Category: "Reviews"

Badun :: Graffiti Cabbage (Schematic Music Company)

Blips and subtle bleeps tucked away behind fragmented electro and smoldering bass, Phoenecian landscapes of fog and rumbling drones are crumpled then unfolded throughout the proceedings. A true slice of tempered graffiti audio art, dribbling beats oscillate through organized polyrhythms for Badun‘s latest on Schematic Music Company. Not unlike their previous outing (s.o.t.s, Schematic / […]

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Boc Scadet :: Nightfall in Gentle Waters (Sun Sea Sky)

An exercise in what could have been—in a sense, perhaps a fitting conclusion to the Boc Scadet project itself. Boc Scadet is Lawrence Grover’s best-known alias, under which he released two previous albums and two EP’s through the mid-2000s. Nightfall in Gentle Waters, the third and final entry in Boc Scadet’s arc, was previously only available […]

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Grzegorz Bojanek :: Analogue (Twice Removed)

While making a virtue of a necessity, Analogue is the somewhat perplexing soundtrack to a disorienting, buried-alive ordeal. For Analogue, Grzegorz Bojanek eschews all things digital (he broke his laptop) in favor of the earthier sound of guitars, flutes, objects, pedals and field recordings straight onto four-track tape recorder. The mishap seems to have made […]

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Steve Reich / Ensemble Avantgarde :: Four Organs / Phase Patterns / Pendulum Music (Karlrecords)

Four Organs / Phase Patterns / Pendulum Music are reminders that, while Reich himself did not record these three pieces, many feel his legacy ought to be remembered and celebrated. Certainly, the Ensemble Avantgarde achieves this and more. One of the founding fathers of so called minimal music, Steve Reich began experimenting long before his […]

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Dirk Geiger :: Connected Worlds (Tympanik Audio)

Meticulous ambient decay and refined audio sculptures for the midnight hour. Defying space and time, a surreal blur of sound and vision wisps by like a cool desert breeze over eroded granules of sand. Turbulent percussive patterns emerge from a tribal industrial fog. And with no apparent start or end, minuscule sonic clips dance around […]

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V/A :: 5 Years of De:Tuned (De:Tuned)

Across this five disc archive are some of the men who founded electronic music, names that breathed life into the genre and inspired a generation. Whether a newcomer to Techno or an aging ear, this is a once in a quarter century collection; the likes of which won’t be seen again for a long time. […]

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Flint Kids :: Sancerre EP (Abstrakt Reflections)

Expanding from bass-heavy turbulence to a gritty electrical traverse and spacious sonic revisions, Sancerre is an engaged backdrop to spinning Neutron stars. Offering slabs of classical glitch maneuvers on “GeeBee,” time slithers by unknowingly while the title track pulls and contorts itself. Crunched up beat patterns emerge then submerge, tangle and flutter like scattering protons. […]

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Son Kite :: Prisma (Iboga)

Instead of trying to reinvent the genre, Mullaert and Henriksson disconnect themselves from the shadows of the past, and focus on the present. Whether it’s modern-sounding, or classic warm analog magic, it doesn’t matter to the duo, as long as it feels right and flows effortlessly. This music, like any other kind of good instrumental […]

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Loren Dent :: Anthropology Vols. 2 & 3 (Infraction)

Anthropology Vols. 2 & 3 has about it a melancholic cast, more rainy-day Autumnal evening than sun-dappled Aestival afternoon. A review of Anthropology Vol. 1 (2009) prompted this author to invoke The Grain of the Voice, Roland Barthes‘ essay on the voice’s potential to tap into some embodiment beyond words, melody, even conventional meaning. Despite a dearth in Dent’s […]

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Drop Logik :: Phase Lift EP (Plastic Sound Supply)

