With Excavation, London-based electronic producer Bobby Krlic, aka the Haxan Cloak, offers a multifaceted roadmap of the afterlife. The record, his first for Tri Angle, is about the journey taken after death, and it's bold and domineering, the kind of music that towers over you and casts a giant, intimidating shadow.
Quentin Dupieux a.k.a. Mr. Oizo has a knack for breaking molds. The producer’s constant innovation over the last 20 years has cemented him as a closely-guarded secret – one that has started to leak into mainstream electronic consciousness.
All Wet is but another morceau of psychedelic chirping in Mr. Oizo’s arsenal. Starting strong with “OK Then” and “Sea Horses,” Dupieux opens his oeuvre with a sleazy seminar on the archetypal funk-laden French house sound. “Freezing Out,” featuring Canadian sex-siren Peaches, is a jarring departure from convention, a footwork-accented dubstep ode to vaginas. From then onward, Dupieux takes listeners on a veritable rollercoaster of sonic exploration. Standout dancefloor-ready tracks like “Ruhe,” “All Wet” and “Low Ink” clash with the bare noise of “Chairs” and “Useless” in a beautiful chaos best consumed as an album, not a shuffled mess of singles.
Where Mr. Oizo’s sound was once too-future, votes of confidence from creative luminaries like Boys Noize, Charli XCX, and even Skrillex, are a resonating “fuck you” to the pandering, safe trend that electronic music has been invaded by as of late. Ultimately, Dupieux’s latest work is an unapologetic tapestry of intriguing tidbits. While few of its tracks fit the conventional definition of music, the impression is that Mr. Oizo never intended for them to be. All Wet, then, is a challenging, but rewarding listen for the open-minded.
Traditional Synthesizer Music is a collection of songs created and performed live exclusively on the modular synthesizer by Aaron Funk. Each sound contained within was created purely with the modular synthesizer. No overdubbing or editing techniques were utilized in the recordings on Traditional Synthesizer Music.
Each song was approached from the ground up and dismantled upon the completion of it's recording. The goal was to develop songs with interchangeable structures and sub structures, yet musically pleasing motifs. Many techniques were incorporated to "humanize" or vary the rhythmic results within these sub structures.
An exercise in constructing surprises, patches interrupting each other to create unforeseen progressions. Multiple takes were recorded for each song resulting in vastly different versions of each piece.
Aaron Funk surprises yet again, drawing on new ideas and on moods that have only been touched upon in his previous work. The album seems to have a flowing sense of narrative, something akin to an opera, and unusually Aaron sings songs on it, which reinforces the sense of an emotional journey.
Right from the start it's clear we're in new territory, with the distressed and violent '10th Circle Of Winnipeg', featuring a world weary jazz singer intoning deep emotional loss between crashing breaks and a corkscrewing bassline, giving us a sense of bewilderment and hurt, whereas 'Deleted Poems', all mournful strings and flamenco guitar, evokes empty desolation. '1000 Years' is the first time we hear Aaron's romantic singing with its orchestral accompaniment, coming across with a slightly medieval quality, cut up dramatically with angry fitful drum programming.
On 'Your Smiling Face' Aaron's voice is both lamenting and slightly manic over an empty downbeat drums and piano, switching quickly in mood to the cartoony rush of 'Amazon'.Title track 'My Love Is A Bulldozer' is as close as Snares gets to a pop song, with its gothic, self-deprecating vocals and dark synth melodies, but this is quickly splintered apart by rushing drumwork and metal stabs leaving you breathless. 'She Runs' sees things get warmer and more romantic, with epic chords and building, fidgety drums, rushing closer and closer in anticipation towards the end as if they're speeding towards a destination.
'Too Far Across', drops back to sparse, lonely lyrics, the vocals yearning to see a distant lover, over sad plucked guitar. 'Dear Poet' is an epic track that starts by working up strings and brass into shivering shapes cut with violent stabs, before amens drop in and the orchestral work becomes a dramatic accompaniment, the melodies darting across the deftly programmed drums.
'Your Blanket' finishes off the album, cold, beatless and balletic, gently building some light into the string arrangements, before the track finally forms together with bombastic brass, suggesting a potentially positive end.
