May 202011
 

Hello,

This week we’re enthralled by the reappearance of The Caretaker a.k.a. James Leyland Kirby. He emerges from a dusty cupboard by the stage with another disorientating and ghostly clutch of decayed sonics, this time chronically segued at D&M to enhance the illusion of distorted and dilapidated memories. With specially commissioned artwork by Ivan Seal, it’s a hugely recommended record by one of the most singular characters in modern music.

Another idiosyncratic musician, Tara Cross, is covered in-depth on a stunning retrospective covering her artful DIY synthwave experiments between 1982-89. Based in The Village, NYC during the ’80s, Tara made unique music with minimal means, ranging from discordant pastoral pop to baroque synthwave, showcased in 65 tracks and 4 LP’s housed in a lavish canvas boxed set! It’s a standout edition from the Vinyl On Demand label who also present an unexpected and completely essential Italo obscurity, Fockewulf 190’s ‘Microcosmos’. To quote I-F, “It rocks so hard, it’s a scandal”!

Mark Fell returns as adventurous and advanced as ever on ‘Manitutshu’. Replete with a huge fold-out poster for the geeks, this album means business, from rhythms reminding of MMM’s classic ‘Donna’ edit to totally next-level electro and lazer-guided acid. Most artists pay lip service to the future, Mark Fell is busy making it happen. Do the right thing!

Rashomon’s ‘Ashcan Copy (Film Music Volume 3)’ is an engaging excursion into deepest giallo/horror country lead by Guapo’s Matt Thompson. It appears on smoky wax limited to 150 copies on Hlava Records and intoxicates like a carmine miasma. From petrified psyche-funk to doomy chamber jazz this is a must-check for fans of Demdike Stare, Bohren And Der Club Of Gore, or Steve Moore.

From Die Schachtel we receive Nicola Ratti’s immersive ‘220 Tones’, finding the acclaimed guitarist tinkering with synths and electronics. The results are a unique blend of tape-degraded synth blips and glitches which could have easily slotted into NNF or Raster Noton catalogues, but finds a path all its own.

Hats off to the man like Jackmaster for his Fabriclive session. The world-renowned DJ covers all the party bases with a skillfully paced and crucial selection of classics from his feted box, steering wide of snobbery and cutting straight to the chase. If you’ve got a houseparty to pump and no DJ to do it, this will cost you a fraction of his fee nowadays!

For the home-listeners, Johann Johannsson serves ‘The Miners Hymns’, a grand statement soundtracking a film about the plight of the Durham miners. It’s a sensitive subject but one he deals with beautifully over brooding and instantly classic sounding compositions. It’s comparable to Gavin Bryars’ seminal ‘The Sinking Of The Titanic’ and that’s no small feat. Highly recommended!

If your brain needs a bit more of a challenge, we’d thoroughly recommend ingesting the philosophies and music of Hecker’s ‘Speculative Solution’, his first major work since ‘Acid In The Style Of David Tudor’. It comes housed in an embossed box with five metal balls and a 160 page booklet of essays by Quentin Meillassoux, Robin Mackay and Elie Ayache proposing a a “rigorous new alternative to the employment of chance and randomness in avant-garde composition’ and the music equals that lofty ambition.

MMM have just made our month with the Funky machinations of ‘Dex/Rio’. Adding to their illustrious catalogue of essential releases, this one goes all out for pure, swaggering tribalist Tech that may be a shock to some but a blessing to those who know how to move. It’s utterly essential. From Not Not Fun’s 100% Silk series, we find the not-too-silky debut from Gillette, who may or may not be someone acting incognito. If rasping post-industrial disco is your bag, dip right in!

Also out this week, prime wares from Grimes, Battles, Tin Man, Madlib, Gemmy, Youngsta, Skam, Amon Tobin, David Sylvian, Thurston Moore, Julian Lynch, DJ Qu, Prosumer, Mo Kolours, Mokira, Larry Levan, Royal T, Vessel vs Peverelist, LV, Skream, Tyler The Creator vs Lil SIlva and much more.

Have yourselves a wonderful week…

Peace! nekkers…xx

Albums of the Week



THE CARETAKER
An empty bliss beyond this World (Limited Vinyl Edition)
SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
History Always Favours The Winners
LP // £11.99

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 memory banks with his derivés into Leyland Kirby land, but back in The Caretaker role, James Leyland Kirby conjures a quieter, more introspective spirit, lost in his own mind amidst a low-lit labyrinth of ever-decaying and antediluvian shellac phrases. Sourced from his mysterious collection of 78s, these vague snippets of archaic sonics reflect the ability of Alzheimers patients to recall the songs of their past, and with them recollections of places, people, moods and sensations. The effect is subtly amplified by the chronic vinyl cut at Berlin’s D&M, allowing each memory to segue seamlessly and unpredictably into the next for an otherworldly and disorienting experience. Coupled with another deeply enigmatic artwork commission from Ivan Seal, ‘An Empty Bliss Beyond The World’, is a highly potent transmission from one of the most singular characters operating in music today.



TARA CROSS
1982-1989
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
Vinyl On Demand
Deluxe 4LP Box Set // £59.99

**Utterly mindblowing compendium of albums, rarities and archival recordings from one of the most compelling characters to have emerged from the 1980’s cassette/wave/underground, made in an individually numbered edition of 600 copies for the world including a certificate of ownership and individual sleeves housed inside a deluxe, embossed canvas box** After blowing us away with that gargantuan box of Geman Punk & Wave, Vinyl on Demand return to present one the year’s most anticipated archival issues – a comprehensive collection of material by seminal NYC-based minimal synth mistress Tara Cross, mostly released on cassette and vinyl between 1982 and 1989. As one of the leading female figures of the ’80s cassette underground, Tara created a lo-fi but distinct aesthetic with meagre means; just an Electro-Harmonix mini synthesizer, primitive drum box and vocals recorded to tape. After starting out in punk bands, she developed an unconventional, artfully experimental style of minimal synth music which appeared on several cassette releases and more recently on a number of Minimal Wave compilations, including the ‘Minimal Wave Tapes’ release with Stones Throw. With 65 tracks included here, Tara was evidently a prolific artist making an incomparable mark in a severely male dominated field. The compilation is presented in chronological order. The first LP contains nine attention deficit ‘Spurt Ditties’ from her 1982 cassette, and five selections from 1983’s ‘Waiting For The War’, covering a spectrum of expressions from incredible drum machine bursts to music box oddities, arabesque drones and warped wave music. The music on the second LP is more developed, opening out into longer, more layered synthpop experiments with Henk Wallays of Unovidual and stranger, fragmented sounds with Port Said’s Stefan Tischler made between between 1984-88. The third disc features compilation tracks from 1985-1989, from baroque machine miniatures to discordant pastoral pops, while disc four covers her most substantial tracks, working with an expanded instrumental palette and ornate song structures for ‘Tempus Fugit’ and some wonderful beatless ambient sections, depositing us at the stunning darkwave closer ‘Aalter Image’. Judging from this body of work, Tara was unswayed by other musical movements of the era and irrevocably in love with the mystical potential of electronics and the way they allowed her to express a truly unique identity. There’s just so much to immerse yourself in over this enormous set – making for one of the standout archival editions we’ve honestly ever seen. Just so so good.



MARK FELL
Manitutshu
ELECTRONIC
Editions Mego
2LP // £15.99

*Comes with a huge fold-out poster inside* Following last year’s devasting UL8 set, Mark Fell returns to Editions Mego for a 2×12″ excursion into advanced rhythm mechanics. Back in January 2011, the SND man was invited by Erik ‘Errorsmith’ Wiegand to create some presets for the Native Instruments soft-synth he was building. In the end, NI rejected Fell’s sounds, but their loss is our gain: he’s further developed the pattern-Generating systems he used for UL8 and connected them to sounds produced in Wiegand’s synthesizer with a result so tantalising you’re almost reminded of Wiegand’s own classic MMM production ‘Donna’. Fell is just at his ballistic best, delivering nine tracks that manage to sound at once coolly scientific whilst also suggesting a kind of mutant, angular rave music. ‘Acids In The… thin razor, attack noise hat, Linn’ in particular is possessed of an itchy funk that is just completely addictive, while ‘Manitutshu’ is electro fit to soundtrack a 2045 block party, and ‘Manitutshu… parameter set 2, Linn HI Tom, JazzOrg…’ pays homage to Duet Emmo (the seminal 80s collaboration between Daniel Miller and Wire’s Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis) in a morse code techno style. Don’t get us wrong: though playful, this album isn’t exactly an easy ride, but for the more adventurous ears out there the rewards are enormous. The set ends with an industrial-strength remix from Fell’s SND partner Mat Steel, taking on ‘Occultation’, a track which in is original form sounds like Richard D. James’ Cornish acid focussed into a single, searing laser beam. If you need further incentive, know that Manitutshu was mastered by Lupo at Dubplates and Mastering and is packaged with a A1 full colour poster. Most artists pay lip service to the future, Mark Fell is busy making it happen. Highly recommended.



