Articles By: James Knapman

B12 :: Orbiting Souls (Delsin)

Orbiting Souls vividly recalls that mid-nineties period when B12 were in their element whilst also sounding classically timeless, perhaps even more so than some of their earlier work. There’s no denying the pivotal role Mike Golding and Steve Rutter’s B12 label and moniker played in the development of the UK’s early electronica, techno and IDM […]

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Underworld :: Second Toughest In The Infants – Remaster (Universal)

So is the super-deluxe set just for fans? Well, perhaps not. Again, the price is going to be a barrier to entry for some, but even if you’re just an Underworld album owner there’s never been an easier or better sounding way to quickly extend your collection with some truly fantastic material. Roll on the […]

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Markus Guentner :: Theia (A Strangely Isolated Place)

Theia sees Markus Guentner taking his immersive ambient soundscaping to another level, creating a work that is grandiose but somehow never overblown. Ryan Griffin’s A Strangely Isolated Place music community and label draws notable comparisons to Huw Roberts’ UK based Serein label. Both started as digital-only purveyors of free music, and later graduated into full […]

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The Silicon Scientist :: Outside the Night (Anna Logue)

Anna Logue released one of the year’s best synth-pop albums in 2014 with Twins Natalia’s spellbinding The Destiny Room and with the late 2015 release of Outside the Night they’ve done it again. If you long to add more retro to your catalog, allow The Silicon Scientist to join the ranks of your favorite artists […]

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Aroy Dee :: Sketches (M>O>S Recordings)

Sketches is an album possessed of a refinement, restraint and nuance rarely found these days, and contains some of the finest and most evocative music about cities released in a good long while. Where has Sketches been all my life, and why has it been eleven years between the release of Aroy Dee’s debut EP […]

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Function / Vatican Shadow :: Games Have Rules (Hospital Productions)

With Games Have Fules, Function and Vatican Shadow have worked together to create a breathtakingly atmospheric and surprisingly ambient electronic album unique in both their catalogs. Despite Dominick Fernow’s latest Vatican Shadow release—the mammoth six cassette/digital-only release Death Is Unity With God—being a strangely strangled and muted affair, it was difficult to predict the content […]

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Yagya :: Sleepygirls (Delsin)

A record that works exceptionally well as soothing background music, Sleepygirls is a propulsive, repetitive work characterized by the occasional burst of jazz and Japanese vocals. Having a signature sound and a loyal following can often leave an artist in something of a quandary: keep plugging away in a similar vein to satisfy an existing […]

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DeepChord :: Lanterns (Astral Industries)

DeepChord presents Lanterns on new London-based label Astral Industries, which turns out to be some of his finest work to date. So this came right out of left field. Astral Industries is a brand new UK label (and club night) based in London setting its sights on becoming a leading purveyor of “hazy, lo-fi and […]

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Memphidos :: Walking To Loneliness (Sonic Loom)

Walking To Loneliness is a hypnotic blend of warm, dense atmospherics, powerful bass and dizzying, coruscating synths. Memphidos is the project of Athens-born graphic designer Dimitrios Sakkas who has been writing and producing music since 2000, but whose debut album on 33 Recordings wasn’t released until 2009. Walking To Loneliness is his third album, and […]

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Erik K Skodvin :: Flare/Flame (Sonic Pieces)

Originally released in 2010 on Sonic Pieces at a time when modern classical was enjoying something of a surge on independent labels, Flare was the first release by Erik K Skodvin under his own name. In keeping with the Sonic Pieces aesthetic, Flare was more of a modern classical record than his field-recording and sample […]

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Nest :: Retold (Crowd-funded Vinyl Special Edition)

Back in 2007, when Huw Roberts’ Welsh-based Serein imprint was still essentially a digital-only operation, the label announced a new EP by Nest, consisting of Huw himself, and one-half of Deaf Center, Otto A. Totland. The eponymous six track EP was one of the first to later be offered by the label as a physical […]

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Plaid :: Reachy Prints (Warp)

Reachy Prints is bursting with new and unique sounds, textures and meticulous attention to melodic detail. Maybe it’s the gap of roughly eight years that separated Spokes from Scintilli their long-awaited return in 2011 that makes it feel almost too good to be true that yet another Plaid album has arrived on our doorsteps. And […]

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Heterotic :: Weird Drift (Planet Mu)

Breathy falsetto vocals and new-found, hazy dream pop settings. For those of you still unaware, Heterotic is Planet Mu label-owner Mike Paradinas (µ-ziq/Jake Slazenger/Kid Spatula) and his wife Lara Rix-Martin, a collaborative project that pairs Paradinas’ famous µ-ziq stylings with a pop sensibility and prominent guest vocals. You’d be forgiven for thinking that sounds like […]

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cv313 :: The Path To Dimensional Space (Part 5: Transference)

Introduction Q & A – Part 5 Echospace [Detroit] presents: Altering Illusions 1/3: cv313 :: Review Read Part 4: Trajectory Introduction In Part Five of this six-part series covering cv313 releases old and new, we take a look at an unexpected new release of cv313 material old and new, packaged as a bursting-at-the-seams 2xCD edition. […]

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Twins Natalia :: The Destiny Room (Anna Logue)

Twins Natalia‘s debut album The Destiny Room delivers an astonishing collection of authentic and truly nostalgic eighties electro pop. To say that there has been a huge eighties revival in the last few years might be something of an overstatement, but there has definitely been a surge of interest in and reappraisal of that period. […]

