Minimal Wave

Molchat Doma “S Krysh Nashikh Domov” (Sacred Bones)

2020-03-20T19:57:31+00:00March 19th, 2020|

When С крыш наших домов (S Krysh Nashikh Domov), the debut album by Molchat Doma, was released in 2017, it announced a bold new voice in underground music. The album found a passionate audience on Bandcamp and other streaming services and was released on CD and cassette. Sacred Bones Records is proud to present the album on vinyl for the first time.

Molchat Doma (translated as “Houses Are Silent”), founded in 2017 in Minsk, Belarus, stands at the intersection of post-punk, new-wave and synth-pop. Dark yet danceable, and with a heavy dose of goth ethos, their music is reminiscent of the masters that predate them, but make no mistake: Molchat Doma creates a sound and meaning that is immediately recognizable as all their own.

The band is comprised of Egor Shkutko, who sings the Russian lyrics in his deep monotone, Roman Komogortsev on guitar, synths, and drum machine, and Pavel Kozlov on bass and synths.

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Ceramic Hello “The Absence Of A Canary” (Ice Machine)

2020-03-13T20:34:07+00:00February 29th, 2020|

A new sub-label of the longstanding Canadian electro imprint Suction Records, Ice Machine — focusing on old-school wave/post-punk sounds — launches on Valentines Day 2020, debuting with this new vinyl reissue of Ceramic Hello’s 1981 minimal synth classic “The Absence Of A Canary.”

A long-time cult favourite among fans of obscure ’80s synth-pop, this LP remains highly sought-after, and is rated as one of the genre’s top 20 records ever made by Minimal Wave label head Veronica Vasicka, who calls it “a beautiful record, inside and out.”  This is our 2nd edition of the LP — it was previously reissued on Suction Records in 2002, but even that reissue is now long sold out, and the interest in this strange, utterly unique DIY time-capsule has not subsided in the least. The reissue was transferred and painstakingly remastered from perhaps the last sealed copy of the original 1981 LP in existence. We are proud to make this Canadian synth classic available again.

Ceramic Hello hailed from Burlington Ontario, about an hour outside of Toronto, and comprised of Brett Wickens, who composed and performed the more synth-pop-oriented songs on the LP, with clear nods to early-Ultravox and OMD, plus Roger Humphries, who contributed the album’s otherwordly, classically-informed synth interludes. Shortly after the 1981 release of the LP, Wickens moved to the UK to work for legendary Factory Records-associated design firm Peter Saville Associates, where he created iconic LP covers for the likes of New Order, Joy Division, and Peter Gabriel. The Absence Of A Canary’s striking cover, an eerie silver-faced enigma, was Wickens’ first LP design and has become iconic in its own right — an enduring signpost in the minimal synth underground.

The LP contains 14 songs, and is housed in a recreation of the original silver jacket, with an insert/poster + 4-page-lyric-sheet and equipment list (a reproduction – this was originally available by mailing to Ceramic Hello in 1981 – scarce few copies exist and we were finally able to obtain a scan for this new pressing!).

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Void Vision “Sour” (Mannequin)

2020-03-13T20:34:41+00:00February 7th, 2020|

2020 version; black vinyl and alternative cover. Originally released in 2014. Void Vision is a Philadelphia based solo female minimal synth/cold wave project from Shari Wallin. Already included by Rough Trade in their seminal Synth Wave compilations, the single anticipated her full-length Sub Rosa for Mannequin Records. “Sour” was featured in the acclaimed Wild Wild Country Netflix series in 2018. Music supervisor Chris Swanson about the track: “We were having a hard time finding a song for that scene, actually. We had a Future Islands track originally in that scene, I think, but I remember we were having a hard time getting the tone right… because there were objectives with regards to the narrative… we wanted a good beat, a sense of time but also conforming to the time. I think of all the songs [in WWC], the Void Vision song is the one that stands out… because it was different yet it sold the story that we were trying to tell.” Remix by Vanzetti & Sacco, aka Jos Van Galen with the Otto Kraanen, the boss of the acclaimed Bordello A Parigi from Rotterdam. Edition of 500.

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Pauline Oliveros “Deep Listening” (Important)

2020-03-19T20:09:49+00:00January 31st, 2020|

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Deep Listening, Important Records offer a definitive double-LP combining the classic, complete original 1989 release with selected tracks from the Deep Listening Band’s 1991 album, The Ready Made Boomerang. Recorded in a cistern, this double-LP reverberates with brilliant sonic clarity and masterfully improvised performances combining live electronics, vocals, trombone. and accordion. Deep Listening is a classic in the fields of improvisation, minimalism, ambient/drone, and modern classical. Listen with attentiveness, listen while lying down, listen with headphones — as recording engineer Al Swanson entices the listener to become a virtual performer in selecting the many different ways to perceive these phenomenal tracks. Whatever you do, listen deeply. Packaged in a gatefold sleeve with original and updated recollections from the performers, the engineer, and a mesostic from John Cage, to whom these recordings are inextricably linked.

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Void Vision “Sour” (Mannequin)

2020-03-19T20:09:50+00:00January 26th, 2020|

2020 version; black vinyl and alternative cover. Originally released in 2014. Void Vision is a Philadelphia based solo female minimal synth/cold wave project from Shari Wallin. Already included by Rough Trade in their seminal Synth Wave compilations, the single anticipated her full-length Sub Rosa for Mannequin Records. “Sour” was featured in the acclaimed Wild Wild Country Netflix series in 2018. Music supervisor Chris Swanson about the track: “We were having a hard time finding a song for that scene, actually. We had a Future Islands track originally in that scene, I think, but I remember we were having a hard time getting the tone right… because there were objectives with regards to the narrative… we wanted a good beat, a sense of time but also conforming to the time. I think of all the songs [in WWC], the Void Vision song is the one that stands out… because it was different yet it sold the story that we were trying to tell.” Remix by Vanzetti & Sacco, aka Jos Van Galen with the Otto Kraanen, the boss of the acclaimed Bordello A Parigi from Rotterdam. Edition of 500.

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Men With Secrets “Psycho Romance & Other Spooky Ballads” (Bunker New York)

2020-03-07T06:07:32+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Sometimes you want something so badly you don’t even know to ask for it in the first place. Like Adam and Eve stumbling upon the fruit of knowledge — or psychedelic techno wizards Donato Dozzy and Retina.it (aka Lino Monaco and Nicola Buono) producing a pitch-perfect, vintage-styled minimal wave record, filled with icy synths, shuddering bass, and anthemic vocals, sounding like a lost gem unearthed from 1982 for the first time. Except it’s not — this record is brand new. The three Italians first came together under the moniker Le Officine Di Efesto, releasing an EP of murky left-field techno on Dozzy’s own Spazio Disponibile. They quickly discovered a shared love of classic post-punk, wave, and synthpop, and not long after, Men With Secrets was born. “Men With Secrets” might sound like an old-school synthpop act you’ve never heard of, but the name is actually borrowed from Richard Bone, an early New York electronic musician and minimal pop pioneer. The trio’s name is but one of their many homages — Cabaret Voltaire, The Human League, New Order, and even Dopplereffekt are additional reference points — but this album is neither imitation nor rehash. It’s just as carefully and ingeniously produced as you’d expect a record from Donato Dozzy and Retina.it to be, except it’s filled with poppy hooks so brilliantly catchy they’ll stick in your head until you hit repeat and find yourself singing along. These Men With Secrets clearly have their tongue placed firmly in cheek: check the record’s title and artwork for proof. But the music is deadly serious. The drums hit hard, the synths soar to emotional heights, and the vocals intone rhythmically. All of it’ is coated in the warm fuzz of analog tape. Not many records on The Bunker New York are as likely to be played in goth clubs as they are by adventurous techno DJs, but then again, this is not your average Bunker New York record. Mastered by Peter Van Hoesen. Cut at Manmade Mastering.

A Produce “The Clearing” (All Night Flight)

2020-03-07T06:53:56+00:00January 9th, 2020|

Hark! A Produce’s disgustingly rare and sought-after, ultra-brooding minimal pop epic The Clearing available on vinyl for the first time since its original release in ’88.

A Produce was the late Barry Craig, who formed the Trance Port and Trance Port Tapes labels to showcase his own work as well as that of John Lafia, Afterimage and a select group of other L.A.-orbiting techno-dreamers, and was active well into the 2000s. While exhibiting plenty of the deep ambient trance sound that Craig and TPT would become best known for, The Clearing, released in ’88, is equally indebted to classical American Minimalism and to new wave / synthesized art-rock. ‘Ashes of Love’ is the most potent coming together of these various strands, beginning as uptight, angular pop, complete with Sylvian/Ferry-ish vocals from Afterimage’s Daniel Voznik, before unravelling into a second, instrumental movement of Reich-meets-Global Communication-style tidal ambient drift.

Other personnel include Scott Fraser (Kronos Quartet) and Scott Marc Becker, and there’s a connection to the Independent Project Records scene via Bruce Lichen, who designed the album’s sleeve (and is it just me or does Becker’s death-surf guitar on ‘Farming In Arabia’ have a whiff of Savage Republic about it?). T has a bittersweet, existential quality, full of the stylised dread and hard shadows of an LA noir / film soleil, its sunken drum-machine pulsations refracting shards of ambient guitar shimmer. Along the way we were reminded of My Life In The Bush Ghosts, Mick Karn’s Titles and Dalis Car, Fripp & Eno, Nooten & Brook’s Sleep With The Fishes… but with none of the dodgy bits! I genuinely struggle to think of a single ’80s auteur who made an LP as cohesive or coolly controlled as this “album of conceptual space”. Very special record.

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Vilod “The Clouds Know” (Mana)

2020-03-07T06:54:21+00:00December 20th, 2019|

Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer as Vilod, with their second full-length album following 2015’s cult classic Safe in Harbour on Perlon. Housed in a stunning gatefold sleeve. “Cryptic, twilight emissions from Villalobos and Loderbauer; their synthetic compound of electronics and ouroboros jazz has walked from ECM and Perlon over to Mana. Developing a sound that tends to drift along as otherworldly atmospheres and strange fusion, Vilod evade easy categorisation, even compared to Villalobos’ already experimental and genre-twisting solo minimal offerings. He and Loderbauer pull away the backbone inherent to the structure of that dance music, and The Clouds Know refines a deft and subtle musical noir built on ambient cues, sparks and claps of electricity, brushed drums, black voids and subterranean bass swoops. There’s a twinkle in the eye and moments of deadpan levity, but the overall mood here is sober and introspective. Emotions run deep. Through studio mastery and an enigmatic language, the album forms a fascinating sonic and sensory work with few compromises. With erratic rhythms notably submerged — techno remains as an irregular pulse in the belly of the beast — fields of crisp, uncanny detail expand greatly. Humid environments appear, dense with the chatter of synthesized insects and the gentle rain of drums and whispering cymbals, enchanting the listener in focus or sublimating into layers of ambience depending on your disposition — and the quality of your stereo field.”