RASHOMON
Ashcan Copy (Film Music Volume 3)
SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
Hlava Temple
LP // £18.99

**Smoky ashen wax with hand-numbered insert. Limited to 150 copies** Superb new entry from Guapo’s Matt Thompson, providing his third cinematic instalment as Rashomon. As the fourth record on Hlava, it follows previous releases of impressionistic sonics from Steve Moore, Datashock/Aiden Baker/Leah Buckareff, and Guapo with a creepy amalgam of “’70s prog soundtracks, Transylvanian Folk, grotesque images and anxiety”. Matt’s obviously been busy imbibing the spirits of Goblin, Fabio Frizzi and Angelo Badalamenti which loom large over these eight tracks. Those influences seep out from each cut like a carmine miasma, but most brilliantly never give the game away – this could just have easily been imagined and fashioned in the late ’70s or today. His execution is scarily close to the original aesthetic, from frantically spiralling organ outings and acid-fuelled tension to authentic psyche-funk breaks, harrowed Moog jams and doomy chamber jazz, all played with an incredible instinctive touch which could really only come from someone who has spent far too many nights absorbing vintage celluloid and dusty wax. Their arrangements are incredibly vivid, following some sort of narrative which must exist in Matt’s mind, but is ripe for interpretation in your own confines, if you dare. Most particular to our tastes, he’s got an uncanny feel for slightly dischordant and chilling drones, especially on the wheezy accordions of ‘The Nightwatchman’ and the exceptional, Bohren and Der Club Of Gore-like ‘Pacemaker’. RIYL Bronnt Industries Kapital, Steve Moore/Zombi, Demdike Stare, Umberto etc.



NICOLA RATTI
220 Tones
ELECTRONIC
DIE SCHACHTEL
CD // £13.99

Nicola Ratti might be primarily known as a guitarist, but this time around he’s decided to set his mind on eking sound from the wheezing circuitboards of electrical instruments (hence the album’s title). Ratti uses his electrical companions as simply the first step in a process, and proceeds to bend the source sounds into complex rhythmic forms ending up with tracks that sound like shuffling techno, rasping dub or the kind of chattering electronic manipulations you’d usually associate with Raster Noton. That’s not to say that ‘220 Tones’ is simply an exercise in postmodern digitalism; there is a warm, breathing, heart to the record which belies its curling electrical roots. The scratchy sound of reel-to-reel tape and vinyl, the distant, haunted organ hums and drones, or the pulsing blips of a half-functioning synthesizer make up the album’s core. Just when you think the glitches might get too much there’s something to drag the record back down to earth, and that’s what makes ‘220 Tones’ so engrossing. Somewhere in there lies the blurred cassette dubbed nostalgia of Not Not Fun and the pointed avant-garde experiments of PAN, and yet Ratti manages to distil and re-synthesize these sounds into one coherent whole. The result it nothing short of electrifying.



JACKMASTER
Fabriclive 57
TECHNO / HOUSE
Fabric
CD // £8.99

Recent recipient of the lauded “Best Newcomer” mantle in DJ Mag’s 2010 awards, joint head of the Numbers empire, and all-round good egg, Jackmaster heads up his first commercially available mix CD, ‘Fabriclive 57’. It’s a proper party session, heavily informed by an abiding love of ’90s dance classics and underground American funk, coupled with a penchant for the most virulent emissions of the current UK scene. These are all BIG records, starting with one foot in the ’80s electrofunk of The Fantastic Aleems ‘Release Yourself’ before stepping into the Juan Atkins fix of ‘Big Fun’. He’s got you by the short and curlies at this point, segueing a path through the likes of Model 500’s ‘Night Drive’, Armand Van Helden’s deadly mix of Kim English on ‘Nite Life’, Anthony Shakir’s ‘Plugged In’, an exclusive Martyn joint ‘Alldayallnight’ and the bubbling SocaXFunky of Geiom’s ‘2 4 6’. In the mid section he cruises through Jook 10’s London House anthem ‘Emotions’, Larry Heard’s ‘Sun Can’t Compare’, Addison Groove’s ‘Make Um Bounce’ and Davina’s Mad Mike-produced piano Houser ‘Don’t You Want It’, to an outstanding run of CLS’s ‘Can You Feel It’, DJ Deeon’s ‘The Freaks’ and The Outlander’s ‘Vamp’ for the hardcore House heads. The final flush features some priceless classics, from UR’s ‘Jupiter Jazz’ to Thomas Bangaltar’s ‘What To Do’, onto AFX’s heart-swelling ‘VBS.Redlof.B’ meshed with Skepta’s ‘Doin It Again’ and closing to the tear-jerking strains of Radiohead’s anthemic ‘Idioteque’. As you can gauge, these aren’t obscure joints, but the DJ magic lies in his intuitively programmed drops and pacing, making for a party mix you’ll reach for over and again. Respect also for not just pulling out a cache of whites and exclusives, instead opting for a classic selection that’ll no doubt introduce a ruck of heads to important dance classics, and still sound good a decade from now. Bigup!



JOHANN JOHANNSSON
The Miners’ Hymns
HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
Fat Cat
2LP // £15.99

Few could deny the inherent, unmistakable grandeur of Johann Johannsson’s compositions, and ‘The Miners’ Hymns’ might just be his grandest statement to date. The record finds our Icelandic protagonist tackling characteristically difficult subject matter; the plight of the Durham miners as their industry was brought down to rubble over the last hundred or so years. Notable too is the fact that Johannsson’s score is a companion piece to a new film from celebrated artist Bill Morrison (he of ‘Decasia’ fame), so already there is a feeling that a certain air of substance surrounds the album. Play this against Johannsson’s clever use of instrumentation as he tackles brass for the first time since 2004’s genre defying ‘Virthulegu Forsetar’ and we’re left with a mesmerizing record, and one that could stand as the finest addition to Johannsson’s canon thus far. The subject matter lends a distinct weight to the already emotive songs, but the truth is that the music stands alone without this kind of contextualization. While it is definitely cinematic, those chilling brass tones (influenced in part by Durham’s rich history of brass bands) stand strong as part of Johannsson’s singular musical vocabulary, and the narrative he tells needs little imagery to enhance its appeal. ‘The Miners’ Hymns’ might be his most subtle work to date, and I get the feeling that he has allowed far more space and much more time in each piece on the record. These are slow moving, slow burning, brooding epics, and while they share stylistic traits with ‘classic’ soundtracks of the past there is a sense that Johannsson is more willing to allow his pieces to dwell in the darker recesses of the mind. You can almost hear the cavernous mineshafts and their ominous heritage in the brutal electronic treatments, and hear the creaking, crumbling landscapes beneath the haunting brass. I’m reminded of Gavin Bryars’s seminal ‘The Sinking of the Titanic’, and if any body of work compares favorably to that classic composition then it has to be a good thing. ‘The Miners’ Hymns’, simply put, is a crowning achievement for Johannsson. Highly Recommended.



HECKER
Speculative Solution
ELECTRONIC
Editions Mego
CD + BOX // £23.99

**Embossed, deluxe box with bilingual (English/French) 160 page book and 5 metal balls (ø 3,969mm)** Presented by Editions Mego and commissioned by the UK’s Urbanomic organization, ‘Speculative Solution’ brings together Hecker’s sonic practice and psychoacoustic experimentation with philosopher Quentin Meillassoux’s concept of ‘Hyperchaos’ – the absolute contingency of the laws of nature. The project comprises a CD with four compositions by Hecker, and a 160-page book with essays by the artist, plus Elie Ayache, Robin Mackay and Quentin Meillassoux. With ‘Speculative Solution’ Hecker proposes that the concepts of absolute contingency and hyperchaos offer a rigorous new alternative to the employment of chance and randomness in avant-garde composition. The four pieces, ranging in length from 32 minutes to 3 minutes, contain a series of “micro-chronics and sequences of auditory contingencies, ranging from extreme stasis to the most dynamic intensities, crisp dramatisations of what Meillassoux calls in his text ‘extro-science worlds'”. We can safely say that this is some freaky sh*t, indeed. I failed to heed the advice given, that “Headphone use is not advised” and duly ended up with watering eyes and feeling acutely nauseous by the end of the first track. But, that’s not to say it wasn’t a pleasurable experience, it was just intensely visceral, kind of like a consensual domination, or a synaesthetic ear f*ck. Entering this psychoacoustic 3D environment you’re submitting yourself to a uniquely heightened sensory experience. “This sensation that you are in a world where there can be no physics, but only a chronics, of things” (Quentin Meillassoux in conversation with Florian Hecker and Robin Mackay, Paris, 22.07.2010).



