Jun 032011
 
Hello,

The moody goth inside you is spoilt for choice this week with two intensely dark and strangely beautiful albums courtesy of Kreng and The Haxan Cloak. Kreng’s ‘Grimoire’ casts a seductive midnight ambience enriched with stately neo-classical vibes reminiscent of Philip Jeck but with a more finely wrought minimalism, sharing a supremely sophisticated 3D rendering with The Haxan Cloak’s eponymous debut. Equally occult, but with an altered palette of hallucinatory electro-acoustics and primal drums, this northern English artist slots somewhere between Raime and Stephen O’Malley, and we don’t invoke that comparison lightly.

The Mind Over Mirrors’ album ‘The Voice Rolling’ has had us in an almost hallucinatory state this morning, making use of treated Indian Harmonium to create deeply psychedelic drones of byzantine majesty. Unlike so much music that tries to do this sort of thing, Mind Over Mirrors just isn’t toothless, it’s got a visceral energy and emotional impact that we strongly recommend you check out.

The Tri Angle label have once again turned heads with the debut from Manchester’s Holy Other. ‘With U’ is made of the same dark matter that ink stamped those debuts from Balam Acab and o0o00 last year, but there’s a more UK-centric spirit to his choice Garage affections on ‘Touch’ or the vallium-Techno of ‘With U’, while retaining that crucially skewed, and rarely executed R&B romance. It’s strange pop music you’ll want to play again and again.

Ford & Lopatin (f.k.a Games) drop the dazzling postmodern pop of ‘Channel Pressure’ on their freshly coined Software label, crafted between the authentically equipped studios of Mexican Summer and Jan Hammer. It achieves a late ’80s MIDI pomp recalling classic Scritti Politti but with more fractal infusions and a slick ’90s R&B turn from Autre Ne Veut and finish from Guillermo Scott Herren (Prefuse 73).

Raster Noton, meanwhile, deliver two outstanding pieces of contemporary electronics from Kangding Ray and Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto. Ray’s ‘OR’ conceptually deals with the “disillusions of modern society”, sonically manifested in the kind of architecturally sound and advanced techno heard on last years jaw-dropping ‘Pruitt Igoe’ 12″. Ben Frost features and it’s a total must for fans of Anstam, T++ and that ultra-techy goodness. Also, Carsten Nicolai & Ryuichi Sakamoto’s 5th and final collaboration, ‘Summvs’ is a melodically and harmonically evolved extension of their previous outings – a fittingly sublime swansong.

Another modern electronic master, Vladislav Delay, teams up with Mika Vainio, Lucio Capece and Derek Shirley for an industrially visceral improv session on Honest Jon’s. As you’d imagine, this combination of players results in something extraordinary, from avant dubstep to power electronics comparable with Prurient. It’s an album to really get your teeth into, and knock your fillings out.

Scanning more ambient topologies, Marsen Jules offers orchestral grandeur and Laurel Halo submerges in ambiguously blissed out ambient techno, while Bureau B deliver two superlative examples of Berlin-school Kosmische produced by Harald Grosskopf circa 1979. You’s ‘Electric Day and ‘Time Code’ are genuine proto-Techno relics that sewed seeds for the contemporary productions of Dylan Ettinger, Oneohtrix Point Never and Arp.

For more experimental dancefloors we can’t praise Ital’s ‘Culture Clubs’ any higher. Backed with a mental Hieroglyphic Being remix, it’s been glued to our turntable all week, applying the skewed synth style of his Sex Worker gem to a dosed Chicago template. Don’t sleep on this!!!!!

Also out this week: a limited vinyl collaboration between Julianna Barwick and Ikue Mori of NYC No Wave legends DNA, another brilliant and unpredictable Vinyl On Demand release courtesy of the ‘M.A.L Tapes’, a crushingly heavy twelve from Anstam, a stealthy dark House bomb from Spekter for Sound Signature, plus releases from Steve Gurley and Zed Bias, Redinho, LV, Paradox, Amit, Skream, Venetian Snares, Loscil, Ryan Teague, Boris, Dustin O’Halloran, Battles, Sleeparchive, Matias Aguayo, The Caretaker, Junior Boys, Surgeon, Steffi, Skudge, Midland and much much more.

Lastly, we’ve got a mad party lined up for Sunday 26th June in Manchester with a rare and unmissable performance from the Shangaan Electro producer Nozinja, the inimitable Tshe Tsha Boys and DJ Spoko from Limpopo, RSA, plus dancers, a BBQ and DJ sets from Slackk, DJ Haus and more. Tickets are on sale now and we’d love to see you there.

Have a fabulous week….

Peace! nekkers…xx

Albums of the Week



MIND OVER MIRRORS
The Voice Rolling (Limited Vinyl Edition)
ELECTRONIC
DIGITALIS
LP // £11.99

*Excellent album of head-melting drone and Kosmische made on an Indian Harmonium and recorded to tape – available on vinyl only in an edition of 450 copies for the world* Digitalis introduce the Mind Over Mirrors alias of Jaime Fennelly (Acid Birds/Peeesseye/Manpack Variant) with the endless Harmonium drone topologies of ‘The Voice Rolling’. Five years since his previous solo outing, Jaime expresses timelessly primal yet elevated intentions over seven densely layered vistas of raga-scaling heights and hypnotically seductive bass undulation. All the sounds were sourced from a medium-sized Indian Harmonium and then processed electronically via tape echo, harmonizer and other guitar pedals, diffusing the instrument’s potential into a a grittily textured and dense spectrum of uniquely frictional drone spirits. This celestial flight departs at ‘Brickfelder’, ascending gradually through harmonized clouds of metallic-fragranced tones, almost bitter and gritty, but calcifying into something quite naturally majestic. As XXJFG eulogised, next track ‘You Ain’t Reeling’ reveals itself like “Some drumless-techno-titan stalking the sand blasted bazaars of a near future”, amping the Harmonium to excoriating, almost face-melting levels of grandeur, before drowning in the abyssal subsidence of ‘Coaling’ and being ecstatically extruded through the labyrinthine repetition of ‘Barely Spun’. After a pause to flip over, ‘Point Hammond’ rolls into view, tracing a long, linear path across the plains of primitive American blues to the amp worship of Sunn 0))) and Barn Owl’s narrowed-eye gaze, following the course of shimmering, coppery overtones through the landscape to the delta of ‘Round, Around’, and bathing in a more joyous flow of tones like the expressions of the Sacred Heart singers reverberating a mass of ecstasy to the Ganges. ‘The Voice Rolling’ is overflowing with emotion that you don’t normally find in many drone/Kosmische records, and a visceral affirmation of life itself. Mastered by Scott Colburn with art by Serena Lander. Cut to vinyl at D&M.



HOLY OTHER
With U
BEATS / DOWNTEMPO / BOOGIE
Tri Angle
CD // £6.99

**Manchester’s own Holy Other touches down on Tri Angle with five sumptuous jams occupying the spooked space between R&B, techno and dark ambient**. It’s tempting to call it witch-house, of course, but Holy Other’s productions are so subtle and carefully wrought that we’d be doing him a huge disservice if we did. This music deserves to be taken on its own terms: as emotive and supremely evolved electronic music with a real force of personality. We’re drawn in with ‘Know Where’, a sleepy-eyed, mid-paced groover that sketches out the Holy Other universe: hard-jerking drums, synth ambience, technoid bleeps, eerie vocal snatches; it’s from this palette that he paints ‘Yr Love’ (think Kassem Mosse meets Hype Williams on a beach in Ibiza) and the similarly chugging ‘With U’ and ‘Feel Something’. The EP’s unmistakable centrepiece however is ‘Touch’ – it sounds like 2-step pitched-down and re-strung for Valium-munchers, Burial-esque vocal pressure meeting ultra-minimal, jeep-rocking claps and downshifting darkside synths in 10,000 leagues of reverb, making for a track as slickly cinematic as it is disorienting and plain RUDE. Put simply, it’s the kind of twisted but oddly romantic R&B futurism which Tri Angle consistently excels at sourcing. Yes, the tropes Holy Other works with are largely tried and tested, but with his high production values he massages them into something distinctive and truly powerful.



KRENG
Grimoire
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
MIASMAH
CD // £9.99

Having first entered our lives in 2009 with an album so singularly terrifying that it still gives us nightmares, Pepijn Caudron – the elusive mastermind behind Kreng – plunges even deeper into the heart of darkness with a new full-length offering for Miasmah. The results are just phenomenal, combining a palpably European antique grandeur with cutting edge sound design and a pervasive occult charge (a ‘grimoire’ is a book of spells, don’tcha know). ‘Karcist’ is the curtain-raiser, wherein ambiguous midnight ambience soon gives way to hands-around-the-throat dread; ‘Le Bateleur’ is a zombie waltz of baleful clarinet, muted horns and snares flapping like bat’s wings. On ‘Opkropper’, Kreng’s neo-classical ambitions swell to the fore, plangent cello lavishly swelling amid Ligeti-style piano jabs and snatches of soprano opera singing that sound like Edith Piaf trapped down a well. ‘Petit Grimoire’ is the album’s seductive highlight, impish strings hanging off a muffled techno pulse, and ‘Wrak’ is a veritable symphony of things that go bump in the night: shrill violins and discordant woodwind scrapping and scraping over a steadily iterated, Morricone-esque motif. The stately orchestral vibe returns for ‘Ballet Van De Bloedhoeren’ only to dissolve into a fetid swamp of the sickest drone; ‘Girl In A Fishtank’ sounds like one of Leyland Kirby and Philip Jeck’s clammiest nightmares, a real Death In Venice dirge, its 1920s pomp racked by the threat of cholera, drowning, forbidden lust and war. ‘La Poule Noire is a grimm tale with an almost industrial momentum, its reverbed percussion rolling horribly, unstoppably onwards like a steam train to the death factory. Has gothic minimalism ever sounded this vivid, this all-consuming and three-dimensional? Not to our knowledge.



