'In Demons In!’ offers a transfixing peek behind the curtain of pure black hole drone dynamics by visionary collaborators Jim O’Rourke & CM Von Hausswolff, meeting on common ground after 26 years of international correspondence. It amounts to a vitally definitive entry in both artists’ catalogues, marking right up there with the most engrossing wonders of O’Rourke’s Steamroom volumes, while manifesting some of the most fascinating results from Von Hausswolff’s ongoing investigations into drone music’s paranormal properties. In other words: it’s Grade A+ zoner music, essential listening for followers of Roland Kayn, Jaap Vink, Deathprod.
Initiated in Tokyo 2016 and completed over the proceeding two years in Japan and Sweden, the uncompromisingly adventurous results are galactic in scope and visceral in presence, conjuring scales of abyssal bass and diffused, atomised, abstract dark matter that make the listener feel like a speck of stardust floating in infinity.
Using sound as a magickal tool for psychic transport and to finely model notions of the metaphysical that typically elude human comprehension, these two extended pieces feel to collapse billions of years into a glacial moment. Location recordings made in Kathmandu lend a barely-there iridescence, like microbial filaments flickering in the endless darkness, to their plunging, subharmonic basses and vaporised mid-upper registers, where spectral forces comb thru the piece to very gradually alter the weightless keen of our perception.
It’s a masterclass in Cybernetic drone, a universe of sound created in a closed system gradually shifting within its own parameters, mutating into infinity.
Mutant grime/drill/bassline flux from Utah? on the UK’s reliably off-kilter, forward looking Coyote Records
The four tracks on ‘Bronze’ cannily escalate in intensity from the low-key, sidewinding dembow dreams and gushing synth launch of ‘Tilt’, thru the nagging strings and trap bluster of ‘Signal’, to step up from cold and sparse drill styles into Dexplicit or Zomby-like rolige in ‘Bronze’, and the shiny but grimy finishing move of ‘Polymer’.
Dead cool but fervent Algerian pop from the ‘60s/‘70s, rife with killer Chaabi breaks and twists on rock ’n roll and French yé-yé - the first compilation dedicated to Mohammad Mazouin, and including songs impossible to find elsewhere
“Mohamed Mazouni, born January 4, 1940 in Blida (The City of Roses), a city which had just turned twenty. His memory dragged around a lot of catchy refrains by Rabah Driassa and Abderrahmane Aziz, also natives of Blida, or by 'asri (modern music) masters Bentir or Lamari. He began his singing career in those years, chosing bedoui as a style. In June 1965, Algeria adopted a Soviet-style profile where everything was planned, even music. Mazouni, he followed his path, recording a few popular tunes, but he also was in the mood for traveling beyond the Mediterranean. During the 1950s and 1960s, Mohamed was dumbfounded by Oum Kalsoum's songs and scopitones. Fully immersed, he soaked up the songs of Dahmane El Harrachi, Slimane Azem, Akli Yahiaten, or Cheikh El Hasnaoui, but also those from the crazy years of twist and rock n' roll as embodied by Johnny Hallyday, Les Chaussettes Noires, or Les Chats Sauvages, not to mention Elvis Presley.
Between 1970 and 1990, he had a series of hits. Mazouni, a dandy shattered by his century and always all spruced up who barely performed on stage, had greatly benefited from the impact of scopitones, the ancestors of music videos. His strength lay in Arabic lyrics all his compatriots could understand, and catchy melodies accompanied by violin, goblet drum, qanun, tar (a small tambourine with jingles), lute, and sometimes electric guitar on yé-yé compositions. Like a politician, Mazouni drew on all themes knowing that he would nail it each time. This earned him the nickname "Polaroid singer". Mohamed Mazouni crossed the 1960s and 1970s with his dark humor and unifying mix of local styles. Besides his trivial topics, he also denounced racism and the appalling condition of immigrant workers. However, his way of telling of high school girls, cars and pleasure places earned him the favors of France's young migrant zazous. At the end of the 1990s, the distribution of Michèle Collery and Anaïs Prosaïc's documentary on Arabic and Berber scopitones highlighted Mazouni's importance. Mazouni did not stop singing and even had a few local hits, always driven by a "wide targeting" ambition.”
Tokyo’s Hosanna Anniversary lands this fruity jazz house session in the same week as his ace, exploratory album for Andy Lyster’s Youth
In two parts he gets loose like Jamal Moss on a kicking Chi groove, running skudgy acid lines and jazzy riffs over Part 1, then accentuating the gritty, muscular bassline in ‘Hakkenden II’.
"If you listen carefully to the first piece, “Hakkenden I”, the first thing you will notice is how the lead electric piano line and repetitive electronic motifs – known in colloquial slang as “acid lines” – follow the same melodic pattern, as if Hoshina Anniversary was sending the same powerful psychokinetic instructions to a number of instruments at the same time.In contrast, “Hakkenden II” is darker and more hallucinogenic in tone. The use of restless, arpeggio-style bass and creepy-sounding chord sequences suggest that Hoshina Anniversary momentarily lost control of his psychokinetic powers before wresting back the initiative as the recording progressed (the return of the melodies and instrumentation heard in “Hakkenden I” in the second half of the piece supports these findings)."
Rolling acid house heft, sludgy electro-metal hybrids, and psychedelic house from Ransom Note boss
“Harking back to the halcyon days of hardcore, the title track marks yet another stellar entry in Clerkin’s growing catalogue of precision-tooled acid anthems. Pure sensory overload this one, and that’s LFO-K by us. ‘Some Kind of Threat’ takes the slow burn approach and arrives at a similar destination, resulting in a cyborg techno stomper that’s as hot and humid as the rainforest canopy.
Situated between these two dance floor behemoths, ‘Primary Function’ acts as something of a palette cleanser, recalling a dubbed-out Boards of Canada on a particularly warped mushroom trip. Closing things out in style, ‘Akathisia’ is as restless and jittery as its name suggests, alternating between eski synth outbursts and a bouncy fairground beat.
Timothy’s music has brought us many special moments over the past few summers and seems bound to do so again, with the new EP already getting played by the likes of Optimo, Lena Willikens and Andrew Weatherall, who memorably melted the crowd’s collective brain when he dropped Clerkin’s ‘Divisive’ at Houghton last year.
After cutting his teeth as one half of Eskimo Twins, Timothy launched his solo career in 2014 under the now-retired Heretic moniker. Having released on labels including Throne of Blood, Hard Fist and Tusk Wax, he’s now graduated to running his own Insult To Injury imprint from his new base in the Netherlands. London’s loss is Amsterdam’s gain, but thankfully he’s back on 24th May for a live set at Corsica Studios - your first chance to witness the pandemonium of ‘Unborn’.”
