Jul 232010
 

Hello,

The second in Demdike Stare’s limited vinyl triptych is at the top of our list this week. Guided by the dark arts and numerous occult references, the sound on ‘Liberation Through Hearing’ extends through shards of metallic percussion pummelled into a kind of broken techno, woven through cosmic Drone and bass pulsations into a 45 minute trip that extends their aesthetic even further into the unknown. Copies are strictly limited to 700 copies for the world on this one so you know what to do.

Catherine Christer Hennix may not be a name any of us here were even familiar with a month ago, but it turns out that she was a pivotal character in the development of electronic Minimalism in the 1970’s. ‘The Electric Harpsichord’ was her key work and finally emerges this week via a sublime Die Schachtel reissue which includes a 60 page book – all bound in one gorgeous, foil-stamped package.
The recording features the electric Harpsichord creating drone alchemy indebted to the teachings of LaMonte Young and documents a landmark of compositional virtues – we urge you to explore.

Another bastion of the avant-garde, David Sylvian, offers his acclaimed ‘Manafon’ album in an opulent vinyl edition that comes on a heavyweight double pressing with specially cut heavyweight vinyl and custom artwork adorning each inner sleeve. Oh, and alongside the collaborations with Fennesz and distinguished players Keith Rowe, John Tilbury and Evan Parker, the vinyl set also comes with a previously unreleased track.

If you’re after something a little more danceable, this week’s gorgeous reissue of Alexander Robotnick’s CLASSIC ‘Ce N’Est Q’un Debut’ is an absolute doozy! It’s been unavailable on a legitimate pressing for decades and contains pivotal moments in electronic dance music such as the sublime ‘Dance Boy Dance’ and the seminal ‘Problemes d’Amour’, such a pleasure to have them on a good quality pressing after years on the chase! Be warned – these are limited to 500 individually numbered copies only – for disco and dance heads it’s a no-brainer.

From a darker corner of the ’80s, Pump’s ‘Sombrero Fallout’ has come out of nowhere and has been a total revelation in the office this week. It’s one of those albums that fell down the side of the proverbial sofa – the work of two DIY electronic musicians borne from the tape era of the 80’s and massively benefits from the arcane mixing desk trickery of Nurse With Wound’s Colin Potter. We’ve been utterly bowled over by these tracks, reminiscent of Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and even Neu!, but that’s only half the story. Fans of darker industrial music will feel like they’ve discovered something incredibly special with this album.

Adding to the masses of tape spools, Digitalis offer a double tape pack including an absolutely stunning 20 minute journey by John Twells aka Xela that’s radically different to his gory drone fixation of recent years, entering an articulate phase of kosmische with an abstraction and depth that’s honestly one of the best things we’ve heard this year. There’s also an immense cassette-only release from Yellow Swan Pete Swanson this week, a recording of Synth and Tape creating another absolutely compelling exercise in visceral noise-drone that is just unparalleled in modern music. We’ve just got a handful of these left so act fast if you want one. Other tapes this week come from BJ Nilsen and Joachim Nordwall so to you analogue fetishists out there should – good times!

Back on the beats and it’s hard to ignore Ill Blu’s riddims for Hyperdub; a pair of definitive Funky anthems crafted with a stripped and deadly percussive aesthetic that’s had everyone from Cheryl Cole to Marcus Nasty begging for their tracks. Also stripping back the excess is Falty DL, delivering one of his strongest 12″s to date with the garage machinations of ‘Phreqaflex’. On a more smoked-out and green fingered tip, P.U.D.G.E drops the wickedness of ‘Idiot Box’ for Ramp, combining all that’s good about the LA scene with a rugged and psychotropic swerve that’s baking our boxes this week.

Elsewhere we got crates full of the good stuff from Villa Nah remixing Au Revoir Simone, Mike Huckaby commanding ‘The Defenders Of The Deep House World’, Nobody starting his own genre of vocoder folk, Clubroot’s first 12″ single, Sbtrkt remixing M.I.A, Caribou’s magical ‘Bowls’, dub techno from J.S. Zeiter and DJ Deep’s high quality comp of House rarities. Chow down!

Have yourselves a fabulous week….

Peace! Nekkers…..xx

Albums of the Week



DEMDIKE STARE
Liberation Through Hearing
SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
Modern Love
LP // £12.99

*Second of three limited edition Demdike Stare albums to be released in 2010, 45-minutes long, mastered at Berlin’s Dubplates & Mastering* The second of three Demdike Stare albums for 2010 is upon us. Its title ‘Liberation Through Hearing’ is a direct reference to the ‘Tibetan Book Of The Dead’, an ancient text intended to guide the reader through the experience of the consciousness occurring during the interval between death and the next rebirth, a subject also hinted at in Western culture by the Skull Disco label and explored by psychonauts such as Timothy Leary. If ‘Forest Of Evil’ was the push-off, we’re deep into the session now, rendering those intermediary hours of the trip when we’re untethered from reality and deposited in the moment, an interzone of harrowing drones, acousmatic sampledelics and arcane intentions designed to create a state of psychedelic submission. The dark currents run deep, seeping from the billowing sub tones and heavenly choirs of ‘Caged In Stammheim’ , through the Köner-like spherical bell hum and grazed shellac textures of ‘Eurydice’ before craftily phasing your sense of spatial perception as ‘Regolith’ expands to the five corners of audition. Further in, ‘The Stars Are Moving’ flickers with electro-static pulses and petrified key changes before ‘Bardo Thodol’ circles the senses with hypnotic chants and percussion. Finally the pellucid meditative drift of ‘Matilda’s Dream’ brings us closer to the light, describing harmonised ambient chords and a bleak yet centred sense of self. Featuring artwork from Andy Votel and masetered & cut at D&M, the pressing is limited to just 700 copies so act fast if you know what’s what.



