Review: Having debuted on Valcrond Video label last year with the Immured 12" under her familiar Xosar alias, Sheela Rahman now returns to the platform for some "shared make-believe" with founder Luke Wyatt for new project Body Tools. Taking a catalogue number as its title, this two track 12" follows a succession of Body Tools radio broadcasts on Berlin Community Radio and showcases a softer, more hypnotic side which in the case of lead track "Locusts & Lions" hits hard when the poignant piano makes its presence felt. "Brave" channels a strange, modern kosmische vibe that will really hit the spot deep in the mix.
Cement Truck With Pretty Eyelashes - (9:10) 120 BPM
Review: Vibes be high and summery - and those horns - on this remix package for Benny Page's Party With You. VIP angles a darker slant in their remix while dubby Lily Allen vibes are out in full shine on Mr Benn's remix (featuring Blackout JA). For some glitchy, tear out bass information check Banx & Ranx remix, while Swindles remix is stripped back, but not quite as much as 808charmers. Baseline house be banging on Rico Tubbs remix too, the most linear production on this package.
Slums Of Grand Central (original mix) - (7:50) 98 BPM
Slums Of Grand Central (Tornhawked) - (6:16) 115 BPM
Slums Of Grand Central (Rusted By Decor) - (6:38) 130 BPM
Review: Daze makes a first appearance on Torn Hawk's Valcron Video label with a distinctive trio of adventurous jams hovering on the fringes of the dance. "Slums Of Grand Central" is certainly crafted with the party in mind, but it's a more introspective kind of get down for those who like popping at a slower tempo. Torn Hawk then takes the track to task with a tense revision that comes on like uneasy 90s electronica before Decor lays waste to the surroundings with a slamming remix that pushes into hard techno territory while retaining the wistful tones of the original.
Review: Delivery is the work of Greg Shin, who has previously appeared on LA Club Resource and Smashing Tape Records. Now he appears on Torn Hawk's Valcron Video with a wonderfully diverse set of leftfield machine workouts, kicking off with the tempestuous drum twitches of "Brain Drained". "Technology Transplant" is a polar opposite, focusing on calm drifts of ambient synth with a mournful tinge. Then "Four Two Nine" seems to balance the two other tracks and make for the most club-ready piece on the EP.
Review: Commonly found lurking around L.I.E.S., Technicolour and W.T. Records, Florian Kupfer has plenty of credentials in the noisier end of the hardware house and techno scene, so it makes perfect sense to find him sidling up to Valcron Video in collaborative moder with Torn Hawk. The results are predictably excellent, from the gnarled emotional wrangles of "Fake Blood" to the blown out ambience of "Hungry For Candy". "Sweet Tooth" comes on like a dishevelled club workout, and then "Manipulation" rounds the record off with a tongue in cheek spoken word and ambience piece that packs some serious music underneath the irreverent chit chat.
Review: Having been spotted splurging out guttural techno mischief on Super Rhythm Trax and No Logo, G-23 gets invited to Torn Hawk's Valcron Video label with more of that deviant sonic behaviour to share with the world. There is sludgy bass, strangled acid and clattering percussion aplenty on lead track "Access Code", while "Bleep Shots" throws down hard and raw with an utterly sick mix of grotty drums and gnarled synth blots. There's a Mr Husk "unmix" of "Access Code" which adds some extra melodic strains into the melee, and then "ARS Trip" finishes the EP off with some end of days tone damage for anyone left standing.
Review: Having previously shored up at Finale Sessions, Public System and Proper Trax in the past, Grey People makes a move towards Torn Hawk's Valcron Video with an EP of machine magic that touches on all manner of moods. "Cryogenically Frozen" is a hard-hitting slice of club tackle to get bodies jacking and sweat pouring, while "Coma Tunnel" takes a warmer approach without losing the boxy beats. The label boss then saddles up for a dreamy remix of "Coma Tunnel" that ramps up the reverb and creates a long form surrealist dream out of the original's component parts.
Review: Valcrond Video invites you into the world of Helmer's "Roccale". Helmer's second release picks up the pummel that began with his first release, and continues the attack with three tracks of thoughtful, pulsing darkness. "You Say I for Me" presents a forbidding metallic landscape, a snake winds through it in the aural form of an eerie growl, making its way among the crunch and clutter to periodically emerge and rear with menace. "Corrib chun Mask" is what they play for prisoners sentenced to hard labor in the gulag of the future, if hard labor = dancing for days. "spry -Env", the closing piece on Roccale, is perhaps Helmer's most masterfully evocative. We have walked in on a ritual, dominated by an incense pendulum that swings and smokes, and carries with it the sound of an ancient transgression.
Review: Although Luke Wyatt is already known for his Torn Hawk moniker, which sees him recomposing '80s rock music into fractured, VHS-saturated soundscapes, M30 - previously available on a cassette released by Vancouver's 1080p label - sees him adopt a new alias in the form of Infiniti. If the lengthy press release is to be believed, M30 is seemingly inspired by Nissan's Infiniti model of automobile, with four tracks could almost be mistaken for audio idents pulled from advertisements of the late '80s. Having said that, this is undoubtedly one of Wyatt's most unique forays into sound, and come highly recommended to fans of deep, trippy excursions into nostalgic electronics.
