synth-pop . alt-R&B . cold wave . industrial

WEEK STARTING 17 Sep

Genre pick of the week Cover of Solar Musli by Niklas Wandt.

Niklas Wandt

Solar Musli

    The most massive of ups goes to Daniel and Gunther at Bureau B for some sterling A&R here, locking the world's daftest drum savant, Niklas Wandt into his first solo LP. This percussive polymath keeps his diary fairly full with production, radio shows, DJing and a shitload of collaborative pursuits, whether with Joshua Gottmanns in N-NDW funksters Neuzeitliche Bodenbeläge, Dusseldorf gee Wolf Müller, Sascha Funke or ambient heart-throb Cass.

    For 'Solar Müsli' though, Niklas takes centre stage with a debut solo LP informed by kosmische, jazz, Afrobeat and ambient, but placed in a universe of its own. This is not formalism at work, but an exhilarating, freely flowing album which started out as an exercise in improvised percussion and developed into a multidimensional journey, at times both introverted and ebullient. Stitched through with snippets of spoken word by some of his nearest and dearest, this wildly psychedelic listen is a journey through the nebulous realm of electronic jazz, both emotive and escapist.


    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Der Glaeserne Tag
    A2. Durch Den Spalt
    A3. Lo Spettro
    A4. Wo Es War
    B1. Kusnacht
    B2. Solar Musli
    B3. Am Rande

    ACR

    ACR - EP:A/C/R - Signed Bundle

      ALL COPIES SIGNED BY THE BAND.

      EPA
      is dedicated to Denise Johnson and features the band’s final recordings with Denise, where they used up their final days recording time with a day jamming in the studio with no fixed agenda, the result is something very special.

      EPC is dedicated to Andrew Weatherall. All four tracks on ACR:EPC are collaborations. Emperor Machine is a collaboration with Andy Meecham, also known as Emperor Machine, YOYOGRIP is a collaboration with Maria Uzor from Sink Ya Teeth and Jacknife Lee and Music Control is a collaboration with Chris Massey who remixed Dirty Boy in 2019. The track Guv’nor is inspired by longtime ACR friend Andrew Weatherall and is a collaboration in spirit.

      EPR is the last of a trilogy. Recorded with the internal brief of anything goes, ACR complete their trilogy of Eps with these four tracks, the mesmerising $ouls In The City is made up of Part 2 and Part 1, in that order, followed by the insanely catchy Night People, Big Boy Pants which was named after Joe Biden when he won the US election as it was mixed on the same day and the final track Downtime Vibes, which is a hypnotic piece of repetitive rhythms built up around a set of chimes that Jez found in the back of his car.

      TRACK LISTING

      EPA
      Wonderland (Jam 6)
      Keep It Together (Jam 5)
      Down And Dirty (Jam 2)
      Feel No Fear (Jam 1)

      EPC
      Emperor Machine (ACR Vs The Emperor Machine)
      The Guv’nor
      YOYOGRIP (Long) Featuring Maria Uzor And Jacknife Lee
      Musik Kontrol (ACR Vs Massey)

      EPR

      $ouls In The City Part 2 & 1
      Night People
      Big Boy Pants
      Downtime Vibes

      Formed in 2012, Asa Moto purvey non-standard body music from their Ghent outpost, Studio Martino. Closely affiliated with famed Soulwax imprint, DEEWEE, the Belgian duo’s recorded offerings carefully juxtapose expert synth-work with aesthetic imperfection. Charming melodies and throbbing rhythms come courtesy of archaic tone generators and acoustic instrumentation alike, landing Asa Moto in a zone of confident sonic idiosyncrasy. Their studio prowess has hardly gone unnoticed and during their breakout year of 2018, Resident Advisor, Redbull and the BBC were quick to take note of the group’s steady ascent. Via their ever-changing live performances, Asa Moto have become regular fixtures on the European touring circuit, touching down for club nights and festival appearances across the continent. As astute selectors, they operate a bi-monthly radio show in Brussels, digging into their sprawling collection, ranging from obscure jazz records to contemporary electronic cuts. Asa Moto have re-adapted their unmistakable strain of body music into a live show, which premiered on the Mainstage of the Lokerse Feesten 2019 and at the 40th anniversary of Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. In 2020, they co-produced and mixed the Turkish band, Altin Gün album ‘Yol’ marking the first time that the band has collaborated with outsiders.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Connexion À Liège
      A2. Cacao
      B1. Missing Teeth
      B2. Veleda
      B3. In My Body

      Everything But The Girl

      Eden - Half Speed Remastered Edition

        Everything But The Girl's best-selling debut album, 'Eden' is the latest re-release from the duo to benefit from half-speed remastering at Abbey Road Studios by Miles Showell, and a fresh 180gm vinyl pressing.

        Originally released in May 1984, the album spent almost six months on the official UK album chart peaking at number 14 and spawned the UK Top 40 hit, Each and Every One. The label wanted further singles but the duo preferred the album to grow by word of mouth. 'Eden' achieved gold album status in the UK and has gone on to sell more than 500,000 copies worldwide.

        Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn met at the University of Hull in 1981; they formed Everything But The Girl initially as a side-project, as both had already established themselves on the UK independent music scene as teenagers - Tracey with her lo-fi minimal girl group, Marine Girls (later name-checked as one of Kurt Cobain's favourite bands); Ben as a young guitarist and singer-songwriter, collaborating with alt-folk icon Robert Wyatt on his debut EP.

        In the summer of 1983 the pair - having each gone on to to release debut solo albums - decided to pool their new songs for 'Eden'. It was recorded with producer Robin Millar (chosen for his work with Weekend and The Pale Fountains) at his Power Plant Studios in Willesden, North West London.

        "All the songs were written on guitar in Hull in early 1983. We were living in one room with a shared kitchen on Pearson Park," recalls Tracey. "Power Plant seemed very glamorous by comparison. Sade was recording downstairs. We were upstairs."

        The sessions featured a band handpicked by Ben and Tracey: Working Week's Simon Booth on second guitar, This Heat’s Charles Hayward on drums, and South American musicians Chucho Merchan (double bass) and Bosco D’Oliveira (percussion) plus a clutch of top horn players from the English jazz scene. The line-up was part friends from London, part musicians Ben admired from trips to the Bull's Head jazz room with his dad when growing up, in particular Peter King (alto sax).

        "We were intent on being non-rock," says Ben. "No clichés. No snare drums, no solid body electric guitars or electric bass. We wanted soft horns, Gretsch guitars, no fuss, a lightness of touch. We were into pop, latin, torch songs, sharp lyrics."

        The album was released on the newly-formed imprint Blanco Y Negro (co-run by Mike Alway and Rough Trade's Geoff Travis) through Warner, and signalled Everything But The Girl’s move from an independent - Cherry Red - to a major label.

        The artwork by Marine Girls band member Jane Fox was delivered as a three-dimensional collage of hand-drawn art and torn paper. Warner (who were marketing and distributing the record) didn’t really know what to do with it. The original version didn’t even have the name of the band on it. In the end it was photographed and printed on ‘reverse-board stock’ - unusual for a major release at the time.

        TRACK LISTING

        Each And Every One
        Bittersweet
        Tender Blue
        Another Bridge
        The Spice Of Life
        The Dustbowl
        Crabwalk
        Even So
        Frost And Fire
        Fascination
        I Must Confess
        Soft Touch

        Visionary artist John Glacier combines punk and grime informed poetry with futuristic, glacial electronics and warped, poppy hooks. It's a singular and unique sound which although the sole owner of its author, would find company and sympathy with acts such as GFOTY, Hype Williams and AJ Cook as much as it could be found next to a Lil Simz, DISCHI or Tyler The Creator track on a mixtape. Her slack but inspired rhyming shuns old tradition, hanging loose with benzo-rap, Princess Nokia and Blackhaine like they're all just friends on the school bus.

        Produced with fellow London-born, LA-based producer Vegyn, it treads the radioactive, post-hip-hop badlands where genres, identity and culture blur and interact.

        John has confessed that the album's content is incredibly personal and poignant, opening up her heart and soul to the listener whilst keeping up a streetwise, asphalt-hardened front, the product of a world and society in which weaknesses can be exploited by the greedy and malevolent.

        It's striking, instantly arresting and rather quite special. An intimate and seductive journey that you'll want to play from start to finish every time. 


        TRACK LISTING

        1. If Anything
        2. Icing
        3. Cryptomnesia
        4. Trelawny Waters
        5. Timing
        6. Senseless
        7. Boozy
        8. Platoon
        9. Green Elephants Freestyle
        10. Some Other Thing
        11. On Formulation
        12. No More Left Like It’s Death

        "No Sun" is the fifth studio album by singer, songwriter, producer and scholar Ramona Gonzalez PKA Nite Jewel.

        After the critical acclaim of Real High (2017), Gonzalez began her PhD in Musicology at UCLA in 2018. At the same time, her twelve year marriage and creative partnership with Grammy Award-winning producer Cole M.G.N. dissolved, leaving her homeless and adrift. Though in a state of grief, her studies renewed her focus.

        Working with only a Moog sequencer and keyboard, Gonzalez improvised along to rhythmic grooves while singing in hushed undertones, which she then meticulously produced into a collection of intimate off-pop masterpieces. "No Sun" manifests a future out of songs of sorrow, as a part of Gonzalez’s quest to reclaim her subjectivity.

        Occupying a liminal space between Arthur Russell’s whispered intimacies, Tirzah’s R&B poeticism, and Kraftwerk’s rigid electronics, "No Sun" traverses new soundscapes through the eyes of an uncompromising female auteur.

