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Friday, August 26, 2016
Katie Gately - Tuck
Is this the new IndieElectro sensation? Lo-fi, yet super seductive, incorporating a dancefloor-filling electronic foundation as well as a PostPunk influenced attitude and elements of the SynthPop underground the first glimpse on Katie Gately's forthcoming album "Color" is pretty much promising - we can't wait to come across the full album soon!
It's here - finally! baze.djunkiii's very own, exclusive contribution to the 45/7 Vinyl Club mixtape series which is fully dedicated to the love of 7" records - get ready for one hour of experimental goodness, Drone, Noize and Mutant HipHop!
Coming in from Perth, Western Australia is the solo debut of the 1989-born Dan O'Connor, a professional trumpet player who uses his instrument to create the most unusual compositions we've heard in a while. Instead of catering experimental, highly twisted or complex, Free Jazz-oriented trumpet tones on this limited to 100 copies CD-r edition the artist focuses on the rendering of individual breaths, using each and every one of these 17 single takes to create a unique sequel of often squeezed, high pitched improvisations and / or blow sounds a.k.a. "IN / EX"-halations all reflecting upon the maximum intensity and exhaustion that appears when a trumpet player takes things to, or even beyond, his physical limits. Defo an impressive body of work, especially when considering that the total runtime of the album does not exceed the 13 minutes mark but still feels way longer and defo more intense than the majority of longplay pieces released these days. If you're knee deep into very core of experimental music, this defo is an album to check out for a reason.
A little more than a year after releasing her "Islands EP" the Australia-born, world travelling artist Kat Vinter is finally back with a new video - and more important, with an epic song that once again porves how very well her glorious voice works alongside deep, Post-Garage / Future Garage influenced beats.
Released on July 15th, 2k16 via the Noble Label is Serph's new longplay piece entitled "Plus Ultra" which is, to be honest, not exactly an album in its original sense but more of a thirteen track collection selected from former albums and now served in a slightly re-arranged manner. Altogether the bundle of tunes covers of a musical spectrum that can be described as surely influenced by genres like Downbeat, TripHop and NuJazz which are re-interpreted in a rich, more sugar-coated and surely more electronic way that's somehow reminiscent of Rephlex' mid-90s Easy Listening supergroup widely recognized as The Gentle People which awed their audience with their very specific, kitsch-oozing take on the Downtempo / Exotica scene back in the days. In tunes like "Monsoon (Unknown Season Version)" this attitude is even fused with fast-paced, spiralling and ExoPop-influenced IDM, "A Whim (Solid Jam Version)" brings in a mixture of Library Music, Jazz and a synth-driven, hyperchromatic 80s TV show intro - think NEON here! - and "Soul For Toys (Pilgrim Version)" takes the amalgamation of Dope Beats, glitches and scenic melodies to another level for sure - and maybe is the most outstanding track of the album as well which will be - although way happier and positive sounding - defo appreciated by those loving DJ Krush's "Entroducing" album to bits. With "Luck (Darjeeling Version)" cuteness finally goes into overdrive mode due to layers upon layers of sweet, melodic elements and "Memories" somehow manages to invent Balearic Bossa Pop for sunsets on hyperspeed. This album might not cater things unheard of and possibly might seem to be a little too cheesy at first but throughout the journey things slowly start to fall into place and finally it all makes sense, somehow. Do not check if you're allergic to panorama melodies and scenic string arrangements, though.
Mike & Rich - Expert Knob Twiddlers [Planet Mu 369]
Scheduled for September 2nd, 2016 is Mike & Rich's "Expert Knob Twiddlers", a classic album originally released by Rephlex back in 1996 and now re-released via Planet Mu with an additional bonus cut of seven tracks which are formerly unreleased tracks or alternative versions of original tunes. Crafted in a collaborational - and partly reasonably drunk - session during the World Cup by Richard D. James / AFX and Mike Paradinas back in 1994 on quite basic, limited gear all of the ten, now remastered, tracks found on the original album do prove that both artists were in it just for the lulz at this point. Playful, oozing with Phonk and dabbling with jazzy loops as well as elements of Easy Listening and Exotica tunes like the fully loop-focused, Proto-Proto-BigBeat bit named "Jelly Fish" are both simultaneously stupid and pretty much delightful mustly due to its awkward theremin-emulating space bleeps and the ever repetetive main motif which is surely a brainwashing trap whilst "Eggy Toast" weirdly fuses Bossa bits and 70s Psychedelia to a fascinating effect. Further highly recommended bits are "Winner Takes It All", a super dope take on Electronic Future Jazz meets futuristic TripHop / B-Boy Breaks, the twisted, well-cartoon'esque "Upright Kangaroo" and the concluding "Bu Bu Bu" which mixes up deep ass sub frequencies, piano-driven Jazz Noir, irritating vocals and space FX to a soothing (not soothing) fusion for those into Easy - and Uneasy - Listening alike. When it comes to the new and / or alternative cuts featured on the second CD of the album which - like all others - have been remastered from original DAT tapes we see "Vodka (Mix 2)" coming up with a unique vision of exotic, oriental and fast-paced Jungle Phonk a.k.a. glitch based IDM'esque Drill'n'Bass minus the amen break, "Portamento Gosh" serves sweet, slightly kitsch-y and tongue-in-cheek Moog lines with a hint of vintage melancholia and so does the rich, melodic "Waltz" - a musical effigy of retrofuturistic romanticism, dubbed out. Furthermore "Brivert & Muonds" caters most brutal beats on overdrive which are evoking fond memories of the former Chicks With Dicks project or the longtime gone Anodyne label and are best described as heavily distorted TripHop with a dope'n'jazzy twist before the "Clissold Bathroom" provides us with more distorted beats snippetwise. Finally "Jelly Fish (Mix 2)" is on a faster tip, catering the original loop on a more lively, yet more dry beat foundation and serving soft Moog pads as well as the characteristic theremin'isms in puzzling split stereo before "Organ Plodder" waves our dancing braincells goodbye with a more Easy Listening, yet not necessarily soothing attitude. Good stuff for sure and due to its additional bonus tunes defo an album of some historical value indeed. Check! Album artwork on Instagram!
