Review: By now Future Nuggets have surely been established as one of Romania's leading exponents of leftfield electronic oddities, and they don't disappoint on the surprising delights of this new 7" from Renato Din Sala and Ion Din Dorobanai. There's an Eastern lilt to the vocals and melodies on both tracks, but they're framed by some wonderfully quirky synth parts and budget drum machines. "Nu E Injoseala (N-am Carti De Credit)" in particular capitalises on cranky monosynth squelch and organ wails, while "I Love You Viata Mea (Lema)" takes a more energetic approach and works some Rhodes-like sounds into the mix.
Review: Samurai's highly collectable Red Seal series continues with a mission to Manchester. Home to key players such as Skittles, Dub Phizix and DRS, the 'Mani' scene just keeps on giving. This three track 12" is a perfect example, as we find fellow native Indigo joining the dots between three genres with ease and engaging production skill. "Reaching The Source" is a blissed out Autonomic workout that's ideal for both headphones or early doors, "Trthys" is a much slower, sludgy bass 4/4 workout that sits somewhere between Dirtybird and Wookie while "Talia" ends us on a soft, soulful note. A lullaby on marbled vinyl: does life get much better than this?
Review: Whatever Makes You Feel Safe is a collaboration between Canadian producer and singer Marie Davidson and Berlin based Ukrainian sound designer Invisible Church. They met in Montreal during Red Bull Music Academy festival and shared the idea of exploring the concept of feeling safe both on a personal level and as a part of society. Quite different from what you'd usually associate with Davidson but still worthy of your attention all the same. Beginning on the A side with "Collage" featuring some chilling drone experiments over textural sound design and field recordings which allow Davidson's haunting vocals to carry the track further into the void. Sounds like a cross between OAKE and Lustmord. Next up "Never Release The Tension" delves further into pitch black territory on this contorted downbeat industrial thriller. Finally on the flip, we've got an epic 10 minutes of haunting esoterica in the form of "Ten Years" and features Theo Parrish on cymbals! The label recommends it as for fans the late Mika Vainio, Black Rain, CTI, and the Bladerunner OST. Pretty on point, if we do say so ourselves!
Review: Los Angeles based producer Alex Gray aka D/P/I of CHANCEIMAG.es returns, this time on French imprint Shelter Press with more avant electronics excursions on the Composer LP. Thee seven sound collages are said to be an experiment in rhythm, where human error is introduced to basic sounds (such as a djembe or conga) via midi controllers, introducing complex processes and effects which naturally developed into compositions. Gray himself hopes his album "can act as a beacon of creativity for future generations, who are currently being completely saturated by marketing content for products and media that will do nothing but confuse and distract them.
Review: "Say Yes To No" is the debut record from iDEAL Recordings label head Joachim Nordwall, aka the iDEALIST. It is an experimental affair couched in dub but run through with a sense of dread and plenty of noise. Expertly manipulated sound characterises each track - the distant drone of a factory floor, the hum and fizz of machines at work and the lumpy, loopy drums of automation. Fans of Adrian Sherwood's brain frying, punk influenced work are sure to lap up this most dark and dystopian dub exploration, and arresting vocal appearances from John Duncan and Jamaican poet Nazamba only heighten the whole experience.
Review: When it comes to crafting memorable electronica, Malka Spigel and sometime Wire member Colin Newman are old hands. The duo released their first album as Immersion way back in 1994. This fourth full-length follows on from 2016's critically acclaimed Analogue Creatures Living On An Island and shares some stylistic similarities. Like that set, Sleepless contains numerous nods to 1970s krautrock (particularly Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh), alongside detectable looks in the direction of laidback ambient techno, shoegaze, tactile downtempo grooves, melodic Balearic moments and the kind of hybrid analogue/electronic soundscapes that defy easy categorization. Throughout, the duo push mood and melody to the fore; as a result, the album is deliciously soft-focus and dreamy, even at its' most full-throttle and up-tempo.
Review: Udacha just gets better and better with every release, branching out into ever more exciting shapes and styles beyond their house and techno foundations. On this album from Indoor Plants, wild fourth world visions collide with hardware processes in a dazzling display of transcendental music for those who like their thought-provoking tunes to pack a punch. The likes of "Targitaus" deconstruct club music conventions in a quest for new rhythmic purpose, and yet the soundsystem pressure is expertly sculpted out of the daring shape of the music. Elsewhere there's surrealism in abundance, as on the wonderfully weird "Hunch", and that's just scratching the surface of this truly essential LP.
