REVIEW: Sebastian Reuschel – The World Is Shit (ZCKR14 – 2016)

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With echoing creak, the door opens to the world of abandonment, spider webs covering a metronome that sets the pace towards the midnight. Diabolical noises are gradually growing to hardly digestible sonic oppression where the crudity has its certain charm. Fifteen minutes of the A-side’s “Exav 2B” are a tour de force of beatless dark ambient with suffocating drone passages, haunting overdrive effects and hollow whispers that make the mood-o-meter scraping the extremes. On the flip, “Dying Alone” is a wall of doom spanning over brain-challenging ten minutes with an abrupt end. Bremen’s ZCKR has become one of my permanent objects […]

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Sven Grünberg – Hingus (Bureau B BB 241LP – 1981/2016)

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Sven Grünberg is real name of a real person and he is not a fictional Lufthansa engineer who secretly became electronic musician in the 1970s and appeared from the obscurity later. Grünberg, who turns 60 this November, was born in the Estonian capital Tallinn and cut his teeth in the local seventies bands Ornament and Mess, acting in the latter as composer, singer and instrumentalist. A graduate of a music college in Tallinn, Grünberg decided to become electronic musician in (then) Soviet Union where he was not a loner, if to recall from the previous generation Eduard Artemyev who wrote scores […]

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REVIEW: Eomac – Bedouin Trax (Bedouin Records BDNX 001 – 2016)

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Ethnic music has served as a source of inspiration for many artists and when speaking about Arabic flavour in electronica, the most merited producer might have been late Bryn Jones aka Muslimgauze. Radical both in his pro-Arabic views and sound writing, Jones contributed to the evolution of a particular subgenre without targeting too clearly the dance nation. Merging Oriental influences with synthetic beats is not a formula of success itself, because it requires creativeness and insight that is now available from Ian McDonnell aka Eomac, also known as one half of the Irish duo Lakker. The author of several notable tracks in recent years (my favourite is a remix […]

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News: Fylkingen unearths text-sound series from the 1970s

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Der Schaumreiter scheitert in einem Raum voll Scheiter. Vapeurs en fleurs vous lêtes tourbillons de gaz amoreux. These are two extracts from the poems of the Estonian-born multi-talent Ilmar Laaban who was primarily known for his surrealist and intense poetry but as an artist with the gift of music he was keen to explore the melodic side of his weird works in the form of so-called ‘häälutused’ (soundations). In 1998, a few years before his passing, Swedish label avant-garde label Fylkingen Records collected the works of Laaban who had found refuge in Sweden during the WWII and belonged to the country’s wild verse innovators through decades. Laaban also appeared […]

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REVIEW: Various – Inversions 001 (INV001 – 2016)

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For a moment, the world goes upside down in the first, various artists release from Inversions which is Power Vacuum’s new sublabel. What is expected to be another night out in the company of synthetic beat worshippers turns to a vintage-minded party to trigger enthusiastic exclamations from mature audiences and their sympathisers in music. And good so. Everything seems under the control during the first half of Cavern Of Anti-Matter’s “Bring The Hiss (Version)”. Although it’s not quite the parent label’s standard fare – such as acidic squeeze by EDMX or rowdy electro by Cylob – the track still opens as a retro techno hardware slammer from the 1990s […]

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Nikolajev – Nikolajev (Collect Call CC 003 – 2016)

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Nikolajev, Robert. Despite of young age, he has become a reputed DJ in the Estonian underground and co-runs Lekker, a vivacious nightspot in Tallinn. A special mention deserves the fact that he has been part of the techno act Neue Einsicht that warmed up Ancient Methods at Kõue Heli Festival in 2013. After listening to Nikolajev’s debut on the Canadian imprint Collect Call, I’m not wondering why it became a Soundcloud success with about 12,000 plays, because not many new artists in 2016 can match Nikolajev’s premiere – and I’m not saying it because of being an Estonian. The A-side contains two robust, bass-heavy cuts, […]

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SHXCXCHCXSH – SsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSs (Avian ‎AVNLP003 – 2016)

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Sssssnake chhharmers from Sweden, not only linguistically challenging dark knights from SHXCXCHCXSH who boast over 6,300 followers of their empty Soundcloud account, believe in the power of ‘s’ in the new album for UK label Avian. After initial rush to vitriolic roughness, when only to recall earlier catalogue entries by Shifted and MPIA3’s, Avian’s tastes have become more varied (Litüus, for example) and SHXCXCHCXSH’s album belongs rather to the experimental section. Instead of targeting sweaty techno caves with their previous Avian LP “Strgths”, SHXCXCHCXSH emits steamy, pixelated sound that constitutes the basis of most of the compositions. Consciously or not, many parts sound very familiar: one of the album’s best tracks, “Ssss” at […]

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Shitcluster – Meat Thief (Panzerkreuz 1027 – 2016)

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The Hague’s loonies operating under the name Shitcluster have staged another freakshow of rhythmic noise, to disrupt ‘dance music’ as such. New distorted deviations by Charlie Watkins and Jan Duivenvoorden – the latter running nowadays the Unit Moebius Anonymous –  begin with two ramming tracks on the A-side that remind of Ancient Methods’ “The Whip” from 2009. The gruelling chug of A1 is led by hollow, bouncy drums and subtle complaints like coming from Sid Vicious’s taped mouth, followed by asphyxial feel of A2. The B-side opens with rubbery stabs and eerie clonks that are guided by rotating turbines like engineered by Vainio Väisänen Vega and giving the sensations […]

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David Morley – The Origin Of Storms (De:tuned ASGDE010 – 2016)

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De:tuned is keen to put acclaimed artists from the past to contemporary context, either by reissuing old or presenting new productions. The LA Synthesis double pack was one of the 2015 highlights and after B12’s “Transient Life”, it’s the turn of the UK-born Belgian resident David Morley who debuted back in 1992 with “Evolution” on R&S Records’ ambient offshoot Apollo and was active in the nineties with a handful EPs. With “The Origin Of Storms” the Belgian label resumes the pursuit for abundant textures in electronic music, when Morley’s beatless synth variations are floating over ambient fields in the 12″+10″ album over 40 minutes of playtime. The […]

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DJ Spider & Phil Moffa – Madison Square Dungeon (Plan B Recordings PBR045 – 2016)

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Established in 2008, Plan B Records is a true New York City powerhouse run by DJ Spider and Lola aka Dakini9 who have supplied many of the label’s releases. In the same, they have hosted a number of techno and (deep) house producers, if to recall only Amir Alexander who dropped wonderful deep house EP “Sonic Subversion” last year. DJ Spider, whose sound can be described ‘dirty’, spelled with admiration, has a penchant for collabs, either with Marshallito, Hakim Murphy or Franklin Da Costa, to name just a few, and for the catalogue number PBR045 the label frontman rejoins forces with NYC-based electronic musician Phil Moffa. […]

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