CATHERINE CHRISTER HENNIX
The Electric Harpsichord
SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
DIE SCHACHTEL
CD/BOOK // £17.99

*CD AND 60 PAGE BOOK LIMITED TO AN EDITION OF 500 COPIES FOR THE WORLD – THE FIRST TIME THESE INCREDIBLE RECORDINGS FROM 1976 HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE* This latest addition to Die Schachtel’s sublime Art Series is a largely neglected masterpiece from Swedish-born composer Catherine Christer Hennix, a disciple of LaMonte Young and Pandit Pran Nath during the 1970s.  Although her music is largely unknown – even among the experimental music community – those who’ve been exposed to Hennix’s work tend to rank her among the elite of American minimalist composers of the twentieth century.  The Electric Harpsichord (recorded in 1976) is talked about with the highest reverence by the avant-garde’s cognoscenti, with Glenn Branca describing it as “a pure perfect piece of music” and “a work of transcendent power”.  Having embarked on her compositional career in the 1960s studying the techniques of Xenakis and Stockhausen, Hennix’s musical bearing was jolted somewhat by the Nuits du Fondation Maeght festival in 1970, where she first encountered LaMonte Young and Hindustani raga master Sri Faquir Pandit Pran Nath.  Over the course of the ensuing decade, Hennix would study with both these men, and to many the piece reproduced on this disc is her magnum opus.  Made using keyboards tuned to just intonation and a tape delay feedback network based on Terry Riley’s notion of the “time lag accumulator”, the piece is a thing of sparkling psychedelic chaos, achieving that magical dichotomy between apparent narrative-shirking motionlessness and eternal flux.  For all its droning stability on a ‘macro’ level, The Electric Harpsichord’s continually recombining layers ensure it remains ceaselessly shifting in ‘micro’ terms.  Significantly, none of this gets out of hand and you can still make out the individual pitches ebbing and flowing within the sound mass.  Paying close attention reveals some incredible oceanic movements within the sound waves, and repeat listens reap considerable rewards.  This recording lasts twenty-five minutes, though in the strictest terms it should be considered as only a fragment of what the composition represents; in conceptual terms The Electric Harpsichord would be an endless, perpetual entity.  In support of the music itself, this release comes in unique, silver and gloss-varnished packaging, folding out to reveal a 60-page book containing two LaMonte Young pieces written especially for this edition, plus an extensive essay by Henry Flynt (a close friend of Hennix) as well as some illuminating, if highly technical and abstract background text from Hennix herself, who reproduces excerpts from her “notes on the composite sine-wave drone over which The Electric Harpsichord is performed”.  This utterly absorbing and highly involved passage is just the thing to show drone music naysayers who think it’s all just somebody holding a note for a really long time.  An essential release, presented with all due reverence and care by Die Schachtel.



DAVID SYLVIAN
Manafon (Deluxe 2LP Edition)
ELECTRONIC
Samadhisound
2LP // £23.99

*This is a strictly limited heavyweight vinyl (180gm) edition housed in a gatefold sleeve in rigid heavy card and features a bonus track not included on the CD version. Each LP comes in an individually printed card inner* When David Sylvian makes a solo album, he really throws everything into it.  It’s been six years since the former Japan frontman released his masterful Blemish LP, and Manafon is its much anticipated follow-up.  As with Scott Walker’s latter-day work, Sylvian’s music is far-removed from the chart-dwelling hits of his youth, instead taking on a ruthlessly cerebral and experimental agenda; alongside Walker, recent years have seen Sylvian as one of the very few artists who could be said to have challenged what it means to write and produce a song.  Assisting him to this end is a roster of great improvisatory talents, supplying Manafon with a beautifully rendered, supremely detailed backdrop of timbres, textures and vibrations.  Guitarists have been of particular importance to David Sylvian albums over the past ten years or so; Marc Ribot and Bill Frisell were among the key musicians contributing to 1999’s Dead Bees On A Cake, and for Blemish Sylvian struck up highly fruitful collaborations with Christian Fennesz and – perhaps most significantly – the late Derek Bailey.  The latter’s striking improvisational style seems to have impacted greatly on Sylvian’s approach to songsmithery, and traces of the jazz veteran’s spidering, chitinous playing are detectable in the dissonant twangs of Tetuzi Akiyama and Otomo Yoshihide.  Fennesz returns for Manafon, bringing his Polwechsel associates Burkhard Stangl and Werner Dafeldecker with him, while additionally, prepared guitar experimenter Keith Rowe appears, ranking alongside those other elder statesmen of British improvised music, John Tilbury and Evan Parker.  This distinguished ensemble weave magic under Sylvian’s supervision, fabricating the finest and most ornate of sonic environments for the band leader’s rich, stately croak.  Indeed, Sylvian’s vocal inevitably takes the central role, offering a melodic route through an album of ostensible disorder, reaching its finest hour during Manafon’s centrepiece: ‘The Greatest Living Englishman’.  Here the singer is joined by discordant string quartet recordings – scratched and warped on Yoshihide’s turntable, while the most carefully poised of guitar and piano performances match-up against the imperious subtlety of Toshimaru Nakamura’s no-input mixing board static and Sachiko M’s intricate formation of cobweb-like sine waves.  It’s amazing that all these infinitesimal articulations are heard so clearly, but this is a recording on which all the minutiae resound with great lucidity, and truly, the more listens you give Manafon, the more it reveals its complexity and brilliance.  This is far from an easy or instant record, and most likely it’ll take a couple of play-throughs to get anywhere with its daringly unascertainable idiom, but once engaged, you might not hear a more enriching body of work all year.



ALEXANDER ROBOTNICK
Ce N’est Q’un Debut (2010 Edition)
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
Medical Records
LP // £15.99

Synthpop albums don’t come any better than Alexander Robotnick’s 1984 classic ‘Ce N’est Q’un Début’. Reissued for the class of 2010 on blue vinyl in a hand numbered edition of 500 copies for the world, it contains seminal, hugely influential disco hits like ‘Problemes d’Amour’ and the sublime ‘Dance Boy Dance’, plus the killer electro of Hola Macci Kola’, tracks which have influenced practically anyone involved with electronic dance music over the last 25 years. Aside from a couple of cheeky bootlegs it’s not been available in this sort of quality pressing  for a very long time and truly deserves the status – ESSENTIAL!



PETE SWANSON (YELLOW SWANS)
Challenger
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
Pete Swanson
Cassette // £6.99

Pete Swanson of Yellow Swans delivers a fiercely controlled slab of synth and tape genius on the super limited ‘Challenger’ cassette, released by the man himself in a strictly limited edition. . With a patina of gloriously degraded tape saturation the first section slowly pummels us into submission while a towering wall of wail envelopes the thing in boiling ectoplasmic textures to disguise the fact that there’s actually a lush synth tone half buried in there somewhere. It’s kinda like being swallowed by magma while peering at a starlit sky through clouds of volcanic ash, slowly hearing your heartbeat fade to nothing but a faint pulse. On the second side we’re sent swimming through swampy spools of mucky noise with depth charged bass implosions bubbling up from below and a howling analog harshness which becomes sublimely meditative once accustomed to its infinite textural permutations. Incredible.



