May 062011
 
Hello,

Forced Nostalgia is a new label curated by Belgian sound archivist Fré De Vos which has been in gestation for the best part of a lifetime. With an archive of mostly unreleased electronic, post-punk, experimental and Wave material from a slew of obscure and undiscovered producers dating back to the late 70’s through to the late 80’s and beyond, the first release on the label unearths material dating to 1983-1986 from two largely unknown production units – Sermonizer and Cicciolina Holocaust. Originally released on home-taped cassette editions, the material produced by both artists makes for some of the most bleak synthwave and proto-techno you’ll likely hear this year. These blank-eyed Industrial tape experiments reveal a bleaker side to the DIY movement which has perhaps been overlooked in the recent synthwave revivals. Now defrosted and digitally embalmed at Berlin’s D&M, this limited edition pressing of 550 copies is destined to inspire misanthropy and blissful misery in a new generation. We urge you to explore.

More has been written about Odd Future frontman Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Goblin’ than any other record around right now. It lands on triple gatefold vinyl and two separate CD editions, brimming with caustic lyrical vitriol and loaded with some of the most aware avant-Hip Hop beats this side of The Neptunes and Clams Casino. No doubt, it’s highly recommended!

Sticking with HipHop, albeit in a far more Eldritch and subversive manner, Moon Wiring Club presents his Playstation-crafted tribute to the R*y*l W*dd*ng (thank f*ck that’s over and done with!). Inspired by the stranger forces at work in the monarchy, ‘Somewhere A Fox Is Getting Married’ feels darker than his previous offerings and already has The Guardian and Simon Reynolds bowing to its supremely odd allure. All copies come with a 24″x24″ poster and MWC’s demented artwork.

Meanwhile, Pan Records reassert their buy-on-sight status with a collaborative album of dynamic electroacoustic composition by sound artists Thomas Ankersmit and Valerio Tricoli. ‘Forma II’ consists of five tracks exploring the interzone of tangibly “real” textures and synthesized spatiality with an uncannily immersive outcome. This is also Pan’s 1st CD release and features the typical silk-screened PVC sleeve and mastering by Rashad at Clunk.

Another huge electronic recommendation goes to eMego’s collection of two Bruce Gilbert masterpieces from 1984 and 1986, ‘This Way’ & ‘Shivering Man’. Together they comprise some of the darkest, most experimental output of the period, making groundbreaking use of advanced studio equipment afforded to the Wire man, sounds which have seeped forward into today’s darker ambient realms and have never sounded more relevant.

From the bass music quarters we find stellar debuts from Africa Hitech and Hyetal. Both are destined to become end-of-year faves, the former featuring Mark Pritchard and Border Control’s Steve Spacek sweeping the streets for all kinds of teched-out ruffige, and the latter stunning all comers with a unique blend of OG Purple funk, Carpenter-esque tension and subbass pressure with an unrivalled finesse.

For something a little more rarified, head to Tiago Sousa’s ‘Walden Pond’s Monk’, a beautiful suite of solo piano works by the Portuguese pianist, or Jon Porras’ genuinely arresting ‘Undercurrent’, the debut solo output from the revered Barn Owl/Elm guitarist/soundscaper – only limited to 500 copies and well recommended to fans of atmospheric doom from Grouper to Tropic of Cancer or Deathprod.

On the shorter formats we point you to the concluding part of Root Strata’s Tsuki No Seika series of vocal recordings. Volume four features a gorgeously distant and lonely pair of pieces by Tokyo’s Hisato Higuchi backed with a sepulchral hymn from Chicago’s Type regulars, Zelionople. Higuchi’s side in particular really caught us out. Highly recommended stuff.

Techy heads should also check the Downliners Sekt 12″ for a unique, dynamic fusion of ideas beloved of heads as disparate as Daron Aronofsky and François K and sounding like James Blake in a tumble dryer with Derek Bailey and Anstam. Pop pickers simply HAVE to check Hideousmen’s debut single – lifted from !K7’s ‘F*ck Dance, Let’s Art’ comp and sounding like Fever Ray-meets-Salem, and equally the T.Williams and Salem remixes of promising pop-starlet Charli XCX on This Is Music.

Other releases to check this week feature from Blue Daisy, Xander Harris, Bullion, Gang Gang Dance, Kranky, Andy Mac, Paradox, Sully, Boxcutter, Roedelius, Wild Beasts, Linkwood, John Tejada, Redshape and much much more.

have yourselves a fabulous week….

Peace! nekkers…xx

Albums of the Week



CICCIOLINA HOLOCAUST / SERMONIZER
Albeit Albeit / Sibelius Spiders
ELECTRONIC
Forced Nostalgia
LP // £10.99

*First release from this important new imprint dedicated to releasing archival and previously unreleased material from the darkest end of the synth/analogue electronic underground dating from the late 70’s to mid 90’s – cut at dubplates & mastering in Berlin and pressed up in a limited run of 550 copies* There’s no shortage of electronic reissue imprints operating these days, especially ones concentrating on ‘lost’ synth-wave recordings from the late 70’s – mid 80’s – but few have access to the kind of material amassed over the years by Forced Nostalgia, a brand new label curated by one of Belgium’s most knowledgeable and methodical sound archivists: Fré De Vos. The breadth and quality of the material already scheduled for release by Forced Nostalgia is just jaw-dropping – extending the remit to begin with the post-punk heyday of the late 70’s all the way through to the mid 90’s, taking in often unreleased, mostly unheard and overlooked material from tape music to industrial, from bossa-pop to proto-techno, from drone to out and out analogue experimentation – with the vast majority of the music now being made available on vinyl for the very first time. For this first release, the label has unearthed incredible material from two brilliantly monikered production units dating back to the early-mid 80’s: Cicciolina Holocaust and Sermonizer. Florim Prishtina and Rezart Veseli recorded together as Cicciolina Holocaust in Firenze, (Italy) during the late ’70s and early ’80s, releasing several tapes, all as small private editions given to friends. Using a bunch of drum machines, home-made electronic synths, guitars, effects pedals and a Tascam 4-track Portastudio, the pair produced oppressive and uber-dark synthscapes and minimal proto-techno experiments that slot perfectly alongside the kind of darkside work typified by Regis and the more experimental end of the Downwards label in 2011. Sermonizer, meanwhile, is the work of an anonymous producer from Bologna who started experimenting with primitive (field-) recordings and tape manipulations in late ’79. From 1984 he recorded numerous avant-garde, industrial and ambient works on to a 4-track recorder and his massive output consists of numerous private tape albums, both studio and live recordings. The 5 tracks here were recorded between 1983 and 1986 and were made on Synthesizer, Guitar, Violin, Drum Machines, Electric Shaver and other found objects and voice – producing some of the darkest electronic material you’ll likely hear – somewhere between Coil, Throbbing Gristle and Gray. For those who like to dig deep – welcome to a whole new world of crucial, largely unknown and now thankfully unearthed material from the archives. Essential Purchase.



