Review: 2015 is Planet Mu's 20th anniversary year and it's fair to say they are completely bossing it with a succession of already classic albums from Jlin, Drew Lustman, and John T. Gast. We can add to this growing pile Reflekzionz, the latest album in a thoroughly compelling recording career from Nick 'Ekoplekz' Edwards, and a third for Planet Mu following the two he committed in 2014. Described by Planet Mu as invoking a "blurry, saturated false-memory of the leftfield electronica" that soundtracked Edwards' formative years in the early '90s, the 12 tracks come across as vintage Ekoplekz with red-lining synths and bubbling percussive processing in abundance.
Review: An imaginary recording studio that is a cross between King Tubby's on Dromilly Ave, Kingston, and the Radiophonic Workshop's Maida Vale studio in London, Dromilly Vale is the setting for the creation of Bristol producer Ekoplekz's excellent record on Public Information. It's a fascinating concept, and one that's pulled off with considerable finesse; intro "Dick Mills Blues" frames this idea with a cracked fog of soothing tones that could be considered sun-drenched, whilst the rest of the EP experiments extensively with the sonic qualities of the idea, with "Dromilly Vale" firing analogue bullets into an echo chamber and "Neutronix" sounding like a frantic 80s VHS ident caked in spring reverb. Far from being a novelty that wears thin, this is undoubtedly some of the producer's strongest work to date.
Review: The two Ekoplekz albums that Nick Edwards released through Planet Mu this year are possibly the most accessible long players issued by the Bristol-based artist in a rich, prolific production career. Pitching up on the West Norwood Cassette Library label is hardly the most expected of moves for an artist more commonly associated with Mego, Further and Mordant Music, but fans of those aforementioned Mu LPs will certainly find much to enjoy in this Rock La Bibliotek EP. The label claims Edwards has long been promising them some club focused material and these 6 tracks are the results, still retaining the sense of abstraction and daring freeform approach that has made Ekoplekz the powerful voice he is. File alongside Container and Hieroglyphic Being in the lurching, slightly foreboding end of the techno scale.
Review: Having forged his name in grubby lo-fi sonics with a strong pulse of post punk running through it, through some proactive A&Ring by Mike Paradinas Ekoplekz has been coaxed out of his abstract bolt hole and delivers an album of wild electronics shot through with classic machine soul. The synths that appear on tracks such as "Trace Elements" or "Pressure Level" would never have made it on to earlier releases, but they gel perfectly with the predominant Ekoplekz sound, enriching the listening experience rather than knocking the project off course. It's a fine continuation of both an artist, and the wider tradition of quality leftfield electronica, of which Planet Mu has been a major instigator.
Review: In a swirl of gurgling synth tones, the latest transmission from the mysterious world of Ekoplekz finds the producer in one of his most melodic, warm moods to date. The Entropik EP follows on logically from the Unfidelity LP which was also released on Planet Mu, allowing more room for harmonious tones to sit in amongst the squelchy dub ripples and charming layers of noise. "Entropy Flash" is an engrossing ride through mournful machine orchestrations with a strong techno propulsion to the component parts even without the common anchor of a sturdy kick drum. "Entropy Symphony" heads into more sparse territory as stark bleeps cascade downwards in a celebration of carefully handled dub feedback and its power to give the music a life of its own.
Review: At a time when so many of its early contemporaries are rarely seen releasing these days, Planet Mu's 20th anniversary is even more of a cause de celebre. The powerhouse of uncompromising leftfield electronic music has pulled no punches when it comes to commemorating the time, drawing on the staggering roster including Kuedo, Remarc, Traxman, Falty DL, Machinedrum, Milanese, Vex'd, Neil Landstrumm and so very many more besides, bringing together tracks from the vaults, from forgotten times, some of which have never previously seen the light of day. With 50 tracks to delve into, this is enough of an education to school even the most learned mind.
Review: The latest release from the excellent Public Information sees them return to the works of early electronic pioneer F.C. Judd with a selection of remixes from some well chosen contemporary artists. Originally the subject of a retrospective release from Public Information early in 2012 entitled Electronics Without Tears, F.C. Judd was an under-appreciated figure of early electronic music who experimented with oscillators, filters and amplifiers, alongside his own self-built electro-mechanical drum machine and experimental synthesiser, primarily during the 1950s and 60s. Interpretations On F.C. Judd is the result of the label haven given all artists involved access to Judd's entire archive of sounds, tone experiments, field recordings and lectures, and left them to "produce an audio artefact befitting of Judd himself". RVNG artist Holly Herndon, techno veteran Perc, Bandshell, Karen Gwyer, Ekoplekz and Throbbing Gristle's Chris Carter all contribute to an engaging collection of works.
Review: Back in 2010, Peverelist's Punch Drunk label released the Worth The Weight compilation, a collection of hard to find classics from Bristol's dubstep scene. In the years that have passed, dubstep has mutated, and so has Punch Drunk, with the classic dubstep sound giving way to something equally as likely to feature elements of house, techno and experimental music. It's this direction explored in the Worth The Weight Vol. 2: From The Edge, a 12-track compilation featuring tracks from the city and beyond. While Hodge and Tessela represent swung house and techno hybrids, Bass Clef and Ekoplekz are on hand to provide some strange analogue deviations, while Kahn and Zhou represent the city's Young Echo collective. With Pev himself, Andy Mac and Kowton delivering a remix of the classic "Roll With The Punches", this is an essential compilation for anyone with even a passing interest in the past few years of bass-centric UK music.