Feb 272011
 
Hello,

Heaps of hot beans for the fiends this week…

Barely leaving our turntables all week, Peaking Lights’ incredible ‘936’ album for the relentlessly impressive Not Not Fun label has completely blown us away. Like a less scuffed Sun Araw fused with Nite Jewel’s dancefloor cool, the dramas of Zola Jesus and pastoral spirituality of Harmonia, this is simply one of those albums that you want to play again, and again. Oh, and make sure to check the Psychic Reality LP also on NNF, if strikingly original kNew Age Pop is floating your boat right now – which it should!

Keeping us all beguiled and baffled is the ‘Historical Recordings’ compilation of important “lost” recordings spanning the last century of recorded sound, sifted and compiled over the last five years by Felix Kubin. There are some truly incredible pieces on here, from recordings of 1930’s Pygmy hunting rituals to the earliest known work from David Tudor – but whether it’s an immense work of sonic fiction or the most fascinating LP we’ve stocked in ages remains to be seen. It’s highly recommended either way!

On a more refined level, Tim Hecker’s much anticipated ‘Ravedeath, 1972’ appears on physical format, joined by Ben Frost for an incredible session of viscerally textured ambient electronics, while Johann Johannsson’s classic ‘Viroulegu Forsetar’ finally makes it to vinyl thanks to Touch, and William Basinski seduces with the saintly patience of ‘A Red Score In Tile’.

This week also sees the return of Earth, moving further into their occult phase of folk, jazz and blues infusions on ‘Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light’. Wth it, Dylan Carlson refines and expands his songwriting craft without sacrificing the group’s signature sound, which will eternally hold a special place in the pantheon of rock music.

Special request to the Dug Out crew for their reissue of the ‘Tempo Explosion’ riddim run on Sugar Minott’s mercurial Black Victory label! If cusp-of-analogue-to-digital dancehall is your flavour, this is absolutely unmissable. Trust!!!

Two albums linked by Cologne, but starkly contrasting, are Lithops’ ‘Formationen’ and the ace Rainbow Arabia album from Kompakt. The former is a rescued jewel of beatless, early ’90s electronica from Jan St. Werner aka half of Mouse On Mars – engimatically abstract yet beautiful and super limited to boot. The latter is Rainbow Arabia’s ‘Boys And Diamonds’, heralding Nu pop vectors for Kompakt with an all-encompassing tropical Pop sound assisted by M.I.A’s producer and likened to everyone from Gang Gang Dance to The Knife.

To the side of the dancefloor we find The Great Traitor 12″ with an ace, and rather rare Monolake remix, while Pangaea gets it achingly right with the ‘Inna Daze’ 12″ for Hessle Audio and Punch Drunk come correct with a dazzling debut from Kahn, a must for fans of Zomby or SBTRKT! Just before the lights go up, 100% Silk turn us inside out with the unstable post-dancefloor collage of Cuticle aka Rene Hell and friends, and the impressionistic, lop-sided disco of Estonian songstress Maria Minerva = so good!

Other highlights this week feature from Bibio, Dustin O’Halloran, Midland, Julio Bashmore vs Ramdanman, Finders Keepers, Siriusmo, Jeff Mills, Skudge, gargantuan vinyl box sets from MF Doom and Mogwai, Royalty, Flogsta Danshall, Wolfram, Hyetal & Baobinga, D1, Boddika, Jim O’rourke and an absolute ruck of re-presses from Burial Mix.

Have yourselves a wonderful week….

Peace! nekkers…..xx

Albums of the Week



VARIOUS
Historische Aufnahmen / Historical Recordings
SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
Gagarin
LP // £18.99

*Amazing album of what are allegedly important ‘lost’ recordings spanning back a century and packaged in a sublime gatefold sleeve with die cut panelling – strictly limited copies* Eccentric avant-garde composer Felix Kubin has spent the last five years sifting and selecting this incredible volume of ancient sonic curios from archives and personal collections spanning back a century. Together with attached essay and extensive sleevenotes, this is an often surreal portal into the “foreign country” of the past, preserving for posterity sounds which may otherwise be resigned to the scrap heap of history without the world recognising their idiosyncratic charms. However, in similar fashion to Faitiche’s Ursula Bogner recordings, we should say we’ve reserved a modicum of doubt as to their provenance, but when he’s crediting them to heavyweight figures such as David Tudor, Oskar Sala and even Joseph Goebbels, replete with extensive backstories, the situation only becomes more muddied. The most divisive, and fantastical of these “recordings” is a 1min 10secs piece of “…atypical electrical activity on line” captured by a telephone engineer/voyeur at the residence of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, apparently dated to the same time he held a séance attempting to contact deceased folk music specialist, Elias Lönnrot. It’s either spine chilling or preposterous… we’ve love to go with the former. Elsewhere, there’s the personal recording of Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, dated to 1935, playing Oskar Sala’s Volkstrautonium prototype, plus one of the very earliest recordings of John Cage collaborator David Tudor, a 1948 recording of Norwegian Whaling festival music, the sounds of a Pgymy hunting ritual in 1934 and just to test your faith, the sounds of a 7″ reel found in a package post-marked 1918, with contents dated to 1951 and most likely produced in the early 1960s – go figure. Whether it’s a beautiful work of sonic fiction or genuine documentation remains to be seen, but either way this is hugely fascinating and beautifully presented album worthy of your immediate and long term attention. Highly recommended!



PEAKING LIGHTS
936
ELECTRONIC
NOT NOT FUN
LP // £14.99

Properly immersive album of lambent kraut-dub groovers and fuggy psyche from the Madison, WI duo of Peaking Lights – sounding something like the bastard child of Forest Swords, Zola Jesus, Tom Tom Club and Nite Jewel. Their hauntingly melodic ‘936’ is made of the stuff we could happily hear on loop all day. Like Pocahaunted or Sun Araw minus the noisiest elements, their trance mantras lasso the flightiest psyche essence and lets it guide them through ethereal other-zones, Indra Dunis’ vox streaming echoic comtrails across dusted desert dub landscapes on ‘Amazing And Wonderful’ or like a distant cousin to Dadawah on the twinkly telepathic skank of ‘Birds of Paradise Dub version’. ‘Hey Sparrow’ is more pastoral, with an effusive melodic nature warranting comparisons with Harmonia, while ‘Tiger Eyes’ bridges the gap between Forest Swords’ loping dub repetitions and hand-built synth-pop. However, highlights have to be ‘Marshmellow Yellow’ and ‘All The Sun That Shines’, both using slinky House and minimalist disco rhythms to utterly sublime effect, kinda-like more dosed-up post-dancefloor versions of the 100% Silk releases. Very highly recommended – one of the albums of the year fo’ sure.



TIM HECKER
Ravedeath, 1972
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
Kranky
CD // £12.99

Tim Hecker had proven himself to be one of the great survivors of 90s electronic music. While he might have only surfaced at the tail-end of the ailing IDM scene, Hecker’s distinctly original brand of rich, textured ambient music set him apart from his peers. Many have tried to emulate his sound, but few have come close, and while he peaked with the punishingly noisy and effortlessly beautiful ‘Mirages’ a few years back, his subsequent flirtations with a quieter, more meditative sound have been similarly arresting. Unusually, ‘Ravedeath, 1972’ sees Hecker moving away from his comfort zone and collaborating with one of the very people who attempted a second-wave of the Hecker grit, grind and harmony – Ben Frost. This is a move which saw Hecker up sticks and fly over to Iceland, where he proceeded to record the album over a handful of days using that most hallowed of instruments, the pipe organ. Frost clearly adds some of his production expertise (he moonlights as an engineer) and with this there can be no doubt that ‘Ravedeath,1972’ is the most hi-fi album in Tim Hecker’s discography to date. The crunch that Hecker has made his own is now reproduced in 1080p High Definition, billowing from every orifice of the speaker set with basses dribbling like viscous lava and treble firing with the slick precision of an M16. The powerful pipe organ sound underpins everything, coughing, wheezing and stuttering beneath Hecker’s expertly crafted granular sounds like the ailing ghost of the Catholic church itself. At times it might simply appear in amongst a cloud of white noise, and at others there is only the familiar shadowy blast, shrouded in the trappings of morals and dogma. Pitting his knowledge and skill against that of Ben Frost has yielded an album’s worth of crushing, near-spiritual sound. Whoever thought of throwing the church organ into the mix had clearly eaten their Weetabix for breakfast. Recommended.



