Review: Costas Andriopoulos has released previous albums via Nadanna, and now he's back for round three with more seductive, noirish synthwave material to soundtrack your cinematic night drive through city streets (real or imaginary). "Voices In The Night" is a stylistic triumph - every heavy hearted lead, thrumming arpeggio and bombastic vocal is executed to perfection. You might well think this album was actually a curio dug out of obscurity by an Italo hound, it's so convincing. The world created by 23rd Underpass is a treat to melt into - all neon lights, fast cars and sharp haircuts - don't deny you want to take a trip through this fantasy land too...
Review: Belgian reissue imprint Stroom are back with more retro obscurities, this time in the form of 48 Cameras: the brainchild and life project of self-proclaimed non-musician Jean-Marie Mathoul. After hearing an album of William S. Burroughs reciting poetry, Mathoul decided to put poems and spoken word to music. He was a poet in his own right, having already published a book of poems. At a literary event in Liege, he met UK-based writer Paul Buck (author of the novel The Honeymoon Killers) and the two of them decided to collaborate - and thus formed 48C. Mathoul was said to have built the album in his mind, long before starting the recording process, which involved something of a 'non-band'. The musicians and collaborators never actually recorded together, and to this day some haven't even met each other. Jean-Marie Mathoul sadly passed away earlier this year at the age of 66.
Review: Ostgut Ton A-Ton completes their trilogy of compilations charting the early-to-mid-'90s ambient techno work of British producer Luke Slater under the 7th Plain alias. As with its predecessors, the eight included tracks offer a mixture of previously released fare from the project's heyday and music that's sat on dusty DAT tapes for well over two decades. Highlights come thick and fast, from the sun-bright sci-fi melodies, sustained ambient chords and bubbly acid lines of "Time Melts" and the Black Dog-ish shuffle of "Reality of Space", to the booming, club-ready "Lost", drowsy IDM cut "Think City" and the intergalactic, stretched-out bliss of brilliant closing cut "Seeing Sense".
Review: A-Ton is a new label from Berlin heavyweights Ostgut Ton, designed to focus on "ambient, archive and alternative music". They've pulled off something of a coup for this debut release, persuading British techno legend Luke Slater to open up the archives of his '90s intelligent techno project, The 7th Plain. Chronicles I boasts a mixture of previously released and unheard material, which moves from glistening, outer-space ambience (the near perfect "Boundaries", "Grace"), to fizzing Motor City techno ("T-Funk Statues"), via intergalactic intelligent techno, dusty downtempo grooves (the jazzy hip-hop rhythms and ambient electronics of "Slip 7 Sideways"), and melodious IDM.
Review: Adam Wiltizie and Dustin O'Halloran return to their A Winged Victory For The Sullen project with a complete edition of all their Atomos works for the electrifying Kranky imprint - the best of homes for cutting-edge sonics and scintillating soundscapes. After a preview 12" of "VII" out earlier this year, this full compilation contains all eleven tracks for your listening pleasure. Blissful drones, neo-classical strings and just the right amount of noise paint a rather special picture. Listen to those violins intertwine so majestically with the powerful electronic backdrops of sound. Lovely stuff.