FORD & LOPATIN (GAMES)
Channel Pressure
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
SOFTWARE
CD // £10.99

‘Channel Pressure’ is the debut LP from Ford & Lopatin, formerly-known-as Games (Daniel “Oneohtrix Point Never” Lopatin & Joel “Tiger City” Ford). Without a shadow of a doubt it’s one of the years defining records, a postmodern pop dazzler patching elements of discoid ’80s pop and jazz-funk fusion with early ’90s R&B in a lucidly fractal digital simulacra that sounds like an updated and oddly screwed version of classic Scritti Politti. Like any “progressive” album worth it’s gatefold sleeve, there’s a conceptual narrative at its core: “The year is 2082. Joey Rogers is a Teenage Tech head whose dream is to unplug from reality and jam in the style of his MIDI equipped ancestors”, and however corny, it’s an idea we can relate to, somehow. It’s reflected quite literally in the spot-gloss sleeve, and manifests over 14 geometrically ornate and synco-sensual minor anthems, notably featuring a rare and most welcome vocal appearance from Autre Ne Veut on the cunning R&B couplet of ‘Break Inside’ and ‘I Surrender’, and mixing by Guillermo Scott Herren aka Prefuse 73. For the duo, it’s a long held childhood dream fulfilled, realising a schoolboy fantasy (they met in sixth grade, bonding over drawing fictional album covers and later, synthesizers) in the authentically equipped studios of Mexican Summer and Jan Hammer, and even features Jan’s son, Paul Hammer playing drums on ‘Voices’. While there’s a laregly unfu**able sincerity to their intentions, it’s not without a wry sense of humour, embracing the saturation of modern digital life yet subverting it with subtle ambiguities, warping the collective memory banks like some cunningly implanted psychoactive memory chip. We can’t wait for the lazer disc version, but until then this is pretty much an essential.



KANGDING RAY
OR
ELECTRONIC
Raster Noton
CD // £12.99

Kanding Ray’s 2008 LP Automne Fold is one of the stand-out Raster-Noton releases of recent years; within it, David Letellier managed to impose a unique pop sensibility and structure upon the kind of disciplined, fanatically detailed brand of computer music that’s relatively common to his label brethren. For OR, his third LP to date, the producer offers a similarly focussed, bass-fuelled attack in a bid to depict “the disillusions of modern civilizations”; the title is a reference to the English word indicating the possibility of another choice, and to the French word for gold, a substance which has retained its value over many thousands of years – both ideas pertinent to Kangding Ray’s critique of a global economy and culture gone awry. Ben Frost plays keyboards, Rose Tizane Merrilland lends her voice to ‘Monsters’, and Magne Mostue to ‘Coracoid Process’ and a vocal edit of last year’s single ‘Pruitt Igoe’. Highlights come in the shape of jackhammering industrial stepper ‘Athem’ and ‘Leavaila Scheme’, the only R-N track we can think of that so prominently features guitar (albeit heavily distorted). It’s another fierce and singular statement from Kangding Ray, surely one of the most interesting electronic artists operating today, and as recommended to fans of sub-heay techno/dubstep from Sandwell District, Anstam, T++ and Andy Stott as it is to R-N regulars.



ALVA NOTO AND RYUICHI SAKAMOTO
SUMMVS
HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
Raster Noton
CD // £12.99

‘Summvs’ is the fifth and purportedly final collaborative album from the dream-team of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto). Since 2002 the two musicians have fused their disciplines near-faultlessly, with Sakamoto’s evocative piano-based compositions melting effortlessly into Nicolai’s skillful digital rhythms and cautious manipulations. Each album has brought the duo slightly closer together, and ‘summvs’ (the title an amalgamation of the words summa and versus) sees their work reach critical mass. With Sakamoto apparently working on a rare piano (one of only fifteen in the world) using 16th interval tuning, and Nicolai expanding on his newfound love of harmony and melody, the results are much warmer than their earlier experiments, and all the better for it. While Nicolai’s glacial digital hiccups were always a draw for some, I found at times they distracted from the focus of the pieces – and here rather than eliminate them altogether Nicolai tempers them, working them into a more harmonic framework. The familiar bass-heavy shuffle we fell in love with all those years ago on ‘Transform’ still crops up occasionally, most noticeably on ‘Pioneer IOO’, but it’s balanced by an unforgettable cinematic haze of ‘Naono’ (a clear standout – think Deaf Center, Ben Frost or The Fun Years) and ‘Halo’. There is something elegiac and deeply final about ‘summvs’, it feels like an ink stamp, an underline, a statement from the duo saying ‘this is it, and this is the best it can be’, and it truly is. Memorable, atmospheric and beautiful – even if you’ve missed all four of their previous albums, ‘summvs’ is the one to buy. Easily a highlight of 2011 thus far – you know what to do.



THE HAXAN CLOAK
The Haxan Cloak
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
AURORA BOREALIS
CD // £9.99

*Thick card gatefold jacket* Beguiling, unsettling and deeply mysterious, The Haxan Cloak’s eponymous debut album is a riveting experience. In case Demdike Stare hadn’t inspired you to read up on the pre-1900 occult, the term “Häxan” is an old German word for witchcraft, a theme shared by the two artists besides their northern English latitude (which would technically intersect with northern Germany, geography geeks!). But for that, and the monotone artwork aside, The Haxan Cloak takes a very different approach to his craft, one rooted in his studies in sound art and more concerned with “the very real potential and power of the actual physical properties of sound” he can elicit from treated strings and primal percussion, and the space between them. His unrevealed, alchemical processes summon an immersive spectrum of ethereal drones and often shocking sounds, from the nerve-jangling, near-infrasonic subbass fluctuations of ‘Fall’, to the stereo-dynamic fata morgana of ‘The Growing’. Occuring at the apex of the album, this astonishing track is a work of pure black magic sorcery, transporting us through a digital wormhole into shuddering, hallucinatory electro-acoustics and heart-quaking subs to a climax of percussion recalling both Zoviet*France and Scorn. Equally, when focussed on strings the effect is vividly arresting, like with the petrified drones of ‘In Memoriam’ or the sustained dissonance of ‘Parting Chant’, both achieving something more than just an evocative cinematic appeal. There’s a more hallucinatory and abstract narrative to these compositions, which may be dissipated with leaden concrete imagery. The finely rendered mixing and dynamics create an illusory space all of their own, much akin to Raime’s breathtaking gothic architectures, but probably more connected with the likes of KTL and Sunn 0))) overlord, Stephen O’Malley. A massive recommendation.



VLADISLAV DELAY QUARTET
Vladislav Delay Quartet
ELECTRONIC
Honest Jon’s Records
2LP // £11.99

He’s served tirelessly in the Moritz Von Oswald Trio, but now Sasu Ripatti takes centre-stage with his own improv ensemble, The Vladislav Delay Quartet. He’s joined by Lucio Capece on clarinet and sax, Derek Shirley on double bass and – most interestingly, and most audibly – Mika Vainio on electronics. The Pan Sonic man’s sonic signature makes itself felt from the off, opening cut ‘Minus Degrees, Bare Feet, Tickles’ driven by roaring industrial noise as only he can style it. Things get really interesting with ‘Santa Teresa’, Shirley’s bass plucks conspiring with Delay’s pots ‘n pans to create an almost dubstep skank. Across this lurching groove, Capece uncurls scything sheets of sax drone and Vainio squirts the kind of trebly sine tones that will be blissfully familiar to fans of his Ø recordings. Unlike the more pensive MVO Trio, the Vladislav Delay Quartet explore darker, harsher terrain, as heard especially on ‘Des Abends’ which crashes and groans and growls like a drunk Godzilla trying to find his missing spanner. ‘Hotokivi’ is a power electronics assault in the vein of Prurient or Kevin Drumm, but with a depth and dynamism that betrays its studied and patiently wrought creation, and ‘Killing The Water Bed’ is perhaps closest to what we’d expected from the album: smacked-out, dub-inflected free jazz, Capece’s bass clarinet billowing through Delay’s ride and cymbal crashes. The near-ambient ‘Presentiment’ cleanses the palette for the face-melting ‘Louhos’ – it’s the sound of the Quartet collective freaking-out, Vainio and Ripatti serving up ear-smacking techno rhythm and layer upon layer of electronic scree, while that looped sax lacerates all that lies before it. Seriously intense and provocative stuff, this; an essential purchase for adventurous ears and minds.



MARSEN JULES
Nostalgia
HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
Oktaf
CD // £9.99

Marsen Jules returns with an astonishing suite that combines a stirring orchestral grandeur with chilly, cinematic ambience. An obvious reference point is the stately creations of Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS, but Jules’ compositions have a crystal-clear quality that Voigt’s tracks lack, and are also completely beatless – they feel more exposed, more vulnerable. His sixth full-length to date, following releases on Autoplate, City Centre Offices and Genesungswerk, and appearances on no less than four Kompakt Pop Ambient compilations, Nostalgia is billed as a continuation of his 2005 classic Herbstlaub, and as a meditation on “desire, rebellion and immortality”, and sure enough it’s a similarly oriented work of sober minimalism that privileges unflinching emotional enquiry over touchy-feely reassurance, splendidly evoking both the pleasure and the pain of dwelling on the past. The first half of the album is beautiful but a little bit harrowing, like having a bird’s eye view down on yourself as you trudge hopelessly across the loneliest Arctic tundra, but the later tracks let some light in: ‘Sweet Sweet Longing’ stretches out low piano notes and bowed cello into widescreen drones, and ‘Kundera’s Dream – a reference to the august Czech writer? – flecks finger-picked guitar notes over the most sweepingly romantic string overture imaginable. Jules is that rare thing, an ambient composer whose command of atmosphere is equalled by a strong sense of narrative and melodic progression. Fans of Biosphere, William Basinski, Klimek, GAS, Lawrence English, Thomas Koner and other isolationist maestros will instantly grasp how special this record is.



LAUREL HALO
Antenna
ELECTRONIC
NNA TAPES
Cassette // £6.99

Following up one of 2010’s most extraordinary debuts, the ‘King Felix EP’ for HIT, Laurel Halo returns on a blissed-out cassette for the brilliant NNA Tapes. In stark relief to the ebullient song-writing which defined her debut, ‘Antenna’ opens up the ambient techno side of Laurel’s hyperprism, which we’d sensed from her interviews and mixes was just waiting to be revealed in her recordings. From the onset of ‘Impulse’ we’re immersed in an amniotic ocean of swelling synth, swirling field recordings and distant, disembodied voices. The parameters of her sound here are just immeasurably, almost intangibly, vast. Next, ‘Dia Sapiens’ is more distressing, dystopian even, trapping us in an vivid synth storm, like a sonic fictional Christina Kubisch sound walk through the disorientating electromagnetic fields of New York. That intense passage is beautifully resolved with ‘Zoo Hypothesis’ and ‘Heuristic Gag Factor’, gyroscoping us in 3D hyperspace before anchoring to a boiling sea of coruscating techno rhythms. The flipside is more positive, entering the finely simulated palatial surroundings of ‘Strength In Free Space’, before we’re extruded through the perfectly off-key chords of ‘Factory Reset’ and posited on the T++-like aquatech pulses of ‘Head’. Essentially, it’s one of the most sincere and instinctive updates of the original AI aesthetic that we’ve heard in years, but applied with the anachronistic obfuscation techniques of this generation to become that bit more transcendental and strangely affective.



