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.
Review: For their latest deep dive into the world of little-known electronic gorgeousness, Holland's Music From Memory crew has taken a trawl through the impeccable and largely overlooked catalogue of Japanese ambient musician Toshifumi Hinata. The essential "Broken Relief" draws on material recorded by the musician between 1985 and 87, joining the dots between gentle beat-scapes, inspired new age soundscapes, warm ambient explorations and glassy-eyed instrumentals rich in fluid fretless bass, twinkling pianos, shuffling rhythms and chords so tactile you might want to go to bed with them. It's an inspired set all told, with an impressive number of highlights. These include the evocative piano lament "Ikoku No Onna Tachi", the spacey ambient swirl of "Colored Air", and the undeniably Balearic grooves of "Atarashii Yuhbokumin".
Review: 12th Isle's latest must-check chunk of entertaining experimentalism comes from Lo Kindre, whose dub-wise 2017 debut on Optimo Music was arguably one of that year's most overlooked EPs. "Chlorophytum", the producer's first solo missive since then, is another lo-fi electronic dub treat. Of course, it's not all gentle bass-heavy rhythms, endless delay trails and cute electronic melodies - closing cut "For Sleep" is a buzzing electronic raga, for example - but it's on these bass-heavy excursions that Lo Kindre most frequently hits the spot. Highlights include the extraordinarily sub-heavy shuffle of "Sounder", the ambient dub wooziness of "Aibell" and the creepy alien-dub oddness of "No Hiding".
Review: Jazz-man Greg Foat has always been more open-minded and eclectic than many give him credit for, delivering nods to pastoral folk, movie soundtracks and library music amongst his more jazz-focused output. Even so, "Photosynthesis" is still a curveball, featuring as it does drowsy and mostly leisurely soundscapes that move from Radiophonic Workshop influenced weird-outs and mutant lounge music, to stoned horizontal grooves and post trip-hop soundscapes. Interestingly, some of the album's standout moments come laden with woozy electric pianos and the kind of hazy, slow motion guitar motifs that evoke mental images of long, drawn-out sunsets.
Review: Russia's Gost Zvuk label has long been a firm favourite here in the Juno office. Their glitchy, mysterious, futuristic music always makes for intriguing listening and now they celebrate five fantastic years with a compilation featuring a host of closely associated talents old and new. The bumper triple vinyl collection features paranoid experimental ambient that draws to mind covert spying operations, mangled machine music like INFX's "Damaged +dn", haunting modulated synth soundscapes from OL and skeletal techno rhythms that rewire your brain like Erofeev's "11bng". It all makes for a genuinely fresh and original collection of hugely provocative music.
Review: It would be fair to say that Ernest "Ernie" Hood was ahead of his time. During the early 1970s, he was one of the few musicians in Portland, Oregon to embrace synthesizers. He was also a keen zither player and in his spare time made nostalgic field recordings of suburban neighbourhoods that matched those he grew up in. All of these things came together on his sole solo album, "Neighborhoods", an obscure - but rather brilliant - set that still sounds miles ahead of its time. It has a nostalgic tone, but is as evocative and atmospheric as you'd expect given the sonic ingredients Hood spooned into the mix. This re-mastered edition expands it to two discs, too, allowing louder, clearer reproduction of Hood's far-sighted sounds.
Review: Having built up his self titled label alongside his sterling work as part of Oscillat, Lazare Hoche and Will & Ink, the one and only Malin Genie delivers his debut solo album. Moving beyond the pure club focus of his singles and EPs, the Genie has seized this opportunity to present a widescreen panorama of his sound, leading in with the subliminal ambience of "You" as a springboard to explore breaks, electro, techno, and especially IDM. There are so many ideas swirling round Anthropomorphic Sympathy, it's hard to know where to begin describing it. A true headphone commute for the deep listener to burrow into.
