SND's Mark Fell makes a late entry for one of the electronic albums of the year with his latest solo opus: Multistability. As one half of SND alongside Mat Steel and solo as 'H', Mark uncompromisingly operates on the bleeding edge of digital music production. He's in possession of a beautifully rare talent; the ability to make highly academic music with an innately Funky and dare we say, accessible, edge. He himself and many others may not agree, but there's something so listenable to his rhythmically-driven and melodically aware style that we can't help but hear him in that context. The concept behind Multistability is assuredly highbrow, referring to the notion of seeing two separate images at once, kinda like a Rubin face/vase effect. From the outset we're entangled in a meticulous mesh of ultimately chaotic, but incredibly well organised patterns and sonic topologies - essentially the result of experiments whose side-effects just happen to be the most extreme and stripped examples of digital funk imaginable. Believe it or not, Mark cites his collaborative efforts with friend and fellow musician Yasunao Tone as a major influence on these tracks, which is understandable when it comes to their constantly morphing aesthetic and deliberate intentions, but seriously, I couldn't ever imagine feeling as compelled to twitch like this when listening to a Tone CD.
Emerald Fantasy Tracks...if you've seriously danced in the right place (doesn't matter where, England, Italy, Spain..etc.)in the late 80's or early 90's you can't fail to recognize these sounds and you may not be able to stop that feeling of sweet malancholy that only the good memories can generate.
Released on the beloved Type Records, run and operated by John Twells (Xela), Yellow Swans spearhead the development of sound, as it's concerned with noise, drone, and power electronics. But in their latest release, Going Places, it's not all about distortions and sheer cringing fuzz. There's clear structure, texture, and even pulsating rhythm behind each track, allowing the foreground instruments to carry out the development, while the background noise soars to new heights. Based out of Portland, the duo of Pete Swanson and Gabriel Mindel Saloman describe their music as "powerful rendering of free rock, black electronics, and white light vibrations." Their latest work is a product of over a decade worth of music, released on CD-Rs, cassettes, and vinyl, coming to an end. In April of 2008 the band announced their decision to split up, concentrating on finishing up their final album. Even the title suggests that they might be going places, and the same-titled last track fades away, like a burning rocket into deep space. If you are at all curious about the capacity of noise, start off with Yellow Swans and then work your way into darker territory...
Absolutely amazing release. So deep, warm and personal sound for my ears. "Perpetual" is a my favorite here probably. A piece of a dubby meditative trip so short I want to make it longer & longer. "Deimos" sounds more like classical dub techno track to me. "Soul Pulse" is a journey somewhere far away you'll hardly get back. Deep, melodic, pulsating. A lack of mastering (for the volume is a bit low and there's not enough mids & highs IMHO) comes as a release feature and a Grit's style in a way. Once again, amazing.
The Coldest Season opens with an atmospheric storm of white noise; a field recording manipulated by Modell and Hitchell. After minutes of buildup a beat unexpectedly kicks in, panning and evolving constantly. Thus marks the beginning of Echospace's first album and a new direction for dub techno.
The storm is prevalent for the entire duration of the recording, a high frequency hissing offset by killer bass hooks. Just like the minimal cover art is grey and white, the contrast is obvious and delightful for anybody 'trained' in dub techno. Special mention goes to "Aequinoxium" with the most addictive bassline I have ever heard in a track - 13 minutes of relentless sub-marine exploration. "Celestialis" is also a favourite, with glacial bursts added in the first few minutes and the bass gearing up throughout the track. It's the most progressive track on the album - most of them are content on chugging hypnotically onwards.
The only disappointment for me is the closing "Empyrean". This track sounds playful and more clubby - not a good way to end such an album as this; it's not a bad track in it's own right but it would be more appropriate somewhere else. An ambient exit, slowly peeling off the layers, would have been preferable.
This album sounds even better played during snowy days in the winter months, when the land outside your window looks like the cover art. At other times it reminds me of traversing the ocean floor due to the deep underwater sounds.
