It's been six years since the last Xerrox album, but in the meantime Raster-Noton boss Carsten Nicolai has been busy dreaming up new concepts. The latest in the series is inspired by movies he watched during his childhood, which in turn led him to compose this soundtrack to an imaginary movie. It's hard to imagine Nicolai providing the backing score to a blockbuster and if anything this could be a substitute for narrative in a kids' fantasy movie. The ominous bass on "Xerrox Radieuse" sounds like the villain entering the scene, while the gentle bell tinkles of "Xerrox 2ndevol2nd" is the heroine's signature. Most impressive though are the swirling, cumulous-like synths on "Xerrox 2ndevol" and the orchestral strings of "Xerrox Helm Transphaser", which place Nicolai in the company of Vangelis.
Donato Dozzy has long been one of techno's most inventive and singularly minded talents. Even so, this latest full-length - his first since 2013 - is pretty conceptual. There's something more than a little Matthew Herbert-esque about Dozzy's desire to create an entire album out of the near operatic vocals of Rome-based singer Anna Caragnano. Using nothing but her voice - harmonies, solos, grunts, whispers, speech and dreamy freestyle passages - and a swathe of sound effects, Dozzy creates a rich, evocative, often spine-tingling range of largely ambient, otherworldly tracks. There are occasional rhythmic passages, of course - see "Festa (A Mattola)" in particular - but for the most part the Italian producer concentrates on textures and atmospheres. The results are rarely less than beguiling.
What a productive and satisfying time it is to be an Apehx Twin fan. Previously only available as a bonus track for the Japanese edition of his recent album Syro, "MARCHROMT30a Edit 2b 96" is more than worthy of a standalone release and so Warp have decided to issue it packaged with another two tunes. The lead track is a marvelous ballad of warm, crunchy production flair and heart wrenching melody, packed full of dynamic twists and playful fills. "XMAS_EVET1 N" follows in a similar Syro-compatible path of boogie-tastic synth lines, plaintive pads and crisp, funky drums. "MARCHROMT38 Fast" presents an alternative mix of the title track that simply ups the pace, but keeps everything else mighty similar.
Auxiliary's first vinyl experience of 2015, the "Veil/Unveil" series returns with four stark visions of the future. ASC lights the touch paper with an 85BPM swagger jam, all sheet metal snares and creepy vocal shots and Synth Sense follows with a warped, squidgy bass journey into the darkest pastures of the fractured beat fields. Further on Sam KDC goes all sci-fi with heartbeat subs and a rising bassline that creeps up alleyway-style before Method One closes the show with a deeper, cosmic affair where the palpitating bass plays the consummate beat bedrock as scattered drums ooze in and out of the mix.
Centrum is Parisian producer Bambounou's second artist album on Modeselektor's label and it shows two distinct sides to his musical palette. The album begins with haunting, glitchy tracks like "Composer" and "Fire Woman", before Bambounou moves into melodic, bleep-heavy sounds courtesy of "Excluding Natalia" and "SAC". Unexpectedly, the listener is shaken out of this stupor with "Each Other", a tough, hammering rhythm, "Oez", which is less direct but also revolves around a grainy, dense rhythm track and the glitchy techno of "At The Mirror". Just in case the listener is left in any doubt about Bambounou's musical duality, the album ends with the humming bass and tough percussion of "I Ride".
Following on from their reissue of his 1979 album, Visions of Dune, Infine has commissioned remixes of experimental artist Bernard Szajner's work. Irene Dresel turns in a chiming, droning version of "Gom Jabbar" from Dune, while UK duo Ghosting Season add wasp-sting acid lines and Middle Eastern call to prayer chants to "Zed". UK experimentalist Scanner favours an abstract take on "Rethinking Szajner", with wild jazzy signatures scattered over a broken down rhythm. Best of all though are the ambient interpretations of Szajner's work; Siavash Amini's take on "Shai Hulud" consists of layers of dreamy synths, while the Tyler Pope & Clara Moto remake of "Dune 2" is an irresistible, freeform ambient dub adventure.
Forged from a transatlantic exchange of sounds, pastoral house maverick Bnjmn and wayfaring noise wielder Best Available Technology have spent the past few years piecing together this album for Astro:Dynamics. Forming a logical middle ground between the two artists respective styles, De/Re-Constructions glides between atmospheric textural studies and plaintive, crackling leftfield house with ease. There's spinnable material available in the shape of "Tred", but this is largely a headphones affair to get lost in, from the cyclical twitterings of "Wired" to tense industrial reduction "Rift". It rarely stays in one place and yet never feels disjointed, which is impressive given the distinct minds at work on this unique project.
Can't Do Without You (extended mix) - (6:33) 64 BPM
Your Love Will Set You Free (C2 Set U Free remix) - (6:42) 60 BPM
Second Chance (Cyril Hahn edit) - (4:46) 63 BPM
Mars (Head High Core remix) - (4:54) 63 BPM
Mars (Head High Venus remix) - (5:38) 63 BPM
Our Love (Daphni mix) - (7:07) 63 BPM
Can't Do Without You (Tale Of Us & Mano Le Tough remix) - (7:36) 64 BPM
Some four years after Swims brought the work of Dan Snaith to the attention of a whole new audience, the London-based Canadian artist returns with a sixth Caribou album entitled Our Love. Staunch followers of Caribou will know that Snaith tends to adopt different sonic approaches with every long player (compare the psychedelia of Up In Flames with the more spaced out Andorra) but this latest album feels like a natural development of the club influenced sounds of Swims. City Slang call it Snaith's most soulful set yet, and that's certainly helped by the presence of compatriot Jessy Lanza, and like all Caribou albums there is something new that appeals with every listen. This digital version also come with six extra remixes, the highest profile being a joint rework by Tale Of Us and Mano le Tough, and better yet - two bangers from Shed's Head High alias.