"The Invisible Hands is a transcontinental collaboration between Alvarius B. (Alan Bishop of Sun City Girls) and four stellar young musicians from Cairo, Egypt: Cherif El Masri, Aya Hemeda (both formerly of the popular Egyptian group Eskenderella), Adham Zidan and Magued Nagati. On Teslam, The Invisible Hands expand the already panoramic range of their eponymous debut LP with a haunting set of melodic, impeccably crafted songs whose vintage psych/hard-rock edge conjures up early Alice Cooper almost as often as it recalls Sun City Girls and 20th-century icons like Ennio Morricone and Serge Gainsbourg. The band's exquisite sonic palette is deepened by Cairo-based guest musicians Mohamed Ibrahim, Mohamed 'Moe' Asem, and Sammy Sayed, as well as by longtime SCG compatriot Eyvind Kang. Recorded in Cairo between 2013 and 2014, Teslam represents a further evolution of Alvarius B.'s peerlessly idiosyncratic pop sensibility, which is just as volatile and unclassifiable as his more experimental work. His songwriting -- both on his own, and in partnership with Cherif El Masri -- is marked by a unity of purpose that has compressed countless musical and emotional incongruities into a handful of sharp-edged, pitch-black jewels. A brooding track composed by keyboardist Adham Zidan ('The Great Implosion') perfectly complements the record's uneasy mood. As usual, Alvarius B.'s lyrics comprise an apocalyptic pile-up of cruel metaphors at the intersection of culture, politics and international crime. But they take on new power and new implications as sung by El Masri and Hemeda, whose seductive voices are as inviting as a welcome mat at the gates of hell. Each song stands on its own while also fitting into a planet-sized jigsaw puzzle detailing dark associations and secret narratives that stretch back as far as the foundation of the world. Arguably Alvarius B.'s most accessible work to date, Teslam is a generously baited steel-jaw trap for the unwary listener. Like The Invisible Hands' 2013 debut, Teslam inevitably reflects the precarious political circumstances in which it was conceived and recorded. As such, it's a vivid document not just of an unlikely musical collaboration, but also of a critical moment of hope, defiance, rage and sorrow in one of the world's most venerable cities. [This limited-edition razor-edged stainless-steel CD comes in a beautiful die cut balsawood jacket that folds out to form a fully operational guillotine. Just kidding, but it does come as a digipak CD with lyrics booklet and lovely artwork]." --B. Kearney
Dancing Wayang Records is thrilled to announce the imminent release of the label's ninth album -- Alps by Oren Ambarchi & Eli Keszler; a fresh yet seemingly inevitable collaboration of two musicians kicking against limits and genre definitions, recorded and presented with a similar disregard for anything but quality. Alps was recorded in June 2013 at Eastcote Studios in London. Thereafter mixed by frequent Ambarchi associate Joe Talia in Melbourne and mastered by Rashad Becker in Berlin, it comes pressed on 180 gram black virgin vinyl housed in the label's traditional hand-screenprinted wrap-around sleeves featuring cover art by Eli Keszler. Liner notes come courtesy of U.S. musician C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core). Two vinyl-side-long pieces that mix improv, noise, rock, and drone, this is never an easy listen but always a compelling one. Both musicians are compulsive collaborators, with individual oeuvres that span all those genres and others yet to be labeled, and this album reflects and distills their hard-working heritage. They have a similar approach to questioning the fundamentals and exploring the sonic properties of their chosen instruments in a way that is informed by musical theory and learning but manifests itself in a defiantly non-academic, visceral and physical sound, both in intent and experience. Listening to Alps is a discomforting, uneasy and massively rewarding exercise, which denies the listener any steady ground on which to stand. This is evident from the moment that "Alps I" kicks off with piercing bowed cymbals. Percussive elements emerge from deep in the mix, drums without rhythm nor meter. Background and foreground shift tectonically and queasily. A chopping helicopter pulse hovers omnipresently over the battlefield of attacking drums and splintery bass beneath. It is a liquescent, rolling, never-still 20 minutes of multiple musical narratives. From the outset side B upholds the intensity. The conflagration of "Alps II" comes off like a tribute to classic Japanese psych; guitar proudly and consistently in the red, tsunamis of drum rolls. It has a defiant crudeness and rawness to its attack, which belies the intelligence needed to create such a rough-edged sound, the deftness needed to keep the truck-driving momentum on the road. 500 copies worldwide limited edition, pressed on 180 gram vinyl.
