Review: Eight years after Teufelswerk, an album in which Hell called up giants like Bryan Ferry and P Diddy for creative adventures, International Deejay Gigolo Hell presents his fifth album Zukunftmusik. A much more personal affair, written and created with Peter Kruder, the album takes a deep dive into Hell's psyche. His inspirations, fears and fascinations all laid bare as we glide and slide from the poignant ballad of "Anywhere Anytime" to sinewy, sinister 6am acid ("Guede") via orchestrated cinematic synthesis ("K House" and "Inferno") to strident slices of evocative and highly narrative house music such as "Wild At Art". Hewn together with shades of experimentation and timeless pop science, Hell's created something incredibly special here.
Review: Legendary alt-rock group spearheaded by Robert Pollard delivers a massive 32-track double-album called Zeppelin Over China. Guided By Voices have released more albums than you can poke a fender at, and this whopper makes it 10 LPs in 10 years, straight. In a sentence, it's an album of balanced positivity avoiding the pitfalls of nihilism to a degree, and perhaps best suited for that whiskey drinking malaise. Deep inside the music you'll hear references (owing or given to) from the likes of Pearl Jam and David Bowie (most obviously), with nothing to be taken away from Pollard's songwriting and vocal presence, and along with the band's lucid technique, it's 75-minutes of the good stuff, neat or on the rocks.
Review: Chris Tietjen has long been a valued member of the Cocoon family, and mixed his first CD for the Frankfurt-based label way back in 2006. Here he celebrates a decade of collaboration with a tenth and apparently final mix for the imprint. Partly designed as a look back over the label's releases over the past 10 years, Zehn comes across like a labour of love. Densely packed with tracks - he impressively squeezes some 36 selections into 70 minutes, showcasing work from a veritable who's who of techno talent - it offers a typically fluid, atmospheric, late night-friendly chug through tech-house, minimal and European after-party hypnotism.
Review: Alexis Georgopoulos, aka Arp, is based in Brooklyn, New York. Drawing on elevated kosmische atmospheres, minimalist classical composition, library, glam and leftfield disco influences, he has released music on RVNG, Beats In Space, Type, Opal Tapes and Emotional Response plus presented in galleries and like MoMA PS1 and the New Museum. A mutant offspring of diverse stylings, 2018's expansive Zebra LP is a post-everything symbiosis of ancient to future psychotropics. Using forward-looking production techniques, the album is a vast, shimmering prospect that emphasises points of connectivity, and pleasantly disrupts outdated boundaries between musical traditions, hierarchies and genre politics.
Review: The debut self-titled ?? comes in a limited edition of only one hundred tapes. These four tracks are separated into vignettes, running about forty minutes and contain evocative drone work, from the faint abyss to luminous, jettisoning abandon. Radiance purrs of low-fi tranquility that skims the thin layered surface, with a warm base. Night Shineth as the Day collects some outdoor field recordings, bird sing sweetly paired with a sinewy mid-tonal synth alternating between a lackadaisical afternoon and hazy daydreaming.
Review: The husband-and-wife team of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley made their name with fuzzed-out surf-pop of a particularly slack and sunny variety. This fourth record sees them mellowing into something still more summery and beatific, inspired by a sailing trip around the Sea Of Cortez and touched by a very '70s-inspired and soulful stripe of deliriously poppy songcraft. Somewhere between the soft rock of Fleetwood Mac and the lilt of the era's disco hits, the beguiling likes of 'My Emotions Are Blinding' and 'Ladies Don't Play Guitar' have just as much in the way of lyrical wisdom to offer as musical sophistication, offering edges and introspective depth to a carefree and seductive sound.
Review: There are many things that make Sons of Kemet a unique proposition, not least the London jazz combo's unique musical make-up (saxophonist and main man Shabaka Hutchings is joined by a tuba player and two drummers). There's also the small matter of their music, which goes above and beyond the traditional confines of jazz. On 'Your Queen Is A Reptile', Hutchings and company go even further, delivering what one critic described as "party music with a purpose". In reality, that means a selection of scorching tracks rich in dueling drum-work, booming tuba basslines and fizzing sax refrains, many of which touch on a combination of heavy Afro-jazz, spiritual jazz, New Orleans brass bands and even the guttural pulse of British bass music. Impressive stuff, all told.
