March 31, 2010

Chris Clark - Ceramics Is The Bomb (2003)

Indeed a fine release from a guy who had the weight of the electronic world on his shoulders after his extraordinary Clarence Park debut on Warp. Being hailed as the new Aphex is a double edged sword, and I think Chris certainly sharpened the correct edge if 'Ceramics...' is anything to go by. Incredibly beautiful and textured melodies work in perfect harmony with digital chaos and tomfoolery as Clark delivers an EP that sweeps without losing focus and wandering into noodly and needlessly noisy territories. I suppose Aphex is the easiest comparison, but Clark has enough edge and creativity to deserve solo recognition without the 'new Aphex' tag. For me it is 'The Gavel' that stands out on this EP. Haunting soundscapes merge and phase until a ferocious beat hammers relentlessly (The Gavel in question?) whilst sub bass groans battle with manic digital staccato-like glitches. Gorgeously disturbing.

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Lone - Lemurian (2008)

It’s as if Flying Lotus and Casino Versus Japan had a baby, I can’t stop listening to it.  Lone isn’t as dark as Boards of Canada, at least not from what i’ve heard. How unfitting is that cover though? Anyway, great music here.

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March 26, 2010

Herv - Not Figuratively, But Literally In Love With Music... (2009)

Ireland's sexiest laptopper lands his latest mini-album on Cock Rock Disco! It is a rave-inspired experimental break-acid-core thrill ride of endless ideas and possibilities. Herv packs a lot into the 8 tracks; melodies evolve and twist, beats fracture and congeal and synths collide! It's exciting! But that's not all, it comes with 2 cd designs and a freakin A0 sized poster! Whoa! Can't beat the value in that (more incentive to buy)! See if you like it!

múm - Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know (2009)

The earliest pieces reassert the band's pop-friendly inclinations, with 'Prophecies & Reversed Memories' standing out as an especially bewitching (if typically bizarre) concoction, like a cheerier version of Efterklang. Meanwhile 'A River Don't Stop To Breathe' draws together an almost bluesy string section and clattering lo-fi drums. As with most of the tracks here, vocal duties are undertaken by multiple members of the band, which far from presenting a too-many-cooks scenario actually serves the communal, high spirited feel to the record very well.

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Gonjasufi - A Sufi and a Killer (2010)

Songs on his debut LP crackle in and out of life and dance between genres: one minute he's croaking out-of-frequency soul, the next it's a Big Boi-style hip-hop rundown. It's all over the place, but thrillingly so.

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Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma (2010)

New release by the one and only Flying Lotus. This one is good; focuses more on a jazzy side of leftfield hip-hop (you'll think that Squarepusher is playing bass on some of these tracks) all the while keeping the same, fresh sound we know and love.

*Note: This leak may not be the final master, as many tracks are mistagged and fused together. But the album is there..

| Taken down due to artist request |

March 15, 2010

Felix Cartal - Skeleton EP (2009)

Skeleton EP embraces and fully displays the sounds of modern dance music, but he’s also made the art of innovation stylish once again. That is, where I expected to hear a collection of four songs that all resembled his (and everyone else’s) past work, I was startled to experience the charitable use of complex rhythms, character of sound ranging from his trademarked banger synth to lighter, poppier noises and elegant eight bar chord progressions that work hard to draw every last piece of energy possible out of those 24 bits. Long story short, it took Felix less than a minute to establish himself in my mind as far more than just a Reason remixer. Skeleton EP is wonderful.

March 14, 2010

AFX - AFX/LFO Split (2005)

The LFO tracks both leap out of your system, kick you and leave you feeling grateful for the experience. The AFX tunes are better than some people make out, very minimal acidhouse that could have been made in the 80's. I must say however that LFO's Flu-Shot is the best tune on this release and it's worth buying just for that. The highlight AFX tune would be NAKS 11 just for the pure 303 abuse and caffeinated claps. This release is not for everyone and will probably only find itself in the collections of avid fans of either producers.

March 11, 2010

Palm Skin Productions - Evolution of the Beast (Autechre Mix) (1994)

Hard-to-find release, re-built by the gods Autechre. Incredible downtempo with an experimental side; the synth pads in this are just mind-blowing. Ae do a great job in working with this track, making it groove even more than before.

