Aug 202010
 
Hello,

This week’s debut album from Altar Eagle is just so so great – a perfectly (un)balanced blend of classic shoegaze, kosmische and ice-cold pop sounding somewhere between Slowdive, Cold Cave and Emeralds. It’s available on a limited vinyl pressing (CD to come in a couple of weeks) – and if you’re fast you just might be able to snag one of the lush transparent violet/pink vinyl copies we’ve got in – no dithering!

Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, is the common factor in two of the biggest releases of the week, working with Antony (of the Johnsons) and Fennesz for two mindblowing OPN remixes on one limited, lush 7″, and alongside Joel Ford on the Games debut. The former turns a kosmiche pop nugget into a trembling torchsong complete with a typically submerged and perfectly judged revision from Fennesz (and amazing artwork from Stephen O’Malley), while the latter chops ‘n screws squashed MOR boogie with a very sly intent. Strictly limited copies on both of these.

Making another debut proper on these shores, Zola Jesus finally unleashes ‘Stridulum II’, her modern goth masterpiece readied with three extra tracks for Europe. Yes, she’s being hyped to death, but you just can’t argue with a girl who taps into the darkest recesses of pop music and produces a set of darkened synth masterpieces without breaking into a sweat. Think of a bleaker, lo-fi variant on Fever Ray to give you an idea of the sound she makes, but somehow infinitely more glamorous and untouchable. Believe the hype!

Luke Abbott’s ‘Holkham Drones’ is a surprise winner from the Border Community camp, tapping into prevailing Kosmische obsessions but doing it with much flair. The album is a must for those of you who have loved Oneohtrix Point Never, but also classic Boards of Canada, Isan or the Ghost Box label. Chicago’s Thrill Jockey, meanwhile, impresses with two different, but equally compelling releases. First off, Fennesz aligns himself with The Necks’ drummer Tony Buck and fellow guitar experimentalist David Daniell for an exploration of the six-string’s potential with wonderful, improvised results, while Alexander Tucker teams up with Daniel Beban on an album of spliced tape loops under the Imbogodom moniker, creating layered drones and unnervingly ghoulish themes.

It’s a mighty week for the floor – kicking off with prime EP’s from Lone, Funkineven, Kassem Mosse, Kyle Hall, Terror Danjah, Ikonika, L-Vis 1990, Likhan, Doc Daneeka, Mount KImbie, Mr Oizo vs Flying Lotus, Schatrax and Gavin Russom, while Plastikman’s mighty ‘Kompilation’ of seminal warehouse killers is a must for those of you somehow not in possession of some of Techno’s most important bodies of work. Oh, and If you loved the Mount Kimbie album – make sure to check the excellent debut twelve from Aslope on the newly re-activated Hobby Industries label, really good!

The Balam Acab EP, meanwhile, is without doubt one of the best things we’ve heard in 2010 – but as all vinyl copies are now sold out you’ll need to greab the digital edition for the time being.

Other highlights this week feature from Women, Elian, The Nu-Levels compilation (featuring that Burial and El-B collab!), Phonophani, James Blackshaw, Celer, Efterklang, Mogwai, Arab Strap, Venetian Snares, Oscar McClure, Take, Asura, Andreya Triana, Walter Gibbons, Sofrito Specials, Svpreme Fiend, !!!, Siriusmo, Barnt and more…..

Have yourselves a wonderful week….

Peace! Nekkers….xx

Albums of the Week

ALTAR EAGLE

Mechanical Gardens (Limited Vinyl Edition)

SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO

Type

LP // £8.99

*Initial copies come on violet/pink vinyl* This excellent debut-proper from hotly tipped duo Altar Eagle finds itself nestled somewhere between the icy drum machine pop of Cold Cave, the Kosmische refractions of Emeralds and the classic layered shoegaze of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. Eden Hemming and Brad Rose have previously made music together as Corsican Paintbrush before changing their name and style on a pair of sought-after cassettes absorbing darkwave pop genius and the 1st wave techno moods of Juan Atkins. With a heavy heart and distorted touch they’ve drafted a deeply affected sound where vocals are typically half-heard and happy to be so, while an ongoing mastery of their analogue synths lends a flush of wide-eyed man/machine pop potential. In opener ‘Battlegrounds’ they crumble Slowdive-style guitars with submerged drums and viscous distortion, while the effect of ‘Honey’ is akin to Au Revoir Simone in the early flushes of a heady narcosis. Following this, ‘You Lost Your Neon Haze’ blissfully smothers Eden’s vocal in a blanket of decaying noise signals, while ‘B’nai B’rith Girls’ filters cascades of bubbling synth juice into spiky drum machines and billowing techno signatures. In the second half of the album their darkwave addiction becomes more virulent, resulting in the pounding effect of ‘Monsters’, while ‘Spy Movie’ fuses the warring sounds of Juan Atkins and MBV in an emotive deadlock. One of our faves, ‘Breakdown’ harks to early Factory and 4AD releases with reverbed shivers of Vinny Riley-ish guitar and drowned vocals. ‘Pour Your Dark Heart Out’ is the cathartic swansong, perfectly channeling a bedroom spirit, while ‘Six Foot Arms’ leaves us in a state of cathartic euphoria, comfortable to wallow in a mire of murky inspiration and unbearable glamour. One of the debuts of the year, no doubt.

ZOLA JESUS

Stridulum II

ELECTRONIC

Souterrain Transmissions

LP // £11.99

2010 has seen the rapid ascension of Zola Jesus to front a new wave of gothic synth pop. The ‘Stridulum EP’ was released to the US market earlier in the year to huge acclaim from Pitchfork, and now finally receives a European edition, bulked up with three extra tracks to make an album proper. Zola, real name Nika Roza Danilova, emerged from the relative wilderness of Wisconsin, USA, studying opera from a young age before succumbing to the vices of pop, no-wave industrial classics and the avant-garde. This nurtured the exquisitely dark and resplendent sound of ‘Stridulum’, probably her defining release to date. Following more lo-fi releases for Aurora Borealis, Sacred Bones and Die Stasi among others, she’s now afforded a proper studio setting to really give flight to her professionally trained vocals. Opener ‘Night’ is the awe-inspiring result, placing epically reverbed vocals in the centre of martial industrial rhythms and towering synthpop chord changes almost guaranteed to take your breath away. Together with a blackened string section, this formula is the basis for each of the six tracks from the original version, while the newer compositions perhaps have a slightly more sludgy darkwave aesthetic, found in the sluggishly grinding ‘Tower’ and the depressed New Order synths of new single ‘Sea Talk’. However, this isn’t a formula we can imagine getting tired of any time soon, as it acutely affects us with each and every listen, seemingly reinforcing the fact that this is one of the finest long players you’re going to encounter this year. From Fever Ray to Cold Cave, lovers of black lit, emotive pop music are in danger of falling in love with this album from the first listen. Awesome.

FENNESZ / DANIELL / BUCK

Knoxville

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Thrill Jockey

CD // £10.99

A recording made on February 7th 2009 at Knoxville, Tennessee’s Big Ears Festival, this wonderful live disc charts the first meeting of experimental guitar maestros Christian Fennesz and David Daniell, with Tony Buck – drummer in The Necks. A highly tuneful and perhaps surprisingly natural sounding piece, this four-part performance might come as a surprise to anyone expecting something along similar lines to other Fennesz collaborations such as the improv-based trio, Fenn O’Berg. Seldom will you have heard Fennesz’s guitar so stripped of its usual laptop-sculpted accoutrements. In fact, early on both guitars link up beautifully, embracing a heavy coating of effects, yet without obscuring the instruments’ innate tonal properties. Daniell in particular manages to carve out some exquisite melodic structures that seem to guide the set. During opening piece ‘Unüberwindbare Wände’ Fennesz follows suit, rumbling through warm and fuzzy chord dissections, and it’s only as this half-hour album progresses that you notice the Austrian turning his attention towards more electronic sounds. Certainly by third piece, ‘Antonia’, you start to hear those familiar, static-glazed guitar tones rolling out, but collectively, this trio always manage to sound synergetic and flexible. Tony Buck is the performer who’s likely to be most at-home in this improvising format, and he certainly proves to be the lynchpin figure on these recordings; it’s the lively percussive context he offers that most firmly imposes a structure on proceedings. Texture proves every bit as important as rhythm, however, and Buck’s fluttering use of cymbals makes for a vibrantly sonorous counterfoil to Daniell and Fennesz’s arcing, loosely intertwining guitar lines. Highly recommended.

