Review: Exit supergroup Binary Collective (comprising dBridge, Joe Seven, Kid Drama and Consequence) lay down their debut document? And it?s every shade of retro-stated future you?d hoped it would be. Diving deep into the analogue abyss, each cut attempts to out-deep the next while remaining well weighted and groove-focused. ?Binary Theme? is Moroder on Mogadon, ?In Pursuit? is a car chase in toxic treacle, ?Cloud Creeping? is what triphop would sound like if it was invented 20 years later while ?Sentries Watch Us? sounds like one of Parliament?s more experimental jams but played and recorded under water. These daft comparisons are just the tip of the iceberg, though ? it?s hard to reference music as matchless as this? Listen and interpret it in your own universe.
Review: Amongst those that keep track of these things, German trio Hyonobeat are considered proto-techno pioneers. While it's not known whether Detroit's Belleville Three were fans, you could argue that Hynobeat's rhythm-focused approach pre-dated both techno and Chicago house. Thanks to this fine retrospective from Dark Entries, you can judge for yourself. The material included was all recorded between 1983 and 1986, with the wild, off-kilter polyrhythms and ragged TB-303 lines of "The Arumbeya Fetish", mutant electro of "Kilian" and high-octane thrust of the decidedly out-there "Mission in Congo" standing out. Remarkably, Hypnobeat would chain together drum machines and bass synthesizers to create their tracks - a practice that would later become common during the acid house era.
Review: For a slice of Heavenly Sweetness from arguably the best alt-contemporary jazz and spiritual label out there, may we reintroduce the sounds of four piece Laurent Bardainne & Tigre D'eau Douce! Having debuted last year with the four track Marvin EP, the group goes large with the Love Is Everywhere album taking in the freshest sounds of brass horns, percussion and free-lacin' cool jazz with all matter of rhodes, cowbells, drums and funkadelic basslines. For subtle disco vibrations look to "Bachibouzouk" alongside freer jazz compositions like "Cabane" and "Apaches". Recorded at ICP studios in Brussels the ensemble looks to ragtime in "Kinshasa" while keeping it mellow and subdued in "Everlasting Child" and spy movie themed in "Song Dong Hee".
Voices Came Crackling Across A Motorola Hand-Held Radio - (5:10)
He Held The Victims Responsible - (3:44)
Chechnya's Ghosts Loom Large In Death Of Former Spy - (6:09)
Snipers As A Breed Tend To Be Superstitious - (7:16)
Review: The heavily sought after "Ghosts Of Chechnya" cassette finally sees a digital release. Vatican Shadow is unstoppable at the moment, his alchemistic beats and military themes marking him out as a singular talent. This latest affair, a sort of LP, is nothing short of stunning and it's tracks like "The House Of The Followers" with its dubbed-out, reverberant noises, that make Vatican Shadow stand out among his peers. The aptly named "Voices Came Crackling Across A Motorola Hand-Held Radio" is another beast, where chugging kick drums meet ominous pads and crackling static. "Chechnya's Ghosts Loom Large In Death Of Former Spy" is another fine example of his creative ability to mould techno into any shape he sees fit; but it's the filling spaces made up of eerie melodies and stripped beats, like "Snipers As A Breed Tend To Be Superstitious" which make his recordings so enchanting. Highly recommended as usual.
Review: Austria's dance luminary drops a full-blown bombshell on Editions Mego. After 15 years in the game, Quehenberger has become a master in functionality, whether it be disco oriented or something a little darker and more abstract. This latest album is of the latter category, where the producer goes into a murky, shadowy mood by producing an entire work made up of funky yet eerie lo-fi jams for the more pensive state of mind.
Review: Refreshing electronic pop infusions from an absolute legend in the post-punk game. Edward Graham Lewis was part of the mythical Dome outfit back in the early '80s, a group whose roots were tied to the even more infamous Wire! Editions Mego never ceases to surprise, and Lewis' contemporary work on this release for the label is sublime. Rich with charisma and diversity, where techno, industrial and cold wave fuse with utter grace, this is another Editions Mego classic. "All Over" itself is something of a spectacle but do check the rest, especially "Quick Skin" and "Prison Buzzard".
Review: Ravi Binning's Thought Broadcast moniker is a manifestation of the artist's experimental edge at its most organic. We've been told that only the grittiest and most archaic of production methods went into the making of this record - analog machinery and a heavy focus on tape manipulation, most specifically - and it's exactly this which makes Benning's third LP for Editions Mego so special. From start to finish, the music is dense and chilling, but at the same time raw and stripped to the bone. Benning's singular drone twists move cleverly along rich soundscapes made up of glacial effects and even subtle swirls of noise, demonstrated ably on "Runaway Signal". It's not all completely abstract, however, and the grainy beats of tracks like "Carving A Bow" or even "Forged Body" make this album a certified winner on all fronts.
Review: Editions Mego's latest amalgamation of organised noise comes from none other than Russell Haswell, a man whose been globetrotting the world of leftfield labels - from Downwards to Warp, his unique style of detached arrangements and organic sounds is becoming less obscure with each release albeit his dark and moody aesthetic. The apocalyptic "Black Metal" kicks off the LP and we're immersed in a war zone of crackling oscillations and detonating sonics, forming a thick layer of menacing drones. The first sight of a regular kick drum comes on "Killer Snakehead", a frenzied workout of white noise, stripped-naked beats and flickering synth stabs; but his mastery of the noise elements comes on "Record Shop Day", where Haswell creates only a fuzzy and frenetic distortion of a techno track, no beats or recognisable sounds, just the bare outline of what techno would sound like played through a distorted set of speakers. Brilliant.
Review: Editions Mego has always been good at picking new talent, but they've really surpassed all expectations this year. Gridshifter makes his debut with a ten track LP ranging from diverse noise spectrums such as on "Dedispersion" to more droned-out soundscapes, most notably on the magnificent "Rotor". It's not really a noise LP as such with most tracks making fine textural additions to any techno DJ set, such as the UFO-emitting sounds of "Peano", the fuzzy two-step chant that is "Gridshifter 05" or even the tribal and futuristic bundle of drums featured on "Triggerext". It's definitely an LP to handle with care...
Review: British techno veteran Oliver Ho has released some fine material as Broken English Club since debuting the alias back in 2014. The English Beach, Ho's second BEC full-length and first for L.I.E.S, is the audio equivalent of a trip to a run-down North Sea coastal resort on a wet Wednesday in November. Full of end-of-days electronics, stripped-back industrial techno, moody minimal wave shufflers and bubbly EBM workouts, it's as authentic a tribute to early '80s electronic experimentalism as you're likely to hear all year. Highlights include the Nitzer Ebb style bounce of "Pylon", the foreboding, desolate electronica of "Rust Ballad", the angry electro moodiness of "Carrion" and the rolling, organ-laden autumnal bliss of "The English Beach".