and sound artist John Duncan's forgotten gem Klaar, originally released by Extreme in 1991 and partly created in collaboration with Andrew McKenzie (The Hafler Trio). Duncan is perhaps most well known for his notorious early performances pieces, which explored violence, self-denial, and the establishment of extreme psychological and physical states in both artist and audience. Alongside these transgressive experiments, Duncan began to create audio works primarily using short wave radio. Where some of Duncan's earlier recordings are composed of magnificently sculpted but abrasive walls of noise, Klaar, recorded while Duncan was living in Amsterdam, occupies a more meditative territory.
Opening with 'Delta', which layers long tones seemingly sourced from slowed down voices over a distant, watery field recording, the remainder of the first side is occupied with the epic title piece, which arranges shortwave radio abstraction, vocal experiments, and field recordings (street sounds, fireworks, monastic chants) into an episodic cinema for the ear. The second side is dominated by the long, brooding 'The Immense Room', where layers of shortwave interference and field recordings are gradually built up into a pulsing, wavering bed of sound infused with a subtly disturbing sense of psychological unrest. This rises to the surface near the end of the piece as sexual moans and ominous rumbles crisscross the stereo image before being abruptly brought to a halt.
A singular work of electroacoustic composition, Klaar is both compositionally sophisticated and infused with a sense of mystery and a vital reality often lacking in more academic experimental music; it sits proudly alongside contemporaneous recordings by Duncan's friends and collaborators Jim O'Rourke and Christoph Heemann and is a must for anyone interested in their work.
- Francis Plagne”
Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label coughs up the eighth live document of his nonpareil trio with the legendary Keiji Haino and Jim O’Rourke. All considered, these guys are pretty much the tightest/loosest avant instrumental group out there right now, blessed with a time-and-space bending dexterity that allows them to fuse some half century of research in free jazz, out rock and kosmiche electronics into blinding new forms.
On the A-side they prowl like a pack of predatory animals hunting down a noble but tired old prey, methodically and precisely attacking and breaking down the lumbering body of rock music in an increasingly ferocious whirlwind of fanged guitar slash and tearout percussion until they’re bathing a strangely tranquil bloodbath. With the B-side they lock into a martial distortion drill around Ambarchi’s steady, Wold-like snares rolls and sky-collapsing harmonics with stoically unrelenting force.
Side C brings the trio at their most abstract, moving from near silence, perforated only by the shivering chimes of toy piano, spookily signing into he ether where Haino exclaims in English from somewhere deep in the unfathomable mix, and O’Rourke petrifies the air with ungodly, alien EMS synth voices that speak to us in the uncanniest way. All change again on Side D, as they broach the 4th wold thru some back door entrance, scanning its undergrowth with Haino’s flute, vox and guitar urged on by pouring tribal toms until hey lay waste to the scene with pure guitar napalm.
I:Cube packs 6 serious heaters on the 120th release from Versatile, the long-running label he co-operates with Gilb’R.
LP 1 throws down a sort of demented cumbia-house style lit with see-sawing accordion in Flutes Souterraines, along with the chunky electro-house jaxx of Troglo Dance before curving into psychedelic slow acid a la Tin Man or The Analord in Bifurque.
On disc 2 he restlessly shifts the pattern again to a sort of brilliantly skewed gamelan dance with La Nuit Des Rats, then synking into viscous cosmic disco chug on Ramurc, and saving the googley-eyed 6am business of Fractal P for the most lip-smacking moments of the night.
Destruction Unit drummer Andrew Flores presents his electronic music on Ascetic House
A mixture of live improvisation drawing on his talents as a percussionist, along with phasing ambient minimalism and spats of distorted noise.
Standardly grim and grizzled monotone techno from Shifted’s Avian
introducing Desroi to the nest with five stealthy cuts, at best ion the Miek Parker-esque hydraulics of Lines Of Sight, the undulating turbulence of A Glimpse of Bliss, and his steely but chattering roller Dwell In Motion.
Only Now and Orogen depart terra firma in pursuit of habitable new zones, realising a stark, inhospitable sound that, in a Planet Of The Apes twist, turns out to be transmission from Urth, a parallel plane of existence practically indistinguishable from our own...