March 10, 2010

Dabrye - Two/Three (2006)

Dabrye takes a much more definitive step into the hip-hop world with Two/Three, his second full album for Ghostly International. Unlike his 2001 debut One/Three, the MCs take center stage here, and Dabrye's intricate production takes a more subdued role. For instance, the thrumming darkness on "Encoded Flow" or the pinball machine of "That's What's Up" seem to get subsumed beneath the lyrics. The back and forth of "Viewer Discretion" and "Get It Together" melds the two much better, balancing the sounds with the dueling lyricists so that the three complement each other; "Reconsider" also works well. Dabrye shines most on his instrumentals, like on the bouncy "Tell Dem" or the mysterious, guitar-stabbed "Jorgy." "Piano" seems to have no piano in its whatsoever -- not that it's a problem with such a funky track. A little bit of something for everyone here...

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AFX - Analogue Bubblebath 5 (1995)

Largely unknown by many, Analogue Bubblebath 5 was given to customers of the Analord binder who received them late as a freebie. Naturally, they hit the internet quickly.

The standouts for me are A1, a 9 minute opener that could have easily been a favorite of many fans had it been properly released. B2, A slightly darker, more wobbly track, that gives off a certain atmosphere that I can't really describe, not necessarily because it is heavenly, just odd and nice. And B4, a heavy and skittering beat underlined by a nice flowing string loop, another RDJ favorite of mine. Overall, it feels like a calmer, simpler version of Richard D. James Album, with hints of Melodies From Mars.

Overall a good release; if you enjoy songs such as "Fingerbib" or most of Melodies From Mars, pick this up.

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Flying Lotus - 4 Cosmogramma Tracks Leaked

I'm sure you have heard, but here are four tracks from Flying Lotus' upcoming LP Cosmogramma, which is slated for release on May 4th.

March 7, 2010

Mike & Rich - Expert Knob Twiddlers (1996)

For this album, Aphex and mu-ziq cheese it up and make some pretty groovy and bizarre tracks. I heard that Mike & Rich made this album in a weekend, tripping on some psychedelics (acid or shrooms, but who knows). Could be BS, but it wouldn't surprise me at all.

"Mr. Frosty" makes a great opener. Very funky, and one of the most listenable songs on the album. "Upright Kangaroo" includes belching sounds in its melody. It makes sense though, in this surreal aesthetic they've created for themselves.

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Amutm - Ambient4 (2010)

Another great release from Amutm, this one going a more ambient route:

"I've spent quite some time on this one, but I feel it's my strongest ambient release. It's a very daydreamy album (hence the title) and is good for general relaxation, there's no "bad vibes" to be heard in the 70+ minutes of this release. The songs are also arranged in logical order in terms of sound, they lose structure as they go along with the last few tracks being generally quite textural and dense. Also, for anyone that heard my first ambient album way back when as Mesh Gear Fox, you may also notice that Midnight at the Aquarium makes a return in an updated form. Anyway, hope you enjoy it!"

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March 5, 2010

µ-Ziq - Lunatic Harness (1997)

Definitely the Mike Paradinas release; weird arrangements and abstract melodies between this breakbeat madness make this something special. A more funky/jazzy style than the other pillars of electronic music in the '90s (Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Vibert, etc.), it combines both melody and rhythm without focusing on one of these dimensions only. A really excellent work, and it sure will have an influence on other artists in drum n bass/breakbeat for a long time to come.

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March 4, 2010

The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble - Here Be Dragons (2009)

Immense future jazz/downtempo music here. This record is just so ominous and foreboding, so emotionally charged, so haunting and murky, imagine DJ Shadow collaborating with Tricky, mix in plenty of Raymond Chandler, some dingy bars, some laid back jazz, some dark ambiance, some muted Boards Of Canada shuffle and thump, the whole thing drenched in late night ambiance and warm warped M83 style whir and you'll have a rough idea. The ultimate soundtrack for late night lonely walks through the city.

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Venetian Snares - Huge Chrome Cylinder Box Unfolding (2004)

The two sides of Venetian Snares have been evident from the start of his musical career. There's the speedcore/rave/noise sound of Making Orange Things and Doll Doll Doll, but for albums like Songs About My Cats and this, we get the glitch sound but something else as well. Snares is still with the rapid programming but you get a lot less blood coming out of your ears, and a far more abundant sense of melody. Great album, and one of many you should get from this man (he sure has plenty). 