YOU
Electric Day
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
Bureau B
CD // £11.99

Freakishly good Berlin School electronics from 1979, with a strange and wonderful jazz influence worked into its future-thrusting sequences, all mixed by Harald Grosskopf of Synthesist fame. This is the kind of shit that people like Oneohtrix Point Never and Roll The Dice bug out to in their downtime, and in some cases rip off wholesale. Hard to pick favourites, but the fusion-y title track is a doozy, like Weather Report if Edgar Froese and Peter Baumann had joined their ranks. ‘Magooba’ is proper proto-techno, distorted guitars spurting across time-melting analogue arpeggios, while the ‘Sequential Spectrums’ diptych sheds the drums for a slow shuttle-ride into more open-ended drift psychedelia – Part 1 in particular sounds like a direct ancestor of Dylan Ettinger’s New Age Outlaws. Often when a genre is as plundered as kosmische and krauty synth business is right now, each new “find” is more ephemeral and weightless than the last; not so in the case of Electric Day. This is the gut stuff, make no misake, and thanks to this timely reissue, you don’t have to sell your gran to get hold a copy.



YOU
Time Code
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
Bureau B
CD // £11.99

Another blast of superlative Berlin School kosmische reissued for modern-day space cadets and those who missed it the first time around. You need only look at the sleeve of You’s Time Code – all mystic pyramids and spheres floating across airbrushed alien terrain – to perceive its relevance in the age of such new age revivalists as Oneohtrix, Stella OM Source and Dylan Ettinger. Recorded in 1982, using a hefty bank of Moog and Prophet synths and state-of-the-art digital sequencing, Timecode found the pared-down You line-up of Albin Meskes and Udo Hanten exploring the deepest spiritual recesses of man and machine. Like so much astrally-inclined music of the period, Time Code’ has a utopian, almost bucolic quality; the doomy plainchant that dominates the title track is a red herring, as pretty much everything else on the LP is all sweetness and light, the kind of sincerely futurist twee so lovingly pastiched by Belbury Poly and The Advisory Circle today. If you’ve been digging the space-doodling of the aforementioned hypnagogists or you’re a fan of Tangerine Dream, Cluster, Harald Grosskopf, Klaus Schulze and other contributors to the seemingly limitless treasure-trove of 70s-80s German synth artistry, then Time Code is for you.



JULIANNA BARWICK & IKUE MORI
FRKWYS Vol. 6
HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
RVNG Intl.
LP // £15.99

*Limited edition vinyl pressing packaged in thick black jacket with two-colour adhesive rap* Fresh from dropping her jaw-droppingly beautiful sophomore album The Magic Place, Julianna Barwick teams up with Ikue Mori of legendary New York no wavers DNA for a 12″ of vocalisation and eldritch electronics. In the years since DNA tore apart the Gotham art scene, Mori has been busying herself as a distinguished developer of digital synth and drum machine and synth technology, and here she applies her considerable laptop chops to casting Barwick’s plangent, patiently looped plainsong in a chattering, whirring, ever-shifting electronic setting that’s too busy, mischievous and unsettling to be called ambient. The resulting work sounds resolutely modern, but has that eldritch, occluded quality of the BBC Radiophonic workshop and its hauntological devotees; it’s certainly a more oblique and challenging listen than Barwick’s more pop-influenced solo work. The music arose out of a performance commissioned by Manhattan’s White Columns art space (which hosted Thurston Moore’s seminal 1981 Noise Fest); something of a musical blind date, the duo improvised their parts live with a custom-built wall separating them, and the sounds they made were cut direct to vinyl via portable lathe. What you hear on this 12″ isn’t those lathe cuts, but rather recordings made in the same space a week later without an audience or dividing wall – “an exercise in actual engagement”.



M.A.L.
The M.A.L. Tapes
ELECTRONIC
Vinyl On Demand
LP // £14.99

**Limited to 600 copies, includes official certificate of ownership** Vinyl On Demand focus on the unique and captivating minimal synth and guitar recordings of Daniel Malempré with ‘The M.A.L. Tapes’. The breadth and scope of this label’s excavations never fail to amaze us and this one is no different. The A-side covers eight relatively brief, almost baroque recordings released on various labels such as Grafika Airline and Insane Music in the early eighties, including selections from ‘Chemistry’, ‘Two Faces’, and ‘Outlaw’. The first track is an eleven minute composite mix of seven pieces originally released on ‘Chemistry’, segueing from ultra-cute synth-pop to more urgent Darkwave, exquisite Kosmiche and gorgeous miniatures which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Ghost Box release. There are plenty more highlights found on the Chris Carter-esque ‘There Is A Man At The Door’ and not least the inward-loops of ‘The Human Mind’ featuring strings organ from underground lynchpin Alain Neffe of Pseudo Code/Bene Gesserit and the Insane Music label. But, for many the B-side will offer the most extraordinary revelations. It features two truly mind-blowing and spine-tingling extended guitar and wha-wha pedal experiments created in 1974 with synthesizer accompaniment from Alain Neffe. The tracks, ‘Orion’ and ‘Andromède’ running to 20 minutes and 8 minutes respectively, were originally released some time later on the ‘Two Faces’ cassette (release date unknown), quite some time after Malempré had sent the original recordings to two famous record companies, only to later suspect that a famous guitarist working for one of the companies would copy his concept. In all honesty, they do sound a hell of a lot like the style of Ash Ra Tempel’s Manuel Göttsching, but we really wouldn’t wanted to question the provenance of either artist. We should just say these are stunning pieces of music and totally recommended.

Singles of the Week



ITAL
Culture Clubs (w/Hieroglyphic Being Remix)
TECHNO / HOUSE
Lovers Rock
12″ // £8.99

*Incredible 2nd single from Ital, aka Mi Ami aka Sex Worker, backed with a brilliant Hieroglyphic Being remix* If you’ve checked their tête-à-tête on the 20 Jazz Funk Greats blog, your interest will no doubt be piqued for this record, but we honestly couldn’t predict how wonderfully strange it would actually work out. Ital’s ‘Culture Clubs’ occupies the A-side, really taking the slanted House sound of his 100% Silk release to dizzying heights. Also, like his amazing Sex Worker cover of ‘Rhythm Of The Night’, it’s all about those sliding synth phrases; helplessly smeared melodies which melt and buckle at any given moment to leave us awestruck and totally destabilised. With it, and the equally zonked ‘Eternally Yours’, he’s toying with the original sexual groove of Chicago, flipping that synthetic sensuality into something  more ambiguous and warped, like a discombobulating dose of GHB instead of MDMA tactility. Hieroglyphic Being’s ‘Culture Clubs (No Culture Remix)’ complements the vibe exquisitely, riding his untethered drum machines through sloping tempo drops and cross-eyed key changes to leave us utterly floored. This has got to be be one of the most warped records we’ve heard all year.



ANSTAM
Baldwin / Carmichael
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
50 WEAPONS
12″ // £8.99

The enigmatic Anstam duo follow up the killer ‘Albert’ and a wicked Fact mix with their first full solo 12″ in three years. At the risk of repeating ourselves, these guys make some of the most crushingly dynamic, dead ON-IT beats around. This time they’re investigating a more squashed and cryptically moody style with ‘Baldwin’, stamping sub-loaded breakbeats with a brooding, twisted synth torque leading to an unmistakably Teutonic conclusion. On ‘Carmichael’ they swipe away the breakbeats and engage with pneumatically compressed steppers patterns, oily, squirming acid bass and intoxicatingly dystopian synth pads. It’s the sort of gear we dream about and should be massively recommended to fans of T++, Ben Frost, Kangding Ray, or Shackleton.



SPEKTER
Pipe Bomb
TECHNO / HOUSE
Sound Signature
12″ // £8.99

Collossal darkside jacker’s grooves on Sound Signature! Your man from Chicago, Spekter, has appeared on some ace sides for Sistrum and Downbeat to date, before passing this tune to Theo Parrish who promptly signed it up for Sound Signature. As far as we can tell it’s the same track on both sides, but what a freakin’ track! Don’t sleep on this, it’s deadly!



BIAS & GURLEY
Roll (Blackdown Mix)
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
Keysound Recordings
12″ // £5.99

Keysound commendably unite two of UK Bass music’s foundational architects, Steve Gurley and Zed Bias, for the first time on ‘Roll’. Both producers require little introduction: Gurley was an integral member of seminal jungle unit Foul Play, and one of the very first UK Garage producers, while Bias is credited with the creation of Dark Garage, and both sewed the seeds for early Dubstep. Their collaboration is a sharp-edged fusion of swingin’ Garage and edgy electro rooted with dread intent. However, we’re feeling Blackdown’s ‘A Debt Paid’ remix much more. The dippin’ accents on the bass; the darkly cloaked pads; those darkside bell chimes; them tucked Toms; all add up to an out-and-out and up-to-date killer for our money. Recommended for that at the very least! Big big twelve.



RICKY MELODY
What A Act
DUB / REGGAE
SPRING HILL
7″ // £5.99

Reissue of a massively sought-after digital rarity originally released on Alpine Records in 1987. Niney The Observer and G. Phipps are at the desk, driving an monstrously swaggering riddim under Ricky Melody’s sing-a-long vocal. This and the murderous Computer Radics dub on the flip have been reserved as genuine secret weapons by a handful of UK soundsystems for the last two decades, until now.

