Skip Navigation

 
Reviewed this week
Tronik Youth's Nein is the go-to label for anyone who loves punky alternative electronic dance music. The anti EDM label if ever there was one, here they bring us Inside The Outside by the Berlin-dwelling Pardon Moi (aka James Brook & Thomas Freudenthal). The title track is a hauntingly stunning cold wave lament in the vein of early 80s band New Musik. Low Manuel turn the tune into a minimal electro-pop ballad and Dombrance fleshes it out with beefy beats and synth pads. Meanwhile "Hot" is pure late 70s analogue electronics that's given a glammy electroclash makeover by Aida.
Desire Records head honcho Ricardo Tobar is back but this time on Jennifer Cardini's unstoppable Correspondant; and why not right? The South American producer's penchant for classic 80s retro sensibilities of the synthpop, darkwave and EBM kind are right at home on this label given the niche its carved out in recent times. On "Red Sea", Tobar delivers something that sits somewhere between techno and early 90s goth; its tough four to the floor stomp supporting some soaring new romantic synth leads to stunning effect. "Eleven" goes all cosmic on us with soaring arpeggios and elevating analogue pads taking you direct to the stratosphere, while "Alvear" goes out all guns blazing with its grinding and resonating modulations: frantic, rapid fire 909 rhythms go off Plastikman style circa "Plastik".
Larry McCarthy aka Bruce has previously released on Livity's offshoot and Hessle Audio, so it makes sense that he would appear on Hemlock. This three-tracker starts with the melancholic, downtempo "Before You Sleep", which sounds like it could have featured on a Portishead B-side, especially as it radiates low-end menace as it progresses. McCarthy gets down to dance floor business with "In Line". Frenetic rhythms and steely drums collide with dubbed out, filtered effects to create a tripped out dance floor roller. "Sweat" is another unexpected track, with McCarthy fusing haunting sound scapes with dissected, abstract rhythms.
Le Car is the side project of Ian R. Clark & Adam Miller: one half of Detroit electro punks ADULT. and co-owner of the seminal Ersatz Audio. Here Dutch retroverts Clone Classics compile some of the duo's finest moments over the years between 1996 - 2000 and believe us there's many. Where the project differs from Miller's main musical outlet is less emphasis on punk/cold wave aesthetics (as he did with Nicola Kuperus) and more focus on tougher/grittier Detroit electro-funk grooves. The dirty subterranean boom and snap of "Audiofileeight" from 1996 is as aquatic as anything Drexciya or Ectomorph were doing at the time, "#15" from '97 is where the synths get more wacky and dope sounding: like something out of Space Invaders on acid. Another great example is "Cinematic-Automatic" from '98 which is the best example of deep, dark and minimal electro in the same vein as homegrown heroes Dopplereffekt.
Manchester's Alex Lewis has been seen on a few local event posters over the last few years, but this is very much the man's debut release. The striking part of it all is that it comes through courtesy of one of the UK's most respected labels, the Boomkat-associated Modern Love. Turinn is the moniker he's riding under, and this new album, 18 1/2 Minute Gasps, the exactly the sort of raucous, off-the-wall material that the imprint specialize in. "Ovum" sets the scene perfectly with its jittery succession of roughed-up drums and sporadic bass shots, a raw and improvisational technique that's carried through on other dope joints like "Elba" or "1625" - the latter of which even tests the deep house waters with a little menace. It's a prototypical dance-not-dance album; a masterful 10-track affair that'll appeal to both the more gifted DJs, and the straight-up leftfield fiends. Excellent.
Unless you're of a certain age and/or musical disposition, it's unlikely you'' know of Simon Fisher Turner outside of his extensive list of releases for the mighty Mute label. However, the man was an influential figure in the late 70s synth-pop scene, and continues to cast a significant presence over modern labels, such as the present - and ever-impressive - Editions Mego, out of the USA. His new LP, Giraffe, is a wondrous, interdisciplinary excursion that merely uses the ambient framework to create room for the tonnes of field recordings guiding the tracks out of the darkness and into the light. At times, it's a tough, foreboding affair, but Fisher's style contains enough human elements to render the sinister moments strangely appealing and, it would be fair to say, almost beautiful. This is the perfect starter-pack for anyone wishing to blend the worlds of ambient and noise under one roof.
Portland duo Visible Cloaks present their debut album on NYC's RVNG ITNL. Comprised of Ryan Carlile and Spencer Doran, they compile an hour of literal and figurative musical interpretations much in the tradition of their previous work. Divided into Day and Night sides, the former fuses Japanese music through deconstructed human voices plus contributions from peers and contributors such as Mat Carlson and Motion Graphics. The Night side 'bends introspective with choral music from the Eastern Bloc, Italian spiritual minimalism, and early software-based generative music experiments'. Incorporating an international array of virtual instruments to advance the idea of pan-globalism through digital simulation, tones and colors cohere into a living, breathing pool of sensorial experience in the duo's environs.