RONiiA: Sisters EP (Totally Gross National Product, 2016)

March 30, 2016 at 10:22 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

RONiiA: Sisters EP

RONiiA: Sisters EP

Dark gothy indie synth-pop which explores a few different avenues, never really sticking with one sound. Singer Nona Marie Invie used to be in indie folk group Dark Dark Dark and producer Mark McGee was in the incredibly brilliant To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie, who blended ethereal rock and noise in ways I’ve never heard anyone else do. He was also in Father You See Queen, who explored similar terrain. This has elements of those projects, but it seems a bit more upbeat. “Love Me” is a brief punk-inspired number, but instead of buzzsaw guitars, there’s airy synths, echoing vocals, spare drums, and really not much else. “Run” starts out sounding very much like an older Zola Jesus track, with wailing vocals and slow creeping rhythms, but then it ends up building up to 4/4 dance beats and fantastic sound design, with layers of multi-tracked vocals and intricate noises. “Sisters” similarly starts out sparser and unassuming, yet riddled with whispering voices and other details, before blooming into a fuller sound with waves of guitar and flickering, dancey beats. “Beg” is shorter, and starts out soft and intriguing with skittering beats, but it doesn’t develop the way the previous 2 songs do. “Hell” ends the album with slow, sludgy, drifting ballad, and it’s absolutely lovely, doomy without being hard or punishing. Really good dark electronic indie pop which does not succumb to any of the cliches of any of these genre tags. Also, I can’t stress enough, those two albums To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie put out on Kranky are severely underrated, please check them out sometime.

Zbigniew Karkowski/Jean-Louis Huhta/Lars Åkerlund: A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush (The Last Recordings, Sweden, November 2013) (Sub Rosa, 2016)

March 30, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Zbigniew Karkowski/Jean-Louis Huhta/Lars Åkerlund: A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush (The Last Recordings, Sweden, November 2013)

Zbigniew Karkowski/Jean-Louis Huhta/Lars Åkerlund: A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush (The Last Recordings, Sweden, November 2013)

This double CD contains the final recordings by Polish electro-acoustic/noise legend Zbigniew Karkowski. Both discs contain a single 42-minute piece each. These recordings require a lot of patience, but they are rewarding. Both discs go from being near-silent to building up to strange, disturbing, piercing levels of noise, to gradually cutting off to a lulling buzz, and then building up to more swarming noises. If you’re listening on headphones, or on a huge surround sound speaker system, your ears will be attacked, but in superb fidelity. This is a powerful, overwhelming, immersive audio experience. It’s also likely to drive you crazy if you’re not prepared for it.

Rydberg: s/t (Monotype, 2015)

March 30, 2016 at 9:56 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Rydberg: s/t

Rydberg: s/t

This is the duo of Werner Dafeldecker and Nicholas Bussmann. Dafeldecker is known for electro-acoustic improv ensembles like Polwechsel, and collaborations with artists like Fennesz, Lawrence English, and even Eugene Chadbourne. I’m not as familiar with Bussmann, he’s worked with Hanno Leichtmann and released music on Staubgold, but a lot of his work doesn’t ring a bell for me. Anyway, this isn’t quite as electro-acoustic and alien as I was expecting, it’s actually quite rhythmic and even techno-influenced. The opening track “Elevator” is pretty calm and minimal, but a thumping beat does emerge and eventually some fluttering oscillations. It slows down and spaces out for a while, with crushed samples crackling away. “Gardening” has more of a structured beat, but it’s more of a mysterious thump than a dance beat, and there’s a rusty fiddle sample dropped in at some point. 14-minute closer “And the Science” sounds a lot closer to techno, with droning ambient synths and a shuffling beat, but it’s still laced with gritty, bubbling feedback noises. It ends up with a distorted bassline and some crude bleeping noises, sounding like a pretty wacked-out take on the early ’90s Warp sound. A strange, unexpected, and successful approach to experimental techno.

myr.: Diamondbacks Make Wonderful Pets (PNN, 2016)