LUKE ABBOTT

Holkham Drones

ELECTRONIC

Border Community

CD // £9.99

Luke Abbott’s debut album of Kosmische electronics is the best thing Border Community have released in years. Well, since Holden’s ‘The Idiots Are Winning, at the very least. It puts to use Abbott’s beloved collection of boutique analogue equipment in 12 delicately structured and warmly effervescent arrangements ideal for intimate headphone and after-hours sessions. With roots in the gently rolling pastoral experiments of Cluster and antecedents also found in the brilliant Gavin Russom & Delia Gonzales album or acres of IDM from Isan to AFX and Wauvenfold, his music displays an intuitive mastery of his machines which can really only come from attentive, hands-on experience and an instinctive feel for lushly psychedelic melodies. Like the best of his ilk, his arrangements are anything but repetitious. Yeah, they’re linear, but also constantly unfolding with a inviting and exploratory compositional awareness, like gazing out the window on a lush train ride to somewhere you’ve not visited before, but always wanted to. There’s hints of BoC’s harmonic wow and flutter peppered throughout, bubbling to the fore in the gorgeous ‘Swansong’, and ‘Brazil’, while the luscious ‘Sirens For The Colour’ hits the same Eldritchian sweet-spot as The Advisory Circle, but there’s also a defined Teutonic element in the title track, like a drowning Kassem Mosse tune, or the trickling triplets of ‘More Room’. Honestly, this music feels loved and cared for and should transmit the same feelings to anyone who encounters it. Highly Recommended.

ELIAN

Whispers, Then Silence

HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT

Home Normal

CD // £7.99

Two years in the pipeline for Home Normal, Elian’s ‘Whispers, Then Silence’ is a long-overdue work from composer/producer Michael Duane Ferrell. Apparently the album had been consigned to a state of release schedule limbo, as the folks at the label themselves say: “it’s taken a while to get together, tweak and time right for the arc of Home Normal”. You can immediately hear why Ian Hawgood and co. have been saving this one up. While prior releases in the label’s catalogue have converged on a predominantly pastoral-ambient agenda, this recording is a far more ambitiously ambiguous affair, perhaps having more in common with the sort of output we’ve been hearing from the Helen Scarsdale Agency (whose digital catalogue recently came our way). This is especially true of ‘The Happy Cynicism Of A Creative Mind’, one of the key tracks here, which explores peculiar sub-harmonics, crunchy electronic processing and a final, field-recorded environmental crackle. This abstract acousmatic flow is pleasingly devoid of a specific ‘mood’ or any sense of atmosphere-shaping awareness, and something similar can be said of the patient drone-based closer, ‘Lesson In Never Again’. It’s worth giving the introductory, quarter-hour title-track a mention too; after a few moments of almost infra-sonic bass emissions, the piece sets about integrating looped vibraphone phrases and digitised static manipulations into its meandering structure, eventually settling on a repeating, muffled organ chord for its denouement. A very strong offering from Ferrell, and one that would seem to mark a refreshed perspective on the ambient genre for Home Normal and its future releases. Recommended.

WOMEN

Public Strain

INDIE / ROCK / ALTERNATIVE

Jagjaguwar

CD // £8.99

Lo-fi as its gritty production style may be, Women’s sophomore full-length, Public Strain might be one of the year’s most adventurous records. The all-too familiar reverb splatter and garage-dwelling recording traits are in full effect (though the Chad VanGaalen production certainly offers a superior take on this well-worn aesthetic) yet the often jarringly obscure guitar link-ups offer plenty of fresh sounds. The album opens in one of its more experimental modes, droning artfully through ‘Can’t You See’ before the spiny lead guitars of ‘Heat Distraction flood in as a full-on pop assault. Throughout the album, mauled guitar tunings and tricky time signatures collide with ingeniously ornate melodies, and the deft chop-and-change of ‘Heat Distraction’ has to go down as one of the most successful instances of this. Elsewhere you’ll hear the Brian Wilson-like heavenly vocals of ‘Penal Colony’ complete with luscious, vintage, echo-enriched presentation, and eventually the hyper-melodic album closer, ‘Eyesore’, which wraps up the album with its biggest hooks. The more disjointed component parts of these pieces continually hint towards the experimental driving force of this band, and with warm, thrumming drone outing ‘Bells’ and ultra-minimalist krautrocker ‘China Steps’, Women sound like they’re miles ahead of their garage-pop contemporaries. Very highly Recommended.

PLASTIKMAN

Kompilation

TECHNO / HOUSE

Minus

CD // £8.49

Plastikman is the celebrated and influential techno project from Richie Hawtin. Nearly 18 years after ‘Krakpot’, the first release using this name, and ahead of the comprehensive ‘Arkives’ live retrospective, Richie and Plus 8 have gathered eight of his most definitive Plastikman productions, including seminal moments such as ‘Plasticine’, ‘Spastik’ and ‘Marbles’ onto one definitive disc. Basically the world of techno would be quite a different place without these tracks and his stringent reduction of the original Detroit aesthetic, therefore lending this body of work some serious historical gravity in the world of electronic music. Play these tracks loud and you’ll find there’s quite honestly nothing like it. If you’ve not lost your mind to ‘Spastik’ or gurned in a dark warehouse to ‘Plasticine’ at least once in your life, you’re missing out. Very highly recommended.

IMBOGODOM (ALEXANDER TUCKER & DANIEL BEBAN)

The Metallic Year

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Thrill Jockey

LP // £13.99

This new project makes its debut via Thrill Jockey, uniting UK artist Alexander Tucker with New Zealander Daniel Beban. The two initiated their collaboration while Beban was working as a radio engineer for the BBC’s World Service, and upon finding some disused reel-to-reel tape machines the duo set about fashioning experimental compositions using an array of instruments and objects – all processed through the editing and splicing of tape. In this setup one of the duo would perform or sing, while the other operated the tape machines and mixing desk. The outcome of these experiments is a warm, beautifully realised LP that’s been recorded and pieced together with great care, and whose sound is at least partly indebted to the spirit of that other great BBC institution: the Radiophonic Workshop. A piece like ‘The Endless Body’, with its strange piano manipulations is like some old soundtrack to a 1960s TV ghost story, while the multi-layered loops of ‘Indosoap’ continue to send shivers down the spine. Further ghoulish goings on are to be heard in the queasy dronescape of ‘Calibos’ but it’s through the grinding magnetic reels of the bookending two-parter ‘The Metallic Year’ that Imbogodom’s alluring, occultist tendencies become most readily apparent. Limited to 1000 copies, with a download coupon redeemable directly from the label. Highly recommended.

Singles of the Week

ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER / ANTONY / FENNESZ

Returnal

ELECTRONIC

Editions Mego

7″ // £6.99

Majestically emotive revisions of ‘Returnal’, courtesy of OPN, Antony and Fennesz! On the dramatic A-side Lopatin and Hegarty recontextualise the track from its synthesized environment into a plaintive composition for piano and vocals, Daniel “OPN” Lopatin providing keys and Antony offering an intimate performance unadorned with the harmonized delays of the original. Their restraint in approach and execution is just beautiful, aesthetically flipping the track as far as possible while retaining its bracing melancholy effect. Meanwhile, Fennesz consolidates the opposing methods with an ethereal blend of organic and electronic, remixing the Antony and OPN version with adroit attention to detail, gilding the keys with digital immersion and causing them to slowly bloom in contoured night shades while Antony’s vocal haunts itself in a palatial dub chamber. Presented in a limited run with superb artwork from Stephen O’Malley. An absolute treasure.

GAMES (ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER & JOEL FORD)

Everything Is Working

ELECTRONIC

Hippos In Tanks

7″ // £5.99

Games is the work of one Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never, and his buddy Joel Ford of Tiger City. Together, they’ve got a series of fairly mindblowing mixtapes floating around the net which are seriously recommended listening for long saturday mornings and hazy summer evenings, trust us! The vibes evoked in these two long awaited debut tracks is something like a lo-fi chopped & screwed take on boogie blissed MOR; think 10cc’s ‘I’m Not In Love’ warped with an up-for-three days haziness and almost haphazard – but still on groove – edits, and you’re in the right headspace. The salty sense of nostalgia smeared into their loops comes with a distorted honesty that’s all too easy to fall for and has already grabbed the avid attention of Pitchfork and Fact writers, among others. The other track, ‘Heartlands’ meanwhile jams on a slick shuffled loop construction with arcing plumes of drowsy chords, sounding like George Benson spooning with Toro Y Moi on a handful of valium, and at 33 instead of 45. Give us enough morphine and we could happily listen to these on a loop for the rest of our lives. Highly recommended!