EARTH
Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
Southern Lord
CD // £10.99

Since Dylan Carlson’s Earth resurfaced back in 2005 with the peerless ‘Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method’, the band seem to have hit on a second phase of renewed creative energy. Their last ‘proper’ album, ‘The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull’ showed Carlson widening the dusty doom-country he had pioneered on ‘Hex’ to include elements of jazz, and on this latest full-length he even brings folk-rock into the mix. It’s hardly surprising to me that Pentangle should be mentioned in the press release, their music (at least to me) has always retained a sense of folk music’s strange occult past, and this is transferred aptly into Earth’s sound. It might not be obvious on a cursory listen, but with the addition of new member Lori Goldston’s cello the tangled spirits of folk music permeate through the usual shattered country and blues. ‘Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1’ might not be Earth’s easiest record to get to grips with, and it is obvious to me that Carlson is experimenting more with the song writing aspect of his craft, but it is an album that builds progressively with each listen. The echoes of ‘Hex’ and ‘The Bees Made Honey…’ are there, but with each album Carlson seems to refine his craft, chiselling it to a fine point and somehow making twenty-minute compositions deftly economical. In fact the finest moment comes with the album’s eponymous twenty-minute closing track, which slowly moves from a near-Bohren Und Der Club of Gore introduction into a glorious exploration of smoky, molasses-thick back-room blues-rock. Light up a cigar, pour yourself a tall glass of bourbon and sit back, you’re going to need to make time for this one. A huge recommendation.



VARIOUS / DUG OUT
Tempo Explosion
DUB / REGGAE
Dug Out
CD // £8.99

Heavyweight Dug Out edition, issuing the incredible mid-late ’80s Dancehall rarity ‘Tempo Explosion’; a run of one-off version excursions on Red Rose’s ‘Tempo Rhythm’ including three head melting dubs. It’s regarded as a masterpiece of reggae’s digital revolution and the finest release on Sugar Minott’s short-lived Black Victory label, utilising the “sainted” players from the Studio One and Music Mountain, Stony Hill studios in JA, and Lloyd “Bullwackie” Barnes crew at Wackies’ White Plains Road studio in The Bronx, NYC. Towering above them all is Minott’s opening statement ‘Devil Is At Large’, laying it out deadly cool and mellifluous amidst squirting, gurgling digi FX and a masterful blend of acoustic and electronic instrumentation. Further vocals come from Chris Wayne and Willie Williams, but its only the balance of Ras Menilik Dacosta’s hoarse boom and astro synth bubbles on ‘Free South Africa’ that can test Sugar’s. On the instrumentals Jerry Johnson’s saxed-up version is pure NYC vibes, but it’s the trio of stripped synth, drums and FX-driven versions that makes this one so, so special. Jaws will drop at first contact with the skulking ‘Slow Tempo’, sounding the soundtrack to a missing scene from John Carpenter’s Escape From New York set in a smoked-out cyberdub bunker, while the ‘Up Tempo’ really chisels the rhythm with stunning mixing desk movements, like someone just let Chris Carter in through the back door for a midnight mix session. Mindblowing tracks. Huge recommendation!



WILLIAM BASINSKI
A Red Score In Tile
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
Streamline
CD // £10.99

Composed way back in 1979, ‘A Red Score In Tile’ eventually surfaced as a vinyl-only edition in 2003. Made up of piano, this shows Basinski’s patented tape-loop technique perfectly and still stands as one of his most affecting pieces of music. If you’ve heard ‘Melancholia’ you’ll likely know what I’m talking about, piano notes are transformed into tones by the slowly disintegrating tape, and the loops become motifs all of their own. The beauty of Basinski’s work is in its patience, and this early piece is a testament to that overwhelming skill, a skill that few others possess. There are plenty of people now attempting similar things and recreating these sounds using similar methods but for my money none have come even within ten feet of William Basinski. Put this on, lie back and prepare to spend forty-five minutes in paradise. Absolutely gorgeous.



JOHANN JOHANNSSON
Viroulegu Forsetar
HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
Touch
LP // £14.99

*First ever vinyl pressing of probably the most special album from Johann Johannsson – new on Touch.* ‘Viroulegu Forsetar’ was Johann Johannsson’ssecond album – a breathtaking hour-long composition in four parts that reeks of all the majesty and grandeur of classical music as it seeps into the realm of imaginary soundtracking. Written for and performed by 11 Brass players, percussion, electronics, organ and piano, Johannson seemed intent on making himself one of the most notable modern composers working in the field. Grand in scale and ambition, paced to perfection and baring all the hallmarks of classic cinematic scoring, “Viroulegu Forsetar” is an absolute must, another incredible find from those ever-inspiring ears over at Touch. Stunning music.



RAINBOW ARABIA
Boys And Diamonds
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
Kompakt
CD // £8.99

Kompakt’s new darlings are the hotly-tipped duo Rainbow Arabia, a couple of seriously canny pop charmers with a killer debut album up their sleeve. In todays sea of instantly available music there’s only a few who can fuse the most disparate sounds with anything approaching cohesion and these two are on the money. Their sound apparently originated from the purchase of a Lebanese Casio that played microtonal scales and eastern beats and lead to their fusion of post punk tropes with authentic Middle Eastern vibes on debut, the ‘Basta’ EP in 2008. Since then they’ve been encouraged by LA peers like Former Ghosts and assisted by the likes of drummer/producer Butchy Fuego (M.I.A/Boredoms) to develop a sound likened to everyone from Gang Gang Dance to an early incarnation of Madonna, a bold simulation of East and West as sharply rendered as it is surreally colorful. Danny Preston is responsible for the outernationally scoped rhythm programming and pads, while Tiffany Preston contributes sticky vocal hooks and cadences running a fine line between Karin Dreijer Andersson. M.I.A and the well warranted Madonna comparison. Entwine the two tightly, pressure bake in Caribbean sun and send into orbit on the African space programme and you should have something resembling this album. Fans of everyone from Animal Collective to Glasser, Telepathe to Toro Y Moi or Chris & Cosey need to spend some time with this. We don’t think they’ll regret it.



LITHOPS
Formationen
ELECTRONIC
A-MUSIK
LP // £14.99

Lithops, aka one half of Mouse on Mars Jan St. Werner, has been intrinsic to the development and recognition of Cologne as a world centre of electronic music with his collaborative projects, Mouse On Mars (with Andi Toma), Von Südenfed (w/ Mark E. Smith) and Microstoria (alongside Markus Popp aka Oval). ‘Formationen’ is based on four tracks created with synthesizers and effects which were discovered on cassettes dating to 1992-93, pre-dating much of his best known material. Jan has augmented the pieces with new elements and computer editing, creating a timelessly beautiful suite of classical, beatless electronic works. The tracks wouldn’t comfortably fit into the “drone” or “ambient” categories, they’re just too kinetic and experimental. Instead, as Werner himself calls them, these are “harmonically defined and modulated movements of sound”, or abstract, nuanced and engrossing compositions which are defined by Jan’s expanded sonic vision more than anything else. We’re richly reminded of music by Fennesz, Marcus Schmickler and the whole Emeralds axis in the depth of textures and underlying structures, but there’s also a distinctly ’90s edge to them which we can’t exactly define, but you’ll discover soon enough. Limited to 300 copies and highly recommended!



PSYCHIC REALITY
Vibrant New Age
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
NOT NOT FUN
LP // £13.99

*Limited to 600 copies* Psychic Reality delivers an incredible batch of augmented kNew Age Dance-Pop for NNF. The production values are notably higher for ‘Vibrant New Age’ courtesy of a pro-style recording with Trans Am’s Phil Manley at his San Fran studio, adding a crucial, albeit gauzy, depth to Leyna Noel’s dramatic songs. ‘Fruit’ opens with perpetual House motions faded behind Leyna’s beautifully expressive vocals, hinting at the drama of Björk or Laurel Halo, but with a febrile, lo-fi character. ‘Hi-High’ is from the Pocahaunted/LA Vampires skool of tropical weirdness, fragranced with beautifully shitty casio keys and organic drum machine, while ‘Fanta’ is all glistening, pseudo-religious organ timbres and thudding heartbeat 4/4, Chicago House for those reading from a different gospel. Finally, the power-balladeering ‘Softscript’ captures Leyna at her most arresting, gliding over machine-gun rhythm and arcing starburst synths. Fans of Laurel Halo, Pocahaunted and Sex Worker need to check this out, now!

Singles of the Week



THE GREAT TRAITOR / MONOLAKE
The Great Traitor
ELECTRONIC
Remnant Records
12″ // £9.99

*Featuring an extended Monolake production – limited to 250 individually numbered copies* Ethereal avant-techno/breakbeats from an unknown US operator, backed with a sumptuous and extended Monolake version. ‘The Great Traitor’s self-titled entry weaves fragments from the legendary Conet Project shortwave recordings (if you don’t know – go seek!) into a rugged mesh of hardcore breaks zip-locked with close and muggy atmospherics. In the hands of Monolake this becomes the ‘Echoes Of The Great Traitor’. The shimmering pizzicato strings of the original are digitally iced and diffused into a gaseous state while the rhythm is subjected to typical Henke refinements. Its ‘ardcore drum angles are erased to leave ghostly halfstep comtrails in the air, hanging over subliminal bass swells swooning with fragile yet dynamic force, the atmospheres oscillating between cloistered and wide open with dizzying, head pressure-altering effect. 250 copies only, housed in heavyweight, embossed card sleeve and pressed on centre-sticker-less vinyl. Don’t miss.