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Nine Circles “Early Days” (Onderstroom)

2020-03-07T06:07:50+00:00December 20th, 2019|

Early Days maps out Nine Circles interpretation of cold wave and minimal synth. Unbelievably the tracks are mostly from a brief time period, ’80-82. Alienation and uncertainty course through the double-LP, with heavy Yamaha chords, metallic machine beats, and brittle vocals. Nine Circles was formed in the early ’80s by Peter van Garderen and Lidia Fiala. In 1980, there was band called Genetic Factor. This band split up when the three members got girlfriends and they started to make music together with their girls. So, at that time there were three bands living together in one house. One of the couples were Peter van Garderen and Lidia Fiala. Lidia had been writing lyrics since she was 15 years old. Nine Circles was born. Within two years they wrote about 60 songs. Also living in the house was Richard Zeilstra, who had a job at the VPRO radio, hosting a show called “Spleen” where he gave new wave bands a chance to play. He asked bands to send tapes to him and the best band would have the opportunity to play live at the radio and also got the chance to be on the Radio Nome compilation (1982). Peter and Lidia sent their tape to him and were the only ones of this house to be on the show. Richard knew their music was special. Nine Circles never played a live show, only this one concert live at the radio which is also featured on the LP. Two years later Peter and Lidia split up and Nine Circles subsequently disappeared. In 2009, Lidia’s son googled her name just for fun and found a lot about the band Nine Circles. Lidia was surprised, she never knew how popular Nine Circles have been over the years. She got herself on Facebook and since then she got in touch with many people and decided Nine Circles should come back! Peter was not able to join the band these days, he has a different life and he is happy but he is supporting Lidia and likes that she enjoyed doing music again. Peter still had all the old recordings and sent Lidia a lot of the music they made back in the days. The best tracks are collected on this double-LP. Together with Per-Anders Kurenbach, Lidia continues Nine Circles. Together with Per-Anders Kurenbach, Lidia revived Nine Circles. They recorded new material (released on the album Alice) and played live until Lidia had to stop playing live for health reasons in 2016. Nevertheless, they’re working on a follow-up album called Emerge which is planned to be released in 2020 and hopefully Lidia will be able to go on stage again soon.

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Raime “Planted” (RR)

2020-03-07T06:54:28+00:00December 20th, 2019|

Raime explore exquisitely honed rhythmic instincts with scintillating results on the second release on their RR label. Where the London duo’s 2018 EP and RR debut We Can’t Be That Far From The Beginning (RR 001EP, 2018) evoked a meditative mood from the info overload of their home city that left acres of space to the imagination, the Planted EP rejoins the dance with four tracks that icily acknowledge strong influence from Latin American and Chicago footwork styles in a classically skooled mutation of hardcore British dance music. In four, fleetingly ambiguous dancefloor workouts they carry on a conceptual theme exploring the digital subconscious with persistently invasive, alien ambient shrapnel — half-heard voices, aleatoric prangs, and tag-covered signposts — woven into and through their tightly coiled and reflexive drum programming. Uptown, “Num” flexes tendons and hips like a Leonce riddim that danced all the way from NOLA and ATL to the wintery dawn of a LDN warehouse, while the lip-biting tension of minimalist 160bpm jungle/footwork patterns and jibber-jawed vocals in “Ripli” suggests the Alien film’s protagonist lost in a mazy rave space, chased by H.R. Giger-designed face huggers (or gurning energy vampires). Downtown “Kella” then catches them on a grimy dub-tech bounce, cocked back and straining at the harness, before “Belly” shuts down the dance with invasive, demonic motifs exploding over dark blue chords, and palpitating jungle subs with impeccable darkside style. RIYL: Leonce, Kode 9, Demdike Stare, Lee Gamble. Edition of 500.

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Sam Mallet “Wetlands” (Musique Plastique)

2020-03-07T06:08:00+00:00December 20th, 2019|

Sam Mallet could have pursued a career as a French literature professor in Paris, but decided his true calling was to remain in Australia, dedicate himself to his music and find the plateau; a word he used to describe the sensory worlds residing in music. Under the influence of Eno, Jon Hassell, Arvo Pärt, John Coltrane and Robert Fripp, Sam explored a wide variety of musical styles and put them to service soundtracking the time based works of his peers. He crafted spatial ambience, somber jazz, and drum computer driven rockers for short films and experimental video works, television shows (including the original Australian Wilfred series), feature films and live theatre. The avant-garde Anthill Theatre, known for its departure from conventional staging practices and having a keen eye for talent, enlisted Mallet to provide soundtracks for approximately 40 productions throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.

Wetlands is the product of countless hours spent with this archive by Rowan Mason (Sanpo Disco) and Tony Remple (Musique Plastique), offering a dynamic survey of Sam’s work, and housed in a jacket evoking the minimal design and colour palette of his earliest cassette releases. Two selections of Sam Mallet’s music were featured on the compilation Midday Moon (also produced by Rowan), released last year by Bedroom Suck Records. Along with Left Ear Records’ Antipodean Anomalies, Midday Moon has served to highlight outlier musics and scenes from Australia and New Zealand, and Wetlands plunges deeper into the catalog of this obscure yet groundbreaking artist.

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Skatebard/Crystal Bois Conga “Live at Skurkeklubben” (Sex Tags Mania)

2020-03-07T06:08:09+00:00December 20th, 2019|

15 YEARS OF SEX TAGS MANIA! Established in Bergen 2004 and ran by DJ Sotofett & DJ Fett Burger the first 4-5 years as one of Norways only labels consistently releasing House & Techno on vinyl. Since about 2008/09 it’s been operated by DJ Sotofett. Skatebård’s ”Conga” has turned to be one of the most sought after releases from the Sex Tags Mania catalog with it’s sparse pressing of about 2-300 copies – though most of the original stock was given away as the record gained minimal interest in 2005. The original record was cut with excellence by Lawrie Immersion – and pressed in his own plant – the now defunct Curved Pressings. MANIA 30 – the repress of ”Conga” has as close to original sound as possible and it also carries a new B-side – the Crystal Bois live version of ”Conga” from 2007, featuring Skatebård on male vox!

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Ruth Rich “Calming Signals” (Plant Life)

2020-03-07T06:54:57+00:00December 13th, 2019|

MICHAEL RICH RUTH has composed ambient music for a long time. After a break from years touring with different bands, he spent his free time in a small home studio in North Nashville. The blueprints for Calming Signals began to emerge through a more dedicated focus on the diverse traditions of ambient, new age, spiritual jazz, and minimalist music. The ideas became realized pieces when Ruth started to collaborate with friends. These players transformed the material into something much more lush and unpredictable; pairing repetitive, droning synthesizer movements with organic improvisation. Calming signals is a term that refers to the way dogs communicate stress and use certain mechanisms to calm themselves or reset. Ruth relied on the creation of this music to find peace and balance amidst trauma. One summer morning while he was recording the album, Ruth was held up at gunpoint and carjacked by two people outside of his home. The following weeks were spent working on Calming Signals with a new layer of angst and emotion. These compositions became a means for him to work through this personal struggle and organize his anxiety into something constructive. Features contributions from CALEB HICKMAN (tenor saxophone), CAMERON CARRUS (upright bass), REUBEN GINGRICH (drums), JAMES GREEN (flugelhorn), SAM QUE (baritone sax). Mastered by MIKEY YOUNG. Edition of 450 copies.

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Steve Hauschildt “Nonlin” (Ghostly International)

2020-03-07T06:55:09+00:00December 6th, 2019|

Chicago-based contemporary electronic musician Steve Hauschildt has composed panoramas of synthesized sound for over a decade. First within his former band, Emeralds, an American touchstone of 2000s home-recorded psychedelic noise music, and later across a steady and critically-acclaimed stream of solo releases spanning ambient techno, arpeggiated electronica and post-kosmische styles utilizing synthesizers, computers, and digital processing. In 2018, he extended a collection of rich, visceral tracks titled Dissolvi, his first release on Ghostly International and his most collaborative work to date. Just a year later, Hauschildt returns with Nonlin, an album that’s freer, leaner, and looser, both structurally and conceptually; less linear compared to its predecessor, but still captivating. Developed and recorded in several studios during and around the edges of tour — Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Tbilisi, and Brussels — this material emulates an alienating encounter with a smattering of places, a replicant of culture shock, a solitary and stark experience with uncanny environments, melody and dissonance as oblique locales.

Nonlin finds Hauschildt evolving his palette of tools, integrating modular and granular synthesis. The improvisatory and generative nature of modular systems, when paired with his signature grid-oriented and hand-played techniques, guides these compositions slightly out of line to hypnotic effect. Opener “Cloudloss” permeates the mix with an unsettling smog, which reappears and all but engulfs “A Planet Left Behind.” On cuts like “Attractor B” and “Subtractive Skies,” pockets of air rest between sequenced pulses, whose crumpling and flattening folds build into a restrained rapture of crisp frequencies and milky reverb-swallowed coruscations.

The album’s title track and centerpiece logs on to a foreign network, a fractured percussion signal that modulates and stutters into static amidst curious melodic sparkling in the hazy bandwidth. “Reverse Culture Music” casts an elegant and brooding stream of strings, pizzicato and churning bow from Chicago cellist Lia Kohl, against chiming minimalist synth frameworks. A surprising pattern emerges in the taciturn systems at work. Hauschildt continues to expand his already horizon-wide repertoire, here exploring the effects of corrupting coordinates; a flight subject to the collapsable abilities of time in remote spaces, a smearing of the axis to elegiac ends.

Metric System “Studio 440” (Kontakt)

2020-03-07T06:08:24+00:00December 6th, 2019|

Kontakt brings back two sought after minimal-dubtechno tracks by Metric System, which was one of many aliases used by Thomas P.Heckmann in the 90ties, where he explored the sounds of the legendary Sequential Circuits 440. The original recordings have been carefully restored and officially re-mastered by Thomas himself. Limited coloured vinyl.

