MAGIC MIX

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

WEEK STARTING 3 Apr

Genre pick of the week Cover of Flight Of Ideas by Warm Digits.

Warm Digits

Flight Of Ideas

    On "Flight of Ideas", Warm Digits make a call to arms: when we all think our ideas are right, what are the costs of never believing you could be wrong? Looking back to the history of psychology to find out what happens when ideas outlive their sell-by date, with their vocal guests they set up a blistering musical exchange between fluorescent agit-funk, primary-coloured synth-bounce and fizzing sheets of guitar noise. The LP features vocal contributions from Maximo Park’s Paul Smith, The Lovely Eggs, The Orielles, Rozi Plain and the Delgados’ Emma Pollock.

    Infused with the restive spirit of Warm Digits and their guests, these inspirations are taken as a call to arms rather than an academic panel discussion. “Fools Tomorrow” uses the language of scientific revolutions and a spiral-eyed swirl of electro shoegaze to show how being able to accept you’re wrong can change your life, while “Replication” takes the ever-circling influence of Steve Reich and cult synth-composers like Laurie Spiegel to create a luminescent sparkling throb that’s impossible to resist. The Delgados’ Emma Pollock lends her vocals to "The View From Nowhere" which concerns two people working out their closeness and distance. It could be about any relationship, but the title is a reference to the way psychoanalysts historically kept themselves a "blank screen" with their patients, as if they could take a "view from nowhere" and be wholly objective in what they saw. “Feel the Panic” sees wigout psych-merchants The Lovely Eggs take advantage of Warm Digits’ relentless momentum to enthusiastically rail against pigeonholing and outmoded systems of authority with an unruly air-punching chorus. The song was inspired by the "being sane in insane places" experiment, which argued that the power wielded by psychiatrists' diagnoses was dangerously capricious, and that in some instances the treatment induced precisely the psychic distress they sought to classify.

    "Shake The Wheels Off" is about the moment when those subjugated by archaic systems of control take their power back: in this instance, the way research on transport safety took the male body as the norm, drastically increasing the risk that women would get injured in a car crash. The Orielles' roll-call of female engineering heroes heralds the moment when the balance starts to be redressed. Meanwhile Rozi Plain gently turns insecurity on its head over a pulsating Eurobeat-meets-MBV backing to make “Everyone Nervous” almost feel like a valedictory slogan. Celebrate Your Uncertainty!

    In an increasingly off-kilter world where reality shifts daily, truth is merely what we decide it to be, and an avalanche of possible identities overwhelms us with possibility, it can feel like our lives are careering towards chaos down a one-way street. The question is: do we “Feel The Panic” or “Shake The Wheels Off”? With its glorious defiance and heart-bursting grooves, “Flight of Ideas” calls to our past experience for answers, and dares us to listen.

    Warm Digits are Andrew Hodson and Steve Jefferis from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. Their previous album for Memphis Industries, "Wireless World", featured guest vocals from Field Music and Sarah Cracknell, amongst others, garnered plaudits from BBC 6Music including an "Album of the Day" slot and playlists for “End Times” “Growth of Raindrops”, and boosted them on to the festival bills of Bluedot, Green Man and Festival No.6 amongst others.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Dinked Edition LP Info: • Exclusive mirror-board sleeve
    • Exclusive 7” featuring two brand new non-album tracks
    • Orange vinyl
    • Signed postcard
    • Limited to 300

    Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive 180g orange vinyl.

    Butzmann / Kapielski

    War Pur War

      Composer, radio dramatist and performance artist Frieder Butzmann began exploring experimental music in the late 1960s. One of the pioneers of German industrial music and a member of the Geniale Dilettanten movement, Butzmann has collaborated with artists such as Genesis P-Orridge, Blixa Bargeld, and Santrra Oxyd, as well as releasing numerous solo works. Frieder Butzmann joined forces with author and artist Thomas Kapielski in the early 1980s. Most of their compositions are minimalist tracks interspersed with everyday noises and fragments of speech, as can be heard on their WAR PUR WAR album, first released on Zensor in 1987. This utterly unique work is an idiosyncratic mix of eccentric electro-pop and bizarre sonic collages and has gone on to become a sought-after collector's item. Now lovingly remastered, with refreshed artwork and two bonus tracks, WAR PUR WAR is being reissued on LP and CD on Bureau B, complete with previously unpublished photos and liner notes by Frieder Butzmann. 