FOCKEWULF 190
Microcosmos 82-86
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
Vinyl On Demand
2LP // £19.99

**Heavyweight double gatefold with individually numbered insert. Limited to 600 individually numbered copies** Germany’s amazing Vinyl On Demand label present a massively overdue debut album by the enigmatic and near-mythical Italo group, Fockewulf 190!!! It collects the group’s two original singles, ‘Gitano’ and the legendary ‘Body Heat’, together with new remixes and their other demos made between 1982-86 to make many Italo fans dreams a reality. As one of those fans, we were turned on to the group by the Clone-affiliated CBS radio, and more specifically I-F’s legendary top 100 countdown. ‘Body Heat’, featuring “the voice of Italo” aka Fred Ventura, featured in their end-of-year charts, causing I-F to exclaim “…it rocks so hard, it’s a scandal”, and we were in total agreement; I mean, who can knock the intent behind nonsensical lyrics like “Hey You, Take A Look At Me, Look Me Deep Inside, It’s The Way I Feel”?!? But, to be fair, we had no idea as to the full extent of their mystic sonic concepts, which dealt with the esoteric integration of Kabbalah into electronic music. The group’s mastermind, Victor Life perhaps sums it up best: “The Fockewulf 190 project was created as a shape equal to a substance, experimental analogyc electronic music connected to the theatrical and mimic power of rock and the romantic and esthetic force of the electronic dance of the 80s. We translated those expressive channels with the force of a psychedelic mind folded into a magic and evocative world, a profound research into ourselves. This personal and futuristic mistycism originated the dark side of italo disco.” So, nearly 25 years later, their esoteric electronic capital and evocative vision can be fully appreciated by a freshly synthesized generation, offering something remarkably definitive and quite honestly, ESSENTIAL.

Singles of the Week



MMM
Dex
TECHNO / HOUSE
MMM
12″ // £6.99

Absolutely crackers new single from MMM, indulging their taste for UK Funky and outernational rhythms to the fullest. Aside from being utterly lethal and undeniably effective, both these tracks are perhaps an unknowing middle finger to those Disco, House and Techno snobs who’ve turned their dopey noses up at Grimier, soca-synched street-level sounds in recent years (you know who you are, and you can’t dance). Anyway, rant o’er, you’ll find the amped swagger of ‘Dex’ on the frontside, a blinding slice of optimised tribalism romping with dubstep-style subs, ear-clipping claps and party-fuelling electro synths. It’s a f*ckin’ bangoh, mate. Turn it up and over to ‘Rio’, a stealthier, techier builder running on swingers drums and inimitably red-lining synths guaranteed to be lodged in your head by the end of summer. Like anything else bearing the MMM herald, it’s an essential purchase.



GILLETTE
Gillette
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
100% Silk
12″ // £10.99

Another new artist to the 100% Silk set, or someone working incognito? We suspect the latter but no matter, these tracks are very cool. We can hear traces of exported European industrial music soaked into these discombobulated disco patterns, from the sticky FX gunk rubbed over ten minutes of entrancing, Cab’s style drum machines and carpenter-esque synth spumes on ‘I’, to the augmented Schnitzler-esque metallic pulses of ‘II’ or emaciated and sickly DAF-like monorail tracky-ness of ‘III’. Seriously, I wish there were more parties playing this kind of gear, in places for people who like slow nosebleeds and move like flickering holograms.

 

This week’s releases in full!
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BASIC CHANNEL / DUB TECHNO
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MOKIRA / REDSHAPE
Time Axis Manipulation Part 3
KONTRA
10″ // £7.99

**Part 3 in the vinyl series, and for those who have the previous two this will also give you the final piece of your three part code to download the full album for free directly from the label** Third and final 10″ in this fine series features an original electro-acoustic concrète composition by Mokira aka Andreas Tilliander, backed with a deeply murky Tape Dub rework from Redshape. While each instalment…

 

BEATS / DOWNTEMPO / BOOGIE
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ELAN
Bleep Bloop Brmmp EP
Monkeytown Records
LP // £11.99

**Translucent Marbled Vinyl – Features remixes from Lazer Sword and Byetone!* eLan drops four tracks of slompy, Dilla-esque neck-snappers on his debut solo EP for MDSLKTR’s Monkeytown massive. As the label’s honorary HipHop attache, eLan infuses their characteristic sense of funky mischief into his sound, from the gloopy soul licks and stumbling beats of ‘Benson Bridges’, to the crushed Dam-Funk styles of ‘Bleep Bloop Brrrmmp’ and the red-eyed 8-bit chirrups…
MO KOLOURS
EP1: Drum Talking
One Handed Music
12″ // £7.99

Srung-out and sand-blasted hip-hop abstraction from the One Handed Music camp, home to Bullion, Paul White et al. EP1: Drum Talking is the debut offering from the hitherto unknown Mo Kolours, whose impressionistic confections owe a debt to the Sega music of his native Mauritius. Its minimal, woody, lopsided rhythms (especially on ‘Drum Talking) put us in mind of STL or Actress making beats for supine b-boys; elsewhere the vibe…
MADLIB
Medicine Show No. 9: Channel 85 presents Nittyville
MMS
CD // £13.99

After the curious skip from episode #8 to #10, Madlib finally drops #9, a full fat boom-bap session featuring Detroit’s Frank Nitt. As the label says “…”Channel 85,”…is far off most dials. This album’s concept TV station runs one show only: the comic-drama, reality-musical called Nittyville, featuring Frank, MED, Oh No, Madlib, and a supporting cast of extras.” It’s fourteen tracks wide, ten of those are rap tracks and the…

 

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
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AIDAN BAKER & THISQUIETARMY
Orange
LUNASYLUM
CD // £11.49

Nothing can stop Aidan Baker, and it’s looking like he’s almost matching the great Machinefabriek for quantity of releases and collaborations, but luckily they’re always worth a look, and ‘Orange’ is no different. This time around he’s joined by Thisquietarmy (aka neo-drone dude Eric Quach) who tempers Baker’s hard-edged, dense shoegaze leanings to emerge with a sound that’s probably more indebted to early Brian Eno than anything else I can…

 

DISCO / EDITS / FUNK
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LARRY LEVAN
Greatest Remixes Vol. 1
PARADISE GARAGE
CD // £13.99

Following those limited edition and lavish vinyl pressings comes a vital compilation of Larry’s greatest remixes collected on one CD for the first time. Features nine untouchable edits by the legendary Paradise Garage jock: Central Line ‘Walking Into Sunshine’; Gwen Guthrie ‘It Should Have Been You’; David Joseph ‘You Can’t Hide (Your Love From Me); Loose Joints ‘Is It All Over My Face ‘; Inner Life ‘Ain’t No Mountain High…
BOTTIN
Horror Disco
Bear Funk Records
2LP // £11.99

Bear Funk pull out all the stops for Bottin’s much anticipated ‘Horror Disco’ album, presented in heavyweight gatefold jacket. Inspired by the chance loan of a tempestuous Farfisa organ, Bottin has indulged in fantasy scenario melding late ’70s Italian disco kitsch with soundtrack-y themes referencing the movies of Lucio Fulci or Dario Argento and a wealth of Goblin vibes. The result is a bespoke, hand-crafted selection of authentically naughty disco…
VARIOUS / ZE
Mutant Disco Vol. 1
Ze Records
CD // £12.99

“I’m a former scientist now on wheels.” “I’m a disco clone!” “Spooks spooks spooks in space!” “Woodwork squeaks and out come the freaks!” These are just a few of the odder lines taken from some of the strangest, silliest, most colorful underground singles released during the late ’70s and early ’80s, all of which were released by Michael Zilkha and Michel Esteban’s New York-based ZE label. Mutant disco Vol 1…
VARIOUS / ZE
Mutant Disco Vol. 2
Ze Records
CD // £12.99

Tracklisting : 01 cristina • disco clone, 02 coati mundi • que pasa / me no pop I, 03 kid creole & the coconuts • i’m a wonderfull thing baby, 04 was ( not was) • out come the freaks, 05 lizzy mercier descloux • fire, 06 aural exciters • spooks in space (discomix), 07 was ( not was) • tell me that i’m dreaming, 08 caroline loeb • narcissique,…
VARIOUS / ZE
Mutant Disco Vol. 4
Ze Records
CD // £12.99

Tracklisting : 01 Was (Not Was) • Shake Your Head Let’s Go to Bed ReMix, 02 Tussle vs Don Armando • I’m an Indian Too Re/Deconstruction ReMix, 03 Cristina • Ballad Of Immoral Manufacture, 04 Don Armando’s 2nd Av. Rhumba Band • Winter Of Love, 05 Aural Exciters • Marathon Runner, 06 Junie Morrison • Tease Me Arthur Baker ReMix, 07 Rosa Yemen vs Stiff Figure • Herpes Simplex Re…
VARIOUS / ZE
N.Y. No Wave: The Ultimate East Village 80’s Soundtrack
Ze Records
CD // £12.99