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Jessica Ekomane “Multivocal” (Important)

2020-03-07T06:08:29+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Jessica Ekomane’s debut LP, Multivocal, is brilliantly original, and will appeal to fans of Caterina Barbieri, Alessandro Cortini, Shasta Cults, ELEH, and the strand of minimal electronic music that runs through the Important catalog. Multivocal is a polyphonic maze that unfolds to both the body and the mind. A generative take on rhythm and spatial perception, it presents the same events in different configurations. The two pieces of the album, “Solid of Revolution” and “Never Odd or Even”, mirror each other with the same principle in different musical scales: steady pulses with one millisecond difference in tempo start beating together, then slowly phase organically and progress into ever-changing rhythmic patterns until they finally return to unison. Multivocal emphasizes shifts of attention in the listener’s experience and plays with the expectations that frame it. Originally conceived for quadraphonic sound, the pieces reveal the many different aspects and modes of perception that can arise within the same sequence of notes. In this way Multivocal is influenced by concepts of gestalt psychology such as multi-stable perception — a term describing ambiguous patterns that offer multiple interpretations at once. The minimalism and repetitive quality of the music also refers to trance-inducing and collective music practices, driven by the strong bodily affects induced through the use of rhythms. Those two compositions were recorded live during Ars Electronica 2018 at the occasion of the sleeping event “Sonatas for Sleep/less”, curated by multimedia artist Shu Lea Cheang and cultural theorist Matthew Fuller. First pressing in an edition of 500.

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Yoshio Ojima ” Une Collection des Chainons II: Music for Spiral” (WRWTFWW)

2020-03-07T06:56:03+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Volume Two. WRWTFWW Records announce a reissue of both volumes of Yoshio Ojima’s superb environmental music project Une Collection Des Chaînons I And II: Music For Spiral, originally released in 1988. The twenty-track opus is sourced from original masters and includes liner notes in English and Japanese. This marks the inaugural release from the Esplanade Series by WRWTFWW Records, which focuses on the works of Ojima and friends. Une Collection? gathers selected music pieces conceptualized and produced for sound-designing the Wacoal Art Center in Aoyama (Tokyo) also known as Spiral, a hub for a wide range of sophisticated cultural proposals spanning visual arts, theatre, music, design, fashion, and lifestyle. Spiral is a monumental work of architecture by Fumihiko Maki, designed according to the principles of Metabolism, a movement advocating evolving designs and constructions, adapting to human needs naturally. The first volume flows from the eerie and levitating “Entrance” to the quirky “Esplanade (Live)”, the gentle and reassuring “Flius”, and the measured and ravishing escalation of “Mensis.” On the second volume, the nanoscopic neoclassical lullaby “Les Trois Grâces” brings attention to the importance of small details, “Pulse at Soothe” starts with the minimalism of a Satoshi Ashikawa piece and slowly drifts into mystical landscapes and cavernous echoes, “Entomology” and its melancholic artificial forest evokes a Twin Peaks mirage, and “Atrium” literally feels like a floating visit of a gigantic open space structure. Sitting alongside Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Ashikawa’s Still Way, Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green (1986), or Yutaka Hirose’s NOVA, as a pivotal work of Japanese environmental/ambient/minimalist music, Une Collection des Chaînons (which translates as a collection of links) is a delicately laid out sonic landscape connecting space and emotions, architecture and humanity, adjusting and transforming through the ears of the listeners. A note from Ojima: “Please listen to this album at around the same volume as daily life sounds such as air conditioners and refrigerators.”

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Yoshio Ojima ” Une Collection des Chainons I: Music for Spiral” (WRWTFWW)

2020-03-07T06:55:44+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Volume One. WRWTFWW Records announce a reissue of both volumes of Yoshio Ojima’s superb environmental music project Une Collection Des Chaînons I And II: Music For Spiral, originally released in 1988. The twenty-track opus is sourced from original masters and includes liner notes in English and Japanese. This marks the inaugural release from the Esplanade Series by WRWTFWW Records, which focuses on the works of Ojima and friends. Une Collection? gathers selected music pieces conceptualized and produced for sound-designing the Wacoal Art Center in Aoyama (Tokyo) also known as Spiral, a hub for a wide range of sophisticated cultural proposals spanning visual arts, theatre, music, design, fashion, and lifestyle. Spiral is a monumental work of architecture by Fumihiko Maki, designed according to the principles of Metabolism, a movement advocating evolving designs and constructions, adapting to human needs naturally. The first volume flows from the eerie and levitating “Entrance” to the quirky “Esplanade (Live)”, the gentle and reassuring “Flius”, and the measured and ravishing escalation of “Mensis.” On the second volume, the nanoscopic neoclassical lullaby “Les Trois Grâces” brings attention to the importance of small details, “Pulse at Soothe” starts with the minimalism of a Satoshi Ashikawa piece and slowly drifts into mystical landscapes and cavernous echoes, “Entomology” and its melancholic artificial forest evokes a Twin Peaks mirage, and “Atrium” literally feels like a floating visit of a gigantic open space structure. Sitting alongside Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Ashikawa’s Still Way, Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green (1986), or Yutaka Hirose’s NOVA, as a pivotal work of Japanese environmental/ambient/minimalist music, Une Collection des Chaînons (which translates as a collection of links) is a delicately laid out sonic landscape connecting space and emotions, architecture and humanity, adjusting and transforming through the ears of the listeners. A note from Ojima: “Please listen to this album at around the same volume as daily life sounds such as air conditioners and refrigerators.”

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James Ruskin “Point 2” (Tresor)

2020-03-07T06:08:34+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Tresor present a reissue of James Ruskin’s seminal Point 2 album. First released in 2000, it marked a fine debut that entrenches the minimal sequences, utilitarian funk and eerie hypnosis found within Ruskin’s body of work. As Tresor’s relationship with the UK sound grew stronger across the course of the ’00s, it was Ruskin, the label owner of Blueprint Records, who played a critical part in this. Throughout the trio of LPs released over that decade, inspirations of the sci-fi minimal Detroit sound lie abundant, rendered through corporeal slammers typical of the UK vein. Point 2 was the first of Ruskin’s trilogy for Tresor, and brought a direct and uncompromising vibrancy to the fore, from the aquatic symphony featured on “From Over The Edge” to the pinpoint gaze of “Subject”. Gurning loops beat against alien samples, drained into refined abstractions of pure techno. Newly remastered and featuring two tracks previously not cut onto vinyl, this upfront and bold classic is set to span dancefloors once again. New mastering, new cut, two tracks previously uncut on vinyl, new artwork. 180 gram; includes download code.

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Alessandro Cortini “Volume Massimo” (Mute)

2020-03-07T06:08:50+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Surely well known to you lot for his trio of LPs with Important and a duo for Hospital Productions between 2013-2015, ‘Volume Massimo’ marks a more pointed, melodic evolution of Cortini’s sound without losing sight of what made his solo work so gripping in the first place. It’s also worth noting the striking resonance of this new record with his work in NIN, as the relatively tighter, pop-wise arrangements feel to condense the wider arcs of his previous records into more concise structures that strongly recall the band’s harmonic aura, while the addition of textured guitars and pulsing undertow make it all sound a bit like NIN wrung thru a psych folk filter and produced by Pye Corner Audio.

Leading on two years from Cortini’s ‘Avanti’ LP and following a pair of 2018 collaborations with Lawrence English and Merzbow, he strips it all down to fundamentals on ‘Volume Massimo’ with a typically precise approach to the qualities of tone and texture in his music. In eight parts he coaxes his classic analogue synths and Fender and Ibanez guitars to copulate in loving, writhing formations of rhythmelodic cadence where melody and rhythm are inseparable, equally balanced sides of the same equation.

The LP’s first side lures us into this intoxicatingly dense yet minimalist aesthetic with the quietly engrossing synth chatter of ‘Amore Amato’ , which builds to a heart-swelling peak before calving off into the furtive cinematics of ‘Let Go’ and a massive highlight in the bittersweet romance of ‘Batticuore’ at the album’s core. That song feels like watershed for the rest of the LP, as ‘Momenti’ stealthily brings the underlying, lysergic folksiness to the fore and in a jangling coda, while ‘La Storia’ pushes that rustic ruggedness farther into a sort of kosmiche wilderness, and, ultimately, to crawl thru the cave systems of ‘Sabbia’ and the burned out sleep tone of ‘Dormi.’

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Comix “Comix” (Spittle)

2020-03-07T06:08:55+00:00November 22nd, 2019|

Spittle Records present a reissue of Comix’s self-titled album, originally released in 1981. One of the most treasured French minimal wave records is back on vinyl. Comix, a duo of guitarist/composer André Demay and DJ/singer Natan Hercberg, are a one album project. Their first single “Touche Pas Mon Sexe”, recorded in 1979, has been refused by several record companies, but duo finally found home on French branch of Virgin. They released two singles and one full-length LP in 1981, and appeared on the compilation BIPPP: French Synth-Wave 1979/85 (BORNBAD 002LP, 2012) a few decades later. The music was composed by André with a legendary Roland TR-808 (Marvin Gaye, Kraftwerk, and Afrika Bambaataa used the same drum machine for their hits at the same time). Natan wrote the lyrics, filling comic speech bubbles. Their production was somewhat different to mainstream “nouvelle vague” artists: much more positive and ironic than their chart mates. However, Comix didn’t have much success with their songs in ’80s, but they were rediscovered in 21st century with the strong resurging interest in original minimal wave/cold wave artists. Here they are again, young and bold, as nearly 40 years ago. Includes CD.

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Anthony Moore “Pieces From The Cloudland Ballroom” (Wah Wah)

2020-03-07T06:09:00+00:00November 15th, 2019|

British experimental musician, composer, performer and producer Anthony Moore was a founding member of Slap Happy and has worked with Henry Cow, Kevin Ayers, and Pink Floyd among other great names in the British scene. In 1971 he moved to Hamburg, Germany, and worked in the boiling experimental scene of the city. As a result, two LPs were issued on Polydor in 1971 and 1972, right before forming Slap Happy with old school pal Peter Blegvad and Dagmar Krause.

“Pieces From a Cloudland Ballroom” is the first of those early solo LPs by Moore on Polydor. It was released in 1971 under the production of Uwe Nettlebeck and featured Anthony Moore on conduction, Ulf Kenklies, Glyn Davenport and Gieske Hof-Helmers on vocals, plus Werner ‘Zappa’ Diermeier on hi-hat.

Pure minimalist experimentation with echoes of Richard Young’s “Advent” or even Moondog, done just a month after Faust (who included Werner ‘Zappa’ Diermeier) recorded their first LP. The missing link between British “art-rock” and the German “krautrock” scenes!