PUMP
Sombrero Fallout
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
Plague Recordings
CD // £8.99

From the annals of ’80s tape culture Plague Records have uncovered raw gold in the form of Pump’s semi-mythical ‘Sombrero Fallout’ album. Previously known as MFH on their own YHR label, Pump were Andrew Cox and David Elliott, a pair of like-minded electronic music fiends who met at Brighton uni in ’79. After spilling five cassette albums of underground industrial strains inspired by Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Faust and Heldon, they spent the middle of the ’80s largely estranged, with David writing for the notorious Sounds magazine alongside David Tibet, and Andrew working in Cornwall. In ’87 they finally recorded new material, heard on ‘The Decoration of The Duma Continues’, before colluding for this, their final album which was supposed to emerge on Trident Music International, but sadly didn’t due to unknown reasons. The untimely death of Andrew in 2009 prompted a resurgence of interest, and with the utmost respect, we’re f*cking blessed that it did as it’s just the find of the year. Quite interestingly the album was mixed by Colin Potter of Nurse With Wound, which goes some way to describing the close, dark ambient nature of their sound, but there’s many more factors at play which make ‘Sombrero Effect’ so riveting. ‘A Knife, possibly’ sets a sour atmosphere with chugging slow drum machines and a guitar drone industrially dubbed for arcing, widescreen effect, while ‘Yukiko’ features spiraling marimbas diffused into stereo patterns with mournful, ghostly synths sounding like Zoviet*France gone strangely new age. At the mid way point we enter ‘The ‘Wife’ Container’, an incredibly claustrophobic and sickly doomscape with over-saturated bass hum and the distant sound of groaning guitars tortured in some sadistic dungeon ritual for over nine minutes. No sh*t, this is intensely dark stuff! Next, ‘Apolinaire Enammelled’ combines a reverb laden motorik backbeat somewhere between Stephen Morris and Klaus Dinger, with twirling raga-esque psychedelia, again benefitting from the Colin Potter treatment to sound drugged to the nails, followed with the stoically centred ‘Etoile de mer’, a blissfully darkside arrangement of beatless ambience. Their swan song ‘Falling From Grace’ approaches the end with a chilling display of unholy, crawling synth tones and spectral axe work shielding a lone vocal, delivered with reserve and an arcane sense of timing. Fuuuck. This album has really touched a nerve in our office, reminding us of our favourite Industrial, darkwave and New Beat, or all those other ’80s genres whose unholy allure we’ve always been susceptible to, and best of all, it does it without the slightest hint of fromage or pastiche. Honestly, this is beyond essential for anyone with a darker soul.



XELA / VARIOUS
Air Rings Vol. 2
ELECTRONIC
DIGITALIS
2 x Cassette // £10.99

Digitalis really outdo themselves with a ltd edition (125 copies for THE world), twin tape pack of exceptional synth excursions from Matt Carlson, Cliffsides, Analog Concept, and one Mr. J. Xela, who provides nothing short of a career highlight. We should really start with his ‘In The Blinding Light They Came’, a piece which, in effect, lays to rest the gothic vibe of recent releases in favour of an extended 20+ minute kosmiche trip articulated through layers of living, breathing analog synths. By turns he guides us from hushed pastoral scenery into thickets of cacophonous discord and finally into bass rich terrain that we really don’t experience much from the swathes of modern synth meddlers. The overarching narrative and dialogue between his machines is just so subtly tempered and richly varied that we’re left in a beautifully reflective moment 20 minutes later, wondering what just happened and wanting to visit that place again at the nearest opportunity. In a far more visceral mode Analog Concept’s ‘Ambient Conception’ is the other major highlight. It’s nineteen minutes of segmented synth orchestrations, concisely moving between intangible electric textures and vast wave shapes with the structured narrative of a vivid sci-fi short story. Meanwhile, Carlson’s ‘Digitalis’ chews up psilocybic baroque arrangements and extended drone noise, leaving Cliffsides to twirl doomy ’80s lazer synths like the rarified, extended version of Robocop’s birthing theme. Klaus Schulze fans, Oneohtrix fiends and lovers of synth sorcery everywhere should tap this at the soonest opportunity. Fantastic double tape edition – quite honestly that Xela track is one of the best things we’ve heard this year.



P.U.D.G.E.
Idiot Box
BEATS / DOWNTEMPO / BOOGIE
Ramp Recordings
CD // £10.99

Following his inaugural All City 10″ split with Dibiase, Ramp haul up a raw and psychedelic beat tape from NYC/LA’s P.U.D.G.E. Our LA/Jamaican protagonist first cut his teeth as a producer from the age of 9 before discovering turntablism and honing some healthy mic skills in NYC. in the mid 00’s he heard about the LA scene and soon assimilated himself within its ranks. His twelve tracks on ‘Idiot Box’ are shot through with a languid and fuggy-headed vibe that comes from the best Ras G or Flying Lotus constructs, shredding Paisley Rock, field recordings and stray radio signals in a potently smoky environment for a swirling, psychotropic effect. His beats unfold with unpredictable swerves and rugged MPC chops that owe as much to Dilla as Sun Ra and come completely recommended for reclined consumption with a zoot or two. Hot and heavy.

Singles of the Week



ILL BLU
Bellion/ Dragon Pop
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
Hyperdub
12″ // £4.99

Ill Blu’s ‘Bellion/Dragon Pop’ 12″ is easily one of the most anticipated Hyperdubs in a while. In the last few years they’ve remixed everyone from Shystie to Cheryl Cole and their productions have figured prominently in the sets of Marcus Nasty, Kode 9 and Supa D, so they’re undoubtedly one of the hottest production units around. ‘Bellion’ is a proper DJ special built with bouncing Funky drums and snaky shakers to hold in a superbly sparse and glassy lead marimba line. ‘Dragon Pop’ is the busier, and for our money – better – of the two, placing controlled congas and deep driven subs in the echo chamber, siphoning off any explicit melody to leave dancers enthralled to the melodic cadence of clipped Afro-Latin drums and subtle sub harmonics. Lovers of stripped and deadly UK dance music need these tracks, badly!



FALTY DL
Phreqaflex
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
Planet Mu
12″ // £4.99

Falty DL massively impresses with three ‘floor dedicated garage cuts, confidently sidestepping the cluttered complexities of his two previous albums for Planet Mu. There’s a feeling of spacious freedom and sensuality written all over these, from the kinky hardcore tropes of the title track and its quicksilver scuff ‘n skip, right through the dubbed shuffle and empty warehouse reverbs of ‘Because You’ on the A-side. ‘My Friends Will Always Say…’ on the flip consolidates the best of both his worlds, designed with an advanced sense of jazzy electronic arrangement, yet keeping everything sparse and still poppy enough to really capture the crowd’s affections. A massive tip for all future garage nuts!



AU REVOIR SIMONE / VILLA NAH
Tell Me (Villa Nah Mix)
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
Keys Of Life
7″ // £5.99

Exquisite electro-pop jewels from Villa Nah and Au Revoir Simone, limited to 500 copies for the world. The Villa Nah remix of ‘Tell Me’ rightly takes precedence here, providing further proof, if their stunning ‘Origin’ wasn’t enough, that they have some serious pop skills. It’s hard to place a finger on it, but they’ve made the girls sound like 60’s bubblegum pop heroes only with an electro backbeat nodding to Suicide style Rockabilly, and yet with traces of European synth baroque a la Cluster. I can guarantee, we’ll be coming back to this for time. Au Revoir Simone’s original on the flip is equally charming, setting their dainty vocals to a backing track which starts out slow and craftily ratchets up the tempo by the tracks end. Highly Recommended.



