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Thursday, March 31, 2016
Murena Murena - Shame Over [Totally Wired Records Promo]
Scheduled for release on April 15th, 2k16 via Totally Wired Records is Murena Murena's album debut "Shame Over", previously teasered and announced by these pages via posting the great and intense song "Lovely Homes" in late February which is defo not the only remarkable piece on this twelve song take coming straight from the ever active Munich underground. Being the brainchild of Daniel Murena who's working with the likes of Albert Pöschl, Tagar and Dizzy Errol on his band project, Murena Murena surely takes us to places we've never been before - both in terms of the novelty approach towards Pop-induced song structures as well talking a very special kind of mad twisted darkness immanent to nearly every single song from the Psycho Wave of the opener "Newsflash Apocalypso", the Beastie Boys vs. Psychobilly vs. Pop Punk feel of "Drag Race" to the morbid love story told in "La Vans Wife". In "Dancing Naked" classic underground Rock'n'Roll meets echoes of Ska and tons of smudgy sound FX emulating maximum lo-fi recording quality, "Pretty Please" adapts marching drums on tilt mode and loads of ludicrous Surf Listening whilst "Peace" digs deep into highly Psychedelic UltraDub and the "Shy Goose" isn't shy at all but rocks your local IndieElectro dancefloor to the max with its dreamy, yet compulsory attitude and epic breakdown that will be loved by all fans of DFA and the Indie-scene ca. 2008 - a huge hit, this. Furthermore "Tu Tu" comes across in a showband mode on overdrive, "War Drugs" dubs things out in a hardcore'esque greyscale manner somewhat evoking memories of Mark Stewarts and Adrian Sherwoods darkest moments layered on top of stoically proceeding drums and the two versions of "Fossil Fuel" are concluding this album with more than just a hint of minimalistic SynthWave on Acid / fuzzy Psycho Blues for all fans of David Lynch or the latest releases by Danish multi talent Trentemøller. Quite an interesting ride, this!
Frank Benkho - A Trip To The Space (Between) [Clang Records 037 Promo]
To be released on April 1st, 2k16 via Clang Records is Frank Benkho's sophomore release on the ever active imprint in which the project founder Mika Martini continues his explorations in free improvisation on analogue instruments and FX over the course of six tracks, building a science-fiction score of a kind with his vast array of machines including Cacophonetor II, Doepfer Dark Time, Lovetone Wobulator, Serge Modular and many more and taking us on a journey through our solar system and beyond. Incorporating bits of floating Space Ambient, scientific bleeps, epic athmospheres ("Deep Love Beneath Earth"), dangerously tilting machinery on repeat ("Jogging On Venus"), electric buzzes meets Clicks'n'Cuts on overload ("The Space Between Us"), dark, dystopian loops of growing intensity leading into grinding technoid slo-mo ("No Money, No Planet") as well as lessons in dubbed out Deep Listening Music ("The Brightest Object On The Night Sky") "A Trip To The Space (Between)" defo holds a lot to enjoy for the advanced listener of experimental electronic music and therefore can be recommended as one release to check out when put on the circuit throughout the next days.
Atanas Rekasius - Fonogramatika [Music Information Centre Lithuania]
Recently released via Music Information Centre Lithuania is "Fonogramatika", an honoration and digest of the musical work of the Lithuanian composer Atanas Rekasius who passed away in 2003 - an album that features excerpts from compositions crafted in the period from 1968 to 1981, all played and executed by the five piece ensemble named Apartment House comprised of Frank Gratkowski, Simon Limbrick, Anton Lukoszevieze, Philip Thomas and Kerry Young. Starting of with five miniatures from the 1968-piece "Epitafia" we see repetetive juxtapositions of cello romanticisms and Jazz Noir as well as haunting percussions, the 1970-composed "Atonika" seems to be a looped remainder of old time pianola- / silent film-era and the undated "Fonograma" serves a more subtle, melancholia-inducing approach to (Italian) Jazz that's regularly interrupted by lively, sometimes seemingly absurd episodes, following Rekasius' main principle of repetetion and alteration. Within the 10 minutes of 1981's "Fluorescencijos" solemn synthesizers meet plangent cellos in a quite thrilling, yet perturbing and intense manner before scientific, artificial beeps and plucked strings evoke memories of old sci-fi soundtracks and the final bits of 1980's "Musica Dolente E Con Brio" could well accompany an avantgarde operetta musically due to their intense, dramatic and diversified use of flute, saxophone, chimes, cello and percussion. Defo a well-curated overview on the work of this contemporary composer.
