Bristol–based composer Ryan Teague presents a suite of seven extended compositions that incorporate cinematic arrangements and cutting edge sound design within an algorithmic framework to striking effect. The resulting pieces combine elements of neo-classical, post–rave, and soundtrack music, to create a contemporary soundscape balanced by almost architectural use of space and restraint.
"The musical structure is derived from a custom–written algorithmic system that sequences harmonic and rhythmic events in ever–shifting patterns. Hyperreal electro-acoustic phrases and digitally synthesised fragments come and go in continual rotation, re-framed and re-contextualised by their proximity to other events in the sequence as the compositions evolve. The effect evokes a minimalist bricolage, hypnotic and kaleidoscopic in nature, and calls to mind artists such as Oneohtrix Point Never, The Haxan Cloak and Ital Tek.
At the same time, a core theme running throughout the record is a masterly use of absence and inertia influenced by the Japanese concepts of ma (間 - negative space) and the enso (円相 - circle), which serve to complement and counterbalance the diverse sound palette. By integrating these qualities, tension is built and resolved in equal measure, creating a dramatic sonic impression where fragmented rhythms, dynamic textures, subsonic basses, and delicate ambience all coexist. Recursive Iterations is a bold, powerful, and unique work that pushes sonic boundaries whilst revealing more with each listen."
Class new batch of low-key dance & pop cover versions by Nathan Jenkins (Bullion) and friends including Camila Fuchs, Georgia, Jovial, Kreme, Nathan Micay, C.A.R. and more
Proceeding from Jenkins’ loveably daft remix of the Blue Peter theme, the ‘4 Down’ set lives up to his Deek label motto “Pop, not slop!” in 11 parts sequenced to get under the skin and leave silvery ohrwurm trails inside your lugs.
Tasking each artist with “singing a song you wish you’d written”, the results return canny highlights in Bullion’s own dancehall/reggaeton-toned production for Joviale’s take on ‘Storm’ by Rare Silk, his lean groove for Westerman’s Arthur Russell-esque cover of ‘Kathy’s Song’ by Paul Simon, and Nautic’s gauzily harmonised flip of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Only Over You’, while other highlights come in Kreme’s bittersweet spin on ‘Missing You’ by Larry Heard, and the strung out System Olympia take on Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You.’
Visionary producer/engineer/performer Craig Leon yields a a bonus vocal version to a highlight of ‘The Canon — Anthology Of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 2’.
The sublime original is a centrepiece of Leon’s 2nd album for RVNG Intl, the follow-up to their expanded reissue of ‘Nommos’, and the new vocal version picks up on the extra-terrestrial Nommos theme with an additional narration from Leon, who speaks about their genesis story and links to the Dogon people of Mali.
Mexico City’s keen-eared Umor Rex illuminate Sol Oosel’s physical, emotive style of synthesis for the latest addition to their swelling catalogue of great work by everyone from Kara-Lis Coverdale to Rafael Anton Irisarri.
“Sol Oosel presents an album with a complex mixture of tones and structures, striking a close relation between a sort of devotional music and a trancelike state. Beyond his own specific exploration of the possibilities of electronic modular synthesis, Sol Oosel searches for hacks in different states of consciousness by way of sound.
En allégeance à l'inconnaissable - Une étude en chorégraphie pour le flux d'énergie is meant as a musical aid for visualizing the ability to dance with and manipulate attainable flows of energy. Largely produced using modular synthesizers and the Roland SH-09, Sol Oosel stretches beyond the fields of ambient music, adding a special sense of drama to this psychoactive journey. Each song is built around solid structures and infused with a mystical atmosphere. Harmonically, this album is close to Hans-Joachim Roedelius' early works; it is emotionally positive, informed by pop nuances that are rarely found in this type of ambient music. Sol Oosel also owes to the works of Klaus Schulze; however, while Schulze was concerned with space and made music of the unknown but conceivable cosmos in his mind, Sol Oosel is more interested in Earth and the force that weighs us down in this complex physical reality. His music speculates on the relationships between inner and outer worlds. En allégeance à l'inconnaissable... is a soundscape and a choreographic exercise for relaxation, intentionally disrupted by "Here (Au Bord De L'Univers)", a deconstructive piece covered in multiple layers of repetition, progressive beats and kosmische pulsation which detours from the flow. In a way, it represents the bridge between all these cosmic and earthly energies.
This is Sol Oosel’s debut on Umor Rex. He previously self-released the album Janus, and was member of several bands and projects before focusing in Sol Oosel. He lives in the rural village of Tepoztlán, México, where he works as an artist, performer, sculptor, sonic landscaper, and dancer.”
Highest grade, up-top-the-nano-second club gear from London’s Shygirl, produced by Sega Bodega
Helium-pitched vocal indents split the difference between ’93 happy hardcore and early Kayne, while Shygirl gives it nimble bitchy fastchat on the ruggedest southern rap beats. Addictive.
Great ambient dub techno abstraction from uon, the newest moniker of Ryan Fall aka Caveman LSD and DJ Paradise, following superb pair of releases in the same vein for Barcelona’s Anòmia with this, his debut vinyl release - massively tipped if yr into Rhythm & Sound.
Stalking terrain familiar to Wanda Group, Pole, Xth Réflexion, DeepChord, the zlo EP captures a wickedly paradoxical sense of movement within static sound in four parts: meshing cooling pads with mercurial kinetics in the title cut, and pushing off into opiated, subaquatic zones with kosm, and hypnotically stumbling up/down an endless Escher staircase with the gravity defying dynamics of suB1, and diffusing your bone into deep space on kissing.
Prime material, all 35 minutes of it. Don’t sleep on this beauty!
Following dissolution of the Yussef Kamaal project, Kamaal Williams a.k.a Henry Wu spreads his jazz charms solo on a debonaire début The Return, delivered via his newly minted Black Focus label. The spectres of ‘70s jazz fusion are felt strongly on this one, but updated with a rugged South London vibe that will bring feet to the ‘floor and see some heads get hot under the collar. RIYL Dego, Floating Points, Gilles Peterson
“The Return is a natural evolution from the Yussef Kamaal project, mining the influence of visionary jazz but blended with all kinds of texture, sounds and signals from the over-saturated London streets.
Notable tracks for old and new listeners are ‘Salaam', 'Situations', 'Medina', 'LDN Shuffle' which features Mansur Brown (of Mansur's Message) and for those die hard Yussef Kamaal fans - they should hear the interpolated roots of 'Strings of Light' in the title track 'The Return’. And that signature Wu Funk can be heard on 'Broken Theme', and 'High Roller'.
The Return is the debut album released on Wu's new label Black Focus Records.”
Body-chewing abstract techno of the kind that really gets between your teeth - fresh from the machines of Germany’s by-now legendary Siegmar Fricke - a producer who has been active for 4 decades and still going strong, out now via Hamburg’s excellent V I S label.
