FFT exert exacting, fresh spins on Heinrich Mueller electro styles for TTT after crafty introductions made in recent years on Uncertainty Principle and Super Hexagon Records
Taking cues from any number of Mueller-associated projects (Dopplereffket, Arpanet, Der Zyklus), but adding their own sliver of soul, FFT impress on both parts, smartly playing with anticipations via the icy intro and crisp jump-start into 2.1-stepping rhythms and wavy arp tendrils on ‘Regional’, while ‘Loss’ sets out a looser, mutable framework of synth-pop riffs and clinically cut rhythms recalling Monolake circa ‘Invisible Force’, only to calve away into something like a trace of Uwe Schmidt’s ‘Pop Artificelle’ album.
Recital at their very best here with an unmissably gorgeous 1st vinyl issue of music by Rip Hayman; - a pioneering forerunner of ambient music, and pivotal member of NYC’s downtown music community since the ‘70s, beloved for his holistic embrace of sound in its myriad forms
Working at the point where avant ambient imagination meets the raw beauty of nature, ‘Dreams of India and China’ is a collage of Rip Hayman’s archival field recordings and hard-to-find tape releases dreamily layered and sequenced by Recital boss Sean McCann. Overseen in production by Hayman and his longtime foil Charlie Morrow (himself a subject of previous Recitals), the results speak to a sublime, un/consciously utopian conception of sound as environmental, borderless and timeless, and most of all a rich source of happiness and pleasure.
From an itinerant family background in the military which took him to all corners of the globe, it was the music and philosophy of India and far East Asia which really prompted Hayman to make music. He joined Columbia University in the late ‘60s but was soon put off by the restrictions of Serialism, favouring to solder electronics and make music at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Centre. Then the Fluxus movement hit, radically expanding the notion of what is art, leading him to the downtown lofts and galleries alongside John Cage, Phil Corner, Petr Kotik, Yoshi Wada, and in 1975 he set up both EAR magazine, and the EAR bar, which would host early performances by Arthur Russell, Peter Zummo and even Queen Latifah.
Immersed in the truly avant culture of the NYC in the ‘70s, Hayman’s own music understandably formed its own, wide-reaching logic, incorporating performance, events, and deep listening with a “tangible spirit based on the awareness of sound, mingling meditation, mystery, humor, and human response.” In Sean McCann’s sensitive layered collage of Hayman’s recordings, we hear his intentions clearly manifest in dreamlike form, drifting from recording of Indian nose flute and Tibetan monk thigh bone trumpet, to snatches Bach’s Goldberg Variations played at half speed during his Dreamsound events for sleeping audiences, and his Bell Roll performance - rolling down a hill wearing a suit of bells - together with intoxicating field recordings of the Ganges and temple drums in Rajasthan.
Quite simply ‘Dreams of India and China’ is one of the most enchanting records we’ve heard in some time, a slab that bears many repeat listens, where listeners will discover new layers and life with each return. It’s hugely recommended.
Basses Terres make incursions on rugged psychedelic dance terrain for Brothers From Different Mothers, with results landing somewhere between the 3rd eyes of Black Zone Myth Chant, Ramzi and Low Jack
The 6-track ‘Naked Light’ EP is a salty appetiser for Basses Terres’ follow-up to the well received ‘Counting Pulsations’  album. In low-key, slunky style it snakes from the grotty but jazzy sweat lodge bends of ‘Wilfred Doricent’ at the front, thru the windswept electronics of ‘665 Moths’, and the pensive, pendulous electro of ‘Hewbi No Tori’, into a sort of sludgy dancehall crouch with ‘Deliæ’, before the wind meditation ‘Yoru No Satori’ featuring Mika Oki cleanses the palette for the spirit-refreshing splash and head-kissing pads of ‘Sentiment Océanique’.
First ever reissue of a zinger-packed disco album from 1980. Check ‘Disco Thing’. If you’re aren’t dancing by the end of the clip, go see a doctor.
“Killer private modern soul / disco funk LP from San Diego released in 1980 on Aidqueen Records.
No fillers on this one! It contains dancefloor winner “Disco Thing”, the crazed ode to debauchery “Get Down Party “, mellow soul ballad “Oooh, Your Love”, the wicked instrumental with magic flute “Seaquence” and the brilliant jazz-funk flavored modern soul tracks “Loving” and “Life”.
The rest of the record is made up of high-level soulful funk movers.
Amazing LP from the beginning to end, no wonder it became hard to find and so highly sought after.
Finally available again, fully licensed and remastered, with original artwork.”
Luke Younger's Alter label limns the underground zeitgeist in ‘Alert!’, a compilation starring gems from Teresa Winter, Anna Peaker, Moin (Raime), Mumdance, Space Afrika, The Modern Institute and many more beside.
Entirely sourced from the UK, ‘Alert!’ could be heard as a reading of pre-Brexit or Brexit-limbo mindsets, if you’re that way inclined, or more simply as a cross-section of the UK corpus at the end of a strange decade. Either way, you’re going to get a lot of canny, unexpected gear, ranging from cold bedsit blooz thru to freeform techno, twitchy post-punk and modular n0!ze gristle.
We’re naturally drawn to highlights in Teresa Winter’s unpredicted techno pounder ‘A free woman in an unfree society would be a monster’, and also to a sterling example of Teresa’s sometime collaborator and Leeeds peer Anna Peaker on the elegiac organ etude ‘Helicidae’, while Space Afrika nest the tactile ambient fragility of ‘Yuly’, and Mumdance impresses with nerve-chewing modular freakout ‘Path of the Seer’ - big tip for fans of The Sprawl.
Elsewhere the quality doesn’t let up: Raime’s Moin and their drummer, Valentina Magaletti’s Tomaga, both turn out tuff, jagged post-punk steppers; Acolytes catch a properly febrile vibe in the blown-out gabber kicks and writhing electronics of ‘Feelings’; Helena Celle drops a playful stripe of computerised EBM; and Glasgow represents with a barrage of saltiness ranging from The Modern Institute’s scally techno banger to an apoplectic Apostille in ‘It’s Not Right’, and an absorbing oddity by sound artist and radio producer Mark Vernon.
Egyptian electro chaabi powerhouse Islam Chipsy and Eek hit 6 deadly ways with Cairo’s 100 Copies, following on from the ravenous reception to their incendiary live LP and ‘Kahraba’ side for Nashazphone
One of the fiercest live acts on the circuit right now, Eek and their flamboyant, synth-wielding frontman Chipsy Islam place the experience of years of rowdy shows at the service of their strongest studio recordings in ‘Kahraman’. The six songs firmly spell out the range of dual drummers Mahmoud Refat and Khaled Mando and their electronic component, touching on techno-folk psychedelia in the anticipatory ‘Day1’, before cutting loose like the wildest house band in Arabia with ‘El Daynasour’, and bringing it down to their slowest hustle ’n grind in ‘Fast Track’.
