Review: It's impossible to deny how tight the production on this experimental but highly workable and coherent double-A side actually is. Both tunes belong on the Everything In Its Right Place shelf, and each of those things seems to have been crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Opening on the original version of 'Kodokushi', there are more than a few clear references to the glory days of progressive breakbeat dance music, with the track a sparse, space-age set opener if ever there was one, gradually unfolding into a subtle and loose rhythm crying out for heavier beats to mix in. The Toulouse Low Trax remix goes someway to answering that call, bringing a gradually growing groove into the equation and heightening the percussive elements, leaving us somewhere between an instrumental of Massive Attack's 'Karma Coma' and Sasha's 'Airdrawndagger' LP.
Blood Moon (Dawl & Sween Tone DropOut remix) (7:17)
Blood Moon (Violet remix) (5:56)
Review: Kim Ann Foxman takes a break from her own Self:Timer label to pop up on [Emotional] Especial. Her track "Blood Moon" hinges around rolling breaks and a globular monosynth bassline, but it's Foxman's vocals that give the track an electric, mystical energy that will cast a spell over the dance. Roza Terenzi takes the original and jacks it up, sharpening the focus of the rhythm section without losing the crunchy breaks. Dawl and Sween channel some bleeps n' breaks vibes of their own with a version that keeps things darkside and wiggy for the old-skool crew. Rounding things off, Violet's remix emphasises the acid as it plunges into the depths of the dungeon in a hooky, hard-edged style.
Review: Los Angeles has firmly established itself as one of America's electronic music capitals over the last ten years, with the city particularly fertile in more experimental ends, where rave, urban and downtempo collide in a haze of found sounds, samples and original loops. Kutmah pretty much encapsulates this point. Melding elements of hip hop, post-punk and industrial, 'New Appliance' is basically the producer's new calling card - a mini masterpiece that's so tight and well-executed it leaves no questions as to the creator's ability. 'Ramallah''s intoxicating Arabic references, crackling recordings of bells, haunting chants and exotic flutes. 'Stoned In Brixton' cries out for a sunset to soundtrack, nodding to the productions of DJ Krush or Bibio, with the latter similarly invoked on 'Tres Flores'. Smoked-out innovations by the kilo.
Review: Malin Genie welcomes an extensive EP treat from Lava Lap, an emergent producer with an affinity for the kind of braindance that will have fans of Jodey Kendrick beating their drum machines with approval. The acid is slippery, the structures ever-shifting and a wealth of expression spills out of every bar. There are faster drum & bass paced bits, melancholy detuned electro and much more besides. Far from just being clever music though, it's also amazingly emotional and so impeccably produced. Any electronica head should be all over this.
Review: Sometimes we all need to escape from the realities and mundanities of everyday life. Here's your perfect opportunity. On this beautiful, playful and sincere collection of 'niceness' , the legendary Alessandro Alessandroni allows us to take a step back in time by painting stunningly detailed pictures with broad, jazz-inflected brush strokes.
Putting elements of Bossa Nova, freeform, classical and Big Band to innovative use, the result is a hugely enjoyable and - in today's world - incredibly unique insight into the type of output this Italian musical titan left behind when he finally bowed out in 2017, at the grand age of 92. This is just a flavour of the more than 40 movie soundtracks and scores of library recordings that now make up his legacy, making for a delightful way to get familiar with one of the 20th Century's greats.
Review: When he launched the "Xerrox" series way back in 2007, Alva Noto intended it to run to five volumes. Here he presents the fourth volume, which largely eschews "external samples" of everyday sounds - the series was inspired by the idea of creating new musical motifs from "copies of copies" - in favour of greater warmth, emotion and musical dexterity. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the appealing, slow-burn haziness of deep ambient opener "Xerrox Kirlian" and the distinctly cinematic, Angelo Badalamenti-in-"Twin Peaks"-mode beauty of "Xerrox Voyage", to the Radiophonic Workshop style creepiness of "Xerrox Cosmos" and the melancholic, string-laden swell of "Xerrox Canaux".