TYLER, THE CREATOR
Goblin
HIP HOP
XL
2LP // £14.99

*Deluxe gatefold vinyl edition* At this point it’s hard to separate Odd Future frontman Tyler, The Creator’s music from the hype that has come to surround him in the few short months preceding this album’s release. His weirdly charismatic, cartoon personality has probably overshadowed his music, and you can be sure that there are plenty more people who know his face (and shorts) than have managed to get through the whole of his sprawling, controversial debut, ‘Bastard’. He’s an enviably smart kid mind, and though he’s only twenty years old (a point that is triumphantly shouted loud and proud in any editorial scrawl about the dude) ‘Goblin’ through its insecurity and pointed childishness, is just an impeccably conceived record. While his detractors just want to highlight the fact that the guy dresses in shorts, swears more than a Brummie bricklayer and likes to take Super Soakers to festivals; through the barrage of offensiveness, parodies and murder allegories you’ll find the kind of internal struggles most of us grew up with. The wounds are still fresh as daisies, and Tyler’s resentment, vitriol and poison are still corrosive when he spits. ‘Goblin’ is a concept album which finds its young protagonist in a warts ‘n all ‘therapy’ session, and over the course of an hour he exorcises nightmares and fantasies alike, setting his growing pains to some genuinely inspired production. Much has been made of Tyler’s obsession with the Neptunes, and ‘Goblin’ absolutely reminds me of the first time I gripped Kelis’s shockingly good (and still underrated) ‘Kaleidoscope’ LP back in 1999. The brutally minimal, spacious beats, the side-swiping storyline, it’s all there, but manages somehow to pay tribute to Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo without ever sounding like a carbon copy. By the time the album’s up you’ll have formed an opinion one way or the other – this isn’t the album that’s going to save rap music, and at times I’m not even certain it’s rap at all. While Tyler professes a love for nu-school hero Wacka Flocka Flame there’s little here that sounds as club heavy or drugs ‘n liquor dumb as the current mixtape set, but I have the sense that – if there was – it would sound disingenuous and ill-fitting. ‘Goblin’ is closest to a prog record (storylines, extended multi-faceted tunes etc etc), but maybe the first prog album rooted in the horrible truth of growing up in the migraine generation; the constant let downs, the over-exposure to media and the bulging, lingering, disgusting depression of not knowing what the f*ck is going to happen and where it’s going to take you. It doesn’t offer instant gratification, it’s not an album full of ‘Yonkers’ time and time again – and it’s definitely not horrorcore (grow up, haters). You’re all gonna need to listen carefully and listen more than once, and yeah, you’re gonna need to listen as loud as is humanly possible. ‘Goblin’ might just be the most important record of 2011, and whatever you think of it, it’s surely going to be the record that lodges itself in your mind more than just about anything else I can think of. A huge recommendation.



MOON WIRING CLUB
Somewhere a Fox is Getting Married
SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
Gecophonic
LP // £15.99

**Includes a massive full colour fold out 24″x24″ poster and printed inner sleeve** As the Royal Wedding quickly becomes a faded memory we have Moon Wiring Club’s ‘Somewhere A Fox Is Getting Married’ to remind us just how absurd it all was. His latest missive from the fictitious town of Clinksell continues the story of a fox-faced phantom who won the opportunity to marry into royalty thanks to his success in a surreal card game. This is essentially the souvenir album, destined to be discovered and pored over by baffled charity shop diggers in 50 years time, next to battered copies of Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff 7″s and Kromestar white labels. It’s an apt tribute, imagining the soundtrack to a dark fairytale of anachronistic traditions and strange spectacles from a parallel world to our own. Again, MWC aka Ian Hodgson works with his trusted Playstation 2 to weave a knotty tangle of loping HipHop beats and sampledelic texturing, perhaps favouring more explicitly “darkside” sounds than many of his previous albums. In the dread dub crevasses of ‘Trapped In Four Dimensions’, the ghostly harpsichord of ‘Antiques Roadshow’ or the haunted voices on ‘Coquettish & Insane’ he elicits a magisterial sense of looming forces at play, always with an unnervingly stoic yet giddy weirdness, mirroring the latent strangeness of the ruling classes with a really sinister tint. Best of all, it’s one of the most compelling Moon Wiring Club albums we’ve had the pleasure of checking, a sentiment shared by the likes of The Guardian and Simon Reynolds who are both singing its praises. Highly recommended – especially if you’re into the work of Position Normal, Z-Trip, Ghost Box, Woebot or those classic Disengage radio transmissions on KISS FM back in the mid 90’s.



THOMAS ANKERSMIT / VALERIO TRICOLI
Forma II
ELECTRONIC
PAN
CD // £9.99

*First CD release on the incredible PAN label, limited to 1000 copies, housed in pro-press digisleeve jacket and containing another dose of flawlessly curated, picked and realised music from the extremes of the electronic spectrum – do not miss* Pan Records’ first CD release is also the first collaborative output by respected electroacoustic sound artists Thomas Ankersmit and Valerio Tricoli. Their five tracks on ‘Forma II’ were composed and recorded in Berlin from 2008 to 2010, and include four shorter electroacoustic pieces based on experiments with a Serge Modular Analogue synthesizer and one long-form tract of overdubbed saxophone exploring the timbral extremes of Ankersmit’s instrument. The four hyper-sensitively detailed electroacoustic pieces range from 6 to 13 minutes in length and move between ultra-vivid blizzards of textural detail to plangent drone and vast atmospheric diffusions. Through deft computer and tape processing coupled with almost tangibly “real” sound sources such as metal foil floating on ultrasonic soundbeams or the man made resonance of the radar domes at Teufelsberg outside Berlin, the pair create a kinetic space which challenges our perception of simulated, or virtual shapes and spatial settings, and non-virtual, acoustic tangibility. In particular, the thirteen minute ‘Plague #7’ is an immersive passage of deep, thrumming bass tones and glassy hi-frequencies with the potently surreal effect, while the longer finale, ‘Takht-e Tâvus’ builds a swarm-like cluster of sumptuously discordant saxophone tones amassing a slow, gripping intensity and uncannily natural detailing. The CD is really brought to life by Rashad Becker’s mastering at Clunk, and comes housed in one-tone silk screened pvc sleeve with interweaving geomteric designs, with artwork by Kathryn Politis and Bill Kouligas. Another exceptional transmission from PAN, a label that’s fast attained buy-on-sight status.



BRUCE GILBERT
This Way / The Shivering Man
ELECTRONIC
Editions Mego
2LP // £14.99

*Special vinyl set collecting the first two incredible solo albums from Bruce Gilbert – not to be missed* In 1979, after completing their third and final group masterpiece, 154, Wire dissolved, leaving Bruce Gilbert and fellow traveller Graham Lewis free to explore their interests in minimalist electronics across a series of solo and collaborative projects. Originally released on Mute in 1984, ‘This Way’ was Gilbert’s first solo album and was primarily made up of work commissioned by choreographer Michael Clark. The introductory ten minutes takes a floating choral sound, modulated alongside panning noise signals, moving in lapping wave formations until the tone darkens with what sounds like treated recordings of crying babies and howling electronic winds, leading us into the pulsating ambience and reverb splashes of the second part. For the third part, Gilbert morphs and phases a muffled breakbeat, over the course of a further ten minutes or so, working with rhythmic tape loop figures, strobing organ stings and phantom background wailings. The remaining two pieces are considerably shorter, and both deal with rapid, percussive takes on electronic sound manipulation. There’s a dramatic industrial feel to ‘Here Visit’ – and ‘U, Mu, U’ is no less confrontational, pummeling the listener with locomotive noise signals. Twenty-five years on they retain so much of their power largely because of their single-mindedness and creative belligerence. The 1986 follow-up, ‘The Shivering Man’, has now been remastered by Russell Haswell and is just a stone cold classic: a landmark in post-punk electronic music that sounds more relevant today than ever. Full of pulsating, dubwise rhythm and beautifully modulated noise, it benefits from vocal contributions from the angelic Angela Conway (AC Marias), most notably on the proto-techno, minimal wave groover ‘Eline Cout II’, and from Lewis on the closing ‘Epitaph For Henran Brenlar’ (which sounds like Raime and Old Apparatus producing Bauhaus, or near enough). The queasy tape loops and gurgling analogue synths of ‘Net In The Feather’ are poised somewhere between early Cabs and the modern-day murk of Ekoplekz and Mount Vernon Arts Club, and ‘Hommage’ and ‘There Are’ take us into gnashing, gnarly industrial territory. What makes this record so beguiling is the way it plays off textural abstraction against more traditional melodies and song structures, how suavely it walks the tightrope between sound art and pop, violence and romance. Just so good.



AFRICA HITECH
93 Million Miles
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
Warp
3LP // £16.99

Africa HiTech’s Mark Pritchard and Steve White have really come correct with a full-length of bashy dubstep, funky and hip-hop variants. From his days in Global Communication, Jedi Knights et to his more recent Hyperdub / Harmonic 313 outings, Pritchard’s beat-building pedigree is second to none, and having skirted on the periphery of the contemporary UK bass scene for the past couple of years he’s now turned out the substantial statement he was threatening to make – aided and abetted by the nu-jazz nous of the man they used to called Steve Spacek. The opening title track is just boss, an accumulation of techy synth washes and rugged drum syncopation – imagine Omar-S if he’d grown up in Croydon instead of Detroit. The ghetto twitch of ‘Out In The Streets’ sits comfortably alongside recent Night Slugs and Pearson Sound productions; with their aquatic subs, wheedling synth tones and ultra-criss claps, ‘Future Moves’, Footstep’ and ‘Glangslap’ sound like polished takes on the kind of grime Slimzee used to spin in Pay As U Go (no higher recommendation than that). Following a lurch into dreamy Timbaland-meets-Drexciya synth-funk on ‘Our Luv’, ‘Light The Way’ invests a trad dubstep riddim with Fourth World texture and unease, while ‘Spirit’ and ‘Do You Wanna Fight’ reimagine UK garage as ethno-psychedelia, the latter bolstered with heavy vocoder usage and Eski horn parps. The closing double-punch of ‘Cyclic Sun and ‘Don’t Fight It’ is just beautiful, channelling Ethio-jazz, Congotronics drums, cinematic strings and Rhythm & Sound-style dub discipline into a sun-kissed hybrid that’s just begging to soundtrack your summer months.



