Review: REPRESS ALERT: Etwas stirs in die Ostlich. Edits and verks of twist sounds. Synth pop, cold wave, neu wave, minimal wave, industrial, neu beat, soundtracks and a selbst Balearen. Freiheit! Als erstes is hero of old Cybernetic Broadcast (CBS) and (Intergalatic FM) radio. Jonny 5 and his verstorbenen Blindsign blog and mixes were a steigen'n'steigen to rescue us from boring neu disco. Schieben his search and discovery for harder, but musical soundscapes. 4 edits is a geschmack. Start brave on the floor feel with the Neu Beut Euro Pop thumper Kaka Kaka. Geschleift, verdreht thoughts. Black Hole is hours spent in Eastern Bloc basements graben in the search for drahts. Stoned indeed, immaculate synth electronic battle cruiser, hart percussion, cut gesang and break. Ready for the percussive finale in Horizon's Change. Was Auch Immer. Bahnsteig!
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Lury Lech is a transdisciplinary artist of Ukrainian origin part of the few pioneers in the Spanish electronic and digital audio-visual scene that began to develop during the 80's.
His open and unclassifiable style made of eerie sonic atmospheres, arrhythmic structures and dense textures create hypnotic ambiance and a new way to conceive experimentalism.
Wrongly described as New Age music at that time, "Musica para el fin de los cantos" is a stunning and deeply emotive ambient work, that stares down at the eternal enigma, giving a glimpse of Iury Lech's classical music of the future.
Iury recorded this blissful masterpiece in his Barcelona's studio in 1989. It was then published in 1990 by the unique Spanish label Hyades Arts.
It's 2017 and it's time to unearth this magical piece of vibrating chords to please your sensitive yet hungry ears. Sit back and enjoy the meditative state.
Review: O Yuki Conjugate hailed from Leeds, where through the 80s they explored the limits of haunting, DIY atmospherics with a pulse. Following the previous reissue of the group's earliest material, Emotional Rescue are back with another meticulous document of this deep-cover curio, charting their progression from lo-fi post-punk tinkerers to ambient soothsayers. The contrast between the disheveled new wave thrum of "Infiltration" and the chilling chime patterns of "Anima" is striking, but listened to as a whole this thoughtful reissue demonstrates the depth and beauty embedded in O Yuki Conjugate's all-too overlooked legacy.
Review: Horishi Yoshimura was something of a pioneer of Japanese electronic music, particularly ambient. He came to create his first masterpiece, 1982 debut album Music For Nine Postcards, following a near 10-year spell exploring the early potential of computer music. The album has long been considered a "must-have" for ambient collectors, despite high second-hand prices and very limited stock. Thrillingly, Empire of Signs has decided to reissue it on vinyl for the first time. Entirely performed and produced by Yoshimura, it features a series of impeccable compositions rich in slowly unfurling electric piano motifs, spacey synthesizer chords, delicate organ lines and, on rare occasions, the musician's own voice routed through all manner of outboard effects. Simply stunning.
Review: Long before he became one of Japan's most revered deep house producers (see his effortlessly brilliant noughties albums on Mule Musiq for proof), Kuniyuki Takahashi produced dreamy, atmospheric ambient and new wave electronica. Up until now, much of this has remained unissued, sitting around on homemade cassettes. Happily, Music From Memory has struck a deal to release the best of the bunch, presenting them here on vinyl for the first time. It's a magical collection, all told, built around Kuniyuki's fluid and distinctive synthesizer playing, but also incorporating percussion hits created from homemade field recordings, curious samples, glistening guitar lines, dreamy vocals, occasional industrial textures and, on the standout "Signifie", crispy drum machine rhythms.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Having first stepped out on Scissor & Thread and Holding Hands, Desert Sound Colony now bring their full-fat, guitartronic sound to Snap, Crackle & Pop. "Lose My Rhythm" is a monster of a track with an acid backbone that would sit right on a Factory Floor release, garnished with garage guitar twang and new wave vocals. "Suffocation" is a more playful jam that doesn't slouch on the production either - DSC straddle song structures and dance dynamics with ease. "The Blacksmith" brings a more bludgeoning, broken rhythmic slant to the group and the impact is just as visceral. Then Scott Fraser steps up to remix "Lose My Rhythm" and turns it into a lithe club track for the late hours when reality has fully slipped away from the floor.
