Heavily contrasting sides of lush, widescreen ambient and dense, minimal techno from DJ Nobu
The extended A-side ‘Zzzz’ is a somnolent ambient beauty initially composed as healing music for a sick friend. It’s a meditative tract of glacially rising drones glistening with gently struck, gamelan-like percussions and smoothed out with fluid textures to sublime appeal. We can only imagine Nobu’s mate felt a bit better after hearing this piece.
On the B-side he retains that meditative appeal, but driven by powerful, minimalist techno rhythms in the sulky shimmy of ‘Wwww’, and then like a brisk Gas piece in ‘Cccc’, like Wolfgang Voigt wandered too deep into the Black Forest and is panicking to find his way out as the forest spirits come out to frolic.
The mothership has landed! Unseen Worlds finally deliver a premiere edition of Laurie Spiegel’s rare 1991 follow-up to ‘The Expanding Universe’ , filling a gaping hole in electronic music collections across the known world
The jaw-dropping ’Unseen Worlds’ was first released on CD in 1991 by Scarlet Records, but the label went defunct soon after, leaving Laurie seeing to any further pressings. She issued a 2nd CD edition on her Aesthetic Engineering label in 1994, but since that sold out, her amazing album has become very hard to find. Perhaps understandably, that scarcity is probably because nobody wants to sell their original copy, making this new pressing an invaluable window onto ‘Unseen Worlds’ in all senses of the phrase.
In the years between her debut and sophomore sides, Laurie moved away from the New York new music scene to focus on other projects, most notably the MusicMouse software; an “intelligent instrument” allowing for greater real time automation of her equipment. MusicMouse for Macintosh, Amiga and Atari gained a lot of traction with rock artists and paid her bills, and effectively allowed Laurie up to focus on the aspects of music which interested her the most - improvisation and artistic process.
Freed from the more laborious constraints of electronic music composition, Laurie’s artistic-technological breakthrough gave her greater tactility and control in the composition process. The result is some of the lushest and vivid electronic music you’ll ever hear. In the impossibly smooth pitch gradients and timbral complexities of the opening ‘Three Sonic Spaces’ trio, and the hallucinogenic harmonics of ’Sound Zones’ we hear the MusicMouse in blinding action, while the rest of the LP is no less impressive; leading us thru breathtaking black hole sonics on ‘The Hollows’; into mind-bindingly vast noise scapes on ‘Two Archetypes: Hurricane’s Eye - II’; while the shimmering beauty of ‘Riding the Storm’ are right up there with classics by Jean Claude Risset or Roland Kayn; and moments of exquisite beauty like ‘Strand of Life (*Viroid*) and ‘From a Harmonic Algorithm’ give way to the rarely paralleled scope of ‘Passage’, one of those epic electronic music works that makes wading through all the other stuff truly worthwhile.
Previously unreleased, mesmerising roots laments and digi-steppers unearthed from the Wackies archive for first time
Wackies Rhythm Force provide the wavey organ lead and molasses groove under Bobby Sarkie’s aching vocal in ‘Over and Over’ and its version, while Roland Alphonso’s ‘Rent Rebate’ is a balmy but haunting digidub ace licked up with his blue, bebopping soprano sax, and Jackie Mittoo vibes out on organ over Ras Menilik’s hand-drumming on ‘Mount Zion.’
For anyone who knows these records already - you won't need much of a sermon from us about their stature and greatness. If you don't know them - you're in for a treat.
Rhythm & Sound was the project that Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald turned to after their seminal series of recordings as Basic Channel came to an end. From 1997 until 2002 the label released seven 12" EP's which pretty much defined the direction so much electronic music would turn to in its wake - and it still continues to exert a colossal influence, for better or worse. It's perhaps hard to remember over a decade later just how little these productions sounded like anything that preceded them - taking the essence of dub and breaking it down until all that was left was a vapour trail of melody and a colossal bass echo. We could spend an hour listing all the music that basically came along and copied this template in the intervening years but, the thing is, none of what followed comes anywhere near these productions in terms of substance, none of it has aged in the same way.
"Mango Walk / Mango Drive" was the second release on the label and, for many, remains its finest moment. The a-side features an original production from the Wackies vaults by Azul & Bullwackie recorded in 1979, with an incredible 9 minute revision from Mark and Moritz on the flip. The version that appeared on the Rhythm & Sound 'Compilation' is over two minutes shorter.
Something special from DDS - the long awaited album debut of avant-Dancehall mutations from Jamaica’s Equiknoxx, already tipped by everyone from Jon K to Mark Ernestus, featuring productions dating between 2009-2016, mastered and cut by Matt Colton, all on vinyl for the first time ever...
Equiknoxx are one of the weirdest, most innovative dancehall squads from Jamaica right now; Bird Sound Power is their debut collective show of strength, packing 12 avant, crooked riddims by core members Gavsborg and Time Cow, plus Bobby Blackbird and Kofi Knoxx, with vocals by Kemikal, Shanique Marie and J.O.E. (R.I.P).
The set was parsed and pieced together by Jon K & Demdike Stare , and now thanks to link ups via Swing Ting’s Balraj Samrai (a longtime livicated supporter), it’s issued on Demdike’s DDS imprint, replete with Jon K’s sleeve design.
Easily identified by the squawking bird idents peppering their cuts, Equiknoxx productions have been big in the dance since Gavin Blair a.k.a. Gavsborg produced Busy Signal’s billboard hit Step Out in 2005, followed by key instrumentals for Beenie Man, Aidonia, Masicka, and T.O.K.
Bird Sound Power is weighted with the potential to open up perceptions of current dancehall thanks to the mad character and broad reference points of its producers, encompassing King Jammy’s foundational digi-dub and Dave Kelly’s Mad House sound as much as rugged New York hip hop and the wigged-out, feminine pressure of Virginia Beach’s Timbaland or The Neptunes.
The oldest tune inside dates to 2009, but the rest are recent dancehall mutations, including a number of exclusives produced in the last 12 months. Each one reps for Equiknoxx’s unique aspects, such as Jordan Chung a.k.a. Time Cow’s brilliantly bizarre, layered arrangements of sawn-off hooks and digi-tight beats, also a result of their distinguished family vibe.
Bird Sound Power exists in a paradox, utterly fwd but classic, and with as much potential to turn new heads onto current JA sounds as Mowax’s Now Thing set back in 2001, which remains a key touchstone for so many contemporary producers. It’s one of the sharpest, most crucial DDS issues yet, check the clips and get sweaty...
Dais offer a very handy portal into Drekka’s cult catalogue of dark ambient, shoegaze, noise and psych-folk c. 1996-2002, with results ripened for followers of Hood, Flying Saucer Attack, Current 93, NWW or even Philip Jeck
“"No Tracks in the Snow" is a collection of tracks from the early days of Drekka’s history; the third offering for Dais Records and an appendix between the second and third parts of the 'Tarwestraat' trilogy of LPs for the label.
For over twenty years, Mkl Anderson has curated a vast archive of recorded material for his cinematic ritual ambient industrial project, Drekka. He works with memory not only as a subject but also as a healing process, continually delving into this personal world of sound; examining, revisiting, and repurposing recordings in an attempt to recall a past which sings from the darkness surrounding the tenuous provinces of memory and dreams - the real ghosts of time and sound.
Recorded between 1996 and 2002, the album showcases Drekka's early exploratory development across a variety of styles. And yet it is also Drekka in the present moment; culled, curated, and assembled with care. Not unlike Borges’ "A Personal Anthology" - or indeed any of Drekka’s own recent work - this recording can be understood as a cohesive narrative more than as a simple compilation.