They’re on peak form in the rattling stepper ‘El Zantor’, and at best in the swingeing groove and veering microtonal flux of ‘Saba Zamzam’ and the sparring closer, ‘Zardana’ with Chipsy twirling some of his hottest vamps.
Tuff and moody dance trax from Mexcio City’s Wasted Fates, drawing on his experience volunteering during the 2017 Earthquake, as well as his country’s ongoing Narco War, with tense yet diffuse drum programming and shifty atmospheres in his debut LP for the NAAFI powerhouse
Joining the likes of Debit, Paul Marmota and Lechuga Zafiro on the keenly watched label, Wasted Fates follows the more playful styles of his football-themed ‘Mundialero’ EP with a increased sense of purpose and barely-restrained aggression in ‘Turbio’, gradually escalating the seething tension from the slow start of ‘Clinica’.
The glaring darkside bass of ‘La Excavación’ follows, before really cutting loose and uptempo with the fierce drums of ‘Voltaic’ and toggling the tension between noisy jabs in ‘Odalisca’, a proper grimy scudder named ‘Implosión’, and a fusion of balletic rhythms and dramatic synth arrangement in ‘Mortifero’ feat. NAAFI label boss Lao, then burning darkly until the end with cinematic synth strokes in ‘Trastorno’, and the bolshy energy of ‘Bestia’.
‘Fog Horns’ is a much rawer, almost aggressive, panic-raising answer to Marshall Ingram’s seminal ‘Fog Horn Requiem’. The artist really uses the sound as dense blocks to be intersected, conjuring an anxious state that makes us feel as though on a collision course between massive objects in low visibility...
“French sound artist Félix Blume keeps pushing the boundaries of field recordings for our enjoyment. “Fog Horns” captures the sounds of boat horns in Piraeus, Athens, Greece, the port city that serves some of the most important ferry routes in Greece nowadays. Yes, boat horns are annoying, sometimes disturbing and even absurdly disrupting if you live in a port city or one that is blessed with the arrival of cruises. We all know that. But we also knew that recordings of funerals could be tricky, and Félix Blume pulled a gem out of last year’s “Death In Haiti - Funeral Brass Band & Sounds Of Port Au Prince (CREP51)”.
And he has done it again. The A side reveals a long track recorded during a fog horn concert whilst side B features three 'remixes' of the same recordings, paying respect to what Ingram Marshall did in “Fog Tropes” in three different 'movements'. In a way, B side sounds like the perfect soundtrack for the recent remake of “Suspiria”. But Thom Yorke got in the way.
Jokes aside, there’s something magical about these horns. In the eighteen minutes of the first side, Félix Blume explores the concept of a concert played by those horns. The horns dominate but sounds of the surroundings create a perfect balance to the drone hysteria. The surrounding sounds are the heartbeat of this track. The horns are the metal section of an orchestra, while the rest works like the strings. Hidden melodies are revealed when you listen to this with your full attention, and the more you do it, the horns become less present, vivid. It’s one of the many crafts of Félix Blume, the more you live with his music, the more you focus outside the plot.
If those eighteen minutes sound tremendously real, the three tracks on the other side feel like a horror film. The warmth disappears to become cold ambiance, beautifully textured and enigmatic sounds take over. Horns are still heard, but they’re a different kind of horns. It seems that Félix Blume is playing with our perception, from bliss to horror. A honk will never be the same again.”
CREEP’s Lauren Flax puts her back into a trio of ace hard working buckers for The Bunker NYC
From the ground up she tills heavy drum machine grooves freaked with corkscrewing FX, but always keeping it solidly direct.
She comes with the bare bones jack attack of ‘One Man’s House Is Another Woman’s Techno’ next to the rictus bang and acid blips of ‘(You Have to) Work’, echoing the steely sentiment of Marie Davidson’s anthem, before ‘A Deeper Side of Jack’ does it salty Gherkin Jerk style, compatible with your punchiest Matrixxman bangers. 10er says she does a UTTU 12” before end of 2019.
Sleazy, night-stalking house trax from Romania’s Khidja for NYC’s DFA
Opener ‘Don’t Feed the Animals (Hiding In Your Room)’ channels John Carpenter into the club; ‘Devil Dance’ massages muscular modular tones into a clipped and trippy swing; ‘I Can Never Relax’ weaves EBM inspirations into a throbbing electro-house chassis; and ‘I’m So Bored’ works splashy, fluid percussion into a sizzling darkroom frolic.
“Having established themselves with previous releases on labels like Hivern Discs and Malka Tuti, Khidja get darker, dubbier, and more twisted on In The Middle Of The Night. We find the record in the witching hour, and the tracks represent the cycle of nighttime mentalities, revealing the various directions the mind can wander in the place between consciousness and unconsciousness – mania, paranoia, even boredom. It all makes for a raucous dancefloor experience, with the duo bringing something new and heavy to the DFA roster.”
Mondkopf yields the lushest, cinematic iteration of his current style with ‘How Deep Is Our Love?’
“For more than a decade now the prolific Parisian producer hasn’t ceased to surprise us with his compositions, constantly treading new ground with artistic bravery and curiosity. At times extreme, at other times méditative and always complex, his music is never easy-access. In recent years his work has taken a clear turn towards a more ambient, intimate, less abrasive style.
Based on minimalist instrumental improvisations, ’How Deep Is Our Love?’ will become the soundtrack for the new film adaptation by Diana Vidrascu of the Kafkan play, 'The Silence of the Sirens'. Composed of four long, bright, poetic, contemplative pieces, which grab you by the heart strings and keep a tight grip until the very last note.
It’s an epic, grandiose album, which rings out with an unfathomable but extremely touching language.”
20 years since his Planet Mu debut, Leafcutter John brings his ecstatic prog-electronica virtues to Border Community for a bright and spacious album of driving krautrock rhythms and intricate melodic fancy wrought around field recordings of the Norfolk coastline and the North Sea
“During the summer of 2017 exiled Yorkshireman Leafcutter John returned to his one-time home of Norfolk (having graduated in Painting from Norwich’s School of Art and Design back in 1998) and set out on foot along the sixty mile section of Norfolk Coast Path which runs from Hunstanton to Overstrand, trusty audio recording device in his pocket. “And very soon the physical act of walking began to make me think about music,” he explains. “My footsteps dictated the tempo and imagined melodies accompanied me as I slowly moved along the increasingly wild and magical stretch of coastline. Stresses of the city were replaced by the fall and rise of the North Sea and endless salt flats. Sounds from the environment filtered in and I would stop often to record what I was hearing around me.”
