Andrew Weatherall's Covenanza full-length, released earlier this year, was rightly praised as an atmospheric, largely impressive fusion of the veteran producer's many disparate influences. For Consolamentum, he's handed over the parts to those album tracks to some of his favourite producers, giving them instructions to stamp their own distinctive styles on his cherished material. The results are naturally impressive, with Timothy J Fairplay, Justin Robertson, Emperor Machine, Red Axes, Scott Fraser and Heretic - a rising star whose productions have been getting major rotations at Lord Sabre's A Love From Outer Space parties - each delivering fine interpretations.
Disclosure is Kassem Mosse's follow up to this 2014 debut long player, Workshop 19. Apart from further cementing the relationship with Honest Jons, it also sees him further pushing his already skewed house sound to the outer limits. "Drift Model" and "Phonenica Wireless" both sound like he took a hammer to the offbeat style on his previous album, while "Stepping on Salt" is just a series of malfunctioning computer blips and bleeps. Mosse finally ventures onto the dance floor with the rickety, haunted minimalism of "Galaxy Series 7", but it's only a temporary divergence and his sense of adventure returns for the broken down rhythm and broken drums of "Collapsing Dual Core".
NYC's FaltyDL has been constantly active over the last few years, with the majority of his music landing via his very own Blueberry imprint. He's prone to releasing EPs on the fly, so a new album by our beloved 'bass' producer is truly exciting. This is especially true as of late, because the artist has gradually moved away from the fidgety two-step-garage hybrids that he has been heavily associated to, and more towards a leftfield r&b kind of space. There are beat-driven, percussion-heavy grooves such as "River Phoenix" or "Frigid Air", but the majority of this album is drenched in a placid, soulful vibe that uses different styles of beat and arrangements to get its direction across. "Drugs" featuring Rosie Lowe, for example, will appeal to the soul enthusiasts as much as the dancers, while tunes like "Fleshy Compromise" might even get the coldwave jockeys to turn their heads. The point is, FaltyDL is in a state of constant flux, and this album is proof of the man's many talents.
The latest previously unheard Patrick Cowley material to get the Dark Entries treatment was recorded between 1972 and 1975, and made in collaboration with budding actress - and later feminist pornography icon - Candida Royalle. It was apparently intended for experimental theatre productions, and contains some of Cowley's most enthralling, out-there electronic experiments. Royalle's freestyle vocals take pride of place on the spacey, otherworldly opener "Candida Cosmica", before weaving in and out of Cowley's sparse, alien electronics on 12-minute "Shimmering (Where Am I)?". Perhaps the most inspired track of the lot - and that's saying something - is the proto-ambient weirdness of "Elementals", which makes great use of fuzzy radio records and curious modular noises.
While some associate Sasha's work to the late 90s and mid-00s, the veteran UK producer has never left. He's always been right here, at the centre of Europe's house scene. His recent LP for Late Night Tales, the glorious Scene Delete, is now under a process of remixing, and this comes as no surprise; why not reshape those dance floor tracks into something different, even more visceral. "Vapour Trails" is versioned by Kiasmos, and the result is a deep, harmonic house tune with a vast landscape of sounds at its core; Rival Consoles reshapes "Cassette Session E" by stretching the arrangement out to its very limits, and what we're faced with is a long and subtly-developing progressive house monster with a minimal edge. Excellent.
Unlike the majority of his Bristol natives, Phaeleh likes to go beyond his immediate remit, to express himself in ways that look further than half-step beats, kick drums and hollow sonics. This new LP for Undertow represents a true shift in mood from the enigmatic 'bass' producer, one that sets its focus on the simplicity of sound, rather than a convolution of beats and dance floor arrangements. This masterful album is made of a whole plethora of field recordings and electro-acoustic wonder, and it feels like travelling along a vast, desolate plane of sonics. We've been told it's taken the producer a long time to put together, and it's clear from the very start that this is perhaps Phaeleh's most focussed work to date. Let's hope this inspires a whole new generation of UK ambient producers. TIP!
with their new album, Mucho Danger, a ten-track excursion into the wildest, most far-reaching corners of nu-school breaks. Tunes like Ellas Son Satan", a sort of break-ridden, nu-disco-coldwave hybrid, make up the essence of this LP, and we love that because it's just s refreshing to hear artists doing things their own way. "Gipsy Drug" is another raunchy, progressive house driver, but the title tune "Mucho Danger" is what gets all our attention thanks to its lead vocal sample and fiercely tight bassline-drum roll. This is the sort of gear for fans of Plump DJs and Scratch Perverts. Solid.