MIKE HUCKABY / RICK WILHITE / NORM TALLEY / RICK WADE
The Defenders Of The Deep House World
TECHNO / HOUSE
Third Ear Recordings
12″ // £8.99

Third Ear throw down a splendid set of deepst house trax from The Defenders Of The Deep House World aka Detroit’s Mike Huckaby, Rick Wilhite, Rick Wade and Norm Talley. Our man with the waves Mike Huckaby is largely in control here, providing one original and two remixes. His scene setting ‘The Deep House World’ keeps it true with shimmering chords and raw but elegant rhythm built from thick bass and dancing hi-hats. His reconstruction of Wilhite’s ‘Playcism’ cuts a more rugged figure with grumbling bass and hypnotic conga rolls setting a gritty groove and his 2010 remix of Talley’s ‘Change’ shakes up tight tribal rolls with soul warming keys. Rick Wade’s own ‘Bleach’ strut up with a heavily percussive mover flecked with tense disco strings and swooning bassline for luxurious effect.

This week’s releases in full!
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BASIC CHANNEL / DUB TECHNO
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J.S. ZEITER
JS-04
UNKNOWN LABEL
12″ // £9.99

Prime dub techno from JS Zeiter, pressed on translucent grey marbled wax. There’s no denying his affections for Basic Channel here, reverently prostrating himself at their altar with the pulsing kicks and wafting dub chords on the A-side. However, with the simple addition of shuffled snares on the flip, the formula results in a towering techno colossus, subtly modulated from start to finish for proper heavy effect. Limited to 210…
BEATS / DOWNTEMPO / BOOGIE
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P.U.D.G.E.
Idiot Box
Ramp Recordings
CD // £10.99

Following his inaugural All City 10″ split with Dibiase, Ramp haul up a raw and psychedelic beat tape from NYC/LA’s P.U.D.G.E. Our LA/Jamaican protagonist first cut his teeth as a producer from the age of 9 before discovering turntablism and honing some healthy mic skills in NYC. in the mid 00’s he heard about the LA scene and soon assimilated himself within its ranks. His twelve tracks on ‘Idiot Box’…

P.U.D.G.E.
Idiot Box
Ramp Recordings
2LP // £12.99

Following his ace All City 10″ split with Dibiase, Ramp haul up a raw and psychedelic beat tape from NYC/LA’s P.U.D.G.E. So our protagonist first cut his teeth as a producer from the age of 9 before discovering turntablism and honing some healthy mic skills in NYC. in the mid 00’s he hear about the LA scene and soon assimilated himself within its ranks. His twelve tracks on ‘Idiot Box’…

NOBODY
One For All Without Hesitation
Delicious Vinyl
LP // £15.99

Dropping on his self-curated Nobody’s Home Productions imprint, Elvin Estela gives a sunny shot of hiphop/folk love with ‘One For All Without Hesitation’. It’s his first solo release in nearly two years and finds him caught between the two prongs of summery, beats-driven hiphop/R’n’B and strange, autotuned psyche-folk songs with lots of character. There’s seven vocal tracks, each masking Elvin’s vox in robotic autotune which may not be to everybody’s…

TAKE
Only Mountain
Alpha Pup
CD // £12.99

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 slow motion? ‘Only Mountain’ collects 13 variations…
BOOKS
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ALVIN CURRAN
Live In Roma
DIE SCHACHTEL
Book // £17.99

The first ever comprehensive account of Alvin Curran’s career and music, this 300-page book (printed with both Italian and English text) sets about describing the key works and compositional techniques employed by this widely revered artist. Curran was a founder of improvisational group Musica Elettronica Viva (or MEV), but also came to prominence within experimental music circles as a composer and music academic in his own right, having himself studied…
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
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PETE SWANSON (YELLOW SWANS)
Challenger
Pete Swanson
Cassette // £6.99

Pete Swanson of Yellow Swans delivers a fiercely controlled slab of synth and tape genius on the super limited ‘Challenger’ cassette, released by the man himself in a strictly limited edition. . With a patina of gloriously degraded tape saturation the first section slowly pummels us into submission while a towering wall of wail envelopes the thing in boiling ectoplasmic textures to disguise the fact that there’s actually a lush…

BJ NILSEN
Draught 1
Ash International
Cassette // £3.99

Well this is a tad awkward. We don’t currently have a working cassette player in the office, and so the contents of this latest Ash International from BJ Nilsen outing remain something of a mystery to us. As you’ll probably realise, Nilsen is a bit of a favourite around here, and so it’s not a particularly big stretch to suppose that this is well worth acquiring. The A-side features a…

VARIOUS / DIE SCHACHTEL
Musica Improvvisa
DIE SCHACHTEL
10 x CD + DVD // £48.99

A unique survey of Italy’s improvised music scene, this immense boxset features ten full-length discs of experimental sounds from ten different improv groups spread right across the country, plus a further DVD of visual scores from one of the bands (Xubuxue). Each CD gets its own individual sleeve, which along with a 24-page booklet and a poster slot into a sturdy cardboard holder. Sifting through this huge project would probably…

DEAD RAVEN CHOIR
Schmerzensgewalt
AURORA BOREALIS
CD // £9.99

The brainchild of Smolken, the figure behind Wolfmangler, Dead Raven Choir is a bizarre and slightly frightening enterprise consisting of himself (on bowed bass, electric bass and vocals) plus a drummer and two other vocalists. Schmerzensgewalt is said to be the swan song for this project and has been “Recorded in Poland on cheap and archaic Soviet Bloc technology”so as to (as the press release so artfully puts it: “tear…

JOACHIM NORDWALL
Ignition
Ash International
Cassette // £3.99

As with this week’s BJ Nilsen release, our enjoyment of this Ash International cassette edition from electroacoustic artist Joachim Nordwall has been somewhat hindered by our current shortfall in cassette player access. Not to be entirely deterred by this setback, we can still relay a few details for you: Nordwall is the man behind the excellent iDEAL Recordings imprint as well as being a member of celebrated noise band Skull…

THOMAS ANKERSMIT
Live In Utrecht
Ash International
CD // £13.99

‘Live In Utrecht’ is Thomas Ankersmit’s first official release, appearing on Touch sister label, Ash International. It documents a live performance in late 2007, featuring Ankersmit manipulating Serge analogue modular synthesizer, computer, and his favoured instrument, the alto saxophone, together with reel-to-reel parts composed by long standing collaborator Valerio Tricoli. Over the duration Ankersmit investigates vivid electro-acoustic spaces with a deft appreciation of minute detail and spatial awareness resulting in…
DISCO / EDITS / FUNK
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DJ PLATURN
Your Dancing Feet Are Always On My Couch
BSTRD BOOTS
7″ // £6.49