Review: In 1972, Marvin Gaye set to work recording what was scheduled to become the follow-up to his greatest single studio album, the previous year's "What's Going On". In the end, only one single from that mooted set ever appeared - "You're The Man", a weary assessment of that year's U.S Presidential Election - and Gaye's bitter arguments with Motown continued. This intriguing album tries to set the record straight, gathering together work completed for the shelved album with newly mixed songs based around previously unfinished works. There's much to admire throughout, with the material flitting between the kind of lusciously orchestrated, conscious songs featured on Gaye's previous set and more commercial-sounding Motown pop (much of which was produced by Willie Hutch).
Review: Following the precursing release of a Memphis Industries 7" last year by You Tell Me, Peter Brewis (Field Music) and Admiral Fallow member Sarah Hayes finally present their debut self-titled record of their new collaboration. Said to be an album taking on themes of 'expectations and people's individual ways of navigating' them, this record presents a bold, folky and big band trundle through rolling pasture of horns, strings and powerful pop rock and disco dance! Both artists distinct styles come together here like a birthday party going off and the pair's vocal interplay stands out tremendously among a huge assortment of highly, well-produced instrumentation that makes you feel like your somewhere between 1969 and 1992. Where were you?
Review: During the early 1990s, British four-piece Mother Earth was one of the most active bands on the acid jazz scene. While they never had the runaway success of, say, Incognito or Galliano, they produced a string of quietly impressive albums. You Have Been Watching first appeared 22 years ago in 1995 and remains notable for its heady mix of psychedelic rock, Hammond funk, soul and jazz-rock influences. While much of the acid jazz music from that period hasn't dated well, Mother Earth's songs still resonate all the years on - a reflection, perhaps, of the weighty subjects and themes often covered in their politically aware lyrics.
Review: London's contemporary jazz scene is so strong right now that there's not a week that passes without the release of a killer new album from one of its leading protagonists. The latest comes from Ezra Collective, which finally delivers its' debut album following a string of inspired live performances and a handful of must-have singles. Kicking off with a breezy chunk of hip-hop-jazz, "You Can't Steal My Joy" sees the hyped five-piece confidently bounce between intense, spiraling epics ("Why You Mad?"), reggae-influenced aural sunshine ("Red Whine"), polyrhythmic Afro-jazz ("Quest For Coin"), bespoke soul (Jorja Smith hook-up "Reason In Disguise"), live boom-bap hip-hop (Loyle Carner collaboration "What Am I To Do"), bustling Afro-Cuban jazz ("Chris & Jane"), picturesque piano pieces ("Philosopher II") and much more besides. As debuts go, it's mighty impressive.
Review: The mercurial and magical Jeff Buckley departed this realm leaving a severe shortage of actual material, thus this collection of early demos - recorded in 1993 in advance of his debut album proper 'Grace' - marks a cherished opportunity to experience his soulful intensity and otherworldly powers as an interpreter of song. The majority of 'You And I' consists of covers, traversing all the way from Sly & The Family Stone to The Smiths, yet all imbued with his uniquely raw, intuitive and captivating approach. The world will never see the like of Jeff Buckley again, which makes 'You And I' a document worth savouring.
Review: The latest missive from Trevor Jackson's label, Pre-, is another previously unreleased archive project from the man himself. Jackson recorded the material contained on the album between 1994 and 1997, when he was best known for producing dusty, sample-heavy hip-hop beats as the Underdog. Understandably, roughly half of You boasts the blazed, head-nodding swing of dope hip-hop drums, cleverly combined with textured samples of acoustic guitars and other vaguely Balearic instrumentation. The other half is more experimental in tone, with Jackson variously touching on post-rock, new age and folksy ambience. Most importantly, it's all hugely entertaining.
