Category: "Reviews"

exm :: Singles (Touched Music)

2016 has proven to be a minefield of extensive electronic music releases and exm‘s foray into distilled experimental fragments allows Singles to flourish in a field of its own. Netherlands-based Jeroen Bax (aka exm) has had a few words featured in these pages and continues to manifest bold yet cohesive electronic sound-structures with Singles, released in conjunction with Touch Music. As […]

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V/A :: MTRON001 (Mechatronica)

Mechatronica’s first 12” has married a range of electro styles, cementing a solid footing for further excursions; whether these outings will range into different genres, time will tell. A new electro label? A brave endeavor five or six years ago but the desire for frosted machine funk is plain to see. The success of labels […]

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Portable ‎:: Alan Abrahams (Studio !K7)

Abrahams continues to push on, as singer, songwriter, performer, and citizen of the world. That more people may encounter his music is for the better. Alan Abrahams, the singer and producer behind Portable and Bodycode moves his name from the credits to the cover on his !K7 debut, hinting at a personal reveal. With the […]

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Seixlack :: Bed Bug Bites (X-Kalay)

Raw, yet refined when he needs to be, this is an artist to expect things from; the unexpected. It can be hard to stand out as a record label, nowadays more than ever. Some go for big names. Others for strong visuals. X -Kalay has gone another direction; little known artists on white labels, each […]

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Tangent :: Collapsing Horizons (n5MD)

Featured from front to back are precision, hardened sound-structures and distorted fractals that echo and fade. Crumpled ambient versus mechanized glitch surrounded by cosmic low-end from The Netherlands’ Tangent is about to be revealed via Collapsing Horizons—their debut for Oakland’s n5MD. Minuscule bleeps and textured drones simmer and shift from one phase to the other, as if alien civilizations clearly […]

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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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Wolfgang Voigt & Deepchord present :: Peter Michael Hame’s Colours Of Time Re-Interpreted (Astral Industries)

Peter Michael Hamel’s Colors of Time Re-Interpreted features two artists on a split EP re-interpreting an obscure, multi-part kosmische synth epic from 1980. Since reviewing Astral Industries’ debut release, Deepchord’s now highly sought-after Lanterns, the label has gone on to release some decidedly strange, esoteric and surprising things, and in recent months, at a greatly accelerated […]

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Luciano Lamanna :: In Vitro (Multiple)

Lamanna’s musical musings are far from clipped, most of his offerings are well into the seven minute mark. And this is what distinguishes his style. Tracks grow into themselves, steadily developing, morphing and mutating into beasts of cold beauty. I’ve mentioned before the trouble I have with keeping up with Luciano Lamanna’s productivity. I’m glad […]

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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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Drum Machine :: Space Suite (Lower Parts)

Subtle and soulful techno is shouldered by belligerent and bawdy bassline brutes. Lower Parts is carving out an enviable position for itself. True, within the sphere of electronic music there are other artists and labels exploring similar avenues: the blurred fault-lines between house and techno, gritty analogue jams, hazy drum patterns and silky melodies. But […]

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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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6.9Hz :: Broken State (Daddy Tank)

Not entirely untraveled, Broken State gravitates towards the dark and gritty erratic beat, but also manages to evoke emotional sparks along the way. Moods shift on “The Crypt,” a tantalizing eerie foray into classical glich’n bass. “Seek & Destroy,” “They’re Like Ants” and “Infernal Raver” expands and contracts its ricocheting beats, as Photek-inspired rhythms reveal a […]

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Dexter St. Jacques :: Ancient Way of Knowing (Sequencias)

Both offerings have an enviable live quality, as though done on the hoof and recorded in real time; although a couple more tracks would have been welcomed. It can be difficult to shine as an electronic musician. There are the favorites, the godfathers and the flavors of the month. There are DJ’s and their followers, […]

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EinarIndra :: Stories EP (Möller)

This electro-RnB combination is quite sensual in delivery—you’re feeling his music as you go along instead of hearing things and passing rash judgement. I caught up with Möller Records owner during their Ireland tour earlier this year, and he was ecstatic about einarIndra‘s debut due a few months later. The debut has since arrived and […]

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Hyboid :: Terrör of the Üniverse (Astro Chicken)

Hyboid always works best best when going for bombast and epic scale, and Terrör of the Üniverse opens impressively in exactly this style, with a sweeping synth epic filled with neon harmonics and glittering fanfares. Remember Astro Chicken? You know… that sadly short-lived label from 2010-11 with a penchant for obscure eighties computer game and […]

