Synth

Doctor Fluorescent “Doctor Fluorescent” (Crammed)

2020-05-21T20:50:12+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Doctor Fluorescent’s debut album opens a door to a world of seductive, fresh electronic pop music, where things aren’t always what they seem: sophisticated musical clockworks often lie under the dreamy surface.

Although he is primarily a scientist and explorer, Doctor Fluorescent also plays musical instruments and uses electronic gadgets to express his ideas to the world. He is assisted by musicians Scott Gilmore and Eddie Ruscha, who sit back and merely facilitate what the doctor commands. Plug in a patch cable here, turn a dial there… whatever it takes to get the proper result recorded and keep the good doctor happy.

Back when Scott and Eddie began to create this music with Doctor Fluorescent, they utilized all manner of electronic and acoustic devices with no worries or concerns regarding their discoveries. They allowed the explorations to lead themselves where they may. Their experiments began to solidify into songs, and shortly after, stories began to take shape and the Doctor’s voice emerged (to be perfectly honest, the Doctor was born out of Scott and Eddie’s minds, but soon turned into an actual human being in every sense)

The music of Doctor Fluorescent almost reminds one of a private press electronic voyage album discovered in a stack of records next to Supersempft, Roger Powell and Wally Badarou. The album explores a wide range of sound, it’s experimental in many ways, yet each track still retains the semblance of a song. Each song is its own journey, often ending in a completely new place from where it began.
Scott and Eddie have already made many records themselves using old synthesizers and drum machines, making them the perfect helpers to bring Doctor Fluorescent’s musical visions to life.

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ADULT. “Perception is/as/of Deception” (Dais)

2020-05-14T23:35:45+00:00May 14th, 2020|

ADULT. make a triumphant return after their 2018 album This Behavior, dubbed “…one of the best records of their career…” by Ryan Lathan of Pop Matters. This chilling continuation takes the form of Perception is/as/of Deception, an anxiety fueled cyclone of pandemonium that only ADULT. would know how to harness. While This Behavior was recorded in the isolated snow-covered woods of northern Michigan, Perception is/as/of Deception was given life in a temporary space the duo created by painting their windowless basement entirely black, with the sole intention to deprive their senses, question their perceptions, and witness the resulting ramifications.

With over 23 years and a sprawling discography left in their wake, Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus have spent their entire career as ADULT. obscuring any defined genre or style. With a history as uncanny as ADULT., the pieces that make up Perception is/as/of Deception might be perceived as their most punk-infused and introspective work to date. The elements of frustration and apprehension that have consistently woven throughout their material are at full mast, although augmented by a strident and more “head-on” approach.

Tracks like Have I Started at the End successfully maintain the duo’s classic EBM signatures and synthesized aggression, cradled by a suspicious mantra that questions….what’s the point? Why Always Why offers a disorienting mutation of the heralded sounds of classic dance music, like a remix that escaped prison and is on the run. The dystopian anthem, Total Total Damage, comes in full force with an frantic energy which jolts any bystanders to attention, with only the defiant chants of Kuperus’ vocals outlining the ever-degenerating state of societal affairs. The dramatically glam synth parts scattered throughout the album, while at times ominous in nature, seem to also act as a merciful reminder that through the journey of Perception is/as/of Deception, one can still enjoy the chaos.

With the rampant sense of emptiness on the minds of many these days, there continues to be few attempts at scoring these common, unfortunate human qualities with pure sincerity. Thankfully, ADULT. has a long-standing reputation for creating the soundtrack for our insecurities, and Perception is/as/of Deception further solidifies their apprehensive position.

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Daniel Davies “Signals” (Sacred Bones)

2020-03-13T20:34:39+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Whether scoring a film or making a solo album, Daniel Davies thinks cinematically. Images and story – on a movie screen, on a canvas, or flashing through his mind – inform the shape of his compositions and the sounds he uses to bring them to life. For Signals, his first solo record for Sacred Bones, the inspiration for his musical narration was a collaboration with visual artist Jesse Draxler, whose otherworldly mixed media works grace the cover and the booklet.

“I had an instant connection to Jesse’s art,” Davies explains. “One of the main concepts for this album was working with the feeling of uncertainty. Jesse’s art illustrates that perfectly with his disruptive shapes. At first, they are foreign to the landscapes they live in, but over time we become used to them, we adjust. The foreign objects force us to evolve, to accept and live with the uncertainty they create.”

