Vinyl On Demand
4LP + 10″ Deluxe Box // £79.99
**Limited edition of 600 copies for the world – comes complete with a certificate of ownership* The always-mind expanding Vinyl On Demand label collect a staggeringly unique body of early work by cult outsider musician, Ghédalia Tazartès, including 4 full albums plus a 10″ of unreleased work made in 1978. Born in Paris in 1947 to Turkish parents, artist and autodidact Tazartès has spent over 30 years experimenting with myriad musical practices and creating a catalogue of cult recordings deeply informed by his “extra-European” and “intra-European” heritage. He’s both in possession of, and possessed by, a shamanic vocal talent, with the ability to embody a multitude of characteristics. This, together with his unimpeded sense of compositional flux, swerving between musique concrete, technoid loops, piano pieces and pseudo-ethnic imagineering, makes for a thrilling experience unlike any other. This collection includes some of his most important works, among them his earliest release, 1979’s ‘Diasporas’ – listed by Steven Stapleton in his legendary NWW list – besides the exotic collages of ‘Tazartès’, the enchanting and otherworldly loops and scapes of ‘Transports’, and the two jaw-dropping extended pieces of ‘Une Éclipse Totale De Soleil’, plus a further 10″ of unheard, shorter cuts of hectic electronics, unhinged vocals and and bewildering composition. This passage begins to surmount his magic appeal “He wanders through music from chant to rhythm, from one voice to another. utilising magnetic tape recorders, he paves the way for the electric and the vocal paths, between the muezzin psalmody and the screaming of a rocker. He traces vague landscapes where the mitre of the white clown, the plumes of the sorcerer, the helmet of a cop and Parisian anhydride collide into polyphonic ceremonies.” At times it feels like you’re watching unhinged French cartoon without translation in a Parisian asylum while a Techno soundsystem beats outside, at others you’re sitting café side being serenaded in tongues, or just simply hypnotised by the consistent metamorphosis of sounds; an unending, breathlessly connected flow of ideas playfully eschewing any formal notions of what is wrong or proper, and purely informed by what feels right and most affecting. It’s a hugely, hugely recommended purchase, probably the most important avant-garde reissue this year – and some of the most uncategorisable, extraordinary music you’ll come across. Unmissable.
|SLEEP ∞ OVER|
Hippos In Tanks
LP // £9.99
**UPFRONT EXCLUSIVE** Much anticipated debut album on Hippos In Tanks from Sleep ∞ Over that’s engrossing throughout, from the curious netsuke cover art on in. Don’t be deceived by the infinity symbol in the name: witch-house this ain’t, mercifully, though there’s no doubting that Austin-based Stefanie Francotti is attuned to the weird and the occult, and she’s certainly no stranger to reverb either. She’s right at home on Hippos In Tanks, navigating fourth-hand pop tropes and electronic experimentation with aplomb – imagine a sound somewhere between the druggy songwriting of Von Haze and the temporal maurauding techno of Laurel Halo – and the most interesting tracks are the almost-instrumentals where Francotti really lets loose, as on the creepy spiritual ‘Behind Closed Doors’, all distant plainchant and rainforest ambience, or the wonderful ‘Porcelain Hands’ and ‘Cryingame’, which both in their different ways approach the temporal marauding techno of her labelmate Laurel Halo. But a number of the more vocal-led tracks are very special too: look out for ‘The Heaven Turns By Themselves’, with its serene harmonies, waterfalling strings and stacatto drum machine attack, or ‘Casual Diamond’, which sounds like Kate Bush heard through a hypna haze, the almost Balearic Nite Jewelisms of ‘Stickets’ and the swirling gothic epic that brings the album to a close, ‘Don’t Poison Everything’. Impressive stuff – highly recommended.
Intrusive Incidentalz Vol 1
Punch Drunk Records
LP // £12.99
**Strictly Limited Copies Only* Following releases on Mordant Music and Further, Ekoplekz returns to the label that first brought him to most folks’ attention, Peverelist’s Bristol dubstep stronghold, Punch Drunk. Ekoplekz’s work upholds and updates that relationship between corrosive post-punk electronics and Jamaican dub sensibility that you can trace back to Cabaret Voltaire; Intrusive Incidentalz is styled as a sonic companion to “broken Britain”, and certainly its bleak experiments in analogue synthesis seem to conjure a world beyond repair, if not precisely one plagued by recession and kids looting JD Sports. Whatever its themes, there’s no doubting that this is endlessly satisfying music for the heads – ‘Soviet Drum Brain Attack’ is an obvious highlight, its super-heavy subs marking it out as a thoroughly contemporary take on jabbering cold war paranoia, but we could just as easily highlight the hectoring, NON-style industrial menace of ‘Terror/Danger’ or the harsh noise of ‘Devil Mixture’ (imagine Prurient by way of Tubbys). Certainly this is the radgiest, rawest Ekoplekz tranmission to date, putting aside radiophonic whimsy in favour of unashamed battery and brutality. Full of aggro though it is, there’s so much space and detail to revel in that we’ll be coming back to it time and time again. Heavy.
