Review: There should be more than a few techno fans getting rather excited right now. You see, Donato Dozzy and Nuel's Aquaplano Sessions is something of a "holy grail" for tribal-influenced minimal techno collectors. Originally released over two 12" singles on the short-lived Aquaplano label in 2008 and 2009, the material has long been held in high regard - so much so, in fact, that copies of the original vinyl pressings are extremely hard to find. This reissue from Spectrum Spools is great news for anyone who missed out first time round. While there are some immaculate deeper moments (see the becalmed dreaminess of "Aqua 8"), it's the robust, aggressive, bass-heavy and occasionally intense tracks that really stand out.
Review: Between 1982 and 1985, members of New Order spent as much time producing for, or with, other artists as much as recording their own albums and singles. This lesser known side of their output is explored on Be Music, which gathers together cuts from that period - mostly released on Factory Records - alongside more recent remixes for the likes of Tim Burgess and Factory Floor. There are plenty of stone cold classics present, including Marcel King's wide-eyed Hacienda classic "Reach for Love", Section 52's "Looking From A Hilltop (Megamix)", the bubbly, Freestyle influenced synth-pop of The Beat Club's "Security (Remix)" and the throbbing brilliance of "Bootsy (Swingfire Mix)" by A Certain Ratio.
Review: Second time around for "Lady Maid", a sought after set of minimalist new wave experiments and eccentric electronic collages that was initially released in 1981 on Agi Yuzuru's DIY label Vanity Records. The album was the work of a trio Japanese DIY musicians who were apparently obsessed by speak-and-spell vocals - check the clonking, Kraftwerk-inspired weirdness of "You Are Busy, I am Easy" and smooth, hypnotic "MUSIC" - bubbly drum machine rhythms (the trippy "KE-300") and the kind of abstract weird-outs that recall the halcyon days of Music Concrete. The album's greatest calling card is epic flipside "Fragment", a near 20-minute minimalist synthesizer soundscape that's little less than stunning.
Review: Steven Stapleton has made countless albums as Nurse With Wound, though few are quite as celebrated as 1988's "Soliloquy For Lilith". As this latest reissue of the lauded set proves, the epic album has lost none of its original allure or lustre. This edition expands on the original version, which contained six lengthy untitled ambient and drone compositions of breathless brilliance, by including two further pieces recorded during the same sessions (tracks seven and eight). Like the other meandering soundscapes, they're dark, avant-garde, intoxicating and exceptionally immersive. In truth, the album is a must-have for all of those who enjoy the more cosmic and atmospheric end of the ambient spectrum.