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Vito Ricci – I Was Crossing A Bridge

by on at 12:35pm

Vito Ricci is not a name many people will recognize, yet highlighting the work of forgotten or overlooked artists is rapidly becoming Music From Memory’s raison d’etre. While Abel Nagengast, Jamie Tiller and Tako Reyenga’s label has not shied away from releasing fresh material – see last year’s superb Gaussian Curve album for proof – it’s their constantly on-point retrospectives for which the Amsterdam-based imprint is rightly renowned. Bar a smattering of heads and crate diggers, few had heard of Gigi Masin, Leon Lowman or Joan Biblioni until they got the Music From Memory treatment. All were musicians with a knack for making beautiful, emotive music, whose undeniably obscure records were criminally overlooked on their initial release.

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Various Artists – Pas De Deux

by on at 10:19am

After various efforts dedicated to unearthing the weird and the wonderful of the Iberian decade of anxiety, Barcelona-based Domestica Records play a strange and quite seductive mirror game for their latest release. A reissue of a compilation made in Spain, grouping artists not from Spain, and throw it right back out to the world outside. A famous compilation, it has to be said, one that has been circulating undercover for the past thirty years surrounded by a cloud of angular, avant garde allure. 500 copies then, 500 copies now. Once more, with feeling.

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Nochexxx – Plot Defender

by on at 09:28am

Cambridge dweller Dave Henson has led an interesting life in music, having contributed to the murky world of 90s post rock as part of Bella Union-released outfit Gwei-lo as well as amassing a respectable discography in his electronica guise Ascoltare. In recent years though his productivity has mostly been felt under the name Nochexxx, notably coming to light with the excellent and decidedly unhinged Ritalin Love 12” on Ramp Recordings back in 2010. He swiftly followed that up with a single for Werk Discs, which should give some indication of where his abstractions on the house and techno formula lie. Last year he cemented his relationship with Ramp via the Thrusters LP, which came staggering out of the speakers in a drunken melee of grungy electro synth tones and erratic beat management.

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Patrice Scott – Euphonium

by on at 09:16am

It’s no surprise or coincidence that there is a large, unidentified planet on the cover of Patrice Scott’s debut album. While the euphonium is a brass instrument -  albeit one that comes from ‘sweet-voiced’ in Greek -  the veteran producer is following the well-documented Detroit obsession with exploring outer space and the cosmos. Scott’s small but flawless catalogue of work on his Sistrum label certainly sits at house music’s most esoteric end, in sharp contrast to the gritty, steely swing of Omar S. As an interviewee, he exudes the same kind of distracted aura as Juan Atkins, like all he wants to do is stare out the window in anticipation of the first encounter.

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Marcos Cabral – Buried Alive Twice

by on at 09:11am

In some ways, it’s hard to marry the glassy-eyed exuberance of Marcos Cabral’s prior work, both with Jacques Renault as Runaway and the raft of solo strobe lit basement edits he has been responsible for, with his current creative direction. Cabral’s sporadic output for L.I.E.S. over the past few years has been characterised by a fuzzy dustiness and curious loneliness. His 2011 debut for the label, the now highly sought-after 24 Hour Flight EP, was a study in dancefloor melancholy; a bittersweet fusion of subdued but hypnotic rhythms, dub techno influences and sighing melodies. There was a poignant sadness, too, at the heart of the 2013 Capri Social EP – even if the distorted beats were a little more forthright – while the Long Mixes EP that followed had a grim intensity totally in keeping with Ron Morelli’s often unsettling narrative.

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Fockewulf 190 ‎– The First & Second Side Of The Mystic Synth

by on at 09:15am

A step in the darkest heart of Italo disco. The persistent handsomeness of Fockewulf 190 gave us the gorgeous hits “Gitano” and “Body Heat”, but we have a plethora of other treasures to thank them for. The martial epic disco anthem “Eagles in the Night” released as a solo by Dario Dell’Aere, the hard-edged wave of Ice Eyes’ “No Sex” or, for the connoisseurs, the tropical melancholia of Frank Tavaglione’s “Tumidanda”. Recently the more private side of Fockewulf has emerged; versions of the glacial “We Are Colder” appeared on Spittle compilations, and a full reissue of remixes and demos was delivered by the band and Vinyl on Demand in 2011, under the name Microcosmos 82-86. And it is Vinyl on Demand which – as it so often does – now teaches us how little we knew of the group’s rather massive output, and sets the record straight through this release, out on its sublabel Pripuzzi.

