Review: In a bid to make the first release on their freshly minted Philoxenia label stand out, Neu Verboten and Luigi Di Venere have turned to the invaluable experience of Steve Marie, a Paris-based Corsican producer known for his heady blends of techno, EBM and trance. It's a smart move, because Ho! hits home hard from the word go. Marie first offers some retro-futurist flavour in the shape of the bass-heavy, 1990 bleep and breaks style weight of the acid-flecked title track, before combining his EBM and neo-trance fascinations on the chiming and creepy 'Devil Inside'. He retains the deep bass and razor-sharp TB-303 motifs on laidback and angular electro number 'Romanee Conti', before puffing his chest out on trance-inducing, faintly foreboding late-night throb-job 'Trancia'.
Review: If you've ever been to the Czech capital, and specifically its lavish classical music space Smetana Hall, home to the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, then you can probably imagine how spectacular it would be to watch a full symphony of musicians blast their way through Ramin Djawadi's Game of Thrones score inside such opulent and historic surrounds.
Quite the fitting spot in the perfect medieval city to match the series' fantasy setting, thankfully there's more to praise here than merely well-suited bed partners. As one of Europe's top orchestras, the City of Prague players don't just rehash but bring their own ideas to the original soundtrack. The result feels less like a set of arrangements looking for an adventure, and more like refined classical compositions in their own right. From sombre and reflective, through grand chases and onto epic romance, it's wise to buckle up.
If 2020, and the coronavirus pandemic, did anything good for music it was forcing a long overdue reevaluation of the role technology plays. Video games had a bumper year, and it didn't take long for the historic relationship between computer entertainment and contemporary musical compositions to start finding favour with content-starved editorial teams.
They say there's no turning back, ever, and as such the smart money is on albums like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice not just becoming more commonplace, but taken more seriously going forward. Soundtrack to Activision's critically acclaimed video game of the same name, in which players take on the role of a shinobi in feudal Japan, as you'd expect it's a deeply atmospheric collection that invokes misty mountaintops, shadows dancing off bamboo and patient heroics. An OST equal to any major movie.
Review: The latest chapter in the (ahem) storied history of Tim Story has been unveiled in the form of the very first chapter, which - thanks to the confusion and chaos of music - never saw the light of day when it was prepped for release back in 1983. Impressively, the level of attention to detail we have subsequently come to expect from the Americana electronic composer is evident from the initial bars of opener 'By A Thread', testament to his natural talent.
Refusing to date even with the 40 year wait (give or take), Threads is a spectacularly forward-thinking collection of modern classical-infused ambient, heavily reliant on deceptively powerful walls of sound masked as quiet tones - take the eerie chimes of 'The Moors' or the emotionally captivating piano chords on 'Burst', for examples. But it also embraces the drones of electronica as we know it today, hence the synth refrains of 'Without Waves'. Ahead of its time.
Review: Arguably the first most important electronic music album of 2021 sees long-since-risen UK IDM-glitch-bass-something else-movie score master Rian Treanor going to town on all manner of noise patterns that simultaneously bore hypnotic holes into your mind while keeping those little grey cells excited by way of the sense that anything can happen. Especially the stuff you don't expect.
Mutant two-step on 'Mirror Instant', minimalistic d'n'b tech on a half beat courtesy of 'Metrogazer', sparse dubstep all over 'Closed Curve'. Representing the strength of the 140-plus dance renaissance across a multitude of tempos and influences, the fact you can still recognise the producer's signature on everything in spite of stylistic differences is proof he's long since carved out a space of his own.
A Quiet Place In The Country (Suite)/Un Tranquillo Posto Di Campagna (Suite)
Before The Revelation/Prima Della Rivelazione
The Infernal Trio/Il Trio Infernale
Murder On The Lake/Assassinio Sul Lago
The City Moves La Citta' Si Muove
Thousand Times A Cry/Mille Volte Un Grido
Music For 11 Violins/Musica Per 11 Violini
The Scalpel/Il Bisturi
She Has Come From The Sea/Venuta Dal Mare
Review: Soundtrack maestro Ennio Morricone is back with Psycho, the second in a series of five double vinyl releases that collect his best filmic work. This volume is focussed on his work with Italian directors from the late 1960s up to the 1980s and the music was made for dark films and the occasional horror. This is the Italian's milieu, though, where he feels most at home and gets his best results. This limited pressing on translucent red vinyl includes a four page insert with liner notes written by Claudio Fuiano and plenty of eerie tracks that will have you looking over your shoulder.
