Little Birds, Moonbath (feat Michelle Helene Mackenzie) (6:06)
Tipu's Tiger (feat Pender Street Steppers) (10:11)
Of Yesterday (instrumental) (5:37)
The Ultimate Which Manages The World (4:40)
Words Without Sound (6:09)
Review: With a drowsy, loved-up trademark sound that sits somewhere between the beach, bedroom and the dancefloor, Canada's Yu Su is a great fit for Music From Memory offshoot Second Circle. The resultant EP is arguably her strongest to date. She begins by enlisting the help of Michelle Helene Mackenzie, who provides a drowsy spoken word vocal on the ultra-deep and starry brilliance of "Little Birds, Moonbath". Fellow Vancouver residents Pender Street Steppers lend a hand on the deep and picturesque shuffle of "Tipu's Tiger", while "Of Yesterday (Instrumental)" sees Yu Su wrap meandering synth solos atop hazy chords and gentle tribal drums. Elsewhere, "The Ultimate Which Manages The World" is dubbed-out and effortlessly Balearic, while "Words Without Sound" offers up more intricate hand percussion and some sparse electronic elements.
Tolouse Low Trax - "Sketches Of A Destroyed Meadow" (6:27)
Infuso Giallo - "Torus" (6:09)
Claude De Tapol - "Du Train Jaune" (4:11)
Puma & The Dolphin - "The Grass Drum" (4:23)
T-woc - "Marty Eek" (5:47)
Houschyar - "Intercontinental" (4:00)
Lamusa II - "Artificiale" (5:58)
YNV - "Dw3" (6:25)
Bolva - "Rite II" (3:33)
Anatolian Weapons - "Float" (7:14)
URVERHEXT - "Ubertan" (3:58)
Velvet C - "Exalt Cut" (6:28)
Review: DJ soFa is a smart choice of compiler - the Belgian DJ has just the kind of wayward music taste that marries up comfortably with Emotional Response's omnivorous curatorial style. The names are a mixture of familiar and obscure, but the quality remains high throughout this 12-track set. Tolouse Low Trax is on stunning form with "Sketches Of A Destroyed Meadow", while Claude De Tapol has a wonderfully hypnotic approach to motorik machine music on "Du Train Jaune". T-woc's wavey post-punk groove is brilliantly executed, and Lamusa II draws you deeper into transcendental headspaces. This is essential listening for any and all maverick sound explorers.
Burning Down The House (feat George Clinton) (3:03)
Spontaneous (feat Little Dragon) (2:11)
Pilgrim Side Eye (1:30)
All Spies (1:45)
Yellow Belly (feat Tierra Whack) (3:07)
Black Balloons Reprise (feat Denzel Curry) (2:52)
Fire Is Coming (feat David Lynch) (3:23)
Inside Your Home (1:14)
Actually Virtual (feat Shabazz Palaces) (2:06)
Remind U (2:42)
Say Something (1:16)
Debbie Is Depressed (2:19)
Find Your Own Way Home (1:35)
The Climb (feat Thundercat) (3:19)
9 Carrots (feat Toro Y Moi) (3:01)
Land Of Honey (feat Solange) (3:27)
Thank U Malcolm (1:32)
Hot Oct (4:10)
Review: No less than five years since his last mind-busting opus, "You're Dead!", the one and only FlyLo finally returns with a staggering new album. At this point all bets are off as to which direction the visionary beat scene maven will take his stellar sound, and true to form "Flamagra" departs from solid ground quicker than you can shout "lift off". From arrhythmic spirituals to futuristic soul, the Cali man known to his family as Steven Ellison has never sounded freer in his sound. The cast of guest spots is off the charts as well - George Clinton, Little Dragon, Solange, David Lynch and Anderson .Paak are just some of the dazzling talents involved. Need we say more - take a trip once more with one of the 21st century's most visionary producers.
Review: The latest outing from Swiss reissue specialists WRWTFWW takes us back to 1981 and the debut single from Bern-based post-punk combo Grauzone. The 12" release of "Eisbaer" has long been a must-have amongst fans of off-kilter, dancefloor-ready new wave, and this replica reissue includes all three tracks featured on that version. Opener "Eisbar" sets the tone, with the bands weary, half spoken/half sung vocals rising above a backing track that's powered forwards by relentless bass guitar, screeching riffs and broken computer style electronics. "Film 2" is a heavy, synthesizer powered workout peppered with delay-laden drum hits and odd noises, while closing cut "Ich Liebe Sie" is a clicking and quietly melodious affair that's almost entirely electronic.
