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Kuedo – Assertion Of A Surrounding Presence

by on at 09:35am

It was surprising news when Jamie ‘Kuedo’ Teasdale and Joe Shakespeare announced Knives, a joint platform for music, visual art and graphic design in May. There have rarely been any signs of activity by Kuedo since Severant, his 2011 album, which shaped his vision of retro leaning sci-fi music. Together with Roly Porter as Vex’d, Teasdale was one of the innovators in dubstep, but Severant demonstrated a progression to work with detailed sounds of synthesizers and customized beats that stem from Footwork and contemporary Hip-Hop. It showed an intellectual approach to music but the tracks and Kuedo’s DJ sets are still strongly connected to bass heavy club music.

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Steffi – JBW25

by on at 11:42am

Steffi Doms has established solid footing in Berlin’s music community over the last six years which means she’s pretty much mastered it all. Not only can she create propulsive, textured techno tracks to rival the devastating functionality of the rest of the Ostgut Ton roster, but she can also create uplifting results when she chooses to dip into the populist side of house balladry. Coming off a recent run of festival appearances, Doms has also mastered her first live set circuit, recreating her work with improvised tactility that responds to the needs of whoever’s in front of her. Doms’ versatility was part of what kept 2014′s Power of Anonymity engaging throughout; and while this writer’s favourite moments on the LP included the borderline goofy Prince-esque squelch of Virginia & Dexter-collaboration “Treasure Seeking”, the wake of the LP finds her revisiting techno, electro and IDM roots in the form of a set of remixes from Answer Code Request and Further Reductions.

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Black Rain & Shapednoise – Apophis

by on at 09:20am

There’s something undeniably fascinating about different generations of underground musicians collaborating, and we’ve certainly seen our fair share of late. There are the obvious ones; the force to be reckoned with that is Carter Tutti Void, bass frequency specialists Pinch and Sherwood and, of course; how could we not mention Surgeon & Starlight. Now we’re presented with a joint endeavour from New York City no-wave legend Stuart Argabright and sonic terrorist Nino ‘Shapednoise’ Pedone on the latter’s newly inaugurated imprint Cosmo Rhythmatic. Unlike Pedone’s other label Repitch, which he runs with fellow Italians Ascion and D. Carbone and is known for tough, functional techno for dancefloors, Cosmo Rhythmatic is said to be devoted to more outer limits sound experiments. This was seen on the first release by French avant-garde producer Franck Vigroux and this new offering treads the same musical territory.

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Bézier – 皆 (Mina)

by on at 14:16pm

Back in 2010, San Francisco’s self-styled “queer DJ/artist collective” Honey Soundsystem launched a record label called HNY Trax. Their first release, Honey Soundsystem Presents: Brotherhood, was a quirky, limited edition CD-R box set, containing a seemingly random selection of scaled-down artworks and music from “like-minded dance music producers around the world”. Tucked away in the midst of that 13-track selection was a synthesizer-heavy cut entitled “Serengeti Drive”, credited to Robot Hustle, a now long forgotten alias of synthesizer obsessed Honey Soundsystem resident Robert Yang. Since then, HNY Trax’s output from the likes of Stereogamous and Alexis Blair Penney has arguably been dwarfed by the successful rise of the Honey Soundsystem nights and the label went into hiatus in 2013.

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Ossia – Red X

by on at 10:46am

Wading through the deluge of Young Echo affiliated material, Daniel ‘Ossia’ Davies has come a round-about way to his first solo release proper, but at the point of making the Ossia debut on Blackest Ever Black he has laid some strong foundations underneath him. From starting out with the Peng Sound! parties in Bristol through to jointly running the Rwd Fwd cassette-friendly online shop, not to mention co-steering the No Corner and Hotline labels, Davies has shown a dogged determination to uphold un-digital, handmade, DIY ethics in music with an authentic conviction that is palpable in an age of ‘shabby chic’ and other such faux-aged aesthetics.