PANGAEA
Inna Daze / Won’t Hurt
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
HESSLE AUDIO
12″ // £5.99

Pangaea, lad, what are you doing to us?!?! Over a year after his eponymous Hessle EP, Kevin McAuley augments his sound to a 130bpm (or thereabouts) style of deep Technoid ruffige compatible with label brethren Elgato or more recent 2562 beats. Squaring up to ‘Inna Daze’ we’re faced with a rugged rollers figure, broad, shoulder swinging bass with a Monolake-esque finish synched to hip-tucking, fake-out drum programming pecked with feverish diva yelps and siren stabs. On the flip, ‘Won’t Hurt’ starts out pensive but soon enough brings the bass weight like some 2005 DMZ classic, only at 130bpm and with hair-raising Detroit techno strings delivered like a true badman. Don’t f**k about. This is essential!



CUTICLE
Merciful Swoon
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
100% Silk
12″ // £9.99

Unstably zonked post-dancefloor amazingness from the triumvirate of Jeff Witscher (Rene Hell), Daren Ho (Driphouse) and Brendan O’Keefe (Nimby). Like Hell’s skewed Yoyo Dieting take on Chopped ‘N Screwed HipHop last year, this 12″ takes a crooked look at the last 25 years of House and Techno, assimilating the sound from outside in and making it buckle into dizzying, disoriented refractions of itself. The label liken it to a Tron-esque matrix, which is pretty apt, but this is like Tron programmed by James Ferraro (f*ck, we’d love to hear him do a 100% Silk 12″!), full of blind jump-cuts into a hybrid analogue/digital multi-tiered cyber-clubscape for those who were barred from The Endless House. Dosed-up, we wander through catacombs of womb-like rooms, the individual sub-sub-genre sounds of each DJ blending into the next with nauseating effect (or perhaps that was the mescaline stars?). Love this record!!!



KAHN
Like We Used To
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
Punch Drunk Records
12″ // £5.99

Dazzling debut vinyl from Kahn, a new talent discovered by exceptional minds at Punch Drunk. ‘Like We Used To’ is a powerfully built 130bpm swinger, stroking fragrant female vocal into orgiastic glossolalia over clipped 2-step and seasick subs copulating like Zomby and SBTRKT. ‘Helter Skelter’ is more exothermic, radiating stereo spirals of cascading lazer synths on a halfstep bump and grind akin to the recent Objekt 12″. Huge, frankly.



MARIA MINERVA
Noble Savage
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
100% Silk
12″ // £9.99

NNF’s 100% Silk sub-label ushers in the sideways disco of Estonian songstress Maria Minerva. The label pitch it as “Bedroom dance from a London flat where the w*nker walls throb with the echo unlimited drone of a pretty pulse” and they’re not far wrong. Like Nite Jewel lost in an exotic cyber-dream, blunted hippy vocals waft over sloping conga loops and impressionistic slurry of ’90s House beats on ‘Noble Savage’, and ‘Hagasuxxzzavol’ detaches from the flesh in a New Age slow-disco lather of bubble-blowing glossolalia. ‘On the other side, the coke-numb vox and lop-sided balance of ‘Disko Bliss’ sounds like some severely degraded Ron Hardy tape, and ‘A Little Love’ turns the dancefloor to a gunky pool of post-rave memes. Recommended!!

This week’s releases in full!
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BASIC CHANNEL / DUB TECHNO
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RHYTHM AND SOUND
Free For All ft. Paul St. Hilaire / Version
Burial Mix
7″ // £3.99

RHYTHM AND SOUND
Let Jah Love Come / Rise And Praise
Burial Mix
7″ // £3.99

RHYTHM AND SOUND
Let We Go / Version
Burial Mix
7″ // £3.99

RHYTHM AND SOUND
Lightning Storm / Version
Burial Mix
7″ // £3.99

RHYTHM AND SOUND
Poor People Must Work / Boss Man
Burial Mix
7″ // £3.99

RHYTHM AND SOUND
See Mi Yah / Dem Never Know
Burial Mix
7″ // £3.99

RHYTHM AND SOUND
Truly / Version
Burial Mix
7″ // £3.99

BEATS / DOWNTEMPO / BOOGIE
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BIBIO
Excuses / Old Friends
Warp Records
10″ // £4.99

Acutely contrasting new material from Bibio. It’s a sharp departure from the Bibio sound we’re used to on the title track, taking cues from the likes of Rudi Zygadlo, Eskmo or Eeprom to make proggy, metallic robo-pop. On the flipside you’ll find a tender acoustic cover of Paul Simon’s ‘Old Friends’ with that deliciously hazy, pastoral feel he’s known for. Recommended.

ROYALTY
Royalty EP
FIVE EASY PIECES
12″ // £7.99

Scuffed and heavy Future Boogie debut from Italian ex-pat Chesca and Londoner, Elliott Yorke for the freshly minted Five Easy Pieces. Chesca arrives at her sound via four years spent in LA playing alongside the like of Flying Lotus at the Low End Theory events. She links with the like-minded Yorke for four rough-but-fly Boogie joints, heavy on the old skool analogue production just like Eglo’s Krystal Klear or Arp101….

EASY & CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE / UDAY
Burkina Faso / Head Of Horse
FLOGSTA DANSHALL
7″ // £4.99

The pick of Flogsta Danshall’s healthy Skweee bunch this week, including the excoriating funk of Uday’s ‘Head Of Horse’ and an almighty jam from Easy & Centre Of The Universe. Uday brings it with the mission funk of ‘Head Of Horse’, a triple concentrated slow twyster with electric riffage, while Easy & Centre Of The Universe obviously have great craic with the frothy bogle of ‘Burkina Faso’, sounding like Lenky…

LIMONIOUS / SLOW HAND MOTEM
Hot Coin / Yawn
FLOGSTA DANSHALL
7″ // £4.99

Lean and swaggering Skwee beats from Flogsta regular, Limonious and the always interesting Slow Hand Motëm. ‘Hot Coins’ is a shrill, sharp and damn crooked wriggle beat from Limonious on the A-side, but the real juice is found on Slow Hand Motëm’s killer ‘Yawn’, a detuned and deadly slice of ultrafunked strut business that hits all the wrong buttons in righteous fashion.

BABA STILTZ / BOSS KITE
sEXYdANiel / The Manifesto
FLOGSTA DANSHALL
7″ // £4.99

Brighton’s Boss Kite meets Ms Qaeda – disguised as Baba Stiltz – on a corrosive Skwee 7″ for Flogsta. Boss Kite does the bandy-legged boogie on ‘Manifesto’, a squashed, rubber-sheathed downbeat bugger, while Baba Stiltz drops the fetching P-funk finesse of ‘Sexy Daniel’ on a grinding mid-tempo tip with fizzing funk keys that Dorian Concept would be proud of.

LAZERCROTCH / MIRAMICHI
Shanghai Tunnel / Select, Start
FLOGSTA DANSHALL
7″ // £4.99

First of a new batch of Flogsta Danshall goodies: one side of eccentric synthi sitar skwee, and one dose of choppy 8-bit gamer funk. Lazercrotch follows 7″s for Poisonous Gases and Harmönia with the ultra-minimalist entertainment of ‘Shanghai Tunnel’, looking vaguely eastwards with deliciously jarring, sitar-like timbres fixed in a slumpy slow and screwed HipHop bounce. On the flip, Miramichi’s computer game-referencing ‘Select, Start’ is a more active exercise in…

BARON RETIF & CONCEPCION PEREZ
Superman
MUSIQUE LARGE
10″ // £8.49

Musique Large draft fellow Parisians Baron Retif & Concepcion Perez in the fold for their debut EP. Unlike label-mates Débruit and Fulgeance, BR & CP have a more organic approach to music making, preferring live, off-the-grid drums played to sequenced subbass lines and adroit synthworks with a playful, bright and airy jazz feel so redolent of their home city. “Connecting the dots from Dr. Dre to Sun Ra, from Liquid…

SPACE INVADAS
Soul:Fi
BBE
CD // £12.99

Steve Spacek and Sydney’s Katalyst aka Ashley Anderson are Space Invadas, one of Australia’s premier nu-soul duos. Eighteen tracks strong and featuring guest appearances from Dank (of Frank & …), Jade McCrae, Buff 1 and Fantine, ‘Soul:Fi’ places Spacek’s distinctive falsetto against a broad array of beats, from the Funky HipHop of ‘Original’ featuring Buff 1, to authentic soul like ‘Super Sweet’ and the Daptones-like ‘Life’. Deeper in they paint…
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
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TIM HECKER
Ravedeath, 1972
Kranky
CD // £12.99