 

This week’s releases in full!
sorted by genre | See all

 

BEATS / DOWNTEMPO / BOOGIE
See all

HOLY OTHER
With U
Tri Angle
CD // £6.99

**Manchester’s own Holy Other touches down on Tri Angle with five sumptuous jams occupying the spooked space between R&B, techno and dark ambient**. It’s tempting to call it witch-house, of course, but Holy Other’s productions are so subtle and carefully wrought that we’d be doing him a huge disservice if we did. This music deserves to be taken on its own terms: as emotive and supremely evolved electronic music with…

SHIGETO
Full Circle Remixes
Ghostly International
12″ // £7.99

**Includes 4 tracks from the vinyl version and 1 bonus exclusive** Shigeto and Ghostly gather a like-minded pack of beatmakers to remix his ‘Full Circle’ album. Kicking off with Shigeto’s exclusive tribal bumper ‘Microcosmos’, Mike Slott tailors ‘Relentless Drag’ with slow-moving grey noise convections and a smoothly jazzy twist, Om Unit gives one of his best tracks to date, a slowhouse bump of ‘Sacrificial’ and Samiyam adds a dash of…

CAURAL
Die Before You Die
EAT CONCRETE
10″ // £8.99

Remember Caural? He dropped some cool records on Chocolate Industries and Mush in the mid-’00s, and returns today with five tracks of jazzy electronic boom-bap for Eat Concrete. On ‘Do Or Die’, his first release in six years, he’s still packing some bounce to the ounce, from Bossa-licked neck snappers like ‘Sugarcane Girlfriend’ reminding of Daedelus or Ras G, to the dizzying synth spirals and dope drums of ‘Dragon Top’…

SI TEW
When The Clouds Ran Away
ATJAZZ RECORD COMPANY
CD // £11.99

Slick debut album of atmospheric, jazzed-tinged Broken Beat, HipHop and electronica. Introducing Si’s sound to the world at large, ‘When The Clouds Ran Away’ showcases a broad spectrum of styles all linked by buff production – finished at the Atjazz studios where he works alongside Martin Atjazz – and an instinctive, laidback feel for soulful melody and harmony. Opening to the plush downbeats of ‘Silhouette’ featuring caramelised vocals from Shanade,…

SLUGABED
Moonbeam Rider EP
Ninja Tune
12″ // £5.99

Slugabed makes his solo Ninja Tune debut with his most impressively organised release to date. Folding in factors from warped VHS music, lazer-guided R&B and destabilized UK Bass, he’s clearly on a proper orbital trajectory with the ‘Moonbeam Rider’ EP. His sound has become increasingly cleaner since the ‘Ultra-Heated’ EP on Planet Mu and successive remixes for the likes of Eprom, Starkey and Eskmo, managing to stealthily control the chaos…

 

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
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KRENG
Grimoire
MIASMAH
CD // £9.99

Having first entered our lives in 2009 with an album so singularly terrifying that it still gives us nightmares, Pepijn Caudron – the elusive mastermind behind Kreng – plunges even deeper into the heart of darkness with a new full-length offering for Miasmah. The results are just phenomenal, combining a palpably European antique grandeur with cutting edge sound design and a pervasive occult charge (a ‘grimoire’ is a book of…

THE HAXAN CLOAK
The Haxan Cloak
AURORA BOREALIS
CD // £9.99

*Thick card gatefold jacket* Beguiling, unsettling and deeply mysterious, The Haxan Cloak’s eponymous debut album is a riveting experience. In case Demdike Stare hadn’t inspired you to read up on the pre-1900 occult, the term “Häxan” is an old German word for witchcraft, a theme shared by the two artists besides their northern English latitude (which would technically intersect with northern Germany, geography geeks!). But for that, and the monotone…

 

DISCO / EDITS / FUNK
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JOHN AGEBJORN & FRIENDS
Casablanca Nights
Paper Bag
CD // £9.99

Scandinavian synth maestro, Johan Agebjörn invites his mates Wolfram, Legowelt, CFCF, Fred Ventura, and of course, Sally Shapiro, among others, for a magical Eurodisco session. Highlights include Sally’s stirring appearance alongside Lovelock on the title track, and again with Fred Ventura on ‘Alice’ (a marriage made in our frothiest dreams, now come to life), and most certainly on the slow-strober ‘So Fine All The Time’, crafted with Legowelt and Wolfram….

DOUG SHIPTON / VARIOUS
Dedicated Swallower of Fashion
FAT CITY
CD // £9.99

“45 vintage cuts decanted and mixed into a 56-minute Molotov cocktail of Bolshevik beats, Kollywood funk, ostracised ostrock and pan-Asian pop oddities by Doug Shipton (Finders Keepers Records/B-Music)…his long awaited debut mixtape ‘Dedicated Swallower Of Fashion’ – a cacophony of syncopated psychedelic madness that draws from his neviably expansive record collection and challenging DJ sets, dusting off handpicked fuzz-ridden-break-heavy platters from as far and wide as Malaysia, France, India, Germany,…

PLANNINGTOROCK
Doorway / The Breaks
DFA
10″ // £8.99

**9″ Blue Vinyl for the collectors** DFA accompany their extraordinary album release by Planningtorock with two album tracks, ‘Doorway’ and ‘The Breaks’ on a special vinyl pressing. The Bolton-via-Berlin artiste has undoubtedly made a lasting impression with her album ‘W’, one destined to sink in for years to come. Album highlight ‘Doorway’ introduces the sharp contrasts of her sound, manifested in the tension between blurting monotone sax and flash synth…

KOLOMBO
Waiting For
Kompakt
12″ // £7.99

Prolific French producer, Kolombo turns up on Kompakt with two sophisticated modern Disco-Tech trax, backed with a Michael Mayer remix. The slower posh-trance vibes of ‘Waiting For’ are tastefully lush, contrasting with the sleazier mid-tempo disco throb of ‘Rescue Me’, and Michael Mayer’s raved-up remix of ‘Waiting For’.

 

DUB / REGGAE
See all

RICKY MELODY
What A Act
SPRING HILL
7″ // £5.99

Reissue of a massively sought-after digital rarity originally released on Alpine Records in 1987. Niney The Observer and G. Phipps are at the desk, driving an monstrously swaggering riddim under Ricky Melody’s sing-a-long vocal. This and the murderous Computer Radics dub on the flip have been reserved as genuine secret weapons by a handful of UK soundsystems for the last two decades, until now.

JOHN HOLT
500 Volts Of Dub
Jamaican Recordings
LP // £10.49

Sixteen dubs of classic tracks from the lead singer of legendary Rocksteady group, The Paragons. ‘500 Volts Of Dub’ checks his most fruitful solo period around the late ’60s to mid ’70s, working with Bunny Lee and laying down a slower, more romantic sound which would heavily influence the lovers rock style. Tracklist: ‘Rock With Dub’, ‘A Lonely Dub’, ‘Get It While It’s Dub’, ‘Believe In Dub’, ‘Fell For Dub’,…

JOHN HOLT
500 Volts Of Dub
Jamaican Recordings
CD // £11.49

Sixteen dubs of classic tracks from the lead singer of legendary Rocksteady group, The Paragons. ‘500 Volts Of Dub’ checks his most fruitful solo period around the late ’60s to mid ’70s, working with Bunny Lee and laying down a slower, more romantic sound which would heavily influence the lovers rock style. Tracklist: ‘Rock With Dub’, ‘A Lonely Dub’, ‘Get It While It’s Dub’, ‘Believe In Dub’, ‘Fell For Dub’,…

 

DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
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ANSTAM
Baldwin / Carmichael
50 WEAPONS
12″ // £8.99

The enigmatic Anstam duo follow up the killer ‘Albert’ and a wicked Fact mix with their first full solo 12″ in three years. At the risk of repeating ourselves, these guys make some of the most crushingly dynamic, dead ON-IT beats around. This time they’re investigating a more squashed and cryptically moody style with ‘Baldwin’, stamping sub-loaded breakbeats with a brooding, twisted synth torque leading to an unmistakably Teutonic conclusion….

BIAS & GURLEY
Roll (Blackdown Mix)
Keysound Recordings
12″ // £5.99

Keysound commendably unite two of UK Bass music’s foundational architects, Steve Gurley and Zed Bias, for the first time on ‘Roll’. Both producers require little introduction: Gurley was an integral member of seminal jungle unit Foul Play, and one of the very first UK Garage producers, while Bias is credited with the creation of Dark Garage, and both sewed the seeds for early Dubstep. Their collaboration is a sharp-edged fusion…

REDINHO
Edge Off EP
NUMBERS
12″ // £6.99

Redinho serves a supremely robust follow-up to the raw-as-f*nk futurism of his Numbers debut. On the ‘Edge Off’ EP your man is helplessly torn between styles but evidently capable of pulling each one off with finesse. The eponymous feature figures squidgy ’80s synth bass and proper neon talkbox for the ballers, before ‘Slap’ flips that received cool on its head, tackling Hyper-dazzlin’ Footwork styles like Squarepusher on an IV skittles…

LV AND MESSAGE TO BEARS
Explode (Charlie Dark / Dj Rum Mixes)
2nd Drop Records
12″ // £7.99

DJ Rum and Attica Blues’ Charlie Dark revise LV’s luxurious ‘Explode’ in two sensitive and diverse versions. A-side features a very welcome return from Charlie Dark, who has largely been off the radar since his influential work with Attica Blues ten years ago. From plangent, piano-lead intro, his ‘Longtime’ remix realigns the groove on a minimalist Tech-House roll, reserved but stealthily nudged with Broken beat inflections to sound like a…

LV AND MESSAGE TO BEARS
Explode (Mothy Mix)
2nd Drop Records
12″ // £7.99

Sweeter House/Bass music from LV, linking with Message To Bears and vocalist Zaki Ibrahim for a luxurious groover. The full-sunken rhythm has definite traces of the South African Kwaito sounds LV have soaked up of late, while Message From Bears adds an acoustic tenderness ripe for Zaki Ibrahim’s graceful tweet, strongly reminsicent of Fatima’s work with Floating Points. Flipside Mothy’s ‘Implosion’ mix rubs out the beat entirely to leave the…

PAMPIDOO
Synthesizer Voice (Goth-Trad Mixes)
Greensleeves
12″ // £5.99

Goth-Trad lays out the finest record in his estimable catalogue, versioning Pamidoo’s nutty ‘Sythesizer Voice’ for the Greensleeves Dubstep remix series. There’s no testing this plate, it’s an out-and-out weapon. The A-side welds Denzil Palmer’s larynx-wrecking vocal to ricocheting snare strikes and galloping steppers rhythms, while the B-side meshes the vocal inna dance-punishing matrix of metallic delays, sirens and broader-than-broadway bass. An absolute essential for any self-respecting Dubstep head.