Review: "Year of the Dragon" marks Windsurf member Samuel Milton Grawe's first album for some seven years under the Hatchback guise and it is nothing short of spellbinding. It sees Grawe mix and match a variety of complimentary influences - think space disco, cosmic rock, horizontal electronic jazz, slo-mo synth-pop, Balearica, 1980s library music and synth-wave - to create evocative, musically rich tracks that not only defy simple categorization, but also linger in the memory. Highlights include the dreamy, loved-up ambient cut "Onarimon" and "Year Of The Dragon", a 12-minute Balearic epic that reminded us of his early classics "Hatchback" and "White Diamond".
Review: The Hoosiers unleash the follow-up to two Top 5 hits & one of the stand out tracks from the #1 Sony BMG album
'The Trick To Life'. More quirky pop, with clever lyrics & an infectious tune. Ltd 2 track cd format. Upcoming tour in Spring '08.
Review: Following 2012's fourth volume that celebrated the existential work of Tim Maia, here we find Luaka Bop exploring the legacy of William Onyeabor. A high chief and Kenyan diplomat who allegedly refuses to discuss his music, he self-released eight albums in the 70s and 80s and these are some of the many highlights. Stretching from the New York-influenced post-punk synth funk of "Good Name" to the most authentic Afro fusion of "Why Go To War", Onyeabor's range not only reflects his clear creative skill, but also the ever-developing international language of music during the fruitful period he was active. Who is William Onyeabor? Press play and find out yourselves...
Tower Of Meaning/Rabbit's Ear/Home Away From Home*
Let's Go Swimming
The Name Of The Next Song
Our Last Night Together
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: Welcome to the World Of Blundetto, stick around and familiarise yourself with the delightful charms of this third album from Frenchman Maxime Guiget. With a sound spanning reggae, Latin, African, Jazz and more established on the first two Blundetto albums, World Of... finds Guiget expanding this vision for perhaps his finest work to date. Vocals naturally play a big part in World Of... with some of France's foremost Reggae voices like Biga Ranx and PupaJim featuring amongst the 12 tracks, whilst Marina Peloso's contribution to "Last Broken Bones" marks it out as an album highlight. Look out for the cover of Bob Marley's "Work" too which features New York rapper Jahdan Blakamoore and Ubiquity's ubiquitous Shawn Lee.
Review: Earlier in the year, modern minimal wave and coldwave hero Marie Davidson signed a high-profile deal with Ninja Tune. Here, she makes good on that contract, following a couple of killer singles with what could be her strongest album to date. After setting the tone with clandestine, tongue-in-cheek opener "Your Biggest Fan" - a creepy spoken word cut taking aim at stalker-line fans to the accompaniment of heavy analogue synth bass and creepy computer bleeps - Davidson giddily flits between elastic dancefloor workouts (the brilliantly sleazy "Work It" and mind-altering "Workaholic Paranoid Bitch"), attractive post-EBM instrumentals (the psychedelic and fizzing "Lara"), meditative ambient melodiousness ("Day Dreaming"), bizarre experimental weirdness (the suitable dystopian "The Tunnel"), and stylish analogue pop (the whispered vocals and off-kilter early morning funk of "So Right").
Review: Since Demdike Stare released their last album in 2012, the world seems to have got altogether darker and more shocking. It certainly seems a fitting time for the Lancastrian duo to return with their sixth full length. Wonderland naturally boasts a number of typically clandestine, pagan outings - see the dense, industrial influenced "Curzon", fearlessly distorted "Hardnoise" and mutant jungle fuzziness of "Sourcer" - but also moments of frenzied funk and quiet contemplation. In the latter category you'll find sublime album closer "Overstaying", where shimmering synth melodies and ghostly chords rub shoulders with elastic bass and skittish drum machine percussion. However dark and bleak things may seem, there's always hope, even in the intensely unsettling world of Demdike Stare.
