Review: You might know, or perhaps recognise Survive's music, form the recent, first series of Stranger Things on Netflix. The series was a success thanks to its wonderfully charming plot, but the music throughout its episodes and, particularly on its opening sequence, is what has caught our attention and that of other music fanatics, naturally. The band's style is drenched in an 80s nostalgia that still sounds fiercely new and compelling. Think John Carpenter meets Actress. This new album, RR7349, is everything you could possibly ask for from a synth score, where tracks like "Dirt" or "High Rise" give the genre a sleek and elegant touch. "Wardenclyffe" is another favourite of ours, a magnetic and hummable rhythm, while other, darker pieces like "Sorcerer" emanate a cold yet eye-opening landscape of sounds. This is very warmly recommended, and if you're a fan of peeps like Legowelt, Dopplereffekt, or Actress himself, then this'll undoubtedly suit you nicely.
Review: Will Bankhead's Trilogy Tapes imprint continues their assault on 2012 with the latest release of Tuff Sherm - an alias of TTT regular Dro Carey. Sitting nicely alongside the KM/MM and Willie Burns releases on TTT this year, the Pharmacy EP showcases a sound that is part raw techno, part submerged house; the title track combines rolling tom-heavy percussion with abrasive unprocessed synth tones, like Drexciya jamming with Kassem Mosse. On the flip, "Hydlide" makes things even murkier, with some abstract beatdown house that would give Madteo a run for his money, while "Leg Man" is another trip down the wormhole of abstract loops and minimal clockwork rhythms. We probably don't need to tell you, but this is another essential 12" from TTT!
Review: Since debuting with the sublime With U last summer, Holy Other has become one of the Tri Angle roster's most compelling figures, and that rarest of things - an anonymous producer that is more than the sum of the hype surrounding them who is able to imbue their music with genuine personality. Though his sound is initially typical of the Aaliyah sampling Burial wannabes that are currently plaguing the internet, Holy Other manages to add extra layer of gothic drama to proceedings. Though the beats are there, they limp rather than skip (such as on opener "(W)here"), R&B tropes are inverted to create a ghostly frame draped over a skeletal structure ("Inpouring"). R&B isn't the only influence however; "Past Tension" is chopped and screwed 80s pop, while the heart wrenching chords and rumbling strings of "In Difference" could easily have come from Mogwai's Rock Action.
Review: Apart from having one of the best and most singular names in electronic dance music, The Future Sound Of London have been one of the pillars of modern UK dance music, pushing through a mixture of house, techno, and breaks since the early 1990s - and, in fact, some of their tunes like "Papua New Guinea" are still getting regular play time in clubs today. While they have released a huge amount of music over the last 25 years, they've got an equally vast amount of unreleased gold in their treasure chest, a collection of tracks that have seen the light of day thanks to the present Archived series. This week it's time for the series' eighth instalment, another twelve unmissable bundles of electronic delight. However, this is a lot more than just a compilation, and the tunes work their fine mixture of melodies, breaks and electronic beats into a sublime collection of sounds. If you're into vast and explorative music with a cutting-edge, you needn't look any further.
Review: If there's one collaboration that we have bowed down to over the last few years, it's most certainly this new found friendship between London's Kevin Martin aka The Bug, and American doom metal guitarists, Earth. One wouldn't immediately make the connection between inner-city future-grime music and suburban stoner rock, but the two styles were in perfect unison, and this is because they're both fascinated with dark, looming clouds of bass. Whether that's through virtual synths or badass bass guitars, it doesn't matter, because the mood is mightily present. Concrete Desert is the alliance's debut LP, and it's all guns blazing from start to finish; tunes like "Snakes vs Rats" or "Metal Drone" represent exactly the sort of freshen-up that each respective act needed - on the one hand, The Bug could have done with some more external influences to the melodic constructions, while Earth needed a new framework to enter the minds of a new, European audience. We've dubbed this style 'metal drone', and we're pretty sure that it's gonna stick after you've played it out for a few minutes. A blinding collab, right here.
Review: Last year, Burnt Friedmann and Uwe Schmidt reunited as Flanger for the first time in a decade, releasing the IDM-meets-future jazz full-length Lollopy Dripper. Here the experimental electronica veterans are at it again, delivering three more eccentric chunks of body-popping electronic jazz-fusion. They begin with the spacey throb of "Spinner", where broken computer noises and glitch electronics ride an undulating, off-kilter drum machine groove. "It From Bit" retains the attractive glitches of its' predecessor, blending them with an up-tempo, dub-influenced techno rhythm. Finally, they let their jazz influences run free on the computerized broken beat-meets-IDM-in-dub fizz of "Loose Joints".
Review: Laurel Halo is back, presenting her unique take on electronic music once again on her first full length since 2012's Quarantine on Hyperdub. Unlike her previous efforts there are no vocals on this album, marking a definite change in direction. There's undeniably a much dirtier analogue aesthetic smeared across the tracks of this album. "Situation" and "Drift" for instance are are tough UK bass influenced workouts with an attitude, while "Nebenwirkungen" and "Nah" take on a more claustrophobic and paranoid aesthetic, in all their freeform and self-liberating glory. Overall the album's withdrawn and at times uncompromising stance is what makes it so compelling.
Review: It's been a long time between drinks for Kaoru Inoue, who returns with a new album after five years away. This time round, and in keeping with the rules governing Groovement's Organic Series, the experienced Japanese producer has put together a set seemingly inspired by the early ambient of Brian Eno and Jon Hassell's "Fourth World" experiments. The latter's unique, hybrid electronic/acoustic approach can be heard in the tumbling guitars, strings and tablas of "Sunset Salute", or the sharp violins, cyclical electronics and post hip-hop beats of "Mythical Sunflare", while the meditative drones and yearning Jonny Nash guitars of "Mystic Motion" sound like a mythical studio hook-up between Terry Riley and Gaussian Curve. And so it goes on, with each track revealing itself as more masterful and majestic than its predecessor.
Review: Rather unexpectedly, the third CVX release, to date, comes through on Berceuse Heroique, an imprint which seems to be following and replicating just about any genre or sub-culture form the past, making it a perfect example of post-post-modernism in action. Zibaldone III of CVX, a serious previously restricted to the Laura Lies In label, is undoubtedly a wild and wicked concoction of nebulous sonics that are all driven by a toxic, merciless percussion which spews from all angles with a certain mechanical fashion. It's an honourable third edition of the series, and we hope this marks a beginning of a new dawn for CVX. Wicked style.