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Felix Kubin and Ensemble Intégrales – Echohaus

Dekorder

Felix Kubin and Ensemble Integrales – EchohausBranching out into conceptual composition with Ensemble Intégrales, Felix Kubin acted as a sort of central engineer/conductor for this piece, with each instrument recorded live with no overdubs in separate rooms at the Westwerk cultural centre in Hamburg under Kubin’s supervision, and the results edited by him down into the resulting album. As a result, each room sound is almost as important as the tones recorded for the instruments concerned, and the results certainly resonate with the nuances of each space in the final mix, especially when listened to on headphones – which is probably the best way to appreciate the textures of the recording.

It’s also perhaps inevitable that the terms electro-acoustic and musique concrète will crop as reference points when describing both the techniques and sounds of Echohaus – and justifiably too. There’s

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Eat Lights, Become Lights – Autopia

Enraptured

The most obvious thing to say about Autopia in the first instance is that Eat Lights, Become Lights are unafraid of putting their influences to the fore, wearing them proudly as signposts to a whole series of strands of underground music across the decades, and as with their live shows, their début album takes the hints and explicit quotations and rebuilds them as a thoroughly enveloping gestalt creation of high-energy motorik (and more). The results are pleasingly more than just the mere sum of the parts of musics which have been driven from the underground into the overground since the exponential rise of artists who languished in apparently forgotten obscurity (such as Silver Apples, with whom Eat Lights toured recently and who remixed their “Test Drive” 7″ single to boot) to obtain their rightful recognition by generations not even born at

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Spoils & Relics – Dependent Arising/A.O.N.; Mark Durgan with Spoils & Relics – All Mistakes Straightened

Mantile

Spoils & Relics - Dependant ArisingThe packaging aesthetic of London-via-Nottingham based Johnny Scarr’s Mantile label suits Spoils & Relics to a tee; recycled card with grainy, degraded and indeterminate images of dubious provenance; hand-stamped titles evoking a production-line gone askew; and each release on cassette, that medium so beloved of bloody-minded advocates of the warmth, tactile enjoyment and inconvenience of the near obsolete format. And you can’t get much more tactile than this: Scarr, Gary Myles, Kieron Piercy and Mark Durgan molest their homemade, repurposed and customised electronics with a grubby hands-on physicality, inserting their fingers into the guts of their machinery, beating, caressing or palpating its outer surfaces, in some cases tugging fisted reels of tape through its spools or adding their own fitful current to the exposed circuits.

These three releases see Spoils

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LF Records roundup – Sixteen Fingers/joinedbywire/Non Ferric Memories/littlecreature/Skjølbat/Dsic/Gnar Hest

LF

Four new-ish releases here from Bristol’s micro-label LF, run by one Mr Dsic (not his real name), documenting aspects of noise and noise-ish music. A mixed bag, but that’s no bad thing – my weekly shop includes all sorts of things, from washing powder to aubergines (exotic, I know), and I don’t see why a record label should be any different. Unlike my weekly shop, however, the packaging here is all lovingly prepared by Mr Dsic – designers of own-brand supermarket soap packaging take note.

Sixteen FingersSixteen Fingers

Sixteen Fingers - S/TThe noise side of the Rubik’s Cube known as music here. And noise is a form of music I’ve rarely dipped into since my days of willfully pissing off neighbours. In fairness, they didn’t cause my spots or lack of girlfriend, but I probably didn’t realise that at

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Earth – Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light

Southern Lord

Earth – Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of LightHey kids, welcome to another exciting edition of “Fuck Yeah Science”, with me, your host, Dr Deuteronemu 90210, here to show you that not only is science a thing, it’s also a FUN thing! Now, if you’d like to start your educational CD (or whatever you youngsters are listening to music on these days), Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light, you can listen along to it as an accompaniment to the lesson.

Everyone playing the album? Great. Then let’s begin.

First, let’s take a look at PHYSICS. Physics is a particularly awesome science, dealing, as it does, with many things, the most relevant to today’s lesson being the parts about how much stuff weighs, and how it moves.