Put on the circuit on March 18th, 2k16 via the Someone Good imprint is "Mi Wo", the latest outing by the female Japanese artist Ytamo.In this album which was originally created to accompany an exhibition held by Natali Katz we see Ytamo focusing on the magic of repetetive, multi-layered and reprocessed piano figures leading into friendly, organic sonic miniatures that can be filed under the flag of Electronica, but also are influenced by Jazz and tripping Psychedelia ("Autopoiesis"), touching borders of Easy Listening ("Colourful Waves") or even resemble the blurred, outerworldy Pop approach of greats like the Pizzicato Five in songs like "Human Ocean". If this wasn't enough to make this album a pretty darn sweet one we'll even find excursions into Ambient Space Electro garnished with jazzy layers ("Hen"), Japanese Bedroom Pop romanticisms built on a foundation of playful, slightly quirky Electronica ("You Me") and more goodness that will surely appeal to fans and followers of unique artistic visions, those appreciating the Braindance approach of certain Rephlex-releases and holding fond memories of the former Berlin-based Digital Kranky imprint. Recommended for a reason.
We're going back in time with a review of Xotox' 2012-released single "Eisenkiller" today, which was put on the circuit via Pro Noize on the occasion of the tunes ten years anniversary and sent to us recently alongside some other stuff to be reviewed on these pages in the future. If you're curious about what's to come, feel free to check the unboxing video included here.
Opening with a 2k12 update of the projects most recognized and famous track Xotox
serves an uncompromising, nerve wrecking and tool'ish version appealing
both to lovers of HardTechno and Industrial alike whilst bringing in
some thrilling sci-fi synth bass parts before the classic, original
version produced in 2002 fuses hard-banging, brutalist EBM, psychotic,
off-kilter athmospheres and terrifying vocal bits alongside grinding
noise attacks for lightless underground bunker workouts. Going into a
bunch of remixes we see Bahntier exploring jumpy, more positive musical
territories through adding electroid, sawtooth basslines and broken
beats to the trademark signals, creating a version likely to appeal to
followers of Industrial as well as ElectroClash and muscular EBM /
Techno-crossovers created by the likes of Terrence Fixmer etc. whilst
the 'Eisen Rostet-Mix' by Autoclav1.1 caters a string-loaden variation
of instrumentalist FuturePop vs. NuBeat sporting melodic pianos for
glitzy, romantic moments on a dark dancefloor. Furthermore After White
Smoke is responsible for the so-called 'Krankermix' which pleases the
NeuroFunk / Techno D'n'B posse with its 176+bpm, full-throttle approach
before Jean Bach's 'Sonne Ins Glück-Mix' focuses on the tracks
characteristic athmospheres and fuses them with fast-paced Industrial
Techno as well as a short, playful, ever repeating melody sequence
leading into a stuttering, fractured breakdown for all sick-minded
French Tek headz out there. As additional bonus we discover a formerly
unreleased version of "Digitale Demenz", another violent, heavily
compressed Rhythm Industrial outing by Xotox,
and two rough demo takes of "Schwanengesang" and "Notwehr" - the first
mentioned quite a humor'esque take that somehow evokes fond memories of
Oliver Chesler's The Horrorist-moniker whilst the latter is defo the
noisiest, most aggressive cut on this remix album introducing the
meaning of ultraviolence to ectstatic and stomping crowds in black. Good stuff!