Probably one of the best and certainly most influential techno producers of the 1990s. Unfortunately, Maurizio's style led to a lot of clones and sub-par producers jumping on the dubby tech-house bandwagon in the early 2000s. No matter, the original sound from the master shines through even today. Deep sub-bass, static, a steady house tempo 4/4 kick, and those hypnotic dub effects make for some great listening. There is a distinct emotional resonance and timelessness to these tracks that is sorely lacking in a lot of the nth generation dub tech clones. Probably because they are using cheap software presets while Maurizio was building his sound the hard way with outboard equipment. At the time, I don't think there was anyone out there who thought of combining techno with 70s Jamaican dub music. For that alone, Maurizio deserves a place in the techno history books. If you are serious about techno music, this is an absolute must have. I really can't recommend it enough.
Vladislav Delay, perhaps better known for his ambient work, assumes his Luomo disguise for some epic deep house. And when I say epic, I mean it in the best way; these tracks take their time to develop fully, adding and subtracting elements, rather than just maximizing their time on the dancefloor. “Market,” the opening track, starts with a steady beat and some sweeping tech-house chords and doesn’t let go; “Synkro” has some whispery vocals floating atop the rhythms and submerged melodies. Even though the tracks are long they never lose either their intensity or their interest. The best track on Vocalcity, “Tessio,” continually morphs, bypassing the whole house jam and becoming something more of a meditation on house. “She-Center” closes the album with more of the deep and dark groove to which we’ve grown accustomed. An amazingly beautiful album.
The most melodic work from Mike Dred, but yet very electronic and even acidic from time to time. Quite similar to his Kosmik Kommando works, but with some real ambient electronica tracks, with two that are still unrivaled : "The Future is Upon Us" and "Valley of the Spirits". Superb work.
This is how I always wanted to hear acid. I really enjoy the aesthetic Kettel hit upon with this album. The tracks all burst of life, breathing and sighing, singing and dancing - proclaiming - with the familiar unrestricted movement of Kettel. I can't resist listening all the way through this incredibly solid album, where yet the tracks stand on their own.
The compositions are subtle but never boring, minimalistic but broad reaching, cheerful and empathic and beautiful. The sound is firm yet atmospheric, with confident rhythms and melodies filled with expression. Myam James Part 1 is my favorite album by Kettel; Mr. Eising must've really zoned in and out on this one.
Jan Jelinek, whatever his alias (here: Farben), manages to create some of the most involving electronic music around. Textstar, a collection of 12"s on Klang Elektronik, is much more dancey than his other works, but this is more headphone music than speaker music. "Live at the Sahara House, 1973" already starts out warm, but the woodwinds halfway through cinch the deal. Bit of jazz emerge on "Farben Says: Love to Love You Baby." "Suntouch Edit" is every bit as bright as its title implies with an intriguingly off-kilter rhythmic structure, while "Beautone" is as pretty as it title implies, with a seemingly game show-inspired flute chorus in the middle. "Farben Says: So Much Love" tosses in some quiet female vocals, while "Bayreuth" is more abstract, almost akin to Jelinek's other works. And the final track, "Farben Says: Love Oh Love" builds on a looped guitar plucking and ends on a tinkling piano. Brilliant all the way through.
Seven Seals was made while reading mystical books and the book of Revelations, and inspired by being in the mood to start a cult. This is the cult's soundtrack. Very heavy on 70s psych-rock thrown in with some great funky electronics.
A severely limited and exclusive glimpse into the mind of Dave Huismans aka 2562 aka A Made Up Sound, with his self released 'Shortcuts' album offering up 20 nuggets of intimate beat experimentalism and bluest late night vibes. The album was born as a sort of concept set back in 2004 when Huismans tried to complete a track each evening after work during a rainy month in Dutch suburbia. The results are 20 tracks ranging from just under a minute to over four minutes in length, cohesively steering between a range of melancholy blue moods held together with shattered dubstep, strafing electro synthlines and a tempered minimal techno ambience much like his later works, but in an altogether rawer and stream-of-consciousness style.
Together with Grava 4 this must be the greatest Drexciya album. It features more, rather short, tracks than the other albums. Due to these short tracks Drexciya allowed themselves to expose a great diversity in electronic sounds to the world. It turned out great!
Neptune's Lair begins with a very dark intro, a good way to get in the mood. The first real track is 'Andreaen Sand Dunes' a great deep magical track to start things off. "Andreaen Sand Dunes" - a smooth moment of simplistic beauty. "Organic Hydropoly Spores" - what a feeling! "Surface Terrestrial Colonisation" - an electro-funk workout of breathtaking originality. "O to the power of..." - closes the album by bringing you into new realms. Really a monumental album of electro! What a legacy Drexciya created!
