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Sleep – The Clarity

Southern Lord

Sleep - The Clarity 12"Ten minutes and ten seconds of stoner riffs that some waited some sixteen years to arrive since the last hazy wafts of Sleep‘s 1998 LP Dopesmoker faded out, “The Clarity” finds Al Cisneros and Matt Pike joined by Jason Roeder of Neurosis on drums. Originally released as a digital single in 2014, it now gets the full Southern Lord vinyl treatment

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Bangladeafy – Narcopaloma

Nefarious Industries

Bangladeafy - NarcopalomaSo the main reason I picked up this record for review is because I think that it’s the responsibility of the writer to pick up things for spurious reasons. The reason I will never review, or listen to, Jaga Jazzist is because the name is terrible. Bangladeafy is an awesome name.

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Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard – Sound X Sound: Music For 15 Shakers; Music For 18 Clarinets; Music For 16 Triangles; Music For 10 Hi-hats

Hiatus

Having released the first three 7″ singles in the Sound X Sound series over the space of just over a year, Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard has progressed to delivering the last four discs in the set at the same time, nearly two full years after the first appeared. Following the well-established format of the initial run, the final singles consist of Music For 15 Shakers, 18 Clarinets, 16 Triangles

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Band Of Pain – Still Falls The Rain / Funhouse

Easy Action

Band Of Pain - Still Falls The Rain / FunhouseWhere most bands opting to record a take on of one of their influential favourites would opt for a more or less straightforward cover version, Band Of Pain main man Steve Pittis chooses instead to invite Andrew Liles and Lucy Cotter to join him in re-imagining the anonymous poem “Still Falls The Rain”, as found inside the upside-down cross adorning the inner gatefold sleeve of Black Sabbath‘s eponymous first album.

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Silver Apples – Whirly-Bird / Oscillations

Play Loud!

Silver Apples - Whirly Bird Oscillations

Since first appearing in 1968, Silver Apples‘ “Oscillations” — and perhaps to a lesser degree the flipside track, “Whirly-Bird” — have gradually become to be recognised as key pioneering moments in the history of electronic music that they most assuredly are. Play Loud! have pulled out all the stops for this, the first re-release of the single since its first appearance nearly half a century ago, giving it the remastering treatment along the way and faithfully reproducing the Kapp Records sleeve in facsimile.

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Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard – Sound X Sound: Music For 9 Pianos

 

Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard - Sound X Sound Music For 9 PianosNiels Lyhne Løkkegaard has been busily investigating the particular qualities that can come from quantity on his Sound X Sound series of seven 7” vinyl releases. In this third instance, he has nine pianists playing two very different pieces in a veritable fall and resurgence along the keyboard, descending and rising up from the depths with results that are on occasion remarkably similar to some of the impossible to play black MIDI tunes that were all the rage for a while.

As ever, Løkkegaard’s compositions are more about the properties of the sounds that each instrument generates rather than having a specific musical character. This is of course what some sections of the avant-garde have

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Toy.Bizarre – kdi dctb 180 / Moljebka Pvlse – In Love and Death, You Are Alone

Substantia Innominata

Toy.Bizarre - kdi dctb 180The latest instalment in Cédric Peyronnet‘s series of cryptically titled releases as Toy.Bizarre manifests as part of Drone Records‘ lovingly assembled Substantia Innominata imprint, arriving wrapped in a delightfully warped 10″ sleeve which not only manages to make brown and sepia look stunning ( a rare trick), but would also make a great poster as a result. The vinyl inside is clear, however, and each side reveals an unfolding tale of otherworldy, hypnotic soundscapes which seem to be built on the assumption that there is other world (or worlds) of sound not that far out of reach from this one.

The neatly judged cut’n’paste aesthetic that Peyronnet deploys slips and slides from recursive watery loops through close-mic’ed hikes across

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Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard – Sound X Sound: Music For 30 Chromatic Tuners

Hiatus

Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard - Sound X Sound: Music For 30 Chromatic TunersThe second in Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard‘s Sound X Sound series of 7″ singles, Music For 30 Chromatic Tuners follows on from Music For 8 Recorders in similarly trilling style. Where eight recorders together made for a sometimes gritty listen, Løkkegaard’s choice of not-quite instruments here leads him down somewhat different pathways.

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Cocteau Twins – Tiny Dynamine/Echoes in a Shallow Bay

4AD

Cocteau Twins - Tiny DynamineNobody ever sounded like the Cocteau Twins, a band so startlingly original that they spurred a lot of imitators; they took the jangle of indie to a whole different level, an otherworldly soak that no doubt inspiring the shoegrazery verve that would follow in their wake. By 1985 they already had three albums under their belts, but their sound was still evolving to ever-more luscious territories, concocting a few catchy (unintentional) hits along the way; amazing realised pearls such as “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops” and “Spangle Maker”.

