Subliminal Sounds presents a vinyl reissue of Älgarnas Trädgård's 1972 debut album Framtiden är ett svävande skepp, förankrat i forntiden, a rare and totally flipped-out psychedelic underground space rock masterpiece from Sweden. The band name translates to "The Garden of the Elks" and the album title to "The Future Is a Hovering Ship, Anchored in the Past." A long, long time ago, long before our time, there was high-standing civilization on earth. It was then that the elks lived. In their garden was a huge generator of pink glass that radiated the four elements. It was a sort of primal force for everything that one might call God. These elks eventually learned to master the matter and then went into the astral transcendental plane. Since then nobody has seen them... This reissue is a facsimile deluxe re-release from the master tapes. Includes additional LP with previously unreleased recordings from the same time period. Features never before seen photos and liner notes by the band.
Reinterpretations and re-workings of classic Chris & Cosey songs from the 1980s and 1990s. The idea for the album originated from the pair's much-requested live performances of Carter Tutti Plays Chris & Cosey, taking place in an unprecedented series of shows in the U.K., Europe, Scandinavia, and North America from 2011 through 2014. These dates in turn instigated so many requests for recordings of the live set that they were inspired to re-record this collection of reworked classic versions in their own Norfolk studio. CD edition includes an exclusive remix of "Vengeance." Double LP edition includes all five tracks from the limited CD Remix Chris & Cosey (CTI RSDUK01, 2014).
DJ Clent, Chicago's low-end legend, after a few seminal releases on Dance Mania and the 2014 Hyper Feet EP on Planet Mu, returns with his first full-length album, Last Bus to Lake Park, on Duck n' Cover Records, the world's one and only 100% footwork vinyl label. The stakes are high and so is the sound: epic, acidy, deep, driving, ferocious, soulful. It's a classic Chicago record all the way, deeply rooted in the windy city's thriving legacy, showing why it was there where house music was born, and proving that in 2015 it still is the hottest place for challenging and forward-thinking electronic dance music. Sixty-five minutes of pure footwork mayhem, playing in the same league as DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn, Traxman, and RP Boo, and a great listening album as well. DJ Clent is an original, and nobody can imitate his influential style, though hundreds of young producers have tried -- he's still the deepest. Features guest appearances from DJ Milton, RP Boo, DJ Puncho, and Majik Myke.
"John Wiese's long awaited Deviate From Balance is the artist's first album since 2011's Seven Of Wands (PAN). Recorded throughout Europe/UK, Australia, and the US, the album includes scored ensemble pieces including over 20 musicians on each, recorded in Melbourne and Portland, as well as audio documentation of installation pieces Wind Changed Direction, a four-channel sound piece presented in the garden of the Getty Center (curated by Liars), and Battery Instruments, an eight-channel piece presented at HSP in New Zealand, now heard for the first time. Also included are various collaborations and recordings from live performances. At over 80 minutes, Deviate From Balance has been packaged as a 2×LP with tip-on gatefold jackets. Musicians appearing include Joseph Hammer, Ikue Mori, Evan Parker, C Spencer Yeh, Joe Preston, Smegma and countless more. The material is extremely diverse and services as a comprehensive and detailed document of this prolific individuals work over the past several years."
1970 was a turning point for Miles Davis, and it proved to be the most consistently intriguing year of his decades-long career. Davis had previously performed exclusively in jazz clubs and festivals, and Dave Holland, when he arrived from England in 1968, noted that he was "shocked at how few people were coming to Miles's concerts." But by the beginning of 1970, in conjunction with the April release of Bitches Brew, Davis began appearing at rock venues, sharing the bill with established rockers like Steve Miller, Grateful Dead, and Neil Young and often playing to audiences of thousands. His appearance at Bill Graham's Fillmore West on October 15, 1970, highlights the transitional phase in Davis's career, with his septet following a relatively consistent set list in order to provide a cross-section of his repertoire to a young and relatively unfamiliar audience. In hindsight, this was an important move, and an acknowledgement of the reality that this was the demographic Davis would need to capture if he were to remain both fresh and relevant. This performance was rapturously applauded by a fresh audience, fully endorsing Davis's profound ability. Hi Hat presents the complete KPFA-FM radio broadcast of this performance, a tribute to the iconic jazz musician that portrays the depth and diversity at work at such a vitally important point in his career. Played by Miles Davis: trumpet; Gary Bartz: soprano and alto saxophones; Keith Jarrett: electric piano and organ; Michael Henderson: bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums; Airto Moreira: percussion; and Juma Santos: percussion. Includes analytical liner notes and photos. Digitally remastered.
