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Ekoplekz – Rock La Bibliotek

West Norwood Cassette Library

Ekoplekz - Rock La BibliotekFollowing his recent albums Four Track Mind and Unfidelity, Ekoplekz has now released a six-track EP on the wonderfully-monikered West Norwood Cassette Library label. Rock La Bibliotek is in a different format and has a totally different vibe. On it he offers up a more minimalist sound, and while the richer radiophonic aspects of the albums has been put to one side, with some distinctly retro sounding bleeps and squelches, the Ekoplekz approach to production still renders tracks that are dripping with atmosphere.

At times quite dark, the collection also reaches into psychedelic territory through layered, progressive trancey episodes and some contorted dissonance. However, in throwing the more conventional sound palette out the window, Nick Edwards has nonetheless

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Purson – In The Meantime EP

Machine Elf

Purson – In The MeantimeIt’s 1967, The Beatles are No 2 in the charts with “Strawberry Fields,” Pink Floyd are playing The UFO Club, The Incredible String Band are discovering layers of the onion and Hapsash are designing posters to blow your mind. Fast forward 20 years and you have the Alice in Wonderland Club, The Dukes of Stratosphere, The Magic Mushroom Band and Freakbeat magazine. Now in 2014, yet another new wave of psychedelia has been making its way back into the underground clubs and venues for the last couple of years. One of the best bands to get the psychedelic/progressive tag is Purson and this new EP (OK, in my day a four track disc was called an EP) or mini-album shows

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Pye Corner Audio – The Black Mist EP

Front & Follow

Pye Corner Audio - The Black Mist EPMartin Jenkins is a force of nature, releasing mountains of cassettes, EPs, 12″s, and free downloads since the inception of the Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services moniker in 2010. He’s the closest thing we have to a poster boy for the current state of the hauntological current, giving us an insight into its present, and a possible trajectory for the future.

This slight EP from Front & Follow is an elaboration on PCA’s track for their much-lauded The Outer Church compilation, which could be seen as a hauntological state-of-the-union address. For those that missed that essential transmission, here’s a chance to hear your favorite technician’s contribution in an elaborated form, packed with two essential addendums, the

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Dieter Moebius – Nidemonex

More Than Human

Dieter Moebius – NidemonexThis latest transmission from Moebius finds him pushing further at the boundaries of an idiosyncratic take on electronic rhythm-based music which have often characterised his solo recordings and rummaging deeper into the swirling vortices of synthesized experimentalism that he helped pioneer in the ’70s as part of Cluster. “Inmedin” is the piece most resembling the former output, all twinkling electronic bells and chimes over a ponderous bassy rhythm which slurs ominously among the desertified synths which glide around and above with more than slightly sinister intent. It’s beyond ambient and into the atmospheric, an ominous lurker winding up like a shaman setting up for a long haul ahead at the rumbling threshold of consciousness.

Bleakest of all is the ponderoulsy

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Godflesh – Decline and Fall

Avalanche

Godflesh - Decline and FallSo I defrosted my fridge yesterday. Inches thick in ice, it was. Had to take a hairdryer to it in the end. Scalding hot air. Huge expanses of frozen water. A lot of wrenching, smashing and cries of frustration. All in all, it was a lot like the new Godflesh EP.

Decline And Fall is the first new material from the reactivated Godflesh project in thirteen years, and right from the start, “Ringer” sees Broadrick and Green going back to their roots in chuggy minimalist brutalism. The drum machine’s back, and it restores to Godflesh that sense of cybernetic onslaught that their last release, Hymns, was missing. When they’re on it, as they are here, it’s impossible

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Outer Space – Phantom Center EP

Editions Mego

Outer Space – Phantom CenterIn the past couple of years or so there has been a resurgence in synthesizer music, with more and more titles being released every month by various labels. Most of the work I have heard has been of a high quality and is generally packaged well. Many of these albums make use of, and note on their sleeves, old analogue synthesizers to create these sounds. John Elliot’s Outer Space have been around for a number of years now, running concurrently with his now defunct band Emeralds, and mainly releasing tape-only items in the early days. Over the last couple of years there has been a rash of vinyl releases from Elliot which, as a vinyl collector, has pleased me greatly. So here

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Bass Clef – Raven Yr Own Worl EP

Pan

Bass Clef - Raven Yr Own Worl EPA slab of 12” electronic whoomph and wibble which brings forth the gloopy analogue joys of sequenced machinery bowing and scraping before the altar of the DJ booth. “Self-Perpetuating Fun Loop” does exactly as it says, whirling around a central set of repeated motifs with the terpsichorean energy of a pilled-up dervish in search of the perfect gyre. Synthesised sounds chirrup and slop until the breakdown comes, but here – again, as the title confidently stated – the swing is decidedly and expansively upwards rather than just on the horizontal plane, Bass Clef taking the mood into widescreen jubilation before an eventual dissolution.

At the heart of Ralph Cumbers‘ sound is a BugBrand modular synth*, lovingly hand-made by the legendary

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E.A.R. – All Things Being Equal

Dekorder

Experimental Audio Research - All Things Being EqualA hyper-collectible one-sided ‘hybrid vinyl’ you say? *strokes non-beard* What curious engine is this? *bug-eyed lunatic face / “Soylent Green is people!”* Well, it’s got meaty black vinyl on the audio side and the usual slack-jawed picture-disc vinyl on the other – AKA this is what Leibniz was referring to when he uttered under his wig “Die beste aller möglichen Welten” (“the best of all possible worlds”).

