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13 May 13
Review: Making for a matching with hard-to-imagine results, Mala gets the remix treatment from James Blake in his Harmonimix guise and issues it forth on his own Deep Medi imprint. It's a bold treatment from Blake, who teases the track to life on a twee arrangement of music box chimes and tones, while a central vocal coos out the dominant melody. There's a mid-section with the only discernible slither of beat which sounds like familiar Blake territory, not least through the bluesy keys vibe that it carries. However, it's the monolithic brass-aping clarion call which comes steaming in to steal the show, trumping out its orders in a suitably epic fashion which is nothing if not rousing.
07 May 13
Review: It's another meeting of different Italian disco generations as cosmic disco veteran Daniele Baldelli and young(ish) hotshot Marco Dionigi team up for another joint EP. "Cosmic Efficacy" is a linear arpeggiated electro-disco journey to the stars, complete with electro-housey drum fills. In its "Slow Motion Remix" guise the tune is even spacier and highlights it's Moroder-isms even more. "Parallelo" on the other hand is much more abstract, with retro films samples woven over a coarse, electronic backdrop that resembles distorted cosmic interference. Far out!
06 May 13
Review: Returning to Nicolas Jaar's Clown And Sunset stable after his debut in 2011, Valentin Stip is delving into more of his folky electronica with excellent results. "Wit(z)" floats suspended in a murk of melancholic elements before a more discernable rhythm cuts through to bring the track into focus. "Hiathaikm" is a more low-slung affair that revels in mournful keys and a delicate beat, while "Angst" is a bold study of reverbs and the vocals that fuel them. Across the whole release, introspection is the driving force, reaching for a rich spread of instrumentation and sound sources through which to weave a sad but engaging tale.
07 Feb 11
13 May 13
Review: The ultra-magnetic, ultra-talented trio, Factory Floor, team up with Peter Gordon for their second release on the sublime Optimo Music. Gordon is one of those guys who can play just about anything and "Beachcombing" is one of those sultry synth rides that'll leave your brain melted on the side of the subwoofer - aided herein by the additional contributions of Gabriel Gurnsey and Nik Kolk Void - now that's a package! The ride is majestic as it is dark and mysterious, with waves of polyphony wrapped all over its ominous and crumbling arrangement - a marvel! "C Side" features Dominic Butler and takes a slightly lighter approach to things, combining a crooked half-step slant to more cheery pastures - a field of sax melodies and cascading synth bleeps! CHECK!
17 May 13
05 Apr 13
Review: For their next trick, classic cult label Honest Jon's serve up a collection of field recordings of the Mijikenda tribes, made in different spots in and around Mukunguni village, coastal Kenya. There's 14 in total, and it proves a fascinating listen: first track, the creepily percussive "Ndema" is played to sound like a bat, with shrill frequencies intended to heal the village sick, the chant of "Dena" is haunting, "Matatizo" is fantastic acapella pop, while elsewhere multi drums are utilised to chase away "Pepo Mlume", the devil who poisons the imagination. Essential listening.
06 May 13
Review: Whilst it might seem initially surprising that Actress has contributed these remixes for the new Jack For Daze release, Danny 'Legowelt' Wolfers has spoken widely about his admiration for Actress; calling his work "futuristic and advanced", it makes perfect sense that Clone should now extend an invitation to the Werkdiscs boss to remix material from Legowelt's recent album The Paranormal Soul. Actress has offered up two versions of "Elementz Of Houz Music," a track that perfectly encapsulates Legowelt's mastery of melodic, part-mysterious, part-cheesy synth lines. The first remix has Cunningham shuttling Legowelt's arrangement through a cloudy car wash of hissy mist, chopping up the original into his trademark cubist techno; this dovetails nicely with his second 12 minute offering. Markedly more drastic, this offering slows down the synths, kicks and percussion to a drunken stupor, with the results not unlike playing a 45rpm record incorrectly at 33rpm.
10 May 13
24 Feb 12
Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer - "Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer Meet Shangaan Electro" - (9:14)
Review: Shangaan Shake is the complete document of the remixes Honest Jon's commissioned to pit leftfield Western artists against the Shangaan electro of South Africa. It's an all-star cast, from house heroes to dubstep tinkerers. Mark Ernestus turns out an elegant slice of dub techno, while DJ Rashad and RP Boo throw down a sweaty slice of footwork action, and Peverelist plies a typically complex rhythm at a slower, seductive tempo. Out of all the remixers, Theo Parrish is the one unafraid to maintain the original BPM, which leaves his remix stark against the multitude of other tracks. Essential.
