Turning Jewels Into Water: Which Way Is Home? 12″ EP (FPE Records, 2018)

June 21, 2018 at 12:20 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Turning Jewels Into Water: Which Way Is Home? 12″ EP

Percussionist Ravish Momin and Haitian turntablist Val Jeanty (aka Val-Inc) present a brief but potent EP of broken rhythms and lost afterlife transmissions. With eerie voices asking existentialist questions and diced up on a turntable, and heavy, unsteady beats booming on top, this sounds like the ’90s WordSound illbient scene updated for the era of footwork, Principe Discos, and Nyege Nyege Tapes. Not coincidentally, two producers from the latter label remixed the title track, although one of the mixes is digital-only. Slikback’s remix reminds me of Addison Groove’s juke/dubstep crossover tracks from nearly a decade ago. “Lights Below the Water” houses fractured earth rhythms, and “Vishwas” is an absolutely heavy bass killer, shaking right down to the foundation and responding with snapping snares and dubbed-up b-boy chants. Then it all builds up to a near panic attack before the very end.

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Pure Rave: Vol. 4 + Vol. 5 tapes (self-released, 2018?)

June 17, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Pure Rave: Vol. 4 + Vol. 5 tapes

Pure Rave are a team from Detroit who have been playing very abstract mix sets using skipping records, cheap mixers, samplers, CDJs, and I’m not sure what else. Maybe I’m not even right about all of those things. But they’ve been sort of the house DJs for the last 2 Trip Metal Fests, playing weird, warped, noisy dance beats in between bands. It’s hard to find a whole lot of info about then, but there is a Soundcloud page. At this year’s TMF, they had a batch of 5 tapes for sale. I was close to just buying all of them, but I thought that would be overkill so I just got the last 2. There’s no info on them, so no clue when they were recorded or released, or if they’re even available anywhere besides their gigs (or any other gigs besides TMF). But the tapes encapsulate the messiness and spontaneity of Pure Rave’s club sets. The crew seem to think skipping records are way more fun to dance to than records played straight through, so you’ll have house records that keep repeating themselves, turning into their own spontaneous disco edits, and then they’ll be overlapped with other rhythms that are sort of in the same tempo but aren’t quite, and then they’ll just totally lose track and meld into something else. And there’s also moments where there’s Yasunao Tone-like glitches over everything, and some hidden screams and growls. It’s pretty chaotic and absurd but there does seem to be a sense of momentum to it, it doesn’t all seem entirely random or unfocused. And there are points where the beats straighten out and it gets pretty soul-gazing. Near the end of of Vol. 4, they move away from house and drop in some smooth yacht-jazz, and then chop and screw it for a while, making it increasingly disorienting and hallucinatory. Vol. 5 starts out with flashing carnival lights and severely slowed down voices, and the sporadic shrieks and squeaks from the previous tape are still in abundance. On this tape, instead of a continuous mix, there’s plenty of long pauses, giving the appearance of different compositions, but they sometimes seem like progressions from previous portion of the mix. It’s really hard to tell what is going on, of course, so it’s best to just give up trying to make sense and accept occasional awkward silences as part of the journey. At one point, a classical record gets muddled up with some sour horns and grubby, skipping house tracks, and it feels like it’s going somewhere and nowhere at once, and then it just fades out. The other side starts out sounding like it’s being consumed by quicksand, but the beat gets more alert later on. Then it ends with some of the same flashy carnival-type noises as the beginning. The members of Pure Rave are obviously well versed in both dance music and experimental noise, but they obviously chose the name Pure Rave because they do make dance mixes, and these tapes as well as their live sets seem like danceable avantgarde compositions.