Your Beautiful Look Is Looping Endlessly In My Head (4:48)
Review: Having done such wonderful work alongside Wolf Muller on The Sound Of Glades album, Cass makes a welcome return with an expansive album release on Emotional Response. The German producer's ambient tendencies blossom here, occasionally meeting with laconic drums as on "U" but primarily dealing in huge swathes of melody. DJs will want to hold out for the dramatic pulse of "Ann", where a more pronounced drum set makes for one of the album's most club-ready moments. There's a strong variety of tones and moods across Youth Sessions, from the strafing arpeggios of "Running" to the bliss-out shapeless swirl of "Prismatic Prolog", and this ensures that the album will not dull with repeated listens.
Review: Three years on from the release of her acclaimed debut album, "Epoch Sinus", on Hotflush, Sophie Schnell once more dons the PYUR alias for a follow-up on Subtext. The Bristol-based experimental label says that the set explores Schnell's fascination with "the space between life and death"; it's certainly an unearthly, unsettling and occasionally hallucinatory affair that fuses neo-classical style musical elements (strings, operatic vocals) with evocative electronic motifs, crunchy IDM style drums and cutting-edge production techniques. It's a genuinely unique and mind-altering affair, but one that thrills and excites at every turn. A triumph!
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.
Last I Heard (...He Was Circling The Drain) (5:10)
Dawn Chorus (5:34)
I Am A Very Rude Person (3:52)
Not The News (3:57)
The Axe (6:58)
Impossible Knots (4:19)
(Ladies & Gentlemen, Thank You For Coming) (4:57)
Review: It's taken a while, but finally Thom Yorke's impressive third solo album, "ANIMA", is available on wax (and in a fetching shade of orange, too). A future classic that continues the legacy he started with XL Recordings back in 2006 (with his solo debut The Eraser), ANIMA is well worth picking up, as Yorke and co-producer Nigel Godrich offer up evocative, off-kilter songs built around the twin attractions of the Radiohead man's distinctive vocals and skewed backing tracks rich in layered electronic noise, body-bending sub-bass, discordant synthesizer parts and intriguingly jaunty drum loops. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the creepy, lo-fi ambient swirl of "Last I Heard (...He Was Circling the Drain)" and "Dawn Chorus" (a blissfully dewy-eyed early morning soundscape), to the low-slung, post-trip-hop hum of "I Am A Very Rude Person" and the fizzing, jazz-fired thrust of "Impossible Knots". Melancholic, yes. Deep and self-effacing, of course. Nihilistic, not really. Percussive futurist sub-pop is back.
Review: Given that it's called "Coloured" and appears on shocking pink vinyl, you'd expect Adam Longman Parker's debut album as Afriqua to be a decidedly vibrant and kaleidoscopic affair. It is, of course, with Longman Parker offering up tracks that mix tropical-sounding electronics, glassy-eyed synthesizer motifs, processed vocal sounds and evocative musical flourishes with jaunty, interesting rhythms that neatly sidestep conventional genre rules. It's a mixture that makes for hugely enjoyable listening, with highlights coming thick and fast. These include - though are by no means limited to - the densely layered dancefloor cheekiness of "Shout", the minimalist ambient bliss of "Noir", the hypnotic, intergalactic oddness of "Native Sun" and the bubbly club warmth of "Jumpteenth".
Review: Tribe Of Colin have done a good job of keeping their identity unknown despite plenty of well received releases. Honest Jon's gets a fourth album from the enigmatic artist(s) that deals in sludgy techno, dubby steppers and pulsing electronic music that harks back to the streets of Detroit as much as hinting at a future London landscape long after humans have long gone. Twisted synths, shimmering percussion, dark chords and complex rhythms are interwoven with gritty textures and field recordings from around the world to make it a spellbinding listen. Fans of Actress and Andy Stott will love.