“"Unearth I and II" carves tunnels of resonance which mimic the cosmic proportions and monolithic movements of exoplanet existence. Slow, but unpredictable howls, lurks, and .00001 BPM rhythms visualize the life between the dust and atoms. Symphonies and loading docks echo a million miles away: slowed beyond belief, compressed into rhythmic ambience and flattened to unearthly oblivion. As the compositions grow on into side B of the cassette, the zero BPM landscape slowly transforms into cycles, distinctly organic and tribal, slipping out the very last, or the very first primitive signs of life on a planet, not of our own.
Only Now (Kush Arora) and Orogen (Lucas Patzek) grew up together in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have been collaborating on ambient and experimental sound projects for 19 years. In high school they began manipulating and arranging audio from minidisc field recordings, first-generation software synths, hardware samplers and FX pedals, and homemade contact mics. The sonic innovators that inspired their early work include Zoviet France, Brume, Lustmord, Alio Die, Haujobb, and Hafler Trio. They were drawn to the occult music scenes of California and beyond, and performed together from their teenage years through their 20’s at a variety of venues, from outdoor music festivals to artsy fashion shows.
Fast forward to 2015: the duo returned to the studio intending to craft some rhythmic compositions. They laid down some pummeling metallic drum work using physical modeling VST's and synths to create what can be described as WAX TRAX records meets Pole. They then decided to shatter and reform these on-time compositions, and the journey began into the aural nature of outer being, power music; drawing textures from the deep earth and subconscious.”
Sniffing at the heels of a smart début 12" for Interstellar Funk's Artificial Dance, Worries, Job Sifre slips into a grimier EBM mode for Amsterdam’s excellent Knekelhuis label.
Charged with a pharmaceutically-enhanced restlessness, the Bestaan 12” goes on darker, tuffer, kinkier than Sifre’s previous 12”, gradually bringing the energies to simmering point with the smudged EBM roil and blunted Dutch vox of Bestaan, then working a wicked ruts of White House White-styled jakbeat in Zodiak and the sourer, metallic recoil of Mars Express, and properly making your body wurk with the pendulous tattoo, Zeno Dicho before sloping off into the darkroom with the slower disco admission, At Least We Try.
Berlin’s Driftmachine expand their classic kosmische inspirations along dub-wise 3D vectors in a fine 4th LP for the Umor Rex label from Mexico City
“Shunter, the new album by the Berlin-based duo, is their most ambitious work to date. Although instantly recognizable, featuring their trademark Kosmische and Avant-garde sounds, it also presents a new journey into abstract and hallucinatory worlds. Filled with eerie textures, their electronic visions are darker and more vaporous than ever.
Driftmachine’s fifth album (also the fifth one for Umor Rex) offers a new perspective on their ample sound spectrum and systemic narratives. Shunter overlaps and mutates their post-industrial-dub motives. It was conceived and produced in search of a very different kind of imagery, with sections of noise and field recordings intersecting with analogue sounds; a mixture of contrasted fragments, where the usual creative process of modular-synthesis leads Gerth and Zimmer to the discovery of a dark, hazy and diffused experience. There is a protean quality to the rhythmic elements, with tempos constantly contracting and expanding, a departure from the mono-beat-rhythms of "Nocturnes" and "Colliding Contours". The first half of Shunter is made of four pieces named "Shift"; although individually separated, they are conceptually linked and can be understood as a sort of score. Imagine a late stage of the industrial revolution, with the interaction between heavy machinery and human beings. The second half of the album is not completely separated, but it has three other substantial melodic moments. Somewhere between the hauntological and the realms of archive-music, a huge range of subterranean beats and distinct patterns dotting the landscape of early electronic and post dub music.”
SOPHIE lights up 2018 with ‘Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-insides’, an exhilarating début album of upfront dance-pop, epic ballads and shocking electronic production that grasps the modern zeitgeist with jaws and both fists
Landing some 6 years since her ironically titled debut Nothing More To Say, over which time the artist has produced records for Madonna, Charli XCX and Vince Staples (among others), Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-insides renders a full frontal experience that’s set to define the scene for years to come.
SOPHIE’s understanding of the links between avant-garde and pop cultures is dramatically in force across the album, matching the hyperreal pop stun of PC Music chop for chop, but also pushing the prism farther in favour of her own, equally hyperreal image. The results are comparable with Autechre and EVOL records as much as Taylor Swift or The Pet Shop Boys, veering from warped pop perfection to brutalist electronics and breathtaking rhythmic energy often in the space of a single track, brilliantly embracing contradiction as a tool of expression in a way that feels bang on the money right now.
