Some postpunk tonight, and plenty of electronic sounds, bass-heavy, with plenty of drum’n’bass influence, as well as some acid & more experimental sounds.
Carla dal Forno – Clusters [Blackest Ever Black]Carla dal Forno – The Garden [Blackest Ever Black]
From Melbourne, now based in London after a time in Berlin, Carla dal Forno has been making a huge impression with her deadpan vocal delivery and subtly explorative music since both her first solo album and her work with trio F ingers came out on Blackest Ever Black a few years back. She’s back with a four track EP (quite an arcane format these days in songwriterly music), which oddly places its title track at the end of the release. It’s austere, beautiful songwriting with a kind of postpunk aesthetic – bare electric bass, some keys, vocals. “The Garden” seems to be a sidelong reference to the Einstürzende Neubauten song of the same name, although it’s not a cover at all.
S O L I L O Q U A – Impatient Of The Present [The Black Hundred Bandcamp]
A second EP from James McGauran’s S O L I L O Q U A project, side project of his industrial postrock(?) band The Black Hundred. I love the direction he’s taking with these releases – unsettling ambient, sometimes with beats and sampled vocals, sometimes barely there. There’s some socio-political commentary scattered through the quality music. Check it out.
Fret – The Waiting Room [Karl Records]Scorn – Deliverance [Earache]Scorn – Dreamspace (Coil ‘Shadow Vs Executioner’ Remix) [Earache]Quoit – Set Up [Possible]Fret – Lifford Res [Karl Records]Mick Harris is an almost incalculably important force in heavy music of all sorts, going back to the ’80s. His compatriots from early incarnations of Napalm Death, Kevin Martin of The Bug and JK Broadrick of Jesu, Godflesh et al, have along with him had a substantial influence on the shape of not only metal (grindcore through to industrial metal, shoegaze metal etc), but dubwise sounds, breakbeat techno, grime, dubstep and more – and if not influencing, they have incorporated those sounds into their music in innovative new ways to produce new forms. Mick Harris formed Scorn in the end of the ’80s with another ex-Napalm Death member Nicholas Bullen, and the two moved quickly away from punk/metal into spooky, fucked-up dub, discarding vocals altogether within a few releases. Eventually Bullen left and it became Harris’s minimal dub project. He’s also put out a number of drum’n’bass-centric releases as Quoit, and now has revived the Fret moniker, hitherto used on only one 12″, for an incredible album of faster-tempo, bass-heavy, distorted breakbeat techno. It’s perfect for these times – dark as fuck.
Special Request – Light In The Darkest Hour [Houndstooth]Lana del Rey – Rise (Special Request remix) [Houndstooth]Special Request – Scrambled In LS1 [Houndstooth]Special Request – In Loving Memory [Houndstooth]
When house/techno DJ Paul Woolford first revealed his Special Request project, it was a revelation. Pitch-perfect early ’90s style jungle and pre-jungle hardcore sounds, but with lush contemporary production. Tight bass, precision-tooled breaks chopped to perfection, tempos ranging from the often quite relaxed pace of early jungle through to the breakneck. And there were some very classy remixes as well, from the start. After another set of 12″s released as an album, we had 2 EPs this year, one showcasing the more experimental end of things (drill’n’bass and weird electronics), and one taking the project into acid techno territories. Those are featured on this new double album (“Scrambled In LS1” is a nice bit of funky melodic/not-melodic Aphex acid), along with a decent amount of jungle and more ’97-era No-U-Turn style techstep – and the second disc features mostly ambient & non-dancefloor sounds, of a more contemporary disposition – tremolo strings, bass surges etc. If anything that stuff is more interesting, although it’s all fun and brilliantly done.
volker böhm – heissenberg [clang]volker böhm – klicker [clang]
An electronic music academic from Basel, Switzerland, Volker Böhm has undertaken on this new album to combine the sound-art of Bernard Parmegiani with beat-based electronic music, and whatever his success in that particular regard, he’s created something engrossing and impressive. The beats are complex & abstract, the tonal material a mixture of repetitive basslines and discordantly beautiful synthesised harmonies, avant-garde piano & more, glitching inside a three-dimensional sonic space. It’s pretty fantastic really.
pinkcourtesyphone – romantic threat [Room40]pinkcourtesyphone – problematic interior (den) [Room40]
Graphic designer & sound artist Richard Chartier uses his pinkcourtesyphone moniker to differentiate certain output from his more cerebral, abstract, minimal sound-art. As pinkcourtesyphone, he can comment on issues to do with gender & sexuality, turning out elongated soft ambient numbers and sometimes pulsating techno/house beats, mixing his more melodic electronic sounds with gently kitsch sources. It’s a fascinating project.
kj – dawyn [Lost Tribe Sound]kj – lozo [Lost Tribe Sound]
A new signing for Lost Tribe Sound in a slightly more droney way than the label’s usual focus, kj is a young New York-based working in the familiar world of stretched out ambient drones – often classical sounds in slow-surging loops. Despite treading a well-worn path, kj manages to pull something arrestingly beautiful out of it, by virtue of careful sample selection and a good ear for sonic degradation. Even if you’re not normally a drone fan, you may find this music grabs you.
This is an Australian track.