As Drekka moved from its Bristol UK influenced space folk beginnings, backwards towards Anderson's earlier UK industrial tape culture foundation, his predilection for reworking pieces over time was emerging; recontextualizing narratives to bring out new truths from one's own history. This process would become a cornerstone of Anderson's work for the decades to follow.”
Vinyl on demand return from an 18 month hiatus with their 3rd ClockDVA compilation digging deep into the vaults of Adi Newton and company’s occult, prurient strain of industrial musick c.1978-1980
Presented as a comprehensive approach to recondition the early years of ClockDVA, the set surveys a gathering of energies onto tape at Adi Newton’s Sheffield studio, documenting the R&D that underlined ClockDVA’s alchemical formulations of alien synths and possessed vocals. All of the material was previously issued on tape only and has remained the preserve of collectors ever since, who know these recordings contain the seeds of some of industrial music’s greatest work.
All recorded by Adi Newton on various tape loops, EMS synthi, electric violin and devices, with some assistance from Steven Turner (bass, treatments), D Tyme (guitar, treatments) and Simon Mark Elliot-Kemp (synths), the 4 discs are littered with glimpses of the band’s prescient, primal-futurist genius that would come into full effect on ‘White Souls in Black Suits’, their debut for Throbbing Girstle’s Industrial Records, that would force them into wider view of the nascent industrial network, and beyond the Sheffield scene they shared with the likes of Martyn Ware and Phil Oakley - Adi Newton’s former bandmates in The Future.
From rawest drones to pulsing atonality and deeply eerie sci-fi styles that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Radiophonic release, the music is stark but sensuous, laced with a darkside northern appeal that could be attributed to the state of its bleak socio-economics - power cuts, cold war threats, Thatcher, Peter Sutcliffe - and which patently resonated with listeners across the world, leading ClockDVA to be ranked in the pantheon of post-punk/industrial musick’s most uncompromising and definitive groups.
'Versions' leaves out the vocal accompaniment and exposes the production as it drifts off into instrumental effervescence...
This second breathtaking CD leaves out the vocal accompaniment and exposes the terryfingly deep Basic Channel production as it drifts off into instrumental effervescance. The hallmarks are all there; Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald have already set the world ablaze once, twice, three, four times with their work as Basic Channel and the splintering into microscopic, heavyweight offshoots by way of the M series, Main Street, Chain Reaction, Rhythm and Sound and, of course, Burial Mix. It's hard to over-emphasise just how important their music has been to us over the last two decades and, for that matter, just how substantial their impact has had on everything that has taken place in electronic music since.
Following convention, each of these labels has offered a catalogue up on record (in this case 10" releases) before compiling the music. This is, in fact, the second Burial Mix compilation, the first "showcase" concentrating on the label's collaborations with Paul St Hilaire, aka Tikiman, for its opening set of releases. This second installment divides itself into Vocal and Instrumental "Versions" (the Vocal tracks are collected seperately on a second release), displaying the last seven releases in their entirety, plus "Mash Down Babylon" (a new take on "March Down Babylon"), and features a by-now totally classic collection of tracks that in their time have all been singles of the week for us here.
Just thinking of the majestic exuberance of "King in My Empire", or the breathtaking space of "Making Histroy" makes it hard to fathom how this material hasn't really aged a day in all these years...
An all-time classic, production masterclass - it doesn't get any better.
The hallmarks are all there; Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald have already set the world ablaze once, twice, three, four times with their work as Basic Channel and the splintering into microscopic, heavyweight offshoots by way of the M series, Main Street, Chain Reaction, Rhythm and Sound and, of course, Burial Mix. It's hard to over-emphasise just how important their music has been over the last two decades and, for that matter, just how substantial their impact has had on everything that has taken place in electronic music since.
This is, in fact, the second Burial Mix compilation, the first "showcase" concentrating on the label's collaborations with Paul St Hilaire, aka Tikiman, for its opening set of releases. This second installment divides itself into Vocal and Instrumental "Versions" (the instrumentals are collected seperately on a second release), displaying the last seven releases in their entirety, plus "Mash Down Babylon" (a new take on "March Down Babylon"), and features a by-now totally classic collection of tracks that in their time have all been singles of the week for us here.
Just thinking of the majestic exuberance of "King in My Empire", or the breathtaking space of "Making Histroy" makes it hard to fathom how this material hasn't really aged a day in all these years...
The ultimate "Disco House Bomb" from one of the all-time greats, Frank Timm, aka Soundhack, aka one half of Smith N Hack - whose debut album now arrives almost exactly 20 years after his debut 12" was released back in 1999. Could this be one of the decade’s strongest disco/edit sessions? Aye. Funky buggers need apply!
As Sound Hack, Soundstore, Sound Stream, and half of Smith N Hack with Errorsmith, Frank Timm is one of those rare European producers who can cut the mustard with disco edits. But we’re not talking half-arsed loop jobs that trim all the flavour - this guy is an absolute expert at turning old gold into precious new dancefloor gear - just ask any of the Detroit/Chicago legends like Theo Parrish, Anthony Shakir or Carl Craig, who’ve been playing his gear for decades now.
Spelling out a definition of disco that takes Ron Hardy and Boo Williams styles for goalposts, Frank Timm’s music is made purely for the dancefloor. As such it’s always appeared on the DJ’s favoured 12”, but now ‘Soundstream’ clocks up next to his seminal ‘Tribute’ album with Smith N Hack as the most substantial set in his perfectly formed catalogue.
Skipping between butterfly house and jerky disco, ‘Soundstream’ delivers some grade A heaters in the rutting Ron-style jag of ‘Get Down’, and with economically decadent string loops in ‘Spotlight’, while ‘Disco Advisor’ shoots good times from the hip, and the likes of ‘Love Remedy’ and the sexy synth lead of ‘Mercury Mood’ tend to deeper moments in an Ugly Edit manner, and the C-side’s uncredited number pays a knowing nod to Boo Williams and Glen Underground’s Maad classic, ‘Motion Sickness’.
As if we really need to stress it, ’Soundstream’ is 100% killer dancefloor music, no less.
(Suburban Knight + DJ Pierre’s Wild Pitch Mixes) ÷ King Tubby x X³ = Basic Channel’s Q1.1. Or something. Stone cold essential techno classic. As ever; mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering, pressed at Pallas.
Theatrical late ‘70s synth music from Sweden, released for the first time by Dais
"Recorded between the release of Sand (1977) and Lost Secrets (1981), Symphonic Songs is a formerly unreleased work that chronicles the dynamic shift and development in experimental Swedish composer Ragnar Grippe’s canon.
Following his seminal release Sand in 1977, Swedish experimental composer Ragnar Grippe worked on various art and performance commissions, often returning to Stockholm during the summer months to focus his efforts on his compositional practice. It was there at the famed EMS Studios where he began employing the Buchla synthesizer and the facilities multi-tracking capabilities as new instruments to map his mining of sound and movement.
During the late 1970’s, Grippe formed a creative collaboration with choreographer Susan Buirge, specifically writing compositions for her works “Restes” and “Tamis”, thus pushing Grippe to start working in a more intricate studio environment. These passages inspired Grippe into a more complex layering process that focused more on placement and structure, rather than the aural floods and flourishes of his previous Sand album, eventually germinating in his first full 24-track composition entitled “Orchestra.”
