Like their previous work, Bohren & der Club of Gore's eighth album folds in lounge jazz, dark ambience, the languorous adagios of classical-music requiem, and the saturated romance of Italian film soundtracks. But while the German band's earliest recordings were chilly and even brittle, Piano Nights is luxurious in its warmth.
Welcome to the further adventures of Bohren and his crew of axe carrying jazz deconstructionalists.
Another Bohren & Der Club of Gore classic seeps up from below, seeing its first vinyl reissue since the original 2002 pressing! Like its predecessor, Sunset Mission, the tone and feel of Black Earth is steeped in a smoky history of noirish soundtracks, European minimalism and the intensity of avant metal, all perfectly weighted for head-plunging midnight immersion.
It still beggars belief how they manage to play so slow without at least one of them nodding off during the session, which tends to be as effective as a xanax at those times when required. In their world everything operates at an opiated pace, with silvery solo piano, resonant double bass dabs and spectral voices seemingly curling off the wax into acres of negative space and taking your thoughts with them.
In terms of a sonic experience, basically everyone needs to undergo a Bohren album at least once in their life, and if you’ve never squinted into the distance of Sunset Mission or stared into the abyss of Black Earth, you genuinely don’t know quite what you’re missing out on.
Everything, as David Lynch would say, is never quite what it seems.
Bohren & Der Club of Gore's intense blend of heaving doom reductions and late night Badalemanti style midnight jazz has bought them a fanatical following in both the Avant-Metal and Jazz communities. Their sound really can be best visualised with reference to the 'Bang Bang' Bar in Twin Peaks, all sleaze, unease and glamour in the archetypal Lynchian sense.
The members of Bohren started out in various Hardcore outfits, but when the band formed in the early 90's they soon settled on a blend of Metal, Ambient and Jazz that confounded and confused most listeners. Almost two decades later and Bohren enjoy something akin to a secret members following, with the likes of Mike Patton being so into the band that they are now signed to his own Ipecac imprint in the states. 'Dolores' is their first album since 2005's 'Geisterfaust' and is their most beautifully realised album yet, oozing mystery and atmosphere with a more muted take on that super luxurious sound.
Opening track 'Staub' unfolds with a solitary mournful organ, eventually coupled with that unmistakable, spine-tingling Fender Rhodes played so ably by Christoph Clöser. The track continues with spacious, staggered percussion and Vibraharp, whirling through 8 minutes of mystery and wonder. At the other end of the album 'Welten' closes off proceedings with a monkish drone most suitable to a Sunn 0)) opening, before once again those shimmering keys create that kind of immeasurably addictive confusion between darkness and light that could be said to be Bohren's calling card.
'Dolores' is a stunning, mesmerising minute journey into that sh*t that lurks beneath the surface, confusing, confounding and oddly uplifting all at once. A wonderful album that comes to you with our highest possible recommendation.
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.
'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.
Two years since their eponymous 12" - Blackest Ever Black's first release - sounded a mandate-like synthesis of late '70s industrial gloom, palsied techno and burned-out breakbeats with a gothic elan, they've come to epitomise the label's aesthetic whilst remaining its most elusive, enigmatic operators, flitting from surround sound installations to chastening mixtapes and now this monolithic LP. In that time, their ambitions have remained steadfast yet progressed in parallel with BEB's: as the roster grew to incorporate Regis, Cut Hands, Young Hunting, Black Rain, Vatican Shadow and Pete Swanson, they've stealthily revealed scarred instrumental flesh like some kind of sickening, self-abusing striptease.
When we first heard them it was what we always wanted dubstep to become (before it predictably lapsed into bad hands), but with 'Quarter Turns Over A Living Line' they're so far beyond that, carving out something as close to doom metal as dub, divining wrinkles in space-time between the helical torques of post-punk and jungle. At its entry point 'Passing Over Trail', Ambarchi-esque sub-tonal quakes instil an eschatological atmosphere which remains unbroken 'til close, luring curious souls through the tantric, versioned vortex of 'The Last Foundry' and the funereal procession of 'Soil And Colts' to the queasy sensuality and quasi-step dynamics of 'Exist In The Repeat Of Practice' at its watershed apex. From here the descent takes a new course with quite possibly our favourite Raime track to date, 'The Walker In Blast And Bottle'; hanging plunging bass guitar strikes and demonic, ultra-wide wails from a rusty cowbell hook which scrapes its way up the track's spine.
The role of power is then promptly switched to haptic, whiskey-fingered guitar, flaying a petrifying desert doom refrain against hob-nailed wooden percussion to leave us in a puddle of our own piss before 'The Dimming Of Road And Rights' resolves to eat its own tail, poised at the crossroads of keening, Earth-like strings, dawn-seeping pads and prison bar percussion. It's practically one of the greatest movies you've ever heard, and articulated with a sense of gnostic responsibility and obligation implying that basically everyone else needs to up their game, seriously, before its all too late.
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.
Richter is considered a bit of a genius himself in contemporary classical music circles . . . "Sleep Remixes" represents yet another milestone for one of classical music's most original voices, whose creativity and imagination only serve to expand the boundaries of the genre.
nonkeen’s history has always been shaped by the mysterious convergence of coincidence with the band’s steady exploration of as yet unheard sounds. After all, ever since Frederic Gmeiner, Nils Frahm and Sepp Singwald discovered, in their childhood days, a shared passion for rudimentary tape machines, they’ve refused to shy away from letting their music respond to the erratic nature of their recording process. What started as a playground radio show in a suburb of Hamburg, where Gmeiner and Frahm experimented with their cassette players and the noises of their daily environment, soon developed into a long-lasting friendship, and eventually led to the foundation of nonkeen.
This is Biosphere's first truly ambient album, and has a theme of cold, of mountains and glaciers and running water. Sounds of howling wind and creaking wood, although infrequently employed, create a chilling soundscape interrupted by sonorous but quietly suspenseful music.
“This music could be written on a lonely island or onboard of a spaceship looking on our planet. Time becomes a new unit and feelings become more weight.” That’s exactly the feeling Bersarin Quartett still conveys on this album. References to STARS OF THE LID, ULVER's Perdition City, BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE and CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA are fully justified.