Archives by month/year

Edward Ka-Spel – Ghost Logik


This is like a spider’s web of sonic backgrounds, songs hanging to the sticky radials like cocooned insect, trapped meals in the spectral dust of some netherworld. The title may give it away, but this happily avoids any chain rattling cliché.

“Throwing Things” is probably the only complete song here that bears the greatest Legendary Pink Dots hallmark. Although definitions between solo and band are often mercurially blurred affairs, this is a gorgeous avant-pop nugget floating out on a glissando duvet of a backing, so catchy, I kept having these slo-mo visions of last year’s London riots whilst singing along, “I’m throwing things, I can’t help it, that’s the mood I’m in,” that distinctive southwest accent purring through your lobes. “You stand transfixed,” he continues, “so

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Sone Institute – A Model Life

Front & Follow

This gives me the gargles. It reminds me a little of the tone behind James Ferraro’s Far Side Virtual (it doesn’t sound much like it at all) in that it’s like Roman Bezdyk has found himself unable to distance himself from the music he’s riffing on. This seems respectable, seems right, seems like these aural artefacts (I’m talking about library music, mostly) ought to have a little bit more respect in themselves, rather than simply as cultural signifiers or soundpools for discerning (pillaging) Hauntological hordes and wraiths but… then we’re faced with the slightly uncomfortable question: do these sounds by themselves really offer us that much?

This album is great in parts and then in parts it’s (mere)

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Bong – Bong

Ritual Productions

This is the re-release of Bong’s self titled album. Originally released as vinyl only and in a limited edition, Ritual Productions have decided to put out the recording for the first time on CD, allowing the tracks the extra space that the vinyl would not allow. So you not only get extended versions of the original two tracks but also a bonus track called “Asleep” as well to help make up a sixty minute running time for the CD. But does it all hold together as a cohesive whole?

“Wizards of Krull” starts with a lone drum tribally finding its rhythm before the big riff kicks in. The two note drone along with the punishing drums conjures up an imaginary soundtrack to Conan the

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Moebius and Plank – En Route

Bureau B

This baby’s got kinetic candy aplenty, tearing up that flat ’80s graph paper, banishing machine rigidity in a blur of angles. Any inkling of metronomic dead flesh is given a dust kicking of sampledelics bolstered by live trumpets and fret slipping guitar, the momentum throwing your head in pleasing multiples, keeping the adrenaline churned up.

“Automatic” is a great start, a Rubik’s cube of flashing colour, a sequential squeeze of overlapping goodness spurred on by a jog of beat and pulsing travelators, little hints of chorus bending your ear here and there ending in filter fairy fade out. The following track “Don’t point the bone” has a pleasing DAF-esque stomp about it as those sado-slapped contours flex their muscles and sampled clusters

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Günter Schickert – Überfallig

Bureau B

Günter Schickert’s solo albums and the recordings he made with his band GAM for years have felt like a lost part of the classic seventies Krautrock era. It’s surely not because they sit in an uneasy space between Ash Ra Tempel and modern composers such as Steve Reich, as various other artists such as Kraftwerk were known to step over the line between rock and the avant-garde. His first album Samtvogel (1973) was even released by seminal Krautrock label Brain which was also putting out releases by Klaus Schulze at the same time. It feels as though Günter’s output has been sidelined for the bigger name bands of the time and the importance of some of his releases have been underplayed. Hopefully this Bureau

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Kreidler – Den

Bureau B

By 1959, a third of all the motorcycles produced in Germany were manufactured by Kreidler, a small metalwork business bearing the name of its founder Anton Kreidler, which had been shifted into the production of two-wheel automotive transport by his son Alfred earlier in the decade. By a truly curious coincidence, in 2012 a third of all albums produced in Germany were by the band Kreidler, formed in Düsseldorf 1994, their taproots deep in the fecund Westphalian musical soil of that city.

