Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jessica Bailiff - Even In Silence

Label: Kranky
Released: 1998
Style: Post Rock, Minimal, Ambient, Shoegaze

"Extended guitar figures float over Jessica's vocals, bass, drums, samples and percussion. Jessica is joined by Zak Sally and Mimi Parker of Low on a couple tracks. Alan Sparhawk made contributions to the seven tracks recorded in Duluth. The album is an affecting mix of instruments and Jessica's beautiful vocals that leaves trails of melody for the listener to follow. The mix of instruments and Jessica's beautiful vocals leaves trails of melody for the listener to follow. The mix of the album allows echoing piano chords, traces of bass guitar or whiffs of percussion to emerge from the clouds of guitars. A delicately balanced mix of organ lines and rhythm is placed next to Jessica's fragile vocals, followed by deep guitar drones. Even In Silence grows on the listener, with carefully placed bits of melody and raw sound that emerge with each listening experience." - Label


1 Overcast (5:02)
2 Failing Yesterday (5:12)
3 For You (5:51)
4 Dreamlanding (2:48)
5 One Red Year (4:58)
6 The Sordid Light Of Morning (5:33)
7 Shine (2:49)
8 Sunshower (2:45)
9 Trust (8:00)
10 Beautiful Soul (9:30)


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gregg Kowalsky - Tendrils In Vigne

Label: Root Strata
Released: 2007
Style: Modern Classical, Minimal, Ambient

"'Tendrils In Vigne' is Gregg Kowalsky's Mills Collage graduate thesis project, a down right gorgeous slow burner of all acoustic instruments. Originally composed for laptop, Gregg transcribed and scored his music for an ensemble of 25 people that includes everything from a string section to a Shakuhachi player. Microcosmic loops expand into complex forms of geometry featuring voices and exploding drum kits.
Mesmerizing." - Label


1 Tendrils In Vigne (12:00)


Mark McGuire - Light Movement

Label: Wagon
Released: 2008
Style: Acoustic, Drone

"Mark describes this one as his most ‘new age’ sounding set yet, but cross that with some beautifully reflective deep-listening drone ala Andrew Chalk and the kinda luminous guitar work of peak Charalambides and you’re truly there. Excellent." - Volcanic Tongue


1 The Path Lined With Colorful Stones (9:32)
2 Under New-Age Skies (9:21)
3 Dividing Lines (9:31)
4 The Turtles And The Lizards And The Snakes And The Dragon Flies And The Field Mouse All Sat On The Riverbank (9:34)


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The North Sea & Rameses III - Night Of The Ankou

Label: Type Records
Released: 2006
Style: Minimal, Ambient

"Opening track "Death of the Ankou" is a hypnotic journey into the instrumental ambience explored by such acts as Popol Vuh or Stars of the Lid, yet adds a sense of cinematic adventure which could be compared to Type's very own Deaf Center. We are transported quite promptly into a spiritual, oriental world of water, bamboo, beauty and restraint which is simultaneously calming and beguiling. The second piece, entitled "Night Blossoms Written in Sanskrit" is different; the ambience is filled out by echoing guitar, and the mood goes from peaceful and spiritual to truly triumphant. It would even be possible to compare this track to the later work of Slowdive; it has that same blissful, life affirming quality which makes you remember why you loved music in the first place! The disc is polished off by a remix from the Type Records boss himself Xela, and pulls together the ideas explored in the first two tracks, adding elements of his own signature production which will serve as a good taster for his forthcoming third album. Drones and bowed guitar squeals are spread densely over light percussion, harp and other-wordly sounds to produce something unusual but hugely enjoyable." - Label


1 Death Of The Ankou (17:56)
2 Night Blossoms Written In Sanskrit (18:01)
3 Return Of The Ankou (Xela Remix) (7:45)


Jim O'Rourke - Despite The Water Supply

Label: Touch
Released: 2008
Style: Acoustic, Experimental, Ambient

"It's almost a shame the track had to be split up on a 7" as the two parts flow so perfectly into each other. Beginning with a deep resonant buzz, sounds like a guitar, but could be a harmonium, wheezing and whirring, warm and thick and lustrous, bits of feedback lace the blurred drift, over the top delicate high end melodies, float and shimmer, becoming more and more active until they seem to be driving the piece, the whole thing strangely looped and weirdly melancholy, beneath the track, deep rumbling swells pulse and throb. By the second side, the sound has gotten more abrasive, much more scraping and metal buzz, electronic streaks, the sound tangled and constantly shifting, managing to sprawl into an expanse of beautifully noisy dronemusic." - Aquarius


1 Despite The Water Supply Part 1 (4:12)
2 Despite The Water Supply Part 2 (4:05)


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Aidan Baker - The Taste Of Summer On Your Skin

Label: taâlem
Released: 2005
Style: Ambient

"Aidan's approach of instruments is that of an emotional paintbrush, breathing the air all around, soaking into its scents, the subtle tonal vibrations & colours to reach a sort of pure unreducible moment of communion...
Here, between layers of filamentous clouds,
sleeps a flowing light,
drawing delicate patterns & lasting traces...
Resonances come loose
in a slow imperturbable graceful carousel,
a vertigo of lost feelings...
As an handful of sand running out into the breeze,
the motion is melancholic,
the mood warm & contemplative...
Hear your skin oozing with deep summer tales..." (Chalkdc/Mystery Sea)


1 Part 1
2 Part 2
3 Part 3


Jonas Reinhardt - Jonas Reinhardt

Label: Kranky
Released: 2008
Style: Abstract, Synth-pop, Ambient

"Drawing from traditions of 20th century instrumental synthesizer music, Jonas Reinhardt represents a love affair between analog electronics, sweeping atmospherics, and driving motorik beats. Combined together, these elements bring the album's 13 pieces into focus as the soundtrack for an inner-eyelid space epic that never was.

Inspired in equal measure by the natural beauty of his California coastal surroundings, continental European art-rock experimentation, and the freewheeling punk aesthetic of contemporary home studio recording, Jonas Reinhardt's music transcends it's influences to bring into being a work that's wholly new while referencing a celebrated aesthetic of the past.

Armed with a battery of analog synthesizers and vintage drum machines, Jonas writes music that is at times stark and spare and at others lush and all-encompassing; all the while keeping an underlying rhythmic pulse just beneath the surface.

Jonas describes his technique as 'a spirited conversation between man, machines, and the ecstatic truth of the chaotic unknown.' With this album, Jonas carefully constructs melodies and rhythmic foundations then pushes the limits of recording to the sonic fringes and beyond. The effect is a warm, hauntingly familiar sound bounded by unpredictability." - Label


1 Lyre Of David (3:24)
2 Modern By Nature's Reward (5:52)
3 Lord Sleep Monmouth (3:04)
4 How To Adjust People (4:34)
5 Fast Blot Declining (3:14)
6 Tentshow (1:24)
7 Every Terminal Evening (3:56)
8 Worm Preach The Struggling Fire (5:09)
9 Tandem Suns (3:50)
10 Blue Cutaway / Tore Earth Clinker (6:16)
11 An Upright Fortune (2:15)
12 Crept Idea For A Mom (3:24)
13 Lucian Lift (3:25)


The Future Sound Of London - Environments II

Label: fsoldigital.com
Released: 2008
Style: Abstract, Modern Classical, Experimental, Ambient

"2nd in the series - continuing the journey through grass valleys to dark head storms - future past over 1 hour of head spin". A return to form, and much better than 1st.