After debuting “Orchestra” in 1980 at the Electronic Music Festival in Stockholm, Grippe holed up at EMS Studios with those lessons and the fussy Buchla synthesizer, in which Grippe affectionately recalls “needed to be tuned and calibrated every 20-30 minutes.” He emerged with a new commission for Susan Buirge later formally titled Symphonic Songs and used in her avant-garde theater piece “Ci-Déla” which debuted in Paris in 1981. Symphonic Songs showcased Grippe’s sound au courant, pushing dense against sparse, calm into cacophonous, using each track as its own intersecting plane. Using the machinations of studio and structure to drive Symphonic Songs’ voice, Grippe culled a haunting, often cinematic electronic work that dots and darts into unexpected corners with curious aplomb.
“Listen to the words, both terms have their root in classical music, but not in its form but because now I had so many more stems or voices that could be played simultaneously compared to my earlier pieces. Coming from a classical background, but with big nostrils for pop and jazz music, I can now see a thread in which classical got a new costume, dressed up in Buchla synthesizer and real bass sounds” Grippe says.”
Vinyl on demand returns after an 18 month hiatus with a reissue of S.P.K.’s massively in-demand ‘Document III0 1979’ box, surveying the industrial pioneers’ incendiary early trio of 7”, originally self-released on Side Effects
Feral, noisy, and nasty, S.P.K.’s earliest incarnation was a force to be reckoned with. Formed in Sydney, 1978 as an antipodean antibody to convention, the group’s earliest sound echoed the snarl and drive of their European post-punk and industrial counterparts such as Throbbing Gristle, with whom they would come to share line-ups with, and release on their legendary Industrial Records.
These 7”s dokument Graeme Revell, Sinan Leong and co at their most blistering and convulsive, forging a gloriously atonal and overdriven style that would earn them a serious reputation across the world, despite these 7”s only being available in scant editions of 100 each.
Essential picks and listening for all industrial fiends!
Slinky, humid, sexy electro-techno and far-eastern dub tang by Dang Khoa Chau a.k.a. D.K. (L.I.E.S./Melody As Truth/Antinote)
Digging a strong sort of ’89-into-’19 sound, D.K. deals four aces in ‘Mystic Warrior’, swaggering out with the early AGCG or J. Saul Kane vibes in ‘Mystic Warrior’ and the Akira-OST feel of ‘Elements’, then leaning on a style compatible with Muslimgauze or recent Szare riddims with ‘Worries In The Dance’, and hustling that Akira-cinematic feel back into Earth People’.
EchoSpace’s Steven Hitchell slices off two Intrusion Dubs from the previously CD-only Phase90 album
The A-side’s ‘Vinci’ [Intrusion’s Possession Dub)’ sounds like Hitchell recording spirits, with results full of flickering dub artefacts and smudged clangour, driven by a ghostly, pounding kick and wave machine bass.
On the B-side he seamlessly smudges ‘Inzfinitati (Intrusion Remake)’ and ‘Ango (Intrusion Metamorphose)’ into a darker, windswept swell of spirits, like the holiday park ahas fallen into disrepair, the dome’s panes are cracked and the parc is overgrown with foliage like Ballard’s drowned world.
Emotional exploration through sound can become so indulgent that it overshadows the journey.
"JH1.FS3 eschews mining the human condition as mediation, opting for nuanced analysis rather than vanity. Using the seeds of improvisation as their root construct, the duo work without code, vocabulary or genre. Instead, they systematically work as individuals in tandem, using disparate and varied sounds and sources to create gauzy collages of ideas, sound and visceral sense reaction.
Comprised of Frederikke Hoffmeier (Puce Mary) and Jesse Sanes (Hoax, Liebestod), JH1.FS3 delineates a more subtle “cinema of the ear”, and a cold approach to reflecting on experience without leveraging tropes or familiarity.
“We try to reconcile these emotionally massive things in a way that is sincere and measured, but without being sappily diaristic or confessional,” they explain. “A cinematic quality develops really quickly and our attempts to traffic in generalizations, unbiased observers of ‘relationships’ gets turned on its head. We find these sets of unique errors that feel more like Super-8 (film) home footage.”
This transference allows cracks and fissured to be filled in new ways, where error is championed—highlighted as intention rather than happenstance. Throughout Trials and Tribulations, their debut LP for Dais records, the reconnection of idea and experience conducted with surgical diligence becomes a mode to deconstruct familiarity through shade and accident.
With each exposition on Trials and Tribulations, the duo ornately explores the relationship between space and time by reconfiguring the tendrils and fissures that bind them. Percussive oscillations, descant vocals, and deconstructed patterns create fields that vibrate, plunge, and drone. Sequentially, each track contributes a lucid vignette to the larger account, engaging the listener to query where, when, and how they’re being driven. The contrast of the lead single “Aleppo In Headlines,” with its thrusting syncopation to the cautious beauty of “At the Bottom of the Night” compounds and depth and disquisition of the duo’s process."
Reissue of two mesmerising, ‘90s ambient house doozies, salvaged from obscurity by Melbourne’s Left Ear
Both tracks originally appeared on a 4-track 12” released by Shakti Science Records in 1995, but Left Ear has given them the space and time they deserve, cut a side a piece at 45rpm and freshly remastered for optimal effect.
On the A-side, ‘The Dawn of Birds’ is a languid pearl sloshing around on swollen dub bass and wooden percussion while the synths keen and sigh with ancient appeal, leading to a cracking Arabic drum break and back out, like Pablo’s Eye jamming with Bryn Jones. B-side, we’re utterly entranced by ‘Camels In Desert Air’, which uncannily recalls Terry Riley’s ‘Embroidery’, but looped up, filtered, and shackled to a slow house beat.
Reverberating deep techno from Gunnar Haslam (half of Romans with Tin Man), for the deep Dutch port of Delsin
Rolling on from his 2018 12” with Kavalanic Languages, and 2017’s ‘Kalaatsakia’ album, Haslam plays out a minimalist, meditative sound in three parts stretching out from 13 minutes of sonorous bass thrum and plangent chords in ‘Cacique de Poyais’ to the more funked-up baseline mechanics of ‘Port Sommeil’ like a wilder Porter Ricks, then catching a rip-current of quick, colourful techno in ‘Azote du Guano’.
Foundational techno business from 1993, documenting Mark and Moritz pelting ‘em out live at 145bpm at Waschhaus, Potsdam and setting the template for a whole genre.
Phylyps Trak is the one for the DJs.
Free jazz classic ’Vibrations’ - aka ‘Ghosts’ - is the 2nd album by Albert Ayler’s quartet featuring Don Cherry, Gary Peacock and Sonny Murray
This is a facsimile reissue of the original Freedom label pressing, recorded in Copenhagen, September 1964. While out of print in this form for decades, the album has also been made available as free jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler’s ‘Ghosts’. It’s an adventurous, charmingly challenging, 5* free jazz classic.
Unspeakably beautiful dub from Mark Ernestus and Moritz Von Oswald’s Round Five, starring Tikiman, on the Main Street Records series.
Na Fe Throw It was the final instalment of the series, which ran concurrently to their Rhythm & Sound project, and presents brought Main Street Records to a sublime finish with nearly ten minutes of utterly blissed-out, magnetically attractive dub bass and lamenting vocals, also included as a starker dub.
Evergreen music. Every home should own the full set!
