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Baths “Pop Music/False B-Sides”(Basement’s Basement)

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

After Baths’ genre-bending ‘Cerulean’, the LA producer’s stock went through the roof as he found himself saddled, for better or for worse, with the chillwave moniker and a hell of a lot of interest on top of that. His blend of crushed Brainfeeder beats and the kind of whimsical pop crooning we might otherwise associate with Ben Gibbard was surprisingly affective, and this follow-up release, whilst made up of odds-and-ends, is even more proof that Will Wiesenfeld is a kid to watch very closely in the next few years. The tracks are collected from various CDrs Wiesenfeld made for live shows, and while this might not make it the ‘regular’ B-Sides compilation (as hinted at in the title) it still surprises me how well the album fits together as a whole. For the most part the tracks explore even further the neon-blasted pop experiments of ‘Cerulean’, taking the songwriting to the point where you could almost imagine hearing a few of these tracks on the radio (internet radio, of course…), but Wiesenfeld hasn’t abandoned the drones totally and peppers the record with experiments to keep the sour faced oldies like myself happy. ‘Pop Songs / False B-Sides’ is a confident record, and whilst the songs are scratchy and quickly produced, this only adds to the charm (remember Khonnor? Exactly), and makes me whet with anticipation for what the next ‘proper’ album might bring. Lovely stuff, and perfect for balmy afternoons by the grill. Not that we get any of that in the North of England, but hey…

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Baths “Pop Music/False B-Sides II” (Basement’s Basement)

2020-05-21T20:49:59+00:00May 21st, 2020|

It’s been 30 years since Public Enemy thundered that the “B-Side wins again.” A winking nod to the notion that songs initially considered an afterthought are often superior to those considered “keepers.” It’s a proverb long confirmed by classic odds and sods compilations like Nas’ Lost Tapes, Kendrick Lamar’s Untitled, Unmastered, The Smiths Louder Than Bombs, too much Aphex Twin to count, and yes, The Who’s Odds and Sods.

But what to make of the “False B-Side,” an ascription coined by Baths to anthologize the uncut gems that didn’t fit into his previous albums as Baths or Geotic. Herein pulses Pop Music/False B-Sides II, a dozen renewed ideas and sketches finally colorized. Emotional pop hymns and ambient bliss instrumentals resurrected, refined, and polished until they’re blinding. Jewel boxes with a trap door. Over the last decade, the Los Angeles-raised singer, producer, and songwriter, Will Wiesenfeld has constructed a spellbinding canon of private secrets publicly released, glittering emerald sutras that you can dance to, as lovely as bloodletting gets.

There have been three revered studio albums as Baths (plus the first volume of Pop Music/False B-Sides), an entire catalog as Geotic, and nearly two dozen remixes and guest appearances. By the terms of conventional logic, there should not be this many good songs left. The fact that there are is testament to not just the prolificacy and indefatigable work ethic of Wiesenfeld, but the emotional depths that he’s capable of processing. To use the parlance of our times, a Baths song is a big mood. His work incisively tunnels into the uncomfortable realities that all of us wrestle with: love, regret, heartbreak, sexuality, death, the desire for comfort and the impulse to escape. Credit his subtle-but-sticky melodies, his ability to blend a seraphic falsetto with a calming tenor, and clever turns of phrases that allow for such well-trodden themes to seem brand new.

The songs on this compilation are culled from a much wider timeframe than the first Pop Music / False B-Sides that was recorded around the time of Cerulean, Wiesenfeld’s 2010 debut under the Baths moniker. Some of these tracks were considered for the final tracklists of Obsidian (2013) and Romaplasm (2017). Others started their creative life as collaborative efforts and Geotic tracks, but somehow became Baths songs. Yet if their genesis began as outliers, in their final form they seem created specifically for this collection — which isn’t far from the truth considering that the desire to complete another PM/FBS drove Wiesenfeld to finish more than half of them.

