Review: Andrew Field-Pickering is a unique talent. Under the Maxmillion Dunbar guise, he's treated listeners to a string of gorgeously kaleidoscopic releases that join the dots between sparkling electronica, E'd-up disco, next-level Balearica and effervescent deep house. With Woo, his first LP for RVNG INTL, he's at it again. "Woo" is deliciously fluid, pitting brightly coloured electronic melodies and darting synths against stuttering drum machine rhythms and cascading chords. The beatless "Shampoo" is similarly lucid, delivering a steamy tropical shower of glistening electronics and synthesized steel drums. It's only the formidably robust "Drift" - a Disco Nihlist-ish exercise in analogue groovery - that breaks the spell.
Review: Between 1980 and 87, Michele Mercure released a small but perfectly formed collection of cassette and vinyl-only albums that showcased her unique and ear-pleasing fusion of electronic and acoustic instrumentation. It's these albums - and those Mercure put out as Michele Musser - which RVNG Intl has mined for "Beside Herself", a superb primer on the Pennsylvania-based artist's little-known career. The genius of Mercure's work - aside from her firm grasp of mood and melody - was her innate ability to blend elements of Berlin School and new age ambience with elements of experimental electronica, surprisingly cinematic soundscapes (she often earned a living composing for TV, film and theatre) and more rugged industrial influences. It's a formula that makes for absorbing and hugely enjoyable listening.
Review: RVNG Intl's FRKWYS series, which brings together younger musicians with those trailblazers who came before them, has delivered some of the most remarkable and enthralling music of the last few years. This 13th volume, which brings together veteran synthesizer pioneer Suzanne Ciani and modern-day Buchla advocate Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, is no exception. There are two expansive pieces, mostly built around fluid, subtly changing Buchla synthesizer passages, each of which was inspired by the Pacific Coast base in which the duo gathered to work. Of these, it's the undulating, spacious beauty of "Closed Circuit" - the synthesizer equivalent of the ebb and flow of a calm sea at sunset - that most impresses.
Review: Absent from the record shelves since her fine 2013 album Joy One Mile, Christelle Gualdi returns triumphantly with a four track 12" of jacking new Stellar Om Source material in the shape of Nite-Glo. Again issued through New York label RVNG, the record hones in on a focussed exploration of the luminescent power of the Roland 303 and is undoubtedly the French artist's most dancefloor-concentrated body of work to date. The label suggest Gualdi was moved to produce this music as a means to deal with loss, and the four tracks suggest she has channelled this sense of grief in the most positive manner.