Review: Los Angeles based producer Alex Gray aka D/P/I of CHANCEIMAG.es returns, this time on French imprint Shelter Press with more avant electronics excursions on the Composer LP. Thee seven sound collages are said to be an experiment in rhythm, where human error is introduced to basic sounds (such as a djembe or conga) via midi controllers, introducing complex processes and effects which naturally developed into compositions. Gray himself hopes his album "can act as a beacon of creativity for future generations, who are currently being completely saturated by marketing content for products and media that will do nothing but confuse and distract them.
Review: Daniel Terndrup, simply known as Daniel T, returns to our charts and shelves with this masterful new LP for the Cascine imprint, the aptly named Heliotrope. On first appearance, this album could seem like abstract electronics all over but, in reality, it's more of a delightful and refreshing spin on pop music; the producer's involvement in the Cosmic Kids project is clearly audible from the start, with tunes like "Call" or "Moonlight Bounce" sounding like they would not be out of place on the Drive soundtrack. As for the rest of the album, however, Daniel T heads into deep waters, progressing his futuristic take on pop music with edgy drum machine loops that remain firmly on the off-kilter end of the scale. Just how we like it.
Review: Best known as a collaborator and co-writer on the legendary John Carpenter's recent Halloween score - as well as his Lost Themes and Anthology albums - Daniel Davies now presents his debut album on Kent based imprint Burning Witches. Featured on this eight track LP is a captivating imaginary soundtrack: otherworldly instrumentals that expand on the British-American musician's distinct talent for wringing modernistic soundscapes from vintage synths. It brings to mind the classic synthesized scores of the '70s and '80s. In addition to his work with Carpenter (his godfather), Davies is known for his work with the rock bands Year Long Disaster, Karma to Burn and CKY.
Review: Following DJ Richard's crucial LP Dial round out another fine year with a debut album from self-styled "open collective" Dawn Mok, whose debut came with a fine contribution to the 15th anniversary compilation. Featuring creative input from an international cast of musicians encompassing the US, Asian, and European heritage, Dawn Mok are a curious addition to the Dial cause. Spearheaded by collective founder Felix Mura and vocalist Bundi, Eternal Love shares more with r&b than house or techno, but the best part is that we hadn't heard this type of music ever come out of this label. There are plenty of more abstract moments too, of course, and the tracks that are more on the pop side of things are still drenched in a thick layer or ambient gloom. It's minimal r&b, Dial style.
Review: A lucid, dynamic, atmospheric trip through consciousness, incorporating an incredible range of texture, tone, and three-dimensional space. This is a glimpse into the most emotive, most personal of Dead Fader's extensive work. There are delicate moments of introspection, furtive agitation, and exuberance, all tightly interwoven into a singular, enthralling whole.
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: Federico De Caroli's Deca project has been waving the flag for Italy's ambient and mystique concrete scene since the mid 1980's. The man's albums, which span a wild and diverse set of experimental sounds, are a rarity these days; this particular reissue, Deca's debut from 1986, is going for near L300 on Discogs, so count this your lucky day. Mass, as the name curiously implies, is a rip-roaring fest of a journey through the deepest and most cavernous of coldwave sounds. With its high-speed pace on the drums and a grainy, grey-scaled coating to round it off, it feels like rave music way before the term was coined. Proto-techno also doesn't it do any justice because tunes like "Inseminoid" or "The Door" go much further than that, heading way out into unknown territories which then became second nature to artists like AFX about a decade later. If you're into your dance music on the industrial side, and if you like it cooked raw, then this will please you endlessly. Be quick, though!
Review: Jean Pierre Decerf's records have been sampled by top talent in the game (Wu-Tang Clan's RZA) and have also been massively inspirational to the likes of indie talent such as Air. However, the Parisian has always been something of a recluse and it's only now that his best moments have been collected into a definitive compilation by Born Bad Records. As both the cover and title suggest, this stuff is pure psychedelia from start to finish and tracks like "Like Flight" are simply stunning, where freaky guitar riffs meet with twisted synth patterns, funky percussion swings and seductive vocals. Not to exaggerate or anything but this LP might well be the best thing that's landed here at Juno HQ this week and you'd be silly not to pick it up. Essential electronic and discofied innovations.
Review: Malka Tuti's latest must-check chunk of accessible experimentalism comes courtesy of Toresch member and Tolouse Low Trax collaborator Viktoria Wehrmeister. Under the Decha alias, she presents a solo debut that gleefully sidesteps conventional electronic music tropes. Musically, it's varied and intriguingly tropical in tone, with the presence of Wehrmeister's spoken word or freestyle vocals throughout unifying a nine-track set that variously doffs a cap towards minimalist electronic pop, indigenous South American instrumentation, droning ambient soundscapes, lo-fi electronica and pleasingly out-there soundscapes. As debuts go, "Hielo Boca" is arresting and impressive in equal measure. Recommended.
Review: Best known for his distinctive graphic design and illustration work, Bristol-based DJ/producer Deep Nalstrom (real name Guillaume De Ubeda) is finally ready to unleash his music on the world. "Naive Melodies" sees him pitch up on Nummer's Natural Selections label with an almost perfectly formed debut album. Analogue-rich, evocative and atmospheric, the seven cuts expertly blend elements of ambient, new age, dub, tropical textures, curious (sampled) spoken word vocals, intergalactic electronica and gentle tribal rhythms. Highlights include - but are no way limited to - the bass-heavy, delay-laden shuffle of "Inner Collapse", the sun-kissed warmth of "Albatros", the ambient dub haziness of "Liquid Diamonds" and the Sotofett/Fett Burger-esque "The Dream People".
Review: An LP which features music by originally recorded in 1969 by BBC Radiophonic Workshop members such as the late Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson and the American born composer David Vorhaus: who later formed as the experimental electronic band White Noise. It was released by the Standard Music Library label, set up in 1968 by Bucks Music and London Weekend Television who also supplied production music for use in TV, commercials, radio and film. Many of these tracks were also used in the 1960's cult TV show 'The Tomorrow People' and each one has a short description of the music after the track title. Derbyshire and Hodgson assumed pseudonyms in the credits: Li de la Russe & Nikki St. George respectively. Two of the tracks are co-written by the pair, who also worked together on Unit Delta Plus: an organisation and studio project which was extensively involved in the promotion and exploration of electronic music at the time. Legendary stuff!
Review: Raphael Fragil's Fragil Musique is back to kick off 2018 with some of its marvellous synth escapades, and this time we have newcomer Design Default joining the catalogue. Dawn Chorus, which is this guy's debut release, should have a genre of its own, as we've rarely heard music of as far out and as diverse under one album. Through a subtle blend of organic harmonies and placid jingles, the producer creates a world of his own, blurred and juxtaposed with rougher shards of pseudo techno. In fact, Dawn Chorus feels like one long segment, an extended recording session with one recurring idea at the forefront. That is, the looser spaces at the boundaries of dance music, suspended in the ether like no other electronic music we've heard in a while, and are likely to hear for the rest of 2018. The year bodes well for both Design Default and Fragil!