Bandcamp ambient picks: Horsetail, Jari Pitkänen, Øyvind Juel

Horsetail Horsetail from the UK are ‘makers of noisy outer space music’ from the abstract side of ambient and drone, which is well reflected in the title track and in “The Wound That Never Heals”. If to imagine it as a vinyl, the “B-side” turns out as the winner: distorted creeper “His Terrible Heart” would appeal to techno DJs and “Cloak” is a minimalist ballad for the mountaineers in base camp. Hollow Sea by Horsetail Jari Pitkänen Finnish artist Jari Pitkänen boasts a large back catalogue based on ambient experimentations with Roland MC-303. Of his recent navigations in stellar dust, the […]

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The best of 2016 in a mix

Tracklist Sven Grünberg – Hingus, I Osa (Мелодия / Bureau B) David Morley – Presto (De:tuned) Ioannis Savvaidis – IBM 2870 (Lower Parts) Puto Anderson – Domingo de Paz (Príncipe) Eomac – Same Heart, Same Breath, Same Life, Same Death (Bedouin Trax) Tanzania Soundsystem – Ngono Kijiji (Highlife) Reade Truth – OMM 0910 (Path Records) Population One – Detroit City At Night (Metroplex) Gut Nose – Enjoy Thy Flesh (Styles Upon Styles) Nikolajev – Live Cut (Mutant Disco) (Collect-Call) CT Trax – Toxic (Dixon Avenue Basement Jams) Brassica – Wryders (Feel My Bicep) Kareem – Meyrink (Noiztank) Mumm – Cell […]

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Techno promos: Clouds, Gravity Disturbance, Peder Mannerfelt, Squaric

          Clouds – HTID: Heaven-sent Tekno Impakting Dancefloors, or Hardcore Till I Die (Electric Deluxe EDLX053) Release date: May 2017 For me, Electric Deluxe’s output has remained unnoticed recently but the Scottish techno tandem Clouds restores my faith with a strong double pack that will be published on the same day when the label’s Warehouse Edition 2016 closing event takes place in Amsterdam. The A-side is about techno rage when Clouds are conducting a thorough body check with two hammering tracks, “Dinner At Skinja’s” being a real ‘mardröm’ of the two. The B-side comes with breakbeat hardcore and sort of post-dubstep weirdness (“Fallout”,”Floatation […]

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

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)

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)

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

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)

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)

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)

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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