Review: REPRESS ALERT!: Amsterdam-based duo Wanderwelle presents their fourth full-length album titled A State Of Decrepitude. Inspired by the many aspects of impermanence and facets of decay, the duo composed their most intrinsic and detailed production yet.
After two successful albums on Silent Season and a recent collaboration album with Bandhagens Musikforening on Semantica, Phil van Dulm & Alexander Bartels have applied their talents to create a mysterious soundtrack focussed on the countless faces of deterioration. Recorded in 2018, Wanderwelle's first electroacoustic album is an anthological approach to a theme that is inseparable from our current global crises.
Review: Eho Kates is a new project by techno luminaries Todd Gys and Brendon Moeller. For trainspotters already familiar with their revered back catalogs, this outing is sure to offer some unexpected twists. The record is a grainy, caustic blend of atmospheric intensity, rhythmic dexterity, and occasional moments of sublime grace. Completely fresh, outsider sounds made with a beginner's mind and unbridled enthusiasm for sonic exploration.
Review: Under the BVDub alias, ambient, drone and electronica explorer Brock Van Wey has amassed a vast discography of full-length excursions, though very few of these have been released on wax. The American producer has therefore pushed the boat out for new album Wrath & Empathy, which comprises four lengthy tracks stretched across two green vinyl plates. It's a hugely enjoyable set inspired by what van Wey calls the "magical realism" of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. We're not well versed enough in Murakami's work to spot the sonic references, but there's much to admire, not least the San Franciscan's uncanny ability to create musical gold with little more than layered and effected instrumentation, slow-release ambient chords, gentle IDM beats, tactile aural textures and melodies that linger long in the memory.
Review: If you were judging Kieran Hebden's 11th Four Tet studio album merely on the way it's presented, you'd immediately think he'd spent the last two years immersed in early '90s ambient house albums. While it's unlikely he's done that, it's fair to say that New Energy does owe a debt to classic electronica sets from that period. For all the exotic instrumentation and subtle nods to post-dubstep "aquacrunk" experimentalism and chiming, head-in-the-clouds sunrise house, the album feels like a relic of a lost era. That's not meant as a criticism - New Energy is superb - but it is true that his choice of neo-classical strings, gentle new age melodies, sweeping synthesizer chords and disconnected vocal samples would not sound out of place on a Global Communication album.
Review: All three tracks here have a quality to them that suggests things could easily boot off at any moment, tension that rises and evolves and plays with intensity levels in very pleasing but never obvious ways. 'Psychedelic Frogs' is perhaps the best case in point, sending us spinning out into various cosmic realms that feel several planes above us. It's funk-disco-synth-leftfield business and we spent about an hour trying to come up with a more accurate, definitive description. We couldn't, which is indicative of what this sounds like.
Similarly label-defying is 'Gallium', a tune that seems to have been cut from the same cloth as 1960s spy themes and King of Woolworths productions. Closing out on the rumbling keyboard stabs of staccato builder 'Einstieg', it's not that they don't make them like this anymore, more that they have never really made much like this, period.