While the skeletons of the music were written over the course of the last decade, the lyrics were constructed only relatively recently. One of the most poignant and personal to Wiesenfeld is the finale, “The Stones.” Shortly before his father passed away earlier this year, his dad had pointed out a bit in the lyrics that made him proud of his son — the line “I still trust that men can be lovely/do what you like/but do it to me.” What’s more, the entire record is suffused with similarly poetic couplets that gently mesh with the imaginative chord progressions, soft cloud-like drums, and endless summer glitch.

The sense of irony is embedded into the title. There is nothing false to be found: the emotions contained are walloping and visceral, full of tenderness and vulnerability. A soundtrack to the Zoetrope flickering inside your weary head. Symphonies to fallen ideas, gilded requiems, and unerring realness that refuses to hide behind a mask — unless that’s the point. Pop Songs/False B-Sides II is the rarest of things, a sequel that defies repetition, a B-Side collection of all A-list material. And if you disagree, you can go argue with Chuck D.

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Jerry Paper “Abracadabra” (Stones Throw)

2020-05-21T20:49:59+00:00May 21st, 2020|

In 2019, back from traveling the world for the I Am Begging You To Come To These Shows tour, Jerry Paper hung up his flowing dress and sandals, glided into the studio, and began giving material form to his new musical manifestation: Abracadabra.

Over thirteen songs, he serves up a blend of jazzy instrumentation with soft-rock stylings and some seriously catchy earworms, forging a style that hints at the avant-pop of Scott Walker, the sweet enchantment of Paul McCartney, and the cryptic, smooth grooves of Steely Dan.

Like all good stories, Abracadabra boasts unforgettable characters: someone with a victim complex (“Cholla”); an alien captive surveilled by a mysterious presence (“Puppeteer”), and a buff man whose life is thrown into shambles when he is caught smoking methamphetamine at his child’s birthday party (“Body Builder on the Shore”). Nathan’s interest in talk therapy led to “Spit It Out”, a song about the health-inducing qualities of improvised speech; “Memorial Highway” is about existence after death in other people’s memories, and “Apologist” and “All I Need” affirm the value — and occasional futility — of recognizing one’s wrongs. Building new realities out of words and sounds is no easy task, and on “Trash Can”, Nathan mourns the frustrations of the creative process.

Abracadabra is many things at once: arch and sincere, bizarre and all too real, funny and melancholic — the work of an artist living in a world when despair so often tips over into ridiculousness, sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh.

Nathan worked with longtime visual collaborator Steve Smith and avant-comedian Alan Resnick to create the album art, which depicts an alien outsider spotting someone he recognizes. Who could it be? Don’t worry. Sit back, relax, and let Abracadabra cast its spell.

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Everything But The Girl “Temperamental” (Buzzin’ Fly)

2020-05-21T20:49:58+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Everything But The Girl’s ninth and final studio album Temperamental was first released in September 1999, and is reissued on May 8 2020 on double vinyl complete with half-speed mastering by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios.

The album debuted at #16 on the UK Album Chart and peaked at #3 in Australia and #65 on the US Billboard 200, and went on to sell over 500,000 copies worldwide. Often seen as a companion piece to its million-selling predecessor Walking Wounded, it once again skilfully merged worlds contemporary electronic dance music and smart singer-songwriting, but was not without its production difficulties.

Working from the same template as before, the album was largely recorded at home by Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn in the summer of 1998 in familiar surroundings – synths, samplers, simple computer software, a microphone – with two tracks ending up as production collaborations: Blame, made with drum ‘n’ bass DJ-producer Jamie Spratling (J Majik) at his home studio in Hertfordshire; and The Future of the Future, which began life as an instrumental by Washington DC deep house producers, Deep Dish before Ben wrote a melody and lyrics for Tracey to sing.

Yet if the propulsive beats are undercut by a melancholy edge to the lyrics and sounds, it perhaps reflects the circumstances behind the album’s evolution.