Between Northern Electronics, Semantica, and Dimensional Exploration, techno deviant Acronym has built himself quite a reputation for conjuring the coldest, most mechanical sort of techno. In case you didn't get it, we think he's a master at the genre, and he's right up there on our list of favourite contemporaries alongside the likes of Abdulla Rashim. This new EP comes courtesy of the fledgling Auxiliary label, and it starts off by setting a cinematic scene through the hollow sounds of "Final Descent", a placid glow of harmonies which transform into an apocalyptic chain of metallic percussion on "Endless Horizon". "Walk Below The Waters" continues this mood, thanks to a jittering artillery of drums and hi-hats that have been glued together by the raucous, minimalistic melodies suspended in the mid-end of the tune, only to be washed-out in the comparatively more diluted and tranquil whirlpool called 'Wandering Aimlessly".
Mythical UK duo The Orb return after a year of silence, and they do so with their usual elegance and mystique. Kompakt is the imprint to welcome them back, a label to which they are now residents after years of releases on its catalogue. While the duo is primarily associated to beat-centric electronica and pseudo techno, their recent sound is sparse and exploratory, crossing the lines between drone and downtempo with utter ease. COW/Chill Out, World! is a journey in every sense of the word; the album goes from a selection of cinematic drone and deep ambience, to glitchy, distorted shades of power electronics. Moreover, this is a piece of extended music that truly works perfectly as one whole unit of music, from start to finish. In fact, we think it's the best thing these legends have put out in a while, and it makes us think that they'v never really been away, just preparing to deliver their very best. Recommended!
Warp, Hyperdub, Ninja Tune, and Planet Mu. Juno favourite Kuedo has done it all and seen it all. Being able to say that you've released on all those top labels must feel like a real accomplishment in his mind and, if not, we hope that our rallying cry at least tells our listeners what we think. He's back on Planet Mu with a new and highly anticipated LP, the masterfully named Slow Knife. His sound has matured a lot over the last five years, and the dude has gone from making interact post-dubstep beats to constructing veritable pop songs. Guided by his inimitable electronic twist, of course. To give you an idea, "In Your Sleep" is a deep, cerebral and utterly magnetic song that is a slave to no genres or styles, and one that could appeal across audiences; "Slow Knife" itself is also a beautiful crossover of many different sounds and ideas, all wrapped in Kuedo's singular haze. it's not similar to Burial in terms of sound, but Kuedo's clarity of thought and consistency of expression is certainly up there with the best in the game.
USA bass scientist, Distal, came to our attention with an album for Pinch's Tectonic back in 2012, and it's safe to say that neither he or us have ever looked back since. The producer has become an important player in the contemporary, post-dubstep scene, and that's because he never sticks to the same formula when concocting electronic beats; the variety of styles and influences that emanate from his tunes are constantly impressive. This new EP for Infinite Machine is a great example of his diversity as an artist: "Reebok Blood" is pretty much beatless and, instead of using loud drums as his tool, Distal manages to create form and rhythm out of broken, distorted sonics; "Hostage Track", on the other hand, is a pure hybrid track, mashing up elements of jungle, grime, and even a little bit of Chicago house in its samples. Big up!
Led by John Mills-Cocknell, and tied together by saxophonist Doug Principle, percussionist Allan Wells and drummer Malcolm Tomlinson, Canada's Syrinx project received a brief but monumental acclaim in the early 1970s. Their two albums from that era, the self-titled Syrinx and Long Lost Relatives, have become cult, synth-pop classics, and it's thanks to the RVNG Int'l label that we now have them recompiled into one gorgeous album. The music speaks for itself here, and we wouldn't be doing this magnetic piece of work any justice by trying to decipher its quirky, oddball beats and sounds to you with a list of adjectives. What we can say, however, is that as synth-pop goes this is a total winner. Also, you get a noticeable level of jazz and krautrock influences at its core, a feature that is usually missing from many synth-pop releases. This is one for the instant DL - warmly recommended.