Well, sometime I wonder if music pr companies do even do proper research when they're building their databases and collecting press contacts from allover the place. After we decided to pull our email contacts from this website for being flooded with spam and stuff it has become rare that we've been receiving music that is totally off the beaten path and not nearly close to the focus of what we're taking care of here - mostly electronics with a pretty much experimental twist - but sending us an album like the one we're about to review now is pretty much like a shot to the moon. We're talking about the debut album of Zöller & Konsorten, a four piece band comprised of members of bands like BAP, Udo Lindenberg's Panikorchester, Fury In The Slaughterhouse and Leningrad Cowboys - the first two being well known and praised within the German Rock scene whilst the latter are renowned internationally but all - and that's for sure - lightyears away from what we've reviewed and liked, ever. No more fucking Rock'n'Roll is what German Techno pioneer Westbam once proclaimed and that's the path we're following for sure, plus: we're well skeptical when it comes to the use of the German language in any kind of Guitar-driven music - but these are only a few thoughts before we've even dared to press play. And after the first seconds of "Flucht Nach Vorn" it becomes pretty clear that all our apprehensions were pretty much understated, it's all way worse and this album is a nightmare. To cut things short - a totally dusted and musically outdated fourteen songs longplay effort for smalltown moped riders from German villages, still dreaming of the magic once provided by movies like "Easy Rider" and of America as land of the free whilst never being able to look at the world over the rim of their own tea-cup because they're bound to the old sod. For us there's absolutely no way to make it through the whole 47 minutes of this album so we stopped our review attempt after three and half songs and now we're sad that this kind of music even exists and apparently there are still ppl digging stuff like that. The 60s are over, the 70s as well and even back then this tame germanized counterfeit version of Rock'n'Roll was nothing but a sad mistake. Guess we'll need some Merzbow now to heal our wounded ears.
To be released on August 23rd, 2k16 is Dr. NoiseM's new album "The CDr A-B-C: N", the next sequel in the ongoing alphabetized series on his very own imprint Dr. NoiseM tapes. After the extremly dark and even slightly threatening approach of its predecessor we see the new episode going back to calmer, not that frightening territories. Still on a very minimalist tip the 74 minutes of this album are still to be filed under the flag of Dark Ambient for sure but bring on a more relaxed feel that might be described best by the metaphor of a bleak sun rising over a fog-covered, but well scarred battlefield. These moments of peacefulness, just before the mist vanishes to unveil the gruesome remains of total hate and warfare are captured in the mood and atmosphere of this longplay piece in perfect fashion, providing an excellent mixture of quietude and simultaneously an unsettling feel of moribundity. Deep.