Her trifecta of lead singles, It’s Okay to Cry, Ponyboy, and Faceshopping gild the album’s entrance with some of the strongest pop sensations felt in recent years, before matters take a dramatic turn with a plunge into the beatless trance ballad Is It Cold In The Water?, and the subsequent chest-bursting R&B gospel of Infatuation, which both appear to massage the senses in preparation for the album’s shock-out 2nd half.
In Not Okay, she pairs knock-out electronics with the sheerest rave mentasms in delirious 3D, before utterly gobbling your swede in the breathtaking, atonal wormhole of Pretending, and promptly spiralling into the vacuum-packed banger Immaterial, then embracing the Whole New World/Pretend World in a kill-‘em-all 9 minutes of endorphin-rushing dance-pop genius that’s effectively the 2018 anthem we were all waiting for.
Hesitation is a charmingly humble marriage of minds from Reckno boss Chris Catlin (Yard) and Kit Records overseer Richard Greenan (Devon Loch), documenting a blossoming friendship in seven conversationally paced and dreamy fusions of ambient-pop, jazz, and gauzy indie jangle
“HESITATION is the culmination of a slow-burning penpal friendship between Reckno founder Chris Catlin (aka Yaaard), and Kit Records honcho Richard Greenan (sometimes Devon Loch). Meeting in London in 2016, the pair recorded a woozy slab of improvs, using a battered organ, guitars, a saxophone and whatever else came to hand. These takes were then stitched together into a seven track LP over the following two years.
Veering from shoegaze to crystal clear electronics and fuzzed out jazz, the results pull two ways: slow and fast, meditative and exuberant. Here is a place where time bends and bubbles, drunk synthetic choirs follow an endless skywards pulse, and plaited melodies hover in warm air like motes of dust.
Recommended if you like the heart-on-sleeve whistle alongs of Tenniscoats, Zappa's befogged guitar serpents or the creeping black magic of early Sebadoh.”
Legendary ethnomusicologist and field-recording pioneer, Hugh Tracey founded the International Library of African Music (ILAM) in 1954. Today, ILAM preserves thousands of historical recordings and has become the greatest repository of African music in the world. Dust-to-Digital have partnered with ILAM to present “Listen All Around” – a compilation of newly-transferred and remastered recordings that Hugh Tracey made between 1950-1958.
"The recordings presented here were made in central and eastern Africa -- specifically, the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Kenya, Tanganyika and Zanzibar (now Tanzania). The genre of music Tracey documented, and the focus of this double album and book is rumba and its variations -- Congolese rumba, dansi and benga. The recordings, photographs and detailed liner notes included in this set provide a rich point of immersion into the mid-20th-century music of eastern and central Africa."
A killer selection of nine cherry-picked new wave, disco and rhythmic electronic experiments hailing from early ‘80s in The Netherlands, documenting a time when formulas weren’t set quite as rigidly they would become and artists weren’t afraid to mess around, see what happens.
Accompanied by sleeve notes from Knekelhuis’ Mark van de Maat and with input from esteemed diggers/lynchpins such as Frans De Waard, Kale Plankieren - Dutch Cassette Rarities 1981-1985 Volume I throws up some real gems primed for the ‘floor.
We’re talking Necronomicon’s fretless bass funk, cowbell tickles and louche vocals on The Top, catching the duo in dubby transition from earlier, noisier styles to disco proper - think Arthur Russell meets Ian Dury - and likewise the irresistible bounce of Don’t Forget Me by Plus Instruments, fronted by Truus de Groot around the same time she was playing shows at CBGB’s. Expect track ID requests if you’re DJing this out!
On the other hand, the more wayward bits are superb, too. Rotterdans’ Interference is a haunting piece of communal electronics full of scrapes, spectral vox and airborne pulses extracted from day-long psychedelic sessions; Boris Dzanek’s Dance is well tipped to the cold wave steppers; and Roy G. Biv really get to your back teef with the bittersweet dissonance of Ulloa’s Ring.
If you’ve been following Knekelhuis’ new and reissued releases from Smersh, Parrish Smith, De Ambassade and more, you need to check this out.
Darling deposits a dream sequence album of ambient electro charms on Young Marco’s Safe Trip after a couple of excellent 12”s
“After breaking out of our holding facility following his capture in the forbidden forest – see the top secret file headed “J P S” – in early 2017, the trail went cold. a recent tip-off led us to an Amsterdam bunker. While we were unable to gain entry, an operative successfully placed an eavesdropping device in the air vents. Through this, we were able to record eight musical compositions of varying lengths that the extra-terrestial lifeform had created using a range of analogue and digital electronic instruments.
