Review: This is proving to be a big breakthrough year for Kosh, a producer hailing from Casablanca in Morocco. After making a first appearance last year on Casa Voyager, he's returned to that label a second time before dropping the "Endless Quest" 12" on eudemonia. But now he's made a marked leap forward with this transmission on 20:20 Vision, where his incredibly well-read take on vintage electro sounds right at home. There is quality pouring from every corner of this record, but we recommend you make a beeline for the sumptuous "Vicious Love," an acid-laced burner with soul to match its snarl.
Extreme Love (with Lily Anna Haynes & Jenna Sutela)
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt
Evening Shades (live Training)
Bridge (with Martine Syms)
Godmother (with Jlin)
Review: When it comes to working with voice and voice alone there's few artists out there that can really dissociate speech and its connection with the brain. Proto is the third full-length album by composer and sound artist Holly Herndon, and it brings out on onslaught of sounds that will keep you rooted in your seat. Opener "Birth" for example sounds something like a poor soul struggling with the deepest of emotions and most spellbinding of speech impediments. The music embraces rave and extreme cut up techniques with bass music and a myriad of experimental beats, ideas and philosophy. Much like SOPHIE's music there are so many reference points to discover; with our best comparisons being Enya, Laurie Anderson's "O Superman" and the cluster of music coming out of experimental label PAN. The album also features a collaboration with Planet Mu's Jlin with the gnawing beatboxes of "Godmother". What a trip to redefine what we might one day call 'prototypical' - but for now, take a deep breath and dive into the multi-dimensional abyss.
Review: Joe Coghill presents his debut release on Transit Valley. A multi-disciplinary artist, musician and experimental publisher based in Edinburgh, he works in an improvised and often haphazard way. It incorporates disparate field recordings, modular synthesis and other sonic ambiences to create unpredictable and ephemeral multi-layer performances. Alongside this, he has been producing music recreationally in his various bedroom studios over the past 14 years. There are some intriguing perspectives on modern dance music here that Coghill provides his perspective on: from entrancing/slow-motion tribal techno workouts, textured and semi-abrasive ambient/noise and even a bit of lo-fi electro - such as on the EP's standout "Exit Lane".
Review: Bambooman (real name Kirk Barley) is a London based producer who presents his fourth release on Matthew Herbert's Accidental imprint - which follows up last year's terrific long player, Whispers. His new offering is the trippy minimal techno kicker "Ricochet", with its sparse arrangement revolving around a stuttering bassline and nasty chord stabs awash in plate reverb. On the flip, the man himself Herbert steps up to deliver a wacky and glitched out remix in his own truly idiosyncratic style once again.
Review: Acid Waxa drew plenty of positive heat for carrying Roy Of The Ravers amongst many other respected braindancers, but now Hot Chip drummer Sarah Jones is getting the remix treatment on the label for her Pillow Person project, with some wild results. It's great to see Bogdan Raczynski back in action and bringing some gently wonked, emotional acid meanderings to "On Your Way", while Lechuga Zafiro makes an art out of aping footwork, and more specifically "Footcrab" while making it sound like someone just stubbed their toe and got stuck in a loop. IYDES however turns "In My Game" into a deconstructed but utterly bloated pop beast, and then Oliver Coates whips "Go Ahead" into a woozy, highly strung daze with billowing synths underneath Jones' vocal.
Review: Sainte Vie has been working away in the Mexican underground for some time, running Akumandra as a free, digital-only label to help promote all kinds of electronic music. Now it's time for Vie to step up with their first outright release, first time on wax, and hence a new era for the label. The tone is varied across the record, leading in with the worldly drum rattle and string strum of "Huracan", a whirlwind of drama and hand-played musicianship that stands out from the crowd. "Albatross" is a more introspective cut that brings Vie's vocals to the forefront, and then "Maria" chills things out further with a haunting vocal from Pascale and some delicate finger picking guitar delights over a dynamic set of drums.