TIAGO SOUSA
Walden Pond’s Monk
HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
IMMUNE
LP // £11.99

*LP version limited to 500 copies for the world, pressed on high quality virgin vinyl at RTI with a free download coupon redeemable from the label* The first ‘proper’ widely-available album from Portugese composer and pianist Tiago Sousa, ‘Walden Pond’s Monk’ balances itself on the idealism and revolutionary spirit of Henry David Thoreau. While this might be initially hard to hear in an album of mostly solo piano, as the songs seep into the soul it becomes easier and easier to decode Sousa’s messages. There is a mourning, but hopefulness to these compositions, and in contrast to solo piano records from Gonzales or Goldmund it feels like an intensely somber affair. I could almost imagine this album dropping on the ECM label, the quality is so high, so it’s hardly surprising that Sousa is so well regarded in the modern classical scene. As we go deeper into the record, outside influences and drones are brought into the fold and we descend into a harrowing darkness. A bewitching, beautiful album that comes highly recommended to followers of solo piano and modern classical music.



HYETAL
Broadcast
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
Black Acre
CD // £8.49

Bold and quite brilliant debut album from Bristol’s Hyetal. Following largely unmissable collaborations with Peverelist and Shortstuff for Punch Drunk and a handful of unique 12″s, ‘Broadcast’ pushes the parameters of dubstep to immerse in vivid VHS soundscapes equally inspired by the ebullient Midi-funk of Games, the tension of John Carpenter soundtracks and the blazing-heart pop of Prince. While the Purple influence has always been explicit in his twitchy, Linn-like drum sounds, it’s the inspiration he draws from the others, in lieu of typical ‘step memes, that makes this album an immense and quite unpredicted evolution. From the outset of ‘Ritual’ the mood is amped, pupils dilating to widescreen synth bursts and heart pumping to defibrillating bass. ‘Diamond Island’ appears next, kinda like a Burial-ized version of Games, before ‘Phoenix’ slips into gear with Outrun-ner arpeggiations pinned under smarting Linn cracks. ‘Beach Scene’ is our joint, like ‘I Would Die 4 U’ remade for the bassbin generation, while the three minute tension raiser ‘The Chase’ comes as close as Anton Maiovvi to that magical John Carpenter effect. Further in the tempos settle in for the ride, from the House clip of ‘Searchlight’ through dark, swaggering alley-funk on ‘Dimepiece’ and the urban gothic Electro-dub of ‘Boneyard’, depositing us at the Skull Disco-esque face-off ‘Black Black Black’, bookending the album with Alison Garner’s breathy vox over dread drums and techy synth-pop surges. In one fell swoop Hyetal has seemingly tied up everything we love about the synth-wave revival, Dread dubstep and VHS horror atmospheres, making this an unmissable listen. Highly recommended!



JON PORRAS
Undercurrent
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
Root Strata
LP // £11.99

**Limited to 500 copies** Arrestingly enigmatic debut solo from Elm and Barn Owl guitarist Jon Porras, dedicated to and deeply evocative of his northwest Pacific coast homeland. A “…love poem to the mist”, ‘Undercurrent’ is unfathomably vast in scope and effect, utterly immersive from the first film of drizzly, melancholy drone in opener ‘Grey Dunes’, to the lapping steel strings of closer ‘Gaze’. In between his sound moves as naturally as the water cycle and with equally incalculable size making us feel relatively minute compared with the unreachable horizons of his soundsphere: a fact no doubt abetted by the Norman Conquest’s exquisite peripheral mix. Inside this ecosystem distortion represents the wayward natural force of huge bodies of water passing between mountains and the ocean; elemental processes embodied as spectral, gaseous forms which shroud breathtaking harmonic topographies. Overall, the mood is as darkly impenetrable as the landscape itself, but certainly not without its moment of sheer beauty, found in the brief elation of fragile guitar found in ‘Calm’ and the heart-stopping ‘Land’s End’, beauty spots of respite from the enveloping gloom. Fans of everything from Tropic Of Cancer to Grouper and Deathprod will find solace with this album. Hugely recommended!

Singles of the Week



HYETAL
Broadcast (5 Track Vinyl Edition)
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
Black Acre
2×12″ // £11.99

**5-track vinyl version of Hyetal’s debut album** Bold and quite brilliant debut album from Bristol’s Hyetal. Following largely unmissable collaborations with Peverelist and Shortstuff for Punch Drunk and a handful of unique 12″s, ‘Broadcast’ pushes the parameters of dubstep to immerse in vivid VHS soundscapes equally inspired by the ebullient Midi-funk of Games, the tension of John Carpenter soundtracks and the blazing-heart pop of Prince. While the Purple influence has always been explicit in his twitchy, Linn-like drum sounds, it’s the inspiration he draws from the others, in lieu of typical ‘step memes, that makes this album an immense and quite unpredicted evolution. This vinyl version includes five of the best joints from the 11-track CD; featuring the incredible ‘I Would Die 4 U’ update aka ‘Beach Scene’, plus the swaggering alley-funk of ‘Dime Piece’, the urban gothic electro-dub of ‘Boneyard’ and the cinematically arresting closer ‘Black Black Black’. In one fell swoop Hyetal has seemingly tied up everything we love about the synth-wave revival, Dread dubstep and VHS horror atmospheres, making this an unmissable listen. Highly recommended!



ZELIENOPLE / HISATO HAGUCHI
Tsuki No Seika: Volume Four
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
Root Strata
7″ // £4.99

**Limited edition of 300** Vol.4 of Root Strata’s beautifully realised vocal series ‘Tsuki No Seika’ pairs Tokyo’s spectral entity, Hisato Higuchi, with windy city trio, Zelienople. Set against a backdrop of humming electrical interference and possibly the distant rumble of traffic, Hisato practically renders us speechless with his wordless murmurs, evoking a solemn sort of solo blues duet with omnipresent electromagnetic spirits (you know, the kind of thing we all do when we think there’s no one around). While Hisato’s side feels like it was recorded in a small room at the top of a high building, Zelienople’s ‘Hold The Strays’ feels more sepulchral, hymnal and structured, and as though their harmonies were recorded from parallel passages of the same catacomb network. Stunning sounds – Highly recommended.



DOWNLINERS SEKT
Meet The Decline
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
DISBOOT
12″ // £7.99

Much anticipated conclusion to an outstanding trilogy of EPs by this enigmatic production unit. If you’re a regular reader of these pages, you’ll no doubt be familiar with their output; a confounding style which veers from obtuse, angular electronics to heart-breaking soul and fractured dub in the blink of an ear. Their compelling style has earned them some notable fans; The Bug, François K and Daron Aronofsky among them, adding to a list of publications and heads pouring praise from every angle. ‘Meet The Decline’ is a sumptuous finish to the series, articulating their fragile soul with a richer palette of instrumentation and greater vocal presence attributed to someone called Sonic Monk. Opener ‘All I Can Hear Now’ is a more fraught, hyper-blues cousin to James Blake’s coolly collected soul diffusions, structured around a dismantled guitar refrain and dynamic beat crushing like Derek Bailey tangled with Anstam. Like few others right now, ‘Locked Faces’ makes glitch music feel fresh and meaningful, refracting shards of Dubstep, Trip Hop and electronic pop to find a an arrestingly unique soul. In all, an elegantly graceful resolution to a solid series.