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Apparat - Multifunktionsebene (2001)

Translated as "Multi-level", this music is lavish in its sparseness; crystalline textures hanging like early mist under serrated rhythmic tessellations and electronic flotsam and jetsam. Apparat's thoughtfulness is evident in his music; nothing is out of place. There is an economy of expression in these cold, stark soundscapes that is gorgeously minimal and utterly enchanting.

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March 3, 2010

Autechre - March 2, 2010 Live Radio Broadcast

Incredible 12-hour broadcast from Autechre, possibly the best set I've heard in my life. Stringing together voodoo jazz, '80s rap, obscure electronic, Aphex, Boards of Canada, unreleased tracks, Stones Throw music, ambient, soul, funk...for 12 hours! Why would you not want to get this, it's Autechre we're talking about here! Full set is here in one download, have at it!

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I Have Two Wolves Inside of Me - Dead Dog in the Grass (200?)

Some of the most organic-sounding, natural electronic I've heard, definitely. Extremely hard to find, given to me from a family member from a friend, it is extremely dense, and will give your mind quite a melt if listened to carefully. "A Cat and His Bell" is my favorite to listen to on this album; it starts off dark and dense, but slowly delves into light, atmospheric sounds that most couldn't think of. What's most impressive is that all of this was done with hardware/field samples, as far as I know. It has quite a bit of styles to it, ranging from straight guitar samples, shooting to ambient, to near-breakbeat/nonsense at times. I'm sure this is just a demo of to-be-worked-on tracks; the mixing is not very well done and is horrible at times, but if you can ignore the occasional loud notes, you'll find a very experimental (proves that not all experimental electronic has to be glitchy) album which could give you new appreciation in the creation of electronic music.

Ceephax - Exidy Tours (2003)

Surprisingly, this album steps outside its genre in a big way. The self-titled double album was great -- but it fit into a certain niche (acid techno) and didn't really concern itself with doing anything outside that genre. Exidy Tours is another story, however. Boards of Canada-ish ambient interludes (clearly recorded on fuzzy cassette tape... lovely!) break up the album, which is comprised of acid-broken drum n bassy electronic. Some tracks are really strange (the Casio ones), some are very beautiful, and some are very worthy of a dancefloor. Overall a very, very well-rounded album and some of the best music I've heard in 2003.

The Prodigy - Music For The Jilted Generation (1994)

One of the best rave/jungle albums in history. I'm having trouble even calling this rave, as it had already showed the cross between the early rave stab days of Experience and the later big beat/techno Howlett was moving to in The Fat of the Land. At any rate, I will say that this may be the Prodigy's most cohesive album; it takes you on a ride of full-on breakbeat with "Break & Enter", then pushing on forward with "Their Law"'s heavy guitar rock, creating a sense of an actual live party, going on right in your headphones. My favorite track from here would coincide with most people's, "Voodoo People". The rock/dance hybrid sound that is created here is just mind-blowing, and it's definitely in the Prodigy's top songs to this day. Hip-hop, rock, ambient, hard dance, and even a little jazz all pushed perfectly into one album, musical genius.

Tim Hecker - Harmony in Ultraviolet (2006)

Probably his cleanest, least obvious release, Harmony in Ultraviolet is a wonderful journey through sounds you never really knew existed. The whole thing is complex and the attention to detail is stunning. As ever, static is utilised to a beautiful effect. The release is not particularly ambient - it's not up-tempo either - it utilises both sides of the spectrum to a clever effect.

Sometimes tracks don't sound very kind on the ear (for instance, "Radio Spiricom") but I realized eventually that this was purposeful - it was done to make the next track sound better. For instance, Chimeras is an amazing track on its own but with Stags, Aircraft, Kings And Secretaries (ouch at the mispelling but not a bad track in its own right) shortly before it, it just sounds fantastic.

And that's how this album is really clever. It's not background music, it forces you to listen to it and switches between being electrifying and gently beautiful. The imagery can really be taken in any way - but to me, this album is like exploring dark volcanoes which are constantly erupting in static noise and then settling down again to become beautiful.

March 2, 2010







March 1, 2010

Luke Vibert - We Hear You (2009)

Full frontal acid breaks from the man that just won't quit the genre (thank goodness). Vibert comes in with what may be his best LP since Lover's Acid in 2005. Some of the best trippy, bassy funky acid out in existence, this LP is a must-download. It's even got Jar Jar Binks at the end (I think), which is more than enough cause to download! Vibert's got a unique brand of dance music, and he's showing it off 100% on this one, bringing back his classic funky breaks and samples, with a few new surprises as well. Definitely one of the best records of 2009, and a great release from Luke.

