Review: The latest dusted down archival dig from Emotional Rescue is by Politrio, a short-lived new wave / post punk band from Italy who released one album in the mid 80s. The focus of this release is their cover of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," which originally appeared on the Amnesty International P.E.A.C.E Benefit Compilation in 1987. It's a wild take full of rampant guitar wailing and limber slap bass that teeters towards the 80s funk rock of Faith No More et al, and that's no bad thing at all. On the B side of this 7" Double Wave gets busy in the edit, offering up a stripped back version for the spinners.
Arctic Monkeys - "Leave Before The Lights Come On"
The Newell Octet - "Baby I'm Yours"
Review: A brand new studio recording of the now live smash "Leave Before The Lights Come On" shows Alex Turner and gang further honing their songwriting craft with a track which could well turn out to be one of their finest.
Better Man (Craig Bratley instrumental remix) (4:44)
Review: Here's a question for you: What happens when you take a track by a British power trio heavily influenced by blues and psychedelia, and get a master of wayward, left-of-centre Balearica to remix it? You get the latest 12" missive from Claremont 56, which sees Bella Figura's "Better Man" reworked twice in impressive fashion by Magic Feet boss Craig Bratley. If you are familiar with Bratley's output for s It Balearic, Bird Scarer and Tsuba, you know the man breathes cosmic goodness and his work on Bella Figura's track offers a subtle new version that loses none of Justin Gartry's bluesy poignancy whilst adding a sparsely treated beat and plenty of low lying studio trickery.
Malaria! - "Your Turn To Run (I Will Be Your Only One)"
Ausserhalb - "Zeitzelle"
Die Haut - "Der Karibische Western"
Aus Lauter Liebe - "Pingelig"
Mania D - "Track 4"
ExKurs - "Fakten"
Christiane F - "Wunderbar" (JD Twitch edit)
Sprung Aus Den Wolken - "Dub & Die"
P1/E - "Up And Above/Up & Above Dub"
Franz Erlmeier & Fritz Kostler - "Offnen Sie Mal Ihre Tasche"
Populare Mechanik - "Scharfer Schnitt (No 1)"
Andreas Dorau - "Fred Vom Jupiter"
Weltklang - "Veb Heimat"
Stefan Bloser - "Voyager One"
Matthias Schuster - "An Rah Robeel"
Review: When it comes to compilation making there's probably no two safer names in the art than Strut Records and Optimo's JD Twitch (and maybe the one Trevor Jackson too). This time around though, surprise surprise, Twitch collides a choice selection of oddball rarities and mythical classics from Germany's original post-punk and DIY scene, and in the process gives the behemoth Vinyl-on-demand label a dashing run for its money. There's a staggering amount of music to be discovered here that will send your mind running down one of Berlin's dank strasses or a Dresden ditch, but after hearing tracks like "Your Turn To Run" by Malaria! or Twitch's own edit of Christiane F "Wunderbar" you may be left wondering why you've been listening to Talking Heads and "Eisbear" this whole time.
Why Do I Lose My Mind When I Have Something To Say?
Review: Through her 'U.S. Girls' project, Toronto-based Meg Remy has released a consistently high quality run of albums that explore issues of femininity with a shaded and angular avant-pop sound. New record 'In A Poem Unlimited' sees Remy continue to explore identity politics, but in a comparatively warmer and more free sound as she collaborates with improvisational group The Cosmic Range. Structurally, the album enjoys an unpredictability of form that sprawls across skulking grunge, found sounds, crunching horn-sections and synth-driven industrial disco. Highlight track 'Incidental Boogie' exemplifies this binding of elements; the contrast of stomping, distorted with Remy's breathy and swaggering vocals is an intoxicating one. The breadth of Remy's palette makes this album an exhilarating listen, and - both as a vocalist and writer - Remy shines as an arresting and formidable talent.