“It was on reflection, a difficult album to make,” says Watt. “With the recent birth of our twin girls in 1998, I found myself constructing much of the album in isolation, with Tracey inevitably more pre-occupied with family life. It was much less collaborative than it should have been. I guess we were just moving in different mental spaces a lot of the time.”

In spite of the strained recording process and a lukewarm reaction from a rock press tiring of electronica, the album was acclaimed in many quarters on its release. “Triumphant after-hours club pop” said Spin in an effusive full-page 9/10 lead review. “Entirely natural, wholly wonderful” said the Sunday Times. “The definitive dance album steeped in all things pop. Sublime and essential” commented Billboard, while Time Out offered, “If EBTG discovered nightlife late, it is one of their greatest strengths. Wide-eyed and wondrous.”

Offering a longer view in 2019 – in a lengthy 20th year anniversary retrospective feature in The Quietus – Michael White said, “After 20 years it has aged very well … I’ve explored the length and breadth of dance music as if it were my job, and I can’t point to another album of its kind that so effectively bridges the divide between the deeply communal sound of the dance floor and the deeply private vocabulary of a mind in trouble.”

Temperamental is re-issued on 180gm double vinyl with half-speed mastering on Buzzin’ Fly Records/Chrysalis Recordings on May 8 2020

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Bon Iver “Blood Bank (10th Anniversary)” (Jagjaguwar)

2020-05-21T20:49:58+00:00May 21st, 2020|

A limited edition tenth anniversary reissue of Bon Iver’s seminal EP Blood Bank will be released via Jagjaguwar with brand new live renditions of all of the EP’s tracks. The reissue will also feature new artwork and an in-depth essay written by longtime Bon Iver friend Ryan Matteson.

LP: 33 1/3 RPM 12″ vinyl LP inside a matte finished gatefold jacket with spot gloss inks, wrapped in a clear plastic printed sleeve, and contains a full-color 4 page insert. Contains digital download code, redeemable on or after release day.

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Atmosphere “Whenever” (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

2020-05-21T20:49:57+00:00May 21st, 2020|

For over 20 years, Atmosphere have pursued the underbelly of what it means to be human with a rabid curiosity. Ant’s dusky production has provided the pulse for Slug’s evolving and matter-of-fact pen. As Slug transitioned from throwing-up-in-the-backseat-raps to holding-hands-when-you-cross-the-street-raps, Ant has grown to be a master of crate digging and unearthing the humanity of a drum loop. Thriving at the intersection of guttural and self-effacing, Atmosphere will go down as some of America’s best archivists.

On Whenever, the duo continue to move in lockstep. Within the minutiae lie clues they’re still struggling with mortality and the need to protect emotional energy, as on previous releases, but there’s a quiet romanticism now, with Slug sounding—reluctantly—in love with life. And no other producer can pull truths out of a rapper like Ant fishes the blues out of Slug. Be it the twinkle of “Bde Maka Ska” leading into twanging guitars, or the anxious skitter of “Lovely,” Slug finds obvious comfort in working with Ant. “Postal Lady” recounts the simplicity of Slug’s life over warm and enveloping production, while “Romance” recalls God Loves Ugly with its undulating glitches, as if we crawled through Ant’s drum machine. It’s clear the pair’s harmony is reaching new peaks.

These aren’t dad-raps, these aren’t anti-establishment-raps, and these aren’t chasing-old-fire-raps. Even at its darkest (“You’re Gonna Go”) Whenever houses blessed-to-be-alive-raps. The album breathes in the way only Slug and Ant could summon a collective breath. On Whenever, the duo inhale panic and exhale greatness.

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Mamman Sani “Unreleased Tapes 1981-1984” (Sahel Sounds)

2020-05-21T20:49:57+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Sahel Sounds is proud to announce that legendary Nigerien avant-garde organist Mamman Sani’s Unreleased Tapes 1981 – 1984 is back in print on LP. One of the most sought-after releases in the Sahel Sounds catalog, Unreleased Tapes 1981 – 1984 gives listeners a fuller picture of Mamman Sani’s unique sound.