S-X
Wooo Riddim (Blue Vinyl Edition)
BUTTERZ
10″ // £4.99

**New blue vinyl edition** The biggest Grime riddim of the last year, finally available on vinyl and backed with a DJ Q remix!!! A-side features the bubbling 808s and shark-eyed synths of ‘Woooo Riddim’ straight up, sounding as lean, futuristic and skunked-out as every time you’ve heard it on the bus, youtube or soundcloud. D Double E may be missing but this riddim goes hard regardless. On the flip DJ…

BENNY PAGE
Original Killa / Take You Back
SUBWAY
12″ // £6.49

Bellicose dubstep destruction from the one like Benny Page. ‘original Killa’ comes ruff and tuff with robust bass surges, gruff drum accents and soundsystem samples. Flipside, ‘Take You Back’ is more raved-up and Dutch sounding, rubbing Bubblin’ synth signatures over a pointed hard swagger riddim. A hard plate for fans of Seven, Benga or Skream.

GANG COLOURS
In Your Gut Like A Knife
Brownswood Recordings
12″ // £5.99

Brownswood present a charming introduction to the lambent downbeat Garage/Electronic sound of Gang Colours. Coming from Southampton, he’s almost like the inverse of that city’s Grime wunderkind, Royal T, all about smudged and ambiguous melodic tones over drowsy 2-step beats, instead of sharp-cut Garage/Grime. ‘Village & Boy’ strings his sound somewhere between Mount Kimbie and Sepalcure, working woozy synth reflections around a blunted double Garage swing. EP highlight ‘Fireworks In…

KASTLE
Time Traveler
Seclusiasis
12″ // £5.99

Seclusiasis unleash four tracks of R&B-spiked Bass steppers from B. Rich in his Kastle guise. Leading off, ‘Time Traveller’ rides with old skool Garage bass licks, pitch-skewed vox and skipping, Bass-laced rhythms, whereas ‘Walking Away’ with Armanni Reign and Domonique rolls with a more gangsta R&B lean, blinding synths and bulging bass included. Flipside ‘Bring Me Back’ steps on that Kingdom sound, wrapped with strafing synths, string slashes and a…

KROMESTAR
Colourful Vibrations EP
DUBSTEP FOR DEEP HEADS
12″ // £6.49

Four synaesthetised steppers taken from Kromestar’s ‘Colourful Vibrations’ album. ‘Shake It’ stays ultra-minimal, just pure, harmonised subbass pressure and shivering hi-hats, crisp claps and ricocheting snares. ‘Konfuzed’ is more ebullient, bouncing off midi-brass parps, busy percussion and fully loaded subs, while ‘Disagree’ strongly reminds of Phaeleh’s productions, and the vinyl-only ‘Earthling’ leans forward like Mala skanking with Zomby.

SKREAM
Skream EP
Disfigured Dubz
2×12″ // £12.99

If you’re getting a bit p*ssed off with your kid sister caning Magnetic Man tracks, this double pack will remind you why you loved Skream in the first place. ‘Hats Off’ is purest old skool ebullience, harnessing rampant pianos with romping Jungle breaks and a virulent acid sequence. ‘Heavy Hitter’ lurches into monstrous metallic halfstep mode. ‘Rigging’ is equally unsubtle, steamrolling soundsystems with titanic subs, while ‘Seasick’ takes the halfstep…

SYNKRO & INDIGO
Guidance
Exit Records
12″ // £7.99

Soul-stunning, hyper-fluid D&B futurism from two deeply talented producers. The last 12 months have seen both producers mature and hone their sound into something acutely affective, with Indigo dropping the diverse yet focused ‘Zero Point EP’ and Synkro producing some of his best material to date for dBridge’s Exit label, and Blackout Music. Over two years since their last collaboration on ‘Heaven’ they’ve pared back their sound to a lushly…

VON D
Daydreaming
Boka Records
2×12″ // £12.99

Party-ready double pack of vocal dubstep collaborations with Riya, Phephe, and Mr Lager. Styles range from Junglist/Boogie hybrids on ‘One Day’ to halfsteppin’ Jungle on ‘You’re The One’, and dubbed-out rollers sounds on ‘Asap’.

VON D
Daydreaming
Boka Records
CD // £9.99

Party-ready album of vocal dubstep collaborations with Riya, Phephe, Mr Lager, David Boombah, Foreign Beggars, Spyda, Moxy Phinx, Vicky Harrison, Lakaye Jolie and Simbad. Styles range from Junglist/Boogie hybrids on ‘One Day’ to halfsteppin’ Jungle on ‘You’re The One’, and dubbed-out rollers sounds on ‘Asap’.

 

ELECTRONIC
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MIND OVER MIRRORS
The Voice Rolling (Limited Vinyl Edition)
DIGITALIS
LP // £11.99

*Excellent album of head-melting drone and Kosmische made on an Indian Harmonium and recorded to tape – available on vinyl only in an edition of 450 copies for the world* Digitalis introduce the Mind Over Mirrors alias of Jaime Fennelly (Acid Birds/Peeesseye/Manpack Variant) with the endless Harmonium drone topologies of ‘The Voice Rolling’. Five years since his previous solo outing, Jaime expresses timelessly primal yet elevated intentions over seven densely…

KANGDING RAY
OR
Raster Noton
CD // £12.99

Kanding Ray’s 2008 LP Automne Fold is one of the stand-out Raster-Noton releases of recent years; within it, David Letellier managed to impose a unique pop sensibility and structure upon the kind of disciplined, fanatically detailed brand of computer music that’s relatively common to his label brethren. For OR, his third LP to date, the producer offers a similarly focussed, bass-fuelled attack in a bid to depict “the disillusions of…

VLADISLAV DELAY QUARTET
Vladislav Delay Quartet
Honest Jon’s Records
2LP // £11.99

He’s served tirelessly in the Moritz Von Oswald Trio, but now Sasu Ripatti takes centre-stage with his own improv ensemble, The Vladislav Delay Quartet. He’s joined by Lucio Capece on clarinet and sax, Derek Shirley on double bass and – most interestingly, and most audibly – Mika Vainio on electronics. The Pan Sonic man’s sonic signature makes itself felt from the off, opening cut ‘Minus Degrees, Bare Feet, Tickles’ driven…

VLADISLAV DELAY QUARTET
Vladislav Delay Quartet
Honest Jon’s Records
CD // £10.99

He’s served tirelessly in the Moritz Von Oswald Trio, but now Sasu Ripatti takes centre-stage with his own improv ensemble, The Vladislav Delay Quartet. He’s joined by Lucio Capece on clarinet and sax, Derek Shirley on double bass and – most interestingly, and most audibly – Mika Vainio on electronics. The Pan Sonic man’s sonic signature makes itself felt from the off, opening cut ‘Minus Degrees, Bare Feet, Tickles’ driven…

LAUREL HALO
Antenna
NNA TAPES
Cassette // £6.99

Following up one of 2010’s most extraordinary debuts, the ‘King Felix EP’ for HIT, Laurel Halo returns on a blissed-out cassette for the brilliant NNA Tapes. In stark relief to the ebullient song-writing which defined her debut, ‘Antenna’ opens up the ambient techno side of Laurel’s hyperprism, which we’d sensed from her interviews and mixes was just waiting to be revealed in her recordings. From the onset of ‘Impulse’ we’re…

M.A.L.
The M.A.L. Tapes
Vinyl On Demand
LP // £14.99

**Limited to 600 copies, includes official certificate of ownership** Vinyl On Demand focus on the unique and captivating minimal synth and guitar recordings of Daniel Malempré with ‘The M.A.L. Tapes’. The breadth and scope of this label’s excavations never fail to amaze us and this one is no different. The A-side covers eight relatively brief, almost baroque recordings released on various labels such as Grafika Airline and Insane Music in…

VENETIAN SNARES
Cubist Reggae EP
Planet Mu
12″ // £5.99

Venetian Snares’ latest escapade is a completely unforeseen diversion into reggae, well, ‘Cubist Reggae’ at least. This guy clearly sees the world differently, and when he applies that weltanschauung to his music, you’re almost guaranteed interesting results. And, while this EP is by far his most accessible, it’s also one of his craftiest. ‘Ever Apparent All Being Shoulder’ is Snares at his most minimal, swiping away the dense breakbeat acrobatics…

GOLDEN RETRIEVER
Emergent Layer
NNA TAPES
Cassette // £6.99

Amazing session of modular synth noise and treated clarinet from the intrepid Golden Retriever duo. Matt Carlson (Parenthetical Girls/Bonus) and Jonathan Sielaff expand the magical and unique sound of their five (highly limited) previous releases on Root Strata, Gift Tapes and more with ‘Emergent Layer’, blooming Sielaff’s voluminous bass clarinet over dynamically complex and unpredictable modular synth tones. It’s at once primal and super futurist, real-timed realizations of incredibly vivid…

QLUSTER
FRAGEN
Bureau B
CD // £10.99

Not Cluster, or Kluster, but Qluster, a project which sees Hans-Joachim Roedelius collaborating with Onnen Bock rather than his usual partner Dieter Moebius. Bock is a musician and sound installationist who has played in Zeitkratzer (the avant-garde ensemble known for their work with the likes of Carsten Nicolai, Keiji Haino and Terre Thaemlitz), and he’s been exchanging musical ideas with Roedelius since 2007. Existing fans of Roedelius needn’t worry: his…

HONG KONG IN THE 60S
My Fantoms
PROPER SONGS
CD // £9.99

Everytime we’ve encounter a Hong Kong In The 60s record we’re never anything less than charmed. Their debut album ‘My Fantoms’ does the same, taking the dinky melodies and lounge-lite styles of their Ghost Box 7″ and collaboration with A Taut Line, and expanding them into 12 tracks of twee and breezy Bossa pop and Radiophonic electronics with a gallic sense of romance. Mei Yau Kan’s fragile vocals fragrance the…