DFA give room for Giegling’s Edward to stretch his mind and your legs, melting out in the 12 minute cosmic pool of ‘The Lagoon’, then getting down to lysergic tribal functions with the trampling ‘Mental Drive’
“On his DFA debut, German experimental techno producer Edward largely departs from the 4/4 grid he frequents and blurs the focus towards a more slippery, improvisational vibe. Fans of his Desert Sky alias, as well as his work reshaping classic tracks by Harmonia & Eno and Rolf Trostel of Tangerine Dream, will be quite pleased with Underwater Jams. These two new songs unfold at their leisure, going off on whizzing, kosmiche-influenced tangents, all the while guided by the hand drums of percussionist Geronimo Dehler. On A-side “The Lagoon,” the freedom of the long-form composition allows Edward to go deeper and more mesmeric, while the restrained stomp of B-side “Mental Dive” allows for an introspective dance floor moment.
Though he’s been releasing music for the past decade, Edward has always been a bit enigmatic, with a majority of his discography only available on vinyl. He remains as prolific as ever – in the last year alone, Edward has toured all over the world, playing esteemed clubs from Berghain to Fabric, and splitting bills with artists like Ricardo Villalobos and Oskar Offermann. His numerous releases on Giegling, Die Orakel, and White demonstrate his penchant for combining the psychedelic and the locked-in groove, but it’s the sprawling sense of adventure that makes this release one of the more idiosyncratic in Edward’s catalog.”
In reverential mode as Floorplan, Robert Hood kicks out two deep techno-house trax on M-Plant
With 'So Glad' he brings up from the toes to your nose with powerful kicks and filtered gospel vocals that break out into full choral exultation, whereas ‘I Feel Him Moving’ swangs out with bumptier bassline and signature organ riffs.
Another JK Flesh slaughter darkens our doorstep, this time very slowly for Kevin “The Bug” Martin’s Pressure label.
Slamming at a sullen 75bpm, ‘In Your Pit’ sets the pace with sludgy distorted leads wrapped to a metronomic tick borrowed from Andy Stott's paitr of 2011 knackered blueprints, wind tunnel nightmare styles, before The Bug remixes it with a killer, swaggering kink in the step for a deathly depth charge. JK Flesh then forces out a vein-popping strain of effluent flow in ‘Paranoid Archetype’, and wipes off with the howling shudder of ‘Rub Me Out’. Big one.
Further to Daehan Electronics’ excavations of Liquid Liquid drummer Dennis Young’s archive, Athens Of The North pull out a Young album developed between the late ‘80s and 2004, to sit neatly alongside his late ‘80s new age/dance output
“After Liquid Liquid disbanded in 1985 I continued to record electronic music at my home studio inEdison,New Jerseybut I decided to mix the songs for "Concepts" at another studio so I could have another set of ears to help with the mixes. I was lucky when I looked in the local music ads that I to find Gabriel Farm Studios inPrinceton,New Jerseyowned and operated by Andy Gomory. Andy was a true talent, a keyboardist and arranger, we hit it off immediately. After he recorded my mixes we would record songs together. Andy played drum machines and keyboards while I played percussion, keyboards, & guitar and we both sang. When Andy and I parted ways in the late 1980's I decided to add both drums and percussion as well as overdubs from guest musicians many of which are included on this album. The albums timeframe ends in the year 2004. The later recordings have a jazz feel to it yet still had dance music elements mixed in. The title track "Primitive Substance" really sets the tone as you hear the great playing of Michael Gribbrook on Frugel horn/Trumpet and Gerry Carboy on bass. Also, my favorite song on the recording "Forgiveness" has David Axelrod (not the famous one) playing beautiful melodic bass guitar thru out.
Special thanks to Euan Fryer of "Athensof the North" for releasing this album. As I listened to the songs I decided to use for this recording it brought back memories of the hours spent adding the extra sounds and instruments to the point where I wanted to listen to them again and again to see what I missed hearing . Keep a close ear this might happen to you after hearing "Primitive Substance”.”
Lone reworks DJ Haus’ big-boned jacker ‘See U In My Dreams’ with a patented bag of tricks and lip-smacking MDMA flavour
Where the original is stripped to the essentials, Lone adds loads of new ingredients to the mix, adding restlessly killer, early ‘90s AGCG-style breakbeat torque and samples, turning the vocals into scudding, flyaway thought-bubbles, and licking it up with deft daubs of Radiophonic-like analog synths. You don’t hear this kinda break chopping every day. It’s very well done.
Phil Moffa and Seth Troxler’s Lost Souls of Saturn leave the dance behind in search of new planets with a regular shuttle to Ibiza, channelling vibes from Don Cherry, The KLF and Sun Ra, while Border Community’s James Holden provides his first remix in 9 years - 13 minutes of colourfully plumed cosmic flight
“Following the release of their short film 'The Awakening' and its accompanying single, Lost Souls Of Saturn share the first remix in 9 years by revered musician James Holden. Over thirteen minutes of crisp, stratospheric elegance, Holden’s rework is both slightly mad and simultaneously blissful – like a trance-state reached through frenzied, spiritual ritual.
“I believe in serendipity: if the universe presents you with something that seems right, you should go with it”, says Holden. “When this record hit my desk was one of those moments. Recently I'd been thinking a lot about rave utopias, the pan-global fantasy painted by the early days of Future Sound Of London etc, and listening to LSOS's Jodorowskian ceremonials I felt like they'd caught the same winds. And so, although I thought I'd finished doing remixes for this lifetime, here it is; some kind of dream of a memory of a rave, the spookiness of the original slightly eclipsed by my warm feelings about Seth's good energy!””
Half a decade since the DMT-inspired ‘You’re Dead’ LP, Flying Lotus is cooking on gas with ‘Flamagra’, another concept-driven spectacular, this time featuring notable guest turns from Solange and David Lynch, among many, many more.
At 27 tracks wide and 67 minutes it’s a heavy serving by modern measures, likely inspired by the arms-race for epics established by Kamasi Washington, and like Kamasi, Flying Lotus favours a rich and densely woven blend of classic soul, jazz and P-funk flecked with the kinda jazzy IDM turns-of-phrase you might expect from Squarepusher, and the sorta wonky hip hop that was big 10 years ago.
Maverick Afro-latin rhythms from Cómeme’s German/Chilean bosslad Matias Aguayo, notching his first new album in six years
Still as freaky as you like, and churned with rhythms that sound like a DJ divining the mythic 3rd track from rugged, disparate sources, Aguayo trustingly plays up to expectations on ‘Support Alien Invasion’, his 4th album total, landing 14 years since his seminal Kompakt debut.
"Paradoxically loose but pensile, hard but slinky, Aguayo’s 9 trax spell out a unique conception of dance music that draws from the best of Chilean and South American rhythmic heritage as well as wickedly slippery, up-to-the-second, psychoactive electronic production.
Tilting in with something like Actress meets Mark Ernestus at Machu Picchu in ‘The Fold’, the album delivers some deeply infectious workouts with the likes of ‘Pikin’, which sounds like Georgia sparring with Rian Treanor, along with the swingeing, impending drama of ‘2019’, and the bolshy oddity of ’Support Alien Invasion’, while a couple of cuts smartly tend to the downstroke in the crushed Cumbia or Tarraxho-compatible ‘Insurgentes’, and the beatless plane of ‘Between The Risings.’"