ASLOPE

A Helping Hand EP

DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY

Hobby Industries

12″ // £5.99

Hobby Industries recordings make a very welcome return to the fray with a glistening EP of electronic fusions from Aslope, including a Gold Panda remix! Finding itself somewhere between Mount Kimbie’s squashed Jazz machinations, the LA beat scene and the UK’s twisting future garage workforce, ‘A Helping Hand’ combines piquant electronica melodies with bristling beat structures, from the Fly Lo style 2-step of ‘Close’ to the bobbling Zomby-IDM arpeggiations of ‘Mercury Mouth’ and a dark ‘n Skweeezy cut in ‘Quick’. Gold Panda ups the garage factor with his ‘Close’ remix, bolstering the bass and the skewing the beat into twitchy patterns strong enough for the club. The digital bonus ‘Two Weeks’ imagines a smudged and more European version of Nosaj Things’ emotive electronic hiphop and Japanese producer Inner Science picks it apart into spindly shards of icy ‘tronica with padded house beat akin to Lusine. If you loved the Mount Kimbie album, this is a must.

FUNKINEVEN

Heartpound / Another Space

SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO

EGLO

12″ // £5.99

Seriously rude wrigglin’ acid jams from London’s machine funk specialist, Funkineven. As the tenth release on the estimable Eglo records it keeps the label’s remit rooted, yet open to all possibilities with what must be their toughest two jams to date. ‘Heart Pound’ looks to Chi-town and LDN circa ’90 for inspiration, resulting in an anthemic acid jacker with future vintage vocals and KMS style rave signals. ‘Another Space’ is the one for us, lodging itself in that ’92 eternal zone with rugged hardcore stabs, Detroit-esque strings and superbly deft drum programming with a fair hint of early 4Hero. Honestly, this is quite untouchable right now.

LONE

Pineapple Crush / Angel Brain

DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY

MAGIC WIRE

10″ // £5.99

Joyous debut release from Lone’s Magic Wire Recordings! After a prime inclusion opening Kode 9’s DJ Kicks mix and respected records on Werk Discs in the last 12 months, Lone has developed an open ended style sucking hardcore, boogie and pastoral synth into his groove. ‘Pineapple Crush’ is a choice party-maker, gazing back to ’91 with genes from Hip-House and nascent UK hardcore spliced with a 2010 subbass and frisky keys. Even better is ‘Angel Brain’ on the flip, taking it to the warehouse session with an MDMA-smudged lead riff and brittle Latin rhythm kinks to tuck twysting limbs inside. Highly recommended.

KASSEM MOSSE

We Speak To Those / Hi Res

TECHNO / HOUSE

NonPlus

12″ // £6.99

Kassem Mosse’s material for Workshop and Mikrodisko have made for some of the best house and techno records of the last few years and evidently Instra:mental think the same, signing two of his characteristically deep and twisting future movers to Nonplus. While ‘We Speak To Those’ is driven by metronomic kicks, the effect is far from strictly linear, twisting the central torque with pitching edits for deadly effect. However, the real gem here is ‘Hi Res’, making a connection with the raw 808 vibes of Loefah’s Swamp81 posse with phased, filtered and stupendously skittery machine rhythms sounding quite unlike anything we’ve ever heard from him before. No question, this is one of our very favourite dancefloor tracks of the year, strongly recommended to fans of Autechre, Drexciya, Addison Groove or Girl Unit.

L-VIS 1990

Forever You / Reprise

DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY

Night Slugs

12″ // £5.99

Juicy vinyl drop of L-Vis 1990’s killer House riddim ‘Forever You’ and its dirtier ‘Reprise’. Unlike his Night Slugs label co-owner Bok Bok’s grimy productions, L-Vis strikes a seam of slick refinements with the title track, erring more to the Circle side of contemporary deep house with nods to DJ Gregory freshened with ecstasy-glowing synths. It’s also a excellent vehicle for Shadz’s redlit vocal, which really elevates this track beyond his peers. On the flip it’s more of a soca-synched vibe with scattered sub pulses and a rugged swingjack flavour compatible with the likes of Ill Blu, XXXY and Geeneus, and primed for clubs from Abuja to Aberdeen. Heavyweight dancing material.

TERROR DANJAH

Bruzin / Hysteria

DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY

Hyperdub

12″ // £5.49

Artfully dodgin’ riddim futurism from the grime godfather, Terror Danjah! This is his second 12″ for Hyperdub, following the hardcore reflux of ‘Acid/ProPlus’ with two highly unique builds in his signature style. ‘Bruzin’ loosens the joints of grime and dubstep with a twisted hardcore junglist sensibility coming from highly controlled string slashes and those inimitably sliding rhythmic gear changes. No doubt, ‘Hysteria’ is the more up for it tune, ramping out with lurid rave chords before switching up with super swung halfstep and back again before ya know it. Drop this at the right time to wreak a reet havoc in the dance. Large.

IKONIKA

Dckhdbtch

DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY

Planet Mu

12″ // £4.99

Ikonika’s profile continues an upward trajectory with three bittersweet dance injections for Planet Mu. Trailing a debut album and blazing remixes for Detachments, Oriol and Egyptrixx, ‘Dckhdbtch’ shows no sign of letting up, staining caustic, soca-synced beats with the fluorescent tears of her trademark lead melody, before the loose techno swagger of ‘Ingredients’ is deftly offset with bobbling strings and a fragile mid-section of swirling synths. With ‘Shouldn’t Be Here’ the eye-watering synths are replaced with swooning cinematic strings and a pendulous subbass before a lone synth melody crops up, a florid Mid-Eastern signature buried under Burial-esque vox and a fine mist of textured crackle. Hankies out.

DELPHIC / KYLE HALL

Doubt (Kyle Hall Mix)

TECHNO / HOUSE

UNKNOWN LABEL

12″ // £6.99

Another unlikely yet highly successful remix excursion for Delphic, picking up an uber-limited one-sided rerub from Detroit’s Kyle Hall. There’s practicaly no trace of the original to be heard, just a damn fine exhibition of Motor City techniques, shaking slightly brukken drums under filtered and flanged keys, locking into a sweetly sensual loop of house magic. However, there’s a kink and spur to his drum edits that deposits itself nicely between UK house ruffage and smoother American styles. Get in while you can…

This week’s releases in full!

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BEATS / DOWNTEMPO / BOOGIE
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OSCAR MCCLURE / BATHS / ASURA

Compost + Compost Remixes

Leaving Records

Cassette // £5.99

**Side A consists of the Compost album plus 4 exclusive bonus tracks, Side B is a collection of remixes by Baths, Mathewdavid, Asura, Sumsun and more** The brilliant Leaving Records (home to tapes from Ras G, Dak, Dem Hunger ++) drops the cassette edition of ‘Compost’ with the original album plus 4 bonus tracks on side A, and the remixes from Matthewdavid, Teebs, Asura and Jonwayne, among others on the…
TAKE

Only Mountain

Alpha Pup

2LP // £13.99

*NOW AVAILABLE ON A LIMITED VINYL PRESSING* LA’s Alpha Pup label continues to dominate the leftfield beat world with a top class LP from Take. His style has become established alongside figures like Ras G, Onra or Nosaj Thing of late with a blend of electro-leaning synthlines and lop-sided beats nudged with that sun-drenched LA flavour. You know the sort of stuff that makes you dance like a spaceman in…
ASURA / ANENON

Silver Trees / Damiel

Non Projects

LP // £9.99

Non Projects offer their second release following Asura’s glorious album, placing him in a split with Anenon. The four tracks of ‘Silver Trees’ capture LA’s Asura drifting from electro etched Panda Bear inflections to brooding pop ambient via woozy beatless threads and more hyper junglist IDM structures. Anenon’s ‘Damiel’ comes from the very outer edges of the cosmic electronic hiphop vibe, swirling with astral goodness and flecked with exotic sub-continental…
ANDREYA TRIANA

Lost Where I Belong

Ninja Tune

CD // £9.99

The widely hyped debut album from Ninja Tune’s latest rising star, Andreya Triana, Lost Where I Belong is a jazzy, noir-ish soul album that gives a full introduction to a vocal talent who’s previously worked with Flying Lotus, Theo Parrish and Mr Scruff, among others. The production and arrangements here ooze class (if, indeed, class can be a commodity that lends itself to the act of oozing) and that’s surely…
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
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FENNESZ / DANIELL / BUCK