      Es

      Less Of Everything

        Es is Maria Cecilia Tedemalm (vocals), Katy Cotterell (bass), Tamsin M. Leach (drums) and Flora Watters (keyboards). Their 2016 debut EP, Object Relations, released on influential London punk label La Vida Es Un Mus, was described as “mutant synth-punk for our dystopian present” (Jess Skolnik, Bandcamp, Pitchfork). The band has since become a vital presence in London’s underground DIY music scene, as well as having toured the UK with the Thurston Moore Group in 2017. After a period with members split between Glasgow and London, Es recorded Less of Everything with Lindsay Corstorphine (Sauna Youth, Primitive Parts) in Tottenham in 2019. As in Object Relations, the dynamic between Cotterell’s bass and Watters’ keyboard is at the heart of Less of Everything’s sound: intertwining sub-zero melodies, gothic anarcho-punk influences (think Kukl, Malaria, X-Mal Deutschland) and some kind of entirely unlocatable aquatic component. When combined with Murray Leach’s precise drumming, the outcome is original and immediately recognisable.

        Es are a group who know how to leave space, how to strive for minimalism without sacrificing aggression or dynamism. This dynamic provides the perfect backdrop for Tedemalm’s relentless, pointed vocal style. While comparable ‘cold’ sounding groups might affect an impersonal, safer mode of lyrical or vocal detachment, Tedemalm’s strategy is to “push the lyrics as far as I can thematically until they become absurd … overly dramatic ... while still being sincere in the feeling they’re trying to invoke. I try to apply as much emotion as I can.” The result is something intense but nuanced, confrontational but complex. 


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: 180g clear/white/silver marble vinyl, limited to 500 copies.

        Everything Is Recorded

        Friday Forever

          Friday Forever is the second album from multi-artist project Everything Is Recorded, helmed by producer artist Richard Russell. This follows the critically acclaimed and Mercury Music Prize nominated debut of 2018, Everything Is Recorded by Richard Russell. Friday Forever takes on a multi-lensed perspective of a classic night out, followed closely by the sobering reflections of the next morning. The album features an array of new collaborators – in British rappers Aitch, Flohio and Berwyn, Irish singer songwriters Maria Somerville and Kean Kavanagh, the inimitable voices of A.K. Paul, James Massiah, and returning vocalist Infinite Coles – as well as established names like Ghostface Killah and Penny Rimbaud.

          Orion Sun

          Hold Space For Me

            She’s been quickly making a name for herself in her current hometown of Philly (originally from New Jersey) and beyond. She’s opened for buzzy Alt-R&B/Hip- Hop acts such as Noname, Ibeyi and Sudan Archives and was highlighted by NPR as a 2019 Artist To Watch. Her story, that of an early 20s woman of color dealing with and learning about life’s obstacles and celebrations, is understood best through her song lyrics; citing J Dilla, Nancy Wilson, Jodeci, Kirk Franklin, Hazel Scott and Digable Planets as just some of her many influences. She’s a career artist with a long road ahead and her sound defies trends; capitalizing on a velvety and familiar voice with timeless jazz / folk / R&B instrumentals.

            Purity Ring

            Womb

              After more than five years, Purity Ring have returned to announce their third album, entirely produced and recorded by the duo of Megan James and Corin Roddick. Womb chronicles a quest for comfort, the search for a resting place in a world where so much is beyond our control. The striking vulnerability of “ruby insides” - “If I could, I would let you see through me” - charts a course that’s both intensely personal and deeply connected to those close to us, our kin whether by nature or nurture. As the ground shifts beneath their feet, Womb’s characters help one another face death, despair, and world-altering discovery with resilience and grace. For all the terrain it encompasses, Womb’s quest culminates in “stardew”, a glittering, transcendent invitation to “just be where you are” - to experience the kind of powerful peace that can only be found by truly coming home.

