Review: Noiztank co-founder Zosima has been surprisingly quiet of late, with his last release of note - the suitably intense and dystopian "Apropos Of The Wet Snow" - dropping back in 2017. As the title suggests "Live Cuts I" is made up of fuzzy, lo-fi workouts that were recorded to tape during live shows in Madrid, Berlin and Vienna. All four are suitably atmospheric and spontaneous in feel, in keeping with the producer's sweaty, hardware-driven performances. What you get is full-throttle industrial techno full of head-mangling distorted drums, rhythmic white noise and - on the clandestine "LC3" and paranoid "LC1" - a sliver of wild-eyed melodic intent. Not for the faint hearted, but well worth your attention if you like your grooves raw, ragged and full-throttle.
Review: The original pressing of Subsequent Pleasures, the self-financed and ludicrously limited debut EP from Dutch darkwave pioneers Xymox (later to rename themselves Clan of Xymox), is notoriously hard to get hold of. Props, then, to reissue specialists Dark Entries for making it available again on vinyl for the first time since 1983. While this version doesn't include all of the tracks featured on the original, it does contain all the killers, including the electro-goth wooziness of "Going Around", the Joy Division-ish "Strange 9 To 9" and the superb synth workout "Call It Weird". It's one of those releases that should be an essential purchase for anyone with even the remotest interest in darkwave.
Review: The Poverty Is Violence stable are firmly established now as an essential conductor for rabid, rowdy and downright rasping mechanics from subterranean operators of all shapes and sizes. Anonymous but reportedly veteran Dutch producer XXX previously appeared on the label in 2016 with the wild Noorder Scannen 12", and now returns with a bludgeoning new release. There's a consistent metal grind to the percussion on Westzaan Doelen, while the synth tones in between tend towards the jagged and abrasive, there's space and poise in the arrangement to lift this out of knuckleheaded noise. "Don't Go After Her" reverberates with clamouring intensity while the beefy chassis of "Just The Two Of You" shimmers under an acidic glaze - this is full-tilt deviant music executed with finesse to match the grime.
Review: Valcrond Video presents the next work by sound and image artist Luke Wyatt, Songs From Bad Kid School.
On a high desert plain, inside a cinder block compound, a prank squad is incarcerated. Between fiddling with ninja stars and leafing through back issues of Fangoria, they find time to scrape out the soundtrack of their escape.
On the first track, heatsick guitars and steel wool beats suggest a landscape strewn with abandoned car carcasses, old Camaros left for dead in the sun, used for shotgun practice.
The B-side leads off with the beat-less, articulated sprawl of "Saline Flats". Here is the story of a desert search for water: figures warping mirage-like on the horizon as they make a confused journey over dunes, ending with a cathartic drone that suggests the mirages resolving into a real oasis. Though it is just as likely that the bad kids have expired from thirst, and ascended to the sublime.
Review: The latest volume in Music From Memory's impressive 12" series of reissued obscurities takes us back to late '80s St Louis and the hard to find world of Workdub. Formed of Virgil Work Jnr. and Nicholas Georgieff, Workdub's output was restricted to a pair of highly limited albums recorded between 1989 and 1992. All four tracks are taken from these two albums, and offer a lucid, ear-catching fusion of early ambient house electronics, experimental oriental synth-pop, alien jazz breaks, spacey Detroit influences, and stuttering drum machine rhythms. It's a hard-to-place but wonderfully evocative mixture, arguably best displayed on standout opener "Island Breeze". That said, the curiously Balearic, Tangerine Dream influenced "Caravan" is rather tasty, too, while its' ambient alternative mix, "Caravan Revisited" is almost overpowering in its' simple beauty.
Review: Having only made spotted appearances in the past, icy ambient techno artist Winter In June makes a fine first outing on vinyl with a press of his formerly digi-only EP Eternal Lovers. It's prime Silent Season material, using massive slabs of reverb and a foreboding sense of space as his main weapons while rolling out bleak machine matter that sounds as though it were blown across the tundra. "About Life & Death" is particularly moving with its heart monitor bleeps and forlorn strings, while "The Party Is Elsewhere" is a telling trip into the coldest of coldwave.
Review: Typically, General Elektro isn't giving much away about the identity of the producers behind "new collaboration" Westend, or their aims for the project for that matter. Musically, it's a quietly impressive debut that features a sextet of tracks mostly built around gently undulating synthesizer arpeggio lines and moody electronics. Many of the tracks are stripped-back, hypnotic and beat-less, deriving their power from the relentless thrust of the arpeggio lines that ripple across the sound space. Others, meanwhile, include ghostly electro drums or, in the case of the bombastic "Track 4", the kind of no-nonsense, kick-drum-driven beats that were once a feature of the greatest Electronic Body Music releases.
La Conoci En Un Concierto De Esplendor Geometrico (3:45)
Europe Is Dead (feat Ana Curra) (6:15)
Valencia Ist Gefahrlich (3:16)
L'enigmatic Martell De Ned Ludd (1:43)
121 Xemeneies (feat Hugo Mas) (7:29)
Aquesta Rave Es Una Merda (5:00)
Review: We Are Not Brothers are an electronic music band from the post-industrial, anarchist and revolutionary town of Alcoi, Pais Valencia - formed in 2006. Comprised of Blai Antoni Vano, Damia Llorens Pico, Francisco Sancho Blanquer and Rafeta, this is (like the name suggests) their third full length release. They borrow respectfully from fellow Spanish legends like Geometrico Esplendor (who they've supported live: as heard on opening cut "La Conoci En Un Concierto De Esplendor Geometrico" while sounding like contemporaries such as The Horrorist or Vatican Shadow. It's a fairly fierce and abrasive affair, featuring layers of contorted and textured greyscale electronics, plus violent vocal styles. Just check some of the titles - "Europe Is Dead" a pummeling riot ready anthem featuring Spanish scene heroine Ana Curra) or the seething "121 Xemeneies" (feat Hugo Mas).
Review: Marking the start of an exciting new collaborative project, Wolf + Lamb proudly share the debut release of The Waves & Us. Formed out of
a creative meeting of minds between Maayan Nidam, Markus Nikolaus and Louis McGuire, theirs is a sound that strengthens the storied
approach of a live band with the experimental thrust of analogue electronics. Pop and rock fundamentals lend an earthly hook to the
tracks, but these are anything but straight-forward songs.
Maayan has already forged a formidable career in electronic music, both under her own name and as part of Mara Trax, scoring releases
on such celebrated labels as Perlon. Markus performs his own solo project Cunt Cunt Chanel, while Louis is part of Ballet School, a band
releasing on noted indie label Bella Union. The whirlwind of creativity that has whipped up around the trio has yielded an album which will
follow this single, made up of one-take recordings that capture the energy and adventure that powers The Waves & Us.
Maayan's electronics provide the atmospheric backdrop to the songs, running modular synthesisers and drum machines through detailed
chains of processing and effects with an emphasis on a warm, charmingly rough finish. Markus' guitar undergoes a similar fuzzy treatment
while his voice calls out introspective, abstract lyrics to set the mind racing. Louis' bass underpins the music with a dubby sensibility,
bringing a necessary balance to the frequency range.
Making the most of their in-the-room recording approach, the singles will feature alternative takes of the songs that will appear on the
album, providing a little insight into the flutters and fluctuations that shape the development of this project. With their eyes fixed on live
performances and an arresting sound already formed, this is a vital time for all three artists and the people that listen to them.