MAGIC MIX

avant . leftfield . post-rock . drone

WEEK STARTING 28 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of No Time by Soft Walls.
Brighton's Dan Reeves is a busy guy. In addition to running his own label, Faux Discx Records & playing in the band Cold Pumas, he also records under the moniker "Soft Walls". These 10 songs are meditations on the passing of time itself & the pre-conceived notions (both external & internal) of what you can & should be doing with it. Filled with avant-leaning psych drones, dreamy guitar ragas, motorik head-boppers, & pop tunes that shimmer enticingly, these are songs to get lost in; to discover & re-discover. Don't worry - there's plenty of time.

Big Blood

Unlikely Mothers

    Brand new double LP from the duo of Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella, who also play in Cerberus Shoal and Fire On Fire. The duo also performed on Michael Gira's Swans LP, The Seer in 2012. Based out of Portland, Maine, Big Blood has dropped a ton of stunning self released CDs and cassettes since 2006 as well as some fantastic vinyl releases for Time-Lag, Feeding Tube, Phase and Immune.

    Big Blood's sound is rooted in folk and prime 60s / 70s garage pscyh. This new double LP sees them focus more the electric side of things than on some previous releases with the addition of drummer, Shon. The record was recorded after Colleen spent a lot of time listening to Sabbath, Zepp and Dead Moon, so it definitely has a heavier vibe than some of their past releases.

    The gatefold sleeve features artwork by Colleen, 'Unlikely Mothers' refers to Colleen's mother (pictured on the inside) and Colleen's aunt (pictured on the outside), both were nuns. Her aunt stayed a nun and colleen's mom left (obviously) during Vatican II. The two images for the sleeve are from an ongoing series about women who buck common notions of who are the mothers in our lives.

    The LP is pressed on 180 gram red transparent vinyl (250 copies) and includes a download code and insert.

    Hans Edler

    Elektron Kukéso

      After having served in the rich Swedish beat 1960's scene as a member of The Ghostriders and We 4, a.o., at the end of the decade Hans Edler became one of the pioneers of psychedelic electronic sounds experimentation in Europe. His "Elektron Kukéso" LP is a landmark in the genre. Released in 1971, it featured his explorations in electronic avant-garde music from the period 1969-1971. It was recorded at the Electronic Music Studio foundation, one of the world's most advanced studios in the era, and one of the few prepared for the creation of electronic music.

      Influenced by the works of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and using techniques similar to those of Pierre Henry or Raymond Scott, Edler brought a psychedelic edge into electronic music just like Silver Apples had done in the USA. The album has also a strong rock attitude plus a certain pop sensitivity in some passages, not far from that of David Axelrod's, which confers it a distance from what used to be the more serious appeal of what most electronic pioneers had been doing, giving the album an accessivity that is closer to the electronic hits of artists such as Gershon Kingsley, Jean-Jacques Perrey or Dick Hyman. However, be it because of the songs being sung in Swedish or the outsider reputation Edler seems to have in the Swedish musical scene, this great LP remained an obscurity - hardly spoken of outside a small circle of connoisseurs and collectors.

      "It really doesn't get much better than this. In these days of harsh turmoil to uncover a rock & roll sweetheart like Hans Edler it really proves the gods to be smiling. Bonafide electronic experimentation with a heart full of pop is a love potion most desirable. Listen to the religious Brian Wilson-meets-Jandek orayer hymns of young Edler and travel to a time when long haired girls and dope-laced boys were truly getting it "on". The hybrid fascination of electronic space composition and soul sweet pop-love in such a fresh state has me floating to my tombstone cloud." Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth).

      "Hans Edler's Elektron Kukéso reflects a man who, musically speaking, is in a world of his own. Edler's music seem to be totally uninfluenced by the music of his day. On the contrary, Edler seemed to be making up his own musical rules, and if the rest of the world didn't follow, that was probably fine with him. As for his tunes...(they)... resemble folk music, but in a strange, contorted way. I have never heard an album that is so devoid of musical influence of others, and to me, that's what makes it remarkable." Dana Countryman (Cool and Strange Music Magazine).

