Category: "Reviews"

Lone :: Lemurian Re-Issue (R&S / Magic Wire)

Layering samples on old tape and making music on all manner of quaintly out-of-date appurtenances—one of the many musical children to which Boards of Canada have a right—both collections spin the radio dial and spray acrylic color all over the place. Lemurian, the 2008 debut album as Lone by Matt Cutler (now re-mastered by Matt […]

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Fis :: The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now (Loopy)

A veneer of unkempt noise and disorder is attended by intimations of hyper-timbral detail and hermetic design. There’s definitely something in the water in Wellington on the evidence of The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now, a set of ‘sonic explorations made in glorious isolation’ whereon Fis gets his debut head from Loopy. Off the back of a series of […]

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Joe Drive :: Anamorphic Age (Kooaad Muzik)

Below some of those ashen elements lies warmth, subtle movements and shifts that elevate this inaugural 12” on KOOAAD into something more. I’ve been covering Joe Drive since the beginning of his career. With releases on Jamal Moss’ Mathematics, 4Lux and Lux Rec, Mr Drive has been exploring the divide between house and techno, arctic […]

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Heidi Lord :: English Electric (Weme)

Each piece is self-contained perpetual motion. Sourcing MRI equipment, modular synthesizers, gongs and guitars, sampled conversation from the grocery store and her own voice, she waxes elegiac, abstract, concrete, and yes, somehow very English. One of the most successful debuts of the year. English Electric is a gallery of sonic sculptures, the first solo exhibition by Heidi […]

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Cathode Ray Tube :​: Urban Patterning (Component)

A dynamic, colorful and cinematic sounding electronic ambient album that will ravish fans of 70s/80s B-grade film scores from sci-fi to thrillers and twister experimental films. Cathode Ray Tube is a multifaceted synthscaping electronic music project formed by Igloo’s own Charles R. Terhune. Before to go into this new EP I made a quick exploration […]

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Alio Die & Parallel Worlds :: Elusive Metaphor (Hic Sunt Leones)

Elusive Metaphor waxes like a benevolent force of nature, one from a time when the world remained enchanted, premodern. Soft, engulfing, and serene sylvan settings, still in their infancy. They are showpieces of understatement, sonic texturing and delicious restraint. Elusive is right, because the collaborators seem to be mulling something over, testing ideas in their collective […]

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T_st and Dronelock :: The Eternal Now (Sphere Gear)

The Eternal Now is imbued with an overarching industrial feel—images of clunking robotic machinery and hissing pistons accompany nebulous synth pads and plenty of unexpected melodic twists. Bradford based producers Martin Cartledge and Alexander Church have been steadily building a solid following around their deep, industrial yet melodic and warm techno productions. Dettmann, Surgeon, Lucy, […]

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WC00160 & Abono :: Untitled EP (ALLISANDNOT)

Deep machine music with just the right balance of bite and bloom. Styles coming together, forming, shaping and gelling into a wonderfully familiar difference. A great start from this fledgling imprint. I like the European project. There ya go. There’s been an awful amount of talk about it over the last five years. Blame assigned, […]

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Meat Beat Manifesto :: Kasm02 EP (Skam)

Upon arriving at their destination, all exited the car without speaking—except for one who said in halting, broken English, “Music… Very weird. Dark. Good.” Which sums up Kasm02 better than I ever could. A must have EP! I feel I must open this review with a disclaimer: I am a ridiculously unapologetic Meat Beat Manifesto/Jack […]

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Flatland Sound Studio :: Maximum Vacation Plus (Bedroom Research)

It could almost be the soundtrack to a cold medicine overdose or the after effect of watching too many foreign language cartoons while recovering from dental surgery and extremely strong coffee. Vancouver based sound designer and producer Flatland Sound Studio, aka Max Greening, drops Maximum Vacation Plus, an impressive debut album full of ingredients including […]

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Legiac :: The Faex Has Decimated (Tympanik Audio)

It hits so hard and sounds so ear-ticklingly right… There was a time when it seemed like the Funcken brothers released a new album monthly. Under one of their many aliases (Quench, Funckarma, Cane), singly or as collaborations with other artists (Dif:use, Shadow Huntaz), then between 2001 and somewhere around 2006 the joints dropped fast […]

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The Valley and the Mountain :: Outer Reaches (Shipwrec)

2015 has already been a diverse year for Shipwrec. Boiled techno. Belligerent house. Sleek electro and even electronica. Lesser known names have been given vinyl space, experienced artists brought back to wax. The latest comes from the up and coming camp. Outer Reaches is by a mysterious alumnus of Belgium’s WeMe; The Valley and the […]

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Sneaker :: Holistical (Lunatic)

Lilting harmonies frayed by tough toms and snapping snares, a diverted dancefloor for the unsure and the insecure. It’s always a sickener when someone steals your coat from the club. True, I’m of the age where the cloakroom is no longer prohibitively expensive (two euro being a king’s ransom some years back.) But, sensibility and […]

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Chris Weeks :: Black Hole (Odd John)

A beautifully sculpted deep ambient album which explores the mechanism of dreams in a quite Bachelardian, intuitively poetical mood. Offered as a beautiful limited CD edition, Black Hole is the new release of sound designer and electronic musician Chris Weeks (aka Kingbastard.) Since 2005, this multi-faceted musician has published a great number of releases, mainly […]

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Techno’s Outer Limits :: July 2015