Review: With that excellent pair of remixes from Place No Blame's label debut last year still ringing in our heads, we've been awaiting new material from London's Japan Blues with a worrying level of anticipation. While his reworks of DJ Slyngshot's equally magnetic tunes saw the mask-ridden producer branch out onto new territories, this LP marks another significant change in his approach to releasing music. Sells His Record Collection, as with anything this man does, is an honest approach to sampling and a magnificent reflection of so many years spent digging through Japanese records. From folk dances, to soundtrack scores, and even glitchy waves of post-punk beats, this is an unmissable excursion into the most unknown territories of the music that the Far Easte Asian's island has to offer. There are few people who have taken such care, attention and dedication to bringing the listener a singular view of the country's music, and there is something in here for any serious music connoisseur's ears. Unmissable (and limited!).
Arvid Tuba - "The Seasons Are Sitting On Chairs" (3:43)
Subject - "Don't Be Blind" (2:56)
Denial - "California Dreaming" (3:10)
Unovidual - "Dit Is Pas Het Begin" (4:19)
Aural Indifference - "Park" (3:31)
Autumn - "You Are You Are" (1:30)
Review: Over the last two or three years, New York's Minimal Wave outpost has focussed on releasing plenty of new music that fits in line with their unashamedly 'cold-wave' approach, and this has opened them to a whole variety of listeners and DJs. However, in our opinion, where they truly shine is in providing the underground masses with compilations such as this latest The Bedroom Tapes: A Compilation Of Minimal Wave From Around The World 1980-1991, a glorious snapshot of all the very best slices of lo-fi that has largely gone unnoticed to the modern eye. Of course, the majority of these tunes are now expensive in their original formats, but we're taking about a small crew of Discogs sharks who are upping the prices. Here, you're able to properly - and peacefully - enjoy some of the very best minimal machine-drum soul from peeps like Karen Marks, Vorgruppe, Perfect Mother and Aural Indifference, among others. This truly is a feast for the modern digger. Excellent.
Piscine Et Charles - "Quart De Tour, Mon Amour" (4:41)
John Makin & Friends - "No Lie" (6:57)
Nonobstant - "Jessica" (5:16)
Wolfgang Klingler, Thomas Heimes, Hans-Christian Mittag - "Nach Dienst" (3:25)
Sound On Sound - "Depression" (3:00)
Pete Brandt's Method - "What You Are" (3:28)
Lost Gringos - "Tambo Machay" (4:49)
Vanakos - "I Hate Disco... Not The Dance" (4:34)
Brenda & The Beachballs - "Dancing Thru' The Night" (5:10)
Patrick Forgas - "Sex Move" (4:44)
Xavier Jouvelet - "Oeuf En Clock" (4:57)
Lou Blic - "Mineralite" (3:16)
Steve Beresford - "Comfortable Gestures" (3:27)
Bill Nelson's Orchestra Arcana - "The Whole City Between Us" (3:28)
Harte 10 - "Happy New Year" (4:55)
Monica Rypma - "Hey, Where You Goin!" (3:27)
Review: Music From Memory's last epic compilation, 2017's Outro Tempo, did a terrific job in uncovering the dusty, rarely visited corners of Brazilian electronic music. Uneven Paths offers a similar service to those interested in the eccentric, often inspired fringes of European pop music. Of course, compilers Jamie Tiller and Raphael Top-Secret are not interested in run-of-the-mill or commercial synth-pop, but rather "deviant pop" - melodious, left-of-centre curiosities that some may describe as "Balearic". This is pop music from the outer limits, where tracks variously draw influence from spoken word, global rhythms, post-punk fusion, jazz, new age ambient and kosmiche. It goes without saying that the crate-digging duo's selections are spot on throughout, with genuine surprises around every corner.
