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XL Recordings have been returning to their rave roots with a set of EPs from the likes of Powell, Mumdance & Novelist, and Special Request coming in quick succession. Their latest club-minded release is a double EP from Zomby. Recorded in part on new hardware at XL’s studio, the two Let’s Jam EPs illustrate the enigmatic producer’s diversity and continued urge to push his sound into new territories. The first EP sees Zomby channel his energy into rude, raw club belters, including hard-hitting peak-time house cuts, abstract downtempo jams, and dank acid melters, while the second features experimental, emotional grime and dubstep-inspired tracks, need we say it's a massive recommendation this one.
Baltimore’s Matt Papich is an established member of the international experimental and noise music communities – he was formerly been a part of improvisational drone trio Ecstatic Sunshine and, more recently, he released an album with Max D on PAN under the name Lifted. But it’s his solo work as Co La that Papich’s music has been at its most exciting and freeform. Since 2011, Papich has put out a series of cassettes, LPs, and mini-albums for labels like NNA Tapes and Hands In The Dark, which culminated in the release of the album Moody Coup through the Software label (run by Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never) in 2013. Co La is now issuing his second album for Software, No No. No No manages to be ecstatic but absurd, creepy but cute, and obscure but accessible – usually all at the same time. Papich takes a mixture of hyper-clean sounds, including both synthesized noises and field recordings, and transplants them onto bouncing, energetic club rhythms. Every sound has a recognisable material property in the real world (bubbles popping, doors squeaking, babies crying, etc.), but they’re utilised in unfamiliar and unconventional ways. Everything is layered relentlessly, piling up like unread stories on a news feed; often, these sounds threaten to overwhelm the listener (as on ‘Gush’, which is full of Felicita-esque cut-ups of chattering voices). But more often than not it’s totally clean and direct, with tracks like ‘Crank’ (best described as a dancehall banger that’s in the process of melting) making up some of the more immediate and visceral material on the album. A weird, wild, and totally unique record.
All vinyl orders include Edge Harmonics CD.
"This is essentially a redacted version of No No - I removed as many rhythmic and melodic sounds as possible...it leaves an impression of the record, a kind of a relief. The process was a hegemony of delete, so what's left is detailed, but very incomplete." Co La
Moiré follows up his debut album Shelter for Actress’s Werkdiscs label with Gel, a new EP for the legendary R&S Records. Where Shelter was a more impressionistic and pointillistic interpretation of house and techno, Gel has a greater sense of clarity about it, positioned squarely as music for the dancefloor. That’s not to say that it isn’t still tripped-out, crunchy, and distorted, but rather to say that the sense of groove is more defined than ever before. This is no clearer than on ‘SFTN’, which bounces quite weightlessly along an elastic rhythm, with crisp snare rolls and even crisper finger snaps.
Ghost Box founders Julian House and Jim Jupp celebrate their label’s tenth anniversary (in style – arriving with a slight delay of about a year). This comprehensive compilation documents a decade of some of the time’s conceptually most interesting musical output in the UK. The physical version of the 31-track compilation includes sleeve notes by prolific music writer Simon Reynolds who helped putting the label on the radar in 2006 when he featured them in his The Wire article about hauntology: artists sounding British nostalgia by playing with samples from 1960s and 70s pop culture. It’s in their compiled, accumulated form that the muddled library pieces of Julian House’s project The Focus Group, the synth-accompanied medieval chants of Jim Jupp’s group Belbury Poly or the contemplative synth soundscapes of Martin Jenkins’ Pye Corner Audio alias take full effect: the label couldn’t present its common denominator in a more appropriate way.
Bleep are proud to release the debut EP of a mysterious producer named Zap Francis. These beats first aired on Black Milk’s Boiler Room set about a year ago but other than that, not much is known about Zap Francis.
When Black Milk (rapper and producer from Detroit) was questioned on where the tracks came from, he answered: “Zap Francis gave them to me”.
With this debut E.P., Zap delivers 6 tracks of instrumental hip-hop that soundtracks journeys across intergalactic realms.
From the opening hi-hat of shuffle and bass and synth-line drops of ‘Scuffer’, you know what you are dealing with here. The soothing tones of ‘Spirit Felt’ shows a more delicate side to the mysterious producer. From the neck-snapping snares of ‘Chime End’ to the frenetic closing track of ‘Age Of’, the self-titled marks a new era of Zap…
Dallas-based artist Cygnus makes his return to Sheffield electro label Central Processing Unit with the Radical Music Interface EP. Released to coincide with a 19-date tour supporting Autechre across North America, the Radical Music Interface EP features four assured electro cuts recalling the cybotronic basslines of Model 500 and the immaculate melodic sensibilities of classic IDM but with a decidedly forward-thinking outlook. In a world of throwback genre experiments and identikit lo-fi jams, Cygnus’s crisp, funky, yet atmospheric sound design makes them stand out against the rest of the pack.
An absolute staple in the memory of anyone whose youth involved the 80's and big plastic cartridges full of dust. Koji Kondo's soundtrack for Super Mario Bros on the Nintendo NES was a groundbreaking recording of proto-electronica made on synthesized pianos. Here Andrew Schartmann takes you on a journey into the sounds captured within this most singular of games and an absolutely crucial read for anyone with a passing interest in Super Mario, electronica, and the interaction between video games and music.
The Detroit artist follows up to the Exhibitionist comes 11 years on from the original with a CD and DVD package followed by three accompanying EP releases. Exhibitionist 2 promises to be an observation about the art form of DJ-ing from a different perspective, and is an attempt by Mills to go behind the scenes and inside the mind of an electronic musician. The four tracks on offer from Part 1 of the project resonate with the Mills we are familiar with – deep, conscious and space probing techno.
The legendary Soul Jazz Records present us with a new range of colour ways for their record bags, a style that references the classic flight bags that were given to customers by airlines in the 60s. It is a perfect size for a curated collection of records, holding between 20-30 LPs.