Knoxville

Thrill Jockey

CD // £10.99

A recording made on February 7th 2009 at Knoxville, Tennessee’s Big Ears Festival, this wonderful live disc charts the first meeting of experimental guitar maestros Christian Fennesz and David Daniell, with Tony Buck – drummer in The Necks. A highly tuneful and perhaps surprisingly natural sounding piece, this four-part performance might come as a surprise to anyone expecting something along similar lines to other Fennesz collaborations such as the improv-based…
FENNESZ / DANIELL / BUCK

Knoxville

Thrill Jockey

LP // £13.99

A recording made on February 7th 2009 at Knoxville, Tennessee’s Big Ears Festival, this wonderful live disc charts the first meeting of experimental guitar maestros Christian Fennesz and David Daniell, with Tony Buck – drummer in The Necks. A highly tuneful and perhaps surprisingly natural sounding piece, this four-part performance might come as a surprise to anyone expecting something along similar lines to other Fennesz collaborations such as the improv-based…
IMBOGODOM (ALEXANDER TUCKER & DANIEL BEBAN)

The Metallic Year

Thrill Jockey

LP // £13.99

This new project makes its debut via Thrill Jockey, uniting UK artist Alexander Tucker with New Zealander Daniel Beban. The two initiated their collaboration while Beban was working as a radio engineer for the BBC’s World Service, and upon finding some disused reel-to-reel tape machines the duo set about fashioning experimental compositions using an array of instruments and objects – all processed through the editing and splicing of tape. In…
ALASTAIR GALBRAITH

Mass

Siltbreeze

LP // £17.99

In 1993, Alastair Galbraith released his debut album, Morse, for Siltbreeze. Now, seventeen years on he’s back with the famed underground imprint for Mass, a sprawling collection of avant-garde musical clippings, ranging from heavily manipulated post-folk outings to hard-wearing, organic drones and loop-based constructions. “Consisting of 22 tracks, this new album runs the gamut from mysterious beauty to just plain mysterious. Broken guitars, percussive loops, backwards tracking, a (homemade) glass…
PARSON SOUND

Parson Sound

Subliminal Sounds

2CD // £13.99

A double-disc package of primitive drone and minimalist rock/trance/psych from the Swedish underground, one of the most memorable audio documents ever. The nucleus of the Swedish 1960’s-70s underground psych rock scene: the legendary Pärson Sound. This presents the most remarkable Swedish underground band, known in a later incarnation and continuation as International Harvester and Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Trees, Grass and Stones), and features both intricate studio recordings and orgiastic…
DISCO / EDITS / FUNK
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VARIOUS / BODDIE RECORDING CO.

Boddie Acetate Box

NUMERO

3 x 7″ Box // £17.99

“A surprise from the Numero Group: Three 45’s with original Boddie acetate artwork plus extensive notes, housed in a 7” shipping box, and sealed with faximile Boddie paper shipping tape. From 1965 until 1987, husband and wife Thomas and Louise Boddie provided the greater Cleveland, Ohio, area with custom recording and affordable record manufacturing. The Boddie Recording Company operated out of the African-American couple’s house on the east side of…
TERRY LEWIS WITH REASON TO LIVE / JESSIE G

Disco City / That’s Hot

UNKNOWN LABEL

12″ // £7.99

Disco time. On the A-side we get an early production from R’n’B mega-producer Terry Lewis, 1977s ‘Disco City’ also featuring assistance from Patrick Adams. Jessie G’s ‘It’s Hot’ holds the flipside with surefire disco-funk cut from 1981. The originals cost $100+ on ebay, and for good reason!
WALTER GIBBONS

Jungle Music

Strut

2LP // £18.99

Walter Gibbons was a crucially important figure in the history of dance music, one who has become particularly renowned for his pioneering of the remix as an art form. In addition to taking up residency behind the turntables at New York’s Galaxy 21, Gibbons was among the first artists to make his own reel-to-reel edits of tracks, extracting the maximum dancefloor potential from the source material. He’s also gone down…
FRESH UP PLAYERS

Race Relations / Spaghetti Sauce

Fresh Up Records

7″ // £5.99

The enigmatic Fresh Up Players do the bandy-legged strut on a pair of squelchy rare groove funk ups. Again, this is rumoured to be the work of some band of well known UK producers, but we honestly haven’t a clue who. ‘Race Relations’ knocks back a sureshot of wiggly Moog lines and crisp drum breaks, while ‘Spaghetti Sauce’ turns up a rudeboy bassline under the funky Moog moves. Fans of…
TEASPOON & THE WAVES / NZIMANDE ALLSTARS

Soweto Disco

SOFRITO SPECIALS

12″ // £7.99

Unmissable Soweto-disco gems on the first Sofrito Super Single! Gilles Peterson has been spinning these out of late, particularly Teaspoon & The Waves’ intoxicating cover of Lamont Dozier’s ‘Going Back To My Roots’ , here as the Salsoul meets SA boogie of ‘Oh Yeh Soweto’, plus Sofrito vs Kilombo’s edit of their deadly instrumental ‘Friday Night Special’. On the flip Nzimande Allstars ‘Highway Sporo Disco’ is another underground SA diamond…
FIVE

Struck By Lightning / Aphrodite Pt. 2

Kindred Spirits

7″ // £5.99

Kindred Spirits start their new 7″ label – dedicated to sought-after Dutch funk, rock, and soul gems – with two lovely tracks lifted from Five’s 1972 album, ‘Just Us’. ‘Struck By Lightening’ is a super sweet soul groove with delicate folk inflections and just a smidgen of mellow psych vibes. ‘Aphrodite’ rolls out a heavier fusion groove with rockier drums, a captivating bassline and blaring sax. Vintage funk/soul/psych/jazz heads will…
DOCUMENTARY
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RICKY POWELL

Rappin’ With The Rickster

FIVE DAY WEEKEND

2 X DVD // £9.99

“Heavily bootlegged for years on VHS, Ricky Powell’s early 90s Rappin’ With The Rickster cable access show gave insight into the world of the foulmouthed, trouble-making New York City scenester. But this ain’t your cousin’s bootlegs – What you hold in your hand are carefully selected “best of” moments from the series, lifted straight off of Ricky’s vintage analog masters and delivered right to your brain stem courtesy of the…
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
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ASLOPE

A Helping Hand EP

Hobby Industries

12″ // £5.99

Hobby Industries recordings make a very welcome return to the fray with a glistening EP of electronic fusions from Aslope, including a Gold Panda remix! Finding itself somewhere between Mount Kimbie’s squashed Jazz machinations, the LA beat scene and the UK’s twisting future garage workforce, ‘A Helping Hand’ combines piquant electronica melodies with bristling beat structures, from the Fly Lo style 2-step of ‘Close’ to the bobbling Zomby-IDM arpeggiations of…
LONE

Pineapple Crush / Angel Brain

MAGIC WIRE

10″ // £5.99

Joyous debut release from Lone’s Magic Wire Recordings! After a prime inclusion opening Kode 9’s DJ Kicks mix and respected records on Werk Discs in the last 12 months, Lone has developed an open ended style sucking hardcore, boogie and pastoral synth into his groove. ‘Pineapple Crush’ is a choice party-maker, gazing back to ’91 with genes from Hip-House and nascent UK hardcore spliced with a 2010 subbass and frisky…
L-VIS 1990

Forever You / Reprise

Night Slugs

12″ // £5.99

Juicy vinyl drop of L-Vis 1990’s killer House riddim ‘Forever You’ and its dirtier ‘Reprise’. Unlike his Night Slugs label co-owner Bok Bok’s grimy productions, L-Vis strikes a seam of slick refinements with the title track, erring more to the Circle side of contemporary deep house with nods to DJ Gregory freshened with ecstasy-glowing synths. It’s also a excellent vehicle for Shadz’s redlit vocal, which really elevates this track beyond…
TERROR DANJAH

Bruzin / Hysteria

Hyperdub

12″ // £5.49

Artfully dodgin’ riddim futurism from the grime godfather, Terror Danjah! This is his second 12″ for Hyperdub, following the hardcore reflux of ‘Acid/ProPlus’ with two highly unique builds in his signature style. ‘Bruzin’ loosens the joints of grime and dubstep with a twisted hardcore junglist sensibility coming from highly controlled string slashes and those inimitably sliding rhythmic gear changes. No doubt, ‘Hysteria’ is the more up for it tune, ramping…
IKONIKA