Snow Ghosts return with A Wrecking, the follow-up to their 2013 debut A Small Murmuration (HTH 006CD/LP). Influenced by the shadowy elements of British folklore and the heavier side of experimental noise, Snow Ghosts' bewitching and intoxicating sound combines a disparate array of references. Ross Tones (aka Throwing Snow) and Hannah Cartwright (aka Augustus Ghost) are now joined by multi-instrumentalist Oliver Knowles (EXES) to pool their individual inspirations, ideas, and styles. Focused more on melody and instrumentation than rhythm, A Wrecking ebbs and flows to mirror its vocal meanings; the guitars reflect the sea with panning and reverb effects while a haunting electric violin slips in and out of the record's consciousness. Mastered by Matt Colton, Music Producers' Guild 2013 Mastering Engineer of the Year, at Alchemy Mastering. Presented in bespoke PVC sleeve with spot varnish pattern.
E.T. Mensah was the first King of Highlife, and although he died in 1996, he's still -- and forever will be -- the King of Highlife, the mainly Ghanaian dance music that he made popular around Africa and beyond in the 1950s and '60s. E.T. (as everyone called him) played a variety of instruments but especially saxophones and the trumpet, composed hundreds of songs and dance tunes, and led the best band on the West African Gold Coast, The Tempos. Modeled on the great American swing bands of the 1930s and '40s, The Tempos blended re-Africanized jazz, Latin music, and calypso with various local dance styles. With their records and tours over the two decades following their recording debut for Decca in 1952, they spread the highlife dance-band sound throughout West Africa (particularly Nigeria, where the young saxophonist Fela Kuti was deeply influenced by E.T. Mensah) and on to the Congo, East Africa, and Southern Africa, everywhere inspiring new dance-band styles. RetroAfric's 4-CD compilation includes all of The Tempos' hits as well as recordings that haven't been available since the days of shellac 78s, all 69 tracks remastered from the best available sources. It is the most comprehensive collection of E.T. Mensah recordings ever released. The 64-page booklet is filled with historical photographs and a biography by John Collins, the Ghana-based record producer and highlife scholar, and the package features specially-commissioned art by Kofi Ankroba.
David Borden, born Christmas Day, 1938, in Boston, Massachusetts, is an American minimalist composer and electronic music pioneer. He was one of the first people to beta test Bob Moog's modular synthesizer systems. His Earthquack Records imprint inspired Mimi Johnson to found the legendary Lovely Music, Ltd. with Robert Ashley. He formed the first all-synthesizer ensemble, Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company, in 1969. If there were ever a missing link in American minimalism, Borden is it. Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments is his masterpiece, released in 1981 to little fanfare on the now-defunct Dutch label Red Records. As its reputation has grown, most listeners have had to settle for compressed YouTube clips and poor vinyl-to-digital transfers, with original copies increasingly rare and expensive. Now, 34 years after its original release, Spectrum Spools presents the first reissue of Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments, after recovering in Borden's private archives the only known safety master. Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments contains four pieces, each utilizing three players and six keyboard instruments. "Etsy Point, Summer 1978" begins with a mournful, ominous mood and slowly blossoms into an immense, humid labyrinth of colorful, buzzing textures and howling melodies. "The Continuing Story of Counterpoint" is a 12-part cycle for synthesizers, acoustic instruments, and voice, upon which Borden labored for over 11 years. Parts nine and six, included here, are miraculous achievements in prodigious playing technique, remarkable mosaic-like structure, and aural magnitude, operating in the relative terrain of Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians and Terry Riley's Dervishes pieces. The "Counterpoint" pieces here are rigidly arranged with breakneck key changes and intricate time signature maneuvering. The resulting audio conjures kaleidoscopic patterns of beautiful melodies and compositional anatomy unparalleled in much of American minimalism. "Enfield in Winter" displays some of Borden's more ambient leanings, with slow, morphing drones and gentle pad sounds that erupt into shimmering patterns backed by a grandiose chord progression. Music for Amplified Keyboards represents a veritable zenith in Borden's corpus; a radiant achievement in sonic elegance, experimentation, and ambitious composition technique, and a work of the highest archival significance. Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments was remastered with love and transparency by Giuseppe Tillieci at EnissLab, Rome. These newly remastered works are superior to the original vinyl master, giving the world a chance to hear this remarkable work in the highest possible fidelity across multiple formats. Includes extensive liner notes and photos by Borden.
Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band are a contemporary group from Burkina Faso. Coming from Bobo-Dioulasso, the group is steeped in the Mandingue musical traditions of their ancestral legacy. The enigmatic lead singer Baba Commandant (Mamadou Sanou) is an original and eccentric character who is well respected in the Burkinabé musical community. A sort of punk Faso Dan Fani activist for traditional Mandingo music, Baba continues to redefine the boundaries between traditional and modern. In 1981, he joined the Koule Dafourou troupe as a dancer. Later, he embarked on his current musical direction as a singer, first in Dounia and then in the Afromandingo Band. His current band -- when he's not playing with the now-famous Burkinabé musician Victor Démé -- is the Mandingo Band. At present, he is a practitioner of the Afrobeat style, drawing inspiration from the golden era of Nigerian music. Fela Kuti/Africa 70 and King Sunny Adé are big influences, as is the legendary Malian growler Moussa Doumbia. Baba Commandant plays the ngoni, the instrument of the Donso (the traditional hunters in this region of Burkina Faso and Mali). His audience comprises multiple generations and strata of Burkinabé society; he accordingly adapts his repertoire to his surroundings, which range from cabaret Sundays in Bobo-Dioulasso to the sound systems of Ouagadougou. Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band are a formidable force steeped in Ouagadougou's DIY underground musical culture. Juguya is their sound.
2014 repress. After the re-release of Drexciya's Neptune's Lair (TRESOR 10129CD/LP) and Transllusion's The Opening of the Cerebral Gate (TRESOR 270CD/LP), Harnessed the Storm is the third album in Tresor Records' great Drexciya reissue program. Originally released in 2002, Harnessed the Storm was conceived as the opening chapter of the legendary Seven Storms -- a series of seven albums created within a single year and released via several labels under different names. Harnessed the Storm was the sole one in the series credited under the main Drexciya project. The album, which is considered to be one of the pair's darkest, was produced in a time of creative outbreak and emotional turbulence. The duo's confidence was at a peak, new techniques revolutionized musical production, but the duo also had to face Stinson's severe health issues. This led to a radical shift of pace in producing and releasing music. For the Detroit pair it was time to move on from their ground-breaking past. It was time for some shape-shifting and wave-jumping to occur, in Drexciya's terms.
One of two different sets, along with Two City Blues 2 (TROST 128CD), recorded on one intense night at Tokyo's Shinjuku Pit Inn. A trio of three towering figures, German free jazz legend Peter Brötzmann, Japanese avant-garde wizard Keiji Haino, and wildly versatile American composer and musician Jim O'Rourke, recorded by Yasuo Fujimura on November 23, 2010. Brötzmann: alto and tenor saxophones, tarogato, and clarinet; Haino: guitar, voice, shamisen; O'Rourke: guitar.
Awake is a collaboration between noise veteran Mike Shiflet and guitarist John Kolodij (aka High Aura'd), and was recorded over the course of three autumn days in Kolodij's Rhode Island studio. This isn't your expected by-email collaboration though; rather, the two sat together in the same room with amps humming and strings vibrating, letting the space and the physicality dictate the music. The sessions were improvisational in nature, and as the recordings were cleaned up and edited, only sparse field recordings were added to enhance the live takes. It's a record that might sound electronic in parts -- indeed, echoes of Tim Hecker or Yellow Swans are present throughout -- but has the guitar at its core. Awake is a direct descendent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor or even Glenn Branca, but has been smudged, distorted, and delayed beyond recognition. What's left are traces -- the ghosts and outlines of songs, trapped in a fog of white noise and overdrive -- and the end result is disarmingly serene. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Edition of 500 copies.