Swans’ Norman Westberg and former bassist Algis Kizys meet Lynn Wright (Bee and Flower) under the enigmatic mantle of This Is Where for a psychedelic excursion between textured lysergic ambience and sky-clawing avant-rock eruptions
“This Is Where is the collaborative project of Algis Kizys, Norman Westberg and Lynn Wright. Having previously released a limited edition cassette tape in 2016 under the name of ALN, their self-titled album for Hallow Ground is to be considered the three-piece’s definite studio debut as This Is Where.
Recorded and mixed by Kizys, »This Is Where« delves even deeper into the psychedelic and at times cosmic drone sound previously to be heard in the New York City-based trio’s live recordings. As a logical next step after what the Swans guitarist Westberg has presented on recent solo albums like »The All Most Quiet« for Hallow Ground, it integrates three distinct musical visions into a whirling ocean of sound.
This Is Where's sound is neither dominated by the thundering brutalism of Swans - where also Kizys took over bass duties for a while - nor the gloomy Doom Pop of Wright’s Bee and Flower. Instead Kizys, Westberg and Wright use delay, reverb and effects to weave a pulsating web of sonic textures, moving effortlessly from dark depths to almost jubilant high notes. With Kizy’s roaring bass guitar as a sonic backdrop, Westberg and Wright give rise to a musical dialogue marked by density and tension.
Over the course of 40 minutes, This Is Where create a mesmerising musical experience, divided into four discrete movements. »This Is Where« is a blissful journey through space, time and most of all a yet unheard-of approach to guitar-driven Drone and Ambient music.”
Los Angeles-based Cold Showers return to Dais with their third album, Motionless, wielding a pop sound that is familiar to followers, yet more sophisticated and evolved than their previous works.
"Having traversed the realm of synth-laced post punk expertly for close to a decade, their return with the new album Motionless is a process-based album that reaches into the band’s collective quiver, melding their familiar anthem infused postpunk and lush, grand pop influences.
Motionless is Cold Showers looking inward and taking control of their creative process, while retaining all of their unique songwriting signatures. Recorded in their own studio in Los Angeles with band member Chris King at the production helm, each selection on Motionless sounds like a line drawing that quickly becomes a technicolor collage of crashing shoegazed reverberation.
As compared to their previous endeavor, Matter of Choice, the similar additions of arpeggiated electronics and more recently, string arrangements, adds a new, more sophisticated depth to Cold Showers’ already dense allegories. Tracks such as “Shine” and “Faith” stand on their own as heavy-hearted melodies that have an almost “classic” impression after only one listen. The band’s cover of Sandy Rogers’ 80’s ballad “Black Sidewalk” (only available on the LP & CD) offers proof-of-concept, never fully comfortable with their formula and challenging themselves as to what defines an amazing song. “Measured Man” and “Dismiss” have Cold Showers orbiting in the palpitations of early Factory Records and present each spin with tactical layering, rather than flooding the board. "
The king of Malian hip hop, Luka Productions follows up the sublime new age synth styles of ‘Fasokan’ - one of our top albums of 2017 - with a much broader window on his sound in ‘Falaw’, taking in cosmic folk, Afrobeats dance music and Indian-flavoured disco
Based in a small studio on a busy street in Mali’s capital, Bamako, Luka Productions writes beats for some of the region’s biggest artists, such as Supreme Talent Show, Ami Yerewolo, Iba One, Van Baxy, and Sidiki Diabate, earning him a reputation as one of Mali’s most prodigious and revered producers.
Luka’s 3rd release for Sahel Sounds follows the quietly stunning ‘Fasokan’ album with blend of that album’s balmier moments and the African pop and rap styles on his debut ‘Mali Kady’ tape, offering a much wider testament to the breadth and sweetness of his sound.
Meshing live traditional strings and flutes with synths and software percussion, plus myriad vocals, ‘Falaw’ fully spells out Luka Productions’ style, drifting from the title track’s languorous folk soul at one end, to the driving, UKF-compatible banger ‘Dogonodoon’ (note the reference to the enigmatic Dogon tribe) at the other, taking in a very healthy set of dance trax such as the reggaeton-like ‘Bbni’, the charming twang of Sitars on a disco beat on ‘Indienfoli’, and the devilish twyst of ‘Badjan’ alongside more fragrant, spacious and unexacting downbeat highlights in the grubbing sway of ‘Forêt’, and something very close to the ‘Fasokan’ sound with ‘A Tara’, where he gently flanges Kora strings under his hushed vocals to gorgeous, spine-playing effect.
Again, warmest recommendations for this one.
Dylan Carlson and Adrienne Davies return Earth to its fundamental state - raw, slow burning and sensually psychedelic - in the “witches garden” of ‘Full Upon Her Burning Lips?’, their 9th studio album marking 30 years since the band’s formation
Doing away with the increased polish of Earth’s albums since they returned with 2005’s ‘Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method’, the singular band now prize a more direct route to the core of their sound. Still geologic in pace, their 1000 yard stare is here as transfixing and strung out as their early “ambient metal” classics, but of course with the addition of Adrienne’s workhorse drums underlining and urging Carlson to drag every riff out to the horizon.
The album’s 10 songs are titled with reference to historic, mind-altering drugs and animals that, in Carlson’s own words, “people have always held superstitious beliefs towards”, and it’s in this timeless, countercultural frame-of-mind that Carlson really comes into his own. Like a time-travelling bard who’s somehow seen it all, from the ravages of the American civil war to the darkest side of contemporary rock culture, Carlson’s expressively detuned licks regale heavily accented, instrumental stories of life and death and the liminal spaces between, and most crucially with the labouring quality of a resident act who plays five-nights-a-week in a dusty saloon.
Two durational highlights really set the scene at the album’s dawn and midnight, where he really rinses every last bit of distorted twang from his guitar, and both cuts act as gathering/diffusion of energies for what’s to come. In the first half ‘Datura’s Crimson Veil’ gives way to the sky-searching axe calligraphy of ‘Exaltation of Larks’ and comes down to bruxist grind of ‘The Colour of Poison’ and unpredictable turns of phrase and lacunæ in ‘Descending Belladonna’. At the album’s midnight, ’She Rides an Air of Malevolence’ then parts to the nocturnal solitude of ‘Maiden’s Catafalque’, but there’s a glimmer of hope cracking over distant mountaintops in ‘The Mandrake’s Hymn’, that ultimately follows with the resolute but resigned summation of ‘A Wretched Country of Dusk’.
Fire! Orchestra, mnow a 14 piece group, still feature the core trio of Fire! (Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin) and the two singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg - between them the only constant members of Fire! Orchestra since their inception.
"Apart from this reduction, the main line-up difference is the introduction of a string quartet. This "cleanup" has worked wonders, keeping the rhythm and horn sections to their bare necessities, with the string quartet expanding the canvas and bringing a new, exciting dimension to the table. And on top of their game; the two powerful and sublime singers, quite different, but still blending perfectly.
