David Bowie/The Rebels - "Revolutionary Song" (4:42)
Marlene Dietrich - "Just A Gigolo" (3:34)
Review: Here's something to get Bowie fans hot under the collar: a first worldwide pressing of the Thin White Duke's "Revolutionary Song", his only contribution to the soundtrack of 1978 West German flick "Just A Gigolo", in which he also starred alongside silver screen legend Marlene Dietrich. The song was recorded with a local band of musicians hastily dubbed "The Rebels" and sees Bowie in classic crooner mode, adding his distinctive vocals to a jangly, largely acoustic number that's effectively a folksy take on waltz. Over on side B there's a chance to enjoy one of Marlene Dietrich's last ever recordings: an atmospheric cover of 1930s cabaret standard "Just A Gigolo" which ended up being the movie's title track.
Review: Mohammad Reza Mortazavi is the perfect companion to Burnt Friedman's steely, minimalistic shades of broken dub techno. The Iranian percussionist comes as a surprise addition to the Nonplace catalogue, but he certainly makes for an even more cerebral drumming experience than the already off-kilter world of Friedman's tunes. Both the A-side's mixes of "Yek" are just on the right side of dark, combining Eastern influences together with colder, more industrial executions from the West. On the B-side, we have a similarly frenetic experience, where metallic drums collide with deep baselines and polyrhythmic flows spanning the full circle. Well, this might just be our favourite Nonplace yet!
Review: De:tuned's 10th anniversary series has so far served up killer, previously unreleased material from a whole host of underground heroes, scene pioneers and household names. They're at it again on this sixth volume in the ongoing series, which begins with a now rare - but typically weird and out-there - cut from early 90s ambient/techno/electro fusionists The Future Sound Of London. "Skinny XAM" is peak FSOL and sounds like it could have come from the improvised radio broadcasts that inspired the duo's "ISDN" album. Elsewhere, Monolake AKA Robert Henke does his best Autechre impression on the dark and punchy "ForC160q", while David Morley wraps undulating acid lines and creepy effects around a hypnotic ambient techno groove on "Traytor".
Review: Whatever Makes You Feel Safe is a collaboration between Canadian producer and singer Marie Davidson and Berlin based Ukrainian sound designer Invisible Church. They met in Montreal during Red Bull Music Academy festival and shared the idea of exploring the concept of feeling safe both on a personal level and as a part of society. Quite different from what you'd usually associate with Davidson but still worthy of your attention all the same. Beginning on the A side with "Collage" featuring some chilling drone experiments over textural sound design and field recordings which allow Davidson's haunting vocals to carry the track further into the void. Sounds like a cross between OAKE and Lustmord. Next up "Never Release The Tension" delves further into pitch black territory on this contorted downbeat industrial thriller. Finally on the flip, we've got an epic 10 minutes of haunting esoterica in the form of "Ten Years" and features Theo Parrish on cymbals! The label recommends it as for fans the late Mika Vainio, Black Rain, CTI, and the Bladerunner OST. Pretty on point, if we do say so ourselves!
Review: Next up on Bristol's Bokeh Versions is Japan's Mars89 with his second release. He's a crucial member of the Tokyo's Chopstick Killahz: a self-described 'post tribal DJ unit' lurking on the fringes of the city's grime scene, in addition to being a Noods Radio resident. He presents some more of his contorted UK bass and gqom derivatives from the far east on the End Of The Death EP. Influences of Jersey club, dancehall and grime are evident throughout, from the reverberated rapid-fire toms of "Run To Mall" or the industrial edged beats of "Random Coherence" or "Throbbing Pain" to even more desolate soundscapes as heard on the chilling "Visitor From The Ocean".
Review: Gird yourselves; starting from this month and running through until December, Dutch institution Dekmantel are celebrating a decade in the game with a series of monthly 12"s featuring a seriously all-star cast from Tony Allen to Villalobos. It starts right here as legendary innovative composer Gigi Masin opens with the lilting, delicate "Maja", Vakula brings us down from the clouds and back to the future with the body-jacking ghetto bump of "Robot Fuck The System" while Flugel blows the finale horn with the swampy Amazonian harmonic trip-out "Mice On Stick". This is the start of something very special.
Review: Since 2013, Pablo Mateo has been crafting his trade and carving his signature techno sound into the underground community. We have nothing but praise for the guy, and we absolutely love his raw, improvisational style; it reminds us of artists like Barnt, artists that like to stay loose. This new EP comes courtesy of 777 Recordings sublabel FFF, and it's exactly the sort of refreshing techno cocktail that we're after these days. "Second Exit" is a dark, brooding dance floor number that is sparked into life by its fat bass tones riding beneath the percussion, and it's no doubt tune that'll be enjoyed by the UK techno audience. "Zwei Koerper" is a totally different kind of monster, a full-blown abstraction without any beats, instead using its cinematic drones to paint a vivid picture. Tip!
Review: Despite being active for just seven years during the 1980s, Dutch new wave band Mekanik Kommando released a wealth of raw, off-kilter and intergalactic material. 1982's "Dancing Elephants" EP, which here gets the reissue treatment from Dark Entries, remains one of their finest moments, largely because it fuses crunchy, electro-influenced beats and Kraftwerk style computer bleeps with sassy new wave vocals, nods to synth-pop and the low-slung basslines and fuzzy guitars of post-punk rock. Our picks include the alien post-punk pop of "Beauty Of Language", the out-there, delay-laden, extra-terrestrial weirdness of "Miss B" and the new wave electro-pop perfection of "Stop & Play".