Back home in London, the hours of amassed field recordings would form the backbone and inspiration for a whole album worth of outpourings from John’s six-years-in-the-making modular synth. From the evocative sound of sea birds on Pillar and Stepper Motor to the colourful conversation from a country pub in This Way Out, the apposite selection of samples which made the final edit provide the perfect jumping-off point for John’s synths to soar with abandon, at times uplifting, frenetic, haunting, hypnotic or meditative, but always atmospheric and with unstoppable propulsion.
“Above all else, I wanted the album to exude a sense of constant forward motion but at a very human scale,” says John. Thus drummer friends Tom Skinner (Hello Skinny) and Sebastian Rochford (long-time collaborator in the twice Mercury Prize-nominated band Polar Bear) were roped in to lend their suitably clattering human momentum, on Doing The Beeston Bump and Dunes respectively. Working in tempos to match his walking speed throughout - “whether trudging along a rainy shingle beach or running up wildflowering clifftop paths” - Yes! Come Parade With Us is perfect traveling music, and once unleashed upon the world is sure to provide the soundtrack to plenty more journeys to come.”
Japan’s Takashi Wada & Cologne’s Roland Kaiser Wilhelm yield an ace, minimalist electro live set recorded in Kraftwerk’s Kling Klang studio
We’re not made privy to how or why the pair got access to one of the most famous electronic music studios of all time, but they did, and the results are class, rolling out 54 minutes of pendulous rhythm machine permutation that start out spare, frayed and decimated with white noise, but eventually resolving in a ruggedly deep electro-techno coda.
Proper Bristolian dub mutations from Kinlaw on Heith’s Haunter Records, mulching at pushing the style’s envelope into crushed, stressed-out trip hop noise (‘Agglestone’), Rabit-like Screw (‘MG 1666 DD)’, salinated 4th world styles (‘Rake’), and grimacing industrial swagger (’Trtipt’)
“Hamish Trevis AKA Kinlaw hails from the Bristolian underground. The same scene that, in recent years, has given the most vital contribution to the freshness and vitality of a fringe sound suspended between the many clashes, deconstructions and reconstructions of dub and UK club music, radicalized through a diffuse interest in noise-tinged punkish grit. It should come as no surprise, then, that Kinlaw’s own music sounds both menacing and playful, weighing in with relentless slow beats and cranky lo-fi textures. on “Drax”,—his first Haunter Records release and second part of the label’s limited 10” dubplate series—the always cavernous, hyper-saturated bass seem to engulf everything, sticking to every other sound like some nasty form of sonic mud. The hypnotic percussions and sparse, hazy bits of melody make for an overall atmosphere of industrialized narcosis. Franco Franco’s vocal intervention in the first track only adds to the dankness of it all, with its confused deadpan delivering a dose of true lowbrow nihilism in Italian.”
Detroit and Berlin souls enmesh as Terri McQueen aka Whodat meets Berlin’s Viola Klein on a deeply playful Workshop session
Coming from Detroit’s YDR313 2.0 record shop and with an Uzuri 12” in her back pocket, Whodat brings a rooted Motor City soul to Klein’s rugged flavours op-enly indebted to the likes of Theo Parrish and Marcellus Pittman.
On ‘Funeral Song’ they catch a melancholy breeze with blue but celebratory chords on a wickedly swung groove offset with hiccuping vocal to get the ‘floor in a lather. With ‘Reprise’ they cut a few shades deeper, wriggling right inside the groove with crafty bassline dancing all around and off the beat, underlining and charging choice vocal samples about strength in unity. One for the allday sunday crew!
The artist fka Ovuca works around jacking and raving techno patterns within the Colundi Sequence tuning framework for one of the series’ strongest additions
Recalling everything from Mika Vainio’s early Ø classics to vintage AFX and Mike Dred’s Kosmik Kommandos, this is a super strong batch of psychedelic dance music for the aerobic mystics. Proper tangy flavours for all trippy ravers.
Industrial techno from Aussie boscher Tymon Balakirev for the Perc Trax stronghold
Pulling no punches, Tymon delivers for the headstrong between the distorted kicks and noxious tension of ‘Eternal Return’ and the bread-necking dose of mighty white delirium in ‘Rioted’, while ‘Haunted Shipyard’ just about allows some swing into the mix for the funky cunts.
Plaid shows flashes of their timeless appeal in a pair of rude but sweet, offbeat dancefloor aces for Warp
On ’Maru’ they follow a fine transition from dry but rhythmelodic drums thru glacially layered pads into piquant, melodic sequences and keening harmonies with hypnotic style shy of anything too tricksy or show-off. But matters gets more interrupting and ragged on the B-side’s ‘Recall’, where they cough up a mad tangle of ripping textures and convulsive drums comparable to a viscous version of Ueno Masaki’s ‘Vortices’ run roughshod by Shapednoise.
Leading on from bullets by Low Jack, Clara!, Iueke and Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, Le Disques De La Bretagne return with a killer EP of mutant reggaeton/drill zingers by french producer King Doudou featuring MC Buseta and Kaydy Cain - big tip if yr into Low Jack, Clara! Riobamba, Florentino…
Premo French producer and beat maker for Bad Gyal’s Spanish reggaeton hit ‘Fiebre’, King Doudou answers his call up to the crack squad at Low Jack’s Les Disques De La Bretagne in heavy style, doing gully drill with Baile Funk innovator MC Buseta and yung gun Kaydy Cain on ‘Novinha’, alongside the darker dembow knuck of ‘Tremendo Bumbum’, both replete with grade A instrumentals.
Over the past 10 years Doudou has been a central node of globalised bass music in France and Catalonia, delivering heat for everyone from Mad Decent and Mixpak to ZZK and Sound Pellegrino. For Editions Gravats’ unruly sister label, Doudou bowls a proper sidewinder with the whipsmart drill vamps and steel-fanged snares of ‘Novinha’ capped by the icy delivery of Kaydy Cain and MC Buseta’s mumbling inflection, while the B-side’s ‘Tremendo Bumbum’ comes looser, wild-eyed with restless reggaeton torque tempered by Buseta’s monotone, paso-doble chat.
A dead strong look for followers of new rhythms and voices from the Latinx dancehall.
After closing out Smalltown Superjazzz’ run in 2015, Mats Gustafson fires up its new iteration - Actions For Free Jazz - in the lacquer crackling, spittle-riddled investigations of ‘Link’ with avant-turntablist Christian Marclay
Both known for charting paths less travelled, here they point to strange, liminal zones of perception on their first collaboration, with Gustafsson’s electronically processed tenor and baritone sax channelling an ecology of wee beastie insect sounds against the the signature unpredictability of Marclay’s palette of turntables and noise.