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Miss Kittin & The Hacker – Lost Tracks Vol 1

by on at 10:46am

Flashback: I’m back at a Mediterranean pool party in a miniskirt made out of a binbag having an incoherent conversation about how awful it is to work in the fashion industry when none of us ever worked in the fashion industry. Bravo, Dark Entries, for putting out records that are interesting nevermind how brutal the memories they conjure might be. Odd decision, to dig through the studio offcuts of Miss Kittin and The Hacker, but an interesting one. Following Josh Cheon’s mantra “if I like it, I’ll put it out”, as he told Richard Brophy on Juno Plus, there’s a certain logic to the move as well. I remember buying a CD compilation by INCredible called This Is Not The ‘80s years ago in an Athens record store which featured a number of Kittin and co. tracks and thinking mmm, yes well, this is not the ‘80s but it undoubtedly descends from there.

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Spatial – Emergence #1

by on at 09:44am

When Spatial first emerged in late 2008, dubstep was wholeheartedly entering its mutation phase, splicing cells with techno, electro and drum & bass to create the groundwork for what could only be described as a wonderfully amorphous electronic music scene as we know it today. The first of his own Infrasonics releases, with their crisp presentation and equally aerodynamic production rightly turned heads, seeming to tap into the funky possibilities of minimal techno and cheeky 2-step getting it on around the 140 bpm margin. The label branched out to include an early (and decidedly different) appearance from Ike Release, as well as the likes of xxxy and Jamie Grind, and it seemed as though a little of the needlepoint focus had perhaps been lost in a reflection of the dizzying new tributaries springing up away from that thrill of the new that dubstep brought about.

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Slack DJs – Glasshouse Mountains EP

by on at 13:31pm

On paper, this TTT collaboration between two of Paris’s more interesting producers of recent times seems a little unlikely. On one hand, you have L.I.E.S regular and Editions Gravats co-owner Low Jack, a producer whose distinctive output has blurred the boundaries between industrial-influenced stripped back techno, experimental noise, dirt-encrusted ambience and opium-soaked. On the other, there’s D.K., whose recent releases for Antinote have been almost the opposite: breezy, picturesque, warm and melodious, with clear Balearic and new age house influences. While his releases under the alternative 45 ACP alias have been a little on the dustier, more distorted side – particularly the Change of Tone mini-album on L.I.E.S – unfettered beauty and positive mood enhancement remain the foundation of his output.

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Acre & Filter Dread – Interference

by on at 09:33am

The dark can make structural forms invisible, altering our sense of perception. Blackness sometimes also enables an atmosphere of creation. You don’t see anything, but you can imagine everything. Individually Acre and Filter Dread have created sinister, fierce and frayed music caught between grime, techno, and UK garage and continue this path together on their first collaborative release, Interference. In case it is too dark in the club to see your hands in front of your face you will at least feel your body with these tracks.

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Koova – This Is Not My Future

by on at 09:56am

Koova, aka London Modular Alliance member Gavin Pykerman, has only a small catalogue of releases, but has put out music under this banner on some of the most respected modern electro labels, including AC Records, Abstract Forms and Brokntoys. Adding to that list is This Is Not My Future, which is issued on the acclaimed CPU imprint. While the Koova sound is rooted in classic electro and techno sounds, there is no sense of the frosty purism that often prevails on new school, retro-facing releases.

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Chemotex – Thulsa

by on at 10:08am

The Trilogy Tapes has become one of the most unavoidable and tight-knit forces in underground dance music. Will Bankhead’s continually inventive ways to present variants on the label’s TTT logo on fabric have been worn countlessly by producers and fans alike – meaning that even if you’ve not heard anything from their back catalogue, you’re probably still familiar with The Trilogy Tapes.

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Simo Cell – Cellar Door

by on at 09:40am

Dnuos Ytivil serves as a perfect name for Livity Sound’s sister imprint – it’s disorienting enough to make you stumble over the words, while also triggering some immediate, if unconscious association to the heavyweight Bristolian label. Dnous Ytivil releases share their purpose with the label’s name: Both re-enforcing the larger Livity mandate of creating tense oscillations between build up and thundering release, while also swinging the spotlight to leftfield names that don’t share the current stardom of Pev, Kowton & company.

