Review: Tucked away in his Peak District hideaway, Jack Lever has been laying down sumptuous fusions of dusty ambience and lo-fi electronica for some time now. He first rose to prominence via a fine 12" on Apollo in 2013, before heading back to Derbyshire to self-release music from the archives on cassette and download. This return to wax is well worth a listen, if only for the drowsy, 6AM ambience of "Convair", which wraps shortwave radio crackle and yearning chord progressions around gentle acoustic guitars. "Torches" is a blissful and dusty outsider house shuffler, while lead cut "Roads" is a terrific, dancefloor-tempo trip-hop head-nodder rich in distorted guitars, cascading instrument solos and beefy dub disco bass.
Review: Emotional Response do a great service here to all lovers of braindance craving new fixes since Rephlex shut up shop. Brainwaltzera's debut EP Marzipan was a self-released concern that sold out quickly back in 2016, meeting with emotionally charged responses from those wanting to nab a copy. Now it's more widely available, the gorgeous lilt of bubbling 101 melodies and delicate drum machine patterns can spread their wings and bring some healing vibes to a broader audience of electronica devotees. Coming on with the sensitivity of Wisp and other contemporary braindancers, this is how comforting home listening beats should be done.
Review: One of the deepest reaching projects from the multifaceted Vibraphone stable resurfaces for an extended trip through ambient sonics that marks possibly the most daring departure on the esteemed Italian label to date. The harmonious tones undulating throughout Sketches From Space are instant soothers, taking the odd cue from techno but defiantly beatless and meditative. It's a surprising addition to the long and winding Vibraphone story, but also feels like one of the strongest steps forward the resurgent label has taken since returning to the fray. Just try sinking into "Lagrangian Point L4" and you'll see exactly what we mean.
Review: When it comes to a reissue such as this it can't be understated just how arresting the work of Boards of Canada can be in the right situation. This EP, that came to light in between Music Has The Right To Children and Geogaddi, represents the enigmatic duo at their most powerful, channeling their energy into four long-form tracks that draw on all of their combined strengths. "Kid For Today" is haunting and dark but utterly heartbreaking, whilst "Amo Bishop Roden" heads into more mysterious territory. "In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country" is eerie in its titular invitation to join a cult, and "Zoetrope" tips its hat to Terry Riley et al in its looping phrases, but really there's no describing the magnificence of these gems, pleasingly reissued on vinyl to beat the Discogs chancers.
Review: Widely regarded as Boards of Canada's finest hour, Music Has The Right To Children finds itself the subject of a well-deserved 2LP gatefold reissue from Warp Records. One of the most defining records of what was known for better or worse as IDM still sounds as timeless as it did in 1998, as the library tones of "Wildlife Analysis", thick downtempo rhythms of "Roygbiv" and out of focus melodies of "Olson" prove. Essential!
Review: Given that it's been eight years since the last Boards of Canada album, Tomorrow's Harvest should, by rights, push Daft Punk's Random Access Memories in the hype stakes. Certainly, it's a fine set. During their sabbatical, Marcus Eoin and Michael Sandison have lost none of their power to amaze and impress. Chords drone, samples hiss, synths shimmer and beats swing. There are intense ambient moments and intoxicating, post-IDM dreamscapes. It is in turns icy, warm, introspective and blindingly picturesque. Throughout, Tomorrow's Harvest is impeccably atmospheric, conjuring images of windswept Scottish moors, becalmed Cornish bays and maudlin pagan ceremonies. As comeback records go, it's pretty darn good.
Review: Since debuting in the early twenty-teens, Parisian producer Adrien Durrand has proved adept at bending musical styles and sounds. There's much of that on Jungle? Quelle Jungle?, his first album under the newly expanded Bon Voyage Organisation alias. Across the album's 13 tracks, you'll find seductive, Air style fusions of Chanson and electronic music, stylish post-punk '80s synth-pop, humid blends of Haitian rhythms and stoned Afro-disco, simmering spaced-out soundscapes, Sebastien Tellier style orchestrated Balearica, Italo-disco inspired sunrise shufflers and even a touch of experimental, out-there electronica that sounds like the Radiophonic Workshop jamming with African drum circles. In other words, Durrand inhabits his own sonic space and the resultant music is rarely less than wondrous.
Stay The Same (Blue Daisy Not Quite The Same remix)
Stay The Same (Mark Pritchard remix)
All In Forms (Letherette remix)
The Keeper (Banks remix)
Black Sands (Duke Dumont Grains Of Sand reconstruction edit - full length)
Eyesdown (feat Andreya Triana & DELS)
Review: Two years on from its initial release, Bonobo's much-loved Black Sands album got the remix treatment. While remix albums can be a bit hit and miss, Black Sands Remixed largely hits the spot - thanks in no small part to the A&R involvement of Eglo bossman Alexander Nut. The selection of remixers is open-minded and on-point, resulting in some near stunning interpretations. FaltyDL, Machinedrum and Cosmin TRG offer some decidedly floor-friendly rubs (the former's take on "All In Forms" delivering a great fusion of melancholic depth and skittering drums), while Arp101, Blue Daisy, Floating Points (in jazzwise mode) and fast rising youngster Lapalux turn in thrilling, sofa-friendly reworks.