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Older articles

Bing & Ruth – Tomorrow Was The Golden Age

by on at 09:00am

Bing & Ruth’s RVNG Intl. debut Tomorrow Was The Golden Age was recorded in Yonkers, an inner suburb of New York City used in films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and A Beautiful Mind (among others like Catch Me If You Can and Adam Sandler’s Big Daddy). Soundtracks to those Jim Carrey and Russell Crowe films were largely classical, minimal and ambient, so it seems for want of a connection with this type of music there’s one to be made with this part of the Big Apple.

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Various Artists – Spänningen Band 1

by on at 15:30pm

It’s still relatively early days for Swedish techno devotee Thomas Jaldemark’s YTA Recordings, having released just a low-key cassette and a 7” up to this point. Jaldemark is better known as one half of Fishermen, whose debut album on Skudge White (produced alongside MRSK) made for a powerful addition to the strong current of high quality edgy electronics emanating from Sweden of late. As such, it gives you some indication of what to expect when delving into this eight-track compilation of largely unfamiliar names. Fishermen naturally make a contribution, as does MRSK’s voodoo-inspired Smell The Flesh project and the burgeoning KEL moniker donned by Elias Landberg of Skudge fame, but elsewhere there is fresh talent to be admired.

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Jeremiah R. – Underwater Title

by on at 08:09am

In the Juno Plus label profile of Tabernacle last year, it was clear that the people behind the label have a deep and wide-reaching knowledge of and passion for various electronic music forms. Even a cursory glance at Tabernacle’s back catalogue makes it quite clear that they bring this passion to bear on their label. While some of their peers might profess a love of underground electro, few have the conviction to actually release it. In fact, most people running labels these days would probably view deep, esoteric electro as a form of commercial suicide.

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Doubt – Poor Dog

by on at 13:58pm

Hailing from Minneapolis and with a spread of aliases and releases behind him, Ian Lehman has only been operating as Doubt for the past twelve months, and after strong salvos of techno delivered on Mistress and Disposable Communities he’s now been snapped up by Don’t Be Afraid to throw down four tracks that see him pushing his sound into more distinctive realms. It makes sense really, as the UK label has always sought to coax out the more playful and intriguing characteristics in its chosen artists, and while the earlier Doubt singles showed promised they were also somewhat in thrall to more typical techno tropes.

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Beau Wanzer – Untitled

by on at 09:18am


Until now we’ve mostly gained a sense of who Beau Wanzer is, musically speaking, through a series of collaborative projects, not to discount his recent excellent solo forays for L.I.E.S. and Nation. The straight to tape, snake-like rhythm tracks of Streetwalker with Elon Katz, the perma-shifting Jakbeat of Mutant Beat Dance with Traxx and the power loop techno of Civil Duty with Shawn O’Sullivan. Collectively, these projects and others hint at Wanzer’s talents and influences without revealing much about the man himself. If a sense of uncertainty about letting the world in on his own individual sound was the defining force here, such concerns are unfounded on the basis of the qualities shown on this collection of archival recordings from Beau Wanzer.

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Nummer – Reach EP

by on at 09:02am

Judging any artist on the strength of their early releases is fraught with danger. While they may have spent years cultivating a trademark style prior to securing that elusive debut, they could just have easily struck lucky. A first 12” featuring four almighty cuts might be the sum total of their completed tracks, or at least the best of a largely mediocre bunch. Of course, such early explorations can hint at greatness, or at least suggest the producer – or producers – in question have, to coin an old cliché, “something about them”. It might be a keen grasp of atmosphere, a desire to mix things up, or an innate sense of what works on a dancefloor. By the same measure, it might be a glimpse of their influences or a sure-footedness about their production that most catches the ear.

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Adam X – Irreformable

by on at 08:55am

Over the past few years, Adam Mitchell has focused his efforts on the Traversable Wormhole and ADMX-71 side projects. However, as his latest album shows, his Adam X guise is the one that still plays host to his most visceral and thrilling music. Traversable Wormhole was a means for the US producer to link back into contemporary techno. It’s tempting to posit that Mitchell’s recent ADMX-71 release on L.I.E.S. meant that he retains a visibility among the new wave of American labels, but Irreformable is a far more brutal articulation of electronic music than any new school industrial/wave-influenced artist.