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Yagya :: Will I Dream During The Process? (DeepChord Redesigns) (Subwax Bcn)

Some of these reworkings are so good, in fact, it’s possible that they may completely supplant the originals as favorites in the Yagya canon. The Barcelona-based Subwax Bcn label have been running a Yagya reissue campaign since 2012, starting with a remastered version of the extremely hard to obtain Rhythm of Snow, followed in 2013 by the […]

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Atiq & EnK :: Embracing The Unknown (Mindtrick)

Embracing The Unknown features enough inventive and complementary material to make it a must for those who really got into Fear Of The Unknown. Embracing The Unknown is an extensive collection of remixes of Atiq & EnK’s 2013 debut, Fear of the Unknown, a joint release by Tympanik Audio and Mindtrick Records. Curating a remix […]

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KiloWatts :: Seven Succulents (KiloWatts Music)

Seven Succulents is probably KiloWatts’ most accomplished work to date, an impressive achievement given his uniformly excellent back catalog. Imagine, if you will, that you’re as stupid as I am for having drifted through life without ever being aware of the existence of the music of KiloWatts. Are… are you imagining that? Excellent. Isn’t it […]

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Olan Mill :: Hiraeth (Preservation)

Olan Mill’s new album is a mix of swirling, grainy synth washes, classical strings and disembodied, operatic soprano vocals floating in a slow-motion drift. Since the enchanting debut album Pine on Serein and the majestic Paths on the super-deluxe Facture, Olan Mill has now made something of a home for itself on Australia’s Preservation, an […]

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cv313 :: The Path To Dimensional Space (Part 4: Trajectory)

Introduction Q & A – Part 4 [Live @ Primary] :: Review [Live Excursions] :: Review Read Part 5: Transference Read Part 3: Orbital Introduction The first three chapters in The Path To Dimensional Space covered previously released, often quite collectible cv313 material now also available digitally and label direct from echospace [detroit] in the […]

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Brock van Wey :: Home (echospace [detroit])

Home is virtually devoid of beats and rhythms, a trait that actively works in the albums’ favor, especially given its epic running time. When you look at Brock van Wey‘s canon on paper, in the simplest terms he has released twenty albums from 2010 to the present day. An immediate reaction to this might be […]

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Bavaria :: We’ll Take A Dive (n5MD)

Bavaria’s debut album, We’ll Take A Dive is an astonishing collection of minimalist, modular electronic pop songs that is both memorable and affecting. If you have not heard, seen or in some way stumbled across Austrian-born, now Los Angeles resident John Tejada at some point over the last fifteen years, you might consider moving out […]

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cv313 :: The Path To Dimensional Space (Part 3: Orbital)

Introduction Q & A – Part 3 Beyond The Clouds [Reprised] Versions :: Review Read Part 4: Trajectory Read Part 2: Ascension Introduction In part three of this ongoing series covering the work of cv313 we focus on a particularly highly regarded piece by cv313, the immersive “Beyond The Clouds.” Stephen Hitchell talks about the […]

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COMADUSTER :: igloomix

Exclusively for Igloo Magazine, Comaduster crushes old and new school dubstep, fuses glitched out IDM and rewires intense ambient electronic strands into this compellingly crafted new hybrid mix that ably reflects his own intricately assembled style. Sound designer Real Cardinal’s storming debut album Hollow Worlds as Comaduster dropped in June 2013 on Tympanik Audio to massive […]

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Esem :: Aquanaut EP (Self-Released)

Aquanaut is a fully realized and beautifully constructed EP that feels genuinely substantial in spite of the relatively brief running time. Anyone who remembers now defunct labels like M3rck, DeFocus and Neo Ouija will probably remember Esem. Bulgarian-born but now UK resident, George Marinov is a veteran of the Demoscene movement, releasing numerous tracks and […]

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cv313 :: The Path To Dimensional Space (Part 2: Ascension)

Introduction Q & A – Part 2 Seconds To Forever [Extended Live Excursion] :: Review Read Part 3: Orbital Read Part 1: Departure Introduction echospace [detroit] seriously ramped up its output between 2009 and 2010, continuing to release singles and EPs but more importantly unleashing debut albums by Intrusion and Variant as well as the […]

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cv313 :: The Path To Dimensional Space (Part 1: Departure)

Introduction Q & A – Part 1 Live :: Review Live @ D.E.M.F. – After Party In 2008 :: Review Read Part 2: Ascension Introduction echospace [detroit] owner Stephen Hitchell’s cv313 began life back in the mid nineties, with the first actual releases under the name not appearing until much later on the UK-based Fortune […]

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Shifted :: Under A Single Banner (Bed Of Nails)

Although an initial parse of the album might leave one with the distinct feeling that not much is actually going on in Under A Single Banner, such reactions are misleading, and it turns out that Shifted’s new material is indeed an excellent match for Bed Of Nails’ fusion of ambient atmospherics and hard-edged techno. Dominick Fernow’s […]

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Vatican Shadow :: When You Are Crawling EP (Hospital Productions)

Vatican Shadow follows up his debut album Remember Your Black Day with a new EP of material that, if anything, is even better. Vatican Shadow’s eagerly anticipated debut album Remember Your Black Day was announced quite some time before its October 2013 release date, arriving to both mixed reviews and a certain level of disappointment […]

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