Home-brewed block party ska bootlegs from DJ Platurn on the Bstrd Boots label. A-side ‘Your Dancing Feet Are Always On My Couch’ lifts Janet Jackson and plonks her on an early Ska/R’n’B rhythm, and the B-side ‘Don’t Call Me Scarface’ rifles ‘Guns Of Navarone’ with hiphop party breaks.
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
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ILL BLU
Bellion/ Dragon Pop
Hyperdub
12″ // £4.99

Ill Blu’s ‘Bellion/Dragon Pop’ 12″ is easily one of the most anticipated Hyperdubs in a while. In the last few years they’ve remixed everyone from Shystie to Cheryl Cole and their productions have figured prominently in the sets of Marcus Nasty, Kode 9 and Supa D, so they’re undoubtedly one of the hottest production units around. ‘Bellion’ is a proper DJ special built with bouncing Funky drums and snaky shakers…

FALTY DL
Phreqaflex
Planet Mu
12″ // £4.99

Falty DL massively impresses with three ‘floor dedicated garage cuts, confidently sidestepping the cluttered complexities of his two previous albums for Planet Mu. There’s a feeling of spacious freedom and sensuality written all over these, from the kinky hardcore tropes of the title track and its quicksilver scuff ‘n skip, right through the dubbed shuffle and empty warehouse reverbs of ‘Because You’ on the A-side. ‘My Friends Will Always Say…’…

DJ G
Hydrate EP
Warm Communications
12″ // £5.99

In a climate that’s driving so many D’n’B producers towards dubstep, there’s a small but noticeable trend of producers looking to higher tempos (Scuba, Ramadanman, SYNKRO) to expand their sound. DJG joins their ranks on ‘Hydrate’, backed with a Consequence remix for moral support. His title cut should slip neatly alongside the Autonomic posse’s minimalist sound with its swollen Reese bass and quicksilver syncopations, while the dub drops right down…

DUBKASM / JAKES / GEMMY
Remixed: Part 1 (Jakes / Gemmy Mixes)
SUFFERAH’S CHOICE
12″ // £6.99

Winning versions of Bristol souljah’s Dubkasm from Jakes and Gemmy, taken from the Transform I set. Pressurising the A-side, Jakes’ refit of ‘Hail Jah’ flies out on some 4/4 steppers wickedness with elephantine subs and techno-logically enhanced elements of the original. On the flip Gemmy rules the dance with cold machine drums offset with lovely warm dub stabs and vocals from Ras Addis on ‘City Walls’. Choice Bristol business!

CLUBROOT
Solar Flares EP
LO DUBS
12″ // £6.49

Three brand new tracks from Clubroot on this limited edition 12″ primed for followers of Burial. The EP kicks off with the emotive bluster of vocals and atmospheric chords on ‘Chamber’ reminding of Faib, while ‘Remember Me’ goes on a widescreen halfstep mission and ‘Solar Flares’ comes off like a sleepy memory of classic Dom & Roland productions for the dubstep crew. Limited copies – don’t sleep.

KROMESTAR
Thru The Blinds
CLOQWORQ RECORDINGS
12″ // £5.99

Limited, upfront white labels of the best tracks we’ve heard from Kromestar in donkeys! ‘Thru The Blinds’ leaves the peaktime rave aside for a hot second to concentrate on a more classic sound, falling somewhere between Mala-esque minimalism and the the rooted futurism of recent Peverelist and Ramadanman. ‘Love’ on the flip goes deeper still with warm R’n’B chords over a sensuous halfstep groove for fans of Anti Social’s boogie…

VVV
Vertigo & Flames
Tube 10
10″ // £6.49

Texan future garage/dubstep produer VVV backs his excellent Fortified debut with 2 agile swingers for Tube10, following in the footsteps of TRG, Jus Wan and DJ Madd to release on the superbly curated label. ‘Vertigo & Flames’ is driven by razor slashed 2-step syncopations and lushed out with deeply atmospheric synth pads and Kraftwerkian melody, all the while riding plush cushioned sub pressure. ‘Slacktide’ is a dubbier affair, sending towering…

M.I.A.
XXXO (SBTRKT / Riton Mixes)
XL
12″ // £5.49

First of the remix sessions spawned from M.I.A’s ‘Maya’ album gives revisions of ‘XXXO’ from Riton, SBTRKT and Blaqstarr. With the grungy electro-pop ingredients of her original, Riton builds a big-room raver with Funky-indebted percussion, next to SBTRKT’s dynamically jerky refit packed with squawking synths and rumbling tribal-tek rhythms. Blaqstarr’s is the most interesting remix, perching M.I.A on top of booming R’n’B warzone drums and a slick guitar lick full…

GREMINO
It’s Working
Rag & Bone
12″ // £4.99

The return of Rag and Bone with a proper jump-up raver from Gremino, tapping into an early 90’s hardcore breakbeat blueprint with nice and heaving bass stabs added for 21st century pressure. “Its Working” in particular nails it – all spasmodic vocal samples and padded bass pulses, while “Problem” gives it some tropical modifications for the nu-skool party starters. Solid twelve!

HATCHA & LOST
King of the Trees / Tattyland
BLACK BOX
12″ // £5.99

Dubstep’s original master of minimalism returns alongside H.E.N.C.H souljah Lost for two ultra-reduced and heavyweight lowriders. All attention should be on the title track and its overwhelming subbass prowess, the sort of ex-lax bass tones that can wreak havoc on unsuspecting bowels. Factor in the octave shifting lead line and you’ve got a masterful, outright killah. ‘Tattyland’ ont he flip is no less dangerus, featuring a face carving lead synth…

L-OW
Pinpoint / Diver
Project Squared
12″ // £5.99

After a run of smart goodies for On The Edge and Z-Audio, L-ow drops two prime dubtech swingers, backed with an elegant dub techno remix from Furesshu. Both the garage clipped roll of ‘Pinpoint’ and the aquatic dub flow of ‘Diver’ are up to the standards of label mates Indigo or Synkro, and as cleanly finished as anything by F. Furesshu’s remix of ‘Diver’ ont he flip should gain him…

MAJONI / DORIAN CONCEPT
Majoni
PERCEPTS
7″ // £6.99

Restless ragga riddim from South African/Viennese outfit Majoni, including production from Dorian Concept and a remix from Kava. To put it bluntly, the B-side remix is terrible, but the A-side’s a reet blazer for fans of the Austro-dub sound portrayed by Stereotyp, rolling squirming subs, splayed Afro-percussion and psyched electronics under sing-a-long vox from South African MCs, Teba Shumba and Crosby Bolani.

