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Without a doubt one of the most startlingly unique and original releases to emerge within the electronic underground of 2015 was Flako's Natureboy, a superb album of hugely emotive content that spanned classical structures, beat-laced sampledelia and out-and-out Bleep electronics. Back in the cold winter months of March, London based beatmaker Dario Rojo Guerra aka Flako delivered his debut full length Natureboy on Five Easy Pieces. We knew Flako, also known as the blue-eyed soul soul singer Dirg Gerner on Floating Point's Eglo label, had an incredible ear and warmth to his sound, but it was with the first listen of this album that he truly transported us to some island far far away from our European grey, in to a rich and organic world that is Natureboy. With soaring, bombastic synth sections that bounce off of intricately placed beat patterns, he created a hybrid sound that is both visceral and cinematic. The record is a giant undertaking, leading with introspective, hovering drones before settling into the enchanting ‘Shipibo Icaro’ followed by the softer, new age chords and wood block percussion on ‘Gelis’. Elsewhere, Guerra nods to a variety of styles through his dexterous beat-making ability, such as the footwork-referencing ‘Kuku’ or more ridged grime styles on ‘Lyrebird’. He explores the sounds of his childhood in Chile by referencing South American soul, folk and cumbia, plus his passion for crate digging leads to references of Vangelis’ synth compositions, with all of this perfectly woven together with the strings of Miguel Atwood-Ferguson in the richly embroidered track 'Twelve O'Clock Shadow'.
Having been on heavy rotation in the Bleep office since its release in March it was natural that Natureboy was our album of the year in 2015, a truly engaging and rewarding release that if you have not explored it already we urge you to spend some time with it, and it goes without saying that we are really look forward to hearing what Flako has in store for us in the years to come.
Vinyl / CD purchases come with Bleep exclusive CD of tracks 'Get Out Of My Way' & 'Limbus'
Holly Herndon follows up her startling debut with Platform, a ten-track affair of complex electronic structures that have a sense of playfulness deep within the complex maze of beats built throughout. Over the years Holly Herndon has quietly become one of contemporary dance music’s most forward-thinking and fearless luminaries having kept her release schedule tight but showcasing pure quality throughout. The majority of her output has been released on RVNG Intl. but on Platform, legendary indie 4AD have stepped on board to make Platform a joint release from both labels. Having recently graced the front cover of Wire magazine, Herndon is getting much deserved attention from outside of the underground electronic world. On Platform, Herndon has ushered in the viewpoints of cutting edge Dutch design studio Metahaven and digital artist Mat Dryhurst to ensure that the themes explored were looked in to thoroughly and creatively. Her avant-garde brand of electronic composition tackles themes like cyber-surveillance, cyclical social segregation and feudalism in the modern day to create a hugely interesting and enjoyable album of futuristic avant-garde almost-pop style polyrhythmic beat patterns, sporadic vocal blasts and patchwork production that prove that within modern music Holly Herndon is a truly unique voice.
Having spent the run up to Garden Of Delete regaling us with an array of clues as to the album's content from various points online that ranged from a PDF letter of cryptic quality addressed to his fans and an interview with an unidentified "alien collaborator named Ezra" and a website we now know as ( ;- ) for fictional 90's "hypergrunge" band Kaoss Edge the lead up to Garden Of Delete was in many ways a PR campaign that matches the music found within the LP, complex, mischievous and cutting edge in all the right places. Wearing the album's influences of cybermetal and rock music on his sleeve, it's on Garden Of Delete that Oneohtrix has crafted out what is no doubt a sure stand out and possibly the most certified vision of his music to date. Fellow internet futurist William Gibson said the future is already here it's just not evenly distributed but hearing Garden Of Delete with its almost EDM approach to more traditional dancefloor and mainstream pop sounds it digests so many different styles and returns them in a complex but highly rewarding body of work sculpted to include sounds distributed from a vast array of worlds. Sure to stand the test of time as one of the absolute highlights of Warp's catalogue of records such as Windowlicker Garden Of Delete is a textbook example of a true pioneer of a hypnotic groove flirting with troubled pop structures and giving results so far ahead of everything else in the game it will stay fresh for years to come while the rest of the world catches up.