Review: Killer new LP length project from the man that is Gifted & Blessed! Although Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker has been producing his soul-filled machine music under a number of aliases since 2004, most notably as Gifted & Blessed, the past year has seen him break out with releases for high profile labels like All City, Eglo and Wild Oats, with his release for the latter providing one of the most memorable bespoke vinyl releases of recent times. However, its his own eponymous label that has been the primary home for most of the producer's recent work, with the 3 Aspects of One EP providing the most recent example. One of this year's most appropriately named LPs, Within These Machines is by no means the LA resident' s first album but it does see him expand his style somewhat with typically excellent results. There are more overtly house and techno moments here for example, though tracks like the gurgling "Tesla's Notebook" and restless "Rain Dance" are as experimentally minded as ever.
Review: Liam Gallagher is many things to many people, and one thing to everyone - authentic. It seems unthinkable we could question the indie roller's motives, or expect anything other than the "meat and veg rock" he described his own work as during a 2018 interview with The Guardian. "Why Me? Why Not" sees him take that mantra to new heights. As an album it's as accomplished and polished as anything this pied piper of the raw and unpolished has gifted us in the years after *that band*, making for an immediately engaging collection of anthems-in-the-making that will have crowds eating out of the palm of his hand as if they'd never seen his hand before, or tasted any of the food he's been feeding them for years now. And therein lies the reason it remains impossible to criticise this undeniably upfront British songwriter. Enough said.
Review: The preaching sirens of Deerhunter return, long has everyone been waiting, since the band's Fading Frontier LP of 2015. The group have moved on from the pinky-pop nostalgia they've described as their last album, and moved into and towards a darker and more intensifying feel. The Atlanta group's eighth full-length in total finds itself tripping out on klaviers and chant-like numbers as heard in "Element" and the rickety jingle of album opener "Death In Midsummer". While there's some crooked-eye positivity to be found in the James Dean referencing "Plains", the masterwork of the band's ambient and cinematic scope remains as strong as ever, and alongside Bradford Cox's undeniable haunt, vocal contributions and extra (subtle) hints of subversive nihilism come from Cate Le Bon and White Fence's Tim Presley.
Review: Is there a more forward-thinking and proudly distinctive outfit in contemporary electronic music than Modeselektor? Certainly, the German duo's latest album - their first studio set for eight years - suggests that they have few competitors for this crown. Underground but accessible, diverse but consistent thanks to the pair's fuzzy-but-polished production, the set sees them showcase a range of cuts that expertly meld club-friendly beats and sounds - think grime, techno, post-electro, acid house and the punchy-but-rubbery rhythms of UK funky - with skewed pop hooks, oddball vocals, hazy electronics and a big dollop of experimental intent. As you'd expect, the results are little less than superb.
Dead In The Water (live At RTE 2FM Studios, dublin - bonus track)
Review: Three studio albums in, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds have managed to distance themselves from their frontman's legacy enough to become a household name in their own right. 'Who Built The Moon' sees Gallagher continue to assert his famed song-writing prowess whilst pushing his band in new directions with bluesy-rock anthems, smoky and atmospheric interludes and the satisfying electronic pop of tracks like 'She Taught Me How To Fly'. It's this willingness to explore and experiment that makes this album his most ambitious to date, and the finest post-Oasis work that either of the Gallaghers have produced.
Review: Somewhat surprisingly, this collaborative album had its roots in a 2013 request from Michael Mantra for dub techno and ambient dub stalwart Mr. Cloudy to remix tracks from his Silent Season-released 2013 LP "Light In My Head". Six years later, and after sending parts and versions back and forth, the pair has conjured this set of lengthy, deep and mind-altering excursions. Mr. Cloudy provides versions of the collaborative "White Dub": an ultra-deep, spaced-out "Remix" that smothers a gentle, slowly shifting ambient dub rhythm in heavily processed snatches of field recordings and atmospheric aural textures around and a sparser, more spaced-out "Edit" that's closer in tone to Mantra's otherworldly, dub-influenced soundscapes. Sandwiched in between you'll find a hypnotic version by Mantra that was partly created using music concrete techniques.
