Review: One half of the Steven Porter duo, Katsunori Sawa, debuts solo on the Weevil Neighbourhood, a mysterious Berlin label borne out of the equally enigmatic, and now defunct, Weevil Series. Here Sawa delivers four tracks of industrial and experimental sound design, minus the ear shattering sonics and overbearing drone that other producers of a similar creed may employ. Windswept waves of white noise blow across "Augur" while its drums create a syncopated groove like that of injured beetle limping to safety. Piston pumping sound effects and factory ambience soundtrack "Black Sugar", while "Phenomenon" is the EP's most rhythmically coherent production. Sawa then ends on "NGM" which sounds like the night time hustle of New York city night heard from the empty viewing deck of the Empire State Building.
Review: Kerry Leimer, or simply known as K. Leimer, has been at the forefront of the West Coast ambient / drone game since the mid-'70s, and it's a good thing that Vinyl On Demand has decided to compile a comprehensive amount of his work, because the original material is hell to find in its original format. The Germans have put together a vast amount of his sound sculptures from the years 1977-1980, the formative period of his Palace Of Lights imprint. This is a wide-eyed journey into sound and subtle sonic shifts, a veritable excursion from start to finish, and although the mood is relatively placid throughout, you'll find many tracks that verge on lo-fi pop, and bittersweet psychedelia. We love it, and we think that anyone who doesn't know this guy should start indulging as soon as possible!
Review: Having previously been responsible for a number of themed compilations for Versatile Records, the Acid Arab crew has finally got round to delivering its' first album of original productions. Naturally, it continues their theme of blending North African and Middle Eastern sounds - be it vocals or instruments - with drum machine rhythms and vintage synthesizer sounds. This, though, is where the similarities to their previous work end. While there are a few house-influenced cuts dotted throughout (see the brilliant "Sayarat 303"), for the most part Musique De France veers further towards off-kilter electronic pop. Along the way, they doff a collective cap to new wave, punk-funk, and hazy indie-pop. While it may lack the crackling energy of their more dancefloor-minded productions, it's still a hugely enjoyable set.
Review: When it comes to crafting out-of-this-world fare out of analogue electronics and vintage hardware, there are few quite as talented as Italian composer Caterina Barbieri. She's at it again on "Ecstatic Computation", an album derived from "the creative use of complex sequencing techniques and pattern-based operations". Regardless of the techniques used or Barbieri's high-minded concepts, the resultant music is never less than stunning. Riley and Reich style minimalist melodic patterns - delivered via bold, colourful analogue synths capable of creating an ecstatic mood amongst listeners - catch the ear throughout, while intriguing diversions such as "Arrows Of Time" - a mesmerizing piece for Harpsichord and voice - only emphasise the quality and depth of Barbieri's work. In a word: breathtaking.
Review: Suzanne Ciani's first official releases came out in the 1980s, but the producer was already making music by the time she was seven. In fact, this collection of live performances dates back to a gig in 1975, where a young Ciani was already experimenting with complex Buchla synthesizers. This is terrific material, and if you're looking for looking for deep, treacherous noise experimentations, you don't need to go for something contemporary. Ciari's sounds are still cutting-edge in 2016, and we can imagine just how foreign this music must have sounded to an audience back in 1975. Big applause to Sir Votel and Sir Shipton of Finders Keepers for this one.