Review: The latest outing on Vatos Locos' "Limited" series comes courtesy of Amo, an artist whose last solo outing - a decent but largely overlooked debut EP on Dissonant - was released way back in 2013. There's plenty to admire across the four-tracks, with opener "Find Turn" delivering an impressively deep, woozy and hypnotic blend of soft-touch electronics, drowsy, effects-laden vocals, dubbed-out aural textures and shuffling tech-house drums. Elsewhere, "Spitgame" is a more bass-heavy affair rich in wonky vocal snippets and bouncy drums, while "Whattosay" is a mind-altering chunk of early morning tech-house smothered in trippy electronics. To complete the package, Hector and David Gtronic join forces to deliver an off-kilter, club-ready minimal house revision of "Find Turn".
Review: Second time around for Icelandic neo-classical composer Olafur Arnalds' 2018 album "Re:Member". This version, pressed for Record Store Day 2019, boasts a fine bonus 7" containing strings-only re-recordings of three original album tracks ("Saman", "Momentary" and "Nyepi"). These are superb and genuinely compliment the original 12-track set, which was produced using specially created software capable of triggering new musical sequences on "two pianos chained to his primary instrument". This cutting-edge approach, combined with live percussion and the multi-instrumentalist's own considered electronics, resulted in an album that remains thoughtful, mesmerizing and entertaining in equal measure.
Review: Boom! Finally another reissue of Boards Of Canada's seminal Hi Scores LP from 1996! Along with the likes of Aphex Twin, LFO and Squarepusher, these guys have helped to define how we see electronic music today and this particular LP is arguably their most complete when it comes to the dancefloor. The title track is a twisted, floaty bindle of breaks and beats, but it doesn't end there. Tracks like "Nlogax" are inherently Detroitian in nature thanks to the bleepy drum machines inside, and all we can say is that if you haven't laid hands on this album yet, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to cop it now. It's still so relevant and contemporary, it hurts.
David Bowie/The Rebels - "Revolutionary Song" (4:42)
Marlene Dietrich - "Just A Gigolo" (3:34)
Review: Here's something to get Bowie fans hot under the collar: a first worldwide pressing of the Thin White Duke's "Revolutionary Song", his only contribution to the soundtrack of 1978 West German flick "Just A Gigolo", in which he also starred alongside silver screen legend Marlene Dietrich. The song was recorded with a local band of musicians hastily dubbed "The Rebels" and sees Bowie in classic crooner mode, adding his distinctive vocals to a jangly, largely acoustic number that's effectively a folksy take on waltz. Over on side B there's a chance to enjoy one of Marlene Dietrich's last ever recordings: an atmospheric cover of 1930s cabaret standard "Just A Gigolo" which ended up being the movie's title track.
Review: Music From Memory's first retrospective of obscure Brazilian electronic music, "Outro Tempo", was arguably one of the strongest compilations of 2017. There's a second volume on the way, with curator John Gomez this time focusing on music made between 1984 and '96. First, though, we get this taster EP featuring two previously cassette-only cuts. On the A-side you'll find Bruhaha Babelico's "Bruhaha II", a ghostly and mind-altering chunk of delay-laden new wave/industrial funk fusion full of fuzzy bass, echoing female vocals, dubbed-out electronics and psychedelic yelps. Turn to the flip and you're greeted by Individual Industry's off-kilter, outer-space synth-pop jam "Eyes". Like its predecessor, it's an unusual, intoxicating treat.
Review: Benjamin Brunn and Dave Wheels are old studio buddies, having worked together on and off since 2006. "2000", though, is their most ambitious joint project yet: a collaborative album for Sushitech that offers up breezy, melodious and cheery fusions of heady dub techno, gentle electronica, chugging sofa-friendly haziness and glitchy late night hypnotism. It's an interesting blend but one that certainly hits the spot. Highlights include the horizontal pulse of "Orainge", the wonderfully hypnotic after-hours throb of "Iratamoto (Version)", the bold and sun-kissed undulations of "In The Club" and the pie-eyed warmth of "Waldeck".