Universal Eyes: Four Variations On ‘Artificial Society’ 2LP (Gretchen’s American Tapes, 2018)

June 16, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Universal Eyes: Four Variations On ‘Artificial Society’ 2LP

Universal Indians pre-dated Wolf Eyes by several years, but they both featured overlapping members, and it seems like Wolf Eyes progressed from them in many ways. At this year’s Trip Metal Fest, Universal Indians members Aaron Dilloway, Gretchen Gonzales, and John Olson reunited, with Wolf Eyes’ Nate Young joining them, forming Universal Eyes. The four musicians recorded a session together in a single day after not having played together in almost 2 decades. Warren Defever mixed and mastered it the next day. A few weeks later, it was completely pressed to vinyl at Third Man in a limited edition of 100 copies, and it was sold at the one-day Trip Metal Fest at El Club. Warren told me it’s easily the fastest turnaround time for a record that he’s ever seen. The album features four sidelong improvisations, and each label features one of the band members’ pictures. There’s no indication of whether that side is “their” side or not, it all sounds like group improvisations. A download card comes with the record, and the digital version of the album suggests that the records are actually meant to be played at 45 RPM, which makes for a very different dynamic. Instead of being slow and trudgy and creepy, it’s much wilder, more chaotic, freer, more ecstatic. It really is two different listening experiences depending on which speed you play it on. I guess that’s true for most records, though. Interpreting the album’s title, it sounds like the music of a fake world, where pop culture has been obliterated, the conventions of music don’t exist, and the few surviving humans have to learn how to make their own instruments and basically reinvent music from the ground up. There’s a stark, minimal drum machine that sound like a dripping faucet at one point, then at other points the rhythms are more hurried and panicking. Dilloway contributes scorching guitar noise and reel-to-reel howls, and Olson plays some truly bizarre reed instruments, sometimes more than one at a time (assuming the recording sessions were anything like their set at TMF). It does sound like variations on a theme, but it approaches it from a few different directions, and even more depending on how you listen.