Rumor had it Astrobotnia was one of Richard D. James's project, but eventually it turned out that it's Aleksi Perälä AKA Ovuca. As Astrobotnia, Finnish producer released three gems of braindance. Part One remains one of the best debuts in the Rephlex catalog. It's like Selected Ambient Works 85-92 on acid or a journey into space, sometimes disturbed by turbulence. If you dig Boards Of Canada, Plaid, Autechre and Arovane, you will simply fall for this one. Pure magic that is not to be missed.
Personal Rock is Jan Jelinek's debut album. Right from the start it creates an incredibly deep and warm atmosphere. This is contemporary electronic music on the leap into the next millenium. Technical, skillful and at the same time organic and seamless. Crackles, digital noises, cool harmonies and sublime shuffling grooves, ever shifting and floating . Minimal, experimental, streaming a tranquility that grows with every listen. The perfect ambience for some easy living, adding comfort and color to the change of season. One of my favorite albums as of late, pick it up!
Arkhonia is a solo offshoot from one half of the long-defunct jz-arkh duo, who released two limited edition 7"s in 2001 before capturing the attention of Kompakt and the Pet Shop Boys, both of whom selected the track 'DDRhodes' for compilations (Pop Ambient 2002 and Back To Mine, respectively). Clearly this piece has legs: it also cropped up on a soundtrack to an experimental film and a commercial for the Norwegian Postal Service. An unedited, near twelve-minute original version of the track appears here, and you can certainly hear what the fuss was about. Positioned as the centre-piece of Trails/Traces, 'DDRhodes' gently swells through ruptured electric piano chords and synth-string sounds, going on to embrace watery, field recorded textures in its latter stages. It's a most musical take on all things ambient, eschewing the default settings of drone in favour of something far more structured and, above all, tuneful. Trails/Traces covers nearly a decade's worth of Arkhonia compositions, and this mysterious artist's catalogue proves to be a rich vault. 'GDLadyburn' hints at more nefarious, diabolic sounds with a spread of witchy organ intervals and wonderfully menacing discord, while the album's longest entry, 'BCTrails' takes on a more pensive character, floating through warmed-up waves of static in an alluringly ambiguous fashion. The album is dotted with a number of more concise, miniature compositions that help break up the sequence nicely, the finest of these being the strange, hollowed-out soundscape of 'Events/Non-Events' whose sub-four-minute duration charts considerable sonic depths almost by suggestion, putting reverb and spatial distribution to subtle but effective use. Excellent stuff.
Oval’s Oh signals a significant shift — in both cases to something more melodic, less fractured, than listeners might expect. While Autechre on Quaristice employed recognizable synthesizer sounds (in contrast with rougher tonalities of the past), Oval’s Oh often sounds like broken segments of raw recordings of a post-rock band in rehearsal. And whereas Oversteps was, to me, a slight disappointment, Oh so far is anything but.
This is a very obscure release by one of the earliest of the euro disco artists who would later personify an entire genre. Originating from France, this release developed a major cult following all over Europe during the last 25 years and it is now considered to have been a major influence on many of the early 80's italo disco and euro disco artists who emerged on the scene shortly after this release.The songs were all recorded in real-time and all begin with that dark and wicked drum beat that sounds less like a disco song but more like the procession of a tribal ceremony in the jungles of Africa. Very bizarre, very rare, and very good music. Get it!
This is a great album that really shows the development of sound in this group. The mending of lo-fi guitar and vocal elements coupled with crunchy drum beats and bass make a very dynamic and aurally pleasing experience. The album starts out with "Tunnelvision", a garage-esque beat coupled with sliced acoustic guitar and vocal samples, next up is "Would Know", this track has a lot more dubstep influence than the previous and uses more electronic sounds. Then we have "Before I Move Off", this track starts off very gloomy and out of tune but develops into a deep two stepper that's almost indicative of Burial's style. "Blind Night Errand" is a garage track with heavy elements of electroclash, with a very calming outro into "Adriatic", Adriatic is a very calming track led completely by acoustic guitar and 2 vocal samples. It's simple but calming. "Carobonated" starts out as a disco track, almost acid-like. But develops into a garage track with sliced vocals and looming pads that'll entrance you. "Ruby" is your standard chilled out dubstep track. "Ode To Bear" is my favorite track on this album, it has elements of accordion and simple reverberated effects at the beginning, as it develops it becomes quite a complex and very emotional soundscape, this track will capture you. "Field" is a very guitar driven track with a simple dubstep beat in the back, coupled with vocal samples it's a nice track to keep you uplifted towards the end of this album. "Mayor", this track is one of the fastest paced out of all the tracks, it is almost entirely synth based unlike the rest of the album.