Nonima - Wrpdata (2009)

Some of the freshest experimental music I have heard in a long while, coming from independent netlabel Section 27 Records (I'll be posting some of their best releases in the next couple of days). Wrpdata brings elements of ambient, glitch, minimalism, and every other abstract genre of electronic you can think of, all the while still managing to hold it together somehow. One of the fattest tracks I've heard, "Datawrping" is 5:25 of electronic bliss. If you like the tweaking of glitch music that producers have been getting more and more efficient and creative at accomplishing, grab this today.

The Field - Yesterday and Today (2009)

More minimal techno from our friend The Field, this time releasing a 6-track album that runs almost an hour long. This album is a force to be reckoned with, clearly showing the strong progressions Axel Wilner has made in his production efforts. While not as raw and emotional as the soon-to-be 2007 classic From Here We Go Sublime, Yesterday and Today makes it clear that The Field has honed in the best parts of his sound and filled it with richer production. Less constant loops, more variation as a whole. The opening track "I Have The Moon, You Have The Internet" should be listened to based on title alone. "Yesterday and Today" is probably my favorite cut on the album, which starts off like a couple of tracks from Sublime, but soon sets off into near drum-and-bass at times. Brilliant album, and a great sign of things to come from Wilner.

Universal Indicator - Green + Red EPs (1995, 1993)

The best EPs in the Universal Indicator (Aphex Twin, Mike Dred, and possibly others?) series. Acid house that bleeps, clanks, and twists your mind, then opens it up. These tracks are apparently much older than the release date, as old as 1988 in some cases. All untitled, the EPs give you track after track of relentless acid hardcore techno. These in particular may not have the chord progressions and keys of most of Aphex's material (Blue EP is much more in this facet, but just not done particularly well, in my opinion), but it's nice enough, and it's got some really killer songs on it as well. Hope you enjoy it!

Zomby - Float (Skream's I Was At Infant School, Where Was You In '92 Remix) (2009)

Funny title, blaring track. I've had this one for a while and just remembered to post it on here. Skream takes the dubstep-influenced Zomby track "Float" and molds it into an all-out classic rave anthem. The samples are sped up, there are much more dubstep sounds, and an insane break that will make anyone, anyone, get up and tear something apart. This track is not meant to be played at low volume, so sit down, blare your speakers, and rock out.

Mr. Oizo - Lambs Anger (2008)

Lambs Anger
is an absorbingly fun and exhilarating album. Contained within are solid, hard, over-compressed, in-your-face dance tracks. It's bizarre and unique mix of elements reminiscent of old skool, hard techno, mixed with the quirk in dance music the French are famous for, and some funk, and some weird experimental noise.

The somewhat downtempo and askew rhythms make these tracks slam in an undeniably crazy way - you'll be bobbing your head and pumping your fist wherever you listen to this. Tracks are over-compressed to perfection, the rhythms ducking the rest of the track to gel into a funky, flowing mass. Yet this has been achieved without the obnoxious hyper-loudness-maximizing going on in most records right now. It's loud, but very listenable and not ear-straining - an impressive effort, grab!

Mesh Gear Fox - Grey Area (2008)

Incredible ambient from another independent artist. It gives me feelings of dread, happiness, and in some cases, paranoia. "Pulse Saturation" in particular gives me strong feelings of nostalgia, which I did not understand...until I realized the entire song samples Boards of Canada's "Roygbiv". Knowing that made the track that much more impressive, because it definitely does not give the happy feelings the original track did. Recommended to all fans of airy ambient, this is good!

Kidboy - Depth EP (2009)

Incredible wobble-bass dubstep from an unknown artist, no info on this one, but it's good stuff, and samples "Watchmen", which is funny in itself. Grab if you like!

Harmonic 313 - EP1 (2008)

Hugely atmospheric cyberdubstep. 'Call to Arms' kind of takes the "dubstep" genre into mogadon funk territory but is so cerebrally massaging, it breathes like a living being. The rest of this EP veers around the realms of hypnotic, pulsing & organic Flying Lotus style territory and therefore oozes utter class. Much love to Mr. Pritchard.