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Serge Blenner “La Vogue” (Bureau B)

2020-03-07T06:09:10+00:00November 8th, 2019|

Bureau B present a reissue of Serge Blenner’s La Vogue, originally released in 1980. Music for the apocalyptic eighties Deutschland state of mind. When Serge Blenner left his native France for Hamburg, West Germany, neither he nor anyone else could have guessed that he would inadvertently compose a soundtrack for the Cold War. But his dark, monotone synthesizer album La Vogue turned out to be just that. Blenner was born in 1955 in Alsace, the easternmost region of France. He studied composition and harmony at the Conservatoire de Mulhouse. He loved listening to electronic music from the Berlin School: Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel/Manuel Göttsching, whom he got to know when they played in Alsatian churches and chapels. Blenner the proselyte had seen enough to realize: it was time to move to Germany, whence this music came. The year was 1975. He soon began experimenting with electronic music himself and graduated to live performances by 1978 and finally settled in Hamburg in 1979. One of the most important electronic music labels of the period, Sky Records, was based in Hamburg. Within the space of six months, Blenner had recorded the tracks which would become La Vogue and sent them to Sky Records. A deal was done and La Vogue was officially released before the year ended. The record was a resounding success, some tracks even made it onto the radio — crucially, aired at hours of the day when significant numbers of listeners were tuning in. The longest track on La Vogue by far clocks up to nearly nine minutes, a rarity in Blenner’s oeuvre, well outside his usual range of three-to-five minutes. La Vogue is an album of two halves. Through the first four tracks, Blenner still seems to be searching for his own style, beginning with the minimalistic, rather somber fanfare of “Phrase I” built around a single melodic pattern. Next up is the almost poppy, harmonically rich “Phrase II”, followed by the spherical “Phrase III” and the crystalline, chiming “Phrase IV”. If the first four cuts are linked only by heterogeneity, tracks five to eight are very much of a piece. Together they represent a frosty, menacing soundtrack worthy of the apocalyptic mood which hung over the early 1980s, particularly in West Germany. With Cold War angst at its peak, many people feared a Soviet nuclear attack was imminent.

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Baltra “Ted” (96 and Forever)

2020-03-07T06:09:14+00:00November 8th, 2019|

It’s a bit like a time capsule of expression,” says DJ and producer Baltra of his debut album. “It started out as an idea lacking focus – to just release an album – but took on greater meaning when my father passed away somewhat unexpectedly. He was the rock in our family and I wouldn’t be who I am today without him. I’ve titled the album Ted in his honour.”

Whilst an unexpected tragedy may have shaped the trajectory of the album and given it a sense of purpose and meaning – whilst also tinting it with sadness – musically the result feels more rooted in triumph and elation. As grief can often do, it plunges one deep into themselves, allowing them to connect to a deeper and more intimate level than perhaps normally possible. This has been the case on Baltra’s debut and the result is a deeply personal, intricate and stirring collection of electronic music.

Fusing subtle fizzing beats, gently whirring melodies, engulfing atmospheres and tracks that weave between dance floor euphoria and isolated headphone listening, Baltra explores th depths and nuances of electronic music. He’s made a record that delves as deep into tones textures and moods as he has into his own self. “The album went through many phases,” he says. “But in the end staying true to my emotions along this whirlwind of a ride seemed like the
proper way to do it rather than to conceptualize something that I couldn’t even put into words at the time. With this record I’ve aimed to really bring the listener into my world – into my audio landscape.”

The album gently glides between genres, subtle flickers of drum n bass nestle up against minimal techno whilst clouds of ambient coat tracks in a dreamy and immersive fog. As a result, this record feels less like presenting a singular exploration of genre and more a presentation of Baltra as a person; capturing his moods and feelings as they move, change and grow. “The vibe for me when creating music is to always stay honest with myself and how I’m feeling at that moment in time,” he says. “I find that this always leads me to being the most creative I can be in any environment. I can feel quite vulnerable but I tend to think that’s when I’m at my best and it’s something I’d like to share with my audience – emotional freedom and a connection through shared experience above and beyond spoken language.”

Despite the intimate and deeply personal nature of this record (with one of the tracks even going as far as sampling one of his own father’s songs) the music still explores a universality in music and a sense of community, capturing the magic, ecstasy and power that electronic music has in connecting people from different worlds. This is reflected by Baltra inviting South Korean artist Park Hye Jin to contribute on the lead track, which feels emblematic to the album’s ability to relate and connect.

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Mike Dehnert “MD2.8” (MD2)

2020-03-07T06:09:19+00:00October 31st, 2019|

The eighth instalment of Mike Dehnert’s MD2 series is another set of primo club tools from the Fachwerk boss. These tunes perfectly synthesise dub techno, minimal techno and Berlin-school tech-house. Generally the production here is crisp and elegant – this is particularly true on the first two tracks – but closer ‘MD2.8.3’ threatens to upset the balance with glitching loops and degraded bass hits. If you’ve been digging Levon Vincent’s recent Dance Music EPs then we suggest that you give MD2.8 a spin.

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Jazzanova “Of All The Things” (Sonar Kollektiv)

2020-03-07T06:09:26+00:00October 31st, 2019|

Very few albums manage to unveil their roots so honestly and at the same time succeed in creating something utterly distinct. ‘Of All The Things’ from Jazzanova is one of these albums. Originally released in 2008 on Universal, it now gets a luxurious reissue on Sonar Kollektiv as a 3LP with pop-up gatefold cover including previously unreleased instrumentals. This format corresponds perfectly with the elegant opulence of the music that shines even brighter eleven years after its initial release. At no time is it unclear that this album is a deep bow to soul from the 1960s and 70s as well as genres like jazz, brazil and pop music in the vein of the early Beatles. Along these lines, ‘Of All The Things’ is meant to be perceived as a tribute to the music that Jazzanova has been honoring affectionately in their DJ sets and which has always had a decisive influence on their own productions. At the same time, the Jazzanova guys have been successful in casually creating elaborate musical pieces which convey a deeply contemporary vibe – not least because of the multifarious references to electronic productions.

The path to this sophomore long player, which features the contribution of over 50 studio musicians, had been laid out beginning with Jazzanova’s first album ‘In Between’ from 2002. While the overall impression of their full length debut was more minimal and rooted in club genres like broken beat and acid jazz, it became immediately apparent with Jazzanova’s remix for Heavy’s ‘Wonderlove (for Minnie)’ in 2005 that the music collective was ready to progress towards utilizing the acoustic and electric instruments of studio musicians. Another fine step forward was the production of the soundtrack for ‘Belle Et Fou’ in 2006 with its sophisticated arrangements and live orchestra.

It could be said that ‘Of All The Things’ is the culminating point of a long developing focus on songwriting and orchestra arrangements. However, it is notable that the album doesn’t rest on indulging in its musicians’ skills. Instead, by retaining elements of electronic music production, Jazzanova always makes references to alternative ways of creating music. Particularly, methods such as sampling are very near and dear to Jazzanova: “We have tried to write songs that we would love to sample ourselves”, the DJ and producer collective points out. There was no mistaking the outstanding role of sampling on ‘In Between’ already. The further development of this technique’s utilization on ‘Of All The Things’ is that Jazzanova would like the music on the album to be read as samples – only that this time the guys have written all the samples themselves.

Combining the art of sampling with classic compositional practices and songwriting – that’s where this album excels while displaying the defining innovation of these musicians whose roots lie in DJ culture. What makes the songs on ‘Of All The Things’ even more exciting are the many features of renowned vocalists like Phonte Coleman who has been causing quite a stir in the R’n’B world together with Little Brother as Foreign Exchange. The album also features a duet from Detroit legends Leon Ware and Dwele, the unique voice of Blue Note artist Jose James and even a guest appearance from Fat Freddy’s Drop front man Joe Dukie. Furthermore, the album marks the beginning of a long-term collaboration with Paul Randolph – another Detroit legend who has gone on to become one of the leading figures in Jazzanova’s live band.

In this regard, it’s important to highlight that ‘Of All The Things’ also marked the start of Jazzanova as a live band: The band has been on tour since 2009, playing more than 250 concerts all over the world on almost every continent. So it seems very natural to celebrate the importance of this album as a vinyl reissue and to call to mind its relevance once again.

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Richard Lamb “Automatic Tango” (Temple)

2020-03-07T06:09:33+00:00October 31st, 2019|

Ex-Terrestrial associate Richard Wenger – better known as R Weng – dons a new alias here, for an album that’s apparently the result of a “three-year experiment in minimal synth maximalism”. In practice, that means a hugely enjoyable trip through Radio Workshop style synthesizer motifs, hypnotic machine rhythms, 1970s style electronic music soundscapes, jaunty turn-of-the-90s IDM and occasional forays into decidedly dubbed-out, synth-driven grooves. It’s a hugely enjoyable collection of cuts, with Wenger providing finished tracks that sound like they could have been made in 1979 (or in some cases, ’69) rather than 2019.

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Luc Ferrari “Photophonie” (Transversales Disques)

2020-03-07T06:09:37+00:00October 25th, 2019|

To celebrate the 90th anniversary of Luc Ferrari’s birth, Transversales Disques announce the release of Photophonie – Bandes magnétiques inédites, unpublished archives, spanning 1973-1992, revelatory collection of commercial, commission, and secret music by electroacoustic music pioneer Luc Ferrari. “Photophonie” (1989) features music for the photographic exhibition of Alain Willaume; “Il était une fois” (1973) was Commissioned by the G.M.E.B.; “Trans-Voices” (1992) was curated by the American Center, Paris; and “Leica” (1977) was used in advertisement for the Leica camera. Affiliated with French Radio’s Groupe de Musique Concrète, co-founder of the GRM with Pierre Schaeffer in 1958, Luc Ferrari (1929-2005) was a major figure of musique concrète and electroacoustic music, broke away to pave his own path of individualistic expressions of minimalist music, musical theater, field recordings, orchestral music and soundtracks.

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Yoshi Wada “Lament For The Rise And Fall Of The Elephantine Crocodile” (Etats-Unis)

2020-03-07T06:09:42+00:00October 25th, 2019|

Yoshi Wada’s Lament For The Rise And Fall Of The Elephantine Crocodile, originally released in 1982 on India Navigation, remains one of the most remarkable flowers to grow in the rarefied air of American minimalism – akin to Terry Riley’s Reed Streams and Pauline Oliveros’ Accordion & Voice, yet with a wild, liberated energy all of its own. After graduating from Kyoto University of Fine Arts with a degree in sculpture, Wada moved to New York City in 1967 and quickly fell in with the community of artists known as Fluxus. In the early ’70s, he began building his own instruments and writing musical compositions, studying with La Monte Young and Hindustani singer Pandit Pran Nath. Recorded during an epic three-day session in an empty swimming pool in upstate New York, Wada’s first album brings together two of the oldest drone instruments – the human voice and bagpipes – to simple and glorious effect. A visit to the Scottish Highlands spurred Wada’s interest in bagpipes, which the composer integrated into these sparse, otherworldly sounds heard on Lament. “That swimming pool was quite hallucinatory,” recalls Wada. “It was another world. I felt it in terms of resonance. I slept in the pool, and whenever I moved, I woke up because of the reverberations…. The piece itself is an experiment with reeds and improvisational singing within the modal structure.” This first-time vinyl reissue is limited to 750 numbered copies. Comes with poster.