1 Viewed From Above (2:34)
2 Glacier (Part 1) (8:56)
3 Serengeti (4:32)
4 Colour Blind (3:35)
5 A Corner (3:29)
6 Newfoundland (2:04)
7 North Arctic (3:19)
8 Factories And Assembly (5:04)
9 Ice Formed (4:17)
10 Small Town (3:14)
11 Nearly Home (3:38)
12 Boca Manu (2:22)
13 Journey To The Centre (3:41)
14 Glacier (Part 2) (6:22)


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore - Sunset Mission

Label: Wonder
Released: 2000
Style: Contemporary Jazz

"A long-time favourite of ours, Bohren’s “Sunset Mission” is finally available again and is a must-have item for anyone looking for something to sit alongside Angelo Badelamanti’s soundtrack work for Twin Peaks. Whilst Motren Gass, Throsten Benning and Robin Rodenberg (aka Bohren & Der Club Of Gore) would like to have you believe they all live in unlit basements and only venture out to stare balefully at the moon, the truth, based on the reissue of 2000's 'Sunset Mission', suggests that they're all just a bunch of hopeless romantics... Comprised of piano, bass, sax and guitar, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore craft caliginous instrumental compositions that slow-waltz around the 'Jazz/Noir/Twin Peaks Soundtrack' divide with a sound they rather misleadingly refer to as 'horror jazz'. Referencing the likes of David Lynch at every turn, Bohren's sound takes deeply textured journeys into the smokey and crepuscular outer-reaches of Loungecore. Elegant, inviting and covered in Black-Lodge red velvet 'Sunset Mission' is perfect for long and sweaty summer evenings or cold and brooding winter ones. Highly Recommended." - Boomkat


1 Prowler (5:03)
2 On Demon Wings (7:02)
3 Midnight Walker (7:18)
4 Street Tattoo (9:51)
5 Painless Steel (5:41)
6 Darkstalker (5:44)
7 Nightwolf (16:31)
8 Black City Skyline (5:51)
9 Dead End Angels (10:26)


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Christopher Bissonnette - In Between Words

Label: Kranky
Released: 2008
Style: Ambient

"In Between Words is a collection of works that continue Christopher BissonnetteÕs explorations into orchestral and spatial acoustics. Cultivating an increasing interest in field recording and found sounds, Bissonnette has woven spatial ambience into these new compositions, while still concentrating on moments of near empty space between 'instruments.'

Inspired by the continuous din, the constant low-level hum of urban background noise, interspersed with all manner of mechanically created sounds, Bissonnette finds in this a near-melodic soundtrack to his daily life. On the final track "Jour Et Nuit," this seems most apparent as one can almost hear sparse traffic on a highway in the sweeping long tones.

Using orchestral sound sources as well as recording his own sounds to manipulate and process, Bissonnette has crafted a symphony of six movements, with melodies as ghostly apparitions that fade in and out of view. Recorded as spontaneous mixes, these compositions maintain a sense of organic fluidity while creating passages of escalating tension." - Label


1 Provenance (9:58)
2 Touch Of Heartbreak (7:10)
3 Orffyreus Wheel (10:32)
4 Tempest (6:17)
5 The Colonnade (10:33)
6 Jour Et Nuit (6:17)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Alps - III

Label: Type Records
Released: 2008
Style: Folk Rock, Experimental

"Although III might be the third album from San Francisco trio The Alps it marks their first studio-based record and a fresh direction for the psychedelic supergroup. Made up of Tarentel mainman Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, ex-Tussle member Alexis Georgopoulos (better known as ARP) and Troll member Scott Hewicker there is a deft amount of skill on display as the three rip through eight tracks of sizzling spiritual bliss. Comparisons here are easy to bring up – Popol Vuh, Ennio Morricone and Serge Gainsbourg spring to mind for starters as the band toss and tangle through thick drum breaks and reverberating sun-drenched guitar lines.

III feels like a lost soundtrack to some crumbling Italian surrealist classic with its pounding basslines and swirling synthesizers. This is visual music, inspired by the likes of Werner Herzog, Alejandro Jordorowsky and Michaelangelo Antonioni, but what results is far more than a pastiche. Rather the trio have concocted a record which while being aware of its sprawling influences is far more than the sum of its parts. The finest excesses of progressive rock and the leanest intricacies of the psychedelic folk scene have been splashed together with a distinct dusty funk overlook to produce something which is totally out of time. Free from some half baked scene or other this is the result of three musicians doing exactly what they want." - Label


1 A Manhã Na Praia (5:28)
2 Hallucinations (7:35)
3 Cloud One (4:44)
4 Trem Fantasma (7:42)
5 Labyrinths (5:09)
6 Pink Light (1:48)
7 Echoes (4:18)
8 Into The Breeze (4:07)


Monday, October 6, 2008

Cloudland Canyon - Silver Tongued Sisyphus

Label: Kranky
Released: 2007
Style: Krautrock, Psychedelic Rock, Experimental

"Silver Tongued Sisyphus is a secular call to prayer with humming, looping and loping ambient passages interspersed with bursting rhythmic energy and agitated guitar lines. Recent live shows have sounded like an unauthorized soundtrack to netherworld versions of The Swimmer or The Scorceror. Pulling influences from the foggy ether of generations past, Cloudland Canyon has staked their claim to the shadows of cult musical culture of the late 1960's and early 1970's German underground scene." - Label


1 Dambala (11:34)
2 Silver Tongued Sisyphus (11:58)


Labradford - Mi Media Naranja

Label: Kranky
Released: 1997
Style: Abstract, Minimal, Ambient

"With their fourth album, Labradford have once again broadened and varied their sound, while maintaining their distinctive identity. Mi Media Naranja adds a string section, Fender Rhodes electric piano and slide guitar to the trio's sound bank. It is the most cinematic of Labradford's recordings to date. The music alternately stretches, ripples or lofts its way past the listener as if it was coming off a screen and not through speakers. The sounds here are reminiscent of John Barry, Bill Evans and most of all, Labradford." - Label


1 S (6:19)
2 G (4:00)
3 WR (5:50)
4 C (6:25)
5 I (4:59)
6 V (6:25)
7 P (9:19)


Hauschka - Ferndorf

Label: 130701
Released: 2008
Style: Modern Classical, Experimental

"Hauschka’s second album for FatCat’s 130701 imprint offers a brilliant advance on 2007’s ‘Room To Expand’. Where the previous album comprised mostly solo recordings of Hauschka’s ‘prepared’ piano (with a few electronic and instrumental overdubs), ‘Ferndorf’ is a far more expansive and fully-realised album, with many of the tracks also featuring a string duo, enabling an increased solidity. More dynamic, its staccato stabbing rhythms are rendered increasingly rousing and emotive with these additional strings. Whilst he recordings still retain the shivers and tics (as by-products of) of the modified internal workings of the piano - alongside some sweet electronic touches – these are less central and instead what’s foregrounded is the melodic / rhythmic push and pull, and a development towards more orchestrated music and notated compositions." - Label


1 Blue Bicycle (5:37)
2 Morgenrot (3:29)
3 Rode Null (4:01)
4 Freibad (4:30)
5 Barfuss Durch Gras (4:19)
6 Heimat (3:40)
7 Nadelwald (3:34)
8 Schönes Mädchen (3:40)
9 Eltern (4:21)
10 Alma (2:40)
11 Neuschnee (3:42)
12 Weeks Of Rain (2:38)


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thomas Fehlmann - Honigpumpe

Label: Kompakt
Released: 2007
Style: Dub Techno, Minimal, Tech House

"There's something incredibly distinctive about Fehlmann's production style - from 'Stralensatz's opening, its bottom-heavy warmth sucks you into a real ear massage of an album. There's a clarity and crispness to the production that ushers in a certain sense of comfort, knowing that you're in the hands of a man so thoroughly on top of his game. Fehlman effortlessly brings together a mixture of hazy audio landscapes and a firm 4/4 structure with a level of fluidity that inevitably brings to mind the work of Wolfgang Voigt under his Gas moniker. At least, that's the tone the album begins with. By the time you hit 'Schaum', Fehlmann's in a slightly heavier, deepened dub mindset, albeit while still retaining that initial sense of warmth and lusciousness. 'I.R.N.I.I.Z.' is the big reminder of Kompakt past, featuring a sturdy, midtempo schaffel, but thereafter, it's back to the album's early form, with the cavernous filtered techno of 'Arbeitstitel' and the soft, jazzy minimalism of 'Atlas 2'. Very good indeed." - Boomkat


1 Strahlensatz (4:00)
2 Soziale Wärme (5:21)
3 Atlas (5:24)
4 Schaum (6:14)
5 Little Big Horn (Liegend) (6:59)
6 Bienenkönigin (6:06)
7 T.R.N.T.T.F. (6:35)
8 100 Bäume (7:29)
9 Arbeitstitel (6:20)
10 Atlas 2 (3:20)
11 Dusted With Powder (5:42)
12 With Oil (6:19)


Gregg Kowalsky - Through The Cardial Window

Label: Kranky
Released: 2006
Style: Minimal, Ambient

"For Through the Cardial Window Gregg Kowalsky used mic'ing and recording techniques to pull out hidden textures and frequencies from sound sources as diverse as recordings of the Mills Ensemble (he filtered a piece he wrote for the group through the pickup of an acoustic guitar), bowed acoustic guitar and a broken floor heater. "Into the Marshes They Drove Me" contains source material from the band Isis. Kowalsky made a track, using tones, harmonics and feedback loops. The music he creates is situated betwixt and between textural ambience, psychedelia and pure noise." - Label


