Stay The Same (Blue Daisy Not Quite The Same remix)
Stay The Same (Mark Pritchard remix)
All In Forms (Letherette remix)
The Keeper (Banks remix)
Black Sands (Duke Dumont Grains Of Sand reconstruction edit - full length)
Eyesdown (feat Andreya Triana & DELS)
Review: Two years on from its initial release, Bonobo's much-loved Black Sands album got the remix treatment. While remix albums can be a bit hit and miss, Black Sands Remixed largely hits the spot - thanks in no small part to the A&R involvement of Eglo bossman Alexander Nut. The selection of remixers is open-minded and on-point, resulting in some near stunning interpretations. FaltyDL, Machinedrum and Cosmin TRG offer some decidedly floor-friendly rubs (the former's take on "All In Forms" delivering a great fusion of melancholic depth and skittering drums), while Arp101, Blue Daisy, Floating Points (in jazzwise mode) and fast rising youngster Lapalux turn in thrilling, sofa-friendly reworks.
Review: This remix package by the mysterious Brainwaltzera (Furthur Electronix/Analogical Force) features cuts from his enviable discography, including reinterpretations of recordings featured on the recently released Poly-Ana LP on Berlin based Film - which received plaudits from underground dance music heavyweights. From the the candy inflected electro of "Muddy Puddle Trot" remixed by legend Luke Vibert, Berlin based synthesist Eva Geist (AKA Andrea Noce) and her brooding, slow-burning gothic noir on the "Kurzweil Dame" remix or Philipp Otterbach's evocative ambient rendition of "Triangulate Dither" awash in reverb drenched textures and metallic FM synthesis.
Your Beautiful Look Is Looping Endlessly In My Head (4:48)
Review: Having done such wonderful work alongside Wolf Muller on The Sound Of Glades album, Cass makes a welcome return with an expansive album release on Emotional Response. The German producer's ambient tendencies blossom here, occasionally meeting with laconic drums as on "U" but primarily dealing in huge swathes of melody. DJs will want to hold out for the dramatic pulse of "Ann", where a more pronounced drum set makes for one of the album's most club-ready moments. There's a strong variety of tones and moods across Youth Sessions, from the strafing arpeggios of "Running" to the bliss-out shapeless swirl of "Prismatic Prolog", and this ensures that the album will not dull with repeated listens.
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.
Review: Datawave is the project of Brussels based Gaetan Votion, who returns to Natural Sciences for the first time since 2017's "Submersion" - which was featured on their V/A Future Works Vol 3 compilation. Taking up where he left off last time, Votion explores the dark and dystopian realms of electro bass on this self-titled EP, taking the best of the genre's classic aesthetic, while delivering a stylish and contemporary edge. From the A side's introverted and futuristic thriller "Hidden Outpost", through to the high energy workout of "Stellar Wind" on the flip, this certainly proves to be one of the week's highlights in our electro releases.
Review: Tim Hecker's music has a way of consistently confounding expectations thanks to his ever shifting nature, and Virgins is no exception. While 2011's Ravedeath 1972 felt weighed down by its sandblasted sound that brought to mind a ravaged landscape, and last year's Instrumental Tourist was filled with subtle Eastern influences, Virgins comes with a sound that feels somehow elegiac; opener "Prism" places cacophonous organs stretched to infinity, while "Radiance" is as close as Hecker will get to the sound of an angelic chorus. Other moments prove more introspective, such as "Live Room Out", and the sullen piano keys of "Black Refraction". It's an album with the same instantly timeless quality of Fennesz's Venice, and comes highly recommended.
Review: Here's a question for you: when is a "soundtrack" album not a soundtrack? Windswept, Italians Do It Better man Johnny Jewel's latest impressive full-length, does contain some music commissioned for the soundtrack of the new series of Twin Peaks, but also material composed with no particular film or TV show in mind. Of course, Jewel is a past master at creating emotion-stirring electronic music with a cinematic feel, so it's little surprise that highlights come thick and fast throughout. Check the tumbling synth-jazz of "The Crimson Kiss", the angular hum of "Strobe Lights", the glistening guitar passages of the impeccable "Slow Dreams" and the creepy intensity of "Insomina", an inspired fusion of experimental orchestral glissandos (see The Beatles "A Day in the Life") and creepy sonic textures.
Review: Bulgarian house wizard KINK is back and, of course, he's all about delivering the shadiest forms of dance floor music humanely possible. The man is a master at twisting and pushing house music to its very limits, something which is obvious from the start of "Soda Caustic", a nutty 4/4 banger boasting a curious new strain of acid at its core. "Synesthesia" barely even forms a groove out of its solitary bleeps and bass buds, whereas "Daddy Acid" takes a little poke at AFX's improbable mishmash of Goa trance and gabber junglism - we love this one. The B-side boasts "The Roots Of Techno", a kinetic array of machine noise and robotic beats, while "Antitune" makes some of Photek's early work seem antiquated by comparison. This EP has it all. Warmly recommended.