Review: Turin techno stalwart Andrea has been serving up slabs of goodness on Ilian Tape since way back in 2012, though "Ritorno" is remarkably his very first full-length excursion. The 12 track set is far more varied than his fine club-focused singles, with the Italian variously turning his hand to swelling, Global Communication style ambient techno ("Attimo"), ultra-deep breakbeat dreaminess ("SKLYN"), melodious, jungle-influenced IDM ("LS September"), bassbin rattlers ("TrackQY", the skittish brilliance of moody roller "Reinf"), dreamy soundscape techno ("LG_Amb"), angular fusions of bass music and dark Italo-techno ("Drumzzy") and picturesque ambient dub slow jams ("Twin Forests").
Review: Attraktors originally surfaced back in 2015 with the Future Systems EP. Made up of members of Six.By.Seven, Bivouac, The Selecter and more besides. Now this eclectic group of coldwave connoisseurs fold that initial EP into a raft of new songs to make up a sterling debut album for Vivod. It's brittle, homespun stuff that opens up a wormhole to the bedroom studio explosion of the 1980s, when lo-fi new wave was king. But there are other dimensions to this record, like the dreamy synth pop of "Mensonge Et La Chute" and the cosmic rock stylings of "Theme From Unknown". For all lovers of the early to mid '80s era, this is an album you won't want to miss.
Review: Before you dive headfirst into this one it's probably worth pointing out 'Pitturamusica' is as much an academic exercise as it is a complete album. There are moments of such heartbreaking beauty you feel genuinely touched to the core - the sweet, sombre and hushed strings of 'Corpopaesaggio', for example. But then the artists make no secret of what the record was designed to do, namely use the basis of Musique Concrete to see what lies down some pretty abstract roads. Whether processing human voices to within one iota of coherency, as on the frenetic 'SB', or captivating listeners with the intricate flutes of 'Conchiglia', it's safe to say they make more than a few intriguing discoveries. At times these are challenging and somewhat chilling ('Apollo'), in other moments the white noise, crackles and found sounds seem to celebrate the chaos of life itself ('Venere D'Urbino').
Review: If you've not previously heard of Brigitte Barbu, don't worry - it's a brand-new alias from one of electronic music's true originals, eccentric French producer Julien Auger AKA mutant house maestro Pepe Bradock. This first album from the project is undeniably thrilling, and not just because Auger rarely bothers with full-length excursions. Packed with strange electro-acoustic noises, off-kilter instrumentation and trippy, brain-melting sounds, it combines occasional abstract, off-kilter hip-hop beats with spaced-out and unusual aural textures, out-of-this-world ambient movements, and a wide palette of bizarre-but-brilliant samples that reference everything from dusty jazz and surging neo-classical movements, to Hawaiian pedal steel music and the modular experiments of the BBC's Radiophonic Workship. In a word: inspired.
Review: Brigitte Barbu sounds like French cinematic icon Brigitte Bardot, but it's actually the alias of Pepe Bradock. The same Pepe Bradock whose 'Deep Burnt' was one of the quintessential deep house tracks of the late-1990s, the guy who's subsequently been on a quest to explore any and all experimental definitions of 'dance' and 'electronic music', and the chap who promised us an abstract hip hop album following last year's sonic collage, 'What A Mess'. If you're looking for sophisticated club beats, alternative tracks for block parties, or any beats at all you're likely to come away disappointed, though. If, on the other hand, you want a vanguard producer to all-but throw away the rulebook with a collection of strange, otherworldly arrangements that involve a guitar mimicking machines and computers, then this is the place to be. To borrow from another French classic, the sounds of tomorrow, music of today.
Review: Alongside regular studio partner Andreas Baumecker, Sam Barker has released a swathe of admired singles and a couple of on-point albums on Ostgut Ton. Here he returns to the much-loved German imprint with his most significant solo release to date: a debut album of drowsy, sun-baked electronic positivity that expertly melds elements of hazy ambient, dub techno, off-kilter electronica and the classic kosmiche synthesizer soundscapes associated with Tangerine Dream. It's a lot less dancefloor-focused than much of his previous material, but that's not a criticism: indeed, the fact that it's warm, opaque and prioritizes fuzzy, slowly shifting musical movements is the album's greatest strength.