We also have to mention drummer and producer Andreas Werliin for his work in the audio department; rarely have we heard such a detailed, warm, deep and dynamic mix from a relatively complex combination of instruments. While their three previous albums can be considered as uniform works, if not conceptual, Arrival is a collection of more individual compositions and songs, including two stunning cover versions. Blue Crystal Fire by visionary guitarist Robbie Basho was first heard on his 1978 album Visions of the Country. At Last I Am Free is today probably best known from Robert Wyatt´s version, but originally written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers of Chic.
Although the rest of the tracks are credited to Berthling, Gustafsson, Werliin and Wallentin, it´s important to stress that this time the orchestra members have had considerable creative input throughout the process. Arrival is light and shade, joy and despair, structure and improvisation, performed by an ensemble of excellent musicians."
Masterful solo debut by Rupert Clervaux, regular collaborator with Beatrice Dillon, including the voice of Breadwoman alongside Clervaux’s own in a dreamlike recital of his poetry, set to a mix of wonderfully hypnagogic and unpredictable music backdrops ranging from twilight ambient to traces of Detroit techno, decayed solo piano, and spirited free jazz...
“‘After Masterpieces’ sets six recitals of Rupert’s poetry in unique, unpredictable and expansive musical scenery. The enigmatic and densely compacted texts, reworked and gently honed throughout the album’s slow creation, find an aerial perspective from which a lifetime of reading, listening and thinking is carefully re-mapped. The broad thematic scope takes in aesthetics, ancient mythologies, the origins of language and music, epistemology and ecology––to name just a few––all of which remain tightly intertwined, resistant to abstraction, and imbued with a sense of inquisitive ambiguity which treats all certainty with suspicion: the listener is invited to find their own threads, draw their own conclusions and think their own thoughts––as Anna Homler once aptly said of her own work, “…it’s not didactic, it’s poetic.”
Initially deriving its impetus from the mood and rhythm of the words, the album’s music utilises a wide-array of performance and production techniques. Clervaux draws on his full range of musical interests, creating long-form pieces that at turns support the recitals and then lead the way for the instrumental swathes within and between them. The sounds of ‘After Masterpieces’ revolve through the melodic ambience of ‘Her Fingers of Pink Light’; the dark electronics and multi-layered samples of ‘In Shadowlands of Like and Likeness’; the tentative interplay of piano and voice on ‘Damper and Drum’; and the riff-like patterned percussion and free improvisation of ‘Make Nature Speak.’ As the LP draws to a close, Homler and Bull join Rupert on ‘L’amore che Muove il Sole’—a sprawling anti-hymn, echoing the structure of ‘The Divine Comedy’, which discovers, in place of Dante’s heavenly paradise, a fragile optimism for positive change in the wreckage of failed grand narratives.”
Composer, author and GRM overseer François Bonnet aka Kassel Jaeger commits a beautifully surreal batch of electroacoustic works to the Latency label following their LPs by Sam Kidel and Laurel Halo.
Usually found on Editions Mego, Kassel Jaeger releases are notably admired for their attention to the finest textural detail, and for the way he classically draws a sense of dreamlike narrative from the ostensibly abstract and the non-musical. On ‘Le Lisse et le Strié’ the french composer typically puts that finesse at the service of of exploring two opposing concepts of “smooth” and “striated” within the electroacoustic sphere, where, “If the “smooth” is linked to “nomos” as an open space of organic distribution, the “striated”, on the contrary, is associated to “logos”, as an enclosed space defined by a grid.”
Working in noumenal space between the “smooth” and ‘striated” aspects, Jaeger uses alchemical process to highlight sound’s unparalleled, amorphous ability to manifest or suggest structural changes that practically don’t occur in any other framework of nature other than musical perception. His sounds emulate paradoxical, conceptual leaps between physical states, melting our perception of time and space and the “grid” in the process, and pointing to a inception of encrypted, camouflaged sound as beguiling as a magic eye image for the ear.
Tense interplay of grandiose prog noise and ascetic, Mika Vainio-esque minimalism
“New full length album by France’s most singular contemporary composer. Reflecting on ancient culture’s use and reverence for emblematic monuments which most often represent myths and stories, the album’s narrative has been infused with such symbolic and depicts an envisioned mythology, unfolding through it’s 10 aural pieces. Franck Vigroux‘s music is unique and comprised of tectonic tension, pulsating rhythms and abrasive analog textures like few can produce. Applying his own calculated personal signature in his sonic explorations his distinctiveness comes not only by his unique approach to sound but also by his incorporation of new media practices and performing arts into his A/V work.”
Hypnotic, percussion and horn-driven ceremonial music from Priangan in west Java
“This release aims to provide a spectrum of kasenian réak and its music. For this reason, on the first side it is possible to listen to a classic réak ouverture, played by one of the two founding groups, Juarta Putra. On the other side one may hear Putra Jaya Melati: one of the groups that
most attempts to push towards a contemporary, aggressive and experimental version of réak music, without leaving the cultural and spiritual background of the style behind. In this record, it is even possible to hear an electric guitar, gongs, a kendang and a very open repertoire of songs.
“Kasenian réak is a genre of performative art from the Priangan area of west Java, organized during hajatans (life-cycle celebrations) and nowadays primarily held during weddings andcircumcisions. The style, known as a seni lungsuran, is part of the greater family of Javanese horse dances, originally known in their most famous forms of jathilan and kuda lumping. Javanese horse dances, which could be as old as animistic Java, may already have been practiced before the eight century, travelling through the island and reaching Priangan in the thirties, when réak is believed to have been originated and popularised by musical groups Juarta Putra and Maska Putra. While bearing more than some resemblances with its family, kasenian réak benefits of structures and aesthetic tracts of its own, being not only one of the newest developments of horse dance if not the newest, but also its rawest and most extreme outcome.”
Ciel proves why her name is everywhere right now with the off-beat house and techno styles of ‘Why Me? for Spectral Sound...
At every turn Ciel stamps her individual style all over ‘Why Me?’, starting with the tentative percussion and curling garage subs of the title cut with perfectly deferred gratification, before ‘Go Fish’ cuts loose with a lather of pendulous kicks and crystalline electronics.
‘Hipwrecked’ follows with an uptempo energy boost riding quick and hi-tech jazzy in a Lone fashion, where ‘Uri’s Song (feat. Wiretapping)’ keeps up the pace in a tussle of breaks and quasi-timed, piquant electronics that beckon bodies to move with eyes shut in the middle of the ‘floor.
Infiné task Enyang Ha, Lord of the Isles, Ital Tek, and Dawan with remixing Deena Abdelwahed’s resoundingly well-received debut album
Seoul/Berlin’s Enyang Ha reworks the smoky Arabic vocal and rugged swang of ‘Rabbouni’ as a skudgy, offset techno roller with subtle, abstracted use of the vocal, while the mutant Raï rhythms of ‘5/5’ are stretched out to the horizon by Scotland’s LOTI.