We have called this collection “Tulipa Moves”. we enclose a copy for your anaylsis. You will note that the tracks utilise a variety of rhythmic patterns and percussive elements, explore a range of unearthly but attractive sounds and are capable of stirring different emotions in human listeners.
We direct your attention towards the lilting, softly spun melancholia of composition 03 (codename “So Did We”), which deeply effected many of those who heard it, the undulating and fluid, beat-free bliss of composition 05 (codename “The M Song”), and the up-tempo positivity of composition 07 (codename “Kiss The Glass”), whose chiming, intertwined melodies and snappy rhythmic energy reminded us of so-called “intelligent dance music”.
We were astonished by the quality and intricacy of these alien creations and those we have not described in detail. listened to as a whole, the collection tiptoes a fine line between poignancy and positivity. it confirms our analysis that “Darling” is a humanoid lifeform with higher intelligence and intense musical ability. We will keep the bunker under observation and report any future developments.”
Weeed have presumably smoked so much that they’ve simultaneously reversed and advanced the ageing process to give them the wisdom of ancient herbalist druids and the primal force of heavy rock elders such as Black Sabbath and Sleep
“WEEED's debut for Imprec, titled This, has an expansive musical vision and an astonishingly mature sound from a young band. Despite their relatively young ages Weeed has been together for ten years – a fact made apparent bythe fluidity and unity of their sound. Labels such as stoner/psych/jam/alt/Krautrock seem to fall short as the band draws from a deeper pool of inspiration including gnawa, traditional folk, jazz, minimalist orchestras, overtone singing and much more.
This is the product of both a desire to make such influences more apparent as well as a desire to explore the boundaries of the members' abilities to connect with each other; to become, in essence, one mind. Though the skeleton of the album was written during practices, the dynamics and fullness of each song were often reconnoitered and spawned through the improvisations which occurred during live settings and tours. The idea was discovery through the act of being present, and This was the result.
Sonically, This is an outgrowth of their last release, Meta, which saw the band beginning to experiment with ambient & vocal looping, flutes, synthesizers. Those explorations are present here, as is the notable (and permanent) addition of a second drummer, which is defined through the mixtures of tight syncopations and pulsing polyrhythms present in these songs.Recorded & produced at Bear Creek studio in Woodinville, WA, This marks a shift in sound that will only lead to further exploration into new musical territory.”
Incredible wordless exercise in voltage control and psychoacoustic trippiness from the ever unpredictable and unfathomably visionary Richard Youngs.
On this one he provides a 30 odd minute tangle that sound like Nate Young hacking into and playing a street light next to a motorway underpass. Brilliant, natch.
Amsterdam’s Knekelhuis pull out some class, knackered dark wave/EBM pop nuggets from New Jersey's Smersh c. 1984/1989, backed with a gripping remix by the widely tipped Parrish Smith.
As key protagonists of the ‘80s EBM underground, Smersh pushed a rawly expressive sound which, with the benefit of hindsight, clearly paved the way for a lot of weirdos working int he gaps between industrial, odd ball house and screwy electronics nowadays.
The two tracks on the M Appeal EP are two of the most pop-wise we’ve heard from Smersh’s sprawling catalogue, with the slow, claggy electro waltz of M Appeal  making its first appearance on wax, following woozy lines of melodic thought over grubby, pendulous machine groove leading to a real peach in the corroded EBM galvanics and near-Latin Freestyle’d vocal of Kiss Me Stupid, which is guaranteed to get a lot of spins around our way. Funnily enough they both respectively recall aspects of Dirk Desaever productions from the same era, too.
If you need any more persuasion, Parrish Smith sorts that on the B-side with a remix of M Appeal, rendering the skinny, skizzy original with big-boned and dank industrial dubbing and lashings of salty noise to taste. Already a big one with Jon K, this.
Leon Vynehall trades in vicarious nostalgia on his new album, a record inspired by his grandmother’s tales of moving to New York City from south east England in the ‘60s. The results flirt with the ’floor but are generally better defined by their sweeping string arrangements and tender use of field recordings which lends a immersive sense of space and place to Vynehall’s jazz-wise piano strokes.
