Review: Seven years have passed since Fort Romeau's last excursion, so this typically gorgeous and picturesque full-length excursion is undeniably long overdue. In keeping with the Chester-born producer's now trademark style, the eight-track set sees him add waves of attractive synthesizer sounds, colourful electronics, cascading guitars, dusty samples and loved-up riffs to sturdy but malleable deep house beats. The album's multitude of highlights include bluesy, post jazz-house number 'The Truth', the tech-tinged late-night wonkiness of 'Power of Grace', the sturdy and druggy after-hours chug of 'Ramona' and the dreamy lusciousness of title track 'Beings of Light'.
Review: A new Carsten Jost album on Dial. Wow, this is a rather special treat, and we would call this a Juno weekly special. Apart from the fact that this dude makes awesome music, the producer has been purely busy running the mighty Dial label over the last 20-odd years, and this is his first solo LP since 2000's "You Don't Need a Weatherman". He's obviously though about this piece for a while because it is masterfully executed throughout, and there is little that Mr.Jost could have done to make it any better. That's because it is deep house made by someone who understands people, not merely dancefloors. In other words, these eleven tracks work in unison and, rather than making up a list of single, danceable tunes, he's decided to go for the journey approach, one which we've always got time and respect for. From moments of pure house magic, to downtempo chillers, and even subtle nuances of techno, this is the real deal. Another Dial masterpiece.
Review: Frankfurt favourite Roman Flugel returns to Hamburg institution Dial, presenting his third album to date for the label. According to a press release, the All The Right Noises LP explores further the themes of hotel rooms while on tour: "a place where no beats are banging and euphoric party energy is absent. A place where only heartbeats call the tune." Take for instance woozy and sombre drifters such as "The Mighty Suns" or "Nameless Lake" (which are full of dusty and vintage machine flair) or tough and disjointed house jams like "Warm & Dewy". Or our favorite "Dead Idols" which borders on near techno moments. Rest assured that there are more uplifting and bouncy tracks on offer, such as the deep disco flavour of "Dust" or the emotive bittersweet title track, where its soaring drones will wash over you.
Review: "The Barbican is such a special and powerful space, I've had many of my greatest live musical moments there," tells Max Cooper in an interview. Yearning for the Infinite follows Cooper's 2018 LP One Hundred Billion Sparks which comes through a commission that the Barbican Centre gave Max Cooper in being able to present a live audiovisual show in an attempt to capture what he defines as 'the overwhelming vastness of infinity' within Kulturquartier's "Betonhalle". Impressive. Much like Nils Frahm, Max Cooper hits on many a sweet note when venturing through his own interpretation of liminality, arriving with the sound of fizzing electronics and the hum of hardware, to field recordings, live drums and emotionally affecting synths lines. A trip from start to finish.
Review: Here's a glorious selection of 12 bright and sun-drenched moments destined to be heard daily at the world's coolest beach clubs this summer and inevitably soundtracking a million gorgeous sunsets in Ibiza. This edition features exclusives aplenty. There are two album-only tracks; Tommy Awards gets an Ambient remix from Balearic's Jim Breese. Then The Madrigal blasts off with 'Ride To The Moon,' a completely unique track that's refreshing to hear. Three tracks were previously unavailable digitally, including the debut from Nancy Noise, Olefonken's spacey remix of Hubbabubbaklubb, and Steve Cobby's tropical-jazz remix of Penelope Antena's Tradewinds. Other highlights include Cantoma's 'Abando,' plus an incredible, modern interpretation of the 80's classic Southern Freeez from Paul Murphy. BALEARIC 3 captures the ineffable spirit of Ibiza - perfectly accompanying that unique moment when the golden sun meets the gleaming sea. It's destined to be a classic, go-to album you'll reach for again and again.
