Category: "Reviews"

D’Marc Cantu :: Hypnopompic (Endless Illusion)

After ten years Cantu’s sound has barely aged a day. The sweat and grime of Jak, the gnawing frustrations of house, the warming hopes and loss of techno; all present, swirled and compressed on Hypnopompic. I’ve been following D’Marc Cantu’s music since his first fury filled steps. Hissing house was the Ann Arbor artist’s forte, […]

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Keith Berry :: Elixir (Invisible Birds)

‘From the more visible we must turn now towards the increasingly less visible which is also most revealing and most true’ (Philippe Jaccottet, Landscapes with Absent Figures) Quote from Invisible Birds, purveyors of hand-packaged ltd. ed. wares ‘evocative of  memory, transcendence, birds, landscape, and nothingness.’ We’re told ‘forms of memory, nothingness and the sublime may include: birdsongs, […]

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Barnacles :: One Single Sound (Boring Machines)

A beautifully designed and colorful ambient minimalist album which reveals an interesting electronic ballet for dreamy-like pulses and emotionally cinematic sound textures with discreet touches of echoing and processed field recordings. Matteo Uggeri is one eclectic and multifaceted sound artist mostly known for his collaborative works as well as for being a key member of […]

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Three on the Radar :: Andi Otto, Tosca, Tornado Wallace

The start of 2017 provided a hefty dose of downtempo electronica, dub and balearica. Here are three records you need to hear. Andi Otto :: VIA (Pingipung) Andi Otto, mostly known for his work as Springintgut, released his fourth solo album, VIA, in late January. It’s his first album under his real name. Already from the first […]

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Conrad Schnitzler & Pole :: Con-Struct (Bureau B)

This collaboration offers an interesting catalog of cold, hypnotic, cerebral, techno-ish and beat laden electronic pieces. If you are into conceptual and minimal ambient sophistication (Cluster, Asmus Tietchens, Monoton…) no doubt this release will seduce you. An important document which brings back to light the musical heritage of Conrad Schnitzler. I used to be an […]

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Roel Funcken :: Balaklavskiy prospex (Funckarma.com)

Balaklavskiy prospex generates just as much energy as the nearest supernova remnants, and is perhaps best suited as the backdrop to these spectacular events. Roel Funcken, probably the most prolific musician of abstract electronic music this side of the galaxy, continues his foray into mind-altering sonic extractions. Balaklavskiy prospex bends and twists its way through […]

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Neunaugen :: Dazzling Tongue (käfTen)

For a debut Dazzling Tongue is an impressive and well executed undertaking on an imprint that has something intriguing about it. Sweden. A country known for a few things. Volvos. IKEA. Electronic music? Less so. Machine funk isn’t one of the Scandinavian country’s most famous exports, yet the small nation does punch above its weight […]

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Lawrence English :: Cruel Optimism (Room40)

The album is developed as one long epic atmospheric suite where soothing peaceful passages are punctuated by vertiginous emotional moments of melancholic beauty. Lawrence English is one very productive and important artist in the late development of modern days experimental ambient music. Among other things he is also the founder of Room40 label. Wilderness of […]

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Richard Barbieri :: Planets + Persona (Kscope)

A strong piece of sonic beauty that doesn’t attach itself exclusively to any time or genre. Ambient, jazz, electronica, classical, darkness and light, it’s all there somewhere, woven meticulously and fluidly into a deep explorative voyage. Although the progressive rock reincarnation solo projects of Porcupine Tree’s front man and creative engine, Steven Wilson, get most […]

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Artefakt :: Kinship (Delsin)

Artefakt’s output is all so exceptionally well balanced that it’s just as capable of driving the headphones listener into a spinning state of hypnosis as it is at filling and driving the dance floor. Since 2014, Dutch producers Nick Lapien and Robin Koek have been released a handful of EP’s as Artefakt on the Delsin, […]

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North Atlantic Drift :: Departures, Vol. 1 (Polar Seas) & Video premiere

An invitation to flow through ethereal streams and to adopt a contemplative listening posture. Easily recommended for fans of emotional and organic ambient sculptures. Through a multitude of publications and labels, the modern facet of the ambient genre has reached a pinnacle during recent years. Honestly and personally I consider that this musical universe now […]

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Delayscape :: Aether (ZCKR)

For all intents and purposes it looked like Delayscape would remain a digital artist, popping up here and there with a track or a tape. ZCKR have taken the step and rightfully brought him to vinyl. An album of cheerful and soulful electronics, one that is soothing and utterly charming. In a less than obvious […]

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Ultradyne :: Antarctica (re-issue) (Exterminador)

The gristle and grunt of the machine is a feature of this first and only album. Gears blur, snares grate into melodies as percussion pierces all. Within every genre there are the darker purveyors. The blackened stalwarts of techno, the seedy perverts of house; electro is no exception. Coming from the grime and grit, from […]

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Lav & Purl :: A State of Becoming (A Strangely Isolated Place)

Through A State of Becoming, Lav & Purl are trying to express the interconnectedness of all things, a strong concept reflected in its thematic, melodic and compositional consistency. One can easily get lost in the album. With the sheer volume of of new music vying for our weekly—if not daily—attention, it feels like the age […]

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Analept :: Sternweite (Xtraplex)

Sternweite is a welcomed foray into IDM’s kick-off years, the nostalgic flare for polished, tempered, and downtrodden harmonies is ever-present from start to end, proving easily that Xtraplex knows how to unearth treasures buried deep in Belgian soil. Belgian net-label Xtraplex released Analept’s Sternweite in November 2016, a flickering look back into times gone by. […]

