Review: Canadian composer Mort Garson enjoyed an eclectic career, though in electronic music circles he's most celebrated for a string of experimental electronic albums he produced using early Moog synthesizers. "Mother Earth's Plantasia" is a bizarre but brilliant beast: a 1976 set that was designed to be played to plants to help them grow (really) and was given away free at a Los Angeles garden store. As this first ever reissue proves it remains a dizzyingly far-sighted set. Sometimes symphonic, occasionally spacey and always intoxicating, much of the material is far quirkier than contemporaneous synthesizer-fired sets. Highlights include the pulsing ambient spaciousness of "Ode To An African Violet", the twinkling, cascading beauty of "Rhapsody In Green" and the jaunty cheeriness of "You Don't Have To Walk a Begonia".
Review: Since the release of 2016's epic Gas retrospective, Box, the pioneering drone ambient producer (real name Wolfgang Voigt) has been surprisingly productive. Rausch is the lauded electronic musician's speedy follow-up to last year's Narkopop, which happened to be his first full-length for over 15 years. As you'd expect, Rausch is superb, with Voigt variously turning cinematic orchestral tracks into hybrid electro-acoustic epics. While some are beat-less and fluid, others are loopy, hypnotic and otherworldly, with the German building tension via subtle rhythm tracks that draw on techno and IDM. The results are near faultless, as Voight once again proves that he's a true master of his ambient art.
Review: Killer new LP length project from the man that is Gifted & Blessed! Although Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker has been producing his soul-filled machine music under a number of aliases since 2004, most notably as Gifted & Blessed, the past year has seen him break out with releases for high profile labels like All City, Eglo and Wild Oats, with his release for the latter providing one of the most memorable bespoke vinyl releases of recent times. However, its his own eponymous label that has been the primary home for most of the producer's recent work, with the 3 Aspects of One EP providing the most recent example. One of this year's most appropriately named LPs, Within These Machines is by no means the LA resident' s first album but it does see him expand his style somewhat with typically excellent results. There are more overtly house and techno moments here for example, though tracks like the gurgling "Tesla's Notebook" and restless "Rain Dance" are as experimentally minded as ever.
Review: Five years ago, Portishead front woman Beth Gibbons joined forces with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra to perform Henryk Gorecki's "Symphony Number 3 (Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs)" at the National Opera Grand Theatre in Warsaw. Here, the recording of the concert is finally given a release. It's a stunning suite of classical pieces, with the orchestra making short work of Gorecki's swelling movements and deeply melancholic musical motifs. Gibbons is in particularly fine form, transforming herself into an operatic artist and accurately delivers the stunning, Polish-language pieces. It's an astonishing performance and nothing like we've ever heard from her before. The 24-minute opening track is, in particular, breathtaking.
Review: Say yes! The definitive gossamer Italo floor fuel of Ida No and Johnny Jewel's Glass Candy outfit enjoys an expanded reissue here after over a decade out of print. Nothing but synthetic positivity as both the title track and "Drumm" stride with an almost marching feel before "Where Time Sits Still" plunges much deeper into moody new romantic cinematics. Elsewhere other highlights include the slinky poignancy that lingers from every spacious bass pluck on "City Lights" and the trembling ambience and pressurised atmosphere of the finale "Sanctuary". Yes please.
Review: Sometime Klaus Schulze collaborator Andreas Grosser spent much of the late '70s and early '80s making experimental syntheszier music inspired by the (then) West German kosmiche scene, handing out cassettes of his recordings to anyone that was interested. The best of these unreleased works were first gathered together on 1981's Venite Vessum, a cassette-only release that now exchanges hands for large sums online. Happily, Running Back has decided to make it available on CD for the first time, stretching the spacey and otherworldly ambience of Grosser's deep space compositions - some of which bubble along gracefully for 15 minutes at a time - over the disc's duration. Thrillingly, this edition also includes a previously unheard track, the Philip Glass style synthesizer cycles and sun-bright positivity of "The Quantum Jump".