Review: After the abrasive nature of Gone Feral, James Holden delivers another 12" of singular techno abstraction that bolsters the Border Community main man's intention to surge ahead with starkly original material. "The Illuminations" is a fast-paced thriller that mixes analogue mischief into psychedelic leanings, leaning on a constantly surging rhythmic intention as a sturdy backbone for long-form synth tweaking of a resolutely hand made nature. On the flip you can lose yourself in the pure drum workout of the "Drumsolo" mix, where the frenetic patterns make for a potent techno tool, or alternatively you can cut loose the percussive anchors and drift off on the ambient wonderment of the "Arpsolo".
Review: UK-Polish duo Holden & Zimpel return with more adventures in Kraut-jazz-techno, if that's even a thing. The description certainly makes sense on 'Saturday', which opens the scoring here on a tip that is at once informed by Underground Resistance, drone-y avant-garde and something with flutes. Starting as it means to go on, to say the least. From there we run through days of the week in order to 'Wednesday', making this one of the longest weekends we can think of in some time. 'Sunday''s distorted strings sounding almost like a strange species communicating via fraught noises. 'Tuesday' is more rhythmically balanced, almost risking coming close to more standard electronica as its melodies reach ever higher, before the final number closes out with an air of euphoria and subtle drive.
Review: It's been seven years since Holden's debut album The Idiots Are Winning was released on his own Border Community imprint, and in that time new material has been scarce to say the least. Thankfully, The Inheritors was well worth the wait; produced with a combination of Holden's extensive analogue modular system and his own self-coded software, the album takes in influences as wide as The KLF, Elgar, ceilidh music, pentatonic folk scales and ancient pagan rituals, with each track recorded in one take with no overdubs. Border Community cohort Luke Abbott's Holkham Drones album would be the closest comparison, but even that superb record doesn't come close to the sprawling marvel that is The Inheritors, with highlights like the jazz sax of "The Caterpillar's Intervention" and twisting analogue techno of "Gone Feral" coming thick and fast.
Review: Holden's 2006 debut album was an astonishing one that gets a timely reissue on double crystal-clear splatter vinyl. A high watermark for proudly synthetic and computer made music, it was the bold arrival of an artist who endures as an innovator to this day. "The Idiots Are Winning" is a masterclass in unhinged grooves, glitchy electronic sounds and mutant sounds that set a new benchmark in experimental textures, sound design and dance floor clout. "Idiot" is the standout banger, "Lump" is more trippy and heat workout, and "10101" is the twitchy and mesmeric workout you cannot escape. Music as idiosyncratic as this doesn't come along too often, and even 13 years left it still sounds fresh.