Electronic

Age “The Orion Years” (Hybride Sentimento)

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

AGE’s The Orion Years finally reissued to celebrate his 25th anniversary, originally released on Mille Plateaux in 1994. Hybride Sentimento invites Thomas P. Heckmann with one of his most prolific projects: an ode to ’60s German sci-fi TV series: Raumpatrouille Orion. A classic spacy and deeply electronic album by Thomas P. Heckmann. New artwork; includes two bonus tracks.

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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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HTRK “Over The Rainbow” (Boomkat Editions)

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

The mighty HTRK follow-up their recent Venus in Leo album with Over The Rainbow, their debut soundtrack for Jeremy Piexoto’s 2019 Scientology documentary. A rare and unexpected all-instrumental showreel by the shoegaze pop duo, their suite of original music is testament to a haunting soul that’s long lurked under the hood of their singular, hugely evocative sound. Effectively a sort of dream come true for HTRK’s legion disciples, the soundtrack strips away their signature vocals and drum machines in a commission to fit the mood of Piexoto’s feature — a film that seeks to better understand Scientology through a range of perspectives, from psychologists to former members. HTRK use their considerable knack for conjuring haunting, heavy-lidded feels and ohrwurm hooks to map the mood, deploying a trademark, incisive sense of detachment that colors the film’s intersection of real beliefs and ideas of Scientology as a sect. In the absence of Jonnine Standish’s vocals and Nigel Yang’s 808 boom, HTRK’s musick is pared to its essence of synths, guitars and electronics and painted in hazy, illusive strokes from a palette of smudged pastels mutual to both South California and the band’s native Australia. The result is a 13 part mosaic tiling hazy blue cues with aqueous ambient pads and baroque themes, playing out like the atmospheric strokes to LA noir in a way that silhouettes the film’s probing narrative and rhetoric and also reflects its fascination with American culture and the supernatural in a similar way to Eno’s ambient classics or Lynch flicks and their scores. Ultimately Over The Rainbow is an instant play-it-again entry to HTRK’s catalog, one that supplies a sort of crystal ball window onto their practice and most subtly illuminates the duo’s masterful control of tonal sensitivity and floating, chamber-like composition. RIYL: classic ambient music from the likes of Pinkcourtesyphone, Gigi Masin, AFX, Eno. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplate & Mastering, Berlin. Sleeve printed on matt laminate card stock; Edition of 500.

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Steve Roach “Quiet Music 3” (Telephone Explosion)

2020-03-13T20:35:15+00:00February 7th, 2020|

Quiet Music is a collection of pieces created by Steve Roach between 1983 and 1986 in respect for silence. The gentle electronics of Roach’s synthesizers mix with flute, electric piano and nature sounds flow like breath, enveloping the listener in a sustained, delicate and translucent atmosphere. Quiet Music was originally released as a three tape cassette series in 1986 on Fortuna Records and is now being issued as a complete series on vinyl for the first time ever.

After Structures From Silence was released, Steve was receiving invitations to create music for the emerging meditation yoga and healing arts community in Los Angeles. Quiet Music 1 was originally commissioned for a meditation video, which featured a collection of video images of lush forested areas, wild flowers and natural serenity. But by the time the piece was completed the producer passed away and the project was never completed. Quiet Music 1’s direct connection to a distinct environment set the tone for the trilogy of albums. Quiet Music 2 was inspired by Steve spending a lot of time in deserts and was created as a natural progression from Structures From Silence, and the more nocturnal feeling of Quiet Music 3 were pieces designed for Steve’s personal healing practices.

The Quiet Music series was released in a timeline that is often seen as linear but this music was created directly along side the dynamic fully electronic albums like Now, Traveler, and Empetus. In the early 80’s Steve would be shifting between the invigorating sequencer-percussive driven music and then move directly into weightless drifts and contemplative spaces. This way of creating grew naturally out of a desire to not settle into one place sonically and to nourish himself with a space that could be creative and fine tuned, creating a calm and renewing zone while living within the hectic pace of urban life in Los Angeles.

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Steve Roach “Quiet Music 1” (Telephone Explosion)

2020-03-13T20:35:15+00:00February 7th, 2020|

Quiet Music is a collection of pieces created by Steve Roach between 1983 and 1986 in respect for silence. The gentle electronics of Roach’s synthesizers mix with flute, electric piano and nature sounds flow like breath, enveloping the listener in a sustained, delicate and translucent atmosphere. Quiet Music was originally released as a three tape cassette series in 1986 on Fortuna Records and is now being issued as a complete series on vinyl for the first time ever.