Nestled between cohesive electronics, hip-hop, glitch, jazz and bass lies this vaporous extended player making its way into a meandering calm stream. Magnetic waves spinning through patches of space, Drop Logik (aka Colorado’s Chad Dixon) delivers dub-slivered glitch and downbeat groove slabs on the Phase Lift EP. A silky smooth and acrobatic rhythmic tone shimmies […]

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Polyklinik :: Mental Market EP (Bedroom Research)

This blend of abstract hip-hop should not work—its beats so thoroughly exhausted by the Brainfeeder crew and deconstructed by its heirs—but Polyklinik’s variations are rich enough to deserve repeated plays. Polyklinik’s Mental Market is a clear example of an out of place and out of time beat scene aesthetic that rehashes certain elements of the […]

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Xu & Rooms Delayed :: Seaweeds (Triple Moon)

An overwhelming contemplative drone ambient release and a truly absorbing excursion through intimate and delicate process music. The young and independent net-label Triple Moon presents its third limited edition with this excellent collaborative work between two Italian drone ambient projects Xu & Rooms Delayed. Nicola Fornasari (aka Xu) is a prolific and eclectic sound designer […]

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Assalti Industriali :: Assalto Primero (Instruments of Discipline)

This is hammer and horror material, tracks that have grown out of the industrial traditions without becoming subsumed into the duller side of modern Techno. Instruments of Discipline and Love Blast have been painting in ash and grey since they opened their wind-burnt doors. These Italian imprints are not searching for the sun, instead shadow […]

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Jeffrey Wentworth Stevens :: JWS (Self-Released)

Disjointed data slivers, fractured melodic breezes, microscopic chants, rhythmic mechanics, weaving low-end glitch, modular buzzing, broken beats and crumpled downtempo all seem to converge on this self-titled sonic smorgasbord. Disjointed data slivers, fractured melodic breezes, microscopic chants, rhythmic mechanics, weaving low-end glitch, modular buzzing, broken beats and crumpled downtempo all seem to converge on this […]

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Pascal Savy :: Adrift (Eilean Rec.)

Savy’s pieces strike an interstellar chord, evoking distant static interference, coldness, rotation, darkness, and sudden but brief illumination. The first sounds of Pascal Savy‘s Adrift reached me just as the first moving image of the Rosetta spacecraft landing its probe on a comet 511 million kilometers from Earth appeared on screen. That unshapely, unwieldy rock—weirdly […]

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D-Fried :: Peak Shift Effect (Clean Error)

In a way, D-Fried’s Peak Shift Effect, rewards the listener willing to lose her or himself in the beautifully painted electronic landscapes Saludes so graciously conveys. Clean Error’s D-Fried (aka Spaniard Jordi Saludes) is a wonderful addition to the current electronic music landscape. Salude’s efforts as D-Friend point towards the kind of warm and soft […]

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Displacer :: Electric Dreams (The Crime League)

An assured and mature sound that manages to rescue IDM from its solipsistic focus on conceptual electronica. Displacer’s Electric Dreams is an often dark, moody and dystopian take on maximalist electronica. Combining the sounds of figures like the recently reappeared Tim Exile with a futuristic aesthetic, Displacer—Canadian producer Michael Morton—gives us eight tracks of his […]

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Everyday Dust :: The Principality of Dustland (Sparkwood)

Everyday Dust has achieved a record replete with stimulating visuals, haunting quality, and lasting impact. I have listened to Everyday Dust’s The Principality of Dustland somewhere in the vicinity of 40 times now, and find myself still at somewhat of a loss on how to go about describing this album besides saying that I absolutely love it. […]

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Dissolved :: Temporal Breathing (Self-Released)

Bits and bytes tethered into abstract yet wondrous data streams; Temporal Breathing is laced with memorable audible fractures as dark and light hues pepper the landscape. A thick soup over the burner, Dissolved (aka Paul Daniels, a Glasgow-born & Vancouver-transplant) returns with his self-released 15-track album packed with further infused melodic ingredients. Early-era Skam artists Quinolone […]

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Fredrik Öhr :: Under a Different Sun (Substream/Mareld)

