Review: From Patron and Wolfskuil to this first drop on Or:la's new label Cead, Utrecht producer Lewski is fast establishing himself in the buzzing space that exists between techno, electro and more experimental fare. "Guadala" has an uptempo bite, but there's plenty of dubby immersion to be felt in the bubbling synth drops and splashy reverb trails. "Jara" has its own kind of crooked intent, pockmarked with acid swerves and interlocking rhythms to get synapses firing. "Mariachi" takes things back to the peppier end of the tempo spectrum, clearly aiming for the peak time without making any cliched moves - no mean feat - and then "Descacorde" switches things up with a stomping electro house workout that brings a wholly different flavour to this excellent EP.
Review: Jolly Discs is a London-based label operated by Guy Gormley (Enchante) and Rory Gleeson. Here, Gormley teams up with David C. Gray as Special Occasion for some oddball downtempo weirdness on the Ibiza Redux EP - which was without a doubt one of the more interesting records we had to review this week. Featuring balmy tropical reductions as heard on "Rampling", through to the chilled-out bedroom balearica of "Let Me In" to a moment of hazy and dubbed-out deepness as heard on "@ Rupies". Tip!
Review: Like Delsin label mates Conforce and Claro Intelecto, veteran producer John Beltran seems incapable of producing duff albums. "Hallo Androiden", his first full length outing for two years, is another wonderfully atmospheric, melodic and emotive set that recalls the producer's impeccable 1990s output. The nine tracks are as lushly produced as you'd expect, with Beltran effortlessly drifting between eyes-closed ambient techno, lilting electronica, slowly shifting sunset soundscapes and the kind of grandiose, life affirming ambient compositions that have long been a feature of the veteran producer's work. As with much of his output, there are enough intricate details and emotion-stirring motifs to suggest that the album will sound just as good on the 50th listen as it does the first.
If It Pleased Me To Appear To You Wrapped In This Drapery (21:43)
Review: Prolific Canadian composer Sarah Davachi shows no signs of slowing down. 2019 is barely six months old and she's already offering up her second set of the year, her seventh in total since the start of 2017. This time round, the Los Angeles-based experimentalist has returned to her roots, delivering a set of two distinctive halves. The A-side "Perfumes" suite is startlingly simple in concept, with Davachi creating a dreamlike mood via sustained, slowly shifting church organ chords and gentle piano motifs. It's little short of stunning. Turn to side B and you'll be treated to an exercise in avant-garde modern classical, where slowly vibrating strings and minimalist movements slowly evolve over 21 spell binding minutes.
Review: Uwe Schmidt - he of Atom Heart, Atom TM and Senor Coconut fame - has used an insane number of aliases over the years, so you'd be forgiven for not knowing about the sole album he produced as Dots. It first appeared on CD way back in 1994 and has long been considered something of a slept on classic by '90s ambient fans. Here it appears on vinyl for the very first time courtesy of Astyral Industries, a label that knows a thing or two about unearthing forgotten ambient treasure. Stylistically, there are hints to some of Schmidt's other work - a dub bassline here, an abstract motif there - but for the most part the becalmed and beguiling soundscapes have more in common with the work of German ambient legend Pete Namlook.
Review: To tie in with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings, Brian Eno has decided to put out a new edition of his decidedly spacey 1983 ambient album "Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks", which started life as the soundtrack to a long-forgotten documentary about NASA's space program. The edition is rather special, not only because it contains a remastered version of the original set created by Eno, his brother Roger and regular collaborator Daniel Lanois, but also because it contains a second disc of previously unheard material. This is not old, though, but rather brand new recordings - described as "new interpretations of the film soundtrack" - made by the Lanois and the Eno brothers late last year in a similar style. In a word: essential.
Review: My Neighbour Totoro is a 1988 critically acclaimed Japanese animated fantasy film, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki for Studio Ghibli and Tokuma Shoten. The soundtrack, which has stood the test of time, is one of the contributing factors which makes the film so magical. Created by longtime Studio Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi who is one of Japan's most prolific and celebrated composers, this soundtrack is one of the lightest in mood with the 20 tracks running in chronological order. Stunning, raw and powerful.