DRAINOLITH
Where Are Ye Col. Leslie Groves?
NNA TAPES
Cassette // £6.99

Freakin’ weirdo 20 minute pseudo-jazz session from AIDS Wolf guitarist Alexander Moskos. The label describe it as ‘Not unlike parlor music being played by an insane asylum patient…” and they’re not far wrong. Moskos jarringly sets spasms of reverb heavy drum pads against mental MIDI piano palming and droning tape drift. We couldn’t call it easy listening, but there are some wicked moments of almost Suicide-esque ennui, and a detached…

 

HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
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ALVA NOTO AND RYUICHI SAKAMOTO
SUMMVS
Raster Noton
CD // £12.99

‘Summvs’ is the fifth and purportedly final collaborative album from the dream-team of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto). Since 2002 the two musicians have fused their disciplines near-faultlessly, with Sakamoto’s evocative piano-based compositions melting effortlessly into Nicolai’s skillful digital rhythms and cautious manipulations. Each album has brought the duo slightly closer together, and ‘summvs’ (the title an amalgamation of the words summa and versus) sees their work…

MARSEN JULES
Nostalgia
Oktaf
CD // £9.99

Marsen Jules returns with an astonishing suite that combines a stirring orchestral grandeur with chilly, cinematic ambience. An obvious reference point is the stately creations of Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS, but Jules’ compositions have a crystal-clear quality that Voigt’s tracks lack, and are also completely beatless – they feel more exposed, more vulnerable. His sixth full-length to date, following releases on Autoplate, City Centre Offices and Genesungswerk, and appearances on no…

JULIANNA BARWICK & IKUE MORI
FRKWYS Vol. 6
RVNG Intl.
LP // £15.99

*Limited edition vinyl pressing packaged in thick black jacket with two-colour adhesive rap* Fresh from dropping her jaw-droppingly beautiful sophomore album The Magic Place, Julianna Barwick teams up with Ikue Mori of legendary New York no wavers DNA for a 12″ of vocalisation and eldritch electronics. In the years since DNA tore apart the Gotham art scene, Mori has been busying herself as a distinguished developer of digital synth and…

DONATO WHARTON
A White Rainbow Spanning The Dark
Serein
10″ // £7.99

We haven’t heard much from Donato Wharton since his brace of City Centre Offices LPs in 2004 and 2006, but the Cardiff-born, Stuttgart-raised and currently London-based artist has been busy in the interim, concentrating on his work as sound designer and composer for theatre and dance. Indeed, A White Rainbow Spanning The Dark is inspired by the endless air and train-miles that he’s racked up along the way – beautifully…

RYAN TEAGUE
Causeway
SONIC PIECES
CD // £14.99

It’s been far too long since we last heard from British composer Ryan Teague. It seems like eons since his lushly orchestrated ‘Coins and Crosses’ hit the shelves, and since then he’s been near silent. Something has kept him busy though, and no doubt some part of that was taken up with sculpting this surprising and enchanting new disc. It’s always hard to get the balance of old and new…

LOSCIL
Coast / Range / Arc
Glacial Movements
CD // £13.99

Hot on the heels (at least in terms of Scott Morgan’s productivity) of last year’s fabulous ‘Endless Falls’ is this latest slice of glacial ambience from Loscil. ‘Coast / Range / Arc’ takes a markedly different approach to its predecessor – the focus is still Morgan’s very specific brand of hazy ambience, but gone are the clipped rhythms and low-slung bass which was his calling card. This is ambient music…

ESMERINE
La Lechuza
Constellation
LP + CDR // £18.99

**Heavyweight vinyl with ltd edition poster and the full album on CD thrown in** Esmerine is Godspeed Black You Emperor’s Bruce Cawdron and A Silver Mount Zion’s Beckie Foon indulging their sweetest, most melodic impulses, but their brand of stirring neo-classical Americana is here burdened with a palpable sadness – La Lechuza is a tribute to the group’s friend Lhasa de Sela, who died last year aged just 37. Barr…

DUSTIN O’HALLORAN
Vorleben
Fat Cat
CD // £9.99

‘Best Of’ albums can be a little off-putting to the ‘serious’ music fans out there, so it’s nice that solo piano maestro Dustin O’Halloran has done something a little different for his own entry into the shark pool. ‘Vorleben’ (which means ‘past life’ in German) is also live album of sorts, but finds O’Halloran only performing material from his hallowed early albums ‘Piano Solos 1’ and ‘Piano Solos 2’. Recorded…

 

INDIE / ROCK / ALTERNATIVE
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BORIS
Heavy Rocks
SARGENT HOUSE
CD // £13.99

If ‘Attention Please’ is Boris exorcising their lighter daemons, ‘Heavy Rocks’ returns them to more familiar territory. You’ll find grazing, grungy hard rock on ‘Riot Sugar’, psyched-out space rock on ‘Galaxians’, proggier epics on ‘Missing Pieces’ and ‘Aileron’ and blisteringly fun Punk on ‘Window Shopping’, all with the trademark hi-end production values to the fore.

BORIS
Attention Please
SARGENT HOUSE
LP // £19.99

Boris’ 17th studio album ‘Attention Please’ is a syncretic amalgam of ideas siphoned from Techno and Shoegaze and slotted into their usual Rock framework. Of course, if anyone was going to pull this off it’s one of Japan’s most prominent and widely respected groups. Quite notably, all the vocals are handled by the trio’s female quotient, Wata, which lends a sensitive cohesion to their experiments beyond the usual Boris sound….

BORIS
Attention Please
SARGENT HOUSE
CD // £13.99

Boris’ 17th studio album ‘Attention Please’ is a syncretic amalgam of ideas siphoned from Techno and Shoegaze and slotted into their usual Rock framework. Of course, if anyone was going to pull this off it’s one of Japan’s most prominent and widely respected groups. Quite notably, all the vocals are handled by the trio’s female quotient, Wata, which lends a sensitive cohesion to their experiments beyond the usual Boris sound….

BATTLES
Gloss Drop
Warp Records
CD // £9.99

What does a band do when its frontman and figurehead walks out before they’ve finished their sophomore album? Most would crumble, but Battles ain’t no normal band, and while the abrupt departure of Tyondai Braxton must’ve bruised them, it hasn’t stopped them putting together a record every bit as vital as their universally lauded debut; arguably more so. Certainly, the sound here is heavier and fuller than before – they…

BATTLES
Gloss Drop
Warp Records
2LP // £12.99

What does a band do when its frontman and figurehead walks out before they’ve finished their sophomore album? Most would crumble, but Battles ain’t no normal band, and while the abrupt departure of Tyondai Braxton must’ve bruised them, it hasn’t stopped them putting together a record every bit as vital as their universally lauded debut; arguably more so. Certainly, the sound here is heavier and fuller than before – they…

13 & GOD
Own Your Ghost
Alien Transistor
LP // £13.99

Has it really been six years since 13 & God’s self titled debut album? That record, the fruition of a long-term collaboration between Anticon lads Doseone, Jel, Dax Pierson and Jordan Dalrymple and Weilheim poppers The Notwist was an oddity in anyone’s record collection. A deeply strange blend of Anticon’s patented dark blend of grubby rap and The Notwist’s similarly distinct German electronic pop, the album was a triumph in…

BOY KING ISLANDS
Fall
EAT CONCRETE
LP // £12.99

**Blue Marbled Vinyl** Accompanyng his ‘Die Before You Die’ 10″, Caural diverts into indie-electronic pastures with his debut album alongside Jason Hunt, Elizabeth Hunt, and Jacob Croegaert as Boy King Islands. We’ve heard hints of something lusher and almost rock-y in Caural’s previous work, but never to the extent of ‘Fall’, an eleven-track suite of Indie and shoegaze guitars, keys, Mbira, Harmonica, Noise and Field Recordings recalling Sonic Youth, MBV,…

DEERHOOF
Behold a Marvel in the Darkness
ATP
7″ // £4.49

*Picture Disc** ‘Behold A Marvel In The Darkness’ is another single culled from Deerhoof’s fantastic ‘Deerhoof vs. Evil’ album, and shows a quieter side to everyone’s favourite noisy art-rockers. The track is one of my favourites from the album, and blends subtle electronics with their usual stop-start styles, but tempers things with melodies gorgeous enough to grace the loveliest of nursery rhymes. Just to shake things up, we’re treated to…

F*CKED UP
David Comes To Life
Matador
2LP // £15.99

**Includes MP3 download voucher redeemable from the label** So how does a Canadian band end up making a rock opera (in a clear nod to British rockers The Who) about Thatcher-era England? Well, I suppose it’s as good a subject matter as any, but it seems like a pretty off kilter choice given that the band probably know more about maple syrup and Arcade Fire. Maybe it’s that ‘David Comes…

F*CKED UP
David Comes To Life
Matador
CD // £9.99

So how does a Canadian band end up making a rock opera (in a clear nod to British rockers The Who) about Thatcher-era England? Well, I suppose it’s as good a subject matter as any, but it seems like a pretty off kilter choice given that the band probably know more about maple syrup and Arcade Fire. Maybe it’s that ‘David Comes To Life’ is, at its heart a druggy…

THE HOLE PUNCH GENERATION
The Hole Punch Generation
Audiobulb Records
CD // £10.99

Boston’s The Hole Punch Generation present their eponymous debut album, an epic slab of electronic shoegaze rock comparable to Sigur Ros or Radiohead. The group formed five years ago and have coalesced into a sophisticated unit centred on Patrick Balthrop’s emotive falsetto and supported by walls of finely tailored electronics, deploying a complex mesh of modified instrumentation passed through Max/MSP, SuperCollider, and Reaktor patches around improvised live drums and tempered…

 

JAZZ / RELATED
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TELEBOSSA
Telebossa
Staubgold
LP // £14.99

Bossa isn’t a genre of music that usually crosses my messy desk, that’s for sure. Telebossa are unafraid to go full steam ahead into the genre, and the results are surprising and electrifying. There are simple tales of love and loss set to a backdrop of Brazilian sun, and this only gives the compositions more weight. The sheer variety on show here is what strikes me the most, and I…

 

JUNGLE / DRUM & BASS
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AMIT
9 Times
Commercial Suicide
12″ + CD // £11.99