Scheduled for September 3rd, 2k16 is "Vogelmixe" - a very special release by Berlin's underground staple Gudrun Gut who has been around in the now-capital's music scene for more than three decades now and left her personal mark on many projects ever since. With her new album she is on a remix tip and reworks a bunch of eight folkloristic songs originally released on the compilation album "Heimatlieder Aus Deutschland", a conceptual work documenting the sound of these specific songs, partly rooted in the 15th century, that have found a new home in Germany due to the traditions of immigrants that brought those with them from their motherland and keep them alive where they're at home now. Coming from regions and countries as different as the Maghreb region, the Beti people in South Cameroon, Cuba, Transylvania or the Arab region, where the religious group of the Alevi hails from and many more, all these are taken out of their original context and more or less drawn onto the dancefloor by Gudrun Gut who mainly uses a straight 4/4 as foundation to de- and reconstruct the original bits which are also to be found on a separate CD in their original form as they were on the "Heimatlieder Aus Deutschland" sampler. As one might expect from a more concept-driven approach like this we don't get massive dancefloor bangers here when it comes to the results but more like dry and kinda bulky, cumbersome tunes that still are charming and functional in their own way - especially when it comes to multi-layered African SlowHouse of "ZaNeYen" which one easily can imagine to fit in Ricardo Villalobos' most trippy DJ sets or the heavy Rave-emulating sawtooth synth-attacks in the well-pumping rework of "Marhba" which, despite the lack of subs, might drive dancefloors crazy due to its ever spiralling nature in combination with tribalistic chants. With "Dobro Jutro" we're entering more haunting territories that are well informed by Illbient with a steady change of dynamics, use of echoes and backward loops before the mighty 4/4 brings revelation and fever'ish ecstasy to nightmare-inducing rituals, "La Sombra Del Ayer" brings in more of a relaxed but still twisted take on Latin Easy Listening before slowly evovling into dubbed out Minimal House and "Toma Da La Ca" caters the most pounding, yet disturbing variation on Balearic SlowHouse we've come across - like ever. With her rework of "Ein Kleines Waldvögelein" the Berlin-based producer explores a hypnotic and definetely fascinating crossover of Downbeat and distorted Electronica and finally "Dilmano Dilbero" somehow evokes distant memories of misty South American highlands and their ancient rituals whilst flirting with a modernistic take on distortion and echoes of echoes of DiscoHouse, kind of. Fascinating, although not necessarily easily accessible stuff that allows for an interesting one on one comparison of original material and remix not only for those interested in ethnic / folkloristic music but also for electronic music producers in general keen on learning more about an artists individual approach to the theme of remixing in general.
The Portuguese imprint Cronica has become kind of a staple when it comes to releases being reviewed on these pages on a regular and that's why we are looking forward to embrace Vitor Joaquim's upcoming album "Geography" that's scheduled for release on September 13th, 2k16. Vaguely dealing with the concept of how the planets geography has shaped the development of mankind as a whole throughout its entirety the album opening title track embeds fragments of space documentaries in an environment both shaped by organic sounds and glitches falling together in a warm and welcoming, yet also alien way - once again a feel that takes us back to our deeply loved copy of Oval's "Systemisch" album in a way we're sure that we're not the only ones using this classic as a reference. The second cut, "Cantino", starts with piercing digital, heavily disturbed signals that are accompanied by strange chirps, static crackle and other weird interferences, "Ganda" deals with a fusion of cold and sterile mechanic repetitions with additional layers of distorted, blurred Indietronic transmissions from an FM radio station located thousands of miles away and the pulsing, spiralling nature of "Technography" is facing some deep, organic melancholia along the way. With "Cargo" we're taken on a calm and relaxing journey provided by slow, yet steady Ambient movements and a crackly, continous hiss evoking memories of soft, steady rain on vintage autumn afternoons whilst obscured fragments of Alien FreeJazz performances are present somewhere in the background before "Exodus" explores quite minimalistic terrain and provides both an eerie, slightly threatening as well as a quite natural, ritualistic feel due its abuse of heavily and warped vocal bits by Nino De Elche which are taken from a live performance with Vitor Joaquim like many other fragments of the album were originally recorded on stage with artists like Harald Sack Ziegler, Gustava Costa and many more. In "Domo Arigato" more warm, crackly Ambient layers and crystalline glockenspiel sequences make us feel at home in any second of the track that's building up to intense density slowly, providing sampled percussion bits strangely sounding like hydraulic air pops of some kind whilst the concluding 109 seconds of "8'20"" are basicly a sequel / part II of the previous tune as their transition is seamless, bringing in processed bits of a Laurie Anderson interview as additional sonic element instead of morphing into a completely new tune. An interesting concept for a closing bit indeed, yet a well fitting finish to this recommended longplay piece.
By The Waterhole - Two [Playdate Records 008 Promo]
Scheduled for release on August 26th, 2k16 via Playdate Records is "Two", the second - well... - album by Norwegian singer and composer Eva Pfitzenmaier under her artistic alias By The Waterhole. Within seven songs and a total runtime of 32 minutes we're taken into Pfitzenmaier's very specificly designed sonic world that can be intimate and playful in terms of intimate, Folk-influenced JazzPop ("The End Of It All") or even totally stripped down and Blues-referencing when the singer stacks various layers of her own voice over nothing more than a muffled bass drum in the captivating tune "Rollin'"or its successor "A Thought Caught On Fire" which also reveals the artists love for Spoken Word poetry, kind of. The beautiful "House By The Sea" accounts for a good portion of Synth-driven, yet ruminant Pop stylewise before crackly, droney Ambient sequences provide the tender foundation for more Spoken Word poetry in "I Fall" whilst "I Want To" goes back to the ultraminimalist Blues attitude, although the rhythmic structures are a little more complex in this one and an off-tune Piano adds additional bits here and there. Finally "The Loudness Of No Sound" concludes this way too short album in a tender, Piano ballad manner and we're hitting the repeat button straight a away for a reason. Get!