Tim Hecker had proven himself to be one of the great survivors of 90s electronic music. While he might have only surfaced at the tail-end of the ailing IDM scene, Hecker’s distinctly original brand of rich, textured ambient music set him apart from his peers. Many have tried to emulate his sound, but few have come close, and while he peaked with the punishingly noisy and effortlessly beautiful ‘Mirages’ a…

EARTH
Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light
Southern Lord
CD // £10.99

Since Dylan Carlson’s Earth resurfaced back in 2005 with the peerless ‘Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method’, the band seem to have hit on a second phase of renewed creative energy. Their last ‘proper’ album, ‘The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull’ showed Carlson widening the dusty doom-country he had pioneered on ‘Hex’ to include elements of jazz, and on this latest full-length he even brings folk-rock into…

WILLIAM BASINSKI
A Red Score In Tile
Streamline
CD // £10.99

Composed way back in 1979, ‘A Red Score In Tile’ eventually surfaced as a vinyl-only edition in 2003. Made up of piano, this shows Basinski’s patented tape-loop technique perfectly and still stands as one of his most affecting pieces of music. If you’ve heard ‘Melancholia’ you’ll likely know what I’m talking about, piano notes are transformed into tones by the slowly disintegrating tape, and the loops become motifs all of…

GNOD / ROBEDOOR
Bored Fortress Split
NOT NOT FUN
7″ // £5.99

Manchester’s most potent psyche unit share the latest Bored Fortress Club meeting with LA “drone thugs”, Robedoor! Gnod conduct some müllered slow-mo dub business on A-side, ‘A Very Special Request’. Echoic desert psyche guitar colours the air crimson, duppied drums and bass lope around, numb heads banging off bunker walls while Paddy’s vocals have something important yet unintelligable to disclose. On the flip Robedoor swagger in with ‘Solid State’, tipping…

JIM O’ROURKE & CHRISTOPH HEEMANN
Plastic Palace People Vol. 1
Streamline
CD // £10.99

Jim O’Rourke and Christoph Heeman have been collaborating since 1991; that’s before MP3s, before witch house, and before the release of Arachnophobia. Hell, that’s back when also-ran comedian Michael Keaton was still Batman. The two musicians have now seen sense to offer up a collection of rare, unreleased recordings from their probably massive archives and this Scott Walker-referencing disc is the result. Those familiar with Heeman’s work, or O’Rourke’s more…
DISCO / EDITS / FUNK
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DISCODEINE
Discodeine
Pschent
CD // £10.49

Discodeine are prolific remixer/editer Pilooski and Pentile aka France Copeland. Their eponymous debut collaboration features guest spots from Berlin’s Techno-Pop prince, Matias Aguayo, the rakish Jarvis Cocker and studio wizard Baxter Dury. ‘Discodeine’ sounds like pure dancefloor fun, freely wandering between the sultry disco strut of ‘Singular’ with Herr Aguayo, to Calypso-disco on ‘Falkenberg’, cheeky Italo with ‘Antiphonie’, the narco-slow ‘Homo-Compatible’ and sprightly disco-tech of ‘Synchronize’ feat Jarvis Cocker.

IKE STRONG
Boogie Land
Willkerr
12″ // £6.99

Remastered reissue of an in-demand underground Boogie classic. Ike’s original ‘Boogie Land’ was released in 1981 on the Wiliker label, usually a preserve of the deepest diggers but now known to the rest of us plebs. Strong vibes on both sides, mid-tempo strutting gear with lashings of Wah Wah licks and insistent female vocals. Flipside includes a bare-bones instrumental.

WOLFRAM
Wolfram
PERMANENT VACATION
CD // £10.99

Wolfram, jetsetting DJ and CEO of the Diskokaine label – home to Sally Shapiro’s best output – offers his eponymous debut LP. His maximalist modus operandi leaves little to the imagination, but done well, this can be a brilliant thing, manifesting in a veritable who’s who of Disco/House celebrity cameos from Sally Shapiro, Hercules & Love Affair, Haddaway (!), Legowelt, and Patrick Pulsinger. ‘Wolfram’ taps into the latent spirit of…

WOLFRAM / HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR
Fireworks
PERMANENT VACATION
12″ // £7.49

Anthemic disco workout from Diskokaine CEO Wolfram featuring Hercules & Love Affair, b/w remixes by IDIB’s Tiedye and Axel Boman! Like his remixes and collaborations with Sally Shapiro and DJ Funk, there’s a untouchable dancefloor essence to Wolfram’s original, synching kinky Italo House rhythms with Kim Ann Foxman and Andy Butler’s duetting vocals for guaranteed pleasure. Tiedye give two alternate versions; a Haç-ready Piano House remix, and a dreamier Balearic…
DUB / REGGAE
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VARIOUS / DUG OUT
Tempo Explosion
Dug Out
CD // £8.99

Heavyweight Dug Out edition, issuing the incredible mid-late ’80s Dancehall rarity ‘Tempo Explosion’; a run of one-off version excursions on Red Rose’s ‘Tempo Rhythm’ including three head melting dubs. It’s regarded as a masterpiece of reggae’s digital revolution and the finest release on Sugar Minott’s short-lived Black Victory label, utilising the “sainted” players from the Studio One and Music Mountain, Stony Hill studios in JA, and Lloyd “Bullwackie” Barnes crew…

VARIOUS / DUG OUT
Tempo Explosion
Dug Out
LP // £9.99

Heavyweight Dug Out edition, issuing the incredible mid-late ’80s Dancehall rarity ‘Tempo Explosion’; a run of one-off version excursions on Red Rose’s ‘Tempo Rhythm’ including three head melting dubs. It’s regarded as a masterpiece of reggae’s digital revolution and the finest release on Sugar Minott’s short-lived Black Victory label, utilising the “sainted” players from the Studio One and Music Mountain, Stony Hill studios in JA, and Lloyd “Bullwackie” Barnes crew…

SUGAR MINOTT
Sheriff John Brown
Dug Out
12″ // £6.49

Sweetest Dug Out revival of a deep sufferers song by Sugar Minott backed with rolling dub versions. ‘Sheriff John Brown’ originally appeared on Minott’s co-curated and short-lived Black Victory label in 1987 alongside the recently reissued (and totally incredible) ‘Tempo Explosion’ LP. It’s a tale of bent cops and going on the run ably driven by Studio One bassist, Bagga Walker’s supple, hypnotic lope and killer digital drums, best heard…
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
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PANGAEA
Inna Daze / Won’t Hurt
HESSLE AUDIO
12″ // £5.99

Pangaea, lad, what are you doing to us?!?! Over a year after his eponymous Hessle EP, Kevin McAuley augments his sound to a 130bpm (or thereabouts) style of deep Technoid ruffige compatible with label brethren Elgato or more recent 2562 beats. Squaring up to ‘Inna Daze’ we’re faced with a rugged rollers figure, broad, shoulder swinging bass with a Monolake-esque finish synched to hip-tucking, fake-out drum programming pecked with feverish…

KAHN
Like We Used To
Punch Drunk Records
12″ // £5.99

Dazzling debut vinyl from Kahn, a new talent discovered by exceptional minds at Punch Drunk. ‘Like We Used To’ is a powerfully built 130bpm swinger, stroking fragrant female vocal into orgiastic glossolalia over clipped 2-step and seasick subs copulating like Zomby and SBTRKT. ‘Helter Skelter’ is more exothermic, radiating stereo spirals of cascading lazer synths on a halfstep bump and grind akin to the recent Objekt 12″. Huge, frankly.

BAOBINGA & HYETAL
Anything For Now / Trouble
Build
12″ // £5.99

After sterling drops with Shortstuff and Peverelist respectively, Hyetal goes in hard with Baobinga for Build records. Both tracks bear his signature light show of lazered synth excesses, alloyed with heads-down charging tribalism on ‘Anything For Now’ and coating the Beat mechanisms of ‘Trouble’ with technicoloured electro-static funk. Fierce tunes – big twelve.