Review: Hot on the heels of his No Beginning No End album, Jose returns with yet another arresting tale of modern day soul. His distinctive baritone humming with raw emotion he covers a broad soundscape that includes contemporary off-beat fracturisms ("U R The 1"), dreamy psychedelia ("Were Sleeping"), heavy bluesy rock ("Anywhere U Go") and Bonobo-style string drama ("4 Noble Truths"). Far-reaching, arresting and delivered with real authenticity, Jose's repertoire is as spotless and creative as it was when Giles Peterson first signed him 10 years ago.
Review: The tireless Emotional Rescue dig once more into the well of cultish music from days gone by with a fully remastered reissue of Whichever Way You Are Going You Are Going Wrong, the debut album from brotherly duo Woo. Originally released back in 1982, this thirteen track set finds Mark and Clive Ives delivering a hugely ahead of their time exposition of hard to categorise electro acoustic folk. This hugely prolific pair was once described as "sounding like the music the Durutti Column would have made with Penguin Cafe Orchestra if produced by Brian Eno" and whoever came up with that obviously had Whichever Way You Are Going You Are Going Wrong in mind.
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: African-American consciousness is the primary theme of this 10-track collection from Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble, a 15-piece musical collective headed up by eponymous improvisational artist Damon Locks, who's based in the Windy City. Sampled Civil Rights-era speeches, Afro-gospel harmonies, heavy 909 kicks and found sounds all find their way into freeform jazz excursions, providing the primary ingredients for a musical stew that defies easy categorisation. If you're looking for soothing, lounge-y vibes you're in the wrong place, but if you like your music 'challenging' both rhythmically and intellectually, this is an album that's worth investigating.
Review: The weight of expectation has been lifted. Having turned heads in the right places with breakout track "More Is Less", Dublin's The Murder Capital fulfil the promise of being Ireland's next great guitar hope by delivering a staggering debut album that's powerful yet subtle, uplifting and outward looking yet dark and introverted. No walking contradiction, it's an accomplished and entirely human record. It also sounds as tight as you could ask for. Produced by none other than Flood, whose credits are good enough to drop any jaw (PJ Harvey, Foals, New Order), for evidence just stop to consider the top end hooks and percussive detail on single "Green & Blue", invoking Liars in pared-back post punk mode. Or the tense, unnerving introduction to opener "For Everything". By the time you hit "Don't Cling To Life", arguably the most emotionally charged and reflective here, hopes of walking away unmoved are done for.
Review: Since the release of his debut 12" back in 2013, Anton Kubikov has established himself as one of the fastest-rising names in the dub techno scene. For this keenly anticipated debut album, he's flipped the script a little, delivering a set of breathtaking ambient tracks. Given the atmospheric nature of his previous productions and his obvious attention to detail, it's a move that not only makes sense, but also results in a string of brilliant highlights. Alongside dark and moody, horror-influenced soundscapes and claustrophobic, dub techno-informed pieces, you'll also find Jonny Nash-esque ambient guitar works, blissful piano compositions, gentle new age electronica and the sparkling, wall-of-sound orchestral drone of impeccable closer "Entrance".
The Outpost (unreleased single A-side, Feb 1983 - bonus track)
Quiet Village (unreleased single B-side, Feb 1983 - bonus track)
Oggere (album outtake - bonus track)
The Fog (Eddie Waring mix - bonus track)
Alice (album outtake - bonus track)
Louise Michel (live At DOK, Edinburgh, Aug 2017 - bonus track)
Big Lies (live At Cafe OTO, London, April 2016 - bonus track)
Review: It's no secret the love that London promoter and record label Upset! The Rhythm have for the ever rotating cast of musicians that is Normil Hawaiians. This latest reissue of the English band sees the label complete its retrospection of Normil Hawaiians following reissues of More Wealth Than Money and Return of The Ranters LPs. The band's music is the real deal when it comes to raw and emotional UK post punk and wave. This album in particular, which failed to take off in 1984 due to label and liquidation issues, sees its 2019 release arrive with a collectors edition of bonus tracks, including live cuts, album outtakes and unreleased B-sides. A 'o ia!