Toiling under the Pharmakustik moniker that’s been his main hood since 2009, ‘Propulsion’ deftly dices with ideals of inexorable forward motion that have driven techno and electronic dance music over the past three decades. He’s been at it since the late ‘80s at the least, so he surely knows a thing or two about this stuff, and more importantly has worked out how to really get within the structure and f#ck with it from the inside-out.
Cannily following suit with the ‘Yield’ tape by Herron - another artist who’s recently got to grips with his style - and also compatible with the likes of L. Lund’s mutant moves on Youth, the five tracks of ‘Propulsion’ diffract the idea of forward motion in as many ways. From the gritty brownian slosh of the first, to the 2.1-step origami of the 2nd part, thru the Autechrian refusal/acceptance of linearity in the 3rd, to the fine-tuned robotic mechanics of the 4th cut, and the persistently morphing algorithmic swagger of the 5th part, this one’s a must for all hard-to-satisfy ravers with three feet and extra hips.
Hard-body synth-pop genius from SOPHIE, cooking up the 1st of two face-glazing 12”s completing her Product album after the Bipp / Elle session and Lemonade / Hard.
From the initial rush and drip-off, Msmsmsm hits with ambassador-grade narcotic potency before launching into this year’s freakiest EBM trap bounce and coldest, clammiest peak.
On the flip, Vyzee is an el3ctro-house hymn to jackin’ off your nut, soused in fluoro alco-pop impurities and warped ‘floor suss.
Pharoah ‘Farrell’ Sanders (born 1940) is a leading figure in the world of jazz and one of the last living legends with connections to players like Sun Ra and John Coltrane. His tenor saxophone playing has earned him royal status amongst free jazz players, critics and collectors.
"Originally Sanders was interested in urban blues music, but his high school teacher exposed him to jazz and this took Farrell in an entirely new direction. Once completing high school Sanders quickly packed his belongings and headed to Oakland, where he got a chance to work with musicians of high caliber such as saxophone players Sonny Simmons and Dewey Redman (who were both later to be major forces in new jazz and free jazz). Soon the young Pharoah would meet John Coltrane and would feel being attracted to the life as a professional musician. By the early sixties Sanders moved to New York where the major jazz scene was happening. Here he’d spent most his time honing his skills at rehearsals with Sun Ra….sadly he was not making much money with the Arkestra and soon found himself living on the streets, trying to stay up all night playing and then scrounging for money during the day, often selling blood to eat.
Sanders recorded his debut album for ESP soon after, but it wasn’t until he started playing with his old friend John Coltrane that he would fully unleash the fury of his saxophone on the world of free jazz. The records Pharoah Sanders played on for Coltrane laid the foundation of what was to come for both the world of free jazz and for Sanders as a musician. After Coltrane’s tragic death Sanders would record further with Alice Coltrane, John’s widow, on the album Karma (1969 – Impulse!), which is universally accepted as Sanders’ masterpiece. Along with musicians Alice Coltrane and singer Leon Thomas, Sanders helped to create the genre of spiritual jazz.
By this point in his career & on the album we are presenting you today (Moon Child, recorded in 1989), Sanders had largely withdrawn from the kind of screeching avant-gardism on which he at first staked his reputation. Here Sanders plays with an all-star line-up consisting of Stafford James (Sun Ra) on bass, William Henderson (Roy Ayers) on piano, & Eddie Moore (Sonny Rollins) on drums. Moon Child, with its attractively spacy vocals, is reminiscent of the days of “The Creator Has a Master Plan,” and this mood is kept throughout the album and in the choice of cosmic tunes represented on it.
On this album the legendary saxophonist clearly reinvented himself as a more traditional improviser, capable of thoughtful and pensive deliberations. Catchy mystical New Age vocals, astrological references… Pharoah may remain an acquired taste, but few jazzmen can equal his unique formula of mastering the ‘groove’."
Sophie lands on Numbers with two razor-sharp shots of electro futurism.
'BIPP' comes off like the prodigious child of Miami Freestyle reared on AFX's 'Windowlicker' and a diet of sugar-glazed silicon; a stunning mutation of cybernetic pop syncopation. 'Elle' is its conjoined cyborg sibling, mute apart from the ability to whistle like Goodiepal's mechanical bird and so painfully beautiful that to experience it's saccharine, sliding string glissandi and elegant contours is akin to staring at the strobing eyes of a dancefloor medusa and exploding to a cloud of MDMA crystals and champagne fizz. Or something. We think it's really very good, you know.
Ancient sounding folk music and Soviet songs from south of Russia, in the only region of Europe where Buddhism is the most practiced religion.
“In early November 2014 we went to Kalmykia. Our goal was the local “Dzhangar” epic. The epic genre, as one of the most archaic, can be called a basis for Kalmyk music culture. Not so long time ago among Kalmyks there were their own professional epic storytellers - Dzhangarchi who as a socio-artistic institute today are practically absent: repertoire of modern folk singers mostly consists of late folk art of the Soviet era. But as usual in our search we did not ignore these more recent forms of traditional music that allowed us to find very valuable material. One week spent in Kalmykia was filled with meetings and record sessions. And, as we see it, the most interesting and the richest one was the day spent in the village of Bulgun (officially known as Troitskoe).
We met up with Maria Beltsikova and Tatiana Dordzhieva in this village. The energetic and charismatic grand mammas are winners of various music competitions, in the recent past they have been frequent guests of national holidays and official events. In addition both of them are self-taught grown up in conditions of respect for traditions. On the day of our meeting we were able to record more than twenty songs. In the repertoire of Maria and Tatiana there have been religious Buddhist songs, droning laments, ceremonial wedding songs, heroic ballads about Kalmyks in the Patriotic War 1812, and, of course, Soviet folklore. The songs of the “red” period was presented with a variety of songs: praising the Communist Party and workers of the collective farms and songs about the deportation of Kalmyks in 1943-1944.
Tatiana and Maria know well this period of time - with their own bitter experience: with their relatives and neighbors they were deported to Siberia. Also this album contains several songs composed by Tatiana Dordzhieva. In addition to the a-capella performance, in some of the songs you can hear traditional Kalmyk dombra playing. Maria Beltsikova is the person playing this instrument.”
Oceanic, washed-out ambient serenity from Eye Nono, channelling American new age via public access TV synth soundtracks and a rich tradition of Australian ambient music.
Respectfully written on land stolen from the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation - what is now known as the coastal area of the Sydney basin, NSW - ‘My Blue Horizon’ is a charmingly subtle and sweetly sincere demonstration of Eye Nono’s skills with analog synthesis, which enables him to evoke his subject with impressive tactility and impressionistic detail.