The first cut is a proper ripper featuring both in a dual to unpick the maddest variety of fractured sounds in rapid flux, before they gel in grittier, viscous roil on ‘Nacre’ only to erupt with destructive noise force,and resolve with the melodic whirligig of ‘Superbad’.
Trust the other side is equally cracked up, running from playful scree recalling some alarm of Smegma and Sun Ra in ‘Old Rose’, while the rudimentary drones and hacked clatter of ‘Long Distance’ and the could almost be compared with Wolf Eyes’ sludgy trip metal smudges, and their title track attempts to invade your ears like a troupe of determined ants as Gustafsson’s sax acts like anteater slurping them up thru your other ear.
Alex Zhang Hungtai takes his instrumental work to ever more personal and moving levels on his soundtrack to a semi-autobiographical film meditating on the meaning of home in which Hungtai himself plays the main protagonist, returning to Hawaii to trace his roots. It arrives in the wake of some of his most significant artistic achievements; the stunning ‘Divine Weight’ album which knocked us off our feet in 2018, that incredible Love Theme album for Alter, and his appearance under the spotlights of The Roadhouse stage in Twin Peaks Season 3 as one half of house band Trouble alongside David Lynch’s son Riley.
Hungtai has captivated us since he emerged from Montreal’s burgeoning music scene at the early 2010’s as Dirty Beaches, and his movements since have taken turns that have been both unexpected and entirely in keeping with his unique aesthetic approach, pushing ever further into the rawly expressive style that has earned him cult-like status over the course of the past decade.
August At Akiko’s is in some respects his most unvarnished and personal work to date - infused with location recordings made in Hawaii, the music reflects the serene, introspective ambience of the film itself. Opening with the short, naked field recording of ‘Temple Bell’, and resolving with the harmonious glow and dissonant shards of keys in ‘Ocean Boy’, the soundtrack is dominated by two contrasting tracts featuring Hungtai on his favoured sax.
The first, ‘Sky Burial’ is a starkly brooding piece opening with a menacing rumble and clatter of ceremonial Buddhist music where he joins in, tentatively at first, but growing into a ripping display of wounded beast bleats and whirling shreds as febrile and roving as the background drums. In sharp contrast, the flipside is free of drums, leaving Hungtai blowing beautifully blue whims to himself. Unadorned and as vulnerable as could be, the side ends with a meditative solo piano piece which acts as a perfect distillation of the stillness and inner peace the film manages to capture so well, living in the seams between dreams, reality, and memory, with a temporality all of its own.
Itinerant Dubs return after 4 years MIA with a wood-burning acid banger backed with a wicked electro one-two
Up top they shackle a virulent, acidic/Italo arp with big, booming kicks and cracking snares, allowing loads of air in the mix in a way that will properly ricochet around the warehouse. Think Actress meets I-F.
Down under, they catch the zeitgeist in two sizzling electro numbers, working up one piece of biting point breakbeat electro tackle replete with Drexciyan hydro-licks, then with a darker echo old skool Bonesbreaks style.
From the underside of ‘90s ambient music, O Yuki Conjugate’s eerie meditation ‘Insect-Talk’ reappears, backed with slunky remix from Tolouse Low Trax, a Howes reduction, and the band’s own 2018 update
Hailing from Nottingham during the first waves of post-punk in the early ‘80s, Roger Horberry and Andrew Hulme’s O Yuki Conjugate issued a healthy handful of 4th world, or what they call “dirty ambient” releases and compilation cuts alongside the likes of Pump, Muslimgauze and other members of the UK post-punk/industrial/experimental firmament, with the best of their early phase appearing on Vinyl-on-Demand’s ‘Ambiguism 1983-1987’ compilation.
Fast forward a few year into the ‘90s, and ’Insect-Talk’ was a highlight of OYC’s ‘Equator’ LP in 1994. The track also appeared in a lesser known ‘Dry’ form on the ‘Twilight Earth’ compilation, and now 25 years later on this 12”, serving a slow mesh of brittle drums, wide bass and mantric gasps that Tolouse Low Trax makes even slower, smeared into all corners of the mix with woozy style, before Howes drives it out further for something like a knackered Dynamo groove, and, best of all, OYC revise with slippery reverse loops to sound like a lost Coil gem.
Charmingly knackered, gas-huffin’ lower case rock ’n roll songs by Bobby Would for scruffy young folk with a lot on their mind, out now on Low Company.
“"IT’S HAPPENING TO YOU, AGAIN…" Lovelorn, tranq’d-out, majestically understated rok y roll lullabies and dub-pocked, acid-damaged, pain’-it-dark drone-punk from Robert P. of Heavy Metal and Muscle Barbie++, coming over like some celestial 4AM face-off between George Harrassment, The Great Unwashed and Can. Gulp. Yeah this is a record so patently, self-evidently brilliant that we have to stop ourselves from calling it an instant classic (oops). There are some affinities with the homesick jangle of Itchy Bugger’s Done One, an album which R. played on (and painted the cover for), and the songs sure are pretty (find me a more romantic refrain in 2019 than ‘Luna''s "You and me / shivering in the street"), but Baby feels like more of a TRIP, as if some 23rd century Martian moptop-pop combo crash-landed at a dosed up Kensington houseparty circa ’66, plugged in their gear and got stuck right in: hypnotic space-guitar ultra-reverberant and in a permanent state of comedown/dissolve, choppy death-surf riffs and gently weeping leads ringing into infinity, squeezed and smeared for every last trace of scorch and sting…wooiii!
There are some echoes too of banner UK DIY/squat-wave and the mildewed NZ psych of the Spies and the Renderers, but all shot through with a kinda Teutonic sensibility/rigour, loopy and ultra-repetitive - equal debts to the full-throttle drainpiped psycho-beat of 39 Clocks’ ‘Dom’ and the glacial ambient-glam sampledelia of Love Inc.’s ‘Life’s A Gas’ (!). Rare to encounter a record as simultaneously heart-rending, sonically intrepid and effortlessly SWINGING as this. Couldn't be more in love.”
Australian selector Lauren Hansom wafts a slow soul and funk mixtape from the tropical lagoons of Amsterdam for Berlin’s Altered Soul Experiment
Richly playing into an idea of the ‘Dam as a tropical archipelago hosting myriad, worldly voices both organic, classic, and synthetic, modern, Lauren’s mix comes on in warm waves of skronky, downtempo soul-jazz, dubbed-out hustle, Japanese synth-pop and balmy Afro-Caribbean seduction, just the sort of gear you’d expect to hear on her Red Light Radio shows.
