Iglew - Urban Myth EP (Gobstopper)
Mr Mitch’s Gobstopper label has become the go-to destination for some of the most inventive variations on the grime blueprint. After the killer sounds that snuck out on the Peace Edits
12”, Mitch presents a debut release from hitherto unknown producer Iglew. “Sleep Lighter” leads the charge with a nasty squish of synth lines that shape out a catchy melody, underpinned by a lean drum set. By way of contrast, “Urban Myth” dips into introspective territory with only the sparsest of percussive hits looming in the background, before “Regalia” turns the heat back up with a killer string riff and a stop-start dynamic to inspire all manner of body jerks. “Cymatism” rounds the EP off with an atmospheric piece loaded with sub bass pressure and icy synth blasts, marking Iglew out as a producer with a mean grasp of melody.
Golden Teacher meets Dennis Bovell - Golden Teacher meets Dennis Bovell At The Green Door (Optimo Music)
Glasgow’s premier party-starting band of wildcats Golden Teacher are arguably the flagship project to emerge out of the fabled Green Door Studios. Dennis Bovell, meanwhile, has been a staple of the British dub scene since he first started operating in the early '80s, and it shows when Optimo invite him to get busy on the bits and pieces of two GT tracks. Best considered as two utterly individual pieces in their own right, Bovell brings a masterful amount of delay and reverb to beat on this record, with “Instigator (Dub)” awash with pitched down vocals over a simple stepping drum machine beat. “Like A Hawk (DB Version)” has a more urgent pace about it, with choppy organ stabs providing the necessary skank, and presumably Bovell himself toasting the proceedings.
45 ACP - Change Of Tone (L.I.E.S.)
While his work as D.K. may have garnered the most attention thus far thanks to an album on Antinote, Frenchman 45 ACP is about to reach a wider audience with his second alias as this album of future-minded machine configurations makes its way on to L.I.E.S. The sounds that emanate out of Change Of Tone
certainly fit in with the rugged aesthetic of Ron Morelli’s label, but they also sound as though they are beamed in from a different headspace. The plush melodic turns that could be found on the D.K. material are nestled away here as well amongst the grubby drum beats, and an overall cosmic tone abounds throughout. Scuffed intros such as the one on “Ground To Ground” invariably lead into illustrious swirling synths that make the whole listening experience a satisfying balance between rough and romantic, like all the best things in life.
Ajukaja & Andrevski - Looking For Something That’s Not There (Levels)
Jon Rust’s Levels label have already welcomed Estonian duo Ajukaja and Andrevski to deliver one EP, the Rare Birds
12” of last year. After that magnificent start, not to mention Ajukaja’s excellent work on the Porridge Bullet label, our recent podcasters
return for their second EP together and the sound is even more grandiose. The equipment used to that make the music may be familiar, but the composition is most certainly not; just take a listen to the cosmic upsurge of the title track. Contorting synthesisers peal out like birdsong and show no restraint when piling on a flurry of delirious and playful notes, and it’s a joyous melee only superseded by the flip side. “Mesiliind” has an anthemic quality that shouldn’t make sense with the oddball warbles that shape out the track, but somehow the most life-affirming end result emerges out of the mess, and confirms that Ajukaja and Andrevski have an enviable balance of weirdness and harmony in their musical DNA.
Charles Cohen - Brother I Prove You Wrong (Morphine)
Pioneering synthesiser explorer Charles Cohen has an established working relationship with Rabih Beani’s Morphine, having issued no less than three LPs on the label in 2013. There were also numerous singles and a double-CD retrospective ensuring that any interested parties could very quickly get hip to the expansive work Cohen has undertaken throughout his life. Now Cohen has turned his hand (and his Buchla Synthesiser) to original productions for the first time since the 1980s (largely preferring live performance) with the assistance of Beani, and the result is the masterful Brother I Prove You Wrong
. As you would expect the album sits on the fringes of electro-acoustic research, but not at the expense of its listenability. The atmosphere and melodic content make for a pleasurable listen as much as the tones and composition make for a compelling one, and we're in love with album cut "Sacred Mountain".
