More than a few eyebrows were raised when Sasha returned last year with an album of previously unheard ambient and IDM cuts recorded over the course of his lengthy career. Here, that set gets the remix treatment, with a mixture of scene stalwarts and rising stars behind the mixing desk. While there are some gentle dancefloor revisions - see Max Cooper's melodious and atmospheric tech-house interpretation of "Channel Deq" and Matthew Dear's hypnotic, late night take on "Pontiac" - many of the most rewarding and entertaining remixes are those that take a more horizontal approach. In this category, you'll find Sasha's own rising, near symphonic version of "Pontiac" and a stunning, standout mix of "Abacus" by Warp Records veterans Plaid.
People often forget that the widely-praised Robert Johnson club is actually from Offenbach and not Frankurt, a small town situated about 10 miles out of the city centre. Over the last few years, there's been a resurgence of talent emanating from the town, such as DJ Slynsgshot and his Yappin collective and associated artists like the Vincent Feit who opens the clubs thurd instalment of the Lifesaver series with a naughty little house melter called "X04". Across the comp, other RJ casuals appear, such as Massimigliano Pagliara with "Forever What", an aptly tropical house excursion, or Philip Lauer, Fort Romeau and the lesser known Felix Strahd. All in all, this is about the best house/techno compilation we've received all year and, like everything else the club does, it is an excellent addition to their catalogue. 10/10.
Bitter Music is Ali Wells's third studio album and manages the rare feat of combining experimentation with a focus on the dance floor. It means that the husky, breathy vocals and found sound ambience of "Exit" and the spooky tones of "Wax Apple" both sit next to the panel-beating techno of "Unelected" - possibly another one of Wells' political references - the eerie, rumbling drums of "Chatter" and the low slung menace of "I Just Can't Win". On other occasions, Wells articulates his ability to straddle both worlds in one arrangement, audible on the deeply disturbing shrieks of Aja Ireland over the gnarly rhythm of "Spit" or the tape dub cut up groove of "Rat Run". Ali Wells has matured as an artist but as Bitter Music shows, in the process he has lost none of his bile-laced anger.
Despite featuring what appears to be a refugee camp viewed from the other side of a fence on its cover, Vatican Shadow's "They Deserve Death" is one of its author Dominc Fernow's most mellow, introspective moments. Its layered guitar textures recall The Durutti Column's eponymous album and early New Order. Shifting the tempo and style for the title track, the author surprises again with what sounds like his approximation of jacking Chicago house, albeit with a man groaning away in the background. Completing what is one of Fernow's most unpredictable releases is the tunneling techno groove and layered, distant shrieks of "Weapons Inspection".
For the second release on his new eponymous imprint, David Kennedy serves up some more infectious oddball grooves that you have come to know from the man. On the brilliantly titled "Robin Chasing Butterflies", Kennedy does deep electro breaks with precision and style. Same goes for "Heal Me", but this one is even more hypnotic and ethereal in its melancholic grace. "Eels" on the other hand sees the formerly influential UK bass producer create a wonderful ambient soundscape conjured from the magic of analogue and modular machines to rather fascinating effect.
Although a prolific music-maker and contributor to countless collaborative projects, Posh Isolation co-founder Loke Rahbek has traditionally been reticent to release music under his given name. City of Women is his debut solo album, and sees him bring his brand of fluttering, experimental soundscpaes to Editions Mego for the first time. Taking electronic drone textures and field recordings as a base, Rahbek delivers a string of tracks that flit between dystopian, industrial-tinged creepiness and blissful, almost overpowering positivity. Just as you think you've got the album sussed, hel'll throw in a curveball, such as the heart-aching piano figures of the Nils Frahm goes lo-fi exploration that is "A Word a Day".
It's been nearly a year since experimentalist Tackle (AKA Australian exile Greg Steele) made his debut on Berlin-based imprint Another Dark Age with the acclaimed Benzedrine EP. This belated follow-up sees the producer transfer to A Colourful Storm in order to deliver two more eccentric assaults on the senses. with "Grondman" he crowds out homemade field recordings of Australian horse races with buzzing, Nine Inch Nails style guitars, fizzing electronics, dystopian textures and scattergun, thrill-a-minute breakbeats. "Smoke Point" is, if anything, even more robust and in your face, with Steele accompanying his usual fuzzy electronics and razor-sharp riffs with a hectic, techno style rhythm track.
Well, this is rather exciting. Some 20 years after the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop closed its doors, original members Peter Howell, Roger Limb, Dr Dick Mills, Paddy Mills and long-time collaborator Paddy Kingsland have recorded a new album. Made up of four long improvisations stretched across the album, the set was partly inspired by Francis Bacon's unfinished utopian novel/poem New Atlantis (a portion of which used to sit on the wall of the Workshop's studio, having been placed their by co-founder Daphne Oram). Typically, it's a woozy, trippy and mind-altering affair full of dystopian ambience, wayward modular electronics, intergalactic movements and deep space weirdness. In other words, it's the Radiophonic Workshop record we've been waiting for.
UK duo Patten are responsible for some of the most most groundbreaking IDM we have heard in recent times and the last several releases they've given us on Warp have been nothing short of amazing. For their latest offering entitled "Requiem", be prepared for yet more highly sophisticated sonic warfare, starting off with the brooding and mangled epic "Amulet" before the contorted and breakneck jitter of "Zoning" gives you a good slap about the head. Finally on "Rails" and "Swarm" they serves up some deep industrial beats that'll be perfect for a modern horror film soundtrack.. or a lonely early morning pursuit by a stalker down the back streets of EC1.
Originally released in ultra-limited quantities back in 2012, Moon's Milk in Final Phase was originally recorded by Electric Sewer Age members Danny Hyde (once of Psychic TV) and Peter Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle, Coil) in 2007, three years before the latter's untimely death. Here the EP of evocative, classical-influenced ambient works gets a deserved reissue on Soeleilmoon. There's plenty to admire, from the ghostly electronics and fizzing melodies of "Moon's Milk: Waxing" and drifting paranoia of "Moon's Milk: Waning", to the bubbly, early morning shuffle of "Moon's Milk: Passing". Arguably best of all, though, is epic closer "Moon's Milk: Dark Passing", a pitch-black trip into clandestine ambient territory.
Kirikoo Des aka NSDOS uses old audio converters, Gameboy emulators, pieces of metal dismantled and weld together giving form to surreal machines. Surrounded by his hybrid tools, NSDOS unravels the rectilinear anatomy of techno music. Textures are exploded, sounds mutilated and brought back to their essence. This sonic odyssey, NSDOS initiated in his native town Paris before exploring it deeper in Berlin. his new album intervenes as the completion of his organic vision of music. Inspired by meteorological stations and according to a principle and of biofeedback. Other influences include Japanese dance Buto, as well as his interest for biology and his experimental aura through industrial, sometimes nearly metal sounds. All these elements form the essence of whole new movement of which he constantly pushes the frontiers.