Kon Kee Lang Kwai (Man on a Water Buffalo): Essential Dao Bandon
LP version. This is the second release in the re-launch of EM Records' Thai music series. Paradise Bangkok, Soi 48 and EM have teamed up to deliver a series showcasing the extraordinary performances of some of Thailand's greatest musical legends. For reasons unknowable, certain places in certain eras become hotbeds of music, fertile in their growth and flowering of musical talent. Thailand in the 1970s was such a place, and Dao Bandon is one of the enduring greats of that era. Born in the farm country of the Isan region, Bandon came from a poor family and was a monk during his teens, two great influences which shaped him, with his farm roots grounding the earthy heart of his lyrics, and his years of monastic chanting lending a unique resonance to his singing. After an apprenticeship with some of the greats of Thai music, Dao Bandon began to enjoy success leading his own band. The songs here, released in the 1970s, showcase the infectiously joyful Bandon groove, his mellifluous voice, and his captivating melodic sense. His lyrics deal with sex, love, marijuana, and the struggles of the poor, but no matter what he sings about, a sense of good cheer is always evident. Featuring parallel translations of the lyrics, in-depth liner notes, rare photos, and of course, great music, Man on a Water Buffalo is yet another example of Thai excellence from EM Records. English & Japanese text with Thai, English, and Japanese lyrics.
Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen finally release their unique Nordic electronic sounds in album-size. After dropping several tracks and performing at select festivals throughout the years, Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen dedicated the year 2014 to explore the area in-between Ólafur's more acoustic, piano-based solo work and Janus' synth-heavy electro-pop, with their collaborative electronic project Kiasmos. By focusing solely on their self-titled debut album, Ólafur and Janus have been able to combine and further develop their unique sound aesthetics to complete an album driven by their mutual love for electronic music. Made in Ólafur's newly-built studio in Reykjavik, Iceland, a majority of the album was recorded using acoustic instruments next to a variety of synthesizers, drum machines and tape delays. It features a live drummer, string quartet and Ólafur performing on the grand piano, producing an ambient, textured sound which makes it a perfect home listen and equally danceable record. If you listen closely, you can spot them recording the thumb piano, finger-snapping, and even the sound of the metal grinder of a lighter used to replace the usual electronic hi-hat sounds, giving the album a far more intimate and unique atmosphere. Long-time Erased Tapes graphics collaborator Torsten Posselt at Feld Studios in Berlin created the cover artwork. Feld Studios was a natural choice for Kiasmos, seeing how he also designed the cover for their Thrown EP. Kiasmos is made up of Icelandic BAFTA-winning composer Ólafur Arnalds, known for his unique blend of minimal piano and string compositions with electronic sounds, and Janus Rasmussen from the Faroe Islands, known as the mastermind of the electro-pop outfit Bloodgroup. Based in Reykjavik, Arnalds used to work as a sound engineer, often for Rasmussen's other projects, where the two musicians discovered their common love for minimal, experimental music. They eventually became best friends, often hanging out in their studio, exploring electronic sounds.
Mind Fair are Dean Meredith (Chicken Lips, Goat Dance) and Ben Shenton. Over the last few years they have had a slew of 12"s out on Golf Channel, International Feel and their own imprint, Rogue Cat Sounds, but are only now dropping this, their long-awaited debut LP. It is a bluesy folk-funk swamp techno barnyard stomp of an album. It takes in influences from Krautrock to English psych through to classic Detroit techno, Chicago house and the (Italo) disco that inspired it. It somehow unifies these diverse threads and drags them into 2014 via a rave in the countryside. We go dancing on a hay bale at 10am in the sunshine in a pair of dungarees before collapsing on a friend's sofa and skinning up amidst friends jamming with acoustic guitars and bongos. Through it all marches the distinctive sounds that are Dean and Ben's hallmarks: chugging analog bass and deeply funky drums. All this is set to a loose concept of a night out at the quintessential English traveling fair manned by psychedelic freaks -- the fair of the mind. The vocal talents of Clover Ray feature, alongside other regular contributors Karl "Akuko" Miller (percussion & vocals), Tim Silver (ukelele!), Sadie Shenton Jones (vocals) and James Flanagan (vocals). Sumptuous artwork comes from Thomas Bullock aka Tom Of England of Rub N Tug/Map Of Africa fame.