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Since the original LP was pretty short, seven bonus tracks not appeared on the original release have been added. These songs predate the LP tracks and are from 1969 / 1970. Remastered sound, an insert with photos and liner notes complete this great reissue of this legendary Swedish electronics LP.

      Killing Sound

      $ixxx Harmonie$ Version

      Blackest Ever Black drop something very special for the djs operating at the dancefloor extremities on this single sided wax. "Six Harmonies', the febrile opener from Killing Sound's recent EP double-pack (BLACKEST028) gets refashioned as a shapeshifting, shark-eyed junglist wrecker with maximum bassweight and asymmetrical aggression. Definitely one for the brave, this track boasts nine minutes of pure dread at 180, cut by Matt Colton at half-speed for maximum dancehall pressure. Moody as you like, darker than your worst night on Ket, this is gonna do serious damage to the nation's youth. Brilliant stuff.

      Krakatau

      Water Near A Bridge

        RIYL: Agitation Free, Cluster, Popol Vuh, Godspeed! YBE, Embryo, Magma, Bitchin’ Bajas

        Some of the oldest known rocks on earth are found in the Northwestern region of Australia dating back some 3.5 million years. Fitting, since the stirring trio of opuses that comprise Melbourne, Australian band Krakatau’s debut “Water Near A Bridge” seemingly have their origins before recorded history, emerging from the primordial ooze & lurching towards your turntable like a creature out of Lovecraftian fiction. The guitar-less trio, Krakatau utilize organ, bass & drums to communicate their message crafting dense & heady tunes sprung from the seeds of improvisation & honed to perfection in the studio.

        Side A is comprised of two compositions; “Riddells Creek” starts off the side with progressive grooves that fade into focus, slowly stretching into a shamanistic organ drone before sliding into an oily, funky strut peppered with some sweet organ leads. “All Water Near A Bridge” closes the side with a rippling synth cascading over the pusle of an interstallar heartbeat.

        “Kuriere” occupies the whole of Side B, resplendantly indulgent in it’s shapeless slithering beginnings that bubble & swell into the primitive rumblings of the rhythms of lost civilizations that thrived & crumbled into oblivion before we ever existed. A bewitching miasma of technology & nature turning in on itself, swallowing it ’s own tail.

        “Water Near A Bridge” is a vinyl-only release, pressed on 150gm black vinyl & includes a download code.


        Land Observations (aka musician and artist, James Brooks) presents ‘The Grand Tour’, the follow up to 2012’s critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Roman Roads IV-XI’. Where the debut album was concerned with the roads of communication and conquest that stretched across the former Roman Empire and Republic, the new album creates an imaginary travelogue through Western, Central and Southern Europe with reference to the historic Grand Tour.

        The album was recorded on the edge of the Bavarian Alps on just one electric 6-string guitar - exploring the potential of the instrument in relation to layers, rhythm, melody and timbre.

        The recording process utilised a selection of vintage amplifiers and studio equipment, intentionally enjoying the warmth of analogue tape for assisting to create immersive pastoral motorik.

        After an initial ‘Land Observations’ EP for Enraptured Records and a performance at Mute’s Short Circuit Festival at the Roundhouse in May 2011, Brooks “realised that I wanted to take it further and make a long-playing record” which culminated in 2012’s release, ‘Roman Roads IV-XI’, described by Mojo as “metronomic intensity” and by Q as having an “understated, fragile beauty.”

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: Includes 12" booklet.

        Third album from the unpredictable, genre defying Okkultokrati! On European tour with Converge in August. Artwork by Esra Røise (Haraball, Vogue Magazine etc). Okkultokrati once again address the public with Night Jerks, an album created to spread confusion and despair. The band reposition themselves as a foreign object: moving high and fast, impossible to catch or categorize. 

        The time towards the album release has been marred by hardship and insecurity for guitarist and songwriter Pål Bredup, who has been struggling with an aggressive muscular disease. "All the frustration and pain from the last twelve months has been documented on Night Jerks. Every beat has been an attack on the body," Bredup says.

