Reviewed this week
Lorenz Brunner recently debuted his new immersive live AV show at Berlin's CTM Festival. "Daemmerlicht" (fading light) is his fifth album and developed specifically for the cavernous space of Berghain's Saule. On the album however are Brunner's interpretations of ambient, electronica, classical music and hip hop oriented soundscapes. Here he implements a different musical approach to the usual techno and house infused material that he's most usually known for. There's a cinematic score approach to the dozen or so tracks featured on the album, where lush and complex string arrangements face off with sublime melodic sequences and skillful beat programming - taking the listener on a journey of Bavaria's Black Forest after midnight.
Second Circle's latest mini-album comes from the previously unheard Giuseppe Leonardi, a "young Viennese musician" whose heady, synthesizer-heavy style is reminiscent of some of the curious obscurities reissued on parent label Music From Memory. While experimental in nature - think skewed combinations of lo-fi analogue keyboards, sparse and dusty drum machine hits and all manner of manipulated voices - each of the five tracks is pleasingly melodious. Combined with a range of left-of-centre influences from the early-to-mid '80s (think new wave ambient, new wave and British post-punk dub), it makes for a heady and arresting collection of tracks that actually gets better with each successive listen.
Until now, Simon Haydo has been largely residing in the shadows, meticulously churning out his own brand of mind-bending techno, a particular cocktail of sounds which veers towards the "intelligent" side of dance music. His releases for DEM have been bountiful, and he's even appeared on Avian, but this time he's up on the excellent Pender Mannerfelt Produktion with The Illusion Of An Alternative Choice, his second LP to date. The album takes a steady course to reach a hypnotic climax, by bending percussion, bass and droned-out synths into an aqueous framework that is a magnificent representation of the times we live in, and of how dance music is now interpreted from the underground masses. Much like the works of Wasserman or Thomas Brinkmann, Haydo's style dips and dives into minimalism, and yet leaves the listener blown back by the smart amalgamation of rich sonics within. A recommended affair.
Alessio Natalizia aka Not Waving's Ecstatic imprint presents an album by former Walls bandmate Sam Willis. 'White on White' features improvisations made on the seminal PPG Wave synth and inspired by the work, life and theories of British constructivist artist Marlow Moss (1889-1958). A radical, gender-bending British Jewish lesbian and innovator of non-figurative art. It's a follow-up of sorts to Willis' 'Ascention' tape and leads on from his and Natalizia's reworks of Daphne Oram - arguably another overlooked British female pioneer of her field - collected on their 2014 album 'Sound Houses'. Moreover, there's little doubt that this is some of Willis' strongest solo work, which can be attributed to the fecund inspiration of Moss's work, life and theories, as well as his access to a prized arsenal of rare vintage synths.
Frank Bretschneider's material dates back to the mid 90s, when he co-founded the legendary Raster-Noton imprint, along with having constantly graced the underground charts with fiery waves of surreal electronics. In short, he's been unstoppable and inimitable ever since. This new LP, Lunik, lands on his native Shitkatapult, another label which has been instrumental in the proliferation of quirky, out-there dance movements since the early 00s. It's a beast of an album, spanning 11 tracks of otherworldly frequencies for the more trained ear; with a visceral nod to the likes of Sahko and the rest of the Finnish tech crew, it's in a perennial state of flux, never quite lingering and yet not quite the sort of dance-centric material you'd expect from a German imprint. Ambient-dance is probably the best way to describe its rich hedonism, and we believe that it'll be a fundamental standard to future generations of experimenters.
This is the second volume of remixes of C Cat Trance material. The 80s band's music was previously reworked by JD Twitch and Die Orangen, and this EP is just as impressive. Israeli duo Red Axes deliver a rumbling, tribal take on "Shake the Mind", while on his version of "Take Me To The Beach", UK DJ Jamie Paton lays down a sprawling, messy workout. Prins Thomas soon picks up the groove again though, and the Norwegian's version of "Sudaniyya" is a subtle disco affair, led by clipped drums and gamelan percussion. Finally, on their taken on "Simple Helen", Romanian pair Khidja drop a terse, dub-fuelled piece of mood music.
