MAGIC MIX

house . techno . electronica . ambient . neo-classical

WEEK STARTING 10 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Balance by Stark.
NEW OURTIME ALERT! For those that know, this news is more welcome than that first sup of cellar cooled beer in a Post-lockdown beer garden. For those that don't, Ourtime is the Salford label responsible for some of THE best techno to power out of the underground over the last 5 years.

This time round Stark makes a return to the label with a phenomenal four tracker, led out by the epic fifteen minute odyssey of "Balance" on the A-side. Sticking to the Ourtime mantra of exceptionally pressed 'proper techno', this masterpiece twists and turns through space age sequences, dreamy frequency adjustments and perpetual pulse, like a lost Galaxy 2 Galaxy cut (but better!). Extended, expansive, emotive and just blissful, even one minute of this masterpiece will have you aching to return to the basement embrace of your old friend music! On the B-side, "Spatial Density Waves" gets darker and dirtier, serving electro snap, growling bass and haunted vocoder, "Internal Voyage" looks ahead to the promise of a brighter future and "Salford Skyline" is an ultra funky and extra fun example of post-Drexciyan E funk.

Julianna Barwick

Healing Is A Miracle

    Four years on from the release of her last, critically acclaimed LP, Julianna Barwick returns with “Healing Is A Miracle”.

    A distinctive meditation on sound, reverb and the voice, “Healing Is A Miracle” is a record built on improvisation and a close affinity to a couple of trusted items of gear, from which she spins engrossing, expansive universes. Additionally, Barwick draws on the input of three collaborators with whom she has nurtured deep friendships with over the years: Jónsi (Sigur Rós), Nosaj Thing and Mary Lattimore; who each gently nudge out at the edges of her organically-evolved sound.

    Recorded in the wake of a seismic shift in her life following a move from New York—where she had lived for 16 years—to Los Angeles where she is now based, the title of the record came to her after thinking about how the human body heals itself, of the miraculous processes we pay little attention to: “You cut your hand, it looks pretty bad, and two weeks later it looks like it never happened… That’s kind of amazing, you know?” It’s a sentiment that feels particularly apt for the moment. From there, she conceived of the record’s simple statement title, ran it past a couple of friends, and it was settled. Like with the record itself, and all of her work, it’s about following her gut, and seeing where it takes her.

    “Healing Is A Miracle” began life in spring of last year, when Barwick sat down with her vocal looping set-up and began sketching out some ideas for new solo material. “It had been so long since I had done that,” she recalls, “making something for myself, just for the love of it… it was emotional, because I was recording music that was just from the heart, that wasn't for an 'assignment' or project… it brought me to tears a little”.

    Part of the joy also came from a small but significant switch up to her recording process: the addition of some studio monitors—a birthday gift from Jónsi and Alex (Somers)—having previously recorded all of her music on headphones. “The first song I remember making with those was the first song on the album, Inspirit.” she explains, “When I added the bass I really felt it in my body, you know, in a way you just wouldn’t with headphones… it was kind of euphoric and fun. I got really excited about making the record in that moment, and I think that really had an impact on the sounds I ended up making.”

    Excitement too came from the chance to work with three dream collaborators. Her connection to Jónsi began via producer Alex Somers, when Barwick flew to Reykjavík to record some sessions with him for her 2013 record “Nepenthe”, a trip which would begin a long-standing affinity with Iceland and the people she connected with there. “I think he has the best voice in the world,” she says, “and hearing my voice with Jonsi's is one of the joys of my life.” Nosaj Thing—the highly respected electronic producer and stalwart of the LA scene who has worked with the likes of Kendric Lamar—had gotten in touch to express his affection for her 2011 album “The Magic Place”, and they’d since been trying to find a way to work together. Barwick and Lattimore had struck up a friendship over many years performing live together, and had moved to LA around the same time. Finding herself in the same city as all three for the first time, it felt natural to include them in her process, and added to the feeling of newness, support and friendship she had while producing the record.

    Beyond her records, Barwick’s impressive live shows have gained incredible praise over the years from the likes of The Guardian—who described her performance as “exquisite in its eloquence, reflection and compassion” in their 5* review—The New York Times, NPR, and more. She has also supported and performed with an amazing array of artists including Bon Iver, Grouper, Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Rós, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Perfume Genius, Mas Ysa, and Nat Baldwin.

