Review: Ziggy Stardust's yet unheard instrumental album after he returned from a trip on his Gemini spaceship. Not much is known of the shadowy producer (yes, despite the compelling pitch we gave you before!) as yet, but this just adds to the mystery surrounding the release as a whole. From hazy balearica to blunted hip-hop beats, deep country-infused exotica (if we've ever heard such a thing!) to lo-slung psychedelia - it's a captivating journey from start to finish. Will certainly appeal to fans of life in the slow lane, best presented recently by Marcus Worgull and Motor City Drum Ensemble's Vermont project or pretty much anything on London's Claremont 56 imprint. Highly recommended. Tip!
Review: The Canadian post-rock instrumentalists return with a demand for revolution, soundtracked by just shy of 45 minutes of orchestral aggression. As with all of their work, GY!BE convey their ideas articulately through evocative wordless music. The opener, 'Undoing a Luciferian Towers' sets a tone for the album with a monolithic and militaristic march. Passages of feedback open out into anthemic expanse on the three parts of 'Bosses Hang'. 'Fam/Famine' balances between harmonic assonance and dissonance, ramping up the tension before the final triptych 'Anthem Of The State' takes a more optimistic tone, with the movement away from noise providing some glimmers of light in the abyss. 'Luciferian Towers' is an impeccable and polished record, and possibly Godspeed You! Black Emperor's finest to date.
Review: The Canadian sonic soothsayers here deal out their shortest, and most immediate record since their 1997's debut, yet for all its 40-minute brevity, there's no shortage of the kind of monolithic intensity that the band have become renowned for. As orchestral and elegiac as it triumphantly amp-abusing, "Asunder..." is a masterclass in windswept atmospherics, powerful dynamics and apocalyptic grandeur, building to a climax with enough emotional heft to shake any listener's world on its axis. Existing more than ever outside of genre and comparison, Godspeed continue to inhabit an awe-inspiring sonic landscape that is theirs and theirs alone.
Review: Undoubtedly one of the most unique and profounds records heard in recent memory, this third full-length album from the Montreal-Beirut, audio-visual duo, Jerusalem In My Heart, is an awe-inspired display of voice, electronics, buzuq instrumentation and Maqam shifts. The album collides Arabian musicology with contemporary extremes of experimental electronic production, and the sounds and socio, geo-political discourse it navigates, fathoms depths so deep it's impossible not to feel affected by its sentiment. With the 19 minute-long "Wa Ta'atalat Loughat Al Kalam" defining the release like a street call to pray, the fretted bumps and dancey grunge of "Bein Ithnein" to the guttural oral chants of "Thahab, Mish Roujou', Thahab", places Daqa'iq Tudaiq in a world of its own. Must Listen.
Review: Ruud Lekx, the Dutch musician behind a string of releases as Rude 66 on Creme Organisation, has opted to ditch aliases for this haunting full-length. It's a well-tempered sonic barrage that pivots between experimental post-rock, cleaner coldwave moments, and industrial noise. The range of sounds, polyrhythmic 808 programming and discordant harmonies Lekx uses is impressive alone, but becomes chillingly arresting when coupled with his wife Shaunna's computerized and pseudo-schizophrenic vocals. This is not one for the faint of heart.
Review: Re-issue of this underground classic for those that know! Originally released in 1983, Lifetones comprised of duo Charles Bullen and Julius Cornelius Samuel. Bullen was previously in short lived but seminal art rock outfit This Heat and drummer Samuel was also known in some circles as Dub Judah. Hailed by many as an influential and innovative project, the band fuses dub, krautrock, middle eastern and post punk aesthetics interestingly on this Zeitgeist/soundtrack for early 80's Thatcherite Britain and the struggles of youth in Brixton in the face of economic adversity.
(Hope) Is Just Another Word With A Hole In It (5:47)
Review: Death metal, sludge to post-rock and synthwave specialists Relapse deliver a third album from the shoegazing Nothing. With artwork to challenge anything conjured up by Aphex Twin or Bjork, Nothing's sound was captured and produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) at Dreamland Studio in Woodstock and it's an album that will send you spiralling back towards what the band call "stories of self-loathing, self-destruction, and a general disdain for humanity." Yep, the '90s; time to lose your job, fall out with your friends, get that eviction notice, and listen to this on a bean bag watching Reality Bites on mute. Let it rain.
