Review: Having previously been responsible for a number of themed compilations for Versatile Records, the Acid Arab crew has finally got round to delivering its' first album of original productions. Naturally, it continues their theme of blending North African and Middle Eastern sounds - be it vocals or instruments - with drum machine rhythms and vintage synthesizer sounds. This, though, is where the similarities to their previous work end. While there are a few house-influenced cuts dotted throughout (see the brilliant "Sayarat 303"), for the most part Musique De France veers further towards off-kilter electronic pop. Along the way, they doff a collective cap to new wave, punk-funk, and hazy indie-pop. While it may lack the crackling energy of their more dancefloor-minded productions, it's still a hugely enjoyable set.
Review: As 2015 draws to a close, Stephen Porter member Katsunori Sawa releases his debut solo album for the intriguing Weevil Neighbourhood. It's a pleasingly varied affair, with the Japanese producer touching on numerous styles whilst retaining a crackly, late night atmosphere throughout. After opening with the evocative, creeping ambience of "Beginning", he moves onto the shuffling, hypnotic dancefloor spookiness of "Escape", and elastic minimalism of "Immediate Awareness". "Anxious Kid" is a tribal-tinged dash of IDM darkness, while "Antagonist" is thrillingly difficult to describe. Arguably best of the lot, though, is closer "Unauthorized Page", which bristles with industrial textures, surging rhythms and complex percussive arrangements.
Review: One half of the Steven Porter duo, Katsunori Sawa, debuts solo on the Weevil Neighbourhood, a mysterious Berlin label borne out of the equally enigmatic, and now defunct, Weevil Series. Here Sawa delivers four tracks of industrial and experimental sound design, minus the ear shattering sonics and overbearing drone that other producers of a similar creed may employ. Windswept waves of white noise blow across "Augur" while its drums create a syncopated groove like that of injured beetle limping to safety. Piston pumping sound effects and factory ambience soundtrack "Black Sugar", while "Phenomenon" is the EP's most rhythmically coherent production. Sawa then ends on "NGM" which sounds like the night time hustle of New York city night heard from the empty viewing deck of the Empire State Building.