Review: Krautrock legends, visionary iconoclasts and one of the most influential bands of the last half century they may be, but not many folk would have had Can pegged as a singles band, given that their origins in the kaftan-clad realm of the late-'60s and early-'70s tended more to full-length explorations in which the full force of their expression could be unleashed. This triple vinyl compilation not only rubbishes this preconception but offers a glimpse into the full spectrum of sound, from the sky-kissing serenades of 'Future Days' to the dancefloor-filling swagger of 'I Want More' and even the unlikely Christmas carol 'Silent Night'. A life-affirming compilation from a gang of longhairs like no other.
Review: Those with a passion for drone textures and off-kilter ambient recordings should already be familiar with the work of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. The New York-based Californian multi-instrumentalist has spent the last decade sauntering between labels, releasing a string of well-regarded albums in the process. On The Echoing Green is his second full-length for Mexican Summer. It sees him expertly blurring the boundaries between drone, ambient and dub techno, presenting a range of cuts that flit between clandestine moodiness, sparkling beauty and mood-enhancing bliss. Check, for example, the shoegaze-influenced brilliance of "Echoing Green" and "Tenderness", the distorted, intergalactic noise of "Vulgar Latin" and the layered field recordings of "Door To Night".
Review: For a generation who grew up in the '90s, the work of Tim Gane in Stereolab was often as much of an introduction to krautrock as that sound's actual progenitors. Yet this was only one string to his bow, with the band also traversing genre as effortlessly with abstract electronica as with tropicalia or French chanson. Gane now dwells in Berlin, and Cavern Of Anti-Matter marks his first bona side band project since Stereolab's breakup, enlisting the help of guest luminaries like Sonic Boom and Deerhunter's Bradford Cox for a vivid selection of delirious forays into the unknown that touch on sci-fi, techno and retro electronic tropes yet can't help but bear all the hallmarks of Gane's finest and most restless work.
Review: Marc Nguyen Tan was updating krautrock tropes in disarmingly ice-cool style way before the popular renaissance for such stylistic moves began, yet he's been somewhat quiet in the last ten years since his original label - Trevor Jackson's Output - folded. Indeed, some of the material on his fourth album 'The Rain' hails from not long after that period, having hung in limbo, yet these nocturnal soundscapes never sound dated or mannered. Without many interjections from his trademark understated vocals, these songs take a more experimental and free-flowing bent, yet remain the ineffable Gallic mystique by which he made his name, marking a welcome return to the fold for this charismatic figure.