    Barwick has additionally been involved in some head-turning collaborations over the years. In 2015 she took part in The Flaming Lips’s Carnegie Hall show, performing music from their reimagining of “Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band”, alongside Phillip Glass, Debbie Harry, Laurie Anderson and Pattie Smith. That same year she was invited to play two shows with Yoko Ono, one at MoMA (“my favorite thing ever”) and one in Central Park. In 2012 she released a collaborative album with Helado Negro as OMBRE, and has also released a collaborative single with Rafael Anton Isarri, on the super-limited Thesis label, and most recently, the “Command Synthesis” EP, on RVNG Intl. sub-label Commend There, which employed AI to build five tracks that responded to the airborne environment outside a hotel room. In 2019 she teamed up with Doug Aitken on his nomadic art project, and created stunning performances in the Massachusett wilderness.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: 'Healing Is A Miracle' is an absolute triumph of majestic instrumentation, perfectly balanced atmospherics and tasteful collaboration. 'In Light' with Jónsi couldn't have been a more perfect fit, with both of their voices coalescing into one grand, sonic gesture. Stunner.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: Limited edition first run includes a 12"x12" signed artboard print.

    Peter Broderick & Friends

    Play More Arthur Russell

      This is a short live record made up of Arthur Russell covers which were not included on the first album of of Arthur covers. Recorded throughout various performances in the UK (and one track in Ireland) with a wonderful band of Scots.

      Big thanks to the crowd at The Blue Arrow (Glasgow) in early 2019 . . . it was the energy of these fine folks that inspired this record. The room was on fire while we performed 'Go Bang!' . . . such an explosively fun moment -- and luckily it as recorded -- I thought it deserved to go on a record!

      Peter Broderick

      One Hear Now

        This is one 35-minute piece in 11 parts, commissioned to accompany a series of murals by the brilliant Brian O'Doherty. The original art exhibition was called One Here Now: The Ogham Cycle, so I decided to call my piece ONE HEAR NOW.

        This music was composed in a very systematic way, by turning the murals into a score, assigning different notes to different colors, different instruments to different shapes, etc. It was written so that it could be performed solo with the help of a loop pedal, but for this recorded version there were no loops used. All parts were performed fully through. There's also no artificial reverb on this recording. A microphone was placed in the middle of the gallery with the paintings, and the instruments were recorded at varying distances from the mic, allowing the natural reverberation of the room to be captured.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: In what must be a record, the second of Peter Broderick's albums to hit the (virtual) shelves this week couldn't be any different. Violin and piano brought together to accompany a series of murals by Brian O'Doherty. Beautiful stark, sometimes hopeful modern classical.

        Floating Points

        Nuits Sonores / Nectarines - Repress

        The unstoppable Sam Shepherd returns to his Eglo imprint with another game changing dancefloor odyssey which stands head and shoulders above his competition. "Nuits Sonores" was originally bounced down live during Floating Points' performance at the festival of the same name, at the precise moment Sam and the army of dancers transcended this plane of being and entered a new era of consciousness. Shepherd tops a trademark syncopated rhythm with fragile sine waves and chattering sequences, which he builds up into a crystalline tower of interlocking synthesis at the four minute mark, before ripping it apart to leave a classic jazzy FP groove. Another outstanding compostition which has promped the following comments on youtube; "This when Four Tet played it at fabric last month almost made me die of bliss overload.", "Hashtag AstraL travel amirite" and "Floaty P reaching demi-god status". On the flip, our favourite classically trained future jazz genius drops another space age hit of hybrid deep house, set to an 11/4 swing naturally! Pinging synths and Rahel’s sweet vocals float around a bruk rhythm while a subby bassline keeps the track grounded. Lest you think Sam’s gone soft on us, he delivers some gritty rave stabs and menacing synth tones as he hits us with a couple of heavy duty drops. Unreal!

        Outfitted with anthemic romps, tongue-in-cheek pastiches, and percussions that pivot from rolling adventures to rain hitting the windowpane, Intimacy's 'Across the Bridge' marks the artist's fifth release on vinyl and first release on Bouquet. A grab bag of fun, dancefloor-ready tracks written across 2019, the EP delivers his aesthetic of old computers, sci-fi movies, and science class educational videos configured into deep, spacey line-toting bedroom techno and melancholic house.

        The title track features a catchy electroclash-esque (!!!) saw wave bassline, complete with emo Roland D50 strings and bells, all laid over a very beefy electro beat. It crossbreeds a Drexciya strain of low-end thump with a chewy, Eurotrash bassline evoking that time you lost your wallet at Tresor in '98. Strings and bells from the Roland D50 introduce the same euphoric high found in most of the products crawling out of Perdue's lab these days.

