DJ Big Vado - "Camarate" (feat DJ Estraga) - (2:40) 150 BPM
DJ Firmeza - "Somos Todos Malucos" - (3:21) 144 BPM
London's pioneering Warp imprint has gone through many transformations and guises over the last two decades - all of them on-point, of course - but they've really done it this time with these Cargaa series, a batch of releases dedicated specifically to the recent Lisbon sound that has been jump-started by the Principe label. There's six smoking joints on here, all of them wet, wild and heavy on the Angolan-style percussion. The full marks here go to DJ Maboku's remix of DJ Lilocox's "Terraxo Electrico", a broken down mass of deranged and grimey house beats, and "Somos Todos Malucos" by DJ Firmeza that you gotta hear to believe!
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.
Fans of A/V pioneer Amon Tobin were thrilled when he broke a three-year silence with an exclusive Record Store Day release of Dark Jovian last month. However not everyone was able to get their hands on the luxuriantly packed double vinyl set, so now a digital version has surfaced to keep everybody happy. It's a stunning five-track cosmic soundtrack inspired by Tobin's obsession with space exploration movies and an attempt 'to interpret a sense of scale, like moving towards impossibly giant objects and planets turning'. Also included are haunting reworks by Lee Gamble, Logos and Eprom!
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.
The Best Things In Life Are The Simple Things - (4:12) 92 BPM
On The Edge Of Fidelity - (3:01) 57 BPM
Beatless Azur - (8:40) 58 BPM
Pentatonic Surprise - (3:38) 85 BPM
Spread Optics - (6:17) 70 BPM
Mood Filter - (4:36) 103 BPM
Being Enveloped - (5:49) 60 BPM
Indeed - (3:03) 79 BPM
Audio Arkiv has been doing an excellent job of unearthing and digitally reissuing Uwe Schmidt's (aka AtomTM) timeless electronics from the '90s. These latest 12 cuts to see the light of day contain yet more of the man's inimitable electro-acoustic sound design, a style that's been copied and unsuccessfully emulated by many. Each track is broken, sparse, wild and oddly humoristic, where AtomTM's grooves are both fluid and disjointed at the same time, a collection of truly experimental arrangements which are continuously surprising on each listen.