The International Nothing (...And Something) - The Power Of Negative Thinking [Monotype Records 086]
Put on the circuit via Monotype Records in June 2k16 is "The Power Of Negative Thinking", the full length album debut of The International Nothing (...And Something) which is basically an extension of the clarinet duo The International Nothing, comprised of Kai Fagaschinski and Michael Thieke, forming a quartet piece featuring Christian Weber on double bass as well as Eric Schaefer on drums and percussion instruments. Together the quartet creates a feel of deeply felt autumnal melancholia in the stripped down, highly captivating opener "Lokale Gebräuche", transition subtly into the "Golden Age Of Communication", which mainly stays on the plangent main motif of its predecessor but adds ever building, yet separated percussion sequences as a foundation, bringing in a certain amount of Funk but also some influences of Bossa- and related percussion styles before "We Can Name You Their Names" takes the groups minimalism even further, providing a new kind of Blues (Not Blues) for inner city philosophers and rural concretecists that turns into free, high frequency improv and organic Noize at about five minutes, only to pursue its inherent vibe with a more PostRock-related twist after a surprising breakdown to near silence. In "Long Bow Glowing" The International Nothing (...And Something) explores magical, yet slightly eerie ambience and the sinister titled "What You Need To Know About Drowning" makes us wonder how stripped down and droney a fully organic quartet comprised of live instruments can ever get as this piece is the definition of 'stripping down things to the very core' although simultaneously providing us with dark and beautiful layers of clarinets whilst introducing rasping Field Recordings towards the tunes' end. "Something Went Wrong" might be the most dancey song on this debut album, providing a playful, positive vibe oozing off stoically played live loops and a certain Rock attitude when it comes to its drums whilst "Nothing's Gonna Last Forever" reminds us that even this great album comes to an end, weighing in thundering background percussions and - again - heartfelt, thoughtful melancholy for those who love to stare out of steamy windows into a bleak and rainy world. This is great!
Put on the circuit via the ever active Norwegian imprint Hubro Music in mid-May is "Culturen", the sophomore album of the 12-member band Skadedyr whose contributing musicians are, apart from the work in this project, are also involved in musical outfits like Skrap, Moskus, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and many more - another proof of how interconnected and overlapping the countries Jazz and experimental scene is. Together the twelve musicians take us on a well-captivating trip in the first minutes of "Datavirus" which can be described as a elaborated fusion of Jazz Noir and heavy Phonk before a complete musical plot twist turns the whole thing into a playful and lovely novelty affair for no reason whilst even bringing in elements of Easy Listening and Classical Music. More of a skit is "Muggen Loop", serving a sweet vintage Bar Jazz atmosphere for lovers of high quality cocktails and rare alcoholic beverages that abruptly comes to a halt after 117 seconds whilst "Bie" fuses influences from Post- and Desert Rock with Indietronic-related experimentalisms hit by amazingly intense pianos and a certain krautsy-ness that - for some strange reasons - evokes memories of both Mouse On Mars ca. "Autoditacker" as well as the very first 7" releases by Jeans Team way before they went into full on Electro / Electroclash later throughout their career. In "Nussi Sinusdatter" we do not only find the most funny sounding track name on this album but also approximately two and a half minutes of droney, organic ambience, "Tralertall" comes more across on a collage like level, being comprised of Field Recordings, Noize eruptions and more of a Free Improvisational approach unveiling only a few glimpses on harmonic well-being with an epicly romantic proportions before the title track "Culturen" fuses uptempo Dancefloor Jazz with a sweet take on Norwegian poetry and Spoken Work approach to an amazing effect, concluding this recommendable album in a well-remarkable way. Check!
