As a founding father of the Kosmische movement which paved the way for Tangerine Dream, Cluster and the emergence of techno some years later, Conrad Schnitzler is always worthy of more attention. When you delve into this reissue on Further (originally dropped in 2011) it's quite shocking how contemporary the music is, from the urgent energy and looping rhythm of the arpeggios to the haunting, otherworldly melodics. It's material that could shock, stupefy and seduce a modern audience, so one can only imagine what it must have done to a crowd some 40 years ago. This is audible time travel of the highest order for any serious lover of electronic music.
Most recently seen on the Banyana EP for Japanese label Speed Of Sound, Damon Bell returns to his more regular home of Aybee's Deepblak label with the HIM EP, blending his influences in Afrobeat, bossa and batucada into some decidedly mechanical dance music. "Ezuku" sounds like vintage Jamal Moss without the excess grit, putting high pitched percussive textures together with subtle African rhythmic influences, while "Babylonian Spliffs" drags its sluggish bass and lolloping beats across the ground like a wounded animal. On the flip, "What" sees something a little straighter, but as hypnotically abstract as any recent Joey Anderson production, while "No Deuce No Dose (reprise)" sees a driving sequence of linear bleeps and trilling synth siren joined by some dramatically dystopian chords. Highly recommended!
Speech Spirits (Oren Ambarchi the nagger) - (13:47) 88 BPM
The rapid rise of New Zealand artist FIS continues unabated with the inaugration of the Loopy imprint, showcasing a fresh set of productions that defy easy categorisation beyond fitting into the niche he has carved out for himself. "Speech Spirits" kicks things off with evil industrial tones and scrapes that swoop and tumble over a light sprinkling of beats, before "Knecht" continues into a pattering set of bongos and loping bass tones. Kassem Mosse then steps up for a remix of "Speech Spirits" that gives the German producer the chance to dart out into experimental territory to great effect, while Oren Ambarchi delivers a monstrous fourteen minute revision that becomes a kosmische-influenced journey of its own.
After several years of pushing the boundaries of experimentation within music, Matthew Herbert pulled a curveball few were expecting when he elected to return to his house music roots and continue the series of Parts releases issued under his surname as far back as the mid '90s. Part 6 was a sublime way to mark this return (especially "My DJ") and Herbert looks to be inspired as Part 7 feels every bit as good. Lead track "Bumps" sees Herbert working with Rahel Debebe, vocalist for Accident act Hejira, and the results have a similar charm to some of Michachu's early material though a bit more polished, a bit less ramshackle. "Sucker" is a killer DJ tool that will confuse people in the best way possible, whilst "Get Strong" is a typically idiosyncratic Herbert production with very few elements utilised expertly. Closing track "Pretty Daddy" sounds like old Roots Manuva track "Son Of The Soil" remixed by Jamal Moss (this is a good thing).