Experimentation in early electronic music in the Sahara from the singular Mamman Sani. Dreamy organs and droning melodies reinterpret ancient folk tradition into sublime fantastical soundscape. Never before released recordings from the very beginning – unreleased tracks from his first album, recordings of a short lived trio, and a cover of an American folk ballad.

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Type O Negative “World Coming Down” (Roadrunner)

2020-05-21T20:49:57+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Type O Negative is an American goth-metal band formed in Brooklyn in 1989 by Peter Steele (lead vocals, bass), Kenny Hickey (guitar, backing vocals), Josh Silver (keyboards, backing vocals), and Sal Abruscato (drums, percussions), who was later replaced by Johnny Kelly. World Coming Down is their fifth studio album and is considered to be the darkest of the band’s releases, having been written after a series of deaths in Steele’s family. It was their first album to reach the Top 40 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album when issued on CD leads off with a “joke intro”: in this case, “Skip It”, 11 seconds of staccato band noise meant to sound as if the listener’s CD player is skipping. For the debut of this album on vinyl, “Skip It” has been edited to sound like the listener’s record is skipping on a turntable. The track “White Slavery” deals with cocaine addiction. Two other songs, “Everyone I Love Is Dead,” and “Everything Dies”, touch on the difficulties of watching family members and loved ones pass away. “Who Will Save the Sane?” deals with mental illness and psychiatry. The album contains three soundscape tracks: Sinus, Liver and Lung, which are named after internal organs, as segues between songs. Each of these songs is intended to suggest the possibilities of deaths the band members may have suffered at the time. At the end of the album is a cover song of Day Tripper which is a medley of three Beatles songs. World Coming Down received mostly positive reviews upon release. AllMusic critic Steve Huey gave it 4 out of 5 stars. Adam Wasylyk of Chronicles of Chaos gave it a 10 out of 10, saying “An album that won’t be ignored, it’s my favorite album of 1999. Hands down.” The Washington Post’s Mark Jenkins wrote that Type O Negative “…shows some unexpected warmth” on the album, adding that “Much of the album thuds and growls, but the refrain of “Pyretta Blaze” is genuinely catchy.” Although World Coming Down was included on vinyl in the None More Negative 12LP box set, this is the first time it will be getting its own worldwide stand-alone release on wax; courtesy of Roadrunner and Run Out Groove.

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B-52’s “Cosmic Thing” (Warner)

2020-05-21T20:49:56+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Limited vinyl LP pressing. Cosmic Thing is the fifth studio album by new wave band The B-52’s, released in 1989. It contains the singles “Love Shack” and “Roam”. The success of the album served as a comeback after the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985. Six of the album’s songs were produced by Nile Rodgers in New York City, and the remaining four by Don Was in upstate New York. The band embarked on the Cosmic Tour to promote the album.

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Ahmad Jamal Trio “Ahmad Jamal At The Pershing” (Analogue Productions)

2020-05-21T20:49:56+00:00May 21st, 2020|

This is one of the best-selling jazz records ever. But among audiophiles, it may not be as well known as some of the other genre classics.

Jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, Grammy-nominee, and Kennedy Center legend Ahmad Jamal has for five decades been one of the most successful small-group leaders in jazz and one of the genre’s all-time great pianists. His artisty, talent and creative abilities have thrilled audiences and been broadly proclaimed by musician and music lover alike. At The Pershing: But Not For Me is Jamal’s dazzling fountain of creative splendor in full flow.

In 1956 Jamal’s new trio (with Israel Crosby on bass and Vernell Fournier on drums) began a residency at Chicago’s Pershing Hotel, and two years later the group recorded At The Pershing: But Not For Me, which spent 108 weeks among the Top Ten best selling albums. Recorded on Jan. 16, 1958 at the Pershing Lounge in the hotel, each set played that night was recorded for a total of 43 tracks, eight of which were selected by Jamal for the album.