HIDEOUSMEN
Tangled / Sirens
ELECTRONIC
PEOPLE IN THE SKY
12″ // £5.99

Must-have vinyl issue of Hideousmen’s outstanding ‘Tangled’ taken from !K7’s ‘F*ck Dance, Let’s Art’ compilation, backed with an exclusive new song ‘Sirens’ and remixes by Sekta and Rodion. The Denver-hailing duo’s debut output instantly grabbed our attention on said compilation amidst music from the likes of o0o00, Toro Y Moi, HEALTH and many other better known names. If a fusion of Fever Ray-like vocals, skating 808s and detuned mentasms sound like your bag, you really don’t want to miss this! Equally, new track ‘Sirens’ is another peach, this time working on a numbed-but-frantic disco throb and all the emotive impact delivered from those delicious vocals. The remixes are cool; Sekta giving ‘Tangled’ a clipped Double Garage rerun and Rodion doing some kinda sluggish Moroder disco thing to ‘Sirens’, but the originals are the biggest reason to cop this. Recommended!



BLUE DAISY
3rd Degree Hip Hop
BEATS / DOWNTEMPO / BOOGIE
Black Acre
12″ // £5.99

Black Acre bring it raw and exclusive with three badboy Blue Daisy tracks on a LTD edition vinyl press. Frontside, ‘3rd Degree HipHop’ is a major banger, dispensing turbo-charged synthline weight and spine-snapping breakbeats in true 2011 style. Few can test this. Flipside, ‘Status Off Air’ drops the tempo but still rides with those exhilarating synth sounds, while ‘Kill A DJ’ cold crushes the beat for slow-motion metallic head-bangers effect. Deadly wax, RIYL Illum Sphere, Lorn, Eprom etc.



XANDER HARRIS
I Want More Than Just Blood
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
100% Silk
12″ // £8.99

Dramatic Texan Italo ace from horror/synth obsessive, Xander Harris. His first 100% Silk entry distills the sexier, dancefloor-dedicated disco strains of his ‘Urban Gothic’ LP to sound like some freshly discovered bottle of coagulated, ’86 vintage vino. ‘I Want More Than Just Blood (High Heels Remix)’ is ten minutes of steely synth gaze and adrenalising arpeggios with dripping, carmine coloured melodic trickles and futuro trance washes. ‘Necronomiconjure’ is more nuanced, reserved techno pulses outrun by a surge of beaming synth positrons next to the beautifully resolved end sequence of ‘Martian Fever’.



CHARLI XCX / SALEM / T.WILLIAMS
Stay Away (Salem / T.Williams Mixes)
ELECTRONIC
THIS IS MUSIC
12″ // £6.99

‘Stay Away’ is a dazzling introduction to Charli XCX – This Is Music’s very promising pop starlet – via heavyweight remixes from Salem and Deep Teknologi’s T. Williams. You’ll have to hunt elsewhere for the original right now, but in Salem’s hands ‘Stay Away’ becomes a slow-motion collapse of suspended 808 fills coated with synaesthetically corrosive synths and mumbled vocals, like it was heard through a narcotic stupor (which it probably was). Turn over and T. Williams takes it upbeat, cradling her affected vocal, which sounds somewhere between Fever Ray and M.I.A, in a flitting Funky rhythm and caustic electro synth burns. Road ready and very good to go. TIP!

 

This week’s releases in full!
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BEATS / DOWNTEMPO / BOOGIE
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BLUE DAISY
3rd Degree Hip Hop
Black Acre
12″ // £5.99

Black Acre bring it raw and exclusive with three badboy Blue Daisy tracks on a LTD edition vinyl press. Frontside, ‘3rd Degree HipHop’ is a major banger, dispensing turbo-charged synthline weight and spine-snapping breakbeats in true 2011 style. Few can test this. Flipside, ‘Status Off Air’ drops the tempo but still rides with those exhilarating synth sounds, while ‘Kill A DJ’ cold crushes the beat for slow-motion metallic head-bangers effect….
DAEDELUS
Bespoke
Ninja Tune
2LP // £13.99

*Limited vinyl edition, includes download code redeemable from the label* Alfred Darlington is a man who isn’t afraid of really working at his craft, and I’m talking graft – mine shaft style. The Victorian-obsessed LA type has been chiseling away at his unique sound for so long that his music has actually transcended all the genres it’s been lumped into. First he was IDM, then he was breakcore, then hip…
EPROM
Pipe Dream EP
RWINA
12″ // £6.49

Eprom fuses w*onky HipOp and Dubstep ‘tronics for his electrified 1st drop of 2011. Some crafty moves abound inside, from the uranium-enriched synthlines and lop-sided lean of ‘Pipe Dreams’ on the A-side to an unconventional arrangement of warped, double-timed bass bursts and subsiding hiphop on ‘Chromium Decay’, or the detuned bop of ‘The Symbiote’, especially for those who like their electronics to taste like battery acid and their beats to…
BULLION
You Drive Me To Plastic
Young Turks
CD // £8.99

Bullion is, quite brilliantly, one of those artists who effortlessly shirks any orthodox categorisation by way of sheer individuality. His 2nd album ‘You Drive Me To Plastic’ further convolutes the lines of psyche-pop, sampledelia, hiphop and electronics while according to no set rules, freely traversing textures, tropes and evocative triggers from way out yonder. Yet, whilst deeply psychedelic there’s a pop-hookiness to his collage/constructions which warrants this release on the…
BULLION
You Drive Me To Plastic
Young Turks
LP // £13.99

**One-sided pressing with etching on the flip** Bullion is, quite brilliantly, one of those artists who effortlessly shirks any orthodox categorisation by way of sheer individuality. His 2nd album ‘You Drive Me To Plastic’ further convolutes the lines of psyche-pop, sampledelia, hiphop and electronics while according to no set rules, freely traversing textures, tropes and evocative triggers from way out yonder. Yet, whilst deeply psychedelic there’s a pop-hookiness to his…
MR SCRUFF
Wobble Control
Ninja Tune
12″ // £5.49

One low-slung Scruff-y special, backed with an ever lower slung remix of ‘Music Takes Me Up’ by Brooklyn’s Nickodemus and Zeb. His original ‘Wobble Control’ is built on warm and weighty 4/4 bass hits with wormy synthline and the kind of effortless groove your mum would bop to. Flip it and you’ll find a dusted downbeat version of Alice Russell and Scruff’s charmer from the ‘Ninja Tuna’ album.

 

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
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JON PORRAS
Undercurrent
Root Strata
LP // £11.99

**Limited to 500 copies** Arrestingly enigmatic debut solo from Elm and Barn Owl guitarist Jon Porras, dedicated to and deeply evocative of his northwest Pacific coast homeland. A “…love poem to the mist”, ‘Undercurrent’ is unfathomably vast in scope and effect, utterly immersive from the first film of drizzly, melancholy drone in opener ‘Grey Dunes’, to the lapping steel strings of closer ‘Gaze’. In between his sound moves as naturally…
ZELIENOPLE / HISATO HAGUCHI
Tsuki No Seika: Volume Four
Root Strata
7″ // £4.99

**Limited edition of 300** Vol.4 of Root Strata’s beautifully realised vocal series ‘Tsuki No Seika’ pairs Tokyo’s spectral entity, Hisato Higuchi, with windy city trio, Zelienople. Set against a backdrop of humming electrical interference and possibly the distant rumble of traffic, Hisato practically renders us speechless with his wordless murmurs, evoking a solemn sort of solo blues duet with omnipresent electromagnetic spirits (you know, the kind of thing we all…
IMPLODES
Black Earth
Kranky
CD // £11.99

The dark side has never been more in vogue and heavily populated than it is right now, and you could be forgiven for wondering if another album with a title like Black Earth is something you really need in your life. But take it from us: there’s real weight and authenticity to Implodes’ invocation of evil and occluded energies. Hailing from Chicago, it’s difficult not too see them as part…
IMPLODES
Black Earth
Kranky
LP // £13.99

The dark side has never been more in vogue and heavily populated than it is right now, and you could be forgiven for wondering if another album with a title like Black Earth is something you really need in your life. But take it from us: there’s real weight and authenticity to Implodes’ invocation of evil and occluded energies. Hailing from Chicago, it’s difficult not too see them as part…
LITURGY
Aesthethica
Thrill Jockey
LP // £14.99

‘Aesthetica’ is the intense sophomore LP from New York’s acclaimed Black Metal unit, following their highly regarded 2009 debut ‘Renihilation’. In it, Liturgy further deconsecrate the land between Black Metal, Hardcore and experimentalism with supremely dextrous instrumental abilities and the natural force of the brilliantly named Hunter Hunt hollering from front and centre. Most of the tracks deceivingly originate from simple refrains before surging into feats of complex, furious and…
THISQUIETARMY
Vessels
AURORA BOREALIS
CD // £11.99

