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With a lot of enjoyment, rediscovery and debate, the staff at Bleep have put together their ten favourite albums of 2015. These are albums that we believe have defined 2015, and come from a range of exciting artists working across varying styles and genres. The bundle includes each album on CD, a new Bleep tote bag, a selection of stickers, and a CD of two exclusive tracks from Flako, who released our favourite album of this year, Natureboy. 2015 was an excellent year for music, and we are now looking forward to what will come next!
Arca drops his second album almost exactly one year after his well-beloved debut, Xen. It arrives at a time when the Venezuelan experimental musician/producer has never been more in demand, thanks in no small part to a hefty co-production credit on Björk’s acclaimed ninth album Vulnicura. Whereas Arca’s production work with other vocalists and musicians allows him to bring a touch of strangeness to traditional songwriting forms, his albums have always presented an opportunity for him to follow his instinct, arriving at something that often sounds more personal and more delicate as a result. Mutant is a more extroverted album than Xen, placing a larger emphasis on scorching melodies and twisted beats than his debut: just listen to the gunfire rhythms of ‘Sinner’ or the Autechre-esque flavours of ‘Front Load’ for proof. But remnants of Xen’s emotional expressiveness remain intact elsewhere. ‘Else’ is a piano composition that sounds stark and forlorn, while ‘Snakes’ captures the same feelings of abstract isolation that an artist like Visionist manages to articulate so well. Otherwise, Arca’s considerable talents as a producer have never been on clearer display, with tracks like ‘Gratitud’ containing a miniature universe of sound that will reveal itself to attentive listeners.
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. Opening with the aptly titled Intro we are treated to a soundbite of complexly spannered YouTube compression field recordings before swiftly cutting into Ezra which sparkles with electronic beauty on a stop/start motion before the rock influence breaks out and he goes for an R Plus 7 recalling piece of lush electronica that most producers would take a life time to produce but feels to be executed with ease. This gives way to a full on burst of hypercolour lazer swords and female vocals that has the fingerprints and DNA influence of sometime collaborator Hudson Mohawke running through its veins. The sounds spin between 80's referencing huge prog-tronica and a more RNB style flex. Next up is the interlude led ECCOJAMC1 before we are thrown back into the psychedelic airy pads that dive straight into an avant-pop number Sticky Drama that's so sweet you can taste it. The rest of the LP treads the same path from the melancholic reversed pianos of SDFK (which could almost be lifted from the recent Helm LP) while Mutant Standard starts off with a militant industrial techno skeleton throwing the everyday sci-fi samples in to break up the track to disorientating effect before the whole thing flips and twists itself through various motions of pop and trance like a break-dancing Rubik's cube edition of Gescom's mini disc stuck on repeat shuffle. Child of Rage starts up the second half with more movement between floating pads and new age calmness while Animals revisits the big room technological pop with extra helpings of inside out electro-oddness. Recent fan fav I Bite Through It goes a way to sum up the chaotic feel of the recordings in a way that makes total sense, it could be seen as a comment on our internet-dominated existence with the nonstop flashing of screens and information switching between different sights sounds and swagger at an alarming rate - a social commentary that is neither negative or positive but just observes the world around it. The last three tracks are possibly the best example of the album's sound yet, they expertly walk the line between the classic OPN sound of tight electronic structures perfectly executed with a level of futurism outweighing others in his league. Blending the everyday inner-city amazement of James Ferraro and drawing lines between contemporary underground experimental producers reaching for bigger things such as the PC Music collective to the underground throw in all your influences instrumental grime scene. 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.
Based in the Italian countryside outside Florence, Hervè Atsè Corti aka Herva creates a far-from-straightforward version of house and techno. Named after the Swahili word for ‘everything’, his debut album Kila arrives courtesy of Planet Mu, no strangers to abstract interpretations of different dance music genres. There’s a tactile, organic feel to Herva’s music, as well as a gritty and detailed sound created using modified hardware and software. The album never quite settles, moving through the terrifying vocals and grainy acid of title track ‘Kila’ and the constantly skipping ‘Video Volume’. ‘Seat Behind Mirrors’ plunges into dank electro while ‘Mistakes Dealer’ resembles something approaching hip hop. It’s a strange, interesting record, but a very distinct one.
