Ulwhednar ‎– Midvinter (Northern Electronics ‎NE6 – 2013)

Defrosted demons lurking in the mid-winter kyrkogården like the subconscious woes in Bergman’s “Fanny And Alexander” when Ulwhednar is at it again, following the debut cassette and a LP in 2013. Out just before the Christmas, the six-track tape and digital release is another proof of Ulwhednar’s firm command of anti-wellness music but contains also traces of brightness. Initially, soft-hued tinkling tones and subtle rhythms of “Midvinter 01” herald rather crisp electronics, but the beast is yet to wake up. The second track is a long, tormenting journey with low-frequency resonance feeling in the bones, built like an short-range noise […]

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Various – Feral Grind (Submit Recs SUBMIT002 – 2013)

Perc Trax has been an emblematic outlet of the UK techno scene, rough in its artistic approach when nourishing energy for the floor. Certainly allured by the electronic music’s industrial past, label owner Ali Wells aka Perc decided to delve deeper into the hard-edged experimental techno when launched a new sub-label Submit with a symbolic collaboration between Wells and Einstürzende Neubauten earlier this year.Submit’s serious intentions are affirmed with an invasive compilation titled “Feral Grind”, where a glimpse at the artist roster flushes away any fears of encountering midrange techno.In “Electric Bathwater – Beachboyswhenyoudie” the hairdryer is exclusively used for the […]

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Ulwhednar – Withatten 1892 (Northern Electronics ‎NE3 – 2013)

At the end of the 19th century lumberjacks in Northern Sweden claimed seeing something deep down in the woods. They were as frightened as the new vicar with pale complexion, another eyewitness who left the place soon after that.They could not predict that the gloomy atmosphere of 1892 was reproduced 110 years later by Ulwhednar, in Norse tales a warrior carrying wolf pelt in the battle. Now the Swedish electronics label Northern Electronics has excavated Ulwhednar’s pagan drones and cold whispers to give a lesson of genuine darkness rooted in the Nordic mythology.The five-tracker is a macabre piece of slowly flowing minimalistic noise tied to […]

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Datura Dilema – Orbital (SUBSIST sub-d18 – 2013)

Apart from three vinyls in the beginning of its existence, Spanish imprint Subsist has focused on digital releases and might seem for wax-obsessed music lovers as a label “among others”. However having hosted several household names like Shxcxchcxsh, Stanislav Tolkachev, Elektrabel, etc., the label from Valencia deserves more attention. The newest material comes from the anonymous artist called Datura Dilema who has completed the second full-length after “Parque Universal Fin”, released in 2012. Enigmatic  flair covers the twelve tracks of “Orbital”, spanning from introductory drone “Nada” and high-octane floor burners “Pleyades Comunica”, “Ozono Gente” to the highlight of the release, […]

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Violetshaped – Violetshaped LP (Violet Poison VPN 001LP – 2013)

Techno fashionistas believe that violet is en vogue this season. Actually the first indication about the trend was seen last year when Violet Poison brought out a selection of Violetshaped remixes by the dark side specialists Vatican Shadow, Roly Porter and Kangding Ray. Original mixes of that release along with the new material are now out on an album encompassing eight cuts on double vinyl.Violetshaped itself is a collaboration of Shapednoise, Berlin’s hardliner at the helm of Repitch Recordings, and of an unknown identified as Violet Poison. Now with percussive and dark “Violetshaped LP” the act has created a monumental piece […]

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Leo Abrahams + Oliver Coates – Crystals Are Always Forming (Slip Discs SLP002 – 2012)

A new noise and experimental project on the Manchester label Slip Discs. “Crystals Are Always Forming” is the debut of Leo Abrahams and Oliver Coates who have ventured on the cohabitation of cello and electronics. Eleven compositions totaling about 33 minutes witness a range of slow and stretched drones hovering between electronic noise and mistuned acoustic instrumentation.Numbered in Roman format from “I” to “XI”, mostly three-minute cuts address the public fond of static sound experiments with the suspense seething beneath.Experimental is a tight market and largely saturated, meaning that extracting the last from the soft/hardware does not necessarily guarantee success. Abrahams […]

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Ricardo Donoso – Assimilating The Shadow (Digitalis DIGIV046 – 2012)

With the first album “Progress Chance” Ricardo Donoso, born in Rio de Janeiro and living in Boston, propelled into the consciousness of synth-crazy audience with anti-gravitational tunes for inner-self explorations. So after the splendid debut Donoso might have felt pressure in anticipation of “Assimilating The Shadow”.Adoring the debut, the second LP has been for me the most-awaited Digitalis release this year, and have to say that the result is astonishing again.Donoso continues to paint luminescent soundscapes, offering throughout “Assimilating The Shadow” meditative moments for a soundtrack of optic illusions. Actually no weak links on the vinyl double pack of 10 […]

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DUST OFF: Cluster – Cluster 71 (Water water160 – 2006)

In 1971 Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Conrad Plank shocked the schlager nation with an utterly experimental piece of music called “Cluster”. It was the debut of the group of the same name and an important milestone of the pre-Kraftwerk era.Difficult to believe this three-track album of pulsating drones and irrational synth lines dates back more than 40 years. Certainly not a dance record, it just provides the insight into the vision and abilities of the masters of analog equipment.The album was reissued in 1980 under the name “Cluster ’71” and recent years have seen a number of the group’s […]

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Various – Estcon 2012 (Trash Can Dance TCD212012 – 2012)

Once a year Estonian sci-fi and horror fans meet at Estcon to spend a few days in the nature with beer and fantasy. The focus is on literature and storytelling, but these good folks with expanded cultural horizon like the music too. This year all participants were eligible for “Estcon 2012”, a two-CDR compilation, 150 copies issued on Trash Can Dance label.With 34 tracks and more than two hours of playtime it’s a sizable package and offers many interesting finds. In fact, it was a great listening experience and gives faith in the present and future of Estonian alternative music.The […]

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The Slaves – Spirits Of The Sun (Digitalis DIGIV042 – 2012)

A new artist under the colorful musical umbrella of Digitalis Recordings and a spectacular touchdown by the duo from Portland, Oregon. Contrary to my expectations the release has a rather tranquilizing effect, meaning the descriptive tags attached by the label – drone, heavy noise or doom – should be handled with care. Digitalis is often pretty excited about musical extremities, like in this year’s longplayers by Decimus or Perispirit, but the The Slaves’ album is rather a distant relative of lush synth excursions by Panabrite or Ricardo Donoso. The Spirits is positioned between white and black. Not the music from dark and humid cellars, but rather […]

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