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Helena Hauff – Lex Tertia

by on at 10:13am

After Actio Reactio announced her arrival in the recording world via Werkdiscs, Helena Hauff now finds herself in an interesting position creatively some two years later. The Hamburg resident is unquestionably part of the analogue revival, with a devoutly hardware live jam studio method that pushes up against the limitation of ubiquitous devices such as the 808 and the 303, and the instantly-recognisable character of such machines positively surged out of her early releases. Last year’s Return To Disorder release for Panzerkreuz still came from a long line of drum-focused hard-as-nails acid techno, but really the secret of Hauff’s success to date has been in her particular way of processing those sounds and layering them up with an industrial attitude that speaks more to the punk roots of the style rather than the icy mechanisms of sound design that abound in the work of other artists.

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51717 / Silent Servant – Jealous God 006

by on at 09:19am

The sixth issue from the Jealous God label sees them take a musical leap into the left field. Previous releases on the label had been accompanied by mix CDs that facilitated the exploration of abstract sounds and ideas. Now that approach takes centre stage and occupies the vinyl release itself. Joining label owner Silent Servant is 51717, an alias for Lili Schulder, who has released on Opal Tapes and who the more observant reader may have noticed releases as part of Shadowlust on L.I.E.S. together with Svengalisghost.

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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?” Natalizia retorted, 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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Domenico Crisci – Ceremony

by on at 16:02pm

Domenico Crisci entered the scene seemingly out of nowhere last year with records for Russian Torrent Versions and L.I.E.S. How did that happen? He stated in an interview that a friend in New York City played Ron Morelli some tracks of his and the rest, as they say, is history. The Old Candelabra 12” led to the brilliant follow up on Russian Torrent Versions and now Crisci adds Marco Shuttle’s Eerie to his growing discography with more late night, peak time DJ tools.

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Steve Legget – Aquarius

by on at 09:34am

“This one is for The Tree, Baskerville Hall. RIP,” reads the B side run out groove of the newest installment in the Apartment Records story. It’s a nod to a Lebanese Cedar that suffered at the hands of a storm at the Welsh venue where the Freerotation festival is held every year, leaving attendees pining (no pun intended) for a much loved arboreal presence at the intimate event. Look no further than “Cedar Of Lebanon/Spongy Tree” by The High On Wye Quintet for more proof of how much people loved that gosh darned tree. The point is, this record seems positively birthed from that particular gathering, with Steven Legget (who makes his debut appearance here) a regular attendee alongside Apartment boss man Kenny Hanlon, while Mark Hand performed his remix of “Aquarius” during a live set on the Saturday afternoon.

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Mix Mup – Skip Intro

by on at 15:11pm

Mix Mup is often mentioned in the same breath as Kassem Mosse. This isn’t entirely without good reason, and for a pair of longtime friends and collaborators, perhaps it’s even to be expected. Their mini-album on The Trilogy Tapes is regarded as a modern-day classic by those in some circles, and its popularity has certainly encouraged the automatic mental association of MM and KM among listeners. As anyone familiar with Mix Mup’s solo productions will readily attest though, it’s a wonder the Leipzig artist has remained more or less under the radar for this long. For over a decade, Lorenz Lindner has crafted a delightfully diverse string of 12”s. It’s been in the last few years that he has really excelled, most notably with the woozy grooves and clattering intensity of After The Job for Hinge Finger in 2013, or in the potent, rippling dub textures throughout Drive-By on Mikrodisko the year prior.

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DJ Slugbug – Untitled

by on at 10:37am

Slugbug sounds like it could be a particularly effective garden pesticide, but the reality is that this new artist is the latest addition to L.I.E.S. roster. Whatever your opinion about the volume of music released on Ron Morelli’s label and the quality control procedures in place, it does provide a platform for such new talent. This Untitled 12”, along with a concurrent outing on Russian Torrent Versions, is DJ Slugbug’s first release. Like Tzusing, another recent addition to the L.I.E.S. cause, Slugbug looks back in time to mine ‘80s sources.

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D.K. – Love On Delivery

by on at 15:32pm

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Some of electronic music’s most consistent labels of recent years have traded on the interplay between dark and light, alternating between releases that chill the blood, dumb the senses and soothe the soul. Top of the list is arguably Quentin Vandewalle’s Antinote, whose releases are getting increasingly hard to predict. On one hand, you have the murky, industrial-influenced electronics of Nico Motte, the spaced-out synthesizer experiments of Stephane Laporte and the murky techno rhythms of Iueke; on the other, the humid, tribal-influenced tropical compositions of Albino and the shimmering, rave-era rush of Geena. It’s as if Vandewalle is a man of schizophrenic tastes; half of him wants to embrace misery, the other half run down Parisian streets naked, while feeling the love-for-all effects of particularly strong MDMA.