Now Tiny Dynamine and Echoes in a Shallow Bay were two EPs originally released two weeks apart from each other (each a companion piece for the other) that attempted to follow in that “Spangle Maker” vein but ended up more subtle, atmospheric — dare I say experimental affairs in comparison. An output

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SOMEC – Source of Uncertainty

Haunter

SOMEC - Source of UncertaintySource of Uncertainty is one of those records which pushes the boundaries of expectation quite a bit further than a cursory glance at the list of influences might suggest. So maybe there is techno, electro, Detroit and Berlin-style electronic music in here, and certainly a sense of experiment that is worthy of the term; but Giovanni Napoli’s second Haunter Records release as SOMEC follows on the heels of his delightfully titled Arbitrary Function Generator cassette in a dazzling splash of often highly abstracted tweaks, trills, rhythms and bleeps which are very much their own thing.

This is music to become lost in while following SOMEC’s lead via unfamiliar paths, a road less travelled along the wires of controlled voltages and modulated

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LTO – No Pasa Nada EP

Injazero

LTO - No Pasa Nada EPA member of both Khing Kang King and Old Apparatus, No Pasa Nada is LTO‘s second solo outing of haunted dubscape electronica. The EP shifts slowly and recursively across four tracks of gritty textures washed languidly in a bath of tape-hiss, echo and reverb, feedback and all (with the occasional environmental recording of rustling clothing or running water dropped into the mix for good measure).

Operating somewhere in the vicinity of the dubbier end of minimalist dubstep without ever falling squarely into the genre — or any other for that matter — though LTO’s sensibilities are definitely of a kind related more to the feeling that dubstep had when it first emerged rather than in the recent ravetastic commercial bastardisations of

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Protection – The 10″ EP

Formlessness Press

Protection - The 10" EPRemember the ’90s? Well, I only vaguely do. But ignore all that Britpop/Cool Britannia shit, as nationally embarrassing in the cold light of day as Diana’s funeral, and think in a more esoteric direction. Think of Coil‘s classic album Love’s Secret Domain, and the fucked-up techno they were doing back then. Do you remember? Protection certainly do, being a synth duo one half of which has worked with both Coil and Cyclobe in the past. And while they both take a turn providing vocals (although there’s also a special guest, about whom more later) the ghost of Jhonn Balance is never far away. But this is no slavish copyist bollocks; they’ve taken that vaguely-defined, liminal sound and run with it,

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Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard – Sound X Sound: Music for 8 Recorders

Hiatus

Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard – Sound X Sound Music for 8 RecordersThe first in the Sound X Sound series of 7″ singles which will each explore just one instrument, Music for 8 Recorders finds Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard‘s compositions tackling the alto and soprano varieties on each side of the record. On the evidence of the first disc, the rest of the Sound X Sound series should be well worth following, not least to discover how much Løkkegaard can push the limits of each instrument as intriguingly as he has done here with one as unassuming as the humble recorder.

The recorder (or blokfløjter in Løkkegaard’s native Danish) has long suffered an association with endless childhood lessons on the instrument, seen as it is (in Britain at least) as

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Eleanora – EP

Consouling Sounds

Eleanora – EPTwo tracks; fifteen minutes of fearsome post-hardcore grunt, groan, riff and thrash from Eleanora splashes out of the speakers as if the very devil was grinding out the best tunes behind them, goading the band into producing yet more screamed crescendos.

Tight as the screws which surely must be holding down the drummer’s kit in case it should get beaten off the stage, “Mammon” shifts gears and swerves with the erratic control of a rally driver careering headlong into an ice-storm while their co-pilot yells out a constant stream of incoherent rage at the all-encompassing elements rather than anything resembling useful directions.

“Amenable” starts off in just that fashion, a pleasant churn of guitar soon joined by a frying-pan bass sprawl until the doomy whole coalesces into a dirgesome trudge

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Hacker Farm – 12,000 Seconds/Ashley Paul – 12,000 Seconds

Magic + Dreams

12,000 SecondsOf Human Bondage; salvation through restriction. An intriguing premise, where all the artists in the series were given not just the limitation of time per se but the ultra-specific requirement of actual track times (0:06, 0:23, 1:11, 2:37, 3:03, 3:14, 4:20 and 6:06) to conform to. It doesn’t matter if the actual mathematics is wrong, that it’s 60 seconds over. The extra minute seems necessary.

While Ashley Paul and Hacker Farm don’t appear aligned, this isn’t the first time they’ve appeared together; I saw them both at Salvage: A Hacker Farm Field Trip and there’s textural similarities if you listen closely enough. True, Ashley Paul’s music is more unfolded and sparse than Hacker Farm but they are both brittle commodities, prone to falling apart if you stop paying attention. Paul’s music

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