**The 14 track album on CD, plus ‘9 Times’ and bonus track ‘Slug’ on 12″ vinyl** Amit’s sophomore album is a wide-ranging, deeply layered affair including a number of vocal contributions from Ursula Rani Sarma amidst his trademark halfstep D&B, darker Electro, and Techy rollers. Rani’s vocals beautifully flavour opener ‘Lullaby For “Yerma”‘, setting a classically noirish tone for the duration. The low-slung droning atmospheres of ‘Pripyat’ and ‘68000’ start…

VARIOUS / INGREDIENTS
Ingredients Presents: Recipe Book Vol.1
Ingredients Records
CD // £8.99

‘Recipe Book Volume One’ showcases 12 up-and-coming D&B producers featured on the excellent Ingredients series. Unfortunately there’s no recipes attached like with the singles, but there’s enough hi-tech D&B to keep you sustained. The disc dips from ‘Outlook’ by unknown Russian boy-wonder, 2sides, to the shark-eyed and agile ‘step of ‘Domepiece’ by Manchester’s Dub Phizix, through Skeptical’s powerful subs on ‘Refraction’, the darting syncopations of Mute & Mako’s ‘Rorschach’ and…

PARADOX
Ramifications
PARADOX MUSIC
3 x 12″ // £19.99

**GREY MARBLED VINYL** Nine years since his last LP, the OG drumfunk D&B don spills six tracks of inimitably programmed rhythms. Never one to pander to trend, Paradox digs deeper into his deeply rooted groove but does allow for two concessions to slower tempos. Working at 135bpm, ‘The Last B-Boy’ restructures the classic Apache break in an ethereal mist of melodica tones and chest-caving sub hits, while the killer closing…

PARADOX
Ramifications
PARADOX MUSIC
CD // £8.99

Nine years since his last LP, the OG drumfunk D&B don spills ten tracks of inimitably programmed rhythms. Never one to pander to trend, Paradox digs deeper into his deeply rooted groove but does allow for two concessions to slower tempos. Working at 135bpm, ‘The Last B-Boy’ restructures the classic Apache break in an ethereal mist of melodica tones and chest-caving sub hits, while the killer closing cut ‘Consonance’ is…

 

MINIMAL / DANCEFLOOR
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FUTURE BEAT ALLIANCE
Grey Summer
Tresor Records
12″ // £5.99

Ahead of his forthcoming album, FBA drops two tried-and-tested Techno weapons for Tresor. ‘Grey Summer’ builds up crafty pumping rhythms to Trancy payoff reminiscent of older Mathew Jonson tracks or recent Psychatron moves, while ‘Regurgitate’ is more direct, revolving around a potent trance-techno hook and proper old-skool Tresor rhythms.

MATIAS AGUAYO
I Don’t Smoke
Kompakt
12″ // £6.99

It might be a case of imperfect recall, but we’re pretty sure we’ve seen Matias Aguayo enjoy a fag or two in his time. Whatever, this record is something of an event, being his first proper EP since 2009’s 99 Seconds on Soul Jazz. ‘Dance Machine’ is pure party music for the ‘floor, with tom-heavy percussion inna old-skool Chi-town style and an irresistible vamping melody that sounds like it’s been…

GUS GUS
Arabian Horse
Kompakt
LP // £13.99

**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** With more than one or two nods to classic 80s pop (think early Pet Shop Boys or The Beloved) it was interesting to find out that the bare bones of each track was produced with just two modular synthesizers. This caustic bleep is still present beneath the deep-house thud and arpeggiated posh-trance tropes, and makes an interesting stylistic tic for the band….

VARIOUS / COCOON RECORDINGS
Sechs: Mixed by Chris Tietjen
Cocoon Recordings
CD // £10.49

Cocoon’s resident DJ Chris Tietjen blends the label’s sixth annual mix CD. He draws from a healthy back catalogue of big hitters, including Moritz Von Oswald’s ‘Cocoon Dark Dub’, the Visionquest remix of Dinky’s ‘Acid In My Fridge’, Psychatron and Paul Woolford’s ‘Thunder’, Maetrik’s ‘Snorkel’, and Johannes Heil’s ‘Twentythree’, plus more from Argy, Phil Kieran, Loco Dice, 2000 And One, Dubfire and Chymera. House(d) in embossed digicase.

VARIOUS / FREUDE AM TANZEN
Freude Am Tanzen 5zig
Freude Am Tanzen
CD // £10.99

Freude Am Tanzen celebrate 50 releases of classy Tech-House with a compendium of 12 exclusive tracks (including four bonus tracks not on the 5LP) from their roster of Kadebostan, Monkey Mafia, Taron Trekka, Douglas Greed, Marek Hemmann, Mathias Kaden, Krause Duo, Robag Wruhme and more. From the symphonic opening statement ‘Mother Cries’ by Kadebostan they groove through pumping mnml House from Monkey Maffia ‘Cruciate Ligament’, to kinky shuffle-Tech on Mathias…

 

SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
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THE CARETAKER
An empty bliss beyond this World
History Always Favours The Winners
CD // £7.99

Brand new LP from The Caretaker! Seeping to the surface two years since his cherished and widely acclaimed ‘Persistent Repetition Of Phrases’ LP, ‘An Empty Bliss Beyond The World’ returns our doddering protagonist to the deserted ballroom, wandering its waxed floor and dilapidated grandeur in an attempt to capture an era which has long since disappeared but still haunts the atmosphere. In the meantime he’s accessed an alternate set of…

BARRY GRAY
Stand By For Adverts
Trunk Records
LP // £12.99

Barry Gray is probably best known for his collboarations with Thunderbirds man Gerry Anderson, and thanks to Trunk, those of us who didn’t grow up hearing the UFO soundtrack when it originally aired were truly wowed when the label managed to secure a reissue a few years back. The still alien-sounding blend of echoing jazz and subtle sci-fi electronics had us totally captivated, so you can imagine the hand rubbing…

 

SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
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FORD & LOPATIN (GAMES)
Channel Pressure
SOFTWARE
CD // £10.99

‘Channel Pressure’ is the debut LP from Ford & Lopatin, formerly-known-as Games (Daniel “Oneohtrix Point Never” Lopatin & Joel “Tiger City” Ford). Without a shadow of a doubt it’s one of the years defining records, a postmodern pop dazzler patching elements of discoid ’80s pop and jazz-funk fusion with early ’90s R&B in a lucidly fractal digital simulacra that sounds like an updated and oddly screwed version of classic Scritti…

YOU
Electric Day
Bureau B
CD // £11.99

Freakishly good Berlin School electronics from 1979, with a strange and wonderful jazz influence worked into its future-thrusting sequences, all mixed by Harald Grosskopf of Synthesist fame. This is the kind of shit that people like Oneohtrix Point Never and Roll The Dice bug out to in their downtime, and in some cases rip off wholesale. Hard to pick favourites, but the fusion-y title track is a doozy, like Weather…

YOU
Time Code
Bureau B
CD // £11.99

Another blast of superlative Berlin School kosmische reissued for modern-day space cadets and those who missed it the first time around. You need only look at the sleeve of You’s Time Code – all mystic pyramids and spheres floating across airbrushed alien terrain – to perceive its relevance in the age of such new age revivalists as Oneohtrix, Stella OM Source and Dylan Ettinger. Recorded in 1982, using a hefty…

JUNIOR BOYS
Banana Ripple
Domino
12″ // £5.99

Peachy lead single from JB’s forthcoming ‘It’s All True’ album, including a lush remix from The Field. ‘Banana Ripple’ is the kind of instantly gratifying delicacy that made folk fall madly in love with the group circa ‘Last Exit’, but streamlined with the disco finesse of their follow-up albums. Maybe it’s the dreamy sense of space, or maybe it’s the slightly camp joy of Jeremy Greenspan’s vocal, but whatever it…

DEXTER
Space Booty / Fat Skinny People
Clone Crown Limited Series
12″ // £7.99

**Includes free download code redeemable from the label** After a recent run of Jacking aces, Dexter reverts to his cherished electrobooty sound for Clone’s Crown series. ‘Space Booty’ is loaded with the kind of electro-shocked 808s that’s quiver your cellulite and shatter your cellphone, while the flipside joints ‘Fat Skinny People’ stir in some ghetto call and response lyrics for lowdown effect. Ya’eard?

TROPIC OF CANCER
The Sorrow Of Two Blooms (Second Edition)
BLACKEST EVER BLACK
12″ // £7.99

*Second pressing in plain black inner with new printed insert* Blackest Ever Black made an indelible mark on 2010 with a couplet of stunning releases from Raime. This year they open their leathery wings to shelter Tropic Of Cancer aka Camella Lobo and Juan Mendez (Silent Servant) for a midnight mission away from their spiritual home, Regis’ Downwards sect. No doubt, this is their strongest material to date: three passionately…

HATCHBACK
Zeus & Apollo
Lo Recordings
2LP // £20.99

**Includes MP3 download voucher redeemable from the label** Hatchback is the solo moniker of San Francisco producer Sam Grawe. While his day job might be producing syrupy house and disco under the Windsurf moniker (along with producing buddy Daniel Judd), the Hatchback material shows his more sensitive, calmer side. I want to refrain from dropping the dreaded ‘chill’ tag, but this is decidedly chilled material, with slowly developing synthesizer textures…

YES WIZARD
Elephant & Castle
Tigersushi Records
12″ // £5.99

Tigersushi are back on the scene in fine style, following Nakion’s nutty ‘Oh Ah’ LP with two tracks of electrified and Afro-bumping House backed by a smart Duke Dumont remix. ‘Elephant & Castle’ bounces off irregular Toms and hypnotic Likembe patterns in delirious fashion, while ‘Heaven Black’ sounds like some squiggled Mbalax riddim transported to Miami. Duke Dumont’s remix of ‘Elephant & Castle’ pushes and processes that Likembe up front…

 

TECHNO / HOUSE
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ITAL
Culture Clubs (w/Hieroglyphic Being Remix)
Lovers Rock
12″ // £8.99

*Incredible 2nd single from Ital, aka Mi Ami aka Sex Worker, backed with a brilliant Hieroglyphic Being remix* If you’ve checked their tête-à-tête on the 20 Jazz Funk Greats blog, your interest will no doubt be piqued for this record, but we honestly couldn’t predict how wonderfully strange it would actually work out. Ital’s ‘Culture Clubs’ occupies the A-side, really taking the slanted House sound of his 100% Silk release…

SPEKTER
Pipe Bomb
Sound Signature
12″ // £8.99

Collossal darkside jacker’s grooves on Sound Signature! Your man from Chicago, Spekter, has appeared on some ace sides for Sistrum and Downbeat to date, before passing this tune to Theo Parrish who promptly signed it up for Sound Signature. As far as we can tell it’s the same track on both sides, but what a freakin’ track! Don’t sleep on this, it’s deadly!