This gatefold double LP set is a redacted version of Alberich's indomitable, spirit-crushing opus, NATO-Uniformen, cut from 30 tracks in the original eight-cassette box (limited to 50 copies) to 19 tracks on this version, edited in 2014 for the Trans Industrial Assembly in NYC. Originally deployed in 2010, its bombed-out luster has become a firm favorite of everyone from Blackest Ever Black's Kiran Sande to Endangered Species' Vereker. Between the bludgeoned doom techno of "Skysweeper," the shell-strewn darkwave scenes of "Man Is Ready" and the Carpenter-esque adrenalizer, "Immortality Is No Consolation for Death," Alberich finds a very specific line through heavy electronics, synth zones, and dread techno, and holds it to the last with a shell-shocked, eviscerated aesthetic most unlike any other. Fully remastered and cut at Alchemy.
In early 2011, Tindersticks were commissioned by the In Flanders Fields World War One Museum in Ypres, Belgium to create the soundscapes for the new permanent exhibition commemorating the centenary of the Great War and beyond. Tindersticks' response was to write, record and produce a continuous, orchestral score to accompany the visitor on their emotional journey through the unique story of Ypres in the Great War. The score evolves through the different, distinctive spaces and sections of the museum, punctuated with private contemplative spaces where the music was allowed to be more poetic. Made from a series of interlocking orchestral loops, the music flows seamlessly all day, everyday, without beginning, middle or end. The aim, for Stuart Staples, was for the soundtrack to "become the sound of air within the museum." Ypres was the epicenter of the Western Front in The Great War and was virtually destroyed by the conflict. It has since, only relatively recently, been rebuilt to its original plans. The museum is housed in the rebuilt cloth hall that stands in the center of the town and was once the hub of the town's industry. Hundreds of thousands died in Ypres and the surrounding area, with allied cemeteries and graves scattered everywhere. In keeping with the perspective of the new museum, Staples felt it crucial to "bring the essence of the experience to a personal level. To somehow loosen it away from the images we have all become accustomed to." Inspiration for the work was found in the quiet, dignified German memorial garden of Vladslo and Kathe Kollwitz' famous "Grieving Parents" statue that resides there. Stuart Staples and Dan McKinna worked closely to compose the score and felt the museum building resonated with a key of F. The starting point for the music became a musical cluster of E flat, F and F sharp. The recording was presided over by long-time collaborator and orchestra leader Lucy Wilkins. The orchestral recordings were made at the Church in Crouch End, London and were then taken back to Le Chien Chanceux studio in France to prepare for the installation. In collaboration with London Sound designers "Sound Intermedia," a bank holiday weekend in May 2012 was spent meticulously building the soundscape for every individual space. The In Flanders Field Museum re-opened its doors with Tindersticks' soundtrack on June 11, 2012. Now Tindersticks are releasing the recording of the soundtrack via Lucky Dog Recordings.
"Massively unlikely out-of-nowhere exact repro reissue of this insane underground LP, still the most amazing slice of OTT freak to come out of the Netherlands in the late 1960s: a project masterminded by four far-out poets -- Simon Vinkenoog, Bob Lens, Hans Wesseling and Nona -- Woorden's closest companion might be Walter Wegmuller and the Cosmic Courier's majestic Tarot set, with diversions into concrete tape work, solo harmonica jams, heavy psych, freak jazz, acid folk and total musical non that touch on aspects of Patrick Conrad, Allan Kaprow, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Popol Vuh and an unholy Chie Mukai/Masayoshi Urabe junk/reeds/drone ritual. Long one of the rarest and whispered about underground Euro masterpieces, Woorden sees the poets chant, flip, sing in heavy F/X reverb heavens and work oracular magic ala Starmaiden herself while the music (courtesy of heads who also played on Group 1850's legendary Agemo's Trip To Mother Earth) moves from radical free jazz through laminal voice constructs that confuse automating surrealism and screwed tape/sound works based around 'universal orgasms' and the kind of percussion/vocal freak that is somewhere upwind of Junko and Yoko Ono. The harmonica and drums jams come over like a Cromagnon Kaoru Abe w/almost Sergius Golowin levels of eye-lolling universal worship. Hard to think of an album that is so completely Nurse With Wound list than this amazing long-lost classic and this handy, though ultra limited, reissue saves you selling your car to get a hold of a copy. Profoundly out, massively damaged, classic 60s-utopian art/theatre/noise/psych from a buncha heads with an umbilical to another galaxy altogether." -- David Keenan; on purple vinyl with insert.