Sadly, only the first part of that paragraph is actually true. It could just be wishful thinking, or it could be down to two large measures of Jägermeister from the bottle I bought duty free at Schönefeld Airport yesterday. Either way, although Kreidler

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Russell Haswell – Factual EP/Scandinavian Parts (Immersive Live Salvage Supplement)

Editions Mego/Ideal

Russell Haswell‘s Further 12″ opens with a burst of what could be fireworks, or might indeed be some kind of demented “Black Metal Instrumental Intro Demo” for that matter. The rippling bursts of reverbed drum machine splutter and brap with an apparent randomness which could just as easily be blasting into the sky as into an unlit, dank Norwegian cellar club with spasmodic arhythmia and no sense of blast beats being allowed to kick in. It’s this sort of toying with expectations, especially when if comes to track titles, which makes Haswell so entertaining. That and the crawling chaos of noise which he introduces into the mix; and as with all the best noisemongers, he knows how to judge when and when

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Various Arists – Allies and Clansmen: The Next Descendant

Monty Maggot

The second compilation of artists from the Monty Maggot label is another eclectic mix of music. Put together again by Lee Potts it’s wonderful that the [post=allies-and-clansmen text=”first release”] was such a hit that it warranted a part two (and maybe a part three is in the pipeline). The love and time and energy put into these releases and the quality of the overall product means that you are getting recordings from this label to treasure. Anyway, let’s climb aboard the stairway to the stars and see what’s twinkling out there in the cosmos.

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Anthony Reynolds – A World Of Colin Wilson

Rocket Girl

Untreated, Colin Wilson’s voice might be Paul Vaughan, the narrator of Coil’s “The Golden Section”; it has the same, slightly clipped, slightly cold authority but we don’t get to hear enough of it on this album. There’s a lot of processing here and the voice is often unrecognisable, sent off into shivers and hums and blurs. This is a strength of most of the music I like (the disembodied voice is a well-loved trope and one I use a lot – too much – in my own music) but for this album, ostensibly about Colin Wilson (or a glimpse into him) it seems an odd choice to remove so much of the man, since that cold reason is what Wilson

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Nick Edwards – Plekzationz

Editions Mego

This seems chunky and real compared to the other Ekoplekz releases. You can buy it at Sainsbury’s. It’s out there, in all senses but it also feels like something of an end, like Nick Edwards is drawing a line, er, under the sand; it’s like a statement of where he’s been and how far he’s come. Nick’s always been very willing to give up his influences, both in conversation and in the music itself but on this release it seems like he’s offering each of the influential strands a long track of their own.

“Chance Meets Causality Uptown” keeps his Upsetter riddim king thing going and is almost… mellow in places, with a slowpoke bass guitar sound amongst the patented eko squiggles and

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The Orb featuring Lee Scratch Perry – The Orbserver in the Star House

Cooking Vinyl

Ever since The Orb’s first album The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld you could almost feel that somewhere down the line this collaboration would take place. The Orb have always added dub themes to their music to add to the blissful wholeness of the dance experience and to get the people on the floor swaying in a technicolour other world of their own. On this album you get The Orb at their dubby best with one of the masters of the scene.

“Ball of Fire” literally kicks in the album with a big heavy bang where the bass and drums hang low under a grinding rhythm. Lee Perry’s vocals are suitably

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Om – Advaitic Songs

Drag City

There’s something that’s always struck me as a bit weird, not to mention lazy, in Om‘s usual categorisation as a doom metal band. Sure, they are one of the awesome phoenixes to have arisen from the ashes of doom pioneers Sleep, and they’re kinda droney and dirgey, but they’ve always been more celebratory than doomladen. Not quite joyous, but certainly devotional. They’re more like stoner metal but on weirder drugs – possibly incense, communion wine and ayahuasca. You know, the religious stuff.

That is, of course, not to say that they won’t, or indeed don’t, appeal to the same kind of people, and the same parts of the brain, as doom metal does. Deep, languid riffs cycling endlessly through the lower

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