“Vynehall has released two extended EP's so far, his 2014 breakthrough Music For The Uninvited (3024) - a record inspired by the funk, soul and hip-hop tapes his mum used to play on car journeys which finished the year on a plethora of 'Best of the Year' lists including Pitchfork, FACT and Resident Advisor who called it "one of the most eclectic and rewarding house records you'll hear all year" - and 2016's Rojus EP (Running Back) which saw Vynehall building more layers and broadening the depth of his music to widespread critical acclaim including DJ Mag's 'Album of the Year' and 'Best New Music' from Pitchfork for fan favourite single 'Blush'. On both, he was crafting luscious grooves that were destined to dominate dancefloors. Nothing Is Still however, is defiantly atmospheric and textural, and finds him harnessing his passion for early contemporary minimalist composers such as Gavin Bryars as well as records like Philip Glass’ Koyaanisqatsi and Terry Riley’s A Rainbow In Curved Air.
Written and predominantly performed by Vynehall with additional musicians including a ten-piece string section arranged by Amy Langley, Finn Peters (saxophone and flute), and Sam Beste (piano) whom completed the final recording sessions that took place at Konk Studio’s - Nothing Is Still was mixed by Blue May in London before making its own transatlantic flight to New York, where it was mastered at Sterling Sound by Greg Calbi.”
Versatile follow the lead of Vladimir Ivkovic’s Offen Music to reissue these Selected Works by Serbian genius Mitar Subotić a.k.a. Suba a.k.a. Rex Ilusivii.
Since the 2015 issue of Rex Ilusivii’s In The Moon Cage and right up to the recent pressing of Suba’s Wayang, a whole wave of new listeners, us included, have been wowed by his imaginative electronic microcosm, and this new collection perfectly spills into ever more esoteric and experimental realms. Make sure to check for the kinky downstroke of Facedance and the 4th world dimensions of Niagara / Spomenici for something close to Conny Plank’s work on Les Vampyrettes, and definitely Fortirer et Reche for a killer sort of hardcore rave mutation. Big recommendation!
Versatile’s Gilbert adds: “It was Vladimir Ivkovic who introduced me to the world of Rex Ilusivii. A world where the spirit of a genius holds sway. I remember spending an entire night at Vladimir's house in Germany, listening to all those recovered pieces, and feeling like I had entered another space-time.
Mitar tragically left us, one November night in 1999 in Brazil, leaving behind an extensive body of work consisting of more than 500 pieces, for the most part never released. Being submerged in such a unique universe, so singular, brought me happiness. It also filled me with hope, because I tell myself that today there must be many other outstanding musicians who produce in the shadow of the traditional circuit, just for the pleasure of making music.
Listening to the music of Mitar Subotić makes you part of his world. He did not stop producing from 1983 to 1999, in different styles, but with an instantly recognizable touch.His music also marries the evolution of recording techniques with new instruments that have appeared over this time, from the TR808 to the digital samplers. It took me more than two years to select the music for this record, as each time I listened to the material it revealed other details and other possibilities.
I am extremely happy and honored to present this record to you, in which I try to do justice to the different, "versatile" facets of Suba.”
Husband/wife duo Shawn O’Sullivan and Katie Rose bang it right on the nose with Disparate Elements for the steadily expanding Knekelhuis label, chasing the style of their LPs for Cititrax and Robert & Leopold into dank electro, EBM and fugged-up technopop realms.
The pairing appear to bring the best out of each other in all parts. Rose’s vocals and synths vitally offset O’Sullivan’s cranky grooves, most delectably in the slippery gynoid sex tune It’s Later Than You Think, then pitched and diffracted into the mazy jacker Disparate Elements, and haunting the upper echelons of their grim brummie acid banger Aural Equivalent, whilst Central System is a pure, ‘floor knacking instrumental electro weapon.
Proper rave mutations from X-Altera, the killer new alias coined by Tadd Mullinx (J.T.C./SK-1/Dabrye/Charles Manier/X2/TNT).
Striking hot and delirious, but with razor cut production packing stacks of ideas into every track, X-Altera is instantly shaping up to be one of our favourite of Tadd Mullinx’s myriad projects.
Taking inspiration from the ‘ardcore phenomenon of 1990-1993, the sound effectively works in the pocket of years before the jungle references of his Soundmurderer & SK-1 duo, hearkening back to that fertile period when everything was in flux, as shards of Detroit techno clash with Ragga Dancehall, US garage, Lowlands techno, electro and boogie-jazz style vibes in a delirious style meant to make you dance better, harder, nuttier - facking ‘ardcore, innit?
