Review: Sheffield's Central Processing Unit has long been in a fine run of form, and right at the sharp end of the contemporary electro scene. The same can be said of latest signing Bochum Welt, who as far back as 1994 was releasing on Aphex Twin's influential Rephlex label, but here he goes ambient. Often making tracks that go on to be part of his mesmeric live show, this album makes use of the artists "old monster synths" and is subtly coloured by the Steel City's rich history of standout keys players, from Human League to Cabaret Voltaire. Largely consisting of a range of ambient beauties that take in hazy summer afternoon soundtracks, suspensory cosmic trips and heavenly ascensions, there's also a badass squelchy electro jam to wake you from your reverie.
Review: Italian composer turned analogue electronics wizard Caterina Barbieri has always been able to create mesmerizing, otherworldly music with only a small array of instruments. Born Again In The Voltage, her latest full-length excursion, was recorded between 2014 and 2015 using a Buchla 200 synthesizer, a cello and her own voice. Naturally, the results are astonishing. Check, for example, 12-minute album opener, "Human Developers", where discordant, mournful and post apocalyptic cello motifs are slowly enveloped by trademark Buchla synth sounds. In contrast, the beautiful "Rendering Intuitions" puts subtly shifting cello parts at the centre of a heady ambient soup, while triumphant closer "We Access Only A Fraction" sounds like restless, metronomic proto-techno smothered in trippy vocalizations.
Review: Daniel Lapotin's recent rise has been remarkable. Further confirmation of his ascent to international IDM star status arrived via a round of recent interviews to promote Age Of, his 13th album, in which he expressed a desire to record soundtracks for Pixar movies and work with A-list R&B stars. Both of these disparate strands are explored on Age Of, alongside his love of fractured pop, intense and otherworldly electronica, and the kind of grainy, metal-influenced noise more often heard on the releases of one of the album's numerous guest musicians, Dominic Fenrow AKA Purient. One review described the set as bein like a "portfolio" and that's a fair comment; Age Of's greatest strength is the way that it shows off all sides of Lapotin's brilliant musical mind.
Review: While the name may be new, A New Line (Related) is supposedly the work of an already established musician, although Kimochi was never a label that cared about hype. The music stands just fine on its own, digging into the kind of dusty and dusky house and techno formations that the label has forged its hand-sprayed identity on. There's plenty of ambient techno twirls to be enjoyed on the likes of "Dancing On Soft Borders", while the beats melt away entirely on "After A Short Illness" and grandiose EP closer "RIYL Failures". Once again Kimochi comes up with the kind of meaningful variations on the 4/4 framework that keep our record bags full and our souls enriched.