NICK DUNTON / SANDWELL DISTRICT
Between Worlds (Sandwell District Mix)
SURFACE
12″ // £6.49

Lush deep techno from Nick Dunton of the sadly defunct 65D Mavericks, backed with a gorgeous Sandwell District remix. Dunton’s original is swaddled in deeply layered synths which breakdown to reveal crystalline keys. The Sandwell District remix adds their own signature sense of space and time-dilating epicness, factoring in a rich, Basic Channel-style bassline and making a splendid centrepiece of that gorgeous piano refrain. White vinyl copies, don’t sleep on…

SURGEON
Breaking The Frame
Dynamic Tension
CD // £7.99

Ten years since his last album, Surgeon returns riding a nine-headed beast on ‘Breaking The Frame’. A decade is a relatively long time in musical terms, and while his (increasingly uncommon) singles over that period have remained resolutely 4/4 and heavy, his DJ sets have incorporated a wealth of influence from Dubstep and Bass music in general. This album absorbs those influences and refracts them into an impressive spectrum of…

EMPTYSET
Demiurge
Subtext
CD // £11.99

Multiverse – the constellation of forward-thinking Bristol labels that also includes Tectonic, Kapsize and Caravan – reactivates its seminal Subtext imprint (best known for those mind-melting early Vex’d singles) for a daring new LP from Emptyset. A collaboration between Mutiverse boss James ‘Ginz’ Ginzburg and Paul Purgas, Demiurge is the second album by Emptyset, and finds them reducing their production process down to a singular signal chain channelled into a…

MORPHOLOGY
Euclidean Algorithm
Semantica
12″ // £8.99

Hot on the heels of a remix for Hardfloor and E.R.P’s ‘You Know The Score’, Morphology land two tracks on Semantica. The title of ‘Euclidean Algorithm’ refers to “an efficient method for computing the greatest common divisor (GCD)” and cuts a fine figure of sleek, Drexciya-inspired electro with rolling electro-funk percussion and crisp melodies. ‘Spacetime Interval’ is more minimal, perhaps more specifically like a Heinrich Mueller’s style.

MASSIMILIANO PAGLIARA
Focus For Infinity
Live at Robert Johnson
CD // £8.99

Debut album from the former Balihu and Meakusma contributor. Fans of the slow sound should be on this in an instant. Massimiliano has got the chug on lock, keeping the tempo around a sensually sub-110bpm over 13 tracky grooves intended for the connoisseurs and the steamiest points of the night. Fairly simple stuff, but very effective. Reminiscent of everything from Harald Grosskopf to Mark E.

DONATO DOZZY
K
FURTHER RECORDS
CD // £13.99

*Hand-written, tip-on style sleeve* Debut album of ambient Techno meditations from the revered DJ and producer. ‘K’ consists of two extended tracks clocking in at nearly half an hour each. The first roams sparse half-tempo terrain like some ancient AI chillout session, the atmosphere coloured with pale synth washes and splashing downbeat 909 rhythms. It’s actually a number of tracks segued together, but it’s seamless so you’d never notice anyway….

VARIOUS / LAID
Laid Compilation
LAID
CD // £9.99

When Dial launched Laid back in 2008, we couldn’t quite see how it was going to distinguish itself from its parent label. But over the last three years it has: whereas Dial is about a very European, at times almost gothic romanticism, Laid offers a more grooving deep house sound with an explicit debt to the US – the presence of Michigan super-hero Rick Wade on the roster is telling….

JACQUES GREENE
Lay It Down
UNO NYC
12″ // £8.99

Second serving from New York’s UNO imprint, featuring Jacques Greene on a wickedly bent acid tip. In contrast to the fancied House of his ‘Another Girl’ and ‘The Look’ hits, ‘Lay It Down’ is more rugged and acid tweaked, almost like Levon Vincent going toe-to-toe with Maurice Donovan. Remix reinforcements meanwhile come from Whatever/Whatever, furnishes the groove with more muscular bass and warehouse-ready cowbells, and then there’s ‘What Are You…

SKUDGE
Phantom
Skudge
CD // £10.99

*Mixed CD* Superlative debut long player from the much followed Skudge duo. Despite only producing together since 2009, the Swedish duo’s all analogue productions have been sought-after by House and Techno connoisseurs everywhere. This is the sort of Techno that doesn’t really bear writing about, its contours and arrangements are so subtle and essentially geared towards the club that they really must be felt and experienced in order to gauge…

STEFFI
Remixes
OSTGUT TON
12″ // £7.99

Sophisticated remix package for the Panorama Bar resident’s debut album, courtesy of Staffan Lindberg, Lone and The Analogue Cops. Staffan Lindberg is a new name to us but clearly capable of turning out an ace remix, giving ‘Yours’ a lick of authentic early ’90s House with a moodier edge. Next, Lone takes ‘Arms’ and refries it with his saffron-flavoured twist, giving the drums his patented dreamy reverb and glazing the…

SLEEPARCHIVE
Ronan Point
Tresor Records
12″ // £5.99

After a considerable hiatus Sleeparchive re-emerges on Tresor armed with his latest findings. As robust as ever, these four tracks are perhaps more defined now by a sense of snakey swing and lashings of excoriating white noise. ‘Ronan Point 1’ heaves with a dry, retching bass undulation under prickly hi-hats and encroaching noise gale; ‘Ronan Point 2’ is raw, pummeling and rankled; the highlight ‘Ronan Point 3’ strongly reminds of…

MARK E
Stone Breaker
SPECTRAL SOUND
CD // £9.99

Since 2005 Mark E’s productions have increasingly become the toast of a House scene looking for slower and more seductive tempos without losing the all important impact. Following two killer CD compilations of his celebrated 12″ releases, Ghostly International serve his long overdue debut album. ‘Stone Breaker’ features nine forceful but funky mid-tempo productions primed for the ‘floor. It’s not really a home listening album, that is unless you’ve got…

MIDLAND
Through Motion
AUS Music
12″ // £8.99

Fresher, subbass-heavy Tech-House grooves from Midland. ‘Through Motion’ cuts a thick rut of loping bassline and languid, rolling House rhythms buffed with a crisply but sensitively smudged finish. Lovely breakdown and atmosphere. ‘Shelter’ is more intimate, yet wide open. Pendulous bass and ethereal synth moans coax bodies into the groove while deftly applied field recordings lend a more melancholy, widescreen ambience.

INIGO KENNEDY
Vignettes (One)
Semantica
12″ // £8.99

Impressive tracks from the UK techno stalwart on the Spanish Semantica label. The first vignette ‘Cloudless’, belies some influence from ‘Amber’ era Ae in the arcing, sweetly off-centre melody and unfolding mechanical rhythms. Better yet, ‘Yearning’ amps the tempo to 140bpm for a steppin’ Techno roller occluded by stormy atmospherics and chiming ‘SAW II’ like melody, but the effect isn’t bludgeoning, it’s much more deftly sculpted than you might expect….

SZARE
Volya / Action Five
IDLE HANDS
12″ // £5.99

Idle Hands follow Kowton’s killer ‘She Don’t Jack’ 12″ with two instinctively minimal Tech rollers from Szare. With their previous outings on Horizontal Ground and Other Heights, the duo have forged a robust and distinctive style swinging between skewed Techno and pendulous Bass music like it ain’t no thang. Here, A-side ‘Volya’ is a tightly clipped, deeply in-the-pocket roller, fusing the swaggered and teched-out R&B roll of Kingdom with a…

ABOUT GROUP / THEO PARRISH
You’re No Good Remixes
Domino
12″ // £6.99

About Group is the experimental, jazz-tinged outlet for Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, legendary drummer Charles Hayward, Spiritualized’s John Coxon and celebrated pianist/keys player Pat Thomas. Theo Parrish and Mokmix aka Spring Heel Jack are enlisted to remix their remake of Terry Riley’s own revision of Harvey Averne’s titular latin soul number, which is notably credited as one of the first remixes ever created. Theo P’s version finely rebuilds their studio…

 

WORLD
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VARIOUS / VAMPISOUL
Highlife Time 2
VAMPISOUL
3LP // £19.99

A 2nd, KILLER presentation of assured Nigerian and Ghanaian highlife classics selected by the good, good people at Vampi Soul. It features nineteen tracks by essential artists of the genre such as ET Mensah & The Tempos, Dr Victor Olaiya, Prince Nico Mbarga, Dr Sir Warrior, and Rex Lawson, plus extensive notes by experts, Rita May and Max Reinhardt, and artist photos.

VARIOUS / VAMPISOUL
Highlife Time 2
VAMPISOUL
2CD // £15.99

A 2nd, KILLER presentation of assured Nigerian and Ghanaian highlife classics selected by the good, good people at Vampi Soul. It features nineteen tracks by essential artists of the genre such as ET Mensah & The Tempos, Dr Victor Olaiya, Prince Nico Mbarga, Dr Sir Warrior, and Rex Lawson, plus extensive notes by experts, Rita May and Max Reinhardt, and artist photos.

VARIOUS / MISSISSIPPI
Ishilan N-Tenere
MISSISSIPPI
LP // £14.99

**Vinyl only. First pressing limited to 2000 copies with 12 page full color booklet and extensive liner notes. “This compilation highlights recordings of local guitar bands in three areas of modern day Senegal and Mali. These bands are almost unknown outside of their homes but have a devoted local following. They play all events, celebratory or political. Their songs are folk anthems, hummed under the breath and chanted by children,…

L’ORCHESTRE KANAGA DE MOPTI
Kanaga De Mopti
Kindred Spirits
CD // £13.99

Must-have reissue of this West African orchestra’s most in-demand album, originally recorded in 1977. Usually the preserve of knowledgable record collectors, ‘Kanaga De Mopti’ can be viewed as some kind Malian answer to Pink Floyd – only a HELL of a lot funkier. Under the guidance of bandleader Sory Bamba, the group were one of eight regional orchestras set up during the golden era of state music funding, competing with…