Ancestral Voices proceed from ‘Night of Visions’ and ‘Divination’ into the cosmos with ‘Navagraha’, the latest chapter in an increasingly far-out series
“Liam Blackburn’s Ancestral Voices project is a nomadic journey of self discovery, exploring expansion of consciousness through sound. Since it’s inception in 2016 the project has traversed from transcendent ambient to jagged 170 bpm beat experiments over the course of 2 full length LP’s and 3 EP’s. In 2018 Liam launched his own label ‘The Fifth Kingdom’ with the entirely beatless release - Mycelia.
Liam returns to Horo to follow up his second LP ‘Divination’ for the label in 2017 with the next step in his musical evolution - Navagraha. Navagraha means "nine celestial bodies" in Sanskrit. Each ‘Graha’ is a specific vibration and relates to the nine planets of our solar system, as well as the different parts of our body.
In 1978 Hans Cousto, a Swiss mathematician and musicologist discovered the natural law of the cosmic octave as the link between different kinds of periodically occurring natural phenomena, such as the orbit of the planets, the weather, colours, rhythms and tones. For the Navagraha project Ancestral Voices has taken Hans Cousto’s ‘frequency’ of each planet and created a unique tuning system which he uses for each track.
The result is a mixture of Ptolemaic, Pythagorean and other ‘Alternate’ Harmonic scales that can create a profound effect on the consciousness of the listener. Steering away from equal temperament opens up an infinite amount of possibilities and more ‘colours’ to paint the picture with.”
Debonaire disco-house funk from Modern Sun Records’ Marc Friedli a.k.a. Skymark
‘Facing the Funk’ comes in two mixes; the main mix with deeeep, earthy ‘80s boogie-soul vox, and an instrumental highlighting his fructified keyboard chops and percolated percussion.
A hardy perennial, Boards of Canada’s definitive "lost" 1995 debut is back in circulation for the first time in a few years.
Originally dished up on Marcus and Eoin Sanderson’s Music70 label in edition of only 100 copies in 1995, rumour has it that a copy was sent to Clair Poulton at Clear Records as a demo, who passed on it before Skam up in mcr signed up the pair for the Hi Scores 12", Aquarius 7" and eventually 'Music Has The Right To Children', released in conjunction with Warp. By the time Twoism was officially reissued in 2002, people had been known to spend upwards of £500 for original copies if they were lucky enough to find them.
Alongside Hi Scores, Twoism provides the definitive BoC blueprint, melding classic electro tropes with analog synth tones redolent of soundtracks to ‘70s and ‘80s Canadian nature programmes, sowing the seeds of a sound that would beautifully bloom in their classic 1998 side ‘Music Has The Right To Children’. It still takes our breath away today.
Bubbling up from the archive, a brilliantly warped, acidic and intoxicating décollage of soundsystem shrapnel rinsed thru the echo chamber. RIYL Tapes, Raymond Scott, Ennio Morricone, Horsepower Productions
“Shimmering hologram oases belie the bone-dry heat inna this ya ghost-bloodcl@$t-town; When tumbleweed beliefs pose as the only sign of life, it's time to step into Death's saloon; Bust down the dusty double-swinging doors even the Preacher-man dares not enter!
The Bartender has run out of liquor and listening; Sullied Doves have danced their last number; Lawmen, levelled and long-gone, litter the dance floor; Bodied outlaws doubled and draped over the bar. When the only exit is a horse-drawn hearse; Face to face with Death, who will shoot first!?!
Step into this rattlesnake-ridden realm! Dancehall Showdown is a crazy non-place world where 60’s Spaghetti Westerns, 70’s Library Synth Records and 90’s Golden Era Dancehall come together for a death-defying communion inna Yard! The old posse of SKRS and MX7 ride once again under the banner of their co-run label, ICS Library Records, off into the fringes of sound-based reality.
SKRS' OG Papa Coolbreeze reinforces their select palette, "This album is our reiteration of influences ranging from Spaghetti Western era Upsetters to Raymond Scott's Manhattan Research Inc. to early Horsepower Productions. Now the soundtrack we paint, however, is something entirely unique on its own". Simply put: there's NOTHING like it out there!
Full disclosure: this LP has been shelved for well over 3 years now with the sudden disappearance of Oklahoma's now-mythical Digitalis Recordings, who were set to release it hot on the heels of their 2012 SKRS debut LP, TheCallFromBelow. Since then, we've laboured to break more ground and lay several more keystones in the growing SKRS/ICS groundation-foundation in order to withstand its intensifying expanse and weight. Now that the ground has been prepared, we've decided to take Dancehall Showdown back into our own hands and give it the proper love and nurturing we had always intended for it.”
Dark Entries beckon a grip of dark, sexy EBM and slow-mo electro remixes of Greek avant-pop priestess Lena Platonos
In all four cases Lena is smartly reconnected with a new generation of Greek artists. Anatolian Weapons hears ‘Cyaniris’ as a snaky, half-lidded ‘6 A.M. Eternal’ electro workout; Pasiphae resets ‘Araschnia Levana’ as a killer late ‘80s EBM nightstalker; June turns ‘Cyaniris’ into a mercurial slow/fast zinger recalling classic John Foxx and John Carpenter; and Morah flips ‘Τα Γενέθλια Ή’ into a deadly pent-up and nagging dancefloor drill driven by clenched bass arps.
‘And We Are Passing Through Silently’ is the sublime first survey of reworks/remixes by cult synthesist Abul Mogard, including extended reworks of Brian Eno and Gordon Sharp (Cindytalk), Aïsha Devi, Fovea Hex, Penelope Trappes and more.
Arguably one the bigger enigmas in modern synth music, Abul Mogard has established a reputation for his singular synth works, mostly issued by Steve Moore’s VCO and Alessio Natalizia’s Ecstatic label since 2012. Prized for his slow-building, etheric and beatific style of composition, Mogard has also been in demand as a remixer over the years, and it’s in this role that Houndstooth focus upon, rounding up and presenting a handful of his strongest remixes for other artists, including many on vinyl for the first time. In each case Mogard extracts the artist or band’s essence and diffuses it into his own, billowing soundscapes with a time-dilating, meditative and romantic appeal that’s long been at the core of his synthy magick.
Where Abul’s solo work is purely instrumental, his reworks are the only place you’ll find him handling with vocals, and the best of those are found in ‘And We Are Passing Through Silently’. Perhaps understandably, he’s most impressive when working with other veteran souls. This is most clearly apparent on the 2nd disc, offering a stunning expansion of Gordon Sharp’s plaintive vocal in Massimo Pupillo/Becoming Animal’s ‘The Sky Is Ever Falling’ that surely reminds of his earliest work with This Mortal Coil, while he also deeply enchants with a glacial rendering of Fovea Hex and Brian Eno’s ‘We Dream All The Dark Away’ that sounds like it escapes a Clannad Seance in ’89.
Factor in a vertiginous spin of Aïsha Devi’s ‘O.M.A.’, the gently psychedelic rework of Nick Nicely’s ‘London South’, and a sweetly refined mix of Penelope Trappes, and it’s not hard to hear what all the fuss about, especially if you like Alessandro Cortini or Steve Moore!
"Rounding up divine renderings of songs by Aïsha Devi, Penelope Trappes (The Golden Filter) and nick nicely (heralded by luminaries of the US underground Ariel Pink and John Maus), the album culminates with Brian Eno’s collaboration with Irish avant-folk band Fovea Hex.
Also included is Abul’s brand new rework of Becoming Animal’s ‘The Sky Is Ever Falling’ featuring vocals from Cinder (This Mortal Coil/Cindytalk) and Massimo Pupillo on bass (Zu/Thurston Moore/Stephen O’Malley), exclusive to this release.