Vinyl / CD purchases come with exclusive OPN sticker
Bjork has recorded many albums, under many different agendas, but there hasn't been one as openly honest, vulnerable, yet powerful as this. Thematically this is a follow up to Vespertine; a record that narrated the magical nature of falling in love, Vulnicura however is a diary entry of coming out the other side, her break-up with her partner Matthew Barney. Co-produced by Arca and The Haxan Cloak, the cinematic string arrangements, and the hiccuping percussion, alongside her lyrical confrontations and confessions, bring together a collaboration that is both symbiotic and dynamic. Written during the nine month period before her relationship ended, the first three tracks illustrate the confusion and denial on the impending break-up, while the following tracks move through the phases, 'Black Lake' drowns you with questions and pounding driving percussion, while 'Family' has The Haxan Cloak's sound of the universe ripping apart. The last three tracks shed the heart break's dead skin, and the track 'Atom Dance' emerges featuring Antony Hegarty, with her 'dancing towards transformation'. The final track on the album 'Quicksand' is a collaboration between Bleep's own <a href="/artist/40626-spaces">Spaces</a>, where they have re-arranged his track 'Apologies' (that was released on his Spaces One EP), into a track of stuttering salvation. This is an incredibly sincere work, in which she channels all of her strengths and struggles into an album that demands the listener to be as receptive as her in listening to it.
Nothing is the first ever solo album from Hyperdub boss Kode9 – his first two albums, Memories of the Future (2006) and Black Sun (2012), were both made with frequent collaborator The Spaceape before his death from cancer in 2014. Grime, dubstep, and footwork form the cornerstones of Nothing, with Kode9 channelling the energy of these musical obsessions into a collection of icy 150bpm tracks that recall his ‘Xingfu Lu’ and ‘Ok’ singles more than his previous albums. Rifling through a sample bank of horror movie soundtracks, J-Pop and more, Nothing comprises a melting pot of amalgamated sounds that fritters between the sickly sweet vocal chops on ‘Holo’, through classy piano stabs and mind-melting arpeggios on ‘Vacuum Packed’ and the airy footwork styling of ‘Respirator’. Despite its tear-out moments, there is a lingering sadness to Nothing, from the haunted melodies of ‘Notel’ to the posthumous appearance of The Spaceape on ‘Third Ear Transmission’ to the empty nine-minute silence that closes the record on ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’.
Upfront exclusive, limited edition translucent green vinyl including exclusive patch
Long awaited and highly anticipated debut album from Floating Points bringing to the table the culmination of his various takes on house, jazz and electronica with a scientific grounding and talent for production. Having started life in 2009 with four vastly unique singles that dabbled in a variety of different styles that were at once distant but all tied together with a slick sound and talent that vastly outweighed his discography, Floating Points showed he was a dab hand at hip-hop laden electronica as showcased on J&W Beat, disco laced funk as explored on Love Me Like This, beats from the Ninja Tune school of cold-cuts i.e. For You and a galaxy's worth of sparkling house as on Vacuum Boogie. Having gone on to produce a series of stunning and varied 12" singles since then it's not until now that he has finally opted to give us a proper full length in the form of Elaenia. Realised with an entire ensemble of musicians Elaenia is a varied and hugely strong album that sees Floating Points explore sounds previously unheard in his music while supplying a fresh and fully transformed vision of his music to date.
Ninja Tune unveil the hotly tipped new album from Romare, a psychedelic collage of American/African culture in the USA influenced tracks, perfectly designed to be played out or enjoyed in the comfort of your home. Following two choice 12"s for Black Acre Ninja snapped up the young producer for an EP and now they unleash his debut LP on the world. Projections is a heady mix of eccentric low-slung beats, threaded together like a tapestry and coated in a crackly haze; apparent from the start with the searing, ode-to-Nina Simone ‘Nina’s Charm’, before the cut up vocals on the catchy 'Work Song' and soul-laden, Detroit house swing of ‘Roots’. Whimsical ambient soul is seen on the dreamy piano riffs of ‘Jimmy’s Lament’, followed by the future-funk folk disco on the album highlight 'Rainbow'. In all, Projections could be seen as equal parts Mr. Scruff, Four Tet (at his housier) part Theo, you know what to do.