Review: British duo Raime are back with the first album since 2012's brilliant Quarter Turns A Living Line and their signature style of dark ambience and haunting imaginary soundtracks which incorporate jungle, dub and post-punk influences into the mix also. The album is said to be largely influenced by their side project Moin which incorporates rock and metal influences too. According to Blackest Ever Black "the DNA of dub-techno, garage/grime and post-hardcore rock music spliced into sleek and predatory new forms." Highlights include the moody subtractive rock of "Dialling In, Falling Out", the dub and post punk crossover of "Dead Heat" and the brooding mood-lighting of "Cold Cain".
Review: Reykjavik-based noise quartet, Sigur Ros - translated to Victory Rose - sublime 1999 album Agaetis Byrjun turns 20 this year and to commemorate the legendary band have assembled two luxury box sets featuring all matter of demos, rarities and live recordings. There is also the option to just rebask in the limelight of A Good Beginning (Agaetis Byrjun) repress that's worth it alone for album opener "Svefn-g-englar" - a breathy 10-minute swoon through the ether of sweet harmony. Travel the rest of the album until you get to "Avalon" - one of the deepest classical requiems you can hope to hear. A sonic fortress of bizarre digital noises, weird drones, wispy vocals and breathtakingly radiant percussion, Agaetis Byrjun is a masterpiece of revolutionary proportions.
Review: This may be the last chapter in what stands proud as the mightiest resurrection of a classic band in modern times, yet for all the melancholy to be suffered if this does prove to be the case, frankly, what a way to go. 'The Glowing Man' is full to bursting with the kind of panoramic soundscapes, intense existential gravitas and dramatic crescendos that have characterised Michael Gira & Co's post-2010 output, yet has restraint and subtlety to match its almighty sturm-und-drang - these colossal songs triumph just as much through their dynamics and beauty as their volume and brute force, crowning a startling achievement a singular and overwhelming primal force deserving of awe aplenty.
AR & Machines - "I'll Be Your Singer, You'll Be My Song" (2:27)
Deutsche Wertarbeit - "Deutscher Wald" (4:02)
Dzyan - "Khali" (4:40)
Missus Beastly - "Geisha" (5:24)
Alex - "Derule" (2:54)
Agitation Free - "In The Silence Of The Morning Sunrise" (6:33)
Georg Deuter - "Pearls" (2:10)
Michael Bundt - "The Brain Of Oskar Panizza" (8:42)
Popol Vuh - "Ja, Deine Liebe Ist Suber Als Wein" (3:31)
Novalis - "Dronsz" (4:56)
Broselmaschine - "Schmetterling" (9:28)
Neu! - "Neuschnee" (4:04)
Between - "And The Waters Opened" (10:59)
La Dusseldorf - "White Overalls" (2:09)
Klaus Weiss - "Constellation" (1:43)
Achim Reichel - "Tanz Der Vogel In Den Winden" (7:32)
Roedelius - "Lustwandel" (3:52)
Pyrolator - "Die Haut Der Frau" (3:08)
Cluster - "Hollywood" (4:23)
Streetmark - "Passage" (4:23)
Niagara - "Rhythm Go" (2:45)
Michael Bundt - "Neon" (12:30)
Review: If you're in the market for a beginner's guide to krautrock and "kosmiche", then the first two volumes of Soul Jazz's Deutsche Elektronische Musik series should be essential listening. This third volume - the first for four years - should be on that list, too. It arguably goes deeper than its predecessors, combining cuts from pioneering electronic and art-rock bands like Neu!, Cluster and Popol Vuh with tracks from lesser-known artists such as Michael Bundt, Dronsz and Achim Reichel. Musically, it's also far more diverse than its predecessors, containing as much space-rock and proto-punk as early electronic experimentation and droning alternative rock. As ever, the accompanying sleeve notes from author David Nobbs expand on the story in brilliant detail.
Review: This collaboration between the sepulchral Sinatra and the kings of ceremonial metallic drone-worship, whilst it is transparently not a work for the faint of heart, is nonetheless worth all the excitement its announcement created in avant-garde circles, and more besides, It's more audibly a work from Walker's than Sunn O)))'s, yet with their assistance the rich melodrama and unflinching abstraction has rarely sounded more startling, or alarmingly approachable. What's more, the counterpoint provided by Sunn O))) to his stentorian baritone elevates proceedings to new heights of otherworldly intensity, resulting in no less than a game-changing triumph, and a clear album of the year contender from this odd couple.