House Of Love
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
LP // £13.99
Impressive debut album from LA’s Terminal Twilight, strutting a fine line between the medicated nonchalance of Glass Candy and the the icy electro of Chris & Cosey. These are sleek and sophisticated compositions, imbued with the sensual mystery and intrigue of a David Lynch movie and the emotive electro vision of a Carpenter soundtrack, all helmed by the codeine glaze vocals by Molly Frances. Prior single track ‘The Fire Of Love’ opens with the sort of thrusting Electro basslines and room-scanning synths you’d expect to hear in a secret LA club down some back alley in Chinatown, while the title of ‘Heartbeat’ is a knowing nod to C&C, but dripping with more lascivious intent, and ‘Air’, like the sleeve, is a sheer reference to New Order and Italo romantics. However, if there’s any one track which defines the set, it’s the ten minute ‘House Of love’ which opens the B-side, a freeway glide of numbed Electro synth pads, coldest Chicagoan House and purest 80s disco elan with the perfect pout and high cheekbones, almost tortured by its own good looks.
|AUTECHRE / THE HAFLER TRIO|
ah3eo & ha3oe (5.1 Audio Version)
2 X DVD // £29.99
*Double DVD (5.1 Audio Version), in a custom die-cut, printed envelope. Each disc features 2 hours of 5.1 surround sound, in both Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks. 1000 copies for the world* Autechre meet The Hafler Trio for their third collaborative exploration of isolated, esoteric electronica. Like the preceding editions, this is an outlet for Autechre’s most reduced and meditative work, quite far removed from anything you normally hear on their albums, or singles and remixes for that matter. For those unaware, The Hafler Trio is now the sole domain of Andrew McKenzie, although it used to be a duo with Chris Watson, he of BBC and Touch fame, but was never actually a trio – the name pertains to an interest in the three essentials; the body, the mind, and the spirit. In conjunction on ‘œ303’, ah³eo & ha³eo create visceral, immersive, stimulating environments, bleak but microscopically detailed expanses of sound which challenge the listener to give their undivided, patient and concentrated attention in return for rewards and subtle revelations beyond those afforded by much other music or sound craft. In many respects they’ve achieved a pinnacle of sonic discipline whose transcendant magic cannot be concisely described or explained, it simply must be experienced. Highly recommended.
SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
NO PAIN IN POP
LP // £11.99
No Pain In Pop present a reissue of Grimes’ wonderfully wyrd and sought-after 2010 tape ‘Geidi Primes’. Essentially it’s the predecessor to her often breathtaking ‘Halfaxa’ LP and that split with fellow Canadian maverick D’eon for Hippos In Tanks. Now, in case you’re fresh to Grimes and have managed to avoid any music sites of worth for the last 12 months, we’d have to place her sound somewhere close to the enchanted electronic pop realms occupied by Björk or Kate Bush; a beautiful, dissolute synthesis of melancholy dream vocals with instinctive and immediately affective arrangements laden with hooks you simply won’t forget. But if you’ve been charting her progress, and seek the thrills found on ‘Halfaxa’ will find them here in the coldwave swoon of ‘Avi’, quietly intoning “I Will Take Your Breath Away” over spiky goth-disco rhythms, and also with the frictionally layered synth textures of ‘Grisgris’ or the AFX-ian melody of ‘Zoal, Face Dancer’. But most interesting is the prevalence of almost Far-Eastern tunings found in the pseudo Chinese pop of ‘Sardaukar Levenbrech’ and the processed Koto-like timbres on ‘Venus In Fleurs’, creating exotic yet eerie fusions which delight these ears at the very least. RIYL Salem, Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, Kate Bush, Björk.
|VARIOUS / OUTERNATIONAL RECORDS|
The Secret Museum of Mankind: Central Asia (Ethnic Music Classics 1925-48)
2LP // £24.99
**Housed in heavyweight, gatefold, tip-on style jacket** Another bountiful reissue from the ‘Secret Museum Of Mankind’ series, pressed on vinyl for the first time! Well, we say first time, as the original compilation was released on CD in 1996, but all the tracks are taken from ancient 78s, so technically they have been out on shellac before. What you’ll find here is a stunning musical cross-section of the Central Asian diaspora, stretching from Azerbaijan in the west to Mongolia in the East, which made up a good chunk of the Soviet Union at the time of recording. Those recordings were made at Noginskii, Aprelyevka between 1929-1950 and pressed up by Russian entrepreneurs to feed a flourishing market for recordings of minority “ethnic music”, documenting a broad range of distinctive folk sounds. Now, as soon as we saw the title hopes were high for some Mongolian throat singing, and we were duly bowled over by Chimiddorzh Ghanshuryin’s ‘Sharyin, Sharyin Sharu’, which is acknowledged as a “masterpiece” in the lucubrate liner notes, and just jaw-dropping by us. The rest of the compilation documents a wealth of nomadic folk styles, often linked by the use of similar instrumentation – reed pipes, compact drums, small-bodied long-necked lutes etc – but the regional differences are distinct and enchanting, including highlights such as the dramatic female chorale of ‘Khar-Shabi’ from Tajikistan, or the polyphonic pipes and flood of percussion on ‘Ker-Oglu Nagarasy’ from Azerbaijan, or the distant mystery of Mme. B. Shambueva’s impassioned ‘Zkenerin Du’, again from Mongolia. For any armchair sonic expeditionaries or time-travelling listeners, this collection is a certified must – coming with the seal of approval from Sublime Frequencies’ Hisham Mayet, who’s responsible for the vinyl pressing. Highly Recommended.