Category: "Reviews"

Knick Knack Yoda & Love Blast :: Stoking Dismay

Unsettling and sinister vinyl from the catacombs below the Italian capital. I’ve always enjoyed the exploratory nature of unearthing electronic music. Starting off with an artist or label, burrowing into backgrounds and delving into the detail. This, in a way, is how I came across the two Italian labels. Following my review of Lunar Lodge […]

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Autistici :: Attaching Softness (Audiobulb)

 ‘When musicians play music, they play with sound. Play is the key activity. Like a child with paint or clay—you start with nothing and you become focused on a colour, a form and tool of sculpture. It starts with a sound, its form and function laid bare. I let it play repeatedly and respond to […]

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Osmiroid :: Guidance from the Master (Stars, Dots and the “New” Junk)

An ambitious sound and light project, six-track CD plus an enigmatic video and miscellaneous “bipolaroids” on DVD sealed in a round, tin box, tossed with a sallad of various inserts. With a few self-releases already set free to beautify the world, Osmiroid, loosely (or not) affiliated with Mordant Music, finally hangs a shingle on the label door.  Stars, Dots […]

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Hydras Dream :: The Little Match Girl (Denovali)

Hydras Dream’s attractive experimental ambient provides a cinematic and hauntingly beautiful listening experience. Sweden is a prolific purveyor of good music, no doubt about that. A lot of excellent jazz comes out of there, but also all kinds of electronic music, progressive rock, experimental and more. Hydras Dream is the collaborative project of singer, pianist/keyboardist […]

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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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DMX Krew & Bass Junkie :: Room 13 (I Heart Acid)

The little acid box that couldn’t, when it hit shelves in the 1980s, has once again proven it can (and then some.) British club culture was built on the silver surface of the TB303. Acid House was dubbed a menace by tabloids when the grimy jack sounds of Chicago landed in Britain in the late […]

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Blamstrain :: For All The Dreamers In (Self-Released)

Each track melds gracefully into the next and the wide variety of styles are well paced, providing atmospheric peaks and troughs that will pull you through to the end before demanding you rewind for another listen. In marked departure from the dubby excellence of previous EP Sunday Dub, Juho Hietala changes up not just his writing […]

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Jan Bang & Arve Henriksen :: Double review

Both boasting imposing resumés, bulging with felicitous collaborations, stage and screen scores, artist-in-residences and accolades, Jan Bang and Arve Henriksen are two of this generation’s many great Norwegian avant talents. As testified by their shared release party and sounds on display, these two albums are more deeply interrelated than common geographic origins can explain. Jan […]

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The Exaltics :: Some Other Place Vol 1 (Clone)

Spearheading a campaign of blackened machine music, spirited sounds carved from cold-hearted machinery. The rise of The Exalitics seems to be unstoppable. Robert Witschakowski is going from strength to strength. His Solar One Music imprint is clocking up more and more quality releases whilst the German producer himself is gracing imprints like Crème Organization, Bunker […]

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Nicholas Szczepanik :: Not Knowing (Desire Path)

‘The dirt stuck in the crack that runs along the splintered baseboard in the closed-off half of the attic that no one ever enters.’ (Nicholas Szczepanik) The legend above, anchorage to Nicholas Szczepanik‘s web presence, may resonate with bedroom Angst, but could equally be knowing play with isolationist void-staring stereotype. No Doom-monger, nor Fluff-merchant (here’s […]

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V/A :: Underground Wave Vol 4 (Walhalla)

Certain old friends have been revisited with unheard offerings of angst and synth. Alongside these past artists come new names, forgotten and unknown artists and groups doling up sorrow and blurred emotions. A quality continuation of an excellent series. Walhalla Records has been characterized by its compilations. Together with albums from the likes of Somnambulist […]

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V/A :: An Introduction To (Soft)

An Introduction To is remarkable not simply for its range, but for the way that David Teboul has brought these different compositional voices together to produce something that is in conversation with itself. Soft Recordings is a newly founded French ambient label from David Teboul. An introduction To represents Soft’s first curated volume—a cabinet of curiosities […]

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Astrolobes and Electronics :: Mystic and Quantum Records

Soulful sounds from the verdant forests of northern Spain. I don’t know if it’s my living here, but I’m constantly coming across more and more Spanish artists and labels. Vagon Brei is not new to me, but his latest enterprise is. Now the artist has turned label owner, setting up his own Mystic and Quantam […]

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Porya Hatami :: Shallow (Tench)

Porya Hatami seamlessly integrates his electronics with field recordings, and he seems safe, sound and enlightened in the middle of his own, private Eden in Iranian Kurdistan. Great big important German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk says that living authentically is all about sinking oneself into the contemporary, looking for “spaces of coexistence,” the places hidden in […]

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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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Brett Naucke :: Seed (Spectrum Spools)