After Structures From Silence was released, Steve was receiving invitations to create music for the emerging meditation yoga and healing arts community in Los Angeles. Quiet Music 1 was originally commissioned for a meditation video, which featured a collection of video images of lush forested areas, wild flowers and natural serenity. But by the time the piece was completed the producer passed away and the project was never completed. Quiet Music 1’s direct connection to a distinct environment set the tone for the trilogy of albums. Quiet Music 2 was inspired by Steve spending a lot of time in deserts and was created as a natural progression from Structures From Silence, and the more nocturnal feeling of Quiet Music 3 were pieces designed for Steve’s personal healing practices.

The Quiet Music series was released in a timeline that is often seen as linear but this music was created directly along side the dynamic fully electronic albums like Now, Traveler, and Empetus. In the early 80’s Steve would be shifting between the invigorating sequencer-percussive driven music and then move directly into weightless drifts and contemplative spaces. This way of creating grew naturally out of a desire to not settle into one place sonically and to nourish himself with a space that could be creative and fine tuned, creating a calm and renewing zone while living within the hectic pace of urban life in Los Angeles.

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Steve Roach “Quiet Music 2” (Telephone Explosion)

2020-03-13T20:35:15+00:00February 7th, 2020|

Quiet Music is a collection of pieces created by Steve Roach between 1983 and 1986 in respect for silence. The gentle electronics of Roach’s synthesizers mix with flute, electric piano and nature sounds flow like breath, enveloping the listener in a sustained, delicate and translucent atmosphere. Quiet Music was originally released as a three tape cassette series in 1986 on Fortuna Records and is now being issued as a complete series on vinyl for the first time ever.

After Structures From Silence was released, Steve was receiving invitations to create music for the emerging meditation yoga and healing arts community in Los Angeles. Quiet Music 1 was originally commissioned for a meditation video, which featured a collection of video images of lush forested areas, wild flowers and natural serenity. But by the time the piece was completed the producer passed away and the project was never completed. Quiet Music 1’s direct connection to a distinct environment set the tone for the trilogy of albums. Quiet Music 2 was inspired by Steve spending a lot of time in deserts and was created as a natural progression from Structures From Silence, and the more nocturnal feeling of Quiet Music 3 were pieces designed for Steve’s personal healing practices.

The Quiet Music series was released in a timeline that is often seen as linear but this music was created directly along side the dynamic fully electronic albums like Now, Traveler, and Empetus. In the early 80’s Steve would be shifting between the invigorating sequencer-percussive driven music and then move directly into weightless drifts and contemplative spaces. This way of creating grew naturally out of a desire to not settle into one place sonically and to nourish himself with a space that could be creative and fine tuned, creating a calm and renewing zone while living within the hectic pace of urban life in Los Angeles.

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Tnght “II” (Warp)

2020-03-13T20:35:15+00:00February 7th, 2020|

And just when we needed em most… they’re back. The alias of Hudson Mohawke (Ross Birchard) and Lunice (Lunice Fermin Pierre II), TNGHT’s crescent moon is appearing once again from behind heavy cloud. It has been seven years since their prodigious debut which accidentally changed the sound of the pop music caught in its wake. The pair of bedroom-producers-cum-super-producers come from Glasgow and Montreal and have aligned once again on a record which aims to chew up and spit out every influence in an exhilarating 7 tracks.
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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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Original Soundtrack “Maniac” (Waxwork)

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

Waxwork Records is proud to present MANIAC Original Netflix Series Soundtrack by Dan Romer. Starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, MANIAC is a 2018 psychological dark sci-fi series that follows two strangers who connect during a mind-bending pharmaceutical trial.

The soundtrack by Oscar nominated composer Dan Romer is an orchestral and electronic hybrid with incredible production and diverging sounds. Playful electronics alternate between fast moving and ambient synth work. Chasing percussion transitions seamlessly with dramatic, lush strings. The soundtrack to MANIAC is a textural playground that caters to any listener. Like the series, the soundtrack is cerebral, emotionally provoking, and hypnotic.

Waxwork Records had the pleasure of creating a deluxe 2xLP soundtrack package to MANIAC featuring 180 gram neon yellow and pink vinyl, old style gatefold jackets with overall UV gloss coating, printed inserts, and design by Aesthetic Apparatus.

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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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Peter Davison ‎”Music On The Way” (Fact Of Being)

2020-03-07T06:52:56+00:00January 31st, 2020|

‘Music On The Way’ was the Peter Davison’s debut in 1980 and has not been reissued since its initial release. A mesmerising ambient recording with just a touch of early new-age music in its finest incarnation. An absolute classic in the spirit of Iasos, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell and Michael Stearns. The outstanding mastering works have been prepared by Grammy-nominated Jessica Thompson which guarantees an immersive deep sound experience and an unforgettable journey inwards.