In recent years, it’s a style that many, many have tried, but more often than not become lost in translation, or simply without the actual ‘hardcore’-ness. Safe to say X-Altera has it down pat, though, taking cues from classic early 4Hero and their Reinforced label, plus the likes of Foul Play, Mark Pritchard and a plethora of unsung heroes, to put a class new spin on the classic sound and legendary era.
There are too many highlights to mention, but take it on trust this one’s a must-check if you’re into 4Hero/Dego, A Guy Called Gerald, Goldie, Lone, HATE, Global Communications.
Haunting, enlightening, spellbinding; ‘Bush Lady’ is the definitive musical opus by Alanis Obomsawin. A member of the Abenaki Nation and one of Canada’s most esteemed and decorated documentary filmmakers, Alanis recorded ‘Bush Lady’ for CBC, Canada’s national broadcaster, in 1985, but was unhappy with the lead song, ‘Bush Lady’. She re-recorded the song and self-released it as part of new edition, which the marvellous Constellation have now picked up for this reissue, some 33 tours later
Combining her knowledge of traditional Abenaki songs, learnt in her home community of Odanak, with lyrics in french and english, and more modernist arrangements drawing from jazz and classical, Bush Lady paints an engrossing and unforgettable portrait of the venerable singer, songwriter, and storyteller which has somehow managed to evade the attentions of reissuers until now.
The 2-part, 13 minute long opener Bush Lady, Pt.1 + II make a transfixing introduction with Alanis’ mix of traditional and modern vocals dancing free over a tumpin’ drum and expanded with searching fiddle that beautifully tails off with her vocals in the 2nd part. Meanwhile, Theo, Pt. I + II find Alanis singing/speaking in french over a central, steady drum motif joined by the kind of lush woodwind you might expect from a mid ‘80s CBC release (think BoC feels), while Odana reserves the album’s lushest arrangement till last, with Alanis in chanson mode against a fittingly plush, almost filmic backdrop of strings and wind, and Of the Earth and of the Sea remains a timelessly universal message.
We wager some ears are about to fall madly in love with this album…
Photay’s jazzy jazz remixed for the floor in six different ways;
Hubie Davison fluffs up Screens with bustling latin flavour; Sam O.B. turns Aura into a plush soul number; Outré Lux becomes a quicksilver jungle remix in Phil Moffa’s mitts; Yonsei takes Storm on a mid-tempo dub-house glitch ride; and Tatiana Heuman unravels Off Piste with warped R&B swing.
LFI yield the aural equivalent of a queasy mushy trip with Garland’s maiden voyage, Preludes #1
An intoxicating journey, guided by sloshing percussion and probing bass plongs thru lysergically dubbed-out electro-acoustic dimensions and keening microtonal ‘tronics.
Hugo Massien plays deep into and out of Tectonic’s signature sound with four brooding, bass-heavy cuts on the cusp of dubstep, garage and electro
Proceeding his 12”s for XL, 17 Steps and E-Beamz, Advanced Aerial Threat starts out with the hollowed but threatening half step techno of the title cut, switching to plush keys and brittle 2-step in Ursa Minor, and needling yet soothing electro on Candy Flip, before Divisions From the Start steps out like Batu meets Jon Hopkins.
Salty minimal wave dirges from Laurène Exposito aka Eye, dialled in from her Alpine base to Amsterdam’s Knekelhuis, presumably via some archaic switchboard where digital technology is sniffed at.
Like her debut album, Sabine, Eye’s follow-up is defined by her palette and personalised melodic sensibility, coming out out four songs about “life changes and love’s stranges”, variously described in murky, subaquatic EBM with a sulphuric urgency on Yellow Density, or like Colleen’s sour twin on the bleeping dub noise fuss of Mucho Macho, whereas Cocktail Mexico catches a sweeter breeze sort of lo-fi electro, and the hazy weave of Go Forward.
Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990’s label marks 10 years of dancefloor domination with ‘Night Allstars X’
Pulling together classics and exclusives from Cooly G, Fiedel, Girl Unit, Altered Natives, Uninamise and many more, the set firmly does what the label set out to do; replenish modern dancefloors with what they neeed.
Since kicking off in 2008 as a clubnight working in the space between myriad UK & US forms of grime, garage, house and R&B, it’s fair to say that the way Night Slugs has balanced and recombined those styles has fed into a proper, global bass music institution whose influence is much greater than the sum of its parts.