It’s entirely instrumental, right down to the sound of waves on the shoreline and colourful birds in the imaginary Eucalyptus trees, but the fact that it took us a few minutes to clock this, and maybe you too, is surely evidence of the artist’s natural way with filtering envelopes and tweaking nobs to brign his imagination to fruition.
Starting out very subtly, like an old tape of new age music, the session’s energies grow in small steps from the warm breeze melody and woozy kosmiche pads of the title track, to the lilting pulse of ‘Nibble’ and steel drum-like voices on New Atmosphere’, before beautifully blushing the harmonic glow of ’Shining Light’ and tremulous traces of early 0PN and Emeralds in creamy wash of ‘Another Day’ and the whirligig ‘One.’
It's a veritable bonanza for all the Disco loving kids right now in a market flooded with edits, revisions and reissues. This is one of the strongest and most hilarious reissues we've had in recently with the irresistable NY '78 styles of Buari's 'Disco Soccer'.
Disco Soccer in Sidiku Buari's own words is "...a brand new dance - also called, THE SPIRIT OF SPORTS DANCE. The most important part of this dance is the footwork of the steps. Just Remember, the "Soccer ball" is the drum beat of every disco beat, as well as this new dance - so, follow the drum beat and you will find it easy to dance. Hand swinging, head shaking, body moving, slightly kicking, jumping and stepping is a part of this dance", who are we to argue? If this LP makes you half as happy as the guy dancing with a topless broad in football boots on the cover, you'll be having a disco orgasm.
Berceuse Héroïque wheel out the heavy artillery with Pinch’s rude debut barrage for the bass and techno outpost - one of his baddest since those early Swamp 81’s at start of this decade.
Making his first trample of 2019, Pinch keeps it topical with the grimacing and soggy dread march of ‘Border Control’, coming off like a late ‘90s Virus workout remodelled for basements full of hooligans stomping their ugly sneakers into rave slush - you know the tread - before ‘Fortune Tellers’ spins us right back to Pinch’s 2010 steamers ‘Croydon House’ and ‘Retribution’ but with added time lag in a proper piece of UK bass/techno, while ‘Loose Cables’ sees him unbuckle the modular and let it all slop out in a sort of frazzled, drunken stagger that will churn the ‘floor to mush.
Murder business. For serious bassbin use only!
Exquisite ear candy from SOPHIE on Numbers.
Every bit as addictive as her debut and the 'Bipp/Elle' 12", these two feel even more sculpted, dynamic, kerning and canting every millisecond of material to visceral, kawaii effect. 'Lemonade' is just under two minutes of visionary pop architecture coming off like Florian Hecker doing J-Pop with Scratcha DVA, whilst the slow-fast hyperfunk of 'Hard' crams a delirious amounta synaesthetic detail into 3 minutes of accelerated dance-pop topped with fetishistic lyrics about platform shoes and latex from an unknown vocaloid.
It's sickeningly strong stuff. Mind yer dosage…
2nd of two essential 12”s completing SOPHIE’s year-defining Product album, containing the blinding DJ tool L.O.V.E. and bon jobby stadium pop peak of Just Like We Never Said Goodbye.
The Evol-esque mentasm of L.O.V.E. is a staple of SOPHIE’s live shows, commonly used as a bridge between the big pop hitters but also more than standing out as a highlight in its own right.
Just Like We Never Said Goodbye is a stadium anthem for 2015; hopefully the kind that will be played in Wetherspoons’ in 20 years when all the old ale drinkers die and they reinstall jukeboxes.
Timely survey of early electronic wonders from Utrecht’s esteemed Institute Of Sonology, including pioneering pieces by Gottfried Michael Koenig and Konrad Boehmer that paved the way for future advancements by Roland Kayn, Jaap Vink, Leo Küpper
Originally issued on CD in 2001 and now on 2LP, ‘Institute Of Sonology 1959-1969’ covers the formative years of Utrecht’s famed facility for concrète and electronic music composition. Nowadays a part of Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the institute was founded on September 1st, 1960 with high end technical equipment from the electronic music Laboratories of Phillips Research, Eindhoven. Initially called STEM (STudio Voor Elektronische Muziek), the institute came into being under the artistic direction of Gottfried Michael Koenig (who had previously worked at Cologne’s WDR studio, assisting Stockhausen among others), and would be recognised among the premier European hotspots for advanced electronic music composition.
In recent years attention has been directed to the Institute Of Sonology via unarchived and reissued seminal works from Roland Kayn and Jaap Vink, who both made some of their most fascinating recordings at the institute during the late ‘70s and early ’80s. This set surveys the decade before that vital work, notably including a rare vinyl pressing of Gottfried Michael Koenig’s pioneering, 17’ computer composition ‘Funktion Orange’, as well as Konrad Boehmer’s 15’ microcosmic maelstrom, ‘Aspekt’, both of which patently still hold up next to modern noise musick, while the rest of the set rings from the slippery wormhole dynamic of Frits Weiland’s ‘Studie In Lagen Impulsen’, to Ton Bruyel’s ‘Reflexen’, which sounds like a Burmese drum falling down an endless Escher staircase, while Rainer Riehn’s 20’ ‘Chants Du Maldorer’ piece presents a wild belch of abstract concrète darkness.
RIYL AFX, NYZ, Russell Haswell, Pita, Jim O’Rourke, Kevin Drumm, Markus Schmickler.
‘Patience’ is the aptly titled debut solo vinyl delicacy by New Mexico’s Theodore Cale Schafer, a quietly rising figure of the new American ambient sphere whose music we first heard on Huerco S’ RA mix.
Beautifully recalling the sublime instrumental tension of Elodie and Sarah Davachi as much as the hypnagogic electronics of the West Mineral crew, Schafer’s first vinyl release follows handfuls of tapes and CDs since 2015 for the likes of Angoisse and Lynn to render a spectrally elusive sound that perfectly fits Students of Decay’s hazy aesthetic.
Based and recording in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Schafer’s sound is suitably slow and wide open like the sun-beaten dusty landscape he inhabits. Neatly summed up as “narcoleptic and bristling with grit and light” in the press release, his sound recalls to us evening in hotter places than Manchester, when the sun dips but the world still glows with a lingering, purply phosphorescence.
Murky location recordings infiltrate and merge with electronics and washed-out strings and warm breeze chorales in opener ‘Gold Chain’, setting a delectable tone that flows thru the pealing, attack-shorn keys of ‘No Piano’ and the crackling dust mite shimmer of ‘Hunter’ with its achingly romantic, Jelinek-style drone loops. The other half then settles into the evening proper with cicadas and noctilucent pads drawing eyes to half mast across the B-side, as though we’ve fallen akip with TV in the background while we’re blissfully unaware that alien visitors have been peering in thru the windows of our dusty desert villa.