Scheduled for release on August 19th, 2016 is "Sundur", the third album effort by the Icelandic duo Pascal Pinon which is comprised of the sisters Jofridur and Asthildur Akadottir whose self-titled debut was released via Morr Music back in 2009. Now they're back on the Berlin-based imprint with eleven new songs which are basically and mostly dealing with the fact that the pair of sisters have been living apart from each other for the first time in recent years, resulting in a two day recording session covering most of the albums body of work with a little help from their father who, apart from engineering the session, added some layers of unusual percussion bits here and there. The outcome of this recording session is a quite sparse, emotional and very intimate take on modernistic Folk that might rely on guitar or piano only as instrumental foundation or, like in the massive, slow grooving anthem that is "Forest", is built on Electronica-resembling structures that make everyone's head bop for a reason. "Skammdegi", one of a few songs sung in Icelandic, comes across like an old, beautifully executed folksong that's brushed up with organic synth pads whilst a song like "Fuglar" is oozing with deep melancholia and "Spider Light" introduces lovely vintage drum machines and a warm, playful positivity for all those appreciating touching instrumental cuts on usually vocal driven albums. Another remarkable and deeply melancholia-driven piece is "Babies", not only due to its metallic percussions and epic pads that seem slightly out of tune but still are heartwarming for sure, touching our innermost needs before "Ast" brings in more stripped down, ballad'esque and natural pulchritude and the closing "Weeks" pass by on rhythmical and well-twisted sinewave modulations which could also be found in a song written by Iceland's most-recognized female musical export - Björk. So as an overall verdict "Sundur" is another proof of - if any was needed at all - why the islands music scene is praised all over the world and we can't wait to see Pascal Pinon live on tour at some point, hopefully in a city near us, and you, as well! Great album. Check.
Put on the circuit via Monotype Records only recently is "X" , the latest album by the artist recognized as Wolfram after eleven years of near silence which saw only a few scarce and scattered contributions to compilation albums by the producer. But now he's finally back with new material, a mini album of five tracks and a total runtime of approx. 40 minutes pressed on a specially engraved CD of a kind we've never encountered before which adds a nice little visual topping to the music we're about to discuss. With the opening tune "W:X:Swarm" we're diving into a sonic realm of gentle surface noise and what seem to be field recordings of a trip into a summery landscape including, indeed, sound textures of swarming insects which are, throughout the course of the tune, both highly intensifying as well as accompanied by subtle bass droning and tender, metallic pulses whilst the follow up "Introspektiv" leaves us running on beautifully crafted waves of Ambient and Deep Listening Music slowly transferring into the calm and quiet levitation of the "Exploded View" that's interfered with electrical buzzes and perturbing, cold and artificial sweeps of well unsettling nature. Furthermore "N:xizhe" delivers a more angelic, heavenly approach towards Ambient music which is layered over a foundation of heartbeats and might even be referred to as uplifting in direct comparison to its predecessors before a surprising musical plot twist hits approx. half track and the whole thing becomes a quite intense and well threatening affair, telling tales of darkest vaults and giant, sinister creatures crawling miles and miles underneath the earths surface. Finally a society of "Secret Humans" is working on a secret new world order and the soundtrack to their work is comprised of eerie Drone, high frequency chirps and short bursts of modular synthesis breaking through the seemingly calm surface, revealing unspeakable things happening just hidden in plain sight.If there's any soundtrack to any conspiracy theorist video ever we're calling out this one for a reason. So maybe there's a reason why it took Wolfram eleven years to come up with this?
And just to spark more curiousity here are some interesting side facts: all tracks are transitioning into each other and their subsequent individual runtimes clock in at 5:58, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00 minutes so we're seeing a conceptual pattern coming into play that needs further investigation for a reason.
Tusks' "False" might the most beautiful, yet most intense Underground Pop tune we've come across in a while and the accompanying video causes quite a bit of curiousity about what their forthcoming E.P. on One Litte Indian might have in store in terms of musical greatness.
Various Artists - Eleven Into Fifteen: A 130701 Compilation [1307101 / Fat Cat Records Promo]
Celebrating its fifteenth anniversary these days we see the Fat Cat-associated and cryptically named imprint 130701 coming up with the new compilation album entitled "Eleven Into Fifteen: A 130701 Compilation" comprised of formerly unreleased tracks from all artists that have been - or still are - part of the label roster so far. Usually connected and associated with so-called PostClassical / NeoClassical music the stylistic range on this one goes far beyond that niche. Olivier Alary's 10 minutes vocal epos "Yangtze" can be filed under the flag of both Indietronics or even most abstract Post-PostRock with a Shoegaze meets Scenic Ambient attitude whilst Dustin O'Halloran brings a fusion of static Noize and angelic Dream Pop vocals into play in "Constreaux No. 2" and Set Fire To Flames, the all star band featuring members of Fly Pan Am and Godspeed You Black Emperor! which was the original and initial reason for the launch of 130701, caters a solemn and lugubrious ballad graced with subtle Noize eruptions and slo-mo accordion named "Barn Levitate". Furthermore we'll find mystical, echo-driven Ambient with shamanic qualities in Resina's "June", Hauschka's "Quiet" is an ever culminating array of layers ranging from thundering Clicks'n'Cuts-reminiscing digital feedbacks to fragile strings and, once again, mystery-inducing choir vocalisms, Sylvain Chauveau's "N B" is a beautiful lo-fi version of a Ballad Noir and Max Richter's "Bach Study" doesn't come across as - although one might guess from the titles name - excursion into (Neo)Classical territories but provides more of a familiar, dusty and well-crackling feel evoking memories of Oval aesthetics in Marcus Popp's "Systemisch"-era as well as of vintage, long time lost photographies or Super 8 recordings. But these are only a few tunes picked from many more that are showcasing the stylistic spectrum of the 130701 imprint one needs to examine for more than one reason only.