A must for fans of Alessandro Cortini, Pye Corner Audio, Fennesz, Gas.
Some of the biggest instrumental grime producers test their skills with traditional Ethiopian instruments and time signatures with wicked, prism-pushing results, including the first ever grime track in 3/4. Includes beats by Explicit, JT The Goon, Proc Fiscal, Sir Pixalot, Mr. Virgo, J Beatz, TC$ and many more
"London to Addis is a pioneering Grime instrumental compilation, combining for the first time traditional Ethiopian instruments and an all-star line-up of Grime producers. The release covers the full spectrum of the Grime sound - from the direct percussive bangers of Dexplicit, Ignorants, J Beatz and TC4, melodies of JT The Goon, Wize and Shudan, to the more experimental and abstract sounds of Proc Fiskal and Captain Over. The aim of the project was to bring together the two very different worlds of Grime and traditional Ethiopian Music and explore what can be created by fusing these two styles and exchange knowledge.
Traditional Ethiopian music uses pentatonic scales and different time signatures which inspired the Grime producers to explore and experiment outside of their comfort zone. Tracks such as Ignorants - Uncolonised - the first 3/4 time signature Grime track pays homage to some of Ethiopia's traditional styles and rhythm, whilst incorporating them into a Grime sound.
Recorded over a week in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, the instruments used are just a small sample of the huge range of Ethiopia's rich musical heritage which remains largely undocumented outside of the country. Whilst the music of west-African music from countries such as Ghana and Nigeria are more well known in the UK, Ethiopia's music uniquely combines both African and more Arabic sounds and rhythms as a result of its proximity to the middle east.
The 4 instruments recorded were the Masinko, Krar, Washint, Drums as well as traditional vocalists. The Masinko is a single-stringed fiddle made from horses tail and hide that is throughout Ethiopia by several groups, including the Amhara, the Tigreans and Oromo. The Krar is a traditional 5 stringed lyre. Different techniques such as bowing, strumming and plucking can be used to create a variety of sounds and tones. The Washint is a wooden flute usually made of bamboo with four finger holes. Washint players normally have a large range of flutes to enable them to play in different keys.”
The whole “five band years = a lifetime” biz trope is justified by the second album from Sydney’s Low Life. Arriving with an aura of anticipation, 'Downer Edn' (read: Edition) feels like a collective document of the band's timeline since their unforgettable debut ‘Dogging’; an album which made enough of a mark on the punk landscape in 2014 to justify a reissue on London's Alter in 2017.
"Recorded over two years and mixed in 2018 by Mikey Young (Total Control / Eddy Current Suppression Ring), ‘Downer Edn’ sees the core trio of Mitch Tolman, Cristian O’Sullivan and Greg Alfaro expand their ranks to a five piece. Dizzy Daldal of Oily Boys & Orion was brought in to reinforce the thick wall of guitars, whilst fifth member Yuta Matsumura, also of Oily Boys & Orion, re-joined the group later to free Tolman up as a dedicated front man for live duties. The hours of studio work have resulted in making the band sound more confident and fully realised, reaching for and finding a sound that was perhaps unattainable 5 years prior. However, lurking behind the bigger vision and polished production, ‘Downer Edn’ is a complex proposition and remains a dark blast of an album. Expansive and cohesive, yet shimmering and rough; something they can be proud to call a definitive statement.
As far as Australian punk is concerned, Downer Edition not only shatters the boundaries applied by that descriptor, it does so with the lushest attack conceivable. Like their (admitted) influence, the enigmatic Ohio legends of obscurity, V3, seldom has the f*** word been sung (repeatedly) in such a believable and poetic manner. The visceral pounding of melodies throughout the album transforms their inspirations; desperation, neuroses, trauma, survival, hooliganism, violence, hope, rejuvenation, and their hometown of Sydney’s full architectural and social scope - from a realm of intangibility to the very, very tangible. In the words of Mitch, "We’re influenced by Sydney as a whole, whether it be the hot and muggy concrete streets of the West and South West, the "glorious beaches" of South Sydney, the racial tensions left over from the putrid Cronulla riots of 2006, the pompous and superficial fake tan/ bleached teeth combo suburbs of Bondi, as well as Sydney's iconography: The Harbour, the Bridge, the Opera House, Kings Cross. All the desperation embedded in and around these areas, including the eternal influx of troubled people looking to get into trouble, is our experience and main influence."
Unified on ‘RBB,’ ruminating on ‘92’, chasing the escape on ‘Rave Slave,’ and unwillingly defiant on ‘Warrior,’ Downer Edition reaches past the wild ride of Dogging - this truly is the album that Low Life have been threatening to make for nearly a decade."
Released in conjunction with Goner Records in the USA and Cool Death in Australia.
Killer, mutant techno and brokebeat variegations from FUMU, Turinn, Kassem Mosse, Peder Mannerfelt, Iueke, Broshuda, CVX and many more on Andy Lyster’s Youth label
Congregating friends and label family from the rudest ends of contemporary electronics, ‘Sports’ finds the label consolidating their tastes for neon-flecked, grey area noise and skudged grooves in 16 absorbingly visceral and bittersweet parts.
FUMU follows his cultishly-acclaimed debut CD for Youth with the hardware-wrestled ambience of ‘Assessment’ and the Pump-like metallic roil of ‘FM’, while Modern Love's Turinn provides two salty highlights in the cracnky-ass hip hop lurch of ‘yu dnt’ and his Muslimgauze-like offbeat, ‘ehektrow.’ Also keeping it in the family, Shamos knuckles out the gristly downstroke of ‘7 Man Town’ and Yugen Disciple supplies the album’s very lushest moment with the early ‘00s electronica styles of ‘First Sighting.’
However the set really comes into its own when Youth diversifies its bonds, bringing in a 2nd circle of mutual souls such as Kassem Mosse with the dreamy buoyancy of ’Silica Gel’, the febrile gamelan of Iueke’s ‘ewt’, some tender minimal wave with ‘Ballad D’Amour’ by RVDS, and the clinical rufige of Gischa Lichtenberger, who all lend a broader range of pattern and texture that keeps Youth’s remit thrillingly wide open and unpredictable.
Bay Area’s Ana Roxanne exerts a gently intimate and singular spin on new age ambient tropes, surely set to be hailed among this year’s finest quiet listening missives
“Ana Roxanne is an intersex Southeast Asian musician based in Los Angeles. Born & raised in the Bay Area to immigrant parents, Ana's love for music and singing began through her mother's cd collection of 80's/90's R&B divas. Raised in the catholic church, she became a devout choir nerd and found any opportunity to sing, whether for religious mass, the jazz ensemble of her catholic high school, or karaoke at family gatherings. Her commitment to singing led her to a brief stint at a vocational jazz program in the cornfields of the midwest; in a remote town of 7,000 people, she began a formal study of jazz and classical music. During these years she would tour with various ensembles to beautiful old cathedrals in nearby cities and became enamored with the sacredness of choral music, as well as the enveloping sound of harmony. A near death experience, too, served as a connection between music and spirituality, and music as a healing art after facing tragedy.
In 2013, Ana was also fortunate enough to spend a few months in Uttarkhand, India where she met an incredible voice teacher who introduced her to classical Hindustani singing. Living and studying with this teacher deeply impacted her outlook on the voice as art. It was there that she began to see the singer - the Diva - as a symbol of divinity; that the unique power of one's voice comes from the vulnerability of using the body as an instrument. Be it romance, love, or worship of a deity - in order to access such depths of emotional expression, one must be willing to be intensely vulnerable, lay one's heart in the open air, expose what is kept hidden. This brief study was the catalyst that led her to finish her music study at the experimental Mills College in Oakland, CA, where she began to combine all of these influences into her current self-titled project. This album ~~~ was created during her last years residing in the Bay Area, a tribute to the great musicians who inspired her and the landscape where she spent her formative years.