Jamal, from Pittsburgh, was a child prodigy who started playing piano at age 3 and, as a teen, caught the ear of jazz great Art Tatum. Then, after moving to Chicago, in 1948, he was eventually discovered by visionary record producer John Hammond, the patrician entrepreneur who had brought Billie Holiday to prominence and later helped to bring Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan to the attention of the wider world. Hammond gave Jamal his first shot at recording in 1951, but it was seven years later, when the pianist was signed to Chess Records, that his career truly skyrocketed.

At The Pershing: But Not For Me topped America’s jazz charts for months and established a 107-week residence in Billboard’s album charts.

“That album sold over one million copies and is still selling,” Jamal says. He attributes its success to the power of music. “”It’s contagious. Music belongs to the world. So something that is of value, whether it’s Ravel’s Boléro or, specifically, At The Pershing, the world listens. And if it’s good, you’re going to get one or two listeners… and I got a few more than two!”

The Analogue Productions reissue LP you hold has matchless listenability, employing steps calculated to extract the highest-quality transfer and playback from the original master tape. Mastering took place at Sterling Sound, while plating and 200-gram pressing is by our own Quality Record Pressings, where the best-sounding LPs with dead-quiet surfaces are produced. A Stoughton Printing old-style tip-on jacket completes the package.

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Amos Lee “Amos Lee” (Analogue Productions)

2020-05-21T20:49:55+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Singer-songwriter Amos Lee draws inspiration from soul music, contemporary jazz and 1970s folk artists such as James Taylor. The Philadelphia native honed his songwriting skills while waiting tables and bartending after graduating from the University of South Carolina with a degree in English. He eventually landed some high-profile gigs as an opening act, including an extended tour with pianist/vocalist Norah Jones, whose bassist, Lee Alexander, agreed to produce Lee’s first album.

With Alexander’s help, Amos Lee released his self-titled debut on Blue Note in 2005. The album won Lee a small following for his blend of acoustic funk, folk, and light jazz. Norah Jones herself plays the piano on two tracks; “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight” and “Colors.”

A notable debut like Amos Lee deserves the Analogue Productions reissue treatment. This beauty was cut by Bernie Grundman in Los Angeles from the master tape, and is now pressed at 45 RPM on two glorious sides of 200-gram vinyl by Quality Record Pressings. QRP is noted for deep-black backgrounds and pristine clarity. If you’re already familiar with Amos Lee, get ready — you’ve never experienced it with such lifelike sonics and premium richness. This is how all vinyl should sound.

The songs on the album incorporate themes of folk, soul, gospel and jazz. Amos’s style is a mix of Bill Withers, Arthur Lee, and James Taylor. Amos has recently toured with Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Adele, Dave Matthews and many others.

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Melt Yourself Down “100% Yes” (Decca)

2020-05-21T20:49:55+00:00May 21st, 2020|

After a few years out to perfect their jaw-dropping new album 100% YES, Melt Yourself Down are back. Thanks to collaborations with production legends Youth and Ben Hillier, the band have reimagined themselves and created a bruising re-up of their signature sound with added synths, lyrics, anthems and epic joyrides. They took their sweet time crafting this new sound and it was worth it – 100% YES is the band at their finest.

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Perfume Genius “Set My Heart On Fire Immediate” (Matador)

2020-05-21T20:49:54+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Set My Heart On Fire Immediately is the fifth studio album from Perfume Genius on Matador Records. It sees artist and musician Mike Hadreas re-teaming with Grammy-nominated producer Blake Mills and features contributions from musicians Jim Keltner, Pino Palladino and Matt Chamberlin. It was recorded in Los Angeles, where Perfume Genius settled in 2017 with longtime partner and musical collaborator Alan Wyffels.