BODDIKA
Electron
Swamp 81
12″ // £7.49

Super-strength, masculine 808 electro-steppers from Boddika aka Instra:mental’s Alex Green. To be totally honest the recent direction of the scene towards TLS or Radioactive Man-like electro has had us a bit baffled, but these are still weighty tracks for sure. ‘Electron’ brings it raw and aggressive, maybe like classic Scsi-AV or Ben Milstein productions souped up for the urbane 2011 crowd, while ‘Underground’ jams that 808 bass batty-low under corrosive…

JULIO BASHMORE / RAMADANMAN
Everyone Needs A Theme Tune (Ramadanman / Midland Remixes)
PMR Records
12″ // £6.99

Ramadanman adopts his new, US Garage-sounding Maurice Donovan alias to join Midland in remixing Julio Bashmore. Distinguished from his Pearson Sound and Ram’s styles, the remix for ‘Battle For Middle You’ is more conventional NYC garage albeit with a UK subbass pressure and his crisp production style. Midland’s ‘Ask Yourself’ remix shows why he’s tipped for big things this year, hitting a sweet stride between lushly proggy House and Bass-soaked…

D1
Flood Of Emotions EP featuring Jenna G
Dub Police Records
12″ // £5.99

D1 shoots for the rave jugular with two of his most populist productions to date. ‘Flood Of Emotions’ effectively reaches the point his ‘Chocalate Orange’ and ‘Jus Business’ 12″s have been striving for – pure, unadulterated diva rave, replete with an over-egged Jenna G performance. On the flip, ‘Bleeps To Broadway’ comes off like Hot City on a satchel of ecstasy pipes, pure old skool garage rave vibes buffed up…

ORPHAN101
Into You EP
Saigon Recordings
12″ // £5.99

Odder Dub-Tech from Bristol’s Orphan101, following an acclaimed drop for Apple Pips. With relentless intentions ‘Into You’ jacks Electro-House elements into a charging 140bpm framework, whereas ‘Barraca’ is proggy-tinged Techno riding quasi-speed subs and we’re not sure what the feck ‘Typical’ is, perhaps some kinda spliced creature formed from sped-up Rhythm & Sound records and woozy ambient? Grab this if you were into the last Illum Sphere 12″ on Tectonic….

BREAKAGE
Fighting Fire
Digital Soundboy Recordings
12″ // £5.99

Oversized Electro-House rave tune from Breakage, backed with a rushin’ D&B remix from Loadstar. Fans of Breakage’s D&B or Dubstep tracks may not prepared for his tucked and trimmed, Friday night-primed original, but you won’t know until you’ve tried it!

KROMESTAR & DARK TANTRUMS
Mental Universe / Trianglez
GET DARKER
12″ // £6.49

Two bassbin twysters from Kromestar and his mate, Dark Tantrums. Kromestar goes solo on the more meditative ‘Mental Universe’, sculpting bowel-worrying subbass inna laidback halfstep framework. ‘Trianglez’ with Mr. Tantrums is the club banger, lunging in for the kill with rampant rave bass.

MAGNETIC MAN / SKREAM / BREAKAGE
Getting Nowhere (Skream / Breakage Mixes)
Sony
12″ // £5.99

Major league moves from Magnetic Man, dropping the John Legend-starring ‘Getting Nowhere’ backed with Skream and Breakage remixes. Legend’s remote, blues-tinted vocals lend a certain Moby-esque feel to each version, from the lugubrious original to Skream’s Garage-powered remix and a hyper-gliding D&B version by Breakage. All copies come with extra-special incorrect track titles on centre label. Pow!

SHY FX / BREAKAGE
Raver ft. Donae’o (Shy FX / Breakage Mixes)
Digital Soundboy Recordings
10″ // £5.99

Limited edition dub-plate special from Shy FX and Donae’o, backed with a junglist re-lick from Breakage. Shy FX’s authentic ‘Guinness Punch’ mix rides the A-side inna rooted steppers revival style, while Breakage goes al Congo Natty over on the his ‘Pattern Moschino’ mix. Comes housed in die-cut, rough card dub plate sleeve.
ELECTRONIC
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PEAKING LIGHTS
936
NOT NOT FUN
LP // £14.99

Properly immersive album of lambent kraut-dub groovers and fuggy psyche from the Madison, WI duo of Peaking Lights – sounding something like the bastard child of Forest Swords, Zola Jesus, Tom Tom Club and Nite Jewel. Their hauntingly melodic ‘936’ is made of the stuff we could happily hear on loop all day. Like Pocahaunted or Sun Araw minus the noisiest elements, their trance mantras lasso the flightiest psyche essence…

THE GREAT TRAITOR / MONOLAKE
The Great Traitor
Remnant Records
12″ // £9.99

*Featuring an extended Monolake production – limited to 250 individually numbered copies* Ethereal avant-techno/breakbeats from an unknown US operator, backed with a sumptuous and extended Monolake version. ‘The Great Traitor’s self-titled entry weaves fragments from the legendary Conet Project shortwave recordings (if you don’t know – go seek!) into a rugged mesh of hardcore breaks zip-locked with close and muggy atmospherics. In the hands of Monolake this becomes the ‘Echoes…

LITHOPS
Formationen
A-MUSIK
LP // £14.99

Lithops, aka one half of Mouse on Mars Jan St. Werner, has been intrinsic to the development and recognition of Cologne as a world centre of electronic music with his collaborative projects, Mouse On Mars (with Andi Toma), Von Südenfed (w/ Mark E. Smith) and Microstoria (alongside Markus Popp aka Oval). ‘Formationen’ is based on four tracks created with synthesizers and effects which were discovered on cassettes dating to 1992-93,…

PEAKING LIGHTS
936
NOT NOT FUN
CD // £12.99

Properly immersive album of lambent kraut-dub groovers and fuggy psyche from the Madison, WI duo of Peaking Lights – sounding something like the bastard child of Forest Swords, Zola Jesus, Tom Tom Club and Nite Jewel. Their hauntingly melodic ‘936’ is made of the stuff we could happily hear on loop all day. Like Pocahaunted or Sun Araw minus the noisiest elements, their trance mantras lasso the flightiest psyche essence…

SCRITTI POLITTI
Absolute
Virgin
CD // £8.99

“This is the first ever career-spanning collection of words and music by Scritti Politti – including two new and exclusive tracks. It includes debut single ‘Skank Bloc Bolonga’, ‘The Sweetest Girl’ and five singles from their most successful album Cupid & Psyche 85, produced by legendary producer Arif Mardin: ‘Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha)’ (UK #10), ‘Absolute’ (UK #17), ‘Hypnotise’, ‘The Word Girl’ (UK #6) and ‘Perfect Way’ (US #11)….
EXTREME / NOISE
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AREV KONN
Nospelt
Humming Conch
CD // £8.99

Arev Konn is the noisier side-project of London master of drone Antony Harrison, and shows another facet to his production skill. While haunting white-noise flecked drones may have graced many of his releases already – ‘Nospelt’ is the first to feature noise so prominently and does so with an effortless expertise. Apparently the album was conceived and written in January 2010’s ‘big freeze’ and certainly this translates well to the…
FOLK / AMERICANA
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CAVE SINGERS
No Witch
Jagjaguwar
CD // £8.99

The latest from ex-Matador band The Cave Singers seems totally suited to their new home Jag Jaguar. You see The Cave Singers make the kind of folk music that you’d expect to emanate from a warm log cabin somewhere up in the mountains, the kind of music that the whole family could get involved with. Fiddles, guitars, skiffle percussion and a whole host of other sounds are recorded with a…

CAVE SINGERS
No Witch
Jagjaguwar
LP // £10.99

The latest from ex-Matador band The Cave Singers seems totally suited to their new home Jag Jaguar. You see The Cave Singers make the kind of folk music that you’d expect to emanate from a warm log cabin somewhere up in the mountains, the kind of music that the whole family could get involved with. Fiddles, guitars, skiffle percussion and a whole host of other sounds are recorded with a…

MICHAEL CHAPMAN
Fully Qualified Survivor
Light In The Attic
CD // £12.99

*1970 British folk rock classic re-issued in deluxe metallic foil digipak.* “Although not as well known as his peers (Roy Harper, John Marytn, and Bert Jansch), the name Michael Chapman is an important one in the linage of English folk rock guitarists and singer/songwriters of the late 60’s/early 70’s. For those unfamiliar with Chapman’s work, Roy Harper might be his closest musical cousin (and both artists were signed to EMI’s…

RM HUBBERT
First & Last
Chemikal Underground Records
CD // £9.49

Initially part of the sorely missed 90s Glasgow DIY scene (as part of El Hombre Trajeado), RM Hubbert has since moved over to a more singular sound. The rough indie jangle of his past is all but gone, and in its place is flamenco-flecked solo guitar picking with more in common with James Blackshaw than Urusei Yatsura. Keeping his indie credentials intact however, he offered the CD edition of ‘First…
HIP HOP
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MF DOOM
Metal Fingers Presents: Special Herbs The Box Set Vol. 0-9
Nature Sounds
10 LP + 7″ Box Set // £89.99

*Epic, super-heavyweight 10 LP Box, with a bonus 7″ inside. LIMITED COPIES.* MF Doom aka Metal Fingers, the most mysterious figure in hip hop, is also one of the most popular, supplying beats and rhymes for Gorillaz, De La Soul, Madlib, Danger Mouse, and Wu-Tang Clan, and drawing praise from heavyweights like Just Blaze, Nas, and Mos Def. Since 2002, Doom has released numerous volumes of ‘Special Herbs’, one of…

