Review: REPRESS ALERT: Gravity Graffiti has been doing great things with its series of split 12"s already, but now the Italian label goes one better for its tenth release with this mighty double pack of heavy hitters. First up is the ever-untouchable Yoshinori Hayashi, who gets as straight up as he possibly could with the freaky house burner "Dissociative." Telephones is feeling particularly dubbed out and groovy on "Kalimbalimbo", while DB.Source and Riccardo Schiro take things strung out and textural on "Montevago". Dynamo Dreesen is in rave mode for the pepped up and delightfully weird "Reactivate", leaving the final side to Oyvind Morken & Kaman Leung's chugging "Tunnel Visjon" and the rubbery side swipes of Acidboychair's "The End (At Any Speed)".
Review: Kalahari Oyster Cult have been thumbing through their back catalogue and return to a past gem for some renewed attention. 2017 saw the release of Erell Ranson's Hand in Hand, a quintet of beautifully crafted machine music. Two tracks have been chosen from the EP and remixed with stunning results.
First up is Dj Normal 4's "Sealife Safari MixX" of "If We Never Try." The sweet, shimmering melody of the original, the bubbling bass and subtle notes, are transformed in this remake. Silvery chords morph into bold and daring new forms under the tutelage of Tim Schumacher, neon streaked patterns coalescing with broken and cracked percussion for a superbly uplifting piece.
Pariah follows with his rework of "Hand in Hand." A deep dreamscape intricately woven with heady notes, birdsong and endless possibilities.
The final odyssey comes care of SW (Stefan Wust) of SUED fame. The Berlin based musician delivers his reimagined idea of "If We Never Try" with Ranson's version being washed over by lapping lines and gentle currents to create a smooth rounded finale. A trio of unique perspectives from three true talents of electronic music.
Review: We at Juno HQ originally coined what is now known as the 'grey area', a sub-genre which has flourished in recent years in the post-Autonomic idiom of drum and bass, popularised by groundbreaking underground Berlin imprints such as Samurai Horo, Hidden Hawaii and of course the mysterious Weevil Neighbourhood. Repetition/Distract is Felix Hoeck aka Felix K, who originally released Salles Des Perdus ?in 2012 and it now gets a much needed repress. When you consider more recent releases on the label by the likes of SPR (with his black metal/dark ambient crossover) as well as Steven Porter's Katsunori Sawa who delivered last year's brutal Secret Of Silence LP, you can really trace back the original vision of the label through this EP with its sombre, textured noise experiments reminiscent of early Cold Meat Industries.
Review: The next signing of Bilbao based Forbidden Colours are modular nerds Kino Internacional and Borja Pineiro from Reykjavik606, who always challenge the fine line between music making and storytelling. On "Everything Happens For A Reason" the duo deliver a sublime serving of electronica which is best described as live drum 'n' bass, really. Smooth Rhodes melodies and dreamy orchestral pads engulf some tight live drumming on this five minute epic. The blissed out ambience of "Lake Nakaumi" follows, where this glacial and mysterious soundscape calls to mind the icy and chilling suspense of works on Canada's Silent Season imprint. Finally the Bilbao based label call in Basque techno leader Kastil for a remix - he serves up seven minutes of straight up hypnotic techno. This follows up great releases on the label from the likes of Andres Aguirre, Eduardo de la Calle and Jun Kimata.
Review: Former Playhouse and Bio Rhythm man Roger Reuter has only one previous album to his name, the woozy, edge-of-reason ambience of 2015's Mensch 001. Extended Play is its' follow up, and sees the experienced German producer appear on Ilian Tape for the first time. Rooted in his usual brand of unsettling, otherworldly ambience, the six tracks variously draw influence from early IDM, drone, dub techno, industrial and experimental film soundtracks. Despite these nods to familiar experimental styles, it's an album that can easily be listened to in a variety of situations, and never drags. It's strongest moments, such as the mournful ambient throb of "State IIX Interlude II", are particularly beguiling.
Review: There's only been one other release to date on the aptly titled Night Sea Journey, whose M.O. is, "focused on simplicity." The Chicago label started life with label heads Garrett David and Colin Johnson, and now Adam Rowe has come to join in with his own take on simple approaches in ambient and deep house. "9_27 (edit 1)" may have a lovely sub bass propelling it, but the languorous quality of the keys makes it feel almost static in the best possible way. "8_27 (edit 1)" welcomes some needlepoint drum machine rhythms into the mix, preferring a broken beat over anything too straight. "Nite Houss" has a similar mysterious charm you might hear on a Real Soon record, while "Hanging Lake" swerve into more ambient territory again, with spectacular results.
Review: De:tuned are in the midst of a 10 part anniversary series, and this latest missive - the seventh in all - brings together a hefty selection of talents old and new on heavyweight vinyl. Jonah Sharp opens things as Spacetime Continuum and continues to fuse ambient, techno, and IDM on the absorbing cosmic adventure that is "Only One Sky." Scanner's "Mothlit" slows things down with a hip hop instrumental from outer space, and then the beats disappear altogether on Ross 154's suspensory ambient cut "Earth To Our Friends." Lastly, Leo Anibaldi's "Crion" will make your skin tingle with its deft and delicate melodies which float about like fireflies and leave gorgeous, glowing trails in their wake.