Manbait is a survey of Regis' 2010-15 productions and remixes for Blackest Ever Black. Features three previously unreleased tracks: a brand new Regis take on a lost song by his teenage synth-punk group Family Sex, an alternate mix of Tropic of Cancer's 'Plant Lilies At My Head', and a new edit of his own 'Blinding Horses'.
The 2LP edition features 8 tracks, including Family Sex and Tropic of Cancer, and the now rare sought-after Raime, Vatican Shadow and 'Blinding Horses' remixes.
On BEB sticker affixed to the shrink wrap:
"Fuck this shit. I was hoping to see a long-awaited brand new LP. Not a necklace of flashbacks. Fuck BEB. Fuck Regis. Life sucks."
A collaboration between Aphex Twin (Richard D. James) and µ-Ziq (Mike Paradinas), 'Expert Knob Twiddlers' was made back in 1994. Richard edited the tracks into shape later in 1996 with his new Apple Mac computer and it was released later that year on Rephlex, the label he co-owned and which released the first two albums by µ-Ziq.
This new reissued version has been carefully cleaned up, re-edited and remastered from the original DAT tapes, put into a more fitting order and, more excitingly, seven new bonus tracks and alternative versions have also been added.
The album was recorded over a few days during the 1994 World Cup, back when Richard lived in a big shared flat in Stoke Newington. Richard had tried to collaborate with a few other likeminded artists but something clicked when Mike and Rich worked together and the sessions have a unique feel; playful and at times actually drunk.
These are fun experiments in the spirit of lighthearted moog pop and ripe 70s British TV themes, standing out from the po-faced electronica of the time with a garish glee. The record was made on what is now seen as pretty primitive gear - an Atari, Roland MKS-80, Memorymoog, Roland R8 and a handful of samples on a Casio FZ-10M - but it's to their credit that it resonates well with the hardware workouts coming out today.
There's a broadminded but sloppy funk to the record, even whistling, singing and harpsichord in 'Reg' and wonky beat pile-ons in 'Jelly Fish'. There's latin piano and wheezy drunken techno in 'Vodka', or the sleepy spaced out ambience of 'Bu Bu Bu Ba' with its barely contained laughter which seems to reflect the absurdity.
The new versions and bonus tracks are an absolute delight - from a trancier version of 'Vodka' to the wonky bounce of 'Portamento Gosh', the 3/4 dub of 'Waltz,' the banging door bass of' Brivert and Muonds', the creepy seasick at-mosphere of 'Clissold Bathroom' and finishing with the strangely graceful and serious 'Organ Plodder'.
A generous and welcome return to the racks.
Tom Jenkinson is a restless musical soul. For his latest album he's dropped the Squarepusher moniker after 'Just A Souvenir' in favour of the cryptic Shobaleader One tag, which also includes his new band of Strobe Nazard on keys, Sten t'Mech and Arg Nution on guitar, and Company Laser on drums. Apparently this new set up came about when "Last summer a bunch of kids got in contact with me...Their idea was that they wanted the 'fantasy group' I had written about in connection with 'Just A Souvenir' to become a real entity that would record and tour...".
Whether this band is real or a figment of his playfully overactive imagination is up to you (or any forthcoming live shows), but it's certainly enabled him to articulate his music in a very, very different manner. There's heavy hints of French cartoon theme tunes, the proggiest of prog-pop, super-slick R'n'B and hirsute fingertap soloing, all delivered with the most overwrought muso cleverness. If you loved the last album, you'll be all over this one. Keep up with him if you can.
The Square one returns with his 14th album in 20 years and shows no sign of getting mellower with age. 'Damogen Furies' could be considered the club after-party for the stadium-collapsing antics of 'Ufabulum' (2012), still riding a wave of stage adrenalin into equally, if not more, demented and eccentric funk acrobatics. Peaking from the opening bars of black midi-style melodic intensity with 'Stor Eiglass', he fakes left with the melancholy chimes of 'Baltang Ort' which somehow strobes between tranquil serenity and nosebleed funk.
The EDM kids will be pulling all sorts of Skrillex faces to the fiddly frettage and happy hardcore spurts of 'Kontenjaz', and, if we're not mistaken, 'Exjag Nives' samples an old Aphex Twin break, before 'Baltang Arg' romps like ten raves at once and he saves his best thumbs for the hyper acid jazz funk tweaks of 'Kwang Bass'.