Really V good this.
Laurel Halo lands on Latency with a cinematic suite featuring Oliver Coates on cello and drums by Eli Keszler.
Making her first move since 2017’s remarkable ‘Dust’ album, Laurel takes inspiration from her score work for Metahaven and Ursula Le Guin’s translation of the ‘Tao Te Ching’ in pursuit of a quieter, more tactile and elusive sound, moving deeper into a sort of twilight avant jazz realm that calls to mind the recently uncovered Luc Ferrari salvo on Alga Marghen as much as flashes of Conlon Nancarrow and the diaphanous swirl of Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas.
It's immediately obvious that this is a special release in Laurel’s catalogue. Two 10 minute works bookend the release; the sublime title track with its oneiric mesh of woodwind, early electronic music gestures, and almost funeral organ; and at the opposite end, a stunning symphonic piece that unmistakably recalls Gas, but also unlocks that sound’s potential from the grid thanks to Keszler’s free meter and an embrace of kaotic harmony deeply rooted in Derrick May and Carl Craig’s Detroit classics.
But that’s not to discount the bits in between; they’re also brilliant. From her pairing of Keszler’s inimitable snare rushes with dark blue keys and smudged, plasmic electronics in ‘Mercury’, to something like Mark Fell commanding an underwater gamelan orchestra in ‘Quietude’, and the rapid flux of keys in ‘The Sick Mind’, this one has us rapt from every angle.
Brother From Different Mothers mint their Homemade Soundsystem sublabel with two dancehall mutations by pivotal Parisian player Krikor
Switching patterns after self-releasing two soundtracks on tape (including the ace ‘Building Arnold Schwarzenegger) and a brace of scuzzy electro for L.I.E.S., Krikor picks up on prevailing dancehall vibes on both sides, working up a wicked late ‘90s-style ragga bogle with the wheezy, ruddy shunt of ‘Gun Shot Riddim’, and then on a crafty sort of digi-dancehall rub nodding to Chip E’s early Chicago club anthem as much as Prince Jammy in ‘It’s (Not) House.’
Finnish electro player Mesak oscillates drily funky and romantic electro on Orson Records - the label co-founded by Transparent Sound’s Orson Bramley
‘Mihi’ gets into it with a stealthy transition from cold, bleeping electro abstraction to late night mode; ‘’Kuta’ strikes out into slower, distorted industrial electro framework; ‘Huru’ tightens up the drums but allows the bass to flow out in a nimble style recalling classic, robotic Bitstream; and ‘okra’ keeps it simple on a slinky Miami-style 808 pivot layered with shivering breaks, warm pads, and underwater acid rip-currents.
So this one’s been a lonnnnnng time coming. The Nurse With Wound List is a by now legendary list of artists and bands that original Nurse With Wound members Steven Stapleton, John Fothergill, and Heman Pathak included on their debut album 'Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella' (1979) and then expanded on 'To the Quiet Men from a Tiny Girl (1980)'. In the 40 years since the list was first published, it’s become something of a shopping list for collectors of outsider and avant-garde music - with many of the names on it only becoming known in recent years - and many still completely unkown. On this first volume of a new series, Finders Keepers undertake the massively rewarding task of issuing as much of the list in a series of themed volumes, kicking off with ‘France’. Wigs will be flipped with this lot, including deadly psych downbeats by Igor Wakhevitch, lysergic wooze by Jean Cohen-Solal, Pierre’s Henry’s haunting ‘Générique (Thème De Myriam)’, the joyful voodoo of Horrific Child, and syncopated machine rhythms by Jean Guérin.
“After years of mythology, misinterpretation and procrastination Nurse With Wound’s Steven Stapleton finally chooses Finders Keepers Records as the ideal collaborators to release “the right tracks” from his uber-legendary psych/prog/punk peculiarity shopping list known as The Nurse With Wound List, commencing with a French specific 'Volume One' of this authentically titled 'Strain Crack Break' series. Featuring galactic Gallic rarities (previously presumed to be imaginary red herrings) this deluxe double vinyl dossier demystifies some of the essential French free jazz and Parisian prog inclusions from the alphabetical “dedication” inventory as printed the anti-bands 1979 industrial milestone debut.
When Steven Stapleton, Heman Pathak and John Fothergill’s anti-band Nurse With Wound decided to include an alphabetical dedication to all their favourite bands on the back of their inaugural LP the notion of creating a future record dealers’ trophy list couldn’t have been further from their minds. By adding a list of untravelled European mythical musicians and noise makers to their own debut release of unchartered industrial art rock they were merely providing a suggestive support system of existing potential likeminded bands, establishing safety in numbers should anyone require sonic subtitles for Nurse With Wound’s own mutant musical language. Luckily for them, the record landed in record shops in the midst of 1979’s memorable summer of abject apathy and its sound became a hit amongst disillusioned agit-pop pickers and artsy post-punks, thus playing a key role in the bourgeoning “Industrial” genre that ensued.
On the most part, however, the list , like most instruction manuals, remained unreadable, syntactic and suspiciously sarcastic… As potential “real musicians” Nurse WIth Wound became an Industrial music fan’s household name, but in contrast many of the names on The Nurse With Wound List were considered to be imaginary musicians, made-up bands or booby traps for hacks and smart-arses. It took a while for the rest of the record collecting community to catch on or finally catch up. Since then, many of the rare, obscure and unpronounceable genre-free records on The Nurse With Wound List have slowly found their own feet and stumbled in to the homes of open-minded outernational vinyl junkies, D’s and sample hungry producers, self-propelled and judged on their own merit, mostly without consultation of the enigmatic NWW map.
But, to the inspective competitive collector’s chagrin, one resounding fact recurs, NWW got there first! via vinyl vacations, on cheap flights and Interrail tickets, buying bargain bin LPs on a shoestring while oblivious to the pending pension worthy price tags after their 40 year vintage, Stapleton and Fothergill, even if you’ve never heard of them, were at the bottom of the pit before “digging” became paydirt. And NOW at huge international record fairs that occur in massive exhibition halls (or within the confines of your one-touch palm pilot) amongst jive talk acronyms such as SS, PP, BIN, DNAP and BCWHES the coded letters NWW have begun to appear on stickers in the corner of original copies of the same premium progressive records accompanied by a customary 50% price hike to titillate/coerce the initiated as dealers extort the taught. Like “psych” “PINA” or “Krautrock” did before, “NWW” has become a buzzword and in the passed decades since its first publication The List has been mythologised, misunderstood and misconstrued.
It’s also been overlooked, overestimated and under-appreciated in equal measures, but with a growing interest it has also come to represent a maligned genre in itself, something that all members of the original line-up would have deemed sacrilegious. Bolstered by the subtitle “Categories strain, crack and sometimes break, under their burden,” all bands on the inventory (many chosen on the strength of just one track alone) were chosen for their genre-defying qualities… A check-list for the uncharted.
