Friday, December 11, 2009

14th December 2009 Releases

A. City Hopper
AA. Output 1-2
Tectonic 12"
(TEC 036)

'It's been an incredible year for the 20 year old Bristolian, responsible for igniting a worldwide passion in what's become known as the 'Purple Wow' mutation of dubstep. If you've yet to hear Joker's unique take on things - his melodic synth-funk lines, grimey basslines and all round sense of fun-injected-back-into-music... Then get out from under your stone and check it out!

With releases on his own Kapsize imprint earlier this year - tracks like 'Do It' and 'Purple City' (w/ Ginz), Joker has sent shock waves from the underground that has rippled from Skream or Kode 9's record box to the likes of Scratch Perverts, Zane Lowe - to major label record companies even, hounding for Joker remixes... Just over the last 6 months he's handed in killer remixes for Simian Mobile Disco, Basement Jaxx, Sean Paul and many more - he's taken Sonar by storm single handedly and is now booked up with gigs every weekend until 2017. Well maybe not quite on the last bit, but it fits with the momentum building here.

In an inspired follow up to 'Untitled_rsn' released by Tectonic earlier this year as part three of the Tectonic Plates Volume 2 vinyl series (backed with Flying Lotus's 'Glendale Galleria'), Tectonic is very proud to welcome his return to the label, rounding off a heavy year of releases in fine style with 2 excellent cuts. 'City Hopper' once again shows us Joker's unequalled ability to make party flavoured melodies that keep well away from the Stinking Bishop territory of some of his jump-up peers. It'll make you want to dance but you won't feel guilty the morning after. Match his luminous, catchy melodies with bass weight grimey b-lines and his Timbaland quality crunked production skills - you really have here, a heavy piece of kit to smash up any dancefloor. Flip too for 'Output 1-2' - a personal favourite with label boss Pinch as Joker goes for a more stripped down affair that steams ahead with mangled synth production lines that will bend your brain to snapping point!'

The Deft EP :
a1: Delay Offset
a2: Wallflower
b1: Jewel In The Crown
Meanwhile 12"
(MEAN 016)

'The culmination of a stellar year for Miles Whittaker. Now a happy father and central catalytic figure in a pivotal crew out of frontline Burnley, Lancashire. Beginning the year with a long awaited Pendle Coven debut album in collaboration with Gary Howell, continuing still at album level on Demdike Stare's 'Symbiosis' in congress with local disco don DJ and all round record hound Sean Canty. Miles has been shredding music this year - check last month's smouldering remix for Kevin Gorman on Mikrowave, 'One Cycle' for Modern Love + various Hate and Daphne twelves - more besides we don't even suspect yet - ferocious live and DJ sets across many different styles - all somehow still indisputably Miles.

For this artist debut on Meanwhile Pendle Coven Breakers have made a three tracker shaking off any opaque guises - revelling in a deep intimacy with the music of early Prescription or original Harmony Park vibrations. Long term mutual admiration and artistic relations with pioneers such as Anthony Shake Shakir, Mike Huckaby, David Moufang / Move D and contemporaries DJ Woody, Andy Stott, Claro Intelecto have all bounced off and resonated with this guy's boundless invention and spirit of generosity. PCB we salute you - respect always.'

Thursday, December 10, 2009

7th December 2009 Releases

Get Up :
A1. Original Vocal Mix
A2. Guido Mix
AA1. RSD Mix

Tectonic 12"
(TEC 035)

Blank Grey Canvas Sky
Fang Bomb CD
(FB 012)

Blank Grey Canvas Sky
Limited White Vinyl LP
(FB 012LP)

'This beautiful collaboration features two of the most prolific talents from the current experimental scene, both with reputations of leviathan proportions. For this release, Machinefabriek, based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and Peter Broderick, based in Berlin, Germany (although constantly on the road) set out to push each others limits, and to explore new areas within their own creativity.
'The resulting album is a delicately crafted one, with Machinefabriek and Broderick virtuosically combining instrumental compositions, drone, and heartfelt soundscapes with song structures and vocals. Or as Peter Broderick himself put it: "We tried a lot of different things on this album, pushing ourselves to explore new areas... And for me the result is the collection of music I feel most proud of so far."'

