Review: Elusive Berlin outfit IAO were pioneering electronic artists who explored a wide sphere of sounds from techno to ambiance. This new collection spans recordings made between 1988 and 1995 at a time when the German city was undergoing great change. Achim Kohlberger (who went on to co-found Berlin Atonal Festival and UFO, now known as Tresor - Ralf Ostereich and Carsten Zielske were the final three members of the band at that time and here they were layering up sombre synths, drawing out nagging basslines and laying down uplifting percussive patterns that get you in a trance while you dance.
Review: From 1986-1991, Uruguayan vocalist and musician Mariana Ingold was a pivotal figure in the evolution of the indigenous Candombe rhythms of her homeland. She took the sound in new directions with artists like Eduardo Mateo, Jaime Roos, and Hugo Fattoruso across a series of albums that made use of the newly emerging synth technologies of the time. The result is a folk-y album of found sounds, acoustic guitars and majestic harmonies that are all tied together with Ingold's own delicate, elegant vocals. This collection draws her best work into one beautiful anthology that has upbeat numbers like "Trasnoche" next to soothing lullabies such as the heavenly "Tiempo Leve".
Review: Last year, Music From Memory released an EP containing a handful of tracks from previously forgotten Missouri outfit Workdub. On the back of that, interest in their hard-to-find back catalogue rocketed, hence the appearance of this handy compilation on Left Ear. Subterranean (1889-95) contains material from each of the fluid collective's full-length excursions (one album and two cassettes) and is as evocative, imaginative, loose and enjoyable as the tracks previously showcased by Music From Memory. Stylistically, the material is thrillingly hard to pin down, though we can hear clear nods to dub, post-punk synth-pop, electro, Balearica, electronica and ambient amongst the ten superb selections on show.