Review: The multi-faceted arts of Harry Bertoia are all too often forgotten or overlooked by the masses. Sure, the diggers know what's up, but the fact is that there are many lesser talented artists who have gotten plenty of recognition of the years. This is an injustice. The Italian-American painter and sound designer came to prominence in the early 70s, and has always been renowned for his pioneering vision of music. Sadly, Bertoia is no longer with us, so this two-tracker from Sonambient is a special release indeed, and it has to be the best electronic offering of the week. 1973's "Clear Sounds" flutters its spectral glow of drones ever so subtly, and it's clear that artists like Eleh have been inspired by this man's minimalism. On the flip, we have 1971's "Perfetta" and, once again, it's impossible not to be amazed by how influential this artist's sound has been for the contemporary leftfield domain. It sort of makes you think that we are just repeating history....
Review: 10 Germany seem to get it bang-on each and every time! For a label who has released the likes of Ancient Methods, Perc and Matthew Herbert, among other legends, we'd expect nothing less than the spectacular and this is exactly what we got with this latest collaborative effort by Italy's Daniele Brusachetto, Jansky Noise, Human Larvae and Damaskin. Brusachetto's "Grigi Ma" is weird and wonderful pop tune set against a backdrop of cavernous percussion rattles, while Janksy Noise's "Black Night" is a full-on drone monster. Over on the flip, "Ruined" by Human Larvae is a fuzzy, noise-fuelled scorcher, and "Apocalypse" sees Damaskin produce the EP's only shred of rigidity thanks to its consistent 4/4 kick...accompanied by some rather gnarly power electronics, of course.
Similar Familiar (Ruede Hagelstein & Amin Fallaha remix) (7:02)
Warsaw Street (Scuba remix) (8:21)
Loose Life (Julien Bracht remix) (5:53)
Remember (Thom Alt-J remix)) (3:31)
Review: There's been a fair amount of excitable online chatter about moody synthesizer fetishists Lea Porcelain, a duo from Frankfurt whose work sits somewhere between vintage minimal wave and clanking, modular electronica. Here, the pair has allowed a quartet of remixes to make merry with some of their most name-checked tunes. The headline attraction is arguably Scuba's alternately hypnotic, melodious and trippy broken techno take on "Warsaw Street", though Julien Bracht's doom-laden, lo-fi breakbeat interpretation of 2015 track "Loose Life" is arguably even stronger. Those looking for the ultimate in beat-less, wall-of-sound moodiness should check out Thom Alt J's inspired remix of "Remember".
Review: The mythical Transdance from UK duo Night Moves is given a much needed official repress by Domestica Records and the Barcelona label have spared no expense. A limited pressing of 400 10"s come housed in hand screen printed sleeves accompanied by a leaflet with complete biography of the band. Despite the paucity of Night Moves discography, it's clear the duo of Michael Guihen and John Davis have had an everlasting effect on the canon of synth music with their much admired debut. Transdance was originally released as a limited 12" white label in 1981, finding favour on the dance floors of Europe and New York City yet never really gained the wider exposure it richly deserved. Original copies of the GC1 pressing of Transdance still command slightly ridiculous prices on Discogs so kudos to Domestica for this rather special presentation which features a previously unreleased demo cut "Life Up" on the flip.
Review: As this collection on Ale Natalizia's Ecstatic proves, Gavin Russom's experiments with the far out reaches of electronic music dates back to the mid-'90s. Russom is perhaps best placed to explain the context: "Arriving in New York City I found myself surrounded by an incredibly intense field of stuff to take in; late night radio mixes which featured distinctly New York sounds like freestyle and hip hop, clubs where house, techno and jungle played to drugged-out and/or completely sober sweaty crowds and beard scratchers alike, no wave, new wave, disco, afro-Caribbean, art rock and experimental music records I would pick up at thrift shops or used record stores." This is clearly heard throughout Source Cognitive Eyes, a compilation of sonic sketches recorded between 1996 and 1998 which waves no faithfulness to any one genre of style. Instead, Russom paints a wild and distorted picture, one that has been replicated these days through labels like LIES or The Trilogy Tapes. This is cutting-edge gear for the time it was recorded, and it's no surprise that it is only now that Russom has been brave enough to resurrect the tapes.
Review: Living legend Phew follows up her brilliant Light Sleep album with another masterwork entitled Voice Hardcore, for New York City based Mesh Key. Phew's career began in the 70s when she fronted Osaka punk group Aunt Sally - who released one album on Vanity Records in 1979. Ryuichi Sakamoto produced Phew's first solo release in 1980, and in 1981 Pass Records issued her debut LP: a classic featuring Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit of Can, with Conny Plank. She's since collaborated with members of DAF, Einsturzende Neubauten, Boredoms and more. Comprised entirely of her iconic, instantly recognizable voice, it is twisted, folded and layered over six mesmerizing tracks.