Naucke is an expert at corralling the organic tumbling output of his modular experiments into a cohesive whole. Modular synths are unwieldy beasts to control. The potential for mind expanding sound experimentation is so varied that when faced with banks of wires, knobs and whistles the temptation to disappear down a rabbit hole of endless noodling […]

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Boreal & Lnrdcroy :: FP-003 (Forbidden Planet)

Stirring sounds are subtly built, expressive tones painted with tender touches and full drum patterns. Montreal’s Forbidden Planet has had more than an impressive start. The newcomer opened its doors with two releases in 2013, not to forget a cracking mix for ourselves at Igloo. D’Marc Cantu arrived with deep brooding Techno before the mysterious […]

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Ákos Garai :: The Imagined River (Kaon)

Evoking the fog of ghosts hovering over the pale grey fields of asphodel, the realm of dreams. With its nineteenth recording, “La Rivière” keeps on rolling. Budapest-based Àkos Garai, proprieter of the fine 3leaves label, has been apportioned the first length in its fourth series of three-inch variations on Cédric Peyronnet‘s painstaking recordings of contiguous […]

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Tlön :: Truth In The 13th (Birkhouse)

A whirred world of kinetic scree slopes with synthetic colourings. ‘Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius’ (1962) is a Jorge Luis Borges parable, in which an article about a mysterious land called ‘Uqbar’ is the first indication of a vast conspiracy of intellectuals to imagine, and thereby create, a world known as ‘Tlön.’ Stuart Chalmers (glimpsed on igloo […]

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Teppana :: Hento (Somehow)

For their debut EP, Finland’s Teppana opens small and politely, a Baroque music box nestled among curly fallen leaves playing for an audience perched on thimbles and toadstools. Completely changing tack, the trio flips the switch on blinking strobes for a tinker toy rave, before segueing into slow-gelling clicks’n’cuts digidub. Impending vaporization finally occurs by […]

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Anklebiter :: Weight of a Pronoun (The Crime League)

Portland, Oregon based Tanner Volz, aka Anklebiter, wants you to know that without his collaborators, Weight of a Pronoun wouldn’t have happened. “I doubt I would have made another album without those guys,” he said, referring to the half-dozen musicians who make guest appearances on the album, his fifth full-length outing and first on Toronto’s […]

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Costelloe :: Solar Code (Signal Code)

Costelloe gazes back to the 1990s. Within the traditions of Warp, GPR and New Electronica, Solar Code takes an emotive and soulful view of machine music. Despite not living in Ireland I still take an active interest in the music coming from my homeland. Since I last lived there, some six or seven years ago, […]

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Francesco Giannico & Theo Allegretti :: Flow Signs (Oak Editions/Monkey)

Allegretti improvises a soothing melody up against Giannico’s quietly soaring guitar. Francesco Giannico and Theo Allegretti pose the “riddle of the mood” (as their final piece is christened), pose, but leave the answer up to us. Giannico is an electroacoustic and video artist, Allegretti an ambient jazz pianist, and each of their Flow Signs is a […]

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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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Crash Course in Science & Psyche :: Double review (Dark Entries)

I sadly missed Dark Entries label boss Josh Cheon on his recent visit to Madrid. We made the plans, but they fell through; the best laid ones of… Despite this brief holiday respite the label has been busier than ever digging out some well-known pioneers of the Industrial scene. Crash Course in Science need little […]

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Origamibiro :: Odham’s Standard (Denovali)

Odham’s Standard is uncanny as a sight of a deceased loved one’s hazy reflection in the windowpane, and warm and unforgettable as a short reunion with him/her would be. Genre tag? Indefinable. How often can you say you’ve encountered an album that is transfixing from the first second until the last? Rarely. Here’s one that […]

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Huerco S. :: Colonial Patterns (Software)

That rare combination of intellectual stimulus and visceral irresistability. A colonial pattern is the cooperative formation of complex patterns, like the snowflakes drifting earthwards to the growth and spread of bacteria. Creating complex spatio-temporal patterns is, according to their chronicler, physicist Eshel Ben-Jacob, a strategy for coping with a hostile environment. And, as anyone who […]

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Yann Novak & Pinkcourtesyphone :: Double review (Dragon’s Eye)

Not long back we trailed the return, after a self-imposed hiatus, of Dragon’s Eye, an imprint very much in the catchment area of this organ’s more esoteric wing (see here and here). Curator Yann Novak has taken stock, and, newly kickstarted, relaunched with two new works—his own and Pinkcourtesyphone‘s—renewing the label’s line in accessible experimentalism. After last year’s Foley Folly Folio and Elegant […]

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Wegrzyn :: Volksmusik (Etalabel)

Three brief piano loops, nothing more, heavily processed. Volksmusik is said to have had its genesis in tragic personal events that befell debutant Lukasz Wegrzyn, eventually prompting memories of happy childhood summers in the countryside. Memory is an unstable and evasive agent. Every recollection surfacing from within leaves its root system further and further behind, seeks unexpected […]

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