Operating under the alias of Rework Daniel Varga, Michael Kuebler and Elmar Mellert join forces to deliver this late night tale of intrigue as Anything’s commanding low-tempo shuffle ignites their airwaves in a flurry of hot keys, swirls plus smouldering, breathy vocals. The brisker bounce of Cracked Edit follows fuelled by fabulously syncopated basslines alongside classic drum machines, leaving the beautiful sway of Always Done to complete via shimmering, gated notes amid deep low-end all coming complete with an uplifting sting.
Laurel Halo has made twelve pieces of music to accompany the 2018 film Possessed, which was produced by the artist collective Metahaven and Rob Schröder. Created and crafted by Laurel Halo along with violinist, Galya Bisengalieva and cellist, Oliver Coates who play beautifully evocative accompaniment. The sounds are enough in themselves to guess at what the film is saying to you about privacy, technology and the invasive recordings of our daily actions at play, and equally as part of the act of new capitalism. Consequently you will experience the brutal, grainy strains of the drone fuelled Lead, while the piano coloured Hyphae offers up a contrasting divergence of emotion. That instrument also provides the interlude of Stabat Mater (Excerpt) in quietly exhilarating ways too, as on other moments, leaving the breathy ambience of Masks to suggest an altogether different circumstance to absorb. At many times this is a strange but always compelling listen that may leave you feeling certain about the uncertainty in modern life. Or perhaps not?
Release: April 10
A beautifully realised collection music that sees worlds collude in the interplay between sound, revolution and flying colours. Sometime in the 1960’s artists such as The Beatles took note of what was happening in the counter-cultural stream of consciousness populated by the Avant Garde. They, of course, had been tinkering at the edges of what music could be for some time but the influence provided helped shape the next generation of popular albums by expanding what the simple structure of song could be evolving from the basic refrain of I love You, plus by taking the accompanying scale of rock n roll chords to new heights.
Quite naturally Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage are ever present, as is Bernard Herrmann whose score for Hitchcock’s Pyscho remains a keynote moment in cinematic history, alongside the unmistakable Ravi Shankar and Jacques Brel. Jazz giants Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and the Bill Evans Trio, who neatly supply Autumn Leaves, also appear as do a wealth of classical composers from the wonderful Claude Debussy through to Bach. But in many ways it’s the sheer thrill of hearing pieces like Luciano Berio’s Thema (Omaggio A Joyce) with its rugged deconstruction of sound and voice that proves to be the most exciting, certainly dangerous, in ways Rhythm and Blues never was. Followed by Cage’s brutal Williams Mix which sees the clash of quarter-inch magnetic tapes create their own universe this is just about as provocative as it gets. Three CD’s span the concept, each delving into different arenas, each worth their weight in gold. From radical fire to the more traditional, there is quite literally something for everyone to treasure here.
Release: February 21
It’s almost all in the way the bassline grooves and moves you in inevitable ways when something smoulders as much as this does. Driven by punchy drums the unfolding sensation of drama soon gathers pace with the addition of grainy synthesisers capturing the ever evolving sense of adventure. Apart from occasional vocal touches it’s pretty much all down to the addictive rhythms, and they are certainly irresistible. Francesca Lombardo then adds sparkle into the remix with punctuating keys bouncing off Acid attitude and effervescent melodies.
Release: November 22
One of the most sublime things about music as an art-form is the way it morphs and transforms itself of its own volition. The mind of the artist is the driving force in all this proceeding to challenge in creative ways, while transporting sound into the future. Squire AKA ex-Formula 1 driver Jaime Alguersuari translates those sorts of ideas into Common Sense, which not only feels resonantly tantalising but also tastefully sublime, coming soulfully charged via Graham Baxter’s breathy vocal adding the human touch. Peacock Ritual, then dances around a series of electrical pulses, sensing danger, over and across an array of punctuating beats to complete this excellent release.
Following Jing’s debut album for Steve Bicknell’s imprint from earlier this year the artist proceeds with due diligence and this set of five pieces constructed as Diffraction. Beginning with the exploratory: brighter the light, darker the shade which sets brisk electronic tones alight amid fevered thoughts. “β α θ δ” then treads darker paths highlighting unnerving sculpted landscapes, much like videodrome does next, though this time with treated voices colouring the way – both of which prove to be a deeply involving listen. Drum machines introduce themselves on Malentonion amid repeating, pulses of atmosphere, leaving Constant Human Game to further tease out those rhythmic structures with something more akin to Techno.
Release: November 23
Funny to think that After Dark originates from 1995. I could have been made today. Rekids offshoot R-Time Records continues to deliver its neat line in re-issues with the aforementioned punching out shuffling Electro rhythms amid a series of grainy, pulsating kicks and sizzling hi-hats. All offset by the poignant rush of emotive pads which perhaps give the timeframe away but are none the less just as resolutely effective. The more strident Into Space follows with provocative Pierre influenced Acid grooves which come complete with splashing snares and the knowledge of time. The Loft completes with classic Detroit/ Chicago sounds all feeling emotionally charged and notably resonate in 2018.
Release: September 7
An exhilarating and creative piece of music form the mind of Doubting Thomas sees the opening Tandem produce an unsettling sense of self. Coupled with haunting instrumental blows amid fidgety sounds effects and an almost eerie, tense probing arrangement it’s a startling, rewarding listen. Good Words continues the introspection albeit this time with more prominent, probing drums accompaying the warmer ambience, leaving an excellent, tougher interpretation of Tandem by Alexkid to hang in the air.
Release: July 6
If you like basslines. And let’s face it who doesn’t. Then the one delivered on Spence-Chicago’s dangerously hot remix of I Came To Jack is to be savoured. It’s a cross between infectious Acid and the inappropriately Heavy-Duty cumulating in an excellent remix that stretches out the safety valves of funk to extremity. Big, brash, loud and full of attitude this packs more sonic punch than most with its fusion of stabbing keys and dangerously, tempting percussion. Next is Project 268 who ease down the intensity to reveal deeper shades provoked by cool bass and stereo resonating vocal treatments.
Release: March 13
Music has that innate ability to transport you somewhere else. In one place and time that’s back to the 1990’s at some random point in the evening with music just like this pounding away. Perhaps it is the fact that Remember is musical, featuring an actual song that provokes that sense of past times. Maybe it’s just that it is a good record. Either way the playful bass and punchy drums do all the work as brilliant, occasional keys add that extra something on the original version. The remix comes from Javi Bora & IAAM who add a more brutal kick to their arrangement, while the essence remains intact care of the vocals touches providing a more open Dub feel. Eggshells In The Ghetto, then simmers with Acid tension as the vocal once again adds spice to the sequence amid fiery snares and deep intention. Fine times.
Release: March 23