Show #446 – 6/16/18

June 16, 2018 at 6:15 am | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Hour 1
2:02 am Tatira ~ “We Became Light” ~ Fire Everlasting (new) ~ Inam Records ~ 2018
2:05 am Leon Vynehall ~ “Trouble – Parts I, II, & III (Chapter V)” ~ Nothing Is Still (new) ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2018
2:11 am Proc Fiskal ~ “Scotch Precog” ~ Insula (new) ~ Hyperdub ~ 2018
2:14 am Color Plus ~ “UT” ~ Regular Energy (new) ~ Towhead ~ 2018
2:17 am Ved Skyka ~ “Warrior (Somatic Responses Remix)” ~ Warrior EP (new) ~ Bandcamp ~ 2018
2:23 am Tangents ~ “Stents” ~ Stents and Arteries (new) ~ Temporary Residence Ltd. ~ 2018
2:30 am Gas ~ “Rausch 5” ~ Rausch (new) ~ Kompakt ~ 2018
2:38 am mmph ~ “Facade” ~ Dear God ~ Beer On the Rug/Tri Angle ~ 2017
2:43 am Shadowax ~ “I want to be a stewardess” ~ Don’t Mess With Cupid, ‘Cause Cupid Ain’t Stupid (new) ~ трип ~ 2018
2:50 am Pure Rave (local) ~ “side A excerpt” ~ Vol. 4 (new) ~ self-released ~ 2018
Hour 2
3:00 am Sinistarr (local) ~ “Clear Your Mind” ~ Swinging Flavors #6 (new) ~ Beat Machine Records ~ 2018
3:06 am Ploy ~ “Ramos” ~ Ramos (new) ~ Timedance ~ 2018
3:12 am X-Altera (local) ~ “Impossible” ~ X-Altera (new) ~ Ghostly International ~ 2018
3:19 am Soundmurderer + SK-1 (local) ~ “Fathom” ~ Rewind Records ~ Rewind Records/Rephlex ~ 2003
3:24 am Miss Red ~ “One Shot Killer” ~ K.O. (new) ~ Pressure ~ 2018
3:30 am Girl Unit feat. Kelela ~ “WYWD (Remix)” ~ Night Slugs Allstars X (new) ~ Night Slugs ~ 2018
3:33 am HTRK ~ “Mentions” ~ Drama (new) ~ Ghostly International ~ 2018
3:39 am Roll The Dice & Alessandro Cortini ~ “Hydra” ~ single (new) ~ The New Black ~ 2018
3:45 am Valerio Tricoli ~ “Lustra na suficie” ~ Polish Radio Experimental Studio Revisited 1998-2018 (new) ~ The Wire ~ 2018
3:51 am Ghost and Tape ~ “Vár” ~ Vár ~ Home Normal ~ 2017
3:56 am Ozmotic ~ “Being” ~ Elusive Balance (new) ~ Touch ~ 2018
Hour 3
4:01 am Nocturnal Emissions ~ “Down the Sink” ~ Nocturnal Emissions ~ Mannequin ~ 1980
4:05 am Shock Frontier ~ “What We Are” ~ Tumult ~ Malignant Records ~ 2017
4:09 am Prurient ~ “Buddhist State” ~ Rainbow Mirror ~ Profound Lore ~ 2017
4:18 am Dental Work (local) ~ “Dearest” ~ Full Circles ~ Immigrant Breast Nest/Placenta Recordings ~ 2010
4:20 am Universal Eyes (local) ~ “side B” ~ Four Variations on “Artificial Society” (new) ~ Gretchen’s American Tapes ~2018
4:36 am Svvamp ~ “Surrender” ~ 2 (new) ~ Riding Easy ~ 2018
4:39 am Nacho Business ~ “Hearing This Song” ~ 7″ ~ Sacramento Records ~ 2013
4:41 am V.V. Lightbody ~ “Jawbones” ~ Bathing Peach (new) ~ Midwest Action ~ 2018
4:45 am Kadhja Bonet ~ “Joy” ~ Childqueen (new) ~ Fat Possum ~ 2018
4:49 am The Midnight Hour feat. Laetitia Sadier, Questlove, Keyon Harrold ~ “Dans Un Moment D’Errance” ~ The Midnight Hour (new) ~ Linear Labs ~ 2018
4:52 am Josef Deas (local) ~ “side A” ~ white label 12″ (new) ~ Portage Garage Sounds ~ 2018
4:56 am Ben Lamar Gay ~ “Miss Nealie Burns” ~ Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun (new) ~ International Anthem Recording Co. ~ 2018
Hour 4
4:59 am Brownout ~ “By the Time I Get to Arizona” ~ Fear of a Brown Planet (new) ~ Fat Beats ~ 2018
5:02 am Alanis Obomsawin ~ “Théo (Part 2)” ~ Bush Lady ~ Constellation Records ~ 1985
5:10 am The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices ~ “Tropanitsa” ~ BooCheeMish (new) ~ Prophecy ~ 2018
5:13 am Flash Cero ~ “Ciudad estelar” ~ Interferencias Vol. 2: Spanish Synth Wave 1980-89 ~ Munster Records ~ 1988
5:17 am Oneohtrix Point Never ~ “RayCats” ~ Age Of (new) ~ Warp ~ 2018
5:21 am Sami Baha ~ “Cold Pursuit” ~ Free for All (new) ~ Planet Mu ~ 2018
5:23 am Black Moth Super Rainbow ~ “Bottomless Face” ~ Panic Blooms (new) ~ Rad Cult ~ 2018
5:25 am Express Rising ~ “Area Man” ~ Fixed Rope 2 (new) ~ Numero Group ~ 2018
5:30 am Bvdub ~ “Faceless” ~ Heartless ~ n5MD ~ 2017
5:36 am Mary Lattimore ~ “On the Day You Saw the Dead Whale” ~ Hundreds of Days (new) ~ Ghostly International ~ 2018
5:45 am Nasra Omar ~ “6 Titles” ~ For Christian H ~ Biophon ~ 2017
5:48 am Snow Palms ~ “Enclave” ~ Origin and Echo ~ Village Green ~ 2017
5:51 am Jon Hopkins ~ “Echo Dissolve” ~ Singularity (new) ~ Domino ~ 2018
5:55 am Pink Sky (local) ~ “Air Chrysalis” ~ Forms (new) ~ self-released ~ 2018