“Flowing through the multiple aesthetic veins she keeps delving in with equal poise and panache, life itself speaks out - and the many changes that accompanied her change of landscape, from Sydney to Amsterdam - "moving home, people leaving, new people, adventures, uncertainty, surprise", et al. Imagine staring at the slo-scudding clouds and the abstract drawings of long-haul planes' vapour trails listening to this, trying to map the distance that cuts trajectories apart and joins seemingly splitting lanes together again. "It is the journey of life and my life as it seems; it is through music and through this tape that I can share with you some of those moments that have gone by. I hope with this, you can step into my mind, my world and take the journey with me."
Vibrant Malawian “Banjo Music” from Madalitso Band, making their international debut with Switzerland’s Bongo Joe. Stripped down and direct songs about orphans, patriotism, and the woman you can’t live without
“Madalitso Band have walked the streets of Lilongwe (Malawi) their whole lives, playing songs about life, love, hardship and beauty, which they compose together in a kind of trance, with words never being written on paper. But here they are, eight songs on record for a first international release. Songs like the title track Wasalala, about the orphan girl who glows, Nambe, the woman you just can't live without, and Vina Vina Malawi, the celebration of a country. Some call it traditional, some call it trance, in Malawi it's called Banjo Music, but no matter what, it'll make you dance, and more than that, though you don't know the language, you'll be singing along like you did. The home-made one-string slide bass, known locally as Babatone, four string guitar, cow-skin foot drum and two lush voices in harmony are what we want to present, undiluted and in their natural state.”
Fresh from 1981... this is Leroy Burgess' grand boogie masterpiece and one of the greatest albums of the post-disco era...
Re mastered for 2015 and released in conjunction with Salsoul. 8 classic tracks including the Larry Levan remix of " I Know You Will”.”
Orchestra Of Constant Distress are Joachim Nordwall (The Skull Defekts, iDEAL Recordings), Anders Bryngelsson (Brainbombs, No Balls), Henrik Rylander (The Skull Defekts, Union Carbide Productions) and Henrik Andersson.
"One core dynamism within the field of music is the relationship between performer and spectator. The audience listen and watch the musicians enjoying themselves and through that they get an experience of joy. This requires a system of believing where organized sound can be recognized, and is therefore music as such. Upon listening to Orchestra of Constant Distress´ third album you might want to question this meaning of tonality.
Through catatonic riffs and uncanny sounds we are as listeners left with a situation where we do not know how to distinguish bad and good, pleasure from displeasure. OoCD seems to be moving beyond their decent from such bands as Brainbombs, The Skull Defekts and Union Carbide Productions towards a tension of disbelief."
An impossible-to-find, ’95 Memphis rap tape surfaces on vinyl for 1st time via Gyptology, a new "Egyptian Archaology" styled re-issue label
Leading on from Shawty Pimp’s ‘Comin’ Real Wit It’  - which was dished up by Delroy Edwards’ L.A. Club Resource and sold out within days back in 2014 - its sequel, ‘Still Comin Real’ reprises that woozy slow drawl on 11 slurps of syrupy goodness.
As to be expected, noise artefacts carry over from the original, short-run tape edition, but it wouldn’t be a proper, OG Memphis rap session without that haze of tape grit. Safe to say that Gyptology know this, too, and see vinyl as the most faithful, sympathetic form of preservation.
Thus, you can trust the sound is raw as; a distinct adjunct to the prevailing NYC and LA hip hop styles of 1995’s golden era, working with rude, stripped down production values and vibes that have significantly withstood the test of time, and since laid the roots for a lot of contemporary southern rap, hip hop and R&B.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, controversial occultist and iconic founding member of COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, brings to a close a series of collaborations with Carl Abrahamsson which now spans three decades and which finds P-Orridge narrating over immaculate ambient tapestries, delivered at time-dilating pace.
Electing to use their own names, ’Loyalty Does Not End With Death’ is the final part of a spoken word trilogy initiated in 1990 with the Psychick TV & White Stains side ’At Stockholm’, and proceeded by their ‘Wordship’  album as Thee Majesty & Cotton Ferox, and is the first appearance the pair have had together on vinyl. It’s the sound of two cosmically-travelled minds crossing paths again after a long absence in which they’ve been able to chew over the bare essentials - love and magick - via vibrant poetry and beautifully charged forms of ambient music.
In nine parts they conjure a warmly meditative space, where Abrahamsson’s characteristic tones, cut-up electronics and gentle rhythms comfortably lay the bed for Genesis, who inhabits and enlivens the pristine scenes like an observant dark interpreter, translating the incomprehensible and revealing the divine through their psychedelic prism.
The spellbinding results were recorded in New York and Stockholm 2017/18 and could feasibly have occurred at any point between 1990 and now. They are blessed with a pacing, intuition and timelessness that pays testament to an enduring creative friendship, taking the form of writing, interviews, photographs and film for nearly 35 years, bringing to resolution an almost life-long arc.
Milan and Haunter Records’ Heith pushes into the abstract with mulchy brownian motion on the first dispatch from Saucers, a new label minted specifically for his gear.
The first saucer sees Heith shed further signifiers of his sound, ego, aesthetic, in pursuit of an illusive/elusive and vaporous muse that leaves much more to the imagination. Over its five tracks ‘Mud’ explores a multiplicity of possibility in each moment, masking more layers and intriguing sensation with each careful stroke, from the pensively pregnant ‘Eva2’ thru the arrhythmic and dissonant keen of ‘Extra Melma’, to the power ambient drag dynamics factored in ‘Yoga Of Stealth’, to the greased pig wriggle and calligraphic slashes of ‘?’, and the blossoming fractals of ‘Mud Queen’.
Levon Vincent keeps up the stride of his ‘Dance Music’ series with signature suss on Pt. 3
The mighty A-side hearkens back to his 10 year old classics with swingeing interplay of massive, heavy subs, jagged chords and spitting hi-hats all tweaked with hands on the desk for club-enveloping effect.
B-side he turns the lights lower for a stripe of sleek, velvet-cloaked kicks and tense midnight pads recalling Carl Craig’s ‘Darkness’, before stepping up with a super minimal deep house swinger hingeing around phasing, Reichian marimba motif.
Ukranian/Japanese duo Tamayugé hex the trippy headz at Paris’ Akuphone with a ‘marishly cute but f**ked up invocation of ‘Baba Yaga’, the witch-like Slavic folklore figure. Check for strangest feels in the murky Finnish psych styles of ‘Chornei, what sounds like Phew duelling Elvin Brandhi on ’Tamago’, or a Breadwoman baked from infected rye in ‘Herbert Song’
“After Ko Shin Moon, The Dwarfs of East Agouza and Praed, Akuphone continues its sonic exploration of freaky electronic music with Tamayugé!
