Review: Since Demdike Stare released their last album in 2012, the world seems to have got altogether darker and more shocking. It certainly seems a fitting time for the Lancastrian duo to return with their sixth full length. Wonderland naturally boasts a number of typically clandestine, pagan outings - see the dense, industrial influenced "Curzon", fearlessly distorted "Hardnoise" and mutant jungle fuzziness of "Sourcer" - but also moments of frenzied funk and quiet contemplation. In the latter category you'll find sublime album closer "Overstaying", where shimmering synth melodies and ghostly chords rub shoulders with elastic bass and skittish drum machine percussion. However dark and bleak things may seem, there's always hope, even in the intensely unsettling world of Demdike Stare.
Review: When he's not busy producing ear-shaking industrial techno or corrupted house bangers, Paris' Low Jack appears under his birth name, Philippe Hallais. While this is technically a debut under his real name, we've already gotten a taste of what the talented producer can offer beyond the dancefloor. This album, An American Hero, comes through on Andy Stott's sublime Modern Love and we feel that there couldn't be a better match on our charts this week. Although the large part of these tunes would scare most normal people off any dance piste, there is something unmistakably club-minded about it; the choice of sonics and atmospherics is most certainly on the experimental side of the spectrum, but there is a noticeable movement and pulse-like beat at its foundations. For instance, the likes of "Everything (Good)" or "Angela (Square)" burst out of the speakers with a mind-bending vortex of sounds that somehow find their own kinetic energy and pull you in to a subtle groove. Compared to most left field or ambient albums out there, Hallais has made sure to keep you locked and excited for the whole damn thing. Recommended. Warmly.
Review: Modern Love's newest release comes from British beatmaker Zomby, who has reached into his archives to unearth a long lost album nearly a decade after its completion. Said to be recorded between two weeks around 2008-2009, the Mercury's Rainbow LP sees the London based producer interpreting grime innovator Wiley's Eskibeat productions, which played an instrumental role in the genre's formation. It features the 4AD/Hyperdub affiliated artist utilising intricately hand-programmed arpeggios, 'sliding Triton squares' and post-garage drum patterns. On a conceptual level, it uses theories of colour and its relation to the sonic chromatic spectrum - the circle of fifths.