Erik Blood - Lost In Slow Motion [Homeskillet Records Promo]
Coming in promowise from the States only recently was Erik Blood's most recent album entitled "Lost In Slow Motion" which has been put on the circuit via Homeskillet Records in late April. After a well mysterious, cryptic and multi-layered Spoken Word-focused and Ambient-infused intro we're immediately drawn into a dreamlike sonic outerworld where all everything is like veiled or feels like packed in thick cotton wool whilst hazy streaks of sound and DreamPop vocals are floating one foot above the ground, adding a new level of density to an already misty air. With more lively songs like "Bloused Up" Erik Blood manages to fuse the overall DreamPop feel with a little Indie attitude in a way that reminds us of contemporary bands like Eau Rouge whilst "Quiet" caters the needs of those craving for ethereal, synth-fueled choirs and hints of WitchHouse before "Remove Control" sets dancefloors in motion with epic 80s references and a good portion of high quality, moony SynthPop influences that defo stick out amongst the other songs of the album stylewise, yet provide some underground hit potential in certain scenes. With "Hold For Laughs" we're having another pretty interesting song that unifies fans of Twin Peaks, Sinkane and Com Truise for a reason and the concluding "Out This Way" waves goodbye in a string-heavy, melancholia-inducing and well ballad'esque manner oozing with romanticism and heartbreak like a vintage love story shot in the heydays of black and white cinematography. Good stuff, this is!
Sascha Müller - Lounge Sessel / Shake That [Sascha Müller Music 1000014]
The man Sascha Müller is back with a new two track digital single for all you club heads out there. Released on August 4th, 2k16 we see the opener "Lounge Sessel" start out on a deep, ambient'esque vibe for the first two minutes or so before more abstract and kinda jazzy beat structures, a funky bassline and playful chords induce a well organic, oldskool'ish Drum'n'Bass feel most suitable to those who've been bopping their heads to tunes by Waldeck, Omni Trio or Four Ears back in the days whilst the follow up "Shake That" rolls out the essence of classic Jazz-influenced DeepHouse over the course of more than 8 minutes, catering multiple layers of percussive grooves and warm organic pads to all them late night connaisseurs. Defo a winner, this.
Various Artists - Orbital Planes & Passenger Trains Vol.1 [Serein 010 Promo]
Scheduled for release on August 19th, 2k16 on the Serein label is "Orbital Planes & Passenger Trains Vol. 1" , a sixteen track various artists compilation meant to serve soothing sounds for long distance travels. Following this concept we see a wide range of artists like Ametsub, Yui Onodera & Chihei Hatakeyama, Otto A Totland, Donato Wharton and many others bring out their very best in terms of classical Ambient, Downtempo and ChillOut music to cater an amazing array of calming and well-comforting sounds that includes everlasting synth modulations of crystalline beauty which e.g. are to be found in Hidden Rivers' "What's Up G?" or slightly kitsch-inducing piano layers like in Dan Abrams' "Floating City" as well as ruminant, yet slightly crackling string arrangements of cinematic qualities which are prominently delivered by Benoit Pilouard's contribution entitled "Alogia". A few more favorite tracks of ours are Strie's slowly pounding "87 Billion Suns" which fuses angelic choirs, fragility and tender piano layers whilst Colorlist even bring in hints of super organic PostRock with their tune "Gone To Ground" and Donato Wharton introduces haunting Drone / Dark Ambient flavours which are to be found in his stunning composition "A Lightless Volume Of Water". But these are only a few tunes picked from this compilation piece that surely will make any journey a better one. Mission accomplished - nice one!