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: It's cult records and mythical artists like this that record collectors fawn over for years. Well this particular wait is now over as for the first time ever on vinyl you can now own two super rare 1980-82 tapes by Two Daughters. They were a mysterious pair affiliated with Throbbing Gristle and recorded all sorts of dark and haunting noise in Brixton for Nurse With Wound's United Dairies. This session is as freaky as they come, with muffled voices appearing out of the noise like apparitions. Hypnotic and daunting, droning and bleakly mesmeric, this music sounds to us like the shadowy corridors of an old lunatic asylum in the dead of a winter's night.
Review: After years spent offering up impressive blends of ambient, drone, electronica and experimental drum and bass as ASC, James Clements has decided to commit more time to Comit (sorry), an alternative project which first surfaced via a debut single in 2016. Here the San Diego-based Brit delivers a first full-length excursion under the alias. There's plenty to soothe and seduce on the eight tracks stretched across two slabs of wax, from the undulating, occasionally skittish beats and sweeping chord sequences of opener "Behind Dulled Eyes" and the icy, doom-laden electronic melancholy of "Reverie", to the early Black Dog Productions flex of "Clouded Over" and the dubbed-out, slow motion bliss of "Soft Focus".
Review: Widely regarded as Boards of Canada's finest hour, Music Has The Right To Children finds itself the subject of a well-deserved 2LP gatefold reissue from Warp Records. One of the most defining records of what was known for better or worse as IDM still sounds as timeless as it did in 1998, as the library tones of "Wildlife Analysis", thick downtempo rhythms of "Roygbiv" and out of focus melodies of "Olson" prove. Essential!
Review: Dating from tape recordings made between 1996 - 2012, Cosmic Vibrations follows the Tropical Psychedelics (ERS003) album for the label, this time digging deeper in to the mind of Secret Circuit than the more dance flor inspired sounds heard on last years album Tactile Galactics album for Beats In Space. Again we glimpse a melting pot of pyschedelia, techno, balearic and ambient to create an electronic gem, but all done with a wry smile and jesters wink rather than today's penchant of moody seriousness. Life on the US West Coast shines from the album, from opener Out West to She Got Love, sunshine music that couldn't be made anywhere else. It's not all hippy-happy vibes though with Minimal Vibrations and the dub of Straightline taking things in to deeper and instropective territory. However, all things resonate in Eddie's analogue meets kitchen sink synthesis. Layer after layer flats across the album to create a smile-inducing whole. Journeying from the folk guitar of Somnambulation to the minimilism of Glass Skeletons, before bidding a fond farewell in the apt, Bells. This second and fial collection of early cassette works is not an end, but a blessing.
Review: After a decidedly silent 2013 Burial is back on Hyperdub with a new single that points to pastures new for the stealthy producer. "Rival Dealer" is sure to polarize opinion as it takes a positively unexpected route into hardcore breaks, static interference, all manner of oddball speech samples, diversions and switches in dynamics, and a willfully grainy production finish that borders on punk. Depending on where you choose to dive into the ten-minute track the experience could be very different; experiencing it in full is nothing short of a rollercoaster. "Hiders" too is full of surprises, more indebted to pop balladry than anything remotely garage related, and the emotive croon and swooning piano is only magnified by a Yazoo-esque drum stomp at the midway point. "Come Down To Us" is equally heartfelt, all slow release vocals and languid chords yet constantly fractured at the edges, with yet more surprising turns of bombast waiting in the wings over thirteen minutes.
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: Chris Weeks has been building up the Kingbastard catalogue for a long time now, generally taking a self-reliant approach in the underground electronica scene where CD-r releases reign supreme. He's been a key figure on Ambidextrous since the label launched back in 2008, and now he's committed to wax with a range of crunched up leftfield sonics for the machine-loving crowd. "Anxiety" is a melodic cut with a house-minded structure, but there's a lot of production acrobatics and compositional swerves taking place within this framework. "Scatterbrain" is more overtly out there, tapping up the kind of heavily processed sounds that producers like Paradroid have championed in the past. "Data_Loss" strike a heavy blow somewhere between dubstep and electro, and "Data_Ctrl" ups the tempo for a rabble-rousing exercise in mind-bending machine music.