Tatira: Fire Everlasting (Inam Records, 2018)

June 14, 2018 at 8:48 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Tatira: Fire Everlasting

The third (and perhaps final?) release from Ryan Huber’s Tatira alias is a bit less beat-driven than the other two, focusing more on suspense and doom. There’s something fragile about the pinpoint IDM of “Rod of Iron”, while “Second Signal” is more of a dark, glowing sphere. “We Became Light” is a little closer to the new wave-ish techno of the last Tatira release, but it’s heavier on starry sweeps. While there’s tracks like the calm, bleak drones “New Clear Day” and “Weapon of Cowards”, there’s also more dramatic, complex pieces like the goth-techno jam “Fire Everlasting”. “Countermand” is punchy, monochromatic techno which feels like it’s going to build up something but it just goes headstrong until it fades out. “Unimpeded Fall” starts out sounding like it’s going to lead into another steady techno track, but then it abruptly switches into a furnace blast of noise, with some dripping water or ticking clock rhythm behind it. “Shadow Realm” ends the album with seven minutes of foreboding storm cloud drone. Free download at Bandcamp.

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices: BooCheeMish (Prophecy, 2018)

June 9, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices: BooCheeMish

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices (or Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares) is a long-running all-female choir who perform modern arrangements of traditional Bulgarian folk melodies. They became an international phenomenon in the ’80s when 4AD released a pair of compilation albums spotlighting their work, the first of which was actually a reissue of an album released in 1975, and the second of which won a Grammy in 1989. Since then, the choir has toured and released several additional albums, in addition to being sampled by countless producers and groups looking to add a dash of otherworldliness to their music. This is the choir’s first album in 20 years, and it unites them with Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance, another act synonymous with the golden era of 4AD, and who has also been sampled innumerable times. Gerrard adds her unmistakable contralto to four songs, which are all highlights. While some of the group’s earlier recordings were a cappella, these songs are mostly performed using traditional instrumentation, but a couple of them are a bit more upbeat and modern-sounding, such as “Rano Ranila”, which is credited as featuring beatboxing. While some of the choir’s recordings can be dark and somewhat gothic, there’s some really upbeat and joyous songs here, such as “Tropanitsa”. Whether or not you’re familiar with the older recordings, this one sounds wonderful.