        'Angelo's House' is a full-forced banger built around a well-traveled sample of Angelo Badalamenti's theme from Twin Peaks, recorded from an Intimacy live set early last year.

        The flipside leads with the spiritual acid techno masterpiece 'Datalore 66'. Bubbling basslines hit a boiling point when placed in sequence with flutes showing genetic linkage to the Hartnoll family. Highly reactive material.

        'Eternal September' opens a portal to the earliest hours of morning via synthesis of swirling pads and snapping drums. Closing the EP in introspective fashion, the track shows just how much emotional range Intimacy can pull out of decades-old disciplines.


        Inventions

        Continuous Portrait

          On their first album together since Maze of Woods (2015), Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) further their creative curiosities as Inventions. Beginning with a trace of uncontrollable laughter that shifts into the driving atmosphere and unfolding elation of opening track “Hint and Omens,” Continuous Portrait is an album of strange hypnosis, punctuated by songs that venture quite far from the respective oeuvres of Cooper and Smith. The spry, playful layers of “Calico” bounce against a steady thrum of rhythms and samples from everyday noises, while the dancing lightness of “Outlook for the Future” is met with a storm of emotional resonance. Both tracks emerge as distinctively different directions for Inventions, and it is that very sense of exploration, pleasure, and ceremonial melancholia which informs the entire album from front to back. Inventions has always been the product of two friends who find comfort and inspiration in the genuine surprise of creating and combining sounds. Continuous Portrait whirls and hums like Cooper and Smith want us to invoke our inner playfulness and welcome a greater joy into our lives, if only for a moment. The result is a portrait that continuously embraces the completely foreign and familiar, and evolves with each successive listen.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Limited Pearlescent Bronze coloured vinyl.

          BH003 comes in the form of another 4 track EP from our own Jorg Kuning. Drawing as much from the collective euphoria of the dance as his expansive surroundings in the Welsh valleys; these four carefully crafted tracks evolve and pulsate with a driving, essential life force.

          The EP starts with ‘Vera’ - a joyful and tender exercise in dance floor functionality. Round kicks and an undulating bass line lay the cement for flowing and idiosyncratic melodies. This is followed by ‘Quixo’, where sparse metallic percussion is peppered with life affirming bleeps, topped off with transcendent chords that could roll out indefinitely.

          The B side begins with ‘Spirals’. Here Jorg temporarily ditches his characteristic playfulness in aid of a thunderous dance floor destroyer. Psychedelic, atonal yelps twist around a powerfully dubbed out rhythm section - willingly forcing us into a cosmic dread march. Closing the party is ‘Aevr’ - fluttering synth arpeggios echo into cold, glassy percussion and moody bass lines, a perfect example of Jorg’s distinctive style: at once meditative and floor-focused.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Patrick says: Big ups to MCR's Bakk Heia, who push the bar even higher on their third release, recalling Jorg Kuning for four more examples of his idiosyncratic techno stylings. Woody, organic, fractal and funky, the sounds on show seem to point a new psychedelic direction for melodic minimal to groove into.

          Piccadilly Records

          Logo T-Shirt - Summer 20: Dark Heather / Pale Blue

            This shirt features a pale blue print on a dark heather Gildan Softstyle Rinspun t-shirt.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            M Info: To fit chest 32"/34".

            L Info: To fit chest 36"/38".

            XL Info: To fit chest 40"/42".

            Women's M Info: To fit chest 32"/34"

            Women's L Info: To fit chest 36"/40"

            Polypores

            Azure

              • British synthesist, Stephen James Buckley returns to Castle in Space for the release of a brand new Polypores record.
              • Azure is a beautiful new age symphony of blissed out water music.
              • It’s his first full length LP since the release of last year’s “Flora”, which is also reissued in a stunning new two coloured ”earthtones” edition.
              • Flora was included in several end of year best of charts last year including Electronic Sound and Norman Records best of 2019.

              Stephen explains the genesis of Azure:
              “As with a lot of my music at the moment, the original inspiration from Azure started out with the music itself, rather than an initial concept. That is, it came through playing. I noticed that a lot of what I was writing seemed to lend itself to water imagery. It was flowing, fluid, bubbling. The album was written late 2019, when it seemed to be perpetually raining, so that might have been a factor.

              I was also listening to a lot of new-age music at the time. Whilst I didn’t purposely set out to do a "new-age" album as such, I think a lot of that crept in there - but with it's own Polypores-esque twist. Rather than working in a specific genre, I much prefer to take elements and signifiers from a genre, and warp them into my own vision.