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Move D & Benjamin Brunn “Let’s Call It A Day” (Smallville)

2020-03-19T20:09:48+00:00January 26th, 2020|

Can music be classic and contemporary at the same time? Can it contain a secret genetic code in which the summary of the past, the present pulse, and the future view are hidden? Be ahead of its time and not lose relevance along the way? Let’s Call It A Day, the first album collaboration of German authors Move D (David Moufang) and Benjamin Brunn, proves it is not only possible hypothetically, but can also live amongst us. First appearing on a CD via Bine Music in 2006, it is now remastered here by Calyx and on vinyl for the first time ever. This is a complete piece built from seven sections, each one is a microcosm of unique textures, depth, ambience, emotions, programming, looping, and melodic rules; together they are a homogenous creation, a symphony that culminate in dance music experiencing elevation. Let’s Call It A Day, which in a way is the big brother of Songs From The Beehive (SMALL 001CD/LP) — their exhilarating installment for Smallville from 2008 — is an album above the Zeitgeist. The way Moufang and Brunn fuse different genres together without committing to any musical doctrine, makes them appear prophetic. However, it is in no sense a retrospect feeling; even at the time it was clear that the perceptions, experience, vision, and delicacy of this album were outstanding. Every element here, every frequency, rhythm, turnaround or keyboard tapping, is the material from which masterpieces are made of. From the opening meditative, ever-evolving loops of “On The Magic Bus” to the abstract drones of “Grains” with its almost nonexistent bass drum — like it was aimed to hit the ambient-house craze; through the mesmerizing dubbiness of “A”, which sounds like a rave ending in an echo chamber and the constant micro-movement of the arpeggios in the title track; “Ω”, which sounds like a soundtrack for a sinking submarine footage and the ambient downbeat of “C-Sick”, which melts your heart from within; and finally the closer — the fragile and elegant beauty of “Magnetically Leviated Train”. More than 76 minutes of diving constantly deeper and deeper. This new remastered version will feature a brand new and extra glossy Stefan Marx gatefold cover, that will give the perfect visual expression of the album’s timeless music. And If there was ever a downside to Let’s Call It A Day, it would be its lack of a vinyl edition. Well, this is exactly what’s being sorted out now, isn’t it? Gatefold cover.

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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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Bobby Beausoleil “Lucifer Rising” (Rustblade)

2020-03-07T06:53:08+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Limited edition LP version on red marble vinyl, housed in a gatefold sleeve with insert. “The original soundtrack for the cult film, Lucifer Rising, by Underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Composed by Bobby BeauSoleil who is joined in the performances by his prison band, The Freedom Orchestra, recorded 1975-1979 at Tracy Prison. The music of Lucifer Rising is closely linked with the occult elements with dark psychedelic mystical sounds. Bobby composed electronic sounds interspersed with interesting slow trumpet fanfares, keyboard wizardry and fine guitar solos. For sure one of influential soundtracks ever and one of the most important psychedelic ambient album of music history. Magical & essential. Artwork by Malleus.”

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Alessandro Cortini “Sonno” (Hospital Productions)

2020-03-07T06:53:18+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

2020 repress; gatefold double LP version. Alessandro Cortini is best known as the lead electronics performer in Nine Inch Nails’ live unit. His recordings under his own name have gained prominence in recent years and he has become known as one of the pre-eminent Buchla masters in North America. Cortini makes a surprising departure into the 202 on his debut album for Hospital Productions — Sonno. Sonno was recorded in hotel rooms, using a Roland MC 202 through a delay pedal, recorded direct, sometimes into a small portable speaker system. “I liked to walk around the room with a handheld recorder to hear where the sequence would sound better, turn on faucets, open doors or windows to see how the ambient sounds would interact with the MC 202/delay/speaker sound. It was very relaxing and liberating to make music this way.” The result is a beautifully restrained yet oddly emotive album that’s quite distinct from the overly academic approach so often undertaken by hardware-driven devotees. Mastered by Matt Colton.

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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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Nurse With Wound “Spiral Insana” (Rotorelief)

2020-03-07T06:53:34+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

Restocked; Double-LP version. 180-gram vinyl. Deluxe metallic silver gatefold sleeve. Limited numbered edition of 1000. Rotorelief inaugurates its Silver Collection with this deluxe expanded reissue of Nurse With Wound’s 1986 masterpiece Spiral Insana. One of Nurse With Wound’s most deep and mysterious recordings, Spiral Insana is more ambient and user-friendly than many other NWW outings, without losing any of its surreal edge. Stapleton and guests Robert Haigh and David Jackman mix prepared piano, percussion, loops, and various bric-à-brac into an hour-long collage of mashed-up sound, jarring juxtapositions, buzz-saw distortion, and even a pipe organ. If that sounds disorienting, that’s because it is. This edition marks the definitive release of the complete Spiral Insana sessions, with the contents of the original 1986 LP augmented by three recordings from the same period: “Mourning Smile” (originally released on the 1987 LP Drunk With The Old Man Of The Mountains and later included on the 1997 United Dairies CD reissue of Spiral Insana), “Nihil” (first released on the 1997 Spiral Insana CD reissue), and “A Missing Sense,” a 25-minute tribute to Robert Ashley’s Automatic Writing originally released as the NWW half of a 1986 LP split with Organum. Steven Stapleton: drums, cello, radio, guitar, bowed piano, percussion, loops, voice, tuba, organ, electronics; Robert Haigh: guitar; David Jackman: banjo, splutter, voice; Chris Wallis: acoustic guitar; David Tibet: trumpet; Diana Rogerson: voice; Andrew McKenzie: voice. Mastered by Denis Blackham. Cover art and pictures by Babs Santini. “Still stands as one of the clear highlights of Stephen Stapleton’s singularly daunting and mountainous discography. . . . Many of the varied interludes are noisy, fragmented, and somewhat abrasive, but there is always a playful sense of mischief lurking in the shadows, ready to blunder into the steadily darkening fever dream at any second. . . . a brilliantly skewed and excellent album that has not faded with age one bit.” –Anthony D’Amico, Brainwashed

