Review: The force is strong in this electrifying new EP from DAED, who last appeared on this label in 2017 on a VA release. There are shades of IDM to his complex synths and melodies, while kinetic broken beat drum programming powers the tracks along. The mood is melancholic on "Aria" which is so frantic it feels like it might eat itself, "Voidal" has fizzing, icy textures that will tie you in knots before "H2FSBF6" really pulls of some impressive synth acrobatics. "Ephemeris" is the warp speed closer that tarps you in a gorgeous digital world.
Review: "The Practice Of Love" is Jenny Hval's seventh full-length, and it's the sort of listen that can wash over you while you get lost in a reverie, or take you on a deeply involving inward journey if you tune in to the lyrics. Her voice is angelic, and muses on subjects like growing old, our place in the world, and the notion of intimacy. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the fantastically strong title track with its vulnerable and tender spoken words, folky synth lullaby "Thumbsucker" and "Accident", which could well be a rave comedown with its lilting trance chords and dreamy keys. Quite the trip.
Review: Emotional Response do a great service here to all lovers of braindance craving new fixes since Rephlex shut up shop. Brainwaltzera's debut EP Marzipan was a self-released concern that sold out quickly back in 2016, meeting with emotionally charged responses from those wanting to nab a copy. Now it's more widely available, the gorgeous lilt of bubbling 101 melodies and delicate drum machine patterns can spread their wings and bring some healing vibes to a broader audience of electronica devotees. Coming on with the sensitivity of Wisp and other contemporary braindancers, this is how comforting home listening beats should be done.
Review: De:tuned are in the midst of a 10 part anniversary series, and this latest missive - the seventh in all - brings together a hefty selection of talents old and new on heavyweight vinyl. Jonah Sharp opens things as Spacetime Continuum and continues to fuse ambient, techno, and IDM on the absorbing cosmic adventure that is "Only One Sky." Scanner's "Mothlit" slows things down with a hip hop instrumental from outer space, and then the beats disappear altogether on Ross 154's suspensory ambient cut "Earth To Our Friends." Lastly, Leo Anibaldi's "Crion" will make your skin tingle with its deft and delicate melodies which float about like fireflies and leave gorgeous, glowing trails in their wake.
Review: Last year Burial and the Bug joined forces as Flame 1, delivering an in-demand EP on the latter's Pressure label featuring two sizable slabs of industrial strength soundsystem science. Here they return as Flame 2, once again offering up a pair of weighty dancefloor excursions. A-side "Dive" is a loud and claustrophobic affair, as the duo wraps dystopian dub bass and sparse, mutilated post-drill rhythms in layers of apocalyptic aural textures and mind-altering dub techno style processed noise. Flipside "Rain" is arguably more suitable for dancefloor plays and sees the esteemed twosome combine pulverizing sub-bass heaviness with dancehall style drums that come smothered in mind-melting effects and paranoia-inducing aural smoke.
Review: The well regarded Whities label invites you deep into a darkened world of coldwave soundscapes on its next 12". There are Arabic overtones to Carl Gari's music here, both explicitly in the meditative vocals from Abdullah Miniawy, but also in the exotic synth drones that hang heavy in the air. It makes for a spiritual eight track affair that has a beautifully bleak and spiritual feeling: tracks are largely empty, absorbing affairs with only suggested rhythms moving you forward. Part organic and human, part mechanical and synthetic, Whities 023 is a bewitching and otherworldly listen of the highest order.
Review: It's always good to see a split release from two artists whose track records (no pun intended) make it very difficult to predict where the new wares will fit. Which is exactly the case with this one, given K15's oeuvre name-checks imprints like Wotnot Music, Eglo and Wild Oats, while SMDB has appeared on Funkineven's Apron and the always great Lo Recordings in recent years. Needless to say, then, if we can rely on one thing it's that everything on this expansive, obscure collection of curveballs will be deep and richly textured. From 'Pace & Time''s downtempo barroom jazz, to the shuffling broken beats and waves of synth on 'Dry Mango (Part 2)', the confusing beat structures and delicate piano play of 'Earth State' to 'Syntherlude''s beat-less, science fiction tune up, it's all well made stuff.
