This week at Juno

tongues 590

Vester Koza returns, DJ Sottofett remixes Gilb’r, albums by Klara Lewis and Swiss label Mensch, to wares from London Modular Alliance, Vaghe Stelle and Pre-Cert Home Entertainment.

Klara Lewis – Too (Editions Mego)

Klara Lewis – Too (Editions Mego)Klara Lewis has deftly alluded the curse of the difficult second album on Too. Like her Msuic EP for Peder Mannerfelt’s label, it plays on the English language by side-stepping the correct spelling of a word which phonetically speaking, sounds the same. Therefore, is Lewis suggesting subversively that no matter your approach, be it the raw sound of field recordings and processed audio to faltering noise or learned synthesis, it’s all the same thing anyway? Too, however, does differ from her first LP Ett in that her lowly tones, ringing bells lost in delay and classical passage of forlorn instrumentation all add a traditionally musical element to something that wasn’t there before. But don’t worry, all the experimental, industrial and noisy sound design still very much dominates the LP, only a softer side to what Lewis can produce has risen to the top.
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Vester Koza – OTR EP (Houndstooth)

Vester Kozer – OTR EP (Houndstooth)It’s the A&R skills of Rob Booth’s curated Houndstooth that have successfully coaxed the sounds of Londoner Vester Kozer away from his formidable home base Maslo. This OTR EP sees Koza deliver Fabric’s in-house label four tracks of minimal, experimental techno, with the A-side aimed at the afterhours dancefloor or warm up set, while the B-side’s three others cuts trip from Mark Fell skitter dub to beatless reductions of filtered synths and spectral percussive patterns. Since last year’s PRISN EP, Koza’s production have pushed the limits of what DJs can call functional, and using previous tracks like “Mosquito” and “Beauty” from his earlier releases as an example, Koza’s current sound is far from linear and twice as adventurous.
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Gilb’r – Cham (Versatile)

Gilb’r – Cham (Versatile)Amsterdam’s Trouw is a club sorely missed by many, but thankfully with the De School venue opening up as a replacement it’s energy has meant records like this now get produced. Apparently laid down in the aftermath of a back-to-back set at De School, Versatile boss Gilb’r called DJ Sotofett into his Pipe studio to help finish something he was working on. Sotofett’s finishing touches resulted in two new productions of “live takes almost unedited” with the addition of some Shadi Khries percussion. The A-side can be split into two parts – half pensive synth section/half groovy, lo-fi kick and bass combo – while the B-side keeps the original track’s tension intact for something darker and nebulous.
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Severence – Mensch 003 (Mensch)

Severence – Mensch 003 (Mensch)One of those labels successfully slipping under the radar at the moment is the Swiss-based Mensch. Take a look at their discography and you’ll see one Roger 23 inaugurated the label last year with Mensch 001 – do check out the minimal reductions of that album’s opening track. The music on Mensch is experimental to say the least and artists to contribute music are far from recognisable names, with Severance’s only association outside of this release being an album he did for Benjamin Brunn’s Bine Music in 2013. With close to 40-minutes of field recordings, modular atmospheres and avant garde classicalisms to immerse yourself in, Mensch 003 is a long playing mood setter of sounds that will shelve like a fine wine that you’ll most likely pull out to enjoy during a quieter moment with yourself.
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London Modular Alliance – Wireless (Applied Rhythmic Technology)

London Modular Alliance – Wireless (Applied Rhythmic Technology)Already well known as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of modular synthesiser-related wares, as well as a formidable live concern, London Modular Alliance make the leap to their first proper outing on vinyl in style with an appearance on Kirk Degiorgio’s seminal A.R.T label. As you might expect from such an occasion, there’s a classic feel to Wireless across all four tracks, with a predominant leaning towards electro in keeping with LMA member Phil Ventre’s roots in the genre. There’s a cool and deadly feel to the title track, like a slow stalking twist of Der Zyklus or Dopplereffekt, while “Pusher” sees the trio branching out into more experimental soundscape territory before a distinctly UK leaning rhythmic shake comes to bear. All cut from the same sinister cloth but with something different to say, these four tracks represent a proudly British take on electro that marks a strong first step on record for the Alliance.
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Severed Heads – Stretcher (Medical)

Severed Heads – Stretcher (Medical)It’s hard to move for the amount of reissued Severed Heads material these days, not least on Dark Entries, but Medical have also been hot on the case with the likes of the City Slab Horror repress back in 2014. They now turn to Stretcher, which originally existed as an EP back in the ‘80s before fleshing out to become a compilation of plenty of classic ‘Heads material’. There are plenty of timeless jams included here, including the ubiquitous “Dead Eyes Opened”, “Petrol” and “Heat Seeking Susan”, all of which sound as dazzling and daring as they ever have. The real hook is in bagging so much vintage material from Australia’s foremost industrial group in one place, with no less than seventeen tracks of deviant delights to gorge yourself on.
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Vaghe Stelle – The Full Stream Ahead: The Prologue (Other People)

Vaghe Stelle – The Full Stream AheadHaving previously dazzled minds on Astro:Dynamics and Danse Noire amongst others, Vaghe Stelle comes to Other People with an ambitious vision in the form of this four part mini-album. The Full Stream Ahead is a sonic collage of sorts, tousling its way through all kinds of textural phenomenon in pursuit of a narrative of sorts. It’s a journey steeped in unpredictability, and it’s largely crafted to be pretty scary stuff, but it’s also staggering in its detail and quality. Moving beyond the basic realms of writing straightforward songs, this is electronic music being wielded as a way to paint a truly vivid picture that shudders with guttural sub-lines and gleams with high-end shimmer, both grimy and dirty and utterly magnificent in equal measure.
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Decent International – Leaving You (Decent International)

Decent International – Leaving You (Decent International)Supposedly linked to the workings of the Going Good fraternity, this new 12” of African edits comes steeped with the kind of digging quality, gentle touch and classy packaging that sets it apart from a swathe of less favourable efforts. Both “Leaving You” and “When Koaa” are more traditional cuts that keep the source material intact and work modern elements into the mix in a subtle fashion, giving you jams buffed up for club play without losing that warm, natural flow that makes the original music so special. Meanwhile there are some intriguing ruminations at work on “Uganda Futura 1” and “Uganda Futura 2”, where samples of percussion have been plunged into deep experimental recesses, looping up and tripping out in magnificent fashion. It’s definitely record of two distinct halves, both of which are worth the price alone.
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Tongues Of Light – Channelled Messages At The End Of History (Pre-Cert Home Entertainment)

Tongues Of Light – Channelled Messages At The End Of History (Pre-Cert Home Entertainment)You can always count on Demdike Stare to have their fingers in all sorts of unsettling pies, and it’s no different here. Working with Andy Votel for their joint Pre-Cert Home Entertainment label, the team have committed themselves to presenting all kinds of unusual curios on wax, and this time they turn to equally wayward son Sam McLoughlin who has crafted a record of mightily eerie proportions under the Tongues Of Light banner. Purportedly the vocal recordings that run through the core of the record come from people channelling messages from celestial entities, supposedly messages of light although the horror tones that surround the chants would have you believe otherwise. Like an occult nightmare vision, this is the kind of release to keep you up at night, like all the best ones should.
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