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Mamman Sani “La Musique Electronique du Niger” (Sahel Sounds)

2020-03-07T06:09:46+00:00October 25th, 2019|

Mamman Sani Abdullaye is a legendary name amongst Niger’s avant garde. A pioneer of early West African electronic music, for over 30 years his instrumentals have filled the airwaves. The instrumental background drones of radio broadcasts and instrumental segue ways of TV intermissions borrow heavily from his repertoire. The dreamy organ instrumentals drift by sans comment, yet are known to all.
Mamman first found the organ in 1974.

Mamman’s composes in technique that can only be called minimal, relying on the simplicity and space. It is a remarkable manipulation of sound that uses the silence to invoke the emptiness – a metaphoric desert soundscape. Unsurprisingly, his source material is folkloric Nigerien music, and many of the compositions on this record are reproductions of ancient songs brought into the modern age. Interpreting this rich and varied history of Niger’s dance and song for the first time in contemporary musics, Mamman electrifies the nomadic drum of the tende, the polyphonic ballads of the Woddaabe, and the pastoral hymns of the Sahelian herders. Accompany this repertoire are a few compositions, such as Salamatu, the deeply personal love letter to an unrequited romance.

His first and only album was recorded in 1978. Mamman stepped into the studio of the National Radio with his organ, where it was transposed and overdubbed in two takes. In coordination with the Minister of Culture, the album was released in a limited series of cassettes showcasing modern Niger music. The cassette project, unfortunately, did not progress as planned, and merely a handful were released. Today his cassettes are rare objects, highly sought by fine art connoisseurs and experimental music collectors in Niamey.

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Iona Fortune “Tao Of I Vol. 2” (Ecstatic)

2020-03-07T06:09:50+00:00October 11th, 2019|

Iona Fortune crystallizes and convects enchanting thoughts on the legendary I Ching in a keenly awaited second volume of Tao of I, following from her resoundingly acclaimed 2017 debut for Optimo Music (OM 010LP), where lustrous synthetic subbass met traditional Chinese strings with sublimely spirited and timeless effect. Issued by Ecstatic as the second of eight albums by Iona exploring hexagrams of the I Ching, or “The Book of Changes” — a 2,500-year-old Chinese divination text referenced extensively in religion, art, philosophy, psychoanalysis, science, and mathematics. Tao Of I Volume 2 sees the Glasgow-raised, Zurich-based artist refer to millennia of human experience through an electro-acoustic prism of Synthi AKS, guzheng, and Gamelan, newly expanded with erhu, kim, yanqin, zhong, and bawu. The wider scope of her palette allows a greater detail of airy calligraphic expression to her multi-dimensional microcosmos, channeling a wondrous energy in a fluidly melodic narration of mystic ideas made musically tangible. In eight parts Iona acts as conduit for extraordinary, invisible, and arcane forces. Inspired by the I Ching’s fundamental principles, her music resonates with a visceral and cosmic conception of human essence, infusing minimalist frameworks with finely tempered but lush emotive cues that bring to life the I Ching’s conviction that “music has the power to ease tension within the heart and to loosen the grip of obscure emotions.” Iona’s music most beautifully manifests this idea in concisely exacting forms and to contemplative ends, creating a slow, serene and harmonious music that coolly commands relaxed states of reception, best for mulling over life, and stuff. At once as light as a fleeting thought but permanent as an organism passing on its code, the music conjures mindsets comparable to Coil at their uncanniest, the post-erotica 4th world sensations generated by Jon Hassell, or the dark energy expressed in David Lynch films and their soundtracks. Most crucially Iona achieves this through a synthesis of self-exploration and instrumental actualization, employing an unusual composition strategy of inner cultivation and empathic performance to divine and realize a spellbinding, penetrative otherness. RIYL: Coil, Laraaji, Jon Hassell, David Lynch & Angelo Badalamenti. Mastered and cut by Dubplates & Mastering.

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Mark Korven “The Lighthouse O.S.T.” (Sacred Bones)

2020-03-07T06:09:55+00:00October 11th, 2019|

Mark Korven’s original soundtrack for ‘The Lighthouse,’ starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, marks his second collaboration with director Robert Eggers (The Witch). “Robert [Eggers] and I were rather like the two wickies that went insane in The Lighthouse, musically speaking. We travelled to some very dark harmonic and textural places. We both enjoy not just breaking the rules, but blowing them to smithereens. The spirit of experimentation was always present.” -Composer Mark Korven “Composer Mark Korven and I developed a shorthand working together on The Witch. This made collaborating on The Lighthouse an incredibly enjoyable process. But it was not without its many challenges. Originally, I wanted a score with no strings at all. The Witch soundtrack was so string-prominent that I wanted a full departure. I only wanted horns, pipes, conch shells, concertina – things that sounded like the sea – or the lighthouse station’s ominous foghorn. It would be a minimalist aleatoric soundtrack with a nod to sea shanties and ancient Greek music. As Mark and I embraced the sound of big brass sections, it quickly became a maximalist aleatoric soundtrack. From the beginning, Mark thought that we might need some string textures to tell the story and that I was being foolhardy. As usual, he was right, but it took some time for me to hear that I was wrong. We eventually set up an experimental session with a cellist and a double bass player to create some strange, otherworldly sounds to use in moments of high tension, rather than relying on the tried and true Penderecki-esque string rises of horror cinema (although we still use a couple). These strings would be obscured and camouflaged. I was fine with that. To create the ethereal and monstrous sounds of the light itself, Mark experimented with the waterphone, glass harmonica, his famous Apprehension Engine – as well as friction mallets drawn across cymbals, wood, and glass. This beautiful work of Mark’s, combined with Damian Volpe’s sound design, does so much to convey the inner world of Rob and Willem’s characters.”

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Winfried Muhlum-Pyrapheros “Music Nova Contemplativa” (Blume)

2020-03-07T06:10:02+00:00September 27th, 2019|

Blume present the first ever reissue of Winfried Mühlum-Pyrápheros’s Musica Nova Contemplativa, originally released in 1970. This stunning artifact of its era has, until now, remained among the rarest artifacts in the field of cross-disciplinary efforts known as the Artist Record: sonic adventures embarked on by artists primarily dedicated to the visual realm. Creatively challenging, ahead of its time, and unquestionably beautiful, its rare musicality sets the stage for alternate understandings of what minimalism was and came from, during its early years. Droning and tense, subtle melodic elements underpin sheets of tone and atonality, sculpting an incongruous sense of spatial ambience; the concept of Musica Nova Contemplativa drew on a unique, unfixed compositional system created by combining traditional musical notation with mobile and variable elements, expressed graphically as a system of coordinates which leave variation, interpretation, and improvisation up to the performer. Captured as eleven distinct movements, the work, in hindsight, can now be understood as a lost, freestanding work of musical minimalism, echoing idiomatic roots in Fluxus and the raw temperaments of artists like Tony Conrad and Henry Flynt, threaded with touchstones in the work of Eliane Radigue, Giacinto Scelsi, and Jani Christou. Born in Germany during 1941 and educated in philosophy and psychology, over the last half century the bulk of Winfried Mühlum-Pyrápheros’s artistic output has been largely oriented around painting, sculpture, and installation, each focused on the experiences of phenomena, environment, and light. Musica Nova Contemplativa was composed in 1964 as a graphic score, then it was interpreted and recorded by Mühlum-Pyrápheros on violin and Johann Georg Ickler on organ three years later in a Franciscan church in Bensheim as is a logical extension of the artists broader concerns: seeking further territories of inclusive and expansive environments of experience. Intended as acoustic extensions of his paintings, the collective contents of the album are a metaphysical and esoteric rising in sound. Out-of-print for almost 50 years, this edition represents its first ever reissue in any form, complete with an interview between Winfried Mühlum-Pyrápheros and Stefan Bremer conducted for the occasion of this reissue, and newly commissioned liner notes by Bradford Bailey. Includes printed inner sleeve and an original insert that functions as obi; Edition of 300.

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Vanessa Wagner “Inland Versions” (Infine)

2020-03-07T06:10:08+00:00September 27th, 2019|

Inland Versions is the electronic extension of the latest album Inland (IF 1050CD/LP) by the French pianist Vanessa Wagner. Five reworks by GAS, Suzanne Ciani, Vladislav Delay, Nadia Struiwigh, and Marc Melia. On the original album, released in May of 2019, Vanessa Wagner performed, with excellence, solo piano rare pieces from the minimalist repertoire (Moondog, Philip Glass, Wim Mertens…) to featured works from younger composers from the contemporary music scene (Bryce Dessner, Nico Mulhly). On Inland Versions, the pianist has invited established artists from the current experimental scene to transform her unique interpretations into equally fascinating electronic explorations.

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Johann Johannsson “Viroulegu Forsetar” (Deutsche Grammophon)

2020-03-07T06:10:12+00:00September 27th, 2019|

The quietly magisterial might of ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’ has been a gateway for many listeners to the world of late, great composer Johann Jóhannsson. The vinyl version of his 2nd album now arrives agai on vinyl via Deutsche Grammophon’s ongoing reissue programme for Jóhannsson’s peerless catalogue.

Originally issued by Touch in 2004 on CD, and on vinyl in 2011, ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’ followed from the fractured mosaic of ‘Englabörn’ (2002) to reveal Jóhannsson’s sound in landscaped widescreen across eight durational arrangements for heavy electronic bass, glowing brass horns, and stately organ. It’s a sound that arguably evokes the tundra expanses and snowy mountain ranges of the artist’s native Iceland, while also clearly infused with a slow-burning warmth of spirit and natural curiosity that’s long been key to his work.

This abridged vinyl edition features four tracks from the eight found on the CD. Ranging from 14’ to nearly 22’ in length, they take the longview on a form of contemporary classical minimalism, distilling a 12 piece ensemble into a suite of a subtly melancholy but optimistic fanfare underlined by tectonic bass drones and outlined by meridian electronic timbres that gradually work their way from the liminal extremes and into the record’s pregnant lacunæ by the final ‘Part 4.’

Essentially ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’ feels like a sanguine, telescoped vision of Jóhannsson’s’s future horizon, when he would emerge among the eminent film soundtrack composers of his generation. It remains a true classic in his catalogue, one of the strongest of the 21st century so far.