The spiralling mysticism of ‘Ababab’ provides an elusive soul to Ital Tek’s tuffened-up IDM acceleration, and the enigmatic hustle of ‘Fdhiha’ is teased out into a spare, pensile stripe of broken beat acid techno by Tunisia’s Dawan.
Bashment murder from Lady Lykez, going in hard on ‘DRMTRK’ productions from Scratcha DVA, most potently on a buffed-up remix of ‘Muhammad Ali’, and the sweeping strings and dancehall pressure proper of ‘Lyke U’ while ‘Buzz Lightyear’ lands on a ruffneck UKF/grime mutation
Tresor reissue TV Victor’s 1989 ambient album ‘Moondance’ for its 30th anniversary of release on Big Sex Records, a now defunct subsidiary of Tresor’s parent label, Interfisch
“Udo Heitfeld's first solo productions started in 1990 under his TV Victor pseudonym, the first fruit of which was the "Moondance" album (Interfisch): experimental music with classic Pop structures but more an indicator of his move in more Ambient directions.”
Eliphino returns an altered beast in 2019 with a rave-ready mix of hardcore, speed garage and rude acid tweaks for the R&S-affiliated Media Fury label
Taking cues from Demsike Stare’s danceflorr gnash, the rolling heft of Joy O, and the well tucked grooves of Hessle Audio, the ‘Realistic Sex’ EP is the best thing he’s done, charging a classic but fresh energy into all five tracks, with strong highlights between the rude ’93 flex of ‘Disc Rhythm’, the haughty acid swang of ‘Remedy’, Berlin backroom vibes in ‘Realistic Sex’, and a fine mastery of 303 dynamics in ‘Formula’.
Gird thy loins for the second Coil bounty from the Threshold Archives - a haul of 8 discs gathered from original releases, plus stacks of previously unreleased demos, outtakes, and era-appropriate ephemera - over 9 hours of material.
Following from the first batch in 2015, Threshold Archives continue with a massive project initiated in 2006 by the band’s core member, Peter Christopherson, seeking to salvage material, which, over time, has been lost or has become scarce due to record label bankruptcies and intercontinental moves, where many masters were damaged, became degraded, or stuck on obsolete devices. The project began two years after the death of Christopherson’s partner and bandmate, Geoff Rushton aka Jhonn Balance, and four years before Peter passed in Thailand, 2010. As both core members have moved on to new dimensions, these posthumous releases are vital to disseminating their energies for further generations of dilated souls.
Spanning decades and myriad aspects of Coil’s oeuvre, each CD variously packs vintage material with unreleased cuts, or simply and handily stacks up loads of dead hard-to-find gear on one disc. For example, their 1994 CD ‘Protection’ is expanded to include the piloerect effect of ‘pHILM #1 (Vox)’ alongside multiple versions of their balletic lecture workout ‘Static Electrician,’ and a haul of haunting offcuts including strange choral elves and a 10 minute acid gunk swill out, whereas ‘The Sound Of Musick’ pulls various soundtrack works ranging from the ‘Theme From Gay Man's Guide to Safer Sex’ to the pulsing disco tricks of ‘Theme From Blue’ and 28 minutes of their soundtrack for 1992’s ‘Sara Dale's Sensual Massage’, and the ’Heartworms’ album focusses on various vocal works, both from Geoff as well as Taylor Mead, John Giorno and William S. Burroughs.
The one that’s striking us most is ‘I Don’t Want To Be The One’, featuring material previously released on Hate People Like Us/Computer Music Journal/Emre comps, and including gems from the ‘Astral Disaster’ and later ELpH sessions, such as the severe warp of ‘Gnomic Verses’ and the 20 minutes of ‘Zwölf’ plus loads of digitally abstract studio gremlins. Factor these in alongside all-time classics in their crushing yet life-affirming classic ‘Is Suicide A Solution?’, and the vaulted, esoteric rarities contained in ‘Copal’, and you have a necessary set for both budding Coil-o-nauts and veteran fiends alike.
Static-filled signals, emanating deep from inside the walls of Laurel Canyon and bouncing off clusters of incipient late century technology, are pulled through the twisted rabbit ears of a Chevy Astro Van. This is Planisphere, the new compilation by Numero Group.
"The equivocal sound of hippies fresh from their back-to-land sojourns shuttling drum machines through heartworn aspirations, as if the music section of the Whole Earth Catalog came to life. Let out from astronomy class with an arm full of Brain and Sky label releases, these 9 nomads scribble plein air narrations over a landscape turning its back on the sun.
Bask in the reverberations of our celestial home sweet home. Our Planisphere, for those within the 30-40 degree zone, will provide you with a fairly discernible chart for discovering both deep-sky objects and telluric emotional pulses."
L.A.’s Fmvee come up with a mix of ruff party burners and introspective downbeats for the keenly watched Total Stasis label - home to records by CS + Kreme, Ramzi, Elysia Crampton ++
On the two standout dancefloor prangers, they place a mutant US spin on UK rave styles to rude effect with the junglist sidewinder ‘Flex Blade’ and industrial grime collision of rail-gunning kicks and virulent arps in ‘Birds Ov Paradise’, whereas ‘Iluvlonelyfreak’ tests out a sort of stumbling, grubby, ambient 2-step, and ‘Vapour Girl’ pushes out into heady, weightless zones recalling Andy Stott.
Zombie slugs for the big rooms with a mix of lunk-headed techno grinders, swingers and skudgy shifters
He appears to imagine Actress at Berghain with the rasping sock and cavernous dimensions of ‘Void’, while ‘Bleed’ shifts its big boned knocks with gritty friction at 120bpm, and ‘Emerald’ rolls off the bone with sullen swagger and cranky metallic tones.
It gets messier herein with the agitated, aggy flex of ‘Threshold’ on a scintillating sort of future ‘ardcore parry, and ‘Zexor’ finds him splashing about in a murky, acidic puddles of bumpty techno-house in a style recalling Galcher Lustwerk or DJ Richard.
Super hi-potency synth-pop album from Brooklyn’s Shari Vari a.k.a. Void Vision and the brains behind her Everything Is Fine anthem, included here beside ten original aces plus a dreamy Italo remix by Bordello A Parigi’s Vanzetti & Sacco.
Sub Rosa is quite possibly one of the strongest synth-pop LPs from the recent revival, rendering a pellucid and sharply defined take on vintage styles, and one that’s unafraid to cut out the sh*ttier cliches where it’s required. Like other listeners, we’ve become acquainted with a handful of these tunes (and they are proper tunes) since they appeared on various compilations over the years, with In 20 Years receiving a Rough Trade cosign in their Synth Wave 10 set in 2010, and the Everything is Fine ohrwurm noted on a memorable FlexiWave set in 2012.
Those moments aside, the rest of the LP is dead impressive, too: whether trumping Zola Jesus at her own game in ‘To The Sea’ oer the curdled ’90s goth-pop of ‘Queen of Hearts’, ramping the breakneck quickstep of ‘Vulgar Displays’, or serving stylishly melodic EBM in the closing shot of ‘20-20’.
