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Severed Heads – Since The Accident

by on at 09:42am

It would be fair to say that Severed Heads are well-regarded in electronic circles, though there’s an argument to suggest that their back catalogue – particularly their pioneering work in the late ‘70s and early 1980s – is nowhere near as celebrated as many of their better-known contemporaries. This is something of a shame, because this early work – specifically those albums recorded between 1979 and 1985 – still sounds surprisingly fresh. Certainly, it stands up to comparison with the work of similarly minded acts of the period, from Chris & Cosey and Throbbing Gristle, to Coil, Nitzer Ebb and, most potently, Cabaret Voltaire.

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AL-90 – SCR

by on at 09:23am


Reckno, the label run by Chris Catlin and Peter St. John, has been one of the most prolific of all entries into the lo-fi cassette melee, although with its first releases reaching back to 2009, the pair arguably foreshadowed the current explosion even as their output has ramped up to reflect a flourishing interest in the wares they have to offer. The latest release on the label concerns itself with a hitherto unknown talent dealing in fringe electronica robbed of all airs and graces, all executed under the thoroughly cassette-friendly pseudonym AL-90.

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Various Artists – Nautil Series

by on at 16:23pm

What must it be like working at Hard Wax? Do records suddenly materialise on the shelves like something out of a Harry Potter movie? It seems so. Last week there were four, Shackleton’s Deliverance Series No. 1 and three Hidden Hawaii 12”s, all appearing out of thin air. It’s spectral releases like these that refreshingly give fans and followers the contingency to draw interest to the music, not PR campaigns or the media. Samurai Music head Presha is one such example, expressing on Twitter how much he loves the way Hidden Hawaii releases “just pop up out of nowhere,”.

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CHANNELXXX – Mangiami Edits 1 – 3

by on at 08:30am


“Fusion” is a word that draws grimaces when used in conjunction with food, jazz, or yoga, but if there ever was an acceptable use of the phrase, it might be applicable to Mangiami. Translating quite simply to “eat me”, Gianfranco Costa’s Lower East Side venue combined guest appearances from folks like Horse Meat Disco, Justin Vandervolgen and Bicep, all while serving artisanal and affordable pasta over the six-year course of its existence.

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Steve Bicknell – Lost Recordings 8: Transcendence

by on at 09:43am

The ‘Detroit-Berlin alliance’ was a term used in the title of an early ’90s Tresor compilation to describe the connection between the two cities’ techno communities. Arguably, the same term could be applied to London due mainly to Lost’s nights and labels. Steve Bicknell and Sheree Rashit were booking Detroit DJs like Jeff Mills and Robert Hood from the early ’90s onwards for their parties. In a metropolis where every few months heralds the arrival of a new micro-genre, it’s impressive that Lost has remained a go-to event for electronic music artists from Detroit and Chicago for the best part of a quarter of a century.

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Aybee & Afrikan Sciences – Sketches Of Space

by on at 08:30am

The over-arching concept of Sketches Of Space feels like something of an inevitability. It’s perhaps the only time either Aybee or Afrikan Sciences, or indeed the Deepblak label as a whole, has served up something which can inspire sage, expectant nodding or some kind of internal “but of course” monologue, being as they are a creative force in electronic music that revels breaking new ground and plunging into the unexpected. Jazz and its boundary-less fringes has always served as a motivational point for Aybee and co. and yielded results both exciting and challenging along the way, and for this latest release they impart three years worth of live, improvisational jams undergone with the spirit of Miles Davis in mind.

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Todd Osborn – T-Rhythm Trax Vol. 1

by on at 15:20pm

Todd Osborn is a versatile producer. While some of his fans know him for his drum’n’bass releases as Soundmurderer, he has also carved out a distinctive path as a house producer. In some instances, as Osborne, that voice is positioned in the direction of Chicago-style box jams – witness Bout Ready to Jak – or the eternal, infectious summer grooves of the Ruling EP (one of this writer’s favourite modern house records). For his return to Gerd Janson’s Running Back label, Todd reverts to his given name and puts his focus on sparse and basic rhythms.