Review: Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, worked tirelessly on 'Rest' for seven years before it was ready for release. The effect of this time spent in gestation is palpable, giving a sense of her meditative and contemplative process of songwriting. 'Rest' draws from a broad palette of sounds such as alt-rock and coldwave, with more upbeat moments of disco and pop. 'Rest' is an intensely personal album with emotional foundations in grief and family ties, and its deft structure and writing shows off Gainsbourg's ability to use light and shade - here as melancholy and hope - to powerful effect.
Review: Ty Segall, one of the leading lights and most hard-working artists of America's west coast garage scene, perfectly balances quality and quantity with 'Freedom's Goblin', his tenth studio album under his own name (include his live records, aliases and collaborations, and the total body of work effectively doubles). Having seemingly ditched the songwriting rules he had set himself on previous albums, 'Freedom's Goblin' sees Ty Segall at his most explosive and full-throttle, inventively exploring the many avenues of sub-genres of rock and psychedelia. Consisting of 19 ironclad songs that clock in at nearly eighty minutes, this is an expansive and exhilarating album that never becomes tiring. The wild combination of flawless production (co-engineered by the legendary Nirvana producer Steve Albini) and Segall's balance of raw power and melodic sensibility, makes 'Freedom's Goblin' another astoundingly high-calibre addition to an already colossal catalogue.
Review: 'American Utopia' is the first solo record in 14 years from iconic polymath David Byrne. The album comes as part of a larger project entitled 'Reasons To Be Cheerful' - a series of works that strives to antidote pervasive social and political anxieties. In keeping with this, 'American Utopia' questions realities of contemporary culture with playful writing that shifts perspectives and favours optimism over despairing pessimism. Being the product of working with 25 collaborators, 'American Utopia' feels like something of a sonic patchwork, but doesn't ever feel sprawling, neatly tied together by Byrne's inimitable sense of melody and harmony. 'American Utopia' doesn't offer any transcendental conclusions on how to save the world, but advocates positive and unusual ways of looking at the world around us, and with a career underpinned by a singular and indescribable quirkiness, Byrne is the ideal candidate the job.
Review: Since their widely lauded 2015 debut 'A Dream Outside', London based four-piece Gengahr have devoted a significant amount of time touring and working on 'Where Wildness Grows' a follow-up that stridently meets expectations. Their music builds on UK indie of the early-mid noughties, with doses of a contemporary psych-pop aesthetic. The songwriting here is ambitious and broad, tracks going from breezy sun-flecked pop, to Maccabees-esque epics, to reverberating soundscapes, to stark angular guitars over almost funk grooves. It's clear just how much time and care the band have put into the record, with every song showcasing their intricate writing, layering and structures. 'Where Wildness Grows' is a lush and urgent sophomore record, and a giant leap forward for the band.
Review: After appearing on the first Calypso Records release out of Mexico last year, Colossio returns to the fray with a whole EP of sleazy jams for the warm up crowd to get nasty to. "Moto" is a grinding crossover track that features dirty garage guitars to match the low-slung synth undulations and sizzling disco beat, while "Fe" throws the windows open for a ranging cut centred around all kinds of instrumentation played with a post-punk looseness. "Ansia" keeps things nervous and atmospheric without skimping on party energy, and then Man Power swoops in for a remix of "Moto" that keeps things spooky while injecting a swinging groove into the mix.
Review: Maryjane Dunphe and Laurent Dagincourt's debut as CC Dust, the Night School released "Shinkasen No. 1" 7", was impressive enough to mark them out as an act to watch. This eponymous EP delivers on that early promise, offering synth-pop cuts that gleefully reference some of their favourite bands. "Tonopah", for example, features synths and guitar motifs that recall early New Order, while "Never Going To Die" has the sort of low-slung bass and evocative vocals that will be familiar to fans of The Futureheads and Franz Ferdinand. Intriguingly, flipside cut "Mutiny" sits somewhere between those two tracks, while "Abra" is a synth-driven blast of emotion-rich pop melancholy.