Review: The incorrigible PAN imprint returns with yet another dosage of fresh, ritualistic electronic sounds conjured by Berlin newcomer Mesh and presented by the unstoppable label-head, Bill Kouligas. The latter has had been on a formidable run of form over the last few years, and the releases he personally handpicks just seem to get better and better! These latest Mesh cuts are no different. "Scythians" itself is an instant PAN classic, a mass of utterly insane and morphed electronics fluttering away with grace and arrogance. But this is in no way a one-track release. Every track is the Berliner's own sound, one that's both bold and fierce but also forward looking. Some parts remind us of the spirit and the essence of the Metalheadz sound throughout the 90s, minus the breaks. Highly recommended.
Review: Mirror Box is the solo analog synth project of Dallas musician Sean Kirkpatrick. With an extensive resume that includes keyboard duties for Kill Rock Stars' 00s noise rock band The Paper Chase as well as his concurrent projects, dark post-punk-synth-rockers Nervous Curtains and darkwave duo Little Beards, Mirror Box is Kirkpatrick's first foray into the purely electronic realm. Blending together elements of Giallo moodiness, dub texture, techno propulsion, a passing nod to your favorite wave music, and a flare for the kosmiche, Mirror Box' debut release, Minimal Compliance EP, is a tour de force of the veteran musician's exploration of a wide range of influences and experience.
Review: It's been some six years since Caroline "Miss Kittin" Herve and Michel "The Hacker" Amato last delivered fresh material together. While we await further news of their long-mooted comeback, there's this tasty EP of previously unheard archive material to enjoy. Made up of tracks recorded between 1997 and '99 - when their production partnership was in its' infancy - The Lost Tracks Volume 1 contains a number of fuzzy, stylish, floor-friendly bangers, from the S&M-themed madness of opener "Leather Forever" and stripped-back electro gem "Nightlife" (a tribute to Berlin clubs of the period, apparently), to the high-tempo acid-loaded freakishness of "Loving The Alien". Top-notch sleaze.
Review: Local Talk hits the rather significant catalogue number of 100 with a forward thinking EP that stays true to its MO over the last few years. It finds MLiR aka Modern Life Is Rubbish joined by Arnau Obiols to serve up a brace of brilliant tunes that blur the lines between a myriad different dance styles. "Lajbans" is a playful, fun tune with tooting arps and cosmic melodies all married to a chugging beat that Todd Terje would be proud of. The Bellaterra dub on the flip reworks it with plenty of space echo, knob twirling effects and sci-fi atmospheres. A tidy little package.
Review: Platform 23 continue to do a great service to all seekers of furtive sounds from the DIY underground, this time shining a light on the wonderful Mode I/Q. Anyone who digs the sound of New York-tinged new wave and danceable post punk will love this record - the limber disco funk of the rhythm section meets with squalling guitar textures and dubby FX, all shot through with a hooky pop sensibility that makes this record so easy to fall in love with. "Confidence" is especially strong, as is the ramshackle party starter "Two Different Things". It seems there's no end to the overlooked gems from this golden era of independent music - it's time to catch up with Mode I/Q and file them next to your favourite disco-not-disco movers and shakers.
Review: Released with the minimum of fanfare, Dismantle represents Rabih Beaini's first substantial release as Morphosis since last year's Tepco Report 12", and comes in the form of a five track double 12" release for Honest Jon's The first comprises two Morphosis productions obviously aimed at more adventurous DJs, with the title track (in collaboration with Donato Dozzy) comprising subtly rattling percussion and organic tones unfolding over a steady rhythmic pulse, while "Tamrat Version" comes across as more full bodied, with thicker organ textures tied up with pulsing synths. The second 12" meanwhile is something entirely different, comprising a live score to Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr recorded in Romania; free of rhythm and utilising some outlandish modular sequencing, it's the producer at his most immersive.
Space Afrika - "After They Entered It Was Only Evident" (3:59)
Review: "Shared Meanings" has been one of Mumdance's most ambitious and explorative projects to date; pulling together the four corners of the hardcore continuum and tying them in a tight bow, his mix has drawn elements and parallels between all genres and laced them in a narrative that mirrors and reflects throughout. Now, for limited time only, we have five of the 32 tracks he included in the mix ranging from his and Logos' totem track "Teachers" which pays homage to the UK's forefathers, to the pulverising thumpy bumpy techno of Nkisi's "Kinenga" via stasis sensation ambience from Space Afrika in the form of "After They Entered It Was Only Evident". Coordinates don't come much broader or deeper, "Shared Meanings" is Mumdance in full on explorer mode. Long may his meaningful trips continue.
Review: It's been two years since Thomas Berg's "Versions" stable initiated the Mystic Versions project, which delivers untitled chunks of cosmic techno goodness from un-credited artists. There's plenty to excite on this delayed second instalment, from the creepy, dub techno-in-the-rainforest flex of "Track 2" and wildly wonky, reggae-tinged heaviness of "Track 3", to the swirling, rising and falling melodies of dense dancefloor techno roller "Track 5" and the ambient techno style early morning psychedelia of "Track 7". Those hankering after some dense and intense peak-time techno should check out the ballsy drum assault that is "Track 6".