PROPATINGZ
Hustle Hard / Stay Alive
Bad Acid
12″ // £5.99

Slow and heavy dubstep bangers from Propatingz. Both tracks are packed with the kind of cyber chopped synths and bullish beats as Excision or Datsik and should have the same effect in the club. Nice acid tab sleeve though!

ZINC
Crack House Vol. 2
Zinc Music
CD // £6.99

Second set of Crackish ruffige from man like Zinc. For this round he’s got vocal support from JME, Jamie George and Angela Hunte, and nine tracks of juiced electro-house mutations for the club. Highlights have to be the down screwed warp of ‘Let’s Go’ with JME, and the unexpected beatless experiment on ‘Huh?’.
ELECTRONIC
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DAVID SYLVIAN
Manafon (Deluxe 2LP Edition)
Samadhisound
2LP // £23.99

*This is a strictly limited heavyweight vinyl (180gm) edition housed in a gatefold sleeve in rigid heavy card and features a bonus track not included on the CD version. Each LP comes in an individually printed card inner* When David Sylvian makes a solo album, he really throws everything into it.  It’s been six years since the former Japan frontman released his masterful Blemish LP, and Manafon is its much…

XELA / VARIOUS
Air Rings Vol. 2
DIGITALIS
2 x Cassette // £10.99

Digitalis really outdo themselves with a ltd edition (125 copies for THE world), twin tape pack of exceptional synth excursions from Matt Carlson, Cliffsides, Analog Concept, and one Mr. J. Xela, who provides nothing short of a career highlight. We should really start with his ‘In The Blinding Light They Came’, a piece which, in effect, lays to rest the gothic vibe of recent releases in favour of an extended…

CARIBOU
Bowls (James Holden Mix)
City Slang
12″ // £5.99

Terrific second single from Caribou’s acclaimed ‘Swim’ album, backed with an idiosyncratic remix from James Holden. The fluid, untethered nature of ‘Bowls’ is testament to the fact there’s no easy categorisation for Caribou when he’s in this form. The closest comparison for his blend of hi-end synthesis and organically woven song structures has to be Four Tet, but there’s a fleeting joy and constantly shifting focus to his recent sounds…
EXTREME / NOISE
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SH*T AND SHINE
Bass Puppy
Badmaster
LP // £13.99

On this new 12″, Shit And Shine go dubstep. Yes, this noisy lot have gone all urban on us and churned out two malevolent takes on lumbering bass worship. ‘Bass Puppy’ is a seriously gutsy eight-and-a-half minutes that crunches through walls of distortion and horrendously over-annihilated vocals. It all descends into madness, as you’d well imagine. Over on the B-side the ten minute ‘F*ck You Folk Singers’ pulls off essentially…
FOLK / AMERICANA
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AMEN DUNES
Murder Dull Mind EP
Sacred Bones
LP // £12.99

Having recorded his previous album (last year’s Dia, released on Locust) in a cabin out in the Catskills, Amen Dunes’ Damon McMahon made this record in a Beijing apartment whilst living out in China. Quite remarkably, all the tracks here bar ‘Diane’ and ‘Murder Dull Mind’ were one take recordings completely made up on the spot. Fans of McMahon’s previous work might be surprised by the lack of structure on…
HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
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HYBERNATION
E2 & E8
Cotton Goods
CD // £13.99

*LIMITED TO JUST 100 HAND-PACKAGED COPIES FOR THE WORLD. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CD’S ARE HOUSED IN A RED ENVELOPE WHICH AT THE REQUEST OF THE LABEL WILL BE PERSONALISED WITH YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS AND POSTED WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL PACKAGING* The first full-length on Cotton Goods’ Lending Library offshoot, this album arrives in the label’s customarily handmade packaging, housing eight compositions by Stuart Bowditch, aka Hybernation.  This British composer/producer…

ON (SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU / STEVEN HESS)
Something That Has Form And Something That Does Not
Type
CD // £7.99

Regrouping for a third album under their ‘On’ moniker, Steven Hess and Sylvain Chaveau have created another body of chilling improvised recordings at their Chicago studio. As with previous records the results were passed to a guest musician for rearrangement of perspective and mixing techniques. Following Deathprod’s work on ‘Your Naked Ghost…’, the material for this album was handed to experimental virtuoso Christian Fennesz, who transforms the source sounds into…

AARON MARTIN
Worried About The Fire
EXPERIMEDIA
LP // £15.99

*Strictly limited vinyl edition on random multi-colored vinyl making each copy unique* By now it’s probably safe to stop introducing Aaron Martin with references to his prior collaborations with Machinefabriek and the like (oh darn, I’ve just done it anyway); he’s become a major player on the improvised electroacoustic scene in his own right, and Worried About The Fire is his fourth album. The cellist and all-round one-man soundscape devised…
INDIE / ROCK / ALTERNATIVE
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DEAN & BRITTA
13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests
Double Feature
CD // £15.99

Husband/wife duo Dean & Britta, formerly of Luna, pay tribute to Andy Warhol and the Factory with a mix of 13 original songs and cover versions. The project was commissioned by the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and conceived as a multimedia feature to be played alongside short, silent portrait films of Factory regulars and artists, dancers and actors shot between 1964-1966. They selected 13 subjects, Dennis Hopper, Lou Reed and…

ROTHKO
Sunset To Sunrise
TRACE RECORDINGS
CD // £4.99

Featuring the first entirely new compositions from Rothko since 2007’s Eleven Stages Of Intervention (released via Bip_H0p), this EP was recorded over two weekends late last year. Given that there’s a full-length in the pipeline (due towards the end of this year) these five pieces might give some indication of where the band are headed. ‘Sunset’ immediately inspires thanks to its combination of classic Rothko bass sculpting and urgent, motoring…

DONNA REGINA
The Decline Of Female Happiness
Karaoke Kalk
LP // £12.99

The Decline Of Female Happiness is the sixth Donna Regina album for Karaoke Kalk and (by my count at least) their eleventh in all, arriving twenty years after the duo’s first published recordings. Over these years husband and wife team Regina and Gunther Janssen have refined their own corner of the pop universe, penning unassuming yet often heartbreaking little pop productions fronted by Regina’s infinitely melancholy voice. The new album…

BLACK HELICOPTER
Don’t F*ck With The Apocalypse
Ecstatic Peace
CD // £10.99

Boston-dwelling alternative rockers Black Helicopter return to Ecstatic Peace! for their third album, unleashing fourteen generous helpings of post-grunge styled elemental riffing dotted with occasional conceptual songs about the plight of Soviet solidiers during the invasion of Prussia (this record has two of these, which is almost certainly two more than any other album you’ll buy this week). One of the standout cuts, ‘Golden Days’, comes off like Pavement sans…

