Review: The unveiling of an Apparat album is always cause for commotion with the artist influence enough to push radio stations to stream his music 24/7 upon release. Long passages of streaming synth-textures underline the loose and sparse percussive effects of Apparat's jazz and minimalism. The artist's signature bass pulses hit the sweet spot throughout the albums entirety, always inspiring a well of heavy feeling when they do. Touches of the artist's Bpitch Control days remain as does Apparat's always inspired approach when merging instrumentation with outboard gear and technology, beat making and sound design. A sound to cherish once more.
Review: Those with a passion for drone textures and off-kilter ambient recordings should already be familiar with the work of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. The New York-based Californian multi-instrumentalist has spent the last decade sauntering between labels, releasing a string of well-regarded albums in the process. On The Echoing Green is his second full-length for Mexican Summer. It sees him expertly blurring the boundaries between drone, ambient and dub techno, presenting a range of cuts that flit between clandestine moodiness, sparkling beauty and mood-enhancing bliss. Check, for example, the shoegaze-influenced brilliance of "Echoing Green" and "Tenderness", the distorted, intergalactic noise of "Vulgar Latin" and the layered field recordings of "Door To Night".
Review: Marc Nguyen Tan was updating krautrock tropes in disarmingly ice-cool style way before the popular renaissance for such stylistic moves began, yet he's been somewhat quiet in the last ten years since his original label - Trevor Jackson's Output - folded. Indeed, some of the material on his fourth album 'The Rain' hails from not long after that period, having hung in limbo, yet these nocturnal soundscapes never sound dated or mannered. Without many interjections from his trademark understated vocals, these songs take a more experimental and free-flowing bent, yet remain the ineffable Gallic mystique by which he made his name, marking a welcome return to the fold for this charismatic figure.
Review: Where were you seven years ago? School? High school? College? First job? Last job? Whatever the answer it's certainly not the same place as Efterklang were, and still are. The Danish trio have never been of this world, yet give us so many opportunities to consider the emotion and passion this world offers. The first album to be fully written in their native tongue accentuates those qualities - dreamy soundscapes, different and decidedly bewitching intonation. It's an epic journey, with the likes of "Uden Ansigt" among the most epic, like Bon Iver's vocals slow dancing with the soaring instrumentation of Sigur Ros. "Havet Lofter Sig" ups the beauty, fittingly on the shortest track - gentle pianos, unnaturally pitched backing voices and baritone lead creating real yearning, proving nothing great lasts forever. Or longer than a couple of minutes. Cutting to the chase, it's a mesmerising work you're sure to have on repeat.