Following Reincarnations: The Remix Chapter 2001-2009 and Music Is Okay (2000), comes the third major exhibition of DJ Koze's work as a remix virtuoso: Reincarnations Part 2. Alongside his acclaimed solo albums, it is primarily through his remixes that DJ Koze, like no other producer of electronic music, sets new standards again and again. His musical and storytelling skills always seem to shine a little brighter when he lets all his love and passion flow into the music of other artists. There are many songs where people first recall the DJ Koze version -- remixes to remember. For Reincarnations Part 2, DJ Koze aka Swahimi, der Unerleuchtete, (Swahimi, the Unenlightened), collected 12 of his musical rebirths in an old wicker basket, where otherwise a small cat can be found sleeping. Once more, DJ Koze refines and varies his colors and shapes, styles and materials. He prefers to reach a crescendo on the dancefloor in his own special way -- often the loud becomes the quiet, the heavy stands in contrast with the gentle. Koze's remix of Moderat's "Bad Kingdom" makes a hymn from a hit. His reworking of the two Herbert tracks "It's Only" (Resident Advisor Poll 2013 - Track of the Year #1) and "You Saw It All" feel like abstract paintings, yet function simultaneously as great pop music. And his wonderful arrangements for Caribou, Who Made Who, Ada, Gonzales, Soap & Skin, and finally, as a crowning glory, Apparat's "Blackwater," have all long since become classics. In the mountains, they say, the direct route always leads from summit to summit. An experienced mountaineer, DJ Koze also leads us along winding paths, up through shady valleys and high over the clouds. Reincarnations Part 2 is that kind of journey, rambling and floating, a grand illumination. Enlightened. Other artists include: Super Flu, Zwanie Jonson, Mount Kimbie, and The Big Crunch Theorie.
Tav Falco's Wild & Exotic World of Musical Obscurities
Tav Falco, the Memphis legend (of Panther Burns fame) compiled 25 of his favorite tunes from '50s rockabilly to tangos, waltzes & other wonderful obscurities. Songs he loves, songs he covered with Panther Burns, songs that influenced him, thus shedding much light upon the music that incessantly ignites Falco's muse. This is a wild and wonderful ride. A Back to Mine-style compilation that will open your ears. Double vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve with extensive liner notes by the maestro himself. CD comes with a 20-page booklet. Artists include: The Johnny Burnette Trio, Don Willis, Bobby Lee, Allen Page, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Jimmy Lloyd, Benny Joy, Alexander Princes, Bachicha Bianco, Anton Karas, Los Indios Tacunau, Carlos Di Sarli, Orchestra Juan D'Arienzo, Osvaldo Pugliese, Elmore James, Bobby Blue Bland, Chet Baker, Fred Buscaglione, Martin Denny, Dion & The Belmonts, Shorty Rogers, Charlie Feathers, and Alex Chilton.
Electronic Explorations from His Studio + The BBC Radiophonic Workshop 1958-1967
Part of Sub Rosa's Early Electronics series. During the 1950s and 1960s, Roberto Gerhard gathered a significant magnetic tape collection in his home studio, creating a major repository of early electronic sound recordings of his own works. The pieces on this record present a complex set of challenges for audio restoration, requiring a complete understanding of his compositional process and allowing the spirit and vitality of his electronic work to speak clearly to the listener. The versions of the pieces you will hear on this record represent an attempt to present Gerhard's musical thoughts as free as possible from distracting technical deficiencies that obscure the musical content of the tapes. To this end a number of processes have been employed to reduce tape hiss and broadband noise, clicks, crackle, mains hum, tape splices and low frequency thuds, ranging from automated algorithms to a more painstaking manual clean-up of the audio spectrum. Every process of musical audio restoration must seek a compromise between the removal of elements that are problematic to the modern listener, and the preservation of the vital sonic and musical characteristics of the recordings. Roberto Gerhard (b. 1896; d. 1970) was born in Valls, Spain. Initially he studied piano with Granados and composition with Felipe Pedrell. When Pedrell died in 1922, Gerhard moved to Vienna as a pupil of Arnold Schoenberg. Returning to Barcelona in 1928, he became a central figure in the Catalonian avant-garde, befriending such figures as Pablo Casals and Joan Miró. Identified with the Republican cause throughout the Spanish Civil War, Gerhard was forced to flee to France in 1939 and later that year settled in Cambridge, England. Once in England, Gerhard produced a series of orchestra and stage works that would establish his international reputation. The Symphony (in memory of Pedrell), the ballet Don Quixote, First String Quartet, and the opera The Duenna followed in quick succession. In the 1950s Gerhard developed his musical style, synthesizing Schoenbergian serialism with Catalan folksong. These years also marked him out as the first composer in England to engage seriously with electronic music. Gerhard worked extensively at the newly-formed BBC Radiophonic Workshop producing a series of abstract electronic works as well as electronic music for stage -- most notably his score for the 1955 Royal Shakespeare Production of King Lear. The last decade of his life saw Gerhard's musical language evolve still further and the composition of late masterpieces such as the Symphony No. 3 "Collages" which includes a significant tape part, Symphony No. 4 "New York," the chamber symphony Leo, and the masterly Concerto for Orchestra. CD Digipak + 28-page booklet.