March 27, 2016 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

myr.: Diamondbacks Make Wonderful Pets

myr.: Diamondbacks Make Wonderful Pets

One of many CDs that have ended up crossing my path via my job that just came out of nowhere and took me by surprise. A lot of the tracks on this album are long and repetitive and super abstract. The first thing it reminds me of is Moby’s Trophy Records label from the mid ’90s, which he used to release a lot of long repetitive experimental techno tracks under pseudonyms. Tracks like “The Dirty Underground” were meant as critiques on how stale and repetitive he felt the rave scene had become at that time. This probably isn’t coming from anywhere near the same perspective, but it has a similar sort of alien strangeness to it. Some of the tracks have minimal 4/4 beats, but others have tiny bass pulses and weird scattered rhythms, like “A Little-Bitty Bowl”. There’s just something odd and paranoid about this and I really like it. Also the last track is quite pretty.

Baumann / Koek: s/t (1979, reissued by Bureau B, 2016)

March 27, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Baumann / Koek: s/t

Baumann / Koek: s/t

Yet another astonishing Berlin-school reissue from Bureau B. The Baumann here is not Peter Baumann of Tangerine Dream (who actually does have a forthcoming album on the label) but Wolfgang Baumann, along with Ata Koek. The extended sequencer fantasies on this album immediately catch the ear with rapidly flashing arpeggios, which accelerate at some points, increasing the excitement. Ata Koek is Turkish, so there’s a tiny hint of Middle Eastern melodies, but you might not notice if you’re not really paying attention. Final track “Sequencer Roll” is a short ditty with a blues chord progression; while most of the album seems like it’s gazing up at the stars, this one’s setting its sights on a railroad track in Mississippi.

