28 March 2013

Demdike Stare - Testpressing#001 (Modern Love Love085 - 2013)

New full moon sessions by Demdike Stare, the act consisting of Miles Whitaker (check also his debut LP on Modern Love) and Sean Canty, whose extraordinary courage for wicked sound explorations have attributed to them a cult status. The duo's two-tracker inaugurates a new series on Modern Love's labeled as Testpressing, which kicks off with two sides full of insane electronics.
In "Collision" after an apocalyptic intro seismic bass seizes the power and throws us back to the heyday of drum'n'bass, in a heavy and noisy interpretation. On the flip "Misappropriation" is a clear winner with a captivating slow-motion percussive revelry for mingling with the crowd in Oriental bazars.
"Testpressing#001" is not a timeless achievement but still a decent addition in Modern Love's catalog. Labeled as "limited edition" by Boomkat, the actual number of copies pressed is unknown, though.

26 March 2013

Various - Solid Roots (3TH001 - 2013)

Release date is 20 April 2013
Straight outta Potsdamerstrasse in Berlin, 3TH is a new label set up by Repitch guys Ascion and D. Carbone as well by the new kid Lucindo. "Solid Roots" marks the label's first sonic raid by the four-member special squad. The EP's four tight and corrosive cuts are introduced by D. Carbone's banging "Stochastic Acid Theory" where a swarm of killer bees is being exposed to unknown substances evaporated from a secret lab.
The second track on the A-side comes from 3TH, which stands not only for the name of the label but also for an artist, whose "Devastated Machinery" is a kick drum driven brain-squeezer according to the most murky standards of acid techno. "Ancient Propaganda" by Ascion is carried by a relentless war drum and solidified by a harassing acid line resulting in a no-strings stomper for the inexhaustible of the night. "The Twenty-Ninth Act" by Lucindo features again hungry acid worms, rounding up this efficient body-shaker.

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25 March 2013

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 of machine-conceived music.
From the ultra fat side come bass-heavy cyborg stampede "The Lord Won’t Forget" and most floor-friendly "Delusory Parasitosis". However the toughest moments are spent in the company of "cX310", a Pan Sonic-reminiscent evil stepper emitting the last sighs of a discarded ocean liner undergoing the scrapping process in the Third World's coastal waters. "Out Of Any Symmetry" puts on extra weight for a slow industrial burner, finding a kindred spirit in "Spectral Nightdrive", seeking subtle harmonies amid distortion and rude bass. And it's time to close the eyes after the drone attack "Anesthesia".
Given Violetshaped's brief history the album sounds surprisingly mature and finely produced. Allegedly inspired by the Italian horror and freak movies of the '60s and '70s the cinematic touch is not prevailing and the experimental side is in the fine balance with body-shaking arrangements.
Gripped by pneumatic beat and intoxicating drones it contains elements of raw simplicity of the rave age squeezed between bass and distortion. Despite of macabre undertones and murky artwork the LP is not another morgue-smelling creation but sophisticated sound collage for the industrial age.
Shouts go out to the kind folks at The Quietus for making the LP streamable in full.

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21 March 2013

Oscar Mulero - Accelerometer Operation Principle (SEMANTICA 49 - 2013)

Experience speaks when Oscar Mulero, acclaimed protagonist of the Spanish techno and DJ since 1988  comes with his first solo EP for the hometown outlet Semantica. Having done a split release with the label head Svreca in 2009, the man from Madrid keeps the party going, starting with the cold mechanical throbbing in "Body Of Interest". Gentle bleeps in "Damper" remind of Sandwell District's fare while on the B-side "Spring" takes the EP to slower and funkier spheres and stepping "Proof Mass" gets extra weight with abstract noise particles and spaced out pads.

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20 March 2013

Headless Horseman - Headless Horseman 001 (HDL001 - 2013)

The debut of the Headless Horseman imprint is a worthy reincarnation of the 19th-century fiction hero as the dark raver. Anonymous three-tracker offers proper techno with fair amount of variations in the shadier side of the electronic music.
Decapitated Centaur leads us to the territories covered by psychedelic dust when all begins with the jangling stepper "Chatterton Hill" which is pretty close to Regis's exploits on Blackest Ever Black. Straightforward floor action is served by "Hessian" with dark kicks and crackling noise layers while bewitched sub-bass and fierce stabs in "Sleepy Hollow" remind of  Cassegrain's and Goth-Trad's handwriting. Impressive.

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07 March 2013

Leven Signs - Hemp Is Here (Digitalis Recordings DIGIV050 - 2013)

Once again I would like to meet Zakaria in Sefrou. On a Friday night when the harira stalls are open in the dusky side streets we bump into each other amid lively noise of the central market. He, with a smile short of some teeth, shows good command of English and fondly recalls the days when Jimi Hendrix was around, and not only him. Zakaria comes from the Moroccan hippie generation and knows the power of guitars and hand claps. We both might not have heard about Leven Signs but it's never too late to learn about the enticing music after the flower power and before Panda Bear and Animal Collective.
Initially released in 1985, Leven Signs's album "Hemp Is Here" is another long-lost oddity reissued by Digitalis. Back then the UK duo Peter Karkut and Maggie Turner opted for a daring blend of synth-tinged psych-folk and Oriental exotica spiced with cellos, trumpets and various breeds of percussion. The album might easily generate unexpected cultural associations, from James Ivory movies to Arabian tales.
The extraordinary world of Leven Signs opens with khat-chewing dervishes and Hare Krishna sisters riding the sand dunes in "Our Position Vanishes", which leads the thoughts to Spengler and the Decline of the Western World. "Prague Spring" is a hearty and hazy song while "Iraj" returns to Oriental paths. In "La Luna" we feel the dramatic breath of punky wave and Karl Biscuit before to be catapulted to the Middle Ages with "Sedes Sapientiae".
Another great find is "Carry The Torch" which features drum'n'bass from the times it was not even officially invented and branded. A track that tops all the previous is the organ-driven "Das Seal" - mesmerizing and bleepy cathedral ceremony and a juicy target for talents seeking exciting remix duties.
The synth-obsessed and always surprising imprint from Tulsa resumes with success its educational mission about the hidden talents of the past and today. Now just ride the sound dunes with Leven Signs.

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