'Since I Left You' is the stunning debut album by The Avalanches, released on 27 November 2000. Packed with over 600 samples of recordings dating from the 1950's to the present (each one credited in the liner notes!) as well as original instrumentation, 'Since I Left You' is a charming, witty pastiche of mashed up samples, beats, bangs, and bobs.... truly a breakthrough in the world of dance music. Their everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach is exemplified by their debut single, 'Since I Left You', which opens the record with its wistful disco-samba shuffle and a scintillating sliced-and-diced soul vocal.
The album is constructed like a mix tape and calculated to tweak the dance floor. Snatches of familiar rhythms bubble up throughout, giving the record a comfortable lived-in feel, but also betraying the fact that the group haven't dug very far through the crates to source their raw material. Vast chunks of records by Madonna, Art of Noise, Kid Creole And The Coconuts and Parisian hip-hoppers Saian Supa Crew are easily identifiable.
2LP - 180 Gram double Vinyl set. First time on vinyl in years.
James Blake returns with his new album 'Overgrown' featuring Rza and Brian Eno. Following up his 2011 self-titled debut, 'Overgrown' has buckets of James Blake's trademark ethereal vocals, simple beats and cleverly crafted samples, but there's a step up here to something a little more mainstream with some interesting new sounds.
It's tales of fading relationships and clutched love start slowly and gather momentum, growing in stature as each track rolls out. Always confident in his ability, here he conjures sublime moments with 'Retrograde' and 'Digital Lion'. The album is a lonely, beautiful and inventive work.
A friend of Flying Lotus, a practising Sufi and a cryptic psyche-hop prophet, not the usual credentials for admission to the Warp sect these days? From almost any perspective, Gonja Sufi is one of the most interesting acts to arrive on the esteemed imprint in a long time.
His debut album 'A Sufi And A Killer' is largely co-produced with the immeasurably talented Gaslamp Killer, also featuring guest beats from Fly Lo and Mainframe. Evidently all involved have tapped into their finest rhythm reserves, with The GLK splicing obscure psyche samples into swirling beat collages befitting of Sufi's off-the-dome idiosyncracies, while FlyLo gives one of his very best on 'Ancestors', wading into a deeply tripped sitar and burnt bump-beat headspace making reverant nods to Alice Coltrane.
Mainframe's contributions include a tidy electro-soul edit on 'Candylane' and a sparse electro build for the Zomby-meets-Dâm-Funk vibe of 'Holidays', but the success of this album can be mainly attributed to the cerebral kinship of GLK and Gonja Sufi, a marvelously symbiotic relationship that connects the two on a plane way above.
GLK seems to innately understand the range of Gonja's vocals, whether complementing his earthly rasp with laidback hashish grooves on 'Klowds' or entrancing psyche-rock chants and swampy bass on the outstanding 'Kowboys&Indians'. This all results in the kind of album you'll return to time and again, revealing the intricate artifices of GLK's byzantine sampledelics and Gonja's oracular lyrics. Well recommended!
The ten pieces of this new album follow on the direction taken for the “ADN” album in 2002 and on the road. This new album has a more electronic sound: definitely indus (“Headline”), anxious hip-hop (“Larsen” with the excellent Real Fake MC), more funky (“Spacedunk” feat. 2TT), much more radical and fucked up jungle (“9 Bass Channels”, “Hangar 94/05”), or a really crazy and fluid dub (“On the Roof”).
Nevertheless, this album keeps a down tempo spirit on “Sushit” and “Musical Bonzeye”, true to High Tone’s universe with ingredients that were present in High Tone’s previous albums, subtle melodies and samples from out of space.
The twelve minutes long “Afraid of nothing”, is a truly tripping and lyrical musical journey. This
melancholic track really illustrates its opening sample “Here is a story about being free”… A journey that concludes this “Wave Digger” reminding us of a DJ Cam on “Substances”.
Composer/producer Nils Frahm's latest album with his childhood trio nonkeen highlights that Frahm is best when he's having fun: proposing limitations but then pushing back against them when the musical moment seems to call for it.
Garden of Delete is unlike anything that Daniel Lopatin has done, in terms of technique, mood, or scope. It is denser than his previous albums, by several orders of magnitude. It is more varied, and it is funnier—scarier, too. The album carries with it a risk of whiplash that's as potent on the 15th listen as on the first.