Review: Loke Rahbek comes through correct on Ward Heirwegh's Sleeperhold Publications, a label which is instantly recognisable thanks to its etched vinyl and cinematic artwork. Rahbek makes his first appearance outside of his familiar Posh Isolation in Denmark, and joins the likes of Tropic Of Cancer on this new and wonderful adventure! Although only three tracks long, Rahbek manages to create a dense and intricate wall of sound thanks to the subtle and consistent changes throughout his electronic sketchworks. Take "Tonic Water Bridge", for example, which fuses naturally into the start of "The Goddess Of Ecstasy Stoned To Death" and disappears into the depths of another electronic ocean. Wonderful stuff, warmly recommended for the Blackest Ever Black cats.
Review: This record from Australian act HTRK for the Sleeperhold Publications label can essentially be seen as a sonic time capsule. All three tracks here are unreleased recordings from the same sessions the band made for their excellent 2011 album Work (Work Work) and feature the distinctive, drawn out basslines of former band member Sean Stewart, who died before that long player was released. Thus the overall seductive mood is very much in a similar vein to Work (Work Work) and should be considered a must for any HTRK completists out there. Like all releases on Sleeperhold Productions, the three tracks fill the A-Side, with the B-Side instead featuring the distinctive etched artwork of David Ferrando Giraut.
Review: The Colour of Entropy (In Three Stages) is a collaboration between Belgium's Sleeperhold Publications and multi-instrumentalist?/?composer Daniel O'Sullivan (DOS) with imagery by French artist Felicia Atkinson. The title of this upcoming release might not unreasonably suggest decay and decomposition. The first few bars of Entropy instantly dispel any such forebodings. You find yourself, instead, transported to some ineffably gorgeous but nevertheless very earthly paradise. Entropy is over fourteen-minutes long, staged in three parts and, as anyone who knows and loves Daniel O'Sullivan will tell you, he is nothing if not mercurial.
Review: Chicago born, Brooklyn based producer Max Ravitz is quite known for his dusty goth(am) house and techno experiments; easily recognised by their brazenly compressed/saturated analogue aesthetic that sound like live jams. It's more of the same on his new offering: A side cut "Learned Behaviour" is the most 'straight-ahead' we've ever heard Ravitz with this tunnelling, hypnotic and absolutely heads down affair that soon evolves via some classic house chord progressions and mad 909 snare theatrics. The bittersweet and melancholic "Diminished Feeling" is more typical of his earlier style on such heralded EPs like his Opal Tapes debut Body Issues: the sound of a lonely Bushwick loft space on a Friday night. The lush and atmospheric "Looking Outside" provides a welcome ambient moment for this fine EP. Yet more fantastic work from him this year, following up the three part epic Several Shades of The Same Color on Ghostly International.
Review: This year has seen Tropic Of Cancer stealthily plot a successful course for total infiltration of our affections, with some well chosen releases laying down the foundations of expectation for the band's much vaunted debut album, slated for release on Blackest Ever Black next year. This eminently collectable three track release for Belgian imprint Sleeperhold will no doubt jostle for first place with that wonderfully atmospheric 12" on Mannequin and split HTRK release on Ghostly for best Tropic Of Cancer release of 2012. It's "Children Of A Lesser God", the final exquisite track that will floor most people, capturing Camella Lobo and company at their most powerful. Spartan drum machines and nerve tingling guitars form the backbone of this stunning seven minute track as Lobo's undeniably plaintive delivery sinks ever deeper into the murky recesses.