Cornish electronic veteran Luke Vibert has been known to don numerous guises throughout his celebrated career, namely the 303 mutilations under his own name, IDM / DnB hybrids as Plug or the slew of releases on Ninja Tune as Wagon Christ; yet the oddball disco output of his Kerrier District project remains one of the most lauded and least utilised. Teaming up with Hypercolour for 2nd full-length release '4' since the 2004 self-titled Rephlex debut, Vibert again sets his working knowledge of analogue hardware into a cheeky disco mould, underpinned by infectious, squelching basslines and genious sampling, all of which never takes it’s eyes off the dance floor. Opener ‘Discogram’ leads off with a plodding groove, chased by the topsy-tervy melody of ‘It’s The Disco’ and ‘Techno Disco’, which gives Inner City’s classic ‘Good Life’ the trademark Vibert treatment. The synths start bubblin’ on ‘London Grooves’ and ‘Funky Train’, both of which beg not to be taken too seriously and are laced with the type of groove that’ll keep them dancing until the early hours; as is ‘Brush The Bush’ with its slick piano chords that ooze class. The tempo and temperatures continue to soar towards the end of the collection, building from the sizzling, cow-bell bomb ‘Disclone’ to clipped, live drum sampling on ‘Discuntek’ before erupting on the party-starting apex of ‘Sexspurt’. Jumped up, funked out, cheesy synth textures cook around a soulful female vocal on closing piece ‘Come On Kerrier’, again demonstrating Vibert’s uncanny ability of putting his own slant on any genre he sees fit.
Vinyl / CD purchases come with exclusive Kerrier District sticker
Creating a maze-like world of soft instrumentation with a delicate pop sensibility, Julia Holter's fourth album proper Have You In My Wilderness is possibly the most realized view of her multi-instrumentation lead compositions yet. Having released various mini albums-of-sort and singles on a vast array of labels including Human Ear Music and NNA Tapes between 2006 until 2010 it wasn't until 2011 that she really broke through into the underground with her startlingly original debut album of ambient pop Tragedy for Leaving Records. This was shortly followed up with the break taking Ekstasis on Rvng Intl. which was shortly signed and reissued by Domino and lead to her Loud City Song LP last year. This all leads us up to Have You In My Wilderness which builds on the experimental characteristics of previous works but from the start of album opener Feel You showcases a more open and polished sound. The drums sound crisper and the space between each instrument; where previously was dusted over to gel together (in no bad way at all by), is more spaciously aware with each note hanging in the air with delicate ease. The ten tracks on show are finely crafted sculptures of pop-rooted, almost classical composition and each one a different window into the same world created within the album's length. How Long? is a string laden piece of soundtrack sorrow while Silhouette is a confident, jangly number in the finest traditions of self aware pop while live favourite Sea Calls Me Home gets a loving update with a fresh production job that breaths new life into the piece. Have You In My Wilderness has the power to both have you lounge in its quite sometime sadness but also yield the power to rejoice in the transcendent up lifting quality of its heart felt beauty, a truly unique recording from a truly unique artist.
Limited copies of the LP with limited edition large photo-print available
Kel McKeown has been releasing music as Kelpe for over a decade, ranging from shuffling proto-beat scene instrumentals to hardy analogue-kraut grooves. On his fifth album, McKeown strikes a balance between the electronic and the organic, where loose, live sounds gel alongside grubby electro basslines. The Curved Line is an accomplished record that shows McKeown to be a musician who has a clear mastery of his own sound, but who is also still willing to push that sound in new directions. It’s also an album pays clear attention to sequencing and trajectory, and should be listened to as a body of work rather than as a collection of tracks. ‘Doubles of Everything’ builds slowly before erupting into a deeply satisfying pay-off by its end, while live drummer Chris Walmsley gives ‘Canjealous’ a slack feel. Ambient interlude ‘Morning Two’ provides one of the album’s most exploratory moments, but the driving and percussive ‘Valerian’ injects enough grit and hardness to keep things from getting too indulgent. What’s most striking about The Curved Line is how McKeown manages to make the record sound freeform and animated, all while exhibiting a microscopic attention to detail.
Bleep exclusive CD format, hand-numbered limited to 50
LP / CD purchases includes Fourth: The Golden Eagle CD, while stocks last