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Gareth Quinn Redmond “Laistigh den Ghleo” (WRWTFWW)

2020-03-07T07:00:12+00:00August 30th, 2019|

350gsm sleeve with selected UV high gloss varnish; WRWTFWW Records announce the release of Irish ambient/minimalist producer Gareth Quinn Redmond’s Laistigh den Ghleo, a companion album to Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way (Wave Notation 2) (WRWTFWW 030CD/LP). “Conceptually derived from the work of Japanese minimalist composer Satoshi Ashikawa, I have composed an album which hopes to engage, enrich and reflect the listener’s surroundings, an Environmental Music” –Gareth Quinn Redmond. Working with Still Way as a base for inspiration, Gareth Quinn Redmond takes Ashikawa’s meditative sound designs to more dramatic and lyrical landscapes, gracefully instilling his personal touch into the master’s melodic patterns and presenting six pieces which blend and reflect the modern listener’s ever-changing environment. As Midori Takada explains in the liner notes, “Even though Gareth is deeply influenced by Still Way, he looks above, toward the air and the sky. He pays respect to Ashikawa’s approach, but adds bold elements from another dimension — Satoshi Ashikawa aspired to crystallize the sound structure of nature that exists in the environment. Gareth tries to capture what flourishes out of it.” Laistigh den Ghleo is released in conjunction with Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way (Wave Notation 2) reissue on WRWTFWW Records. Liner Notes by Midori Takada and Gareth Quinn Redmond. LP version comes in 350gsm sleeve with selected UV high gloss varnish.

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Satoshi Ashikawa “Still Way (Wave Notation 2)” (WRWTFWW)

2020-03-07T07:00:06+00:00August 30th, 2019|

350gsm sleeve with selected UV high gloss varnish. Liner notes by Midori Takada, Satoshi Ashikawa, and Gareth Quinn Redmond. WRWTFWW Records announce the reissue of Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way (Wave Notation 2). Initially released in 1982 as part of the Wave Notation series (which includes Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Music For Nine Postcards), Still Way is, without a doubt, a seminal Japanese environmental/ambient/minimalism album, often mentioned alongside Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass (1983) (WRWTFWW 018LP, WRWTFWW 019CD/LP) and Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green (1986) as one of the genre’s most important pieces. “Like the moment of stillness, after the wind passes through the garden, when the rain stops for a brief second…” Notably inspired by Erik Satie’s Furniture Music and Brian Eno’s ambient work, Satoshi Ashikawa aimed to compose music “intended to be listened to in a casual manner, as a musical landscape or a sound object — not something that would stimulate listeners but music that should drift like smoke and become part of the environment.” The result is simply phenomenal, subtle minimalism and emotional elegance exquisitely orchestrated by Satoshi Ishikawa and his team consisting of his wife Masami Ashikawa (on flute), Midori Takada (on vibraphone), Yuko Utsumi (on harp), Tomoko Sono (on piano), and Junko Arase (on vibraphone). In conjunction with Still Way, WRWTFWW Records is releasing Laistigh den Ghleo (WRWTFWW 039CD/LP), a companion album by Irish ambient/minimalist composer Gareth Quinn Redmond, inspired by Ashikawa’s approach. Liner notes by Midori Takada, Satoshi Ashikawa, and Gareth Quinn Redmond.

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Eluvium “Pianoworks” (Temporary Residence)

2020-03-07T07:00:22+00:00August 23rd, 2019|

For the better part of two decades now, Eluvium has developed and refined a kind of maximalist ambient music that is often as turbulent as it is transporting. The Eluvium moniker has become a vehicle for composer Matthew Cooper to expel and express his own thoughts and questions – some as big as our place in the universe, others as small as a child’s handprint – usually without uttering a word. His newest album, Pianoworks, explores the big idea of how we were, from when we were too small to know who we would become.

Pianoworks is Eluvium’s first solo piano album since his sophomore album, An Accidental Memory In The Case Of Death (2004). Inspired by the quiet thoughts and solitary observations of children – and the evolution/dissolution of that ephemeral, uncorrupted wonder of simple joy – Pianoworks begins with a song about children’s piano lessons, and culminates with an etude driven by the struggle to hold onto innocence and imagination as adulthood settles in. The record’s dramatic simplicity in both execution and expression is with purpose: Cooper wants the music to be simple enough to inspire children and novices to play, and the concept simple enough to resonate regardless of age or experience.

As any minimalist painter, poet, or architect can attest, it is oftentimes the profoundly simple art that proves to be the most time-consuming and torturous to produce. Pianoworks exemplifies this dichotomy, having been recorded, re- recorded, and re-re-recorded in the span of nearly a decade. Cooper exhausted every attempt to achieve a very specific, peculiar sound that is out of time – a sound not entirely lost in an attic, but also one not easily found in a playlist. The process to achieve this elusive sound was painstaking, but it has yielded a rare kind of music that is as uncomplicated as it is uncompromised.

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Fennesz “Agora” (Touch)

2020-03-07T06:10:36+00:00August 16th, 2019|

Agora is Christian Fennesz’s first solo album since Mahler Remix (TONE 052LP, 2014) and Bécs (EMEGO 165CD/LP, 2014). Fennesz writes: “It’s a simple story. I had temporarily lost a proper studio workspace and had to move all my gear back to a small bedroom in my flat where I recorded this album. It was all done on headphones, which was rather a frustrating situation at first but later on it felt like back in the day when I produced my first records in the 1990s. In the end it was inspiring. I used very minimal equipment; I didn’t even have the courage to plug in all the gear and instruments which were at my disposal. I just used what was at hand.” Fennesz uses guitar and computer to create shimmering, swirling electronic sound of enormous range and complex musicality. His lush and luminous compositions are anything but sterile computer experiments. They resemble sensitive, telescopic recordings of rainforest insect life or natural atmospheric occurrences, an inherent naturalism permeating each piece. He lives and works in Vienna. Recorded at Kaiserstudios, Vienna, August, September 2018. “Rainfall”: vocals by Katharina Caecilia Fennesz; “Agora”: field recordings Manfred Neuwirth, vocals Mira Waldmann. Photography and design by Jon Wozencroft. Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye. Full color inner and outer sleeve. “Imagine the electric guitar severed from cliché and all of its physical limitations, shaping a bold new musical language.” –City Newspaper

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Eliane Radigue “Jouet Electronique/Elemental” (Alga Marghen)

2020-03-07T06:10:44+00:00August 2nd, 2019|

Alga Marghen presents the new edition of Eliane Radigue’s “Jouet Electronique” (1967) for feedback on magnetic tape and “Elemental I” (1968) for feedback of natural sounds on magnetic tape. This LP was first issued in 2010, and it’s now presented for the first time with its own specific artwork and layout. Both works were recorded at Pierre Henry’s Studio Apsome in Paris. Between 1967 and 1968, Radigue was Henry’s assistant, mainly for the editing of L’Apocalypse de Jean (1969). Henry also put her in charge of organizing his sound archive; Radigue enjoyed doing this work, even if it took a long time. She decided to set the machines of the studio to do some work of her own. “Jouet Electronique” and “Elemental I” were born this way during her time as an assistant; working with feedback is something that Radigue learned through Henry. Do you remember Henry’s Voyage (1969)? There’s that fluid part which is made of feedback constructed with a microphone. Everything had to be set at a precise distance from the loudspeakers because that is the specific problem with feedback; one has to be at the right distance. Afterwards, these high tone recordings were slowed down in order to discover the deeper character of their color. This work with feedback was in the end quite limited and the composer preferred working with two reel tape machines to produce sounds. The first was set on the recording mode while the other was playing and it was the accidents happening in this phase that made the feedback richer. Fine-tuning could yield beautiful results: low pulsations, high-pitched sounds (sometimes both at the same time), or long sounds. All of these could be slowed down or accelerated, which gave beautiful source material. With “Jouet Electronique”, Radigue had a lot of fun, hence the title. As far as “Elemental I” is concerned, it was the first attempt at something which was important to her based on the theme of the basic elements: water, fire, air and earth. Eliane had the chance to record in open air thanks to a small Stella Vox that Arman gave her in the beginning of the 1960s. Using it, Radigue built a minimal sound library, consisting of not more than ten reel tapes. This was the starting point; in 1968 she used these recordings for her work with two reel tape machines. New edition of 200, with liners by Radigue and portrait photos by Arman.

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Kali Malone “The Sacrificial Code” (Ideal)

2020-03-07T06:10:52+00:00August 2nd, 2019|

Double LP version. Kali Malone presents a new album featuring nearly two hours of concentrated pipe organ pieces governed by a strict acoustic and compositional code. It’s a major new work with ultimately profound emotional resonance. The Sacrificial Code takes a more surgical approach to the methods first explored on Organ Dirges 2016-2017 (ASCETICKALI). Over the course of three parts performed on three different organs, Malone’s minimalist procedure captures a jarring precision of closeness, both on the level of the materiality of the sounds and on the level of composition. The recordings of The Sacrificial Code involve careful close-miking of the pipe organ in such a way as to eliminate environmental identifiers as far as possible — essentially removing the large hall reverb so inextricably linked to the instrument. The pieces are then further compositionally stripped of gestural adornments and spontaneous expressive impulse — an approach reminiscent of Steve Reich’s words, “by voluntarily giving up the freedom to do whatever momentarily comes to mind, we are, as a result, free of all that momentarily comes to mind.” With its slow, purified, and seemingly austere qualities, The Sacrificial Code guides you through an almost trance-inducing process where you become vulnerable receptors for every slight movement, where every miniature shift in sound becomes magnified through stillness. As such, it’s a uniquely satisfying exercise in transcendence through self-restraint — a stunning realization of ideas borne out of academic and conceptual rigor which gradually reveals startling personal dimensions. It has a perception-altering quality that encourages self-exploration free of signposts and without a preordained endpoint — the antithesis to the language of colorless musical platitudes we’ve become so accustomed to. Features additional organ pieces performed by Ellen Arkbro. Art and photography by A.M. Rehm. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker.

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Rod Modell “Captagon” (Tresor)

2020-03-07T06:10:57+00:00July 18th, 2019|

Tresor Records welcomes Rod Modell to its catalog with the release of his new album Captagon. Rod Modell needs no introduction, his various projects render him a master of techno. In repetition and barely noticeable change, Modell re-sculptures perceptions. His sound-design echoes cinematic ethereality, where ferric artifacts slam against percussion, rusty delays filter observation — the resulting web is a complex, radiating ambience that etches a natural ebb-and-flow. Transformative sounds alight from the outset, “Triangulation” recalls flickering harmonies and grains, a tectonic swipe. Fast-paced dub techno emerges in “Reiki”, the disorienting clangs suggesting a step away from his recent ambient excursions. “Ito” crunches the pulse further with insistent noise, into soaring epiphanies of darkened transmissions. Modell singularly uproots standard sonic hierarchies of techno production, crisp static as forceful as his beats, a provocation of rhythm and noise. Unceasing in its fast tempo, “Jade” is trademark Tresor business — the seismic sub-sonics underpin a momentous drive, with reverberated vocal inflections disfiguring warped, dancing materials. “Scrawler” is upfront and direct, a slamming groove and swaying chords di using ethereality. Enter vast chambers of smeared minimalism. Where Modell’s recent releases had indicated a priority for ambient sounds, this new album extends Modell’s essential vision within techno. Closing track “Air-Port” shows Modell at his most crucial best — an ethereal colossus of sub-bass weight and morphing geometry.