We fondly remember listening to Bok Bok Ustream's at a time when dubstep had calcified into a bit of a joke and grime was in a muddle, while the prevailing influence of Euro and US techno was just coming out of its squeaky clean ‘minimal’ phase into something ruder after years of decelerating rates of mutation.
Bok Bok’s mixes somehow navigated these currents with remarkable vision and precision, clashing all sides of the Black Atlantic in a mutant manner that avoided the pitfalls of ‘Fidget’ and, like a few other DJs and clubnights in London, Glasgow, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester, managed to recombine styles and patterns in a way that heavily tilted the following decade of music to the point we’re at now.
On Night Slugs Allstars X, Bok Bok and L-Vis maintain their taste for dance music with 14 aces from label fam old and new, tending to their OG roots in UKF thru diamonds from Cooly G, Lil Silva and Altered Natives, while looking to the US with cold Flex Dance Music from Uninamise and Helix’s redlining trap bite HMU Joe, while DJ J Heat and Neana do it transatlantic on the hyper Jersey scud of Love, and unusually but brilliantly enough, Fiedel of MMM makes a unexpected appearance with his signature Berghain girder, Door To Manual.
Big up Night Slugs! Here’s to another 10 years of Grade A bangers.
On a long awaited solo LP (his first in 13 years!), the man from Mountains wraps up listeners in a lyrically expressive but entirely instrumental suite of new age modular synth music elliptically contoured between burbling choral voices, hyaline quivers and sonorous subs leading to moments of timeless, sublime revelation. Synth-o-naut’s will be in their element here
“The music of Brendon Anderegg is a hall of mirrors, multilayered and self-obscuring. Largely filtered through Mountains, his pioneering electronic project with Koen Holtkamp, Anderegg emerged as a solo artist in the late ‘90s. In recent years, Anderegg has become sought after for his film scoring and audio work with his studio Telescope Audio, contributing to Emmy-nominated films 102 Minutes that Changed America and 9/11: The Days After for the History Channel, and working with clients from ESPN to Laura Poitras’ Praxis Films.
June represents Brendon limiting his tools and thereby departing from his previous approaches to creating music. Folding time, space, and ambience across June’s two sides, a shimmering expanse of synthesizer-fed structure and tone emerges: a singular sonic landscape with varied emotional triggers from melancholy to playful. The music on June is a complex network of layers, combining to create a congruous whole. Collapsing history into its own contemporary sonic movements, Anderegg’s methodically created work falls in the lineage of electronic pioneers like Bernard Parmegiani, early ambient projects like Tangerine Dream, Popul Vuh, and Cluster, and puts his solo work in the realm of New Age figures like Michael Sterns and JD Emmanuel.
A singularly beautiful and challenging work, June marks the long overdue reemergence of Brendon Anderegg as a solo voice. An immersive two-side realization made for contemplative, meditative listening, June is contemporary electronic synthesis in the most literal sense of the word.”
Filigree detailed, vaporous sound designs carved from the Yamaha ex5r from XIII for Turin’s Gang Of Ducks. RIYl Visible Cloaks, Haruomi Hosono, Japanese electronics
“Eocity is the result of a study on technological failure and the imagination of a non-existent urban landscape. This project features the use of a Yamaha ex5r, one of the first synths to ever implement VL synthesis.
The Yamaha Virtual Acoustic Synthesis tone generation was born to try to accurately emulate the complex vibrations and other acoustic phenomena of real instruments and their sounds within space, but the dubious results of this technology gave birth to something more.
Its output sound happens to be cold and synthetic while being also organic and warm at the same time, welcoming the listeners into a feeling of an artificial world that is neither digital nor analog.
In this world man is not around anymore and the binary language survived him, communicating with the rest of the natural environment, in respect of its laws and dynamics, becoming one indistinct entity.
Eocity is a place that exists in between the imaginary and the real one, gently oating as a digital tactile experience.”
DJ Richard follows the ‘Path of Ruin’ to his discopocalytic sophomore LP, ‘Dies Irae Xerox’; a super robust collection of darkwave ambient, EBM and Memphis rap-style instrumentals inspired by “depictions and philosophies of the antichrist and end-times”
Picking up where he left us with the darker themes of Grind , the NYC/Berlin-stationed producer pretty much leaves the slinkier house and techno themes for dust in order to better explore mutant, classic hardcore strains of electronic music in his own way.