Hutchison Defiantly Naps At Your Parties - (4:14) 77 BPM
Review: Alongside the likes of Xosar, Torn Hawk, and other like-minded house punks, Luke Wyatt has been an important member of the Valcrond Video unit, and we always await the producer's new releases like a good batch of wine; they're something to be savoured and digested with patience and care. This new LP, Heretic, sees the man branch out into more downtempo waters, which makes for a refreshing change to the more raucous experimentations that he's put out in the past. There are all sorts of sounds and flavours on here, ranging from the glitch, post-minimal, to the orchestral, and even what some might dare to call Balearic. It's an effortlessly playful, ludicrously fascinating affair that's bound to take you on a journey. Recommended.
Review: "Privacy has released well-received records with labels like Lobster Theremin and Klasse Wrecks. Now he thinks it's a good idea to enlist with the ranks of determined weirdos over at Valcrond Video. Why? The Valcrond offices are replete with alluring snacks. Cornucopia-level amounts of treats, both sweet and salty. Mr. Privacy would hang around all day eating stuff and listening to Siamese Dream with Luke until the office manager who keeps things in line was forced to ask them both to leave. A deal was struck: In exchange for a continued flow of free snacks and treats, Privacy agreed to provide these 4 tracks. In the same way Privacy is unable to resist a warm chocolate croissant, no one who plays records in public for a living will be able to resist these audio delights."
Review: Publicist is longtime producer/performer/musician Sebastian Thomson. His tracks approach house music from a darker angle, adding processed vocals and noise to a raw foundation that also takes cues from New Beat, acid house, and Detroit techno.
When performing live Publicist sequences the synths and not the drums, preferring to play an electronically treated drum kit in the middle of the dance floor. This adds an element of sweat, excitement and virtuosity not found in most electronic producer's live performances.
Sebastian Thomson is also known as a founding member of post rock pioneers Trans Am and as the drummer of heavy metal innovators Baroness.
Living in Brooklyn by way of Buenos Aires, Washington DC and London, Publicist has spent the last four years touring Europe extensively.
Review: Valcrond Video, the label run by sound and image artist Luke Wyatt (Torn Hawk), presents Russo's Wild Metals. Ari Russo is an NYC-based multi-artist whose engagement with abandoned media finds an outlet in the video bursts he culls as OfficeFern. As a programmer, he's produced innovative music generation tools such as the Diamond Arpeggiator. He returns to his own music with this collection of challenging and transporting structures. Wild Metals sounds like ferns and orchids infiltrating a tableaux of black plastic electronics, the breed of black plastic that Russo and Wyatt both found sinisterly inserted into the grid of their childhood.
Review: Steve Summers is commonly found lurking around labels such as L.I.E.S. and the affiliated Russian Torrent Versions, but here he's sliding his machines over to Torn Hawk's Valcrond Video label to throw down more of that sensual and sinewy beat-baiting business. "Always" is a stellar lead track that deals in immersive atmospheres and insistent rhythm - the consummate club workout for the deeper, darker end of the night. "Resist" turns up the heat with a raft of syncopated rhythms and gnarly synth textures that show Summers at his urgent best. Torn Hawk's version of "Always" continues in a haze of blown out sonics and meditation for the drum machine generation.
Review: Finally Torn Hawk (aka Luke Wyatt) provides us with a digital release of his second full-length for Valcrond Video. While the attention to detail, and particularly melody, that marked out early L.I.E.S. release Tarifa is present, it's masked in all manner of curious, clandestine effects, industrial rhythms and mutant noise. At times, 10 For Edge Tek comes on like a latter-day Steve Reich with drum machines and effects units; at others, it's more akin to early '80s noise albums or droning techno. Such wild swings and leftfield intent makes for a fascinating listen.
Review: Valcrond Video, the label of Brooklyn-based visual artist and producer Luke Wyatt presents its first digital release in the shape of two tracks from Torn Hawk, one of Wyatt's aliases. First coming to the fore in a musical sense with a set of distressed guitar and asphalt beat attacks on the LIES White Label series, Torn Hawk has been closely associated with Ron Morelli's label ever since with Wyatt subsequently working with Karen Gwyer, Secret Circuit and Willie Burns. Distancing himself a bit from the grime and grit some associate with his productions, the two new tracks have more in common with the more expansively voiced compositions on Emotional Response release Teen Hawk, or the cinematic melancholy of the untitled EP he released under the alias Lossmaker. Clearly Wyatt is building towards housing all his musical instincts under one roof.
Review: After appearing on a string of excellent labels, Xosar makes her label debut on Luke Wyatt's Valcrond Video. "Hunt You" is a deep and dense techno affair, led by rolling rhythms and featuring the kind of dreamy break downs that characterized her 2012 Nite Jam release on Rush Hour. Listen closely and you can hear vocals buried deep in the mix. The title track is just as atmospheric and is led by moody strings and swirling textures. From there on in, the release veers into the abstract; "Bled for Pleasure" is a teased out, chord-heavy jam and "Bleed Into Dreams" dispenses with beats to instead deliver an exotic, chiming ambient segue.