Review: As Autechre set out on an extensive live tour, Warp has decided the time is right to reissue their 1994 classic, Amber, on vinyl. Given that it's been unavailable on wax since then, and second hand prices have shot through the roof, this is undoubtedly a good thing. It remains one of the legendary duo's standout albums: a peerless collection of brilliant IDM tunes offering a perfect balance between the glistening, atmospheric melodiousness of their early work, and the crunchy, mathematical rhythms of their later releases. There are moments of eyes-closed calm ("Silverside"), bubbly, melody-led workouts ("Montreal", "Slip"), far-out electro missives ("Glitch"), and the odd icy epic (the brilliant "Further").
Review: On his newest release for avant electronic powerhouse Editions Mego, German minimal techno legend Thomas Brinkmann. Brinkmann digitally recreated the timbre of a grand piano and then subjected the synthetic sound to a brutal MIDI workout. Also of inspiration were airport terminals, or as he named them 'no-places', and their sterile surroundings devoid of any personality or soul which informed the track titles. The album sits somewhere between mystique concrete, glitch and death metal drumming, if you can imagine such a thing.
Review: Initially a duo responsible for a sole 7" release on Blind Prophet, Void Vision re-emerges here as the sole project of Shari Vari on this sublime 12" for the excellent Mannequin Records. The three track Sour precedes a debut Void Vision LP for the Berlin-based operation which is apparently due later this year and we cannot wait based on the sounds explored here. Lead track "Sour" is a ripe and muscular Italo track which is profoundly danceable and wholly erotic, whilst the accompanying remix from Bordello A Parigi pair Vanzetti & Sacco does a splendid job in magnifying more dancier elements of Void Vision's production. The full throttle instrumental thrust of closing track "20/20" will please fans of Void Vision's earlier work though we are more focused on what she's going to do next!
Review: Coldwave excursionist Shari Vari aka Void Vision finally comes through with her highly awaited Sub Rosa LP on the gorgeously on-point Mannequin imprint. The taster EP "Sour" out earlier this year was a taster of what's to come from Vari in terms of diversity and quality. Sub Rosa contains a little of everything when it comes to the electronic dance edge, where "Everythin Is Fine", for example, takes a techno beat and slaps down some vocals all over its makeup, while "Hidden Hand" is a true Drexciyan electro number. Then there's more abstract moments such as "Slow Down", "Vulgar Displays" with its rolling stabs of percussion and "Queen Of Hearts" with that humungous swell of low-end and quirky, heady melodies. Yum.
Review: Cache-Cache head honchos Andy Votel and Doug Shipton compile, in their words: unreleased, unknown and unwanted reluctant punk and snide synth pop. Well then: '70s porn funk merges with Latin exotica on Philippe Brejean's "Hilling Car" while Melbourne cosmic travellers Cybotron (yes you heard right, Juan Atkins this 'aint!) traverse the asteroid belt on "Sweet 16/9th Floor". There's more rare gems worth checking. Try Plastiktanz, who released their one and only 12" in 1981 and the curious minimal synth jam "Mir Geht Es Danke Gut" is taken from this. Don Gere, he of Werewolves On Wheels OST (another re-issue on Finders Keepers) goes all guns blazing on the psych rock of "There's A Star In You" while Bernard Szajner aka Zed, (recently rediscovered on Agoria's InFine imprint also) gives us the epic cosmic synth journey of "The Premen" too. There's a lot to get through here and it's all rather curious we must say. Highly recommended.
Review: KUMP's second multi-artist extravaganza - the Lyon-based label's first such exercise for two years -brings together tracks from a quintet of eccentric experimentalists. Clanking, horror-inspired creepiness is provided from the start via Jon The Baptist's lolloping "Hear No Evil", while those looking for some chugging, mid-tempo dancefloor sleaze should make a beeline for Maahrt's "Davardage". Elsewhere, Stove's "Chief of Nine Sisters" is an industrialist's take on tropical music with a suitably pagan twist, and Yssue and Yaws' contributions both sound like contemporary re-inventions of Nitzer Ebb style electronic body music (albeit with a touch more inherent looseness).