Dckhdbtch

Planet Mu

12″ // £4.99

Ikonika’s profile continues an upward trajectory with three bittersweet dance injections for Planet Mu. Trailing a debut album and blazing remixes for Detachments, Oriol and Egyptrixx, ‘Dckhdbtch’ shows no sign of letting up, staining caustic, soca-synced beats with the fluorescent tears of her trademark lead melody, before the loose techno swagger of ‘Ingredients’ is deftly offset with bobbling strings and a fragile mid-section of swirling synths. With ‘Shouldn’t Be Here’…
LIKHAN

Boston / Boxin

7EVEN

12″ // £6.99

Likhan swings himself away from the Dubtech sound with two deep house inspired jaunts. While there’s traces of his former sound, both tracks operate on a house tempo with melodic organ motifs and laidback percussion more inspired by the Prescription catalogue or DJ Gregory than anything in the modern dubste quarters. However, it’s not all nice, keeping some semblance of dirt under the fingernails with rude squelching bottom end and…
CLOAK & DAGGER

Crimewaves

IMMERSE

12″ // £6.49

Midnight jazz buttered breakstep from Cloak & Dagger, following his works for Subtle Audio and Offshore. ‘Crimewaves’ wipes tidy rhodes, warm synths and flashes of flute over crisp jazzfunk breakbeats and ‘In The Cut’ sinks back into plush subs and skittering, dynamic pots ‘n pans percussion tumbling across the stereo field. Fans of Kontext need to check this asap.
DOC DANEEKA

Hold On

Ramp Recordings

10″ // £6.99

Skilled party track from Doc Daneeka for Ramp, following his excellent 12″ on their Pattern sub-label. There’s a defined deep house slant to this track in the laidback development and groovesome flavour but the hardcore breaks and plush subs will keep the party crew tipping nicely. Tasty.
SVPREME FIEND

Killer

Local Action

12″ // £6.99

Local Action step out with four rollers from this hotly-tipped New Yorker. As the label’s second release, following the T. Williams 12″, it opens their remit to fold in darker strains of garage, tipping to El-B and Burial with an accomplished sleight of hand also indebted to Dilla. Lead track ‘Killer’ is the one, launching dread droning subs to scout the terrain while thumb cymbals and vintage woodblocks dance out…
MOUNT KIMBIE

Mayor / Would Know

Hotflush Recordings

12″ // £5.99

Due to demand from DJs and audiophiles alike, Hot Flush have pressed up two tracks from ‘Crook & Lovers’ on a loud 45rpm cut. ‘Mayor’ is one of the album’s most dancefloor friendly tracks, flowing from thick house grooves to purple scrunched R’n’B via shards of angular Harpsichord melody and back again. It’s a joyful as it is crafty and that’s a special thing. In its own way ‘Would Know’…
J DA FLEX & EL-B / BURIAL / VARIOUS

Nu Levels

Ghost Records / Thriller Funk

CD // £8.99

J Da Flex and El-B showcase the current Ghost roster with tracks from well known names including Burial, DJ Narrows, MRK1 and Zed Bias, alongside newer faces such as Orion, Itchy Robot, Hizzle Guy, Dismantle, and Yoof. The Burial track ‘Prophecy’ is actually his collaboration with El-B which was circulated on the internets some months back, now included in fully mastered form and sounding quite exactly as you’d expect this…
HYETAL

Phoenix / Like Silver

ORCA RECORDINGS

12″ // £6.99

Hyetal’s stock has been in the ascendant since his flurry of synth-heavy moves for Bristol’s Punch Drunk (with Shortstuff) and Soul Motive labels. For Orca records he offers the Paisley pomp of ‘Phoenix’ and the smoother swinger ‘Like Silver’, both sure to raise his profile further. ‘Phoenix’ is the one for us, making the Prince love clear with lazer zapping chords before tilting forwards with a kit of rugged Linn…
THE WEEVIL SERIES

Pupa EP

THE WEEVIL SERIES

12″ // £6.49

Darker subs-driven dubstep on the anonymous Weevil series outta Berlin. This is Part 2 in the limited, hand-numbered editions, offering one uncomfortably droning piece on the A-side loaded with a shuddering sub and crisp dubtech drums. On the flip There’s another one for the scarier dancefloors with more angular rhythm edits and finally a Breaksy cut. One for fans of Elemental, Shed, Scuba etc – limited copies only.
GEORGE FITZGERALD

The Let Down

Hotflush Recordings

12″ // £5.99

George Fitzgerald first appeared on our radar with his ‘Don’t You’ cut on Scuba’s Sub:stance mix. Fast fwd a year and he’s got his first release on Hot Flush, dropping the future garage soul of ‘The Let Down’ and a luscious dubtech gem in ‘Weakness’. It’s hard to escape the fact that both sides strongly remind of Joy Orbison, but that’s a really obvious comparison to make considering that he’s…
CASPA

Back For The First Time ft. D1 / Geordie Racer ft. Subscape

SUB SOLDIERS

12″ // £6.49

Caspa links with D1 on the exuberant ‘Back For The First Time’, backed with the surging technoid rave of ‘Geordie Racer’. D1’s melodic influence is written all over the A-side, from the flourishing intro to the rainbow arcing melody, and that’s never a bad thing. On the flip it’s heads down and into the dance with pounding 4/4s and caustic metal riffage sounding like some pill smoking cousin to Hard…
ICICLE

Xylophobia / Minimal Dub

Shogun Audio

12″ // £5.99

Icicle may not be familiar to those outside the D’n’B scene, but this outstanding 12″ for Shogun Audio should reverse that situation. With ‘Xylophobia’ and ‘Minimal Dub’ he makes the same sideways strafe into dubstep as Kryptic Minds or Breakage, serving ultra-crisp and heavy killers with a coke-numbed gangsta swagger. The tidal swing of ‘Xylophobia’ covers the A-side with minimal fuss and bother, just plainly doing his thing way better…
J BEATZ

1 Dutty EP

Crown Jules

12″ // £6.99

Up and coming Grime producer J Beatz drops four strong instrumentals. Much like anyone else in this scene, he’s massively influenced by the top dogs aka Wiley, Bless Beats and Skepta etc, laying down economical but deadly riddims designed for business. ‘Tazer’ is our highlight, spilling over with toxic bass synths and face-slapping rim shots, while ‘Ragga Muffin’ shows a mastery of subbass mechanics and canny appreciation of dub rooted…
MAGENTA

Dub Slinger

UNKNOWN LABEL

12″ // £6.49

Raving dubstep from magenta, the inaugural release on Dubslingaz Records. ‘Dub Slinger’ lands on the A-side, rolling from epic intro to a garage-heavy workout loaded with a top dancehall vocal, whereas the flipside enters the halfstep zone with gnashing riffage and ugly bass.
MARKED FOR DEATH

MFD02

MARKED FOR DEATH

12″ // £6.49

Second drop of gnarled dubstep ruffage from Marked For Death Records. The A-side churns up clods of blackened subbass and brick ‘ard halfstep breaks, but the flipside is far more stylish, reminding of Pinch or F’s reinforced hardswing style and primed for more discerning dubstep raves.
TODDLA T

Sky Surfing (Benga Mix)

Ninja Tune

12″ // £4.99

Toddla bounces on a Bassline vibe with ‘Sky Surfing’ featuring JA legend Wayne Marshall and backed with a Benga refix. He’s honed his pop chops to a, err, T really, packing in pie-eyed piano chords, surging neo-trance drops, B-More claps and squelchy bass into 3 and a half minutes of party juice. Benga’s remix is strictly for the dubstep party heads, skanking on a halfstep flex peppered with his trademark…
TRUTH & DUTTY RANKS

Bombay Sapphire / Worlds Apart

ARGON

12″ // £5.99

Fresh from his War Dubs installment, Dutty Ranks links with Truth on a pair of lush and heavy dubstep rollers. ‘Bombay Sapphire’ leans with a loping skankers vibe and floating pads, while ‘Worlds Apart’ stirs in sax and jazzed keys for smooth Mala-style ride.
ELECTRONIC
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ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER / ANTONY / FENNESZ

Returnal

Editions Mego

7″ // £6.99

Majestically emotive revisions of ‘Returnal’, courtesy of OPN, Antony and Fennesz! On the dramatic A-side Lopatin and Hegarty recontextualise the track from its synthesized environment into a plaintive composition for piano and vocals, Daniel “OPN” Lopatin providing keys and Antony offering an intimate performance unadorned with the harmonized delays of the original. Their restraint in approach and execution is just beautiful, aesthetically flipping the track as far as possible while…
ZOLA JESUS