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Reginald Omas Mamode IV – All Together

by on at 10:38am

Soon, the Deenmamode clan could become the most famous Peckham family since the fictional Trotters of Only Fools & Horses fame. Certainly, three of the brothers have already made their mark, playing a vital role in pushing forward the kind of drowsy, soulful beat-scapes for which the South East London borough has become famous for in recent years. While it is Joseph Deenmamode, under his now familiar Mo Kolours alias, that has undoubtedly made the greatest impression, siblings Jeen Bassa and, in particular, Reginald Omas Mamode IV are making huge strides in this regard.

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Marco Bernardi – Motionless

by on at 09:39am

There is no doubt that Marco Bernardi is a multi-tasker, but is there a danger that he spreads his talent too thinly? On paper, this could appear to be the case, with the Scottish producer putting out seven EPs and 12″s last year and already responsible for five records in 2015. However, the reality is markedly different; there is a big difference between the widescreen electro of his Never Ending Similarities record on Harbour City Sorrow from last year and the recent techno-oriented Miracle Sign release as MB, but they both share Bernardi’s skilful, detailed touch and dedication to a decidedly raw sound design.

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Florian Kupfer – Explora

by on at 09:31am

The first minute and a half of Florian Kupfer’s new record is just a voice calling out into the darkness, the phrase “explore your fantasy…” etched with reverb, stretched beyond the limits of human vocal chords, pitched down to a satanic gurgle. Exploration has been a staple in the young German producer’s career. When Kupfer told Inverted Audio “I think I have to do something else than just hypnotising the crowd with 4/4 for six hours these days,” in an interview last year, it seems as if he unconsciously nailed his production ethic on the head.

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Mark Forshaw – The Fuck

by on at 09:55am

Rightly or wrongly, Liverpool DJ and producer Mark Forshaw has toiled in the shadows of his peer and occasional collaborator John Heckle. That situation looks likely to change with the release of The Fuck. While Forshaw has put out a small body of work on labels like Mathematics and Tabernacle, it is not hard to imagine his debut on Berceuse Heroique turning heads. This has nothing to do with Forshaw suddenly becoming the latest in vogue producer and everything to do with the radical approach he explores on this record.

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Black Point – EP 1

by on at 09:51am

Out To Lunch, Lowtec’s original label project, was a shining bastion for the alternative creatives that hovered on the fringes of the European minimal boom in the early ‘00s. In a style that has been concurrently carried through for the rest of his career, Jens Kuhn instinctively guided himself towards a different kind of reduced weirdness. Without needing to resort to the clinical mathematics of glitch and sidestepping the temptation towards cartoonish surreality, the Lowtec style has continued to be a rare and precious thing in the realms of house and techno that yearn for more than the lowest common denominator. After the label paused operations in 2005, Lowtec admittedly hit his stride in terms of profile, thanks to his part in the Workshop phenomenon and then by proxy appearing on Nonplus and breaking through to a much wider audience.

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Herron – The Night Garden

by on at 10:46am

The variance of Manchester collective meandyou. has meant an easy slip into label work from their Manc Soup Kitchen shows – the ‘various’ records with four artists (each consciously related, indebted, or otherwise foundational to the party line) has seen a natural extension of the founders’ natural promotional style, valuing growth through the meanderings of house residents and the relationships they throw up.

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Terepa – Terepa

by on at 14:53pm

“What do you get when you stick a bunch of noise musicians in separate rooms and tell them to play along with each other?” This sort of question might seem like the type of joke your uncle who doesn’t understand your musical tastes might make at a family barbecue, it’s also essentially the premise of Terepa, a project formed of Rashad Becker, Charlotte Collin, Lucrecia Dalt, Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, Kohei Matsunaga, and Grégoire Simon. Indeed, the core concept that brings these noteworthy experimentalists together is the idea that each of the seven performers scattered across the globe all begin to improvise a twenty minute simultaneously, using nothing other than intuition, years of musical knowledge, and, depending on your thoughts about swarm intelligence, maybe even some intangible telepathic powers.

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DJ Guy – Ancient Future (1993-1997)

by on at 15:26pm

After his All Caps release helped announce his presence to the world, Guy Evans is now in the rather pleasant position of having a wealth of archive material the likes of which are being lapped up by those with a taste for classic UK techno and a love of genuine provenance. That all these tracks have been sat gathering dust on cassette tapes for decades only adds to the esoteric charm, and as long as the music mined remains this worthy then may the vinyl issues continue unabated.

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