1 Ashes From Evermore (7:15)
2 That In Allepo Twice (7:33)
3 Into The Marshes They Drove Me (7:51)
4 Coral Gables (5:50)
5 Long Distance Decade (8:28)
6 Gara Note (5:02)
7 Tendrils (Guitar Pickup) (2:16)


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Loscil - Submers

Label: Kranky
Released: 2002
Style: Techno, Minimal, Ambient

"Submers is the second album from the Vancouver-based Scott Morgan aka Loscil. All of the tracks are named after submarines, the final cut being a requiem for the crew of the ill fated Russian nuclear vessel Kursk. Recorded at home on computer with samples and keyboards used as sound sources, Submers is rife with source less echoes, steely surfaces and ominous melodic and rhythmic undertows. The sifted melodies are layered over muffled, clicking and pulsing rhythm tracks with an appropriately aquatic feel to the entire album. Submers is an album that easily merges ambient , contemporary classical music and minimal techno in defiance of the current mania for micro-genres.

Submers is not an exercise in process for its own sake. Melody, texture and rhythm are all at work to make a truly deep listening album." - Label


1 Argonaut I (7:12)
2 Gymnote (6:01)
3 Mute (7:32)
4 Nautilus (7:01)
5 Diable Marin (4:15)
6 Resurgam (7:37)
7 Le Plongeur (7:09)
8 Triton (6:45)
9 Kursk (7:10)


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lone - Everything Is Changing Colour

Label: VU-US
Released: 2007
Style: IDM, Downtempo, Ambient

"Mix the charm of early Boards of Canada and the intensity of Chris Clark, and you get Lone. Moreso a collection of tracks than an album, there's a rawness to this debut I haven't heard in IDM for quite some time, and it's something that I think is desperately needed. Lone's material captures the essence of what originally attracted everyone to Hi Scores. It wasn't children's voices or number counting; it was the idea that electronic music could escape its mechanical boundaries and display the same amount of raw emotion instruments could without becoming caricatures. Many of the artists Boards of Canada influenced have tried so hard to re-create the components of their music that they never ever re-created the magic that was the eary Boards' true appeal. On the second half of the record, a more pervasive hip-hop influence takes over, and it's to no detriment of the quality of the collection. It's no surprise to see that Lone's hooked up with Bibio's Artists' Valley collective, which cites the Boards as a major appeal, but also dabbles in the hip-hop realm as well (see Letherette). A really captivating debut, and something the IDM/hip-hop heads absolutely need to take notice of." - The Music Lobby


1 Duelling Auroras (3:27)
2 Proper Vivid (3:55)
3 My Eye (6:58)
4 Summer Of Summer (4:08)
5 Pure White Lights (4:10)
6 Drifting Off Too Far (1:11)
7 Your Lucky Numbers (2:05)
8 Cat's Eye (1:05)
9 Light From The Heart Nebula (6:02)
10 Piano Happy (2:05)
11 Midnight Feast (5:32)
12 Time Was A Spiral (1:07)
13 A Quadruple Sky (4:36)
14 Number Station (0:55)
15 Missing Persons (2:54)


Strategy - Drumsolo's Delight

Label: Kranky
Released: 2004
Style: Glitch, Dub, Ambient

"Drumsolo's Delight weds the subtle rhythmic promise of the early work anthologized on Strut with a discreet ambience. The album flirts with the tensions of hyper-modern digital vastness on one hand, and the gritty immediacy of live dub mixing on the other. Drumsolo's Delight moves towards the points of overlap between rhythm and cloudiness- reaching towards the grey area where sounds share active and passive characteristics. Drumsolo's Delight is Strategy's most thematic work to date, and aside from the technical syntheses achieved in the studio, the album is an accurate snapshot of several years' of work creating music concerned with geography/place, people, memory, and weather."


1 Cascadian Nights (4:03)
2 Super Shewolf Inna City (5:37)
3 Drumsolo's Delight (5:31)
4 Jazzy's Dilemma (5:40)
5 Super Final Zen (5:54)
6 Walkingtime (5:29)
7 The Jazzy Drumsolo (11:44)


Monday, August 25, 2008

Collections Of Colonies Of Bees - Birds

Label: Table Of The Elements
Released: 2008
Style: Experimental

"In an era of pervasive lo-fi meandering and leaden, self-indulgentnavel-gazing, Collections of Colonies of Bees sweep in grandly, astheir name implies, in great, billowing swarms of sound, bourn alofton a thousand wings of miniscule, elegant detail. In these extendedinstrumental tracks, guitars chime and soar, recalling the bestcampaigns of the guitar armies of both Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham;deft yet intensely focused percussion propels towards an inevitabledawn; covering it all is a gossamer veil of subtly nuancedelectronica.

Birds is a joyous, expansive experience; crisp, clean, and clear;dappled in sunshine; mottled with dew; epic minimalism in exquisiteregistration. That’s saying something. In our present musicalclimate of smoggy lassitude, Collections of Colonies of Bees arediligently producing a sound that is dazzling – and as sweet as honeytaken straight from the comb. Dig in." - Label


1 Flocks I (7:06)
2 Flocks II (10:23)
3 Flocks III (11:00)
4 Flocks IV (8:45)


Emeralds - Solar Bridge

Label: Hanson Records
Released: 2008
Style: Drone, Experimental, Ambient

"HANSON RECORDS is proud to announce EMERALDS - SOLAR BRIDGE, the trio's first full-length album after numerous cassette and cd-r releases on such labels as American Tapes, Chondritic Sound, and the bands own imprints Wagon and Gneiss Things. The album opens with the side long 'MAGIC' where the band builds a quiet drone into an extreme thick sawblade of swirling noise as beautiful as it is menacing. The flip is yet another sidelong journey titled 'THE QUAKING MESS', a track that stabs your brain with fluttering sparks of synthesized needles before relaxing you into a Göttschingesque dream state while slowly bringing you back to earth with an electronic wave of molten rumble. Fans of the smooth tones of 'New Age Of Earth' era Ash Ra Tempel and the buzzing thick drones of Throbbing Gristle's 'Heathen Earth' should take note, as EMERALDS may be their new source for electronic drugs." - Label


1 Magic (12:34)
2 The Quaking Mess (14:14)


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Aidan Baker - I Will Always And Forever Hold You In My Heart And Mind

Label: Small Doses
Released: 2007
Style: Ambient, Drone

"This is a stunning new full-length solo work from the man behind Nadja and Arc. A 51 minute work of shimmering, pulsating drone broken into twelve parts (one for each word of the title) that come together to form a seemless, wordless narrative." - Label


1 I (5:37)
2 Will (5:30)
3 Always (2:49)
4 And (3:20)
5 Forever (3:33)
6 Hold (7:09)
7 You (7:04)
8 In (2:04)
9 My (5:03)
10 Heart (6:10)
11 And (2:19)
12 Mind (1:15)


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bowery Electric - Beat

Label: Kranky
Released: 1996
Style: Abstract, Experimental

"Back in the mid 90s it seemed almost impossible to escape from the break beat. From hip hop to trip hop to rave and then into seemingly every other style on the planet the sampled break was filtering its way into music everywhere, even the humble post rock genre. Bowery Electric were a US post rock act but interestingly had a strong leaning towards hip hop production and most obviously the beats which gave them a sound like no other act around. With the noisy harmonic guitar textures of Windy and Carl or My Bloody Valentine and the sort of half-tempo beat loops you'd more likely expect to find on DJ Shadow's 'Endtroducing' they helped the genre take a sharp left turn and with 'Beat' created something of a milestone for the scene. Championed by everyone from The Wire to The Melody Maker of all people 'Beat' was a much more influential record than you'd think, and hearing it now over ten years later I can make pretty clear links between this album and for instance the work of Ulrich Schnauss or M83. You see a shoegaze/electronic crossover had already been approached by Bowery Electric, they just maybe never achieved the sort of popularity they deserved - but listen to 'Empty Words' and you'll see exactly what I mean. With bendy, echoing guitar chords and vocals to rival the haunting tones of even Julee Cruise this is a record that stays with you long after it has ended, and if you've never heard it you should take a listen without delay. An essential part of the Kranky catalogue!" - Boomkat


