Review: If you enjoyed Yu Su's brilliant EP on Second Circle earlier in the year - and, let's face it, who didn't? - there's a rather high chance that you'll enjoy her first outing on Ninja Tune offshoot Technicolour. "Watermelon Woman" is a superb chunk of bass-heavy house music positive - an inventive and hugely enjoyable fusion of unfussy drum machine rhythms, sampled tribal drums, toasty bass, dubbed-out effects, stargazing electronics, fluttering flutes and jazzy motifs that have just the right amount of breezy Latin flavour. The original version comes backed with a hazy and laidback Dub rework and a boisterous, off-kilter remix by Francis Inferno Orchestra that layers rubbery sounds and heady vocal samples above a skewed tribal house beat.
Review: Valcrond Video presents the next work by sound and image artist Luke Wyatt, Songs From Bad Kid School.
On a high desert plain, inside a cinder block compound, a prank squad is incarcerated. Between fiddling with ninja stars and leafing through back issues of Fangoria, they find time to scrape out the soundtrack of their escape.
On the first track, heatsick guitars and steel wool beats suggest a landscape strewn with abandoned car carcasses, old Camaros left for dead in the sun, used for shotgun practice.
The B-side leads off with the beat-less, articulated sprawl of "Saline Flats". Here is the story of a desert search for water: figures warping mirage-like on the horizon as they make a confused journey over dunes, ending with a cathartic drone that suggests the mirages resolving into a real oasis. Though it is just as likely that the bad kids have expired from thirst, and ascended to the sublime.
Review: Typically, General Elektro isn't giving much away about the identity of the producers behind "new collaboration" Westend, or their aims for the project for that matter. Musically, it's a quietly impressive debut that features a sextet of tracks mostly built around gently undulating synthesizer arpeggio lines and moody electronics. Many of the tracks are stripped-back, hypnotic and beat-less, deriving their power from the relentless thrust of the arpeggio lines that ripple across the sound space. Others, meanwhile, include ghostly electro drums or, in the case of the bombastic "Track 4", the kind of no-nonsense, kick-drum-driven beats that were once a feature of the greatest Electronic Body Music releases.
Review: Marking the start of an exciting new collaborative project, Wolf + Lamb proudly share the debut release of The Waves & Us. Formed out of
a creative meeting of minds between Maayan Nidam, Markus Nikolaus and Louis McGuire, theirs is a sound that strengthens the storied
approach of a live band with the experimental thrust of analogue electronics. Pop and rock fundamentals lend an earthly hook to the
tracks, but these are anything but straight-forward songs.
Maayan has already forged a formidable career in electronic music, both under her own name and as part of Mara Trax, scoring releases
on such celebrated labels as Perlon. Markus performs his own solo project Cunt Cunt Chanel, while Louis is part of Ballet School, a band
releasing on noted indie label Bella Union. The whirlwind of creativity that has whipped up around the trio has yielded an album which will
follow this single, made up of one-take recordings that capture the energy and adventure that powers The Waves & Us.
Maayan's electronics provide the atmospheric backdrop to the songs, running modular synthesisers and drum machines through detailed
chains of processing and effects with an emphasis on a warm, charmingly rough finish. Markus' guitar undergoes a similar fuzzy treatment
while his voice calls out introspective, abstract lyrics to set the mind racing. Louis' bass underpins the music with a dubby sensibility,
bringing a necessary balance to the frequency range.
Making the most of their in-the-room recording approach, the singles will feature alternative takes of the songs that will appear on the
album, providing a little insight into the flutters and fluctuations that shape the development of this project. With their eyes fixed on live
performances and an arresting sound already formed, this is a vital time for all three artists and the people that listen to them.
Review: Versalife's second release for 20/20 Vision sees Dutch producer Boris Bunnik aka Conforce return with another slab of signature electro.
'Clandestine Development' serves up dark tones and melodies layered within insistent electro beats and growling bass, that sounds huge on big room systems. 'Aegis' delivers a double dose of mechanical funk, played over atmospheric strings and auditory acid delights.
On the B side 'Lamba' continues to impress with a moody laidback bass line holding the groove down over a solid rhythm & dystopian keys. Wrapping things up the title track 'Asimov's Code' plays out like war drums from space pounding away after a blissful intro of building synths.
Review: London based producer Jules Venturini is up next for Whities, following up great releases by Avalon Emerson and Lanark Artefax. On the label's 14th edition, Venturini follows up some sludgy lo-fi techno/house derivatives on Polish label Brutaz with some more similarly rusty and dust covered aesthetics. Beginning with the 12 minute epic "Flying Kites" which channels early '90s British bleep IDM, until that fast hitting groove hits at just the right time towards the end. Lush ambient piece "Keep Me Close" works as an effective intermission of sorts on this grainy and saturated dream state captured to VHS. Finally, Venturini displays a more aggressive side as seen on his previous release with the gnarly and slow burning industrial electronics of "Trace Of Smoke".
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: 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: After equally wonderful turns from Junto Club, Deeds and Curses!, emergent deviant disco denizens Snap Crackle & Pop invite a band called Uncanny Valley to offer up their unique brand of deathly wave music shot through with on-point beyond the grave vocals. "Chain Store" is a nightmarish march through wobbly synths while "Nowhere To Nowhere" plots a strident course with its bouncing beat and fulsome, undulating bass. "Popcorn" flips the script with its uptempo thrust, but the vintage synth-pop threads are still the dominant force in the music. Manfredas drops a remix of "Chain Store" that maintains the freakiness with a slow but heavy house lurch, and then Mondowski strips the meat from "Nowhere To Nowhere" and leaves a potent, skeletal club treatment behind.
After The Cremation (Area Green Green Grass version) (4:23)
Pankow (SW Electrofunk mix) (5:36)
Steamed Up Window (Skookum Reminiscence) (4:06)
Review: Mystery production unit UD returns to Kimochi, one of the more overlooked imprints of the last few years, with four new cuts and a rather fine selection of remixers to boot! The mood is pensive and the sounds are atmospheric throughout, where tracks like "Lollipop Robot" or "Adapter" stand somewhere between ambient and electro-acoustic. The remixes give the tracks slightly more dancefloor weight, and both Area Green Grass and label regular Skookum contribute with a set of pretty killer reinterpretations a-la outsider house, but the silent killer is most certainly SW's remix of "Pankow". The SUED records co-owner fixes up a wonderfully bizarre concoction of sounds and shapes, moulding them into a dubby, sparse and cinematic twister. Another fine slice of Kimochi, beautiful artwork and all.
Review: TV Baby are NYC duo Matthew McAuley and Brain (not a typo, apparently) McPeck who are what local legend James Murphy would describe as using "borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered 80s" with their brand revised no-wave antics. Produced by Gabriel Andruzzi of the Rapture, their music is impressive nonetheless and gets some equally impressive remixes by these guys: check 'em out. First up is Los Angelo Secret Circuit doing his trademark psychedelic synth thing on "Free Tech", Tom Of England hands in two remixes of "Wild Joy", but it's all about the "Tom Of England Astro instrumental" where it stutters and glitches away in real style. Finally "Klerin Priest" gets the remix treatment and we'd have to hand the award to Ivan Smagghe whose "Frossed Remix" channels that dirty late night Paris feel much like his early Black Strobe releases did: grinding, squealing and booming about the place. One of his best remixes in years, if you ask us.