Floating Frequencies / Intuitive Synthesis
3CD // £35.99
*Strictly limited deluxe 3CD set remastered by Eleh specifically for the digital medium. Metallic silver print on heavy duty matte black gatefold reverse-board jacket with gorgeous transparent cd’s* Important present a crucial and comprehensive collection of Eleh’s three ‘Floating Frequencies/Intuitive Synthesis’ volumes, now available for the first time since their long-sold out vinyl editions. They comprise a snapshot of one of the most singular bodies of minimalist electronics in recent years, a collection of pure, reduced analogue compositions designed to induce hypnotic, deeply spiritual states comparable with the effects of music by Pauline Oliveros, Eliane Radigue, La Monte Young or Charlemagne Palestine. Ostensibly, it is academic music, an exercise in the isolation, modulation and layering of specifically affective tonal frequencies, but their effect is as transcendent and universally understood as almost anything else when heard and felt with open ears and mind. Well OK, it may take a little patience on your behalf, but it’s meditative music, concentrated on the slightest fluctuations in timbre and texture and with huge attention given to the precise spatialization of each individual frequency – even so far as allegedly reaching infrasonic frequencies vibrating at 0.05Hz – basically (un)sounds which are inaudible but physically felt (a central theme of Steve Goodman ((Kode 9’s)) book ‘Sonic Warfare’). Take it from us, it’s a rarified experience quite unlike any other, which should appeal equally to seasoned followers of minimalism and even those bassbin disciples who eulogise about subbass at Dubstep events. This is also one of those instances where the CD format really comes into its own, taking full advantage of the low noise floor and clarity afforded by the digital medium. An incredible, momentous set.
| ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER|
CD // £10.99
Arriving like some blockbuster sequel to ‘Returnal’, Oneohtrix Point Never’s eagerly anticipated ‘Replica’ sucks us deep into a simulated 4.1 world fantasia. Most strikingly, his sonic palette is far broader than before, adding piano keys, Techno beats and somersaulting glitch edits with a fancier, hi-tech studio-honed sound design, articulating a more kinetic, progressive vision of timeless electronica. There’s a palpable sense that he’s excitedly exploring every option afforded him by the Mexican Summer studios, immersing himself and us in a vivid off-planet adventure every bit as sincerely lush and awe-inspiring as previous solo outings, but moving out of the shadows of his over-referenced influences and into the light of a stranger, alien sun. There are still obvious reminders of David Byrne & Brian Eno’s ‘My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts’ or Eno and Jon Hassell’s ‘Possible Musics’ and moments of Sakamoto-esque sublime, but there’s also traces of Nicholas Collins’ stutter-circuits and the digital dreams of mid-eighties Chris Carter. To be honest, we’ve not had a chance to spend much time with ‘Replica’ (sort it out promo people!), but we can guarantee it’s going to be getting much closer inspection. From initial impressions it’s hugely promising!
| LEYLAND KIRBY|
Intrigue & Stuff Vol.3
History Always Favours The Winners
LP // £10.99
**500 copies for the world, initial copies on transparent vinyl – almost 40 minutes of incredible, original, completely unsocialised brilliance sounding somewhere between Vangelis, Armando and John Carpenter** The third volume of four in this incredible series, beamed direct from the depths of Berlin onto vinyl. Our maverick protagonist again looks to the future mindful of the past, following a twisted trajectory from imagination to realisation which would leave lesser artists and musicians exhausted (or in need of drying out). But as we all know, his lifestyle and cathartic sonic processes are not in vain: for many this series has provided some of the greatest material of an already crazy career. On vol.3, we dare say he’s produced one of his most unforgettable moments with ‘The Watcher And The Watched’ – a mind-burrowing and Kafkaesque arrangement of overdriven machine rhythms and intuitive melodic narration that feels like Morton Sherman’s long lost crypto-Tech side-project with James Stinson. There’s also the profound highs of ‘The Start Of Wars And The End Of Eras’, an unending nitrous blast of chromatic chaos and ghoulish chorales, but they’re both the most extreme examples, and in quieter, more reflective mode on the midnight drift of ‘Fleeting Modern’ or the ambiguous anguish of ‘We Might Just Lose This One’ his sodden soul is tangibly more bruised and tender. It almost goes without saying – so check the clips if you don’t believe us – but this record is nothing short of essential.