1 Beat (7:16)
2 Empty Words (3:45)
3 Without Stopping (5:13)
4 Under The Sun (3:32)
5 Fear Of Flying (5:39)
6 Looped (2:39)
7 Black Light (6:53)
8 Inside Out (7:19)
9 Coming Down (4:38)
10 Postscript (16:41)


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lawrence English - Kiri No Oto

Label: Touch
Released: 2008
Style: Abstract, Field Recording, Ambient

"The Japanese phrase 'Kiri No Oto' loosely translates to the 'sound of fog' or 'sound of mist'. In many ways it's a collection that meditates on the sense of displacement and distortion that occurs in environments which undergo extreme mists, snowstorms and sea sprays. In the same way that visual objects loose their perspective, form and shape in these environments, the sound components that make up Kiri No Oto are not quite as they first might appear. Utilising a range of divergent mixing techniques, analog filtering and 'harmonic' distortion, Kiri No Oto offers an expansive sound space in which the listener must choose to position themselves. Focus, like that in a fog, is in a constant state of flux as elements are brought into and out of perspective. The first in a series of records employing this technique, Kiri No Oto explores the richness in the frequencies that are usually associated with extremes of volume and through this process the recordings position 'the ear' itself as 'another layer of auditory fog' as it begins to distort and alter the sounds it comes in contact with." - Label


1 Organs Lost At Sea (4:42)
2 Soft Fuse (6:52)
3 White Spray (5:08)
4 Waves Sheer Light (5:23)
5 Commentary (4:30)
6 Allay (5:21)
7 Figure's Lone Static (7:26)
8 Oamura (3:49)


Thursday, July 17, 2008

808 State - Quadrastate

Label: Rephlex
Released: 2008
Style: Acid House

"My word it's so good to hear this album again. Seems like a lifetime ago, but once upon a time 808 State had a top 10 hit with "Pacific State", a track that would spawn a million imitators and more or less define the whole Acid House scene that was slowly inventing itself back in 88/89. Anyway, "Pacific State" opens this classic album and instantly takes you back to those heady days just after the second Summer of Love. The band's rare debut single, "Let Yourself Go / Deepville is included here, together with some other previously-unreleased alternate versions and outtakes. Its the first time ever that the tracks have been released on CD and the entire project has been lovingly remastered, to the customary Rephlex high standards. An absolute classic." - Boomkat


1 Pacific State (6:28)
2 106 (0:43)
3 State Ritual (6:09)
4 Disco State (5:12)
5 Fire Cracker (4:51)
6 State To State (5:45)
7 Let Yourself Go (303 Mix) (6:03)
8 Deepville (7:26)
9 808 State vs. Zenarchy - Got It Huh (4:18)
10 Techclock (2:17)
11 In Yolk (6:56)
12 State Ritual Scam (6:00)
13 Let Yourself Go (D50 Mix) (4:50)


Benoît Pioulard - Précis

Label: Kranky
Released: 2006
Style: Abstract, Experimental, Neofolk

"A multi-instrumentalist with an insatiable palette, Pioulard bases most of his songs on treated acoustic guitars and honeyed vocals, backed by carefully layered bells, bass, dulcimer, old tape samples, field recordings and myriad other sources. These sounds, though sculpted roughly into pop songs, have their own delicate patterns of ebb and flow, distortion and disappearance. From the sunny refrain of "Triggering Back" to the descent of nighttime chills on "Needle & Thread", Precis sighs in time with the seasons. It's an album about him, her, and you; it's an exaltation of the ways these things end." - Label


1 La Guerre De Sept Ans (3:08)
2 Together & Down (3:08)
3 Ext. Leslie Park (2:42)
4 Triggering Back (2:30)
5 Moth Wings (1:16)
6 Alan & Dawn (2:51)
7 Corpus Chant (1:43)
8 Palimend (3:04)
9 Coup De Foudre (1:31)
10 Hirondelle (2:22)
11 Needle & Thread (2:42)
12 R Coloring (0:40)
13 Sous La Plage (2:59)
14 Patter (2:58)
15 Ash Into The Sky (3:18)


Friday, July 11, 2008

Gel-Sol - Unifactor

Label: Upstairs Recordings
Released: 2007
Style: Downtempo, Experimental, Ambient

"The artwork of Seattle transplant Gel-Sol’s recent album depicts a visualisation of sound in nature. Fittingly, you might describe Unifactor as an aural picture of life itself. Trippy, eh? “Open Her” sets the tone with a plunderphonic lesson in today’s technologically obsessed culture. Coming down like an after school special getting war-torn youth accustomed to air raids and tactical training through the town square, the album comes off too cheeky to be preachy. Take it from Star Trek’s Bones: “Look at those poor creatures, they’ve been blasted into oblivion!” “Propulsion” is an updated take on Floyd’s “On the Run,” sewing sampled snippets from media broadcasts through the audacious blipping of the psychedelic landmark, revamped with killer breaks. “On a Clear Night You Can Still See The Answer” implies that dub is the secret, with the traditionally syncopated guitar that barely clips the horizon for just a moment around midnight. “Slowjob” is the kicker, though, where a soothing feminine voice prepares the listener for hypnotisation, counting down to one and anticipated calm. The listener naturally expects a deep sonic montage to ensue, and boy does it ever. Clever enough for some to miss, stupid enough to really satisfy." - Exclaim Magazine


1 Open Her (3:37)
2 Brontosaur Yu (6:48)
3 Propulsion (4:55)
4 On A Clear Night You Can See The Answer (7:25)
5 Slowjob (6:49)
6 Cool Sweet Awesome Yay! (5:57)
7 3c273 (4:00)
8 Mother Never Known (6:59)
9 Ohne Schläge (5:16)
10 Saying Goodbye Is Never Easy (7:26)
11 Unifactor (8:15)


Monday, June 30, 2008

Andrew Thomas - Fearsome Jewel

Label: Kompakt
Released: 2003
Style: Ambient

"Latest Pop Ambient winner from the side of the Kompakt stable that turns the lights off and soakes itself in a world of ethereal spaces, echoing memories and the sort of aural aesthetics that made the likes of Mike Ink’s Gas project and Thomas Koner so irresistable at the end of the last century. Andrew Thomas hails from the influential New Zealand school, which gave the world works from the excellent Signer on homegrown label Involve and US Car Park, amongst other delicately spun ambience. Andrew has grown entranced with the whole Cologne Pop Ambient scene, and this lovely release is filled with soft breezes and gauzey filmic influence, coloured by the tender moods of someone like Ulf Lohmann, but equally free to offer his own inputs. Gorgeous." - Boomkat


1 ...1 (1:59)
2 ...2 (4:36)
3 ...3 (4:27)
4 ...4 (4:24)
5 ...5 (3:44)
6 ...6 (0:43)
7 ...7 (3:30)
8 ...8 (1:48)
9 ...9 (8:37)
10 ...10 (1:13)


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Geiom - Island Noise

Label: Berkane Sol
Released: 2007
Style: Dubstep

"Making good use of his extensive musical vocabulary and broad interest in just about as many musical styles as you could bring to mind, Kamal Joory here delivers his latest full-length, and the first for his very own Berkane Sol imprint. As opposed to most of his dubstep brethren, Geiom's musical legacy is loosely rooted in IDM and his releases for the Neo Ouija label, alongside the more organic, hybrid compositions together with Morgan Caney for their excellent "Magic Radios" album. After a period of dormancy, Joory brought the Geiom moniker back to life last year, with a new-found interest in Dubstep. As the sales notes describe perfectly well there's a "tropical melancholy" at the heart of this album, and the melodies at the core of each of these tracks are in the classic Geiom vein - emotive and layered. Drawing as much inspiration from Delia Derbyshire as he does from Kode 9, Geiom enriches his sound sources with a keen willingness to diversify and evolve through each of the 12 tracks here, from the slightly John Carpenter-esque eeriness of the aptly titled "Futurerustic", to the Persian halfstep of the excellent "Farski". In a year that dubstep albums seem to have finally come into their own, Geiom's "Island Noise" is the most organic and possibly the least conventional offering you'll pick up this year, and a timely return to the fray from this clearly talented producer. Recommended." - Boomkat


