Review: On his newest release for avant electronic powerhouse Editions Mego, German minimal techno legend Thomas Brinkmann. Brinkmann digitally recreated the timbre of a grand piano and then subjected the synthetic sound to a brutal MIDI workout. Also of inspiration were airport terminals, or as he named them 'no-places', and their sterile surroundings devoid of any personality or soul which informed the track titles. The album sits somewhere between mystique concrete, glitch and death metal drumming, if you can imagine such a thing.
Review: It never fails to impress us just how sharp Ryucihi Sakamoto's experimental instincts remain, despite his advancing years. For proof, check the line-up of artists he asked to provide remixes for this "remodeled" companion piece to last year's sublime Async full-length. Predictably, almost all bring their A-game. Check, for example, the sweeping cinematic brilliance of Oneohtrix Point Never's interpretation of "Andata", the mournful, ultra-atmospheric wonder of Alva Noto's take on "Disintegration", the wall-of-sound sonic textures and neo-classical movements of Fennsez's version of "Solari", and the chopped-and-screwed headiness of "Async (ARCA Remix)". For the most part, all involved have somehow managed to emphasize the depth of feeling in Sakamoto's compositions, most of which were inspired by his well documented battle with cancer.
Review: As Autechre set out on an extensive live tour, Warp has decided the time is right to reissue their 1994 classic, Amber, on vinyl. Given that it's been unavailable on wax since then, and second hand prices have shot through the roof, this is undoubtedly a good thing. It remains one of the legendary duo's standout albums: a peerless collection of brilliant IDM tunes offering a perfect balance between the glistening, atmospheric melodiousness of their early work, and the crunchy, mathematical rhythms of their later releases. There are moments of eyes-closed calm ("Silverside"), bubbly, melody-led workouts ("Montreal", "Slip"), far-out electro missives ("Glitch"), and the odd icy epic (the brilliant "Further").
Review: Editions Mego aren't only good at releasing classics, but they're actually equally as amazing at scouting new, raw talent. The American artiste, Klara Lewis, steps into the limelight with ten audaciously diverse electronic sculptures. Samples and field recordings get moulded and chopped-up and create rhythmic patterns which could almost be danced to. For instance, the opener "CATT" is a rough and improvisational patchwork of organic noises and atmospherics gathered from diverse settings and fused herein to create a stunning hook. The same goes for the rest of the tracks and to be honest, Lewis is actually doing something interesting with field recordings - we can't wait to hear her sound progress into an even more convoluted sonic shuffle! Tip!
Review: British experimental musician Luke Younger returns to PAN following up 2015's difficult yet riveting opus "Olympic Mess". Composed in the Essex countryside, he once again shapes samples and field recordings into new forms. Movement is an overarching theme - sound collages are assembled and dismantled, and temporal and spatial boundaries fluctuate - on an album that questions the structures around us. We're enjoying the abrasive and textural sonic soundscapes on "Capital Crisis (Ne City Loop)", the droning and hypnotic slo-mo techno of "Leave Them All Behind" with its intoxicating effects, the musique concrete of "Toxic Racecourse" which treads more familiar territory of Helm's work - as does the avant-garde imaginary soundtrack "You Are The Database".
Review: Ever since their first white labels started to appear a few years back, we've been big, bigs fans of Russia's Gost Zvuk label. That's because, aside from all the gnarly artwork, these guys are doing things on their own agenda: the sounds on these records are recognisable and yet different. Different in their approach, their style, and their message. On this Pavel 'BUTTECHNO' Milyakov debut, a record that sounds like it's been made by a veteran, we here shards of techno, but the genre is only used as a means of expression, one means to an end in terms of tying these alien sonics together under one groove. We won't describe this music in detail because it simply must be heard to be understood. Album of the week from us, don't miss it. Oh, and check the rest of the label out, it's all solid gear.
Review: Ever since Nina Kraviz launched her Trip label back in 2014, Bjarki has been the imprint's most prolific artist. The Icelandic producer's latest release is his eighth in total for the label, and follows a trio of albums and a quartet of 12" singles. It's an intriguing EP, all told, with Bjarki combining experimental-minded sounds, motifs and production techniques with bombastic, four-to-the-floor techno rhythms. The results are generally intense and impressive, with highlights including the surging, Surgeon-seque madness of "Hatann Satann", the insanely bass heavy and energy-packed "Oli Gumm 2-2", and the crackling, spaced-out creepiness of the metallic and otherworldly "Fork2-2".
Review: Before he'd even released any music, Brainwaltzera's tracks were being "liked" by Aphex Twin. It caused a bit of a furore - and subsequently the hype surrounding this admittedly superb debut album - but the patronage of Richard D James is in many ways fitting. You see, Poly Ana is full of the kind of hard-to-pigeonhole electronic fare that could have come from the legendary Cornish producer's studio. There are moments of fluid, ghostly ambience, alternately clattering and crackling IDM machine jams, mind-altering leftfield techno throb-jobs and fizzing, braindance-inspired workouts. Imaginative, emotive, off-kilter and left-of-centre, it's litte less than a triumphant first album.
Your Warrior (feat Kinoo, Aletchko & Johannes Schon)
Say It's Going To Change
Closer (feat Knox Chandler)
As For Me (feat Kinoo & Aletchko)
The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Drinker
The Year My Dreams Come True
This Frozen Lake (feat Kinoo)
Review: Given his productivity, it's rather a surprise to find that Alan Abrahams is Portable's first album for five years. Coming out on German behemoth !K7, the collection sees the affable South African exploring the potential of woozy, off-kilter electronic soul. Shot through with his usual blissful, synthesized beauty, atmospheric pads and yearning melodies, the set's 11 tracks veer from skittish, deep broken techno "More Than", and string-laden simplicity (the intensely beautiful "As For Me"), to tear-jerking ambience ("The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Drinker"), deep, malcnholic Afro-house ("Seraphin"), and Osunlade style, organic explorations (the wonderful "This Frozen Lake").