Following the phenomenal success of Italo House (ZEDD 031CD/LP/X-LP) and Remixed With Love (ZEDD 030CD/LP/X-LP), Z Records returns with another humdinger of a compilation to start off 2015. Supafunkanova Vol. 2 was compiled by Joey Negro and Sean P, who together have curated many previous albums including Disco (Not Disco), Destination: Boogie (ZEDD 009CD/LP), and the ever popular Soul of Disco series (ZEDD 007CD/010CD/022CD). The dynamic duo continues to dig deep, compiling high quality albums filled with lesser known disco and boogie. As the title suggests, Supafunkanova focuses on the funkier end of the '70s and '80s, showcasing some of the bumpier grooves recorded in the disco era when even James Brown had to take notice of the Saturday Night Fever (1977)-inspired disco explosion. It will come as no surprise to hear some particularly hard to find gems have been unearthed here, and ones that aren't just rare but genuinely merit being reissued. The first installment was released back in 2007, and the duo has been working Vol. 2 for some time. It takes a while to finish these albums -- tracking down the owners of these musical gems, finding the right image for the sleeve -- but it's finally come together, and its release coincides with the repackaged reissue of Supafunkanova Vol. 1. Once again Z Records gives outstanding value with 20 tracks spread across a double CD. Highlights include Airplay's boogie synth-infused "Drive Me Insane" and the "White Horse"-ish "Cool Out" by Magnum Force. Things get more DC go-go style on Stimulus's "Super Stimulus," ex Skull Snaps member Sam Culley delivers the up-tempo jazz funk track "Walk," and the soulful, Teena Marie-ish "Sound Reason" by Splash gets an exclusive Joey Negro edit. Also includes tracks by The Blue Denim Band, The Sunburst Band, Star Quality & Class, Brenda Harris, and Nice and Tight Band, J.S. Theracon, Silver Flash Funk, L.S. Movement Band, Larry Harris, Nick Allen, Bright Moments, Blackrock, Storm, Contact, and Wizzard.
Fixing glassy chimes to stern bassdrum with "Back In," and banking noxious drones over the pneumatic mechanisms of "When Mine," Dual Action rolls off-the-bone with the Pan Sonic-like "Kill the Ignition," and mows back to the 'floor with the thrumming, diesel-fuelled momentum of "Inroads," leaving the throttling distortion of "Easy Way to Get What You Want" for those who can't get enough. Like most everything on Bed of Nails, these tracks function as warehouse tools while edging toward a more layered and destroyed vision of techno. Highly recommended for followers of Preserved Instincts, Powell, Vatican Shadow, or Prostitutes.
Bureau B presents the third release in its Kollektion series, a volume highlighting the music of Populäre Mechanik, the 1980s post-punk/jazz project of Ton Steine Scherben founder Wolfgang Seidel. Seidel describes the development of Populäre Mechanik after his departure from Ton Steine Scherben: "The music of Ton Steine Scherben soon lost its fascination for me, so before long I quit the band. I was far more intrigued by the music performance club Zodiak Free Arts Lab run by Beuys student Conrad Schnitzler. The Zodiak had one white room and an empty black room, the latter used for concerts. And what concerts they were! A poster announced: 'Totally free music. Everyone plays. Anyone plays. Everyone can do it.'... I teamed up with Schnitzler, but there was no room for a drum kit in his little studio. Instead, I started playing around with synthesizers and transposed the rhythms I had played on drums, prompting Schnitzler to nickname me 'Sequenza.' As the years passed by, however, I started to miss the drums, so in the late 1970s I replied to a small ad and found a few musicians roughly the same age as me. Our stories were similar, having begun with rock music in the 1960s. We were not the kind of folk who wallowed in nostalgia, having grown disenchanted with the direction rock had taken. Rock was clearly developing into a soundtrack for squares. Punk was far more attractive to us. It reminded us of the 1960s, rather to the annoyance of the punks. Still, we maintained a certain distance. We shared punk's dislike of the way rock and roll had developed, but beer-fuelled nihilism was not our style. Devo and XTC were the kind of bands we really got excited about. And there were also jazz musicians who wanted away from the entertainment circuit for sophisticates. These two ingredients blended into the music of Populäre Mechanik... The band's strategy for resisting assimilation into any scene was the creation of a cassette label -- allowing us to release our music quickly and cheaply. With a 4-track tape recorder and a healthy appetite for experimentation, we jammed endlessly ages before selecting the most interesting recordings." This collection, curated by Palais Schaumburg founder Holger Hiller, includes tracks from two Populäre Mechanik cassettes from the early 1980s, never before available on CD or vinyl. The accompanying booklet includes Hiller's interview with Seidel, in which they discuss the function of rock and pop music over the past 45 years.