J DILLA
Ruff Draft Instrumentals
Stones Throw Records
LP // £12.99

*LIMITED LP INSTRUMENTAL VERSION FINALLY AVAILABLE AGAIN* Previously only available on vinyl, J Dilla’s ‘Ruff Draft’ has quite rightly become the thing of hip-hop folklore – with his untimely death providing the impetus for Stones Throw to dust off the masters and reissue it as a bonus drenched double CD set. An aural missing link that provides a thrilling insight into the sonic jump Dilla made from his early work…
HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
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JOHANN JOHANNSSON
Viroulegu Forsetar
Touch
LP // £14.99

*First ever vinyl pressing of probably the most special album from Johann Johannsson – new on Touch.* ‘Viroulegu Forsetar’ was Johann Johannsson’ssecond album – a breathtaking hour-long composition in four parts that reeks of all the majesty and grandeur of classical music as it seeps into the realm of imaginary soundtracking. Written for and performed by 11 Brass players, percussion, electronics, organ and piano, Johannson seemed intent on making himself…

DUSTIN O’HALLORAN
Lumiere
Fat Cat
CD // £8.99

Berlin-based American composer Dustin O’Halloran has proven himself to be something of a survivor in the disparate modern/post classical scene. His first solo record appeared way back in 2004, and instantly set him alongside Max Richter, Johann Johannsson and Goldmund as a purveyor of fine, melancholy piano compositions. Here however, O’Halloran has wisely filled out his sound, and with the assistance of Stars of the Lid’s Adam Wiltzie, Johann Johannsson…

MACHINEFABRIEK & TIM CATLIN
Patina
LOW POINT
LP // £8.99

Tim Catlin & Machinefabriek recommence the extended electro-acoustic drone sessions of their ‘Glisten’ album for Low Point. ‘Patina’ continues the methods used on their previous effort, Catlin laying down electric sitar and guitar drones deploying a wide range of techniques, which were then sent to Machinefabriek to reorganize with his enigmatic touch. The first side opens to seductively crackling loops, growing in harmonic resonance before fading to space dust melodies…

GARETH HARDWICK
Sunday Afternoon
LOW POINT
LP // £8.99

Nottingham’s Gareth Hardwick, curator of the boutique Low Point imprint, laid down ‘Sunday Afternoon’ back in July 2007 on a CD-r for Blackest Rainbow, but the session was so lovely it deserved to be available on wax. Very simply, it is one long, slow-burning lapsteel drone piece, its 30 minute length dissected into two parts for the vinyl. If the blurry harmonics of Stars Of The Lid or Growing make…

THE BOOKS
The Lemon Of Pink (2011 Edition)
Temporary Residence
CD // £9.99

**Reissued for 2011 – fully remastered with expanded artwork** The Books surprised everyone (including themselves!), with their debut release “Thought For Food”. Through some sort of backward circuitous motion it found wide acclaim in small circles across the globe, ending up on many end of year top 10 lists. Confounded reviewers attempted to categorize The Books’ music as elctro-acoustic sound collage, laptop, glitch, folktronica, cut-up indie bluegrass etcetera, but we…
INDIE / ROCK / ALTERNATIVE
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MOGWAI
Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (Special Edition Box set)
Rock Action Records
Deluxe 2LP + 2CD + 12″ Box Set // £33.99

*Special box set including double vinyl, double CD, 12″ EP of demo material, 4 art prints and a stencil!* Mogwai have proven over the last few years that they are the great survivors of the post rock world. The popularity of that genre as a whole may have waned in recent years, but Mogwai’s arching influence is still heard throughout swathes of young bands, and Stuart Braithwaite and co. are…

HIGH WOLF / TATERBUG
Bored Fortress Split
NOT NOT FUN
7″ // £5.99

NNF’s subscription-only Bored Fortress Club series pairs the wizardly loops of High Wolf with a genuinely weird track from someone called The Savage Young Tater Bug. High Wolf is is little more subdued than usual on the bottomless two-part bucket of ‘Boneless’, with barely anchored loops tugging skywards for the first 2/3rds of the track, before busting into some twirling exotic riffage reminding of Group Doueh’s sand-blasted psych-rock. Taterbug is…

MANI NEUMEIER & KAWABATA MAKOTO
Samurai Blues
Bureau B
CD // £11.99

This should get the wig-out heads frothing: accomplished kraut/psyche improv session from GuruGuru bandleader and legendary drummer Mani Neumeier and Kawabata Makoto, the mastermind of Acid Mothers Temple. ‘Samurai Blues’ was recorded over two sessions in Tokyo in 2008, colliding Neumeier’s innate rhythmic prowess with searching psyche guitars in myriad, morphing formations, from the fluid rhythms and textures of ‘Mushi’ to hyperactive skronk on ‘Another Romance’, mystical meanderings in ‘Sinning…

CATWALK
One By Words
Captured Tracks
7″ // £5.99

Winning single from Catwalk aka 19 year old Californian singer/songwriter Nick Hessler. We’re really feeling the A-side’s magical blend of loose, post-punk disco bass and drums with wonderfully distanced vocals and shoegazy atmospheres, whereas the flipside ‘Home’ is yet more melodic and pop-sharp. Another handsome effort from captured Tracks, then!

HIGHLIFE
Best Bless
The Social Registry
LP // £13.99

Remarkably infectious debut EP from the aptly monikered Highlife aka Sleepy Doug Shaw, featuring contributions from members of White Magic, Gang Gang Dance and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. The clue to his sound is in his name, borrowing heavily from a timeless African Pop style of clean, crisp and circular guitar melodies and imbuing it with his joyful indie vocals. The story of how Shaw arrived at ‘Best Bless’ is…

HIGHLIFE
Best Bless
The Social Registry
CD // £11.99

Remarkably infectious debut EP from the aptly monikered Highlife aka Sleepy Doug Shaw, featuring contributions from members of White Magic, Gang Gang Dance and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. The clue to his sound is in his name, borrowing heavily from a timeless African Pop style of clean, crisp and circular guitar melodies and imbuing it with his joyful indie vocals. The story of how Shaw arrived at ‘Best Bless’ is…

THE BEETS
Stay Home
Captured Tracks
LP // £15.99

**Now available on vinyl – Includes free MP3 download coupon redeemable from the label** Second full length from The Beets of Jackson Heights, New York. As evidenced on their debut LP, ‘Spit On The Face Of People who Don’t Want To Be Cool’ and a couple of 7″s, they play raw garage rock with an unfettered insouciance that many groups would pay for. Whether they’re playing melodic and hooky on…

THE DEATH SET
Michel Poiccard
Counter Records
CD // £9.99

The band’s first release since the tragic death of founding member Beau Velasco in 2009, ‘Michel Poiccard’ finds the band angry but invigorated. This is hardcore music, with its roots in the US punk of the late 70s and early 80s, but like their no-wave predecessors they seem to feel just fine about injecting the guitar-led sound with elements of electro and hip hop. Hell, Spank Rock and Diplo pop…

THE SEA-DERS
The Sea-Ders
Lion Productions
CD // £12.99

Fascinating, late ’60s East-meets-West Pop discovery from Lebanese beat combo, The Sea-ders (aka The Cedars). Formed in 1964 and disbanded by 1968, the group would only record eight tracks between ’66-’68, but what amazing tracks they are! While many groups of this era were pilfering from eastern music, think the Kinks’ ‘See My Friends’, the Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’ or the Hollies ‘Stop, Stop, Stop’, The Sea-ders were the…

TIM COHEN
Magic Trick
Captured Tracks
CD // £13.99

Third solo album by The Fresh & Onlys’ Tim Cohen, exercising his acclaimed songwriting talent. “In the 12 songs collected here, Tim traverses a wide range of conflicting moods while somehow always reenforcing his songs with messages of hope and positivity. “Don’t Give Up”, “I Am Never Going To Die”, and “Flower” are perfect examples of the upbeat meancholy that has defined his solo work to this point. Joined by…

TIM COHEN
Magic Trick / Bad Blood EP
Captured Tracks
2×7″ // £10.99

**One white and one black vinyl**

TINY TIM
Lost & Found 1963-1974
SECRET SEVEN
LP // £16.49

Tiny Tim was born Herbert Khaury in 1930s New York. He’s best known for his incredible repertoire of vintage American popular music sung in myriad guises, from women to old men, most notably his falsetto interpretations of classics such as ‘Tiptoe Through The Tulips’ and old Tin Pan Alley tunes. ‘Lost & Found’ collects 17 rare and previously unreleased songs recorded between 1963-1974, from ‘Maggie May’ repositioning Rod as an…
JAZZ / RELATED
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KELAN PHIL COHRAN AND LEGACY
African Skies
Captcha Records
LP // £16.99