Review: Off! This Kill The DJ label just keeps on hitting new grounds, and this new collab between Car and Red Axes is further proof of just how exciting this collective really is. Car has already featured prominently for the label, but Red Axes has been churning out beast after beast for labels like ESP Institute, Hivern Discs and many others of the same calibre. Although we have labelled this as cold wave, because is does indeed transpire feelings of chilly melancholia, the EP is basically a collection of mindful techno tunes for the more explorative of DJ's. From "Incognito" through to "2040", there is a feeling of pensiveness and true romanticism, the sort you don't often hear anymore and one that we're always on the hunt for. A heavy artillery of remixes come demo Il Est Vilaine, and Tom Furse with two mighty versions. TIP!!!
Review: While the mythical The Future Sound Of London duo are usually associated with the late 80s and early 90s wave of techno and acid house, they two producers haven't exactly been quiet over the last five years. Their original material is what made them famous, larger than life personalities within the electronic music world but, over the last five years, their Environment series have taken developed - and even matured - their style significantly. That's because they're free to experiment here, just as they did back in the golden years of club music, except that they're now doing this without the restriction of 4/4 patterns, Roland drum machines of acid baselines. The sixth volume of Environment is is a work of beauty, an all-out journey into the deepest reaches of electronica, downtempo, and and drone. Seen through the lens of two veritable pioneers of modern, experimental music. Don't miss it.
Review: Wolverhampton based duo Richard Roberts and Andrew Harber aka Letherette return on Ninja Tune with their new full length: a 40-minute mix of previously unreleased productions have been unearthed in conjunction with their recently released second album for "Last Night On The Planet". This collection which explores ambient and deeper beats territory was originally released on a limited run cassette, but will see a digital release in 2017. Harber has stated that the tracks were "saturated onto cassette (Marantz CP430) a number of times to give it a crusty, aged and brittle edge, the playlist was conceived on a typically bleak night-bus ride through Birmingham."
Review: Traditionally, the UK's Nathan Fake has been closely associated to James Holden's eternal Border Community imprint, a label that has unapologetically stuck to its particular strain of house and techno over the last decade, and a quality that has certainly contributed to its constant success. We've always been great admirers of Fake's dreamy, progressive style of house music, and we see his recent collaborations with London's Ninja Tune as the perfect move for both himself and the mighty record label. Providence, his debut LP for the imprint, stretches the realms of his style to the limit, providing us with 12 highly diverse and explorative slices of IDM-filtered pseudi-house. In reality, there is little to none pure house music in here, but Fake manages to retain a certain momentum that renders these experimental tunes both danceable and enjoyable outside of the bedroom. Deep synths collide with glowing shards of percussion and deep, hyper-space sonics; even Prurient features one of the darker, looser tunes. Recommended!
Review: if there is one collaboration that we have bowed down to over the last few years, it's most certainly this new found friendship between London's Kevin Martin aka The Bug, and American doom metal guitarists, Earth. One wouldn't immediately make the connection between inner-city future-grime music and suburban stoner rock, but the two styles were in perfect unison, and this is because they're both fascinated with dark, looming clouds of bass. Whether that's through virtual synths or badass bass guitars, it doesn't matter, because the mood is mightily present. Concrete Desert is the alliance's debut LP, and it's all guns blazing from start to finish; tunes like "Snakes vs Rats" or "Metal Drone" represent exactly the sort of freshen-up that each respective act needed - on the one hand, The Bug could have done with some more external influences to the melodic constructions, while Earth needed a new framework to enter the minds of a new, European audience. We've dubbed this style 'metal drone', and we're pretty sure that it's gonna stick after you've hit the ol' play button. Top quality stuff - highly recommended!
Review: This new album from Kevin Martin's band of enchanting doom-mongers forms part of a new series that pits King Midas Sound against various collaborators. In this instance, Martin and vocalist Roger Robinson were moved to link up with Austrian ambient champ Fennesz, whose laconic guitar tones lend an ethereal, orchestral quality to the haunted dub that KMS have always been known for. The ballads linger in an uneasy tension, both gentle in application but unsettling in tone, while Robinson and Kiki Hitomi once again share mic duties to round out the affecting situation in an unexpected but utterly magnificent meeting of minds.