DEEKIE
Amusia
Kennington Recordings
LP // £9.99

Amusia is the debut album by lo-fi duo Deekie, arriving on heavyweight limited edition (300 copies) vinyl. The two Londoners making up the band’s personnel are listed as Mr L and Neets, a pair who’ve been playing together for three years. At the start of their collaboration, apparently neither of them could play guitar and only one had ever actually written a song. There’s something compellingly secretive and taciturn about…

JAILL
That’s How We Burn
SUB POP
CD // £9.99

That’s How We Burn is the first album from Milwaukee quartet, Jaill, who bill themselves as a psych-pop combo, though that tag hardly gives their roving sonic credentials due respect. This is a lon-player that’s equally indebted to current Sub Pop stars like The Shins and Happy Birthday as it is the classic American alt. rock of 20 years or so ago You’ll hear echoes of fellow Wisconsin-ites Violent Femmes…

JAILL
That’s How We Burn
SUB POP
LP // £10.99

That’s How We Burn is the first album from Milwaukee quartet, Jaill, who bill themselves as a psych-pop combo, though that tag hardly gives their roving sonic credentials due respect. This is a lon-player that’s equally indebted to current Sub Pop stars like The Shins and Happy Birthday as it is the classic American alt. rock of 20 years or so ago You’ll hear echoes of fellow Wisconsin-ites Violent Femmes…

SPUR
Spur of the Moments
Drag City
LP // £13.99

Obscure ’60s psych-pop classics unearthed by the Galactic Zoo/Drag City crew, compiling the best cuts from Spur’s Spur Of The Moment LP plus previously unreleased tracks from the band’s own vaults. This is quite a revelation, and definitely has the makings of being one of the more worthy long-lost archive finds to surface of late. “For 60s psych enthusiasts, or really just fans of anything essentially rock ‘n’ roll, there…

TONY DA GATORRA VS GRUFF RHYS
The Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness
OVNI
CD // £9.99

Gruff Rhys doesn’t really need much of an introduction, but the the Super Furry Animals frontman has teamed up with the vastly more mysterious Tony Da Gatorra, a Brazilian TV and VCR repairman who has fashioned his very own strange musical instrument in the form of the “Gatorra” a cross between a guitar and a drum machine. This album was made when Gruff – already a confirmed fan – decided…

WILDER
Girls VS Boys
Rough Trade
7″ // £2.99

Bristolian quartet Wilder (named after film noir maestro Billy Wilder, apparently) release their debut single as new signings to Rough Trade. ‘Girls Vs. Boys’ is a catchy, high-spirited introduction to the band, who combine a visceral, new-wavey feel with more chart-friendly, contemporary synth-loving, dance-pop tendencies.
MINIMAL / DANCEFLOOR
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MIM SULEIMAN
Tungi
RUNNING BACK
CD // £11.99

Building on the acclaim surrounding her debut 12″ and feverish live shows, Mim Suleiman returns with a juicy album of Afrobeat and contemporary disco hybrids produced by the notorious Maurice Fulton. Mim sings her lyrics in both her native Swahili and English, with detours into Fula, but no matter what tongue she chooses, it’s always delivered with a big heart. The production from Fulton is heavenly too, matching Mim to…

DJ HELL / VARIOUS
Body Language Vol. 9
GET PHYSICAL
2LP // £15.99

For the ninth installment of the Body Language series “DJ Hell presents his most personal mix yet…” featuring tracks by Depeche Mode, David Bowie, David Sylvian, Klaus Schulze and many more. From classically rooted beginngs courtesy of his own mix of C. Prommer’s ‘Sueño Latino’ version, Hell gracefully sweeps through Baby Ford & Eon’s ‘Dead Eye’, King Britt’s killer mix of Josh One ‘Contemplation’, and a shufty house killer on…

DJ HELL / VARIOUS
Body Language Vol. 9
GET PHYSICAL
CD // £11.99

For the ninth installment of the Body Language series “DJ Hell presents his most personal mix yet…” featuring tracks by Depeche Mode, David Bowie, David Sylvian, Klaus Schulze and many more. From classically rooted beginngs courtesy of his own mix of C. Prommer’s ‘Sueño Latino’ version, Hell gracefully sweeps through Baby Ford & Eon’s ‘Dead Eye’, King Britt’s killer mix of Josh One ‘Contemplation’, and a shufty house killer on…
SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
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DEMDIKE STARE
Liberation Through Hearing
Modern Love
LP // £12.99

*Second of three limited edition Demdike Stare albums to be released in 2010, 45-minutes long, mastered at Berlin’s Dubplates & Mastering* The second of three Demdike Stare albums for 2010 is upon us. Its title ‘Liberation Through Hearing’ is a direct reference to the ‘Tibetan Book Of The Dead’, an ancient text intended to guide the reader through the experience of the consciousness occurring during the interval between death and…

CATHERINE CHRISTER HENNIX
The Electric Harpsichord
DIE SCHACHTEL
CD/BOOK // £17.99

*CD AND 60 PAGE BOOK LIMITED TO AN EDITION OF 500 COPIES FOR THE WORLD – THE FIRST TIME THESE INCREDIBLE RECORDINGS FROM 1976 HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE* This latest addition to Die Schachtel’s sublime Art Series is a largely neglected masterpiece from Swedish-born composer Catherine Christer Hennix, a disciple of LaMonte Young and Pandit Pran Nath during the 1970s.  Although her music is largely unknown – even among the experimental…

VARIOUS / SPATIAL DISCO
Spatial Disco 2
ELECTUNES
LP // £12.99

We missed out on the first volume, but we’re certainly not making the same mistake with ‘Spatial Disco 2’! It’s the second in a series of library records compiled by the Austrian Electunes label and entirely drawn from the legendary Tele Music catalogue, this time focusing on the electronic productions of Saveur Mallia between 1981 and 1984, most specifically the ‘Cosmosynthetic’, ‘Percussions Modernes’ and ‘Automation’ albums. The styles rove between…
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
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ALEXANDER ROBOTNICK
Ce N’est Q’un Debut (2010 Edition)
Medical Records
LP // £15.99

Synthpop albums don’t come any better than Alexander Robotnick’s 1984 classic ‘Ce N’est Q’un Début’. Reissued for the class of 2010 on blue vinyl in a hand numbered edition of 500 copies for the world, it contains seminal, hugely influential disco hits like ‘Problemes d’Amour’ and the sublime ‘Dance Boy Dance’, plus the killer electro of Hola Macci Kola’, tracks which have influenced practically anyone involved with electronic dance music…