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Dasha Rush – Sleepstep

by on at 10:31am

dasha rush 590

Dasha Rush’s career over the last 10 years has built up steadily and she’s showing no signs of slowing down by delivering a full length album on one of the most discerning experimental music labels in the world. Sleepstep: Sonar Poems or my Sleepless Friends for Raster-Noton is a gargantuan effort spanning 16 tracks that are full of paranoid and claustrophobic, yet undeniably seductive compositions. It’s the first album the Fullpanda boss has put out since I Run Iron I Run Ironic six years ago, and it showcases new dimensions to her continually expanding aesthetic. There is a moodiness and experimental edge that goes far beyond the dancefloor oriented brand of industrial techno Rush has become synonymous with, both under own name and as LADA with partner Lars Hemmerling, and as the album’s title suggest, poetry plays an important role.

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Lifted – 1

by on at 09:46am

Is 2015 PAN’s marmite year? First the reissue of a rare trip hop/illbient tape, now a contemporary acid jazz record. The label has a gift for disobeying rules and expectations, and for celebrating the avant-garde in distinctive ways, but illbient and acid jazz are much maligned genres. Both were more or less abandoned to their specific moments in time. Lifted has grown out of a productive conversation with Max D and Co La, but this album also feels a modern take on the idea of an ensemble. The two spearheading a campaign of collaboration and improvisatory meshing that often found a musician recording their part individually and forwarding it to be mixed in or written around. Performers credited include Jordan GCZ of Juju and Jordash, Dawit Eklund from burgeoning Washington DC label 1432 R, Jeremy Hyman of the band Ponytails, Motion Graphics (I don’t know), and the current apple of everybody’s eye, Gigi Masin.

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James Pants – Savage

by on at 16:01pm

In hindsight, James Pants has always been hugely influenced by The Residents, a mysterious collective whose pioneering work before, during and after the post-punk era mixed high-minded artistic concepts and biting social commentary with a wide-ranging musical palette and desire to mix things up. Listening back through Pants albums for Stones Throw, it’s easy to identify similar traits; the hard-to-define desire to flit between and fuse genres (most obvious on his breakthrough set, 2008’s Welcome), the dark-ish analogue synths and CBDB attitude of 2009’s Seven Seals, and the low-slung, psychedelic posturing of 2011’s James Pants.

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Steevio – Animistas

by on at 09:11am

With three volumes of his Modular Techno series under his belt, it might just be that Wales-based artist Steevio has settled into a comfortable groove with his chosen path into modular synthesis. A notable ramp up in live sets would lend credence to this idea, with gigs in Paris, Berlin and London among the shows filling out the space between his annual appearances at Freerotation. As a working method that hinges on live improvisation whether in a club or a studio, a more active schedule feeds back into releasable material, a reciprocal cycle that has eventually arrived at the long player Animistas.

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Rrose – Having Never Written a Note For Percussion

by on at 11:49am

Rrose was one of the few artists to release on Sandwell District, but her latest album requires a leap of faith that will challenge even her most ardent fan. Issued on the wonderfully free-minded Further Records, Having Never Written a Note For Percussion sees the Eaux founder reinterpret a composition of the same name by 1970s minimalist James Tenney.

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Paki-Visnadi – Imaginary Choreography

by on at 09:16am

The press release for Paki-Visnadi’s Imaginary Choreography, out on the eclectically elegant Antinote, alerts us to the mythical discovery of these recordings that seems to hail from the years when markets still yielded jewels. Filmmaker Johanna Heather Anselmo, partner to Antinote’s Iueke and a cultured hand at rummaging through boxes of old tapes, found a BASF tape in a Parisian flea market, but instead of it containing some yé-yé rehearsal of upper class teenagers it was something really quite exceptional.

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Panoram – Background Story

by on at 16:08pm

By his own enigmatic standards, Panoram has been rather up front about the inspirations for this sophomore set, which follows his superb 2014 debut album for Lindsay Todd’s Firecracker Recordings, Everyone Is A Door. That album, a delicious collection of hard-to-define musical snapshots, ideas and interludes – seemingly created from a mixture of old analogue synthesizers, samples, and the confused cacophony in his head – arrived with little fanfare and seemingly no solid concept. It was no worse for it, and impressed partly through his inability to settle on one stylistic thread. It held together partly due to Todd’s impeccable A&R skills, one suspects, but also because there was an innate sense of hazy atmosphere running through it.

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Abul Mogard / Harmonious Thelonious – Schleißen 1

by on at 10:24am

It’s not easy to keep up with the ebb and flow of Stuart Leath’s Emotional Empire. It doesn’t feel like a stretch to call it an empire even if it has only been in operation for a few years, but between Emotional Rescue, Response, Relish and [Emotional] Especial, already a staggering mountain of releases and reissues sits awaiting the intrepid digger. The latest arm of Leath’s endeavours involves the Schleißen series, which is dedicated to abstract drone and ambient pieces from a diverse range of artists stretched across four installments.