“Montreal’s Thisquietarmy create sublime yet massive walls of beautiful shimmering drone, at times with a near pop sensibility, at others near Industrial in its percussive bombast. ‘Vessels’ explores themes of the sea and man’s struggle with this relentless and all pervasive force, the music a perfect means of expressing both the flat calm and the force 9 storm. Eric Quach, the man behind thisquietarmy, is a prolific artist, and Vessels…

 

DISCO / EDITS / FUNK
See all
VARIOUS / SECRET STASH
Persian Funk
SECRET STASH
LP // £15.99

*Includes a download coupon for entire album redeemable from the label* Secret Stash seem to be shaping up like an American answer to Finders Keepers, and follow suit with this great collection of Iranian ’70s Funk and Soul originals. All these songs were created during Iran’s cultural renaissance prior to Ayatollah Kohmeini’s imposed anti-western policy circa 1979 when studios were burned and many of its artists exiled. But, as the…
CARLY SIMON
Why
MIRAGE
12″ // £6.99

Indispensible, remastered reissue of this timeless classic. ‘Why’ was produced by Chic’s Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards back in 1982 and has held a sacred spot on dancefloors across the world ever since. A-side is the extended vocal mix and B-side is the instrumental. It’s much, much cheaper than an original copy and won’t be around for long. TIP!!!
MIDNIGHT LAB BAND
Laser Tag / Dons Demo
NAMES YOU CAN TRUST
7″ // £5.99

Two sleazin’ mid and downtempo synth-boogie jobs by New York’s Midnight Lab Band. ‘Lazer Tag’ is the propulsive mid-tempo strutter, made for the darker, red-lit corners of the disco. ‘Don’s Demo’ is naughtier still, reworking an obscure Don Stark production with nuff ‘tache-tweakin potential.
SEAHAWKS
High On You
CAPTAIN’S LOG
12″ // £7.99

“As always with Seahawks tracks this in an epic voyage, by turns smooth, dark, moving and deeply lysergic. ‘High On You’ grooves with a capital G, a real chug boat that heads off into uncharted water during the breakdown into a strange ritualistic orgy before returning with a pulsing disco beat and floating synth clouds that leave the listener high on a mountain top, disrobed, disheveled and disorientated. ‘Dreams Are…

 

DUB / REGGAE
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SKATALITES
Treasure Isle Time
KINGSTON SOUNDS
CD // £10.99

“When talking about Ska Music one group of musicians whose name always comes to the forefront of the conversation are The Skatalites. Formed around 1965 and named originally after the Soviet space satellite which was big news at the time and with a little help from band member Tommy McCook, making a play on the characteristic ‘Ska’sound made by the guitar when following the ‘after beat’ of the music. The…

 

DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
See all
AFRICA HITECH
93 Million Miles
Warp
3LP // £16.99

Africa HiTech’s Mark Pritchard and Steve White have really come correct with a full-length of bashy dubstep, funky and hip-hop variants. From his days in Global Communication, Jedi Knights et to his more recent Hyperdub / Harmonic 313 outings, Pritchard’s beat-building pedigree is second to none, and having skirted on the periphery of the contemporary UK bass scene for the past couple of years he’s now turned out the substantial…
AFRICA HITECH
93 Million Miles
Warp
CD // £9.99

Africa HiTech’s Mark Pritchard and Steve White have really come correct with a full-length of bashy dubstep, funky and hip-hop variants. From his days in Global Communication, Jedi Knights et to his more recent Hyperdub / Harmonic 313 outings, Pritchard’s beat-building pedigree is second to none, and having skirted on the periphery of the contemporary UK bass scene for the past couple of years he’s now turned out the substantial…
HYETAL
Broadcast
Black Acre
CD // £8.49

Bold and quite brilliant debut album from Bristol’s Hyetal. Following largely unmissable collaborations with Peverelist and Shortstuff for Punch Drunk and a handful of unique 12″s, ‘Broadcast’ pushes the parameters of dubstep to immerse in vivid VHS soundscapes equally inspired by the ebullient Midi-funk of Games, the tension of John Carpenter soundtracks and the blazing-heart pop of Prince. While the Purple influence has always been explicit in his twitchy, Linn-like…
HYETAL
Broadcast (5 Track Vinyl Edition)
Black Acre
2×12″ // £11.99

**5-track vinyl version of Hyetal’s debut album** Bold and quite brilliant debut album from Bristol’s Hyetal. Following largely unmissable collaborations with Peverelist and Shortstuff for Punch Drunk and a handful of unique 12″s, ‘Broadcast’ pushes the parameters of dubstep to immerse in vivid VHS soundscapes equally inspired by the ebullient Midi-funk of Games, the tension of John Carpenter soundtracks and the blazing-heart pop of Prince. While the Purple influence has…
DOWNLINERS SEKT
Meet The Decline
DISBOOT
12″ // £7.99

Much anticipated conclusion to an outstanding trilogy of EPs by this enigmatic production unit. If you’re a regular reader of these pages, you’ll no doubt be familiar with their output; a confounding style which veers from obtuse, angular electronics to heart-breaking soul and fractured dub in the blink of an ear. Their compelling style has earned them some notable fans; The Bug, François K and Daron Aronofsky among them, adding…
ANDY MAC
Everytime / Asteroid Belts
Punch Drunk Records
12″ // £5.99

Punch Drunk come smoother with Andy Mac’s soulful and slippery debut burner. A member of Bristol’s Falling Up crew, Andy represents a more Housed-up sound than many of his city’s fellow producers, assimilating traces of Deep House and Broken Beat into the yearning grooves of ‘Everytime’ but with more than enough swing and subbass pressure to warrant a Punch Drunk release. Moving further into House blueprints, ‘Asteroid Belts’ belies some…
BOXCUTTER
The Dissolve
Planet Mu
LP // £9.99

Barry Lynn’s fourth album for Planet Mu effectively sees him disengage with Dubstep and embrace the esoteric strands of Jazz, Techno and Electronica which always richly informed his music. It’s no surprise really, given that his previous album ‘Arecibo Message’ and singles on Kinnego Records have been moving towards a finer balance of electro and acoustic instrumentation for the last few years. Worry not though, he’s not lost his head…
STAGGA
The Warm Air Room
Rag and Bone
CD // £10.99

Stagga made a barnstorming entrance with some nutty singles on Rag ‘n Bone and Rossi B and Luca’s Rudeez label in 2008. Since relocating from South Wales to Berlin he’s honed a devilish style of warehouse-warped HipHop and Dubstep fusions displayed on ‘The Warm Air Room’. After lulling us in with the bong-eyed ‘ip-‘op of ‘Is This The Future’, he coolly alternates the narrative pressure between hyper-bassed head-nodders such ‘That’s…
SULLY
Toffee Apple
FRIJSFO BEATS
10″ // £6.99

**One-sided wax – Etched by hand on the flip!** Sully leads out a synth-heavy halfstep sound on Frijsfo’s latest. ‘Toffee Apple’ is more laidback and plush than owt we’ve copped from him before; gangsta-leaning halfstep drums fuse with chrome squirting synths and discombobulated 8-bit skweeeze. Limited to just 350 copies… Kewl.
EDDIE K & MINUS
Activate / Dark Ages
HENCH
12″ // £5.99

H.E.N.C.H let Beezy off his leash for more potty mouthed escapades. In many ways (road rap excluded) Dubstep has become a new surrogate for UK HipHop; the darker, more twisted side at least. This is quite evident on ‘Activate’ with Beezy lending his unique, street corner-level charm to a sawtooth-gnawed triplet rhythm, and on scrunched mid-range squeals of ‘Dark Ages’. This doesn’t feel like music to dance to, just like…
EMALKAY
Eclipse
Dub Police Records
3 x 12″ // £21.99

**Features six tracks, cut 1-per side for optimal bass levels** Bulky Bass hit from B-town’s Emalkay on his debut album, ‘Eclipse’. Wrangling guest appearances from Rod Azlan and Baby D, Emalkay covers the breadth of Dubstep sub-sets, from broken rollidge on ‘Flesh & Bone’, to the concrete halfstep smack of ‘Metropolis’, through raved-up synthline squeal on the anthemic ‘When I Look At You’ or Skream-esque ‘ardcore nut busters ‘True Romance’…
EMALKAY
Eclipse
Dub Police Records
CD // £9.99

**Full 11-track version** Bulky Bass hit from B-town’s Emalkay on his debut album, ‘Eclipse’. Wrangling guest appearances from Rod Azlan and Baby D, Emalkay covers the breadth of Dubstep sub-sets, from broken rollidge on ‘Flesh & Bone’, to the concrete halfstep smack of ‘Metropolis’, through raved-up synthline squeal on the anthemic ‘When I Look At You’ or Skream-esque ‘ardcore nut busters ‘True Romance’ and ‘Keep Goin’ On’. Big and bold,…
TMSV
All It Takes / Back Off
Box Clever
10″ // £5.99

Deep and powerful halfstep grooves from Youngsta fave, TMSV. A-side takes us back to 2006 dubstep styles with concentrated tribal congas, exotic ornamentation and a swerving, snakey subbass lick that bites in all the right places. Flipside is darker yet, tightly wound for that implosive halfstep dynamic beloved of Youngsta and fans of old skool Loefah, Pinch or Cyrus.

