Review: Border Community's Luke Abbott returns to his own Buffalo Temple alongside newcomer Jake Wyllie, coming through with a self-titled three-tracker. "Xanatko", "Isaka" and "Exteberri" truly explore the deepest realms of electronic music, and together make for a mind-blowing experience on the headphones. You'll enter a realm made of woozy soundscapes, field recordings and subtle waves of improvised free jazz. It's dream music for the dreamers, one of the highest calibre. A tip for the all the ambient diggers!
Review: Back in 2016, legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen approached techno pioneer Jeff Mills with the idea of working together. A series of live gigs and off-the-radar studio sessions followed, with the first fruits of their joint efforts finally appearing on this must-have 10". As you'd expect, the duo's collaborative work combines Allen's traditional Nigerian polyrhythms, traditional Afrobeat instrumentation, and the far-sighted, sci-fi inspired electronic futurism that has always marked out Mills' work. The result is a quartet of cuts that could arguably be described as retro-futurist Afro-tech - all delay-laden beats, basslines and organs subtly sparring with gentle acid lines, Motor City electronics, beguiling deep space textures and shimmering, 31st century motifs. It's arguably Allen's stylistic contributions that dominate, but that's no bad thing.
Review: Pale Calling sees Black Truffle boss and all round experimental maven Oren Ambarchi collaborating with Kassel Jaeger and James Rushford for an album consisting of two long form compositions laid down in Paris back in 2014. Featuring killer artwork from Sunn O))) man Stephen O'Malley, and mastered by Rashad Becker, Pale Calling is aptly described as "a mysterious space of slowly cycling electronics, distracted vocal mumbles and often unidentifiable field recordings." It arrives in a busy year for Ambarchi's Black Truffle following long players from Charlemagne Palestine and improvisational trio AMM, and proves to be a delicious listen that will appeal to fans of the recent Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Felicia Atkinson album.
Review: Battista, John Swing and EMG's first hook-up under the SPS moniker - the thrillingly hard-to-pigeonhole Sintomi Di Gravita 12" - was arguably one of 2014's most slept-on records. Here they join forces for round two, delivering another two tracks that neatly sidestep the accepted norms of house and techno. A-side "Movimento (Consico Mix)" is a wonky chunk of well-swung, jazz-flecked deep house, smothered in filters and tipsy chords. Flip for the Inconsico Mix of the same track, a brilliantly far-out fusion of odd electronics, glitchy rhythms, shimmering synths and bubbling found sounds. It's hardly dancefloor-centric, but it's certainly really, really good.
Review: Featuring dialogue by Oscar nominated actress of the silver screen Joan Lorring, Norwegian ambient legend Geir Jenssen aka Biosphere presents two atmospheric and moody excursions into the deep. The man behind such seminal releases like 1997's Sub Strata LP presents "Black Mesa" on the A side: a deep and mesmerising IDM cut interspersed with samples from the 1936 film The Pertrified Forest. On the flip we have got the brooding ambient house epic "Turned To Stone" with its breathtaking strings arrangement supported by hypnotic synth textures and chilled beats. Jenssen never fails to impress over his 30 year career and this fine EP is no exception.
Review: 10 Germany seem to get it bang-on each and every time! For a label who has released the likes of Ancient Methods, Perc and Matthew Herbert, among other legends, we'd expect nothing less than the spectacular and this is exactly what we got with this latest collaborative effort by Italy's Daniele Brusachetto, Jansky Noise, Human Larvae and Damaskin. Brusachetto's "Grigi Ma" is weird and wonderful pop tune set against a backdrop of cavernous percussion rattles, while Janksy Noise's "Black Night" is a full-on drone monster. Over on the flip, "Ruined" by Human Larvae is a fuzzy, noise-fuelled scorcher, and "Apocalypse" sees Damaskin produce the EP's only shred of rigidity thanks to its consistent 4/4 kick...accompanied by some rather gnarly power electronics, of course.
Review: More split action from STROOM, a label that has delivered some killer reissues of late. Heading up this double-feature is Icelandic producer Isar Logi Arnarsson AKA Cold, who offers us another chance to savour his 1995 Berlin Love Parade anthem "Strobe Light Network" - a 15-minute deep techno epic that boasts a lengthy ambient introduction, hushed and hypnotic grooves, undulating electronic motifs, ghostly chords and glacial, rush-inducing lead lines. Over on the flip, James Bernard takes over. "Lapis Lazuli" first surfaced on his 1997 album "Symphony For A Biomechanical Breakdown" and 22 years on it has lost none of its ghostly, otherworldly charms. A chunk of ultra-deep ambient rich in creepy melodies and psychedelic acid lines, it makes a near perfect B-side to Arnarsson's peerless classic.
Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras - "You Laugh At My Face" (Tobias version) (7:15)
Half Hawaii - "Watch The Flash" (6:07)
Review: For the latest release on his quietly impressive Foom label, Ben Freeney has secured the rights to release two killer cuts, both of which are significant in their own way. On the A you'll find a previously unreleased Tobias Freund remix of "You Laugh at My Face", an obscure late '70s proto-new wave collaboration between legendary disco producer Patrick Cowley and art-punk vocalist Jorge Socarras (best known for being part of San Fran band Indoor Life). Freund's version is undulating and evocative, with spacey analogue synth motifs and drowsy vocals rising above a pitched-down breakbeat groove. On the flip, German duo Half Hawaii return to action after a six-year break, offering up a slow-burn delight rich in drowsy, melancholic motifs, shuffling drums and dewy-eyed vocals.
Review: Alexis Georgopoulos and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma's Fragments Of A Season was one of the highlights of Emotional Response's output in 2017, centred around blissful, Balearic instrumentation that shone a spotlight on the considerable talents of these accomplished artists. Now the label is revisiting the material with a couple of finely selected versions, the first coming from Emotional regulars Woo, who dutifully inject "Marine" with their effervescent, otherworldly expressions and create a glistening masterpiece in the process. Felicia Atkinson then tackles "AA Cleo" and sends it out onto the horizon in a haze of reverb romanticism, muffled percussive rumbles and murmuring vocals.
Once Again I Hear The Beautiful Vertigo... Luring Us To "Do Something, Somehow"
Who Would Have Thought This Callous Histiry Would Become My Skin
Only The Winding "Why" Expresses Anything Clearly
A New Radiance Springing Forth From Inside The Light
Even That Still Here & Unwanted Can You & I Love It? Just Like Us It Was Born Here Too
Now While It's Still Warm Let Us Pour In All The Mystery
Review: In the latest instalment of avant-garde studies for Black Truffle, Oren Ambarchi brings together his regular cohorts for some collaborative pieces that span a staggering range of styles without ever letting up on the uncompromising leftfield remit of the label. The first tracks deal in fragile, tense situations that work drone into an organic context through the haunting use of vocal, flute and found sound, before swerving into the calamity of noise rock squall at its finest. Coming on like a NY hardcore contingent, it's hard to believe it sits on the same release as the opening tracks, and makes the record as a whole all the more enjoyable to process.
Mark Lane - "Who's Really Listening" (J Rocc edit)
Deux - "Game & Performance" (J Rocc edit)
Review: J Rocc steps up for the second and final installment of his Minimal Wave Tapes Edits, once again appearing on weighty vinyl and offering solitude for those DJs out there whose attempts to drop the likes of Ohama and Deux are frustrated by the inherent lack of quantized drum programming. J Rocc's edit of Felix Kubin's "Japan Japan" is a case in point, originally featuring on the recent second volume of The Minimal Wave Tapes, the rolling 4x4 electro groove that filled the opening bars soon mutated rhythmically into bastard vocoder pop. J Rocc wisely extends this opening loop before switching into the madness and then smoothing back into that groove. From here, J Rocc adds some extra weight to the titular elements of Ohama's "The Drum", teases out the inner uneasy primal techno workings of "Who's Really Listening?" from Mark Lane and f*cks about with Deux's "Game & Performance" brilliantly.
Review: Great melodic electronica with pop appeal. Stunning vocal bits by J S Pool singer Martha Tilston and clean production take you on a trip. Maybe best described as a mix of Lamb and Future Sound Of London? Great record!
Review: Hard techno advocate J Tijn is next up to supply Bedouin with a heavy hitting package of industrially charged techno entitled MOR. London-based producer Jesse Kuye first surfaced as J Tijn on WNCL in 2013 and since made his way onto Untold's Pennyroyal and the glorious Power Vacuum label. MOR has been a long time coming (it was initially due in January) but it's been worth the wait if you like your techno to sound like a smack in the chops! Lead track "Kanon VIP" best typifies that approach, a dense bassline throbs away unpredictably like an agitated wasp as Kuye lays down the drum machine pain. The title cut seems inspired by the Rotterdam school of sewer techno whilst "Shy" is anything but with Kuye going full speed ahead on the dirty synths and raw beats.
The Three Sides Of Audrey & Why She's All Alone Now (7:33)
No One Is Looking At U (7:48)
Review: Fresh off news of his commission to soundtrack the latest Jacques Audiard film, Nicolas Jaar delivers Nymphs II, his first solo material since 2011. Let that sink in for a moment. There's been a lot of change in Jaar's life in this period, with the Darkside project emerging and coming to a logical conclusion, Clown & Sunset being shut down and replaced by the Other People label. Both "The Three Sides Of Audrey & Why She's All Alone Now" and "No One Is Looking At U" are delightful compositions from Jaar bristling with atmosphere and deep in textural detail. The fact both were recorded in the past four years suggests Jaar is sitting on plenty more solo material which is potentially very exciting news!