Dr. NoiseM Live @ Audioblast Festival #4 [Dr. NoiseM Tapes]
What's more underground than a Noize release? A Noize release recorded live at festival that's copied to commercially obtainable blank cassette tapes, one-sided, with hand-written notes and a home-printed inlay card. So this is what we're dealing with when it comes to the latest output from the unstoppable Dr. NoiseM who's been playing "Live @ Audioblast Festival #4" only recently. So what we get here from this 45 minutes excerpt of his performance is a start into cold, scientific Future Ambient that's soon accompanied by rhythmic pulses of what seems to be white noise - functioning both as contrast and foundation, easily dissolving the perception of time due to endless repetition and slow evolution, so that no-one can really point out when this specific plangent, siren-like midrange drone emerged from or was added to the musical menu. Or why the athmosphere drastically changes after whirring, haunting sonic spirals appear and where the strange background noises are coming from that highly intensify the performances spookyness and goosebumps-inducing nature that turns into a stress provoking array of frequencies throughout the 45 minutes runtime. Defo a good listen for those loving deep, electronic experimentalism although the release's format might hold some back from the purchase as a proper cassette release would've been more appealing for sure. But this is the underground.
Amute - Bending Time In Waves [Humpty Dumpty Records 030]
Released on February 5th, 2k16 via the Belgium-based imprint Humpty Dumpty Records is "Bending Time In Waves", Amute's sixth studio album after first stepping on the longplay circuit back in 2004. Over the time of twelve years the music of Amute has changed and evolved quite a lot and has now recently reached a freeform stage that can be well described as a muscular, distortion heavy take on PostRock instrumentalism accompanied by simple piano sequences ("You're Free Now!"), serving scenic guitar parts for widescreen panoramas ("Internal Eternal feat. Eric Craven") or even fucking up Campfire Rock in a melancholic, broken hearted way ("Stay As You Are"). With "Solar Flames" we're even served an inward looking ballad whilst the nearly nine minutes spanning title track fuses (neo)classical, medieval string arrangements, psychedelic vocal efforts and droning, fuzzing guitars alongside DarkJazz-influenced, freeform drums reminding us of the legendary project Village Of Savoonga. Furthermore "Pleine Charge" explores a world of organic Ambient sceneries, "The Awakening Of March" creates a similar feel whilst fusing postrocky walls of guitar fuzz and busy background drums before switching to pure electronic sounds after approx. 3 minutes, more exactly a distorted and fucked up Illbient beat foundation and crystalline synths which are later accompanied by more muscular live played instruments again. Finally "Moments" brings in dark'ish, slightly wavey vocals on top of a multi-layered, spine-tingling and feedback heavy crescendo for the headstrong. Defo not the easiest album to fully embrace throughout the first listening session but one that will surely grow on the listener over time.
This is a sweet little blast from the past for all those loving the like of The Slits, Siouxsie & The Banshees and many more from the PostPunk era that were influenced by the dubby side of things musically.
Maja Osojnik - Let Them Grow [Unrecords 011 Promo]
Following up to our review of Opcion's latest release which was discussed on these pages in early February we received a letter from the Vienna-based artist Maja Osojnik who has been collaborating with Opcion on one track of his latest release, containing her most recent album "Let Them Grow" which was released in CD-format via Unrecords and as longplay vinyl on Rock Is Hell Records on February 22nd, 2k16. Following a free-floating approach that takes influences from a wide variety of genres we see how Maja Osojnik fuses an Apocalyptic Folk-feel with scratching, grinding Noize layers and vocal glitches in the opening song "Tell Me", multilayers her own voice in the threatening, Drone-led follow up "Authority" to create an intensity somewhat in between Lydia Lunch, David Lynch and the ultrascience approach of modular Clicks'n'Cuts and goes into a heavy crescendo of probably field recorded, buzzing Industrial Noises which quickly