It’s been a few months since our last dedication to all things magnetic tape. But never fear, we’ve kept the reels turning and have unearthed a diverse range of noises and music for your listening pleasure—this time taking in cyberpunk IDM, Japanese ambient, crunchy electronica, experimental hip hop swagger and a dream about an apothecary.
MIZUNOKUNI :: Gr◯un土 + Kabamix (Bokeh Versions)
London-based Bokeh Versions serve up psyched out slices of ambient house mind excursions direct from Osaka’s DJ Ground and Kabamix. Two continuous 30-minute odysseys are featured with a distinct Japanese tropical flavor mixed in with subtle vocal samples, ’90s leaning dubby ethos and cranium exploring synth wig outs. Channeling all the best parts of experimental Japanese electronics, this bends sound and perception like no one else. All round excellent—one for the proper heads. Be quick on the cassette as you’ll have to stump up a grand for the digital version.
Twincities :: …plays the brown mountain lights (dauw)
A great label based in Ghent, dauw concentrate on beautiful ambient minimalism with a series of solid releases in this vein behind them. Here we find a really rather stunning experimental / neo-classical work featuring plaintive cello and fuzzy soundscapes—all mastered by Ian Hawgood over at Home Normal. Fans of Christoph Berg, Pausal and Tape Loop Orchestra should investigate this. Also well worth checking is the uber-minimalism of Machinefabriek’s Dwaal / Wold, shaping meditations from space and slowing things to a virtual standstill. A label to keep tabs on and amazing packaging and design too.
Octavcat :: Modified 15 (Electronic Tapes)
Brothers Rich and Matt Cawte delve back 15-years to tracks since untouched and revamp them with newly acquired hardware. These guys excel at producing a hybrid Plaid / Autechre / Quinoline Yellow / AFX kind of sound and clearly love old analog kits, as attested on previous full length In Memory of Old Gear. Packed full of melodic twists, turns and surprises and perhaps a touch more experimental than previous, this comes thoroughly recommended to anyone with even a passing interest in crunchy melodic electronica. Lovely stuff.
Diamondstein :: The Ridges (Dream Catalogue)
Dream Catalogue go from strength to strength with this compelling assemblage of cyperpunk, IDM, and dystopian techno from LA based Diamondstein. Programmed to flow as a cohesive whole, this starts pensive and moody then slowly creeps up on you, unfolding into a world of angry humming bass lines and thumping technoid arpeggios. Huge.
V/A :: Quality Time Vol 2 (Bonding Tapes)
Ace compilation from this San Diego-based label showcasing a diverse range of musical styles and artists. From abstract instrumental hip-hop head nodders to quirky electronics this is packed to the gills with interesting musical directions and originality. At 28 tracks long it’s good value too and is a release summed up perfectly by one of the artist’s names: Mr Abstract Butta Fingas. Definitely one for fans of more experimental beats—get involved!
Neozaïre :: Apothecary Dream (Noorden)
After all that blunted excitement from Bonding Tapes it’s time to round things off with some nice introspective reverie from Koln based Noorden. Spaced out slide guitars and ethereal ambience blues sum this one up. Perfect for any dream really—not just one about an apothecary.