2014 repress. Detroit's Drexciya, with their close ties to Underground Resistance, emerged in 1991. With an encoded agenda and socio-political mission aimed at the world, a new page of Drexciya's grand history was written entitled Neptune's Lair, featuring 21 exclusive tracks released in the fall of 1999. Drexciya is the sound of originality embodying all the musical styles and history that Detroit the city has seen and been part of. Drexciya is music for change that defies categorization; traditionally armed with freestyle electro, techno, funk, and jazz while covering an entire spectrum of moods ranging from the dark, foreboding "Intro" to the shimmering beauty of "Polymono Plexusgel." While words won't do Neptune's Lair proper justice, rootsy Kraftwerkian techno ("Universal Element" and "Oxyplasmic Gyration Beam"), gives way to G-style electro ("Fusion Flats" and "Andreaen Sand Dunes"), while jazzy freestyle funk ("Running Out Of Space" and "Funk Release Valve") evolves alongside classic 4/4 club sound ("Species Of The Pod," "Devil Ray Cove" and "Lost Vessel"). Although the roots run deep, Neptune's Lair heralded an important new chapter in the musical connections between Detroit's finest and Tresor.
The Spacey Bruce Lacey: Film Music and Improvisations
Bruce Lacey is the quintessential British eccentric. Bruce Lacey is an artist, a musician, a filmmaker, a shaman, a genius and visionary. Since the 1950s he's made film, music, art and performances, and collaborated with everyone from The Beatles to Throbbing Gristle. He was part of the groundbreaking Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition in 1968. He even built a robot that won the Alternative Miss World. This is the first time his extraordinary music has been released. Made and recorded using household objects as well as a modified synthesizer (made by a schoolboy in the early 1970s), it ranges from abstract tribal concrète to droning electronic trance. Bruce Lacey has been a busy man. Since the 1950s he's been making film, making music, making art, sculpture, rituals, performances, and more besides. Many of his films have explored the basics of life and sex all with a sprinkle of irony, realism and ritualism. Many of his films have required music, music which Lacey made himself, improvising with bottles, rattles, typewriters and a tape machine. By the early 1970s, Lacey was exploring stone circles and ancient rights; he'd also bought a home-made synthesizer from a schoolboy who'd advertised it in Exchange & Mart. He'd made it as a home project. A week later Lacey bought a keyboard from another schoolboy in Exchange & Mart. Lacey set about slowly modifying this synth and improvising music influenced by his stone circle visits over the next few years. This music is made only when "The Muse" descends. It is impossible for Bruce to perform this improvised music live. The music he made was occasionally available on cassette at his exhibitions in the 1970s. The late Poly Styrene (who had a copy) compared Lacey's music to Tangerine Dream. Lacey had not heard of Tangerine Dream. This is the first time this raw and extraordinary music by one of the UK's most extraordinary men has been made available. CD housed in a jewel case with a large 16-page booklet including full-color rare photos and an essay by BFI/Flipside archivist Will Fowler.
It is said that the gods of the dead demand you ritualistically commit to each intensely hot beat of the ceremonial drum. Now, here, is the music for their celebration of death, music to dance together with, to oblivion, a music both spectacular and ecstatic where, like never before, the spirits of Santería and Voudou mix with raw electricity into burning diabolical polyrhythms. Festival of the Dead is without doubt the most potent distillation yet of Cut Hands' malign percussive energy, with pieces like "The Claw" and "Vaudou Take Me High" leading the irresistible polyrhythmic assault in pursuit of one thing: a final rapturous celebration of oblivion. Written and produced by William Bennett.
