Review: This steadfastly experimental three-tracker has its origins in a Hamburg instillation by F#X and Nika Son. That installation was created utilizing a battery of tape machines, broken synthesizers, cheap drum machines and their own manipulated vocals. The resultant tracks are dark, woozy, atmospheric, densely layered sonically, and devilishly hard to pin down. So while nine-minute A-side "Geroll" revolves around a manipulated, hip-hop style breakbeat, it's the ghostly electronics and curious effects that catch your ear. Flipside "Diptongues", seemingly created from densely layering up reversed vocal samples and creepy electronics, is even more impressive, even if it may inspire nightmares amongst the squeamish. Bizarre music concrete cut "Tenno" completes a fine package.
Review: Helena Hauff's label is back, this time presenting a various artists 12" that heralds the start of the No Return series. The release starts on a mystical bent with the Eastern-tinged death electro of "El Carmel", sounding ripe for a Hague-friendly warm-up session. Neud Photo then take over with a dystopian trip through rich synth tones coloured in dark hues for the bleakest of robotic fantasies. Antoni Maiovvi fills the B-side with the slow grinding bombast of "The Dig", bleeding out a noirish take on coldwave for the darkest hearts to swoon to.
Review: Musical (and real life) couple Local Suicide has been in fine form of late, delivering a series of solid collaborations with the likes of Curses, Franz Matthews and Theus Mago. Here they go solo once more via a first outing on Lumiere Noire. Title track "Leopard Gum" is dark, woozy and feverish, with the pair wrapping curiously off-kilter vocals, intoxicating electronics and ghostly chords around a slow, sparse, bass-heavy groove. It's given a throbbing, darkwave inspired makeover by regular studio buddies Smagghe & Cross, before Local Suicide serves up the clandestine and atmospheric new wave chug of "Already There". In typical fashion, synthesizer fetishist Phillip Lauer offers up an Italo-disco influenced interpretation that turns the track into a cheery chunk of Balearic disco goodness.
Space Afrika - "After They Entered It Was Only Evident" (3:59)
Review: "Shared Meanings" has been one of Mumdance's most ambitious and explorative projects to date; pulling together the four corners of the hardcore continuum and tying them in a tight bow, his mix has drawn elements and parallels between all genres and laced them in a narrative that mirrors and reflects throughout. Now, for limited time only, we have five of the 32 tracks he included in the mix ranging from his and Logos' totem track "Teachers" which pays homage to the UK's forefathers, to the pulverising thumpy bumpy techno of Nkisi's "Kinenga" via stasis sensation ambience from Space Afrika in the form of "After They Entered It Was Only Evident". Coordinates don't come much broader or deeper, "Shared Meanings" is Mumdance in full on explorer mode. Long may his meaningful trips continue.
Review: The first release on One Instrument saw artists like Korridor, Serena Butler and Yair Elazar Glotman demonstrating new experimental sides to their studio practice. The second release comes from Italian master Neel, who presents two distinct demonstrations of his unique touch and deep gear knowledge. The A side is a lingering ambient piece captured from the tail end of a session using the E340 Cloud Generator oscillator, while the B side focuses on the Roland SH-01A, itself an update of the iconic SH-101. The results of these two intriguing, limitation oriented excursions are as compelling as you would expect.
Review: The latest Emotional Response release provides something very special indeed, in the form of a new track from under the radar psychedelic rock musician Nick Nicely. Nicely has been making music from the 70s onwards, but his music has recently undergone something of a critical reappraisal, with the likes of Robert Wyatt and Robyn Hitchcock supposedly inspired by his work; "Wrottersley Road" provides the ideal entry into his music, a masterful piece of shoegaze pop filled with fuzzed out guitars and Eastern psychedelic tones. Remixes are provided by Invisible Hands, who provide a minimal 80's inspired electro-pop version, which comes saturated in radiophonic textures, and The Oscillation, who take the track into even more abstract ambient territory than the original, deep into a place where time seems to stand still entirely, drawing its rich textures out into infinity.
Review: Iceland's Olafur Arnalds (Kiasmos) and German multi-instrumentalist Nils Frahm team up again for some breathtaking excursions in classical/ambient crossover bliss. Frahm's sombre piano passages gently dance over Arnalds' serene soundscapes and eerie field recordings on this bittersweet and emotive journey. What was meant to be a one hour video recording of the duo in action turned out to be an eight hour long improvisation session and these are some of the segments of the wonderful marathon recording. We particularly enjoyed the gorgeously haunting electronic soul captured on "23:52" where those analogue synth strings just rise and rise to an epic climax.
Review: Produced by Ben Lamdin and Nostalgia 77, this new Game Show LP touches down via Impossible Ark, and the truth is that we're faced with a magnificent blend of outsider sonics that span just about every exotic flavor possible. Featuring Matthew Bourne, the album travels at a gentle pace, meandering gently through placid waves of lo-fi drum machining, and oceanic waves of cool synthesizers. In fact, the best part of this album is characterized by incredible polyphonic flows, intertwining with another to produce something that sounds veritably FRESH. Much like Errorsmith's last LP for PAN, albeit more tranquil in guise, this is a bunch of tunes which nod to something new and exciting - a delicious cocktail of tropical industrialism that sits very well with us. Warmly recommended.
Review: Secret Circuit's Eddie Ruscha and Rub N Tug's Thomas Bullock joined forces as Laughing Light Of Plenty for an EP back in 2008, and followed it up with an album on Whatever We Want Records in 2010 which largely got lost in a warehouse stock malfunction. Now Emotional Response are doing the right thing and giving the record a second airing under the duo's alternative alias The Naturals, and it's not hard to see why they wanted to do the reissue. Loose and funky, but also deliriously psychedelic and indebted to the 1970s golden era of songwriting, this is a quintessential Emotional record if ever we heard one.