Review: Well, we couldn't really be happier. In fact, there is almost nothing to say about this album apart from the fact that it is absolutely, downright essential. Originally released in 1986 on Rough Trade here in the UK, it has been reissued a few time over the years but has always vanished in the blink of an eye and reappeared on the EBay and Discogs circuits for big bucks. Finally, you can indulge in a beautifully remastered version on virgin vinyl. In what is seen by many cultic Russell fans as perhaps his biggest achievement, the LP drifts in and out of light and shadows with utter ease, truly portraying the genius of the man who paved much of the way for modern electronic music generally. From start to finish, it's an ethereal mixture of sparse beats, effect manipulations and folklore, charismatically told by one of the only artists in the history of experimental music to really combine and successfully bind so many unexpected musical terrains. We are only mere mortals, so we won't describe the music to you...just get yourself a copy and see...
Review: "In Rainbows", Radiohead's seventh album, finally gets a physical release! It's one thing downloading this landmark album, but to actually hold this is something special. Not only do you get increased sound quality, but you also get the amazing artwork from Stanley Donwood. This album includes "Nude", a live favourite for many years that was originally written during the "OK Computer" sessions. More minimal that their "Kid A" period, "In Rainbows" does something that very few albums have done - its sound is distinct from previous Radiohead albums, but is still clearly Radiohead. Hail to the kings, they are back on top form. Get this album while you can.
Stay The Same (Blue Daisy Not Quite The Same remix)
Stay The Same (Mark Pritchard remix)
All In Forms (Letherette remix)
The Keeper (Banks remix)
Black Sands (Duke Dumont Grains Of Sand reconstruction edit - full length)
Eyesdown (feat Andreya Triana & DELS)
Review: Two years on from its initial release, Bonobo's much-loved Black Sands album got the remix treatment. While remix albums can be a bit hit and miss, Black Sands Remixed largely hits the spot - thanks in no small part to the A&R involvement of Eglo bossman Alexander Nut. The selection of remixers is open-minded and on-point, resulting in some near stunning interpretations. FaltyDL, Machinedrum and Cosmin TRG offer some decidedly floor-friendly rubs (the former's take on "All In Forms" delivering a great fusion of melancholic depth and skittering drums), while Arp101, Blue Daisy, Floating Points (in jazzwise mode) and fast rising youngster Lapalux turn in thrilling, sofa-friendly reworks.
Feynmann's Rainbow - "The Galactic Tusks" (Clark remix)
Review: In the 12 years since he unfurled acclaimed debut album Clarence Park, one-man electronica factory Chris Clark has produced a vast body of work. He's been particularly busy on the remix front, completing a huge array of reworks. It's this work that makes up the vast majority of Feast/Beast, a remix retrospective (which, curiously, also includes some notable reworks of his material) split into two distinct halves. The first disc, Feast, focuses on the more melodic, other-worldly end of his output, delivering wide-eyed remixes of Amon Tobin, Kuedo and, most beautiful of all, Silverman. Beast, the second disc, moves into darker, tougher territory, joining the dots between techno, bass music, vintage hardcore and wonk-hop thanks to notable versions of Massive Attack, Maximo Park and Depeche Mode.
Review: Tim Hecker's music has a way of consistently confounding expectations thanks to his ever shifting nature, and Virgins is no exception. While 2011's Ravedeath 1972 felt weighed down by its sandblasted sound that brought to mind a ravaged landscape, and last year's Instrumental Tourist was filled with subtle Eastern influences, Virgins comes with a sound that feels somehow elegiac; opener "Prism" places cacophonous organs stretched to infinity, while "Radiance" is as close as Hecker will get to the sound of an angelic chorus. Other moments prove more introspective, such as "Live Room Out", and the sullen piano keys of "Black Refraction". It's an album with the same instantly timeless quality of Fennesz's Venice, and comes highly recommended.
Review: Widely regarded as Boards of Canada's finest hour, Music Has The Right To Children finds itself the subject of a well-deserved 2LP gatefold reissue from Warp Records. One of the most defining records of what was known for better or worse as IDM still sounds as timeless as it did in 1998, as the library tones of "Wildlife Analysis", thick downtempo rhythms of "Roygbiv" and out of focus melodies of "Olson" prove. Essential!
Review: Warp's Boards of Canada reissue campaign reaches Geogaddi, perhaps the duo's most expansive (if not their most popular) record, presented here on a 3LP gatefold edition. Considerably darker than its predecessor Music Has The Right To Children, the claustrophobic sounds of "Gyroscope" and sampled spoken word in tracks like "Dandelion" and "Energy Warning" present a somewhat dystopian setting, filled with unsettling sounds, such as the light but eerie melodies of "Alpha & Omega" and "1969". Undoubtedly one deserving of reappraisal.
Review: Avant-garde composer and guitarist Glenn Branca appears on the archival-focused Superior Viaduct, a label based out of San Francisco that trawls deep to release rare recordings from the likes of Devo, Talking Heads and Ramones affiliate Craig Leon, and San Franciscan punk band The Avengers. This release from Branca, whose label Neutral Records released the first few tracks by Sonic Youth, provided Superior Viaduct with three jangly guitar tracks of his own, spread across two discs. "Lesson No 1 For Electric Guitar" has the slightest of Celtic touches (and Cagean titles) in a progressive and emotionally strummed guitar-lead composition, while "Dissonance" almost sounds like a cheeky reinterpretation of the Batman theme. It's "Bad Smells", though, that will strike a familiar chord with fans of Silent Servant to the aforementioned Sonic Youth. Rock on.
Review: Alex Banks has endured something of a stop-start career, first hitting record shelves in 2007 under the Munk 777 alias before finally returning - largely as a renowned DJ and remixer - a couple of years back. Here the Brighton producer finally fulfils his early promise with an excellent debut album for Modeselektor's Monkeytown Records. Illuminate sits somewhere between grandiose post-dubstep, sinewy string-laden deep house, jazz-flecked techno, murky glitch-hop and folksy electronica, with grandiose dancefloor moments (the gloriously rushing "Inititate") nestling side by side with woozier, more introspective pieces (the Bonobo-goes-electronic jazz of "Lights"). Immaculately produced and impressively atmospheric throughout, it's the sort of debut album that should propel Banks towards the upper echelons of electronic music.
Review: Originally released on Point Music, Philip Glass' 1993 masterpiece is now available on vinyl for the first time. Having always been reissued as a CDR, the wonderful folks over at Music On Vinyl have remastered this three-tracker for turntable use, on 180 G format, of course, and it was about time somebody did so! The three works are deep, luscious and glide between neo-classical and avant-garde with utter ease. Our cherry pick has to be "Subterraneans" for its delicate waves of strings and general feeling of peace. This is THE soundtrack EP and it's a shame it has yet to be used...