Stridulum II

Souterrain Transmissions

LP // £11.99

2010 has seen the rapid ascension of Zola Jesus to front a new wave of gothic synth pop. The ‘Stridulum EP’ was released to the US market earlier in the year to huge acclaim from Pitchfork, and now finally receives a European edition, bulked up with three extra tracks to make an album proper. Zola, real name Nika Roza Danilova, emerged from the relative wilderness of Wisconsin, USA, studying opera…
ZOLA JESUS

Stridulum II

Souterrain Transmissions

CD // £8.99

2010 has seen the rapid ascension of Zola Jesus to front a new wave of gothic synth pop. The ‘Stridulum EP’ was released to the US market earlier in the year to huge acclaim from Pitchfork, and now finally receives a European edition, bulked up with three extra tracks to make an album proper. Zola, real name Nika Roza Danilova, emerged from the relative wilderness of Wisconsin, USA, studying opera…
GAMES (ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER & JOEL FORD)

Everything Is Working

Hippos In Tanks

7″ // £5.99

Games is the work of one Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never, and his buddy Joel Ford of Tiger City. Together, they’ve got a series of fairly mindblowing mixtapes floating around the net which are seriously recommended listening for long saturday mornings and hazy summer evenings, trust us! The vibes evoked in these two long awaited debut tracks is something like a lo-fi chopped & screwed take on boogie blissed…
LUKE ABBOTT

Holkham Drones

Border Community

CD // £9.99

Luke Abbott’s debut album of Kosmische electronics is the best thing Border Community have released in years. Well, since Holden’s ‘The Idiots Are Winning, at the very least. It puts to use Abbott’s beloved collection of boutique analogue equipment in 12 delicately structured and warmly effervescent arrangements ideal for intimate headphone and after-hours sessions. With roots in the gently rolling pastoral experiments of Cluster and antecedents also found in the…
LUKE ABBOTT

Holkham Drones

Border Community

2LP // £13.99

Luke Abbott’s debut album of Kosmische electronics is the best thing Border Community have released in years. Well, since Holden’s ‘The Idiots Are Winning, at the very least. It puts to use Abbott’s beloved collection of boutique analogue equipment in 12 delicately structured and warmly effervescent arrangements ideal for intimate headphone and after-hours sessions. With roots in the gently rolling pastoral experiments of Cluster and antecedents also found in the…
EXPO 70

Sonic Messenger

BETA-LACTAM RING

CD // £12.99

A new collection of improvised kosmische experiments from Justin Wright’s Expo 70 project, for which the guitarist is joined by a band of like-minded friends, adding analogue drum machine, synthesizer, Tibetan-style singing bowls and various other new-agey vibe enhancements. Song titles such as ‘Analog Dreamscape’, ‘Your Beard Is Growing Psychic’ and ‘Journey To The Sun’ all signpost this album’s intentions: expect extended drone tapestries, vintage electronic trance-outs and fuzz-dappled, wave-like…
PHONOPHANI

Kreken

Rune Grammofon

CD // £12.99

New from the Rune Grammofon camp comes album number four from electronica maverick Espen Sommer Eide – known for his work in Alog as much as for his solo output as Phonophani. On Kreken, Eide applies his talents as a programmer and sound engineer to the traditions and instruments of Norwegian folk music, dissecting the timbres and tuning systems with a little help from contributing artists David Grubbs, Haco, Jenny…
FOLK / AMERICANA
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JAMES BLACKSHAW

All Is Falling

Young God

LP // £17.99

Initially, it would seem as though the big story here is that ‘All Is Falling’ finds the much-revered acoustic guitarist setting his primary instrument aside in favour of various other outlets for his compositions. Indeed, Blackshaw adopts a very different sonic arsenal, and while a guitar is still a major component – this time it’s plugged in.  Blackshaw has gone electric.  In actuality, this album isn’t too much of a stretch…
JAMES BLACKSHAW

All Is Falling

Young God

CD // £13.99

Initially, it would seem as though the big story here is that ‘All Is Falling’ finds the much-revered acoustic guitarist setting his primary instrument aside in favour of various other outlets for his compositions. Indeed, Blackshaw adopts a very different sonic arsenal, and while a guitar is still a major component – this time it’s plugged in.  Blackshaw has gone electric.  In actuality, this album isn’t too much of a stretch…
HORSE FEATHERS

Thistled Spring

Kill Rock Stars

LP // £12.99

For their third album, Portland’s Horse Feathers continue to create their own space within the Americana genre, adorning the vividly melancholy songwriting of Justin Ringle with layers of luscious additional instrumentation, the like of which most folk-orineted acts would probably shy away from. It’s the addition of strings, bowed saw, harmonium, french horn and other such elements that really shapes the Horse Feathers identity however, perfectly complimenting the sorrowful central…
HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
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ELIAN

Whispers, Then Silence

Home Normal

CD // £7.99

Two years in the pipeline for Home Normal, Elian’s ‘Whispers, Then Silence’ is a long-overdue work from composer/producer Michael Duane Ferrell. Apparently the album had been consigned to a state of release schedule limbo, as the folks at the label themselves say: “it’s taken a while to get together, tweak and time right for the arc of Home Normal”. You can immediately hear why Ian Hawgood and co. have been…
CELER

Engaged Touches (2010 Reissue)

Home Normal

CD // £8.99

New Digipak reissue on Home Normal. The long-form ambient compositions of Celer (a duo made up of husband and wife team Will Thomas Long and Danielle Baquet-Long) are effortlessly appealing; the kind of music that radiates beauty from every pore without you having to over-scrutinise its every passing bar. Taking on the conventions that shape Kompakt’s Pop Ambient compilations, observing a keen sense of luscious, electronically sculpted classical romanticism, Celer…
MARK HARRIS

The Boy Observes The Ocean

HIBERNATE

CD // £6.99

British ambient/electroacoustic composer Mark Harris comes from a visual arts background, and first came to attention on the Francisco Lopez-curated Birmingham Sound Matter compilation released on Audiobulb a year or so ago. This debut solo album finds Harris cultivating field recordings, snippets of bowed guitar, saxophone and violin and channelling them through his own customised software applications. The Boy Observes The Ocean seems like a quiet and rather subtle work…
FIELD ROTATION

Why Things Are Different

HIBERNATE

3″ CD // £5.49

Concluding the Hibernate label’s run of 3″ CD-R releases, German artist Field Rotation (aka Christopher Berg) presents a three-part, twenty-minute suite comprised of acoustic instruments, field recordings and electronic processing. The Hibernate label has become a go-to resource for music of this ilk, and Why Things Are Different provides a fitting elegy for one of the label’s sub-strands. Introducing this short-form triptych, ‘When The Clouds Clear’ hovers with an air…
EFTERKLANG

Tripper & Springer (Special Set)

Leaf

2CD // £9.99

Combining Efterklang’s 2004 debut album, Tripper (which still holds the accolade of being the fastest selling debut in the history of Leaf) with its preceding 2003 mini-album, Springer, this special reissue package also includes live recordings of album tracks. TRIPPER: This Danish band boasts a remarkable lineup, a ten piece outfit that includes amongst its ranks the amazing Amina quartet (Amina provide all the strings for Sigur Ros) plus a…
EFTERKLANG

Tripper (2010 Edition)

Leaf

2LP // £12.99

*LIMITED EDITION REPRESS* This Danish band boasts a remarkable lineup, a ten piece outfit that includes amongst its ranks the amazing Amina quartet (Amina provide all the strings for Sigur Ros) plus a breathtaking arrangement of brass, piano, percussion, electronics and even a choir from Greenland. Their sound is very much rooted in the ethereal instrumental landscapes that Sigur Ros and Mum have delighted us with over the last few…
INDIE / ROCK / ALTERNATIVE
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WOMEN

Public Strain

Jagjaguwar

CD // £8.99

Lo-fi as its gritty production style may be, Women’s sophomore full-length, Public Strain might be one of the year’s most adventurous records. The all-too familiar reverb splatter and garage-dwelling recording traits are in full effect (though the Chad VanGaalen production certainly offers a superior take on this well-worn aesthetic) yet the often jarringly obscure guitar link-ups offer plenty of fresh sounds. The album opens in one of its more experimental…
WOMEN