Little Birds, Moonbath (feat Michelle Helene Mackenzie) (6:06)
Tipu's Tiger (feat Pender Street Steppers) (10:11)
Of Yesterday (instrumental) (5:37)
The Ultimate Which Manages The World (4:40)
Words Without Sound (6:09)
Review: With a drowsy, loved-up trademark sound that sits somewhere between the beach, bedroom and the dancefloor, Canada's Yu Su is a great fit for Music From Memory offshoot Second Circle. The resultant EP is arguably her strongest to date. She begins by enlisting the help of Michelle Helene Mackenzie, who provides a drowsy spoken word vocal on the ultra-deep and starry brilliance of "Little Birds, Moonbath". Fellow Vancouver residents Pender Street Steppers lend a hand on the deep and picturesque shuffle of "Tipu's Tiger", while "Of Yesterday (Instrumental)" sees Yu Su wrap meandering synth solos atop hazy chords and gentle tribal drums. Elsewhere, "The Ultimate Which Manages The World" is dubbed-out and effortlessly Balearic, while "Words Without Sound" offers up more intricate hand percussion and some sparse electronic elements.
Review: When it comes to a reissue such as this it can't be understated just how arresting the work of Boards of Canada can be in the right situation. This EP, that came to light in between Music Has The Right To Children and Geogaddi, represents the enigmatic duo at their most powerful, channeling their energy into four long-form tracks that draw on all of their combined strengths. "Kid For Today" is haunting and dark but utterly heartbreaking, whilst "Amo Bishop Roden" heads into more mysterious territory. "In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country" is eerie in its titular invitation to join a cult, and "Zoetrope" tips its hat to Terry Riley et al in its looping phrases, but really there's no describing the magnificence of these gems, pleasingly reissued on vinyl to beat the Discogs chancers.
Review: Back in 2016, legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen approached techno pioneer Jeff Mills with the idea of working together. A series of live gigs and off-the-radar studio sessions followed, with the first fruits of their joint efforts finally appearing on this must-have 10". As you'd expect, the duo's collaborative work combines Allen's traditional Nigerian polyrhythms, traditional Afrobeat instrumentation, and the far-sighted, sci-fi inspired electronic futurism that has always marked out Mills' work. The result is a quartet of cuts that could arguably be described as retro-futurist Afro-tech - all delay-laden beats, basslines and organs subtly sparring with gentle acid lines, Motor City electronics, beguiling deep space textures and shimmering, 31st century motifs. It's arguably Allen's stylistic contributions that dominate, but that's no bad thing.
Review: One of the deepest reaching projects from the multifaceted Vibraphone stable resurfaces for an extended trip through ambient sonics that marks possibly the most daring departure on the esteemed Italian label to date. The harmonious tones undulating throughout Sketches From Space are instant soothers, taking the odd cue from techno but defiantly beatless and meditative. It's a surprising addition to the long and winding Vibraphone story, but also feels like one of the strongest steps forward the resurgent label has taken since returning to the fray. Just try sinking into "Lagrangian Point L4" and you'll see exactly what we mean.
Review: Given that five years has passed since the last HTRK full-length, "Psychic 9-5 Club", it's perhaps not that surprising that the duo's new album, "Venus In Leo" sounds notably different from its predecessors. While the pair's emotionally charged, melancholic approach remains in tact, the dubbed-out downtempo pop that marked out "Psychic 9-5 Club" has been replaced by a drowsier, ethereal sound seemingly inspired by a mixture of the Cocteau Twins, The Durutti Column, Massive Attack's "Mezzanine", David Lynch film soundtracks and sunrise-ready, slow motion dream pop. The results are uniformly inspired, with Jonnine Standish's heart-felt, soft focus vocals sounding particularly emotive and evocative this time round.