Review: With associations to the great Wichita label, Californian punk duo Girlpool land a third LP in the twosome's short but burgeoning tenure. The album sees the pair converge a series of solo works over their previous hands on collaboration style; masses of land for this album holding Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, for the time being, apart. Their sound in 2019 reflects tints of Garbage and Hole - grunge, shoegaze and downbeat - to patches of more contemporary electronic impulses in tracks like "Minute In Your Mind" and title track "What Chaos Is Imaginary". While there is some neon to light this LP, it remains an album of wash-dyed hair and denim jacket trips out of the city.
Review: It's been just over a decade since Rozi Plain debuted with her laid back, summery and melancholic, singer-songwriting sound. "What A Boost" finds a release through North London label Memphis Industries and this fifth studio LP sees the artist go bass heavy on tracks like album opener "Inner Circle", with the slightest of electronic music production ethics making themselves known throughout the LP. Across the record, programmed kick drums are subtle and vocal loops creative, while syncopated jazz beats, sub-sonic grooves and skittering, brushy snares make for a unique take on solo vocalist, folk-inspired, new age sounds. Far from a record that feels as though it was recorded in a bedroom, Rozi Plain's lo-fi sonic only adds to the calming, melancholic malaise of her soulful style.
Review: Dutch dude Arp Frique won plenty of praise for his 2017 debut 12" on Rush Hour Store Jams, which featured contributions from Senegalese and Cape Verde musicians. On this surprise debut album, he continues the same approach, delivering a scintillating set of tracks that gleefully join the dots between Afro-disco, jazz-funk, boogie, Caribbean reggae-disco, bossa-soul and the kind of up-tempo, synth-laden madness that defies easy categorization. Throughout, the presence of live drums, vocals and instrumentation gives the album a loose and fluid feel, as if what we're listening to is not a fresh album, but rather a long lost African rarity from the turn of the '80s. As debut albums go, it's a bit of a corker.
Review: Iron & Wine, aka Samuel Beam (not to be confused with Father John Misty) is an crooning America folk singer-songwriter who's earned the right to sport the beard he does. The music here is a collection of songs that couldn't quite make it in time to find a place on his Grammy nominated album Beast Epic from last year, so they are neatly encapsulated in this heart-nourishing follow up. It's a nice strum through folky pastures that at points reach a bluesey coastline (maybe hi-fiving Donavon Frankenreiter along the way) in search of that warm campfire, somewhere nearby.
Review: A vibrant and zesty art-rock quartet from Toronto, Weaves have made a debut that brims with both intent and good old-fashioned fun, a demolition derby of punk-tinged brio and candysweet pop suss. The frenetic air of sonic brinksmanship - with restless rhythms and abrasive guitar scree holding court - might seem at odds with the colourful melodies herein, but Weaves appear to have the nous to make both spark off each other to provide a tonic as likely to appeal to fans of Romeo Void, Erase Errata or Patti Smith alike. Most importantly, in an indie milieu increasingly failling prey to rock classicism, this is band with quirky character and incandescent chutzpah to burn.
Review: We Out Here, Brownswood Recordings' latest compilation, was born out of a desire by label boss Gilles Peterson to capture the essence of London's contemporary jazz scene. To ensure a sense of there "here and now", Peterson invited some of the city's brightest young bands and musicians into the studio in August 2017, recording the results over three action-packed days. The resulting never-heard-before tracks are, for the most part, joyous and thrilling, and range from trad jazz, jazz-funk and Latin jazz to acoustic-electronic fusions and groovy, guitar-laden downtempo explorations. It feels like a glimpse of a scene on the rise, and we wouldn't be surprised if many of those involved become modern British jazz greats in the years to come.