Blend of experimental music, creepiness melancholia and kitschy tones, this surprising collaboration release his first album Baba Yaga.
At the head of: Maya Kuroki and Tamara Filyavich, a Japanese and a Ukrainian now based in Montreal. Maya Kuroki's phantasmagoric vocals and dreamy guitar added to Tamara Filyavich's team of electronic ghosts fresh out of her nightmares and invite is to a strange ritual, between tormented performance and feminist ceremony. Like Baba Yaga, an ambivalent character of the Slav Mythology, both part of Japanese and Ukrainian cultures, Tamayugé’s music brings scary and exciting shivers and open to an enigmatic imaginary.
The mysterious and unsettling Tamayugé’s universe is somewhere between Phew, Laurie Anderson and The Residents!”
Anna Homler presents a new album of quietly inquisitive collaborations following that acclaimed RVNG Intl reissue of her eponymous 1982 debut, which famously depicts her Breadwoman character (imagine John Merrick channelling an ancient babushka) providing a combination of inimitable gauzy electronics and vocal abstractions. On this new album she hands co-production over to PAN-affiliate Steven Warwick aka Heatsick, Gang of Ducks’ Alessio Capovilla, Mark Davies alias The Pylon King and the late Steve Moshier, who produced the original Breadwoman tape.
In opener ‘O’sa Va’ya’, Capovilla buoys Anna’s starkly impassioned cry with floating organ passages to utterly transportive effect, a kind of detached mirror image of This Mortal Coil / Liz Fraser’s take on 'Song To The Siren’, while Steven Warwick lends a more retro-futuristic melody to ‘Nepenthe’, named after the ancient Greek drug of forgetfulness, but ironically working as the most memorable piece on the album, framing Homler against a divine choir of herself and undulating, iridescent arps.
Steve Moshier appears posthumously on the album’s standout title track, underlining Homler's prelinguistic vocal with 15 minutes of whirling ambient passages that do much to highlight her instinct for inescapably formless shapes; a genuinely alien, multi-faceted and uncompromising exercise in sound art that we still can’t fully get the measure of several listens later.
Ambient pop brilliance from London’s scuzzy underbelly and the duo of Guy Gormley with Sam Bardsley, with sensitive co-production by Nathan Jenkins aka Bullion.
After appearing on Bullion’s Deek Recordings in 2015 with ‘Don’t Touch Me Now’, the Never duo remain coy to a T in their eponymous mini-album, luring us in with the heavy-lidded Bullion co-production ’Submission’, before sashaying a twilight world between the Robert Wyatt-like pop sweetness of ‘Up’ and the meditative MIDI pop of ‘The Park’, before keening sidelong into the creamy whorl of ‘Everybody Knows’, and then working out something like Gas meets HTRK at Burial’s gaff in the standout slow thrum of ‘The Street’, and rounding up with the strung-out, balmy CS + Kreme-like balearics of ‘Agnes’ in very satisfying style.
Gassed on nature, BXP unfurls his more sensitive, elemental ambient side, then stretches out with two slow treks working shades away from Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement
“An ecstatic recon through the meaning of isolation where field recording unfolds the ambient/techno sides of BXP’s production. Born from nature, crafted in studio: techno meant for wide landscapes.
"Islands" is the result of a long search spent seeking sounds on various islands during his journey through south-east asia with a Tascam recorder and several directional microphones. He captured natural sounds from jungles, dunes, beaches and wild urban landscapes, not to mention the deep sounds of the Earth’s elements: the sea, the wind, the interaction between man and nature.”
By turns lysergic, wistful and doomy, Jim Williams' soundtrack for Ben Wheatley's baffling period piece, 'A Field In England' neatly reflects the films psychedelic feel.
"Ben Wheatley’s black-and-white chamber horror, set amidst the strange margins of the English Civil War, is a puzzling, inexplicable nightmare, made all the more disturbing by Williams’ spare, brooding score of early music textures that gradually morph into electro-psychedelic overload, aided by Martin Pavey’s sound design and, in one terrifying sequence, the use of Blanck Mass’s ‘Chernobyl’."
Classy 1st release of sleek Italo-electro, deep minimal techno and rugged ambient styles from Finland’s Émotsiya label
Sansibar follows up a recent outing for Natural Sciences with the effortlessly dreamy Italo-electro flow of ‘Vaseline’, while Ann Hiko (Noah Kin) appears to scan the skies for an incoming chopper that hovers overhead raining night-flight melodies.
Helsinki local Denzel brings the vibe more intimate with the swanging hustle of ‘Distractions 01’ recalling DJ Richard or Galcher Lustwerk vibes, and Estonia’s Endamisi Salamisi keeps it low key but insistent with the wide open, pendulous electro shift of ‘Rentzel’ in a way recalling vintage Metamatics.
USA’s heaviest D&B producer Homemade Weapons goes on hard and tech with ‘Gravity’, his 2nd album following 2016’s ‘Negative Space’
Operating on the opposite side of the planet to D&B’s power centres hasn’t held back Homemade Weapons from developing his own, tightly coiled style, as displayed with cutthroat intensity throughout ‘Gravity’.
Taking what he needs from gnashing late ‘90s styles and modern halfstep pressures, the Seattle-based producer hits heavy with hardship brawlers such as ‘Red Tide’, or like a skittish Source Direct on ‘Lingchi’ with Artilect, while ‘Heretics’ and the cyclonic dynamics of ‘Virga’ show off his most spacious, pensive drum programming, and the likes of ‘Constants’ and the swollen halfstep ballast of Lamia’ should find favour with Pessimist types.
Falty DL leans on a proper brukbeat flex, channelling varying degrees of 4Hero/Dego and jazz/hardcore/Footwork-related rhythmic madness for UTTU
Straight out of the gates he runs needlepoint drum programming and helter skelter jazz keys at 150bpm with dizzying flair in ‘Untitled 111vgr’, before ‘Beast’ trims back to a 125bpm electro ride with vacuum sealed production for freshness.
On the other side his hardcore darkside electro urges come into play on ‘One For UTTU’ in a way recalling classic Octagon Man/J Saul Kane, before turning on a 2-step pivot, just like they did in the late ‘90s, and ‘Piano 4_9_18 feux master Erie 25%’ session off on a downstroke recalling Roza Terenzi/D. Tiffany’s ambient electro gems for Euphorique.
Plaintive, eerily plangent pop dirges from Carla Dal Forno, making good on her newly minted Kallista label after her immaculate run for Blackest Ever Black.