Blackpool's VHS Head made quite an impression with his Skam debut Video Club some months back. Now following an acclaimed set for the Mary Anne Hobbs Radio 1 show he presents a remarkable debut album, sounding like something approaching James Ferraro or Daniel "OPN" Lopatin's Games project, as edited by Gescom. Over the twenty tracks he deploys a palette of atypical Skam edits and icy spikes of digital glitch to a barrage of samples - mostly idents, incidental music - presumably lifted from his collection of video tapes. It's a vividly idiosyncratic world he's created here, like being given access to his private den built out of clamshell cases, which actually turns out to be the portal into a videodrome arena of schlocky drama and strangeness on the cusp of the analog-to-digital transition which occurred across the '80s. But that's just one side of his flex, the other relies upon his razor sharp editing skills, hitting that '86 vibe head-on with lethal electro/boogie edits nodding to Arthur Baker and Mantronix as much as Aphex Twin or Autechre. Just check the chops on 'Twitch Of The Nerve' or 'The Murder Cycles' and you could be in the most twisted Blackpool nightclub that never existed. It's blatantly the best thing Skam have released in years and shouldn't disappoint anyone who knows what that means.
So what is it that gives this particular album such a hold on me? I could point to the blown-out bass whoomp of “Bubble Butts and Equations,” or the late night tech-soul of “Get Ohn,” like a house anthem repeatedly re-encoded until that gorgeous forlorn melody buckles under the digital haze, breaking the surface among broken steam valves. Then there’s “Maze,” with its cold wave innards exposed on an autopsy table, its beautifully icy synth backbone glowing under fluorescent light. “Purrple Splazsh” takes cues from the flayed 80s fetishism of James Ferraro, the sample that eddies in its cathode ray spatter so damaged it’s almost impossible to place. “Let’s Fly” plays seance over flanged chords, summoning lost voices as if it’s watching The Disintegration Tapes roll in reverse. “Wrong Potion” may be the most disruptive track here, a chaos of overlapping signals that buckle and flail, picking out the patterns of beauty in amongst the white noise and “The Kettle Men” has mechanist swagger that’s buffeted by ambient gusts, like a cyborg revisioning of Sly Stone’s paranoid funk and one of the most head-spinningly dense tracks Actress has put his name to. Although the album touches on all these styles, it’s unified by a particularly Actress approach, a gloriously off-kilter brand of techno that’s driven by dream logic, like music piped in from a reality where the rules are gradually torn adrift from their moorings.
My favorite albums are ones that work as a whole – that don’t just reflect my mood, but shape it. Albums that invite me to walk into the words they conjure. It’s what I love so much about his masterful 2008 debut Hazyville, but Splazsh is even bolder, more assured, more labyrinthine and occluded. It’s a curious record from a wonderful, idiosyncratic producer, and it needs time and space to appreciate. Walking with it is the most intense, the world around soaking up the feeling it exudes.
Perhaps the most underrated musician on the Rephlex label. I have always been a fan of Aphex's softer minimal acid and acid house selections. The Railway Raver specializes in that sound. Drop Acid Not Bombs is a quirky, positive acid house masterpiece.
Due to a situation that I cannot prevent, there will no new posts on this blog until August 22nd. The connection in the residence I am currently using (at the moment) will not support quick uploading of any type, due to a bad wireless router + high ping. This problem may change, and I will definitely let all of you know if and when it does.
I request that my loyal followers do not abandon the blog, because I'm doing this for you guys, because I care! :) There may be the odd post here and there, but the system of 2-3 posts per day will not be going on until Aug. 22. I am thinking of a weekly post, not sure yet.