*Now available on vinyl!* In 1993, shortly after the death of Herman Blount (Sun Ra), Phil Cohran and his band, Legacy, composed an inspired and inspiring tribute to his close friend and former mentor. As you may be aware, Cohran records are few and far between. Aside from the more recent reissue of his Zulu 45s collection, ‘African Skies’ is his first new record to be released since his 1969…

CHARLES-ERIC CHARRIER
Silver
EXPERIMEDIA
CD // £12.99

This latest release from the on-form Experimedia imprint sees MAN man (ha!) Charles-Eric Charrier tackling the kind of doomed jazz-noire you might usually associate with Earth or Bohren Und Der Club of Gore. That’s no bad thing, there can never be too much Lynchian doom-jazz in my life, and ‘Silver’ is a welcome addition to the pile. Charrier comes accompanied by collaborators Ronan Benoit and Cyril Secq and the trio…

CHARLES-ERIC CHARRIER
Silver
EXPERIMEDIA
LP // £14.99

This latest release from the on-form Experimedia imprint sees MAN man (ha!) Charles-Eric Charrier tackling the kind of doomed jazz-noire you might usually associate with Earth or Bohren Und Der Club of Gore. That’s no bad thing, there can never be too much Lynchian doom-jazz in my life, and ‘Silver’ is a welcome addition to the pile. Charrier comes accompanied by collaborators Ronan Benoit and Cyril Secq and the trio…

JOE LUTCHER & HIS ORCHESTRA
OJAI
Jukebox Jam Series
7″ // £6.99

Superlative, first 45rpm outing for this scorching Latin R&B instrumental originally released in 1949!!! As with their Etta James release a few weeks back, Jazzman’s Jukebox Jam series always pulls out some unknown exclusives and this 7″ comes with a completely unheard ‘Alternate Take’ on the flip. ‘Ojai’ is the work of California state-wide renowned bandleader Joe Lutcher, brother of the better known Nellie. The Eastern/Minor chord/Latin Jazz feel references…
JUNGLE / DRUM & BASS
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INSTRA:MENTAL / DBRIDGE
From The Start / Detuned Heart
Autonomic
12″ // £6.99

Instra:mental and dBridge share a beautiful fourth installment on Autonomic.. In sci-fi romantic, Bladerunner-mode, ‘From The Start’ is built from swooning synth chords and tenderly lightweight drums, cross-pollinating Detroit elegance with limb-synced London knowledge. dBridge articulates this vibe with the arrestingly Autechre-like ‘Detuned Heart’, one of those sublimely weepy dancefloor moments that’s become their stock in trade.

SEBA & METHOD ONE
Heavy Traffic / Mr Downstairs
Secret Operations
12″ // £5.99

Scorching D&B rinse-out from Seba & Method One, backed with a liquified hi-Tech jungle roller. ‘Heavy Traffic’ is the reason you need this platter. It’s just heavyweight D&B, built with optimised, contrasting breaks and a Reese bass surging from the pits of hell to the darkest corners of your tiny mind. ‘Mr Downstairs’ is the Silk Cut to the A-side’s Cheroots, all flighty, fast and feathered breaks with atmospheric vibes….

TROJAN SOUND SYSTEM VS. TODDLA T
My God
TSS
12″ // £6.99

Jump-up party wreckage from Toddla T and Trojan Sound System, the first in a series of white labels from the legendary reggae stable. The Steel city soundbwoy gives Jah Buck a hard-bodied riddm to vocal, contrasting his heartical delivery with tear-out jungle breaks and rock-solid dancehall drops which apparently turned the dancefloor of London’s Koko venue into a moshpit earlier this year. Flipside includes Version and Dub for the players….
MINIMAL / DANCEFLOOR
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MIDLAND
Bring Joy
THIS IS MUSIC
12″ // £5.99

One to watch, Midland, drops his 2nd solo single, backed with an unconventional Radio Slave remix. ‘Bring Joy’ is purely indicative of the Midland sound, further loosening the strictures that separate House, Garage and Techno to create a very 2011-ready sound binding elegant Tech-House builds with crisp 2-step swing. ‘Dead Eyes’ looks more to classic, mid-’90s US garage, where linear, propulsive Tech-House patterns are offset with relaxed subbass for firm…

BLACK ART MUSIC
Afro Acid feat. Blake Baxter
Moods And Grooves
12″ // £8.99

Proper House groove tools from Detroit’s Black Art Music featuring regular collaborator, Blake Baxter. ‘Afro Acid’ is a ‘floor-gripping side rolling from conga-driven jack to haughty, dynamic acid with slippin’ edits for the dancers from Mike Grant aka the M&G CEO. ‘Afro Jacking’ is more of a tracky, tribalist rhythm tool and ‘Freedom’ simmers out with lushest piano keys. Totally choice for fans of Patrice Scott, DJ Qu, Fred P…

MARCO CAROLA
Play It Loud
Minus
CD // £10.99

First LP in nine years from the Italian big room Techno master. ‘Play It Loud’ plies a very straight-laced and hypnotic brand of bumpty Techno, shorn of any aggressive tendencies to work on an endlessly repetitive roll, infinite permutations of efficient programming and lattices of mesmeric FX. Reeks of Ibiza.

ROLAND APPEL
Fleurs Du Mal
Poker Flat
12″ // £5.49

Ace, deeper Tech-House two-piece from Fauna Flash/Trüby Trio’s Roland Appel. We’re really feeling the dramatic builder ‘Fleurs Du Mal’, filtering bold, cinematic strings over dark and shifty House groove with ghostly choral accompaniment. ‘Black Leather’ on the flip is a straight up, chords-driven groove tool, precisely buffed for DJ/dancer satisfaction. This is surely the best Poker Flat release in years. Tip!
SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
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VARIOUS
Historische Aufnahmen / Historical Recordings
Gagarin
LP // £18.99

*Amazing album of what are allegedly important ‘lost’ recordings spanning back a century and packaged in a sublime gatefold sleeve with die cut panelling – strictly limited copies* Eccentric avant-garde composer Felix Kubin has spent the last five years sifting and selecting this incredible volume of ancient sonic curios from archives and personal collections spanning back a century. Together with attached essay and extensive sleevenotes, this is an often surreal…

ZDENEK LISKA
Mala Morska Vila
FINDERS KEEPERS
CD // £9.99

FK present the first ever issue of Zdenek Liska’s original orchestral/electronic score to ‘Malá Morská Víla’ from 1976, a Czech film adaptation of Hans C. Anderson’s ‘The Little Mermaid’. The label’s love affair with classic Czech film soundtracks in no secret, just check their acclaimed premiere reissues of ‘Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders’ and ‘Daisies’ for proof, but even they themselves regard ‘Malá Morská Víla’ as “one of the…

VARIOUS / STAUBGOLD
Transparent Roads
Staubgold Digital
CD // £13.99

Yet another excellent and wide-ranging collection of disparate tracks from the ever-reliable Staubgold imprint, ‘Transparent Roads’ finds its artists working in the long form. Staubgold seem to be going for quality over quantity here, and only have a very small selection of performers, but what a selection that is. David Grubbs, The Necks and Mira Calix all show up with excellent work, especially Calix who has been quiet in the…
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
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RAINBOW ARABIA
Boys And Diamonds
Kompakt
CD // £8.99

Kompakt’s new darlings are the hotly-tipped duo Rainbow Arabia, a couple of seriously canny pop charmers with a killer debut album up their sleeve. In todays sea of instantly available music there’s only a few who can fuse the most disparate sounds with anything approaching cohesion and these two are on the money. Their sound apparently originated from the purchase of a Lebanese Casio that played microtonal scales and eastern…

RAINBOW ARABIA
Boys And Diamonds
Kompakt
LP // £11.99

Kompakt’s new darlings are the hotly-tipped duo Rainbow Arabia, a couple of seriously canny pop charmers with a killer debut album up their sleeve. In todays sea of instantly available music there’s only a few who can fuse the most disparate sounds with anything approaching cohesion and these two are on the money. Their sound apparently originated from the purchase of a Lebanese Casio that played microtonal scales and eastern…

PSYCHIC REALITY
Vibrant New Age
NOT NOT FUN
LP // £13.99

*Limited to 600 copies* Psychic Reality delivers an incredible batch of augmented kNew Age Dance-Pop for NNF. The production values are notably higher for ‘Vibrant New Age’ courtesy of a pro-style recording with Trans Am’s Phil Manley at his San Fran studio, adding a crucial, albeit gauzy, depth to Leyna Noel’s dramatic songs. ‘Fruit’ opens with perpetual House motions faded behind Leyna’s beautifully expressive vocals, hinting at the drama of…

CUTICLE
Merciful Swoon
100% Silk
12″ // £9.99

Unstably zonked post-dancefloor amazingness from the triumvirate of Jeff Witscher (Rene Hell), Daren Ho (Driphouse) and Brendan O’Keefe (Nimby). Like Hell’s skewed Yoyo Dieting take on Chopped ‘N Screwed HipHop last year, this 12″ takes a crooked look at the last 25 years of House and Techno, assimilating the sound from outside in and making it buckle into dizzying, disoriented refractions of itself. The label liken it to a Tron-esque…

