Black Rain & Collin Gorman Weiland - "Just Before Oakdale" (6:13)
Boris Barksdale - "Fractal Haze" (7:04)
Champagne Mirrors - "All Faces On" (5:19)
Collin Gorman Weiland - "I Can't Memorize One More Thing" (1:30)
Halv Drom - "111" (3:45)
Crepuscular - "Second" (3:54)
Cube - "Tenet Version" (3:42)
Skuury - "No Compass" (4:27)
Bead - "Noxiozone" (4:42)
Review: Since setting their stall out in 2017, the experimentalists behind Minnesota's Eyemyth label have offered up a range of releases from artists whose music challenges as much as it entertains. "Delicacy Spectrum" - the label's first compilation -takes a similar sonic approach. Flitting between abstract, dystopian soundscapes, growling post-EBM club cuts, lo-fi industrial workouts, ear-bleeding noise compositions and dark, otherworldly sonic explorations, the set bleeds distorted, in-your-face excellence from start to finish. Highlights include - but are in no way limited to - the dubbed-out hypnotism of Bead's "Noxiozone", the pulsating trip that is Cube's "Tenet Version", the wild and apocalyptic horror of Crepuscular's "Second" and the muscular aggression of "Fractal Haze" by Boris Barksdale.
Review: Basel-based group Varuna returns to Garcon and Agonius' Amenthia recordings, with an impressive debut long player, featuring four tracks of deep and ethereal sound exploration. Go deep into the rainforest on the esoteric opener "Departure From Kalidor", surrender to the void on the darkly psychedelic "Entela's Daymare" or lose yourself in the heady and hypnotic bliss of "Labyrinth Of Nuanto". Abstract tribal-trance expressions in the vein of Voices From The Lake, Nuel or natural/electronic.system - highly recommended!
Review: Since 2016, Stockholm outfit Viagra Boys has offered up a swathe of singles that excitedly veer between heavy post-punk, krautrock and angry, riff-powered alternative rock. "Street Worms", their debut album, boasts the same swaggering, lo-fi approach as their previous singles, zipping between the fuzz-fuelled dancefloor stomp of "Amphetanarchy", the growling riffs and razor-sharp solos of "Shrimp Shack", the mangled sax solos, bellowed vocals and tempo-changing insanity of "Sports" and the low-slung brilliance of "Slow Learner", which boasts far more funk than much of the rest of the album put together. This CD edition includes a quintet of bonus cuts, with the skewed Americana-80s alt-rock fusion of "Beijing Taxi" and throbbing "Special Helmet" standing out.
Review: As time passes, the increasingly prolific partnership of Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer moves farther into the wilderness, both artists emboldened by their shared sense of adventure and peerless skill. Here, on this LP for Mana, they're shrugging off all shackles in an exploration of synthesis on a molecular level. What's so thrilling is that patterns and rhythms do emerge from within this primordial soup, winding up in some of the most gorgeous and beguiling works we've tripped on for some time. Otherworldly, but somehow grounded with an earthly instinctive-ness, "The Clouds Know" will take time to wrap your head around, but therein lies the beauty.
Review: We are honored to announce the debut album from Vin Sol, who's taken club-goers on a trip with his tracks and sets for the past two decades. Vin Sol is a third-generation San Franciscan of Salvadorean descent who has released on Unknown to the Unknown, Clone, Delft, Honey Soundsystem, and Ultramajic. His DJ sets expertly span the genres of house, electro, techno, italo, disco, soul, funk, and whatever other finds he digs up. He's also a musical partner of Matrixxman, AKA Charlie Duff, with whom he started the Soo Wavey label. His current focus is on the wild monthly party and label Club Lonely, which he runs with Primo Pitino and Jeremy Castillo. 'Planet Trash' consists of 10 tracks spread across 2 slabs of vinyl and a bonus flexi disc. Vin started working on the album in the winter of 2017 while taking a break from making club tracks. Simultaneously he also wanted to disconnect from the grip of the internet and 24 hour news cycle. Spending more time outside, he became entranced by the Bay Area fog. Sutro Tower wholly enveloped in mist is a view that inspired the ambient tracks on the album. You will also hear hints of the Latin freestyle and classic acid that informed Vin's youth. By spring of 2018 Vin headed to Berlin to finish the album and work on a collaboration with Matrixxman, an homage to SF musical institution Bottom of the Hill that kicks off side C. Vin's musical approach is honest, using the tools of the trade to both innovate upon and pay respect to classic forms. All songs have been mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each copy is housed in a jacket using photos by Vin Sol, and designed by Kevin McCaughey of Boot Boyz Biz. It includes a 4-color giant newsprint fold-out poster and golden flexi disc.
