Some dark and light electronica of various forms tonight, from ravey stabs to shoegazey pop, shuddering noise, industrial techno, and idm...
Penelope Trappes - Connector (Aasthma Rework) [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]Penelope Trappes - Maeve [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]Penelope Trappes - Carry Me (Cosey Fanni Tutti Rework) [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
Originally from the Northern Rivers of NSW, Penelope Trappes has lived in New York and then London over the last decade and a bit. She put out a notable album on Optimo Music a few years ago, and followed it up with a second on Houndstooth last year, full of mysterious textures, shoegazey tendencies and occasional echoey beats. The second album has now been remixed on Penelope Redeux by an array of interesting types, including Mogwai, Throwing Snow, Nik Colk Void and others. Aasthma is the duo of Peder Mannerfelt and Pär Grindvik, two house/techno legends from Sweden, who turn in a ravey, almost drum'n'bassy take on a highlight from the album. Another highlight is reworked in glitchy, cavernous fashion by industrial/electronic legend Cosey Fanni Tutti.
9T Antiope & Siavash Amini - Blue As In Bleeding [Hallow Ground/Bandcamp]
This affecting and disturbing work, entitled Harmistice, finds two Persian artists collaborating over the internet. Duo 9T Antiope, made up of violinist/producer Nima Aghiani and vocalist/producer Sara Bigdeli Shamloo are based Paris, while Siavash Amini lives in Tehran. Amini makes dense drone and noise, both as a solo artist and in various collaborations, notably with spoken word artist Matt Finney. This grouping seems almost inevitable - Amini's windswept surges of noise & drone interacting with Aghiani's crashing sounds and violin, over which Shamloo sings and speaks her nightmare of war and chaos. Shamloo's rich, melodic singing acts - as with 9T Antiope - as a contrast and grounding for the power electronics going on around her, but the album is intentionally challenging, its subject matter very real. As elements within the White House posture for sanctions or even war on Iran, the situation for the general population, predictably, becomes distressing. Amini expressed this viscerally recently in a Twitter thread.
Franck Vigroux - Baron [Aesthetical]Franck Vigroux - non prénom [D'Autres Cordes]Franck Vigroux - Capaupire [Aesthetical]
I first became aware of French artist Franck Vigroux through a collaborative album he made with the late Mika Vainio. Like Vainio and his celebrated duo Pan Sonic, Vigroux often works with heavy, distorted electronic sounds, although his earlier work camera police mixes in classical samples and processed vocals. In fact I hear some electric violin in the last track - also from new album Totem - alongside late-night bleepy techno.
JK Flesh - In Your Pit [Pressure/JK Flesh Bandcamp]JK Flesh - In Your Pit (The Bug Remix) [Pressure/JK Flesh Bandcamp]
Just massively heavy, lugubriously slow industrial techno from JK Flesh, aka the genius Justin K Broadrick. He's a very longtime collaborator with Kevin Martin aka The Bug, so it's nice to have this new EP released on Martin's Pressure label, replete with a swaggering post-dubstep take from the man himself.
Miss Red - Don't Text Back [Pressure]Miss Red - Loco [Pressure]
Also out now on Pressure, and produced as usual by The Bug, is new EP The Four Bodies from ex-pat Israeli MC Sharon Stern aka Miss Red. The four elements are taken as inspiration for these tracks - the submerged dub of "Don't Text Back" is water, and the dancehall stomper "Loco" is fire (as you can clearly hear from the lyrics!).
Plaid - Los [Warp]Plaid - Angry Dolphin (excerpt) [Clear]Plaid - shackbu [Warp]Plaid - Manyme (feat. Mara Carlyle) [Warp]Plaid - sömnl [Warp]Plaid - Ropen [Warp]Plaid - Ops [Warp]
In the early '90s Andy Turner and Ed Handley teamed up with Ken Downie for 5 years as part of pioneering British techno & idm group The Black Dog. Back in '91 they'd already released a duo album as Plaid, and in 1995 they split from Downie to do Plaid fulltime. The drill'n'bass track "Angry Dolphin" that I excerpted here comes from that time, but shortly afterwards they signed to Warp (who'd released a number of Black Dog albums too) and there they've remained for decades hence. They're multi-talented masters of production, from electro and techno numbers to jazzy beat juggling and tricksy harmonic progressions, with an endless talent for melody - but they'll also draw on acoustic instrumentation when needed, especially since their successful forays into soundtrack work since the early 2000s - not to mention their work with the extraordinary singer Mara Carlyle, culminating in her gorgeous first solo album The Lovely. After a period of concentrated soundtrack work, they released scintilli in 2011, and have put out an album every 2-3 years since, each full of classic Plaid sounds.
ISSHU - Demons Are Real [Seagrave/Bandcamp]ISSHU - Smok [Tandem Tapes]ISSHU - Heart Skipped [Seagrave/Bandcamp]
UK artist ISSHU has three cassettes now on the Seagrave label, each with fairly different focus, from murky techno or electro to the new one's '90s idm and in particular drill'n'bass and junglist contortions. It's got that melodic acid feel along with the beats, quite expertly done. I've been listening to this a lot and will no doubt be returning to it. And back in 2017, a track from ISSHU appeared on Jakarta-based ex-pat Aussie label Tandem Tapes, as part of the massive compilation For Headspace.
Dreadcore - Tripwire (feat. Theta) [Acroplane]
Keeping it drum'n'bass with a dark number from the new mini-album from Oslo's Dreadcore, released on veteran UK netlabel Acroplane. The album veers between drum'n'bass and dubstep/techno, cut up beats and heavy electronics and textures.
Wa?ste - f.4.i.t.h [Quantum Natives]Wa?ste - ecstatic passage [Quantum Natives]
When I first came across Wa?ste on some compilations in the last year or two, I thought it was cool to find a new Australian artist working in the vapourwavey post-rave arena, but then I realised it's Felix Idle, who has previously released music as shisd - more ambient, indie, glitchy stuff. It's very nice to find this on the hyped Quantum Natives label, a world-spanning online collective doing future-focused electronic productions of various sorts.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.