 

ELECTRONIC
See all
CICCIOLINA HOLOCAUST / SERMONIZER
Albeit Albeit / Sibelius Spiders
Forced Nostalgia
LP // £10.99

*First release from this important new imprint dedicated to releasing archival and previously unreleased material from the darkest end of the synth/analogue electronic underground dating from the late 70’s to mid 90’s – cut at dubplates & mastering in Berlin and pressed up in a limited run of 550 copies* There’s no shortage of electronic reissue imprints operating these days, especially ones concentrating on ‘lost’ synth-wave recordings from the late…
THOMAS ANKERSMIT / VALERIO TRICOLI
Forma II
PAN
CD // £9.99

*First CD release on the incredible PAN label, limited to 1000 copies, housed in pro-press digisleeve jacket and containing another dose of flawlessly curated, picked and realised music from the extremes of the electronic spectrum – do not miss* Pan Records’ first CD release is also the first collaborative output by respected electroacoustic sound artists Thomas Ankersmit and Valerio Tricoli. Their five tracks on ‘Forma II’ were composed and recorded…
BRUCE GILBERT
This Way / The Shivering Man
Editions Mego
2LP // £14.99

*Special vinyl set collecting the first two incredible solo albums from Bruce Gilbert – not to be missed* In 1979, after completing their third and final group masterpiece, 154, Wire dissolved, leaving Bruce Gilbert and fellow traveller Graham Lewis free to explore their interests in minimalist electronics across a series of solo and collaborative projects. Originally released on Mute in 1984, ‘This Way’ was Gilbert’s first solo album and was…
BRUCE GILBERT
The Shivering Man
Editions Mego
CD // £12.99

In 1979, after completing their third and final group masterpiece, 154, Wire dissolved, leaving Bruce Gilbert and fellow traveller Graham Lewis free to explore their interests in minimalist electronics across a series of solo and collaborative projects. Gilbert’s first solo LP had plenty to recommend it, but it was when he signed to Mute and unveiled his sophomore ’84 effort This Way that the power and acuity of his solo…
HIDEOUSMEN
Tangled / Sirens
PEOPLE IN THE SKY
12″ // £5.99

Must-have vinyl issue of Hideousmen’s outstanding ‘Tangled’ taken from !K7’s ‘F*ck Dance, Let’s Art’ compilation, backed with an exclusive new song ‘Sirens’ and remixes by Sekta and Rodion. The Denver-hailing duo’s debut output instantly grabbed our attention on said compilation amidst music from the likes of o0o00, Toro Y Moi, HEALTH and many other better known names. If a fusion of Fever Ray-like vocals, skating 808s and detuned mentasms sound…
CHARLI XCX / SALEM / T.WILLIAMS
Stay Away (Salem / T.Williams Mixes)
THIS IS MUSIC
12″ // £6.99

‘Stay Away’ is a dazzling introduction to Charli XCX – This Is Music’s very promising pop starlet – via heavyweight remixes from Salem and Deep Teknologi’s T. Williams. You’ll have to hunt elsewhere for the original right now, but in Salem’s hands ‘Stay Away’ becomes a slow-motion collapse of suspended 808 fills coated with synaesthetically corrosive synths and mumbled vocals, like it was heard through a narcotic stupor (which it…
CIRCLE
Infektio
CONSPIRACY
LP // £17.99

Finnish avant-metal institution, Circle embark on a primitive Kosmische journey on their first album released through Conspiracy Records. Their press release alludes to a kind of “mellow caveman jam”, but listening to the fifteen-minute opener ‘Salvos’ we’d say it’s a bit more forward thinking, like maybe viking era, at least. Yeah, vikings slashed on psilocybic Reindeer p*ss, out in the woods with a real, real early synthesizer carved from pine…
SOLVENT
Latch, Fasten, Secure
MINIMALROME
12″ // £7.99

Super-squashed and bass-heavy acid jacks from Ghostly International’s long-serving Solvent. These three tracks display a ruder, more driven side of Solvent that we’d not readily associated with his usual electro-pop outings. A-side ‘Latch’ is a rubbery-twisted bumper where the lead melody, bass and beat seem to be fused into one writhing, elastic mass, while ‘Fasten’ gets busy with ruff and ready jacker’s drums. The flipside is given to ‘Secure’, a…
HANS-JOACHIM ROEDELIUS
Momenti Felici
Bureau B
CD // £12.99

The tireless Bureau B dig out and dust down another gem from the Roedelius catalogue for a top-quality reissue; this time it’s Momenti-Felici, originally released in ’87 on Virgin’s Venture imprint. It’s notable for its contributions from saxophonist Alexander Czjzek, which when combined with Hans-Joachim’s breezy keyboard chords on ‘Guten Morgen’ inevitably put us in mind of Vangelis. It’s one of HJR’s most charming and organic records – beginning with…
HANS-JOACHIM ROEDELIUS
Momenti Felici
Bureau B
LP // £13.99

The tireless Bureau B dig out and dust down another gem from the Roedelius catalogue for a top-quality reissue; this time it’s Momenti-Felici, originally released in ’87 on Virgin’s Venture imprint. It’s notable for its contributions from saxophonist Alexander Czjzek, which when combined with Hans-Joachim’s breezy keyboard chords on ‘Guten Morgen’ inevitably put us in mind of Vangelis. It’s one of HJR’s most charming and organic records – beginning with…
MAGIC I.D.
I’m So Awake / Sleepless I Feel
Staubgold
LP // £14.99

“The Magic I.D. is a Berlin-based quartet exploring the juncture of song forms with abstract music. The band, consisting of Margareth Kammerer (vocals & guitars), Christof Kurzmann (vocals, g3 & lloopp), Kai Fagaschinski and Michael Thieke (both clarinet), formed in summer 2005 after previously being connected via smaller groupings and projects. The musicians expand song forms through the prism of experimental sensibilities and mesh the two remarkably fluidly. ‘I’m So…
MAGIC I.D.
I’m So Awake / Sleepless I Feel
Staubgold
CD // £13.99

“The Magic I.D. is a Berlin-based quartet exploring the juncture of song forms with abstract music. The band, consisting of Margareth Kammerer (vocals & guitars), Christof Kurzmann (vocals, g3 & lloopp), Kai Fagaschinski and Michael Thieke (both clarinet), formed in summer 2005 after previously being connected via smaller groupings and projects. The musicians expand song forms through the prism of experimental sensibilities and mesh the two remarkably fluidly. ‘I’m So…

 

FOLK / AMERICANA
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ARITOMO
Blooming The Ena
BLACKEST RAINBOW
LP // £12.99

Blackest Rainbow present their second Aritomo reissue with the now impossible-to-find ‘Blooming The Ena’, which originally emerged on his own Hakanairo label in 2007. This is contemporary Japanese folk music at its finest, with Aritomo’s sanguine acoustic finger picking beautifully complemented with dreamy vocals and more traditional bamboo flute, piano, chimes and a dash of electric guitar. This reissue comes housed in pro-printed reproduction cover with 4-page insert printed on…
JACK ALLETT
The Collapsing Middle
BLACKEST RAINBOW
LP+CD // £13.99