              Womb follows Purity Ring’s 2012 internationally-acclaimed and highly influential debut Shrines and 2015’s another eternity. On another eternity, The New York Times praised the songs as “only a few steps removed from radio hits by singers like Ariana Grande and Ellie Goulding” while Rolling Stone called them “lustrous synth pop plus cavernous hip hop” and The New Yorker lauded the duo for “creat[ing] electro-pop that is as warm and human as it is cold and alien, an intoxicating combination that feels boldly futuristic.”

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive opaque red vinyl.

              In 1981, Nick Robson wrote Stars. The song can pretty much be described as a slow, cosmic disco song. It has an unusual feel, and it comes as Oslo-based Neppås third release. This 12″ holds the 12″ mix, the 7″ mix, and the original B-side Eye To Eye. The original 12″ is as rare as they come, and here you get the original material, fully licenced, and remastered. The process of recording the material back in 1981 was not an easy one, as Nick Robson recalls: “Fame by David Bowie is one of my favourite songs, period. I was 18 when i wrote Stars and i wanted to write something that was my version of Fame and quite honestly, as a tribute to the song. If you listen to the bass lines, there is a hint of similarity in the two. Even the lyric of Stars has a passing reference to Fame. Stars was one of four songs recorded at Gary’s Rock City studio to supply the first two singles and form the basis of the first album. The other three tracks were Eye To Eye, Boys and She’a Like Ice. Although all four tracks were finished, for one reason or another, Boys never made it to pressing and i walked away from the business to pursue a career in film. Stars itself, was the most ardous and problematic track that i’ve ever recorded. It took around 14 days to finally get an agreed mix when the budget probably only ran to three days. Part of the reason for this is the enormous quantity of music tracks recorded in the song. In those days, we only had 24 recordable tracks available on the Otari, so once you had recorded 23 or less actually, you had to bounce down sub-mixes to a single track to free up another batch of tracks. I think that there are around 46 tracks of instruments alone on Stars so although that kind of track usage is not uncommon now, back then it was rare.

              Ulrich Schnauss

              A Long Way To Fall - Rebound

                Ulrich Schnauss, the highly respected German electronic music composer, has taken the opportunity to remaster his entire back catalogue having recently had all his recording rights returned to him. Reissued on his own Scripted Realities label. The fourth of five albums, ‘A Long Way To Fall - Rebound’ was originally released in 2013 and has been rerecorded and reworked as well as being remastered. It now sounds the way Ulrich had intended, hence the new additional ‘Rebound’ title.

                For fans of Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins, Tycho

                Ulrich Schnauss

                Far Away Trains Passing By

                  Ulrich Schnauss, the highly respected German electronic music composer, has taken the opportunity to remaster his entire back catalogue having recently had all his recording rights returned to him. Reissued on his own Scripted Realities label. The first of five albums, ‘Far Away Trains Passing By’ was originally released in 2001 and was the album that introduced Ulrich to the world. It is generally regarded as a landmark electronic music statement and now comes with 9 bonus tracks.

                  For fans of Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins, Tycho.

                  Yves Tumor

                  Heaven To A Tortured Mind

                    Few projects at the forefront of contemporary art truly push visceral sonic boundaries in the way that Yves Tumor does. With an arc that impartially sits between psych-rock and modern pop, comparisons only serve as limitations intended to define that which cannot be. Yves Tumor melds restraint and chaos; diluting reality by giving meaning to the abstract and allowing for dissonance to be seen and heard as harmony.

                    Heaven To A Tortured Mind - written and composed by Yves Tumor and produced by Yves Tumor and Justin Raisen (Sky Ferreira, Ariel Pink, Charli XCX) - marks the fourth official full-length release from Yves Tumor and the follow-up to 2018's critically acclaimed and era-defining Warp release, Safe In The Hands Of Love. Breakout singles "Noid", "Licking An Orchid" and "Lifetime" shifted critical perception into media such as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, the Fader, NPR and more awarding the album as one of the best releases of the year.

                    Yves Tumor has steered the project into a whole new realm with Heaven To A Tortured Mind, piercing through contradiction, redefining expression through song, and catapulting Yves Tumor into the next phase of illusion and evolution. Heaven To A Tortured Mind finds its place in music history as a collection of anthems for a generation.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP Info: Silver vinyl.

                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.


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