replaced by pulsing bass modulations in "Wrack". "Condition I" deals with tribal drumming wafting through alien swamps before a heavy Noize eruption and hard, banging Spoken Words as well as vocal repetitions teleport the listener into a mad, psyched out ritual."Hello, I Can Not Find My Head" is a depressing threnody based on clearly defined bass rhythms and greyscale vocalisms alongside chaotic crackles, "Nothing Is Finished Until You See It" is exploring dramatic, piano-based territories best described as Classic Broadway Ballad meets eruptions of experimentalism and the instrumental cut "Pale April" serves whirring high frequencies on a tense and psyched out level that could well accompany slasher classics like Hitchcock's "Psycho" before calming down a little and evolving into dark'ish, yet beautiful Ambient. Furthermore "Let Them" provides various layers of found sounds, strings and plucked metal as a foundation for a haunting, epic and kinda medieval song evoking a feel of mystical Scottish highlands, "You Might Be Inherently A Part Of The Problem" is a heavy take on Rhythmic Noize walking the thin line towards Breakcore whilst heavily sliced and cut-up vocal bits are meandering through the stereo field and "Waiting" gets into vocal glitches again which - albeit romantic pianos are immanent - work well with the dark, haunting athmosphere of the tune that could perfectly depict witchcraft practising rituals in its first part before the great broadway feel strikes towards the end. With the two instrumental takes "Condition II" and "Condition III" Maja Osojnik explores more insane, multilayered percussion works alongside a range of modular and feedback sounds, "A Lullaby To An Unborn Child, A Love Song" starts out as intimate Electronica piece later accompanied by the artists powerful voice, an combination slightly reminiscing of Björk's "Homogenic"-era and "I Was Dying, So I Am Now Probably Dead" brings in a melancholia-driven, theatrical feel perfect for self-reflective listening sessions in front of open fires. Finally "Authority B-Side" uses the technique of solemn multilayered vocal expression to create a whole, well-complex choir ensemble out of one voice only, before the final "Condition IV" creates a mystic amalgamation of swelling feedback drones and experimentally played strings to conclude one of the most diverse and thrilling leftfield albums of the year 2k16 so far. Intense, demanding and defo one to add to your collection for a reason.
All fans of the Berlin-based imprint Infinite Greyscale will be pleased to realize that the labels newest output is scheduled for March 18th, 2k16 - a two track 10" instigated by Peter Broderick based on vocal practices by The Beacon Sound Choir of Portland, Oregon. Comprised of the droning voices of more than 30 members of the choir starting off on a specific note before roaming into several directions of the tonal spectrum, creating a wideranged, beautiful and vastly impressive sonic event not only for those who've been referring to Drone music as a sub-branch of experimental electronic or electro-acoustic music up to this date. Those will surely be proven wrong by these two powerful and touching creations based exclusively on the human voice, once again pressed as one-sided and limited to 300 hand-numbered copies 10" release on gold vinyl, featuring a silk-screen artprint on the flipside which will be loved by art headz and fans of rare or leftfield musical goods alike and validates Infinite Greyscale position amongst some of the most exciting and collectible contemporary vinyl imprints for a reason.
Mikael Lind - Intentions And Variations [Morr Music 143 Promo]
Scheduled for release on April 8th, 2k16 on Berlin's Morr Music-imprint is "Intentions And Variations", the latest musical outing created by Icelandic composer / producer Mikael Lind who is making his label debut with this one. Taking us deep into his sonic world with a bundle of five tracks we see Mr. Lind working on tender pianos, ethereal strings and decent, still harmonic distortions perfectly blending in into the overall Ambient beauteousness of his work which is for sure scenic, if not cinematic and totally resembles the feel of calm and peaceful summer sundowns to an extent that - by some - probably might be referred to as slightly kitsch-loaden and a little too sugary by some. As chill and relaxing as Ambient can get.