Shadow-strafing D&B rolige and sharply stylized glooom from Blackest Ever Black’s A14 sublabel
Like his string of 12”s for Hojo Clan and Samurai Music since 2015, Shiken Hanzo’s new 12” combines an authentic reading of Japanese Samurai culture with nods to Photek’s mid-‘90s jungle martial arts in a carefully minimalist, immersive style.
Between the jet-black noir of ‘The Centipede’ to the aerodynamic silhouette of ‘OathKeeper’ up top, and thru the Raime-like charge of ‘Menpo’, to filigree use of synths from Hans Zimemr’s Bladerunner 2049 soundtrack in ‘Oni’, this is arch BEB/A14 gear and a must have for grey area scouts - RIYL Logos, Pessimist, Raime, Hidden Hawaii.
An unmissable invitation to peruse the poetically oneiric music of Benjamin Lew, extended by two of Belgium’s finest labels; Stroom and Crammed Discs.
Compiled by Brecht Van Dingenen and Ziggy Devriendt, ‘Le Personnage Principal Est un Peuple Isolé’ unfurls a sublime drift through Benjamin Lew’s singular sound world, where crystalline, analog computerised electronics meet a plethora of instrumental voices from the early ‘80s Belgian firmament; including among them his Tuxedomoon collaborator Steven Brown and Blaine L. Reininger, plus Vini Reilly, Marc Hollander, Samy Birnbach and many more. We long suspected that Stroom would apply their expert curatorial skills to Lew’s oeuvre and it’s safe to say the results do not disappoint, surveying Lew’s music in all it’s stately, esoetric, and worldly splendour. Purchasing this LP will make your life 100% more sophisticated, we practically guarantee.
“Benjamin Lew was an enlightened amateur, in the noble and almost Renaissance-like sense of the word: he dabbled with equal grace in photography, writing, visual arts ... and worked part-time as a cocktail mixer in a tropical bar which was one of the favourite watering holes of Brussels’ thriving artistic community of the early ‘80s. Tuxedomoon had just moved to Brussels, and Steven Brown was among the many musicians, designers & artists who patronized the bar. Benjamin had a secret passion: he wasn’t a musician, but had acquired a small analog computer, with which he had started creating these strange mysterious little pieces. Benjamin played them to Steven and asked him if he’d agree to record with him. Steven was taken with them and accepted. The Douzième Journée was largely created in the studio by both protagonists, with the help of Gilles Martin and myself, in the spring of ‘82. Listening to his albums (he went on to record four more with Crammed) is like embarking on a dream journey to the Sahara or the Far East. You’d think that some of the pieces feature non-European musicians or samples but: no... this is just Benjamin’s imagination, his synths, and his friends…” Marc Hollander, Feb. 2019”
Highly stylized, dreary post punk ennui from Berlin
“Years in the making, the follow-up or maybe even companion piece to 2015's "Positive Energy", "Positive Disintegration" sees the band with a bit more of a pop zap to the ever present post punk dreariness of modern Berlin life... Or even modern life at large as most of the lyrical content has to do with the monotony of barely getting by or trying to have a meaningful exchange with a remotely interesting person.
These things are hard to come by most of the time and this music eats at that very feeling. It's almost enough to make you wanna throw in the towel and move to Spain without a care in the world to haunt your remaining days. You probably won't though, you'll most likely listen to this record while you sip your overpriced room temperature coffee drink whilst ordering new bulbs for your anti depression lamp from a major online retailer. It just feels like life is getting away from you, ya know? Dark.”
The Fall’s second studio album, reissued as a massively expanded 3CD clamshell box-set and a limited splatter vinyl LP with 7” single replica of their ‘Rowche Rumble’ single.
"Founded by its only constant member, Mark E. Smith, The Fall formed in Manchester in 1976 and were one of the most prominent post-punk groups in the world. Musically, there may have been several stylistic changes over the years, but it was often characterised by an abrasive guitar-driven sound and frequent use of repetition, always underpinned by Smith's distinctive vocals and often cryptic lyrics. “They are always different; they are always the same...” John Peel “Dragnet” is the second studio album – released 26th October 1979 - these editions celebrate the fortieth anniversary of this seminal album. Originally released through record label Step-Forward, it predicated 2 major factors in the group’s career – high productivity and high group turnover.
The album has historically garnered excellent reviews, including 4/5 in MOJO, 8.7/10 on Pitchfork and 4/5 in Q Magazine. Featuring the one and only Mark E. Smith alongside Steve Hanley (bass), Marc Riley (guitar), Craig Scanlon (guitar), Mike Leigh (drums), Kay Carroll (backing vocals) and Yvonne Pawlett (keyboards). This is the second release in Cherry Red’s new series of deluxe Fall reissues: “Fall Sound Archive”. The 3CD version comes housed in a clamshell boxset. Alongside the full album are several b-sides and alternative takes plus live shows from Retford in 1979 and Los Angeles in 1979. The boxset also features a booklet of new sleeve notes by Daryl Easlea and has been remastered by long-term Fall engineer Andy Pearce."
Lena Willikens highlights original material from three female Japanese artists, Kopy, Tentenko, and Miki Yui, in a diversely groove-driven plate including her own ‘Megamix’
The ‘Paredo’ EP is a result of Lena’s 2017 trip to Japan at the behest of the Goethe Institut, where she and her artist partner Sarah Szcesny developed their Phantom Kino Ballet at a residency in Kyoto. While there, they also caught live performances by Kopy and Tentenko which lead to their appearance here.
Kopy supplies the punchy kicks and dry but gunky electronics of ‘2NP’, and Tentenko swaggers on some bolshy triplets, while Düsseldorf-based Japanese artists Miki Yui follows her Realistic Monk collab with Carl Stone and last year’s LP for Salford’s Cusp Editions with the weightless trickle of ‘Tromb’. Combined by Lena’s mitts, the ‘Megamix’ consolidates all three pieces in deftly swingeing form, cannily dancing in between their patterns to come up with something like a rogue Batu number.
‘The Royal Garden Covered In Ash’ is a dream sequence of layered and mulched horror-style organs and synths concocted by ambient explorer Fabio Orsi and the maestro Brian Pyle of Ensemble Economique and Starving Weirdos. It's a proper goodun - highly recommended if yr into Dean Hurley's super atmospheric Lynchain sound design.
Seemingly crafted to soundtrack bouts of sleep paraylsis, or the the heavy-lidded hypnagogic jerk phase, ‘The Royal Garden Covered In Ash’ says its piece in gloaming strokes with an overtone of menace that never quite manifests but lurks liminally, gnawing at the subconscious.
‘Belief is a whisper’ helms the front with a subaquatic swell of nocturnal crimson/blue/black hues that give way to Pyle’s typical, Vangelis-like brass flares and ghostly synth figures that fleet out of view just as quickly as they appeared, while the narrative subtly lures us into really noirish mindspaces.
