| MAIN ATTRAKIONZ|
808s & Dark Grapes II
BEATS / DOWNTEMPO / BOOGIE
2LP // £16.99
**Initial stock on strictly limited purple vinyl! These tracks are available on vinyl for the first time, cut to double disc at D&M, with productions by Clams Casino, Friendzone, Marlee B, Keyboard Kid and more** After cutting out their own corner of the ‘net with a slew of mixtapes and remixes for These New Puritans and Peaking Lights, Oakland, CA’s Main Attrakionz aka 20 y.o.’s Squadda B and Mondre Man offer their most substantial physical product with ‘808s & Dark Grapes II’ pressed on double wax. Chances are you’ve read/heard their sound lumped in with the “Cloud Rap” #tag by now, which is all well and good: they sit comfortably amidst the airy beats of Clams Casino, the kush fumes of A$AP Rocky, and the Based One’s subterranean spiritualism. But their world is still in creation and far from locked down; as open as the cyber-space which catalysed and enabled their unconventional aesthetic to spread unhindered. This 15 track set includes the Clams-produced ‘Take 1’ – always weighted with boot-heavy bass, but liable, and willing, to let their heads roam in freer, futurist ambient space with an unforced and natural flow. But this ain’t no earnest, college-educated backpack sound; it’s zoned-out and with a sense of discipline curiously balanced between the more roadwise hivemind of the ‘net and real life sensibilities. It’s perhaps this element that’s their most defining and unprecedented feature, reflecting where the real energy, innovation and attitude in contemporary Hip Hop exists and flourishes. Limited copies!
| BLACK RAIN|
Now I’m Just A Number: Soundtracks 1994-95
BLACKEST EVER BLACK
LP // £11.99
*Limited first edition comes in a printed LP-style sleeve* Blackest Ever Black’s 7th vinyl release is a lost classic of post-industrial music: a genuine cyberpunk artefact rescued from possible digital degradation and remastered to vinyl for the 1st time. ‘Now I’m Just A Number: Soundtracks 1993-94’ is an outstanding collection of cues by Stuart Argabright of NYC’s seminal post-punk unit Ike Yard and his Death Comet Crew accomplice Shinichi Shimokawa. Working together as Black Rain they were originally commissioned to score Robert Longo’s ’95 cinematic turkey Johnny Mnemonic, and an audiobook version of seminal cyberpunk novel ‘Neuromancer’, which were both coincidentally written by William Gibson. But ultimately (and mercifully) these sounds never made it to the final cut of Johnny Mnemonic, although they were collected on a 1995 CD, Black Rain’s ‘1.0’ for Fifth Column Records, crucially now making their first appearance on vinyl. Perfectly befitting of the label’s aesthetic, they’re dramatically, presciently poised on the cusp of Techno minimalism and darkly atmospheric electronics, resurrecting that dystopian, loner spirit which is sadly absent or rarely rendered with such stoicism these days. They could be considered Techno for cyborgs who don’t dance, or equally atmospheric cues for brooding dancefloors, suffusing clangourous, girder-strength drums with silver iodide electronics to precipitate the bleakest, most ominous sense of location and situation. Basically the samples will tell you everything else you need to know. Highly recommended.
| KEITH FULLERTON WHITMAN|
LP // £15.99
Stunning electronic investigations from Massachusetts’ finest, Keith Fullerton Whitman, debuting on Editions Mego. The LP consists of two live takes on a piece called Generator, composed for and with analogue and digital modular synthesis, which KFW toured extensively in 2009-10. The A-side ‘Issue Generator’, dedicated to Eliane Radigue, captures a performance given at New York’s Issue Project Room. Its burbling, aquatic arpeggios – hypnotic but lively, and ever-shifting – that will appeal to fans of Monoton, Jurgen Mueller, Stella OM Source and pretty much anything on the Spectrum Spools catalogue. As musically satisfying as it is sonically interesting, with momentum and internal structure redolent of techno. On the flip, ‘High Zero Generator’, recorded at Baltimore’s High Zero festival, is a far more abstract, out-there workout, reminding us of his instant-classic work on PAN. According to Whitman, Generator was “an attempt to wrest a viable performance-based music out what had until then been a solitary set of sound-design tools. The piece grew out of a frustration with the limitlessness of computer-based real-time synthesis & algorithmic / generative systems vs. their utter failure as performance solutions. It hinges heavily on the ideology of the ‘Playthroughs’ system (in that the subtle tuning inconsistencies of a physical instrument – the electric guitar – could be amplified & multiplied) through the use of multiple layerings of different topologies of oscillator, yielding an unstable array of modal canons that drift in & out of ‘tune’, causing all manner of inter-voice beating & assorted psycho-acoustic effects.” Even if that exposition has you scratching your head, don’t worry – all you need to enjoy this remarkable record is a pair of adventurous ears.
| EGISTO MACCHI|
SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
LP // £18.99
**Edition of 500 (one time pressing). First ever official vinyl reissue of this ultra rare record, an exact replica of the 1972 LP remastered from original tapes** For too long Egisto Macchi has existed in the shadow of his contemporary, Ennio Morricone. But with this reissue of his absolutely mindblowing and obscure library release, that is probably about to change. ‘I Futuribili’, meaning ‘The Futuristic’ in Italian, is considered by heads such as Matthew “Woebot” Ingram (who contributes lucubrate liner notes) to be one of the finest in its class, “…a quintessential library music classic”. It’s a suite of incredible “cues” for use in TV and film, the kind of sounds which evoke so much vivid imagery associated with classic, noirish Italian flicks and undoubtedly imbue them with so much character. Like his work with the legendary Gruppo D’Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, he takes inspiration from both electronic music – which he was keenly invested in – and also his studies in the classical and avant-garde fields, utilising ideas of minimalism with psychedelia with the advanced possibilities of electronic studios to create haunting, vivid soundscapes and atmospheres which leave a lasting impression upon the listener. The LP works as a sophisticated suite, melding rich orchestral string arrangements with giant modular electronics and effected guitars within a supernatural soundsphere, all realised through a beautifully balanced mastery of the studio’s capabilities. For many this reissue will be a fever dream come true, but for the uninitiated – this is an absolute must.
