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The Cyclist – Hot House EP

by on at 12:15pm

The Cyclist, aka Andrew Morrison, was responsible for two excellent releases in 2014 -  the psychedelic house of his Buz Ludzha EP and Flourish, a mini-album as The Cyclist – both on All City. The support of indie music outlets has undoubtedly helped to raise the Irish producer’s profile stateside and probably played a role in his latest release being picked up by 100% Silk for an issue on cassette in the US. However, in places Hot House represents a far more upfront iteration of his style and if you are looking for the subtle nuances of last year’s releases, some of these tracks may surprise at the very least.

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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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PMM – Serpent’s Promise

by on at 09:14am

Berceuse Heroique is one of the few contemporary electronic music labels that fully understands what it means to be an underground operation. From the abrasive sound that it propagates to its guerilla tactics – unexpectedly and with little notice putting out rare Loefah material, using controversial, situationist artwork – Berceuse cuts an individualistic shape in a world of blokey sameness. The fact that the music they release is flawed and imperfect, gives off the sense the producers involved are just getting to grips with their machines, makes it all the more attractive.

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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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Black Deer – Pray For Us

by on at 17:14pm

Swift hands clapping, percussion rattling softly in the background, a warm bassline and some spiritually enriching synth patterns. That’s all these ears can discern from the nine minutes of “Pray for Us”, the wonderful opening track from William T Burnett’s latest adventure as Black Deer. Sometimes the simplest of tracks evoke the greatest emotional response in you. Words, however, are not so simple to come by when trying to do this production justice. Opening sentences for this review have been continually scrapped as “Pray for Us” plays out again and again, and how best to convey my utmost affection for its sublimeness? Perhaps it’s best to experience it for yourself.

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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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Ekman – GMMDI

by on at 09:14am

While the grimy acid and electro of Ekman’s Panzerkreuz release was one of 2014’s best records, last year also saw the Dutch producer strengthen his ties with Berceuse Heroique, the UK label that he had provided the debut release for. It seems that after years of working and preparing, it has all paid off for Roel Dijks, and he now finds himself in the enviable situation of being able to pick and choose whom he releases for.

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Iueke – Tape 5

by on at 09:00am

There’s something a little maddening about the slow emergence of Iueke material from Gwen Jamois via his friend Quentin Vandewalle’s Antinote label. With all these tracks made back in the early ‘90s, one can’t help but feeling a little flustered as to why they sat unreleased for so long, with not so much as a whisper coming out of whichever Parisian attic they were crafted in. Between the three records already released and this latest trio of tracks there is a consistent level of sophistication that deserves to have been recognised back in the time when they were created. It hardly matters to the quality of the sounds, but one wonders what might have happened if the music had found its way to the surface back when it was made.

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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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Madteo – Raveyard Shifts

by on at 09:24am

Is it the fundamental nature of its complete brokenness, and disconnection from a navigable, scalable, trenchant grid of reference, that has kept Madteo’s music so hermetically sealed? The stoned mumble, curled papers, deft looseness of touch all seem so tangible and recognisable at this point that hearing a new record seems like slipping back into an old fever dream; the shapes different and the same. Often it’s the character of the weirdness rather than the weirdness itself that seems most familiar, and along with the consistency in terms of that ‘oddball’ approach there’s an out-of-time, out-of-progression quality to the music.

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Marc King – Ever Forward

by on at 12:19pm

Not much is known about Marc King, the latest artist to release on FXHE. It seems that King put out a few releases on 430 West, Underground Resistance and Soul City under his own name and as Bobby Ceal and Marc Pharaoh during the ‘90s, but not much has been heard from him since then. It’s fitting though that he makes his comeback on Omar-S label. FXHE has a long and proud tradition of nurturing Detroit talent, putting out music by producers like Kyle Hall, Marcellus Pittmann, Luke Hess, Big Strick and OB Ignitt during the early stages of their artistic development.

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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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A Thunder Orchestra – Shall I Do It? (Mick Wills Reconstructions)

by on at 09:34am

A mixture of serendipity and surprise defines this release. Bio Rhythm, usually a label associated with owner Paul Du Lac’s Chicago-inspired sound, has commissioned new school edit king Mick Wills to provide new versions of A Thunder Orchestra’s “Shall I Do It?”. The project is one of New Beat artist Dirk De Saever’s and this release comes around the same time another notable practitioner of that ’80s form, Ro Maron, has unleashed a retrospective of his work.

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Gonno – Obscurant

by on at 09:14am

It’s been some four years since Gonno last appeared on International Feel, though the Japanese producer has hardly been idling. Following that EP – a typically enjoyable EP that touched on both melancholic, analogue-heavy acid house and drifting, guitar-laden ambience – he’s plied his wares on Niteless, Endless Flight, and most notably, Beats In Space. His 2013 The Noughties EP for Tim Sweeney’s label offered a neat summary of his career to date, layering rough, often melodious analogue synthesizer lines on top of raw deep house grooves, throbbing dub techno textures and sensual ambient chords. This return to International Feel features some of his regular tropes – analogue-sounding electronics, picturesque tunefulness and a fearless commitment to mood-enhancement through music – even if they are packaged in a far more glassy-eyed, Balearic way.

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T. Esselle – Garibaldi EP

by on at 09:36am

Emerging from the buoyant scene of labels and events orbiting around Peckham at this particular moment in time, Wholemeal Music has been an active force in London for the past few years putting on parties featuring the likes of Simbad, Floating Points, West Norwood Cassette Library and Leif amongst many others. Now the team responsible make the leap to vinyl with one of their own at the helm, and it comes on like a refreshing breeze in the deluge of grubby house and decrepit techno. T. Esselle has no previous discography to draw on, but one could easily wager that a strong diet of UK-centric broken beat has informed the style he employs here.

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FIT Siegel – Carmine

by on at 09:16am

When this writer looked at the state of Detroit house music last year on Juno Plus, there was no mention of Aaron ‘ FIT’ Siegel and his FIT Sound operation. In retrospect, it was a glaring omission; not content with releasing and distributing the city’s finest house and techno, Aaron is also becoming a respected producer in his own right. Having debuted on Omar-S’ FXHE label and his own FIT Sound back in 2012, Siegel then released the excellent Cocomo last year. A thing of wonderful beauty, it married wispy, new age melodies with raw house beats and rattling drums – and sounded like Kyle Hall getting cosy with Vangelis.

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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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Broken English Club – Scars

by on at 09:21am

Oliver Ho has followed a curious musical trajectory, from tough tribal techno through the experimental and house sounds of Raudive and now the post-punk and industrial-influenced Broken English Club. Unlike many of the UK techno producers who came up during the ‘90s however, Ho has always been interested in experimenting and looking beyond the dance floor – witness the Light & Dark series also released during the late 90s to mid-00s at the same time as his dense techno was gaining traction.

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