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The Third Eye Foundation – What Is It With You?

Label: Domino Format: CDS,12″

What Is It With You? - sleeve“What Is It With You?” clicks into life with a flurry of timestretched rimshots, snare trills and attenuated vocal samples which really could have been disastrous in their religio-ethnodelic wavering, but aren’t in the least bit. In fact, this is such a shockingly sonorous trip into the Drum & Bass vault that it’s scary. Strings rise and fall, distended voices weave in and out of each other and the bass booms for all it’s worth, and when the gear shifts into storming snare attck mode, it’s almost too much to bear.

Third Eye Foundation‘s sound has previously tended towards the harsh and noisy, and while there’s the residue of this here, there’s also a highly-developed sense of sound design which has passed through the playful experimentation phase and progressed into something really stunning.

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The Third Eye Foundation – Little Lost Soul

Label: Domino Format: CD,LP

The Third Eye Foundation – Little Lost SoulThe Third Eye Foundation are now so far away from the guitar-feedback and bare electronic percussion days of their first recordings in method if not sound that they’ve become everything which the fusion of post-Rock and/or Isolationism with Drum & Bass promised. Deep swirls and scrawls of filtered and boosted samples settle across the familiar base of breakbeat tricknology, turning it into something other than dance music (again) along the way.

Little Lost Soul shows that TEF is on a mission into more ambitious places than most D&B producers, even if Matt Elliott hasn’t completely dropped the punning titles such as “I’ve Lost That Loving Feline”. Having said that, those jokes do give a bizarre twist to the atmosphere created by this record, simultaneously enhancing and deflating the sinisterly effective

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Holger Hiller – Holger Hiller

Label: Mute Format: CD

Holger Hiller - album sleeveHolger Hiller‘s first album in a long time is a self-titled melange of the musical styles he developed in the Eighties and Nineties for Mute, plus a load of new tricks picked up along the way from his time as producer, remixer (including a stormer on Can‘s Sacrilege in association with this album’s producer Christoph Kaiser) and even writer of muscic for adverts in Germany. With such a lot of influences and familiar patterns to draw on, it’s not surprising that Holger Hiller is a bit of a mixed bag, one which sometimes requires a swift press of the rewind button to check out one double-take moment or another.

There’s a touch of Laibach about “Micki Mouse” – but Hiller was often in the same area with his use of orchestral brass samples and big electro

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The Tear Garden – Crystal Mass

Label: Nettwerk Format: CD

Crystal Mass- sleeve detailWhile we’re all waiting for the Legendary Pink Dots to come back, and for Skinny Puppy to repeat last year’s German reunion with a local gig for local people, cEvin Key, Edward Ka-Spel and associated LPD and Download crews have crafted another Tear Garden album, and it’s a blinder. You know the score – a gothier Dots, maybe, or a more psychedelic Download, or a way more fucked up New Order, or Jean-Michel Jarre on really bad drugs, or… OK, maybe you don’t know the score, ‘cos maybe there isn’t one, unless it’s the scoring of some of the afore-mentioned really bad drugs. And really good really bad drugs they are too.

It all kicks off with “Lament”, a nice poppy number with Ka-Spel adding some frailty and desperation to the bouncy synths and echoey guitar, before

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Cosey Fanni Tutti – Time To Tell

Label: Conspiracy International Format: CD

Time To Tell- sleeve Surely Ms. Cosey is the empress of electronic bliss. Time To Tell (2000) is nothing if not the most complete guide to a woman who stirs, blends and folds her life and art more comprehensively and with more sincerity than just about anyone else I can think of involved in modern performance and media manipulation.

This re-re-release (with additions and enhancements) of Time To Tell is like a learn it all kit on what it means to be the empress Cosey certainly is. The music as well as the accompanying materials give ultra-evidence that a person can be their work, their art, as well as the work itself being the artist. Cosey becomes every little thing she does, is made into something like an instrument herself, uses her body and mind and undoubtedly her soul

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Fennesz and Rosy Parlane – Live

Label: Synaesthesia Format: 3″ CD

A rolling quilt of crackles and scour tumbles over the sadness of things – that low series of tones which augur an undesired reflection. How many tones and clicks does it take to raise a feeling, a memory, a thing of resonance? The cover: cross on headstone with eyes, eclipsing the sun. The sounds stretch from within, like rambling daylight…

Backwards tones shoot outward, eddying in riverapid flows, fighting a current. Spiked with static, it playes against tones plucked from the garden of records; stroked like Beuys speaking to his hare. Whose are these tones? Fennesz‘? Parlane‘s? Whose are these ripples? A bit of both? Neither? Either?

Is it love?

-David Cotner-

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Burnt Friedman – Con Ritmo

Label: Nonplace Format: CD

Con Ritmo - sleeveThere’s got to be something in the water in Köln – so many weirdly talented musicians who mangle Electronica, Dub and World musics into a bizarre hybrid music of sensational grooviness and quirky humour… or maybe they all just took notes at the sleeve of noted resident Holger Czukay after all. For this release, Burnt Friedman (what an apposite name he has…) is in cocktail Latin mood, swinging extremely hot on from time to time-change.

The first four tracks are culled from Nonplace EPs 1 and 2, and a rumbustious bunch they are too. With Friedman’s Disposable Rhythm Section making the funky grooves go with a twist of electronic precision and a light-hearted salsa down the aisles of any number of imaginary Southern Hemisphere bar-rooms. Vibraphones, congas and warm bass-booms plus some pretty flavoursome guitars courtesy of

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