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We've come accustomed to Marc Romboy delivering fine, full-length excursions that join the dots between techno and house. Voyage De La Planete, though, is something totally different: an intergalactic exploration of ambient, electronica, and seductive downtempo compositions. It's a blueprint that guarantees hazy, head-in-the-clouds thrills, from the Nils Frahm style piano motifs of "La Lune Et La Etoile" and dark, clandestine throb of the Black Merlin-esque "Phenix", to the Namlook style bliss of string-drenched closer "Nocturne" - with its gently undulating beats and sweeping orchestration - and picturesque, break-of-dawn sumptuousness of "Atom De Danse". We're not quite sure why Romboy has decided to go in this direction, but we have no complaints: fundamentally, Voyage De La Planet is a superb set.
There's no doubt that 90s UK techno is popular again - just look at Discogs prices for confirmation of the renewed interest in this form. But what do those revered acts sound like now? The exhaustive 2016 compilation, Brainbox, did much to shine a light on those artists' current trajectory and this follow up remix package also does a fine job. The Black Dog deliver an atmospheric ambient take on Scanner's "Eros", while on Future Sound of London's "Monolith", a somewhat bleaker, dystopian take on ambience is audible. That said, classic UK techno also had a place on the dance floor; Kirk Degiorgio's tunneling take of B12's "World's End" - remixed under his Future/Past name - and Mark Broom's skeletal electro version of the same track show that nearly 25 years later, that this remains the case.
Out To Lunch's 27's 12" in 21 years sees another beautiful and highly contrasting v/a double-up. First we have Gunnar Wendel under his Kassem Mosse guise laying down a blissful, twinkling church-like serenade while OTL's own Black Point continues the twinkling, emotional theme but from a twitching, densely layered jungle perspective. Two sides of a very beautiful coin.
if there is one collaboration that we have bowed down to over the last few years, it's most certainly this new found friendship between London's Kevin Martin aka The Bug, and American doom metal guitarists, Earth. One wouldn't immediately make the connection between inner-city future-grime music and suburban stoner rock, but the two styles were in perfect unison, and this is because they're both fascinated with dark, looming clouds of bass. Whether that's through virtual synths or badass bass guitars, it doesn't matter, because the mood is mightily present. Concrete Desert is the alliance's debut LP, and it's all guns blazing from start to finish; tunes like "Snakes vs Rats" or "Metal Drone" represent exactly the sort of freshen-up that each respective act needed - on the one hand, The Bug could have done with some more external influences to the melodic constructions, while Earth needed a new framework to enter the minds of a new, European audience. We've dubbed this style 'metal drone', and we're pretty sure that it's gonna stick after you've hit the ol' play button. Top quality stuff - highly recommended!
Mistry enter album mode with a remarkable body of work from Kailin. A quantum leap from the floors the label has been denting, Kailin explores the post-club environment with dense weaves of textures and ghostlike vapours. Ambient in its nature yet spiked with fractured club echoes, it's an ultimately physical affair best experienced being as unphysical as possible. Highlights include the throbbing mechanical palpitations of "Chatter", the clunky glitches and alien designs of "Fracture" and the warped trickles and blurred cascades of "Disintegration". An intense move by all concerned.
Sporadic listeners of John Roberts' endlessly pleasing strain of house music might not know too much about the artist outside of his releases for labels like Dial. However, the enigmatic producer has been focussing heavily on his own imprint as of late, the eccentric and beautifully curated Brunette Editions. Roberts has only released output under his own name until now, so it's a refreshing hit of sonic adrenaline to see him venture under a new moniker, especially one as daring and convoluted as Body Four. These fourteen experiments are the product of cellos, sequencers, and vocal samples. That's it. And, as we always say, there is a distinct feeling that less is almost always more. Roberts manages to construct real songs out of these basic instruments, a collection of moving, concrete grooves that form into shape thanks to the producer's intricate use of pauses, effects and crafty pitching. Electronica doesn't really cut it as a term for the Body Four sound; this album is what we would call 'weirdo gear', and the most elegant form of it, too. Warmly recommended, and surely the best left field release of the month.
Here's something that should excite all those of an experimental persuasion: a recording of an obscure, 1973 "graphical" score for modular synthesizers recorded last summer by an ensemble cast that included Junior Boys man Jeremy Greenspan, Hot Chip's Joe Goddard, Simian Mobile Disco's James Shaw, and various members of the Floating Points and Caribou touring bands. We won't go into the arty premise behind Tactus Tempus, other than the fact that each musician - armed with a modular synth or other electronic music-making gadget - follows a different graphical score with mesmerizing and occasionally discordant results. The A-side "Tonal" version is a little more musical, with the flipside "Noises & Impulses" version resembling a thrillingly cacophonous collection of whizzes, bangs, and intergalactic pops