There are times when the name of a musical project is in perfect harmony with the sounds emanating from it. And there are times when it is not. Take the 1981 album Deutsche Wertarbeit by keyboarder and composer Dorothea Raukes, which is rather an example of the latter. No stomping of military marches, as the title may imply, but six beautiful synthesizer treasures gathered together on the only solo album she would release, artfully unifying the so-called Düsseldorf School (Kraftwerk, etc.), the Berliner School (Tangerine Dream, etc.) and elements of Jean Michel Jarre's music with the sounds of the inceptive 1980s. From the hypnotic to the cosmic, sometimes pulsating, sometimes evincing saccharine melancholy. The cool, almost technical artwork does not really fit the warm, sensitive music, either. Dorothea Raukes was not exactly an unknown quantity when the album appeared. She had been playing keyboards and writing for the Düsseldorf rock band Streetmark for years. The group -- as was typical of the period -- operated on democratic principles, which meant that she was never quite able to follow through on her own musical ideas one hundred percent. A solo album, however, would allow her to do just that. One of the reasons why it turned out to be a purely electronic album was Raukes' sponsorship deal with Korg, giving her access to the full range of the company's gear. Listening to Deutsche Wertarbeit, those familiar with the history of Streetmark will find themselves reminded of Wolfgang Riechmann's solo LP Wunderbar (BB 027CD/LP), which appeared three years earlier and traced a similar musical pattern. Wolfgang Riechmann himself had been a member of Streetmark not all that long ago. Nonetheless, the two projects were entirely separate and had no immediate influence on each other.
Kollektion 02: Roedelius - Electronic Music Compiled by Lloyd Cole
LP version. About this Kollektion: British songwriter Lloyd Cole has long since been a fan of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Cluster. For convincing evidence, one need look no further than his 2001 album Plastic Wood, a purely electronic opus which was an unambiguous homage to his musical idols. In 2013, Cole and Roedelius actually joined forces to release their Selected Studies Vol. 1 album (BB 124CD/LP). Cole has now listened through the Hans-Joachim Roedelius solo archives to present his favorite synthesizer or organ pieces in Bureau B's Kollektion series. About Hans-Joachim Roedelius: Hans-Joachim Roedelius, born in Berlin 1934; released his first album 1969 with Kluster (with Dieter Moebius and Conrad Schnitzler). Active ever since as a solo artist and in various collaborations. One of the most prolific musicians of the German avant-garde and a key figure in the birth of Krautrock, synthesizer pop and ambient music. Roedelius entered the world of music in 1967 when he and Conrad Schnitzler founded the Berlin performance club Zodiak Free Arts Lab, thereby launching the careers of numerous "Berlin School" musicians (Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Schulze, etc). Schnitzler and Roedelius later got together with Dieter Moebius to record two seminal albums under the name of Kluster. Schnitzler quit the trio not long afterwards, the other two continuing to release albums as Cluster at irregular intervals until 2009. Hans-Joachim Roedelius has also been active as a solo artist and has collaborated with countless musical partners including Brian Eno, Holger Czukay, Michael Rother, Stefan Schneider and Tim Story, to list just a brief selection. He played on around 170 record productions either as a soloist or with band projects. Some 1,600 musical works bear his name, plus a similar number of texts (poetry, prose etc.) Lloyd Cole on Roedelius: "It was 1977. First came Bowie's Low, then Eno's Before and After Science, which led me to Cluster and Eno, released earlier that year. What a year to be 16 years old! Cluster and Eno led me to Can and Neu!, et al, but none of this so-called Krautrock had the je ne sais quoi that was the essence of Cluster. Sowiesoso pulsed and spat and gurgled with warmth and humor which gave it a resonance beyond this otherwise dry and clever music, which at its worst might seem to smirk downwards towards the listener. Instead, Sowiesoso wore a wry, welcoming smile. It said: Maybe we can spend some time together, maybe we'll be friends, maybe we won't, listen to this, see what you think ... I'm still listening. Cluster led me to Harmonia and then Roedelius' solo works which led me to believe that the soul I was finding in Cluster which seemed so absent from their peers came primarily from him. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the way I hear it. The melodic sensibility which drew me in is his, for sure. Roedelius' voice is unique, instantly recognizable, and still resonates. Almost 40 years later, here I am curating a Roedelius collection. Which makes me very happy. I hope you enjoy it." --Lloyd Cole, 2014
Russell Haswell strikes bone on this 2-track, 20-minute 12", marking his return to the catalytic Diagonal imprint. Double A renders Russell at his slyest and most honest, presenting spasmodic, un-edited improvisations belying influence from the pivotal epoch of diamond-cut '80s freestyle, industrial and Detroit techno. Depending on your perspective, they're either splintered, techy DJ tools or skeletal nO!se inversions. Either way, they bristle and spark with a compulsive nervous energy and disciplined impulse control that's Haswell to the core: challenging, uncompromising and bloody crucial.