LP version. Tokyo-based all-female instrumental trio Nisennenmondai
formed in the late '90s and took their name from the Japanese translation of the then-current phrase "Y2K bug." Nisennenmondai - Live At Clouds Hill
features live versions of songs from the band's acclaimed 2014 album N
(PTYT 083CD) recorded by Johann Scheerer
(producer for Gallon Drunk
, Bosnian Rainbows
). This recording is part of Scheerer's Live At Clouds Hill
series, and follows his practice of inviting the band to perform in front of a small audience in his Hamburg studio, Clouds Hill Recordings, for a maximum of 64 minutes -- exactly the length of two analog tapes. Scheerer recorded and mixed the performance live, and straightaway sent off for mastering and vinyl manufacturing. This process forces Scheerer, the performers, and the audience to focus on the unique present moment, as the final outcome is irreversible. Purchase of the album grants access to exclusive video footage of the recording session through play.clouds-hill.com
Double LP version. French producer and live performer Terence Fixmer continues to evolve as an artist while maintaining his influential stance in international techno culture. Following his 2010 album Comedy of Menace (EDLX 010CD), his continuous evolution has led him to produce his most introspective album yet. With this ten-piece composition, Fixmer is able to tell a story from start to finish, with powerful, deep, dark, pulsating tones that are essential to his musical approach. Depth Charged is a complete concept, as Fixmer's track arrangement takes the audience through various emotions illustrating how there is more to darkness than the dancefloor. Beginning with a slow but heavy bassline, "Ellipse" acts as a perfect introduction, setting the attitude for the album. "Fleeting Beauty" brings us fluttering chords amidst a serpentine drone, while the rolling bass of "Unforeseen" sends the listener into a trancelike state. "Purity" distracts the listener with its raw analog warmth filled with extraterrestrial energy. "Inside of Me," selected by Marcel Dettmann for his 2014 Fabric 77 mix (FABRIC 153CD), and "Outside of Me" are both very dark tracks, filled with atmospheric suspense and quaking rhythms. "Beyond" is a pure exemplar of Fixmer's signature style with an infectious progression sending anyone to the dancefloor as "Pallid Light" follows its footsteps filling a bit more radiance into a modern techno sound. "Thoughts" shows another emotion of the album with deeper, dub-like sonorities leading to the final track. Concluding the odyssey is "Elevation," the most melodic track on the album. Beautifully deep, undulating, and atmospheric, it is a breath of fresh air that brings the listener back to reality. Raf Simons chose this track to accompany the showcase of his works for Dior at the 2014 CFDA Awards. With its profound, mystifying tones that rise and fall, Depth Charged is the epitome of Fixmer's unique expression.
DJ Sprinkles serves killer alternate mixes of the massive Fresh Insights (C 023EP) session with Mark Fell. The future classic B-side "Fresh" receives a slinkier rub-down by the Tokyo-based artist, propping that rousing speech by Socialist firebrand Tony Benn on a subtly reshuffled groove -- surely one of the biggest deep house curveballs since, oh, at least their 2012 Complete Spiral EP starring Arthur Scargill. Flipside "Insights" also receives the alternate DJ Sprinkles mix treatment, forgoing the original's sharper hi-hats in favor of supple congas and louche bass linked with a web of gossamer keys and beckoning diva coos.
Always Offended Never Ashamed
Always Offended Never Ashamed by Kerridge marks the beginning of Samuel and Hayley Kerridge's record label Contort. Much like their renowned Berlin event series of the same name, the label will provide a platform for new and old talent, supporting artists' autonomy and individuality. Samuel Kerridge has already established himself with critically acclaimed releases on Downwards, Blueprint, and Horizontal Ground. Always Offended Never Ashamed is his most personal recording to date, spanning seven tracks, with the spotlight on his own vocals. Thrashes of guitar sit alongside steely percussion, and show restraint and elegance in the process. Electric pulses wreak havoc on the senses, with earth-shuddering bass and kicks providing the raw physicality that has become synonymous with his work. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Artwork by John Osborn. Edition of 500 copies.