Review: Shahr Farang continues to blossom as a label, primarily as a vessel for the work of Sohrab Karimi and Rasul Gafarov, better known as Ahu and Lenta respectively. On this occasion, Ahu and Lenta have teamed up to present some intriguing clippings from two separate improvised studio jams. As is customary with the label, the primary mode of expression is minimal techno shrouded in hazy textures and atmospheric matter, but it veers more towards the kind of clicks and cuts you'd expect from a classic Scape record than anything geared towards the dancefloor. The steady tick of a 4/4 kick means this music isn't necessarily consigned to the headphones though - the right kind of warm up slot or backroom could be just the place to melt into these delicate productions.
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: 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: If you were judging Kieran Hebden's 11th Four Tet studio album merely on the way it's presented, you'd immediately think he'd spent the last two years immersed in early '90s ambient house albums. While it's unlikely he's done that, it's fair to say that New Energy does owe a debt to classic electronica sets from that period. For all the exotic instrumentation and subtle nods to post-dubstep "aquacrunk" experimentalism and chiming, head-in-the-clouds sunrise house, the album feels like a relic of a lost era. That's not meant as a criticism - New Energy is superb - but it is true that his choice of neo-classical strings, gentle new age melodies, sweeping synthesizer chords and disconnected vocal samples would not sound out of place on a Global Communication album.
Review: When it comes to crafting out-of-this-world fare out of analogue electronics and vintage hardware, there are few quite as talented as Italian composer Caterina Barbieri. She's at it again on "Ecstatic Computation", an album derived from "the creative use of complex sequencing techniques and pattern-based operations". Regardless of the techniques used or Barbieri's high-minded concepts, the resultant music is never less than stunning. Riley and Reich style minimalist melodic patterns - delivered via bold, colourful analogue synths capable of creating an ecstatic mood amongst listeners - catch the ear throughout, while intriguing diversions such as "Arrows Of Time" - a mesmerizing piece for Harpsichord and voice - only emphasise the quality and depth of Barbieri's work. In a word: breathtaking.
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.
Burning Down The House (feat George Clinton) (3:03)
Spontaneous (feat Little Dragon) (2:11)
Pilgrim Side Eye (1:30)
All Spies (1:45)
Yellow Belly (feat Tierra Whack) (3:07)
Black Balloons Reprise (feat Denzel Curry) (2:52)
Fire Is Coming (feat David Lynch) (3:23)
Inside Your Home (1:14)
Actually Virtual (feat Shabazz Palaces) (2:06)
Remind U (2:42)
Say Something (1:16)
Debbie Is Depressed (2:19)
Find Your Own Way Home (1:35)
The Climb (feat Thundercat) (3:19)
9 Carrots (feat Toro Y Moi) (3:01)
Land Of Honey (feat Solange) (3:27)
Thank U Malcolm (1:32)
Hot Oct (4:10)
Review: No less than five years since his last mind-busting opus, "You're Dead!", the one and only FlyLo finally returns with a staggering new album. At this point all bets are off as to which direction the visionary beat scene maven will take his stellar sound, and true to form "Flamagra" departs from solid ground quicker than you can shout "lift off". From arrhythmic spirituals to futuristic soul, the Cali man known to his family as Steven Ellison has never sounded freer in his sound. The cast of guest spots is off the charts as well - George Clinton, Little Dragon, Solange, David Lynch and Anderson .Paak are just some of the dazzling talents involved. Need we say more - take a trip once more with one of the 21st century's most visionary producers.
