Archives by month/year

Four Tet – Dialogue

Label: Output Format: LP,CD

Four Tet ‎– DialogueSharing less of the rock part of post-rock of his other band Fridge, multi-instrumentalist Kieran Hebden expands into wider areas with his debut album as Four Tet, leavening the cycling live drum kit and guitars of opening tracks like “”The Space Of Two Weeks” and “Chiron” with increasing amounts of synth burbles as well as more prominent Jazz elements. What emerges is a transition from the rockist groove and reversed post-production of earlier (in album if not chronological terms) tracks like “Chiron” into full-blown shimmery electronica of “Calamine,” whose development signals an increasingly stronger presence for Four Tet which explodes into the funky manoeuvrings of final track (on vinyl at least) “The Butterfly Effect”.

Along the way the outright Jazz motifs appear regularly; “Liquefaction” and single cut

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Suspicion Breeds Confidence – Déjà Vu Of A Duck

Label: Acrylnimbus Format: CD

D��Vu Of A Duck - sleeve Hmmm. where to start with this one? From the packaging (which is, incidentally, very nice) and the track titles (which are, incidentally, very funny) you’d be forgiven for expecting something along the lines of Nurse With Wound. Funnily enough… …though I don’t remember the boy Stapleton ever having a passion for Drum’n’Bass.

Think about that last sentence. Think harder. Yup, they said it could never be done. (Or at least, they probably would have if you’d asked them). A D’n’B NWW. (Sorry, me acronyms are playing up a bit at the moment.) Which obviously leads itself into Coil territory. And that’s never a bad thing, as Coil territory is damn sparsely populated, so there’s always room for a few more. Suspicion Breeds Confidence, as with NWW and Coil, is obviously big into his “disturbingly

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Kling Klang – Rocker/Vander

Label: Guided Missile Format: 7″

Rocker/Vander - sleeve The seven inch single, that ancient hallowed artifact: Conduit of commerce, copper coin of pop song, object of reverence and disposable frisbee. Once in a very rare while one will come along to download into your daytime consciousness and unconscious reverie: A hook, a lyric and a skilfully-turned bassline, a drumming of the fingers on public transport or a bout of air guitar in private lodgings. How strange then that the single I am here to review should be an instrumental by a synthesizer trio.

Liverpool’s “Sonic No-Wave Electronic Frazz Punk” trio Kling Klang have taken the hoary old format and injected it with an anarchistic Modernism, all jagged edges and square wave aggregates. Split between the 45rpm “Rocker” and the 33rpm “Vander”, this is a definitive statement of intent. The opening crunch of a mechanical

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Sand – Beautiful People Are Evil

Label: Satellite Format: CD

Sand - Beautiful People Are EvilHmmm – I found myself reciting a mantra over and over as I loaded up the pretty blue-backed disc… “Please don’t let this be like Marilyn Manson, please don’t let this be like Marilyn Manson, please don’t…” It isn’t. At all. Psycho patience may as well get in the car and volume up, rev up, run over some beautiful people along the way.

Like gas masks are ever-present and dark mourning tones go so well with bastard offspring of Jazz, Sand are as smooth as a glass-surfaced lake of woe and purpose. Urgent rising soundtrack for deliberate deconstruction of psychosis. Horns and bass stalk slowly across a landscape of elektronix-like urbania. Tiny tolls keep it all nervous, anxious;

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Salaryman – Karoshi

Label: City Slang Format: CD,LP

Karoshi - sleeve detailThere’s a thing with prefixes and the word “Rock” (or “ROCK!” if you prefer) – Post-Rock, Art-Rock, sometimes (dare I say it) Prog-Rock. Salaryman seem content to slide about in this general area, not quite difficult enough to be Post-Rock, too much fun to be Art-Rock (“Thomas Jefferson Airplane” as a track title for example. Cool!) and never going quite that little bit too far and plunging into Prog territory. However, as the soaring Hawkwind guitar on opener “Strong Holder” and the keyboard stabs on the aforementioned “Thomas Jefferson Airplane” indicate, they are not too scared to miss out Prog entirely and go off into that other much-maligned direction, Space Rock; but a bit more Jazz. And less Metal. Oh, fuck it, maybe this prefixes thing isn’t going to work out after all…

Karoshi is

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Rapoon – What Do You Suppose? (The Alien Question)

Label: Staalplaat Format: CD

What Do You Suppose (The Alien Question) - sleeve detailAt first seemingly a strange departure for Robin Storey in his Rapoon guise, The Alien Question starts out as a series of simple sound loops and harmonium chords accompanying the spoken words of alien ambassador Hoh Krll. The increasingly paranoiac ideas which Krll outlines are of course familiar to almost everyone from Western popular culture’s obsession with all things alien and Grey (or from Betelgeuse, allegedly, or maybe in fact Mars). As the album develops, ethnodelic tracks like “Waddi Haj”, “Give Us Dub” and “Never Called NJ12″ emerge in more familiar style, layering North African/Middle Eastern sound and vocal samples into engaging dubs of camel-riding bass and cycling percussion, with little apparent relation to the visitors in question – though the latter brings back the now-familiar outline of international conspiracies

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To Rococo Rot – The Amateur View

Label: City Slang Format: CD, LP

To Rococo Rot - The Amateur ViewFrom their beginnings as the musical department of an art exhibition, To Rococo Rot have shown themselves to be something special – it’s not the methodology alone, not the combination of sequencer, sampler, drums and the sometimes floor-threatening bass they favour live, but is to be found in the precise combination of all the above with that special spark of warm humanity among the machinery. Driven by a supremely mellow appreciation for the interplay of bass and drums, topped off with some almost indescribably lovely sampler melodies, The Amateur View grows outwards from an ever-shifting core, with compelling grooves emerging from a wash of keyboards and melodic texture which pulls off the difficult

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