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E.R. – Qen Sew

by on at 09:32am

Addis Ababa via Washington DC. Displacement and nomadic migration is a pretty common contemporary existence at this point – particularly amongst a creative sector – but it’s surprising how much music still fails to deliver as a biographical narrative for changing places and cultures in a successful and involving way. What is so successful then about Qen Sew that makes it feel such a breath of fresh air? There’s vigour to E.R. (Ethiopian Records) that provides an immediate and refreshing clarity for one thing. Though the layout of a track might be addled, it is never uncomfortable in terms of positioning – introducing complex layering and polyrhythmic sequencing as delightful touches.

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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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IA Bericochea – Wake Up

by on at 09:05am

The name IA Bericochea won’t mean a great deal to anyone who wasn’t actively embracing minimal techno around the time that M_nus records was at its creative peak in the mid noughties. The Spanish producer certainly didn’t garner the attention of those in Hawtin’s inner circle, and after self-releasing an album on his own Rojo.IT imprint there has been very little to hear from the man. However those early releases, most notably the A single with its two ultra-reduced mournful reflections, struck a chord with some who could see the timeless qualities in the music far beyond the hype-baiting trends that were going on all around the minimal techno scene at the time.

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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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Various Artists – Workshop 21

by on at 09:25am

The Workshop Records release schedule moves in line with its content, unfurling with a slow and unpredictable quality, issued with the same minimum of fuss whether it’s a new album from Kassem Mosse or a live recording of Magic Mountain High. It’s a curious identity the German label has carved out for itself, maintaining a definite stylistic cohesion even as it seems to carry all sorts of different sounds.

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Entro Senestre – ES

by on at 09:23am

It may be in not be officially affiliated with the WT Records release itself, but this simple YouTube video for Entro Senestre’s “Rosegold” captures the essence of the track more perfectly than any review could; a looped Bart Simpson, eyes closed and dancing, lost in the moment as that dreamy piano plays out. There is nothing especially new to this track within the context of current trends in house music, but the way it is executed is truly memorable. Recent Terekke productions, but with some of haze wafted away, is a good way to describe “Rosegold” and the more I listen to it, the more it becomes clear it’s a track that will never tire.

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Various Artists – Eight Wigglin’ Ways To Die

by on at 09:52am

It may have started life around the same time as industrial techno raised its doomy, droning head above the parapet, but Earwiggle has little to do with that most pompous sound. There’s no doubt that Sunil Sharpe’s label is a champion of intense, frenetic techno, as the contributions from AnD and Martyn Hare to this compilation demonstrate, but it is derived by the early hardware machinations of Woody McBride and Neil Landstrumm – who also features on Eight Wigglin’ Ways To Die – as well as the free party wonkiness of Jerome Hill and electro’s fast pace funk.

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Herva – How To Mind Your Own

by on at 09:14am

Given their much publicized “no style” ethos – a neat way of avoiding the perils of preconceptions – it’s unsurprising the latest All City release comes from maverick Italian producer Herva. His 2014 debut album, Instant Broadcast, was something of an off-kilter classic, trawling through a myriad of contrasting influences with frankly weird results. That it not only hung together brilliantly, but also sounded terrific, is testament to both Herva’s growing confidence, and his ability to infuse tracks with a genuine sense of tipsy otherworldliness.

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Rezzett – Goodness

by on at 09:43am

One of the best things about the insurgence of low fidelity, punk-like house and techno from the last few years is that it’s reflected the ongoing leveling of status and skill through access to tools whilst simultaneously railing against linear, canned computer music with the nasty bits ironed out. The music is antagonistic – but often also gleeful, playful; indicative of a willingness to mess with the rules and pull cheap or arcane tricks to achieve. Sure, the online tutorials on how to fake tape-hiss in Ableton might yet stand as an enduring monument to the movement – but in a climate where we’re drinking out of mason jars and seemingly rolling towards a bourgeois engagement with faux ‘vintage’ and faux ‘artisanal’ maybe that has a fair currency as a mirror on contemporary cultural interest.

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Pev & Kowton – Signal 3/Low Strobe

by on at 09:39am

It feels like 2015 is the start of a new chapter for Livity Sound. Following that initial rip-roaring salvo of releases from Pev, Kowton and Asusu, last year was given over to the equally worthwhile remix series. Great though it was, not to mention stuffed to the brim with finely curated artists from outside of the Bristolian bubble, the Livity release schedule of 2014 felt like a pause while we waited for more of the original material to emerge. With an almost clinical level of organization the new year begins with the first of what promises to be a fresh salvo of material from the Livity camp, and it’s Pev and Kowton at the reins for two collaborative cuts that should satisfy anyone with a predilection for good electronic music. If that sounds like something of a critical cop out then so be it, but there is an interesting universality that lurks in these two new offerings.

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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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