A taste of NY’s No Wave global performing art movement of the 1980’s. This compilation does not hinge entirely on the most prminent bands connected to that scene but gives a broader overview of what more obscure artists – like Rosa Yemen & Lizzy Mercier Descloux – were doing at the time – File under “Chaos USA”. Features: James White & The Blacks, Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, Lydia Lunch,…
MUNGOLIAN JETSETS
Moon Jocks & Prog Rocks: The Remixes
Smalltown Supersound
12″ // £6.99

Todd Terje, Montezuma and Frisvold & Lindæk step up to remix Mungolian Jetset’s sold-out ‘Moon Jocks N Prog Rocks’ session. Todd Terje gives two remixes, the full bodied Schlong Tong Vocal version and a reduced dub, while Montezuma’s Revenge version is darker, raunchier, and the Frisvold & Lindbæk Mix gives dubbed-out yet energetic boost.
PLANNINGTOROCK
W
DFA
CD // £12.99

‘W’ is the sophomore album from Bolton-via-Berlin’s Planningtorock aka Janine Rostron. “One doesn’t hear a record like ‘W’ very often, that’s for sure, just as one seldom encounters an artist like Planningtorock’s Janine Rostron. In The Grip of W’s melodrama and uncommon beauty, suddenly all those clichés make sense: this album stops listeners in their tracks, blows their minds and makes them feel alive. W is melancholy and euphoric, epic…

 

DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
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BREACH / T. WILLIAMS
2 Bob Note / Fatherless (T. Williams Mix)
PTN
10″ // £7.99

Pairing two masters of Funky sophistication, Breach goes toe-to-toe with Deep Teknologi’s T. Williams, while Williams remixes Mr. Westbeech’s anthem ‘Fatherless’ on the flipside. ‘2 Bob Note’ is just lethally overproof, configuring abyssal subbass and teched-out synth squirms for proper advanced tribal swagger moves ‘pon the ‘floor. Approaching the gargantuan ‘Fatherless’, Williams was never really going to outdo the original so instead he reduces it to the bare essentials, shredding…
P MONEY / TRC
Boo You
BUTTERZ
12″ // £5.99

*Vinyl version with bonus DOK edit of ‘Oo Aa Ee’*. P Money heads up Butterz’ first vocal release with the unshakeably infectious ‘Boo You’ backed with Royal T’s retooled Garage remix. For the original P rides an augmented version of TRC’s ‘Oo Aa Ee’ riddim from BRW001, padded out with extra subs and skipping 2-step vibes for wicked impact. Royal T’s ‘I <3 Garage’ remix is essentially the instrumental, primed…
BLAWAN
Getting Me Down
UNKNOWN LABEL
12″ // £5.99

*Super limited 1-sided pressing* Brandy-sampling badness from Barnsley’s Blawan. Blap! Already rinsed by Ben UFO, this is set to sell out in a flash. Blink and miss, pal.
GEMMY
Jah Know / They Live Under the Stairs
World Of Wonders
12″ // £5.99

Robust return to the ring from Gemmy, offloading two boldly colourful riddims for new Bristol imprint, World Of Wonders. On ‘Jah Know’ he reinforces a trademark blazing purple sound with sliced-up breakbeats in a very individual style, designed to drive the dance mad but holding back from the brukkout with really sophisticated restraint. Flipside, ‘They Live Under The Stairs’ toys around with a triplet synched rhythm reminding of the H.E.N.C.H…
SWINDLE / ROYAL T
Mood Swings VIP / Orangeade VIP (White Label)
BUTTERZ
12″ // £6.49

VIP sounds from Swindle and Royal T on a blink-n-miss white label (200 copies)! Riding high right now, Royal T comes fresh from remixing Katy B, Wiley, Kano, Wretch 32, and Mz Bratt to drop a mad excitable version of ‘Orangeade’, stuffed with extra drum and samples to mek ’em wile out. Flipside Swindle cools out his ‘Mood Swings’ joint with a flush of twinkling boogie keys before switching up…
CHAMPION
Motherboard EP
Hardrive
12″ // £5.99

Oh K! THE rudest Funky riddim of the last 2 years finally gets the full release treatment from Terror Danjah’s Hardrive label!!! Every Funky fan with a functioning set of ears knows that ‘Motherboard’ is a massive tune, but the fact that it’s been picked up by ardent anti-Funky head, Danjah proves it’s wider appeal to Grime, Bassline, and Junglist fiends alike. Factor in a brand new and exclusive tribalist…
VESSEL
Nylon Sunset (Peverelist Remix)
LEFT BLANK
12″ // £6.99

*Hand-stamped white label* Super slick debut entry from Vessel and the promising Left_Blank label, including a wickedly low-slung Peverelist remix. As a member of Bristol’s Young Echo crew with recent Punch Drunk signee Kahn, Vessel operates in that post-dubstep/double garage/House nexus also populated by the likes of Kowton, Joe, and Floating Points. Like Hessle Audio’s Joe, he’s got that hyper-criss clap thing going on in ‘Ton’, synching a snakey body…
DURRTY GOODZ
Overall
Inapeace Ltd
CD // £8.99

Grime’s most relentless and uncompromising MC drops one of his most vivid statements to date on ‘Overall’. The inimitable lyricist is on fierce form over eleven tracks, none more so than the eleven minute ‘Battle Hype’, a conceptual rap battle in four parts featuring Goodz slewing his rivals Wiley, Kano and Dizzee with shockingly precise impersonations. Tip!
ROUND TABLE KNIGHTS / L-VIS 1990
Remixes EP
Made To Play
12″ // £7.99

Party-ready modern House remixes of Round Table Knights by L-Vis 1990 & The Neon Dreams, Mercury and Homework. That L-Vis 1990 & The Neon Dreams remix is the one, a sweeping emotive statement deploying vocals from Javeon McCarthy (last heard on Julio Bashmore’s ‘Father Father’) over rising and expanding trance-like synths. Dub included. Mercury’s remix of ‘Say What?!’ is more of a chunky House groover, and Homework’s dub version slips…
YOUNGSTA / VARIOUS
Rinse:14
Rinse
CD // £8.99

Rinse FM’s halfstep anchor drops the fourteenth edition of their definitive mix series. Dubstep fiends need little introduction to the man, he’s already headed up two of Tempa’s ‘Allstar’ sessions and pretty much owns this style in the DJ booth. This mix draws from a narrow but deep pool of producers, selecting only those optimised cuts which live up to his exacting specifications. He looks to close allies SP:MC and…
LV & JOSHUA IDEHEN
Routes
Keysound Recordings
CD // £11.99

Hyperdub badmen LV collaborate with vocalist Joshua Idehen across an album that has to rank as one of the most substantial yet winningly slinky artist albums to come out of the post-dubstep diaspora. Iden’s half-sung, half-spoken lyrical style is probably most mischievous on ‘Northern Line’, which pays tongue-in-cheek tribute to each stop on the eponymous London tube route (“What do you know about Moorgate? I don’t know anything about Moorgate!…
VARIOUS / TECTONIC
Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Japan! – JAPAN FUNDRAISER EDITION
HYDRA
CD // £13.99

**ALL PROFITS FROM THIS CD WILL BE DONATED DIRECTLY TO THE HEALTH WELFARE DEPARTMENT OF FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE, ONE OF THE AREAS DESTROYED BY THE RECENT TSUNAMI IN JAPAN.** ‘Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Japan’ is a special single disc release, originally intended only for release in Japan by Hydra, featuring all 12 tracks from the Scientist Mixes half of ‘Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Outer Space’ on Tectonic, with the addition of…
ASC
Stutter
Exit Records
12″ // £7.99

ASC continues an incredibly diverse streak of productions with two intensely tricky programming feats for dBridge’s Exit crew. ‘Stutter’ finds your man on a slow and swaggered arrangement of concatenated claps and turbulent cyber-tribal drums underpinned with guttural, overproof and swampy subs. It brilliantly sounds like little else we can think of. Flipside, the crushingly restrained ‘Leviathan’ is again working under tonnes of percussive pressure, but with curiously vertical atmospheres…
SKREAM
Where You Should Be (Seiji / Zed Bias Mixes)
Tempa
12″ // £5.99

Seiji and Zed Bias step to Skream and Sam Frank’s ‘Where You Should Be’ with two contrasting remixes. Seiji’s on a teched-out R&B/Funky trajectory on the A-side, splitting Sam’s vocals into androgynously autotuned utterances over a deft Funky rhuthm flecked with Footwork-style trickery and next-level nudges. ‘Zed’s remix opts for a more silken stride, touching up a tidy 2-step skipper with G-funked synthlines and more menacing bass and kicks lurking…
CHRISSY MURDERBOT
Women’s Studies
Planet Mu
CD // £10.99