Using Draxler’s images as his jumping off point, Davies created eight richly textured compositions that created a soundtrack for the unsettling world of the artwork. “Musically, I wanted to capture that same contrast — melodies evolving out of drones, haunting beds of tension with beautiful shimmering melodies laid above. What were once conflicting emotions became harmonious.”

As the songs move through the landscape, Davies calls on whatever instrumentation he needs to serve their journey. He utilizes the warbling synths and slicing guitar that have characterized his soundtrack work, but he’s also preternaturally at ease when he busts out a harpsichord and a vocal synth on lead single “Phantom Waltz.” On “Destructive Field,” he leaves space for his Halloween collaborator John Carpenter to lay down his signature sound. With the exception of that passage, all the music on the record is recorded by Davies himself.

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Akiko Yano ‎”Gohan Ga Dekitayo” (Wewantsounds)

2020-03-13T20:35:13+00:00February 7th, 2020|

Double LP version. Wewantsounds present a 40th anniversary reissue of Akiko Yano’s Gohan Ga Dekitayo, originally released in 1980. This superb double-album was recorded with Yellow Magic Orchestra at a time when she was part of the group’s touring line-up between 1979 and 1980. The album is pure Akiko Yano featuring her superb singing and piano playing, enhanced by touches of YMO’s synth-pop sound (check her cult version of YMO’s classic, “Tong-Poo”). First album release outside of Japan. When Gohan Ga Dekitayo came out in 1980, Akiko Yano had been touring with Yellow Magic Orchestra for more than a year. She’d play keyboards alongside the three founding members — Haruomi Hosono, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Yukihiro Takahashi — plus guitarist Kenji Omura and synth wizard programmer Hideki Matsutake (as part of the 1980 North American tour, she’d also feature in the group’s cult TV appearance on Soul Train for a memorable rendition of “Tighten Up”) and they are all present on Gohan Ga Dekitayo. The double-LP, whose title could be translated by “Dinner Is Ready”, was co-produced with Ryuichi Sakamoto and recorded at two legendary studios: Tokyo’s Alfa Studio “A” and Los Angeles’s Sound City. It was Akiko’s first shift towards a fuller synth sound following four studio albums mixing pop and jazz funk, including her landmark debut from 1976, Japanese Girl (WWSCD 017CD/WWSLP 017LP). A shift that would continue with the release of Tadaima in 1981 (WWSCD 016CD/WWSLP 016LP_, also featuring the YMO musicians. The fourteen tracks on Gohan Ga Dekitayo find Akiko in top form mixing her singer-songwriter’s sensitivity with the electro-pop sound of YMO. It’s interesting to note though that it is very much an Akiko Yano album even if the group is present on the album (interestingly they do also play analog instruments on the album). Akiko is clearly the one in charge with a string of beautiful compositions and the rendition of one of the group’s classics, “Tong Poo” which she reinvents as a slower, less metronomic-paced song adding her own lyrics. Other highlights on the album include “Dogs Awaiting…”, a hypnotic composition featuring fascinating electro arrangements or “Coloured Water” sung in English by Akiko accompanying herself on Fender Rhodes with subtle percussion by Tatsuo Hayashi and electronics by Ryuichi Sakamoto. There are many more great moments on this superb album which announces the further experiments of Tadaima. Remastered audio by Mitsuo Koike.

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Severed Heads “Clean” (Dark Entries)