Set for release on the long-running Planet µ-imprint on March 18th, 2016 is Ital Tek's new album piece named "Hollowed" in which the former Dubstep / Bass Music pioneer is moving away from the dancefloor-focus to explore deeper, darker and more introvert realms musically which are perfectly announced by the albums opener "A Delicate Balance" - a cloudy Electronica / Ambient hybrid of delicate beauty. Following up is the "Redeemer", a tune that can be referred to as heavenly take on slo-mo PostGarage / PostRave granted to please fans of Burial's early works for a reason, "Beyond Sight" first tricks the listener by providing a well dancefloor friendly intro before falling back into spiralling, introspect depths being finally accompanied by shuffled, distorted 4/4's after more than 2 minutes, guiding punters through a (Neo)Cosmic-resembling universe of sound whilst "Terminus" provides a dystopian threat and post-nuclear winter feel, leaving no doubt about lurking evil depicted by terrifying bass waves, whirring strings and stumbling uptempo beats. The "Cobra" is a sci-fi homage to HorrorTrap , the intense, clean "Nex" combines large-scale siren and string arrangements as well as vary-tempo hi-hat figures, "Memory Shard" fuses a crystalline motif with thick droney strings and non-vocal voice cutups before a surprise cut reveals slow Electronica beats and the beauteous "Murmur" pays respect to the work of both classical composers as well as early Synth pioneers on top of a foundation of heavy, yet tardy beats. Exploring the chatoyant world of "Aquamarine" we'll find warm, slow-paced sawtooth basslines reminiscing of Ital Tek's history in Dubstep as well as a short, ever modulated main motif of possibly modular origin, "Reflection Through Destruction" could be seen as sonic depiction of a tracking shot of an inner city battles aftermath and "Jehova" brings, as one might guess, redemption. Towards the end of "Hollowed" the second to last skit "Vesper" brings 94 seconds of pure Ambient beauty before "Vacuum I" delivers a mightful closing in its amalgamation of cinematic harmonies and swelling crescendoes. Epic!
Acidfloor - Ausgang Stereo Out [Psychocandies 041]
Scheduled for March 17th, 2k16 is the latest release of the Acid-leaking Psychocandies-imprint which is about to serve "Ausgang Stereo Out", the new album created by the labels stalwart producer Acidfloor. With "1234" we see a first offering for all those loving their Acid dry and monotonous, "Elektrotage" caters a more pounding, distorted attitude and "Gogo" brings a raw, unprocessed 12+ minutes journey into the magic world of Jack's underground. "JetPack" weighs in quite ravey, percussive synth works and razor sharp hi-hats alongside screaming, ecstatic Acid lines whilst "Auftakt" is trippin' out on the fast paced end of the spectrum with the help of gooey modulations and brutalist snare attacks. Going deeper into the album "Monkey Tea" is a huge anthem for all those loving their late night underground workout soundtrack raw, minimalist, well-recognizable and psychotic, the hectic vibe of "Second Base" kinda reminds us of both old Dancemania and late Djungle Fever releases and "Move It" fuses Intelligent Techno-reminiscing modulations with racing, hard-hitting drums pleasing all those longing to be spiralized in illegal warehouse dances. Furthermore "Papa Bier" provides maximum pleasure inna late 80s Chicago Acid stylee and the final "Pineapple" comes across as a dry, spiralling and well-hypnotizing effort for all real headz. Acieeed for real!
A first glimpse on Reuben Hollebon's forthcoming album "Terminal Nostalgia" which is about to be released via Bright Antenna in the second half of May 2k16. Who doesn't think of Twin Peaks when it comes to the great cinematography of this video?
Coming up soon via Dr. NoiseM's very own imprint Dr. NoiseM Tapes is the letter 'I' in his ongoing "The CDr A-B-C"-series which comes across as a kind of surprising sequel in this string of releases as we're seeing a new musical approach that's coming into play here. Instead of focusing on the experimental, Noise-driven aspects of beatless electronic music as done in the majority of its predecessors Dr. NoiseM delivers a full-on, 77 minutes take on Deep Listening Music / Ambient here that evolves slowly and naturally likes the tides, providing a steady swell of hiss and low frequency bass from minute 25 onward which is sonically resembling the eternal cycle of waves washing ashore for now and ever, repealing the perception of time through providing an ongoing stream of calm and everlasting beauty. Recommended.
