Review: It's taken a while, but finally SUED co-founder SVN (real name Sven Rieger) has delivered a debut solo album. Ominously, the accompanying release sheet only features the following words: "the end of an era". Perhaps we'll find out more about what that means in future; for now, we can enjoy "Mechine", because it's as strange, off-kilter, inspired and involving as we've come to expect. Rieger's analogue-rich sound takes elements from a number of styles and sounds - acid, ambient, electronica, ultra-deep house, mid-90s IDM, ghetto-tech, weird slow jams etc - without fully embracing any. As a result, "Mechine" is quirky and curious, but also full-to-bursting with leftfield gems that will variously soothe, seduce and surprise the senses.
Review: Mind Miniatures, the latest mysterious outing from publicity-shy Vancouver collective Aquarian Foundation, has been slated for release for the best part of 12 months. Finally it's arrived, and it's a bit of an off-kilter gem. Comprised of a seamless live performance split into two 20-plus minute parts, it's a dreamlike voyage that offers an updated take on the ambient house style first made popular by The Orb, Aphex Twin and Global Communication in the early '90s. As a fluid listening experience, it's superb, with exotic rhythms, pitched down deep house grooves, liquid chords, trippy electronics and dislocated vocal samples drifting in and out of an imaginative and immersive live performance.