The Falcon And The Pod (Coloured Vinyl Edition)
Pendu Sound Recordings
LP // £15.99
*Limited gatefold edition with a coloured vinyl pressing from Sasha Grey’s notorious band – recommended!* New York’s Pendu Sound initiate a trilogy of aTelecine albums with ‘The Falcon And The Pod’, following the group’s revelatory pair of LPs which slunk out in 2010. Atelecine now counts Anthony D’juan and Ian Cinnamon alongside core duo, Sasha Grey and Pablo St. Francis, and while they’ve not entirely lost the endearing lo-fi element of their earliest tracks, they seem to have added more flesh and a mesmerising clarity to the shadowy arrangement of tape loops, grunged guitars and vintage synths. There are actual song structures to be found this time, as opposed to the loop-based hardware dowsing of ‘A Cassette Tape Culture’, shifting their sound closer to the esoteric headspace of Coil, NWW and Psychik TV without becoming mere pastiche. Still, though, the best parts are those weirder cuts which evade easy categorisation, such as the the nine minutes of concrète collaging on ‘A Secret Ratio’, the spectrally attuned synth dérive of ‘Magazine’ or the sploshy rhythms and alien textures of the title track. Effectively they’re one of the most sonically intriguing and darkest elements to emerge from the DIY/Darkwave resurgence, and “The Falcon and The Pod” might just be their most impressive set of recordings yet. Highly Recommended.
| NO UFO’S|
Mind Controls The Flood
LP // £10.99
*300 Copies only – not to be re-pressed* The label run by heads at Warp and the British Library Sound archive returns with Step 2 of its Public Information programme. This time the focus is on Vancouver’s Konrad Jandavs – a “purveyor of Kosmiche Trash, of noxious electronics, of deep and frazzled future-scapes” and recipient of XXJFG’s top record of 2010 for his ‘Soft Coast EP’. In sharp contrast to the label’s immaculate opening instalment from ADR, No UFO’s ‘Mind Controls The Flood’ is far more noisy, chaotic and psychedelic; an often mystical maelstrom of grainy, textured synthesis, murky colours and motorik funk. Across the A-side we’re churned in the sci-fi-complex structures of ‘Flash III’ and rapt by the futuristic lounge sway of ‘Mechanically Replayed’, while ‘C. Bryan (Magnitizdat)’ shores up at some alien expanse of liquid metal ocean tones. To the flip, there’s the beautiful, Neu!-like meditation ‘Ted & Monty’, besides the squashed, subtly threatening machine funk of ‘Form Constant Flood’, and the sublime resolution ‘Less Or Even Much More’. A strong recommendation to fans of Laurel Halo, Oneohtrix Point Never, or Demdike Stare.
| TROPIC OF CANCER|
The End Of All Things
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
CD // £7.99
‘The End Of All Things’ is Tropic Of Cancer’s tender farewell note to Downwards, collecting their two 10″s for the label together with a cover of Soft Cell’s ‘L.O.V.E. Feelings’ and new, unreleased material – seven tracks in total. For some, Downwards’ foray into this gloomy, gothic sideroom didn’t sit well with their perception of the label’s aesthetic, but for everyone else, their two 10″s and successive records by Pink Playground and Sandra Electronics – among others – on the DO series have marked out some of the most intriguing Downwards gear in years. The duo of Camella Lobo and Juan Mendez (Silent Servant) have summoned a very special sound with their breathtakingly spacious production and scarily evocative songcraft, from the dry-iced drift of ‘The Dull Age’ to the motorik dread of ‘Victims’ and ‘Be Brave’. The new tracks add further dimensions to their loosely defined style, from the opiated droop of their Soft Cell cover ‘L.O.V.E. Feelings’, thru the incredible baroque excoriation of ‘Distorted Horizon’ to the cold-sweating EBM thrust of ‘Chrome Vox’, pitching them perfectly between the ethereal grace and romance of the originals – AC Marias, Danse Society, Jesus & Mary Chain – and a more modern, spatially rendered production reassuringly beyond the reach of any darkside dilettantes. Brilliant material – highly Recommended.