On ‘So Much Better’ she saddles up a shuffling lament, poised like a lighter Nico with introspective lyrics about the romantic and the mundane laid over a spacewalk waltz groove.
The instrumental ’Fever Walk’ is more lugubrious, with leaden drums and burnt-out bass underlining ghostly synth notes and the faintest glimmers of her voice.
Proper peach, this one.
An amazing slab from Glasgow’s fecund subterrain, ‘The Funnel’ is Wojciech Rusin’s debut razz of field recordings and choral composition riddled with rug-pulling edits and keeling turns of phrases - arguably a spiritual parallel to László Hortobágyi, Black Zone Myth Chant, Jani Christou, Él-G
A big clue to the cryptic chicanery of ‘The Funnel’ is the fact that Wojciech Rusin builds his own instruments, which accounts for some degree of the odd tonalities at work. But when you factor in the field recordings of Port Talbot Steelworks, and his patent knowledge of renaissance polyphony, it all just becomes more brilliantly complicated and unfathomably idiosyncratic.
Across seamlessly segued sides, they weave strategies and logic from the GRM to soil dynamics and avant-classical skools in a remarkable diffusion and collection of energies, swaying in viscous grit one second, then waltzing with Richard Youngs-like folk vocals that bifurcate into dramatic polyphony the next minute, before stranding you in a lift with beelzebub chatting shite in tongues about the weather the next, only to expectorate your head and anticipations in scenes of gunky pastoralism and Noz-like feedback loops of choral vocals and windswept bleeps.
We could run ourselves circles trying o describe it any further, but save for your amusement, we’d rather just get back to listening to this one, and leave the freaks to grapple with it all in their own time.
Don’t sleep on this one, it looks stunning, too.
‘Echoes’ is a sultry beauty from Synclavier whiz Frank Harris and Venezuelan vocalist Maria Marquez, collected and issued together for 1st time by New Zealand’s Strangelove Music. Joining the dots between Sade, MFM’s sublime ‘Outro Tempo’ comps, and Decha’s ‘Hielo Boca’ ace, you do not want to overlook this one!
Really, this one’s pretty immaculate, a marriage of devilish drum and synth programming oiled with classically dreamy, seductive vocals, wrapped up in the future/primitive spirit of the mid ‘80s, when early synth adopters such as Harris were remodelling pop with avant, electronic soul alchemy.
It’s practically worth it for the sublime opening couplet of cumbia rhythms and aching vox in ‘Canto Del Pilón’ and ‘Campesino’ alone, which are nigh on impossible to find on original 7”, but when they add in the likes of his rippling arabesque ‘Ethnicity’, alongside the captivating sashay of ‘Tonada De Ordeño’ beside the diamond-cut adult soul of ‘Loveroom’ form their ‘In A Minor Mode’ LP, plus the full wingspan swing of instrumental ‘Tenderloin’, and experimental cumbia innovations on ‘Field Trips’, and the pastoral sweetness of ‘Bein’ Green’, you looking at an absolute no dusty, no question.
Lieven Martens (Dolphins Into The Future) proves an ideal candidate for Longform Editions with ‘Deo Gratias Triginta Sex’, a 30 minute work of processed choral polyphony, turning 18 singers into an orgy of harmonics and writhing, withering rhythms with stop-in-your-tracks effect
“Johannes Ockeghem (1410 – 1497), born in Saint Gislain - Hainaut, Belgium - and for a while living in Antwerp, wrote one of our nation’s greatest hits. Deo Gratias is a canon for 36 singers and apparently he wrote this particular song as kind of a joke or game; quickly “between the soup and the potatoes” as we would say in Dutch. Some say Ockeghem had in mind that a much larger number of people should perform this piece, but it was considered too complicated to find enough experienced singers, to make the piece correct measure-wise, et al.
Let’s open Logic X Pro and try and see if we could help Ockeghem to make this vision a (simulated…) reality.
Since this is a creation for deep and / or extended listening I selected a sligthly longer version of the song rendered by Paul Van Nevel and the Huelgas Ensemble, and layered and sequenced this 36 times in row. Every new sequence starts more or less according to Ockeghem’s original transcript. Small detail… in the version of the Huelgas Ensemble no more than 18 voices are singing contemporarily. As soon as the first voice of the fourth (bass) chorus reaches its final note every voice "freezes" at its current line in melody…
The layering of these sounds in the computer let the overtones shine and the human breathing and whistling create pretty rhytmic parents. The project shows that Ockeghems original idea is kinda genious since however you layer this music, the final result, be it a bit dense and somewhat conjested drone, is still very harmonic. Inspiring.
At first i started cutting, trimming and pitch correcting parts, making the piece a more correct rendition of the original four canon idea. But then i realized that the best manner to execute this version is to keep it simple and short, between the forementioned “soup and potatoes”. So here goes with all the gentle flaws…
At certain points you hear 11 times the same part overlaid. Thus 11 x 18 singers = 198 singers! Here’s to making Ockeghem’s grand vision come to (a simulated…) life.”
Longform Editions coax out a magnificent, hour-long ambient banner from Robert Cox’s revitalised Rimarimba project. Ideal for taking a stroll and letting your head unravel
“I live on the coast. The inspiration came from daily walks by the sea. The background ever changing drone is the restless sea, the cellos are the breaking waves, their 'gritty' sound quality is the pebbles washing back down the beach and the higher pitched twiddly things are the circling sea gulls. Although 'real' waves have a frequency of 7–8 per minute and, yes, approximately the seventh one is often the biggest I have slowed mine down as they sounded too fast at 7–8/m. Think of these as long Pacific rollers breaking on a distant shore.
Unlike most of my compositions this one has no percussion.
The whole beast was made from acoustic and electric guitar parts recorded onto a Tascam DP32. Many had their initial attack removed and some were looped on an Electro-Harmonix 45000 looper. The 'strings' were produced by feeding some parts through an Electro-Harmonix Mellotron pedal. A Yamaha SPX 2000 processed many of the parts in various unspeakable ways until they 'felt' about right. A Lexicon Reverb worked its magic as only Lexicon can. About half of the parts play in reverse at various points. The guitars used were a Furch SJV 121 Lux acoustic 12 string, hand made in the Czech Republic in 1997, and a Gibson ES335 electric, made in Nashville, USA in 1987. Both were tuned in open C – CGCGCE.
