Review: We are, of course, always keen to receive any new music that comes through from the Don't DJ collective - particularly on their own Diskant imprint - but we'd been waiting on this appearance for Japan's EM Records for a long while now. There's just something unashamedly right about this collaboration, from the music itself right down to the artwork and the rest of the like-minded artists that reside on this wonderful catalogue. The Don't DJ brothers have gone deeper than previous releases here, starting with the Nippon-minded dubbiness of "Hyperspace Is The Place", followed by the earthier, more vibrant melodic textures of the wavy "Forest People Plot". On the B-side, "Hyperspace Is No Place" bangs out a steady kick drum over deep, aqueous bleeps washed amid a sparse ocean of ambient delight, and "Evolve Version" provides the 'housiest' moment on this four-tracker in the form of an ethereal bombshell with a subtle balearic charm. Wonderful - you can't miss it!
Review: Daniel Terndrup, simply known as Daniel T, returns to our charts and shelves with this masterful new LP for the Cascine imprint, the aptly named Heliotrope. On first appearance, this album could seem like abstract electronics all over but, in reality, it's more of a delightful and refreshing spin on pop music; the producer's involvement in the Cosmic Kids project is clearly audible from the start, with tunes like "Call" or "Moonlight Bounce" sounding like they would not be out of place on the Drive soundtrack. As for the rest of the album, however, Daniel T heads into deep waters, progressing his futuristic take on pop music with edgy drum machine loops that remain firmly on the off-kilter end of the scale. Just how we like it.
Review: Federico De Caroli's Deca project has been waving the flag for Italy's ambient and mystique concrete scene since the mid 1980's. The man's albums, which span a wild and diverse set of experimental sounds, are a rarity these days; this particular reissue, Deca's debut from 1986, is going for near L300 on Discogs, so count this your lucky day. Mass, as the name curiously implies, is a rip-roaring fest of a journey through the deepest and most cavernous of coldwave sounds. With its high-speed pace on the drums and a grainy, grey-scaled coating to round it off, it feels like rave music way before the term was coined. Proto-techno also doesn't it do any justice because tunes like "Inseminoid" or "The Door" go much further than that, heading way out into unknown territories which then became second nature to artists like AFX about a decade later. If you're into your dance music on the industrial side, and if you like it cooked raw, then this will please you endlessly. Be quick, though!
Review: Malka Tuti's latest must-check chunk of accessible experimentalism comes courtesy of Toresch member and Tolouse Low Trax collaborator Viktoria Wehrmeister. Under the Decha alias, she presents a solo debut that gleefully sidesteps conventional electronic music tropes. Musically, it's varied and intriguingly tropical in tone, with the presence of Wehrmeister's spoken word or freestyle vocals throughout unifying a nine-track set that variously doffs a cap towards minimalist electronic pop, indigenous South American instrumentation, droning ambient soundscapes, lo-fi electronica and pleasingly out-there soundscapes. As debuts go, "Hielo Boca" is arresting and impressive in equal measure. Recommended.
Review: Best known for his distinctive graphic design and illustration work, Bristol-based DJ/producer Deep Nalstrom (real name Guillaume De Ubeda) is finally ready to unleash his music on the world. "Naive Melodies" sees him pitch up on Nummer's Natural Selections label with an almost perfectly formed debut album. Analogue-rich, evocative and atmospheric, the seven cuts expertly blend elements of ambient, new age, dub, tropical textures, curious (sampled) spoken word vocals, intergalactic electronica and gentle tribal rhythms. Highlights include - but are no way limited to - the bass-heavy, delay-laden shuffle of "Inner Collapse", the sun-kissed warmth of "Albatros", the ambient dub haziness of "Liquid Diamonds" and the Sotofett/Fett Burger-esque "The Dream People".
Review: An LP which features music by originally recorded in 1969 by BBC Radiophonic Workshop members such as the late Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson and the American born composer David Vorhaus: who later formed as the experimental electronic band White Noise. It was released by the Standard Music Library label, set up in 1968 by Bucks Music and London Weekend Television who also supplied production music for use in TV, commercials, radio and film. Many of these tracks were also used in the 1960's cult TV show 'The Tomorrow People' and each one has a short description of the music after the track title. Derbyshire and Hodgson assumed pseudonyms in the credits: Li de la Russe & Nikki St. George respectively. Two of the tracks are co-written by the pair, who also worked together on Unit Delta Plus: an organisation and studio project which was extensively involved in the promotion and exploration of electronic music at the time. Legendary stuff!
Review: Glasgow's 12th Isle collective describe themselves as a "label, nightlife institution, and occasional radio broadcaster," and their debut release will find favour with anyone that keeps up to date on the inner workings of Going Good, Firecracker, Mood Hut to SUED and Acido. Thoughtstream is a truly delightful album recorded by St. Petersburg-based duo Dices + AEM, spanning some 11 tracks recorded over the duration of 2015 by the Udacha and Gost Zvuk affiliates. Influences from early sequence-based electronics and vintage space rock abound throughout Thoughtstream, paired up with a diverse rhythmic approach that is quite reminiscent of the Aquarian Foundation album that Going Good put out a few years back. Extra points are awarded for the superb silk-screened artwork courtesy of 12th Isle's own Al White.
Review: Four years on from his album - the chamber music-inspired "Joined Ends"- Dorian Concept returns with a set said to be a tongue-in-cheek "parody of nostalgia". This concept manifests itself in the curious and off-the-wall way in which the album was made, with the critically acclaimed producer not only drawing influence from a variety of vintage styles - think '60s jazz, '90s IDM, '70s prog rock and '80s jazz-fusion - but also using traditional methods (live instrumentation, old fashioned tape recording) to recreate modern digital sounds. Thrillingly, he also decided to use his own voice more, manipulating it and adding layers of lo-fi noise to give a warm but out-there feel. As a result, The Nature of Imitation is an impressively experimental and thoughtful album that's also inspired, entertaining and bags of fun.
Review: In which Mannequin become the latest label to dip into the vast CDr archives of Legowelt's dormant Strange Life Records. Originally released back in 2007, Mons Testaceum was the debut album from MinimalRome co-founder Heinrich Dressel and the onset of a trilogy dedicated to Monte Testaccio, an artificial mound in Rome composed almost entirely of 'testae', fragments of broken amphorae dating from the time of the Roman Empire. Notable for the prominent usage of Elka Synthex, a legendary Roman synthesizer, Mons Testaceum remains a wonderful curio of the Dressel discography and fans of the Italian's work will delight at the chance to own it on vinyl thanks to MNQ!