In addition to the worship of R&B and pop divas, Ana's current practice explores themes of gender & identity. In October of 2018, she decided to come out publicly as intersex, and is dedicated to being a voice for her community and speaking out about social justice for intersex youth.”
New from Sucata Tapes (Discrepant), comes a mini album by Gonçalo F Cardoso's most experimental and retro avant-garde moniker, Papillon.
"After an LP back in 2013 (S/T) and a 2-part tape (Aqueducts) for Dinzu Artefacts in 2016, the Henri Charrière inspired alter ego hasn't been the most prolific of late. He now returns with 7 mini-vignettes full of mood swings, silly 'ambiances' and made up stories to make you dream and wonder (why?). Featuring contributions from Mike Cooper (Guitar) and Yannick Dauby (Field Recs and Modulators).
This mini-album will be the precursor to Papillon's swan song aka final album (Le Banco) to be released on main label Discrepant early 2020. For now recline on your burnt up sofa chair and enter the schizophrenic trip wonderland of Papillon's Cercueill Flottant.
Artwork by the ever talented Evan Crankshaw."
The debut album by Dis Fig.
"While the New Jersey born, Berlin-based artist is best known for her relentless and downright brutal DJ sets, this work comes in at a much different trajectory – an exploration of her own vulnerability through varying degrees of noise, vocal migrations, and orchestral composition.
“'PURGE' is about confronting the feelings which you have been avoiding. Consciously or subconsciously. Feelings you want to be feeling or “should” be feeling but you can’t because your body won’t let you. Because maybe it knows it’s not safe for you.
It’s when you reach that moment which makes your brow furrow because your chest is getting hot and something is about to erupt. When the feeling starts crawling up your neck, choking you, and you could try to make it stop but maybe it’s better for you if you don’t. When what comes out is painful - it’s tragic, it’s crippling. But with it comes a sliver of beauty. It’s burning and it’s stunning. When it’s over, you may learn by staring at the embers.”
If Jodorwsky made an Adult Swim show, the soundtrack may well come out like Meridian Brothers and Pedro Ojeda’s lysergic cumbias as Chupame El Dedo. Frazzled, unhinged, and frankly odd sh*t, this!
“Souk’s fourth release is a daring adventure in global beats. Frequently it comes to mind the universe of Quasimoto, Madlib’s abstract hip hop that sounded delicious in the early 2000s. Chupame El Dedo lives in the same kind of power trip, fuelled by intense salsa rhythms dressed with heavy metal images.That’s where Satan comes into place. The Devil wears many clothes, but none are as multi-coloured and trendy as the ones we see in “No Te Metas Con Satan”. We are advised of that during the first side of the LP. Each song dares the listener, with a multitude of ideas, sometimes dissonant ones, that find their way to make sense. An example? The first song “No Te Metas Con Satan” sounds like a perverted version of “Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?” and when you think it’s over, it starts again, repeating ideas and leaving you extremely confused. What the fuck just happened? Chupame El Dedo happened.
And it goes on. Flip to the other side and “Alexandra Candelaria” says hi. A 7:43 minute long sinful & hilarious soup opera. No-one is ready for this. Laughter mixes with intense head banging, while we listen to what would happen if Jodorowsky made a Cartoon Network show. A damn good one. Maybe it’s a good idea to not mess around with Satan, but you’ll be in serious trouble if you don’t listen to this. Seriously.”
New from Sucata Tapes (Discrepant), comes a new project by Berlin-based artists Pedro Silva (turntable percussion) and Stefan Brunner (guitar and field recordings).
"The Hour of the Wolf is an improvisational piece based on an associative storyline, written by Stefan Brunner and divided into 8 chapters. We invite you to look at the score http://hourofthewolf.org while you play this tape."
Rotherham rave imp Rian Treanor kicks up to Planet Mu for ‘Ataxia’, his debut album following introductory EPs with The Death of Rave and Warp’s resuscitated Arcola sublabel.
Under the title ‘ATAXIA’, chosen literally for its meaning - “the loss of control of bodily movements” - as well as its figurative, asymmetric quality, Rian sequences ramped versions of his tracks for The Death of Rave along with shockingly forward new gear that plays into his love of Dadaist vocal cut-ups. The result is an immensely playful and beguiling album, cannily messing with listeners’ sense of rhythmic anticipation in a dare-to-be-different style that’s tripped up and put a big daft grin on dancefloors everywhere from Boiler Room in Helsinki to Uganda’s Nyege Nyege Tapes festival.
Where his earlier EPs were mostly improvised, Rian spent more time shaping the tracks for ‘ATAXIA’. Taking cues from his mentor and father, eminent sound artist Mark Fell, as well a rich SoYo rave heritage, he sticks to an economical palette, making each stab, drum and pad count in the democracy of the mix. From these relatively simple, if now more refined elements, Rian’s suss comes into play in the structuring, using his background as a visual artist to create disruptive patterns of angular yet fluid syncopation and irregular symmetries that both allow for and connote a sort of hyper-natural order of chaos.
While resembling the styles of speed garage, synth-pop, bleep techno and extreme computer music that he grew up with, Rian’s pointedly mischievous approach jumbles those styles, using the tactility of Max/MSP to rejig them with more unpredictable and playfully wrong-footing effect, embracing the dancefloor’s radical potential to reprogram minds and bodies.
Concepts aside, though, ‘ATAXIA’ is a lot of fun. Rian’s dry Yorkshire humour is in full effect in the cut-up vocals of the openings and closing numbers, while the recursive ballistics of ‘B1’ are bound to tie bodies in knots, ‘C2’ advances his absorbingly intricate melodic sequencing, and the rhymelodic chicanery of ‘D2’ ranks among the most stunning, inexorably funky cuts in his catalogue.
Early 1930s ryukoka recordings from Japanese geisha Kouta Katsutaro.
"Emerging during the early stages of the recording industry in Japan, the ryukoka style adopted some western classical, blues & jazz elements into traditional Min'yo folk music. Kouta Katsutaro would become one of it's most popular proponents, and along with another popular geisha singer, Ichimaru, forms the basis of a period dubbed the "Katsu-Ichi Era”.”
The endlessly inventive Matmos keep abreast of the game in ‘Plastic Anniversary’, their hugely playful and charming follow-up to ‘The Marriage Of True Minds’ 
One of modern dance music’s original deconstructionists, Matmos bring a long and mazy history of conceptualised sonic rearrangement to the table in ‘Plastic Anniversary’. As precedents for the current wave of dance music astringents, they maybe have a lot to answer for, but likewise they also lead the way with their fundamentally rhythm-based style inside, using the most ubiquitous of materials - plastic - to shape a ruck of highly personalised and unconventional songs.