Review: De:tuned's 10th anniversary series has so far served up killer, previously unreleased material from a whole host of underground heroes, scene pioneers and household names. They're at it again on this sixth volume in the ongoing series, which begins with a now rare - but typically weird and out-there - cut from early 90s ambient/techno/electro fusionists The Future Sound Of London. "Skinny XAM" is peak FSOL and sounds like it could have come from the improvised radio broadcasts that inspired the duo's "ISDN" album. Elsewhere, Monolake AKA Robert Henke does his best Autechre impression on the dark and punchy "ForC160q", while David Morley wraps undulating acid lines and creepy effects around a hypnotic ambient techno groove on "Traytor".
Review: Some 25 years after delivering his debut 12", Richard D James hasn't lost the ability to thrill or inspire. By his obtuse standards, the material that makes up the surprise Cheetah EP is actually rather laidback and melodious. "Cheetah2 (LD Spectrum)", for example, sounds like a slow house jam written by robots, while the even deeper "Cheetah7B" shuffles along in a metronomic fashion, seemingly oblivious to the increasingly aggressive World at large. Of course, those trademark skittish IDM rhythms are present - see the B-side's lead cut - and the Cornishman has thrown in a couple of hazy ambient cuts for good measure.
Review: Benjamin Brunn and Dave Wheels are old studio buddies, having worked together on and off since 2006. "2000", though, is their most ambitious joint project yet: a collaborative album for Sushitech that offers up breezy, melodious and cheery fusions of heady dub techno, gentle electronica, chugging sofa-friendly haziness and glitchy late night hypnotism. It's an interesting blend but one that certainly hits the spot. Highlights include the horizontal pulse of "Orainge", the wonderfully hypnotic after-hours throb of "Iratamoto (Version)", the bold and sun-kissed undulations of "In The Club" and the pie-eyed warmth of "Waldeck".
Review: On his three previous solo albums as Blanck Mass, Fuck Buttons member Benjamin John Power offered up abstract but enjoyable blends of ambient, drone, IDM and electronics. On "Animated Violence Mild", his first full-length for two years, Power has decided to take a far more dystopian path, blending ear-catching, synth-pop influenced melodies with thrusting, doom-laden techno rhythms, growling aural textures, industrial strength noise and hybrid electronic power-pop. It's an ear-catching affair, with highlights including the boisterous, distorted techno-pop of "House Vs House", the post-apocalyptic power-trance rush of "Hush Money", the hypnotic, maximal ambient movements of "Creature/West Fuqua" and the pulsating intensity of "Wings Of Hate".
Review: The legendary Future Sound Of London have finally started dropping their Environments series on vinyl format, which will no doubt please the countless numbers of FSOL junkies out there! These sessions, the present title being the penultimate in a series of five, have been long sought after and they have been pivotal in shaping the sound of today's electronic dance music. Fifteen tracks in total here and the interesting thing about this album is the fact that it can be heard either as single tracks or as one developing and morphing wall of sound. All but one of these tracks, "Murmurations", are from way back and haven't seen the light of day, so get listening and indulge yourself in some pioneering sounds!
Review: The Durian Brothers consist of rising polyrhythmic talent Don't DJ, outernational adventurer Harmonious Thelonious and Salon Des Amateurs resident Marc Matter. Following their excellent outings on Kontra-Musik and Diskant, the experimental trio build on a burgeoning relationship with Emotional Response by gathering together some of the best of their intense, globetrotting sounds. There's a great focus on cyclical rhythms, not least on the wonderful "Planete Sauvage", while "Mille Yeaux" takes a more spacious, groovy route through wooden percussion and pinging organic tones. Considering the scarcity of the original Diskant pressings of these tracks, this collection couldn't come quickly enough.