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Jefre Cantu-Ledesma “Tracing Back The Radiance” (Mexican Summer)

2020-03-07T07:01:27+00:00July 18th, 2019|

JEFRE CANTU-LEDESMA returns with his third full-length venture on Mexican Summer—Tracing Back The Radiance—a slow, delicate meditation, delving far afield from the pop drenched melodies which have defined his recent efforts. Grown from a few simple piano lines, a need for change, and an evolving process which fell somewhere between conversation, singular vision, and a wild game of exquisite corpse—Cantu-Ledesma acting as contributor, servant, and guiding force to the emerging album’s all-star cast of voices—JOHN ALSO BENNETT, MARILU DONAVAN, CHUCK JOHNSON, GREGG KOWALSKY, MARY LATTIMORE, DAVID MOORE, MEARA O’REILLY, JONATHAN SIELAFF, ROGER TELLIER CRAIG and CHRISTOPHER TIGNOR—the culmination takes a decidedly experimental turn—a vast, ambient landscape of abstraction, texture, and tone—open space punctuated by the restrained harmonics of vibraphone, processing, flute, pedal steel, synthesizer, piano, organ, and voice. With nods to historic high-water marks in ambient and electroacoustic music, as well Italian minimalist pioneers like Giusto Pio, Lino Capra Vaccina, and Francesco Messina + Raul Lovisoni, Cantu-Ledesma delves forward with one of his most ambitious, elegant, and exciting endeavors of his career, retaining every bit of the ease and openness in musical language which has guided him across the decades. A beautiful, immersive, melancholic, and contemplative balm for the troubled times in which it was made.

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Algebra “Suicide Still Life” (Dark Entries)

2020-03-07T06:11:06+00:00July 18th, 2019|

Algebra Suicide was a Chicago poetry-music duo consisting of poet and visual artist Lydia Tomkiw and musician Don Hedeker. They formed in 1982 and self-released a 4-song EP that year. It featured a ’60s Vox Guitar Organ, a precursor to the synthesizer guitar, and a Multivox Rhythm Ace drum machine. In 1984 they released their 2nd EP ditching the guitar organ for a Casiotone MT-40. Their debut album Big Skin was released in 1986 on cassette and featured 13 new compositions with more complex arrangements. A vinyl compilation album, The Secret Like Crazy, was released in 1988. It collected 20 tracks picked from Big Skin and the first two EPs plus unreleased songs. In 2012 we released an 18-track compilation of their first 3 singles with bonus tracks. Still Life is a 16 track compilation that collects the 9 remaining songs from Big Skin, 3 songs from The Secret Like Crazy, and 4 songs from various compilations. Lydia and Don call their approach “Avant Garage” citing inspiration from Patti Smith, Frank O’Hara, Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed. Don plays guitar in a hauntingly stark style like Glenn Branca, Tom Verlaine, or Vini Reilly. He then adds Casio keyboards and minimal electronic percussion, creating a moody, atmospheric backdrop for Lydia’s poems. Lydia’s words span a broad range of twisted real-life observations, and are delivered in a deadpan fashion with her distinct Midwestern accent. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each LP is housed in a jacket designed by Eloise Leigh and includes a 16-page booklet with lyrics, press clippings and photos. Though Lydia passed away in 2007, her genius lives on in these recordings. Please respect her decadence

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Ellen Arkbro “Chords” (Subtext)

2020-03-07T06:11:11+00:00July 5th, 2019|

With Chords, the Stockholm-based musician and composer Ellen Arkbro returns to Subtext, following her acclaimed debut album For Organ And Brass. This new long-player sees Arkbro adopt a more minimalist approach, focusing on the immediate qualities of sound and elegantly expanding the tonal capacities of acoustic instruments using precise, subtle synthesis. Composed of a carefully selected combination of tones, Chords stretches, extends and obscures the timbral character of the instruments it is performed on. Across both tracks, Arkbro examines the sonic materiality and harmonic quality of chords. She considers how the compositions occupy space rather than time — transposing theoretical possibilities into the phenomenal realm. As a part of Arkbro’s systematic investigation of harmonic sound, Chords proffers a divergence from conventional ways of listening. “Chords For Organ” was first envisaged in Stockholm’s brutalist Västerort Church. With an interest in tuned intervals and chords, Arkbro sought out particular harmonicities before synthetically supplying additional harmonic content and texture. To pure fifths and octaves, she adds synthesized natural sevenths and thirds, creating a heightened sense of harmonic stability. While this incarnation of “Chords For Organ” was recorded in Malmö’s St. John’s Church, this work is site-specific, requiring Arkbro to seek out appropriate chordal orchestrations in registers and tunings on each respective instrument, when performing live. “Chords For Organ” has been adapted and performed in Martin Luther Kirche in Dresden, Civico Tempio Di San Sebastiano in Milan, First Unitarian Church in Brooklyn, Lutherse Kerk in Den Haag and Sint-Jan de Doperkerk in Leuven. In the corresponding “Chords For Guitar” Arkbro applies her process to a more widely accessible instrument. Employing a fine-tuned Karplus-Strong synthesis, she supplements additional tones to create a harmonically controlled blend of the acoustic and the synthetic. “Chords For Guitar” places the listener at the center of a cyclically repeating complex of harmonic strings in wave-like motion. Attention is synchronously fixed with the sound as this chordal harmony rises, vibrates, and purrs away, before rising again. As she transposes these ideas across organ and guitar, Arkbro teases out their affinities and dissimilarities, and, in doing so, effectively highlights the harmonic character of the work as a whole.

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Brendon Moeller “Materialize” (Vibrant Music)

2020-03-07T06:11:16+00:00July 5th, 2019|

Brendon Moeller is an artist that needs no introduction. The South African-born living in the US, like few of his generation constantly challenges himself with new concepts and ideas, has incorporated techno, dub, jazz, ambient, sound design into his works throughout the years. He’s never chased the limelight, but instead the work, one idea after the next, one project after the other, restless. He has collaborated with labels like Echocord, Third Ear, Electric Deluxe, Prologue, and Mord, to name some. Materialize is his first work for Vibrant Music. From his early days in various bands in the ’80s and ’90s, Brendon liked indie, shoegaze, ambient, moody, cinematic ‘scapes. With Materialize he came full circle, reaching out to his early influences, but with the knowledge and experience of many years of exploration of modular synths, to create a concept space that feels intimate, and at the same time vivid evokes visual imagery. It explores the time space through a minimalist, stoic approach. It tells the story of how we are all linked into this tree of music we call electronic music, wherever each one is coming from. A celebration of life through the mind of one of today’s scholars of electronic music. A liberation from the strictness of tempo and metronomes, to reach to a more creative state.

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Anadol “Uzun Havalar” (Pingipung)

2020-03-07T06:11:22+00:00July 5th, 2019|

Anadol’s third album, Uzun Havalar, recorded on tape by Kinship, is now available online and cassette format.

Recorded and mixed in 2015 the album is built around three long synth tracks referring to the improvised unmetric folk songs “uzun hava” in middle eastern music. You can hear drummers laughing and playing guitars, composers howling, screaming, record collectors playing synths, actors mumbling and tuning in to the geography of Anadol’s synth compositions.

Anadol is a traditional continuation of lone synth experimentalists like Bruce Haack and The Space Lady with their childlike curiosity for electronic sounds, pushing the boundaries of minimal equipment.

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Yutaka Hirose “NOVA +4” (WRWTFWW)

2020-03-07T06:11:29+00:00July 5th, 2019|

Double LP version. Gatefold sleeve: Includes liner notes in English and Japanese. WRWTFWW Records present an expanded reissue of one of the most fascinating Japanese ambient/environmental albums ever made, NOVA by Yutaka Hirose, originally released in 1986. The expanded reissue includes the album known as Soundscape 2: Nova, sourced from its original masters, as well as four never-released-before recordings over 50 minutes. Initially released in 1986 as part of the Soundscape series. Commissioned by Misawa Home Corporation for use in their prefabricated houses, Yutaka Hirose’s NOVA has grown to become a mythical piece of the Japanese minimalist/ambient/environmental scene of the eighties. Initiated around the enchanting landscapes of the two first tracks recorded for the project, “Nova” and “Epilogue”, Yutaka Hirose’s magnum opus serenely blends vintage synth with nature sounds, exploring soothing palettes and organic backdrops. For “Slow Sky”, Hirose explains he “went for a pointillism-like sound, and tried to express a scenery of awakening, where the portal of a heart is opening up”, while on “Humming The Sea”, he “tried to compose a kind of music that expresses the daily, lazy life of child-like innocence in a summer vacation in some small town.” The bonus material gathers four long unreleased pieces created around the same period of time for installations, described by Yutaka Hirose as “not music per se but rather sound sculptures”, and including the haunting “Shadow Of A Water Droplet” which was recorded for an Ikebana exhibition. All in all, NOVA + 4 is a transcendent experience of nature in the urban context, an oeuvre which, much like Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass or Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way (1999), holds the power to appease the soul in turbulent times. As one inspired YouTube commenter once said when describing Yutaka Hirose’s masterstroke: “I can’t tell if the birds are singing inside or outside! Thank you!” Includes liner notes in English and Japanese.

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Bartosz Kruczyński “Baltic Beat II” (Growing Bin)

2020-03-07T06:11:37+00:00July 5th, 2019|

“Birdsong and bright mornings announce the arrival of spring, and Growing Bin celebrate the season of rebirth with the return of a hardy perennial. In the three years since he introduced the world to his Baltic Beat, Bartosz Kruczyński has traded dub techno, Berlin electronics and jazzy Balearic on a string of highly regarded labels. Now the Polish musician is back in the Growing Bin, ready to take us on another audio adventure through the meadows and forests of his native land.

Vivid LP opener ‘Pastoral Sequences’ leads us down the garden path, around the lakeside and across the train tracks, striking a cinematic tone as gentle piano and subdued synth tones drift around natural field recordings. Dip a toe in the stream and feel the breeze between your fingers as you stroll towards the Balearic brilliance of ‘In the Garden’, a carefree cooler built on a subtle bossa rhythm, serene chords and chiming mallets. Bartosz reprises the aquatic grandeur of his first Baltic Beat on the immersive ‘Petals’, a selected ambient work where Tangerine pads underpin interlocking electronics and stately keys. Guitars ring out, Reich’s mallets ripple and well tempered piano drift over a thick sequence as ‘Voices’ propels us to the halfway point with soft power.

The B-side opens with the delicate hypnotism of ‘If You Go Down In The Woods Today’, a modern minimalist masterpiece alive with circular mallets and sultry woodwind, before ‘The Orchard’ paints an impressionistic vignette from the same palette. Shifting focus but not feeling Kruczyński takes us home ‘Along The Sun Drenched Road’ in two stages; the first a gorgeous combination of the acoustic and electronic where hints of dub techno sit beneath languid piano notes, the second an eastern tinged reprise of the album’s opening and a welcome return home before the storm breaks.”