Debut solo full length vinyl from Jack Allett; a skilled British guitarist formerly known as Spoono. ‘The Collapsing Middle’ is his third release for Blackest Rainbow following a split with Cam Deas and a hugely limited CDr, but no mind if you missed them because this is probably his best work yet. The A-side ‘Place, Memory and Forgetting’ is a stirring display of fluid finger picking and swirling, psyched-out space…
JACK ALLETT
The Collapsing Middle
BLACKEST RAINBOW
CD // £9.99

Debut solo full length album from Jack Allett; a skilled British guitarist formerly known as Spoono. ‘The Collapsing Middle’ is his third release for Blackest Rainbow following a split with Cam Deas and a hugely limited CDr, but no mind if you missed them because this is probably his best work yet. The A-side ‘Place, Memory and Forgetting’ is a stirring display of fluid finger picking and swirling, psyched-out space…
SLEEPINGDOG
With Our Heads In The Clouds And Our Hearts In The Fields
Gizeh Records
LP // £12.99

Sleepingdog is the collaborative moniker of Belgian singer-songwriter Chantal Acda and hallowed drone-God Adam Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid. ‘With Our Heads In The Clouds and Out Hearts In The Fields’ is their third album together, and probably the most successful blend to date of Acda’s introverted songs and Wiltzie’s instantly recognizable drones. They manage to rope in a couple of collaborators too in the shape of Touch artist…
CONNY OCHS
Raw Love Songs
Exile On Mainstream Records
CD // £7.99

“Raw Love Songs is the debut album from Conny Ochs – a heart-warming, emotional and honest collection of songs, bound to a tradition and history of great acoustic craftmanship drawn over the American continent. Ochs has recently finished touring with Scott “WIno” Weinrich and recorded a Latitudes session with Wino at the legendary Southern Studios.”

 

HIP HOP
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TYLER, THE CREATOR
Goblin
XL
2LP // £14.99

*Deluxe gatefold vinyl edition* At this point it’s hard to separate Odd Future frontman Tyler, The Creator’s music from the hype that has come to surround him in the few short months preceding this album’s release. His weirdly charismatic, cartoon personality has probably overshadowed his music, and you can be sure that there are plenty more people who know his face (and shorts) than have managed to get through the…
TYLER, THE CREATOR
Goblin
XL
CD // £8.99

At this point it’s hard to separate Odd Future frontman Tyler, The Creator’s music from the hype that has come to surround him in the few short months preceding this album’s release. His weirdly charismatic, cartoon personality has probably overshadowed his music, and you can be sure that there are plenty more people who know his face (and shorts) than have managed to get through the whole of his sprawling,…
TYLER, THE CREATOR
Goblin (Deluxe CD Edition)
XL
CD // £10.99

*Deluxe edition with different artwork, 3 extra tracks and a fold out poster.* At this point it’s hard to separate Odd Future frontman Tyler, The Creator’s music from the hype that has come to surround him in the few short months preceding this album’s release. His weirdly charismatic, cartoon personality has probably overshadowed his music, and you can be sure that there are plenty more people who know his face…
LOTEK
The Rudest / Still Splendid ft. Roots Manuva
First Word Records
7″ // £4.99

Big Dada’s legendary go-to man, Wayne Lotek, drops the first taste of his forthcoming album ‘International Rudeboy ‘ for Trojan subsidiary, First Word Records. It’s a typical blend of JA reggae groove and UK HipHop shift, the kinda of style which characterised his beats for Speech Debelle and Roots Manuva, who coincidentally turns up on the brassy bounce of ‘Still Splendid’.

 

HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
See all
TIAGO SOUSA
Walden Pond’s Monk
IMMUNE
LP // £11.99

*LP version limited to 500 copies for the world, pressed on high quality virgin vinyl at RTI with a free download coupon redeemable from the label* The first ‘proper’ widely-available album from Portugese composer and pianist Tiago Sousa, ‘Walden Pond’s Monk’ balances itself on the idealism and revolutionary spirit of Henry David Thoreau. While this might be initially hard to hear in an album of mostly solo piano, as the…
TIAGO SOUSA
Walden Pond’s Monk
IMMUNE
CD // £8.99

The first ‘proper’ widely-available album from Portugese composer and pianist Tiago Sousa, ‘Walden Pond’s Monk’ balances itself on the idealism and revolutionary spirit of Henry David Thoreau. While this might be initially hard to hear in an album of mostly solo piano, as the songs seep into the soul it becomes easier and easier to decode Sousa’s messages. There is a mourning, but hopefulness to these compositions, and in contrast…
FOURCOLOR
As Pleat
12K
CD // £8.99

The solo project of Keiichi Sugimoto of Minamo, Fourcolor is his chance to explore a more minimal, pensive sound. ‘As Pleat’ is Sugimoto’s third album, and follows its well-received predecessors with a bubbling stream of choppy DSP and haunting, nostalgic instrumental samples. As with many recent 12K releases, the guitar is at the center of the album, but Sugimoto expertly manipulates these peculiar strings almost beyond recognition, making them chime,…

 

INDIE / ROCK / ALTERNATIVE
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GANG GANG DANCE
Eye Contact
4AD
2LP // £15.99

You’ve got your take your hat off to Gang Gang Dance. In a short space of time they’ve gone from being the terminally sloppy darlings of the Brooklyn art-psych underground to something approaching pop stars, and without any particular compromise on their part. Sure, hardcore fans will always miss the incarnation of the band that unleashed the lysergic mayhem of God’s Money, but it was a hard heart indeed that…
GANG GANG DANCE
Eye Contact
4AD
CD // £9.99

You’ve got your take your hat off to Gang Gang Dance. In a short space of time they’ve gone from being the terminally sloppy darlings of the Brooklyn art-psych underground to something approaching pop stars, and without any particular compromise on their part. Sure, hardcore fans will always miss the incarnation of the band that unleashed the lysergic mayhem of God’s Money, but it was a hard heart indeed that…
NO JOY
Ghost Blonde
Mexican Summer
CD // £11.99

Arriving armed with warm praise from Pitchfork and Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino (who called ’em “the best band ever”), No Joy make a debut entrance on the expertly aware Mexican Summer label. The original duo of Jasmine White-Glutz and Laura Lloyd (now expanded to a quartet), make dizzying shoegaze pop redolent of the classic touchstones – MBV, Lush, Sonic Youth – but with a jangle and slightly demented charm quite…
WILD BEASTS
Smother
Domino
LP // £13.49

Following the widely acclaimed ‘Two Dancers’, ‘Smother’ is Kendal band Wild Beasts next attempt at the mainstream, and luckily they have managed yet another full-length without properly succumbing to the mainstream. Their drive is as propulsive as ever, and the electronic pop sheen that graced ‘Two Dancers’ is back in full force, almost taking them into Cold Cave’s coveted nu-wave zone. The Beasts always had a sense of indie-rock about…
WILD BEASTS
Smother
Domino
CD // £9.99

Following the widely acclaimed ‘Two Dancers’, ‘Smother’ is Kendal band Wild Beasts next attempt at the mainstream, and luckily they have managed yet another full-length without properly succumbing to the mainstream. Their drive is as propulsive as ever, and the electronic pop sheen that graced ‘Two Dancers’ is back in full force, almost taking them into Cold Cave’s coveted nu-wave zone. The Beasts always had a sense of indie-rock about…
CHRISTINA CARTER
Texas Blues Working
BLACKEST RAINBOW
CD // £9.99

“Featuring the 6 tracks from the original release, along with an additional brand new amazing track. The original edition on tape received some fantastic reviews, so its great to finally have this out on CD, as it really is a superb recording. which came out around one of Christina’s most amazingly active recording periods, self releasing fantastic discs like Masque Femine, Two Nights Film and A Blossom Fell as well…
SPIN SPIN THE DOGS / PLEASE
UTR UK Underground Split Series
UPSET THE RHYTHM
LP // £13.99

Endearingly angular and individual art-pop/punk from two bands rated enough by the Upset The Rhythm institution to share their latest Underground Series split. Housed in a unsettlingly weird picture sleeve and inner, both sides contain a garage-raw brand of punk truths. Spin Spin The Dogs’ four tracks are quintessentially of an English post-punk lineage, built from skewed guitars and drums played with an intelligent and wry humour, and asserted by…
FLEET FOXES
Helplessness Blues
Bella Union
LP // £18.99