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H.S. – A Verdigris Reader

by on at 09:39am


Proibito is a label that has been relatively gritty from day one: Their first release featured a 12-minute improvised freakout of a remix from Lori Antenes, Steve Summers and Bookworms, and label alumnus Hank Jackson has an obsession for distorting dance structures to the edge of legibility. This is the second time that Huerco S has graced Anthony Naples’ New York-based imprint, but any similarities between A Verdigris Reader and the filter-swept party cuts produced under his Royal Crown of Sweden moniker are few and far between.

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Severed Heads – Dead Eyes Opened

by on at 16:22pm


The reissue phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down, with Severed Heads the latest act plucked from the past and showcased for a new generation. Seattle label Medical Records is set to release two albums from the Australian act next month, and one of Severed Heads most revered songs forms the centrepiece of this 12” release on San Francisco’s Dark Entries label. In between the noise and experimentation, this release shows that the group understood how to write timeless electronic music. Released around the same time that Juan Atkins was introducing his Cybotron alias to the world, “Dead Eyes Opened” was the act’s biggest hit and shows that they were way ahead of most artists of their generation.

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Tambien – Der Elf

by on at 09:43am

If you were turned on to the work of Tambien by their last (and widely applauded) single for ESP Institute, there’s a good chance that you have a taste for the unusual in house and techno. Likewise such a taste probably stands you in good stead to embrace the switch up in style that comes with their second release on Lovefingers label, where the scratchy grunge of disheveled breakbeats and distorted synths have been usurped by lighter, more fluid elements. This is not to say that the emergent trio from Munich have completely upended their style, but rather that the overall mood exists in an entirely different head space to the “Drogato”/ “Dois” release, or even the tribal thrum and nutty sonics of their last EP on Public Possession.

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Craig Leon – Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1

by on at 09:42am

Wandering around the hallways of the Brooklyn Museum back in 1973, Craig Leon’s eye was caught by a series of sculptures from the Dogon of the Republic of Mali, a tribe whose stargazing artistic culture focused on imagining what otherworldly life might look like. Humanity has always been curious about what other life exists in the Universe, but that sentiment was especially potent in the mid-70s. During this time, Leon provided production chops for a series of artists who distorted the concept of what pop music could encompass: a then-emaciated and often shirtless Richard Hell, Blondie, the Ramones, Suicide. They were all extraterrestrials in their own right, and hearing their feedback-laden tracks on the radio must’ve been as shocking to some as hearing the 1938 broadcast of War of the Worlds and thinking that aliens had actually landed.

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Erdbeerschnitzel – The Ample Waters

by on at 15:42pm

Since delivering his eccentric and slightly too eclectic self-released debut album Pathetik Party back in 2009, German producer Erdbeerschnitzel (AKA studio don Tim Keiling) has settled in to an effortlessly soulful, sun-ripe groove. While his productions are rooted in deep house, his tracks regularly doff an oversized cap to dreamy instrumental hip-hop, swinging broken beat and off-kilter modern soul, with vibrant synthesizers and hazy, cut-up vocal samples adding texture. The results, as seen on a swathe of fine EPs for 4Lux, Third Strike and Mirau, amongst others, are rarely less than impressive, with tracks veering from claustrophobic, all-enveloping deepness to the sort of shimmering dancefloor-focused goodness that evokes memories of lazy afternoons spent watching sunlight glinting off gently lapping waves, somewhere uncomfortably humid.

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Lowtec – Workshop 20

by on at 07:45am

Considering his position as one of the foundational figures in the Workshop mythos, Lowtec hasn’t actually released a whole EP on the label since 2008’s Workshop 06, while instead he has been busy spreading his non-conformist house style to labels such as Nonplus and Brainmath. It’s always a rewarding experience hearing an artist on their home turf, whether the context of the tracks has any actual bearing on the sounds pressed to wax or not. It’s simply that when an artist chooses to release their own material it suggests that they have utmost faith in those particular tracks, overriding any artistic temperament and self-criticism.