Laidbook 02: Transit
Origami CD/10x Art Cards
(OPCA 1003)

Sketches For Another Christmas Songbook
Gusstaff CD
(GRAM 0907)

'Old Time Radio is a polish band, formed in Gdansk in 2001, their line-up is Tomasz Garstkowiak (vocals, guitars), Magda Szkudlarek (vocals, synthesizers) and Piotr Salewski (bass guitar). Combining lo-fi songwriting with discrete electronica Old Time Radio released their critically acclaimed debut album in 2004 on Sissy Records (an independent division of BMG Poland). Follow-ups came in the shape of "Downtown" on Kafe Delfin in 2006 which contained a number of electro-pop tunes with the sounds of analogue synthesisers and drum machines and "Just Because We Were Wrong" on Gusstaff Records in 2008 - a set of beautifully crafted songs with a touch of folk, avant-pop and bossa nova. The latest "Sketches For Another Christmas Songbook" is a collection of eleven Christmas songs written by the band. It's their most intimate and quiet record so far. Based on the sounds of acoustic guitars and piano, full of vocal harmonies and catchy tunes. Sometimes sentimental and melancholic, sometimes humorous and ironic "Sketches…" sounds unlike any other Christmas album, but ultimately it's more filled with Christmas spirit than the whole wall of holiday hits. The single "Christmas With You" features guest vocals from a singer-songwriter Julia Marcell.'

Fang Bomb CD (FB 013CD)

'Partially inspired by the writings of the theorist Jeremy Bentham and the concept of globalization, and assisted by Werner Dafeldecker, Ekkehard Ehlers, Keith Rowe, Andrea Belfi and a list of other fine collaborators, Paul Baran has created "Panoptic" - an attempt to soundtrack the lives of creative people affected by such concepts as underclass, surveillance and the dangers of mass consensus. Baran intends "Panoptic" to be a collection of electro-acoustic atmospheres that underscore these concepts, without resorting to blind polemic. And as for the sound of it all - think electro-acoustic, minimalist, idea based, experimental fusion, conceptual improvisation with contemporary song structures.

'Born in 1975, Paul Baran is a composer, electro-acoustic sound designer and improviser based in Glasgow, Scotland. Baran will undertake an artistic residency at the prestigeous STEIM facility in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 2009.'

It's Up To Us To Live
Sirr CD
(SIRR 0032)

'It's Up To Us To Live has seen a prolonged birth. It's commencement in 2004 began around the same moments as the final touches were being put to the album Happiness Will Befall (issued originally by Cronica). In some ways these two records pair one another - they form a spiraling coil of echo location and feedback. Whereas 'Happiness...' might be considered a lush and evocatively melodic affair, It's Up To Us To Live is profoundly more dense and compressed, only offering the occasionally moment to surface for air. Much of this LPs sound textures emanate from distant calls of guitar, sharply cracked electronics, alien field recordings and a variety of other less identifiable sources. The cover art by renowned Australian photographer Marian Drew, from her 'Still Lives' series is a telling indication of exactly where this album draws breath. Following time spent in Tasmania and other locations within Australia where human habitation often breeds a bleak graveyard for native inhabitants along many highways (and also via increasingly intrusive housing projects), as well as the concerning demise of the Baiji (amongst so many others), It's Up To Us To Live is a distorted sonic distress beacon. It suggests a possible mapping of the increasingly cluttered sound spaces that find themselves associated with human habitation and expansion.'

Cronica CD

30th November 2009 Releases

A: Convultions
B: Let Me Drive Now

7EVEN 12"
(7EVEN 011)

'Second release on the bounce by HELIXIR on 7even Recordings after his last digital dubby experience ‘XP Dub / Peace Dub’ in June! Recognized as one of the most versatile of the new breed of French electronic music producers, the man from Strasbourg is back this time with two bass-heavy productions in his own percussive style. ‘CONVULTIONS’ is a real dancefloor weapon, the robotic riddim subtly brings a deep sub-bass becoming more and more insistent, the beats never stop evolving along the journey, the breaks hit your senses, pure badness from this ultra precise producer! ‘LET ME DRIVE NOW’ brings you to a beautifully produced track through magical percussion, galactic synths and smoky atmospheres, somewhat akin to 2562's latest directions . A beautiful piece of music, tightly produced by HELIXIR, who shows again his mastery of the studio and modern bass music.'

All The Pleasures Of The World
Chapter Music CD
(CH 066)