This is the first E.A.R. release since 2005’s Worn To A Shadow and, to tell the truth, not much has changed. He’s still got drone and he’s still up there amongst the greatest exponents of the genre and he’s still got that unfathomable humchattering Spacemen 3 sound in amongst it all;

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Kemper Norton – Lowermoor EP

More Than Human

Kemper Norton - Lowermoor EPStraight society often views conceptual or avant-garde art with a suspicion bordering on hatred. “Art for art’s sake,” a dirty phrase, meant to imply these artists contribute nothing to society, only existing to inflate their own egos and justifying their existence with pretentious-sounding theories that the everyman can not understand. Look at the way various totalitarian regimes have treated music, which seems to suggest that the only official purpose of artists is to create heroic anthems and propaganda for the glory of the state, as an example.

Yet for many, experimental art and music is often a gateway to revolutionary thought and activism. It pries the scabs from our eyes, peels the topsoil of society away like a Glycolic skin peel, revealing bones and artifacts

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Shackleton – Freezing Opening Thawing

Woe To The Septic Heart

Shackleton – Freezing Opening ThawingJust in time for a mordant shot at the Easter Number 1, here comes Shackleton again; his last album was a work of necessarily flawed genius, drifting across lines, missing beats and breaks, losing itself in the mystery of moments. It ought to have been everyone’s favourite album of the year but often got a little missed, as if it was just too singular. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

This 12” is less fluttery, more robust, a return to Form (as opposed to a return to form which would demean him and this and is, anyway, duckfuckingly wrong in all ways). This has a sheered off quality, like the inside of a chainsawed cow. It seems likely

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Time Attendant – Treacherous Orb EP

More Than Human

Time Attendant - Treacherous OrbWith a name which immediately evokes time travel (or the expectation thereof) and hence perhaps stepping metaphorically and metaphysically out of the linear and quotidian, Paul Snowdon sends the listener on a trip across distances and the aeons. Lifting off with the fluttery electronica of “Iridium Watcher,” side one soon gives way to more radiophonic sounds of “Voiders Delight.” If the Time Attendant persona were to be compared to Dr Who, he or she is definitely more akin to those earlier papier-mache set and weird soundtrack generations which proceeded the glossier CGI reboot of the twenty-first century.

Guest Dolly Dolly‘s poetry on “Haxapod Star Shuffle” wouldn’t have seemed far out of place interjected in the weirder parts of a Seventies BBC radio science

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Rose Kallal and Mark O Pilkington – Implicate Explicate

We Can Elude Control

Rose Kallal and Mark O Pilkington - Implicate ExplicateFilm-maker and and sound artist Rose Kallal and Mark Pilkington (The Asterism, Raagnagrok, Stëllä Märïs Drönë Örchësträ, etc.) collaborated on the soundtrack to Kallal’s Implicate Explicate installation for three 16mm projectors in Glasgow in 2012, and this EP results from the music they produced together. In its original mix, Kallal and Pilkington manipulate the heavy drones and reverbs to shudder the speakers and mush things up generally, the sound of modulars in excelsis and radiophonic fun being had by all. Getting Ekoplekz in to rework the sounds results in a slightly less dubby experience than might at first be expected, the buzzing whirr of the basic mix subsumed in a drum loop of surprisingly sprightly

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Lurists – Volume One: Red & Blue

Dekorder

Lurists - Volume OneThe trio of Luke Fowler, Richard Youngs and Steven Warwick of Heatsick have made some very strange electronic music here. Red & Blue is one of those on the spot collaborations which sounds like a huge amount of fun was had by all while plugging away in the studio. A liberated sense of playfulness is especially apparent, and it’s pretty much an electronic jam session which, if it had been played with other sorts of instruments might have come out in more free improv style; but here the machines keep time of a sort, and the trio hold their own within the restrictions and freedoms electronic music gives to the participants.

“Red Tree With Intent” opens with a coruscating and confusing whorl

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Pye Corner Audio – Conical Space

Dekorder

Pye Corner Audio - Conical SpaceConical Space, the first offering of Dekorder‘s brilliant Hybrid Vinyl series, finds Pye Corner Audio‘s Head Technician channelling all his loves: ’80s horror synth, Detroit Techno, kosmische and corrupted technology. These synthscapes conjure images of polished chrome skylines, with miles high neon adverts, before yr cruiser exits the stratosphere, eventually being swallowed in the event horizon of Dr. Reinhardt’s black hole.

It’s always a pleasure to hear new music from Pye Corner Audio. Paying close attention to the shadowy comings-and-goings of The Head Technician gives valuable insight into the state of the hauntological, retroactive underground, as his music has progressed leagues since his initial anonymous Black Mills Tapes. Those curiosities were an attempt to replicate some moldering radiophonic

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Om – Addis/Gethsemane dubplates

Drag City

Om - AddisUK digi-dub veterans Alpha & Omega have taken on the task of remaking Om‘s track “Addis” from their recent Advaitic Songs album, transforming the original’s hypnagogic swell of doomy bass and mournful cello into a dub workout in two parts. Side A weighs in as “Ababa Dub,” Kate Ramsey‘s haunting vocal lifted into the echo chamber while the strings vibrate below, riding on a coasting undercarriage of sampled drums and bass.

Alpha & Omega snip out a syllable which sounds exactly like “Om” and send it bouncing off on a trail of delay while other sounds emerge as haunted sirens, and as far as dub mixes go, they could hardly have found better source material. On the reverse, “Addis Ababa” continues the meditative mood almost seamlessly

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