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Muslimgauze “Lalique Gadaffi Handgrenade” (Staalplaat)

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

Given Bryn Jones‘s rather slack approach to track titles (both being consistent with and sometimes even just supplying them), it’s a bit of a relief to realize that two tracks with the same name are indeed related. In the case of “Arab Jerusalem”, which makes up nearly half of the newly-released Lalique Gadaffi Handgrenade, that kinship is immediately apparent even though both tracks are clearly their own experiences. Released as the first track on the Minaret-Spearker picture disc 7″ in 1996, “Arab Jeruzalem” (spelling also sometimes being fairly slack) is nearly six minutes of effectively shifting dark ambience, wordless female vocals drifting over the hand percussion, chimes, and static of the track, with eventual conversational loops discussing… something underneath. The end of that version is especially striking for the way the woman’s wordless singing starts being sampled in such a way that it overlays the whole track (and, slightly, itself). The almost 24-minute “Arab Jerusalem” here might be called the Deer Hunter version of the same story, building with great patience and many more abstract detours towards what now seems like simultaneously an excerpt and, now, a climax. As with many of Jones’ more ambient tracks, the great length just lets it cast its spell more thoroughly and entrancingly. The other three tracks, meanwhile, suggest some of Jones’ other work but never evoke them as directly as “Arab Jerusalem”. “Jordan River” is nearly as long (a second shy of 20 minutes) but strips out the vocal elements in its predecessor, focusing instead on a more active percussive workout (analog and digital both). The title track of Lalique Gadaffi Handgrenade might bring to mind the title of “Lalique Gadaffi Jar” from Libya Tour Guide, last reissued by Staalplaat in 2015 (ARCHIVE 031CD), but if they’re sonically related Jones must have practically melted the other track to get this one. And the closing “Desert Gulag” (like the title track, a much more manageable length than the first two epic tracks here) bears a slight resemblance to “Negev Gulag” from 1996’s Fatah Guerrilla, here what was a piercing, repetitive drone is softened and looped over more of Jones’ percussion. The result is a well-rounded release that shows off many aspects of Jones’ sound as Muslimgauze, while existing (like many of these DAT tapes do) in conversation with much of his previously released work. All tracks written, performed, mixed by Muslimgauze. Recorded, engineered, mixed by John Delf. Unreleased material. Edition of 700.

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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.

Woo “All Is Well” (Slowboy)

2020-03-07T06:53:38+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

“British brothers Clive and Mark Ives are WOO. They have been recording together since the 1970s. Over that time they have developed a sound wholly their own, combining acoustic instrumentation (primarily guitar and clarinet) and electronics in a way that makes their music both sound like being from past but also present and futuristic at the same time. Touching upon jazz, psychedelic, ambient and folk/pop idioms.Their work has drawn comparisons to Durutti Column and The Penguin Cafe Orchestra. They originally recorded two albums, the stunning 1981 debut “Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong” and the follow up nearly a decade later, 1989s “It’s Cosy Inside”. Inbetween they released a dozen cassette-only releases. Since the band has been redicovered by a younger generation in recent years most of these obscure releases had been re-released by various international labels. This album, entitled “All Is Well” is a new collection of unreleased material, mostly recorded in the 1980s. It´s poppy, upbeat, multi influenced music.” (label info) 200 black vinyl, Screenprint cover, handnumbered edition
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Recondite “Dwell” (Ghostly International)