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Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Ariel Kalma – We Know Each Other Somehow

by on at 09:10am

Based around the brilliantly simple idea of inter-generational musical collaboration, the FRKWYS series has thus far thrown up some memorable albums from Arp and Anthony Moore, Blues Control and Laraaji, Sun Araw and M. Geddes Gengras with The Congos, and, most recently, Steve Gunn and Mike Cooper. The genius of the series lies not in the inter-generational aspect, but rather the often absorbing and beguiling results of these imaginative collaborations. RVNG Intl boss Matt Werth has proved something of an expert at bringing artists together, with results that often combine the best of each musician’s style and repertoire into something thrillingly fresh, atmospheric and – in the case of this 12th installment of the series – magical.

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Boof – The Hydrangeas Whisper

by on at 09:55am


There are many reasons to love Maurice Fulton, not least the majestic, off-kilter nature of his finest musical moments, but his pig-headed desire to stick two fingers up at the music industry machine is arguably not one of them. While his no-nonsense, DIY approach is admirable, and no doubt a product of mistreatment or loss of revenues due to various labels he’s been signed to going under, it does make keeping track of his output somewhat difficult. Since launching his digital-only Bubbletease Communications label some years back, Fulton has steadfastly refused to play the media game and does nothing in the way of promotion. He simply releases stuff when he feels like it, leaving the public to discover the music – or not – in their own time. You’re either in the club, or you’re not. Fulton’s not going to work hard for your dollars or pounds.

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Various Artists – The Dying Lights

by on at 11:57am

It’s rare for a label to be as open about their backwards gaze as Lux Rec, who define their focus “on elements from the early electronic scene, with the intent of redefining and shedding a new light on it.” When you look at the range of artists involved with the label, the declaration makes total sense. From Jared Wilson and R-A-G to Helena Hauff, all the artists releasing on Lux are bound by their use of archaic equipment to yield new routes through house, techno, electro and beyond. It’s not an easy job to find innovation within the limitations of hardware that has been used constantly for more than thirty years, yet these are all artists that manage to sound original every time, and it’s a credit to Lux Rec that they recognise such talent and can curate their releases so consistently.

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Scientific Dreamz Of U/Junior Loves – The Dreamcode

by on at 15:59pm

Those with a penchant for pagan psychedelia, musical mysticism and kaleidoscopic electronics may already have come across Scientific Dreamz of U and Junior Loves, a mysterious twosome whose Kestrel Explorations show on NTS Radio delivers this kind of intoxicating sound on a regular basis. The London-based duo’s music seems to come from a bygone age, when acid-fried rave casualties wildly debated the higher significance of the number 23, at all-night Megadog parties and skuzzy basements, lit only by the purple fuzz of ultraviolet lights.

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Strategy – Seeds Of Paradise

by on at 13:39pm

For all his championing of local talent – from Bristol stalwarts Bass Clef, Peverelist, Kowton, Kahn, Outboxx and Rhythmic Theory, to rising stars Shanti Celeste, Andy Mac and Facta – Idle Hands bossman Chris Farrell has always looked further afield for inspiration. Not just in terms of the artists showcased on the Stokes Croft-based imprint but also musically. While Idle Hands has long been held in high regard for its regular forays into techno, and deep house and post-dubstep fusion, Farrell has occasionally dipped his toes into more obviously dancehall, garage and carnival-friendly waters. Farrell himself has a wide musical knowledge, as anyone who’s witnessed one of his real ale-fuelled sets at infamous Stokes Croft boozer The Bell will attest; you’re just as likely to hear fuzzy post-punk, industrial strength jungle and rousing disco as baked techno, sleepy deep house and hypnotic minimal gear.

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Various Artists – Lifesaver Compilation 2

by on at 09:16am

As a club with a record label, it could be argued that Offenbach-based Robert Johnson is treading a path taken by other so-called “super clubs”. Yet Ata and Sebastian Kahr’s club, located just across the river from Frankfurt, makes an unlikely super club. While its reputation is equal to the likes of Berghain, Fabric, and Amsterdam’s now sadly departed Trouw, Robert Johnson has a capacity a little over 250. Of course, it’s this intimacy, coupled with a superb Martin Audio soundsystem, on which the venue’s reputation was built. The label itself, established a decade after the club’s unveiling in 1999, has a similar intimacy. It was initially established, like Fabric’s offshoot imprint, to release branded mix CDs from residents, friends and regular guests.

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