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Kettenkarussell – Easy Listening

by on at 13:37pm


To understand Kettenkarussell is to understand Giegling. Herr Koreander (aka Konstantin) and Leafar Legov’s collaboration were responsible for the label’s first release, I Believe You And Me Make Love Forever. Since that record, Giegling has grown exponentially, but Kettenkarussell, with its childlike demeanour, will always remain the root from which everything grows.

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Moleskin – Moleskin EP

by on at 09:48am

moleskin-ep

A few months ago Night Slugs announced the Club Constuctions Community, an open invitation for producers to submit tracks that stick to their manifesto. Submitted productions should be stripped back, raw, saturated, using three note melodies or less, with reverb and sound design to reflect their environment, and vocal samples to be used only if “integral”. Goon Club Allstars co-head Moleskin may not be a member of the Night Slugs family, and almost certainly didn’t make his self-titled debut EP as a direct result of the CCC manifesto, but it’s about as close as you’ll get to a Club Constructions experience without actually buying a Night Slugs record.

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Campbell Irvine – Removal of the Six Armed Goddess

by on at 09:14am

It’s hard to know where fiction stops and fact starts on the latest release from Dave Sumner’s recently re-launched Infrastructure label. Allegedly the work of a twenty-something, Australian born violinist, who is now based in Berlin, Campbell Irvine’s backstory sounds like it has been well thought out. The fact that he has hardly any online presence – a Google search revealed a UK insurance brokerage of the same name – only arouses suspicion. Is Campbell Irvine a pseudonym for a well-known artist who has a new side-project on the go? Read the rest of this entry »

Dego – Nuts!

by on at 12:00pm

There’s no underestimating the legacy that Dennis McFarlane has lingering behind him, from the formative days of 4 Hero through a myriad of aliases and projects (amongst them Nutmeg and the highly sought after Cousin Cockroach releases), always pushing the boundaries of broken beats where others would be scared to syncopate. As such it’s been heartening to see the likes of Eglo championing one of the great rhythmic innovators of UK electronic music, and so with a renewed vigour Dego is back in action with a release that finds him spreading his wings across three tracks for FaltyDL’s blossoming Blueberry imprint. Considering Drew Lustman’s affinity for soul-inflected broken beat styles, it’s a logical fit that finds McFarlane drawing on his foremost talents and delivering a record that sounds unmistakably like him.

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Finn – Keep Calling

by on at 15:38pm

keep-calling-header

It’s probably fair to say that the overuse of the R&B vocal sample in contemporary bass music was one of the most painful things to witness throughout 2011 and 2012. It’s no coincidence that the peak of this aesthetic coincided with the move of producers like Blawan, Joy Orbison and many others towards house and techno, as the limited stock of Cassie and Aaliyah vocals were wrung out by a hundred faceless producers like a damp tea towel. Despite pirate radio samples giving R&B vocals a run for their money of late, you know that when even Jamie xx has taken to sampling Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore that the R&B tap has run well and truly dry.

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Various Artists – Hyperdub 10.2

by on at 10:07am

Think of Hyperdub, now think of a colour. What’d you choose? Pitch black? Murky grey? The pigment rotting leaves trapped behind a strip mall’s dumpster? While Kode9′s formidable now decade-old label has always had a reputation for innovation, sunny it ain’t. No one thinks of pastels or a breezy summer day summer day when they’re playing the latest Terror Danjah EP, and you don’t need to look far into the label’s catalogue’s to find sinister themes coursing through, with track titles like “Traumatic Times”, “Hysteria”, “Idiot”, “Madness” and “Broken Heart Collector” characterising their roster’s output.

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Alessandro Cortini – Sonno

by on at 15:52pm

It’s extremely difficult to articulate exactly what it is about the music that resonates with a listener at the deepest level. This is why providing a review of Sonno proved to be such a challenge for this writer. Before moving onto that task, a brief background about the album. It’s the work of Alessandro Cortini, one of the key members of Nine Inch Nails, and was recorded on a Roland MC 202 in hotel rooms, presumably when he was touring. According to the label, Cortini experimented with the sound of everyday items like taps, windows and doors, as part of the process. This was Cortini claims, a “very relaxing” way to make music.

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