Review: It's been a long time between drinks for Kaoru Inoue, who returns with a new album after five years away. This time round, and in keeping with the rules governing Groovement's Organic Series, the experienced Japanese producer has put together a set seemingly inspired by the early ambient of Brian Eno and Jon Hassell's "Fourth World" experiments. The latter's unique, hybrid electronic/acoustic approach can be heard in the tumbling guitars, strings and tablas of "Sunset Salute", or the sharp violins, cyclical electronics and post hip-hop beats of "Mythical Sunflare", while the meditative drones and yearning Jonny Nash guitars of "Mystic Motion" sound like a mythical studio hook-up between Terry Riley and Gaussian Curve. And so it goes on, with each track revealing itself as more masterful and majestic than its predecessor.
Review: After quitting Earwig in the early '90s, multi-instrumentalist J. Serge Tardo and vocalist/bassist Kirsty Yates struck out on their own as Insides. The first fruits of their collaborative labour was "Euphoria", a 1993 debut album that effortlessly joined the dots between Michael Brook style ambient, drowsy dream pop, glistening, guitar-laden soundscapes, off-kilter trip-hop and hazy, ethereal West Coast rock. It was a formula that guaranteed plenty of highlights, as this timely Record Store Day reissue proves. Our favourites include the pastoral warmth of "Carly Simon", the Global Communication-esque "Bent Double", the sparse and loose "Yes" and the Steve Reich-influenced bliss of "Distractions".
Review: Back in 2015, Petre Inspirescu popped up on Mule Musiq with Vin Pholie, an album considered a significant departure from his previous work. While he made his name with club-ready, heavily textured takes on tech-house and minimal techno, Vin Pholie saw him work with piano, strings and woodwind instruments for the first time, resulting in a set that sat somewhere between ambient and neo-classical. Vintul Prin Salcii, his belated follow-up, explores similar sonic territory, adding in vintage synthesizers and occasional nods to dub techno - see the becalmed pulse of "Miroslav 3" - to slightly broaden the approach. The result is a melodious sequence of musical movements that also doffs a sly wink to krautrock synthesizer pioneers as well as classical composers, American minimalists and ambient legends.
Review: A subtly appealing tape in a pink cover with an imposing artwork of highly erotic nuances: this cassette, originally promoted as "Candy-Coloured Sex-Shop Electronics", is the absolute gem of Internazionale's discography and is clearly destined to become a timeless modern classic. Together with the track "The Charnel House", included on the compilation Ny Dansk Romantik, the excellent craftsmanship of Elegy For The Victors quickly evoked the loyal admiration of listeners worldwide who were captivated by its charm. This earned the Danish artist a cult status and established him as an accomplished composer. The ambient music with an industrial flair of his earlier releases becomes organic in Elegy For The Victors and acquires life: a life depicting gorgeously melodious passages which tell a story of happy sadness or of sad happiness. Such narrative is constructed by means of a lo-fi but majestic and emotionally charged sensitivity, gentle waves of haunting loops, cinematic samples and sweet maritime sounds which will hypnotise you. This is the long-awaited remastered vinyl reissue with a new artwork which, beautifully and more appropriately, captures the melancholic essence of a masterpiece of rarefied elegance.
Review: artist iridescence debuts on brilliant swedish label blundar - a blend of electronic ambient & abstract electronica subtle reminding of earliest Delsin releases and CIM works... long player with 12 rather short tracks and interludes. limited to 100 hand-numbered copies - artwork by mutantexture.
Review: Planet Mu usher in the return of Ital Tek and a new sonic approach for the long-term label associate, as Hollowed finds Alan Myson switching up his approach. The chance to immerse himself in a new studio set up was the impetus for Myson to engage in laying down countless hours' worth of loops, drones and textures. It is apparently a method he used as a teenager, but armed with years of recording experience he was now able to make the record he had then envisaged. Fans of the crisp style of dubstep Ital Tek made his name on might be a bit taken aback by this new direction, but there is plenty of fine music to explore here for those that like their sounds abstract and impressionistic.