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Kym Amps “You Don’t Know My Name” (Monte Cristo)

2020-03-07T06:11:44+00:00July 5th, 2019|

A fruitful collaboration between lyricist Andrew Birtles, composer David Watts, producer Dave Foister, and the beautiful voice of Kym Amps of which only two tracks were released on a 7″. Now, almost 40 years after the original release date, the full album finally sees the light of day through Monte Cristo.

Kym Amps’ powerful and moving vocal performance is supported by minimal electronic new-wavish arrangements that were produced with, at the time, cutting edge equipment.

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Various Artists “Surfaced Dubs” (Cymawax)

2020-03-07T06:11:51+00:00June 28th, 2019|

3 tracks by 5 artists with a passion for stripped down dubbed out house and techno have joined forces for this very user-friendly piece of slab. The first track: Dub 2.3 by Fede Zerdan is a no-compromise ode to the sound of echoes in empty spaces. The second track Marz by Karina is a far more feline affair, purring it’s way around a funkified acidic bassline with a groove that’s guaranteed to make you move.

The label side is reserved for Minimal Surface… a collaboration between the Russian master of dub techno Heavenchord & the Italian dual delay and blood brothers, Sibling. This one is an insisting 4 to the floor peek time banger that is guaranteed to ripp dancefloors apart wherever it may land.

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Elisa Waut “Elisa Waut” (Numero)

2020-03-07T06:11:57+00:00June 28th, 2019|

Originally issued as a hand-dubbed demo tape in 1982, Elisa Waut’s icy debut gets its first vinyl issue. The Flemish trio of Chery Derycke and siblings Elsje and Hans Helewaut took new wave to its natural conclusion; trading Europe’s organic post-punk approach for the new cold war order of synth and rhythm box. Soviet paranoia, isolation, suicidal musings, and other miscellaneous bouts of young adult depression are covered in both French and English. A 28-minute minimal wave masterpiece.

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Garland “#2” (Lullabies For Insomniacs)

2020-03-07T06:12:03+00:00June 24th, 2019|

The follow up to their debut Preludes # 1 is a surreal journey in which the duo further explore their shared interest of sample based music, minimalism and arrangement methods found in the dub tradition. By combining analogue and digital technologies with found sounds and acoustic instrumentation, Cologne based DJ Phillip Jondo and Glasgow based artist Simon Weins invite the listener to delve deeper into their exploration of time, space, texture and form… Returning with a more refined body of work, Garland sets the tone on # 2 by shifting attention to the ever-changing nature inherent to sound itself. Worlds in which the origin of sound is untraceable and where micro events become the basis for extended explorations.

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Sarah Davachi “Pale Bloom” (W25th)

2020-03-07T06:12:09+00:00June 21st, 2019|

Pale Bloom finds Sarah Davachi coming full circle. After abandoning the piano studies of her youth for a series of albums utilizing everything from pipe and reed organs to analog synthesizers, this prolific Los Angeles-based composer returns to her first instrument for a radiant work of quiet minimalism and poetic rumination. Recorded at Berkeley, California’s famed Fantasy Studios, Pale Bloom is comprised of two delicately-arranged sides. The first—a three-part suite where Davachi’s piano acts as conjurer, beckoning Hammond organ and stirring countertenor into a patiently unfolding congress—recalls Eduard Artemiev’s majestic soundtrack for Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris. “Perfumes I-III” employs the harmonically rich music of Bach as a springboard for abstract, solemn pieces that sound as haunted as they are dreamlike. While the first half of Pale Bloom showcases Davachi’s latent Romanticism, the sidelong “If It Pleased Me To Appear To You Wrapped In This Drapery” reveals the Mills College graduate’s affinity for the work of avant-garde composers La Monte Young and Eliane Radigue. Softly vibrating strings rise and fall like complementary exhalations of breath. As the fluctuating pitches create overtones that pitter and pulse, the piece slowly and subtly evolves—suggesting a well-tempered stillness, yet without stasis.

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Sora “Re.Sort” (Mitsuko & Svetlana)

2020-03-07T06:12:15+00:00June 7th, 2019|

LP version, includes printed inner and sticker. Originally released in 2003 on CD only, Re.sort was conceived by Sora aka Takeshi Kurosawa. Soothing cut-ups and analog collages for dreamers in the summer breeze, Re.sort is a miracle of Japanese electronica. Widely unknown but very necessary, fragments and textures playfully flirt with each other, bossa nova and jazz records float in the air, an old phonograph sits by the sea. Leftfield electronica that feels like a home away from home, where joyful nothings are everything combining with sweet minimalism and micro melodies. Sora means sky. Let’s drift. Presented by Mitsuko & Svetlana Records, distributed by WRWTFWW Records, label logo by Shintaro Kago. Mastered by Taylor Deupree.

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Wolf Muller Meets The Nile Project “Wolf Muller Meets The Nile Project” (Nouvelle Ambiance)

2020-03-07T06:12:29+00:00May 24th, 2019|

“In January 2016 arts and music organisation Santuri East Africa invited guest producer Jan Schulte to join the Nile Project gathering in Aswan, Egypt — an intensive two-week musical experiment featuring musicians drawn from all around the Nile Basin that functioned as both a creative cauldron for cross-border collaboration, and a forum for artists and cultural activists to discuss the issues affecting the Nile river. Wolf Müller aka Jan Schulte has been a resident of Dusseldorf’s era-defining Salon des Amateurs for many years, releasing wildly inventive and dance music under various monikers — from his birth name to Wolf Müller, Bufiman and his Young Wolf collaboration with Young Marco. Schulte’s feel for off kilter sounds and rhythms and a playful approach to the sometimes po-faced world of dance music have resulted in some incredibly well received releases (Instrumentalmusik Von Der Mitte Der World and the compilation Tropical Drums of Deutschland being prime examples). Santuri East Africa is an organisation set up to connect musicians and producers from around the globe, a process of co-collaboration that has led to some highly well received releases on Soundway (Msafiri Zawose) Sofrito (Auntie Flo’s The Soniferous Garden) and On the Corner (Makadem and Mugwisa). Clocking in at a shade over 15 minutes, A-side ‘Mabomba Dance’ gradually layers Kasiva Mutua’s needle-sharp percussion over a deep analogue bass pulse, building into a hypnotic dancefloor workout. The B-side sees erstwhile Owiny Sigoma Band collaborator Rapasa Nyatrapasa showcase his Nyatiti harp before delving into an almost Afrobeat-esque slice of afro-minimalism. The EP rounds off with Adel Mekha’s stellar vocals over traditional Nubian percussion.”

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Tracey “Biostar” (Dial)

2020-03-07T06:12:34+00:00May 24th, 2019|

A new addition to the label’s extended family, Tracey arrives on Dial with his debut LP, Biostar. Following previous releases on Aus Music, Voyage Direct, and Intergraded, Biostar pushes the technical and emotional craft of this vital young producer in exciting new directions, submerging listeners in thirteen tracks of sublime electro, ambient experimentation, and warm, tonal techno. Based in the Netherlands, Tracey’s music is undoubtedly indebted to a legacy of emotive electronic music, the sort whose stark futurist vision cannot be equaled. Instead he strives and succeeds to create something personal and charismatic from a perhaps familiar palette of sounds. Somewhere between experimentation and understated songwriting, Biostar is a worthy edition to Dial’s legacy of unique, artist-led albums. In the tradition of established Dial artists such as Lawrence, Roman Flügel, and Efdemin, Tracey’s immediately apparent strength is an almost supernatural ability to conjure affecting and memorable melodies with minimalist intent, often just utilizing the raw textures of his machines. From album-opener “THRRVL”, Tracey tracks the initially gentle undulations of his studio seemingly waking to life, plotting a neat melodic shuffle on “TRR” and then, by, “CCLRT”, something dense, trippy and yearning. From here on in, Biostar plots an intriguing course through hypnotic, clockwork crunch (“THWRD”), to Drexciyan submersion (“HDRCSTCS”) and rhythmic experimentation on “PHTCPHRK”. Some of the more affecting moments on Biostar emerge from its more obtuse sections; “DTFNK” deciphers a surprisingly catchy melody among waves of scrambled signals, while the initially skittish “DRMRBT” blossoms into an electro lullaby at 126bpm. By the arrival of wistful closing track “CLSTLBNG”, listeners are likely to emerge content from the deepest exploration yet of Tracey’s unique analog ecosystem.

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Caterina Barbieri “Ecstatic Computation” (Editions Mego)

2020-03-07T06:12:38+00:00May 24th, 2019|

Caterina Barbieri is an Italian composer who explores themes related to machine intelligence and object-oriented perception in sound through a focus on minimalism. Following 2017’s acclaimed double-LP Patterns Of Consciousness (IMPREC 449LP), Ecstatic Computation is the new full-length LP by Caterina Barbieri. The album revolves around the creative use of complex sequencing techniques and pattern-based operations to explore the artefacts of human perception and memory processes by ultimately inducing a sense of ecstasy and contemplation. Computation is turned from being a formal, automatic writing technique into a creative, psychedelic practice to generate temporal hallucinations. A state of trance and wonder where the perception of time is distorted and challenged. Equally nervous and ecstatic, the fast permutation of patterns can create a state where time stands still whilst simultaneously being in motion. Is this propulsive music moving forward or backward? As long as the perception of the present is constantly enhanced and refreshed in an endless sense of loss, re-discovery and the search for self-orientation this question lies mute aside the thrilling and perplexing moment of the matter at hand. Vocals on “Arrows Of Time” performed by Annie Gårlid and Evelyn Saylor; recorded by Stefano Tucci at Failsafe Studio. Artwork by Ruben Spini. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

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Varg “Sky City: A Weak Heart to Break (Spit)” (Northern Electronic)

2020-03-07T06:12:46+00:00May 17th, 2019|

Part curse, part declaration, part Rorschach test, Varg’s new collection of EPs is a barely balanced inferno. Side by side, raw club burners arrive from the wretched plateaus levelled out by chaotic neurotransmissions, while sweet and soft anthems take the pain away. The first EP, Sky City: Even in the Heart of Heaven, Angels Can Still Feel Fear, affirms Varg’s deft and agile take on techno. Here minimalism spars with blissed out programming, unafraid to pepper sedate hooks with intricate percussive rufige. With each track’s eyes on the raving kru, Varg restates his permit to take it to the floor. It’s foreboding, but it always has been–and Sky City: A Weak Heart to Break (Spit) makes this its method. Launching itself under the opening track’s dazzling melancholic sweep, the EP loses its way in every direction at once by the last track’s glitching gabber meltdown. Fair warning is required for the demonic and cosmically unhinged piece of rhythmic noise that begins the second side.

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