’You’re So Close, I Can Almost Hold You Again’ phosphoresces on the back, hovering in and out of view with a beautifully elusive quality - sometimes tangible and shimmering, at others smudged and just outta reach - in a proper aether dream style.
Beautiful, eerie music.
Peder Mannerfelt & Pär Grindvik push the Aasthma envelope looser, faster, and stranger on a second limited edition 12", featuring one cut of blistered power ambient, plus a sidewinding cybernetic techno twyster - properly f*cked & deadly dancefloor gear highly recommended if yr into T++, Ugandan Methods!!!
A strong new addition to both artists’ oeuvres, the 2nd Aasthma 12” follows the same formula as the first, and again finding a smart balance of immediate rawness and classy sound design, but this time slightly altering the parameters to more reckless and experimental appeal.
The smoky ambient blush of ’Rotating Blue Device’ unfurls a fine mesh of gauzy mid-ground and prickly surface disturbances to bend the mind’s eye and presumably sound steeply psychedelic in altered states, which finely sets the tone for ‘Los Angeles’, where they spar with thorny techno drums and surges of bass voltage in a roving, undulating, crisp but distorted mass that will swill the club out something rotten.
From the Catskill Mountains, Emily Sprague channels a timeless mix of new age ambience and poetry in her captivating debut for RVNG Intl. Compiling Emily’s two self-released tapes ‘Water Memory’  and ‘Mount Vision’ , this sublime package brings us right up to date with her effortlessly enchanting solo output. Across 14 parts in 80 minutes, she proves equally adept at sprawling out in longer forms, as with ‘At Lake’, as she is at capturing crystalline vignettes like the kaleidoscopic miniature ‘Huckleberry’, or the microtonal peal of ’Synth 3’, all pointing to a charming new talent coming into being.
“Emily A. Sprague’s Water Memory and Mount Vision albums are presented in new and complete detail. Emily’s work concerns the connectedness of all things, giving living, core form to the mysterious forces that guide earthly activity and human contact with them. Memory and vision, ocean and mountains, question and answer, emotions and infinity. Sunshine, lizard, sea salt.
Through sound and poetry, Emily focuses on fleeting moments of crystalline clarity and meditates on expanded lifetimes of intricate meaning-making. This vision is unfalteringly beautiful, gently profound. But, as Ursula K. Le Guin intuits in her translation of the Tao Te Ching, “In poetry, beauty is no ornament; it is the meaning. It is the truth.”
A collection of reflections are visible in the mirrored structures of Water Memory and Mount Vision, two chapters - two halves - each complemented by a written verse. As much about the presence in youthful experimentation as the permanence of transition and maturation, Water Memory is the first long-form instrumental music Emily ever channeled, generated over a year of self and sonic exploration between Massachusetts and New York.”
Drippin’ with realest ‘90s R&B flava, Devin Morrison’s debut album for Onra’s Nothing But Net label.
“If anyone from Florida tells you that something is « Bussin », it simply means that it’s tasty. Orlando-born Devin Morrison's first solo album on NBN Records, « Bussin » gives you an ill mix of flavors with eclectic inspirations rooted in 90's R&B, Gospel and Funk.
You get fresh-squeezed harmonies inspired by the likes of Take 6 & Commissioned on slow jamz like « It’s Time » and « Bussin », melodies that pierce like spears on « No » and drums that bite like gator jaws on the G Funk infused banger « The Struggle Iz Real » featuring Daz Dillinger.
Singer/Songwriter/Composer, Devin Morrison aims to show the world the sweet sound of Florida that it has yet to hear while collaborating with the finest voices the R&B, such as Grammy Award nominees KING, super talented singer from L.A. Joyce Wrice on the classic R&B duet « With You », or seasoned originals like Ace Hashimoto (aka BrandUn DeShay) on the futuristic sounding « Guaranteed ».
The opening track « It's Time » features a guitar performance from Devin's father, a solo recording artist in the early 90's known as Dah-Vi and ends up on a personal note with the spiritual jam « Fairytale » (featuring vocals from Devin's older brother, Lakks Mable) and the introspective « Love Yourself ».
As Devin tweeted, « As long as I'm alive, R&B shall be as well ». The expectations are high for this Floridian creative, and Devin Morrison is here to live up to his own.”
A strong look for fans of harsh, bombed-out electronics, Ukraine’s SD debuts on iDEAL with a sound primed to be deployed in the scuzziest warehouses and abandoned factories.
As debuts go, ‘Luxury Death’ is a powerfully definitive statement of intent, driving a stake in the ground somewhere between the contemporary skools of JK Flesh, Prurient and Puce Mary, and the grizzled old battalions of Broken Flag and the ‘80s Italian industrial hordes. In that tradition, it’s built to be played LOUD, possessing the sort of biting-point amplitude control and a gauntleted grasp of barbed sonics that will make your speakers tremble with fear.
Raising the tension with sci-fi cinematic strings and drop forge noise blasts in the first, the session sustains a stare down intensity until the end, holding listeners under waves of rhythmic noise with a water-boarding brutality, then leaving us to freeze in muddy trenches, surrounded by shellfire, before ultimately burying the senses with smeared drones.
Limited edition vinyl boxset of Blancmange’s first three albums – Happy Families (1982), Mange Tout (1984) and Believe You Me (1985). Each release includes the original album (remastered), plus B-sides, extended versions, remixes, previously unreleased tracks and demos.
"Happy Families, released in 1982, feels like a fully-formed electronic pop classic. Highlights include ‘Living On The Ceiling’ (a striking #7 hit in ’82 thanks to its mix of electronics with tabla and sitar), the melancholia of ‘Waves’, ‘Feel Me’s call-and-response electro-funk, the intense ‘I Can’t Explain’ and ‘God’s Kitchen’ which is an early example of Neil Arthur’s gift with images and wordplay.
Blancmange’s second album, Mange Tout reached # 8 in the UK charts in 1984 and spawned more hits – notably ‘Blind Vision’ (#10), ‘Don’t Tell Me’ (#8) and their fantastic cover of ABBA’s ‘The Day Before You Came’ (much loved by ABBA who let them use footage from their original video for the Blancmange promo). It signals another change for the band’s music, now increasingly built around deep, propulsive dance grooves.
The third and final Blancmange album of the 1980s, Believe You Me was released in 1985 and features bitter-sweet pop songs such as ‘Lose Your Love’, ‘Don’t You Love It All’ and ‘What’s Your Problem.’"
Shenzhou is next up in Biosphere’s album reissue schedule.
Original issued in 2000, it finds the Norwegian artist following the wistful loops of Cirque farther down the rabbit hole, leaving behind the purely electronic contours and beat-driven elements of his early work for a subtler, textured electro-acoustic style comparable with The Caretaker and Leyland Kirby or William Basinski’s faded tape loops. Your attention is required to the mesmerising string swells of Houses On The Hill, the cinematic midnight jazz gesture of Path Leading to the High Grass, and the Deathprod-alike gloam of Lorry Shuttle Shaft.
