Review: REPRESS ALERT: As far as collaborative delights go, this really takes the cake. Miami boogie wildcard Noel Williams, aka King Sporty, throwing it down heavy with legendary Jamaican reggae axe man Ernest Ranglin - as you might expect, the results are incendiary. "Soft Touch" has a hint of the cosmic about it as it romps through insanely catchy chorus chants, stirring brass stabs and Ranglin's sweet licks. "Keep On Dancing" has a more uptempo feel, "In The Rain" slips into a laid back reggae skank and "Be What You Want To Be" turns the vintage disco heat back up. Throughout this wonderful mini LP, the duo switch between each other's strengths and bring out the best in each other, like all good collaborations should.
Review: Long before the electro revival sent producers scurrying into the studio to create their own Drexciya-inspired jams, Jeremiah R was ploughing his own intergalactic furrow for labels including Tabernacle, BAKK and Voodoo Gold. As this fine mini-album shows, he remains one of the most consistent electro producers in the business. The genius of "Tales From The Dark Reef" lies in the long-serving producer's ability to craft shimmering, sci-fi focused electronic music that takes the aesthetic appeal of the best electro records - the intergalactic aural textures, sci-fi intent, skittish rhythms and futuristic synthesizer sounds - and applies them to a variety of Detroit and Chicago-influenced grooves and soundscapes.
Review: Turning your hand to the catalogue of a jazz colossus like Yusef Lateef would be beyond most contemporary jazz musicians, but then Nat Birchall is currently one of the best saxophonists in the business. Alongside his quartet and with the aid of some unusual instruments from around the world - something Lateef was famously fond of doing - Birchall has delivered a set of covers that breathe breezy new life into some of the American multi-instrumentalist's most admired compositions whilst retaining some of the original flavour. Our favourites include the droning North African brilliance of "Mashariki", the sun-baked afternoon breeze of "Ringo Oiwake" and the piano-powered bliss of "Willow's Walk".
Review: This cryptic debut from Belgian AIR LQD mixes up science fiction, social criticism and punk ethics into a futuristic sound world where urban decay and artificial intelligence have really taken hold. The brittle, icy electronics of these tracks reminds of Kassem Mosse's experimental lo-fi house work on Workshop. "Repeat Itself" is interspersed with dehumanised voices from a darkened dungeon and leads to some brilliantly unsettling sounds. Abrasive textures rub up next to looping echoes, crashing metal hits and rubbery bass. Though wholly unnatural, paranoid and occult, it all feels so damn right.
Review: Considering their penchant for spinning yarns and the cinematographically-suited nature of much of their work, it's surprising "Days Of The Bagnold Summer" is only Belle & Sebastian's second shot at a movie score. The last was 2001's '"Storytelling", accompanying Todd Solondz's movie of the same name, and they certainly did a good job then. So, high expectations this time round. For those unfamiliar, their latest foray into the film world partners the directorial debut of Simon Bird, best known to many as one of "The Inbetweeners". The flick, an adaptation of Joff Winterhart's 2012 graphic novel, chronicles the life and times of a teenage metalhead and his single mother. The album perfectly accompanies but also contributes to that tale. Highly emotive instrumental tracks and classic B&S songs-proper, this OST is destined to go down well with the band's true believers.
Review: There's a stripped-down aesthetic to Chelsea Wolfe's return to the release schedule. It's not that 2017's "Hiss Spun", or "Abyss" two years earlier, were overblown. But here she pares things back to the essentials, with many tracks beginning on just vocals and a splash of acoustic guitar. The result shows off the raw talent at work, in turn offering a clear explanation of her enduring popularity. Despite the often minimalistic arrangements, "Birth Of Violence" is deceptively complex. Wolfe has explained it was inspired by exhaustion following perpetual tours and endless time on the road. You can certainly feel that. Her voice sounds as though it's hoping for hope, a change that feels almost out of reach but not unthinkable. It's a dark, desolate place at times, but in other moments packed with a determined energy and self-belief that things must always progress. Descriptions aside, believe us that this is completely unmissable.
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: Alexander Khaliulin first donned the Flying Cobra alias earlier this year for an album on Space Of Variants that neatly showcased his seemingly innate grasp of atmospheric dub techno soundscapes. "Flowers Decay Quickly" is the producer's surprisingly speedy follow-up. It's another heady and intoxicating affair, with Khaliulin sashaying between the languid, head-in-the-clouds ambient of "Emanation", the gentle but hypnotic dub techno shapes of "Sleepless" and "Way Above", the sun-kissed laziness of "Night Walk" and the fantastically dubbed-out, slow motion soundscapes such as yearning closing cut "Light Of Truth Has Gone Out".
Review: When the end days come and it's finally time to write the complete story of American rock 'n' roll, surely Pixies will get their own chapter. Legends of the grunge world, often known for a stylistic simplicity (quiet-LOUD anyone?) but unafraid to go out on a psychedelic limb when the moment suits, they've towered above the majority of acts for 28 years and, as "Beneath The Eyrie" proves, still have plenty to say. "In The Arms of Mrs Mark Of Cain" starts proceedings on a gothic-Western hybrid tip, setting things up perfectly for any song named "Graveyard Hill". Realistically when that track does arrive it switches the mood with a nod to the band's archetypal punk-infused sound, and that's precisely the point. Apparently betting the farm on this one, it's got everything from psych-folk to Tim Burton-ish ghoulish wit, making for the band's finest hour since their 2004 reformation.
Review: Secretsundaze welcomes Eliphino to the gala relaunch of their imprint for a thoroughly satisfying mini album of contemplative jacking and dulcet breakbeats.
Eliphino's most recent 'Realistic Sex EP' on the hotly tipped Meda Fury label boasts thunderous breaks, 303s and serious sub-bass pressure which has gained praise from tastemakers such as Jon K, Carista, Josey Rebelle, Moxie and Gilles Peterson.Having flexed with this darker edged EP after a long lay-off from releasing, while sharpening his skills and reconnecting with his musical inspiration, Eliphino is now ready to really cut loose with 'Breaking Up Is Hard' - a statement longplayer that dreamily investigates the dusty spaces between house, breakbeat, ambient, hardcore and acid. Tom This album came about as way of focussing my energy in the wake of a significant break up. I tried to experiment with melody and texture to convey some of the range of emotions that come with such a testing time. That being said, the B-side bangers are more dedicated to abandon and forgetting your worries.
Hailing originally from the Leeds, but with time spent in both London and Berlin, 'Breaking Up Is Hard' lands somewhere between the Hessle Audio crew, Joy O and Selected Ambient Works era Aphex.
Having previously released heaters for Brownswood and Hoya Hoya over the years, Eliphino stepping up for the debut artist LP on the reactivated Secretsundaze label feels like a natural fit as James Priestley explains:
""We've collectively had a connection and friendship with Tom that goes back several years and in fact it was receiving this work as demos that really spurred and inspired us into getting the label rolling again. It feels totally right to be working with him on this and for this mini-LP to herald the relaunch of the label as it moves towards a more artist led as opposed to EP driven approach.