Review: Always a tease, Levon Vincent chose to announce the release of his long-await debut album by drip-feeding information on social media. The subsequent meltdown among the online techno community may have been amusing to watch, but is testament to the Berlin-based New Yorker's impact over the last 10 years. Typically, concrete info has remained thin on the ground aside from the fact it stretches across some four slabs of vinyl and features a homage to Levon's cat Mona. Just before the physical copies were due for release, Vincent elected to give out the 11 track LP digitally for free so it's highly likely you know how it sounds already. If you are a true advocate of his output you'll want this quadruple wax edition! Next-level house and techno dedicated to the "ugly ducklings of the world"!
Review: At the moment, little to nothing is nothing about either Visballa or Umummu Records other than the fact that both artist and label are associated with Berlin's Atelier crew. As a gentle reminder, they are the badboys making the dopest music around, under the Adopo moniker - friends of Sotofett, Dynamo Dreesen, SVN et al! Coming through in LP form, Mud HZ is probably the best piece of experimental work that we have heard this year - no lie! Through an odd and off-kilter approach to merging different aspects of the industrial realm under one roof, Visballa has hit the nail on the head when it comes to quirkiness. In fact, there is not much like this on our charts at the moment, both in and out of the leftfield game; it makes all the rest of the 'outsider' field seem stale by comparison. Highly recommended!
Review: Marcel Dettmann's Bad Manners label has already yielded some quality drops from the label boss and Exterminador, and now it's the turn of Vril to deliver some of his fiercest material to date. As opening track "Scalar" shows, this is Vril in full-on confrontational mode, slamming down heavyweight rave stabs and noisy drum blasts with a sound that goes beyond big room techno to something experimental in its sheer impact. The pressure remains high on "Biohak", and remains malevolent if a little more stripped down on the deadly jack of "Verkunstungstraktat". Notes of EBM and industrial lurk behind this double pack 12", but really it's just bruising modern techno with an artful twist, which seems to be the Bad Manners M.O. - one we can all get behind.
Review: On his first solo release for some three years, Robag Wruhme is in a retrospective kind of mood. "Wuzzelbud FF" has been trailed as a "stylistic follow-up" to 2004 debut album, "Wuzzelbud KK", with the long-serving German producer stating his desire to make some "straightforward music for the dancefloor". It's certainly true that the set contains some genuinely serviceable club cuts - see the mildly foreboding techno growl of "Provol Eto", delightfully metallic and wonky tech-house bump of the title track and creepy stomp of "Veddel Braav" - but there's so much more to it than that. Elsewhere on the set, Wruhme memorably turns his hand to glacial ambient, turn-of-the-90s ambient techno, B12 style IDM and, on the memorable "Maiowu", the kind of Squarepusher and Autechre style madness that would once have been called "drill and bass".
Review: Given that XOR Gate is a new project from Drexciya member and all round Detroit legend Gerald Donald, we'd expect copies of Conic Sections to fly off the shelves. It helps, of course, that's the mini-album is little less than inspired. There are hints of Drexciya's alien electronics throughout, but little in the way of punchy TR-808 beats or booming bass. Instead, Donald treats us to a sublime selection of futurist soundscapes, experimental doodles, deep space ambient compositions and trippy, horror-influenced electronica. It's effectively the distilled essence of Motor City futurism with the dancefloor grooves removed and some creepy modular electronics thrown in. Which, we think you'll agree, is an enticing proposition.
Review: Synthesizer and drum machine obsessive Xosar (AKA producer Sheela Rahman) has enjoyed a productive few years, building a formidable reputation via releases on Rush Hour, L.I.E.S and Creme Organization. Here she delivers her first full-length for Opal Tapes' occasional vinyl offshoot, Black Opal. It's perhaps a little less colourful and synthesizer-heavy than previous excursions, instead focusing on dark, fuzzy, heavily percussive takes on acid house and techno. Of course, there are curious interludes - see the wonky industrial IDM of "Prophylaxis" and the beatless synth madness of "Gnome Circle" - but it's the more floor-friendly excursions (and most profoundly the bleak and intense "Hades Gates") that really stand out.
Review: Almost five years has passed since now legendary Japanese producer Susumu Yokota passed away. Lo Recordings, who worked with the experimental electronica, techno and ambient artist over a number of years, have decided to mark the occasion by releasing a posthumous album made up of recently discovered - and previously unreleased - Yokota recordings made around the same time as 2002 set "The Boy and the Tree". While there has been a little post-production work by label founder Jon Tye, those familiar with Yokota's work wouldn't be able to tell. Otherworldly, imaginative and hugely emotional in tone, the ten included tracks flit between neo-classical inspired Japanese minimalism, pastoral soundscapes, gentle new age aural dreams and the kind of hushed, life-affirming ambient works that were once Yokota's trademark.
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