1 Island Noise (4:51)
2 Canopy Desire (5:05)
3 Hydropine (5:16)
4 Six Times Seven (5:29)
5 Everlasting (5:32)
6 Futurerustic (5:33)
7 Farski (4:37)
8 Safety Patterns (5:11)
9 Getaline (5:25)
10 Cardoza (5:18)
11 Inbuilt Chaos (5:06)
12 Pheli Nazir (5:07)


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Susumu Yokota - Laputa

Label: Skintone
Released: 2003
Style: Experimental, Ambient, Downtempo

"Internationally reknowned japanese producer Susumu Yokota releases his new album “Laputa” via his own Skintone imprint. Laputa‚ follows on from the themes explored on the hugely acclaimed ambient/electronic albums “Sakura”, “The Boy and The Tree” and “Grinning Cat”. As with previous releases on Skintone (released on THE LEAF LABEL in the UK), Yokota’s new album combines layers of sonic ambience with fragmented rhythmic and melodic patterns. He manages to create an otherworldly, richly textured, organic muiscal experience that flits effortlessly between the spheres of live instrumentation, found sound and electronic music in a way few other producers can match. A beautifully crafted album that doesn’t descend to cliché, absorbing a wealth of sound that makes for perfect, rich, evocative soundscaping. Excellent." - Boomkat


1 Rising Sun (4:47)
2 Lost Ring (3:42)
3 Gong Gong Gong (4:25)
4 Iconic Air (4:52)
5 Light Of The Sun (4:08)
6 Grey Piano (1:12)
7 23 Degrees Dream (3:00)
8 Hidden Love (3:50)
9 Trip Eden (4:48)
10 True Story (2:52)
11 Dragon Place (3:51)
12 I Am Flying (3:42)
13 Dizzy Echo (2:19)
14 Heart By Heart (4:04)
15 Hyper On Hyper (4:04)


Friday, June 13, 2008

Tetsu Inoue - Inland

Label: Fax +49-69/450464
Released: 2007
Style: Ambient

"Inland", the new solo album by Tetsu Inoue, is a very personal and unique collection of sound compositions, created in Woodstock, where the natural landscape inspired the Japanese artist to leave his conceptional working method and made him turn towards his initial creation, the minimalistic meditative ambient music, in a completely new manner. Delicate soundscapes and floating tone compositions seem to wander about, appearing to touch each other, they finally disapear in the distance like a breeze, to leave a blissful feeling of warmth and a gentle gleam."Inland" is the perception of beauty. It tracks the majesty hidden beneath the veneer of ordinary existence and invites you to experience the harmony of nature in perfect synergy. Dive right in and ponder the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts . . ." - Label


1 Mini Moon (6:22)
2 Tree And Me (5:10)
3 Zen (5:33)
4 Kaze (7:26)
5 Peak (6:32)
6 Symphony H2O (6:53)
7 Wabi (7:05)
8 Overlook (12:12)


Monday, June 9, 2008

The Future Sound Of London - Environments

Label: fsoldigital.com
Released: 2007
Style: Abstract, Experimental, Ambient

"TIME TO TRIP OUT again. 2 parts loads you through darkness and light - through jungles and cities from outer space to inner space - pure FSOL gold." - fsoldigital.com


1 Part 1 (27:56)
2 Part 2 (21:14)


Friday, June 6, 2008

Christ. - Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle

Label: Benbecula
Released: 2003
Style: IDM, Downtempo

"The history of the scottish artist Christ has been surrounded by genuine hearsay and much speculation since his appearance on the benbecula sampler "music volume two" in august 2001. What followed was a slew of press speculation about his origins and his musical background in Scotland, as well as a gradual frenzy of anticipation for his debut EP "Pylonesque". Following critical acclaim for the release of the EP and some very special live shows culminating in a headline slot at Japan's metamorphose festival on mount Fuji in front of 20,000 people and a live appearance at this year's Sonar festival, Christ set off to work on his massively anticapted debut album : "Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle". Completed in february 2003, it's obvious that his recording style has matured and evolved beyond the confines of his well-known background. Where "pylonesque" was an EP containing "hits" in their own right, "Metamorphic..." is an intricate jigsaw of styles and textures which combine to form a perfect whole. The album introduces new concepts to the repertoire: "ray breakout" is a mechanical onslaught of the senses, the opening vocal giving you fair warning "please stand by!". Further expansion in style is evident in the sci-fi film soundtrack "medulla oblongata", the heavily filtered "odds evens and primates" or the beautifully pleasing up-tempo "mk naomi". Throughout, Christ. maintains his unique fusion of simple but timeless melodic structures, overlaid with gritty percussion: "skylab one", "a giant bird" and "eezeebreez" being perfect examples of his unique approach. A truly classic album, fans of Boards of Canada or richly layered evocative electronic music of any kind will have discovered a new masterpiece to add to their collection. Fabulous." - Boomkat


1 Lazy Daisy Meadow (2:55)
2 Dianoes Nouveau (5:02)
3 Eezeebreez (5:46)
4 Medulla Oblongata (1:15)
5 Odds, Evens And Primates (5:04)
6 Sunart (1:51)
7 Fantastic Light (6:07)
8 Always To Play (2:02)
9 Mk Naomi (4:13)
10 Skylab One (3:22)
11 Pylonesque (Broken Mix) (3:46)
12 A Giant Bird (2:45)
13 Ray Breakout (4:08)
14 School Is Not Compulsory (5:20)


Friday, May 30, 2008

2562 - Aerial

Label: Tectonic
Released: 2008
Style: Techno, Dubstep

"Over a succession of rhythm melting vinyl releases for Tectonic, SubSolo and Philpot, Dave Huismans has asserted himself as the leading practitioner of forward thinking dancefloor motions currently in operation. Under the' Dogdaze, A Made Up Sound and his revered 2562 moniker Huismans has shocked the now merged techno and dubstep fraternities with a brilliantly consistent stream of bare bones riddims encompassing brittle 2-step, lurching techno and bass driven dub with a fractured brokenbeat aesthetic that sounds quite unlike anything else being produced today. Aerial is Huismans' massively anticipated debut album and contains some of the most deadly material produced under his 2562 guise, formed into a coherent statement of ten tracks set to detonate headphoness and Soundsystems around the world this summer. This CD edition pulls together four tracks previously dispatched over the course of three individual 12"s released in the last year, plus six sparkling fresh productions primed to dub the world into submission. The set skanks into view with 'Redux' plumbing the depths of a breezing downtempo dub cut in the finest Rhythm & Sound styles, and clearing the airspace for the snaking syncopations of 'Morvern'. From here there's a run of tracks culled from recent releases, ready to educate unblessed ears with some bass stepping sanctification, but the real treats for those who've been paying close attention come in the form of the stunning 'Basin dub' composed from delicate blue chords and a double-timed rhythmic intuition that couldn't have come from anyone else, followed by the equally crushing 'Greyscale', realisng many a technoXdubstep nerd's wet dream with a sacred stylistic blend of Burial, Basic Channel and T++ that leaves us floored. Finally another new effort 'The times' signs off the album with some moody and expansive dub chords whipped into spectral plumes over a coma-slow riddim that brings us full circle and ready for repeat. This album follows in the massively revered tradition of dub experimentation and rhythm science laid down in the lineage stretching from Lee Perry through King Tubby, Scientist, Steve Gurley, Dillinja, Photek, Rhythm & Sound, Kode 9 and Burial, so all we can say is that if any of those names have remotely affected you in any way you really need to check this album out. Without doubt one of the albums of the year - absolutely mighty."