Planet Mu expand their Juke and party repetoire with a mixed bag by Chicago’s Chrissy Murderbot. Riding with MC Zulu, Rubi Dan, DJ Spinn, Popeye, Mungo’s Hifi & Warrior Queen, Johnny Moog & Coool Dundee, Chrissy sets out twelve party hybrids, taking in New Jack Swing and Bassline on ‘New Juke Swing’, discofied Juke on ‘Bussin’ Down’, ruddy bashment on ‘Pelvic Floor’, booty slammers ‘Heavy Butt’, and hyper R&B with…
TYLER, THE CREATOR
Yonkers (Lil Silva Mix)
UNKNOWN LABEL
12″ // £6.99

*one-sided white label* After circulating the blogs and forums like something venereal, Lil’ Silva’s pressurised rework of ‘Yonkers’ drops on wax. Kitting Tyler out for the clubs, Lil Silva adds welting kicks, crushing subbass and clattering snares to stuttering fragments of the original for deadly effect. Join the fun or forever hold your piece.
CESSA
Hidden Love
MISSING LINK SOUNDS
12″ // £6.99

Rogue steppers electronics from Cessa landing on his Missing Link Sounds series. The deft construction of 2-step rhythm dynamics with spacious, darting electronics and fragments of soul vocal in ‘Hidden Love’ places this fella in orbit between Mount Kimbie and SBTRKT, while ‘Road Block’ is more rooted in the original Dubstep rollers style, licked with cyber-tribal drums and lush rendered synths.
D1
Flood Of Emotions Remixes feat. Jenna G
Dub Police Records
12″ // £5.99

D1 and Jenna G’s vocal anthem undergoes Dubstep rave and D&B remix treatments by Subscape. A-side, Jenna’s belting vocal soars over screaming mid-range synth drops for direct effect, while the D&B mix is powered by a cruising bassline with liquid-minimal drums.
DUBKASM
More Jah Songs ft. Tena Stelin / Tell The World ft. Solo Banton
SUFFERAH’S CHOICE
12″ // £5.99

Strong Nu-Roots steppers from Bristol’s Sufferah’s Choice camp. Proper soundsystem weight meets two of the UK’s finest roots vocalist, Tena Stelin and Solo Banton, who both turn in future vintage performances on discomixed riddims already championed by Channel One and primed for fans of Scotch Bonnet or Jahtari and the family of Nu-Roots pushers.
GEEKS & GAZ / DAILY / JACK DIXON
Going On / Untitled
FUTURE IN HALE
12″ // £5.99

Three moody swingers joints outta, err, Belgium. Geeks & Gaz give the dark and sleek 2-step of ‘Going On’ next to Daily’s clipped double Garage cut on the A-side, while Jack Dixon drops a more rolling version of ‘Going On’ for the flip.

 

ELECTRONIC
See all
MARK FELL
Manitutshu
Editions Mego
2LP // £15.99

*Comes with a huge fold-out poster inside* Following last year’s devasting UL8 set, Mark Fell returns to Editions Mego for a 2×12″ excursion into advanced rhythm mechanics. Back in January 2011, the SND man was invited by Erik ‘Errorsmith’ Wiegand to create some presets for the Native Instruments soft-synth he was building. In the end, NI rejected Fell’s sounds, but their loss is our gain: he’s further developed the pattern-Generating…
NICOLA RATTI
220 Tones
DIE SCHACHTEL
CD // £13.99

Nicola Ratti might be primarily known as a guitarist, but this time around he’s decided to set his mind on eking sound from the wheezing circuitboards of electrical instruments (hence the album’s title). Ratti uses his electrical companions as simply the first step in a process, and proceeds to bend the source sounds into complex rhythmic forms ending up with tracks that sound like shuffling techno, rasping dub or the…
HECKER
Speculative Solution
Editions Mego
CD + BOX // £23.99

**Embossed, deluxe box with bilingual (English/French) 160 page book and 5 metal balls (ø 3,969mm)** Presented by Editions Mego and commissioned by the UK’s Urbanomic organization, ‘Speculative Solution’ brings together Hecker’s sonic practice and psychoacoustic experimentation with philosopher Quentin Meillassoux’s concept of ‘Hyperchaos’ – the absolute contingency of the laws of nature. The project comprises a CD with four compositions by Hecker, and a 160-page book with essays by the…
FABIO SELVAFIORITA & VALERIO TRICOLI
Death By Water
DIE SCHACHTEL
CD // £13.99

Recorded on Guidecca Island in Venice, ‘Death by Water’ is a one-track voyage into the outer realms of musique contrete, and guiding us through this chaotic yet poetic experience are the expert hands of Italian sound artists Fabio Selvafiorita and Valerio Tricoli. Influenced by T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Waste Land’, the poem’s philosophy and feeling is conveyed through the hushed wind and water sounds, piped through the composers’ collection of…
PHILIP CORNER & MANUEL ZURRIA
Joy Flashings
DIE SCHACHTEL
CD // £13.99

‘Joy Flashings’ is a collaboration between American composer and trombone virtuoso Philip Corner, and Alter Ego flautist Manuel Zurria, and typically given the status and history of the duo involved, it’s heavy stuff. Apparently the idea behind the record was to experience the music as a whole, without limits or boundaries – and they certainly manage that here. A collection of instrumental drones, tempered electronics and odd field recordings (like…
NHKYX
Yx aka 1ch aka Solo
Skam Records
CD // £9.99

NHK yx is the solo project of Kouhei Matsunaga, one half of the deadly Japanese production duo NHK with Toshio Munehiro (you may remember their two recent-ish 12″s of ascetic techno for Raster-Noton and Important Records). Having released his debut album on Mille Plateaux yonks ago, Matsunaga has since collaborated with Merzbow and, more recently, with Mika Vainio and Autechre’s Sean Booth on last year’s terrific Telepathics Meh In-Sect set….
AMON TOBIN
ISAM
Ninja Tune
CD // £9.99

ISAM is Ninja Tune stalwart Amon Tobin’s first record since 2007, and his loyal legion of fans will no doubt be pleased to know that it doesn’t stray too far from his tried and tested sound. The Canadian DSP wizard has been chipping away at his very specific brand of electronic music for many years, and here he makes a good case for ISAM being his most consistent to date….
AMON TOBIN
ISAM (Control Over Nature) Hardback Art Book
Ninja Tune
Book and CD // £23.99

*10″ x 7″ Hardback book containing a CD, an introductory essay and a number of still images documenting Tessa Farmer’s installation.* ISAM is Ninja Tune stalwart Amon Tobin’s first record since 2007, and his loyal legion of fans will no doubt be pleased to know that it doesn’t stray too far from his tried and tested sound. The Canadian DSP wizard has been chipping away at his very specific brand…
AMON TOBIN
ISAM
Ninja Tune
2LP // £13.99

*Free Download Code Redeemable from the Label* ISAM is Ninja Tune stalwart Amon Tobin’s first record since 2007, and his loyal legion of fans will no doubt be pleased to know that it doesn’t stray too far from his tried and tested sound. The Canadian DSP wizard has been chipping away at his very specific brand of electronic music for many years, and here he makes a good case for…
BIBIO
K Is For Kelson
Warp Records
12″ // £6.99

Limited 4 track 12”, featuring an alternative version of ‘K Is For Kelson’ alongside three exclusive new songs. In short, every track on this single is so far unreleased. 200 copies only!
SNORKEL
Stop Machine
Slowfoot Records
LP // £13.99

*Includes download coupon redeemable directly from the label* Experimental but funky fusions of Krautrock, Dub and Jazz from Slowfoot’s dextrously versatile in-house band. Label head Robert Logan makes a prominent appearance with some dynamic synthwork on dub drowned electro-jazz-funk of the title track, while ‘Dead Skin’ makes a much darker statement, with label co-owner Frank Byng’s deft jazz drums and Charles Stuart’s muffled jazz vocal elevating the track from an…

 

EXTREME / NOISE
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SISSY SPACEK
Dash
GILGONGO
LP // £13.99

‘Dash’ is just over eight minutes long, and it’s forty-three tracks. If you’ve heard the band before then you might know what this means – short hyperactive bursts of the finest extreme noise punk the world has likely ever witnessed. And I don’t say that lightly, noise punk that is; there are instruments or at least there were, at some point, but these are chiselled away by hellish jackhammer beats…

 

HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
See all
JOHANN JOHANNSSON
The Miners’ Hymns
Fat Cat
2LP // £15.99

Few could deny the inherent, unmistakable grandeur of Johann Johannsson’s compositions, and ‘The Miners’ Hymns’ might just be his grandest statement to date. The record finds our Icelandic protagonist tackling characteristically difficult subject matter; the plight of the Durham miners as their industry was brought down to rubble over the last hundred or so years. Notable too is the fact that Johannsson’s score is a companion piece to a new…
JOHANN JOHANNSSON
The Miners’ Hymns
Fat Cat
CD // £8.99