The album explores and subverts concepts of masculinity and traditional roles, and introduces decidedly American musical influences. Throughout Hadreas plays with themes of love, sex, memory and the body, channeling popular music mythologies while irreverently authoring its own – from the delirious, Cyndi Lauper-nodding celebratory pop of On The Floor, specters of Elvis on haunted tremolo waltz One More Try, to the harpsichord- punctuated baroque pop of Jason, and gliding steel guitar and Balearic rhythm of Without You.

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Born Ruffians “Juice” (Yep Roc)

2020-05-21T20:49:54+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Critically acclaimed indie rock mainstays Born Ruffians return with their sixth studio album, JUICE, on Yep Roc Records. JUICE finds the band moving into a more confident and polished direction, bringing to mind 1970s songwriting prowess with layered, and mature production sensibilities. The album was produced by Graham Walsh, known for his work with Alvvays, !!! (Chk Chk Chk), and Holy Fuck.
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Tētēma ‎”Necroscape” (Ipecac)

2020-05-16T19:45:16+00:00May 16th, 2020|

Take one look at the dark, twisted cover of Tētēma’s necroscape and you know that you’re not in for a comfortable listen. This new LP from Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras is their first record together as Tētēma for six years. The pair create frenetic, intense industrial songs here which come off like a more dark and twisted take on Patton’s old band Mr. Bungle – perhaps if that group’s music was crossed with the drum attacks of Lighting Bolt.

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Car Seat Headrest “Making A Door Less Open” (Matador)

2020-05-16T19:41:16+00:00May 16th, 2020|

Making A Door Les Open, the new album from Car Seat Headrest and the first set of brand new songs since 2016’s Teens Of Denial. Created over the course of four years, it is the result of a fruitful collaboration  between Car Seat Headrest, led by Will Toledo, and 1 Trait Danger, a CSH electronic side project consisting of drummer Andrew Katz and Toledo’s alternative persona “Trait”.

In this way, Making A Door Less Open sees Toledo embarking on new and imaginative roads to songwriting and recording, placing emphasis on the individual songs, each with its own special energy, rather than attempting to draw a coherent storyteller narrative through the album as he has in the past, resulting in his most dynamic and open-ended work to date.

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M.S.L. “2020” (Clone DUB)

2020-05-21T20:50:30+00:00May 15th, 2020|

Canadian duo M.S.L. debuts on the Clone Dub Series with a heady 4 track ep. Walking that fine line between classic headphone IDM and tripped out early morning dance floor cuts. Bleepy arpeggios, melodies and soaring strings, backed by the syncopated rythms of analogue drummachines. Very reminiscent of early F-com releases and, our own harbour city duo, Duplex’s early works on Dub and Clone Records.

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Augustus Muller “Machine Learning Experiments” (Nude Club)

2020-05-14T23:35:58+00:00May 14th, 2020|

Augustus Muller (Gus from Boy Harsher), releases two original scores through own label Nude Club records. The films, ‘Orgone Theory’ and ‘Hydra’, are Muller’s first foray into scoring. Both films were produced by UK based collective Four Chambers.

Four Chambers, or A Four Chambered Heart, produces adult material that focuses on DIY practices and non traditional bodies and narratives. Four Chambers is self-described by creator Vex Ashley as “deliberately ambiguous, rejecting labels for both (the) films and performers, existing in-between genres of both art and pornography and dismissing the need for a definition of either.”

After a successful collaboration between Boy Harsher and Four Chambers, with the film Archetype, Vex sought a direct collaboration between Muller. ‘Hydra’ is a short, sci-fi experience studying invasion and consumption. Muller’s score delves into the film’s dystopian attitude, utilizing eerie industrial tones and wet synthesizers. ‘Orgone Theory’ takes a more dogmatic approach: sexual scenarios confined within a metal box simulating the Wilhelm Reich’s orgone accumulator. In ‘Orgone Theory’, Muller embraces more of a rhythmic preposition, referencing the film’s dynamic subject matter and alluding early work by Patrick Crowley.

