Gaussian Curve - Clouds (Music From Memory)
Music From Memory was responsible for our favourite reissue of the year, the sublime Talk To The Sea
collection from cult Venetian artist Gigi Masin. The Italian also has a hand in the label’s most recent release, which sees it break with tradition and release some first contemporary music from Gaussian Curve, a trio consisting of Masin, Young Marco and Jonny Nash. As you’d expect from those involved, the eight tracks across Cloud
s feature some of the most masterful Balearically-inclined ambient music in a year full of it. It’s good enough to have everyone frantically rewriting their hypothetical end of year lists - let’s hope it doesn’t go unnoticed.
Floating Points - Nuits Sonores (Eglo)
A new Floating Points single is always sure to cause excitement, but Nuits Sonores
could well have the best production from the producer since 2011’s “ARP 3”. At nearly 12 minutes long the title track is another Sam Shepherd epic, hitting all the right pleasure zones with its simmering arpeggio and insistent chords, taking his time to build things up with quite the payoff. “Nectarines” might be a little less euphoric but it’s still another winner, filled with warm synths deployed in a simple manner that make Shepherd's craft seem effortless.
Marco Shuttle - Visione (Eerie)
The amount of labels that would have happily released Marco Shuttle’s debut album is more than many, and let’s be honest, there’s enough quality inside Visione
to tempt someone in creating a new outlet for the record to hit the shelves (finally!). So fair play to the Italian for sticking to his guns and releasing it independently. At eight tracks long the London-residing producer’s first long player offers insight into the real sound of Marco Shuttle: stomping modular 808 techno. It’s a style he’s overtly hinted at in the past with last year’s Simmetria Delle Stringhe
12” and his work with Donato Dozzy as Anxur, but here he really lets loose, most notably on “Beyond The Mass” and the orchestral epicness of "Elephante".
Tarcar - Mince Glace (Blackest Ever Black)
Blackest Ever Black’s final release of 2014 is described as a “modern-day revenge tragedy in six parts. Symmetrical, finespun, almost courtly; but quick-tempered with it, and far from blood-shy.” It’s not necessarily what you’d expect from a duo hailing from Australia, but Tarcar have all the hallmarks of a classic BEB act, combining the soft-focus pop of Broadcast with the sounds of classic industrial music. It might sound like an odd combination, but it’s easily one of the label’s best records of 2014.
Moon B - III (PPU)
It’s two years since Moon B made his debut on PPU with a sublime record of lo-fi ‘80s-influenced boogie funk, and since then he’s appeared everywhere from Going Good to 1080p. This record is the third numbered mini LP from Wes Gray’s project, and it’s telling that despite the sheer amount of material he’s put out over the past two years his music has lost none of its charm. As you’d expect, there’s a fair amount of strung-out synth boogie here, but “Neither Here Nor Where” offers probably our favourite dance floor moment from Gray’s catalogue so, dripping in all the same narcoleptic charm.
X - X (Rush Hour No ‘Label’)
Rush Hour’s No ‘Label’ series continues to throw up all manner of unexpected delights with this 12” attributed only to the anonymous X. Much like the ##### record put out by No ‘Label’ earlier in the year, these are four cuts no frills techno with a deep twist, presented with the kind of rough edges you might expect from one of the L.I.E.S. crew. Indeed, those that favour that label's most elusive and peppery haired of artists should probably check this one out. As with all the No ‘Label’ material this is highly limited and likely to cause regret should you miss out...
Oake - Auferstehung (Downwards)
The Oake album is here and it’s packing all the gothic techno goody-grimness we’ve come to expect from the clandestine coupling. Downwards introduced the Berlin-based duo to the world last year with two German rolls of the tongue Offenbarung
and there’s plenty more to be had on Auferstehung
with track titles like “Fuenftes Buch: Dreloi Wechd”, "Erstes Buch: Desterieh l'Remm" and "Sechstes Buch: Rehmin Sicht". If you’re partial to some Skinny Puppy and Sisters Of Mercy, enjoyed Eric Holm’s Andøya
LP and the sounds of new Downwards signing Marshstepper, then Karl O’Conner’s release of Oake’s first album is catered to you.
Shackleton - Deliverance Series Vol 2 (Woe To The Septic Heart!)
Earlier this year Shackleton kicked off the Deliverance Series
with a two-track 12” of strange and wiry polyrhythmic techno james in the manner only he knows how to make, and here he returns for a welcome second volume. Those familiar with Shackleton should roughly know what to expect from these two tracks, but there’s a smoky, ethereal quality to B-side track “Cast The Die” that makes for some even more psychedelic listening than we’re used to. If a more straight-up piece of bass weight is what you’re after, then the brilliant “Dominion” will have you covered too.
Chicago Jim - Chicago Jim (Lobster Theremin)
This year Lobster Theremin has operated a 12" release schedule to rival that of L.I.E.S., but this record from Chicago Jim sees the label dip its toes into the album game. Hailing from - as you might expect - Chicago, the producer also has ties to the fertile Vancouver scene, and his brand of deep, acid-tinged hardware jams have much in common with the music of the Mood Hut collective. Originally released on cassette on the Pretty All Right label in 2012, Lobster Theremin has uncovered a real gem here, made all the better with this 2LP vinyl pressing.
Various - MDR 14.1/14.2 (MDR)
If you enjoyed Marcel Dettmann’s fabric 77
mix as much as we did then this is your chance to swoop on a whole load of tracks that featured throughout his contribution to the storied series. MDR 14.1 provides Berlin-based Canadian Ryan James Ford with his official debut with B2 cut “Arthure Iccon”, a track the great German used to open his Fabric dalliance. Norman Nodge again proves he’s got as much rigid Deutsch funk as Mike Dehnert in “BB 1.0.” which Dettmann used to mix into François X’s “Rising” taking up the A2 of MDR 14.2. But for something special, this record is all about Dario Zenker’s production of the year, the sweet and tribal “Nearlin”.