Articles By: Stephen Fruitman

J.C. :: Mugako (Semantica)

Throughout the album, there is musky woodiness to Cabrera’s meticulously programmed rhythms, hips swaying up the steps of Mayan ziggurats, which zigzags nicely with the sci-fi boogie of his synthesizers. Each piece follows its own eccentric space orbit, spearing forth as much as it boomerangs back. J.C. is Spanish techno producer Jose Cabrera and Mugako is an industrial-strength crossbreed of distorted […]

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Floorplan :: Victorious (M-Plant)

Victorious is a stripped down and speedy yet lush and embracing house music, where the Word is the seed element. Robert Hood, a demiurge of Detroit techno, now residing in Alabama, is also a man of strong Christian faith. As Floorplan, he strives to fulfill the mission revealed to him in an epiphany, “to deliver this message, the […]

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Gareth Davis :: Filament (Slaapwel)

Perched on the lip where sea kisses land, waves crash, churned by some restless leviathan beneath the surface. As the moon beams an audible hum, Gareth Davis tries to bring her some peace. A prolific collaborator who has worked with artists as wildly diverse as Scanner, Machinefabriek, Daniel Biro, Elliott Sharp, Frances-Marie Uitti and most recently, Merzbow, Davis […]

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Emerge :: Fraud (Attenuation Circuit)

A trilogy of dark ambient as underripe noise, perfidious potential rather than brutish exertion, each segment fifteen to twenty minutes long, creeping low to the ground. Internal infection spreads invisibly. The origin history of Fraud is modest, sessions improvised alone while Emerge toured Oneirism in 2013. A trilogy of dark ambient as underripe noise, perfidious potential rather than brutish exertion, each segment […]

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Krishna :: Ascend to Nothing (Silken Tofu)

While free jazz, metal and electronic squigglism are all components, the relentlessly massed power drone of Ascend to Nothing might also aspire to something more, an extroverted, aggregate minimalism that shuts off your brain to massage the black bile out of it. Krishna is a trio collaboration between Drvg Cvltvre—the “doomed-out psychic house” of techno experimentalist Vincent Koreman—and sax and […]

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Monolyth & Cobalt :: Sub + Rosa (Unknown Tone)

Monolyth & Cobalt invites you over the threshold and guides you by the hand through a suite of many chambers, each with one, curving wall, rendered white but weathered nicotine yellow. Monolyth & Cobalt invites you over the threshold and guides you by the hand through a suite of many chambers, each with one, curving wall, rendered white but […]

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Nigel Samways & Foss Moigne :: Sanyo 07.1 / Sanyo 07.2 (Remixes) (I Never Think Of You)

Sanyo 07.1 / Sanyo 07.2 (Remixes), credited to the duo, are on the other hand smooth and refined, softening the clank of a temple bell, enveloping it in silken cigarette smoke strings on the first, gliding silently through the city streetscape on the second. INTOY – I never think of you – is a new imprint launched […]

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nil.co :: Slowly Comes the Morning (Sparkwood)

Seasoned in wildwood, an intimate mingling of cozy indoors and stirring outdoors. Right off the top, a soft, downward swoop that could be the air beneath the wings of a short-eared owl, gliding down the fell in full daylight, quartering off the moorland. As nil.co, Colin Crighton is said to have previously made “deep, swampy music inspired […]

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Speck :: Antiheart (Eilean)

The four pieces on Antiheart are rich and repetitive, like the seasons of the year, which in fact appear on the album, as Bondarev makes discreet textural use of field recordings to accompany his piano, guitar and electronics. Nikita Bondarev is from Berdsk, less than twenty miles as the crow flies from Novosibirsk. Might as well […]

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Thomas Köner :: Tiento de la Luz (Denovali)

Köner’s particular brand of formalism unmoors the work from its author, becomes pure, organic creative process and aesthetic and intellectual pleasure. Composing electronic music, as compared to composing for acoustic instruments, is a distinction only gradual in nature, writes Thomas Köner. At the core of all his work are a sense of place and a sense of color. […]

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Lowered :: Arche (For Gongs) (Trome)

Depending on your predisposition, Arche (For Gongs) may serve either as a tranquility base conducive to self-obliterating meditation or a riveting sound experience that brings the mind into sharp focus. Arche (For Gongs) is a deliciously deceptive dronescape, the first in a series planned by Chris Gowers (previously reviewed as Karina ESP), whose Lowered persona was created to explore […]

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Sinner DC :: MEG​/​CDG (Mental Groove / Geneva Ethnography Museum)

Sinner DC is all circular, all spinning. It is silvery particles being held together by some undiscoverable but essential dark matter. Unreduced surface noise is made smooth and soft against the ear skin. In the first of a planned series of collaborations with various musical entities, the Museum of Ethnography in Geneva—whose audio archives house thousands […]

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Eraldo Bernocchi & Shinkiro :: In Praise of Shadows (SSSM)

Though subtle indeed, In Praise of Shadows summons a certain dis-ease, a sense of the shy and the paranoid, as if the listening mind were an incarnation of the artwork gracing the album. Much of the music made by Eraldo Bernocchi resides on the broken edges of faith, hope and compassion. More sanguine than exsanguinating, Shinkiro (Manabu Hiramoto), whose work […]

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Clara de Asís :: Uno Todo Tres (Éditions Piednu)

Uno Todo Tres fills the mind with ‘is not’ everythingness, transported by the frail waver of the single sound that de Asís, a Spanish electroacoustic composer living in France and playing prepared, tabletop electric guitar, proceeds to infinitely split and splice. That which is not crawls into everything and takes its place (freely from a poem by Ann […]

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Lesley Flanigan :: Hedera (Physical Editons)

