Review: The final installment of Tim Hirst's two-part release with No 'Label' operation as Design A Wave proves to be every bit resistant to easy definition. Given that Hirst has previously collaborated with Heatsick and released the under-valued Live On Your Yard LP on Luke Younger's Alter a few years back, this shouldn't be a surprise in the least. Fans of Stephen Warwick's extended Casio jams will actually resonant with some of the sounds here, which veer from a squat punk funk disco shuffle on opening track "Neanderthal Nyquist" to lopsided, malfunctioning electro with "Movie Of Helipad". "Auto Resonance Machine" is another overt punk funk number, but it's blessed with synth swirls that are blindingly pretty, whilst "Cerebellum" opts for a more pensive, instrumental mood.
Review: Rush Hour's No 'Label' is now available on digital. A.R.M. 1 is the first of two EPs from synth wave artist Design A Wave, the alias of solo artist Tom Hirst who was responsible for the Live On Your Yard LP on Luke Younger's Alter label back in 2012. The record's combination of angular coldwave guitar and more playful synth textures make for an intriguing mix , with the idiosyncratic pop of "Cerebellum" and warm Balearic sound of "Time For Re-Arranges" both making for some of the most unique music to come out of the Amsterdam record store in some time. Somewhat baffling is the inclusion of "Weird F", which will be recognisable to those who purchased the recent No 'Label' outing from ##### as a beatless version of one of the sides of that essential plate. Whatever the reason, it's still an excellent entry into the series.
Review: DJ Nobu is one of Japan's most acclaimed selectors, but is also increasingly becoming known as a producer. On this release for the wonderfully left of centre Rush Hour No 'Label' platform, he shows why his production reputation has developed so much. "Zzzz" is a sprawling, jazzy affair that twists and turns over the course of its 15-minute journey. By contrast "Wwww" is a lean, minimal techno track that recalls the pared back rhythms of Sahko. Clearly, Nobu's productions are as diverse as his DJ sets and this release concludes with "Cccc", where the Japanese artist drops a swirling, spaced out techno track that will lead the listener down a tripped out wormhole.
Review: Diego Herrera's newest alias is SK U NO, where the artist commonly known for his work as Suzanne Kraft explores more seductive, neon-lit aesthetics via textured FM synthesis - as heard on a recent run of terrific releases on Jonny Nash's Melody As Truth imprint. U KNO is the first solo release from the Amsterdam based artist in a couple of years. With this collection of tracks, Herrera created two live performances in Paris and Amsterdam last year, and they are presented as a snapshot of his studio explorations at the time.
Review: Given the calibre of artists that have previously featured on the No 'Label' series it's no surprise to see Luke Wyatt appear under his increasingly ubiquitous Torn Hawk name. While Quadrifolio arrives in the slightly obscure gatefold double 7" format, on digital, you will focus on the track only. Tracks such as "Grey Stain" and "Nice Nails" are avant garde but beat focused enough to be danceable, though only the most skilled selectors can manipulate seven inches with stealth. "Strike Inside" is perhaps our favourite however, really showcasing Wyatt's talent for crafting collages of sound into a dizzying whole.
RHD 7001HAWKDIGI 20 Nov 17 Experimental/Electronic
Stealing Goedes From The Nature Company - (2:20) 62 BPM
Not Quite Music - (0:47) 61 BPM
Review: Luke Wyatt is an NYC lo-fi experimentalist, now dwelling in Berlin and heads up the Valcrond Video imprint: which in recent times has served up great work by fellow retroverts in the form of Aussie electro fiend Privacy, the L.I.E.S. affiliated Steve Summers and analogue techno heroine Xosar. The sludgy and slow burning midnight rock on the title track is reminiscent of The Birthday Party via Ry Cooder, until he throws us a curveball with the aquatic electro frequencies of "Poser". Then the vibe remains the same however "Stealing Geodes From The Nature Company" is a much deeper and experimental take on the Dopplereffekt sound. Finally, Wyatt gives you his perspective of Bob Dylan on the cheeky post punk ditty "Not Quite Music".
RHD 7002HAWKDIGI 20 Nov 17 Experimental/Electronic