Review: Long-serving, jungle-loving experimentalist Christoph De Babalon is on a roll. This rock solid EP comes hot on the heels of his latest inspired album, "Exquisite Angst", which slipped out in early December 2018. The four tracks offered up here are typically bolshy and bass-heavy, with De Babalon mixing and mangling IDM and Atari Teenage Riot style "digital D&B" insanity to suit his own twisted ends. In terms of highlights, we're particularly enjoying the bass-weight, skittish breakbeats and ghostly electronics of "Harakiri" and the more loose and languid - but no less bass-heavy - flipside opener "Shakes and Shivers". That said the dark and apocalyptic "Endless Inside" is also superb.
Review: After years spent supporting the underground IDM scene digitally, Glasgow label Ambidextrous makes the leap to vinyl with this killer compilation of ear-catching deep techno and electronica. Christ brings a bubbling range of synth tones to "Rom" before Norken and Nyquist drop some brooding electro tones over rolling beats on"Od Detot". Solipsism has a more sassy house sound to impart, while Nyquist goes into full electro mode on his own. On the flip, Analogue Audio Association have some edgy acid to throw down, Cyan341 brings a touch of boogie flex to the record and Mich Chillage rounds the record off with emotive outboard electronics of a reflective nature.
Review: As the vibrant and colourful cover artwork makes clear, Moon Boots latest album for Anjunadeep - his second following well-received 2017 debut "First Landing" - is a wonderfully kaleidoscopic and positive affair full of cheery, dancefloor-friendly songs and picturesque instrumentals (see the twinkling "Trance & Dental"). The American producer is a master at blurring the boundaries between radio-friendly house, deep synth-pop and nu-disco, and much of "Bimini Road" is based around this accessible and summery musical intersection. There are a few pleasing curveballs dotted across the LP, though, including the title track's piano-heavy Balearic chug and the sunny two-step garage-pop of Gary Saxby hook-up "Gary's House".
Review: KDC digs deep into the satanic study of angles and ratios with his latest Auxiliary exploration. "Atonement" is an industrial strength snowplough cutting through mountains of ice with a high end riff that buzzes over the hammering, bucking drums while "Summoned" takes what could conventionally be a Funk D'Void-style house groove before turning it inside out with a low end drone that grows incessantly, washing out the original groove. "Vertex" plays the role of conjurer with its pertinent hi-hat shaking and scuffing over a deep sea bass/kick arrangement while "Clairvoyance" updates some of the ideas of acid techno but within a drum & bass framework. Genuinely unique.
Review: Horton Jupiter has been skirting around various cosmically-inclined outfits for many years now, but this release marks his first outright solo venture, and where better for it to blast off from than the celestial circus sideshow of Bahnsteig 23? The record launches in a fit of kosmische bravado, all nagging arpeggios, warbling leads, sustained guitars and a healthy dose of drama. "Eclectic Day" is certainly a fitting title. "Smokin' The Roach" is an equally bombastic affair, although with a chirpier disposition and some Italian-sounding vocals, and then "The Box" finishes the EP off with a grungy trip through bongo beatdowns and fuzz guitar for those who like their psych music with a vintage twist.
Review: Following a three-year hiatus, German trio Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer and Paul Frick return with their fourth full-length. Unlike some of their earlier sets, which mined minimal techno for inspiration, Joy is a much more eccentric affair, variously drawing influence from krautrock, experimental electronica, lo-fi rock, moody synth-pop, and grisly, post-punk shapes. It's highly stylish, as you'd expect - their vocal delivery is somewhere between David Byrne and Bauhaus - with the looseness and energy of their compositions ensuring an attractive immediacy. It takes a few listens to soak it all up, but undoubtedly grows on your with each successive play.
Review: Arizona based experimental outfit Marshstepper gave one of the most talked about performances at the 2016 edition of Berlin Atonal, and the festival have issued a live recording on their affiliated label. Band members JS Aurelius and Nick Nappa were joined on the evening by Drew McDowall, Varg and Silent Servant - where the collective executed a confronting performance. Employing Coil influenced industrial soundscapes, drone, dark ambient and even some moments of slow-burning techno - they take you on a powerful journey on each side of the record. Aurelius and Nappa run the underground cassette imprint Ascetic House, between Phoenix, Los Angeles and New York City.