Review: Wolf Muller and Niklas Wandt's first official collaboration is a hot one, indeed, and by the time we've finished writing this message, we hope for everyone involved that there'll still be some copies on our shelves! The duo land on Hamburg's Growing Bin Records with Instrumentalmusik Von Der Mitte Der World, a punchy blend of danceable non-music that is prone to causing mass levels of hysteria - both off and on the piste. Through catchy, wild-eyed blends of funky tribalism, house-tinged 4/4, and wayward electronica, these two have created a world of their own, and one which will undoubtedly appeal across fans and across genre fanatics. If you're into the whole Finnish/Norwegian connection, then this is for you.
Cuando Rocio Dispara Sus Flechas (Suzanne Kraft remix)
Posmeridiano (Hatchback remix)
Ukraina (Zavoloka remix)
Review: Cocktail D'Amore showed the breadth of their tastes when they reissued Ukranian composer Iury Lech's 1990 album Musica Para El Fin De Los Cantos last year. Now the label has commissioned a raft of remixes from some label regulars, with wonderful and diverse results. Powder drops her signature snaking rhythmic trysts over "Barreras", while "Cuando Rocio Dispara Sus Flechas" benefits from an abstract, ambient reworking from Suzanne Kraft. Hatchback takes to "Posmeridiano" with a delicate touch, all lingering 80s synth motifs in a beatless reverie, and Zavoloka lays the cinematic intensity on heavy with the icy strains of "Ukraina".
Review: Last summer, regular collaborators Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto joined forces for a one-off improvised performance at architect Philip Johnson's Glass House in Connecticut, a stunning building marked out by a lack of traditional walls. Using only a keyboard, mixers, microphones, singing glass bowls, crotales (tiny cymbals played with mallets), the "architecture of the building" and limited rehearsal time, the acclaimed experimentalists created a genuinely unique piece that drew influence from the surroundings. Here, Noton presents the recording of the "100% improvised" piece on CD for the first time. It's an undeniably arresting piece - think droning electronic textures, glass-blown ambience and icily atmospheric soundscapes - and one that requires more than a 30-second clip to take in. We can assure you, though, that it really is a spellbinding and at times jaw-dropping affair.
Autarkic - "Screaming (To Be With You)" (feat The White Screen)
JD Twitch - "Dalbouka"
Sneaker - "I Looked For You"
Die Orangen - "Rattling Ghosts"
Review: After teaming up to release the scintillating works of C Cat Trance in their original 80s form on Screaming Ghosts, Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti join forces once again to deliver a ludicrously talented roster of remixers who catapult John Rees Lewis' cult group into thrilling new spatial and temporal zones. Autarkic decides to go for the full-tilt cover version on "Screaming (To Be With You)", with ample help from The White Screen, while JD Twitch roughs up "Dalbouka" into a quintessential slab of ethno-motorik body music. Sneaker's take on "I Looked For You" emphasizes the atmospheric tension in the original, giving the track a cinematic scope, and Die Orangen's "Rattling Ghosts" finishes the record on an appropriately ominous, subtly industrial tone.
Review: Emotional Rescue and Malka Tuti serve up another round of top shelf remixes and revisions of John Rees Lewis' mid-late 80s project C Cat Trance, following in the wake of the Screaming Ghosts compilation. First up to bat are Red Axes, who bring a seductive line in loose and limber drumming to "Shake The Mind" that should suit the Fourth World dancefloor massive just fine. Jamie Paton brings a tough, clamouring intensity to "Take Me To The Beach," while Prins Thomas takes a truly spiritual approach when weaving the intricate arpeggios and percussion of "Sudaniyya." Khidja and Borusiade team up on "Simple Helen," presenting a dense and hazy trip into exotic territory with sinister undertones.