If you search for the strange and unique, get yourselves a copy of this album as soon as possible, I beseech you. There’s really nothing quite like it out there. Fredrik Öhr‘s debut album, Falling through the Earth, just came out of nowhere back in 2009 via the excellent Aleph Zero imprint. It was my […]

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Christopher Willits :: Opening (Ghostly International)

Opening is a fantastically constructed record that boasts a proud, consistent theme, smoothly transitioning between mellow ambient and a solid slow groove, all while remaining highly interesting, visual, and most-importantly, enjoyable. Christopher Willits’ Opening on Ghostly International is a fantastic work of ambient expression, sprinkled with slow and groovy rhythmic activity, and melodies that remind […]

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Danny Clay :: Archive (Eilean Rec.)

Swallowed whole, Archive is comfort in resignation, commiseration in loss, a low-key celebration of ephemerality. I wonder if folklorists or musicologists, or perhaps it takes a psychologist, have cottoned on to the fact that the sound of decay fascinates us because we have become completely inundated with so much shiny, ultraefficient, dust-free technology. While we expect, in fact demand, perfect, rapid […]

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Deru :: 1979 (Friends Of Friends)

Essential and clearly recommended for adepts of moody, poignant, luminous and cinematic ambient sculptures. Deru (aka Benjamin Wynn) is an abstract-minimal ambient music project based in Los Angeles. A notorious figure in the world of experimental-electronic music as well as skilled researcher in technologies, sound engineering and explorations in formalized / computerized concept music, Benjamin […]

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Carlos Cipa :: All Your Life You Walk (Denovali)

With elegant ebb and flow maneuvers, Cipa slides effortlessly through contemplative, wistful, uplifting and hopeful districts while maintaining a dreamy cinematic glow. It was an exciting year for Munich-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Carlos Cipa. Well, it still is. All Your Life You Walk, his second album, was very recently released. During August he was still […]

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2ndMouse :: Acquiesce (Self-Released)

Playful, articulate electronics, melodic and nostalgic, 2ndMouse returns with Acquiesce. Playful, articulate electronics, melodic and nostalgic, 2ndMouse returns with Acquiesce. 18 audio snapshots shed raw energetic synthesizer acrobatics which bubble to the surface from start to end. “Chroma” and “Fissure” are prime examples of Chris McKeown’s sweet yet tactile approach to cohesive electronic music. Sliding to and […]

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Oubys :: SQM Part II (Testtoon)

This second installment sees Kolf balancing sound and silence, the perceived with that which cannot be. Threats are created, palpable almost tactile ones, but then erased in a puff of smoke or a scourge of synth. 2014 has been a quiet year for Testtoon Records. After a flurry of activity in 2013 the Belgian label […]

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Dronelock and Ontal :: Continuum (Shadow Story)

The “double duo” continue to explore the darker shades of techno’s sonic spectrum. Dronelock operate out of West Yorkshire and Ontal from Serbia, but their shared vision is resulting in productive collaboration. In addition to 4 Razors, an EP on Duality Records, they’ve started operating their own label, Shadow Story. Continuum is its second release, and […]

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Ian Holloway & Banks Bailey :: Strange Pilgrims (Quiet World)

Despite its earthy origins, music that absorbs the night sky and all who may travel it. In Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds, 17th-century philosopher Fontenelle and his friend the Marquise contemplate the possibility of extraterrestrial life while on a moonlit stroll through her gardens. “What if they were skillful enough to navigate on the outer […]

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Sync 24 & The Exaltics :: Vacuum Years (Cultivated Electronics)

Vacuum Years inaugurates a new series that will see Cultivated Electronics boss Sync 24 (Phil Bolland) team up with some top names in Electro. Rob Witschakowski must have given up food this year. Maybe it’s sleep. Or perhaps he’s adopted some sort of machine man hermit life. Something’s got to account for Jena artist’s productivity […]

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