This is an age of ever shortening attention spans driven by the constructs of our online world. News is delivered as headlines to skim across with little in the way of in depth explanation or examination. The so called 'long read' pieces in online news sites are no more than the first two columns of a four page article in the Sunday newspapers from a few years ago. Ebooks do not convey the same experience as print on paper. Without the physical presence and weight of a book digital information can feel as ephemeral as television advertising. Wikipedia, good though it is, does not allow for the chance discoveries that come from turning the page in a reference book or encyclopedia. Saving a link in order to return to an online article is not the same as remembering the piece about electrons is about one third of the way through the volume E–G a few pages after the picture of the Egyptian statue. Whilst static art is still, well, static and you can gaze upon and contemplate a painting or a sculpture for as long as time permits how many do so when we are conditioned by the predominance of moving images.
Slow cooking is a healthy reaction to fast, commercialised, food. Likewise both walking and cycling (slow travel) rather than driving make for a deeper experience of the journey.
A long piece of music be it a symphony, an ambient work or a jazz suite creates a mindscape in which the listener can lose and find themselves as their attention wanders and returns. It can trigger a memory in that moment at 37 minutes which is different the next time they hear it because they almost inevitably arrive at that moment having taken a different path through the piece. Today the bass line, tomorrow the percussion figures, the day after the unfolding harmonies. This takes time to achieve, time that is not available in a three minute pop song. The listener who allocates enough of their time will find an hour immersed in a piece of music is at least as beneficial as a long soak in a warm bath.”
A highly evocative, smudged take on shoegaze drone from Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, a release that marked a radical rethink of the classic dream-pop template when it was released in 2010, taking an impressionist's brush to established ambient traits.
Love Is A Stream joins the dots between My Bloody Valentine and drone-pop figureheads like Tim Hecker and Grouper, sculpting noise and feedback around gauzy vocal shimmers that expand the horizon far into the unknown.
Although its component parts spring from the fiery embers of molten synthesizers and tape saturated guitar tones, the album derives its luxurious textural presence from submerged vocals supplied by the likes of Type boss John 'Xela' Twells, Lisa McGee and Maxwell August Croy.
You can just about make out those lost voices roaming around the pulverised mix of 'Stained Glass Body' and the billowing 'River Like Spine’ - though it's impossible to make any single element out given how melted and fluid the mixing is, bringing a frail human element to an album that otherwise sounds entirely not of this Earth.
We’re f*cking buzzing to tick Mappa Mundi’s enigmatic 1990 ambient album ‘Musaics’ off the vinyl wishlist, with thanks to Brian Not Brian’s Midnight Drive reissue schedule, who’ve necessarily expanded it from single LP to a 2xLP primed to play loud
A rugged outlier on the cusp of ambient sea change ‘80s into ‘90s, ‘Musaics’ presents 6 soundscapes realised by Jan Van De Bergh and Pieter Kuyl in “spontaneous sessions” with a sampler, drum machines and a computer circa 1990. The results are absolutely choice examples of that era, ranging from tuff but deep breakbeats to dead sexy proto-Goa styles including the lusting ‘Sexafari’ and languorous classic ‘Trance Fusion’, as recently hailed by Hunee and also reissued in the ‘Antwerp Bio Techno 1989-94’ EP.
So yeh, a favourite of ours for a good few years now, ‘Musaics’ is a little world unto itself, folding in all stripes of environmental sounds, acidic synths and lithe rhythms to terraform a psychedelic rave dream just prior to it all tipping into “hardcore”. As they state int he liner notes, the duo arrived art this style serendipitously via simply mixing two records together with a mixer. That might sound easy and obvious, but remember this was the start of Europeans pissing around on two turntables, finding that mythical 3rd track, and attempting to recreate its imaginary clash of textures, tones and grooves.
Like UK producers who were also applying the same Hip Hop-based ideas with a twisted lip and at faster tempos, Mappa Mundi did it slower, psychedelic, but still with a rugged appeal. It’s there everywhere from the very Bristolian parallels of opener ‘Urbi Et Mori’ with its depth charge subs, to the aforementioned beauty ‘Sexafari’ and its writhing 808s, to the mix of didgeridoo and rap knocks in ‘Serendipity (Take 1)’, and thru to full swing break in ‘The Oracle’ or the New Jack Swang of ‘Wölfli’, but hardly better than on ‘Trance Fusion’, one of the sexiest, enchating 11 minutes of slow dance music produced in 1990.
Finnish psych sorceress Laura Naukkarinen aka Lau Nau weaves a cats cradle of crystalline electronics recorded at EMS Stockholm across her half hour-long work ‘Amphipoda’ for Longform Editions
“Lau Nau (Laura Naukkarinen) composes music for films, theatre and albums, makes workshops and sound installations and travels around the world performing. In her work she combines electroacoustic approaches, found objects, field recordings, folk instruments, classical instruments, analogue synthesisers and her own voice. Her music is imbued with a cinematic breadth of vision and her idiosyncratic, finely honed sound world builds on fragile, spectral otherness. She has been nominated for various prestigious prizes in her home country Finland and won the main Femma prize 2018 with her fifth album Poseidon, released in Europe, USA and Japan.
Lau Nau says: “The piece is recorded at Elektronmusikstudion EMS in Stockholm with their big Buchla 200 system in 2018. I was there for a short residency studying how to compose the changes in the Baltic Sea into music. This composition is inspired by how the biomass of plankton vary in the Baltic depending, for example, on the entering saline pulses from the North Sea, the oxygen levels and the temperature of the water. The work has been supported by The Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Taike.”
Elegantly transportive and deeply dreamy, ‘Malam Minggu: A Saturday Night in Sunda’ is the first vinyl and download reissue of a 1991 compilation CD of traditional Indonesian gamelan and folk songs recorded between 1978-1985. Don’t miss Group Gentra Madya’s haunting ‘Gupay Pileuleuyan’ or the exquisite precision of their ‘Sambal Lada’, and the swingeing, Senyawa-esque syncopation of flutes, drums and vox in ‘Kulu Kulu Gancang’ by Mang Memed Group
“Akuphone resumes its reissue operations with its latest compilation, Malam Minggu: A Saturday Night in Sunda. This release brings us once again to Southeast Asia, with a stopover in the Indonesian archipelago – to the region of Sunda in western Java. As its name suggests, this collection immerses us in the vibes of Sundanese nights at the turn of the 1980s.
During the post-independence climate of the 1960s, Presidents Sukarno and Suharto encouraged artists to renew and innovate traditional Indonesian art forms in an attempt to limit and control the spread of Western music - which was banned from broadcasting in 1961. This policy saw a revival of traditional musical styles like gamelan degung, and the emergence of Indonesian singing genres: jaipong and pop sunda.
Recorded between 1978 and 1985, this unique and surprising selection presents some of the most popular artists of the time, such as Nano S. and Tati Saleh. It is richly documented by Southeast Asia music specialist Édouard Degay Delpeuch.”