Put on the circuit via the Norwegian imprint Hubro Music in late April was "Ulv Ulv", the third album effort released by the trio Moskus comprised of Anja Lauvdal, Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson and Hans Hulbækmo which are joined by Nils Øklund on Hardanger fiddle in two of the ten album tracks. Whilst the opener "Medstrøms" starts with a harp-driven, inward looking and slightly romantic feel we see the follow up "Angelfossen" sinking deeply into foggy, autumnal melancholia represented by inertial chords before "Noe Med Utopia, Klondike" delivers a more lively, yet somewhat alien take on off-kilter Piano Jazz with a bit of a Bossa-infusion. "Den Store Skjønnheten" wallows in lovely Bar Jazz romanticisms for rainy sunday afternoons, a journey continued by the epic slow motion beauty of "Chimes / Gullregn" which is picking up a little pace over the course of 376 seconds total runtime and "Kullgraver" seems to focus on the slightly humor'esque aspects of randomly jamming on off-tune instruments to create a certain kind of twisted, stumbling and improvised Jazz Funk for parties taken over by obviously drunk cartoon characters of some sorts. "We Will Always Love You Too, Whitney Houston" is nothing less than a harmonium sporting Dark Jazz homage to the queen of high end drama, the 42 seconds of "Gramjeger" are a sweet, playful interlude also appealing to those loving the more electronic, yet mostly friendly approach of the Rephlex label whilst "Borre, Borre Gulleple, Slå Vekk" sharpens our senses and instincts with a subtle, yet inherent feel of tension and awe like one would feel when exploring deep primeval forests, emphasized by dramatic military drums coming into play throughout the last quarter of the tracks close to 10 minutes runtime and the closing tune "Ei Signekjerring" deals with reprocessed FM modulations or modular synthesis of some sorts, using them as a more lively base for decent chord improvisations and magical, charming wind instruments waving goodbye to the listener in a quite sad, romantic feel evoking memories of black and white nature shots from the very early days of cinematic work. Defo an interesting and well varied body of work in this one!
Mouse On Mars - Lichter [Infinite Greyscale 010 Promo]
Recently coming in from our favorite Berlin-based 10" focused imprint Infinite Greyscale is "Lichter", the most recent release created by longtime electronic music ambassadors Mouse On Mars. Pressed on beautiful diaphanous pink vinyl, produced by Thomas Knoefel and mastered by Cem Oral a.k.a. Jammin Unit at his very own Jammin Masters studio the infamous pairing of Jan St. Werner and Andi Thoma are taking us on a 13 minute spanning trip into krautsy, well hypnotic Electronica realms here that is, despite relying on clean, buzzing synths reminiscent of the scientific approach once found in the ultradigital Clicks'n'Cuts genre layered on top of loose, slightly ritualistic drum sequences instead of the organic, PostRock-y textures of their early works, a well logical sequel to classic Mouse On Mars tunes like the 1995-released "Papa, Antoine", especially with decent background strings and a slightly dubbed out feel appearing in the last third of the tune which, at this stage, reaches a level of multi-layered, post-chaotic abstraction that will surely please not only the band's most dedicated followers but also those still loving the hollow, muffled and slowed down breakbeats of the NYC Illbient scene ca. the late 90s. Thrilling stuff.
Black Sun Productions - Dies Juvenalis [Hallow Ground Promo]
The second Black Sun Productions re-release that was put on the circuit via Hallow Ground in early May is their EP "Dies Juvenalis" which originally came out on Anarcocks back in 2007. Consisting of three tracks and rolled out over a total of approx. 23 minutes this one starts with "Percettive Riflessioni", a more inward-looking, yet uneasy piece of Electronica comprised of thick layers of distortion, repetetive glitches, fractured non-vocalisms and a general late 90s / early 2000s feel that evokes many fond memories of an era in which creativity and a well leftfield approach ruled this scene. With the title track "Dies Juvenalis" the duo goes into musical terrains which are surely influenced by Classical music whilst bringing in bits of Ambient / IDM as well as ethnic vibes, possibly of Peruvian or Chilean origin, whilst the closing tune "Veneration XXX" caters a tripping, dreamlike Ambient / Electronica vibe for psychedelic out of body experiences and journeys to places beyond consciousness. Recommended!
Black Sun Productions - Toilet Chant [Hallow Ground Promo]
Originally released in CD format via Anarcocks in 2004 and now reissued on vinyl for the first time ever via Hallow Ground on May 2nd, 2k16 is "Toilet Chant", one of the earliest works put on the circuit by the duo commonly known as Black Sun Productions. Opening their album with its title track we're getting a first impression where they're going with this six track longplay piece as we're confronted with icy, permeating strings from another world accompanied by echoes of heavy gear being shifted from one place to another in a far distance, "Anarcocks Rising" - a title paying homage to the Anarcocks label which originally released "Toilet Chant" back in the day - brings in fragile rhythmic elements and a very abstract, yet fascinating sense of melodious structures with a sterile, scientific twist and "E2 = Tree 3" which features the extremely reprocessed vocals of Jhonny Balance as an additional sound source even incorporates some elements of Phonk in its captivating and advanced dancefloor fueling crossover between ritualistic Electronica and Rhythm Industrial. Next up is "Yesterdays Dream", which once again brings us into the center of late night Ambient dancefloors, vibing off to decent 4/4's and ruminant guitar resemblances before "Glüewürmlitanz" fuses a sterile, scientific pulse with spiralling, folk'ish patterns to a slightly medieval effect to which subaquatic bleeps add a new level of mystery. Finally the "Spermiatic Cord" evokes a feeling of standing in the middle of a frosty alien swamp, surrounded by a bunch of reptilian creatures and other strange critters lusting for warm blood and the echoes of a dying soul. Surely an intense one that's a perfect conclusion for an album well worthwile to be reissued for a reason.