Public Strain

Jagjaguwar

LP // £11.99

*Comes with a download code redeemable directly from the label* Lo-fi as its gritty production style may be, Women’s sophomore full-length, Public Strain might be one of the year’s most adventurous records. The all-too familiar reverb splatter and garage-dwelling recording traits are in full effect (though the Chad VanGaalen production certainly offers a superior take on this well-worn aesthetic) yet the often jarringly obscure guitar link-ups offer plenty of fresh…
COIL SEA

Coil Sea

Thrill Jockey

LP // £13.99

A new collaboration from Arbouretum members David Heumann, Matthew Pierce and Walker David Teret with Michael Lowry of Lake Trout and Big In Japan, Coil Sea is an improvisation-based album spit into four pieces. Rather than being a more conventionally jazz or noise oriented affair, Coil Sea finds its players assembling impromptu melody and atmosphere-driven pieces with guitar, bass and drums. At times these sessions come across as a more…
FABULOUS DIAMONDS

Fabulous Diamonds II

CHAPTER MUSIC

CD // £11.99

Australian duo Jarrod Zlatic (keyboard / vocals) and Nisa Venerosa (drums / vocals) return for a sophomore album that expands upon the blueprint laid down for their eponymous Siltbreeze debut. Harnessing a sound that’s entrenched in cavernous lo-fi ambience and a kind of zoned-out minimalism, this duo have found themselves gaining comparisons to the likes of Silver Apples (who seem to be cited as a point of reference more and…
EFTERKLANG

Parades & Under Giant Trees (Special Set)

Leaf

2CD // £9.99

Efterklang’s landmark second album, Parades is paired with the long out of print limited mini-album, Under Giant Trees on this new reissue, which also features live recordings of album tracks. PARADES: Over recent years the Scandinavian nations have acquired quite a reputation for their expansive, orchestral pop music, with Efterklang being one of the most reliable ports of call for icy, string-based lyricism. Parades finds the band distancing themselves from…
EFTERKLANG

Parades (2010 Edition)

Leaf

2LP // £12.99

*Limited edition Repress* Over recent years the Scandinavian nations have acquired quite a reputation for their expansive, orchestral pop music, with Efterklang being one of the most reliable ports of call for icy, string-based lyricism. Parades finds the band distancing themselves from the throngs of post-rock groups that emerged in the wake of Sigur Ros’ success, instead focussing on a folksy, more up close and personal take on the genre….
GRASS WIDOW

Past Time

Kill Rock Stars

LP // £12.99

San Francisco band Grass Widow start their second album, Past Time with a languid, vaguely Eastern sounding guitar lick, but after thirty seconds or so this proves to be a bit of a red herring. In no time, ‘Uncertain Memory’ kicks in properly and this all-girl trio are firing on all conceivable cylinders – rattling through fast-picked, interlocking guitar and bass lead lines while drummer Lillian Marling throws down some…
GRASS WIDOW

Past Time

Kill Rock Stars

CD // £9.99

San Francisco band Grass Widow start their second album, Past Time with a languid, vaguely Eastern sounding guitar lick, but after thirty seconds or so this proves to be a bit of a red herring. In no time, ‘Uncertain Memory’ kicks in properly and this all-girl trio are firing on all conceivable cylinders – rattling through fast-picked, interlocking guitar and bass lead lines while drummer Lillian Marling throws down some…
ARAB STRAP

Philophobia (Expanded Edition)

Chemikal Underground

2CD // £9.99

*Now reissued and extended with Peel Session recordings and a T In The Park live set from 1998* Opening with a typically confrontational lyric (one which is probably best left unprinted here), Moffat launches into ‘Packs Of Three’, the first of many drawling, rather grim short-story style vignettes that make up Arab Strap’s excellent second album, 1998’s Philophobia. This music still has an immense power, and while much of it…
ARAB STRAP

The Week Never Starts Round Here (Expanded Edition)

Chemikal Underground

2CD // £9.99

*Now reissued and extended with Peel Session recordings and the band’s first show, recorded at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in 1996* Dating back to 1996, The Week Never Starts was the first album by Arab Strap, the Glaswegian band founded by Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton, both of whom have since gone onto successful solo careers. The centrepiece of this album is the single, ‘The First Big Weekend’, which…
WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS

Rivers

Leaf

CD // £8.99

Rivers collects in album form the two recent 12″ vinyl releases (Retina and Iris) from Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums. RETINA: For this new venture, Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums expand their singular, percussion-heavy sound with the recruitment of the Schola Cantorum Reykjavik Chamber Choir, who have previously worked with Bjork on her all-vocal album, Medulla. In fact the Icelandic connection doesn’t end there: the EP features arrangement from Hildur…
MOGWAI

Special Moves

Rock Action

CD + DVD // £10.99

This CD and DVD edition of Mogwai’s new live album, Special Moves, features the full eleven-track set on CD (recorded over the course of a three-night residency at Brooklyn’s Music Hall Of Williamsburg) plus a beautifully photographed 48-minute concert film by Vincent Moon and Nat Le Scouarnec. The DVD also features an additional 12-minute bonus feature: ‘Mogwai Fear Satan: Live At Reims’. Selecting cuts from right across the Glaswegian band’s…
MOGWAI

Special Moves

Rock Action

LP+CD+DVD+Extras (Box Set) // £36.99

This edition of Mogwai’s new live release, Special Moves (recorded over the course of a three-night residency at Brooklyn’s Music Hall Of Williamsburg), features a specially extended triple-vinyl version of the album (with six bonus tracks), plus the eleven-track CD and a beautifully photographed 48-minute concert film by Vincent Moon and Nat Le Scouarnec. The DVD also features an additional 12-minute bonus feature: ‘Mogwai Fear Satan: Live At Reims’. This…
65DAYSOFSTATIC

Weak4 / Come To Me

Hassle Records

7″ // £3.99

**CLEAR VINYL** Another onslaught of ear-flooding electronic post-rock from the never knowingly understated 65daysofstatic, ‘Weak4’ is a bombardment of the senses, full of technoid complexity and hard-hitting, arena-sized instrumentation – like a more credible version of Pendulum. The Cure’s Robert Smith adds a vocal to ‘Come To Me’, which along with some lovely strings helps the track stand out above the band’s recent output.
KLAXONS

Surfing The Void

Polydor

2LP // £19.99

The posterboys for the now surely long-forgotten nu-rave movement return with their much-delayed sophomore effort. After working with multiple producers and at one point being marched back into the studio by their label (on the grounds that their first attempt was “too experimental”) Klaxons have finally emerged from their recording bunker with a new album, polished by big-name producer Ross Robinson – a man whose prior credits include Slipknot, Korn…
KLAXONS

Surfing The Void

Polydor

CD // £13.99

The posterboys for the now surely long-forgotten nu-rave movement return with their much-delayed sophomore effort. After working with multiple producers and at one point being marched back into the studio by their label (on the grounds that their first attempt was “too experimental”) Klaxons have finally emerged from their recording bunker with a new album, polished by big-name producer Ross Robinson – a man whose prior credits include Slipknot, Korn…
JUNGLE / DRUM & BASS
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VENETIAN SNARES

My So-Called Life

Time Signal

CD // £8.99

Venetian Snares introduces his new Time Signal label with a brand new album of elaborately twisted beat offs. They’re intended as a sort of diary entry, or short stories, built and completed within a few days to give concise snapshots of his moods via the medium of f*cking mental breakcore. To be totally fair, they’re still Venetian Snares tracks and hit like a pickaxe to the temple, regardless of the…
VENETIAN SNARES

My So-Called Life

Time Signal

2LP // £11.99

Venetian Snares introduces his new Time Signal label with a brand new album of elaborately twisted beat offs. They’re intended as a sort of diary entry, or short stories, built and completed within a few days to give concise snapshots of his moods via the medium of f*cking mental breakcore. To be totally fair, they’re still Venetian Snares tracks and hit like a pickaxe to the temple, regardless of the…
SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
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RLW

An Archivist’s Nightmare

BETA-LACTAM RING

CD // £15.99

This might be one of the strangest recordings you’ll ever own. Originally aired as a Resonance FM broadcast, this hour-long work finds RLW (and on some occasions his wife and small child) reading aloud through a list of records in his collection. Clearly the piece is a conceptual sound-art enterprise rather than a musical one, but even by sound-art’s standards this probably ranks as extra bizarre. The fact that this…
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
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ALTAR EAGLE

Mechanical Gardens (Limited Vinyl Edition)