2020-03-13T20:35:15+00:00February 5th, 2020|

Dark Entries’ first release of 2020 is a deluxe 2xLP reissue of Severed Heads’ debut 1981 album Clean. One of the longest surviving bands to emerge from the Australian post-punk independent music scene, they began in Sydney in 1979. Severed Heads is basically a nom- de-plum for Tom Ellard, who incorporates elements of ‘industrial’ noise-generation, tape cutting & looping and electronic sound synthesis. As the project developed song-structures and vocals were employed in a more-or-less recognizable mutant electro pop style.  Clean was amongst the first vinyl releases under the Dogfood Productions banner of Terse Tapes, previously a cassette-only label. For this records Tom used an array of synthesizers (Kawai 100F, Casiotone, Roland CR78+SH1+CSQ100), sequencers, tapes and occasional guitar and violin played by Garry Bradbury. Severed Heads have a language of their own, music that juxtaposes all sorts of noise, in all sorts of ways so that a structure evolves, (fragmented) melody and rhythm being almost a by-product. As one reviewer said in 1981, “It is an ugly album that you simply cannot ignore, it thuds and screeches and makes you stare just to wonder what kind of people would procure such an album.” For this deluxe reissue we’ve included a bonus disc featuring 13 songs, 5 of which have never been released before, culled from live performances, the Side 3 cassette and a Clean demo tape that only surfaced last year, plus “Food City” missing from previous reissues.  Each copy is housed in a gatefold jacket featuring black and white xeroxed artwork from the first vinyl edition. Inside the gatefold are liner notes by Tom Ellard plus photos and press clippings from the period. 25% of proceeds will be donated to the Australian Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities, that offers specific direct support to some of those communities with critical costs to cover expenses.

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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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Cass & Gianni Brezzo “Masala Kiss” (Growing Bin)

2020-03-07T06:53:13+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

“Emotional ambient, soft focus synthesis and pastoral programming from German duo Cass. & Gianni Brezzo on Hamburg’s Growing Bin. Hopeless romantic with GSOH seeks open minded audiophile for lifelong companionship. The style might change, but the quality remains the same in the Growing Bin. For this autumnal edition, the Hamburg label looks South West to Osnabrück and Cologne, home to Cass. and Gianni Brezzo respectively. Sharing an appreciation for emotive tonality and expansive texture, the two musicians make the perfect partnership on Masala Kiss, Brezzo’s timeless melodies only serving to intensify the signature sensuality of the Cass. sound. Despite the occasional polyrhythms, you’re hearing two hearts beat as one… Insistent and expressive, well-traveled opener ‘Jaybo’ joins the ethnic and esoteric with a new age optimism before giving way to the detailed ambience and good nature of ‘Umberella’, a brief pitstop on the road to the meditative ‘Imence Sense’. Alive with layered guitars, this opiated raga dances like hashish smoke in the evening sky, and then it’s up into the cloud forms of ‘Instabubu’ and ‘Autoscooter Love’, celestial serenades both off and on beat. Cass. and Brezzo set controls for the heart of the sun with the Friesean ‘Out Of Mind’, a cinematic exercise in precision sequencing and frequency control then start the journey home with the dewy bells and delicate waveforms of ‘Koli’. If you’re in need of a little new age funk for your poolside playtime ‘Helge’ and ‘Der Däne’ are on hand with the chunky bass and languid grooves, while a last-minute interlude provides a prenatal comfort and womblike warmth. I always cry at endings, and ‘Paterson’ provides pure emotional release in utterly Balearic fashion. Pensive guitar and euphoric synths meet on the waterfront as you stare over the ocean with all the people you love.” –Patrick Ryder

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Boreal Massif “We All Have An Impact” (Pessimist Productions)

2020-03-07T05:27:37+00:00January 9th, 2020|

Proper stunning 12-track LP of ruffneck, downtempo breakbeats, ultra-sparse electro and gorgeously melancholic, after-the-flood ambience from Pessimist and Loop Faction. Much like the Pess & Karim Maas album from earlier this year, We All Have An Impact is an Isolationist’s dream synthesis of low-slung trip-hop rhythms and suspenseful, blood-vessel-bursting dub-techno pressure – but the range of mood and tone and emotion is much wider here, moving up from the roiling depths of darkside into more numinous, ethereal, cautiously blissed-out climes…a kind of post-apocalyptic soundboy take on New Age?!

Perhaps. Certainly it takes the alternately crisp and MDMA-bleary sonics, and the edgeland pagan spirit, of classic “intelligent” techno – B12, Ross 154, Ae’s Amber, REQ, Future Sound of London’s Life Forms, etc- and brings it bang-up-to-date with cutting-edge drone-logic, field recording and heavy-ordnance sub-bass. More than anything I think it reminds me of Urban Tribe’s Mo’Wax-flattering The Collapse of Modern Culture, that incredible, futureproof cold-fusion of hip-hop and yearning, deep-space-Detroit blooz which still hasn’t REALLY been assimilated.

