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.
Jhon's House Tune From GM Guide - Protection (5:35)
Spastiche (Basic) (6:46)
AYOR Master (It's In My Blood) (6:40)
Original Amber Rain (demo) (4:52)
Wir-click-Wir 1993 (2:07)
Crumb Tune (Master) (5:57)
The March Of Time (Extra version) (9:00)
Spastiche - The Night's Alive (Master) (5:25)
Kusnir Jazz (2:43)
Heavens Blade (John Balance Vox demo) (7:25)
Wir-click-Wir 1998 Mst Vox (18:37)
The Test Early Mst (2:17)
AYOR (Extra version) (4:29)
Elves (Master) (6:35)
Heaven's Blade (instrumental 1993) (8:25)
Melotron Song (Amber Rain demo) (2:52)
March Of More Time (Master 1993) (6:30)
Crumb Tune (4:20)
Simon (Extra long) (6:10)
Egyptian Basses 1993 (7:22)
Review: This is an absolute treat for fans of experimental industrial noisniks Coil. If you fit that description, you should already be salivating at the prospect of a triple-vinyl album containing previously unheard, unreleased material. "Swanyard" is in effect an extended trawl through the late John Balance and Peter Christopherson's archives, focusing in particular on a productive period between 1993 and 1996 that saw the pair release a trio of acclaimed albums. Much of the material could be classed as either demos or work-in-progress sketches inspired by Christopherson's vivid dreams, but such was the quality of the pair's work that it sounds much more eccentric, vibrant and "complete" than many comparable compilations.
Review: Since leaving Cabaret Voltaire in the early '90s, Stephen Mallinder has kept himself busy, first by starting a new career as an academic, and latterly by stints in bands including Wrangler, Hey! Rube and Creep Show. There was always one thing missing from his CV, though: a new solo album. With "Um Dada", he's finally ticked that box, delivering a set that smartly channels four decades of electronic music influences into nine vocal and instrumental mutant pop cuts. It's heavy, trippy, mind-altering and thoroughly absorbing, with Mallinder offering plenty of nods towards the Cabs' 1980s and '90s work, as well as more contemporary influences such as German techno/electro and the sub-heavy rush of fellow Sheffielder Crooked Man.