| DAVID CAIN (RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP)|
The Seasons (from the BBC Radio Schools Series ‘Drama Workshop’)
SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
LP // £14.99
Trunk Records have just made our week with this grade A+ reissue of David Cain’s cult radiophonic themes for school drama classes, originally made in 1969. These seventeen disturbingly evocative themes were intended to aid those golden hours once a week when UK kids in the first and second years of secondary school (11-13 year olds) were made to participate in improvised drama and dance. It’s a while since we were in plimsolls and vest (yeah, we always forgot our kit), but we’d definitely imagine that drama class nowadays doesn’t feature a soundtrack of darkly austere poems set to adventurous electronica. Unless you own a copy (they go for a few hundred bar on discogs), or have an incredible memory, it’s unlikely you’d remember Ronald Duncan’s “powerful” verses such as “when winter whips, the gaunt elm shudders in the groin of grief” or “an old labernum stand beside a wall, its colour flows, its colour falls, as though muscular hands were milking it, into the pale of night”. But hearing them now, set to Cain’s dippy synth themes ranging frothy nonchalance to wet playtime darkness, the memories of cold parquet flooring and warm cabbage and custard from the canteen are flooding back. Hand on heart, this is just an unmissable LP.
| VARIOUS / STRUT|
TREVOR JACKSON presents METAL DANCE: Industrial/Post-Punk/EBM Classics & Rarities ’80-’88
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
2LP // £16.99
Trevor Jackson steps into the light with a phenomenally timely compilation of dancefloor post-punk, funk-conscious industrial and brutal, brazen EBM. We remember hearing Jackson spin some of these tunes back in electroclash’s prime, some 10 years ago, and of course most of them are at least 35 years old – it says something about their timeless brilliance that they sound as vital now as they did then. The canvas is broad, ranging from the impish avant-pop of The Bubblemen’s ‘The Bubblemen Are Coming’ to the sinewy electro of Analysis’s ‘Surface Tension’ and the grind-made-groovy industrial attack of Executive Slacks, via tracks from D.A.F., Portion Control, Fini Tribe, Alien Sex Fiend, SPK, Severed Heads and many more obscure names besides. With a whole new generation of artists and labels – 100% Silk and Sandwell District, to name but two – referencing this stuff, Metal Dance takes you right to the source, and saves you spending hundreds on limited Belgian 12″ pressings in search of those elusive killer dubs. Return of the death disco!
| ANDY STOTT|
Passed Me By
TECHNO / HOUSE
2LP // £14.99
*..finally re-pressed* Emerging from a 12 month hiatus, Andy Stott enters a compelling new phase of evolution on ‘Passed Me By’. Besides marking his most substantial output since debut album ‘Merciless’, these seven tracks signify a renewed, yet introverted vitality to his sound, inverting the energy of his Juke and Technoid hardcore excursions into something more brooding and subtly visceral. They’re strident and sensual yet stoically retentive, folding in a wider palette of influences from Kassem Mosse to Arthur Russell, to Actress and James Ferraro, but ironically sounding more Andy than ever. Stepping into this abyssal sound on ‘New Ground’ we’re dominated by bone crushing bass weight, pinned under relentless waves of subbass whilst shards of hypnagogic exhalations struggle for air in his autoerotic pressure system. That slow, vice-turning intensity is breathlessly transferred to the aquatic swing jack of ‘North To South’, before the gasping Linn drums and glazed boogie licks of ‘Intermittent’ offer halfway resolution. Their pent up tension is released in ‘Dark Details’, suggesting a lonely silhouette left in the warehouse after the crowd has gone, dancing like the Moving Shadow logo come to life before the screwed zombie swagger of ‘Execution’ and that staggering title track slowly shuts down your system with shark-eyed intent. Simply put, if you’ve been hypnotised by the music of Kowton, Kassem Mosse, Actress or NWAQ in recent years, this record is just essential.
| ANDY STOTT|
We Stay Together
TECHNO / HOUSE
2LP // £14.99
*..finally re-pressed* ‘We Stay Together’ is a brand new doublepack from Andy Stott, a companion piece of sorts to the radical inversions of the ‘Passed Me By’ EP released earlier this year. Its predecessor left many heads dazed upon impact – in the best possible sense – and these six tracks, produced in its wake, amp the pressure to throttling degrees. Entering the digital compression chamber of ‘Submission’ you become a willing participant, before the lights are cut and you’re forced to adjust to the humid atmosphere and bruising, muscle-contracting darkroom throb of ‘Posers’. Suitably initiated, the EP’s fearless centrepiece ‘Bad Wires’ plunges into full on mud-party mode, dropping the tempo while intensifying the kinaesthetic funk with slow, clusterf*cked syncopation until you’re drowning in synthesized oil and crushed-glass textures. Fully submerged by ‘We Stay Together (Part One)’ time becomes elasticated like worn VHS tape, calling to mind Jamal Moss and James Ferraro soundtracking a rave in a sodden, flooded sauna, before inescapably tumbling into the sheer black hole of ‘Cherry Eye’ and left to the slompy jack of ‘Cracked’. Blatantly, we rate this record massively, and although it’s not for everyone, those looking for a more visceral, intense form of dancefloor pressure would do very well to check in.