Review: Lontano Series' latest presentation, La Linea Negra, was born out of a trip producer and sound recordist AB Uno made to the Santa Marta area in Colombia. Deep in the Amazonian rainforest, he spent some days staying with a family from the native tribe of Arhuaco. The result is a superbly atmospheric, 25-minute piece that sees him later his own pulsing ambient electronics, Arhuaco voices and occasional tribal drum rhythms atop evocative field recordings of village life and the natural world that surrounds them. It's a breathtakingly atmospheric and evocative affair blessed with a genuine sense of time and place, as if you're eavesdropping on life in a remote corner of South America while sustained, slowly changing ambient chords ebb and flow across the sound space.
Review: In recent times, Luke Abbott has spent much of his creative life collaborating with others, forgoing what was a blossoming solo career in favour of joint projects. On Translate, he breaks this spell for the first time in six years, eschewing studio and live hook-ups in favour of solitary composition. The results are predictably impressive, with the Norfolk-based artist subtly updating his melodious, synthesizer-powered electronica sound whilst retaining the stylistic ticks and vintage IDM influences that made his earlier solo work such a riveting listen. The results are uniformly impressive to our ears, with highlights including the dense, rainbow-coloured rush of 'Ames Window', the synth-symphony that is foreboding, sci-fi inspired gem 'Earthship' and similarly doom-laden, Bladerunner-esque opener 'Kagen Sound'
Review: Presented in a limited run of 200 copies, "A Higher State Of Body & Mind" is the result of a one-off live performance by storied experimentalist (and Borft Records co-founder) Joachim Nordwall and Lebanese saxophonist Christine Abdelnour. It consists of a single, constantly evolving 41-minute piece in which Abdelnour adds subtle sax sounds and smoky, free-jazz style solos over Nordwall's mysterious, otherworldly electronics. With the Swedish veteran manipulating slate-grey drone sounds, moody aural textures and wayward electronic motifs, the resultant performance sounds like Mika Vainio jamming with one of jazz's more experimental horn players.
Review: The seventh album from South London-based producer and experimental maverick Darren Cunningham and it's a beauty. The last time we heard from him, in 2018, he was collaborating with the London Contemporary Orchestra and improvising a score for a Stockhausen opera and he's taken an element of that work with him and married it to disorientating, otherworldly electronics. 'Karma & Desire' has a real feel of escapism, almost to the extent of feeling like an out of body experience, as dislocated and disembodied melodies float around in the ether. There are the first proper vocal collaborations he's undertaken here, but the two tracks are no pop bangers, songstress Zsela's efforts sounding more like some beguiling abstract poetry. Travelling further and further, creatively, from the normal environs of dancefloor culture, he's not lost any of his spellbinding musicality or sonic storytelling skills.
Review: Spirits of the east converge from Russia and Romania for this fresh and inspired collaboration between Tess Conway and Radoslav Monrovani. Having forged respected names for themselves amid the fading shades of witch-house, both artists have merged influences & long established studio skills from afar to invoke dark energies, creating a theatre of menacing atmospheres and occult mystique. A multitude of live Instrumentation has been used in the production of this haunting offering including guitar, piano, kalimba, sampled Asian percussion, alongside an array of MIDI programmed, hardware synthesizers & processing. Adaptive Sonic Music was formed to coordinate final stages of production for this and further releases due in months to come.
Review: When he launched the "Xerrox" series way back in 2007, Alva Noto intended it to run to five volumes. Here he presents the fourth volume, which largely eschews "external samples" of everyday sounds - the series was inspired by the idea of creating new musical motifs from "copies of copies" - in favour of greater warmth, emotion and musical dexterity. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the appealing, slow-burn haziness of deep ambient opener "Xerrox Kirlian" and the distinctly cinematic, Angelo Badalamenti-in-"Twin Peaks"-mode beauty of "Xerrox Voyage", to the Radiophonic Workshop style creepiness of "Xerrox Cosmos" and the melancholic, string-laden swell of "Xerrox Canaux".
Review: Back in 2008, noted experimentalist Alva Noto began a sporadic series of albums that were far more focused on dancefloor-inspired rhythms than his usual eccentric and inspiring fare. Unieqav is the third and, we're told, final part of the series. The album is apparently meant to be a sonic representation of an underwater dive, a conceptual theme which manifests itself through the storied producer's use of deep and atmospheric chords, fluid and occasionally glistening electronics, and rhythms that evoke images of ever-deeper dives into the dark, cold depths. Rhytmically, there are nods to electro, IDM, dub techno and Autechre, though the mood remains laidback and intoxicated throughout.
Regal Worm vs The Amorphous Androgynous - "Gunter & His Evil Soul Sacrifice Orchestra Play Back Mass A Gogo"
Cobalt Chapel - "Hymortality" (part 1)
The Amorphous Androgynous - "Physically I'm Here, Mentally Far, Far Away" (Excerpt)
Higher Peaks - "In Madness Reigns"
Cobalt Chapel - "Hymortality" (part 2)
Las Trompas De Falopium - "Somos Inmortales Nos Persuadimosi"
Stoned Freshwaters - "Everything Is Easy With A Little Persuasion"
Atomic Simao - "Gravity Bong"
Richard E Further Out - "Our Dominion"
Steve Cobby’s Sweet Jesus - "The Persuader"
The Amorphous Androgynous - "Synthony On A Theme Of Mortality" (part 2)
The Flying White Dots - "Counting Down The Time" (part 2)
The Cuckoo Clocks - "Tomorrow, Time & Immortality"
Review: This set from the Future Sound of London's psychedelic rock-inspired Amorphous Androgynous project is extremely hard to pin down, thanks in no small part to its' boundary-blurring format. Officially a set of remixes of one song - 'We Persuade Ourselves We Are Immortal' - the album is formatted as a seamless, mixtape style musical journey in which recurring musical themes (think melodies, choral vocals, lyrical phrases and orchestral arrangements) slip in and out of ambient soundscapes, dub-influenced electronic beats, psych-rock workouts, crackly samples, field recordings and Lord knows what else. It features a stunningly epic cast of guest musicians, producers, remixes and obscure psychedelic bands, with the result being a brilliant collaborative work that sounds a little like a 21st century rock opera.