01. La Vie C'est Facile - Fun Zone [Creaked Records 052]
What a beautiful take on bass music this five track 12" vinyl is. Released in October 2015 via the Switzerland-based imprint Creaked Records it took a whole until this piece popped up in Hamburg and caught my attention, combining loads of elements I did appreciate about the very early Dubstep-scene around 2004/06 when the whole genre wasn't as formulaic as it is today - a cold and futuristic feeling, sparse, freeform arrangements and hard hitting, hyper-compressed beats that kinda bring back memories of Vex'd, Omen on Tectonic back in 2005, Virus Syndicate around their very first album and of course Emalkay's masterpiece named "Grimecore Volume 1". Take these elements, add up some vocal microsamples and Intelligent Techno- / Electronica-reminiscing synth melodies coming into play here and there whilst well harmonic killer basslines are causing major havoc on the highly advanced dancefloor and you'll get a rough image of "Fun Zone" which is defo one of the most inspiring bass-focused records I've heard in a while.
To be released on March 4th, 2k16 is "Brute", Fatima Al Qadiri's second album on the ever active Hyperdub-imprint which comes across as a dark, dystopian manifesto reflecting on today's society and overall oppression as well as the militarization of government forces and restricted rights through the use of epic synth melodies with inherent qualities representing murk and endangerment which are combined with a stripped down, yet highly powerful and hard hitting foundation inspired by UK Bass music like Instrumental Grime and Industrial Dubstep. This imminent danger is especially present in tunes like "Curfew" sporting reprocessed police or fire department sirens or in the raspy, lurking basslines of "Battery" and "10-34". With "Oubliette" we see the NYC-based artist provide angelic beauty and synth-led salvation before the apocalyptic killer cut "Blow" deals with police brutality during Wall Street protests. Furthermore we see "Fragmentation" combine peacefully plucked string beauty and cinematic widescreen synth arrangements to create an intense, score'esque piece of Advanced Ambient whilst the melodic approach of the closing tune "Power" builds a bridge into the past of 2014 when Fatima Al Qadiri released her widely praised album "Asiatisch" which we highly recommended to anyone. And same goes for this longplay effort as well.
Released on the Austrian label Rock Is Hell records on December 24th, 2015 - sic !!! - is "I" , the first full length effort of Regolith after a string of various non-album releases, splits and contributions to compilations that's going back to the year 2008. Together, the electronic duo consisting of Christian Zollner and Richie Herbst serves a menu of four monolithic pieces named "Platinum", the connected "Comet Tails / Star Trails" and "Gescom", all stretching out towards the 20 minutes playtime mark each and (un)pleasing the advanced listener with a maelstrom of continuous sonic blackness balancing the thin line between Drone and pure Noize. In the first tune we see buzzing electronic feedback distortions evolve and being slowly overlain by layers of calm, scientific dronage, the combined double joint "Comet Tails / Star Trails" starts out with an echo'ing, minimalistic beat buzz that will surely appeal to fans of the Sähkö-imprint and provides a steady flow of low frequency background Noize, more scientific signals and fluttering interference later accompanied by rhythmic pulses leading into a heavy, yet not disharmonic crescendo before the final cut "Gescom" combines vibrant modulations with hard hitting sonic strikes that could well-function as SFX for a year 3k space battle, introduces more harsh, robosonic noises throughout the tracks second, surely calmer yet not Ambient-related half and finally comes to a reconciliatory end. Heavy stuff.
After having announced the appearance of a new Driftmachine track in January we're now taking a closer look on their new vinyl release entitled "Eis Heauton" which was put on the circuit via Hallow Ground on February 26th, 2k16. Featuring a whole set of four tracks rolled out over a little more than half an hour we see the duo of Florian Zimmer and Andreas Gerth explore dark, spatial and dubby electronics in a way of setting the technical parameters on their modular system before the self-generating patches start to do the talking. Following this approach throughout the whole EP we find "Rungler Statik" working both advanced dancefloors as well as braincells of those loving labels like Sähkö Recordings, Isolate Records, Imbalance Computer Music or Raster Noton right, "Das Trunkene Schiff" provides Ambient experimentalism with a swampy, resounding twist and the "Sunlit Reverie" brings deep melodic bass attacks alongside siren'esque modulations and contemplative hypnoticism for all lovers of braincell-stimulating ChillOut sessions. Finally we see the title track "Eis Heauton" providing a tense, partly scientific take on Ambient music led by sterile bleeps, overwhelming bass waves and most beautiful strings segments triggering your inner cinema for a reason. Highly recommended!