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On this second, more expansive sampler for his forthcoming album Spaces & Places, Kerri Chandler treats us to tracks inspired by - and by the wonders of mobile recording technology, produced inside - clubs including Dublin's District 8, Glasgow institution Sub Club, Lux of Lisbon and NYC's Output. Of course, the standard is uniformly high throughout - it's classic Chandler from start to finish - but our picks of a very fine bunch include the soulful piano house shimmer of 'Change Your Mind', the thrusting, bass-heavy pump of 'Subbie (Rattle The Subbie Mix)', the effortlessly slick and soulful 'Tenacity (Full Vocal Mix)' and the ludicrously sub-heavy snap of 'See The Light (Dub)'. To borrow an old cliche, this is very much, 'all killer, no filler'.
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As part of the 2016 Ghent Film Festival, the first ever 'greatest hits' album for Ryuichi Sakamoto's soundtrack work was released. This retrospective LP compiles the best selections from the entirety of his career, from Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence to The Revenant. Now reissued 5 years later by Silva Screen, the album sees a wider, exclusive white vinyl edition, capturing the swelling pangs endemic to Sakamoto's music for screen.
James Asher - Shaman's Almanac
Originally released in 2020, Drums, to abbreviate the title, actually has its roots much further back in the life and times of James Asher. The artist fell in love with the instrument at an early age, and played the percussive parts in school bands as a teenager. Going on to train as a sound engineer, a stage that afforded him a keen understanding of how to manipulate and experiment with sound, and the opportunity to explore the myriad directions in which music can be taken, the diversity of what's here is easy to understand. Counterbalancing his Shaman's Almanac: Didge outing, while the didgeridoo is still very evident here, the focus is definitely on drum rhythms, with time spent working alongside artists like the great Sivamani and equally incredible Sandeep Raval clearly having at least some influence. A trippy all night dance around a desert campfire until dawn, it's part spiritual, part rave-y, and all highly infectious.
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Ennio Morricone is arguably the most famous Italian film composer of all time. And not just because in his decade-spanning career he scored some 400 movies, not to mention the hundred or so classical works he wrote. More than prolific, much of that output garnered awards, and all of it won critical and public acclaim. A real genius who quickly found his calling while still a teenager, and never really looked back. Morricone re-releases are pretty regular occurrences, with themes from this or that flick earning re-appraisals all the time, and rightly so. In comparison, Themes: Giallio is more of a retrospective, even an essay on his work across several different titles, all of which fall into the mystery-thriller cannon. Tunes here are a real delight of suggestion, atmosphere, pent up energy and inquisitiveness.
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American musician, photographer, graphic designer and 12k record label founder Taylor Deupree has certainly created quite the mythology, and garnered a stellar reputation for himself. Having worked with some of the most forward thinking names in synthdom - Ryuichi Sakamoto, Marcus Fischer - and laying claim to the title of President d'Honneur of the fifth Qwartz Electronic Music Awards in Paris, to some extent you should know what to expect here. Sophisticated and classy stuff with a conceptual grounding. Built on the idea of marrying technological sheen with the imperfections of nature, combining the raw and the processed, perfect and beautiful, in many ways Deupree's work, which here sits in a gorgeous ambient sonic plateau, hits the nail on the head when it comes to this century's opening decades. A time when ideas around what could be achieved and what's happening, where we're going and where we want to be, and - crucially - our difficulties figuring out where we fit in, are omnipresent.
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Cult TV buffs will no-doubt pick up on the 'Shatterday' reference here, name of the first episode of the first season of the 1980s reboot of The Twilight Zone. In turn, that borrowed its title from a collection of short stories by Harlan Ellison, which arrived at the beginning of the same decade, which contains the tale 'Jeffty Is Five', once voted as the finest short story of all time. Agree or not, the programme and publication go some way to preparing you for the sounds on this expansive Kinetik Greece release. Still none the wiser? Simply put, these are tunes that have one foot in the future, and another in the past, specifically the last time culture in general was as obsessed with what could be coming in the next half century. 1980s hues saturate many parts of here, somewhere between coldwave, downtempo synth, experimental electro, and movie score.
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It's easy to see - or hear - how you could find 'Lexploitation', the first track on Directive V, pretty intimidating. The trance-inducing background snare lines and cold, retro-futurist synth line, coupled with thudding kick drums, quickly invoke Brad Fiedel's score to The Terminator and Terminator 2, although here things might even sound a little more sinister, what with those ghoulish background whispers. Thankfully, for those who don't like their electro with death robots, the hilariously-titled 'Memories of Sex Desire' soon changes things up, a little at least, bringing in a classic 1980s wave refrain and downtempo break. 'Leaders in Space' is far bouncier, bordering on Italo but not quite committing, while 'Cyber Bondage' brings elements of acid to the fore.
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O / Phase - Intensity Fluctuations Remix
A 12" of singles from the London-born Phase's latest album 'Before This', featuring the talents of fellow UK producer Setaoc Mass on a remix of 'Intensity Fluctuations'. The remix sees the song completely transformed into a hyper futuristic, forward-thinking piece of techno with subtle producing elements sprinkled throughout giving the track an entirely new breath of air. This record also features 'Underwater Acoustics from the album, a spacious and cerebral piece of progressive techno that evokes the work of Dopplereffekt, Aphex Twin and Susumo Yakota in its use of negative space to tell a story. On the tail end of Side A, a previously unreleased track 'Night Terrors' is introduced, a thumping techno dancefloor track that is more evocative of Setaoc Mass's previously nightmare-themed releases than Phase's more cosmic ruminations.
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