Review: Michigan by way of Texas producer Matthew Dear has had an illustrious career, spanning nearly 20 years producing techno and minimal under such alises as Audion and Jabberjaw. But it's under his birth name that he has created his most thoughtful and innovative work that has resulted in several studio albums - this being his sixth. Bunny is said to have been inspired by an objective view of his career thus far, as well as becoming a father, being inspired by his collaborations and just knowing what works musically - coming from experience. Bunny certainly has its moments: from the low slung Bowie-esque pop of "Calling", the smooth neon-lit noir of "Modafinil Blues" or his collaborations with Canadian duo Tegan & Sara - particularly the irresistible lead single "Bad Ones".
Review: Since Demdike Stare released their last album in 2012, the world seems to have got altogether darker and more shocking. It certainly seems a fitting time for the Lancastrian duo to return with their sixth full length. Wonderland naturally boasts a number of typically clandestine, pagan outings - see the dense, industrial influenced "Curzon", fearlessly distorted "Hardnoise" and mutant jungle fuzziness of "Sourcer" - but also moments of frenzied funk and quiet contemplation. In the latter category you'll find sublime album closer "Overstaying", where shimmering synth melodies and ghostly chords rub shoulders with elastic bass and skittish drum machine percussion. However dark and bleak things may seem, there's always hope, even in the intensely unsettling world of Demdike Stare.
Review: Between the mid 1970s and the early '80s, legendary Factory Records producer Martin Hannett exchanged tapes through the post with Delia Derbyshire, one of the BBC Radio Workshop electronic experimentalists who inspired him most. The tapes contained cutting-edge synthesizer tracks and electronic soundscapes that were meant to form the basis of a joint album that never materialized. To coincide with the 40th birthday of Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" - one of Hannett's most groundbreaking productions - this album offers up those previously unheard compositions and collaborations. Variously weird, wonderful, quirky, cute and unbelievably creepy (Derbyshire did work on Doctor Who after all), the set is inspired and essential in equal measure.
Review: Eight years after Teufelswerk, an album in which Hell called up giants like Bryan Ferry and P Diddy for creative adventures, International Deejay Gigolo Hell presents his fifth album Zukunftmusik. A much more personal affair, written and created with Peter Kruder, the album takes a deep dive into Hell's psyche. His inspirations, fears and fascinations all laid bare as we glide and slide from the poignant ballad of "Anywhere Anytime" to sinewy, sinister 6am acid ("Guede") via orchestrated cinematic synthesis ("K House" and "Inferno") to strident slices of evocative and highly narrative house music such as "Wild At Art". Hewn together with shades of experimentation and timeless pop science, Hell's created something incredibly special here.
The Dead Side Of The Moon (part 3 - extended Draught)
The Dead Side Of The Moon (part 1 - alternative)
The Fire Of The Moon
Review: Stretching to a staggering five CDs, "The Threat of Memory" takes a deep dive into the collaborative back catalogue of Nurse With Wound noisenik Steven Stapleton and Current 93 man David Tibet. Discs one to four offer up re-mastered versions of albums released between 1991 and 98, all of which are built around long experimental workouts that variously touch on dark ambient, krautrock, industrial noise, experimental electronica and gothic sound collage. Excitingly, the fifth disc contains previously unreleased demos and alternative versions. There's some gems in here, too, including the shoegaze-inspired psychedelia of "The Dead Side Of The Moon (Part 2 - Alternative)" the trippy krautrock/ambient fusion of "Bubblehead/Dreambreath" and the murky ambient soup of "The Fire Of The Moon".