Certain Creatures is Oliver Chapoy, a New York City based producer that was lent his talents to various projects over the years such as Black Rain, Thug Entrancer and Sinkane in addition to collaborations with Brendon Moeller and Clay Wilson. These tracks are taken from his new album entitled "Nasadiya Sukya" on new local imprint Mysteries Of The Deep. "Cross Star Woman" receives a dub version served up by Bunker NYC resident Patrick Russell - here's an extremely deep and hypnotic excursion that's heavy on the low end. Birds of Prey is a collaboration of live electronics by Grant Aaron, Clay Wilson, Eric Holmes, and Camille Altay and their rendition of "We Live Inside A Dream" is a rather haunting and textural soundscape to lose yourself in.
Taken from the recording sessions of Love What Survives, the trio's 2017 album, Mount Kimbie return to Warp with the sounds of "Turtle Neck Man", and this is a delightful bit of news to hear at the tail-end of a cold February week. The London outfit's sounds are still as relevant as they were back when they first appeared in 2010, as they have a knack for always reinventing themselves. The tune in question is a stunner, bouncing its off-kilter rhythms to slices of pensive spoken word from the streets, making this an instant UK classic. Surely a winner to all sorts of electronic aficionados. Recommended!
Finnish bleep techno institution Sahko (via their Jimi Tenor helmed sublabel Puu) unleash these retrospective works by a relatively unknown producer. "Ofelia" was produced 20 years ago, the demo was lying in a drawer for 18 years until Ismo Laakso rediscovered the tapes - said to be produced between 1996-1999 and still sounding contemporary today. '80s industrial sounds blend with neo classical parts and contemporary drone music like on "Translucent", building up to insane Dadaist pieces like "Koskenhaltija" or the title track - which deconstruct the human voice in amazing fashion.
Alessio Natalizia aka Not Waving's Ecstatic imprint presents an album by former Walls bandmate Sam Willis. 'White on White' features improvisations made on the seminal PPG Wave synth and inspired by the work, life and theories of British constructivist artist Marlow Moss (1889-1958). A radical, gender-bending British Jewish lesbian and innovator of non-figurative art. It's a follow-up of sorts to Willis' 'Ascention' tape and leads on from his and Natalizia's reworks of Daphne Oram - arguably another overlooked British female pioneer of her field - collected on their 2014 album 'Sound Houses'. Moreover, there's little doubt that this is some of Willis' strongest solo work, which can be attributed to the fecund inspiration of Moss's work, life and theories, as well as his access to a prized arsenal of rare vintage synths.
Osaka experimentalist Kohei Matsunaga aka NHK yx Koyxen has been subverting electronic music's timeless DNA for two decades, creating a unique space in which unusual and freeform ideas meld both seamlessly and timelessly. He dons his signature 3D glasses again for Zurich's -ous- imprint, following up some impressive outings for the likes of Diagonal, L.I.E.S. and the legendary DFA - who presented his second full length album last year. From the the tough mentalist techno groove of Parallel Displacement and M, to the scattered polyrhythmic experiment of "Blue and Purple Horses" or the jagged and angular acid express of "Strange Gesture". Parallel Tempo is yet another example of this unique producer's singular sound.
The new release from UK techno legend Steve Bicknell's 6dimensions label uses philosophy of the human mind as a conceptual starting point for its output. Discovering a passion for music at an early age in Taipei, live performer, DJ and composer Jing writes short stories and produces musical soundscapes to convey them - like a short film without the visuals. While the content of "Adularescence" is colourful, it represents a black and white cult-classic filled with emotions. It is accompanied by a narrative to its 12 experimental parts, taking the listener on an unforgettable trip. Dark, psychedelic sounds permeate the eardrum, a beautiful and disturbing concoction of images relating to the text.
Astrud Steehouder and Nina Bosnic are back on their own MoonDome label with their fifth album, The Sky Looks Different Here. The style and guise has changed here, however, progressing from a black & white aesthetic towards a more vibrant cinematic experience that depicts the current state of beatless electronic music. Reminding us of work by the likes of CHI, this LP is like entering an ancient kingdom, where magical amulets and secret doorways pave the way for a joy and terror, all at once. What gives the album its extra slice of gravitas is the duo's voices gliding placidly over the ocean of shimmering atmospherics below; this is an album for anyone wishing to plug out and lift off into hyperspace. We recommend it wholeheartedly.