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Merrin Karras :: Apex (A Strangely Isolated Place)

Apex (also) spans a myriad of other styles and genres, often referencing current peers similarly inspired by John Carpenter or the Radiophonic Workshop. Brendan Gregoriy has been recording and releasing house and techno under the alias Chymera for over fifteen years, taking in labels like Delsin, NRK Sound Division and Connaisseur to name just a few. […]

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V/A :: V.A. 2 (La Beauté Du Négatif)

Despite being quite a different entity to its predecessor, V.A.2 feels like a natural development rather than a split from past lineages. Harder tones are present, the sharper edges of C.C.C., but these are then softened and ultimately tamed. A 12” that has already taken pride of place—on the couch. People treat their records in […]

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Neud Photo :: Dystopix (Mysidian)

Darker than his last partnership, Dystopix shows the influences of Belgium and greater Europe with its serrated synth stabs and glassy beats. Mysidian is a fledgling US label with a penchant for electro glazed disco and new wave romance. Following his Wall $treet collaboration with Pierre Klein, Nico Nightingale returns for a solo 12” under […]

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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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V/A :: The Echoing Black (Kalpamantra)

A recommended malicious industrial, noisy and cinematic ambient album and a quite effective post-apocalyptical soundtrack for your dark reflective moments. Kalpamantra is an active net-label since 2009 and specialized in blackened, noisy, tellurian and demonic  ambient music. Founded by musical journalist Steven D Williams (second manager at Malignant Records) Kalpamantra is exclusively devoted to digital […]

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Robert Curgenven :: Climata (Dragon’s Eye / Recorded Fields)

Environments designed to bespoke geometric parameters with apertures admitting specific amounts of light and sound. Site is the essence of Robert Curgenven’s music—from its semiotic banner, Recorded Fields, to its rootedness in embodied sound. Its subject is the auditory act, its effect on space, architectural or open, and situatedness in time. They Tore the Earth and, […]

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Kibble :: New Smell EP (Bonding Tapes)

A welcomed addition to any downbeat electronic music library. Bonding Tapes continues to expand (and contract) with their release smorgasbord and the rebirth of cassette tapes. Not to worry though, Bandcamp digital formats are also available and Kibble (aka Sacramento, CA-based Andrew Pycroft, former head of Suicide In Installments imprint and Awkward moniker) offers New Smell, […]

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Antikatechon :: I Feel Nothing but Repulsion (Rage in Eden)

I Feel Nothing but Repulsion embraces the path of Antikatechon original musical identity, with aural soundscapes based on enveloping, grainy and abrasive drone sequences which interact with more ethereal and semi melodious phrases. One regular dark-ambient project signed by the Polish Rage in Eden (previously known as War Office Propaganda and key label in the […]

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XXX :: Noorder Scannen (Poverty Is Violence)

Percussion bends into bars, thump hammered into spiking synth as XXX pours hot oil on his choking sounds. Poverty Is Violence bellowed into existence with the no-nonsense, punch you in the throat, sound of Drvg Culture. It seems that this Berlin/London enterprise is set to continue in the same venomous vein, his time the offering […]

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Randal Collier-Ford, Flowers for Bodysnatchers, Council of Nine, God Body Disconnect :: Locus Arcadia (Cryo Chamber)

Locus Arcadia is a celebration of metaphysical, cinematic space music with a sense of experimentation and a few challenging ideas in the sound art department. Now true leader and avid promoter of the dark ambient universe with Cyclic law, Malignant and Cold Spring, Cryo Chamber (founded a few years ago by Simon Heath of Atrium Carceri […]

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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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Carl Finlow / Dez Williams :: Bleem ​/ ​Interference Pattern split EP (Bass Agenda)

An EP of gnarled and grinding gears, of twisted metal and jagged sounds from two artists illustrating why they are well considered among Britain’s electro elite. I would argue that the UK has been the breeding ground of electro’s revival. Actually, that statement would imply that the colder edge of electronics had subsided in Britain […]

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V/A :: Underground Wave Volume 5 (Walhalla)

Packed with variety, as was the Belgian scene of the 1980s. A spread of weird and wonderful styles are explored. Dense dark bitterness, minimal malaise and even some smiling silliness in this treasure trove. Walhalla seems to be the antithesis of other reissue labels. How so? There are those that pour out records, rivers of […]

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