What I love about FUSE is how they inject a direct passion into everything they do. Not least of all in the music they produce. The second part of Enzo Siragusa’s excellent album now arrives, still celebrating their tenth anniversary year, with the same drive and rich intensity as when they began. Seven tracks feature on this release with collaborations featuring various FUSE residents all contributing to the nuance and compelling diversity of influences and styles. Opening with See You In Ten which has Rich NXT join forces to deliver typically feverish rhythms, while also co-producing the likewise delicious Enriched. Contributions also appear from Rossko on the fiery Dreamers, Archie Hamilton most notably on the deeper Aviva, and from Seb Zito on the chunky House grooves of What’s Going On and the lush atmospheres of What’s Happening which completes.
Ben Kaczor’s Typ feels like you are exploring new locations. Finding fresh, innovative ways of seeing and listening to sounds that perhaps wouldn’t readily fill your view of the world. This collaborative project sees the artist amalgamate thought processes alongside the Grafik work of Nycoel Jung, as well as Nina Kummer’s poetry, all of which can be found in the accompanying booklet to the release The Zine. Originally the music was developed around the design and text but very much has a life of its own, punctuating and rippling with tense atmospheres filling an endless void of the unknown. The grainy tension of Pressure Search is poignant, soul searching while the lighter moods created by Fog Meadow almost seems like light relief. Either way all of the pieces are perfectly realised while succeeding in probing at the sorts of questions not so easily answered without the use of language. Cast across the field of stereo the eloquent textures tear at the edges yet fill the imagination with a darker taste of bliss. Fuel for the fire…
If you enjoy the rush of breathy, emotive ambience then this new production from Basti Grub will wash over you in many pleasurable ways. The title track ignites a series of smouldering beats and low-end theory as combinations of voice develop their own sense of melody with tastefully warm keys underpinning it all. Serving a delicious intensity is what’s best achieved here as moods alter and the music lifts and falls. Psalm, follows with a shimmering take on jazz-funk twisted through the mangle of electronica and arrives with remixes from the excellent James Teej adding the pulse of Techno, as well as from HearThug & Silent Revolt who sequence a grainy, percussive flavour into the arrangement.
Joe Meek was a troubled genius who helped define the use of electronics in popular music. Not the most avant-garde as the likes of John Cage, Henri Pousseur, Luciano Berio and György Ligeti ripped up the music sheet of conventional thinking in ways beyond what anyone else at the time was doing, but none the less a self-defining, pioneering producer in his own right. What’s particularly brilliant about this three CD collection is that it files in context the contrasting styles and techniques of all those musical creators alongside England’s own Daphne Oram and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, plus the many other schools of thought dotted throughout Europe such as Radiotelevisione in Milan and musique concrète in Paris. Their experiments in electronic sound and magnetic tape alongside a radical new use of musical construction offers a rare glimpse into the unknown, yet feels strangely re-assuring like the return of a long lost friend who disappeared somewhere in the analogue of grainy, black and white television. And remember this was all happening in and around the turn of 1960 proposing radical, revolutionary theories only unfettered sound could denote.
But back to Joe Meek whose unreleased concept album: I Hear A New World from that year provides an insight into the opening world of possibilities as you will hear music washed and reverb and echo redefining what Pop could be. Not surprisingly it is a strange, otherworldly exploration which uses atmospheres as much as does treated melodies alongside an illuminating twist on the twang of Rock n Roll. Also included is the celebrated RPM restoration version from 1991 as well as an invaluable booklet detailing more about his life. And, on the story of the development and those involved in electronic music from that period now lost to time. Although not if you listen closely…
Pétra are in reality Brian Allen Simon (aka Anenon) and Chantal Chadwick. They create unfolding landscapes of sound which brush over you in shimmering, grainy waves. Hydra is a case in point, while lighter relief is gained via the chiming ambience that infuses Landes. Often the music has an uneasy tension which sets it apart from the background of chilled noise which might be labelled as ambient. It is of course atmospheric to the point of being occasionally haunting and all of the compositions have a deeper quality which may, or may not, suggest something else entirely. Primarily recorded in Nisyros, Greece and the name itself Pétra means stone, rock. I didn’t know this already. We all do now. Minor details perhaps when you absorb the full scale of emotion generated by listening to the whole idea. Meanwhile, try Tavel with its undulating, beat-less rhythms and probing cinematic depth combining real instrumentation against synthesized imagination, which seeks out something in your soul. Indeed, do try it all.
