Review: After a string of EPs on labels like Important Records and PAN, it was inevitable Japan's Kouhei Matsunaga and Toshio Munehiro would end up on the Powell's Diagonal imprint - now a nest of the coldest in experimental, industrio-techno. There's a bit of everything on here, from the broken, percolating percussion of "218"; the gorgeous bassline supporting "845", and the freaky pseudo-acid of "Whispering Gallery". To finish things off, both literally and not, "234" is a noisy, shattered and uber distorted cut, whereas "The Spiral Of Babel" is a rolling, fast-paced drum shuffle fitting of any sci-fi flick. An excellent EP and a fine addition to the Diagonal dynasty.
Solid Space - "Destination Moon" (Red Axes edit) (5:37)
X Ray Pop - "La Machine A Rever" (Red Axes edit) (5:08)
Review: There's much to admire on this latest 12" excursion from hard-working Israeli duo Red Axes. On the A-side you'll find two brand new collaborations, the most notable of which is "NYX Tape" - a clandestine, mind-altering chunk of minimal wave drug-chug featuring the distinctive spoken word vocals of original no wave star Gina X (she of "No GDM" fame). Chloe Raunet AKA C.A.R lends her similarly stylish spoken word vocals to the EP's other original production, the acid-fired electro filthiness that is "5 Min". On the flipside you'll find two tasty re-edits of tracks from the Dark Entries catalogue: a dub-tinged, dancefloor-friendly take on Solid Moon's spacey "Destination Moon" and a rolling, club-ready tweak of X-Ray Pop's quirky electronic bubbler "La Machine a Rever".
Wrangler - "He's A Liquid" (feat Gazelle Twin) (4:16)
Hannah Peel - "Tidal Wave" (3:45)
LoneLady - "030" (3:46)
The Soft Moon - "No-One Driving" (2:43)
Xeno & Oaklander - "He's A Liquid" (3:21)
Review: While it has perhaps been slightly lost in the depths of time, and in the vastness of the ambient ocean, John Foxx's Metamatic label is a cornerstone of British leftfield and electronica. Since the late 1990s the label has released a steady and impressive selection of material that never truly fits into one genre or under one roof. This new collaborative EP is everything that UK electronic music is about, with five exploratory slices of machine noise that simply make perfect sense. Wrangler's "He's A Liquid", for instance, takes a mechanical industrial groove and spreads it over tight sci-fi sonics; Hannah Peel's "Tidal Wave" satisfies the pop fans with a slow and chimerical heart-stopper; "030" by LoneLady is a violin-led bundle of percussion and desolate vocal strips. The B-side flexes more muscle thanks to the head-banging pseudo trance of "No-One Driving" by The Soft Moon, followed by Xeno and Oaklander's nastier, more break-driven version of "He's A Liquid".
Review: Thankfully, 2006 will not pass without Jamie Stewart's impassioned shouts and murmurs. Apart from releasing their next album, "The Air Force", in September/October on 5RC (on Acuarela only for Spain and Portugal), their new release is a five-song covers EP (Think 2003s Fag Patrol and its Stewart-centric acoustic focus) with fascinating style and instrumentation and titled "Tu Mi Piaci" (Italian for "I Like You"). Unlike Fag Patrol, however, these covers target non-Xiu Xiu material from folks like Air Force comrade Nedelle, Bauhaus, Alex Chilton/This Mortal Coil, Pussy Cat Dolls, and Nina Simone.
Review: Xosar established herself with an infectious live show, on display at regular appearances throughout the world, and with releases on labels like Rush Hour, Creme Organization and L.I.E.S.
Xosar's new release for Valcrond Video marks the onset of a darker, more dungeons & dragons oriented point of view. The four tracks feature both propulsive, doom-laden beats and expansive drum-free dream spaces. These sounds, appropriate for perved-out DJs and depressed teens alike, trace a narrative of pursuit, captivity, and erotic exsanguination.
Held in a stone tower, a prisoner's fluids are harvested for carnal application, before he is finally allowed to drain and find release in euphoric fields: bare dead trees, empty veins.
Review: The Poverty Is Violence stable are firmly established now as an essential conductor for rabid, rowdy and downright rasping mechanics from subterranean operators of all shapes and sizes. Anonymous but reportedly veteran Dutch producer XXX previously appeared on the label in 2016 with the wild Noorder Scannen 12", and now returns with a bludgeoning new release. There's a consistent metal grind to the percussion on Westzaan Doelen, while the synth tones in between tend towards the jagged and abrasive, there's space and poise in the arrangement to lift this out of knuckleheaded noise. "Don't Go After Her" reverberates with clamouring intensity while the beefy chassis of "Just The Two Of You" shimmers under an acidic glaze - this is full-tilt deviant music executed with finesse to match the grime.
Review: The original pressing of Subsequent Pleasures, the self-financed and ludicrously limited debut EP from Dutch darkwave pioneers Xymox (later to rename themselves Clan of Xymox), is notoriously hard to get hold of. Props, then, to reissue specialists Dark Entries for making it available again on vinyl for the first time since 1983. While this version doesn't include all of the tracks featured on the original, it does contain all the killers, including the electro-goth wooziness of "Going Around", the Joy Division-ish "Strange 9 To 9" and the superb synth workout "Call It Weird". It's one of those releases that should be an essential purchase for anyone with even the remotest interest in darkwave.