1 Redux (4:42)
2 Morvern (4:52)
3 Moog Dub (4:37)
4 Channel Two (5:28)
5 Techno Dread (5:32)
6 Basin Dub (4:53)
7 Greyscale (5:04)
8 Enforcers (5:49)
9 Kameleon (5:35)
10 The Times (4:44)


DMX Krew - Many Worlds (The Collapse Of The Wave Function Volume 4)

Label: Rephlex
Released: 2005
Style: Electro, IDM

"This is the fourth release in synth-pop Londoner DMX Krew's (Edward Upton, Ed DMX, Computor Rockers, EDMX) The Collapse Of The Wave Function series, an exploration of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics. Regular DMX Krew electro synth-pop dance trax morph into something profound, universal and slanted. From the sounds of the Eventide Harmoniser (the first digital effects unit) to the righteous yet drowsy funk of analogue synths, this series reveals a deeper, more considered side to DMX Krew's production, featuring quirkier dancefloor fillers. Collapse of the wave function: think electro/techno with hints of ambience, throw in some grime, some braindance, and you've just about grasped the theory." - Forced Exposure


1 Reverse Tachyon Beam
2 Meridian 1212
3 Monolith
4 Spinal Implants
5 Synchrotron Blue
6 Fallen Kings Track
7 Mars Memory
8 The Monsignor
9 The Pleasure Zone


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lukid - Onandon

Label: Werk Discs
Released: 2007
Style: Abstract, IDM, Hip Hop

"Astonishing debut album here that will slay you if you're a lover of the blunted beat constructions of Madlib, Dabrye, Flying Lotus, Kaman Leung, Dr Who Dat?, Timbaland and the like!!!* Whilst most teenagers are content to see out their days playing Xbox, annoying their parents and ruining tightly scripted photo-opportunities with the Tory leadership (no rash stereotypes here then...), Lukid's debut album proves just how potently creative the years between 12 and 20 can be when given the right conduit to bloom. A Sarf London lad, Lukid makes the kind of Rubik's cube compositions that twist in a broad spectrum of elements to create hip-hop founded electronics that relish the use of dust-encrusted loops, lazer-tag beats and sea-sick rhythms. Landing somewhere between Dabrye, Theo Parrish and BOC, 'Onandon' is drenched in the sound of a youth spent hunched over a sampler - crafting the kind of intricately plotted instrumentals that unfold with textured detail, yet never hurry their slow-burn predilection. Opening through the frosted-glass head-nodder of 'A Smart Girl', Lukid immediately asserts a laid back ambience to proceedings that seems neither contrived nor lazy - instead recalling the gravelly disposition of early DJ Shadow, or recent sample plunderer Dr. Who Dat? Moving on from this dusty-groove intro, next to the plate is 'Piano Nono'; wherein a less ADD Prefuse is invoked, as a gorgeous piano melody trickle around a misfiring beat and twinkly exterior for maximum impact, before 'Wake Up' glides into view atop optimism flecked soundscapes, bleeping fidgets and shuffling rhythms. The results are supine. Recalling the likes of Kid Loco (sans the cloying whimsy), tracks like 'The Now', 'Fela' and 'Western Swing' all nod their way past with grace, sample dexterity and a ton of panache - pitching Lukid well away from the weary baggy jeans and bong brigade. Displaying his youthful exuberance most fully on the stalled beats of 'Isis', fractured glass of 'Wonder Years' and the gorgeous curtain-call of 'Light Up', Lukid has produced an album that is mature, complex and (most importantly) a damn good listen." - Boomkat


1 A Smart Girl (2:38)
2 Piano Nono (4:17)
3 Wake Up (5:47)
4 The Now (4:49)
5 Isis (5:27)
6 Onandon (3:32)
7 Western Swing (4:07)
8 Fela (4:19)
9 Wonder Years (4:23)
10 Light Up (4:05)


Friday, May 23, 2008

Christ. - Pylonesque EP

Label: Benbecula
Released: 2002
Style: Leftfield, IDM, Downtempo, Ambient

"Not long after Music Volume Two was released Christ. had already started work on his first major EP. From memory it seemed only weeks when he first produced the master cd that was to become Pylonesque. Constructed using very basic beats and live synth work, the melodies that immediately emerged are arguably his most powerful to date, when taking into the account the simplicity of his set up at that time. To then go on and sell 2 to 3 thousand copies is almost unheard of for a debut EP in the struggling market of electronica on a relatively unknown indie label such as Benbecula. Of particular note is the title track and the mesmerising "Absolom (For Lucy)", with the repeated intro phrase seemingly going on for bars and bars before the powerful key change, I still get lost in it. Along with the popular live favourite "Perlandine Friday", one could settle for these three tracks alone. However the others are by no means fillers and the EP flows beautifully as a whole. I cannot imagine anyone with a remote interest in electronica not having this record - period." - Label


1 Dream Of The Endless (5:31)
2 Arctica (1:43)
3 Spengly Bengly (4:48)
4 Pylonesque (3:13)
5 Fantastic Light (6:08)
6 Perlandine Friday (5:03)
7 Absolom (For Lucy) (6:21)


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Emanuele Errante - Migrations

Label: Apegenine
Released: 2006
Style: Ambient

"Migrations, Emanuele Errante's debut album, is a perfect choice to inaugurate Apegenine's Chapitre, a series dedicated to ambient music, field recordings, and modern composition. Migrations' eight electro-acoustic settings are soothing, multi-layered fields of loops that sit naturally alongside the similarly pretty recordings of Marsen Jules, Gas, and Kompakt's Pop Ambient installments. Errante's wide-ranging instrumental palette adds contrast with the harp plucks and strums that dominate “Rugiada” followed by the strings and piano of “Nubes.” “Calabria,” with its surging waves, Gas-styled strings, and repeating piano ping, is as moodily atmospheric as the fog-drenched moors of Wuthering Heights, while “Wheels” is equally motorik and hazy, as its layers blur into a repeating mass that vaguely resembles Reich's Music For Eighteen Musicians. The words contemplative, ruminative, and serene come to mind while listening to this accomplished collection of lulling ambiance." - Textura


1 Rugiada (6:52)
2 Nubes (3:13)
3 Wheels (4:23)
4 Sogno (3:52)
5 Calabria (6:21)
6 Migrations (3:02)
7 Terra (6:11)
8 Waltzing Chiara (3:16)


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Seefeel - Polyfusia

Label: Astralwerks
Released: 1994
Style: Abstract, IDM, Shoegazer, Ambient

Mark Clifford (Disjecta, Woodenspoon) combines two earlier Seefeel EPs for domestic re-release on the Astralwerks label. First are four tracks from More Like Space, followed by five more from Pure, Impure. The latter (and slightly more interesting) EP is put mostly in the hands of Clifford's peers, recruiting the remixing and engineering talent of Mark Van Hoen (Locust), Sine Bubble, and Richard James (Aphex Twin), who contributes two very respectful and similar-sounding mixes to the track "Time to Find Me" (both his "AFX Fast Mix" and "AFX Slow Mix" are must-haves for collectors). All in all, Polyfusia is one of the group's more guitar-oriented albums, though still heavily garnished with atonal keyboard ambience and minimalist loops, due in equal parts to Clifford's own aesthetics and the reworkings on the latter half of the CD. Sometimes the minimal and repetitive elements of the tracks test the listener's patience, but it's one of the things that sets it apart from other bands in the same genre. Seefeel trusts that the sound is interesting enough as is, without cramming too much into each measure. It breathes steadily enough; it's music for a dream you can't understand yet, but you know it means something important." - All Music Guide


1 More Like Space (8:45)
2 Time To Find Me (Come Inside) (5:07)
3 Come Alive (5:06)
4 Blue Easy Sleep (4:42)
5 Plainsong (7:02)
6 Moodswing (5:45)
7 Minky Starshine (10:43)
8 Time To Find Me (AFX Fast Mix) (7:35)
9 Time To Find Me (AFX Slow Mix) (9:33)
10 Plainsong (Sine Bubble Embossed Dub) (8:46)


Monday, May 12, 2008

Zelienople - Pajama Avenue

Label: Loose Thread Recordings
Released: 2002
Style: Experimental, Post-Rock, Jazz

"Although Zelienople might now be best known for their basement psychedelic jams, all crunching guitars and floorboard-rockin' free drumming, they actually started as something slightly different altogether. 'Pajama Avenue' was the band's first album and originally surfaced back in 2002, and showed the band to have much more of a leaning towards 'Spirit of Eden'-era Talk Talk, Bark Psychosis and early Verve (when they were good). This is no bad thing in my book, and the album stands as not only a reminder where the band came from but also as a stunning piece of work in its own right containing enough classic Zelienople moments to surely win over fans who have only recently discovered them. The first thing you notice from the gorgeous opening track 'It's Hard to Steal Cars' is the use of gently reverberating synthesizers, something which sets the mood perfectly - a shimmering navel-gazing ambience punctuated by Mike Weis's tight percussion and brought to life by Matt Christensen's breathy vocals. This is carried into the second track 'Chase Scene' that brings the bass guitar into the fore, yet keeps the mood intact with the whole track sounding as if it was recorded in a reverb chamber, giving a dream-like quality which becomes synonymous with the record itself. Elsewhere we get the Slowdive-esque 'Back to Dangerous' (possibly the most ineffably beautiful track the band have ever made?) and the anthemic title track 'Pajama Avenue' and you realise that back in 2002 Zelienople made an album of pure unashamed pop. While now they might now be associated with the wyrd folk/avant psyche scene more than necessarily the pop world, it's easy when you hear this album to work out how they reached the grimy heights of 'His/Hers' and 'Pajama Avenue' stands as a hugely impressive debut and should really be heard by far more people than it has been already. Huge recommendation and an essential purchase!" - Boomkat


