Review: Earlier in the year, modern minimal wave and coldwave hero Marie Davidson signed a high-profile deal with Ninja Tune. Here, she makes good on that contract, following a couple of killer singles with what could be her strongest album to date. After setting the tone with clandestine, tongue-in-cheek opener "Your Biggest Fan" - a creepy spoken word cut taking aim at stalker-line fans to the accompaniment of heavy analogue synth bass and creepy computer bleeps - Davidson giddily flits between elastic dancefloor workouts (the brilliantly sleazy "Work It" and mind-altering "Workaholic Paranoid Bitch"), attractive post-EBM instrumentals (the psychedelic and fizzing "Lara"), meditative ambient melodiousness ("Day Dreaming"), bizarre experimental weirdness (the suitable dystopian "The Tunnel"), and stylish analogue pop (the whispered vocals and off-kilter early morning funk of "So Right").
Review: Between the mid 1970s and the early '80s, legendary Factory Records producer Martin Hannett exchanged tapes through the post with Delia Derbyshire, one of the BBC Radio Workshop electronic experimentalists who inspired him most. The tapes contained cutting-edge synthesizer tracks and electronic soundscapes that were meant to form the basis of a joint album that never materialized. To coincide with the 40th birthday of Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" - one of Hannett's most groundbreaking productions - this album offers up those previously unheard compositions and collaborations. Variously weird, wonderful, quirky, cute and unbelievably creepy (Derbyshire did work on Doctor Who after all), the set is inspired and essential in equal measure.
Review: Talk to anyone about Stranger Things and it will only be a matter of minutes before the sensational soundtrack is mentioned. The future retro synths of Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein have a huge impact on deepening the occult feelings you experience when watching the show and that continued through Series 3. Now you can grab the accompanying tracks on this mysterious CD, which features the vulnerable "You're A Fighter", celebratory 80s synth pop stomps of "Starcourt" and meditative charms of "The Ceiling Is Beautiful" amongst other nuggets of gold. The producers themselves have said this is less a score and more a series of cues, and it certainly got us thinking.
Review: Eight years after Teufelswerk, an album in which Hell called up giants like Bryan Ferry and P Diddy for creative adventures, International Deejay Gigolo Hell presents his fifth album Zukunftmusik. A much more personal affair, written and created with Peter Kruder, the album takes a deep dive into Hell's psyche. His inspirations, fears and fascinations all laid bare as we glide and slide from the poignant ballad of "Anywhere Anytime" to sinewy, sinister 6am acid ("Guede") via orchestrated cinematic synthesis ("K House" and "Inferno") to strident slices of evocative and highly narrative house music such as "Wild At Art". Hewn together with shades of experimentation and timeless pop science, Hell's created something incredibly special here.