“Taking the concept of “broken beat” literally, “Breaking Bread” is a bouncy digital dancehall number built entirely out of the plucked and twanged fragments of broken vinyl records by the Seventies soft rock group Bread. A mini-suite for plastic container, exercise ball and an amplified DNA kit that recalls both 80s pop and the hectic minimalism of Michael Nyman, “The Crying Pill” stacks frantic patterns of saxophone-like sobs onto deep sub bass stabs that are almost trap. Amplifying squishy synthetic human tissue created by the SynDaver corporation as a substitute for human corpses in medical schools, “Interior with Billiard Balls & Synthetic Fat” pairs squelchy electro made out of gross-out substances with tangy melodic riffs. This odd combination of Cronenbergian body-horror and sunny grooves continues on “Silicone Gel Implant”, a skanking number that works rubbery basslines out of, yes, a breast implant, but by the time the plastic flutes snake into the mix, the source becomes secondary to the trance-like form. Side one closes in a more reflective and somber key, with the title track “Plastic Anniversary”, whose cod-medieval martial drums and horn fanfares recall Matmos’ penchant for anachronism circa “The Civil War” before giving way to a close-mic-ed cascade of plastic poker chips.
If side one is playful and poppy, side two is sharper and darker in its implications, and features more live drumming than any other Matmos album. Things kick off with “Thermoplastic Riot Shield” a single-object study built entirely out of the sound of a police riot shield being stroked, rubbed and struck. The resulting sounds are processed into a tense assemblage of harsh noise, deep dub basslines and jarring cuts of silence. On a squeaky loop straight out of a Jacques Tati film, “The Singing Tube” draws out the pinging resonance of a ten foot long PVC pipe played entirely with plastic toilet brushes, and hits a flanged overtone effect not unlike the string compositions of Arnold Dreyblatt. Bristling with whistles and noisemakers and plastic-gloved handclaps, “Collapse of the Fourth Kingdom” bolts a percussive showcase for the high school marching band playing the signature patterns of drumline and Baltimore club onto jarring edits of LEGO bricks clicking into place and weird smears of processed plastic horns. Since plastic was described by its first developers as a “fourth kingdom” beyond animal, vegetable, and mineral, this track heralds the eventual collapse of the political economy that birthed the oceans of garbage that now choke our world. Thinking the dystopian consequences of plastic through to their post-human conclusion, the final track, “Plastisphere” sounds like a field recording of insects and birds and pattering rain and ocean waves, but is in fact a work of digital sleight of hand: every single sound on this track has been artificially constructed out of samples of bubble wrap, Velcro, plastic bags and straws and, tellingly, an emergency stretcher. After a volatile and vibrant suite of poppy plastic electronics, Plastic Anniversary ends in an acknowledgement of the planetary price yet to be paid.”
Scandinavian isolationists Deaf Center draw a beautiful pall over this decade with ‘Low Distance’, their first album since 2011’s ‘Owl Splinter’, arriving nearly 15 years since their debut couplet of modern classical/ambient masterpieces; the ‘Neon City EP’ and ‘Pale Ravine’.
Low Distance’ returns Erik Skodvin and Otto A. Totland to the shadowy, wintry depths of their early sound, seemingly sequestered in a loft or creaking wooden house in a place where the sun doesn’t rise for 6 months of the year. Their signature palette of ghostly piano gestures, glacial but knife-edge strings and electronics is employed to expectedly beautiful effect, but it’s perhaps the final mixing treatment, uncannily rendered along vertical and horizontal axes at EMS Stockholm, that really brings this record to life, just as integrally as lighting is to a slow burn film noir.
Endearingly working on low batteries throughout the album, their sense of melancholy is patently apparent and deeply intoxicating with it, diffused through the synaesthetic connotations of rain in ‘A Scent’, and through the clammy skin stroking strings of ‘Entity Voice’ before sublimely relieving tension with ‘Undone’. They then broach more textured, abstract electro-acoustic space in the spectral flocking of ‘Gathering’, the album’s extended centrepiece, before touching on midnight jazz notes, sumptuous subs and extended techniques in ‘Red Glow’ like some meeting of Deathprod and Bohren Und Der Club of Gore, and the barely there yet heartbreaking strings of ‘Faded Earth’ attest to their preternatural skill in getting the most from the barest components.
The last section is just immensely powerful in its stark vulnerability and impending tension, holding its emotive line thru the needling hi-register keys and heavy-breathing strings of ‘Movements/The Ascent’, thru the lingering romance of ‘Far Between’, until the quietly jaw-dropping, beautiful solo piano resolution of ‘Yet To Come’, where the hallucinatory nature dissipates and we’re left with starkly vivid, waking realism implied by the track’s title.
Killer dancehall from Brooklyn’s FDM (Flex Dance Music) don Epic B, dropping the follow-up to his ‘Going Modd’ anthem with DJ Lag for Swing Ting
“The original riddim file for Mask On was lost last year in a robbery when Epic had his laptops and hard drives taken at gunpoint. However, a WAV file of this riddim had been bounced prior to this unfortunate event. A year on and the riddim has been reconfigured, chopped and voiced by four amazing artists with it set to blaze up the airwaves this spring and summer!
"Meno" features Eddie Hill a Brooklyn-based artist who collaborated on "Be With Me" from Epic B's acclaimed Late Night FlexN EP. This version was recorded prior to the robbery - thankfully due to Nick Sinna's mastering skills it's been possible to restore this cut for dancefloor devastation. Swing Ting's Samrai travelled to Equiknoxx studios in Vineyard Town, Jamaica in 2018, resulting in two cuts on the riddim. He played Kemikal Epic B's Mask On riddim, who laid down "Walkie Talkie" almost immediately. Alozade, veteran on the Dancehall circuit recorded his version "More Gal" a few days later with help from Gavsborg co-writing the lyric. Hotly-tipped Mancunian MC Lady Ice recorded her vocals at Swing Ting studios, after which Epic chopped the vocals in his inimitable FDM style, turning them into the final version of "I'm the One”.”
3rd eye-poking psych treks from members of Sunburned Hand of the Man and Pharaoh Chromium; Paul Lebrecque and Ghazi Barakat. Killer Arabic drum breaks underpin extended, cosmic-minded synth and guitar explorations. RIYL Sun City Girls, Muslimgauze, Morphosis
“After excessive years in rock bands like THE GOLDEN SHOWERS or his solo project BOY FROM BRAZIL, time had come for the German-Palestinian artist GHAZI BARAKAT to develop a new aesthetic – the birth of his alias PHAROAH CHROMIUM where BARAKAT creates "meta-music for meta-people in a meta-world", or in other words:a mutoid blend of post-krautrock, psychedelism, free jazz, ancient rituals, science fiction and electronics. So far the Berlin based sonic performer released a couple of solo albums on labels like GRAUTAG or TAPEWORM and a triple LP with krautrock legend GÜNTER SCHICKERT. For his latest output he decided to simply use his civilian name BARAKAT, as does PAUL LaBRECQUE (SUNBURNED HAND OF THE MAN) who contributesguitar and synthesizer to the two side-long tracks. "Jajouka Pipe Dream" is a clear reference to the MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA, with lots of flutes and percussion, a very rhythmical, ritualistic track, while "Planet R-101" turns out a spacey trip with elements of krautrock and Kosmische Musik / Berliner Schule.
What may sound contradictionary on paper functions perfectly on LP - freeform / free-floating music, absorbing and integrating a wide range of influences and inspirations, sounds and styles – and highly psychedelic!”
Reissue of The Fall’s ninth studio album, Bend Sinister, originally released in 1986. This edition is titled Bend Sinister/The 'Domesday' Pay-Off Triad-Plus!
"It was the last of three albums in a row produced by John Leckie and was named after a dystopian novel by Vladimir Nabokov.
After the universal acclaim for the previous year’s This Nation’s Saving Grace, Bend Sinister often stands in its predecessor’s shadow. It is a dark, brooding album made at the height of the group’s Beggars Banquet years and many people include this at the top of the list of favourite Fall albums."