Few could deny the inherent, unmistakable grandeur of Johann Johannsson’s compositions, and ‘The Miners’ Hymns’ might just be his grandest statement to date. The record finds our Icelandic protagonist tackling characteristically difficult subject matter; the plight of the Durham miners as their industry was brought down to rubble over the last hundred or so years. Notable too is the fact that Johannsson’s score is a companion piece to a new…
DAVID SYLVIAN
Died In The Wool
Samadhisound
2CD BOX // £15.99

David Sylvian’s Manofon album, released last year, was a huge achievement in terms of both conception and execution: the erstwhile Japan frontman singing plangent melodies in his initimably rich timbre against beautiful autumnal soundscapes crafted with composer Dai Fujikura (a student of Pierre Boulez, no less) and such improv luminaries as John Tilbury, Keith Rowe and Christian Fennesz. For our money, this companion set manages to trump it – it’s…
KYLE BOBBY DUNN
Ways Of Meaning
DESIRE PATH RECORDINGS
LP // £15.99

Beautiful suite of neo-classical choral ambience from Brooklyn-based Kyle Bobby Dunn. There’s a highly trained mind at work here, operating in the template of minimalist scholars such as Morton Feldman and LaMonte Young to elicit the most sublime strains of harmonic bliss. ‘Ways Of Meaning’ comes in the wake of releases on Low Point, Kning Disk and Moodgadget, among others, to present six patient and deeply rewarding compositions, heck, profound,…

 

INDIE / ROCK / ALTERNATIVE
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JESU
Ascension
CALDO VERDE
CD // £13.99

It’s hard to believe that ‘Ascension’ is only the third Jesu album (after 2007’s genre-defying ‘Conqueror’). Justin Broadrick and pals have kept up a steady stream of lengthy EPs and splits in the downtime, and I suppose I assumed that one of those must have been an album. Here’s the news, it wasn’t, and listening to ‘Ascension’ it makes perfect sense that Broadrick took the time to formulate a measured…
COSMONAUTS
Cosmonauts
PERMANENT RECORDS
LP // £15.99

Cosmonauts are one of Orange County’s premier garage rock bands, and from the sounds of this self titled jammer they don’t need any persuading to do anything different. The garage doors are already wrenching themselves off the hinges within about thirty seconds of the ear-crushing opener ‘Neon Kids’, and within about ten minutes you’ll probably know you’re in for an aural assault worthy of comparison to Thee Oh Sees or…
THURSTON MOORE
Demolished Thoughts
Matador
2LP // £16.99

*Includes Download Voucher Redeemable from Label* Billed as his ‘LA’ album, ‘Demolished Thoughts’ pits Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore against the fractured mind of Scientologist oddbod Beck who takes on the production duties. Far from the obvious ‘Mutations’ meets ‘Psychic Hearts’ excursion this could have been though, the first thing to stand out here is the lush orchestration of the album opener ‘Benediction’. Bringing back fond memories of the incredible…
THURSTON MOORE
Demolished Thoughts
Matador
CD // £9.99

Billed as his ‘LA’ album, ‘Demolished Thoughts’ pits Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore against the fractured mind of Scientologist oddbod Beck who takes on the production duties. Far from the obvious ‘Mutations’ meets ‘Psychic Hearts’ excursion this could have been though, the first thing to stand out here is the lush orchestration of the album opener ‘Benediction’. Bringing back fond memories of the incredible ‘Trees Outside The Academy’, the track…
BATTLES
Ice Cream
Warp Records
12″ // £7.99

‘Ice Cream’ is the first single from the long-awaited new Battles LP ‘Gloss Drop’, and notably the first snippet we’ve heard of the band since vocalist/frontman Tyondai Braxton unexpectedly departed. There were many (myself included) who assumed there would be a gaping chasm left by Braxton’s absence, but ‘Ice Cream’ finds the band newly invigorated and with the same mischievous math-funk that grabbed all those Brownie points for their debut…
WET HAIR
In Vogue Spirit
De Stijl Records
LP // £16.99

Following a run of potently psychedelic offerings from the likes of C. Spencer Yeh, Hype Williams and Charlie Nothing, De Stijl Records ventures yet further into the outsider pop realm with a new album from Wet Hair. It’s a leaner, more focussed effort than their last LP proper, the Not Not Fun-issued Glass Fountain, but it’s still pretty murky, under-the-skin and righteously weird material. Apparently recorded after the band spent…
EFRIM MANUEL MENUCK
Plays High Gospel
Constellation
LP+CD // £19.99

Efrim Manuel Menuck might be the brains behind Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The Silver Mt. Zion, but it’s taken him this long to actually get a solo album together. I suppose he’s been a bit tied up since the early 90s when GYBE were formed, but it’s not really a good excuse, c’mon! Not as droney as Godspeed and nowhere near as orchestrated as The Silver Mt. Zion, ‘Plays…
EFRIM MANUEL MENUCK
Plays High Gospel
Constellation
CD // £12.99

Efrim Manuel Menuck might be the brains behind Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The Silver Mt. Zion, but it’s taken him this long to actually get a solo album together. I suppose he’s been a bit tied up since the early 90s when GYBE were formed, but it’s not really a good excuse, c’mon! Not as droney as Godspeed and nowhere near as orchestrated as The Silver Mt. Zion, ‘Plays…
JULIAN LYNCH
Terra
Underwater Peoples Records
CD // £11.99

Julian Lynch’s sophomore album ‘Mare’ had us floored with its fuzzy, transcendent devotional songs, and we weren’t the only ones. Since then Lynch’s music has found its way into far more places than he probably expected, and there is quite rightly a great deal of anticipation circling latest full-length ‘Terra’. Thankfully the more expanded sound exhibited on recent live appearances is almost nowhere to be seen, and this brand new…
JULIAN LYNCH
Terra
Underwater Peoples Records
LP // £14.99

Julian Lynch’s sophomore album ‘Mare’ had us floored with its fuzzy, transcendent devotional songs, and we weren’t the only ones. Since then Lynch’s music has found its way into far more places than he probably expected, and there is quite rightly a great deal of anticipation circling latest full-length ‘Terra’. Thankfully the more expanded sound exhibited on recent live appearances is almost nowhere to be seen, and this brand new…
CHANNEL IN CHANNEL OUT
The Author And The Narrator
Karaoke Kalk
CD // £12.99

It’s that time of the week again, when we stick the pin in the map of the US of A and it lands on Portland. I know, I know, you thought you’d heard every piece of music that Oregonian paradise could possibly cough out, but no – there’s more. This time we are introduced to the music of Marcus Cotton, who prefers to be known as Channel In Channel Out,…
CHANNEL IN CHANNEL OUT
The Author And The Narrator
Karaoke Kalk
LP // £14.99

It’s that time of the week again, when we stick the pin in the map of the US of A and it lands on Portland. I know, I know, you thought you’d heard every piece of music that Oregonian paradise could possibly cough out, but no – there’s more. This time we are introduced to the music of Marcus Cotton, who prefers to be known as Channel In Channel Out,…
FAMILY PORTRAIT
Family Portrait
Underwater Peoples Records
LP // £16.99

Eponymous album debut from Evan Brody’s Family Portrait ensemble, including production and playing from his best friend Julian Lynch. You’ll also find cameos from La Big Vic front woman Emilie Friedlander on violin and back up vox, besides Dream Band’s Jackson Pollis on drums contributing to a wholesome family affair. LP includes colour insert and and download coupon redeemable from the label.
THE FEELIES
Here Before
BAR NONE
CD // £11.99

“After a 19 year break and some critically acclaimed reissues released by Domino, the Feelies are back with an album of all new original material. Here Before was recorded at Water Music in Hoboken, New Jersey produced by Feelies founders Glenn Mercer and Bill Million. Besides Glenn on rhythm/lead guitar and lead vocals, and Bill on guitar and vocals, the album features Feelies mainstays Brenda Sauter-Barnes (bass, vocals), Stanley Demeski…
THE FEELIES
Here Before
BAR NONE
LP // £14.99

“After a 19 year break and some critically acclaimed reissues released by Domino, the Feelies are back with an album of all new original material. Here Before was recorded at Water Music in Hoboken, New Jersey produced by Feelies founders Glenn Mercer and Bill Million. Besides Glenn on rhythm/lead guitar and lead vocals, and Bill on guitar and vocals, the album features Feelies mainstays Brenda Sauter-Barnes (bass, vocals), Stanley Demeski…
VARIOUS / MESSTHETICS
Messthetics 108: South Coast D.I.Y. ’77-81
MESSTHETICS
CD // £10.99

“D.I.Y. & (very) Indie & Post-punk 77-81 from UK South coast, Brighton-Bournemouth. Throughout the age of Punk, the South Coast was emphatically ignored by the English music press, the major labels, and the established indies. Their neglect blurred lines between potential chart acts, Rough Trade prospects, and deliberate D.I.Y., so that the South Coast scenes (though still insular) remained highly varied. “D.I.Y.” became less a choice than a necessity, but…