Forty years after Nurse With Wound’s first record, Finders Keepers Records, in close collaboration with Steve Stapleton remind fans of THIS kind of “lost” music, that there once existed a feint path which was worn away decades before major label pop property developers built over this psychedelic underground. As long-running fans and liberators of some of the same records, arriving at the same axis from different-but-the-same planets, Finders Keepers and Nurse WIth Wound finally sing from the same hymn sheet resulting in a collaborative attempt to officially, authentically and legally compile the best tracks from the list, succeeding where many overzealous nerds have deferred (or simply, got the wrong end of the stick). Naturally our lavish metallic gatefold double vinyl compendium would only scratch the surface of this DIY dossier of elongated punk-prog peculiarities hence out decision to release volume one in a series which, in accordance with Steve’s wishes, focuses exclusively on individual tracks of French origin, the country that unsurprisingly hosted the highest content of bands on the list. Comprising of musique concrète, free jazz, Rock In Opposition, Zeuhl School space rock, macabre ballet music, lo-fi sci-fi, and classic horror literature inspired prog, this first volume of the series entitled Strain Crack And Break throws us in at the deep end, where the Seine meets the in-sane, introducing the space cadets that found Mars in Marseilles."
Mechanical Fantasy Box is Cowley’s homoerotic journal, or as he called it, “graphic accounts of one man’s sex life.”
"The journal begins in 1974 and ends in 1980 on his 30th birthday. It chronicles his slow rise to fame from lighting technician at The City Disco to crafting a ground-breaking 16-minute remix of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” to performing with Sylvester at the SF Opera House. Vivid descriptions are told of cruising in ‘70s SoMA sex venues to primal highs in Buena Vista Park and composing pornophonics in his Castro apartment. The entries are introspective and show a very out-front, alive person going through the throes of gay liberation post-Stonewall.
Patrick Cowley was one of the most revolutionary and influential figures in the canon of electronic dance music. Born in Buffalo, NY on October 19, 1950, Patrick moved to San Francisco in 1971 to study electronic music at the City College of San Francisco. By the late ‘70s, Patrick’s synthesizer techniques landed him a job composing and producing songs for disco diva Sylvester, including #1 hit “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”. Cowley created his own brand of peak-time party music known as Hi-NRG, also dubbed “The San Francisco Sound.” By 1981 Patrick had released a string of his own dance 12″ singles, such as “Menergy” and “Megatron Man”. That year, he co-founded Megatone Records to release his debut album 'Megatron Man'. Meanwhile, Patrick was hospitalized and diagnosed with an unknown illness, which would later be named AIDS. Recovering for a spell, in 1982 he composed two more #1 hits, “Do You Wanna Funk” for Sylvester, and “Right On Target” for Paul Parker, as well as a second solo album 'Mind Warp'. His life was cut short on November 12, 1982, when he passed away two weeks after his 32nd birthday from AIDS-related illness.”
Strident Russian house styles from Suokas, making his debut mark on Gost Zvuk
Cliched as it may be to say, but ‘Reka Vremeni’ is exactly how we imagine Russian house music to sound - a bit cold, dry and martial - but it’s not without its more sensual aspects in the rich bass and glassy high registers. ‘Scratches’ meanwhile is a bit more supple, working raw, room-recorded bass and drums into a nervy, driving swing that recalls Matthew Herbert productions.
Steph Horak and Renick Bell's live collision from 2016 (with text from DeForrest Brown, Jr.) alongside remixes from themselves, approaching the material again in the cold light of day.
"Steph Horak and Renick Bell sift through tangential possibilities in a serial production of live algorithmic beats and vocalizations. Their coming together for a collaborative, conditional album widens the scope of the generative improvisation by superimposing a self over the enclosed circumstances of sound.
The concept of proxemics offers a diagnostic approach to the operable bounded zones of sound. Horak improvises through self-processed vocals meeting Bell who in real-time creates fractured conditions under which they can both engage in a social discourse, a choreography of variable entanglements of allowed freedoms. Horak’s use of an OWL pedal - an open source, programmable effects pedal - converts the voice into a stereophonic mass of sonic possibility. The throat constricts and opens, air compresses and congeals in response to the architectural development of the mouth and lungs; systems of the body and systems of acoustic formation interlock and augment."
Promising 1st EP from Aussie, Destiny71z, proving a dab hand at sculpting freaky garage, house and techno from a stacked modular set-up for Floating Points/Alex Nut’s Eglo
With a gauntleted, hands-on approach your guy wrestles four cuts that bristle with raw electricity primed for the ‘floor. ‘Softbeta’ sets it off with sparky 2-step that dissolves into fractal electronic madness, whereas ‘Destiny71z’ short circuits garage rave and fidget house like a frazzled Solid Groove zinger. The liquified jazz-funk chords and Herbert-like tics of ‘Foodprogrammevoltage’ prove more clearly why he’s signed to Eglo, while ’Sinescannerz’ flaps about with fluttering IDM/techno like a hyper Border Community workout.
Vicki Bennett’s brilliant People Like Us short-circuits easy listening and psychedelia in her familiar-not-familiar style for a seriously trippy new one on Discrepant.
Still going on like The Caretaker’s twisted sister, here Vicki relays the results of a 2018 A/V show ‘The Mirror’ alongside a piece with her regular collaborator, avant-songwriter Ergo Phizmiz, from her 360º immersive cinema piece ‘Gone, Gone Beyond’ to provide a headful of none-more-elusive ohrwurms recalibrate at uncanny angles and in combo with myriad others. If you’ve followed her work thus far, you’ll know exactly what to expect, and get it just as you couldn’t imagine, but if you’re new to her work, prepare to pinch yourself and check you haven’t been overdoing the microdosing.
“Each song is singular. And each song is a collage of and undefined number of other songs from other artists. It sounds familiar because that has been the modus operandi of People Like Us since the early 1990s. But “The Mirror” plays with the notion of familiar, driving around a collection of famous pop songs/artists, messing around with the memory of the listener and, of course, his unique comprehension of those specific songs applied in a new context.
Because of the use of familiar pop sounds, “The Mirror” is often grandiose. Like an epic film only with highs, never letting the listener down or letting him doubt the power of pop. Even, of course, when the coordinates are twisted, mixed, over or underrepresented. Each moment feels like something that could only happen in a parallel universe.
Although that may sound naïve, it’s just a lost thought of reaction to the beautiful collages of People Like Us in “The Mirror”. This mirror doesn’t reflect an image of ourselves or an image of pop. But an image on the way memories drift and are being constant rebuilt. An unfinished collage.”