Blues was never a genre that sprung to mind when listening to Fleet Foxes debut EP ‘Sun Giant’ or their breakthrough self-titled debut full length. The sunny, shimmering near-choral folk was certainly referential to music past, but to something far more upbeat than blues, surely? Well this time around the darker, sadder side of the band has been exposed, and it’s hardly surprising. The way their debut was received was…
THE WINCHESTER CLUB
Negative Liberty
Exile On Mainstream Records
LP // £13.99

Described on their website as ‘epic instrumental post rock’, I can hardly disagree and with this sophomore album (following the well received ‘Britannia Triumphant’) they should cement their place in the listening piles of any discerning genre follower. Post rock seems to have split into a number of strands, and The Winchester Club have definitely moved their sound into gloriously dark territory, rather than for instance the chirpy anthems of…

 

JUNGLE / DRUM & BASS
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PARADOX
Ramifications LP Sampler
PARADOX MUSIC
12″ // £5.99

Two bracing Drumfunk explorations from Paradox heralding his forthcoming ‘Ramifications’ LP. A-side ‘Antilogy’ opens out with searching, widescreen atmospheric pads and and heavily compressed drums before lurching into a full-on percussive battery. Flipside ‘Black 69’ has taken our fancy, running tightly tucked junglist syncopations with a feral but ultimately controlled febrility for the technical steppers. Ace.

 

MINIMAL / DANCEFLOOR
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FAIRMONT
Velora EP
Border Community
12″ // £5.99

As Fairmont, Toronto’s Jake Fairley engages with his deeper, more song-based ideas compared to his heavier dancefloor material on Kompakt and Sender. These four track on the ‘Velora EP’ are a curious blend of narcotic electro-pop, Italo and synthi-disco ranging from the blunted mid-tempo wooze of the title track to glazed-eye trance arpeggio missions reminiscent of Chris Carter on ‘Ununoctium’ and the usefully uptempo Italo glide of ‘Vanguard’.

 

SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
See all
MOON WIRING CLUB
Somewhere a Fox is Getting Married
Gecophonic
LP // £15.99

**Includes a massive full colour fold out 24″x24″ poster and printed inner sleeve** As the Royal Wedding quickly becomes a faded memory we have Moon Wiring Club’s ‘Somewhere A Fox Is Getting Married’ to remind us just how absurd it all was. His latest missive from the fictitious town of Clinksell continues the story of a fox-faced phantom who won the opportunity to marry into royalty thanks to his success in…

 

SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
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XANDER HARRIS
I Want More Than Just Blood
100% Silk
12″ // £8.99

Dramatic Texan Italo ace from horror/synth obsessive, Xander Harris. His first 100% Silk entry distills the sexier, dancefloor-dedicated disco strains of his ‘Urban Gothic’ LP to sound like some freshly discovered bottle of coagulated, ’86 vintage vino. ‘I Want More Than Just Blood (High Heels Remix)’ is ten minutes of steely synth gaze and adrenalising arpeggios with dripping, carmine coloured melodic trickles and futuro trance washes. ‘Necronomiconjure’ is more nuanced,…
VARIOUS / CYBERDANCE
Messages From The Void Vol. 2
CYBERDANCE
2LP // £19.99

CyberDance present a debonaire debut label compilation featuring veteran neo-Italo stallions (Ali Renault, Tommy Walker, Mark Du Mosch) and a new class of disco usurpers (Brassica, Martin Aston, Bill Ambrose). ‘Messages From The Void Vol.2’ confidently reasserts the labels sound with a fresher, wider-reaching remit. Within, you’re destined to find surprising entries like Tommy Walker’s sleazed-out Bossa disco number ‘Let’s Not Go’, and the 2-step pivot of Brassica’s ‘Lydden Circuit’…
FORD INC
Satire / Delirium
THRONE OF BLOOD
12″ // £7.99

Sense-activating sci-fi disco-techno from Paul Woolford and his pal from Leeeds, Mat Playford. The pair embark on some cool intergalactic astrodance fictions over two tracks; Woolford offering the Transmat-debted killer ‘Satire’, full of shifty Latin drum shakes and serotonin-boosting synthlines, while the pair fuse forces on the flip for the rubbery disco bobble of ‘Delerium’, sure to pull ’em in from the red dales for miles around. You’ll need to…
YOUNG GALAXY
Shapeshifting
Smalltown Supersound
LP // £18.99

I’m not entirely sure what it is about Canada that gives them such a command over the indie scene, but they’re at it again here. Young Galaxy are on their sophomore album now, and ‘Shapeshifter’ is produced by hip thang Dan Lissvik of Studio, so will probably sell a bazillion copies and win a Grammy. Okay, so I’m bitter – I wanted Bieber to win that one, and to be…
Z-FACTOR
Dance Party Album
Cititrax
LP // £20.99

Arguably, Z-Factor’s ‘Dance Party’ is the first ever House album. It was initially pressed up in a run of 500 copies and the originals sell for hundreds nowadays on the 2nd hand-market. Cititrax have done us all a favour with a repress of their first reissue, replete with retro-style band postcard and pressed on heavy black vinyl. Fronted by two of Chicago’s most legendary figures, Jesse Saunders and Vincent Lawrence…

 

TECHNO / HOUSE
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JOHN TEJADA / DAVID JOSEPH
Digital People / Latenight
LONESOME HERO
12″ // £5.99

Lonesome Hero unveil a new vinyl only series dedicated to educating new generations about the importance of “real” House and Techno music and the dangers of todays celebrity Techno culture. Their first release is a sharp contrast between the glitching edits and sheer surfaces of John Tejada’s uptempo Tech-House groove ‘Digital People’, originally heard on Dan Bell’s ‘The Button Down Mind Of…’ mix in 2000, and a smoother, more organic…
VARIOUS / FEAR OF FLYING
FOFVIN1
FEAR OF FLYING
12″ // £6.99

Perenial dancefloor fave, Schatrax turns up with a killer track on this comp, next to ace House grooves by Egal 3, BLM and Nyra. Following his excellent ‘Champagne Dancer’ 12″, we’re afforded another glimpse into Schatrax’s envied archives with ‘Get It Right’ from 2000, a boogie-shredding, bassbin-wounding special that you really, really don’t want to miss! Romanian producer, Egal 3 makes an impressive introduction (to us at least) with the…
LINKWOOD
From The Vaults Pt. 1
PRIME NUMBERS
12″ // £6.99

Following his widely acclaimed debut album and remixes for Appleblim and Tornado Wallace, Edinburgh’s Linkwood plucks three idiosyncratic analogue House grooves for Trus’me’s Prime Numbers. Face up you’ll find the disco-pumped ‘Dirty Love’ workout full of sprightly keys and proper shifting rhythms that Pepe Braddock would be proud of. Flipside it’s a luxuriously deep affair, with beautifully moody, woozy Detroit chords and sub-clad kicks on ‘Untitled 1’ and the masterful…
REDSHAPE
In Trust We Space
PRESENT
12″ // £7.99

*Clear wax!* Majestic new Redshape material, his first solo outing in 12 months! On ‘In Trust We Space’ we’re glad to hear he’s still a proper melancholy spirit, capturing the ‘floor’s imagination with gorgeously twinkling, starlit melodies and lapping layers of machine rhythm expertly spaced and rubbed with his special brand of space dust for that gritty Detroit slide. Turn over and ‘Laser!’ is more tensely driven, defined by taut,…
REGGIE DOKES
Once Again
ROYAL OAK
12″ // £7.99

*Smoky red vinyl with download code for MP3 redeemable from the label* Classy Detroit House business by Reggie Dokes, backed with a sterling remix from Morning Factory. Reggie’s originals strike that inimitable balance of raw and gritty but silky smooth, coming with liquid keys and infectious Afro-Latin drums on ‘Haiti’, and again with fancy organ tinkling, sweeping strings and deceptively simple but definitely propulsive drum programming for ‘God Of House’….
UKKONEN
Unch029
Uncharted Audio
12″ // £6.99

*Hand-stamped white label* Three impressionistic arctic House tracks from a mysterious producer known only as Ukkonen. It’s not the typical Uncharted fayre, but feels more like a lo-fi and slightly warmer version of early Mika Vainio but mixed with an outside awareness of jazz and artier experimentalism akin to maybe Koze. But then again they sound quite unlike anything you can really place your finger on. Intriguing…