Review: The latest Acido release sees the full debut of Karl Lukas Pettersson, aka Gothenburg's premier electro exponent Lukas Karl Pettersson who previously featured on Dynamo Dreesen's label back in 2007 under his familiar Luke Eargoggle alias. As Karl Lukas Pettersson, the Swede is evidently looking to explore a sound less trodden with both "Paradise Island" and "Travel The World" crafty concoctions formed from various elements of primitive wave and Das Ding style electro that sound convincingly like they were exhumed from DAT tapes in the late '80s. If you are a fan of Acido, you'll no doubt be used to such stylistic deviations from the label, but Dark Entries and Minimal Wave fans should also check these cuts!
Review: Ahead of an impending, headline performance at this year's edition of Berlin Atonal, Richard Fearless opens up his Death In Vegas project to the Industrial icons that are Chris & Cosey. It's "Consequence Of Love," an early highlight of the most recent DIV LP, Transmission, that is the focus of attentions here, and arguably a track that looks to Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti's Throbbing Gristle for inspiration. The original version is presented here on 12" format for those Death In Vegas loving selectors out there who want a loud pressing of the track and the accompanying Chris & Cosey remix does take it to a different place. That breathy vocal is given more prominence and fairly dominates the remix.
Death Machine (Antoni Maiovvi Nightstalking remix)
Review: Gerard Papasimakopoulos and Lucas Savidis aka The Rattler Proxy are making some of the best electro / sci-fi score music in Athens, Greece. The former takes care of the vocal end, while the latter indulges in deep, metallic synthesizers and together they are quickly carving their own sound and musical aesthetic. The title track "Death Machine" sits somewhere between Joy Division and the later cold-wave sound of the mid-to-late eighties, and Canada's Jokers Of The Scene transform it into a slow-stepping, synthed-out groover with an awesome array of mild pads and starry atmospherics. "Company Of The Wolves" is faster, break-ridden and owl-eyed, whereas Antoni Maiovvi's remix of the title track is perhaps the gem of the lot - an EBM kinda jam with plenty of shaking and low-end filth. Class.
Review: Following up great releases by Jack Pattern and Hansen Windisch, Lustpoderosa now presents Leipzig based kosmische-kraut-punk live act Syncboy - who is said to have recorded these tracks live at an infamous squat in Zurich. From stunning melodic ambient journeys such as "Stolpern" through to slow burning psychedelic epics like "Green Market" or "Kiss An Elephant" respectively, or the po-faced cold wave inspired closer "Waterfalls". Recommended for fans of Vactrol Park, Vermont or Benedikt Frey. The German producer sure has a diverse repertoire musically and we're certainly intrigued by what Bodo Hansen has in store next for 2018.
Review: The Durutti Column is Vini Reilly and Bruce Mitchell. In a career spanning the past four decades, and over 25 albums, they have written and performed as one of Manchester's most influential and prolific acts from their beginnings as Factory Records first signing to their fifth and latest album release on Kooky. "Sporadic Three" is the third in a series of special collections some 16 years since the original "Sporadic Recordings". As highlighted over his long and illustrious career, Vini Reilly is a prolific songwriter. Ideas and tracks just fly from Vini, and he's currently in the form of his life. Unfortunately, most of these tracks, or initial versions of songs, never make it to final release. The basic idea then behind The Sporadic Recordings series is to release material that never makes it onto studio albums. This collection follows the same premise and contains new and exclusive tracks, outtakes, versions, and home demos. Reilly's off cuts contain more ideas than most of us have over the course of a lifetime. A key interest for Durutti Column fans lies around the listener being able to hear a re-work, adaptation or different instrumentation used by Reilly as he regularly re-visits music from the past. The music of The Durutti Column has been commissioned for films such as "Jerry Maguire" and "Requiem Again", in addition to various works for television.