Pacy, gruffly textured techno pressure from Blawan on his Ternesc label
Now fully at grips with his modular system, he tweaks the groove between skating, tribalized rhythms and mind-bending synths in ‘Many Many Pings’ and a body-swilling piece of 140bpm techno hydraulics in ‘Lox’, while ‘Gadget’ sounds like a battalion of murderbots trampling and chanting in your direction, and ‘Hapexil Rotator’ goes double deep with pounding, padded kicks laced thru hypnotic drones and elusive, dreamier motifs that really set it off for pie-eyed ravers at 5am.
Total Control drummer Trevor swerves from grotty, strangled electronics to clod-hopping rhythmic fractals and strange bedtime stories in his solo debut for Luke Younger’s Alter, after their 2018 issue of TC’s ‘Laughing At The System’
“‘Becoming A Bed’ gathers seven tracks that run the gamut between battered drum-machine beats, minimal-wave, scratchy noise and spoken word. ‘Romp with Monty’ is the album's least demented moment and delightfully evocative of it’s title with simple melodies and rigid drum machine patterns. A sharp contrast to ‘Cabbage Land’s flailing gabber and breaks combination, resembling something akin to Jamal Moss or Beau Wanzer experiencing a severe breakdown of both mind and hardware. These hybrids of erratic, free percussion and wild synth blurts (see also ‘Midi 2’) lend the album a charming edge, favouring a playful kind of experimentation which extends to the album’s calmer moments too. ‘Bedtime Story’ provides one such bit of respite and the only appearance of Vinciguerra’s voice, processed here in a cold, curious monologue that ruminates on lethargy and illness, atop looping dark ambient textures. It's position in the album providing a centrepiece of cavernous and confounding simplicity.
Elsewhere, tongue-in-cheek end skits sound as if they were heckled at the end of a gig and then decidedly left on the tape. The reckless rave of closing cut ‘Speed Ave’ reflects this in-the-moment sensibility, the machines being close to escaping their captain. It may provide the most didactic dancing effort on the record, but neatly aligns with a loose and uninhibited mindset that skirts around the same warped techno vision as label affiliates Cru Servers or Acolytes.”
Eternal charmers ISAN investigate the melancholy inner life of their machines with a typically tender touch in a very user-friendly, gorgeous album of burbling electronica.
Arriving just over 20 years since their now-classic debut LP, ISAN’s new side finds that not much has changed in their self-contained world of gilded and exquisitely melodic small sound composition, and nobody’s complaining. Future-proofed by their feel for low-key melancholic ambiguity, they maintain a line of music that’s sweetly primed for warmth.
As ever with ISAN’s music the devil lies in the detail of their recordings. Ostensibly simple and stripped down, there are extremely fine layers of plasmic resonance that inhabit the background and periphery of their elegantly fluid and ribboning arrangements. With the sleight of a master hypnotist they subtly draw the ears in one direction while subliminally illuminating the layers surrounding it, leading the ear’s roving eye to wander the soundfield in slow saccades between their pointillist motifs and strange harmonic remainders.
The effect is just gorgeous, prompting very cute highlights between the kosmische lullaby of ‘Perlon’, and the nimbly star-stepping gait of ‘Ichthyosaur’, along with the crystalline shimmer of ’Strix Aluco’ and the AFXian bliss of ‘Ephemeroptera’, before waltzing you to bed with ‘Calliscope’ and their sighing title song.
Matana Roberts returns from an extensive, celebrated live tour with the fourth volume of her deeply personal but resoundingly immersive ‘Coin Coin’ chapters.
The onetime member of Exploding Star Orchestra looks south to Memphis and the memory of her grandmother (that’s her on the cover) for a typically passionate investigation of her roots, using a patented combination of storytelling and ethnography brought to life with free-metered vocals and strong echoes of early blues, jazz and cajun music.
Make no mistake though, it doesn’t sound old, but raucously psychedelic, contemporary and avant-garde in a totally peerless fashion. Matana’s legion followers hardly need to be told this, but if you’re new to her sound and keen to dip in, expect a helluva journey. Seriously feels like we’ve drunk a gallon of moonshine after listening to this one.
Touch Sensitive lean in for an ace group portrait ranging from spectral organ works to tumpin’ techno, IDM hyper-prisms, doom drone and sleazy psych grinders
Marking five years of the label’s non-linear diversions, ‘Wacker That’ is one of those rare compilations that transcends the sum of its parts and opens a window on microcosms you might not know exist. It also serves as a strong reminder of what they’ve been up to, and may turn a few heads back to their aces releases such as Cherrystones’ ‘Critical Mass’ compilation, Barry Lynn’s kosmiche escape pods or Autumns’ metamorphosis into nasty EBM band.
It’s puckered with myriad, off-road surprises that reveals the Northern Irish experimental and electronic music scene to be in rude health, ranging from the SND and Far Eastern-oriented electronics of Sonopy’s ‘Diamante Shithouse’ to a seriously rugged slug of crushed grime by Bloom with ‘Mystery Setting’, and a cap-tip to yer mam’s favourite in Elaine Howley’s BoC-like ‘Song For Mary Black’ racked up beside the Factory Floor-compatible EBM jab of Autumns’ ‘Loosen Up’, and mutant industrial death-bop from Fears, as remixed by Gross Net Blood, plus a gorgeous analog synth coda by Natalia Beylis.
Schizoid mix of raw, haptic, haphazard electronics and deadpan pop tones from Manchester’s Michael Cutting and Vitalija Glovackyte on the Preston-based Them There Records
Skip over the caustic opener ‘Bleach’ and you’ll find a fine collection of songs-in-flux, sweetly illuminated by Vitalija’s vocals which prove to be the big attraction of Hyperdawn’s debut outing.
From the floating, gauzy structure of ‘Millenial Pink’, with Vitalija channelling Laurel Halo circa ‘Quarantine’, the album opens out as a gently febrile dream between the mix of scuffed electronics and folk-wise cadence in ‘Laugh And Laugh’, to a piece of deliciously decayed eldritch chamber-pop recalling Alexander Tucker on ‘Plastic’, and in their transition from faded, cranky vibes to the suppressed ecstasy of ‘End Of The World’, and the mutant cybeR&B dimensions of ‘Avalanche.’
Joy O nimbly bridges London club sounds in a strong new refinement and loosening of his style for Hinge Finger, the label he runs with TTT’s Will Bankhead.
Bringing members of his home city’s jazz and soul scene, Mansur Brown and Keyah Blu, to a series of warped house, trip hop and experimental cuts alongside NYC’s Infinite, Joy O pointedly makes a transition into more textured, freeform and psychedelic/soulful frameworks after a decade of knocking out definitive UK club standards.