On Hedera a beat, generated by a defective tape deck, mangy as it is, is the golden loom on which she warps her voice with exquisite control and detail, replicating it and interweaving it with its own weft. Only squinting very closely in good light reveals that the almost black-on-black cover art of Lesley Flanigan‘s new album depicts a bed of […]

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Conduct :: Borderlands (Blu Mar Ten Music)

Borderlands is filled with “scenes,” evoked by laid back lounge, Cubist flamenco guitar with a serrated metal edge, interstellar wordless vocals, space gongs, Greek island blues twang, analogue synth gadflight, musing xylophone, fawning piano, lonesome, stranded, and parched piano. Venerable and voluble producer and bassist Bill Laswell was an early adapter of drum and bass, which, he […]

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Contact :: Discreet Music (Cantaloupe Music)

A luxurious, active listening success. “Discreet Music” (1975) filled the first side of the album of the same name on Brian Eno’s short-lived Obscure Records label. A creative paradigm shift, the work is a North Star for navigating both Eno’s biography and the history of the studio-as-instrument, if not of instrumental music as a whole. This first experiment in generative […]

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Rapoon :: Song from the End of the World (Glacial Movements)

If the sound of the Big Bang can still be heard by tapping into cosmic radiation, then perhaps the song sung at the end of the world can be reconstructed from the hole that it left. Rapoon begins to rematerialize the undone physical universe by cultivating the seed pearl of a leitmotif, a piano rolling the […]

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Olga Wojciechowska :: Maps And Mazes (Time Released Sound)

Maps and Mazes, her first solo album, is a collection of truly sublime pieces from a generous handful of these concordances. The search for connectivity and reciprocity stands boldly as its unifying theme. Szczecin composer and violinist Olga Wojciechowska has proven a prolific collaborator, striving far beyond Poland’s borders to engage in a string of dance, theater and multimedia projects. Maps and Mazes, her first solo […]

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Rezo Glonti :: Budapest (Dronarivm)

Dozens of small dramas are being played out in a dense, urban setting festooned with shockingly green treetops. On the streets and in the stations, between the offices and apartment buildings, practical-minded men and women bustle past lazily drifting daydreams. Named not after the Pearl of the Danube but rather the street in Tbilisi where Georgian producer […]

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Fovea Hex :: The Salt Garden I (Headphone Dust ‎/ Die Stadt‎)

It is always an unmitigated pleasure to enter this house and warm oneself by its smoldering sod fire. Having reviewed well nigh everything Fovea Hex has released, the superlatives left to describe this unique chamber ensemble are fast running out. Clodagh Simonds, who sings like she is untying a secret, delivers another small, precious parcel, […]

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Astrowind :: Semikarakory (Frozen Light)

Unresolved tension is the interpretive fog that cannot be penetrated by even the most intent listener. Ambivalence is the stuff of which the thick impasto of Semikarakory is made. Alexander Leonidovich Kaidanovsky (1946-95) is immediately recognized on the international scene as the smooth-pated, bold but wary guide who sherpas “the Journalist” and “the Professor” through the weirdly sentient Zone […]

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Blackwood :: As the World Rots Away (Subsound)

As the World Rots Away is a poison pen letter to optimists, written in guitar, electronics and percussion, cohesively rancorous but also beautifully varied and lucid within its constraints. Recently, veteran international experimentalist Eraldo Bernocchi commented that he felt himself being drawn back to what he calls “direct” music. “Back to the roots of my explorations… I need […]

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Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus :: Beauty Will Save the World (Occultation)

Beauty is created in the meeting of our understanding with our imagination; an album like Beauty Will Save the World may not save the world, but surely helps enchant it. The first album in twenty years by the unclassifiable, enigmatic Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus might well be subtitled “Varieties of Religious Experience,” as the group—Liverpudlians Paul Boyce, Jon […]

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Ocoeur :: Reversed (n5MD)

Ocoeur turns back time, piano tastefully graced with soft field samples, a flute, a violin, daubing a vivid, moderately Celtic landscape where sheep may safely graze. The not-so chance meeting of a summer’s day in Provence and a sensitive soul with two hands at the keyboard and a third occasionally manipulating a bank of buttons and dials. As Ocoeur, sound designer Franck Zaragoza […]

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Double Review :: The Sand Rays / Ray Sands (CEIL)

Both are mysterious discs—looped, concrète, ambivalent, ambient and transportive. No trainspotter I, but old steam engines still conjure romance for me, especially caked matt black with the grease and soot of their labor, from their juggernaut grimaces to the steel wheels and the giant piston and connecting rods that give them motion. On Señor Trainwhistle, The Sand Rays—actually […]

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Celer :: Akagi (Two Acorns)

Floating like the wisp of smoke coming off a stick of incense, Agaki curls and intertwines at the behest of small changes in the air. Your present reviewer knows next to nothing about yoga, other than it is a wide range of techniques aimed at control of the body and the mind, which evolved over centuries out of Hindu, Buddhist […]

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Rapoon :: Seeds in the Tide Volume 04 (Zoharum)

Some pieces expand like lungs filling with fresh air, others get the wind sucked right out of them. And of course Rapoon also drifts far, far away… The fourth double volume of Seeds in the Tide, the Zoharum label’s herculean effort to collect and catalogue all non-canonical testamonia to Robin Storey’s storied output under the Rapoon moniker, […]

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Pinkcourtesyphone & Gwyneth Wentink :: Elision (Farmacia901)

The finest kind of acoustic-electronic collaboration, only nineteen minutes long but destined for endless repeat. When I reviewed Pinkcourtesyphone’s Foley Folly Folio, I thought it was probably a one-off, a playful/serious notion that struck American sound artist Richard Chartier, as a vehicle for cleverly and elegantly conveying the sense of claustrophobia and ennui of a particular time and place. […]

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