03 Jun 11
30 Apr 13
Review: The ever-interesting Eddie Ruscha returns with a new Secret Circuit full-length, the first on Tim Sweeney's excellent Beats In Space imprint. Given the usually vivid style of his psychedelic electronica, it's no surprise to find that Tactile Galactics is a mesmerizing trip from start to finish. Ruscha darts between kaleidoscopic space disco, wide-eyed shoegaze house, analogue psychedelia, touchy-feely ambience and intense, druggy Italo, somehow shoehorning 25 years of musical misadventure into 70 spellbinding minutes. It's bold, melodic, hypnotic, beautiful, blissful, intense, inspiring and exciting. Put simply, Tactile Galactics is a great album.
13 May 13
Played by: Tom (Shur-I-Kan) Szirtes
13 May 13
Review: Some two years after his last LP, Bibio is back with Warp unfurling more of his tape-warped wisdom for those more reflective moments in your life. It's a mellow affair at nearly every turn, from the distant shoegaze malaise of "Dye The Water Green" to the purposefully MOR folk of "Raincoat", but there's still some cheeky fun to be had in between the more introverted spells on Silver Wilkinson. For example "You" gets busy with radio-busting vocal and orchestral snippets with an end result that feels compatible with the more imaginative corners of mainstream hip hop and R&B production. Really though, listening to Bibio is all about getting wrapped up in the pastoral dreamworld he inhabits, where songs can be songs, singers can be singers and sound sources can come from anywhere.
01 Jan 00
20 Aug 12
Played by: Stupid Human, Brisa, Chris Coco, Juno Recommends Leftfield, Enzo Canale, Paul Barkworth, Astroboter, Nick Warren, Ogris Debris, Amirali
Review: Primarily comprised of previously vinyl-only tracks released by Kieran Hebden on his own Text imprint over the past 18 months, you'd be forgiven for wondering if Pink should be treated as a proper Four Tet album or not. The answer is an emphatic yes; although several of these tracks are more dancefloor focused than we've seen previously, the melodies and textures are unmistakably Hebden. "Locked" for instance has the loose rhythmic structure and bass weight of dubstep but the kind of acoustic textures of his Rounds era material, while "Lion" combines Border Community style minimal techno with the unmistakable Hebden glockenspiel. "Jupiters" experiments with swung garage beats in an unmistakably UK Bass style, while "128 Harps" is a whipcrack MPC workout given his light melodic touch and "Peace On Earth" is a beatless 11 minutes of analogue kosmische. But it's the centrepiece of Hebden's Fabriclive mix, the brilliantly moody "Pyramid", and the loose limbed jazz-house of "Pinnacles" that really set this album apart from his other long-playing efforts, two examples of timeless dance music which demonstrate why after nearly 15 years in the game Hebden is only improving with age.
VERO ARTIS 4
02 Mar 12
Review: Dissident lives on! Well, kind of. Andy Blake's cult imprint shut up shop in 2009, but returns here with a digital compilation of Dissident gems plus two cheeky, previously unreleased Juno Download exclusives. Blake has secured a reputation as a no-nonsense individual with an encyclopedic knowledge of electronic music, and his selections here form a soundtrack of sorts to his ongoing World Unknown parties in Brixton, South London. As well as previously hard-to-find gems from Photonz, Naum Gabo and Blake himself among others, you'll also find a brand new version of the killer mind-warp techno of "Colombia No1". The second previously unreleased track is from Blake's new label Cave Paintings, which carries an ethos of raw, stripped back house sounds recorded in the old school fashion (analogue gear, one take). Serious tuneage here folks.
07 Jan 13
Review: For her latest long player, Tokyo Dawn informs us that this Swedish-Canadian soul singer and 'first lady of modern funk", opens up wider than ever before. We'll assume they mean musically, and if so, they couldn't be more right. In a big leap from her Art Slave album, this newie sees her collaborate with a pan-international selection of artists hailing from a as far afield as Detroit and Senegal. Highlights include the bonkers stop-start romp of "Just Like Magic", the otherwordly synth-jazz of "One" and the glistening, slow (e)motion overload of "All The Funk I Need (Stray mix)".
18 Mar 13
Review: Atom TM as been doing his thing for a long time now, as has German label Raster-Noton, putting out everyone from Simian Mobile Disco to Thomas Brinkmann and Mika Vainio - a considerably diverse spectrum of artists to say the least. As you'd expect, nothing is ever clear or easy with Atom TM's music, starting with the French library sample vocals of "Pop hd" and immediately changing mood to a sort of Kraftwerkian synth workout on "Strom". But it doesn't end there; all the tracks are incredibly different and ripe with opposing influences, such as "The Sound Of Decay", a perfect unison of noisy drones and semi-guitar-led harmonics; or indeed the quasi Detroit electro basslines of "Riding The Void" which lead up to the euphoric sampled hymns of "My Generation" - hd is a must check album of serious krautrock meets synthpop meets electronica.