Rounding up six diverse productions, ‘Slipping’ is as close as you’ll get to an album from Joy O, for now at least. From the charmingly scrappy but soulful intro to ‘Burn’, which soon turns into an irresistibly deep and technoid garage workout, to the Flying Lotus-like dexterity of ‘While She’s Away’, the session naturally scales between tempos and vibes is a very satisfying way, dipping to Tricky-meets-Tirzah-esque R&B/trip-hop on ‘Under’ ft. Keyah Blu, and taking in fuzzy, summery ambient nostalgia ‘w Dad’, plus a wickedly abstract sort of hardcore dembow stance on ‘Breathe In’, and a sweetly sun-blushed slice of ambient rare grooving in ‘Walworth Waltz’ ft. Mansur Brown.
Much more than a pure dancefloor set, this one’s for the journey.
Posthumous LP of lush Susumu Yokota sketches written around ‘The Boy And The Tree’ (2002), newly dusted down and issued to mark the 5th anniversary of his untimely departure.
Widely adored for his quintessential contributions to Japanese ambient electronica in the ‘90s and ‘00s, Susumu Yokota passed in 2015 after along battle with illness. His legacy is suitably sustained with ‘Cloud Hidden’, a lovely collection of 10 unfinished but charming works which are here adapted and remained by Jon Tye; proprietor of the Lo Recordings label behind many of Yokota’s most prized releases.
Following Mark Beazley of Rothko’s discovery of a DAT of sketches dating to before Yokota’s fan favourite ‘The Boy And The Tree’, Jon Tye has done his best to “honour the spirit and legacy of Yokota’s work by completing the tracks in a way which I thought he would approve”, resulting a 10 tracks suite that sensitively forms an illusive yet tangible bridge between the artist and his unfinished collection.
Working under a quote taken from Alan Watts’ book ‘Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown’, the set comes together with a suitably dreamy resolution, drifting from frayed and gently febrile rhythm excursions to passages of schizoid carnival music and doom belch, and thru to Vangelis-like synth-brass scaping, desert-at-night guitar strums, and more psychedelic, pre-dawn ritual invocations.
Pessimist goes deep in the jungle for brethren at UVB-76 in a high pressure follow-up to his dank collab with Karim Maas, including a mean Simon Shreeve (CUB) remix
Greased up with war paint and crossbow in hand he goes in like Schwarzenegger or Stallone on ‘Burundanga’, using his considerable sound design chops to raise the dread and roll out with cutthroat tech-step pressure, before yoking back for the stone cold guillotine snares and negative energy of ‘Lithosphere.’
Fresh from CUB duties with Regis, Simon Shreeve (Mønic) joins the mission with a dense, roving rework of ‘Paian’ from Pessimist’s 2016 EP, before ‘Thug’ swaggers out on a lethal, bone-rattling steppers’ lunge.
Following the watershed madness of his ‘Yield’ tape for V I S, Meandyou. co-founder Herron unbuckles in rude and fractious form for Peder Mannerfelt Produktion, alongside the bossman’s own remix.
Where Herron’s music was mostly 4-squared and greyscale until recently, it’s now rambunctiously off-kilter and swirled with iridescent electronics that appeal much more to our heads at least.
‘Billy’s Walk Home’ epitomises this new energy in a swarm of swanging electro and fizzing automated FX, while ‘Throwing Mud’ sounds like classic T++ swilled with gravel, and ‘Losing Spirit’ parries with chewy acid electro recalling Gescom, and ‘United Walls’ sidesteps into stranger eldritch folk melody and crunching vintage AFXisms. Bravo, lad. Peder Mannerfelt is also on hand to resculpt ‘United Walls’ with a bolshier techno pressure.
Political dance anthems in a new beat/new beta-style from Not Waving’s Alessio Natalizia, following from a series of collabs with Jim O’Rourke, Mark Lanegan and Jay Glass Dubs over the last year.
Closing out a banner year with a club-ready boot up the ass, Not Waving follows those divergent 2019 outings with a wildly driven lunge for the strobes, balancing pure escapism with a reminder to dance and laugh at the populist peckers that dominate global politics right now.
The A-side’s Belgian new beat-styled détournement ‘Tremendous’ makes ironic use of a foamy-mouthed but blithe Tr*mp speech about the Paris attacks, sliced and jacked into a strapping mix of jagged EBM arps and Italo/Detroit chromatics with a naggingly playful aesthetic that harks back to Belgian new beat and UK rave’s mix of politics and subversive escapism.
The B-side ’S.M’ then opens with a rabble-rousing recording of Italian students chanting “Salvini, merda” against Matteo Salvini - Italy’s immigrant-hating far-right former deputy Prime Minister - over a bucking, pulsing electro groove that sounds like CoH jamming Ro Maron.
Acts of subversive defiance such as this, encouraging dissent and ridicule of pompous right wing blowhards - and no matter how small in the wider scheme of things - have never been so vitally required in the modern day.
Beautifully ponderous blends of solo piano keys, strings and fine-feathered electronics from John Roberts, keeping it regular with his once-every-three-years album outing. Essentially, the minimal house & techno influences of his earlier LPs ‘Glass Eights’, ‘Fences’ and ‘Plum’ are left for dust as John heads for a tonal and textural sound world exploring space and bittersweet dissonance with the calm, unhurried poise that has won him stacks of followers over the years. Let’s just say it opens more questions than it answers.
“What are the best non-physical landfills for discarded thought? Do waves transition between naturally occurring substrates and audio signals? Does adrenal fatigue and replenishment in the human brain relate to cycles of euphoria and dysphoria in music? What is the mental effect of visual versus aural repetition? Is all music fictional? Can the language of objects and memories impregnate sound? Are bodies out of fashion? What is the music production equivalent to a green screen in film? What is the best non-physical preservation method for sound? Is film editing a way of ordering memories? Is repetition therapeutic? Are all films fictional? Have physical forms slipped into obsolescence? Did Erik Satie have an anxiety disorder? Is background music parasympathetic? Are physical players more virtuosic than virtual instruments? Is thought finite? Is physical music a fetish? Is reality fictional? What is the most elegant way to float between corporeal and ethereal forms? Do memories deteriorate and fade like audio signals exposed to the elements? Can thought exist without the body?”
Optimo rack up wide-ranging highlights from the first year of their Digital Danceforce label
To play faves, we advise listening out for the likes of Bergsonist’s weirdo dance-pop wobbler ‘Heat’; vanessa Worm’s Chi-styel jacker ‘I Did A Lava Dance’; the EBM kink of ‘Fall Rise’ by Nitzer Ebb’s Douglas McCarthy & Phil Kieran; the slinky suss of ‘Poli-Ritmo’ by Internal N.Y. Rhythms.
Aquarian and Deapmash return as AQXDM for their Houndstooth debut EP ‘Infrared’.