Norwegian disco king Prins Thomas presents Rainbow Disco. The track lives up to its name, and is backed by a remix from Japanese disco kings Force of Nature.
LP version on 180 gram vinyl with download code. The first volume in Glitterbeat's Hidden Musics, a series of unmediated field recordings of lesser-known global music traditions. War Is a Wound, Peace Is a Scar is a haunting audio document recorded in the summer of 2014 by Grammy-award winning producer Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Malawi Mouse Boys, The Good Ones). The sepia-tinged songs are sung and played live and direct by elderly Vietnamese musicians using half-forgotten traditional instruments. These musicians all have deep, personal connections to the upheavals of the Vietnam War; the recordings' mesmerizing mood navigates the blurred line between raw beauty and sadness. An album of cautious healing and an unforgettable meditation on conflict, resistance, collective memory, and the longing for what has been lost. Brennan recalls the recording process for this remarkable document in the album's liner notes, excerpted here: "We had gone to Hanoi to record veterans from their side. Some were music masters, one of whom had joined the army at age thirteen and whose job it was to sing to the troops to boost morale and provide solace. Another was a former AK-47 issued village leader who had not sung in over forty years, and proved to be the most dead-on vocally. She did not hide or adorn, but quietly revealed muted emotions that a microphone often can detect more easily than face-to-face interaction. Then, immediately afterwards, she withdrew back into a stoic shell... With a whammy-bar technology that dates back to the ninth century, it is fair to say that Vietnamese traditions had a bit of a head start over the headbangers of the 1980s. A startling revelation was a plucked instrument (the k'ni) that is clasped between the teeth as the local dialect... is spoken through the
single string. What sounds like an extraterrestrial instrumental to the uninitiated actually contains coded, poetic lyrics... Let it suffice to say that these artists are a far cry from the lip-synching karaoke show that we saw on the local cable, with groups of teenagers cavorting on a soundstage and mouthing the words to K-pop songs -- air-karaoke, if you will -- that managed to render something pre-fab even less real. These elders carry a haunting, but muted sadness that seems only fully revealed through the music that they valiantly keep alive in the face of industrialization, waning regard and interest, and the rapid homogenization and 'progress' overtaking their homeland."
LP version. If you're continuously searching the margins for lost artifacts of the pop pantheon, you can find your daily dose in late period exponents of pure, lean, Beatlesque power pop band Promise. Originally issued in 1980 on the Boulder, Colorado, area band's own Cumulus label, their eponymous debut is filled with melodic, beatific blasts of pure pop, replete with ringing, jangly guitars and rollicking crunch. Co-led by singer-songwriters and guitarists Curt Mangan and Danny Mey -- with aid provided by the just-right rhythms of bassist Randy Jones and drummer Gary York -- the group created an album with precious little allying it to the punk-inspired power pop or prescient new wave of the time, instead choosing to hone in on a classicist pop sound highly indebted to those famous moptops from Liverpool. Abetted by the fact that some of the group's members had been playing together since their teenage combos of the mid '60s, the album carries an out-of-time flair across surging rockers and mournful balladry. Got Kinda Lost Records is ecstatic to give this benchmark of privately pressed power pop another chance to shine with this first ever reissue. Includes exhaustive liner notes by Jeremy Cargill (Ugly Things Magazine) culled from interviews with Mangan and Mey. RIYL: Badfinger, Big Star, early Cheap Trick, Emitt Rhodes, The Raspberries, Liverpool Echo, The Scruffs, Shoes, Dwight Twilley Band, etc.