Super sharp shooters from Jlin picking up where her killer debut LP Dark Energy left off and moving into more pure fire rave regarding territories and industrial strength footwork. Opener Eu4ria rolls out a loud vocalised juke banger with a proper tight nintendo bleep 'n' bass flex perfectly executed for maximum impact when dropped on a big rig, while keeping with the scene's penchant for floor fillers. I Am The Queen goes all Joey Beltram with a 'ardkore hoover rave sound taking her sound into more hard-style territories. On the flip side, BuZilla gives nod to scene figurehead RP Boo's Heavy Heat with a Jurassic Park dinosaur on a rampage meets Street Fighter II uptown ed rush. Closer Nandi takes the dark-side mechanics of recent LP highlight Ra and increases the complexity of the drums all-the-while ensuring the floor atop a buzz of fizzing drums and fast paced synths that cements Jlin as one of the finest producers of 2015 and points the way FWD for all followers of across the board club sounds.
Skam continue to show they are at the top of their game with Fallen Gods, a hyper-speed journey through fractured acid 'n' breaks tronica' from new face on the block Slashing Cousin. Shrouded in absolutely sterling artwork featuring a godlike figure donning the sunnys and going full flow in early 90's rave tackle Slashing Cousin showcases an album of tracks that audibly hark back to the early 00's Skam sound but with an updated sound schedule with its feet firmly rooted in the future. Opener Welcome Home is a full-throttle in head first mixture of post-dialup electronica giving a clear nod to R Plus 7 OPN before rollin' jungle breaks break up the serenity. Ascend goes Gescom via Black Dog with soaring synth lines and ever evolving drums keep things fast paced while Electro F_ck touches on a darker strain of tough almost gabba strength techno. 1404 takes on a more hip-hop informed sound while Midnight Resistance returns to the hardcore kicks before the backdrop of synths glide through and swallow the track's spine whole. The rest of the LP follows in similar veins; crushing electro broken breaks & industrial strength acid - basically this is absolutely classic Skam in the making and should be checked immediately by anyone into Caustic Window, the Doubtful Guest & VHS Head.
Sheets is a special hardcover book containing the sheet music to 10 piano works by acclaimed neoclassical composer Nils Frahm. Alongside the sheet music is a selection of photographs from Stuart Bailes, previously the lighting director for Frahm’s performances and an award-winning visual artist in his own right, who creates nocturnal landscapes using considered studio lighting designs. Also included are illustrated instructions on how to modify a piano to achieve the distinctive effect heard on Frahm’s 2011 album Felt.
A digital pass to download audio copies of the tracks featured in the book is included.
Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins’ occult-noir series Show Pieces gets given a lavish treatment in this DVD and audio CD boxset. The set includes a 100+ page illustrated screenplay/storyboard book by Moore and comic book artist Kristian Hammerstad. The DVD includes the five short films that made up Show Pieces, as well as bonus material including interviews with Moore and Jenkins. The accompanying CD contains the series soundtrack by Crook & Flail (aka Adam Drucker and Andrew Broder), with vocalists including TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and Low’s Adam Sparhawk.
Korg's classic model the MicroKORG is a hugely powerful compact-sized synthesizer that's functionality and range of effects includes a sharp selection of filers, virtual patches for detailed sound editing, MIDI controlled functionality and is expertly crafted to generate a hugely powerful sound of true synthes that is both clear and weighty that will satisfy everyone from the beginner to the professional. The micoKORG synthesizer is a classic synthesizer and has been used by artists including: Air, Beck The Prodigy, Royksopp, LCD Soundsystem, Jean-Michel Jarre, The Pet Shop Boys & may more.
Please note this item can only be sold within the UK as the MicroKorg’s power supply is country dependent
Analogue Modelling Tone Generator perfect for generating a true synthesis sound that is both clear and weighty
Powerful oscillating section
Crystal clear sharp filter selection
Inbuilt amp with a huge presence and distortion
LFO and EG sub tonal movement
Virtual patches for advanced audio editing
128 programs inbuilt for use as soon as the synthesizer is turned on
A wide range of effects for sound manipulation
A freely settable arpeggiator
Audio inputs expertly designed for the input of an external audio source
Full MIDI controlled functionality
Designed for easy access and control
Distinctive look and a built in mini-mic
71 waveforms - 7 simple analog waves + 64 DWGS waveforms from the DW-8000
Multi-mode resonant 12 or 24 dB/oct filter
Two ADSR envelopes
Two MIDI-syncable LFOs
Item Weight: 3.2 Kg
Product Dimensions: 63.5 x 12.7 x 35.6 cm
Number of Keyboard Keys: 37