Glitterbeat: Dubs & Versions I
"It can't be much of a surprise that Glitterbeat would eventually assemble a collection of dubs and versions of songs by their artists. Our very first release in the spring of 2013 was a 500-piece limited edition 12" where two tracks from the Malian Afro-rock newcomer Ben Zabo were given an inspired dub treatment by legendary Berlin producer Mark Ernestus. Those two tracks are included here as well as eight other reinterpretations from our growing catalog. Having had the privilege of working with each of the Malian artists remixed for this album we can safely say that this project will not seem as strange to them as one might assume. In contemporary Malian music, reggae plays a fundamental role and nearly every electric-based band we have encountered in Bamako and beyond incorporates at least some reggae elements into their sound. Also the rapid, ubiquitous rise of hip-hop in Mali has brought samples, remixes and programming into the direct orbit of the country's urban musicians. And in the dusty, open lots of Bamako's sprawling neighborhoods, the music that one most frequently encounters being performed is Balani, a sort of Malian variant of dancehall, where laptop electronic beats and declamatory 'toasting' are combined with samples of balafons and other traditional instruments. Balani is by definition a remix-generated music. Bringing together the different mixers with the songs of the original artists was an exciting process. Our choices of who to invite rose intuitively out of our record collections and our personal networks and almost every mixer that we approached thankfully accepted the invitation. Mark Ernestus was asked to fashion our original 12" not only because of our deep love for his work with the abstract dub duo Rhythm & Sound but also because of his albums in collaboration with Jeri Jeri, the Senegalese sabar group. Dubmaster Dennis Bovell's work with Linton Kwesi Johnson, The Pop Group and Orange Juice has been a big part of our personal soundtracks for more than 30 years. We were introduced to the South African Nozinja via his infectious Shangaan Electro productions. Honest Jon's released an excellent remix album (Shangaan Shake) of his tracks and we thought it fitting that he join our remix dialogue. We stumbled upon the British-Ghanaian performance, visual and musical artist Larry Achiampong's self-released LP More Mogya and were excited by its mash-up of palm wine and high life samples with hip-hop beats. We have been fans of Mark Stewart all the way back to his days in the seminal post-punk band The Pop Group, but it was his recent dub album Exorcism of Envy that really caught our collective ear. The intricate Afro-techno of "Harmonius Thelonius" is by definition a sort of West African music remix project, and he seemed a perfect choice to invite. Rounding off the list of mixers is Dirk Dresselhaus aka Schneider TM, whose wide-open musical obsessions have embraced indie-rock, analog electronics, improvisation and field recordings. With the finished master of this album right now echoing from our speakers we are already thinking about Glitterbeat: Dubs & Versions Volume II. Can't wait." --Chris Eckman & Peter Weber, Glitterbeat Records
Joel Hood transports you straight out of a cold working town and drops you into a hazy world of intercontinental sonic voyaging, taking in fragments of family holidays and adult travel adventures cut and pasted into instrumentals that evoke DJ Shadow, Twin Peaks and The Avalanches, with Hood's voice weaving between it all. Already profiled by The Guardian and Music Week, plus picking up support from Rob Da Bank and BBC6 Music, his debut EP for International Feel features four tracks of psychedelic fusion carrying hints of '80s nostalgia amidst hedonistic futurism.
