30 July 2012

The Slaves - Spirits Of The Sun (Digitalis DIGIV042 - 2012)

A new artist under the colorful musical umbrella of Digitalis Recordings and a spectacular touchdown by the duo from Portland, Oregon. Contrary to my expectations the release has a rather tranquilizing effect, meaning the descriptive tags attached by the label - drone, heavy noise or doom - should be handled with care. Digitalis is often pretty excited about musical extremities, like in this year's longplayers by Decimus or Perispirit, but the The Slaves' album is rather a distant relative of lush synth excursions by Panabrite or Ricardo Donoso.
The Spirits is positioned between white and black. Not the music from dark and humid cellars, but rather from a hidden cabin in the forest, where the streaks of sun are touching dusty spiderwebs. Four meditative synth-based drones with human murmurs, marked by supernatural beauty.


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25 July 2012

Blawan - Long Distance Open Water Worker (Black Sun Records BSR05 - 2012)

No-nonsense functional tool by the young and already prolific techno wizard, spraying a hefty dose of testosterone into the air. For the German imprint Black Sun, the Brit has constructed a hybrid of modulated voices and banging beats.
The best for the start: Bouncing bass rampage makes "Scarborough Harbour" a techno track to beat in 2012. Alienated jabbering reminding of „Male Stripper“ and fast-forward tribal rattle are the ingredients for psyched-out moments on the floor. Hi-hats and fat bass push the compressor funk of "Breathe Them Knees In" and "Grafter Gets A Home“ bites with industrial-tainted programming on repetitive, but in the same dull voice sample. For the end bone-dry „6 To 6 Lick“ with EQ'd machine gun staccato.

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20 July 2012

Various - Nonnative 02 (SEMANTICA NNN 02 - 2012)

Release date is August 2012
Iori Asano's "Floating Matter" is the highlight on the second installment of Semantica's Nonnative series. The title could not better express the powerful yet buoyant nature of the EP's opening track - booming bass is complemented by floating sequences we know from Iori's earlier output on Silent Season and Prologue. Follows Planet Rouge recording artist Alexey Volkov with "Run Out", a heavy-chord interpretation of Detroit techno. The B-side is opened by Tom Dicicco, with the first moments of "Identity" signaling tensions of a crime scene before the track grows into a solid bouncer with alarming undertones. For the end deep chords are parading in mid-tempo "Vertice" by Sharin for a pompous late-night affair.


11 July 2012

Kid Machine - Replicants EP (Viewlexx V​-​023 - 2012)

Well in time for the sun and sea comes "Replicants EP", hot-blooded italo tribute by Viewlexx's new signing Kid Machine. In the spirit of Rimini and the label's cosmic heritage, the composer from the Northwestern part of UK provides six pieces of space romanticism.
Harmonically built title track, where the vocal sample sounds like republicans, and sugary "Cold Planet" are the highlights in an array of uncomplicated melodies and rhythms. For not leaving a too sweet aftertaste, "Night Freaks" features some cyborg vocals on thriving synth hooks. Solid fuel for all sci-fi and disco nerds out there.


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Decimus - #11 (Digitalis Recordings DIGIV041 - 2012)

Now there is an opportunity to perceive the processes inside the brain of Decimus [Junius Brutus Albinus], the assassin of Julius Caesar, with about forty-five minutes of chaotic and depressed sound experiments. A-side is introduced by double bass and classical notes before subtle H-bomb percussion and frightening moaning enters the stage. Despite of presence of some harmonic riffs it’s mostly about a subdued drone storm. B-side opens with waves of distortion, accompanied by melodic strings and processed voices before proceeding to far-out sound protuberances.
"#11" is like from the minds of a burned-out philharmonic orchestra seeking wilder side of life and having decided to resort to instrumental abstractions for the open-minded.

05 July 2012

The Trash Company - Pluto (Peoples Potential Unlimited PPU-036 - 2012)

Andrew Morgan’s Peoples Potential Unlimited introduces another hidden talent. Max E. Monroe, the man behind The Trash Company, started composing in 1970’s and is only now preparing his first album for Steady Sounds. Before that, a single works as an appetizer.
The A-side of the wide-hole seven-inch suggests to wear a neon headband for full-bodied 1980’s synth funk titled “Pluto”. On the flip a real mid-tempo power cut called “For The Hook”, a robotic crossover reminding of Robert Hood’s “Rhythm Of Vision”, Syncom Data’s metallic dub funk and Fortran 5’s chopper techno.
To round up the story about Monroe, this site tells the artist has got two birth certificates because he was born on the highway somewhere between Baltimore and Richmond. And the guy keeps traveling on interesting roads.


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04 July 2012

Ekoplekz / Wanda Group - Dead Escalator Suite / Slow Down Your Blood (Further Records - 2012)

If the demand for tape decks would skyrocket, Seattle’s Further Records is a culprit behind the trend. They come again with several cassette releases, which are, for the not-so-cools, available in digital too.
Two artists have contributed to a split album. It’s opened by Ekoplekz of Mordant Music fame, who in “Dead Escalator Suite” loads the A-side with dub mash-up in an abandoned dancehall. After stumbling over dead wires on the floor, distortion knobs are found and the rhythm powered by fire-spitting engines. Combining excerpts of urban noise with rusty electronics, the track offers demanding polyrhythmic moments with mechanical hum and roar, occasionally soothed by melancholic synths. The track partly reminds of The KLF's "Chill Out" and, in the case of rhythm parts, of Pan Sonic.
In “Slow Down Your Blood”, Wanda Group presents a collage of loop constructions, velvety bass riffs and deformed electronics. Radio-controlled locusts fall like a pest on the fields, before the night covers a ravine and exhausted hikers struggle to find a way out. About a dozen variations on the theme of repetition for advanced listening experience.

02 July 2012

DUST OFF: Helical Scan - Index (Chain Reaction CR-11 - 1996)

If I should be in awkward situation to choose only one release from the Chain Reaction's amazing catalog, I would point the finger on "Index" by Helical Scan. Released as one-off project by Robert Henke AKA Monolake in 1996, it's a tour de force of mechanic sound language.
Especially the A-side's "Index I" goes well beyond the definition of dub techno, if we think of Basic Channel's or Deep Chord's classics. Kicking off with nautical hum and minimalistic beat, it arises into a complex dub construction hammering like a robust hydraulic press throughout entire 10+ minutes. "Index II" on the B-side ups the tempo considerably and adds a set of shimmering dub sequences closer to the end. A really massive experience and it's worth mentioning a remastered version of the record, published some years ago on Monolake's own label.


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