Show #445 – 6/9/18

June 9, 2018 at 6:13 am | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Hour 3
2:00 am Cannonball Adderley Quintet ~ “You Got It!” ~ The Cannonball Adderley Quintet In San Francisco ~ Riverside ~ 1959
2:06 am Bob McFadden & Dor ~ “The Mummy” ~ Re/Search: Incredibly Strange Music, Volume II ~ Asphodel ~ 1959
2:08 am The Fall ~ “I’m a Mummy” ~ Levitate ~ Cherry Red ~ 1997
2:10 am The Amino Acids ~ “The Lost Coordinate” ~ Destroy the Warming Sun ~ Bowlophonic ~ 2004
2:12 am Uniform & The Body ~ “The Curse of Eternal Life” ~ Mental Wounds Not Healing (new) ~ Sacred Bones ~ 2018
2:16 am Young Widows ~ “Checked In/Out” ~ Decayed: Ten Years of Cities, Wounds, Lightness, and Pain ~ Temporary Residence Ltd. ~ 2010
2:20 am Thor & Friends ~ “Carpet Creeps” ~ The Subversive Nature of Kindness ~ L-M Duplication ~ 2017
2:22 am Amp ~ “Loveflower [into the sun] – Amp Studio mix” ~ Q Factors (a Mixtape) ~ Ampbase ~ 2017
2:31 am Altarmang ~ “Aether” ~ Void ~ Cyclic Law ~ 2016
2:37 am CCFX ~ “The One to Wait (Sunday of Existence Mix)” ~ The Remixes (new) ~ DFA ~ 2018
2:43 am Filter Dread ~ “Still Buzzing” ~ Hardcore Will Never Die (new) ~ Corrupt Data ~ 2018
2:47 am SunFalls ~ “prizm [i.D.” ~ dream’minus ~ self-released ~ 2017
2:53 am SunFalls ~ “sunPetrol” ~ dream’minus ~ self-released ~ 2017
2:57 am Ross from Friends ~ “Project Cybersyn” ~ Family Portrait (new) ~ Brainfeeder ~ 2018
Hour 2
3:02 am Color Plus ~ “F’Nesse” ~ Regular Energy (new) ~ Towhead ~ 2018
3:06 am Proc Fiskal ~ “Kontinuance” ~ Insula (new) ~ Hyperdub ~ 2018
3:10 am Sami Baha ~ “Path Riot” ~ Free for All (new) ~ Planet Mu ~ 2018
3:14 am Skeptical ~ “Cold Fold” ~ Enjoy This Trip (new) ~ Exit Records ~ 2018
3:19 am Oneohtrix Point Never ~ “Same” ~ Age Of (new) ~ Warp ~ 2018
3:21 am Sugai Ken ~ “土獅峠 (Toshi Touge)” ~ SUGAI KEN meets G禁禁禁禁 – 岩石考 -yOrUkOrU- (new) ~ Yerevan Tapes ~ 2018
3:26 am Sunareht ~ “Super Suna Odyssey” ~ Sagas EP (new) ~ Paradoxe Club ~ 2018
3:30 am Pink Sky (local) ~ “Going” ~ Forms (new) ~ self-released ~ 2018
3:33 am uon ~ “Bus” ~ uon (new) ~ West Mineral Ltd. ~ 2018
3:38 am Pure Rave (local) ~ “side A track 1” ~ Vol. 5 (new) ~ self-released ~ 2018
3:44 am Minimal Violence ~ “U41A” ~ U41A (new) ~ Technicolour ~ 2018
3:49 am Waajeed feat. Blaktony ~ “Earth” ~ Mother (new) ~ Planet E ~ 2018
3:54 am Benjamin Damage ~ “Malfunction” ~ 12″ (new) ~ R&S ~ 2018
Hour 1
4:01 am Eduardo De La Calle ~ “Phason Jazz” ~ Icosahedrite EP (new) ~ Planet E ~ 2018
4:09 am Avatism ~ “Adamant” ~ Adamant ~ Vakant ~ 2013
4:13 am Inigo Kennedy & Sigha ~ “Minor Ascent” ~ Momentum: 10 Years of Token ~ Token ~ 2017
4:19 am Jori Hulkkonen as Third Culture ~ “Technowater” ~ Negative Time ~ My Favorite Robot ~ 2012
4:25 am Felix Leifur ~ “The Tarleton Appreciation Club” ~ The Tarleton Appreciation Club (new) ~ Bobby Donny ~ 2018
4:32 am Hobo ~ “Ipperwash Dusk” ~ Iron Triangle ~ M_nus ~ 2012
4:39 am Historical Repeater ~ “Leisure” ~ EP (new) ~ Earwiggle ~ 2018
4:44 am Martyn ~ “Manchester” ~ Voids (new) ~ Ostgut Ton ~ 2018
4:48 am Nite Fleit ~ “Partly Sunny” ~ SCDD007 (new) ~ Steel City Dance Discs ~ 2018
4:52 am Datawave ~ “Hidden Outpost” ~ EP (new) ~ Natural Sciences ~ 2018
4:58 am Morphology ~ “Traveller” ~ Traveller (new) ~ FireScope Records ~ 2018
Hour 4
5:04 am Ben Agüero ~ “Crystal Edit” ~ mp3 (new) ~ Soundcloud ~ 2018
5:07 am Sharda & Shanique Marie ~ “Wanna Know” ~ single (new) ~ Swing Ting ~ 2018
5:11 am Q ~ “Déjame Ahora Dormir” ~ Interferencias Vol. 2 – Spanish Synth Wave 1980-1989 ~ Munster ~ 1984
5:16 am Carla dal Forno ~ “Fast Moving Cars” ~ You Know What It’s Like ~ Blackest Ever Black ~ 2016
5:19 am Johnny Jewel ~ “Loveless” ~ Themes For Television (new) ~ Italians Do It Better ~ 2018
5:22 am The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices featuring Lisa Gerrard ~ “Mani Yanni” ~ BooCheeMish (new) ~ Prophecy ~ 2018
5:29 am Kawabata Makoto ~ “I Can’t Reach Your Lips” ~ We’re One-Sided Lovers Each Other ~ Bam Balam ~ 2013
5:35 am Kadhja Bonet ~ “Second Wind” ~ Childqueen (new) ~ Fat Possum ~ 2018
5:39 am Charlotte Dos Santos ~ “Cleo” ~ Cleo ~ Fresh Selects ~ 2017
5:42 am Black Moth Super Rainbow ~ “Baby’s in the Void” ~ Panic Blooms (new) ~ Rad Cult ~ 2018
5:46 am Express Rising ~ “Unfamiliar Lights” ~ Fixed Rope 2 (new) ~ Numero Group ~ 2018
5:49 am Mary Lattimore ~ “It Feels Like Floating” ~ Hundreds of Days (new) ~ Ghostly International ~ 2018