2020-03-07T06:53:44+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

As electronic musician Lorenz Brunner sketched his vision for the first Recondite full-length on Ghostly in five years he took a step back to assess who and where he was as an artist. 2013’s Hinterland accelerated a progression — he’s since been touring around the world and releasing music with labels such as Hotflush and his own Plangent Records — yet, for him, the album cast a shadow of pressure that widened over time. As with most art forms, perhaps especially music, there is an expectation to change, to creatively pivot elsewhere with each project. After careful consideration, Brunner rejects this notion with his new work, opting alternately to use the icy Hinterland as an aesthetic and tonal template for a like-minded map of evocative compositions aptly titled after the German word “stillstand,” now presented as Dwell. “I am coherent with what I do, even if I’m not reinventing myself,” Brunner says contentedly. In regards to the album title, he adds, “It’s like when you’re on a hike and you stop and look at the scenery; you may know which path you want to go next but right now you are dwelling.” The title also doubles as a reference to everyday domestic life, a restorative haven for Brunner between tours. Like Hinterland, he incorporates a subtle range of field recordings to intensify the textural atmosphere. While he worked at home on “Mirror Games,” Brunner noticed the buzz coming from across the room, where his wife was using an electric toothbrush, naturally harmonized with the track. He decided to push that frequency further and record the device directly, syncing vibrations for added urgency across the propulsive piece as well as parts of the ambient “Interlude 2.” Windswept, moody, and melodic, moments on Dwell linger with emotional resonance. The title track sends an eerie synth loop through a field of techno kicks. The beats recede for a breather four minutes in as if to survey the surroundings. If Brunner pivots anywhere — possibly just a new perspective afforded by being confidently stationary in his craft — it’s by leaning more into hip-hop structures. He’s an avid rap fan and his love for those production techniques is notably present on “Nobilia,” a queasy shuffler (titled in reference to the Super Nintendo game Secret of Evermore), “Interlude 1,” which skitters in lockstep with contemplative synth chords, and “Surface,” an isolatory, ruminative sequence. The closer “Moon Pearl” soothes and shimmers like its namesake, a cherished gem in The Legend of Zelda series that allows carriers of the gem to retain their shape and essence in the Dark World. In an era where constant reinvention and highly self-reflexive brand awareness reigns supreme in the music industry, Brunner as Recondite does something many artists try to avoid, he dwells in his own established identity, one that has garnered him a devoted fanbase. His murky electronic productions, built around mirage-like pads and clipped drum programming, have proven to be highly functional and spectrally enveloping; Dwell is not a return to form, it is a further study of the shapes, it is the modes, and the structures Brunner has trademarked.

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Rap “Export” (Jolly Discs)

2020-03-07T06:54:01+00:00January 9th, 2020|

Free, fresh, rowdy-cum-wistful rave/blooz mutations from Thomas Bush and Guy Gormley (Special Occasion, Enchante), improbably applying hardstyle tempos to breezy, dub-scuffed pop songs with soca/funky-derived rhythms and eerie, ambient/folk textures (what?). Hashed out over a few sessions at GG’s studio over the road from us back in December, it’s a looser, spacier excursion than the duo’s last RAP outing, the brightly lit and tightly wound ‘Originals’ – and in true Jolly Discs fashion it goes down so easy it takes a few listens before the true extent of its craft and daring and attention to detail becomes apparent. Those of us craving more from Bush after last year’s banging Old & Red ought to be first in line – his distinctive young-druid vocals are used sparingly, but very effectively, here, while as co-producers he and Gormley deliver something more than the sum of themselves, folding upful, bashy UK house tropes into a more private, moody, crepuscular sphere – a world where floatation-tank techno chords, steel-drum vamps and LFOish sub-bass plasma-bursts co-exist with eldritch swirls of woodwind and stately, high-lonesome piano nocturnes. It could be music imagined from a point so far in the future, or by a civilisation so far away, that they perceive the temporal and cultural distance between Gareth Williams and Karizma to be effectively zero. Or just people making stuff to suit themselves, and kindly sharing the spoils with you>>>>

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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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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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Ragnar Grippe “Sand” (Dais)

2020-03-07T06:54:09+00:00January 9th, 2020|

Since its original release in 1977, Ragnar Grippe’s seminal debut album entitled “Sand” has been adorned with immense praise and influenced a myriad of ambient musicians and minimalist composers. Grippe’s unique approach of bonding post-modern classical composition into the tape techniques of musique concrète allowed him to be one of the leading experimental electronic musicians of the late 20th century.

Originally trained as a classical cellist, Grippe had relocated to Paris in the early 70’s to study at the famous Groupe de Recherches Musicales (more commonly known as GRM) founded by musique concrète pioneers Pierre Schaeffer, Pierre Henry and Jacques Poullin. Around the same time, Grippe had struck up a close friendship with French avant-garde minimalist Luc Ferrari. It was under Ferrari’s direction and guidance that the young Grippe started to build a shared experimental music studio, aptly named l’Atelier de la Libération Musicale (ALM), in which Ferrari shared his knowledge and instrumental supplies, thus forging Grippe’s implementation of harmonic tone within the confines of musique concrete.

After a brief stint of electronic music study at McGill University in Montreal, Grippe returned to Paris in 1976 to compose with Ferrari at the now fully-realized ALM studio. One of the visiting artists passing through the creative epicenter of the Cité Internationale des Arts during this time was the painter Viswanadhan Velu. Velu’s recent works consisted of various Sand paintings which were to be exhibited at the Galerie Shandar, the avant-garde art gallery and home to the Shandar record label which was the home to minimalist composers Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Cecil Taylor and Charlemagne Palestine.