24 Apr 13
Played by: In Flagranti
Review: Zero confirms what this writer had long thought about Subjected: he inhabits a world where darkness reigns. Indeed, the tone on Zero is predominantly bleak; from the white noise of "M" and the slowed down, scraping rhythm of "Vx800" to the hammering drums and slamming rhythm of "Tool 1", the wild analogue yelps of "SD 1" and the searing bass and stepping rhythm of "Vault 101", the album is not designed to chill out at home to. But that doesn't mean it is throwaway or disposable, and alone the epic chord builds and sheet metal percussion of "Concept 3" is more powerful than a warehouse full of drone albums.
11 Feb 13
29 Apr 96
01 Sep 08
13 Nov 11
Review: Since their rebirth a few years ago, R&S have been at the forefront of a new wave of exciting dance music, being instrumental in pushing names like James Blake, Blawan and Space Dimension Controller into the collective consciousness. This compilation sees them revive their long running In Order To Dance series, with a monster 22 track compilation; 12 tracks of selected highlights from the last 18 months of R&S releases, with modern classics such as James Blake's "CMYK", Untold's "Stereo Freeze" and Space Dimension Controller's "Transatlantic Landing Bay" all receiving pride of place. But it's the 10 unreleased tracks that will excite most, with contributions from the whole roster. There are numerous highlights; the piano riff of Lone's "Cobra" is as deadly as that on any of his previous productions, The Chain's "Suffer For Your Art" evokes the Detroit masters of the original days of R&S and Pariah's "Left Unsaid" sees the young producer move away from the UK garage inspired Safehouses EP to explore dense, claustrophobic textures. In a word: essential.
24 Sep 12
Review: After two very successful instalments of the Electr*c series thus far, Gilles Peterson returns with another chunky selection of artists that fit into the less organic side of his taste-maker tendencies. This time it seems that he has dug especially deep to find some fresh talent, so unfamiliar are the names on the line-up. In terms of style, there's a tendency towards rich melody across the board, from Aftawerks engrossing mellow acid workout to the contemplative juke dazzle of Jaded Laur, but there's also space for some more primal club tracks. Just check the ghetto tech flex of Frank Rodas' "Kick It VIP" for all the proof you need.
29 Jan 13
Review: QD boss Diogini continues his never-ending groove campaign with this deeply trippy homage to the unknown residents of deep space. Opening with the Kraftwerk electro hymn "The Way For New Dimensions", we're soon sucked into Diogini's audio telescope, watching the funkiest planets the universe can offer. From Planet Nu Disco ("Mental") to the wonky Planet Far Out "This Is Magonia" via the good old Planet Cosmic ("O Zero O") this is a one-way ticket into the deepest of space.
17 Dec 12
Played by: Jt86
Review: On Voices From The Lake, Donato Dozzy and Neel have created a sound that is both familiar and alien. In places, the album is reminiscent of 90s trance and ambient techno and there are moments where this writer was convinced that he had heard specific references to Swedish producer Patrick Sjeren's long forgotten Trax Beyond Subconscious project. Thankfully though, Dozzy and Neel have taken such sources as starting points and added their own 2012 perspectives. On "In Giova (Alternative Mix)", this takes the form of menacing bass pulses and restless acidic squeaks. "Twins In Virgo" meanwhile is more direct, with a rippling bass underpinning spacey synths and "Circe & ST" resonates with chiming bells emerging from the understated, stripped back rhythm.
13 May 13
01 Jun 95
19 Feb 13
Review: Andrew Field-Pickering is a unique talent. Under the Maxmillion Dunbar guise, he's treated listeners to a string of gorgeously kaleidoscopic releases that join the dots between sparkling electronica, E'd-up disco, next-level Balearica and effervescent deep house. With Woo, his first release for RVNG INTL, he's at it again. "Woo" is deliciously fluid, pitting brightly coloured electronic melodies and darting synths against stuttering drum machine rhythms and cascading chords. The beatless "Shampoo" is similarly lucid, delivering a steamy tropical shower of glistening electronics and synthesized steel drums. It's only the formidably robust "Drift" - a Disco Nihlist-ish exercise in analogue groovery - that breaks the spell. Essential.
07 Jun 04
Played by: Kollektiv Turmstrasse
06 May 13
Review: Future Fusion is the killer debut set from Streetwalker, the collaborative project of White Car's Elon Katz and Beau Wanzer of Mutant Beat Dance/LIES fame. The DIY ethos of primitive Chicago house seeps into the pair's work as Streetwalker, with the material that forms Future Fusion recorded live in one take. This was subsequently recorded without any overdubs or MIDI to one inch tape, with the resultant six tracks resonating with a loose, primal energy. Sitting uneasily between house, industrial, synth-pop and EBM, Future Fusion is one of those records that you simply cannot second guess. This being a Cititrax release, the presentation is second to none too, with some superb illustration work from the well respected graphic artists Spencer Longo, but in truth the music should be the real focus of attention here.
13 May 13
21 Feb 12
Played by: Giovanni Pasquariello
04 Apr 12
15 Sep 97