One of the albums of the year, for sure.

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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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Russell Haswell “37 Minute Workout Vol. 2” (Diagonal)

2020-03-07T05:27:44+00:00January 9th, 2020|

N0!zy blighter Russell Haswell returns to Diagonal five years after his label debut with a spontaneously combusting follow-up to 37 Minute Workout (2014) generated again from a mix of analog/digital synths and modular systems edited on a computer. It was inspired by a visit to CERN, The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, in Geneva; and dinner with Ted Nelson, whose theories of intersingularity and transclusion chimed with the direction recordings took. There are few artists who can genuinely make music that sounds like your needle and/or record is melting, but Russell Haswell is one of them. His second volume of extremely kinky calisthenics is a potent example of daring to be different in a world where exponentially increasing production options are leading producers of all stripes to the exact same conclusions. But, with thanks to Russell’s iconoclastic intent, restless nature and ascetic aesthetics, he still sounds quite like nobody else, and, even better yet, doesn’t give a shit if you like it or not. Since reincorporating his early love of freestyle electro and Industrial dance music into his patented n0!ze matrices circa the first volume of 37 Minute Workout, Russell has steered that rhythm-driven style into a string of fizzy bangers for Diagonal and even applied it to his production for Consumer Electronics with typically radical results. Russell’s 37 Minute Workout Vol. 2 is cut from similarly (but never the same) ragged material as the first batch, and spits, kicks and claws with equal amounts of seething, pent energy and rambunctiousness ready to jab the ‘floor in the eye or dissolve a party where needed. Crowbarring cues ranging from the Latin Rascals to Incapacitants and Jeff Mills into seven wickedly awkward designs, Haswell keeps his avant aerobics radically irregular as he hops from the tendon-twitching angularity of “The Wild Horses Of The Revolution Have Arrived Without Knight” to steel-hoofed clatter in “Central Crisis Management Cell” and the lacquer-eating dynamics of “Painful Memories From The Past Need To Be Acknowledged”, before toning a proper nasty acid special in the UR inversion “Dancing On The Head Of An Eagle”, and seemingly sucking your brain out through a straw with “Starting Something You’re Not Able To Finish”, with the dry witted, skeletal jazz-funk squirm of “Diplomatic Cocktail Circuit” closing the party down in style. Artwork by Guy Featherstone. Mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 300.

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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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Dome “Dome 4: Will You Speak This Word” (Editions Mego)

2020-03-07T05:28:09+00:00December 13th, 2019|

With the demise of the group Wire in 1980, founder members Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis joined forces to create Dome. With the assistance of engineer Eric Radcliffe and his Blackwing Studio Dome took the ethic of “using the studio as a compositional tool” and recorded and released three Dome albums on their own label in the space of 12 months: Dome (July, 1980), Dome 2 (October, 1980), and Dome 3 (October 1981). A final fourth album, Will You Speak This Word: Dome 4 was released on the Norwegian Uniton label in May 1983. These albums represent some of the most beautifully stark and above all timeless exercises in studio experimentation from early 1980s alternative music scene. Personnel: G. Lewis and B.C. Gilbert – instruments, voices, production; Vincent Clarke – voice, Fairlight computer synthesizer, track 1; Deborah Danahay – voice, track 1; David Drinkwater – violin, track 1; Terrence Leach – saxophones tracks 1, 3, 4, and 6; Eric Radcliffe – engineer. Previously issued in the out-of-print Dome 1-4+5 box set in 2011. Floating-point re-master by Russell Haswell, August 2011. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering by Rashad Becker, August 2011. New artwork by Dave Coppenhall. Includes download card.