Grippe was asked to compose a composition that was to be played during the Sand painting exhibition and was then to be released on the Shandar imprint in 1977. This release would be the first official album that would start Grippe’s career as a modern avant-garde composer and electronic musician. After a celebrated release, “Sand” has since been out-of-print on its original vinyl format for four decades and original copies fetch high prices amongst minimalist listeners and collectors.

Dais Records proudly reissues “Sand” by Ragnar Grippe on vinyl for the 40th anniversary of its original release, featuring new liner notes by the artist .

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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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Alphonse “Stolen Sunrise” (Emotional Especial)

2020-03-07T06:54:15+00:00January 9th, 2020|

Especial is delighted to welcome Alphonse back to the label for a third EP to again show his deep knowledge of the past to make a future. After the debut dub-breaks-poem of Same For Me and success of his warrior afro-dance Smokey 12”, Alphonse made new friends with acclaimed releases for Klasse Wrecks, Hypercolour and Tone Dropout, before here returning like a chosen one with four sun kissed blessings.

Before the fields of Letchlade, hills of Castlemorton or beaches of Skegness had witnessed Alphonse exploring the sounds of many a free party sunrise, summers were misspent travelling the “disco” buses of Europe, tripping the light fantastic from Spook to Amnesia, Disco Piu to Euritimia.

The music, shared experiences and inclusion all led to an acute understanding apparent in his production skills. Ambient dreamscapes, warm bass lines, 808 breaks, 909 kick, piano, flute and horn melodies atop all lift to the heavens. In Moan Up and White Pepper Alphonse takes, reshapes, rebuilds and rewrites to create anew, expanding minds and hearts like never before.

Long stories, short stores, a nod and wink, at its heart Stolen Sunrise is an EP of wonderful expression, a producer peaking, providing a soundtrack to share for those that look to the future horizons with love.

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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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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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Sa Pa “In A Landscape” (Mana)

2020-03-07T06:54:50+00:00December 13th, 2019|

“Rain, spit, ice, neon, plants, steam, mercury and soil. This is dream music categorised by a language of senses; visual, poetic, and abstract sound that draws on techno and dub ambient. Somewhere between pastoral impressionism and cyber-noir, its surface evokes the tensions of a fluctuating, fizzing atmosphere, pictures emerging and dissolving in the mind’s eye. Thick layers of field recording flood tracks fabricated from erratic, oddly distanced rhythm. The sensation whilst listening is not unlike hearing the world from a place within the body; swimming in the bloodstream, cutting through the turbulent landscape secure in a metal tube. Or being over-exposed to lushly textured environments with the anatomy far receded; an out-of-body experience where subtler senses are heightened and the landscape begins to take on surreal qualities.”

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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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Unknown Mobile “Daucile Moon” (Pacific Rhythm)

2020-03-07T06:55:02+00:00December 13th, 2019|

Daucile Moon, which follows Unknown Mobile’s releases on No Bad Days, Normals Welcome and Young Adults, started four years ago in Vancouver when Levi Bruce was recovering from a broken toe and collecting MIDI files he found in an old Geocities archive. It was finished earlier this year in Montreal with help from Mike Silver, AKA CFCF, who added plaintive guitar to complete the album’s placid and stargazing style of ambient and downtempo music.

The album takes its name from an old, obscure Canadian jazz song that Bruce describes as “pretty but also with a serious amount of melancholy,” which could also describe his new record. In the vein of Pacific Rhythm label-mate Khotin’s standout New Tab album, Daucile Moon comprises drowsy beats and spaced-out loops, referencing the pinnacle of early ’90s chillout and ambient while infusing it with the dazed sound of Canadian electronic music in the 2010s.

Bruce’s process in making Daucile Moon was long but leisurely. He took the melodies from those MIDI files and moved them over to his analogue outboard setup and then back to his computer, creating a digital-analog hybrid that sounds as pleasantly worn as a dog-eared novel. Live instrumentation, like Silver’s classical acoustic guitar stylings on “A Windless March Ouest,” mingles with occasional dance music references like the subtle acid squelch of “Ravers Sojourn” or the hazy breakbeat of “Oenology.”

The album was inspired by various happy memories, from sharing wine with friends (“Oenology”) to a dog that Bruce met (“Simone Can’t Swim”). The result is a patient and personal record that highlights the best qualities of Bruce’s previous work as Unknown Mobile, with his distinct style of melody and soundscaping set free from kick drums and the dance floor. It’s telling that Bruce originally sent the record, at first called Melancholic Songs For Dogs, to his parents and two grandmas—this is beautiful, relaxing music whose appeal is universal.