Opener Dies Irae Xerox could easily be mistaken for the work of Hospital Productions orderly, while the scowling 808 slap downs of Pitfall and Gate Of Roses explore rugged hip hop/electro somewhere between Pametex, SALEM and Tommy Wright III. They’re some of our favourites, along with the curdling sewer juice of Tunnel Stalker and the Cortini-esque Old Winter’s Way, but the rest of the album is strong, too; especially on its fanged dancefloor aces such as the needle-toothed EBM of Vanguard, and the doomcore slug of In Broad Daylight.
Joakim presents the varied results of his recording sessions in Xavier Veilhan’s Studio Venezia, a studio/sculpture installed at the 2017 Venice Biennale, which was also visited by Brian Eno and Sebastian Tellier
Using the studio’s rare instrumentation, including an Ondes Martinet, Buchla Music Easel and Baschet Cristal, plus some other synths, as well as aleatoric input from visitors to the Biennale, as source material for the final recordings, which take cues from Cluster’s kosmiche classics to rove between pastoral scenes such as Orange (Katie, USA), to clunky techno on Innuendo (Francisco, Spain), and bittersweet baroque themes in Dream (Roberta, Italy).
Cómeme revel in the face of adversity with four tracks to stoke the good times
Rise X gets off to a deep and trippy start with the swollen mass of distended bass, cantering dembow breaks and devilish voices in Dark Jungle triggering a heavy vibe that bubbles thru Argentinan Ana Helder’s fizzy acid jacker Pizza Delivery, to the killlllller acid New Beat/EBM stride of Ihr Euer by Colombia’s Gladkazuka, and an infectious minimal electro bumper called Ah! Ah! Ah! from Chilean artist, Vaskular.
Erstwhile Factory Floor member Richard Smith ploughs out three ruts of wonky acid noise as L/F/D/M, backed with a crafty remix by Nick Dunton ov 65D Mavericks.
L/F/D/M’s original range from the body-swilling EBM acid of Sixteen Snakes and the atonal roiler X-Enter-O to a sizzling and slippery 303 workout named Silver Grain, whilst Nick Dunton tidies up Silver Grain in an infectious remix featuring smoother acid contours and mutant blue vocal on the D-56M Poverty remix.
Sonic Pieces give life to one of the most unusual releases in their catalogue thus far; a collection of percussive pieces from Tatu Rönkkö - a long-time friend and collaborator with Efterklang with whom he also formed the band Liima. Rönkkö is regarded by some as one of the most diverse and inventive percussionists working on the contemporary field and ‘Spheres' offers a comprehensive introduction to his expansive style, having been compared to everyone from Konono No.1 to Photek and Can’s Jaki Liebezeit.
Spheres is Tatu's debut album and it arrives after close to a decade of notorious improvised performances in kitchens around Berlin and abroad, "using the room and everything in it as his instrument”. It includes self-made instruments from everyday objects, taking his performance style to the next level. As the label explain "The kitchen and the improvisations around it have been concentrated down to 6 standalone pieces of music, produced in incredible detail. The sound hovers in the darklands between tribal experimentations, 90’s jungle ambient textures and electro-acoustic endeavours. Pieces like Then remind of a more focused Aphex Twin performing with Konono No1 in the Finnish woods. While the title track Spheres even links the sound all the way back to early Photek with it's reduced cinematic textures and explosive repetitive beats.”
The opening 5 pieces are all instrumentals before the closing piece Tekoäly features much overlooked vocal pioneer and Fonal mainstay Islaja on vocals, taking the material into much more interesting terrain. Largely accessible but also making the most of those still-alien vocals, Rönkkö weaves in and around her voice with a slowly collapsing, stop-start feel that elevates proceedings into the realm of avant-pop, bringing to a close a fine, intriguing debut.
Coyote Records launch a class début from VIO_L3T into orbit of UK drill, grime and weightless styles, backed with a signature, playfully moody remix by E.M.M.A.
Hailing from not-so-grimy Somerset, VIO_L3T fidns a balance of inner city tension and more spacious, widescreen synth feels to his first release, scanning the expansive synth intro and cold drill drums of Cloud-Tech next to the teetering dembow break structures and spiralling arps of Sentinel and the clipped, airy bump of Fragment.
E.M.M.A. gives Cloud-Tech a more immediate appeal, curtailing the intro so she can get busy with slugging bass and a more psychedelic, less glum synth arrangement in signature style.