Review: We never quite know what to expect from leftfield explorer Jon Hopkins, but we know it will be worth a listen. Immunity, his fourth solo album (he's recorded two others, one with Brian Eno and another with King Creosote), doesn't disappoint. Rooted in shuffling, forthright and occasionally off-kilter rhythms, it melds hazy, late night atmospherics and subtle melodies with intense, droning chords, woozy electronics and all manner of inventive noises. It's a blend that repeatedly pays dividends, from the mournful pianos and jumpy rhythms of "Breathe This Air', to the crystalline, soundscape ambience of "Abandon Window", and glitchy wonkiness of "Form By Firelight".
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".
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: Warp's Boards of Canada reissue campaign reaches Geogaddi, perhaps the duo's most expansive (if not their most popular) record, presented here on a 3LP gatefold edition. Considerably darker than its predecessor Music Has The Right To Children, the claustrophobic sounds of "Gyroscope" and sampled spoken word in tracks like "Dandelion" and "Energy Warning" present a somewhat dystopian setting, filled with unsettling sounds, such as the light but eerie melodies of "Alpha & Omega" and "1969". Undoubtedly one deserving of reappraisal.
Etron Fou Leloublan - "Le Desastreux Voyage Du Piteux Python" (10:43)
Jean Cohen-Solal - "Captain Tarthopom" (3:03)
ZNR - "Solo Un Dia" (3:01)
Red Noise - "Sarcelles C'est L'Avenir" (15:22)
Pierre Henry - "Generique (Theme De Myriam)" (2:20)
Horrific Child - "Frayeur" (8:42)
Jean Guerin - "Triptik 2" (2:19)
Dashiell Hedayat - "Fille De L'Ombre" (5:47)
Review: French post-rock group Nurse With Wound famously noted a number of artists on their legendary 1979 debut. This fascinating compilation on Finders Keepers finds band member Steven Stapleton chronicling them all, and it makes for an often intense story full of noise experiments, soot-black guitar playing and haunting atmospheres. Rarely less than peculiar, tracks like Jean Cohen-Solal's "Captain Tarthopom" sounds like a curious fairground ride, Red Noise's " Sarcelles C'est L'Avenir" is the stuff of nightmares and "Triptik 2" by Jean Guerin is as weird as music gets. As dark nights and spooky season approaches, this is a perfect go-to.
Review: As part of Mura Oka, Louis Vial has already been spotted on the excellent Latency label as well as delivering a solo EP to Collapsing Market earlier this year. He once again dons his Eszaid cape on this release for the equally fine Meandyou stable, tapping into the labels predilection for obscure variations on the fringes of house and techno. "777,7" is especially captivating in its insistent cyclical minimalism, drilling straight for the subconscious, while "Eyeless Mannekin" sets adrift in aqueous climes for a proper floatation tank dub techno immersion. Using subtlety as a powerful tool, Eszaid ably matches up to the quality that has come before on Meandyou.
Review: Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti serve up another round of top shelf remixes and revisions of John Rees Lewis' mid-late 80s project C Cat Trance, following in the wake of the Screaming Ghosts compilation. First up to bat are Red Axes, who bring a seductive line in loose and limber drumming to "Shake The Mind" that should suit the Fourth World dancefloor massive just fine. Jamie Paton brings a tough, clamouring intensity to "Take Me To The Beach," while Prins Thomas takes a truly spiritual approach when weaving the intricate arpeggios and percussion of "Sudaniyya." Khidja and Borusiade team up on "Simple Helen," presenting a dense and hazy trip into exotic territory with sinister undertones.
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: Leopoldo Rosa AKA Lerosa has been fighting against lazy categorization for years, offering up tracks that go way beyond the deep house sound he cultivated in the early years of his career. Those who still think he makes records like that should definitely check "Bucket Of Eggs", his long-awaited second album, because it's far more thrillingly wayward, off-kilter and alien-sounding than anything he's released before. It's rooted in house music - and twisted acid house, in particular - but also doffs a cap towards Rephlex style mutant electronica, turn-of-the-90s Bleep and Bass (the superbly weighty and spacey "Sheffield"), skewed electro ("Subterfuge") and even deep space electronica (killer closing cut "Don't Worry"). In a word: essential.