Show #336 – 3/26/16

March 26, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Hour 1
2:00 am Baumann / Koek ~ “TD-Mem” ~ Baumann / Koek ~ Bureau B ~ 1978
2:08 am Aïsha Devi ~ “Anatomy Of Light (Lakker Remix)” ~ Of Matter and Spirit Remixes (new) ~ Houndstooth ~ 2016
2:12 am Samuel Kerridge ~ “FLA-7” ~ Fatal Light Attraction (new) ~ Downwards ~ 2016
2:18 am Amnesia Scanner ~ “AS Wood Gas” ~ AS (new) ~ Young Turks ~ 2016
2:21 am Acre ~ “Dek U” ~ Better Strangers (new) ~ Tectonic ~ 2015
2:25 am Dreamcrusher ~ “A God Sewn Into Flesh” ~ Quid Pro Quo (new) ~ Fire Talk ~ 2016
2:32 am Dave Graw ~ “Deva Loka” ~ Deva Loka (new) ~ Low Res ~ 2016
2:40 am Ceramic TL ~ “Clearing” ~ Sign of the Cross Every Mile to the Border (new) ~ Halocline Trance ~ 2016
2:46 am WWWINGS ~ “Glacial” ~ Meta (new) ~ Infinite Machine ~ 2016
2:50 am Pankow ~ “Wait and Search” ~ Throw Out Rite ~ Artoffact Records ~ 1983
2:53 am Five Star Hotel ~ “Yellow Knife” ~ Body Absolution (new) ~ Visual Disturbances ~ 2016
2:57 am Pivotal ~ “Distortion Lvl Alpha” ~ Operation Sound Invasion (new) ~ Visual Disturbances ~ 2015
Hour 2
3:00 am Dimitri Mazurov ~ “Vestige (Oval Remix)” ~ Rudiments (new) ~ Psychonavigation Records ~ 2016
3:03 am Nils Frahm ~ “Do (Databoy78 Rework)” ~ Screws Reworked (new) ~ Erased Tapes ~ 2016
3:09 am Multicast ~ “Pucuna” ~ Bahian Coastal Highway ~ Carpe Sonum ~ 2005
3:14 am Conducta ~ “Take It Easy” ~ 12″ (new) ~ self-released ~ 2016
3:17 am WWC [Bill Converse] ~ “Between Electrons” ~ Meditations/Industry ~ Obsolete Future ~ 2013
3:26 am Mikkel Metal ~ “Allowance of Ignorance” ~ Resemblance (new) ~ Echocord ~ 2016
3:32 am Magnus International ~ “Metroid Boogie” ~ Echo to Echo (new) ~ Full Pupp ~ 2016
3:37 am Tiga ~ “Plush” ~ No Fantasy Required (new) ~ Counter Records ~ 2016
3:45 am D5 ~ “Transglide” ~ Sides of Space (new) ~ Delsin ~ 2015
3:52 am myr. ~ “Let’s March” ~ Diamondbacks Make Wonderful Pets (new) ~ PNN ~ 2016
Hour 3
4:00 am Thomas P. Heckmann ~ “Darkness” ~ Ghosts (new) ~ Carpe Sonum Novum ~ 2015
4:09 am Thomas Köner ~ “Tiento De La Luz 2” ~ Tiento De La Luz (new) ~ Denovali ~ 2016
4:16 am Mazut ~ “The Rat King” ~ #1 (new) ~ BDTA ~ 2015
4:26 am Explosions in The Sky ~ “Disintegration Anxiety” ~ The Wilderness (new) ~ Temporary Residence Ltd. ~ 2016
4:31 am Sonar ~ “Orbit 5.7” ~ Black Light (new) ~ Cuneiform ~ 2015
4:40 am Will McEvoy’s Mutasm ~ “Murderscreed” ~ Labor of Labor ~ Sulde Recordings ~ 2012
4:49 am Bronze ~ “Reenactment” ~ Live in San Francisco (new) ~ Castle Face ~ 2015
4:52 am The Body ~ “For You” ~ No One Deserves Happiness (new) ~ Thrill Jockey ~ 2016
4:55 am Teenage Jesus and the Jerks ~ “I Woke Up Dreaming” ~ Live 1977-79 ~ Other People ~ 1979
4:57 am Final Cop ~ “Night Burial” ~ Castaway Lakota (new) ~ Dub Ditch Picnic ~ 2015
Hour 4
5:00 am Ramleh ~ “Liberty Bell” ~ Circular Time (new) ~ Crucial Blast ~ 2015
5:06 am Sunwatchers ~ “Herd of Creeps” ~ Sunwatchers (new) ~ Castle Face ~ 2016
5:11 am Khun Narin ~ “Chackim” ~ II (new) ~ Innovative Leisure ~ 2016
5:14 am Rangda ~ “Spiro Agnew” ~ The Heretic’s Bargain (new) ~ Drag City ~ 2016
5:17 am Deardarkhead ~ “Ice Age” ~ Strange Weather (new) ~ Saint Marie Records ~ 2016
5:21 am Mirror Travel ~ “Cruise Deal” ~ Cruise Deal (new) ~ Modern Outsider ~ 2016
5:28 am Glenn Jones ~ “Portrait of Basho as a Young Dragon” ~ Fleeting (new) ~ Thrill Jockey ~ 2016
5:34 am Clark ~ “Diamonds Aren’t Forever II” ~ The Last Panthers (new) ~ Warp ~ 2016
5:39 am Solar Bears ~ “Persona” ~ Advancement (new) ~ Sunday Best Recordings ~ 2016
5:43 am Fatima Al Qadiri ~ “Blow” ~ Brute (new) ~ Hyperdub ~ 2016
5:46 am Jan St. Werner ~ “Osho” ~ Felder (new) ~ Thrill Jockey ~ 2016
5:50 am International Contemporary Ensemble ~ “Ghostlight” ~ On the Nature of Thingness (new) ~ Starkland ~ 2016