Review: 34 years after Hiroshi wrote these seven startling compositions for a Tokyo fashion show, they are finally given the vinyl status they've always deserved. Previously only available on cassette, Pier & Loft has become a cult body of work for all ambient fans. Driven, melodic and laced with a sense of energy that the genre often misses. Sci-fi chamber music, if you will, the playful counterpoint between the keys on the brilliantly titled "Wavy-patterned Ice Cream" and the smouldering unwitting proto house dynamics of "The Sea In My Palm" are just two of the many beautiful, timeless highlights.
Review: Horton Jupiter has been skirting around various cosmically-inclined outfits for many years now, but this release marks his first outright solo venture, and where better for it to blast off from than the celestial circus sideshow of Bahnsteig 23? The record launches in a fit of kosmische bravado, all nagging arpeggios, warbling leads, sustained guitars and a healthy dose of drama. "Eclectic Day" is certainly a fitting title. "Smokin' The Roach" is an equally bombastic affair, although with a chirpier disposition and some Italian-sounding vocals, and then "The Box" finishes the EP off with a grungy trip through bongo beatdowns and fuzz guitar for those who like their psych music with a vintage twist.
Review: Ten Days Of Blue is John Beltran's second LP to date, from a distant-not-so-distant 1996, when a rush of neo-techno - on an intelligent tip - began to rush over the scene. The opening "Flex" is one of the greatest of its kind, a near 7 minute voyage of sparse drums, heavy bass and a level of euphoria that is close to match anywhere else. The truth is, however, that every tune on here is absolute fire, from the gentle IDM waves of "Collage Of Dream", the jazzed-out percussion of "Gutaris Breeze (6000km To Amsterdam)" and, of course, the knifty, pseudo d&b of "Ten Days Of Blue". There is so much more to explore, too, including the totally innovative techno of "Venim & Wonder". This gear really does sound like it was made the other day. Warmly recommended.
Hunting Lodge - "De Omnibus Dubitandum (1983)" (5:00)
Catriel - "Nbdymksmefeellowlikeudo" (3:57)
Giant Swan - "Dare" (6:31)
Hunting Lodge - "De Omnibus Dubitandum" (Gotshell remix) (5:35)
Review: Contort Yourself continues to explore the crossover between decrepit 80s industrial and the modern artists drawing inspiration from those heady, experimental times, and the results are as thrilling as ever. Haydee's "No Gouvernance" is a brutal charge of drums and distorted yelps, while 1983 jam "De Omnibus Dubitandum" by Hunting Lodge fuses layers of distortion and proto acid with live bass and brittle drums. Catriel lays out a sinister but seductive message on "Nbdymksmefeellowlikeudo", Giant Swan bring their raucous avant-techno styles to "Dare" and then Gotshell remix Hunting Lodge into a thunderous industrial techno charge.
Review: After a recent string of EPs and mini LPs, it's a pleasure to hear Biosphere tantalizing drones and ambient loops across a full-length. The Hilvarenbeek Recordings are a perfect encapsulation of the man's sound and vision, forever iterating his subtle sounds to paint rich and vivid portrays of the world and of his surroundings. The new album, one of his best to date, comes to life thanks to the amalgamation of field recordings, raw talent, and a pensive outlook on the world. A constant thirst for applying sound to vision, and vision to sound. Wonderful, as always.
Review: Since launching her Phobiza trilogy in 2016, RAMZi (AKA producer Phobe Guillemot) has become one of the most talked-about producers on Canada's distinctly blazed underground scene. Here, she draws the curtain down on the series in predictably impressive fashion with a mini-album that looks further afield for inspiration. While every track offers a distinctive take on her now trademark hazy, colourful and undeniably horizontal sound soup - think chords, sound effects, melodies, field recordings, tape hiss and lots of toasty bass - it's the myriad of percussion sounds and rhythms that catches the ear. As well as the usual stoned downtempo beats and blazed deep house grooves, you'll also find nods towards early drum and bass, IDM and African and South American polyrhythms. In short: a yearning, head-in-the-clouds treat.