Review: As Warp gears up to celebrate its 30th birthday, it seems fitting that the label should be putting out a fresh album from one of its longest serving artists. As Plaid, Andy Turner and Ed Handley played a significant role in defining the label's approach to electronic music during the "Artificial Intelligence" era in the mid 1990s. All these years on, they're still capable of crafting fizzing, melodious, off-kilter electronic listening music that defies lazy categorization. "Polymer" is a hugely enjoyable and entertaining set, with highlights including the jumpy beats, post-electro melodies and mind-altering acid lines of "Los", the metallic bounce of "Maru" - a kind of twisted take on Afro-tech that's amongst their most club-ready cuts of recent times - and the disturbed, Autechre-style clang of "Recall".
Review: 21 years since its release and a good 15 years after its last vinyl repress, Tri Repetae's new vinyl revitalization is incredibly welcome news to fans old and new. Without wanting to preach to the choir but everything about this body of work remains ahead of its time and on its own. From those opening robotic purrs and mechanical breaks to those final tubular space echoes on "Rsdio", the whole album still sucks you in with such alien, otherworldly allure. How they made those sounds and arranged them in such a way with the technology at the time blew minds back then and blows even more in hindsight. A serious document.
Review: Thankfully, Richard D. James has decided to finally release at least some of the output that he's been banging on about since mid-2000s. In a number of interviews, the might Aphex Twin hinted that he has vast artilleries of tracks stacked up and unreleased, probably more on purpose than out of laziness...or maybe not. What we do know is that AFX is reborn after the string of acid 12"s released about 10 years ago on Rephlex, that saw the alias become one of the most popular of James' alter egos. Orphaned Deejay Selek is a collection of tunes that contain all of the Twin's magic and unpredictably, but that also cut straight to the point and head to the middle of the dance floor. This is banging brain dynamite coated in the man's iconic style and flair. Welcome back AFX, and many hats off to Warp for making it happen.
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.
Hands, No More Mosquitos, Calamine, Tangle (live in Copenhagen)
Review: Released back in 2003, Rounds was the third LP from Kieran Hebden as Four Tet and perhaps the first long player that widely established him as a pioneering voice within electronic music. Though it doesn't feel like a decade since it was released, Domino celebrate the album's tenth anniversary in requisite fashion here, reissuing it in double LP format and slipping in a CD of Four Tet performing live in Copenhagen in 2004. Listening back now, it's easy to understand why Rounds is viewed as an early classic in the Four Tet canon, transferring his love for free jazz records to a beat template that's more palatable on the ear (Fact pickers might want to know that Hebden recently revealed to Pitchfork the LP was made entirely from samples) "She Moves She" still sounds absolutely haunting too!
Review: Having taken time out to travel the world and experience new things (including psychedelic substances in California), John Hopkins planned to make Singularity, his ninth album, "a sonic ecosystem that starts and ends on the same note". He soon got frustrated by these limitations, so instead just laid down a fluid and hazy album that combines his usual luscious, ambient electronics with a variety of sparse, heavy and off-kilter rhythms. While undeniably laidback in parts, the album also boasts a number of foreboding techno workouts and uses a wider palette of instrumental sounds than we've come to expect (including some fine strings and his own intricate piano playing). The resultant set is rather impressive, all told, and while not quite a "sonic ecosystem", it's certainly an enjoyable journey.
Review: Alexis Georgopoulos and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma's Fragments Of A Season was one of the highlights of Emotional Response's output in 2017, centred around blissful, Balearic instrumentation that shone a spotlight on the considerable talents of these accomplished artists. Now the label is revisiting the material with a couple of finely selected versions, the first coming from Emotional regulars Woo, who dutifully inject "Marine" with their effervescent, otherworldly expressions and create a glistening masterpiece in the process. Felicia Atkinson then tackles "AA Cleo" and sends it out onto the horizon in a haze of reverb romanticism, muffled percussive rumbles and murmuring vocals.