I am so sorry about all this, I do feel quite bad about it all, and I wish I could change things for the better. Hopefully, you will all continue to use the many posts (Wow, I didn't even know it was 100+!) I've put up here already, continue to look for the occasional post here, and remember that I will be back in August in full force. Thanks for your understanding.
On the third listen to this leftfield disco house album, raccoons were crawling on my roof looking for the sound of "Let's Dance and Freak". Somehow Luke Vibert has managed to tap into the tonebank of shy nocturnal beasts' mating call. The more aggressive of two seemed to want to jump off the roof on top of me until I snapped some flash photos, unintentionally, scaring off the entire gang of ring tailed bandits. The night vision pigments of their eyes created glowing bright orange orbs with the flash.
For Rephlex, Luke Vibert has decided the transpose the acid revival he forefronted with 2003's Yoseph to Italo disco which others would probably not associate with the acid sound in the first place. This LP draws a quite bit from the recent and more distant past of disco, funk, and earlier electronic music, and yet comes out as something that is clearly grounded as music for the future. Perhaps a vocal number could have made it even more well rounded, but it is excellent on its own.
Rephlex delivers a tantalizingly anonymous and unadorned 12" of machine funk specials from new signing Jodey Kendrick. He's quite obviously heavily inspired by label head Mr. Richard James but Jodey has considerable skill and small twists of his own in the hyper-kinetic patterns, melodic motifs and keen rhythmic force that earns him much respect in his own right. 7 tracks of Analordin' acid, techno and human/machine rhythm conversations with a seal of approval from the big ginger one upstairs.
Longtime Rephlex fixture Aleksi Perala provides Catalogue number 205 for the label with widely ranging and often surprising cuts of electronica and minimised techno. It ranges from breakbeating grimy flavours to rude acid house (Rephlex style) and lush electronic harmonics taken from the top drawer of his hard drive. It's a highly disciplined excersize in crystallized techno rhythms, paying lots of attention to the stunning subbass while pristine hi-end patterns reminiscent of Mika Vainio or Radboud Mens keep time with atmosphere puncturing clarity. Ace.
After almost 2 years here's the new proof why Enduser is one of the biggest names in breakcore. If you're familiar with Lynn Standafer's musical output or ever had the chance to witness one of his electrifying livesets you know that there's not one logical argument NOT to get this record. For everyone else here's the ultimate pick to experience what makes this artist so special. 1/3 (that comes with a beautiful artwork, that has to be mentioned at this point) is the distilled energy of punding drums, catching melodies and basslines that wait for just the right moment to kick in and rage deep in your guts. Many have tried to play king but the ace is back.
Ross Ross Ross is the title of the French artist's 2006 EP, following on from 2005's Smoking Kills which upon listening to cuts from it, it just might be one of the best releases of the year. These tracks "Ross Ross Ross" and "Walkman" are glitchy, edgy and slightly dirty which cut and diverge spilling blood and sweat over everything they touch. Plus they possess an impossible to deny invocation to rise from your chair and dance stiff-legged across the floor.
The prefixes "emotional electronica" and "organic electronica" worry me quite a lot. What is meant by them exactly? If one means electronica that is emotive and sounds organic (whether or not this is the process by which it has been made or not) then Hautle would, for me, be an excellent example of both of these things. The track in question, "If You Were Me (And I Was Someone Else)," clunks along like a rusty oil can full of car parts and broken glass rolling across an open landscape - both rhythmic and naturalistic - accompanied by the low howl of airy synths blowing like the wind through overhead telegraph wires. Then the melody cuts in – a desperately lonely staccato joined only by an organ’s mournful wail, the whole thing gradually building into a scratch-chorus of desolation…I felt extremely moved by the whole thing.
Introducing part one in a two-part 2010 Leaving Records dombination from Los Angeles-based producer Ras G. Undoubtedly focused and expansive, El-Aylien Part 1 is a cosmic exhibit in sonic explorations of collage and rhythm. The EP, to be released on both cassette and digital-format, features remix contributions from Los Angeles' dak, and GB.
New craziness from Dr. Sneakstep, this time covering the theme of insects and bugs. Very entertaining album with high re-playability. My current favorite is "Woody"; the sounds make me feel like I am trapped in a beehive with millions of bees flying around me, all to the soundtrack of unsettling melodies shooting back and forth through the channels. Do not sleep on this one, this is the future of electronic music (or where it should be going!).