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Vatican Shadow “Kneel Before Religious Icons” (Hospital Productions)

2020-03-07T06:54:38+00:00December 13th, 2019|

Before another Vatican Shadow release appears on vinyl for the first time early next year, Hospital Productions reissue a killer 2011 tape release on a 2019 vinyl pressing after appearing on a long sold-out LP edition for Type in 2012 Remastered and slightly edited from the original 4 x tape boxset, ‘Kneel Before Religious Icons’ reasserts its place in the pantheon of Vatican Shadow’s prized early releases which, with the benefit of hindsight, arguably amount to one of this past decade’s definitive projects.
Originally recorded in 2010, the album’s eight tracks revolve some of the first material recorded by Dominick Fernow in this mode, aside from his then better known work as Prurient. At the time, Fernow was still working under cover of anonymity and this release in particular only aided in heightening the intrigue and fascination surrounding this project and the way it eerily resonated with the both the redrawing of geopolitical borders and those between industrial, ambient, noise and techno styles.
The album contains one of the most valued VS outings in Worshippers At The Same Mosque’, with its pall of synth pads, needly harpsichord and stepping drums patently influenced by Muslimgauze, while the parade ground trample of ‘Church Of All Images’ – which would form the basis for a now classic Regis remix issued by Blackest Ever Black – adds up to one of the project’s most militant numbers along with the scudding, bombed-out terrain of ‘Gods Representative on Earth’ and ’Shooter In The Same Uniform as The Soldiers’.
As an historic document of the time and a gripping album in its own right, ‘Kneel Before Religious Icons’ holds tight among Vatican Shadow’s most crucial and convincing communiques.

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Jeff Majors “For Us All” (Ice)

2020-03-07T05:28:22+00:00December 13th, 2019|

Private Press Spiritual Jazz from D.C’s Jeff Majors. Featuring harp, drum machines and synths. Jeff was one of Alice Coltrane’s students at the ashram. He also played in Brother Ah’s band. Each song on this album is an inspired vision of the personal and the devotional via the harps universal glistening range and Linn drums. Comes with info booklet.

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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.

Eye Nono “My Blue Horizon” (Bad Habitat)

2020-03-07T06:55:26+00:00December 6th, 2019|

Mad Habitat returns with a serene full-length from Eye Nono. Channeling the more progressive side of American New Age and 80s Public Access soundtracks alongside the rich tradition of Australian ambient music, the record is awash with dreamy melodies and drifting pads. Evoking days spent by the water along the coastline, the album is a beautiful synthesis of the ocean’s abundant natural beauty.

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Masonna “Shinsen Na Clitoris” (Hospital Productions)

2020-03-07T05:29:00+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Hospital Productions present a reissue of Masonna’s first full-length CD from 1990, Shinsen Na Clitoris, originally on Vanilla Records. The supreme voice of Japanese noise here on vinyl for the first time with audio preparation by Kris Lapke. What would become an inimitable explosion of energy and vision from Japan heralded in the glory days of ’90s alternative rock, death metal, and psychedelic synth music, Masonna surpassed all extremes with a full frequency violence that was as fast as it was psychedelic. Not once has any artist emerged with more intensity and focus in the history of noise. It was said onstage that Masonna has reduced the pure elements of classic rock, the guitar stack, the feedback, and the lead singer to an explosive few seconds of visceral feedback, metallic noise from the physical shaking and pressure of his fist around the shaker, processed through the self-described “harshtronics” and indeed ending in “exclamation!” If you have wondered where to start in the vast and increasingly difficult to find discography of this legend look no further. Presented in immaculate sleeve recreated original art with poster and insert.

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Slogun “The Pleasures Of Death” (Hospital Productions)

2020-03-07T05:28:55+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Hospital Productions present a reissue of Slogun’s The Pleasures of Death, originally released in 1997. From the austere and frightening cover with the name of forgotten killers to the monolithic washes of analog synthesized grit and dust cloud vocals of the id, this legendary album first released as a limited cassette of 100 on the cult Labyrinth Recordings from NYC (one of the all-time great NYC cassette imprints) and then famously reissued to wide distribution via cold meat industry sublabel Death Factory, The Pleasures of Death came to prominence in the minds of the same era of release entertainment and descent magazine and Alchemy Records and Bloodlust. Never has there been such an in-depth, caustic, intelligent and evil exploration of true crime violence. Slogun has managed to take familiar stories, untangle them and create deep profiles that leave the listener with unsettling conclusions that do not provide the answers we are commonly forced to accept. Set against the decline of America, the abstraction of the victim landscape is shattered with the brutal and disturbing lyrics faithfully reprinted. A classic of NYC radical art and true crime electronics. Wide spine sleeve; includes large-format booklet and poster taken from the original cassette version.