Edmony Krater & I Live - "Tijan Ka" (2017 version)
The Mule - "You Party Too Much"
The Rongetz Foundation - "Hip Hop Muse" (Lefto remix)
Anthony Joseph & Hanyo - "Be The River"
Florian Pellissier Quintet - "Fuck With The Police" (feat Roger Raspail & Nawer)
Edmony Krater - "Tijan Ka" (Hugo LX remix)
Review: Over the course of the last decade, Parisian label Heavenly Sweetness has done a terrific job in releasing both inspiring new music from around the globe and reissuing overlooked gems. For this celebratory compilation, they've decided to focus on the former strand, gathering together an exclusive collection of previously unheard tracks, collaborations and remixes from the label's extended family. There's naturally much to enjoy throughout, from the head-nodding bi-lingual hip-hop of Guts's "In Slence" and breezy sunshine Afrobeat of Edmony Krater and I-Live's "Tijan Ka (2017 Version)", to the languid jazz of the Florian Pellissier Quintet's "Fuck With The Poilce" and Blundetto's "Have a Little Faith", a terrific reggae-soul collaboration with singer Ken Boothe.
Review: On his previous Konx-Om-Pax albums for Planet Mu, Tom Scholefield offered up a kaleidoscopic mixture of sweaty rave influences, colourful ambient melodies and abrasive, abstract sounds. On "Ways Of Seeing", his first album for three years, he's decided to flip the script, opting for a more optimistic, melodious and warmer sound that draws on a far wider range of influences. It's a switch that has paid dividends, with each successive track bringing a new sun-bright or morning-fresh blend of glistening electronics, tuneful lead lines, shuffling rhythms, leftfield pop hooks, deep space chords and humid aural textures. Yet for all the colouful electronic positivity, Scholefield still refuses to deliver unnecessarily polished tracks, instead opting for a thrillingly fuzzy finish fully in keeping with his experimental roots.
Review: Berlin-based Canadian Scott Monteith has released many albums over the course of a near two-decade career, though few are quite as focused and laden with meaning as Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve. At heart, it's a political record, with each track featuring spoken word pieces or poetry written and delivered (in a variety of languages) by one of Monteith's music pals. Whether his collaborators are musing on the nature of democracy or telling a political parable, their words subtly rise above a sequence of brilliant backing tracks that variously touch on dub techno, melodic deep house/techno fusion, basement bothering post-dancehall riddims, hypnotic organic/electronic fusion and hazy, early morning ambient. As a result, this could well be the most varied and enjoyable Deadbeat album yet.
Review: Three cheers for Berlin club institution Watergate, which this month celebrates 15 years of riverside raving in the heart of techno's liveliest city. To celebrate, they've gathered together two CDs worth of previously unreleased tracks from some of their nearest and dearest. Impressive contributions from resident DJs Matthias Meyer, Tiefschwarz, La Fleur, Cinthie and Jimi Jules are joined by equally inspired workouts from producers closely affiliated with the club, including Ellen Allien, Steve Bug, Hyenah (who has delivered some of the best music on Watergate's label in recent times) and Kollektiv Turmstrasse. While naturally rooted in techno, there's plenty of variety to be found throughout (think mutations of tech-house, techno, electronica and ambient), making it a fitting celebration of one of Europe's most iconic nighttime venues.
Review: Hailing from the Catskill Mountains, Emily A Sprague is a talented producer and sound designer emerging from the American underground. Her two self-released cassette albums "Water Memory and Mount Vision" may well have passed you by when they first snuck out in 2017 and 2018 respectively, but fortunately the ever-tuned-in RVNG Intl. are taking care of business and gathering these two wonderful releases together and presenting them as a beautifully packaged long playing release. This is the kind of delicate ambient material that suits both mindful immersion and environmental mood setting, emanating harmony and balance at every turn.
Review: This East London duo honed their style in their own studios, sculpting a homespun sound that marries electronic innovation with a warmly soulful approach redolent of a welcome British answer to the glitzy R&B more commonly found across the Atlantic - kneed that rendered bt self-admitted heroes of this pair such as Usher. Yet boasting a neon-drenched late night aesthetic that's somehow maintains enough brio and quirky charm to avoid it sounding like the soundtrack to a perfume advert, 'Warm On A Cold Night' is as sleek and sophisticated as it is earthy and characterful.