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Paul White – Shaker Notes

by on at 16:20pm

With one of those hefty discographies that could make the uninitiated tremble, Paul White has in five years marked himself out as a prolific and malleable artist. His long-time allegiance to One-Handed Music has given rise to four sturdy albums since 2009, while there are numerous singles released almost exclusively on the London-based imprint. Now though, R&S have called upon him to bring his crossover world of crooked beats, wonky pop, and blues-hued psychedelia to a different kind of crowd, and it could be the move that truly embeds him in the public consciousness.

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Gravats – Îlot

by on at 09:35am


There’ll always be something romantic attached to a 7” release. They’re cheap (and cheerful) to manufacture, and due to their smaller surface area there’s less music to hear – this still doesn’t stop garage rock bands from Melbourne squeezing what they can onto a record. And if it’s not rare funk, soul or dub, it’s going to be for the most part, at least in the world of independent electronic music, something creatively askew, often born out of budget restriction or artistic aberration.

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Tom Ellard – ’80s Cheesecake

by on at 16:40pm

Tom Ellard would probably object to a long review of ‘80s Cheesecake, considering his biography consists of the following brevity: “I was born, and then I was here. To be continued.” But what the Australian-born producer may lack in gab, he more than makes up for with ingenuity – though Ellard wasn’t one of the founding members of the Severed Heads (who went by the even-less-amicable name “Mr. and Mrs. No Smoking Sign” at the time of their formation), he saw the band through their transformation from 80′s proto-industrial before moving into experimental electronic synthpop and post-punk, and was ultimately responsible for both some of their greatest commercial successes and some of their fuzziest, most inaccessible oddities.

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Various Artists – Common

by on at 09:05am

It’s always interesting to observe well-established event promoters branching out into the label world. Quite often those responsible are in an enviable position, having forged real-world relationships with their guests over the years and as such being able to call up a favour to give a fledgling label the kind of kick start that can make all the difference in an ever-increasing world of 001s. It’s fair to say that Manchester collective meandyou were able to do just that in snapping up Kassem Mosse for their first release, and in truth he gave them an absolute beast of a track, but they offset that by showcasing lesser known talents as well as their own local heroes Juniper. It was a wise move to reach for a well-known friend, and the results were exemplary, but on this second release all bets are off as the curation draws on a list of lesser-known acts and as such places the music out front.

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Jordan GCZ – Digitalis

by on at 08:47am

Where to start with this record? If you are familiar with the work of Juju & Jordash and the various projects around them, then you know not to expect anything near staid, immobile, impeccably polished house or techno. But still it’s hard for someone with very little in the way of musical ability (hello, me) to quantify all the ideas and processes that have gone into these three tracks from Jordan Czamanski. Given the general fun loving nature of Future Times, Digitalis could be seen as quite a bold move, but who wants to see a label treading the same waters?

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Lukid – Crawlers

by on at 15:08pm

Two years is a long time in electronic music. In the 24 months since Luke Blair delivered his last record as Lukid – the Ninja Tune/Werkdiscs released Lonely at the Top LP – the musical landscape has changed considerably. In particular, Blair’s trademark sound – raw, distorted, unsettling and dreamy, with gritty textures and almost overbearing tape hiss – has become the norm, in techno and experimental electronic circles, at least. Where he could once have been considered a leader in this field, he is now merely one of many pushing a sound that contrasts melodious intent with redlined drums, dystopian textures and crusty production.

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Whirling Hall of Knives – Comminute

by on at 09:23am

There may not have been much good news out of Ireland in the past few years, but the health of the country’s electronic music scene has certainly been one of them. Despite or perhaps because of the recession – it all depends whom you believe – the small country that this writer calls home is seriously punching above its weight. From Lunar Disko’s Chicago and electro jams to Apartment’s leftfield house and All City’s psychedelic take on house and techno – do check the forthcoming LP from The Cyclist for the Dublin label – to Earwiggle’s extreme but individualistic take on harder techno and Lakker/Eomac’s skewed rhythms. Irish labels and producers are making some of the world’s best electronic music right now.