I'm Just Like You: Sly's Stone Flower 1969-70
"In 1970, The Family Stone were at the peak of their popularity, but the maestro Sly Stone had already moved his head to a completely different space. The first evidence of Sly's musical about-turn was revealed by the small catalog of his new label, Stone Flower: a pioneering, peculiar, minimal electro-funk sound that unfolded over just four seven-inch singles. Stone Flower's releases were credited to their individual artists, but each had Sly's design and musicianship stamped into the grooves--and the words 'Written by Sylvester Stewart/Produced and arranged by Sly Stone' on the sticker. Set up by Stone's manager David Kapralik with distribution by Atlantic Records, Stone Flower was, predictably, a family affair: the first release was by Little Sister, fronted by Stone's little sister Vaetta Stewart. It was short lived too--the imprint folded in 1971--but its influence was longer lasting. The sound Stone formulated while working on Stone Flower's output would shape the next phase in his own career as a recording artist: it was here he began experimenting with the brand new Maestro Rhythm King drum machine. In conjunction with languid, effected organ and guitar sounds and a distinctly lo-fi soundscape, Sly's productions for Stone Flower would inform the basis of his masterwork There's A Riot Goin' On. This long overdue compilation of Sly's Stone Flower era gathers each side of the five 45s plus ten previously unissued cuts from the label archives, all newly remastered from the original tapes. In these grooves you'll find the missing link between the rocky, soulful Sly Stone of Stand! and the dark, drum machine-punctuated, overdubbed sound of There's A Riot Going On. I'm Just Like You: Sly's Stone Flower 1969-70 opens up the mysteries of an obscure but monumental phase in Stone's career."
Latest in the "Perpetual Masters" series of classic M-Plant releases, remastered.
The impact of these eleven sound poems, or poetry tracks, derives less from intentional meaning and symbolism than from fortuitous coincidences, cut-ups, and flashes of inspiration in the course of handling the audio material. Rather than a composed narrative, the tracks reflect the inner reality of the authors Burnt Friedman and Daniel Dodd-Ellis. Moods and impressions from B. Friedman's Sub-Saharan concert tour in 2013 as well as fragments of memories of an imaginary future fuse together in the music and text of all eleven tracks. These responses to real-life "kpafuca" ("things falling apart") -- conditions in African metropolises -- collapse into grooves and phrases reminiscent of Chris Marker's sci-fi apocalypticism (La Jette, Sans Soleil). This polyphony of non-places also includes the spirit of sound explorers such as the musical-ethnological practitioners Hartmut Geerken and Roman Bunka (Embryo), whose visions and musical activities refuse to succumb to reductionist and essentialist staging. In Cease to Matter, Friedman intuitively pits the liberating power of noise, of über-mensch-maschinen music, against those cultural landscapes repeatedly automatically inscribed into music. Odd beats and random technical defects -- that is to say, disobedience -- are pitted against the normative interpretational supremacy of musical world maps. The voice of Daniel Dodd-Ellis, a Berlin-based performer and vocalist from Texas, was first heard on Burnt Friedman's 2007 album First Night Forever. The lyrics stem from both artists and were cut-up and re-assembled several times over by Friedman during production in 2013 and 2014. The line "Skies are blue inside of you" comes from Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World, which appeared in 1932. Tracks 04 and 09 ("Cease to Matter") contain a piano sample edit based on a composition by Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1872-1949).
Once again mining a rich source of archival material, tape works and improvised recordings, Andy Votel's Neotantrik tap deep into the subconscious with a highly-visual trip into the furthest reaches of psychedelic ambience. Following on from Blue Amiga (VHSX 010LP) that came and went in a flash, Omnichrom is a more brooding, studied affair. Unfurling from a delicate modular opening sequence, the A-side flows into a hallucinogenic fever-dream fleshed out with barely-there analog malfunctions and strings that suddenly throw you into a cacophony of noise in a proper creeped-out, tense fashion. The flipside carries on from this point -- pushing you deeper into a Badalamenti-esque soundworld replete with unnerving found sounds and mechanical percussion swung in and out of one of the trippiest Kosmische sessions we've heard in a while. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering in an edition of 500 copies.
Dedicated to promoting young and evolving artists and to present musical diamonds-in-the-rough, Raster-Noton is curating the "Unun" series, whose name derives from the atomic numbers of the chemical elements 111-119. Vortices is Ueno Masaaki's first release on Raster-Noton, and the seventh release of this series. Ueno Masaaki takes his musical cue from natural phenomenon and the laws of nature by trying to reconstruct them, not simulate them. The results are mainly rhythmical patterns that set off a chain reaction, expanding and contracting and creating new formations all the time.
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Forma's combustible mixture of lush synth explorations and frenetic rhythm has captivated the margins of the international synth scene since their acclaimed 2011 debut on John Elliott's Spectrum Spools label. Following 2012's OFF/ON, the trio set a direct course toward the shadowy perimeter of the dancefloor, with John Also Bennett replacing original member Sophie Lam. They recently revealed that they had been working on music that didn't really fit into an album format, but would work as a 12" aimed more at dancefloor audiences -- and that's what you have here: two epic 15-minute tracks of blissed-out kosmische techno.
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