Review: Shape-shifting post-punk quasi-legends Bourbonese Qualk are finally getting a bit of the shine they so richly deserve after years in obscurity, not least thanks to the retrospective compilation on Mannequin back in 2015. Now Platform 23 are reissuing their classic album "Laughing Afternoon", originally released back in 1983 and having lost none of its impact. It's a slippery, shape-shifting creation that veers between uneasy soundscapes and gutter-dwelling funk, with some truly visionary signal processing, electronic textures and more besides in the mix. It's a crime this crew aren't held in the same regard as their other early 80s post-industrial peers, but at least the wrongs are being righted now.
Review: Spanish multi-instrumentalist and producer Luis Paniagua gets the Emotional treatment here with the reissue of the stunning 1987 album "Neptuno". It's a joyous album that revels in global musical traditions, and its accomplished finish is a marvel considering he recorded it with Luis Delgado in his Madrid attic within just a few days. From the treated string swells and sitar lilt of the title track to the lively percussive tumble of "Gacelle" and on to the bell chimes of "Aqui Y Ahora", this is a stunning record executed with talent and rich with the many wonderful tones to be enjoyed from a whole world of instrumentation.
Review: Music From Memory's first retrospective of obscure Brazilian electronic music, "Outro Tempo", was arguably one of the strongest compilations of 2017. There's a second volume on the way, with curator John Gomez this time focusing on music made between 1984 and '96. First, though, we get this taster EP featuring two previously cassette-only cuts. On the A-side you'll find Bruhaha Babelico's "Bruhaha II", a ghostly and mind-altering chunk of delay-laden new wave/industrial funk fusion full of fuzzy bass, echoing female vocals, dubbed-out electronics and psychedelic yelps. Turn to the flip and you're greeted by Individual Industry's off-kilter, outer-space synth-pop jam "Eyes". Like its predecessor, it's an unusual, intoxicating treat.
Review: Staggeringly, "What A Mess!" marks Pepe Bradock's first full-length excursion for over two decades. As you might expect, it's unusual in the extreme, with inspirations including a "special diplomatic elephant" and a sound shaped via "a few mundane terms, picked randomly, then coupled with frequencies chosen in a spontaneous way for their presupposed properties or synchonicities". Musically, the LP stretches one continuous suite of title-less tracks over two sides of vinyl, with Bradock cannily combing far-out ambient sounds, deep space electronics, off-kilter rhythms, layered spoken word snippets, mind-altering lo-fi bass and deliciously weird experimental electronics. It's akin to the sort of fuzzy, out-there sample collage you'd get on a Tolouse Low Trax mix tape, but that's no bad thing. In fact, it's a very good thing indeed.
Review: Under the SolarX alias, Roman Belavkin was one of the leading lights of the Russian IDM scene in the mid-to-late '90s, though very few copies of his cassette and CD releases ever made it in to record stores outside the former Soviet Union. Furthermore, this is the first ever reissue of Belavkin's 1997 sophomore set, "X-Rated", an album that remains a firm favourite in the Russian electronic underground. There's much to admire throughout, with Belavkin effortlessly joining the dots between the skittish, angular rhythms of Autechre, Rephlex-esque "Braindance", Aphex Twin style ambient, early Squarepusher-esque "drill and bass" business and hypnotic ambient techno.
Review: Before making her mark with 1981 minimal wave single "Cold Cafe", Australian artist Karen Marks enjoyed an eclectic career. This included spells in music journalism and band management. It's for her brief underground synth-pop career that she's best remembered, though. This all too brief career is celebrated on this five-track EP that includes every track she ever completed. Naturally the title track stands out, but there's plenty to enjoy elsewhere, too, most notably the French horn-sporting minimal wave folksiness of "You Bring These Things", a spacey and sludgy demo version of "Cold Cafe" and the bold moodiness of closing cut "Problem Page". Throughout, Marks' Kirsty MacColl style vocals stand out.
Review: When it comes to crafting out-of-this-world fare out of analogue electronics and vintage hardware, there are few quite as talented as Italian composer Caterina Barbieri. She's at it again on "Ecstatic Computation", an album derived from "the creative use of complex sequencing techniques and pattern-based operations". Regardless of the techniques used or Barbieri's high-minded concepts, the resultant music is never less than stunning. Riley and Reich style minimalist melodic patterns - delivered via bold, colourful analogue synths capable of creating an ecstatic mood amongst listeners - catch the ear throughout, while intriguing diversions such as "Arrows Of Time" - a mesmerizing piece for Harpsichord and voice - only emphasise the quality and depth of Barbieri's work. In a word: breathtaking.