'This is the long-awaited second album by Melbourne's minor-key pop magicians, The Crayon Fields. In 2006, their airy, chiming debut Animal Bells (CH 056CD) was one of the year's most acclaimed releases, earning a 7.8 review on Pitchfork and voted #2 in Australia's Mess+Noise end-of-year critics poll (#4 in the general readers poll). They released a sneak preview of the new album in the form of a limited edition vinyl single, featuring the majestic pop ballad "Mirror Ball," which sold out immediately. "All The Pleasures Of The World" was also released as a single, earning another Pitchfork rave and "Single Of The Week" in magazines around Australia. The album is delirious, UK rainy-day melancholy psychedelic indie, with some Blue Oyster Cult, Stone Roses, Belle and Sebastian and Zombies thrown in for good measure, with its loping bass lines, swooning strings and eerie, hypnotic harmonies. Basic tracks were recorded at Head Gap studios in Melbourne with Neil Thomason (The Slits, My Disco, Ned Collette), and the album was then finished at home. Mixing and mastering was done with Lachlan Carrick (The Necks, Gotye, Architecture In Helsinki) at Moose Mastering. The album is a beyond-stunning development on Animal Bells, both poised and precocious. There's a newfound confidence and lyrical openness from vocalist Geoff O'Connor, and some of the most luscious backing ever heard on an Australian pop record from bassist Brett Hudson, guitarist Chris Hung and drummer Neil Erenstrom. Strings come courtesy of rising pop star Jessica Venables, aka Jessica Says, on cello, and her brother Nick on viola and violin. Crayon Fields have toured basically everywhere and have become a favored support band of choice in Australia, playing with the likes of Cornelius, Stereolab, Built To Spill, New Pornographers, Deerhoof, Mount Eerie, Electrelane, Unicorns and many more.'

Summer Dawn CD
(SD 001CD)

"There was a project out of Melbourne called the RAah Project. They gave me a CD, I checked it out on the way home, I couldn't believe how good it was - it was definitely up there and beyond. It was a bit of Matthew Herbert, a little bit of Sa-Ra Creative Partners, but with its own melodic Australian vibe going on" (Gilles Peterson, The Independent)

"It's the best sounding recording I have heard this year. Everything about it screams quality" (Rob, Faze Action)

"A brilliant LP that will definitely be in my top five at the end of the year" (Kevin Beadle, Solar Radio)

'Spawned from an idea by Ryan Ritchie and Tamil Rogeon of True Live, The RAah Project stands out immediately as the most credible alternative to the European sound of Cinematic Orchestra , Matthew Herbert's Big Band or the eccentric dub of Fat Freddy's Drop. RAah take a whole new shot at the established ideas of electronic hip hop, pop, contemporary, dance and soul music. It is an original contemporary music project embracing both traditional and new principles of jazz improvisation and arrangement, 20th century composition, song, verse and flow.

'Ritchie and Rogeon share a love of diverse musical formats and gain equal enjoyment. From pounding modern electronic beats and traditional orchestral music, the two work and tour as part of the critically acclaimed ensemble, True Live, as well as on various individual projects as producers, arrangers and performers. 'Score' was created with a 17 piece string section, a full big band - the Australian Show Band - and a selection of jazz/funk players from Melbourne's multi-faceted vibrant music scenes. The thirteen tracks combine big band vocals and orchestration, soaring cinematic string arrangements, hip hop beats, soul motifs and simple yet entirely catching pop melodies with surprising and absorbing results.'

Apsara CD
(APSARA 001)

"Vision is a fascinating and hypnotically satisfying album which demands repeated plays" (All About Jazz)

"There's a freshness, a spaciousness to this band and Freed's essentially lyrical writing, that is very attractive" (Jazzwise)

"Offering something easily understandable to the untrained ear, while never diluting the genuine love of jazz at the music's heart" (Chris Long, BBC)

"A record of endless fascination and immediate accessibility" (Al Brownlee, M.E.N.)

"Freed's phrasing and melodies are at times just achingly beautiful. This is a truly accomplished musician but his skills as a composer are really exceptional" (The Sound of Now)

'Fresh as you like, Manchester jazz sextet The Moss Project explore the more contemporary end of progressive jazz rock, with fiery electric guitar and saxophone led improvisation and compositions. The Moss Project play contemporary jazz but not quite like any jazz you might have heard before. The sextet's debut album 'Vision', is an intense and emotional musical experience. 'Vision' will appeal to listeners from all backgrounds, from diehard jazz fans through to those who have perhaps never even seen or experienced live jazz before.

The music on 'Vision' is testament to bandleader Moss Freed's inspirational and eclectic range of influences. Within the space of a single tune, it's as likely to combine heavy grooves and folk melodies, with group improvisation, classical arrangements and complex counterpoint. The end result is as much The Bad Plus as Stravinsky, in equal measures Pat Metheny, Massive Attack, Bach or Radiohead, all moulded into the Sextet's personal and highly singular version of progressive jazz. Alongside the compositions, the beauty of the group lies in the ability of its musicians to blend their individual styles into a single cohesive entity throughout large sections of free playing, whilst still retaining a precious core of approachability.

After studying composition and performance at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, under Jon Damian - the teacher of Bill Frisell, Moss formed the group to provide a platform for new, progressive and exciting music. Based in Manchester, the sextet features some of the city's top players, each bringing their own distinctive flavour and backgrounds into the mix. With a line-up of guitar, violin, saxophones, drums, bass and keyboards, the Moss Project proves to be essential listening for anyone into innovative new jazz. The Moss Project have already completed a series of very successful dates in Germany and the UK.'