Arch techno goth Vatican Shadow delivers Berghain’s annual mix, vacillating new and vintage selections with cherry-picked cuts from his unrivalled collection of industrial cassette rarities.
Vatican Shadow is a relatively late stage alias for Dominick Fernow, who unmistakably made his name as noise beast Prurient and boss of Hospital Productions since 1997. As the noise scene ran out of conceptual energy around 10 years ago, Dominick found his calling on the ‘floor, forming Vatican Shadow as a vent for his rhythm-focussed industrial music concerns. The project would coalesce around militant drum patterns that found their way into various DJ sets, and Vatican Shadow became a key part of the whole industrial/EBM/darkwave resurgence witnessed over the best part of this decade.
With ‘Berghain 09’ Fernow makes his influences and affiliations explicit across the mix and in two accompanying EPs of exclusive gear, collected here. Opening and closing with Genesis P-Orridge mantras ‘Ritual Music’ and ‘One Being, One Orientation, One Power’, he trawls rolling EBM/techno from Juan Mendez (Silent Servant) as Los Angeles Death Cult, the blitzkreig of ‘Venom Timetables’ with Ancient Methods and Regis’ Ugandan Methods, and the agitated pound of ‘Decontrol’ from JK Flesh, while Hospital Productions' Alberich slams out the thistly banger ‘Werkstatt’ along with ‘Colt Neck’ from Ron Morelli, and a handful of distended noise loops by Merzbow.
Lakker find their voice on ‘Época’, remerging after a two year hiatus in which they explored solo projects, Arad and Eomac, to bend cues from John Cage, traditional Irish instruments, and the raw immediacy of Nyege Nyege Tapes to their noisy will
“Following a restorative creative break to pursue their own solo projects (as Arad and Eomac respectively) the duo finally returned to the studio, finding themselves working more closely than ever before. "We wrote this record together, in the studio as a duo." Ian explains "Previous records involved a lot of time working on tracks individually, but Época was written almost entirely together in the studio - it felt much more fun, more organic and democratic." We allowed it to happen rather than push or pressure it" Dara adds.
The natural evolution of the tracks and their rougher, looser production sound parallels the duo's interest in two separate ideas: ambient and natural sound, especially the background noise - a sense of time and place - that is inherent in old recordings of folk and classical music; and an interest in herd dynamics and flock patterns / murmurations, both in the natural world and in human society. The movements which affect the world at large through cultural and political shifts. "Like the first starling that causes a wave in a murmuration," Ian explains "We are really interested in how this is also reflected in human society - a new idea appears and then reaches critical mass and resonates through society as a whole, and change happens (positive or negative)."
The rich and deep work of Época finds the duo reinvigorated from their hiatus, using their own voices extensively for the first time, alongsides regular vocal collaborator Eileen Carpio. As Dara explains "We had been experimenting with our own voices in our solo music, so it felt like this was the moment to step out from behind the curtain and put our own vocals front and centre in a more natural way". This leads to an at times more melodic and poppier feeling, balanced out by the off kilter rhythms and blasts of feedback and weathered reverbs that intertwine throughout the record.
Once again the duo look to the outside world for sonic inspiration. Alongside the use of physical modelling synths the album contains recordings and samples of violin, guitar and bodhrán, the stringboard of a piano at EMS Stockholm, phone recordings of family gatherings in Dublin and 1970’s dance music from Jaipur.”
Peder Mannerfelt joins Modeselektor’s resurrected label, Seilscheibenpfeiler, for the cyberpunk techno joyride of ‘Life Without Friction’
On the title cut he nails redlit techno style right between the eyes of Levon Vincent, Roska and Kowton, whereas the scrambled meter and epic pads of ‘Lucid In The Sky’ reels off into space between late ‘90s Somatic Responses and Autechre with heavily arresting impact. ’Un-Air’ follows like something from the first Errorsmith album before flexing some fancy chords, and ‘Hold The Line’ melts out into a lushly dissociative power ambient state.
Man can seemingly do no wrong right now. This is ace!
Outernational fever dream psychedelia and free jazz from Portugal on Discrepant’s Sucata sublabel
"It could as well be an ethnographic soundtrack from another planet as the trio of Mestre André (saxophone, electronics), Bernardo Álvares (contrabass) and Raphael Soares (drums) dwelve deep into the outer realms of what jazz/electronics music can sound like.
Urban shamanism, magical practices and ancient/future world views collide in unsuspecting ways on this out there tape.
An unique sound from an unique trio, 'Alförjs has a very special place among what is out there of more intriguing and radical in this final stretch of the 21st century's second decade."
‘Moto Perpetuo’ is an absorbing study on impossible physics from drummer Michael Anklin and producer Kilchhofer for the carefully plotted Marionette label
Following the tangled paths of their previous releases, including Burnt Friedman’s roiling percussions, Soundwalk Collective’s textured field recordings, and Max Loderbauer’s abstract synthesis, Kilchhofer & Anklin combine all the above into the mazy energy transfers of ‘Moto Perpetuo’, where the duo strive to manifest the idea of ‘Moto Perpetuo’, or perpetual motion - where no energy is lost but also where energy is constantly being created - in a series of kinetic electro-acoustic environments informed by the natural world.
“A fluid concept of time where the Rhythmic Pulse constantly shifts is at the heart of the record.The idea was to create an instrument where acoustics and electronics are interconnected and dependent on each other. The smallest disturbance could sway the entire system out of order. This idea of a circular motion was at the center of the recording process and is also reflected in the artwork which resembles a topographical view of a closed natural habitat.
Kilchhofer and Anklin draw inspiration mainly from their rural surroundings, mountain landscapes where natural overtones and stumbling rhythms navigate through high plateaus and velds to stony ravines and wooden trails - on a never ending quest for an "ur-klang“; a primordial, ancestral music.”
‘Mãe D’Água’ is a live recording of Lisbon’s Mestre André (laptop) and Carlos Godinho (objets) conducting research into aural alchemy, using an array of hand-played objects and the vast reverb of an old water tower in the centre of Lisbon to conjure this naturalistic but surreal 30 minute soundscape.
"Banha da Cobra is a project of Lisbon based artists Mestre André (laptop) and Carlos Godinho (objects). Stream of research and electroacoustic sound intervention, Banha da Cobra starts from the sonic imaginary of handcrafted, ritualistic and traditional activities and landscapes. The compositions are made as sound ruins, based on an ecology between the sustainability of the sound nature of the found - structures, places, objects, etc. - and their appropriation and transformation.
The collecting inherent in this project of archaeological character is complemented with processes of alchemical manipulation like musical creation in real time. On Mãe D'Água, Banha da Cobra present a live recording of their concert/performance on a 4x4 channels system at Mãe d’Água, 21st of September 2018 within the context of Lisboa Soa festival. Mãe D'Água (Mother of Water) is an old water reservoir located in the center of Lisbon. It used to be the main reservoir for Lisbon being fed by a massive 19th Century aqueduct."
Lush, floating vocal studies and diaphanous ambient electronic from Alis, the artist who used to be known as Subeena.
‘Paper cuts’ is a pleasant experience, convecting a meditative vibe between her Aïsha Devi-alike ritual ‘Papercuts’, the anaesthetised space and harmonic hues of ‘BCC: me’, and the blue/grey skied atmosphere in ‘Rely (Could I)’, before shifting into more blunted, folksy ambient-pop dimensions with the etheric ‘Status’ and the glossolalic keen of ‘water’.