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Daniele Ciullini – Domestic Exile (Collected Works 82-86)

by on at 11:07am

A few years ago the Guardian decided to run a series on Italian popular music, part of which involved an interview with Alessio Natalizia of Walls. Here Natalizia was asked about the differences between making music in Italy and in the UK. “What does Italian music sound like, anyway?”, retorted Natalizia, adding “We’ve never been able to take Italian pop music around the world in the same way we have with food.’ After a few Walls and Not Waving records, and having curated the Mutazione compilation issued through Strut Records, here comes Natalizia taking Italian music around the world in the form of Daniele Ciullini with Domestic Exile (Collected Works 82-86).

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Teresa Winter – Oh Tina, No Tina

by on at 15:40pm

How strange are bodies? An interesting metaphysical question and also title of the track Reckno plucked from Teresa Winter’s new tape to coax people into investing in her “devotional VHS post rave meltdowns”. It’s a ploy that worked instantly on this writer with “How Strange Are Bodies?” a delightfully bizarre composition where Winter’s voice is twisted to the point of incomprehension over a backdrop of fluttering electronics that seem to acquire their own vocal harmony. As wonderful as that track is, Winter’s tape Oh Tina, No Tina doesn’t simply repeat this trick over the course of its nine tracks. It is, instead, a lot more ambitious; a dizzying ride that fills me with romantic notions of founding a record label in order to facilitate a vinyl release the more I listen.

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Black Zone Myth Chant – Mane Thecel Phares

by on at 15:07pm


There’s always been something oddly unsettling about the work of French experimentalist High Wolf. The prolific producer’s work under that alias – a mixture of exotic, Indian-influenced psychedelia, drone, ambience and experimental oddities – is often more hypnotic than claustrophobic, but it’s rarely less than fearlessly unusual. Even so, it’s positively cheery compared to his 2011 debut under the Black Zone Myth Chant moniker, Straight Cassette.

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MB/OD – Shplittin The Shtones

by on at 09:43am

Isn’t perception a funny thing? One of last year’s most unusually brilliant records came not from a Berlin bunker or a London atelier but the Dublin suburb of Rathmines. There I was, spending my time pontificating and writing about music from supposed creative hubs when one of the most daring, exotic records is made down the road (I live in the neighbouring, sleepier suburb of Rathfarnham). For those readers who aren’t acquainted with Dublin and its many charms, Rathmines is populated by students, eccentrics, dropouts, hipsters, pimps, pushers, immigrants and even some families. It is a wonderful melting pot and a sociologist’s wet dream; its charity shops, cafes and ramshackle main street providing countless people-watching opportunities.

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Kerridge – Always Offended Never Ashamed

by on at 09:39am

The garbled vocal intoning incomprehensible profanities! The strobe light synth flashes! The overblown guitar blasts! Is it an old Sisters of Mercy record played at 33 rpm? No, it’s the new Samuel Kerridge album. All joking aside, the opening track, “GOFD”, from the UK artist’s second album sounds like it was inspired in part by old Goth records. Having risen to prominence with releases on the Downwards label, Kerridge and his partner Hayley have set up their own label Contort – named after the events that they run in Berlin.

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Xosar – BOP004

by on at 09:34am

When Sheela Rahman first emerged on Rush Hour, L.I.E.S. Records and Créme Organization, she seemed to be carving out a particular niche as a purveyor of sweetly melodic, warm and inviting hardware house that sparkled as much as it pumped, sharply produced and easy on the ears. After keeping relatively quiet release-wise through 2014, she’s left it until now to unveil two releases that smartly rip that perception to pieces. Her appearance on Luke Wyatt’s Valcron Video imprint is a strung out excursion into hazy techno and drone, while this album for Black Opal turns the heat up with a selection that leans more towards aggressive and wildly distorted bangers far removed from the work she made her name on.

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Diamantener Oberhof – Diamantener Oberhof

by on at 09:25am

Vrystaete is a new division of the Dutch Enfant Terrible operation, which already numbers the Gooiland Elektro label among its ranks. According to its manifesto, this new label addition to the Enfant Terrible roster is ‘founded to release free spirited music’ and to provide a soundtrack to ‘a world where time is not defined by a clock’. It certainly sounds like Diamantener Oberhof is living up to Vrystaete’s ambitious brief. The work of German artists Brannten Schnüre and Johannes Schebler, who is behind the Baldruin project, Diamantener Oberhof is a reflective, at times introspective work that provides the soundtrack to a world of their own making.

