Illusions Of Shameless Abundance (feat Lydia Lunch) (5:55)
Alucinao (feat Estado Unido & FKA Twigs) (9:09)
Review: Hot on the heels of "2017-2019", his second album of angular, off-kilter electronics and mechanical rhythms work under the Against All Logic alias, Nicolas Jaar offers up a 12" containing two eyebrow-raising collaborative cuts. Legendary alternative artist Lydia Lunch, who also features on the album, pops up on A-side "Illusions of Shameless Abundance", adding a out there spoken word vocal - much of which is presented as a series of overlapping loops - to Jaar's skewed modular electronics and trippy, out-of-this-world sounds. Estado Unido and FKA Twigs lend a hand on flipside "Alucinao", providing gently soulful lyrical flavour to a distorted, thrillingly aggressive South American electro rhythm, sweaty pots-and-pans percussion and metallic melodic elements.
Review: Having previously offered up his raw, all-action experimental work on obscure or outdated formats, Anna Funk Damage (real name Andrea Natale) has finally released a 12" single. The EP is as intriguing and challenging as you'd expect, with the Italian noisenik flitting between skewed, sub-heavy electro-horror madness (crazy lead cut "Badass Bitch"), thrusting 8-bit industrial murk (the Cabaret Voltaire-meets-Nitzer Ebb-inside a Commodore 64 insanity of "Bloodydeath"), gabber-speed post trance mutant funk ("Elm Street (Faster Edition)") and sub-heavy body music that rhythmically has more in common with UK funky than it does DAF or Front 242 ("That's Why I'm Hot"), which also includes some shimmering, life-affirming synthesizer chords.
Review: Since it was Area that started the Kimochi Sound revolution just under a decade ago, it seems fitting that the publicity-shy artist has delivered the label's first release of a new decade. There are no new Area tracks here though, but rather a quartet of fresh reworks of classic cuts. Natan H kicks off proceedings with a deep, hypnotic, trippy and undeniably wonky revision of "Dare To Be Different", before Leif weighs in with a deliciously melodious, soft-focus revision of picturesque track "The Face Yours Reminds Me Of". Benjamin Brunn takes over on Side B and delivers two contrasting versions on "Effortlessness": the deep, wayward electro-meets-dub house drowsiness of the "Gold Plated Diamonds" mix and the heady ambient techno brilliance of the "Chrome Plated Diamonds" mix.
Review: Kris Baha had a big year in 2019 with the release of his debut album on CockTail d'Amore and an EP on Pinkman, and now the Australian body music man in Berlin is back with a high-pressure heater for [Emotional] Especial. "Barely Alive" is the kind of sinewy proto-industrial cut that will appeal to fans of Ministry's earlier work, when the synths reigned supreme and there was pop to match the noir. Especial then call on a cast of remixers to interpret the track in different ways, from Timothy J Fairplay amping up the dystopian disco tropes to Das Ding creating a sleek electro-funk twist with the original's gothic undertones intact.
Review: Second time around for Julianna Barwick and Rafael Anton Irisarri's lauded contribution to the THESIS label's series of collaborative 10-inch singles. The 2017 set has been in high demand since it first appeared in stores, and with a limited number available outside the US for the first time we're expecting it to sell out in double-quick time. Musically, it's one of the most picturesque things that Irissari has been involved in. The untitled opener delivers a near perfect fusion of layered improvised vocals and wispy ambient electronics, while the track that follows brilliantly builds to a crescendo of Tangerine Dream style arpeggio melodies, densely layered textures and acid-esque motifs. The flipside opener is a more softly spun, deep ambient soundscape, while the EP's closing cut is sparkling, spacey and hugely alluring.
Review: First released way back in 1982, Blancmange's "Living On The Ceiling" remains one of the most alluring and eccentric of all new wave-era synth-pop cuts, in part because the unusual inclusion of tabla and sitar parts gives it an unusually exotic, mind-altering flavour. This timely reissue includes the original album mix (B1) and '82 12" version (B2), as well as two brand new reworks from the mighty Roman Flugel. The veteran German producer has delivered the goods, first via a deliciously wonky, otherworldly and analogue-rich revision that brilliantly fuses elements of trippy Teutonic techno and raw, turn-of-the-80s New Wave. As you'd expect, his accompanying dub takes the track further in this direction, delivering a deliciously skewed trip into sparse, heavy, early morning territory.
Review: Bochum Welt's 2019 album "Seafire" was arguably one of the strongest full-length sets that Central Processing Unit has released to date, which given the Sheffield-based label's track record is high praise indeed. This EP offers fresh interpretations of some of the album's many highlights. First up is a perfectly pitched radio edit of "More Light" a gorgeous slice of IDM bliss that recalls the halcyon days of Boards of Canada, which is later given a slightly chunkier - but no less beautiful - treatment by EOD and a bustling, club-ready electro re-fix, complete with Yorkshire bleeps, by veteran DJ/producer James Zabeila. Elsewhere, the ambient mix of "G1" is as luscious and blissful as you'd expect, while Teflon Tel Aviv's revision of "Color Me" is opaque, sun-kissed and more than a little spaced-out.
Review: If you're familiar with dBridge's Exit Records you've almost definitely already bought this one. If you're not, let's just say the prolific producer and label boss, best known for drum 'n' bass although never restricted to genre, heads up an imprint that's also at the cutting edge of broken rave-y noises, and has again struck gold with this one. Whether you'd prefer to categorise contents as electro, leftfield breaks or half-beat experiments is down to personal choice and how tracks are read on a personal level. When all is said and done, each of those descriptions is accurate, and everything is defined by a futuristic atmosphere that seems to take ears and bodies into the cosmos. Equally effective on dancefloors as they are bed or front room, here be next level stuff.
Review: Leeds lad Chekov was one of the first artists Shanti Celeste turned to when she launched Peach Discs with Housework pal Gramrcy back in 2017. Here he returns to action with his first solo EP since and it's a bit of a beauty. He beginnings with the immersive, sunrise-ready ambient swell of "Blanked Out", where layered synthesizer motifs flutter atop the sound of what sounds like a heavily processed recording of a babbling brook, before skipping towards the dancefloor via the beefy broken techno drums, 16-bit melodies and spacey electronic sounds of "Flote". "Swerl" is a near perfect fusion of immersive chords, bittersweet motifs, chiming melodies and crunchy house drums, while "SMP" is a deliciously wonky, low-slunk chunk of lo-fi electronica that defies easy categorization.
Wait For Now (feat Tawiah - Mary Lattimore rework) (6:51)
The Workers Of Art (Kelly Moran remix) (4:42)
A Caged Bird/Imitations Of Life (feat Roots Manuva - Fennesz remix) (7:11)
To Believe (feat Moses Sumney - Lucinda Chua rework) (4:14)
Review: With the Cinematic Orchestra's epic "To Believe Remixes" album set to drop any day now, Ninja Tune has decided to offer up a couple of vinyl samplers featuring some of the finest revisions. This one begins in fine fashion via a stunning Mary Lattimore rework of "Wait For Now" in which Tawiah's sublime, heart-wrenching vocals rise above simmering strings and heavenly harps, before New York "prepared piano" specialist Kelly Moran delivers a similarly swelling, beat-free neo-classical take on "The Workers Of Art" that's every bit as sublime. Over on side B, Fennesz delivers a darker, more atmospheric take on Roots Manuva collaboration "A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life" that increases in moody intensity as it progresses, while Lucinda Chua strips "To Believe" back to stirring strings, heartfelt vocals and little else. Like the rest of the EP, it's jaw-droppingly good.