Review: London's corpulent Ninja Tune returns with a follow-up from Lee Bannon, another LP in a similarly washed out and ambient-heavy guise. Pattern Of Excel is positively abstract the whole way through, where watery shades of drone meet sparse bleeps and glitchy sonics. Many of the tracks within contain an almost free jazz feel to them - check "Good/Swimmer" and "Artificial Stasis" - making the whole album a long a complex journey into electro-acoustic treatment and experimentation. This is one you want on during a session of heavy meditation. Vast, wild and recommended.
Review: Fans of A/V pioneer Amon Tobin were thrilled when he broke a three-year silence with an exclusive Record Store Day release of Dark Jovian last month. However not everyone was able to get their hands on the luxuriantly packed double vinyl set, so now a digital version has surfaced to keep everybody happy. It's a stunning five-track cosmic soundtrack inspired by Tobin's obsession with space exploration movies and an attempt 'to interpret a sense of scale, like moving towards impossibly giant objects and planets turning'. Also included are haunting reworks by Lee Gamble, Logos and Eprom!
Review: Fake's Providence narrative continues with unique and innovative thrust as renowned experimental composer Olga Wojciechowska repurposes and re-orchestrates his most startling and original work to date. Rich, perplexing and full of drama, Nathan's signature abrasion is felt with even more emphasis and timeless scope as the eminent Polish composer works her magic. Also included is a breath-taking ambient twist from Konx-Om-Pax and live versions from Nathan himself. Providential.
Review: In the period since the release of his late 2012 album Hardcourage, Drew Lustman has founded his own label as well as dropping singles on Swamp81 and Ninja Tune, slipped out the odd remix and kept up a busy touring schedule. Where he managed to fit in the studio time for a fourth album In The Wild is not clear but a new FaltyDL long player will always be welcome. At 17 tracks long, In The Wild is Lustman's most comprehensive display of his production palette by some distance with the Brooklyn based artist using the afforded space to really go deep into his various creative impulses. It's a lot to take in immediately, but tracks such as "Frontin'" and "Ahead The Ship Sleeps" feel like FaltyDL on top form.
Review: Since the dawn of the decade, A Winged Victory For The Sullen has delivered occasional albums for Erased Tapes that effortlessly blur the boundaries between ambient, electronic experimentalism and emotion-stirring neo-classical music. "The Undivided Five" marks their first appearance on mighty British independent Ninja Tune, and as a result seems a little more grandiose in scale and ambition than some of their earlier outings. It was recorded in eight different studios around Europe, with the pair combining atmospheric orchestration and traditional instrumentation with occasional glimpses of modular electronics. It feels like a stunning soundtrack to a movie we've not yet seen - unsurprising given that they have previously composed a number of scores - and genuinely gets better with each successive spin.
Review: Following on from appearances on Kaleidoscope and No Pain In Pop, patten makes his way onto Warp with his stubborn brand of fractured collage music, revelling in drunken rhythm and delirious sample placement to create a hypnagogic long player rich with homespun charm. There is a consistent distance to the way patten places his sounds, whether it be a heavily treated horn or a scuffed drum hit, with everything dangling just out of reach, not least on borderline-beatless moment "Here Always". There are more tangible incidents as well, such as the gentle whir of "Drift" with its nudging bass tones, but by and large this is an album to get cast asunder by, and it does that casting very well indeed.
Review: Given that Warp Records has described this set from ambient legend Brian Eno as "almost as much musical novel, as a traditional album", it's perhaps fitting that this limited edition comes housed in a hardback book. The album's narrative unfurls slowly across the album's four tracks, picking up pace during the 26-minute "Fickle Sun" suite of tracks. Predictably, it's all hugely atmospheric and attractive, featuring a mix of dreamy electronics, twinkling pianos, poetic spoken word extracts and, according to Eno's own notes, "three-dimensional recording techniques". Perhaps most intriguing of all, though, is closer "Fickle Sun I'm Set Free", which sees Eno paying tribute to the hazy, psychedelic pop of Harry Nilsson.