NSDOS - Female Guest List EP (ClekClekBoom)
After debuting on ClekClekBoom with the Lazer Connect
EP back in 2013, Kirikoo Des and Walter Mecca return to the label with a new collection of tracks that see their sound heading into more abstract territory. The tone is hushed and ethereal throughout, with an emphasis on futuristic techno and different rhythmic configurations. Opening track “Christine +2” is a staggered affair that deals in scratchy impulses and displaced synths, while “Yuko” smooths things out with a more immersive concoction that plumbs the deepest depths of subterranean techno. “Dona J Haraway” ditches beats altogether for a blissful ambient excursion, which is matched with a more eerie start to the B side in the form of “Sienna”. “Eliane” is perhaps the most floor-friendly of all the cuts on the record, but it’s by no means a peak time burner. For a spread of thought-provoking electronics draped in serene tones and executed with patience, look no further.
Move D / Benjamin Brunn - East To West (Wake Up!)
David Moufang and Benjamin Brunn may have worked together on the marvelous Songs From The Beehive
on Smallville, but on this occasion for Brunn’s own Wake Up! their solo tracks sit opposite each other. The first of the Move D offerings is in fact a collaboration that took place in St Petersburg, and it ranks amongst some of the most soothing works he has issued in a good long while. This is followed by a remastered version of Moufang’s evergreen classic “Eastman”, which sounds just as fresh and invigorating as it surely did when it first dropped in the early '90s. Brunn’s side starts with “Da Hulk”, written alongside CT Fisher and features the kind of square wave bassline you could happily sink your teeth into. “For DK” meanwhile heads into more mysterious territory with a dangerously funky swing on the drums.
Akkord - HTH 040 (Houndstooth)
After delivering their second album to Houndstooth earlier this year, Manchester collective Akkord offer their track “Gravure/Continuum” up for remixing and it gets handed over to two very worthy candidates. Fis is of course known for his work on Tri Angle and Loopy (check out the Void Comms 12" too), and his version of the track heads into ever more experimental pastures that twist and contort throughout its running time. From shards of rattling percussion through swathes of static, some quite astounding synth acrobatics emerge that toy with your emotions in a most peculiar way. Regis is on hand to deliver something with a bit more grip, dutifully chiseling away at an interlocking industrial beat structure and cloaking the surrounding space with supple sound design elements. It’s a record with two very different outcomes depending on which side you drop the needle, and when the quality is this high that can be no bad thing at all.
Endian - Finish Me EP (Secretsundaze Music)
Back when Commix released their Re:Call To Mind
remix 12”s in 2010, it was clear that George Levings had a serious appetite for 4/4 music as well as the crisp techy drum and bass he and his former bandmates had built their name on. Now he’s been slowly forging a side-project as Endian, scoring releases on Electric Minds and Nonplus thus far and after a gap of two years he finally returns to the fray on Secretsundaze. The three tracks on this EP all move with a similar surefooted instinct, heading straight to the heads-down heat of the night with a punchy sound that refuses to slip into the background of the techno melee. “Finish Me” is shot through with a lick of sunshine, albeit framed by rugged drums, whereas “Dusty 2” and “Sub Tropic” make no bones about their intentions in the murkier end of the dance.
The Pagan Rites - Every Mauser & Browning (Rat Life)
As Credit 00’s Rat Life label continues to spread its wings as a worthy imprint in its own right independent of the Uncanny Valley parent label, attentions turn towards an intriguing curio dug out of obscurity. The Pagan Rites were reportedly a Swedish minimal wave act who appeared briefly on a compilation by Top Nice Records in 2010. The tracks that make up Every Mauser & Browning
move with an impeccably realised early '80s thrust, even if they were indeed recorded in this century. The title track rides on a sumptuous bed of throbbing bass, providing a perfect backdrop to the laconic guitar strums and deadpan vocals. “Track 03” amps up the drum machine beats a touch while “Torpedo Ahead” comes on with a more traditional band aesthetic, and “Call Forth” finishes the EP off with a vocal drone study. Obviously a band that were enjoying trying out different approaches, it’s impressive that they made this EP sound so cohesive.