Review: BOOM! Our favourites, Cititrax, roll the third editions of Tracks out onto our shelves, and the results are unsurprisingly strong on this excellent various artists comp. It's a mixed bag of skills, as per usual, and the sounds are those of a new NYC, fuelled by a new sort of post-industrial sensibility. Amato Y Mariana open with the tight beats and groove of "Queires Bailar", followed closely by the ominous compositions of the EBM-flavoured "Montgat" from The Sixteen Steps. On the flip, His Dirty Secrets bleeps out some morphed acid on "Structures", and "Another Stranger" from Further Reductions churns out a slow, mild-mannered house experiment with its roots clearly planted in the coldest of waves. Sick.
Review: There's a delightfully celebratory feel about this debut volume of Cititrax Tracks, a new 12" series from Minimal Wave offshoot Cititrax. As beautifully presented as we've come to expect, Tracks Volume 1 boasts a quartet of dancefloor-ready smashers from a blend of new faces and label stalwarts. Amato (aka The Hacker) kicks things off with the glistening EBM funk of "Physique" - all restless synth refrains and pounding bottom end - before LIES affiliate Tsuzing go all dark, psychedelic and twisted on the thrillingly intense, acid-flecked "King of System". An-I go all DAF (with a touch of Front 242) on the fuzzy and dystopian stomper "Mutter", before Cititrax regulars Broken English Club delivers a storming chunk of industrial-tinged analogue funk ("Glass"). Bravo!
The McDonald's Prayer (Japan Blues regrind) (5:58)
The McDonald's Prayer (Ossia Milkshake mix) (3:19)
Review: Seb Gainsborough and Chester Giles' ASDA project has been one of our highlights over the last couple of years. Through their punky, deranged aesthetic, the duo have given new meanings to the spoken word disposition and, in the process, left the doors wide open for interpretation. The music scene needs that. We need that. It's as if their work has cleansed the air for us and taken our minds back to a time when genres weren't such a big deal; a palette cleanser, if you will! "The McDonald's Prayer" marks their second outing on for No Corner and, much like The Abyss LP, the tune blazes through poetry with disparate shots of bass and sparse percussion stabs. This is all rendered all the more special thanks to a remix from London's Japan Blues, whose remix duties ever since that pair of bruisers for Place No Blame have become household favourites of ours, and he's on form here; a lo-fi slew of bass moulds around hazy claps and peaceful melodies to create a masterful groove. Ossia comes in for the second remix, this time stretching the original out onto some vintage Metalheadz vibes... minus the breaks. Sick.
Review: It's been a good week for Asylum, whose robust contributions to the Persistence's just-released third multi-artist EP have been picking up major plaudits. This limited-edition 7" single sees the unheralded producer mark his debut solo release with a decidedly spooky and foreboding chunk of industrial IDM. It boasts droning, fuzzy guitars and dystopian melody lines rising above a distorted, off-kilter drum rhythm. On the B-side, Downwards co-founder and '90s techno survivor Regis provides a remix that harnesses the inherent exoticism at the heart of Asylum's original while stripping back some of the darker elements that make the original version such a moody listen. His sparse but rolling drums are particularly impressive.
Review: Hiroshima-based producer Paul T Kirk is hardly prolific, but has nevertheless managed to release a string of fine albums over the last 14 years. Short Fuse is his first set for alt.vinyl and sees him expand on the dusty, otherworldly industrial, illbient and dark IDM experiments of his 2015 full-length, Sometime, Never. Kirk is a talented sound designer, capable of crafting fascinating, fully-formed tracks that rise above a sound soup built on manipulated field recordings, shortwave radio chatter and crackling electronic distortion. It's a formula that not only guarantees atmospheric listening, but also a string of fine tracks that veer from fuzzy industrial intensity to ghostly ambient bliss.
Review: Alesia Cosmos were a collective of musicians led by Bruno de Chenerilles (and several other collaborators) formed in the early '80s in Strasbourg. Under the influence of William Burroughs, John Cage, Pierre Henry and others, de Chenerilles developed tape music. By 1982, he appeared for the first time under the name Alesia Cosmos Furi Show. This experimental show led to a music project based on his and close collaborator Pascal Holtzer's compositions, performed with other musicians in the beginning of 1983. The Exclusivo! LP was the group's debut album recorded and was self-released in 1983. de Chenerilles and Holtzer's improvisations with the group brought forth more ideas and the album was recorded in a few days. The result was a mixing of electronic music, field recordings, North African and Asian percussion, electric guitars and voices, compositions and free improvisations. All four musicians took turns singing onomatopoeic phrases and backing vocals, even sometimes in an unknown language, a sort of mixed bag between Breton and Japanese.