              Once I'd decided to go down this route the writing became more focussed, and I was also able to immerse myself in various books, films, and documentaries related to the ocean, particularly the mythology and lore surrounding it. I imagined this to be the music that the sunken stone heads from Easter Island would have on their record players. A relaxation tape for dolphins.

              The album was created with a modular synthesizer, which was still fairly new to me at the time. As with most of my music, it was a fairly quick process, as I tend to record live rather than overdubbing/multi-tracking. I find this way of writing more immediate, it gives me a more direct link to my creativity, without too much thought or analysis getting in the way. I used a lot of New-Age type sounds, and one of the tracks uses a Gamelan scale. I made heavy use of granular synthesis on the human voice, to create the choir sounds.
              I think I did subconsciously want to create something similar to Flora. Not sonically (as it's a very different sound palette) but more the idea of it being an exaggerated, almost fantastical response to an environment. So whilst Flora takes place in the forest, Azure takes place in the ocean, but both focus on the fantasy elements, as opposed to the mundane or harsh reality. I wasn't going to do an album about overfishing or something. It's a form of escapism I suppose.

              Some interesting facts about the album are:
              - One of the tracks has a short sample from the soundtrack to a well known 1990s point-and-click adventure game, set deep in the Caribbean,
              - I was listening to Rime Of The Ancient Mariner by Iron Maiden a lot around the time of writing.”
              Castles in Space presents ”Azure” in a deluxe azure blue vinyl pressing in a full gloss varnished sleeve and foldback tabs. The LP includes a beautiful art print designed by the sleeve designer, Nick Taylor. French comic book legend Moebius was an inspiration for Nick along with taking direction from the luxurious flow of the music.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Another beautiful suite of aquatic bubbling synthesis from Stephen Buckley here, trading out the desktop synths for the endless patchable joy of the eurorack. Brittle arpeggios, swooning heavenly echoes and life-affirming ambience.

              Mooring the 'Train Of Thought' at Hamburger Hafen, Latvia's R_R_ delivers aquatic ambience, buoyant electronics and tidal rhythms on the Growing Bin. Hold this shell(ac) to your ears and you’ll hear the sea…

              As we hasten towards the inevitable Waterworld of the next century, Latvian composer, sound artist and lecturer Reinis Semēvics charts our safe passage to dry land with his debut album 'Train Of Thought'. Inspired by the rhythmic movement of water and how its rippled reflections bend our perception, Reinis sculpts an immersive sound collage - a precise mixture of field recordings and self-made sounds which swell and swirl as we bathe in their beauty.

              Bookended by the Baltic's roar at the Bay of Rīga, 'Train Of Thought' drifts from the harbour to the open sea, conveying the restful calm and frenetic power of a body of water throughout. Misty pads and delicate piano conjure lapping waves and blue skies, bubbling sequences ripple up from the deep and cascading melodies fall around hypnotic rhythms, each distinct droplet offering a different feeling and mood. One moment flows into the next, nine rivers pouring into a single ocean of sonic bliss.

              The alias R_R_ is a tribute to his grandfather, the composer Ģederts Ramans, whose influence helped set Reinis' sonic journey in motion. We're very happy he's decided to stop off in the Growing Bin, and we're sure you will be too.

              This release on R&S marks the debut appearance of one of the most active and vital voices in dance music culture, combined with a one-off bold & idiosyncratic sleeve re-design from another omnipresent, globally influential practitioner. The music is by Special Request. The artwork is by Virgil Abloh™️ c/o Alaska-Alaska.

              Spectral Frequency first appeared on the final day of 2019 - it was included on the 4th SR album released in that year alone and caused so much havoc in clubs, warehouses, basements, bedrooms, dive bars, sweatlodges and ear buds that it DEMANDED a full release.

              So Paul Woolford set about concocting an EP as an equal split of “Face-Melters and Heart Breakers”, all breakbeat brutalism on the A-side and emotional techno on the flip. So once you've lost most of your mind to "Spectral Frequency", you can float away on the pilled up rush of "Family Doggo" and "No Other Way To See It".

              Woo

              Arcturian Corridor

                The premise for Quindi Records is simple – to represent music with a universality at its core. Without adhering to specific genre tropes, the releases are intended to have a meaning and purpose in all kinds of situations – a social soundtrack as much as a stimulating experience, feeding emotions and the psyche with a sentimental palette of sounds. Lovers’ music, loners’ music, music for friends and family alike.