Review: When it comes to crafting distinctively off-kilter "ethno-techno" built around hypnotic, polyrhythmic drums, there's nobody quite as good as Florian Meyer AKA Don't DJ. Further proof of his majesty in this regard arrives via "Eternal Return", the epic, peak-time-focused opening track from the producer's latest double-pack excursion. Those seeking percussive, floor-friendly fare should also check "Circular Time", another bongo-laden tribal techno workout that sees Meyer get locked into an attractively organic drum groove for the best part of 12 minutes. Meyer's ability to conjure up odd but brilliant home listening fare is explored elsewhere on the EP, with the noisy, abstract weirdness of "Perpetual Flow" being joined by the chiming, hedgerow-fresh ambient bliss of awe-inspiring closing cut "Perseus-Pieces".
Review: Classically trained pianist turned experimental composer Nils Frahm has previously been fairly prolific, so it's a surprise to find that Solo is his first album is some two years. As the title suggests, Solo is a wonderfully minimal, stripped back affair, full of rich, echo-laden recordings of Frahm sat playing his own piano compositions. He's a past master at creating evocative pieces with the minimal of instrumentation, and Solo is packed full of this kind of yearning, often melancholic fare. He doffs a cap to Steve Reich on the booming, circular chords and slowly shifting refrains of "Wall", while the soft focus "Immerse" is a 10-minute delight.
Review: Canadian composer Mort Garson enjoyed an eclectic career, though in electronic music circles he's most celebrated for a string of experimental electronic albums he produced using early Moog synthesizers. "Mother Earth's Plantasia" is a bizarre but brilliant beast: a 1976 set that was designed to be played to plants to help them grow (really) and was given away free at a Los Angeles garden store. As this first ever reissue proves it remains a dizzyingly far-sighted set. Sometimes symphonic, occasionally spacey and always intoxicating, much of the material is far quirkier than contemporaneous synthesizer-fired sets. Highlights include the pulsing ambient spaciousness of "Ode To An African Violet", the twinkling, cascading beauty of "Rhapsody In Green" and the jaunty cheeriness of "You Don't Have To Walk a Begonia".
Alice Schwarzer, Is It True That You're A Person Of Great Tenacity? (2:10)
John Cage, I've Been Told To Ask You The Following Question: Where Are You Going? (2:58)
Hubert Fichte, Your Journey Through Life Has Been Full Of Twists & Turns. Please Tell Us When & Where This Journey Began! (2:18)
Slavoj Zizek, What Signs Were There Of The Imminent Dissolution Of Yugoslavia? (1:52)
Joseph Beuys, It Was You Who Said: Democracy Is So Big One Can Only Sing About It: You Recently Made Your Debut As A Singer: Which Democracy Are You Singing About? (3:05)
Lady Gaga, You Once Said In An Interview That You Write Music For The Fashion Industry: Is Fashion As Important To You As Music? (2:13)
Ernst Jandl, What Are Your Plans For Language: Revolution, Reform, Revolt? (1:57)
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Which Difficulties Are Involved In Conserving Electronic Music On Magnetic Tape? (2:23)
Marcel Duchamp, Would You Like Or Expect People To Spin The Wheel On Your Kinetic Object Roue De Bicyclette? (2:19)
Friederike Mayrocker, When You Write, Do You Feel Like The Creator Of The Work Or More Like A Medium? (3:12)
Yoko Ono, You Were Born Into A Rich, Aristocratic Family In Tokyo. Do You See That In Yourself? (2:08)
Max Ernst, This Is The First Time In Twenty-Five Years That You've Returned To Your Old Home Town, To The Cathedral In Cologne, Right? (2:02)
Review: Over the years, Jan Jelinek has been responsible for some fantastically inventive experimental records. His latest is a concept album inspired by a radio play he wrote for German radio, in which every collage-style track was crafted from an interview with a different public figure (these include Yoko Ono, Marcel Duchamp, John Cage and Lady Gaga). These vocal excerpts, which include non-verbal sounds as well as speech, were also used to control a synthesizer. While the nuts and bolts are pretty far-sighted and next level, the results are actually rather enjoyable and easy to listen to. For every dystopian, mind-altering cut-up track, there are four or five others that veer closer to left-of-centre ambient bliss. It's an intriguing and hugely entertaining collection, all told.