PUMP
Sombrero Fallout
Plague Recordings
CD // £8.99

From the annals of ’80s tape culture Plague Records have uncovered raw gold in the form of Pump’s semi-mythical ‘Sombrero Fallout’ album. Previously known as MFH on their own YHR label, Pump were Andrew Cox and David Elliott, a pair of like-minded electronic music fiends who met at Brighton uni in ’79. After spilling five cassette albums of underground industrial strains inspired by Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Faust and Heldon,…

AU REVOIR SIMONE / VILLA NAH
Tell Me (Villa Nah Mix)
Keys Of Life
7″ // £5.99

Exquisite electro-pop jewels from Villa Nah and Au Revoir Simone, limited to 500 copies for the world. The Villa Nah remix of ‘Tell Me’ rightly takes precedence here, providing further proof, if their stunning ‘Origin’ wasn’t enough, that they have some serious pop skills. It’s hard to place a finger on it, but they’ve made the girls sound like 60’s bubblegum pop heroes only with an electro backbeat nodding to…

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
I Can Change
DFA
12″ // £4.99

The second single from their tremendous This Is Happening album, ‘I Can Change’ is a distinct step up from ‘Drunk Girls’, pulling off a brilliant verse hook and the crispest of analogue electronic arrangements. It’s a real treat for the ears production-wise as well as being quite the toe-tapper. This 12″ comes with two remixes (one instrumental, one regular) by Stereogamous, who wisely don’t fiddle around with the tune but…

KXP
K-X-P
Smalltown Supersound
CD // £10.99

KXP are a Finnish trio based around the lynchpin of Timo Kaukolampi, best known for his work in Op:l Bastards and The Lefthanded, though recently he’s also come to wider attention for producing and co-writing with Scando-pop starlet, Annie. Kaukolampi’s fellow bandmates have considerable experience under their belts too, with links to Jimi Tenor, Pekka Pohjola and Aavikko. The main influences shared by the trio are cited as Raymond Scott,…

BLAMMA BLAMMA
Beyond 17 (Cage & Aviary Mix)
THE WALLS HAVE EARS
12″ // £6.99

Heavy drag-disco from Blamma! Blamma! backed with a sparse Baleaelectro (yes!) mix from Cage & Aviary. ‘Beyond’ will suck you into a slow jacking groove, dense with atmospheric synths releasing pungent Balearic hormones for bearded men (and ladies) to lose their sh*t over. The flip is an effective slow electro groove, 105bpm to be precise, with ’80s electro-soul vibes and a darker bassline. Fans of Mark E and that, it’s…
TECHNO / HOUSE
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MIKE HUCKABY / RICK WILHITE / NORM TALLEY / RICK WADE
The Defenders Of The Deep House World
Third Ear Recordings
12″ // £8.99

Third Ear throw down a splendid set of deepst house trax from The Defenders Of The Deep House World aka Detroit’s Mike Huckaby, Rick Wilhite, Rick Wade and Norm Talley. Our man with the waves Mike Huckaby is largely in control here, providing one original and two remixes. His scene setting ‘The Deep House World’ keeps it true with shimmering chords and raw but elegant rhythm built from thick bass…

VARIOUS / BBE
City to City 3: DJ Deep’s Journey Through Chicago, Detroit And New York’s Secret House Gems
BBE
2LP // £18.99

DJ Deep’s quality series of compilations gives an expert cross-section of heavy house music from Chicago to Berlin via Detroit and New York. For the LP version BBE have opted for the vintage end of his selection for ‘City To City 3’, including secret house gems from Armando, Gentry Ice, Chicago House Syndrome, Mike Dunn, Lidell Townsell and Dee Dee Brave, plus some up-to-date business from the Frozen Border camp….

GLIMPSE / MARCEL DETTMANN
Runner Remix EP (Marcel Dettmann Mix)
Crosstown Rebels
12″ // £6.99

Glimpse hand over ‘Runner’ to the capable hands of Marcel Dettmann, Maceo Plex (aka Maetrik) and Guti. Dettmann’s is the one to check, offering a churning monotone rhythm with fractious particles of the original dispersed like a psychedelic gas over the top, but Maetrik’s refined tech-house mix of ‘Walk Tall’ ain’t too shabby either.

JUJU & JORDASH
Tattoo’s Island (Tom Trago Mix)
Philpot Records
12″ // £8.99

**Clear Vinyl** We like a bit of Juju & Jordash round here and their latest for Philpot is rather tidy. ‘Tattoo’s Island’ rides a fat rolling square bass with humid synthlines building a trippy tension like few others out there. On the flip Tom Trago steps in with a deep Dutch house mix and J&J’s dub goes deep and weird with rudely techy synths to lock heads in their groove….

ALESSANDRO IZZO
II Fragile EP
MATHEMATICS
12″ // £7.99

Smartly refined deepness from Italian Alessandro Izzo for Steve Poindexter’s Mathematics label. Tracks reference the more effervescent jazzy side of Detroit, from the glassy sophistication of ‘Il Fragile’ to the shimmering depths of ‘Il Mistero’, all tucked and preened with a slick finish. Fans of Patrice Scott, Aesthetic Audio, Marcello Napoletano should check this.

STEVEN TANG
The Verged Sessions
AESTHETIC AUDIO
12″ // £8.99

Chicago’s Steven Tang drops his latest on Keith Worthy’s Aesthetic Audio label. There’s four tracks of strong but smooth house music, sounding more Detroit than typically Chi-town due to a sophisticated sense of melody and elegantly efficient rhythm construction. Aerial sets the pace with heavy kicks dappled with sweet keys, while ‘Verged’ shakes things up with a tracky Latin kink with a refined melodic reserve. On the flip ‘Glimmer’ is…
WORLD
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VARIOUS / SUBLIME FREQUENCIES
Saigon Rock & Soul: Vietnamese Classic Tracks 1968-1974
Sublime Frequencies
2LP // £27.99

It might be hard to believe, in an age when apparently every sonic cranny has been explored, but this is the very first compilation of retro Vietnamese Rock, Pop and Soul available in the West. It covers a crucial time in Vietnamese (and international) history through the later war years of 1968-74, a time when the young Vietnamese population were constantly exposed to American threads of Rock (acid, psychedelic, ‘n…

VARIOUS / TURKISH FREAKOUT JOE
Turkish Freakout: Psych-Folk 1969-1980
BOUZOUKI JOE
CD // £13.99

Bouzouki Joe records have probably just got a heap of cats wetting themselves with excitement over ‘Turkish Freakout’; a collection of 18 psych-folk singles from 1969-1980. The scene has been respectfully plundered by the Finders Keepers stable of late, resulting in a reissued album from Ersen who’s included twice here, alongside the well known Baris Manco and original Turkish rock legend Erkin Koray, among others. As evidenced from listening to…