Review: The Cop Killers' only tape is remastered and reissued on vinyl for the first time via Ecstatic. The highly-sought after classic is described as 'an indispensable slice of '80s Europe's underground experimental rhizome', the eponymous offering was originally presented in 1982 on the legendary Trax label and featured the industrial power trio of label co-founder Vittore Baroni, with Daniele Ciullini and Brit Mark A. Phillips (Five Times of Dust). The album is a coarse blend of Italian-accented English vox with backing tracks ranging from jaunty synth figures, to cloven drum machine malfunctions and noisier wig-outs and eventually mixed on a dual cassette deck and mixer from numerous tapes in just over 90 minutes.
Review: The Serbian representative of retirement synthesiser success Abul Mogard has a new release to impart which comes forth on Walls' own label Ecstatic. As with previous Mogard releases on VCO Records, there is a quiet, slow-burning intensity to this work, gently unfurling monstrous tones in a harmonious swell that manages to be both comforting and unsettling in the same stroke. With subtle processing at the heart of his sound, Mogard once again demonstrates just how powerful the right combination of signal paths can be at evoking strong emotions, using the most glacial sonic gestures possible as a throwdown to an impatient age.
Review: Since his first ambient sketches started appearing in 2012 on the VCO Records label, we have been utterly transfixed with Abul Mogard's music. That's because it ain't no ordinary type of ambient; the enigmatic producer has a very clear sound and direction in his mind when it comes to something as abstract as this. Ecstatic herein compiles the best of his work thus far, capturing nine important and extremely alluring pieces of soundscape for the grey-scaled enthusiast. Pieces such as "Drooping Off" or "Post Crisis Remembrance" are different from each other, the former verging more towards orchestral noise and the latter a downbeat sort of melancholia, but the message is united and linear across them; it's one that evokes feelings of euphoria and perhaps even strikes a bit of fear into the heart, something that is inarguably powerful through the medium of music. Excellent and recommended.
Review: Not Glass is the debut collaboration between Ecstatic's Alessio Natalizia (Not Waving) and Dimitris Papadatos aka Jay Glass Dubs. A result of years of daily Facebook chats between the London and Athens-based artists, the 'Forma' LP is described by the label itself as 'a theatrical soundtrack', and pays tribute to Latin and Greek authors Ovid and Heraclitus. Our picks from the bunch are the evocative, ambient scenes on "Fallite Fallentes" and "Lusicrum", the haunting polyrhythmic suspense of "Dum Loquor, Hora Fugit" and the cavernous beats on the minimalist "Ut Ameris, Amabilis Esto".
Review: For the uninitiated, The Waldorf Project is an ongoing series of "immersive art experiences" produced by artist Sean Rogg that tend towards the dark, intense and shocking. While each performance is different, one constant is the woozy, unsettling and occasionally surprisingly beautiful music produced and performed by Alessio Natalizia AKA Not Waving. In total, Natalizia recorded over 20 hours worth of music for the project between 2013 and 2018, with "Futuro" bringing together some of the Italian's favourite compositions. It's mostly ambient in tone, with Natalizia sashaying between slowly unfurling, Eno-esque compositions, gloopy modular soundscapes and fizzing, cyclical sets that recall Terry Riley's synthesizer-based works. Closing cut "Emotion 7.7 Communion", a heart-aching ambient epic tinged with immeasurable sadness, is particularly potent, though the standard remains very high throughout.
Review: As this collection on Ale Natalizia's Ecstatic proves, Gavin Russom's experiments with the far out reaches of electronic music dates back to the mid-'90s. Russom is perhaps best placed to explain the context: "Arriving in New York City I found myself surrounded by an incredibly intense field of stuff to take in; late night radio mixes which featured distinctly New York sounds like freestyle and hip hop, clubs where house, techno and jungle played to drugged-out and/or completely sober sweaty crowds and beard scratchers alike, no wave, new wave, disco, afro-Caribbean, art rock and experimental music records I would pick up at thrift shops or used record stores." This is clearly heard throughout Source Cognitive Eyes, a compilation of sonic sketches recorded between 1996 and 1998 which waves no faithfulness to any one genre of style. Instead, Russom paints a wild and distorted picture, one that has been replicated these days through labels like LIES or The Trilogy Tapes. This is cutting-edge gear for the time it was recorded, and it's no surprise that it is only now that Russom has been brave enough to resurrect the tapes.