Waajeed: Mother EP 12″ (Planet E, 2018)

June 3, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Waajeed: Mother EP

Platinum Pied Piper and Slum Village associate Waajeed has dabbled in house and techno for a long time, but he’s been releasing a lot more house music as of late, and his first record for Planet E is absolutely sublime. The title track features Steffanie Christi’an, who currently sings lead vocals for Inner City, and it’s such a purely uplifting, thankful song. The repeated vocal bits keep the song stuck in my head, then the full vocals radiate with joy and positivity, and I’m just hooked, even if I’m not in that much of a positive mood myself. “Earth” is a bit darker and more sinister, featuring some robotic mutterings from Scan 7’s Blak Tony. “Obba” is a nice minimal house cut which has an undercurrent of joy, but isn’t as overtly celebratory and brimming with optimism as “Mother”. “Frances” has some darker overtones, but isn’t too gloomy, and the strong beats and hand drums push it along, keeping a hopeful spirit intact. An overall wonderful record, and a must for anyone who loves Detroit house.

Eduardo De La Calle: Icosahedrite EP 12″ (Planet E, 2018)

June 3, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Eduardo De La Calle: Icosahedrite EP 12″

Madrid’s Eduardo De La Calle has released around 100 records, but I wasn’t really aware of him until this one, his first on Planet E. “Phason Jazz” is the track from here that’s been getting the most club play, and it’s a spacey epic with keyboard vamps and astral effects, which really does sound like a jazz combo performing in an outer galaxy, yet there’s also a locked-in house rhythm to it. “Mr Dewey D” is kind of similar, but with a playful up-and-down sequence and some stranger, squeakier noises near the end. My favorite track on the record is the more experimental “Rhythmic Soundscapes”, which begins by starting like the record is constantly winding up and down, then attaches a beat to it, and some free-floating piano echos off the edge. Reminds me of the disorientation of some of the early Kompakt stuff, but from a new perspective.

SunFalls: dream’minus tape (self-released, 2017)

June 3, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

SunFalls: dream’minus tape

SunFalls is a Portland-based artist making highly complex, glitchy electronic music on a hybrid setup including modular synths. Very dense, abstract pieces with rhythms which constantly sound like they’re melting, struggling to find themselves, or just completely smashed apart. Yes, it’s very Autechre-like, but some of this guy’s compositions get into more of a deep-space alienation zone than theirs. Undeniably machine-driven/generated music, but it still pushes outward into the zone uninhabitable by humans or human technology. When the beats are stronger, it’s REALLY intense (such as “prizm [i.D.”). Even when they aren’t it’s still a heavy listening experience. The track that gets me the most is the tunneling beat shrapnel of “sunPetrol”, especially when the beat overloads and fizzles and then continuously regenerates. It doesn’t make conventional “sense” but to me it’s just so powerful. Totally into what this guy’s doing. Cassette still available from Bandcamp.

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