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Second Storey – Double Divide

by on at 15:55pm

It’s been a good long while that Alec Storey has been rounding out his own brand of electro funk. Formerly operating under the Al Tourettes moniker, his emergence has been nothing if not slippery, flitting between moments of great recognition before nestling back under the radar with his not-easily-defined musical character. From soundtrack turns on Black Swan to a fruitful partnership with Appleblim, playing drums for Will Saul to a thorough championing from Mary Anne Hobbs, there have been plenty of bouts of recognition for the skills the producer possesses, but this emergence of the Second Storey alias and the linking to Houndstooth feels like the most decisive step forward for the London-via-Norfolk-and-Bristol artist.

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Ekranoplan – Wing In Surface Effect

by on at 09:30am

Even though the All Caps label name might imply a certain aggressiveness (at least, that’s what this writer imagines ALL CAPITALIZED WORDS imply), the Glasgow label’s output has recently been bustling with what seems like a second wind of creative inspiration – a distortion-laced DJ Guy re-issue from 1996 and Bluntman Deejay’s smoked out Esoteric Communion EP are two releases which pushed the label in a slightly more experimental direction. That’s not to say that earlier releases by Helix & Kowton didn’t have their groundbreaking moments, but their functional, non-nonsense aesthetic and blistering drum patterns signified that they were, if not “for club use only”, at least primarily intended for crowded rooms of perspiring dancers.

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Guyer’s Connection – Portrait

by on at 09:13am

There’s something to be said for a certain purity, isn’t there? So often it’s the records that weren’t even expecting to be bought, the bands that never thought anyone would show up to see them live, the songs made as if nobody was ever going to listen that end up have lasting effects. And it isn’t only archival festishism – some albums, like this one, attest to the fact that solitary experiments sometimes become pivotal in the story of a music. Tibor Csebits and Philippe Alioth self-released Portrait in their hometown of Basel – even singing in the Basel dialect at times – when they were about fifteen years old. They liked synthesizers so they experimented, they wrote some songs, they had a lot of fun, and ended up defining a certain kind of minimal synth while they were at it.

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Stéphane Laporte – Fourrure Sounds

by on at 09:13am

fourre-sounds

Quentin Vandewalle’s Antinote is a rare beast: a label that is almost impossible to pin down. Though the Paris label first surfaced with the archival proto techno of Iueke, Antinote has developed into an increasingly open-minded concern, hopping between the John Carpenter-inspired synth-wave of Nico Motte’s excellent Rheologia, the Future Times-ish tropical wizardry of DK, the cozy dream-pop of Syracuse, And that’s before we get to the dense and off kilter rhythms of Albinos.

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LAPS – Ladies as Pimps EP

by on at 15:58pm

The hive of activity centred around Glasgow creative space The Green Door Studio comes up trumps once more, as one half of Organs Of Love joins forces with a Golden Teacher to form LAPS for the latest slab of excellence from the Clan Destine label. As LAPS, Alicia Matthews of Organs Of Love is Sue Zuki and Golden Teacher’s Cassie Ojay becomes Lady Two Collars; any worry of this sounding like the makings of a discarded Mighty Boosh episode is however put aside, as the pair rip through seven tracks that throw elements from all corners of their musical influences into the mix with the odd bit of assistance from their friends and contemporaries.

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Austin Cesear – West Side

by on at 09:00am

For someone with reasonably limited exposure, Austin Cesear has managed to leave quite an impression with his releases thus far. It helps of course that his sound has found favour with those steering such vaunted ships as Opal Tapes, Proibito and Public Information, for whom he returns to serve a follow-up to his Cruise Forever debut, but such affiliations only speak to the quality of the music rather than some notion of right-place-right-time hype. His first long player on Public Information was certainly a striking affair that drew on all manner of house and techno abstractions to make its presence felt, with plenty of dubby sensibilities rubbed into its muscles and ample breathing room for experimentation. It’s a premise that continues with West Side, a six-tracker reportedly written in homage to the docks of Oakland, California; although music of this nature is fairly wide open to thematic interpretation.

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