‘Buntús Rince’ translates from Irish as ‘basic rhythms’, and this new compilation explores how Irish musicians were influenced by strands of different genres of music from around the world, merging them to create their own unique sounds. The compilation features some of the most innovative and talented figures in the history of Irish music and includes rare Irish jazz, fusion and folk outliers from the 1970s and early 1980s from musicians relatively unknown outside of Ireland.
"Often regarded as a musical backwater, the 1970s finally saw Ireland begin to make its mark on international music. The nature of this feat is all the more commendable, considering how isolated and conservative the country still was in the middle of the last century. The emergence of acts like Skid Row, Thin Lizzy and Van Morrison instilled in budding young Irish musicians the belief to dream big.
Unlike many other European countries, Ireland had not benefited from the cultural impact of immigration. Pioneering Irish musicians did not have access to the type of vibrant music scenes ubiquitous to most European cities at that time. With no talented players or even in some cases recordings of the music, they had to cultivate and invent their own small scenes.
A jazz scene had begun to blossom in Dublin in the late 1950s. Self-taught players like Noel Kelehan and Louis Stewart emerged as the Irish standard-bearers. Their level of musicianship saw them play with some of the world’s most renowned artists. The 1960s would see the emergence of the ‘beat’ scene in Ireland, with groups like Granny’s Intentions, Taste and Eire Apparent finally challenging the hegemony of Irish Showbands. Change was in the air. The late 1960s also saw many Irish emigrants returning home, bringing with them inspiration from the new styles and sounds of London and further afield. The arrival in the late 1960s of pirate radio stations like Radio Caroline, new music magazines and the availability of music on vinyl meant that different genres were now becoming more accessible. The musical landscape of the country began to transform and evolve, influencing a new generation of musicians in the process. The 1970s saw advancements in studio technology. 8-track studios began appearing in Dublin, offering more opportunities for groups to record singles and albums. Synthesizers and other instruments were also becoming easier to acquire as the younger generation turned to electric jazz and fusion music. While the level of musicianship was high, the levels of opportunities in Ireland were still very limited. Many groups and solo musicians had to emigrate to try and succeed. Thankfully for those who remained, this new emerging scene didn’t go totally unnoticed and local labels began to take a chance on more obscure Irish groups. Labels like Mulligan and also producers like John D’Ardis and Terri Hooley championed and documented music from the Irish underground of the 1970s.
Their valuable work is a common thread which connects many of the tracks on this compilation. From the soaring flute playing of Brian Dunning, to the swinging piano of Noel Kelehan and the sonic force of Jolyon Jackson’s synthesizers; ‘Buntús Rince’ lifts the lid on a vastly underappreciated period of Irish music history. One for the collectors."
Liquid Liquid drummer Dennis Young’s tape-only obscurity finds its way to vinyl via Korea’s Daehan Electronics, including previous unreleased tracks written during the same 1988 sessions
Somehow evading everyone’s radar until now (and even still we can’t see the original tape for sale anywhere), ‘’Visions’ finally comes into the spotlight, showcasing Dennis Young stylistically operating light years away from Liquid Liquid, but actually only seven years since he laid down one of dance music’s foundational grooves with ‘Cavern.’
Newly augmented with rediscovered material, Young’s 1988 album ‘Visions’ is a strange ride, still urged by his signature drum work, but more fleshed out with FM synths and cubist MIDI bass twang. The previously unheard ‘Dreamland’ sets out the album’s feel, sharing a esoteric. synthy vision with the other unreleased bit ‘Eastern Skies’, which also shares a naif, “orientalist” breeziness in common with ‘Indonesia Eyes’ and ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, while we find his percussive sensibilities pulled in new directions from the woozy ‘Shangri-La’, to the sprung step of ‘Volcano Cathedral’ and the Suba-esque ‘Olympus Mons.’
Expanded first reissue of a calm 1991 new age LP by Liquid Liquid drummer Dennis Young, whose work on classic ‘Cavern’ is a cornerstone of hip hop and punk-funk
While the rest of the world slept on Young’s late ‘80s series of new age tapes, the keen ears at Daehan Electronics have been steadily excavating their goodies from releases that got a domestic pressing in their native Korea. Now, hot on the heels of an ace 1988 volume, ‘Visions’, they now unfurl more magick with that album’s follow-up, ‘Sojourn’, replete with three bonus tracks from the same 1989 sessions.
It’s practically worth it for one of the unreleased bits, ‘Heartsong’, whose angelic synth chorale speaks as much to Young’s career as film soundtrack composer as his enduring influence over dance music, while ‘Fantasia’ uncannily follows suit with a choral riff that’s half a note away from the central motif in Forgemasters ‘Track With No Name’, but set to slow MIDI drums. The album continues to reveal special new angles thru the B-side’s other unreleased peach, an ambient-pop mediation ‘Ancient Past’ sounding like Arpanet meets Lewis, which triggers a marmite sequence of songs right on the cusp of new age fromage and stellar sincerity. Very safe to say the highlights more than make up for any off moments, though.
So you’ve heard a billion and one 4th world types emulate Afro-New Age styles, now here’s the real thing from Justus Nnakwe aka Jay U Experience, a Nigerian artist recording in NYC, 1993. This is a total pearl, we tell thee.
Uprooted by the excellent Left Ear Records after recent Soundway and Now-Again reissues of Nnakwe’s late ‘70s psych-rock jaunts with People Rock Outfit and The Hygrades, the ‘Abuja EP’ catches him years later formulating glittering rhythmelodies and saucy basslines on synths and drum machines, channelling the charms of his early work into a whole new paradigm.
The results are totally primed to dovetail with LER’s expanding international roster of oddities. On the A-side the promise of ‘Back To Motherland’ harmonises glyding pads and warm FM bass with lilting melodic percussion in creamiest style, and ‘Ancestral Call’ follows with delicious flutter of tuned drums and natty brassy melody that feels so much more effortless than the genre’s more cod pieces. The B-side sustains the charm with breezing chime trees and syn-flutes synched to grunky acidic bass in glyphic flow on ‘Okokobioko’, and ‘Abuja’ saves a twist in the tale to tread a fine line between pensive darkness and utopian new age feels.
First in a two part compendium scanning the career of short lived, but highly influential New Wave Goth group, Bauhaus.
With their first single 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' the Northampton-based group effectively started one of the first post-punk genres by mixing gloomy guitars and spikily danceable drums with a subtle dub element to create that definitive goth-punk atmosphere. They're now held as a reference point by everyone from TV On The Radio to Kode 9, Silk Flowers and Regis, so if you've never checked them, this is an excellent place to start.
Reissue of Mood II Swing’s immense, sought-after remixes of a 1997 deep house peach by Crustation
The trip hop original comes in a divine deep house vocal mix up top, reframed with sumptuous inrto and deliciously squashed in-the-mix for late night intimacy, but the one you really, really need is the ‘Borderline Insanity Dub Mix’, where the deep garage house masters souse the thing in a bath of GHB to sexiest, trippiest effect.