"Written remotely from Berlin and Caen respectively, this five track EP expands on their now hallmark sound — hypnotic, big room, golden-era rave, 90s jungle and mind-bending techno n’ IDM filtered through a high-definition, cinematic lens. Massive kicks, quaking sub bass and blistering breakbeats converge with soaring atmospherics and throwback rave stabs in a wholly modern and heavy-as-hell package."
Tunes of Negation is a new project from Shackleton, featuring Heather Leigh, Takumi Motokawa, and Raphael Meinhart in a world of binding rhythms and ancient harmonics meshed in multidirectional flows, highly recommended for lovers of mystic drumming, psychedelia & syncretic sonic traditions...
Shackleton works up hypnotic group energy alongside avant-goddess Heather Leigh, percussionist Takumi Motokawa, and mallet player Raphael Meinhart in their debut as Tunes of Negation for Shapednoise’s label; Cosmo Rhythmatic. ‘Reach The Endless Sea’ is a heady blast of lysergic, chromatic colour and syncopated rhythms that partly imagines an alternative musical timeline where Hawkwind and Ashra Tempel fans, proto-Humanoid types, and new age travellers who made up the UK’s rave vanguard prevailed against the law to enact a freely psychedelic dance music.
The album follows in the vein of Shackleton’s previous trio of vocal-focussed trips for Honest Jon’s and his Woe To The Septic Heart! label to find the mystic pied piper’s spirit bolstered and tempered by a collaborative, multi-directional flow of energies. Split into five durational parts running between 10-15 minutes each - or long enough to draw listeners into their dilated temporality - the music comes in waves of pointed, timeless intensity and illusory suggestion, subtly shifting pattern with an acid-dosed logic.
Following her triumphant ‘Throne’ LP’ in 2018, Heather Leigh provides sacral vocals to the canto couplet of ‘The World Is A Stage’ and ‘Reach The Endless Sea’, providing an elevated constant between its moire of possessed vibes and lilting rhythms, before the trio of instrumentalists take the reins on a mazy trajectory between the harmonic lather of ‘Tundra Erotic’, thru the sanguine meditation of ‘Nowhere Ending Sky’, and an epic, 15 minute invocation of ancient Indian raga traditions and mountaintop kosmische in ‘Rückschlag / Rising, then Resonant’, before they all come down together in the Amazonian delta flow and oozing sprawl of ‘The Time Has Come.’
While no single description will sum up the potency and conviction of Tunes of Negation, their mission can be summed in a line from a poem by 13th C. mystic Rumi which inspired the album’s title, stating that ‘Reach The Endless Sea’ strives to “aid transmutation and enter into the light.”
Anthony Naples & Jenny Slattery’s Incienso embrace Melbourne’s Sleep D for a debut album scaling between cosmic chug, electro, ambient jazz noise, and a snappy uptempo workout.
"Across ten songs, Sleep D take us from the deep desert chug of “Red Rocks”, through the center of the best rave in town with “Danza Mart”, and “Central”, past a head-trip of styles in the deep core, and ease us back down to some kind of new earth in the final songs, including “Morning Sequence”, a beaut’ of a track featuring Kuniyuki. When it’s all said and done its big smiles and fuzzy heads all around— we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again - rated “E” for Everyone."
Electro-acoustic explorer John Chantler expands his timbral horizons with a subtly dynamic suite recorded at INA-GRM, Paris; Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg; and 1703, Stockholm, in a commission for the GRM’s François Bonnet.
Chantler absorbingly pays attention to the nanoscopic and macro details of his sound here in a vast cosmic entanglement of subatomic chatter and arcing harmonic structures that describe a real head-fuck of awesome electronic abstraction. On the surface it can appear formidably alien, but those parts always lead somewhere sweeter and gratifyingly inquisitive.
“Australian born, Sweden based artist John Chantler returns to Room40 with his fifth solo edition. 'Tomorrow Is Too Late' was commissioned by INA GRM for their Présences Électronique festival in 2018 and sees Chantler significantly expand the horizons of his acoustic palette. Moving from subtle microtonal movements to passages of intense harmonic saturation, Tomorrow Is Too Late is his most dynamic work to date. A powerhouse of reductive intensity that bares witness to Chantler’s uncompromising sonic articulations.”
Showcasing the influence of funk, rock and disco on Nigerian music during the 1970s.
"Originally released as a nowlong- out-of-print collectors’ 7” box, this fully expanded album release now also includes extra tracks from Sonny Okosuns, Wings, Chief Kollington Ayinla and more. While for many people the fusion of funk and jazz music with Nigerian rhythms and aesthetics began with Fela Kuti and his afro-beat sound, in fact this can be traced further back to the phenomena of the 1960s Nigerian artists and house bands in nightclubs and hotels who interpreted US soul and pop music with a local flavour and none more so than Geraldo Pino, the ‘African James Brown’ who features heavily in this collection. Other similarly inspired Nigerian funk and soul artists featured here included Tony Grey and his Ozimba Messengers and Don Bruce and The Angels.
‘Nigeria Soul Power 70’ includes a number of tracks from the group Wings originally known as BAF (Biafran Air Force) Wings, an army band formed during the Biafran civil war in Nigeria. The groups’ heavy mixture of funk, rock and African styles was popular among many Nigerian groups at the time. Beneath the shadow of the few Nigerian artists who signed international recording deals in the 1970s - Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Chief Ebenezer Obey - lies of vast wealth of largely undiscovered musical transmutation and cultural cross-pollination and included here are heavy afro-funk/rock and disco tracks from artists such as the legendary Sonny Okosuns as well as rare cuts from little-known outside of Nigeria - groups such as Colomach and MFB. Most of these obscure artists signed to major labels in Nigeria in the commercial slipstream that opened up as Philips, Decca and EMI tried to emulate the international success of the big three international Nigerian artists.
Finally featured here is Kollington Ayinla, one of the co-founders of Nigerian Fuji music, who gives us perhaps the heaviest of all tracks on this album. Ayinla is the great moderniser of the Fuji sound and in the late 1970s began adding Bata drums and synthesizers to his authentic music to create a powerful and heavy new fusion of traditional and modernist aesthetics, embracing both new technology and experimentation while rooted firmly in Nigerian historical lineage."
Mark Korven uses a range of anxiety-inducing instrumentation to soundtrack Robert Eggers film about two Lighthouse keepers, or “wickies” holding fast to a rock in shitty weather.
Directed by Riobert Eggers and starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as the “wickies”, ‘The Lighthouse’ is underscored by a fittingly tempestuous soundtrack rich with dark harmonics and gripping textures that help emphasise the imagery. To our ears the music reveals everything from Sir Richard Bishop & W. David Oliphant’s ‘Beyond All defects’ to the bleak expanses of Deathprod and Kevin Drumm in foul weather mode. No denying most copies will be purchased for that die cut sleeve, though.