Review: To tie in with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings, Brian Eno has decided to put out a new edition of his decidedly spacey 1983 ambient album "Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks", which started life as the soundtrack to a long-forgotten documentary about NASA's space program. The edition is rather special, not only because it contains a remastered version of the original set created by Eno, his brother Roger and regular collaborator Daniel Lanois, but also because it contains a second disc of previously unheard material. This is not old, though, but rather brand new recordings - described as "new interpretations of the film soundtrack" - made by the Lanois and the Eno brothers late last year in a similar style. In a word: essential.
Red Ants Genesis (feat Gavsborg & Time Cow - Equiknoxx remix) (4:24)
Review: Revered noise merchant Dominick Fernow returns under the Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement moniker, following up last year's Ambient Black Magic release - which featured Silent Servant and a dub techno remix by Substance aka DJ Pete. On Red Ants Genesis, Fernow is said to have utilised high volume microphone recordings of synthetic field ecologies, with further sound on sound processing applied by Philippe Hallais aka Low Jack - creating this series of meditative and trance inducing soundscapes. The remix on this release comes from Equiknoxx Music: the Jamaican music collective of Gavsborg and Time Cow, who hand in an introverted and very personal dub of the title track.
Review: Without a shadow of a doubt, this has to be Lorenz Brunner's most ambitious work to date. The man also known as Recondite is no newcomer to the scene; he's been crafting all sorts of deep-minded techno and downtempo since 2011, and has arguably never turned in a dud release - what he lacks in trendiness he certainly makes up for with some of the very best sound craftsmanship that has graced our charts. Daemmerlicht is a magnificent piece of work, with over twenty sonic escapades that range from the hollow ambient of tunes like "Durch Den Hohlweg", to rhythmic lo-fi on the likes of "Lichtung", and all the way to orchestral pseudo techno such as on "Im Holz". Whether this is your bag or not, one cannot possibly argue with the depth and diversity of Brunner's compositions, a bleak yet uplifting take on the deep-techno variety.
Review: Ever wonder where Music From Memory founders Abel Nagengast, Jamie Tiller & Tako Reyenga got the name of their label from? The answer is obscure New York musician Vito Ricci, whose diverse and quite stunning discography of private press releases is compiled on this wonderful retrospective I Was Crossing A Bridge. Active during the '80s musical heyday of New York, Ricci description as "one of the unsung heroes of New York's downtown music scene" is fully qualified on this 18 track double LP release, which contains such a dizzying array of musical styles it's tempting to call him a musical genius. The three strong suite of "Inferno" tracks in particular could easily be mistaken for the work of Container, and that Ricci was capable of that as well as some tongue in cheek coke boogie like "I'm At That Party Right Now" means Music From Memory should be applauded once more.
On The Nature Of Daylight (orchestral version) (6:35)
Vladimir's Blues 2018 (1:28)
On The Nature Of Daylight (Entropy) (6:51)
Vladimir's Blues (Jlin remix) (3:45)
Inconography (Konx Om-Pam remix) (3:59)
Review: As this expansive reissue proves, Max Richter's 2004 album The Blue Notebooks remains one of the greatest neo-classical works of recent decades. The album was famously inspired by the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and featured narration from actress Tilda Swinton. Such was the record's impact, in fact, that numerous pieces subsequently appeared on a variety of high profile movie soundtracks. To celebrate the work's 15th birthday, Richter has bundled the album with a second disc of largely unheard material. This includes a couple of intriguing remixes by Jlin and Konx-Om-Pax, two archive tracks produced during the album sessions, and a handful of new recordings of key instrumentals. These are all excellent, of course, but still pale in comparison to the inspired original album.
Review: Originally released way back in 1969, Terry Riley's "A Rainbow In Curved Air" album remains one of the minimal maestro's most significant works. Crafted using overdubbing techniques, the three-movement title track features Riley playing layer upon layer of electric organ and electric Harpsichord motifs to create a hypnotic, Indian style raga. It was hugely influential at the time - inside and outside of the emerging minimalism scene - and later influenced the ambient and ambient house movements. Here it gets the audiophile reissue treatment, with the title track once again being joined by original flipside "Poppy Nogood & The Phantom Band" - a trippy wig-out in which Riley pays tribute to soprano saxophonist John Coltrane over more hypnotic, fast-past organ refrains.
Review: After years spent operating in the grey area where deep house, techno and tech-house meet, Raphael Ripperton has decided to indulge his ambient side. He's touched on the style on previous albums, of course, but "Contrails" marks the first time he's completely eschewed the demands of the dancefloor. He should perhaps do it more often, because it's a genuinely evocative, atmospheric and eye-opening excursion. The double album's 14 tracks are full of subtle differences and gentle stylistic shifts, from the ghostly electronics and hissing aural textures of "Lonely Walk" and the stretched-out, Tangerine Dream style analogue synthesizer fluidity of "Lavaux", to the Pete Namlook style deep space wooziness of "Where The Wind Blows" and the Steve Reich-meets-Gaussian Curve shimmer of "Dedale".