 

JAZZ / RELATED
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MATANA ROBERTS
Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens de Couleur Libres
Constellation
CD // £12.99

At first look this might seem like a weird move for the Constellation label as Matana Roberts’ debut for the imprint is pretty much straight-up free jazz. But she’s got some serious history with the Montreal collective, even throwing down horns with Godspeed on the fabled ‘Yanqui UXO’. Thinking about it too, there’s always been a nod towards the free jazz scene (not least on Colin Stetson’s recent genre-bending LP)…
MATANA ROBERTS
Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens de Couleur Libres
Constellation
2×10″ + CD // £22.99

At first look this might seem like a weird move for the Constellation label as Matana Roberts’ debut for the imprint is pretty much straight-up free jazz. But she’s got some serious history with the Montreal collective, even throwing down horns with Godspeed on the fabled ‘Yanqui UXO’. Thinking about it too, there’s always been a nod towards the free jazz scene (not least on Colin Stetson’s recent genre-bending LP)…
7K OAKS
Entelechy
DIE SCHACHTEL
CD // £13.99

Free jazz, two words that strike fear into the hearts of most music fans, but luckily not this lot who haven’t been afraid to inject their own personality into the much maligned genre. 7k Oaks are of course made up of experimental veterans, and in their number house members of Zeitkratzer and Zu among other acts, and their rawkin’ skronk would be a good way for jazz newbies to get…
JULA DE PALMA
Jula In Jazz
SONORAMA RECORDS
LP // £18.99

First collection of songs by the semi-mythical Jula De Palma. Features luxuriant interpretations of jazz evergreens from one of the most celebrated female Italian vocalists. Accompanied by famous ensembles such as Quartetto Leilo Luttazzi, Trio Franco Cerri, Orchestre di Giampiero Boneschi and Loffredo’s New Orleans Jazz Band, Jula (pronounced “Yula”) offers covers of ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, ‘Pennies From Heaven’, ‘I Left My Heart In San Francisco’, ‘Blues…

 

JUNGLE / DRUM & BASS
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VARIOUS / CHANNEL 82
Rhythm & Roots EP
CHANNEL 82
2LP // £11.99

Eveson’s Channel 82 imprint stirs up a sophisticated collection of up-to-date drumfunk and dubstep including tracks by himself, Theory, Edward Oberon, Need For Mirrors, and KDC. The first plate tips from Theory’s dextrous D&B smarts on ‘Pictures, Shapes & Patterns’, through a quickstepping tuck-and-roller from Eveson on ‘Embrace’ and Eastwood Flex’s mellower version. Second plate starts up with the strongback dread D&B of Edward Oberon’s ‘Museo Dub’, and over to…
KRAKOTA / PESSIMIST
Be Myself / Abstract
Ingredients Records
12″ // £6.49

Ingredients present the first of 4 singles comprising the forthcoming Recipe Book LP. Krakatoa have been circulating the electro-flecked deeper D&B soul of ‘Be Myself’ for some time now, finding favour with the likes dBridge and Spectrasoul. Pessimist’s flipside is built from darker susbstance, primed with industrial strength snares and shifty syncopation for the movers.

 

MAGAZINE
See all
THE WIRE
Issue 328: June 2011
Wire
Mag // £4.00

June’s edition features cover stars, Battles dipped in paint and interviewed. Demdike Stare are challenged to the Invisible Jukebox, Simon Reynolds reflects on nostalgia in the digital revolution, Joe Muggs chews the fat with Scratcha DVA, and you’ll find further reading on Sea shanties, Hong Kong’s musical underground, Matana Roberts, Caroline Bergvall, and all the usual reviews, news and listings. Always recommended – but especially so for the Demdike!

 

MINIMAL / DANCEFLOOR
See all
GUS GUS
Arabian Horse
Kompakt
CD // £8.99

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. Overall I’m reminded of late 90s house crossover…
VARIOUS / MULE ELECTRONIC
Enjoy The Silence Volume 2
Mule Electronic
CD // £9.99

Sumptuous neo-classical/pop ambient selection compiled by Mule Musiq’s Toshiya Kawasaki. This guy obviously has fine taste, evidenced by his picks from the likes of Porn Sword Tobacco, Donato Dozzy, NSI., Lawrence and Terre Thaemlitz, including an exclusive debut premiere of Kassem Mosse’s new downbeat sound as Seltene Erden. The label’s in-house ambient supremo, Koss opens the session with the subtly seductive ‘Voyage’, followed by an exquisitely spacious piece by Lawrence…
AZARI & III
Hungry For The Power
Loose Lips Records
12″ // £6.99

Big room-primed House music from the ‘Reckless’ fellas. ‘Hungry For The Power’ comes like it’s 1991 all over again, fusing tail-end-of-boggie bass licks with sultry jack beats and layered American male vocals. There’s an acapella for the adventurous jocks, or weird people who just like to listen to accapellas, plus a serious dub on the flip riding inflated bassline and sumptuously dynamic synthlines. Bound to be big!
VARIOUS / COCOON
11 Years Cocoon Recordings
Cocoon Recordings
2CD // £13.99

Sven Väth’s clubbing empire marks eleven years of operations with nine new label classics remixed by Gary Beck, Roman Flugel, Visionquest, Petar Dundov, Steve Rachmad and more. It’s a pure Tech-House feast, riding from a Visionquest remix of Dinky’s ‘Acid In My Fridge’ to Roman Flugel’s spanky jackin’ mix of ‘Hunter’ by Martin Buttrich, through the more sensual, rolling Techno of Steve Rachmad’s remix for Joel Mull’s ‘Harmonautic Strings’, an…
VARIOUS / SOMA
Soma Coma 5
Soma
CD // £8.99

Celebrating their 20th anniversary year, Soma round up a refined selection of downbeat and ambient techno tracks from the archives courtesy of The Black Dog, Hatikvah, Alex Smoke, Gene Farris, Silicone Soul and many more roster regulars. Highlights roll in from Hatikvah on the jazz-sensuous ‘Daedelus’; Vakama’s widescreen, plummeting dub ‘Yemaya’; Alex Smoke’s mechanically twisted downbeat HipHop ‘Jah Future’; Harvey McKay’s aquatic submersion ‘Life’; and a rare instance of ’90s-style…

 

SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
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THE CARETAKER
An empty bliss beyond this World (Limited Vinyl Edition)
History Always Favours The Winners
LP // £11.99

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 memory banks with his derivés into…
RASHOMON
Ashcan Copy (Film Music Volume 3)
Hlava Temple
LP // £18.99

**Smoky ashen wax with hand-numbered insert. Limited to 150 copies** Superb new entry from Guapo’s Matt Thompson, providing his third cinematic instalment as Rashomon. As the fourth record on Hlava, it follows previous releases of impressionistic sonics from Steve Moore, Datashock/Aiden Baker/Leah Buckareff, and Guapo with a creepy amalgam of “’70s prog soundtracks, Transylvanian Folk, grotesque images and anxiety”. Matt’s obviously been busy imbibing the spirits of Goblin, Fabio Frizzi…

 

SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
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TARA CROSS
1982-1989
Vinyl On Demand
Deluxe 4LP Box Set // £59.99

**Utterly mindblowing compendium of albums, rarities and archival recordings from one of the most compelling characters to have emerged from the 1980’s cassette/wave/underground, made in an individually numbered edition of 600 copies for the world including a certificate of ownership and individual sleeves housed inside a deluxe, embossed canvas box** After blowing us away with that gargantuan box of Geman Punk & Wave, Vinyl on Demand return to present one…
FOCKEWULF 190
Microcosmos 82-86
Vinyl On Demand
2LP // £19.99

**Heavyweight double gatefold with individually numbered insert. Limited to 600 individually numbered copies** Germany’s amazing Vinyl On Demand label present a massively overdue debut album by the enigmatic and near-mythical Italo group, Fockewulf 190!!! It collects the group’s two original singles, ‘Gitano’ and the legendary ‘Body Heat’, together with new remixes and their other demos made between 1982-86 to make many Italo fans dreams a reality. As one of those…
GILLETTE
Gillette
100% Silk
12″ // £10.99

Another new artist to the 100% Silk set, or someone working incognito? We suspect the latter but no matter, these tracks are very cool. We can hear traces of exported European industrial music soaked into these discombobulated disco patterns, from the sticky FX gunk rubbed over ten minutes of entrancing, Cab’s style drum machines and carpenter-esque synth spumes on ‘I’, to the augmented Schnitzler-esque metallic pulses of ‘II’ or emaciated…
ZOMBI
Escape Velocity
RELAPSE
CD // £12.99