There’s no need to confine the score to particular genres, yet for context – within these tracks, Muller combines disparate soundscapes, melancholy drone, and minimal synth.

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Steve Earle and The Dukes “Ghosts Of West Virgina” (New West)

2020-05-14T23:35:57+00:00May 14th, 2020|

Ghosts of West Virginia centers on the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion that killed twenty-nine men in that state in 2010, making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history.  When asked about what drove him to craft his deeply evocative new album, Steve Earle says, “I thought that, given the way things are now, it was maybe my responsibility to make a record that spoke to and for people who didn’t vote the way that I did,” he says. “One of the dangers that we’re in is if people like me keep thinking that everybody who voted for Trump is a racist or an asshole, then we’re fucked, because it’s simply not true. So this is one move toward something that might take a generation to change. I wanted to do something where that dialogue could begin.”

In ten deftly drawn, roughly eloquent, powerfully conveyed sonic portraits, Earle and his long-time band the Dukes explore the historical role of coal in rural communities. More than merely a question of jobs and income, mining has provided a sense of unity and meaning, patriotic pride and purpose.

“I said I wanted to speak to people that didn’t necessarily vote the way that I did,” he says, “but that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything in common. We need to learn how to communicate with each other. My involvement in this project is my little contribution to that effort. And the way to do that – and to do it impeccably – is simply to honor those guys who died at Upper Big Branch.”

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Pole “123” (Mute)

2020-05-14T23:35:55+00:00May 14th, 2020|

Stefan Betke aka Pole’s holy trilogy of frayed dub experiments resurfaces for a 20th anniversary reissue, taking us back to smokey nights at the turn of the century and some of the finest post basic-channel dub echoes ever released. Essential listening if you’re into anything from Rhythm & Sound to Vainqueuer, Jon Hassell to Jackie Mittoo.

As legend goes, Pole took his name from a malfunctioning Waldorf 4-Pole filter which produced hisses and pops which weren’t really controllable or predictable, much like a living organism. Betke realised the potential and came to alchemically morph and render them with judicious FX dubbing into a groundbreaking sort of minimalist electro-dub that sounds exceedingly good with a spliff and glass of booze. Working somewhere between the variants of abstract techno on Chain Reaction and Mille Plateaux’s cutting edge minimalist strains, Pole’s first trio of albums inarguably helped lay the foundations for dub techno as it’s come to be known and are held in the highest regard by practically everyone who owns them.

The Pole aesthetic is patently laid out in ‘1’, where his organic clicks ’n pops come out to play accompanied by lilting organ and jazzy bass channelling Jackie Mittoo via Jon Hassell and Rhythm & Sound into a uniquely, gauzy, gaseous state. But for us, his sound really comes into its own on ‘2’, where the opening melodica motif still sends electric shivers down the spine and opens out into the kind of sculpted, layered dub bass that spawned dubstep, and flows out into myriad, mesmerising permutations, but this time swapping out the hazy licks for a cavernous, brooding melancholy (that really matched this moody teenager’s psyche at the time) and reverberated through into the more humid, drizzly and funereal atmosphere conjured in the equally spellbinding spectral dub metaphysics of ‘3’.

So strong was the impact of these albums on the late ‘90s underground, they even generated a “pastiche” that was unwittingly issued (and subsequently deleted) by Fat Cat on their split series, but was purportedly made by V/Vm in a snidey but frankly hilarious prank, albeit one that demonstrates just how ubiquitous and influential Betke’s sound was at the time. More than that, it’s fair to say the 20 year cycle hasn’t rinsed out the appeal of this triptych one bit; it remains one of electronic music’s most enigmatic and strangely moving, tactile bodies of work.