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Orior “Still Strange” (Demdike Stare)

2020-03-07T05:28:49+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Still Strange reaches back into the prized loft tapes of Jeff Sharp, aka Orior, following the revelatory discovery of his overlooked early ’80s gems on 2016’s Strange Beauty collection, as coaxed out by DDS dons Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty. Huddling another sublime, dusty set of analogue tapes freshly baked and remarkably well-restored by Andy Popplewell, Still Strange contains four gorgeous flashbacks to the era 1979-1983 surrounding and even pre-dating Strange Beauty, and then shifts focus to recordings that Orior made around the early ’90s. As with its predecessor, Orior is not alone on the material in Still Strange. From those feted early tapes, you’ll find Phil Hollis returning to lend jagged guitar on the drum machine sizzle of “Feels Like Summer”, while the mysterious synth player New Cross John makes vital contribution to “Invium”. Along with the aching synth sigh of “To Return”, which pre-dated all of these recordings, and the nine minutes of haunting bedsit strums in “Larbico Alt Mix” which came from the first batch, the early material is all arguably worth the price of admission alone for seekers of lost synth treasures — really this stuff is just so good. However, the album’s other six tracks expand knowledge of Orior’s work into the ’90s and also contain some extraordinary material. Salvaged from further loft tapes found in various states of degradation, and subsequently mixed down between London’s Goldsmiths College and Miles Whittaker’s Whalley Range attic (and elsewhere), they are decidedly more blunt and gloaming, especially in the Deathprod-like “Under Shadow” and the near static witching hour ambience of “Endless”, while shorter vignettes such as “Unknown Future”, “Gothic”, and “Another” point to pre-echoes of Board of Canada’s crepuscular scapes and even Bladerunner-esque sci-fi noir soundscapes. RIYL: Deathprod, John Bender, Boards of Canada, Vangelis. Restored from original 1/4″ analog tapes; Mixed by Miles Whittaker and Ian Gilbert; Mastered at Dubplates & Mastering.

Terry Fox “Linkage” (Etats-Unis)

2020-03-07T05:29:09+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Terry Fox was a first generation Bay Area conceptual artist. Beginning in the 1970s, he worked extensively with sound, especially the use of piano wires detached from their native instrument and anchored between opposing walls of the performance space. Linkage, Fox’s first album, was originally released in 1982 to accompany an installation at Kunstmuseum Luzern in Switzerland. The record would mark Fox’s first attempt to realize his groundbreaking and visceral piece “Berlin Wall Scored for Sound.” Side one links five ways of playing the piano wires: drumming, pulling, bowing, beating and scraping. The room itself acts as a type of natural resonator as Fox moves the wires with padded mallet, his bare fingers, violin bow, wooden shish kebab stick and rusted metal rod. The effect of such plain arrangements can be utterly hypnotizing. The second half of Linkage was recorded in the attic of Künstlerhaus Bethanien, West Berlin, in May 1981. A thirty-three meter long wire was held in contact with a sardine tin. Over the course of 20 minutes, pulsating drones dissolve into rhythmic patterns that sound almost synthetic in origin. As noted in the original LP pamphlet, all these sounds were strictly acoustic; the only electronics involved was the recording equipment. In an introduction for this edition, Marita Loosen-Fox and Ron Meyers write, “The desire to eliminate any barriers between the art and the viewer/audience connects all of Fox’s situations/actions/performances. The ultimate goal is to communicate as directly as possible, which finds its most concentrated expression in the artist’s works with sound.” This first-time reissue is limited to 750 numbered copies. Comes with booklet.

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Land Of Light “The World Lies Breathing” (Melody As Truth)

2020-03-07T05:29:21+00:00November 22nd, 2019|

After a seven-year hiatus since the release of their debut LP on ESP Institute, Kyle Martin and Jonny Nash’s Land Of Light return with The World Lies Breathing, their sophomore album for Melody As Truth. Written and composed over the course of two years, The World Lies Breathing reflects the pair’s shared development towards spacious, abstract composition crafted from a wide range of contrasting sound sources. Utilizing a combination of acoustic instruments, contact microphones and Martin’s self-built modular synthesizer The World Lies Breathing focuses on the space between sounds, conjuring up an organic yet alien landscape that exists on the edge of an unknowable void.

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