Review: Over the last four decades, we've come accustomed to veteran electronic experimentalist Uwe Schmidt surprising us with each successive album. Even so, we were still pleasantly surprised by his latest Atom TM release, whose title - Walzeryklus ("Waltz Cycle") - offers a hint to his latest inspiration. Recorded with angel-voiced singer Lisokot, the album is entirely made up of tracks recorded in the 3/4 time signature of classic waltz. Naturally, these waltzes are unlike anything you'll have heard before, variously taking in neo-classical inspired ambient, eccentric left-of-centre synth-pop, bubbly electronica, fizzing Rephlex style "Braindance" and even a gtouch of wonky, mind-altering techno.
Walls Of Jerusalem (CD1: Yabby You Meets King Tubby)
Chant Down Babylon
Fire Round Two
Plague On The Land
Go To School Jah Jha Children
Dub Of Jerusalem
Shool Days Dub
Vivian Jackson & The Prophets - "The Man Who Does The Work" (CD2: Studio outtakes & More versions)
Smith & The Prophets - "Valley Of Joesaphat"
Vivian Jackson & The Prophets - "Go To School Jah Jha Children"
Vivian Jackson & The Prophets - "Love Of Jah"
The Prophets - "Sand In My Shoe"
The Prophets - "Jah Vengeance"
King Tubby - "Greetings"
The Prophets - "Fire Fire Dub"
The Prophets - "Stand Up & Fight Dub"
Tommy McCook - "Sand In My Shoe Dub"
The Prophets - "Prophets Dub" (bonus track)
The Prophets - "Repatriation Rock" (bonus track)
Review: Pressure Sounds' latest release takes us back to 1976 and "Wall Of Jerusalem", a soulful reggae album by The Prophets that included production from both Yabby You (the band's lynchpin and lead vocalist) and dub mixer King Tubby. The album is something of a roots classic, with Yabby You's seductive, soul-fired vocal numbers being joined by delay-laden heavy dub revisions by King Tubby. You'll find the original set on disc one, with disc two being dedicated to alternate versions, previously unreleased tracks recorded in the same period, and alternate dubs that have lain dormant in Yabby You's archives for the best part of 40 years.
Review: Eight albums in and !!! are still as hard to define than the band's name is difficult to say. They've always managed to resonate with the sound and zeitgeist of the year in which they release, and "Wallop" doesn't differ from that modus. An amalgamation of tones at once uptempo and hedonistic yet brutally damaged, it's an electronic album built in the way the genres it pays homage to originally were - blueprint free. We've got dance-rock crossovers, straight up techno (albeit aimed squarely at non-die-hard-heads) and bouncing broken funk-house hybrids, so what more do you want? "Couldn't Have Known" nods to classic Basement Jaxx. "Domino" takes us down an IDM wormhole, where we meet the aptly titled "Ur Paranoid" and its pulsating intensity. Simultaneously referencing Primal Scream, trip hop, Madchester, whatever that track that set the club off last night was while sounding like none of the above, it's archetypal !!! business.
Review: Mulvey's 2014 debut was quite deservingly widely acclaimed, and established him as a highly skilled solo artist. His work with Portico Quartet was cinematic and wide-eyed, and proved his ability to work with broad and enchanting atmospherics. This coupled with a wide range of musical textures brings us to his second album 'Wake Up Now' which is as playful as it is diverse. Just as you're settling into ideas, Mulvey's introduction of surprising elements pleasantly catches you off guard, and this album is all the better for it. Tracks such as 'Myela' - inspired by the current refugee crisis - and the touching 'Unconditional' are key moments in a confident follow-up by an undoubtedly graceful and intricate songwriter.
Review: Efficient Space's latest release is certainly an intriguing one. It was sparked by the discovery of a CD copy of an obscure, mid-'90s album made by the late Victorian musician Peter Mumme and three Aboriginal songmen from the Yolngu people of the Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern territory. Uniquely, the album - here reissued under a new title with an additional unreleased piece - mixed the singers' traditional vocals with impeccable ambient soundscapes, gently pulsating electronic rhythms and the kind of fluid and wide-eyed synthesizer melodies more often found on '80s new age recordings. The results still sound remarkable and, thanks to the Yolngu singing style, surprisingly haunting.