Review: This is a prescient record that resonates even years after it was first recorded: it's the 1963 audio of the March on Washington featuring Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic I Have a Dream speech. It was recorded on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC and also features powerful speeches from A. Philip Randolph, UAW president Walter Reuther, NAACP's Roy Wilkins and March organizer Whitney Young. It's a soul stirring, thought providing listen that will rouse the soul and cannot fail to inspire and educate. The whole release has the full blessing of the
Review: Bamboo Shows has been run by DJ Erevan since 2018 and promotes audio sophrology, 90's reminiscences, psychedelic atmospheres and exotic breaks. For its latest release, they've tapped local Lyonnaise talent Guillaume Lespinasse aka Jonquera (The Pilotwings/Tera Octe) who offers up an incredible 14 track album with a spiritual atmosphere that was said to be produced in only a mere seven days. The Darkos LP takes inspiration from medieval dark-ambient ('Pont de Djabe'), HD sound-design ('Saint Cotson') and esoteric illbient ('Couvent dos Cordelieus'/'Feune de D'main') through to noise music and doom metal.
In This Lingering Twilight Sparkle (part 1) (16:08)
In This Lingering Twilight Sparkle (part 2) (15:58)
Review: Acclaimed British contemporary artist Mark Lekcey, recipient of the 2008 Turner Prize, follows up releases on Death Of Rave, PAN and Warp to make his debut for Boomkat Editions with 'In This Lingering Twilight Sparkle'. On both sides of the 12" vinyl version, you will experience a collage of home recordings, spoken word and dismantled tunes which incorporate Leckey's diary entries, YouTube playlists, iMessage notifications and gothic horror mixtapes - altogether realised on May 19th 2020.
Review: American musician Heather Leigh's latest modern folk masterpiece is entitled Glory Days and contains 30 minutes of music across 13 tracks. Played on pedal steel guitar, synthesiser and cuatro and voice, the songs were recorded quickly and instinctively at her home in Glasgow. Leigh is also known for her collaborations with German saxophonist Peter Broetzmann, Shackleton and Steven O'Malley. Originally released on cassette in May of 2020, this vinyl pressing has been remastered by Rashad Becker in Berlin.
Review: This is a recording of an "unprecedented sub-molecular laser class 4 electro session" that was recorded in the Physics Department of a Berlin University. The modern photon concept was devised by Albert Einstein and to celebrate the centenary of the event the "Casa dell'energia" of Milan organised a dedicated installation and a live performance by the artistic collective Alterazioni Video. The resulting sounds are creepy and haunting, like being trapped in a blizzard of snow on a frosty tundra. Gurgling, bubbling, fractured sounds pan across the airwaves and occasionally group into what sound like rubbery drums. Fascinating stuff.
Review: Pascal Comelade and Richard Pinhas met in Paris in 1974, when the latter was already performing with his group Heldon. As a solo artist, Pinhas became a pioneer of electronic music in France. Comelade was mainly active between 1974 and 1981. During the last few years, they reunited for several concerts as a duo for live performances at Cite de la musique, La Maroquinerie and Sonar Festival. They met again in 2020 to record new material for their latest LP here for Germany's Staubgold. Le plan de Paris contains six previously unreleased tracks that have been completely revisited, developed and remixed.
Review: Joao De Bruco and R.H. Jackson come together here for what is said to be one fo the first proper fusions of electronic sounds with Brazilian percussive music. Synths, samplers and sequencers were a novelty in Brazil in the 1980s but this avant garde masterpiece showed the way forward. It's stuffed with references relevant to the ties and is both audacious and inventive with its off balance rhythms and woozy melodies. The original small pressing sold-out in 1989 and has been expensive and much sought after since. Remastered from the original tapes, this new reissue is an absolute must.