1 It's Hard To Steal Cars (4:15)
2 Chase Scene (3:49)
3 Friendly With The Father (3:47)
4 Back To Dangerous (3:52)
5 You Got Shot Down (5:36)
6 Pajama Avenue (3:14)
7 Christmas (3:37)
8 Please To Police (5:07)
9 Untitled (5:04)


The Orb - Okie Dokie It's The Orb On Kompakt

Label: Kompakt
Released: 2005
Style: Dub, Tech House, Ambient

"The Orb are perpetually tagged with the somewhat dubious accolade of being the "originators of Chill-Out and Ambient House", an appelation that could drive lesser men to drink. Seeminlgly intent on drawing a line in the sand, 'Okie Dokie It's The Orb On Kompakt' even sticks the label name up in lights to stress their more hard-boiled prediliction; a side that is firmly manifested in the first half of the album. Opening with 'Komplikation', The Orb (and we're guessing Fehlmann's magic touch has been dragged to the fore) serve up dubby fingered tech which is characterised by their hypnotic stance; a sound which leaks traight into the strangely Depheche Mode-influenced 'Lunik TM'. Featuring Schneider TM, The Orb then glam up for 'Captain Korma', draft in some rubbery-bass on 'Cool Harbour' before ushering in the more hushed environs of the album's latter half through 'Traumvogel'. Using cascading melodies and chiming digital bobbins, The Orb then reassert their place in the annals of downtempo music through the aforementioned 'Traumvogel', the borderline found-sound quesiness of 'Kompagna (Zandic Mix)' and level-bleached soundscapes of 'Falkenbruck'. All this from a band who collaborated" - Boomkat


1 Komplikation (3:55)
2 Lunik TM (5:50)
3 Ripples (5:51)
4 Captain Korma (4:13)
5 Kan Kan (4:43)
6 Rolo (2:36)
7 Beatitude (2:43)
8 Cool Harbour (5:11)
9 Traumvogel (6:24)
10 Because/Before (Sibirische Musik) (4:40)
11 Tin Kan (4:31)
12 Kompagna (Zandic Mix) (3:53)
13 Falkenbrück (3:29)
14 Snowbow (2:16)


Monday, May 5, 2008

Julien Neto - Le Fumeur De Ciel

Label: Type
Released: 2005
Style: Modern Classical, Ambient, Minimal

"Propelled by a tireless Gallic melancholy, this is a work which confronts tragic loss with an unflinching honesty. Each track is underpinned by deep memories and dried tears. Sketch takes Neto's signature flute sound and adds sweeping strings and a lightly plucked harp that trips over the already heart wrenching melodies. The atmospheres which Neto carves are the most striking aspect of his music. With samples, rough tape edits and disintegrated synthesized sounds he can manipulate imaginary worlds. This is when we have to go back to Keats, and in the same way that a poem looks to the reader's imagination to complete the experience, so Neto does the same.

Fans of Colleen, Susumu Yokota, Sylvain Chaveau and Max Richter are sure to find solace in these peaceful and measured electro acoustic compositions. " - Label


1 I (One) (3:20)
2 Sketch (4:05)
3 VI (4:14)
4 IV (Keats) (4:29)
5 Musicbox (2:59)
6 Voy (4:47)
7 V (Rivers) (4:58)
8 Questionable Things (5:11)
9 III (4:36)
10 Farewell (4:37)


Tim Hecker - Atlas

Label: Audraglint Recordings
Released: 2007
Style: Abstract, Experimental, Ambient

"Phrases like "sold out at source", "ultra limited" and "vinyl only" seem to be cropping up more and more often around these parts, and here comes yet another painfully necessary purchase. Who said January was quiet in the business? It's hard to know what to say about Tim Hecker that you won't already know. Afterall, it can't be that long since we were raving on about his Norberg live CD-R for Room40, but Atlas marks a real advancement in Hecker's musical evolution. While much of the Montreal-based soundsculptor's recent output has delved further and further into nebulous, plume-like noise - riddled with droning undercurrents, Atlas features a far more emphatic use of real instruments. The distortion and haze is still very much a part of Hecker's modus operandi, but spouts of melody erupt from this music's molten core. Chiming passages of electric guitar feature prevalently throughout 'Atlas One', while on the B-side, 'Atlas Two' begins with the kind of exquisitely filtered ambience you'd hear from Boards Of Canada at the height of their powers. Buried in there somewhere is a quivering mass of piano that slowly irons itself out into an expanse of glowing tonal sumptuousness, only to die out gracefully, evaporating into a rasping static. Gorgeous music - Essential Purchase!" - Boomkat


1 Atlas One (10:19)
2 Atlas Two (11:24)


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Manual with Jess Kahr - The North Shore

Label: Darla Records
Released: 2004
Style: Ambient

"Jonas Munk’s much-loved Manual project has reached it’s most mature and understated form with “The North Shore” - a truly engrossing collection of ambient pieces in the finest traditions of Brian Eno’s most important work or Harold Budd and The Cocteau Twins awesome “Moon and the Melodies” album. Having explored a more overtly sweet sound for his two excellent Morr Music album’s and work for Static Caravan, Munk’s collaboration here with fellow Limp band-member Jess Kahr dives deep into an ocean of warm tones and beatless harmonies. Rich with understated melody and layers of sparkling sound, each of the 7 pieces here moves on from the next, overflowing with echoes of distant bells, hushed voices and endlessly expanding weaves of vast strings and tones. “The North Shore” omits the shoegazey guitar and beats we've heard on manual’s previous work, instead opting for a more restrained encounter with music of the heart. Lovely." - Boomkat


1 Always Alone (7:57)
2 1986 (5:27)
3 Dawn Changes Everything (6:46)
4 Eleda (5:10)
5 Burn (9:53)
6 Ica (5:28)
7 It's Night On Planet Earth... And We Are Alive (5:08)


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kerrier District - Kerrier District

Label: Rephlex
Released: 2004
Style: House, Disco

"Luke Vibert pulls out the cheeky titles and grooved up disco vibes for his latest long player on Rephlex. Coming a few months after his ‘Yoseph’ debut album for Warp, ‘Kerrier District’ finds Luke in vibrant form, 10 tracks complete with bubbling basslines, subtle and sweet vocal samples and some classic analog action. Named after a district in Cornwall where Luke and pals grew up he parodies the Metro Area explosion by delivering an album of original disco classics for the 21st century. Opening with ‘Lets Dance And Freak’ a vocal spaced out disco number with vintage ‘party time’ samples and pogo-ing disco tom drums Luke fetches the track up to date with his monstrous 303 bassline that cements the track as a killer. With all manner of samples and noises appearing it continues in classic Vibert form, content, groove and a damn good understanding of Disco is the perfect combination. ‘Illogan’ heads straight for the Dan Hartman (Take That?) school of disco with its ‘Relight My Fire’ melody stabbing away, but Luke keeps it deep with a swooping funk bassline and wah wah guitar samples running in sync. On to “New York” which is just rampant hedonistic action from Luke as he visits the Big Apple with his 70’s synths and finger clicking drums, delving into a feelgood mood for the spaced out strings and horn like chord stabs that deliver an ace groove. ‘Disco Bus’ is a perfect chick tune, ass shuffling bass joins the padding 4/4 with vibes echoing around the beat, a cheesy sounding piano stabbing out a brilliant psuedo Italo melody and the fundamental vocal snippets that add the vintage feel, brilliant stuff. A class album from Vibert that shows as with every other genre he’s touched he can pull it off and here he evokes a classic era and fetches it right up to date. Killer." - Boomkat

1 Let's Dance And Freak (5:08)
2 Silhouettes (6:42)
3 Illogan (7:14)
4 Disclix (5:27)
5 Disco Bus (6:49)
6 New York (7:10)
7 Yesco (6:30)
8 Negresco (5:38)
9 Wide Vice (6:41)
10 Squaredance (4:49)


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Susumu Yokota - The Boy And The Tree