Crush Collision 3/24/16

March 25, 2016 at 9:25 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

Hour 1
10:01 pm Howes ~ “Zeroset”
10:07 pm Solar Bears ~ “Gravity Calling”
10:10 pm DJ Fett Burger ~ “Burger Trip Original”
10:14 pm Cherushii ~ “Rudy’s Party (Bobby B’s Ambient Mix)”
10:18 pm Lizards ~ “Tanni”
10:25 pm Cardopusher ~ “Unreal”
10:29 pm AshTreJinkins ~ “She Is Gonna Be Here Soon”
10:32 pm Magnus International ~ “Synths of Jupiter”
10:36 pm Chevron ~ “Makossa Nova (Mark Archer Remix)”
10:40 pm Kapote ~ “Luftikuss (Mark E Dream House Mix)”
10:45 pm Myr. ~ “Some Hunters Use Dogs”
10:47 pm Hunter/Game ~ “Origins”
10:52 pm Kodomo ~ “Mind Like a Diamond (Allies For Everyone Remix)”
10:57 pm Kalipo ~ “Guten Morgen Lärz”
Hour 2
11:01 pm Bas Amro ~ “Dissociation”
11:04 pm Pyrolator ~ “Hamtramck”
11:08 pm Buz Ludzha ~ “Basslines For Life”
11:13 pm Petrichor ~ “Flight Behaviour”
11:18 pm Daze Maxim ~ “Inbetween”
11:22 pm John Tejada ~ “Fourier Transform”
11:24 pm Tyler Friedman & Samuel Rohrer ~ “YYY”
11:32 pm Sebastian Mullaert ~ “You’re An Orchestra In the Cosmos (Blinkarp Dub)”
11:37 pm Fhloston Paradigm ~ “Sonic Six”
11:41 pm Lorenzo Montanà ~ “Dionaea”
11:44 pm Magas ~ “Heads Plus”
11:46 pm Neil Landstrumm ~ “99% Steel”
11:49 pm D5 ~ “Stem Cell”
11:55 pm Subradeon ~ “South Connection”

Mikkel Metal: Resemblance (Echocord, 2016)

March 22, 2016 at 12:16 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Mikkel Metal: Resemblance

Mikkel Metal: Resemblance

Mikkel Metal is best known for his records on Kompakt, but he’s actually released far more material on Echocord; this is his fourth album for the label. If you’re into Kompakt-style tech-house, you won’t have a problem getting into this one, though. Repetitive, hypnotic techno, but tracks like “YFO” and “Affirmation” have vaguely industrial/EBM-ish melodies which seem to waver and drift over the steady beats. A couple tracks have sinister voices drifting underneath, and some dubby effects. I can’t tell if this is done with a laptop or with hardware, but I’d guess hardware, it seems a little rough and loose and lo-fi. “Allowance of Ignorance” has a constant eerie, stuttering echo that makes it sounds like it’s vibrating down the hall. “Stronghold” starts out with one of the albums most forceful beats, but it seems to stargaze a bit once the melody comes in. “Quietly Calling” ends the album in a thick, dark pool of ambient techno fog.

Magnus International: Echo to Echo (Full Pupp, 2016)

March 21, 2016 at 11:28 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Magnus International: Echo to Echo

Magnus International: Echo to Echo

Mixed by Prins Thomas and released on his Full Pupp label, this is quality space disco (which doesn’t sound quite that disco-ey, but it’s not really straight house or techno either). Really bright and melodic and cheerful without being cheesy. There’s definitely a healthy dose of the sort of rave nostalgia that makes Lone sound so refreshing, recalling 808 State and the sunny, melodic side of classic Detroit techno but with modern-day production sensibilities. “Rise Above” has a touch of vocoder and a chilly Kraftwerk-ness to it. “No Release” is more repetitive and not as melodic as most of the tracks here. But “Metroid Boogie” is basically a “Blue Monday” cover, except slightly altered, and how can you go wrong with a song about Metroid? “Synths of Jupiter” is a really good spacey synth-funk-house track with hand drums and a cool Detroit-y house melody. “Fun and Games” lives up to its title, and has a bit of an Italo bounce to it. Really fun album!

John Bellows: L O N G EP tape (Planted Tapes, 2016)

March 20, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

John Bellows: L O N G EP tape

John Bellows: L O N G EP tape

This EP is long enough to be an album, really. 4 of the 7 songs here are around 5 minutes or longer, and they’re carefully composed and wordy. The cassette even comes with a lengthy foldout lyric sheet, which I haven’t seen since before I switched to CDs sometime in the mid ’90s. These songs are far more serious than Bellows’ earlier material, dealing stark narratives of isolation and uncertainty. The music ranges from cello, drum and guitar arrangements to just Bellows stomping on the floorboards during “Aimless Road”. This is not an easy, pleasant listen, and it sounds like a direct transmission from a hard life full of loss and disillusionment. Proceed with caution.

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