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Roza Terenzi “Modern Bliss” (Planet Euphorique)

2020-05-14T23:35:53+00:00May 14th, 2020|

One of the first visitors to Planet Euphorique, Melbourne-based producer Roza Terenzi makes her triumphant return with the first LP release on the label. A playful yet cohesive collection from post-electro and extra-terrestrial techno to dreamy prog-house and low slung zingers, bumping us into the new decade. Modern Bliss, the sound of Roza Terenzi fully realized.

Never shy to experiment with unconventional sounds or mingle influences, the album presents 9 offerings to suit every flavor of raver. Opener, “Jungle in the City,” takes down-tempo to a new astral plane with blushing pads and tumbling pixels, perfectly poised for a spine-tingling after hours sunrise.The title track “Modern Bliss” featuring Barcelona based singer/producer Ivy Barkakati encapsulates the dancefloor euphoria we have come to expect from Terenzi; in essence the energy of this release, contemporary jubilation and contentment amongst a chaotic world. Flickering percussion prancing above deep rolling bottom end, allowing bubbling stabs and synth sequences to lift Barkakati’s intoxicating vocals to dizzy heights. “Exactly where I need to be, my thoughts create reality” truer words…

Flipping it over to the B side things heat up, “Yo-Yo” chimes in immediately with a tough onslaught of metallic polyrhythms and a pulsating melodic bassline coaxing you down a path less travelled and preparing you for the sexy sub action that demands your attention, “That Track (Rewired Mix)”, buckle up to sweat. Sweet relief comes with the C side “Exhale”, dipping in tempo; esoteric atmospheres to fill your ears, something fresh to absorb with each listen. To close off the record, something old and something new, “Eternal Lust” a delicate ode to the lovers and from the vaults “My Reality Cheque Bounced (Feat. DJ Zozi)” – a raucous party starter serving up that label defining sound, futuristic and bombastic, tipping its hat to the break.

With subconscious salutes to the astrological world of OG maven Fiorella Terenzi, “Modern Bliss” invites you into an encapsulating, electronically ethereal universe. A record to summarize the myriad of diverse and evolving sides to Roza Terenzi, the full length allowing her to capture a moment in time with possibilities to transcend dance music expectations. It’s the listeners’ decision whether to take a personal introspective journey through the sounds – or share the bliss with friends, united strangers and all those who dance in harmony on the tiny Planet Euphorique

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Wanderwelle “A State Of Decrepitude” (A Strangely Isolated Place)

2020-05-14T23:35:52+00:00May 14th, 2020|

Amsterdam-based duo Wanderwelle presents their fourth full-length album titled A State Of Decrepitude. Inspired by the many aspects of impermanence and facets of decay, the duo composed their most intrinsic and detailed production yet.

After two successful albums on Silent Season and a recent collaboration album with Bandhagens Musikforening on Semantica, Phil van Dulm & Alexander Bartels have applied their talents to create a mysterious soundtrack focussed on the countless faces of deterioration. Recorded in 2018, Wanderwelle’s first electroacoustic album is an anthological approach to a theme that is inseparable from our current global crises.

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Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini “Illusion Of Time” (Phantasy Sound)

2020-05-14T23:35:51+00:00May 14th, 2020|

Daniel Avery and acclaimed experimental musician and Nine Inch Nails synth artist Alessandro Cortini announce their debut full-length collaboration, Illusion Of Time, set for release on March 27th via Phantasy.

The album is a beguiling and unexpected collusion of two sounds. Beginning as a collaborative experiment before the pair had even met, Avery and Cortini then worked remotely and free of concept or deadline over several years. The result, finally completed when both artists were touring with Nine Inch Nails in 2018, is a quietly powerful album rooted in trust, process and experimentation. The first fruits of their labour were unveiled last year when ‘Water’ and ‘Sun’ appeared online, subsequently released as a very limited 7” run that was sold at FYF Festival, Mount Analog in Los Angeles, Phantasy’s online store and Phonica Records in London. Both tracks are included on the album.

Pressed on a limited 180g transparent magenta vinyl, housed in an embossed sleeve. LP comes with an mp3 download inside the sleeve.