| SWEET EXORCIST|
TECHNO / HOUSE
2CD // £11.99
Foundational bleep techno from Richard Barrett and Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H. Kirk. Pivotal to the early success of Warp Records, Sweet Exorcist’s crucial 12″s also made explicit the link between industrial music and the new dawn of acid house, building on the dancefloor-conscious, mantra-like direction that the Cabs had taken their own music in the early-mid 80s. These broadcasts from the mind-forges of the Steel City are bleep ‘n bass at its most punchy and primitive: electronic body music stripped to its jutting, sinewy essence. Opening with a sample from Close Encounters of The Third Kind, ‘Testone’ is as eerie as it is immediate, while ‘Clonk’ (Freebass) and ‘Clonk’s Coming Off’ are some of the most abstract, funked-up jack-tracks to be born outside of Chicago. RetroActivity expands upon CCEP/CCCD, Warp’s first ever long-form release, compiling all the classics plus numerous alternate versions, making for a comprehensive 2xCD set that will serve fans, fanatics and newcomers all equally well.
| ANGST HASE PFEFFER NASE|
LP // £15.99
**White vinyl, cut at Berlin’s D&M. Hand numbered edition of 250** Senufo’s latest edition is a deeply abstract session of concrete collaging and controlled electronic chaos from Chris Cooper aka Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase. Chris is “the most reliable member of AHPN” and also known for his work with Barn Owl and in Fat Worm Of Error (Ecstatic Peace, Ultra Eczema, Load) or Chicagoan improv ensemble, The BSC. AHPN’s sound is essentially a more electronic take on the improvisations of Fat Worm Of Error, swapping live instrumentation for feedback loops, hyperstatic drum machines and “digital rot” to create constantly morphing patina of filigree small sounds and electro-acoustic diffusions. They expand and contract with restless frequency from fractal chirrups reminding of Tomuttontu to placid stretches of fluid, lilting metallic timbres mere leagues from Dolphins Into The Future. But while both of those artists have a cutely defined melodic aspect, Chris Cooper’s music is yet more disjointed and esoteric, imbued with a careful sense of dynamic spatial placement and psychedelic sleight-of-hand which, in its own way, has the potential to take your mind far, far out. Excellent.
| VARIOUS / SAVOURY DAYS|
Still Going In Offices
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
LP // £11.99
*Edition of 250 in screen-printed sleeve with info sheet* Excellent DIY effort from Savoury Days Records, pairing contemporary lo-fi, punk and minimal synth stuff with original 1980 tracks by The Hollow Men, The Door And The Window and The Passionate Winemakers. It’s a great concept and faithfully executed in the great tradition of UK DIY, prizing uniqueness, eccentricity and diversity over more superficial values. A-side we’re introduced to the likes of Tim Goss and Chloe Mutter’s duo Call Back The Giants and their opiated lounge music, besides the shonky minimal synth blurts of The Rebel, a killer post-punk original ‘Never Again’ by The Hollow Men and best of all Adam Bohman’s ‘Stirling Effort’ – a recording of a man with a stutter giving a rambling and rather funny talk at the Round Chapel in Clapton. Further 1980 originals come from the noisy Passionate Winemakers and The Door And The Window, and there’s also a superb offering from Design A Wave, who were last heard on that excellent Altar 12″. The 2nd side finishes with the ethereal elegance of La La Vasquez, an all-female trio from the south east of England “Interested in the history of women and punk”, and the creepy, bleached concrète of Helm aka Luke Younger with ‘Statuesque’. An excellent record, strongly recommended to wavers of all shapes and predilections. Highly Recommended.