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Ultraphallus – Sowberry Hagan

Riot Season

Ultraphallus – Sowberry HaganSerious noise rock from Belgium, the third album from Ultraphallus and their UK début on Riot Season. Where do I start? With a name like Ultraphallus am I serious? And what a name it is! Its the mother of all names to trip up spam filters. Sowberry Hagan was recorded over four days in a farm in Liege, but you wouldn’t guess at such folkish origins. And if you did you’d be in for a surprise. Sowberry Hagan is an evil slab of shoegazing, sludgy malevolent doom and claustrophobic heavy rock. This is a nasty album, and I mean that in a good way. It’s evil white noise to scare the crap out of the unwary. And, of course, I mean that in a good way too. Its feverish, ramshackle and as unpolished as they come. Sowberry

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Steve Maclean – Expressions on Piano/GPS

ReR

Steve Maclean – Expressions On PianoSteve Maclean’s oeuvre touches a fair few nodes on the circuitboard of ‘experimental’ music – from collaborations with insects, multiple-effected guitars to ensemble compositions and ‘academic’ work, in line with his post at Assistant Professor in Music Synthesis at Berklee College of Music. The first of our two records here, Expressions on Piano, is closer to his day-job in the academic world – a series of rhythmically and melodically complex compositions showing a debt to various 20th-century figures of piano composition (Conlon Nancarrow being perhaps the most obvious comparison). But we’re not in the realms of the ‘navel-gazers only’ club of a lot of contemporary academic music – underneath the rigorously prepared and exquisitely recorded compositions for piano, there’s an inviting and gratifying sense of melody and beauty.

Expressions… treats the piano like a potential orchestra

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The Remote Viewers – To the North

The Remote Viewers

The Remote Viewers – To the NorthWhat a difference a well deployed field recording can make. The Remote Viewers’ ninth album, To the North begins with what sounds like footsteps on gravel, an approach made on private land, a trespassing, intrusion or return home. It’s sufficient to throw the ensuing material off-kilter; what could be otherwise described as a comfortable and comforting tour through a variety of approaches to jazz derivatives becomes something slightly askew, exuding a slinky menace that insinuates itself further with each repeated listen.

Saxophonists David Petts (the Poison Cabinet, B-Shops for the Poor) and Adrian Northover’s (Dha, Happy End Big Band, B-Shops for the Poor and Sonicphonics) ensemble has seen multiple line-up changes over the years. For this release – their second without singer Louise Petts – they augment their sax quartet (rounded out by

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Acid Mothers Temple and Stearica – Stearica Invade Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso UFO

Robot Elephant/Homeopathic

Collecting Acid Mothers Temple releases can leave you very light in the wallet area (I know this from experience) due to the volume of their output . So there is quite a minefield of material out there to negotiate, some amazing, some a little like the band treading water. As I know AMT well it was going to be interesting to hear what Stearica, a band I didn’t know, would add to the mighty Japanese behemoths sound.

Opening track “Vulture Chiama Fujiyama” is two minutes of feedback with a spoken word section at the end, not much else I can say about it really….. “Queen Kong” has Higashi Hiroshi’s trademark synth twirls over a pounding industrial rhythm, staccato guitar riff and chainsaw noise synth to underlie it. This picks up around the middle with echo guitar lead that makes things

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Steve Moore – Primitive Neural Pathways

Static Caravan

Steve Moore – Primitive Neural PathwaysIn 1977 I got hold of a copy of Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene – and if you would like to get the 21st century version of this album you could a lot worse than buy the new Steve Moore album…

Well, there’s one thing you have to say about Zombi man Steve Moore, he must have a very healthy bank account judging by the amount of classic equipment listed on the back of the album. I almost began to sweat as I read it. ARP Solus, Korg Polysix, Sequential Circuits Pro One and Prophet 600; I could go on and fill up this review very nicely with a list of fine synths that I haven’t seen as large since the Encore-era Tangerine Dream. After all this though what

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