Review: Helena Hauff's label is back, this time presenting a various artists 12" that heralds the start of the No Return series. The release starts on a mystical bent with the Eastern-tinged death electro of "El Carmel", sounding ripe for a Hague-friendly warm-up session. Neud Photo then take over with a dystopian trip through rich synth tones coloured in dark hues for the bleakest of robotic fantasies. Antoni Maiovvi fills the B-side with the slow grinding bombast of "The Dig", bleeding out a noirish take on coldwave for the darkest hearts to swoon to.
Review: "Polar Sequences" has always been one of Biosphere's most icy and evocative albums. It first appeared in stores in 1996, though its roots lie in a collaborative performance that took place atop a mountaintop in Tromso - Biosphere's home city - a year earlier. Alongside Bobby Bird of British ambient techno outfit Higher Intelligence Agency, the Norwegian crafted a unique live show that blended chilly, windswept ambient textures and gently unfurling electronic melodies with re-processed field recordings of Tromso and its surroundings. As an album, "Polar Sequences" subtly refined and reworked this performance with breathtaking and spellbinding results. This reissue contains all six tracks from the original release, as well as a worthy bonus: the original 14-minute field recording that provided the basis for the original live show.
Review: Since 2012, much of Oren Ambarchi's solo has been focused on the intense potential of driving rhythms. "Simian Angel", the experimentalist guitarist and percussionist's 21st solo set, is a far more picturesque and slowly shifting affair. While there are distant drums present on opener "Palm Sugar Candy" (provided by Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista), these are buried a little in the mix, with Ambarchi's becalmed electronic tones, slow motion ambient chords and distinctive, effects-laden guitars taking centre stage. The results are warm, inviting and sun-kissed. The same could be said about title track "Simian Angel", an opaque, sun-bright suite of interconnected movements marked out by intricate piano solos, hazy guitar tones and visceral aural textures.
Review: Back in 1996, Richard D. James and Planet Mu boss Mike Paradinas collaborated on a bizarre self-titled album under the name Mike & Rich. A cult addition to their respective highly-regarded canons that saw the pair applying their braindance template to easy listening and funk, the album soon came to be known as Expert Knob Twiddlers thanks to the excellent cover art. Newly reissued on Planet Mu, the album has been "carefully cleaned up, re-edited and remastered from the original DAT tape [and] put into a more fitting order." Some twenty years on the album remains a playful listen made all the more compelling by the addition of seven previously unheard tracks. A must for any fans of Aphex Twin and u-ZIQ.
Review: Some four years after Swims brought the work of Dan Snaith to the attention of a whole new audience, the London-based Canadian artist returns with a sixth Caribou album entitled Our Love. Staunch followers of Caribou will know that Snaith tends to adopt different sonic approaches with every long player (compare the psychedelia of Up In Flames with the more spaced out Andorra) but this latest album feels like a natural development of the club influenced sounds of Swims. City Slang call it Snaith's most soulful set yet, and that's certainly helped by the presence of compatriot Jessy Lanza, and like all Caribou albums there is something new that appeals with every listen.
Review: More split action from STROOM, a label that has delivered some killer reissues of late. Heading up this double-feature is Icelandic producer Isar Logi Arnarsson AKA Cold, who offers us another chance to savour his 1995 Berlin Love Parade anthem "Strobe Light Network" - a 15-minute deep techno epic that boasts a lengthy ambient introduction, hushed and hypnotic grooves, undulating electronic motifs, ghostly chords and glacial, rush-inducing lead lines. Over on the flip, James Bernard takes over. "Lapis Lazuli" first surfaced on his 1997 album "Symphony For A Biomechanical Breakdown" and 22 years on it has lost none of its ghostly, otherworldly charms. A chunk of ultra-deep ambient rich in creepy melodies and psychedelic acid lines, it makes a near perfect B-side to Arnarsson's peerless classic.