Review: Best known for his distinctive graphic design and illustration work, Bristol-based DJ/producer Deep Nalstrom (real name Guillaume De Ubeda) is finally ready to unleash his music on the world. "Naive Melodies" sees him pitch up on Nummer's Natural Selections label with an almost perfectly formed debut album. Analogue-rich, evocative and atmospheric, the seven cuts expertly blend elements of ambient, new age, dub, tropical textures, curious (sampled) spoken word vocals, intergalactic electronica and gentle tribal rhythms. Highlights include - but are no way limited to - the bass-heavy, delay-laden shuffle of "Inner Collapse", the sun-kissed warmth of "Albatros", the ambient dub haziness of "Liquid Diamonds" and the Sotofett/Fett Burger-esque "The Dream People".
Review: Best described as 'outer rim junkyard elektro', Ghostride The Drift is an American/Canadian alliance: a collaboration between house music outsiders Shy (also known as Uon, Caveman, LSD among others), Naemi (Exael) and of course Brian Leeds aka Huerco S./Pendant. Recorded in Berlin 2018, expect leftfield techno experiments, lo-fi ambient drifters, slo-mo dubs and challenging soundscapes dwelling on the outer limits. A fantastic inaugural release brought to you by D. Tiffany & Uon's XPQ? - a subsidiary of Plush Managements Inc. & Experiences LTD. out of Montreal.
Review: Following the release of his last album of synthesizer-driven imagined sci-fi themes, 2017's "Iteration", Seth Haley AKA Com Truise set about rebuilding his studio, refreshing his palette of sounds and developing a new approach. The result is "Persuasion System", a set of unsurprisingly synthesizer-driven tracks that feels warmer and more human than much of the producer's previous work. Of course, Haley's seemingly inherent melodiousness and obsession with bold aural colours remains at the forefront throughout, meaning that even more bittersweet moments - see "Ultrafiche Of You", "Privilege Escalation" and opaque ambient moments "Gaussian" and "Departure" - will leave listeners feeling suitably warm and fuzzy inside.
The Twenty Second Step As Well As The Tenth (5:06)
The Gates Made Plain (7:25)
Review: Back in 2014, RVNG Intl. released "Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Volume 1", a compilation of pioneering early 1980s electronic music by composer and producer Craig Leon. Five years on, they're finally releasing a follow up - and this time the music is brand spanking new. Leon, with assistance from vocalist Cassell Webb, recorded the showcased music between 2015 and 2018. It explores similar sonic territory to the artist's celebrated early work, offering up an atmospheric, synthesizer-driven fusion of ambient, modern classical, New York minimalism, Radio Workshop style electronic experimentalism and new age soundscapes. The set more than lives up to its grandiose title, offering up atmospheric, extra-terrestrial musical movements that sound like they've been beamed down from a galaxy far, far away.
Festival Of The Black Sun: Evocation/Transfiguration/The Pit/The Sactifice (8:46)
Lost Forever (12:04)
Review: It's taken a while, but finally Glasgow's Komodo Kolektif has delivered a sequel to its' inspired debut EP, 2017's "Sumantras". It's a biggie, too: an intoxicating, hallucinatory debut album that further explores their obsessions with trance-inducing rhythms, Indonesian gamelan instruments and psychedelic electronic futurism. At times, the album is wild-eyed, panicked and intense (see the hallucinatory throb of opener "Disciple Of The Drone" and the entrancing "Temple Ball"), at others sparse, chiming and bass-heavy ("Sun And Water"). The headline attraction is undoubtedly B-side opener "Festival Of The Black Sun: Evocation/Transfiguration/The Pit/The Sactifice", a rising and falling 18-minute track in three interlinked parts that best exemplifies the band's distinctive vision.
Review: British experimental musician Luke Younger returns to PAN following up 2015's difficult yet riveting opus "Olympic Mess". Composed in the Essex countryside, he once again shapes samples and field recordings into new forms. Movement is an overarching theme - sound collages are assembled and dismantled, and temporal and spatial boundaries fluctuate - on an album that questions the structures around us. We're enjoying the abrasive and textural sonic soundscapes on "Capital Crisis (Ne City Loop)", the droning and hypnotic slo-mo techno of "Leave Them All Behind" with its intoxicating effects, the musique concrete of "Toxic Racecourse" which treads more familiar territory of Helm's work - as does the avant-garde imaginary soundtrack "You Are The Database".
Review: One of the great joys of James Clements' music as ASC is its thrilling unpredictability. While his productions have always been rooted in drum and bass, he's released little straightforward D&B for the best part of a decade. His latest outing on Samurai is dark and hard to pigeonhole, offering tracks that variously mix and match elements of intense acid, Autechre-style IDM, the sub-weight of D&B culture, the aural haziness of ambient and the skittish post-D&B rhythms that have long marked out his work. Our picks of a very strong bunch are the buzzing experimental techno psychedelia of acid-laden closing cut "Currents" and the sparse, sub-heavy haziness of opener "The Siren", where high tempo acid lines bubble away above a suitably hazy and paranoid backing track.