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)


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