Review: Last month, experienced experimentalists Arovane and Porya Hatami released their latest collaborative album, Organism_evolution. Billed as a "development" on the creepy, clandestine and hugely atmospheric vibes explored on last year's Organism, the set expanded on the original's fluttering, otherworldly ambience - created largely by layering and processing their own field recordings - with the addition of more electro-acoustic elements and a wider range of synthesis techniques. Here, you can judge the results for yourself, as both albums get bundled together on CD for the first time. If you take the time to sit and listen to both discs in sequence, you'll not only spot the subtle shifts in the pair's collective sound, but also feel like you're on a particularly memorable journey through a psychedelically enhanced imagination.
Review: Despite a career that stretches back to 2004 and has included 12" releases on 20:20 Vision, Battle and Souvenir, Dancers is, rather surprisingly, Tim Paris's debut album. For those used to his techno and electro-tinged house sound, the content may come as a little surprise. Paris has used the opportunity provided by a full-length to deliver tracks in a wide range of styles, from the strobelight disco-tech of "Minireich" and fuzzy punk-funk of "Rain" and "Golden Ratio", to the slo-mo new wave oddness of "You'll Never Know", and sun-bright Balearic blast of "Extreme Nails". Throughout, Dancers is stylish, impeccably produced and constantly surprising. In other words, it's an unlikely triumph.
Review: Swiss label WRWTFWW has scored something of a coup here, securing the rights to release two near mythical film soundtracks by legendary experimentalist composer and music concrete artist Bernard Parmegiani. The soundtracks themselves - together on one CD after recently appearing on separate vinyl albums in very limited quantities - were originally composed for a pair of experimental films (1972's "Les Soleils de L'Ike de Paque" and 1965's "La Brulure de Mille Soleils") whose hallucinatory approach to cinematography offered Parmegiani a chance to let his imagination run wild. The results are predictably out-there and inspired, sitting somewhere between the Radiophonic Workshop, Stockhausen and the cutting-edge pioneering electronica of American composer Morton Subotnick.
Review: Margaret Chardiet's semi-regular album outings as Pharmakon are always worth a listen, if only to recoil at the intensity of her unsettling blends of buzzing industrial noise, paranoid vocal screams, throbbing aural textures, forthright mangled guitar riffs and rusty, razor-sharp power electronics. "Devour" is the artist's fourth album for Sacred Bones and her first new set for two years. It explores similar sonic territory to its predecessors, offering claustrophobic, mind-mangling soundscapes that are creepy, disturbed, awe-inspiring and sonically challenging in equal measures. In some ways, calling out individual tracks as highlights seems pointless: this is a singular, ever-changing work that sees Chardiet escort us on a nightmarish journey through experimental extremes.
Review: As Warp gears up to celebrate its 30th birthday, it seems fitting that the label should be putting out a fresh album from one of its longest serving artists. As Plaid, Andy Turner and Ed Handley played a significant role in defining the label's approach to electronic music during the "Artificial Intelligence" era in the mid 1990s. All these years on, they're still capable of crafting fizzing, melodious, off-kilter electronic listening music that defies lazy categorization. "Polymer" is a hugely enjoyable and entertaining set, with highlights including the jumpy beats, post-electro melodies and mind-altering acid lines of "Los", the metallic bounce of "Maru" - a kind of twisted take on Afro-tech that's amongst their most club-ready cuts of recent times - and the disturbed, Autechre-style clang of "Recall".
Your Warrior (feat Kinoo, Aletchko & Johannes Schon)
Say It's Going To Change
Closer (feat Knox Chandler)
As For Me (feat Kinoo & Aletchko)
The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Drinker
The Year My Dreams Come True
This Frozen Lake (feat Kinoo)
Review: Given his productivity, it's rather a surprise to find that Alan Abrahams is Portable's first album for five years. Coming out on German behemoth !K7, the collection sees the affable South African exploring the potential of woozy, off-kilter electronic soul. Shot through with his usual blissful, synthesized beauty, atmospheric pads and yearning melodies, the set's 11 tracks veer from skittish, deep broken techno "More Than", and string-laden simplicity (the intensely beautiful "As For Me"), to tear-jerking ambience ("The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Drinker"), deep, malcnholic Afro-house ("Seraphin"), and Osunlade style, organic explorations (the wonderful "This Frozen Lake").