        TRACK LISTING

        Anymore
        Before I Go
        Show Me What You’re Made Of
        To Feel It 
        #14
        No Escape
        This Time
        When There Is No Sun

        Sophie

        Lemonade / Hard

        *REPRESS*

        OK, here it is folks, the undeniably infectious saccharin-laced future-proof jam that is "Lemonade" by Sophie. Love it or hate it, I guarantee you won't be able to get these sickeningly sweet hooks outta your head after just one listen! "Lemonade" will surely be looked at in years to come as a sonic symbol of post-modern, digital culture as we search for that ADHD-proof 'hit' riddled with novelty and stimulation. I think Pitchfork put it best with '"Lemonade" is a bouquet of ephemera, and we shouldn't be surprised that Sophie hid a firecracker in the bundle.’ At around four minutes long, this radio-friendly piece of crazed production is the crucial point in which bass music hit the masses, and watch it start a fire all over the internet and radio over the next month or so. On the flip "Hard" is even more frenzied, deploying rattling percussion, glistening motifs and machine-gun drum programming while a quick-fire female vocal talks about difficulties getting by for the modern club girl. With a massive future-rave breakdown towards the end, it’s another synthesized moment of legal-high goodness wrapped up in a succinct, concise, well executed package. Massive.

        60k+ and counting Soundcloud plays over the first 24 hours
        Currently charting #2 on Billboard’s ‘Emerging Artists’ chart
        'You'll not hear anything else like this today' Zane Lowe BBC R1 show premiere (covered by Huw Stephens) (@ 47m15s)
        ‘SOPHIE's Lemonade is the most bonkers track we've heard all year’ Guardian
        ‘song of the day’ Diplo on Twitter
        ‘one of the best things I’ve heard all year’ Stereogum
        ‘"Lemonade" is a bouquet of ephemera, and we shouldn't be surprised that Sophie hid a firecracker in the bundle.’ Pitchfork
        ‘impossibly infectious’ Gorilla vs Bear


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Matt says: Available once again. The first four Sophie EPs have become cult artefacts of leftfield-dance-pop. Last chance saloon if you missed 'em the first & second time!

        TRACK LISTING

        A. Lemonade
        B. Hard

        YVETTE

        How The Garden Grows

          YVETTE conjures atmospheres that are both disturbing and familiar at once, pushing synthesizers, effects pedals, vocal processors, acoustic-electric drums, and midi guitar controllers to their extremes. Singer/multi-instrumentalist Noah Kardos-Fein and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Dale Eisinger think of their music not so much in terms of sound as in terms of feeling. The New York duo uses music both as therapy and a weapon, as an outlet for the stress of the daily grind and a release of the pent up tension that metastasizes only after living in a busy, unrelenting metropolis. How The Garden Grows, the sophomore record from YVETTE, reconfigures the anxiety of the moment into deeply spiritual, wildly aggressive, and frequently beautiful noise music, in the tradition of early post-punk and industrial artists like Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, and This Heat.

          The album was written and recorded over three years, as Kardos-Fein and Eisinger watched developers raze many of their favourite NYC venues. Rather than disappearing into the rubble of the city they love, How The Garden Grows grew out of that chaos. “It’s nearly impossible to compare them to any other band,” wrote Meredith Graves for the Village Voice in 2016. Having gained lasting acclaim for their debut LP Process, the follow-up EP Time Management (both released on GODMODE), and their bewildering, inspirational live show, YVETTE’s near-decade as a band coalesces with this LP. They’ve performed alongside The Rapture, Sleigh Bells, Lydia Lunch, Liars, HEALTH, Liturgy, Factory Floor, Xiu Xiu, A Place To Bury Strangers, Oneida, Metz, DIIV, The Soft Moon, Priests, Dan Deacon, Pissed Jeans, and Thurston Moore. This is YVETTE’s sophomore full-length. Their debut album Process (released on Godmode/Tough Love in 2013) received an 8.1 on Pitchfork, in addition to plenty of other strong coverage. Photographer Tim Saccenti (Lana Del Rey, Run the Jewels, Eminem, Flying Lotus) took some amazing press photos of Noah. Noah co-wrote some songs with Moses Sumney for his 2020 album græ. Press Quotes - "...Yvette managed to recast a music rooted in nihilism and agitation into something approachable and transfixing." Pitchfork // “Yvette channel all the moody intensity and musical discipline of Wire and This Heat, which pushes all the right buttons” Jonathan Galkin of DFA Records for NME // "a noise band with a bit of pop sensibility" Shamir // "Yvette are a noise-rock duo from Brooklyn who manage to turn drilling sounds and drones, the hum and clatter of machinery, into riveting entertainment." The Guardian

          TRACK LISTING

          01 B61 5:19
          02 Contact High 2:07
          03 Warm UP 2:44
          04 Besides 2:53
          05 For A Moment 2:56
          06 Close Quarters 6:14
          07 Smoke In Your Eyes 2:31
          08 Best Intentions 3:20
          09 Translucent 2:24
          10 Intermission 7:40 


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