Review: Ambient-drone legend Fennesz has been a pioneer in the science of sound for many years, and London's Touch has been responsible for releasing arguably his best and most important work to date. For its latest release, Touch has reissued the inimitable Venice as a 10th anniversary edition, and the album still sounds as fresh today as it did 10 years ago. It's ambient, for sure, but of a certain variety and quality. Filled with organic sounds and field recordings, tracks like "Rivers Of Sand" have become the blueprint for much of the work made in the same genre today, tailor-made for fans of Oneohtrix Point Never and a lot of the output on Bill Kouligas' PAN label. Unmissable.
Review: There seems to be a huge amount of Material coming out by Mike Cooper of late and whether they are reissues or new material, this guy has been consistently impressive throughout his career, and always able to reinvent himself and keep himself in the cutting-edge. This new mini LP is all about exploration and the moulding of abstract sounds, with the likes of "Te Lapa Phosphorus" spread across exotica, drone, and noise. "Bendigo To Kyoto" flutters its bird sounds and odd bleeps at all angles, but Cooper manages to unleash tidy grooves of sound - totally beret of beats - but still packing a tight melodic bundle. We love this guy - highly recommended.
Review: If ever there was an artist whose approach lent itself to soundtrack work, it would be Christian Fennesz. Here the Austrian experimentalist turns his hand to AUN; a film examining the strained relationship between man and nature. The music is, as you might expect, a languid and serene affair that moves through tender guitar treatments, poignant piano pieces with Ryuichi Sakamoto, and swathes of texture that create a bizarrely organic sonic form around the plaintive melodies at the heart of the music. If you're already familiar with Fennesz then you know what to expect, and if not set the time aside to let the delicate tendrils of his compositions ensnare your brain.
Review: Although the past several years have seen ambient musician Christian Fennesz collaborating with a number of high profile figures - Ryuchi Sakamoto to name one - as well as release an EP, cassette, and soundtrack, the Austrian's last full solo LP was 2008?s Black Sea, making Becs very eagerly awaited indeed. A conceptual follow-up to 2001's seminal Endless Summer, Becs supposedly eschews the drone-based productions of Black Sea and sees a return to the "more florid pop mechanisms" of Endless Summer, something evident across the searing yet colourful textures that make up the album.
Review: The notorious "Fa", featured on the classic LP, Hotel Paral.lel by Fennesz gets a welcomed re-edit by the man himself, on Editions Mego. More than 15 years after its release, the track still sounds as fresh as ever - managing to blur the lines between club music and drone psychedelia, but this 2012 reinterpretation adds an extra breath of warmth and subtlety thanks to its extended arrangement. Mark Fell aka Sensate Focus combines a healthy dosage of prophetic vocals and sharp percussion on the (digital) B side, without compromising the original's sparseness and freedom of movement. Spectacular journeys into sound.
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: Kicking off the double-headed mix album opus that forms the third such compilation on their own Monkeytown imprint, this EP offers up the individual tracks for those who crave them. The first disc unfurls in serene electronica tones from such luminaries as Fennesz, Nosaj Thing and somewhat surprisingly The Fall. Akkord's supple, dark techno gets channeled here into a more brooding broken beat excursion, but it's more of an exception to the sweet-natured quality in most of the tracks. When the likes of Howling and Born In Flamez close out the compilation, the tone has shifted to outright indie styles with a Sigur Ros regality about them.
ELEH & BJNilsen & Nana April Jun - "Side Two" - (17:21)
Chris Watson & Mika Vainio & Carl Michael Von Hausswolff & Jana Winderen - "Side Three" - (18:19)
Philip Jeck & Francisco Lopez & Z'EV Hildur Gudnadottir & Biosphere - "Side Four" - (17:49)
Review: It's always a pleasure to see new Touch material coming out, but this new LP marks their thirty years of experimentation and success with four exclusive collaborations by their most celebrated artists - epic? We think so...Even their compilation comes as part of a concept format, depicting "Collosus" on its front cover - the first computer ever made. Each of the four pieces is a fluid combination of at least three producers, broken up into seventeen minute fragments of field recordings, modular excursions and spacious drones. It would be a shame to spoil it for you, so instead we thought we'd just let you know that it includes the works of: Mika Vainio, Eleh, Fennesz, Bruce Gilbert, BJ Nilsen, Biosphere, Hildur Gudnadottir, Philip Zeck, Z'EV, Jana Winderen, CM von Hausswolff and Oren Ambarchi. Pretty damn impressive and downright unmissable in our books...
Plastikman & The Persuader & Van Bonn & Arnold Tempo & Donnacha Costello & Deepchord - "Consumed/Pinnharan/Abroad/Quarion Was Digging For Water/Grape A/DC14 (A1)" - (3:57) 125 BPM
Siopis & Joris Voorn & Lau Frank & Audio Werner & Jichael Mackson & Roland Klinkenberg - "Listen To The Whispers/Where Have You Gone? (Part 1)/7am (D" (feat Mr Brean - Jody Hannan remix) - (3:35) 125 BPM
Howling & Christian Fennesz & Julien Aubert & Martin Aquino & Christian Fennesz & John Tejada & Glac - "Signs (Matom Remix)/Kae/Feelmar (Gaspard De La Montagne Remix)/Red Pavement (Halo & Alex Fuent" - (4:36) 125 BPM
Joris Voorn & Giash - "Fall (Nobody Home Dream Interpretation Mix) / Space Odyssey" - (4:55) 125 BPM
Cobblestone Jazz - "Drawn From The Side Of Crime" - (2:45) 125 BPM
Sounds Like Us & Donnacha Costello & Sagat & Roland Klinkenberg - "Little Helper 163-4/Backache/Body/Departures" - (3:50) 125 BPM
Monobox & Tadeo & Robert Hood & Reggy Van Oers - "Realm/Deep Space/AM Track/Mavie" - (5:53) 125 BPM
Nasty Habits & Anton Pieete & Tom Day & Monsoonsiren & Tom Day & Monsoonsiren & Joris Voorn - "Shadow Boxing/Next Year (Mosca's Skaep Niwt Version)/Love Is Rare/Dreams/Left (Roland Klinke" - (2:48) 125 BPM
Wolfgang Voigt & Rekord 61 - "Empathie/Sverh" (Radio Slave FYM remix 2) - (3:58) 125 BPM
Joran Van Pol & Speedy J - "Exist/Fill 17" - (4:05) 125 BPM