Review: While he's offered up the occasional remix, William "Burial" Bevan has been rather quiet of late. In fact, this two-tracker marks his first original material for almost two years. Lead cut "Claustro" is an unexpectedly up-tempo dancefloor affair - a sweet and sticky chunk of future-garage that sees Bevan wrap sugary female vocal snippets, spacey chords and bubbly analogue electronics around snappy two-step beats - drenched in vinyl crackle and tape hiss - and a rock solid bassline. It will raise a few eyebrows given his previous work but nevertheless sounds like a summer anthem in waiting. Bevan returns to familiar territory on flipside cut "State Forest", a ghostly, field recording-laden ambient excursion where pedal steel style motifs slowly rise above opaque electronics.
Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras - "You Laugh At My Face" (Tobias version) (7:15)
Half Hawaii - "Watch The Flash" (6:07)
Review: For the latest release on his quietly impressive Foom label, Ben Freeney has secured the rights to release two killer cuts, both of which are significant in their own way. On the A you'll find a previously unreleased Tobias Freund remix of "You Laugh at My Face", an obscure late '70s proto-new wave collaboration between legendary disco producer Patrick Cowley and art-punk vocalist Jorge Socarras (best known for being part of San Fran band Indoor Life). Freund's version is undulating and evocative, with spacey analogue synth motifs and drowsy vocals rising above a pitched-down breakbeat groove. On the flip, German duo Half Hawaii return to action after a six-year break, offering up a slow-burn delight rich in drowsy, melancholic motifs, shuffling drums and dewy-eyed vocals.
Review: When it comes to crafting distinctively off-kilter "ethno-techno" built around hypnotic, polyrhythmic drums, there's nobody quite as good as Florian Meyer AKA Don't DJ. Further proof of his majesty in this regard arrives via "Eternal Return", the epic, peak-time-focused opening track from the producer's latest double-pack excursion. Those seeking percussive, floor-friendly fare should also check "Circular Time", another bongo-laden tribal techno workout that sees Meyer get locked into an attractively organic drum groove for the best part of 12 minutes. Meyer's ability to conjure up odd but brilliant home listening fare is explored elsewhere on the EP, with the noisy, abstract weirdness of "Perpetual Flow" being joined by the chiming, hedgerow-fresh ambient bliss of awe-inspiring closing cut "Perseus-Pieces".
Review: 12 months on from his last outing on Ron Morelli's celebrated L.I.E.S. label, former Napalm Death noisenik Mick Harris once again dons the Fret alias for another exploration of techno's farthest, darkest corners. He hits the ground running with "Slowly Moving In", a polyrhthmic industrial techno workout full of ricocheting, end-of-days electronics and distortion-soaked drums. "The Hill" is, if anything, even more panicked and bone-rattling, as if Harris had re-imagined the soundtrack from notorious Sheffield-based nuclear winter drama "Threads". Over on side B, "Pirates" is a formidably fuzzy and mind-altering attack on the senses, while "Walking With Cameras" adds creepy refrains to one of Harris's weightiest rhythm tracks yet.
Review: One of the great joys of Matthew Puffett's Future Beat Alliance productions is the stargazing futurism that oozes from each far-sighted melody, intergalactic chord and impeccably programmed beat. That sci-fi-centric positivity is evident throughout this EP, from the smooth and emotive goodness of opener "Truth?" and the sharp, spiraling alien melodies of "Leave This Planet (Alone)", to the ghostly ambient techno bliss of "Enter 030" and the becalmed, beat-free electronic fluidity of sublime ambient composition "Virtual Shoulder (To Cry On)". Elsewhere, "Zuidas" wraps ethereal electronics and funky acid bass around snappy broken beats, while "Bitten" is a dusty chunk of hip-hop/electronica fusion.
Review: Best described as 'outer rim junkyard elektro', Ghostride The Drift is an American/Canadian alliance: a collaboration between house music outsiders Shy (also known as Uon, Caveman, LSD among others), Naemi (Exael) and of course Brian Leeds aka Huerco S./Pendant. Recorded in Berlin 2018, expect leftfield techno experiments, lo-fi ambient drifters, slo-mo dubs and challenging soundscapes dwelling on the outer limits. A fantastic inaugural release brought to you by D. Tiffany & Uon's XPQ? - a subsidiary of Plush Managements Inc. & Experiences LTD. out of Montreal.