                Woo makes for a perfect choice to meet this loose concept head-on – the music of Clive and Mark Ives straddles disparate worlds and finds its own peculiar balance. On one hand it’s delicate synthesizer music with a minimalist bent, while on the other their joyous, twinkling harmonies have an immediacy that speaks to the soul. You can detect privacy in their craft – the brothers originally recorded their music in relative isolation in London in the 70s, 80s and early 90s. It’s only in recent years their sublime work has enjoyed a wider audience through an extensive run of reissues.

                Arcturian Corridor presents a rare, previously unreleased piece of music from Woo – the expansive suite of the title track that unfurls across five parts. It’s an enchanting listen that shows a new breadth and depth to the duo – detailed drum programming and a broader palette of synth tones cascading in elegant unison. The name refers to Arcturus, the fourth brighteststar in the night sky. As Woo themselves explain, “The Arcturian Corridor is said to be a channel of light that brings.


                Here is INDEX:007 by Ike, featuring two original compositions and a remix by GOD69.

                The A Side: lazuline blueness, with perforations of laser lemon
                (pressed at 45rpm, it complements percussive electro textures, that intricately mesh into sub-flecked breakbeat arrangements)

                The B side: a cameo of pale pink, with roasted umber tones
                (pressed at 33rpm, it accompanies acidic electro wobbles, accessorised by futuristic drum patterns).


                Fresh from the needle skating industrial-punk of Tata Toto’s “Fuck” flexi-postcard, new Parisian imprint Association Fatale drop their first vinyl proper in ‘L’Alarme Fatale’, a four tracker of razor sharp cuts from some of their nearest and dearest.

                Parisian duo Jita Sensation kick the set off with occult whispers, flanging hats and the mechanical funk of ‘Posuere Nec’, a shamanic dancer which digs deeper into Xanax rave territories as it bursts into technicolour insanity.

                The A2 belongs to Zulu and their ‘Vogeltanz’, a pitched down powerhouse of woody bass, electronic birdsong and futuristic breaks which takes a brief detour into the neon-matrix of Rustie on its way to the run-out.

                Flip the disc and cop a load of ‘Tekamina’, the latest mind-melter from Drama-acolyte DJ F16 Falcon. Mangled vocal snippets, crushing system pressure and some batshit FX abuse are the order of the day on this whacked out track!

                Bringing the curtain down with maximum angst, speaker tweaking mids and a gnarly bassline, So Track’s ‘Graille’ seems tailor made for the current climate - I can picture an industrial unit full of people dressed like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat losing their mind to this cut.

                Fresh as fuck and in short supply folks…

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: Moody, tough and tranqued out warehouse material from new Parisian crew Association Fatale. Bristling with mechanical funk, dark psychedelia and techy idents, this shit is so cutting edge you'd best wear safety glooves when slapping it on the deck. Highest Recommendation!

                New Zealand/Aotearoa is an island known for its lush nature and unique geographical positioning: at the centre of the Water Hemisphere, its surreal blend of beauty and isolation has a distinctive effect on its inhabitants and the art that they create.

                With "NZ Electro", INDEX:Records brings to the fore one of the genre mutations caused by this unique environment, hoping to expose the people pushing dance music deep in the Pacific.

                TIME TO BE ALIVE the new and third record in the candomble various artists series - Featuring 3 mystic tracks by D.J. Ungel, Instrumensch and D.J. Rasputin.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: My Dusseldorf homeboys round out their trio of 10" EPs with this hot drop featuring DJ Ungel, Instrumensch and DJ Rasputin (AKA Number 1 Party Dude). Machine funk madness, cosmic wobble and poi friendly prog house for the heads!


                Seems like a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Manchester - vinyl, pizza and beer. Good to see you today… https://t.co/M6gEAYUelg
                Sat 11th - 12:44
                Great to see you back in the shop today Cath 🙌 - even if it’s just for collection only at the moment. Loving the… https://t.co/ERT9T9wv9I
                Sat 11th - 12:15
                Open 12 - 4 today for click and collect orders. Read the full feature here for more information >… https://t.co/PPCAwJX6Ip
                Sat 11th - 11:07
                Great selections Tim, as to be expected. Thanks for ordering 🙏Enjoy! https://t.co/KL1FeMVnG5 https://t.co/K37rVmaTyP
                Fri 10th - 5:43
                More releases here from @NZCALINES @dmasmusic @lauramarlinghq and @THEVACANTLOTS - head to the website to seek out… https://t.co/TTn7IdnDsf
                Fri 10th - 3:30
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