Type

LP // £8.99

*Initial copies come on violet/pink vinyl* This excellent debut-proper from hotly tipped duo Altar Eagle finds itself nestled somewhere between the icy drum machine pop of Cold Cave, the Kosmische refractions of Emeralds and the classic layered shoegaze of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. Eden Hemming and Brad Rose have previously made music together as Corsican Paintbrush before changing their name and style on a pair of sought-after cassettes absorbing…
FUNKINEVEN

Heartpound / Another Space

EGLO

12″ // £5.99

Seriously rude wrigglin’ acid jams from London’s machine funk specialist, Funkineven. As the tenth release on the estimable Eglo records it keeps the label’s remit rooted, yet open to all possibilities with what must be their toughest two jams to date. ‘Heart Pound’ looks to Chi-town and LDN circa ’90 for inspiration, resulting in an anthemic acid jacker with future vintage vocals and KMS style rave signals. ‘Another Space’ is…
MR OIZO / FLYING LOTUS

Rubber (Flying Lotus Mix)

ED BANGER

12″ // £5.49

‘Floor burning future disco moves from Mr. Oizo and Justice’s Gaspard Augé backed with an in-demand remix from Flying Lotus. The hi-end digital dicing of ‘Rubber’ is destined to soundtrack booze-soaked weekends everywhere for at least the few months, as these things go, but we can see the Flying Lotus mix having a little more longevity as heads will return to marvel at its disintegrating layers of astral symphonics and…
!!! (CHK CHK CHK)

Strange Weather, Isn’t It?

Warp

CD // £9.99

Punk-funk survivors !!! return with their fourth album (their third to get a release via Warp). Billed as a “Berlin album” in the mould of David Bowie and Brian Eno, Strange Weather, Isn’t It? also marks a slightly changed line-up for the band, with departures from Justin Vandervolgen and John Pugh, plus last year’s tragic death of drummer Jerry Fuchs. The album hardly sounds like a more streamlined affair despite…
!!! (CHK CHK CHK)

Strange Weather, Isn’t It?

Warp

2LP // £13.99

Punk-funk survivors !!! return with their fourth album (their third to get a release via Warp). Billed as a “Berlin album” in the mould of David Bowie and Brian Eno, Strange Weather, Isn’t It? also marks a slightly changed line-up for the band, with departures from Justin Vandervolgen and John Pugh, plus last year’s tragic death of drummer Jerry Fuchs. The album hardly sounds like a more streamlined affair despite…
SIRIUSMO

The Plasterer Of Love

Monkeytown Records

12″ // £4.99

New on Modeselektor’s Monkeytown label, five tracks of cheeky glitching dance pop from Siriusmo. In case you’ve not encountered his style before, it’s kinda like Mdslsktr meets Raymond Scott at Boys Noize’s place, i.e highly melodic and driven with a digital IDM/party techno energy. His tracks are extremely neat little transmissions, from the jaunty electro-fonk of the title track to the bandy legged strut of ‘Katharsis Impossible’ or the Acid…
THE CRYSTAL ARK (GAVIN RUSSOM)

The Tangible Presence Of The Miraculous

DFA

12″ // £9.99

Gavin Russom initiates another entrancing instalment of The Crystal Ark sessions for DFA. ‘The Tangible Presence Of The Miraculous’ leads on from his ace ‘The City Never Sleeps’ with further fusions of Brazilian tribal percussion, ably deployed by Alberto Lopez (ex-La Secta, ex-Atom-Rhumba) with intricate and proggy synthwork harking to the early 90s Belgian techno of Praga Khan and early R&S. The bilingual Spanish/Englsh vocals of Brooklyn’s Viva Ruiz, accompanied…
BARNT

What Is A Number, That A Man May Know It?

Magazine

12″ // £8.99

Köln’s art-house/techno undercurrents rise to the surface on Magazine’s second release from the Cologne Tape collective’s Barnt. Much like the 1st release, there are strange fusions occurring in these wax grooves, starting with the Krautrock drift of ‘Collection’, where Barnt (real name Daniel Ansorge) surveys 40 years of Krautrock repetition, from Ash Ra Tempel through to Wolfgang Voigt, with gradually developing loops of tentative melancholy developing layers of droning flute…
THE COUNT & SINDEN

Mega Mega Mega

Domino

CD // £8.99

A genre-exploding new album from Essex-residing production titans The Count & Sinden, loaded up with a variety of collaborators, including Mystery Jets, Bashy, Katy B, 77Klash, Trackademicks, Rye Rye and the disastrously/sublimely monikered Coolio Iglesias. If you’ve ever thought of these two as a bit too jokey or willfully preposterous for their own good, a quick listen to that Mystery Jets collaboration, ‘After Dark’ proves they’re more than capable of…
THE COUNT & SINDEN

Mega Mega Mega

Domino

2LP // £14.99

A genre-exploding new album from Essex-residing production titans The Count & Sinden, loaded up with a variety of collaborators, including Mystery Jets, Bashy, Katy B, 77Klash, Trackademicks, Rye Rye and the disastrously/sublimely monikered Coolio Iglesias. If you’ve ever thought of these two as a bit too jokey or willfully preposterous for their own good, a quick listen to that Mystery Jets collaboration, ‘After Dark’ proves they’re more than capable of…
TECHNO / HOUSE
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PLASTIKMAN

Kompilation

Minus

CD // £8.49

Plastikman is the celebrated and influential techno project from Richie Hawtin. Nearly 18 years after ‘Krakpot’, the first release using this name, and ahead of the comprehensive ‘Arkives’ live retrospective, Richie and Plus 8 have gathered eight of his most definitive Plastikman productions, including seminal moments such as ‘Plasticine’, ‘Spastik’ and ‘Marbles’ onto one definitive disc. Basically the world of techno would be quite a different place without these tracks…
KASSEM MOSSE

We Speak To Those / Hi Res

NonPlus

12″ // £6.99

Kassem Mosse’s material for Workshop and Mikrodisko have made for some of the best house and techno records of the last few years and evidently Instra:mental think the same, signing two of his characteristically deep and twisting future movers to Nonplus. While ‘We Speak To Those’ is driven by metronomic kicks, the effect is far from strictly linear, twisting the central torque with pitching edits for deadly effect. However, the…
DELPHIC / KYLE HALL

Doubt (Kyle Hall Mix)

UNKNOWN LABEL

12″ // £6.99

Another unlikely yet highly successful remix excursion for Delphic, picking up an uber-limited one-sided rerub from Detroit’s Kyle Hall. There’s practicaly no trace of the original to be heard, just a damn fine exhibition of Motor City techniques, shaking slightly brukken drums under filtered and flanged keys, locking into a sweetly sensual loop of house magic. However, there’s a kink and spur to his drum edits that deposits itself nicely…
SCHATRAX

Champagne Dancer

FEAR OF FLYING

12″ // £5.99

A genuine UK house music classic from the celebrated catalogue of Josh Brent aka Schatrax, backed with new edit and Jutin Drake remix. ‘Champagne Dancer’ appeared in original form on the sought-after Schatrax compilation, an unfussy and utterly classic jacker with sweetly soulful keys. His 2010 remix gives it a lighter, less clunky shimmy and sparkle while Peace Division’s Justin Drake gives a crafty shaking version with spacious drum movements….
A GUY CALLED GERALD

Tronic Jazz The Berlin Sessions EP2

Laboratory Instinct

12″ // £6.99

Second 12″ lifted from Gerald’s recent ‘Tronik Jazz: The Berlin Sessions’ LP. ‘Nuvo Alfa’ starts the groove with a cruising bass line and flickering drums emulating the classic analog sound he’s known for, before dope strings drops and take the track to a cool conclusion. ‘Flutter’ follows with a fluid Detroit techno vibe, all spidery strings and dark synthline surges pinned with an refined roll. Heaviest of the lot is…
WORLD
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OWINEY SIGOMA BAND

Doyoi Nyajo Nam

Brownswood Recordings

12″ // £5.99

An acutely infectious new project from Jesse Hackett of Elmore Judd/Gorillaz/Africa Express, bringing sublimely hypnotic Kenyan grooves into line with a London-centric agenda. Both tracks bobble along with a effortless grace and mesmerizing simplicity, with the bouzouki/likembe interplay of ‘Doyoi Nyajo Nam’ coolly commanding able asses to the dance, while ‘Jalako Onyoono Paka’ sits heavy on an infectious mid-tempo Afro-beat groove. There’s no denying the charms of these cuts, and…