The sonic universe that they inhabit is an increasingly crowded one, but Zombi aren’t about to let their thunder be stolen by young upstarts like Xander Harris and Umberto. These guys are old hands, and when it comes to creating fizzing electro that summons amyl-fuelled hi-NRG and Italian horror soundtracks alike, they’re often imitated but rarely bettered. Escape Velocity is their seventh (mini)album proper, and from the moment the needle…
GRIMES
Halfaxa
Lo Recordings
2LP // £17.99

*Vinyl edition finally available – Includes a download code redeemable directly from the label* Claire Boucher’s debut as Grimes has been a long time coming and has already drawn comparisons with the work of fellow chill/drag/witch/h-pop characters Laurel Halo, Hype Williams and even Autre Ne Veut. When it gets it right – it’s quite the killer too, with opener “Outer” managing to integrate sincere, properly sung vocal harmonies with the…
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
The London Sessions
DFA
2LP // £22.99

LCD Soundsystem’s ‘London Sessions’ collects nine of their strongest tracks in a sort of John Peel-style radio session, resulting in a startlingly stripped and raw view of a band at their peak. As a live unit they’ve become known as one of the most sought after acts in the world. This session captured their essence only one week after their celebrated Glastonbury performance, featuring an incredible performance from drummer Pat…

 

TECHNO / HOUSE
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MMM
Dex
MMM
12″ // £6.99

Absolutely crackers new single from MMM, indulging their taste for UK Funky and outernational rhythms to the fullest. Aside from being utterly lethal and undeniably effective, both these tracks are perhaps an unknowing middle finger to those Disco, House and Techno snobs who’ve turned their dopey noses up at Grimier, soca-synched street-level sounds in recent years (you know who you are, and you can’t dance). Anyway, rant o’er, you’ll find…
JACKMASTER
Fabriclive 57
Fabric
CD // £8.99

Recent recipient of the lauded “Best Newcomer” mantle in DJ Mag’s 2010 awards, joint head of the Numbers empire, and all-round good egg, Jackmaster heads up his first commercially available mix CD, ‘Fabriclive 57’. It’s a proper party session, heavily informed by an abiding love of ’90s dance classics and underground American funk, coupled with a penchant for the most virulent emissions of the current UK scene. These are all…
TIN MAN
Acid Acid
Global A Records
12″ // £7.99

Two slow-burning acid killers lifted from Tin Man’s second release, 2005’s ‘Acid Acid’ album. These tracks appeared before Johannes Auvinen started putting his vocals to great use, instead working as two sparse and sensually enhanced instrumental grooves. A-side ‘Forever’ sticks to the original Phuture template with bucking kicks and flayed hats holding a squirming sequence of ornately tweaked 303s. Perhaps it’s a little less rugged than Phuture, and slower, but…
RON TRENT & CHARLES WEBSTER
From The Vaults EP Part 2
Prescription
12″ // £8.99

Heavyweight reissue of two classic Ron Trent productions. A-side is the 1996 Full Gallery Mix of ‘The Dance’, all thirteen minutes of it, and the flipside holds the SleezysSmooth Mix of Taster’s Choice production ‘Instant Co Co’.
DJ QU
Gymnastics
Strength Music
CD // £11.99

Damn essential debut album of unique House music from DJ Qu! From his base in New York, Qu (real name Ramon Lisandro Quezada), has become an increasingly respected producer and DJ, managing a residency at the revered HouseDanceConference besides his own brilliant Strength Music Recordings. After four years of highly sought after releases he presents 12 tracks of inimitable and downright irresistible Deep House music, the kind of stuff that…
AWANTO 3 / AARDVARCK / TOM TRAGO
Locked In Studio EP Part II
Studio Soulrock
12″ // £7.99

Deeply Housed-up party tracks from Aardvarck, Awanto 3 and Tom Trago. Awanto 3 own the A-side with ‘I Love Hugh’, swinging off a fat booming kickdrum while the rest of the track is compressed into a hypnotic haze. Flipside, Aardvarck is in a Techno mood, recalling his Cult Copy productions with a deliriously fat and filtered bomb track on ‘Tape Mix’, while Tom Trago and Awanto 3 jam on some…
JAMES FOX / MEAN POPPA LEAN
New Jack Swing / Personality (Leon Mix)
WELL ROUNDED HOUSING PROJECT
12″ // £5.99

Well Rounded kick off their dedicated Housing Project sublabel with two R&B enriched riders from two new names (to us at least). James Fox drops the plush groover ‘New Jack Swing’ on the A, laying a cannily pitched vocal over offset kicks to land somewhere between XXXY and Deadboy. Leon maintains the feminine pressure on the flip, remixing Brighton-based Funk outfit Mean Poppa Lean on a bed of full-sunken, hip-ground…
PROSUMER
Panorama Bar 03
OSTGUT TON
CD // £10.49

Prosumer heads up the third Panorama Bar mix with an expertly curated sixty six minute selection cruising between timeless classics, rarified obscurities and some right curveballs. His DJ sets at P’bar have provided both moon-eyed dancers and tight-lipped shufflers with a wealth of House music epiphanies over the years, largely due to a pure and abiding love of the music he plays, and the way he plays it. This set…
MARK E
Stone Breaker
SPECTRAL SOUND
2LP // £13.99

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…
ROBAG WRUHME
Thora Vukk
PAMPA RECORDS
2LP // £17.99

*Includes a download code redeemable directly from the label* Former Wighnomy Brother Robag Wruhme serves his sophomore album through Koze’s Pampa outlet. Seven years down the line since his endearing debut ‘Wuzzelbud “KK”‘, this album features no major shift in style, but perhaps has a more intimate, reflective, and mature groove. Well deployed Rhodes keys and field recordings lend a melodic soul and uniquely textured character throughout while giving a…
MORPHOSIS
What Have We Learned
Delsin
CD // £13.99

‘What Have We Learned’ is one of the most anticipated LPs from the deep Techno quadrant this year. Rabih Beani’s debut album arrives five years after those first head-turning releases on his Venice-based Morphine Records as Morphosis (also, later as Ra.H), and although he’s only released about 1 or 2 records per year since, he’s become a standard bearer for the esoteric and rarified tradition of analogue cosmic techno. His…
DJ YOAV B
Wisdom Traxx EP
MEAKUSMA
12″ // £7.99

Tel-Aviv’s Yoav B imparts three craftier tracks of Detroit-inflected House and Techno for Belgium’s eclectic Meakusma label, backed with a unique Protect U remix. As the label rightly reference, these tracks are indebted to the playfully intuitive edit and arrangement techniques of Anthony Shakir, from the hypnotically psyched jack of ‘Wisdom Bop’ through the crooked sequencing of ‘Electricite’ and the warped tuning of ‘Sunset Glow Disko’. Protect U’s ‘Wisdom Bop’…
SEMTEK
West Acyd Shelter (Photonz Mix)
DON’T BE AFRAID
12″ // £6.99

Sturdy rebuild of a classic 1970s jazz-funk staple, backed with a nimble Photonz remix. The fourth release on Don’t Be Afraid remakes and breaks down the original motif over a crafty rolling rhythm sitting somewhere between Acid, House and Techno and made to do the business in style. Photonz remix tucks in more breaks and deft edits for the fleet-footed, and there’s also a more sparse and succinct ‘East Acyd…

 

WORLD
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VARIOUS / NUMERO
Cult Cargo: Salsa Boricua de Chicago
NUMERO
2LP BOX // £25.99

*Deluxe vinyl issue with a 12X12 inch 24 page booklet in a full-sized slipcase.* Far from the twin epicenters of New York and Miami, Carlos Ruiz and his Ebirac label were both feeling and generating the aftershocks of the mid-’70s salsa boom. Holed up in their own bustling Puerto Rican community center on Chicago’s west side, these third coast salseros plied their trade outside the hot lights, cutting their teeth…
VARIOUS / STRUT
Nigeria 70 – Sweet Times: Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju from 1970s Lagos
Strut
2LP // £18.99

Strut Records and ‘Nigeria 70’ compiler Duncan Brooker excavate a wealth of Afro-Funk, Highlife and Juju for a charming third volume of this sterling series. Drawn from a clutch of Nigerian label archives, this new edition illuminates the fusions between jazz and funk, soul, disco and rock music occurring in Nigeria in this pivotal era. None of the tracks have ever been officially released outside of Nigeria and take in…
VARIOUS / STRUT
Nigeria 70 – Sweet Times: Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju from 1970s Lagos
Strut
CD // £12.99

Strut Records and ‘Nigeria 70’ compiler Duncan Brooker excavate a wealth of Afro-Funk, Highlife and Juju for a charming third volume of this sterling series. Drawn from a clutch of Nigerian label archives, this new edition illuminates the fusions between jazz and funk, soul, disco and rock music occurring in Nigeria in this pivotal era. None of the tracks have ever been officially released outside of Nigeria and take in…