Review: Kerry Leimer, or simply known as K. Leimer, has been at the forefront of the West Coast ambient / drone game since the mid-'70s, and it's a good thing that Vinyl On Demand has decided to compile a comprehensive amount of his work, because the original material is hell to find in its original format. The Germans have put together a vast amount of his sound sculptures from the years 1977-1980, the formative period of his Palace Of Lights imprint. This is a wide-eyed journey into sound and subtle sonic shifts, a veritable excursion from start to finish, and although the mood is relatively placid throughout, you'll find many tracks that verge on lo-fi pop, and bittersweet psychedelia. We love it, and we think that anyone who doesn't know this guy should start indulging as soon as possible!
Review: Manni Dee might be best known for his upfront techno tackle on Perc Trax and the like, but he's also been quietly building up a separate identity as Nuances, and it's a world away from his dancefloor output. Following on from some choice album appearances on Bastakiya Tapes, it's up to Tabernacle to give the project its first outing on wax. While Tabernacle can have some range in their sound, this finds the label plunging wholeheartedly into ambient climes. Heavily processed textures and delicate chimes all feed into a truly evocative atmosphere loaded with significance. Ignore the familiar name behind the music - this is an album deserving attention all on its own.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Having worked with the likes of Don Cherry and Laurie Anderson, there's little doubting the credentials of Ramuntcho Matta. Emotional Rescue have tapped him up for some truly outernational jams that sport African percussion, skronky jazz tones and an engaging minimalism that's hard to resist. The fretless bass and exotic animal cries of "Ecoute" are especially appealing, while the squelchy sound design in "O Clapo" may well do funny things to all who hear it. It's a startlingly original record that serves as a perfect introduction to a lesser known figure in leftfield music with a great heritage behind him.
Review: Blundar is a label shrouded in mystery, although it seems aligned with artists like Lowtec and those orbiting crews like Smallville. The latest transmission on the dusty house imprint comes from STL, whose disheveled sounds is a natural fit for what has come before on Blundar. "Track 1" peers through a thick haze of smoke, exhaling pads and drones and keeping the bass pulsing throughout. The rest of the EP is given over to experimental and ambient tones, with the second track on Side B being an especially arresting piece loaded with melancholic contemplation. It's another strong addition to the Blundar repertoire, and another example of STL's skills and adaptability in the studio.
Review: Trux' second EP on Berlin based record label Office is a bow to the many outstanding moments in the history of Ambient music. Allusions to Brian Eno are just as recognisable as to the charming concepts of Pop Ambient or Clicks & Cuts. It's between these poles that the four tracks on the a-side oscillate and manage to capture the listener with vibrant and diverse soundscapes. The flip side sees Trux drop a stunning melodic breakbeat tune besides remixes by Workshop's premier Techno chef Lowtec as well as a freestyle Electronica version by O$VMV$M. The much loved Super Quiet tops the record artwork off with another remarkable example of his casual and airy black and white photography.
The Unknown Cases - "Masimbabele 89" (Adrian Sherwood remix) (8:48)
Keith LeBlanc - "These Sounds" (5:02)
The Beatings - "Television" (Dance mix) (2:47)
Pankow - "Girls & Boys" (5:17)
Ministry - "All Day" (remix) (6:01)
Rinf - "Big Bondage" (Kinky Sex Wet mix) (2:39)
KMFDM - "Don't Blow Your Top" (Adrian Sherwood remix) (5:06)
Dub Syndicate - "Snatch A Style" (0:58)
Lee Scratch Perry - "Music & Science Madness" (4:36)
Bim Sherman - "Haunting Ground" (dub) (3:14)
African Head Charge - "Hold Some" (version) (3:33)
Dub Syndicate - "Early Mafia" (4:43)
Review: The second volume of the Sherwood At The Controls compilation series focuses on Adrian Sherwood productions recorded and released between 1985 and 1990. Predictably, it's another fine set, once again showcasing the On U-Sound chief's ability to fuse his love of dub sounds and production with all manner of (then) contemporary dancefloor sounds. Highlights come thick and fast, from the trippy Balearic Afro-funk of the Unknown Cases' "Masimbabele '89" and rock-rap growl of The Beatings' "Television", to the uncomplicated, sax-laden sweetness of Lee 'Scratch' Perry's "Music & Science Mafia", and Pankow's deliciously fuzzy cover of Prince's "Girls & Boys". Throw in a couple of typically weighty Dub Mafia tracks, and you have another essential retrospective.
Review: Master of ambient spaces and far out places, long-time Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti (aka Vladislav Delay) blesses us once again with another release, this from his 'Visa' period of unreleased tracks.
The first track out of the gate is a recognizable Vladislav Delay piece, but instead of gently flowing rivers of sound, instead we have a series of stiff, machine-like rhythms applied to his classic infinitely deep pads and ambient environmental sounds. It just continues to pile in more elements until becoming almost indistinguishable from his natural, organic flow. From there we move into somewhat more familiar territory but still unusually stripped down and mechanical for a Vladislav Delay joint. It's fascinating to see such an intricate songwriting process laid bare in such a way, often exposing each individual, nearly bottomless sound in isolation.
Deeper into the album, things veer into decidedly more abrasive and synthetic territory, at times becoming an almost unrecognizable artist for a moment, only to be eventually subsumed under layers of shifting ambience that could only be Sasu.
This austere minimalism makes these tracks some of the most hypnotic since the early 90s excursions, but at the same time seems to have left its organic, analog roots and melded with the harsh gridlocked modern sequencer. ~Clint Anderson
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).