Articles By: James Knapman

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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Ricardo Donoso :: As Iron Sharpens Iron, One Verse Sharpens Another (Digitalis)

As Iron Sharpens Iron, One Verse Sharpens Another takes the best elements of his previous two LPs and combines them to form a racy, atmospheric yet still aesthetically minimal beast that culminates in one of Donoso’s finest hours. In 2011, Ricardo Donoso released the brilliant Progress Chance, the first of what was to become a […]

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Burial :: Rival Dealer (Hyperdub)

Burial’s output is becoming harder and harder to predict or track, and to so boldly eschew the expected dark, angst-ridden, minor key moodiness in favor of messages of positivity, support and compassion makes Rival Dealer one of his most defining releases to date. Over the last few years it has become difficult not to associate […]

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Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement :: Water Rose Above The Head (Bed Of Nails)

Water Rose Above The Head is a mix of lush, verdant and intoxicating environments conjured through hazy field recordings and an all-pervading uncertainty and fear of the unknown conjured by creepy samples and chilling drum-beats. It came as little surprise to most that the mysterious-no-more Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement turned out to be yet another moniker […]

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The Stranger :: Watching Dead Empires In Decay (Modern Love)

Leyland Kirby’s least known alias is ultimately the darkest, namely the Kafkaesque musique concrete of The Stranger, exploring all those places on which the entropy of ages have taken their toll. If you are reading this then you’re probably already familiar with at least two of the distinct flavors of material James “Leyland” Kirby has […]

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Vatican Shadow :: Remember Your Black Day (Hospital Productions)

Remember Your Black Day is officially the “debut” Vatican Shadow album, featuring eight purpose-written tracks with a broader subject matter and greater narrative structure hailing a deliberate shift away from the richly layered, grungy collage style of old towards a more direct contact with the audience. In 2010 Dominick Fernow issued Byzantine Private CIA, the […]

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Kaboom Karavan :: Hokus Fokus (Miasmah)

Hokus Fokus successfully subverts one’s preconceptions of what qualifies as an enjoyable noise, managing to be approachable and challenging in equal measure. There are three signature artists currently releasing through Erik K. Skodvin’s Miasmah imprint that, taken together, perfectly embody the full spirit of the label. Kreng takes the honorary number one spot as the […]

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Sense :: The Dream (Psychonavigation)

If the central idea behind The Dream is to reflect the bizarre, the shifting tone, setting and content of the most fevered of actual dreams, then it succeeds. Last time we heard from Adam Raisbeck (aka Sense) it was on the archive-mining compilation album Selected Moments Volume 1, a gorgeous collection of tracks that spanned […]

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