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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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Bochum Welt “Seafire” (Central Processing Unit)

2020-03-07T06:55:14+00:00December 6th, 2019|

For this new album, Gianluigi Di Costanzo, aka Bochum Welt, devoted himself to the pursuit of creating new sounds, using old monster synthesizers to produce original compositions.

This album is an evolution of the electronic style which characterized Bochum Welt’s releases on Aphex Twin’s Rephlex label. ‘Seafire’ collects futuristic electro / ambient tracks, alternated with cinematic soundscapes.

Gianluigi Di Costanzo says of the release:

“Since ‘Seafire’ is an evolution of the electro sound I worked on in the past, it seemed natural to release it with Central Processing Unit, the very cool British record label which is continuing Sheffield’s strong electronic music heritage.

“I’ve always been inspired by the Sheffield electro scene, many keyboard players I listened to in the past are from Sheffield: Martyn Ware & Ian Marsh (founding members of the Human League), Cabaret Voltaire and Mark White.

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Pye Corner Audio “Where Things Are Hollow” (Lapsus)

2020-03-07T06:55:20+00:00December 6th, 2019|

Martin Jenkins aka “the artist’s artist” explores emotive techno in “Resist” and “Northern Safety Route”, two tracks that coast through progressive arpeggios, slow pulsating beats and soaring pads. Meanwhile “Mainframe” and “Continental Drift” move through more ambient and melancholic terrains, two cinematic songs that are perhaps reminiscent of works by John Carpenter or Delia Derbyshire. In short, “Where Things Are Hollow” is a beguiling analogue electronica EP that is guaranteed to delight Pye Corner Audio fans and new listeners alike.

This special release will also feature the collaboration of two of the country’s most prestigious independent graphic artists, Alex Trochut and Basora, whose artwork for “Where Things Are Hollow” is sure to become a collector’s piece.

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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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Skin Crime “Traveller On The Road” (Hospital Productions)

2020-03-07T06:55:31+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Regarded by Dominik Fernow as the “best US noise project in terms of texture and composition”, Skin Crime return to Hospital Productions with an immanent inversion of noise convention exploring ideas of tense, slow-burn patience instead of aggressive intensity. Brutally active between the early ’90s and mid ’00s, Skin Crime took a 12-year hiatus until 2016 and the bloodshed of their instantly sold-out, 20CD boxset of archival material. That same year they also issued Ghosts I Have Been, a crushingly bleak album inspired by Japanese mythology and ghost stories which have paved the way for this new one, where the band’s Patrick O’Neil and Mark Jameson continue to refine their instincts into the dankest brand of organic ambient noise. In key with their ghostly Japanese muse, specifically the Bakaneko (1968) or Ghost Cat movies of the ’50s and ’60s, as well as the writing of Lafcadio Hearn, aka Koizumi Yakumo, the author of Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things (1904) — Skin Crime’s music in Traveller on the Road is all about presence and the suggestibility of hypnagogic and half-awake states. Their cold-fingered sleight of hand is applied to exceedingly fine layers of textural enigma in long, unbroken tracts that hold the listener’s gaze with frightening power. “Avoid Large Places At Night” takes hold with intravenous potency, very subtly drawing eyes to half-mast with its mechanical womb-like ambience, and stealthily introducing subharmonic rumbles and peripheral rustles that suggest unseen spectres lurking in a thicket of ghosts. A lack of sudden movement only ratchets the threat levels to seat-edge. Likewise, with its deeply soporific subs and texturhythms, the B-side’s “Black Cat From The Grove” continues to numb the senses in a noise style, but eviscerated of all open aggression, preferring a dense mode of suggestion that only emphasizes the unheimlich nature of their music. It’s a masterclass in saying it without saying it, and effectively amounts to a missing link between Kevin Drumm, Painjerk, and Mika Vainio, or even Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement and Meitei, that should not be missed by any fans of the above. Clear vinyl; mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

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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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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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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.

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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Ryo Kawasaki and the Golden Dragon “Little Tree” (Studio Mule)

2020-03-07T06:55:36+00:00November 29th, 2019|

A reissue of Little Tree by legendary Japanese jazz guitarist Ryo Kawasaki with his band The Golden Dragon, originally released in 1980. Some of his famous works are mellow jazz fusion masterpiece Tarika Blue (1977), dance jazz classic Trinkets And Things (1978), and cosmic new wave jazz Lucky Lady (1983). Little Tree, with his band The Golden Dragon, is probably the best album for fans of wired jazz, Brazilian, Balearic music. Japanese crate digger “Chee” picked this album as his favorite album from Japan on Resident Advisor. Little Tree is the first album that Ryo Kawasaki used a self-made guitar synthesizer. Rich in variety, Little Tree includes the Japanese Brazilian jazz fusion classic “Looking Around You”, experimental guitar ambient piece “Capricho Arabe”, the cosmic fusion of “Quasar Infection”, Balearic jazz masterpiece “You Are The Sunlight”, club jazz classic “Little Tree”, folky jazz vocal “Jamiko” — there’s a lot of great songs on this album.