Released in June on the Indonesian (!!!) tape label Tandem Tapes is this split release featuring the ever busy German producer Dr. NoiseM and the Borneo-based artist Theo Nugraha. Whilst Dr. NoiseM covers the thin, pulsating line between Noize and Dark Ambient / Cold Ambient with his icy piece "Outer Limits" which spans over the entire A-side of the tape we see Theo Nugraha open his side with "Nyem-Nyem", a more lively piece seemingly featuring eruptions of clanging glass or scattering metal, filtered and sent through several well-trippy echo effects creating a hypnotic take on dubbed out experimental music before the second tune named "Tabrakan Mata" explores more brutal Noize territories through providing a continuous stream of electrical hum and storming motor buzz that's about to drive your neighbours insane when listened to on a certain volume. This is what we like for sure.
Recently put on the circuit as a limited cassette tape only release is Sascha Müller's latest eight track album release entitled "Dub-Gun" on which he explores a new variation of dancefloor-focused electronic music that we haven't seen him exploring before over the course of more than the full decade in which we've been reviewing his music so far. And hence the album's name is "Dub-Gun" one educated guess might lead to the conclusion that the focus of this longplay piece is DubTechno, not necessarily in its classic, raw form like once introduced to the electronic music world by the likes of Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus but on a more modernist, stripped down tip that's having a sweet little acquaintance with deep, floating TechHouse as well as Armchair Techno like imprints like Dubwax or Stardub provided throughout recent years. So if these names do strike a chord somewhere down your memory lane and you're into the specific approach of their productions "Dub-Gun" is defo a release that might be well applying to your taste for a reason.
Sitting in our P.O. box only recently was "Thismorphia", the most recent album release by Portoguese producer Fernando Cerqueira created under his artistic moniker Rasalasad. Released via the Thisco imprint the longplay piece is comprised of a total of eleven tracks, most of which following the conceptual approach of embedding, remixing and recycling sound sources and Spoken Word bits taken from a bunch of other artists including the likes of Von Magnet, Antonym, Merzbow, irr.app and various others. Coming from this very special approach the album starts on a fragile Dark Ambient tip incorporating tentative whispered Spoken Word lyrics by Jarboe in "Value", makes a transition into haunting, yet abruptly ending Ambient territories with "Astellar" before fully unfolding cinematic, slowly evolving beatless beauty in "This" using and abusing Spoken Word bits appearing courtesy of Wildshores which, referring to the way of vocal processing only, kinda evoke memories of Jam & Spoon's well-trippy Ambient classic "Hermaphrodite" released back in 1993 whilst another variation of "This", this time including lyrics by Von Magnet, drifts away into more floating, slightly balearic realms. Furthermore we see "Spectre" managing to fuse scenic strings and bits of digital distortion to a well-calming effect, "Axx" brings in sound sources taken from Japanese Noize legend and Rasalasad-collaborator Merzbow, causing a ruminant, possibly even ecclesiastic soundclash of devotional nature whilst the Rasalasad solo piece "Night Walk" seems to be influenced by Southeast Asian meditations, modular synthesis as well as Spoken Word performances. Following up is "Silence" featuring reprocessed words taken from John Zerzan's text of the same name which are embedded in a tense, danger inducing sonic surrounding, "Deriva" caters the first beats of the album and comes across as a fusion of Noize and Illbient influenced by producers like Muslimgauze or Mutamassik and "Stellar" introduces a colder, more sci-fi-reminiscing feel which could be well taken off a classic 70s score of the genre. Finally we're experiencing "Simulacra" remixed by Shhh... which concludes the album in a quite fascinating way, juxtaposing classical Ambient / Chill Out structures and layers of Industrial Noize to a great effect. Defo a good one to check out, this. Album artwork on Instagram!
Scheduled for July 21st, 2k16 is "M", the next sequel in Dr. NoiseM's epic series "The CDr A-B-C", a string of releases that readers of these pages should be well familiar with as we've been reviewing its sequels on a regular. Sticking close to the general theme of the series we're entering a fascinating, yet louring and perilous world of Dark / Death Ambient that sounds like it was recorded in a gargantuan underground void filled with cold and damp air, holding unutterable secrets of a long gone past. Carefully moving through unknown terrain, whispering, breathing muggy air and trying not to reawaken ancient demons able to cause major havoc we're hypnotized by uniform sonic movements and the sound of everlasting, eternal darkness, causing our perception of space and time to dissolve as well as the slow evanescence of our souls which is transforming our inner beings into pallid reflections of ourselves, lost in the void and wandering unhallowed grounds forever. If you're able to withstand the seductive power of the dark side, this limited to 26 copies piece is an album for you.