        The illness led to him temporarily replacing his guitar with a synthesizer in both Okkultokrati and Haust. As a result, the synth is heavily represented on Night Jerks, even though Bredup by now has picked up the guitar again. Also on guitar is newcomer Milton von Krogh of Pirate Love, who has recently joined the band permanently, as well as producing the album. Von Krogh has also recorded and mixed records for both Haust and Årabrot in the past year. Milton’s guitars provide the band with a sharp and ice cold edge, and he is also the only member of "Oslo-band" Okkultokrati who is actually born in the capital.

        Night Jerks is a monotonous master piece, where chilly, modern reality gets its musical counterpoint. But the album is no soundtrack of frustration - instead, the listener is introduced to an introverted, contained and harmonious piece of music where a focused band creates their cosmos. "Moon Daggers" and the title track continue the familiar Okkultokrati sound, while "The Ladder (Punched Out)" is reminiscent of The Birthday Party at their hairiest. Synth and alternative percussion characterize both ends of the album (not least in the monumental closing track "Cosmic Wynter"), and channel Okkultokrati’s fascination for dark music's high priest, Austrian musician Zero Kama. While the previous albums were produced by Ruben Willem (No Light for Mass, 2010) and Emil Nikolaisen (Snakereigns, 2012), Night Jerks is produced by the band. Recorded at Årabrot HQ Djura Missionshus in Sweden and Tåkeheimen studio in Norway, Milton von Krogh and Pål Bredrup have maintained full control.

        The result is the ultimate Okkultokrati record, where the band’s primal punk finds its place in a captivating beat, filled with floating guitars and rumbling synth. The album is mastered by Paul Hammond, who (besides from playing in the world’s biggest Led Zeppelin tribute band) has mastered releases from Marissa Nadler and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. The cover is by Esra Røise, who is known for her work for Vogue Magazine and Okkultokrati label mates Haraball, among other things.

        It’s in the haze of a cloud of chirruping insects that Plank return, following the success of their mammal-concerning debut LP Animalism.

        Two years since that record gained plaudits and sold out vinyl run, the instrumental trio have thematically splintered the number of beings on Hivemind, paying homage to the millions of arthropods without which our global eco-system could not survive. It’s apt enough, really, because Plank themselves have opened up a whole new sub-species of sounds, elements and textures beyond their previous environment too, each track giving the feel of an overall movement through differing habitual undergrowth.

        Definitely an album designed for vinyl (it’s on 180 gram) with side A more song structures (King Crimson, Camel, Trans Am, Giorgio Moroder, Kling Klang, Agitation Free, Steve Reich) and side B should be listened to as one complete piece ala DJed by Tortoise or Echoes by Floyd.

        “instru-mentalists with maverick Krautrock vibes” - Guardian Guide.

        “James Murphy at his Kraftwerk swiping best” - The Fly.

        “akin to Chrome Hoof creating a cosmic space soundtrack to a modern day reboot of Blade Runner” - Loud & Quiet.

        “the music John Carpenter would make if he was in 65 Days Of Static” - Clash.

        “The orchestration throughout 'Hivemind' is deft and the arrangement fluid and impeccable as the band move between blissful popol vuh style ambient heaviness ,metronomic jams. Math-rock and full-tilt psyche wig-outs. Basically, it's the bees knees” - Prog Rock.



        Another solo album by the highly prolific yet always captivating Richard Youngs, whose music can waver healthily between new forms of singer-songwriter material, lo-fi drones and all manner of avant-garde forms/non-forms. On this album, Primary Concrete Attack, he utilises a borrowed spring reverb generator from his friend, Luke Fowler, to rise to the challenge Richo at FD set him of creating a dub record. Whilst not liking reggae or dub himself, Richard Youngs professes a huge passion for tape echo and spring reverb, plus loves a hearty and perhaps provocative challenge. The eight tracks that make up Primary Concrete Attack, as perhaps expected, bear little in common with a dub record and fall far closer to the idiosyncratic worlds Richard Youngs generally appears to feel happiest in. Combining electronic splurge with all manner of loops and various sound sources, this album focuses very much on their effects and how to play around with them as much as the original sounds. Like Calmont Breakdown before it, also released by Fourth Dimension Records in 2013 and now sold out, this album is not an entirely comfortable listen. In the hands of Richard Youngs, however, this is always a good thing.


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