Latest postcard from Techno’s Twilight Zone—recent 12″s/EPs/LPs + notes in the margins. Scroll down for Soundcloud set of selections. France first, where Dement3d, prime suspect in some of Techno’s shadier dealings, host a return for Polar Inertia, whose debut, The Last Vehicle, was as much a keynote as first foray, Discordance (2011), from abstracted fields’n’beats peddlers, dscrd. The […]

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Terminal 11 :: Tracing Structures (naboamusic, Cock Rock Disco)

Tracing Structures is Terminal 11’s most complete work, it simply depends if you’re bothered enough to scratch beyond his madcap surface and dive in. There weren’t many artists back in 2004 making flurries of machine gun splattering sounds on top of drum beats and rhythmic breaks. I first came across Terminal 11 on an Invasion […]

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Fjordne :: Moonlit Invocations (White Paddy Mountain)

Moonlit Invocations is modernist art, a Cubist canvas on a cocktail napkin. Fjordne (Fujimoto Shunichiro, also known as “FjS”) first came to my attention with The Setting Sun in its magnificent art edition designed by musician/graphic artist April Lee, a recording about “listening to touching,” as I wrote, of strings and piano keys, music that “wants to be […]

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Nimh :: Black Silences (Naked Lunch)

A menacing, harsh, intrusive, nihilist and emotionally disturbing noisescapey experience which is well recommended. Newly launched independent label based in Italy Naked Lunch Records is a an other fine purveyor of now legendary industrial power electronic acts (Maurizio Bianchi…) and challenging contemporary artists in the field of abstract and noisy drone ambient. It sounds quite […]

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Clatterbox :: Sentinel_REVISITED (Solar One)

Sentinel_REVISITED sees Clatterbox continue his investigation into darker electronic sounds. The warmer moments of the 90s are buried under biting arctic winds and bitter hail. There are times I feel old. Morning. Noon. Night. But there are specific times with music, or with certain artists, where the passing of years is that bit more palpable. […]

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Die Roh :: Change Car (Row)

Straddling the harder and softer sides of that ever diverse house sound. It’s no trivial undertaking starting a record label. I can guarantee anyone who’s done it will say the same, especially a vinyl label. Cost. Time. Communication. Logistics. Delays. Cost. I tip my cap to anyone willing to take on such an endeavor, and […]

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V/A & Phooka :: Double review (Love Blast)

These are sounds of real anguish, where economic migration is the reality and the price of bread on the table means a family member missing from the meal. The gloom of the economic downturn appears to be lifting, at least through the data we’re reported. I’m not sure if I can with hand on heart […]

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ARC :: Arclight (DiN)

A bliss pop synthedelic effort recommended for fans of Berlin school and programmed ambient minimalism. ARC is the super project formed by Ian Boddy and Mark Shreeve, two pioneering actors in the world of textured ambient / electronic space music. Separately or in this common project their music appears to be the British answer to […]

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TAPE :: Transmissions 3

It’s been far too long since the last Tape Transmission but this means there are heaps of excellent releases to catch up on. Boliden :: Meta (Chemical Tapes) Meta by Boliden Really nice reduced loopy techno—kind of a lo-fi The Field spun through a kaleidoscopic lucid dream dappled with summer evening sun. Donnacha Costello :: […]

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Marconi Union :: Departures EP (Chemical Tapes)

Cunningly camouflaged by new luminous skin and armed with a different approach, MU manages to effortlessly generate its addictive idiosyncratic spell once again. Richard Talbot, Jamie Crossley and Duncan Meadows (together known as Marconi Union), couldn’t have chosen a more suitable title for their new effort on UK’s eccentric independent boutique imprint, Chemical Tapes. Departures, […]

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Fabio Perletta (Øe) :: Unseed (Arboretum)

Unseed is a serene, contemplative and warmly inviting minimal ambient release. A musical satori and a must have for fans of complex, sinuous and abstract electronic dreaminess. Fabio Perletta is quite a busy sound artist, working simultaneously on his personal sound creations and for his independent label Farmacia901. After several collaborative works, many recent live […]

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Daif :: 2017 (Crystal Magic)

A brand-new name in my ear, Daif (surname King) is heralded by Crystal Magic as “New Zealand’s most-beloved visual artist/synth-wizard,” which only goes to show how long news from the Antipodes takes to reach me. 2017 is sumptuous, high-def, bubbly electronica from the very near, frictionless future. Songs as slick, shiny and buoyant as a Mylar balloon. Titles […]

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Michael Fahres :: Tibataje (Testtoon)

The record transports the listener to a stark world, one of prelapsarian parameters, one where ritual and wildlife convene over the beat of the drum. I was recently listening to Mark Kermode’s “The Soundtrack of my Life.” He’s probably not that well known, he’s a BBC film critic and does other cultural pieces. He’s always […]

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6APPEAL :: Shimmering Moods

Neonate Shimmering Moods label’s rapid-fire release strategy tops our pile with an array of the unknown, Gallery Six, Michiru Aoyama, ~~^^^macheteoxidado^^^~~, TimeDog, and away from the unknown, Benjamin Finger and Bengalfuel. See how the Moods shimmer.   Hiroshima Hidekazu spools out gossamer texture and watery sound findings into Gasansui. As Gallery Six, his exhibits are smarter than the […]

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Ultradyne :: Resurrection :: Return from the Abyss (Pi Gao Movement)

A fist in the throat from the founding fathers if electro. Around Madrid, at the moment, you might well see Ultradyne in bold text. The electro veterans are set for a European Tour and the Spanish capital is preparing itself for a deluge of raw machine sounds. But before the duo of Dennis Richardson and […]

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