Label: Leaf
Released: 2002
Style: Downtempo, Ambient

"Susumu returns to his beatless musical magic fresh from jamming it with Phillip Glass, anything Afx can do..... 'The Boy and The Tree' offers a wider soundscape to that of the incredible 'Sakura', 'Grinning Cat' and 'Magic Thread' - featuring a world of hypnotic exotic instrumentations all sequenced into Susumu's lushed out compositional skills. Spiritual, graceful, hypnotic, rhythmic and calming. Think Alice Coltrane, Steve Reich, Brian Eno and you can also compare this to Thomas Newman's mesmerising score to the film 'American Beauty'. 'The Boy and The Tree' is in my top 10 album of year list for sure. Licensed from Japanese label Skintone specially for Leaf and issued exclusively here on vinyl as well as CD. Lovely." - Boomkat


1 The Colour Of Pomegranates (5:13)
2 Live Echo (5:31)
3 Fairy Link (4:33)
4 Grass, Tree And Stone (4:39)
5 Secret Garden (6:10)
6 Rose Necklace (2:44)
7 Beans (1:20)
8 Plateau On Plateau (5:50)
9 Red Swan (4:27)
10 Thread Leads To Heaven (3:42)
11 Future Tiger (5:26)
12 Blood And Snow (5:01)


Monday, April 21, 2008

Equinox - Acid Rain V.I.P.

Label: Planet Mu
Released: 2006
Style: Drum n Bass, Jungle

"Planet Mu spew forth another batch of the tough stuff, this time an updated Breakage V.I.P version of the drumfunk classic 'acid rain', originally released on inperspective records a few years back. The original is tweaked and beefed into a turbulent display of breakbeat science ripe for experimentation, falling somewhere between the intricate technicality of Paradox and the brute force of Bizzy B's more hardcore works. 'Do you understand me' runs some classic teksteppin' breaks through an array of filters and DSP FX for some disorientating rollidge while 'Forgiving' goes for the dictionary definition of drumfunk with a taut selection of deliciously treated breaks battling for rhythmic supremacy whilst the bum end attempts to exploit any weaknesses in your speakers. A fine selection of forward thinking drum and bass from one its most respected practitioners. Checkkity friggin check." - Boomkat


1 Acid Rain V.I.P. (Breakage Final Chapter Mix) (9:00)
2 Breakestra Ting (7:16)
3 Do You Understand Me? (8:48)
4 Forgiving (6:02)


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Deaf Center - Pale Ravine

Label: Type Records
Released: 2005
Style: Modern Classical, Ambient

"With the astounding quality of releases that have appeared on Type recently, it would be easy to become blasé over their output. Deaf Center shake you from any such complacency - delivering here a record that will be extremely hard to beat as album of the year for 2005. Apparently inspired by "old silent 8mm film reels and historical architecture", the Norwegian duo of Erik Skodvin and Otto Totland have produced a lambent debut that recalls the likes of William Basinski (particularly the 'Disintegration Loops' indebted 'Lobby'), Marsen Jules and Harold Budd. Over layers of warmly battered aural sediment, Deaf Center build the kind of vista-expanding, piano tinged music that has you thinking you're in your very own film. Manifesting itself in the stravaig and epic iciness of 'Thread', or the etiolated Nyman piano of 'White Lake', Deaf Center have a seemingly bottomless supply of aural dignity and pathos on which to draw. Other highlights include the tense strings and snatched choirs of 'Stone Beacon', the thrumming piano of 'Loft' and the soaring orchestral pomp of 'Thunder Night'. Just incredible music." - Boomkat


1 Lobby (3:01)
2 Thread (3:39)
3 White Lake (6:35)
4 Path To Lucy (4:54)
5 Stone Beacon (3:29)
6 Weir (6:34)
7 Loft (4:15)
8 Thunder Night (4:28)
9 Lamp Mien (3:58)
10 The Clearing (4:13)
11 Fog Animal (4:24)
12 Eloy (2:15)


Tom Burbank - Famous First Words

Label: Planet Mu
Released: 2006
Style: IDM, Downtempo, Experimental, Instrumental Hip Hop

"Alongside the likes of Kyler and The Kilimanjaro Dark Jazz Ensemble, Tom Burbank further extends the Planet Mu remit beyond the perceived boundaries of its splenetic catalogue - with 'Famous First Words' a glitchy river of melodic hip-hop and electronic intricacies. Very much a contemporary of Prefuse 73, Burbank's sound relies heavily on the slippage that occurs deep within the digital heart when all is not right; lending 'Famous Last Words' a moody and melancholic edge that marks him out from the usual cut-up merchants. Kicking off with 'Fragile', the usual tick-list of elements are undoubtedly present (juddery beats, bursts of electronics, disrupted emissions) - yet whilst others have seen the surface as all important, Burbank ensures a real depth exists that sees him happily ranked alongside the likes of edIT and Prefuse. From here, 'Knuckles' is brashly regimented in it's gun-fire of crumpled tronics, 'Stay One' goes straight for the widescreen jugular with watercolour soundscapes of some beauty, whilst 'Tha Chop' sees the acoustic and machine living in perfect harmony. Closing with the sun-bleached strings and Air-esque atmospherics of 'Riding Off', Burbank has delivered a blissfully simple debut that doesn't need to show off to get its point across." - Boomkat


1 Fragile (3:12)
2 Knuckles (3:57)
3 Stay One (3:57)
4 Gnats (4:11)
5 Baghdad Mood (5:06)
6 Tha Chop (5:00)
7 Cracked (3:54)
8 Blabber Mouth (3:58)
9 Slab (3:56)
10 Dot (4:28)
11 Juno Rhapsody (5:35)
12 Riding Off (5:01)


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Massonix - Subtracks

Label: Skam
Released: 2006
Style: IDM, Abstract, Electro, Experimental

"I think it's safe to say that Graham Massey's legendary status is now assured - not only was he part of crucial techno pioneers 808 State, he managed to turn his hand to countless production efforts, most notably for Bjork on 'Army of Me' which to these ears still stands as one of her finest moments. A long time coming (after years of occasional live shows), this is the debut Massonix release and has been much anticipated by all those who've witnessed Massey's killer live sessions. Apparently the melodies and rhythms were dragged from recordings of these sporadic live sets and then reworked into fully realised tracks, so we end up with the perfect retrospective of ten years of Massey's most intriguing work. From the cover you've probably already worked out that the theme is somewhat sub-aquatic, and that sentiment translates more than appropriately to the Drexciyan treats on offer here. Rolling step-sequenced percussion and buzzing analogue synthesizers make up the majority of the works and bring back memories of a day when techno was anything but minimal. This is music that simply revels in its sense of melody, with hooks aplenty and emotive bass-lines guaranteed to cause havoc on the dancefloor. Just flip over to 'Sargasso' with its chunky electro rhythms and wobbly synths; the track builds up menacingly before hitting you with gigantic arpeggiated bliss and descending into total abstraction. Elsewhere we have the almost Radiophonic workshop bliss of 'Deep Saline Green', or the staid rhythmic warehouse vibes of 'March of the Triton Titans'. The best is saved until last though, and the album finishes on two absolute stormers - the jubilant emotive electro classic 'El Rey De Rey' and the 10 minute ambient epic 'Pulsars'. If you fancy delving into some truly classic electronic music, from a time when electronic music didn't just mean random laptop experimentation and pointless plug-in over-use then look no further, Graham Massey is back. Highly Recommended." - Boomkat


1 Port Silat (Off Port Silat) (4:14)
2 Sargasso (Horse Latitudes, Giant Kelp) (3:32)
3 Debussa (Undersea Danube) (3:36)
4 Despina Farfisa (Continental Ridge) (2:48)
5 Gold Coast (Pro Bumba Colony, Sea Caves) (5:15)
6 Deep Saline Green (Light Conductor 45 Fathoms) (1:47)
7 March Of The Triton Titans (Rubber, Canvas And Lead) (4:33)
8 Forests Of Crespo (Kelp Forest Range) (5:27)
9 Boonadawn - (The Mackerel, The Sampan And The Marlin) (5:27)
10 Diamond Dance (4ths, Heavy Water) (3:57)
11 The Subatlantian (Black Smokers) (6:01)
12 El Rey De Ray (Warm Gulf Water Rising) (4:39)
13 Pulsars (Deep Ocean Basin To Jodrell Bank) (10:30)


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