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Palmbomen II – Palmbomen II

by on at 09:25am

Kai Hugo has forged a career out of creating music that matches his longing to escape the grey, concrete surrounds of the European cities in which he’s lived. Rooted in cheap synthesizers, chugging Italo-disco style arpeggios, hallucinatory ‘60s pop, Kraftwerk and off-kilter film and TV soundtracks, the Dutchman’s music is rarely less than humid and colourful. Many critics have called his work as Palmbomen “tropical” and there’s some truth in this, though it’s a far dirtier, dustier and imaginative approach than Peaking Lights or Secret Circuit. But then neither of those acts grew up in Amsterdam, surrounded by body music obsessives , Italo-disco collectors and selectors, and the nearby influence of Legowelt and The Hague.

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David Borden – Music For Amplified Keyboard Instruments

by on at 10:03am

Spectrum Spools has always worn its influences on its sleeve, but it’s been rarer to find the label actually reaching backward to highlight the artists that shaped the sound so closely attached to John Elliot and the Cleveland set. 2012 saw a reissue of the undersold, now hopefully classic record Flux by Robert Turman, followed by a repress of Sensation Fixer Franco Falsini’s mellow soundtrack to a film about cocaine called Cold Nose. Both are heady, semi-ambient affairs, combining experimentalism with motorique persuasiveness and an eye for sequenced electronic music as an inwardly psychedelic and progressive movement – which obviously plugs into the contemporary work put out by Spectrum Spools.

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L’Estasi Dell’oro – I Look Upon Nature While I Live in a Steel City

by on at 09:10am

I Look Upon Nature While I Live in a Steel City by L’Estasi Dell’oro is one of the most hyperactive techno long players you’re ever likely to hear. The brainchild of American producer Christopher Ernst, the album ranges in sound from funereal ambient textures to raging industrial rhythms. It’s an artistic departure for both Ernst, who heretofore has focused on deep techno and ambient, and for Dutch imprint Field, whose split releases provide the platform for producers to make more introspective tracks than usual.

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Linkwood – Expressions

by on at 10:27am

It would be easy to cast Nick Moore in the role of deep house’s forgotten man, after all it’s been some five years since he impressed with the debut Linkwood album, System, on Prime Numbers. Moore may have since dismissed the album (he told Australian website The Orange Press in 2013 that it “pissed him off” and “didn’t sound like me”), yet System remains a set brimming with ideas that somehow managed to draw together many disparate musical strands while making perfect sense. While there were references to his early releases – notable for their ability to join the dots between soul, disco, hip-hop, jazz, boogie and deep house – it also introduced the deeper, woozier and altogether dreamier brand of deep house with which he’s subsequently excelled. It seemed to mark the end of one chapter of his career, and the beginning of another. In truth, it was more of a full stop.

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Model 500 – Digital Solutions

by on at 10:05am

It’s unrealistic to expect that an artist whose early releases provided the blueprint for a whole musical movement could return 35 years later and deliver the same level of innovation. However, these are the precisely the kind of expectations that Juan Atkins faces in delivering his first Model 500 album in 16 years. Anyone who buys Digital Solutions in the hope that it’ll contain a game-changer like “Clear”, “No UFOs”, or “Jazz Is the Teacher” or hoping that it’s on a par with 1995’s Deep Space album will also will be disappointed. However, if you’re looking for sleekly produced Detroit electro, with a few surprises, some pleasant, others not so, then Digital Solutions is worthy of your attention.

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Romare – Projections

by on at 09:10am

Romare’s debut LP is a reminder that sampling is an art, not a privilege. It’s also a statement that dance music doesn’t have to be soulless, offering up something that feels far more believable than the glossy, impersonal production that’s come to signify so many contemporary club tracks. Projections may borrow from the voices of others, but tracks aren’t just treated as an opportunity to shoehorn samples in; instead they’ve been put together as complex, musical palimpsests.