Beginning Steve Bug’s brand new imprint Sublease is this from Kellie Allen who injects a robust and warmly emotive series of sounds into this exciting initial release. La Vie En Rose is the punchier of the two productions with fizzy drums igniting a creative arrangement of notes, stabs and voices which all combine into an invigorating workout of the senses. Meanwhile, Heartbreak feels that bit deeper, loser even allowing time for space and imagination to be devolved care of the series of warm keys alongside tougher pulses, while engaging a definite funkiness that is nothing short of compulsive.
I’m second guessing that you won’t want this to stop. Alex Tea and Noha’s addictive transmission of uber funkiness grabs and shakes you down in all directions, simmering with a defiant grooviness while firing edgy rhythms straight at you. The excellent title track does all that, plus chimes with musicality, yet remains tough and heavy-duty. Then you may spot the sample from way back when as We come in Peace plays fast and lose with it all, leaving the energetic punch of Amico Mio to fizz with creative juice, compelling a warped sense of wonder into just under six minutes of brilliant, warped intensity.
Sometimes music grabs you in sophisticated, unblemished ways because it is almost perfect. Fink’s remix of the track, originally released back in January, breathes fresh life into the existing emotive whispers alongside a gentle yet uneasy shuffle of drums and poignant bass, plucked guitar plus mood enhancing electric keys. Creating atmospheres in the process of delicious intensity which you can just picture accompanying a scene in your imagination, Bloom plays like time defying music resonate for any age. Remixes from Floyd and Ostgut Ton’s Steffi set to follow.
The second instalment in this series of newly remastered albums by Crass covers the period from 1981 through the bands final curtain call in 1984, by way of the last album to bear the name Crass in 86. Penis Envy says a whole lot more than the title suggests over blistering guitars, thumping drums and twanging basslines, and yet has an open musicality to it that set them far apart from their supposed contemporaries of the Punk era. Featuring the vocals of Eve Libertine and Joy De Vivre its message speaks for itself, remaining entirely relevant to today. And what is also revealed is the sonic depth which is teased out by the freeform exploration of sounds employed by the group on tracks like What The Fuck? Their fourth album Christ, The Album is an amalgamation of live recordings, new music and experimental fragments, again fuelling the progression of music even adding horns and strings along with just about thing else into the mix. Opening the box containing the vinyl, artwork and accompanying booklet of words and thoughts feels like your tampering with a long lost historical manuscript – which in ways you are – and that moment in itself is worth the price of nostalgic admission alone. Next is Yes Sir, I Will released in 1983 it combined the anger of previous years alongside the uncharacteristically quiet melodies of Anarchy’s Just Another Word and was originally realised as one continuous piece of sound, albeit a tense, unsettling rendition hitting you full force. In ways proving to be their most uncomfortable, hard-hitting work. By contrast is the final title, Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day which was released in 1986 and again transformed expectations of how the band will sound with another assault on the senses via words and music, although this time with a looser, more improvised feel. No one else sounding quite like them. A bygone era? You can listen again now.
Two startling productions adorn this breath-taking new release from MYR’s Goeran Meyer. Beginning with the otherworldly Blue Glasses which teasingly exists in a world of its own definition amid the pulsating sense of occasion it so readily exposes. Haunted by swirls of uneasy pads, punctuated via unfussy drums, but all the while compacted by an intensely rich amalgamation of sights and sounds to escape into, the number reveals more of itself with each play. The equally compelling Light Glasses returns the compliment as strange illuminating melodies cross the spectrum, accompanied by an urgency pointing you in unexpected directions. If you’re looking out for exciting, invigorating music that kicks against clique then you’ve landed in the correct location.