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Qebo :: The Former Generations of Structure (Detroit Underground)

The Former Generations of Structure delivers a fluid understanding of restrained electronics tethered to skeletal melodic tendencies. By way of Athens through Detroit, Qebo’s impacting sonic derailment is very much welcomed. Greece-based Qebo have been at it for over a decade, but have only just recently become (more) active, and we’re thrilled to dissect it. The […]

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Nonima :: Recur (Section 27)

Recur is choke-full of mechanically-infused electronic mayhem that is ever so lightly shielded by its tranquilized downtrodden shimmer. Section 27 founder Nonima (aka Tam Ferrans) reveals Recur, a diverse and abstract electronic abyss that segues into and out of consciousness. Take the opening “Recursor” as a starting point—elongated sounds from another galaxy expand and contract […]

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V/A :: Meditations 3 (Shimmering Moods)

Meditations 3 is a fine collection of modern, discreetly pulsating and cerebral ambient sketches. Shimmering Moods is back with a new collection of intimate, soothing and semi-experimental ambient tracks provided here as a compilation built on unreleased sound materials offered by regular artists / projects of the label. However this compilation gives the occasion to introduce […]

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Haunted Me :: Plague (Self-Released)

A beautiful noise ambient release dominated by soaring guitars and diverse acoustic sound manipulations. Haunted Me is a young droned-out / post rockin’ and one-man project from Calabria (Italy). The music of Claudio Begovic is quite discreet and confidential, totally self-released and published as digital albums. However I’ve been seduced by the deeply evocative and […]

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Onsy :: Freq 255 (Schematic Music Co.)

Early works from artists such as André Estermann, Arovane, Deru, Einóma, and Phonem come to mind when listening to Freq 255, Onsy’s debut for Schematic. As a result, Freq 255 manifests 7-tracks composed with utter style and finesse, its overarching nostalgic IDM charm is timeless. Early works from artists such as André Estermann, Arovane, Deru, Einóma, and […]

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Sone Urbia :: Theros (Helikon)

Two tracks of blackened industrial ambience, tarred techno smeared with soot. Alienating and undeniably estranging, Sone Urbia’s music seeks the negative side of the spectrum. The world we live in is changing. A statement that is being bandied about a lot at the minute. Trump. Brexit. The rise of the right. The western world is changing. […]

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Sceptre Fretpen :: PLUGH (Sparkwood)

PLUGH carefully unwraps (these) introspective, nuanced and alluring downtempo/ambient flurries. A soundtrack haven for questioning souls on this circular cosmic spot. Delve into electrical fields and majestic strings, distilled beats and soft rhythms, PLUGH from Sceptre Fretpen at the helm. Somewhere between calm guitar flicks and downtempo streams, “Thin Abyss” elicits all that is tranquil and fluid in […]

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V/A :: Greenosophy chapter II collected by Mizoo (Ultimae)

A beautiful, topnotch output from every facet. The music, the mix, the production, the artwork, everything is constructed with love, passion and expertise. Ultimae and Mizoo start 2017 with a rich, pulsating blast of ambient, downtempo electronica and techno-ish deep trance, provided by a superb, international battery of artists—label regulars and newcomers. A work of […]

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A Bleak Reality :: Inevitable Disaster / Steinzeit :: Wahrheit (MRT)

If we are now living in the age of anger this is surely the soundtrack of discontent. MRT. A Division of Lux Rec. There seems to be little division between these two sides of the Swiss imprint. The black bile from which MRT was born has infected the entire label. Downtrodden. Dank. Dark. What has […]

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Ignatius :: Hudibrastic & Smug Ruins EPs (Buried In Time)

Ignatius blends (these) interconnected noisy streams into mangled glitch sandstorms and electrical distortions. Ignatius certainly knows a thing or two about modular equipment, on both Hudibrastic and Smug Ruins, it’s evident that there’s more to life than waiting for another round of Autechre material. If elseq-1-5 was any indication of Ae’s “constantly shifting focus,” than Ignatius […]

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Hydroplane :: Panda (Schematic Music Co.)

Delivering high-definition production and fluid melodic streams, Hydroplane has a compulsion for robotic electronics bursting at the seams. Hydroplane (aka Renzo Gorrio), seemingly out of nowhere, reveals an impacting full-length tucked within eight tracks in the six-plus minute range. Panda weaves and shimmies its way in a maze of leftfield bass bin echoes. Phoenecia-inspired fragmented electro, Bitstream’s […]

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Autechre :: Incunabula, Amber, Tri-Repetae (Warp)

As cynical one might feel about reissues, however, they can sometimes be nothing short of stellar, absolutely warranted, and in the case of much out of print early Autechre, long overdue. For the longest time there’s been something incongruous about the idea of listening to Autechre on vinyl, a medium whose inherent limitations Booth and […]

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V/A :: Unboxed Brain (De:Tuned)

Brainbox, and now Unboxed Brain, shows the range that exists within this almost limitless genre. Embrace the factory floor. Pull close to your bosom the clatter and clang of the warehouse.   I was out the other weekend here in Madrid, went to a club night where Daniele Cosmo, of Lux Rec, and me mate […]

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Vlimmer :: llllll​/​lllllll (Blackjack Illuminist)

Maybe an over-productive project for a few ones but this bunch of nicely made tracks will easily convince fans of dark waving and moodily atmospheric electro-gothic music, mainly from the 80s. Alexander Leonard Donat is one busy, highly prolific, multifaceted and electronic self-produced artist coming from Berlin, Germany. The Berlin underground electronic music scene has […]

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