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Soichi Terada – Presents Sounds From The Far East

by on at 09:24am

When Rush Hour decides to give an artist or label the retrospective treatment, the results are rarely less than excellent. In recent years, the Amsterdam power house has treated us to must-have collections focusing on the work of the Burrell Brothers, Elbee Bad, and Virgo Four, as well as persuading Chicagoan legend Gene Hunt to share some highlights from his collection of unreleased early Windy City house gems. Their dedication to the early years of deep house, in particular, is impressive. Even so, the vast majority of their collections – and reissues, such as 12” singles from obscure British act New Age Dance and the impeccable Dream 2 Science – have focused on material from the United States and UK, at the time arguably the most developed dance music scenes around.

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Levon Vincent – Levon Vincent

by on at 09:13am

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By now everyone that wants to hear Levon Vincent’s debut album probably already has done. In a move that echoes earlier release decisions, Vincent offered up an MP3 download of the entire LP days before the vinyl was due to go on sale. There’s no shortage of people trying different approaches to disseminate music in the digital age, but in Vincent’s case it feels like a specific kick back against the particularly feverish second hand market value his records have attained at times in his career. While he made a concerted effort to repress the most sought after of his early singles, this particular gesture feels like a move to jump ahead of the illegal download trade and ensure that, at the very least, his tracks will be heard as they are intended to be and not brutalized by dodgy rips or low bit rates.

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John T. Gast – Excerpts

by on at 09:34am


John T. Gast has forged a career from being illusive. He may have previously worked with former Hype Williams pair Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland, co-producing their Black Is Beautiful album, and released records under the Henry Moan and S. Bronze aliases, but we know little more about John T. Gast. There’s not enough out there to create a watertight hypothesis about his influences, aims and working methods.

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Die Form – Die Puppe

by on at 14:09pm

Dark Entries describes this reissue of Die Form’s 1982 LP as “unable to fit into any genre,” and believe Die Puppe to be ”in a class of music all of its own,”. For once, that statement is 100 per cent true – true of Die Form but especially true of this album. I remember a feeling of pride when picking an ‘elegant’ digipak reissue around the turn of the century when returning home on a Saturday night eager to listen to it. High on the project’s mid-’90s productions, “L’Ame Éléctrique” and “Suspiria de Profundis”, I expected to find in this first album proper from Die Fom the seed of what haunted me in their later work: this filigree of fuzzy electronics and a distorted operatic female voice. This wasn’t quite the discovery I hoped for, so I moved on, back to their earlier material, and Die Puppe currently rests on the bookshelf of my parents house. From it, I think I wanted something I already knew, and Die Puppe can’t offer that: you don’t get to decide what you want from Die Puppe, it’s Die Puppe that sets the rules.

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Future Brown – Future Brown

by on at 09:17am

Future Brown, widely touted as a modern day supergroup, have put together a super-compilation album for their debut full-length release, which borrows on an impressive array of musical influences. Referencing dancehall, reggae, grime, hip hop and more, it’s clear the band members are well versed in the multi-genre nature of today’s dance music. With Chicago rap living easily alongside UK grime, and ultra filthy dancehall popping up next to Kelela’s silky R&B ballad, this album is a unique patchwork.

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Anthony Naples – Body Pill

by on at 09:35am

With just six 12”s to his name since his emergence on Mister Saturday Night in 2012, the more critical minds might question whether Anthony Naples is at the stage where he should be releasing a debut album. It seems Naples himself didn’t originally intend to present Body Pill in such a way, revealing in an interview it was recorded as a “mixtape sort of thing”. It was Kieran Hebden that persuaded him the music was strong enough to be presented as an album proper, and here we have Body Pill. Lasting less than 30 minutes from start to finish, Body Pill is somewhat refreshing in a current climate where many electronic artists think in grand scale when it comes to the long player. Hell, some 12”s last longer!!

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Aquarian Foundation – Mind Miniatures

by on at 15:22pm

This mini-LP follow up to Aquarian Foundation’s 2013 debut 12” for Going Good has been a long time coming. A 30-minute portion of Mind Miniatures was in fact trailed by the label when announcing Silent Teaching, offering up a curiously dusty, otherworldly snippet taken from a recording of a rare live show at an “undisclosed location”. According to the story circulated by Going Good at the time, this live recording was rediscovered on a “discarded cassette”, to be readied for future release. Other details were, and remain still, thin on the ground.

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