Kompakt's Pop Ambient series has always been a labor of love: meticulously curated by Wolfgang Voigt, these releases never showed much interest in any particular style of the day; they followed their own path and established a unique aesthetic. Now, with a dizzying array of musicians trying their hands at beatless electronics, Kompakt introduces the Pop Ambient album series, featuring full-length offerings from top-tier tinkerers in the field. Serving as the glorious first installment is El Reino Invisible, a diverse collection of beautifully rendered synth-scapes from none other than Buenos Aires-bred Pop Ambient staple Leandro Fresco. Famously chosen as one of the best Kompakt releases ever by Michael Mayer, Fresco's 2002 Amor International 12" (KOM 069EP) struck a perfect balance between deeply felt melancholy and light-hearted coziness -- aspects that can be traced back to his '90s outings on Cologne's iconic Traum Schallplatten and the legendary Argentinian imprint Fragil Discos. Fresco has since become a true master of the fine art of sculpting free-flowing sound, a task nearly as impossible as stacking water. With El Reino Invisible, he delivers an enticing and sophisticated narrative of gorgeous synth explorations. It certainly knows its way around pop-infused catchiness, but it also operates as a collection of profoundly personal mnemonics. "This record is a journey inside my feelings... it's emotional ambient music made at an emotional time in my life," says Fresco. However, this commitment to sonic intimacy doesn't necessarily equal a tragic or pained sentiment: "I do not associate this album with feelings of sadness, but with hope, light and the summer heat, full of cyan and orange colors." Proving his point are the soothing, blissful opener "La Edad de Oro," the spacious plucked guitar of "La Herida del Soldado," the splendidly oblivious "Sol de Medianoche," and the title track, a subtle ambient anthem serving as an appropriately wide-eyed coda. Describing the project as a whole, Fresco posits that "the invisible kingdom can be the soul of any person -- music that is true to its origins, as melancholic as the tango in Buenos Aires." Recording in the Argentinian capital and San Martín de los Andes, a small, rural town in Argentinian Patagonia where his parents live, Fresco produced an expertly crafted collection of experimental electronics that are as catchy as they are meditative. Simply put, this is pop ambient at its very best. LP edition pressed on 180-gram vinyl; includes CD.
"Oren Ambarchi presents Live Knots, two live realizations of 'Knots,' the epic centerpiece of his 2012 album Audience of One (TO 083CD/LP). Built on the interplay between Ambarchi's swirling guitar harmonics and the metronomic pulse and shifting accents of Joe Talia's DeJohnette-esque drumming, the piece merges the organic push and pull of free improvisation with an overarching compositional framework. 'Tokyo Knots' is the complete recording of a duo performance of the piece by Ambarchi and Talia recorded at Tokyo's legendary SuperDeluxe in March 2013. The performance builds gently on the foundation of Talia's insistent ride cymbal and the shifting tonal bed of Ambarchi's rich, overtone-drenched guitar, eventually going into a free rock free fall of buzz saw harmonics and crashing drums. From within the maelstrom, Talia picks up a pulsing motorik rhythm that leads the piece back to where it began, with the addition of the shuddering, elastic tones of a hand-played spring reverb unit. 'Krakow Knots' works with the same basic structure but stretches it out to nearly twice the length and adds strings played by the Sinfonietta Cracovia, led by Eyvind Kang on viola. The strings expand the piece's textural range with lush chordal blocks, uneasy dissonances, and occasional Ligeti-esque swarms of micro-activity, the swelling string tones intensifying the ecstatic nature of the piece as it moves toward its mid-point crescendo in which Ambarchi unleashes a particularly malicious continuum of stuttering harmonic fuzz. The strings then enter with a series of swelling chords, announcing the piece's final movement, and reaffirming the uniqueness of the tonal and compositional language that Ambarchi has patiently developed over the last two decades, in which the influence of post-minimal composers such as Alvin Curran, Gavin Bryars, and David Behrman can be felt alongside the inspiration of raw free jazz, harsh noise, and academic psychoacoustics. The final moments of the performance pit Talia and Crys Cole's amplified objects and spring reverb textures against a field of gently gliding string glissandi before the audience erupts in much-deserved applause" --Francis Plagne.
2015 repress, originally released in 2002. Double vinyl version. Perlon's second artist album, brought to you by Pantytec, the duo of label co-founder Zip and Sammy Dee. Pony Slaystation introduces their unique, dancefloor-shaking definition of cartoon house. Pantytec 's incredible guitar talent is on display in "Valentine," which appears here as both its original version and Pokémonopa's remix. "Elastobabe (Crackhouse Dub)" features vocals from Florian Schirmacher, who also appears on "Supratahiti" in a duet with Zip. The voice of NYC diamond girl Christine Huber, with her definition of the color "Pink," marks the end of the vinyl.