Okay, you want dubstep? You need those nasty, wobbly beats and massively skewed melodies? You have arrived. Starkey pushes distorted, subsonic bass-driven menace to a level previously unrealized. Your eyes will be peeled open and your ears will bleed, and you will thank Planet Mu for unleashing this upon the Earth. Starkey is dubstep/grime's nastiest messiah. Just try it. You will wonder what you ever did without music this wild.
This is the reason why should people love Wagon Christ at all. It is the brightest example of ideology of this project. From the beginning to the end, you can hear a sort of variable beats, melodies, sounds and ideas! Opening "Saddic Gladdic" kicks everything off and you are flying faster or slower through all the thoughts and moods, until you get off at "Nighty Night". I thought that after Tally Ho! there could not be something equal or better, but it is! Wonderfull!
So you say you loved Andorra, but you don't trust Dan Snaith because the sneaker bugger never does the same thing twice? Good call. However, if Dan Snaith is known for anything, it should be for being able to live and breathe whatever musical genre he is currently digging. When he was heavy into dreamy '60s psych pop, we got the brilliance that is Andorra. Now, Snaith has been getting his groove on to dark electro dance music, and true to his craft, he has expertly synthesized what he knows and turned it into a fresh and unique take on the genre. First track "Odessa" happens to be both my favorite song on the album and simultaneously the most accessible one. I hope this doesn't reflect poorly on my cred. The rest of the album takes a darker, pulsing turn, with stretched out melodies belying very intricate production. With help from guys like Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys and Four Tet, you should expect no less. Yet another great album for 2010.
This is the final, correctly tagged, retail version of Cosmogramma (without the bonus track "Velvet Cake", will find soon), grab QUICKLY, it will be down soon!
Update: There appears to have been a problem with one of the mp3 files in the .zip archive. That link has been deleted and a new one has been uploaded. If you were having problems, try downloading again!
We Miss You could be seen as a continuation of Wisp’s 2009 record The Shimmering Hour: full of energetic rhythms set on a well laid out foundation of awesomeness. It’s crazy how similar this record is to its predecessor. That’s not, of course, to say that it’s a dull and uninspired effort, au contraire, this album represents the cream of the crop in recent electronic releases, complete with Wisp’s signature style of creating obscenely orgasmic beat work.
Eleven tracks of pure gold! Quirky melodies wonderfully arranged with funky, summery beats make Family Glue easily one of the most accessible and addictive acid techno releases ever. This record has a special place in my collection.
More explosive acid from Mr. Andy Jenkinson! This continues in the vein of Ceephax's early acid recordings, before going a completely different direction with Exidy Tours later that year. My favorite on here is "Marshmellow", which sounds like something that could have been on AFX's Analord series!
We can always count on Aaron Funk to punish us at least once a year. If you're not familiar with Venetian Snares, it's time for you to open up that hole and crawl out. Seriously. Winnipeg (Canada) based Funk is a prolific champion of the edgiest of genres - from modern-classical orchestral arrangements violated with breakcore to noisy electronic sprinkled with clicks and cuts. Detrimentalist is Funk's twentieth album, in which he steps away from classical themes sampled and revisited in My Downfall, and brings back the early drum'n'bass loops only the way Venetian Snares can. Planet Mu describes the release as "Venetian Snares' 332nd official studio album of disgusting ejacutronic rave horn." After a couple of rotations the intelligent design behind complex time signatures stands out from the imitators' attempts at making (whatever)-core simply for the sake of it.
The first two tracks, "Gentleman" and "Koonut-Kaliffee" set the tone for the entire album, and the grind never stops. The cover art is sprinkled with an array of neon green aliens, robots, skulls, wingdings, guns, cassettes, and other demented and detrimental paraphernalia. And ducks. My favorite track is "Eurocore MVP" with ragga vocal samples, Funk's staple bass rips, drilling Amen breaks and an obligatory snare rush. This is breakcore at its finest.
Hello and welcome to the one blog dedicated to true electronic music (I never did like the term IDM -_-) If you see anything you like, have at it. If any artist wants his/her music taken down, contact me and I will comply.