MARIA MINERVA
Noble Savage
100% Silk
12″ // £9.99

NNF’s 100% Silk sub-label ushers in the sideways disco of Estonian songstress Maria Minerva. The label pitch it as “Bedroom dance from a London flat where the w*nker walls throb with the echo unlimited drone of a pretty pulse” and they’re not far wrong. Like Nite Jewel lost in an exotic cyber-dream, blunted hippy vocals waft over sloping conga loops and impressionistic slurry of ’90s House beats on ‘Noble Savage’,…

SIRIUSMO
Mosaik
Monkeytown Records
CD // £10.99

*Initial copies come with “The Plasterer of LOve” as a bonus CD.* ‘Mosaik’ is Siriusmo’s much anticipated 2nd album, and the first artist LP release on Modeselektor’s Monkeytown label. The pair of acts have a longstanding relationship, with Modeselektor effectively setting up the Monkeytown label in order to release their mate’s like-minded hi-tech party music. And like his brethren, there’s no clear parameters for Siriusmo’s sound, which twitches between IDM…

ZOLA JESUS
Soeur Sewer / Odessa
Sacred Bones Records
7″ // £4.99

One of the very earliest transmissions from Zola Jesus, originally released as a 7″ for Sacred Bones. On ‘Soeur Sewer’ we hear the many components of her current sound being hammered into shape in her 4-track foundry, vocals torn between instinctive punkish holler and classically trained operatic howl, distorted keys and machine rhythms still marking her embryonic stage. ‘Odessa’ is more visceral, still lo-fi to f*ck but bulked with pounding…

EVIL MADNESS
Super Great Love
Editions Mego
LP // £13.99

An Icelandic super-group made up of BJ Nilsen, Johann Johannsson and members of Stilluppsteypa, Evil Madness might already be old hands in the Editions Mego stable, but those of you expecting another ‘Space Finale’ or ‘Man From Deep River’ will be sorely disappointed. Evil Madness are a dance act, and in every sense of the word, taking in large scoops of their sound from chillwave, industrial and EBM while leaving…

SHIT ROBOT
Tuff Enuff / Take Em Up
DFA
12″ // £6.99

Shit Robot’s prized 2010 anthem is given smartly versatile overhauls by Kompakt legend, Michael Mayer and sought-after remixer, John Talabot. Mayer’s version errs closer to the original, teasing out the intro for swinging, groovesome foreplay before toying with the infectious lead motif in laidback and crafty style. John Talabot’s remix is hardly recognisable from the original, reframing it as a lengthy, euphoric disco/proto-house burner with a bewitching, building nuance. Over…
TECHNO / HOUSE
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SKUDGE
Below / Phantom
Skudge
12″ // £7.99

Funked-up and hypnotic Techno fresh from Skudge’s production line! The diva-haunted ‘Below’ conserves energy with refined, rolling bass and canny programming sleights for the dancers, whereas ‘Phantom’ is a straight-up killer groove tool driven by finely sculpted subs and licking up a towering wall of dub chords made to ignite the right ‘floors. Heavyweight.

JEFF MILLS
The Beatmaster
Axis
12″ // £8.99

Axis 57 catches Jeff in efficient, minimal mode over four new productions. They’re not quite as spacey as his amazing SITS 12″s but there’s still got that typical astral yearning going on. ‘Precision’ is crispy, aquatic, streamlined. ‘Human To Machine Connection’ is more melodic, an encrypted electronic communique. ‘The Rhythm Within’ feels on the brink of some kinda madness, haunted by dubbed out vocals (very unusual for a Mills track!)…

BLM / DRAKE & GRIFFITHS
Garage Is Back (Matthew Styles Mix) / The Devil’s Eyes (BLM Mix)
FOF
12″ // £6.99

Stripped-down and silky Garage-House from BLM backed with a useful Matthew Styles remix. A-side, BLM remixes Drake & Griffiths’ ‘Devil’s Eyes’ with a big-boned US garage swing rhythm, keeping it simple and hypnotic for the DJs and dancers. Matthew Styles remixes ‘Garage Is Back’ on the flip, deploying munted vocals over insistently sexy bass thrust and stealthy, sprightly chords. Deep grooves.

BRANDT BRAUER FRICK
Corky (James Braun Remix)
Tartelet
12″ // £6.99

The Cologne-based trio of classically trained “Acoustic-Techno” explorers drop their third single for Denmark’s Tartelet records (home to records from Wareika and Kenton Slash Demon) after their ‘Bop’ hit, backed with James Braun’s crafty remix. Given their heavily “musical” background, ‘Corky’ is masterfully restrained, using the barest ingredients to hypnotic effect. James Braun’s remix is ruder, driving in with ruffled kicks and a robust, kinked swing to lock into.

FURESSHU
Lucid (Shifted Remix)
Project Squared
12″ // £5.99

Dry, kicking Techno from Furreshu on his 2nd appearance for Project Squared. A-side ‘Lucid’ is simple but effective, holding back the hi-hats until they’re absolutely necessary. On the flip the Shifted remix improves on this with a heavily functional style set somewhere between Szare and Ben Klock, while ‘All I Want’ kicks out the Dub-heaving Techno jams again. One for fans of the Berghain and Fachwerk sounds.

SP-X
Field Lines Never End EP
KOMISCH
12″ // £5.99

Following his killer debut for Komisch (played by everyone from Mosca to Marcel Dettmann) SP-X delivers three more tracks of heavyweight Techno. On ‘Field Construction’ basskicks rumble like the heartbeat of a pilled-up hippo while Klock-like hi-hats measure time. Next ‘Internalize’ whip-sculpts the hi-hats into shivering shapes around tumultuous bass and PvH style stabs, and ‘Flux’ channels distorted white noise drama into the equation. Aerobic!

SUSPECT / TEVO HOWARD
Unfinished Business (Tevo Howard Remixes)
THUG RECORDS
12″ // £8.99

Tevo Howard measures Berlin’s Suspect up for three diverse and unconventional remixes of his ‘Unfinished Business’ tracks. Heading up the A-side he remakes ‘Bleeding For You’ with a paranoid, minimal acid vibe, full of eerie, spacious reverbs and slow strings. ‘Looking Down’ exists in a similarly cold warehouse space, running psyched Chicago acid themes with his fine touch while ‘Stretched’ roves about, boggle-eyed on a narcotic space-jack tip. Don’t sleep…
WORLD
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VARIOUS / SOUL JAZZ
Bossa Beat! Bossa Nova and the Story of Elenco Records
Soul Jazz
2LP // £12.99

Like Blue Note was to Jazz, or Studio One is to Reggae, Elenco Records was the definitive Bossa Nova label. Soul Jazz follow their in-depth ‘Bossa Nova And The Rise Of Brazilian Music In The 1960s’ compilation by focusing in on the genre’s most famous and influential imprint and its stable of A-list artistes including Baden Powell, Edú Lobo, Vinícius De Moraes and Nara Leao, among others, replete with sleevenotes…

VARIOUS / SOUL JAZZ
Bossa Beat! Bossa Nova and the Story of Elenco Records
Soul Jazz
CD // £11.99

Like Blue Note was to Jazz, or Studio One is to Reggae, Elenco Records was the definitive Bossa Nova label. Soul Jazz follow their in-depth ‘Bossa Nova And The Rise Of Brazilian Music In The 1960s’ compilation by focusing in on the genre’s most famous and influential imprint and its stable of A-list artistes including Baden Powell, Edú Lobo, Vinícius De Moraes and Nara Leao, among others, replete with fascinating…

HAYVANLAR ALEMI
Guarana Superpower
Sublime Frequencies
CD // £18.99

Sublime Frequencies present a diverse side of modern Turkish psychedelia and mesmeric instrumental post-rock jams from Hayvanlar Alemi. In the most traditional sense of ’60s Anatolian psyche and modern post-rock, fuzzed-up and spindly guitars are pivotal to their sound, joined by deft percussion, electric mandolin and even stylophone on one track for added psych points. Initial listens reveal the album to be peppered with potential anthems, from the towering post-rock-y…

MIGUEL Y EL COMITE
Para Hacer Musica, Para Hacer…
Lion Productions
CD // £13.99

*Dynamite Uruguayan funk fusion classic from 1971 – comes with 28-page booklet with band history, photos, and bi-lingual lyrics* “El Syndicato made Miguel Livivich a rock tar in South America; but it was his ole effort as “Miguel u el Comité” that made him a groove-loving crate-diggers dream! That 1971 album, with Livivich firmly at the helm, fused the local candombe rhythm with beat music in an unusual and aggressive…