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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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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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Mono/Poly “Monotomic” (Hit+Run)

2020-03-07T06:56:12+00:00November 29th, 2019|

Mono/Poly, a.k.a. Charles Dickerson, has become a staple in the electronic music community over the last +10 years. Known for his unique blend of interstellar, synth-driven, and textured experimental electronic music, he is inspired by everything from ambient to acid house, G-funk, and R&B. Charles has previously released music independently, as well as with respected labels Brainfeeder Records, Warp Records, and collaborated with almost every revered electronic producer in LA including Flying Lotus, Ras G, Thundercat, Knxwledge, among others.

Originally from Bakersfield, CA, Charles moved to Los Angeles in the early 2000s and came up in the Low End Theory scene, a weekly beloved (now defunct) underground experimental/hip hop club night. His debut record, ‘Paramatma’ (Taseful Licks Records, 2010), introduced his unique perspective on electronic music seen through the lens of astral soundscapes, Eastern philosophy, metaphysics, and politics. This first release would pave the way for collaborations with Ras G, Thundercat, Flying Lotus and ultimately a record deal with Brainfeeder in 2011.

Since 2011, Mono/Poly has continued to steadily release music both collaboratively and solo, garnering praise from Pitchfork, Fader, the BBC, Stereogum, Resident Advisor, among others. Charles has also established himself as part of the respected print crew HIT + RUN; featured on Thundercat’s “Heartbreaks + Setbacks” (Apocalypse, 2013); produced music for Grand Theft Auto’s soundtrack; contributed to Kendrick Lamar’s surprise album (‘untitled unmastered’); and launched a joint project with London-based vocalist, Alyss.

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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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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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Vatican Shadow “Kuwaiti Airforce” (Hospital Productions)

2020-03-07T06:56:18+00:00November 22nd, 2019|

The rarest of all Vatican Shadow’s tape releases (only 25 were made), Kuwaiti Airforce now appears on double vinyl alongside obscure cuts and previously unreleased collaborations with Silent Servant and Demdike Stare in the fourth vinyl collection of early, hard-to-find VS editions. Back at the start of this decade the underground conversation between noise, techno, and ambient music manifested definitively through Vatican Shadow’s eerily evocative glut of tape releases for Hospital Productions. Clad in militaristic imagery and titled after phrases lifted from media articles about the War On Terror, the project became one of very few to contemporaneously attempt to musically reflect the state of international geopolitics, and did so in a manner that resonated with the subversive post-industrial music and politics of Muslimgauze and Whitehouse — who were both key touchstones for Dominick Fernow (Prurient, Vatican Shadow, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement). The Kuwaiti Airforce tape which lends this set its title was only available in edition of 25 copies at Vatican Shadow’s September 29, 2012 show in LA with Silent Servant, Demdike Stare, Andy Stott, and Kangding Ray. Its two bombed-out blasts of rhythmic noise are now available on the first disc here, backed with two previously unreleased works written in 2012: a deep, rolling techno collaboration with Juan Mendez, lodged somewhere between his Silent Servant output styles for Sandwell District and the seminal Negative Fascination LP (HOS 357LP); and a more messed-up, sub bass-mired rework by Demdike Stare, who were still clearly in the mood surrounding their classic Elemental LP (LOVE 1077CD). The second disc however highlights cuts from earlier and more obscure releases, rounding up two powerful, even darkly romantic pieces of sturm und drang from 2010’s Around The Dragon’s Broken Neck… double-cassette, plus his opiated half of a split with Contrepoison and a cranky grinder that was only found on the White Eye Of Winter Watching compilation, both issued by Hospital Productions in 2011. Mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

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Santilli “Surface” (Into The Light)

2020-03-07T06:56:36+00:00November 22nd, 2019|

For the latest release in their ongoing International series, Into The Light Records takes the listener to Sydney and the dreamy, softly spun musical world of talented multi-instrumentalist Max Santilli. Surface is Santilli’s debut album following years spent working alongside Jacob Fugar in Ken Oath Records-signed downtempo duo Angophora. It draws on a personal archive of home recordings made between 2016 and 2018 using a range of guitars, synthesizers, and acoustic percussion instruments. As you’d perhaps expect, it’s an intimate and personal set that wraps drowsy, slowly-shifting musical flourishes around gentle, sun-kissed rhythms and suitably spacey chords. Santilli offers subtle nods towards his various inspirations — think the mesmerizing ambient-jazz fusion of Michael Bierylo, Steve Hillage’s timeless early ambient works and the intricate acoustic guitar playing of Steve Tibbetts and Miguel Herrero — while forging his own distinctly lo-fi and otherworldly path. As a result, Surface is an album of impressive depth and diversity, held together by Santilli’s reflective, emotion-rich vision.

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