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Tosca

Osam

    For Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber, the idea of rebirth is a creative driving force – an artistic device which not only informs their work, but anchors it. As the avant-garde electronic group Tosca, the two artists have lived many musical lives, from their early electronic experiments with tape decks to the blissed-out dub compositions with which they have made their name.

    Their latest project, OSAM, takes this idea of renewal even further. A meditative journey through rhythm and texture, the album represents a new chapter for the Austrian duo. It’s as much an instrument for change as it is a source of inspiration. ‘Osam’ is a direct translation of the number eight in Serbian, but it also acts as the mediaeval symbol for a fresh start – a renaissance. This is their ninth studio album but in true Tosca style when they started working on the concept for the record, they thought it was their eighth.

    TRACK LISTING

    CD
    1. Nobody Cares
    2. Gentleman
    3. Osam
    4. Shout Sister
    5. Tropical
    6. Clean Up
    7. Troststrasse
    8. Entrecote
    9. Dementamente
    10. Early Bird
    11. Make Up
    12. ECM2

    2LP
    A1. Nobody Cares
    A2. Gentleman
    A3. Osam
    B1. Shout Sister
    B2. Tropical
    B3. Clean Up
    C1. Troststrasse
    C2. Entrecote
    C3. Dementamente
    D1. Early Bird
    D2. Make Up
    D3. ECM2

    Wema

    Wema

      For WEMA, collaboration is a state of mind. The fivepiece collective – consisting of Tanzanian multiinstrumentalist Msafiri Zawose, producer Photay and Penya members Magnus P.I, Lilli Elina and Jimmy le Messurier – is an artistic pursuit founded on community;a space in which to harness the transformative power of connection. Translated from Swahili, ‘wema’ means kindness and benevolence – virtues that lie at the core of the project, and are reflected in the group’s worldembracing approach to music. “WEMA is a state of gratitude and belief, without sorrow or grief. It’s about giving your entire heart,” Msafiri declares.

      The self-titled album is an intoxicating, dancefloorindebted blend of traditional Tanzanian music, AfroLatin rhythms and experimental electronic music, with the majority of lyrics sung in Swahili and Spanish. It’s a smorgasbord of sounds, moods and textures that call on the very ethos of the band; the pursuit of cohesion and togetherness in a fractured world. Through this lens, WEMA is a near-spiritual listen, invoking the sacred sounds of their global influences. The tape-delayed vocal samples and sparse industrial clangs of Kande are reminiscent of the kind of deconstructed beats you might find in a closing club set. Bendir Bendir’s pointillist soundscapes are juxtaposed with a warm chorus of Msafiri’s layered harmonies. Msafiri Jam Pt 2, with its uptempo percussion and atmospheric background noise, features the undulating hornwork of groundbreaking Afro-Cuban trumpeter Yelfris Valdes. There’s a palpable optimism running through WEMA; it’s raw, unfiltered music that is as danceable as it is soul-stirring.

      TRACK LISTING

      01 / A1.Wema Song
      02 / A2. Luanje Pt. 1
      03 / A3. Luanje Pt. 2
      04 / B1. Kiherehere
      05 / B2. Zeze
      06 / B3. Kiherehere Slow
      07 / C1. Kande
      08 / C2. Bendir Bendir !
      09 / C3. Pepote Pt. 1
      10 / C4. Pepote Pt. 2
      11 / D1. Msafiri Jam Pt. 1
      12 / D2. Msafiri Jam Pt. 2
      13 / D3. Wema Outro

      All formats come with a free Piccadilly Records EOY Sampler CD whilst stocks last.

      For a duo whose youthful energy rejuvenated the world of house music at the start of the 2010s, it seems incredible that Disclosure are now into their second decade of musical life. The incredible vigour of those early records, the spark of invention and ever-onward musical thrust, remains with the Disclosure brothers, Howard and Guy Lawrence, to this day.

      The emphasis throughout DJ-Kicks is on motion. After a brief ambient introduction from Pépe’s Life Signs, Disclosure keeps the energy high, in a mix that showcases the wonderful malleability of a house beat in the right hands. From sub bass to disco samples to 303 tweak, all is welcome in Disclosure’s house, with the mix allowing individual songs space to breathe even as the pace remains harefooted.

      TRACK LISTING

      CD
      1. Pépe - Recollection
      2. Harry Wolfman - LOTF
      3. Cleanfield - Conflict With Clayton
      4. Disclosure - Deep Sea
      5. Simon Hinter - Wanna Make Love
      6. &on&on - Don’t Say A Word
      7. M-High - Harmony In The Distance
      8. Slum Science - Mezmerized
      9. Disclosure - Observer Effect (DJ-Kicks)
      10. East End Dubs - BRave
      11. Onipa - Fire (Disclosure Edit)
      12. Arfa X Joe - Recognise

      LP
      A1. Pépe - Recollection
      A2. Harry Wolfman - LOTF
      A3. Cleanfield - Conflict With Clayton
      B1. Disclosure - Deep Sea
      B2. Simon Hinter - Wanna Make Love
      B3. &on&on - Don’t Say A Word
      C1. M-High - Harmony In The Distance
      C2. Slum Science - Mezmerized
      D1. Disclosure - Observer Effect (DJ-Kicks)
      D2. Arfa X Joe - Recognise

      GCOM

      E2-XO

        Tom Middleton is focused on the future in many ways. His new alias GCOM is an all-new, 21st century redesign of his original Global Communication concept and collaboration with Mark Pritchard. The new album E2-XO is some of the most advanced music he has ever made, both in sound and concept. signifying a technological, creative and philosophical evolution into the new era; from planetary communication and understanding to Galactic Communication.

        A decade in the making, inspired by themes surrounding anthropocene humankind’s impact on climate, what we’re doing about it, conscious AI, and the acceleration for interplanetary travel beyond the Moon, to Mars, and eventually intergalactic in search of potentially habitable exoplanets, the story of the hunt for Earth 2.0. As he continues to expand his sonic horizons, Tom has been concurrently exploring visionary applications of astrophysics, AI, cosmology, cube-sats and rocket science, alongside more esoteric ideas about the nature of the Universe and the human condition.

        Previously his interest in sleep science led Tom to expanding the instinctively beautiful ambience of classic Global Communication into something tailored to helping people with sleep problems using brainwave entrainment; scoring an iTunes top ten album with his Sleep Better project, a record that is measurably therapeutic in the truest sense, and has spawned many projects focused on supporting human problems like anxiety, stress, sleep disruption and human performance using sound design for wellness, but with no loss of brilliance in terms of musicality. E2-XO is an audio movie, a space opera, a psychic investigation of the human mind in space. It is a fully immersive experience, with all the dynamics that such an imagination-stretching voyage implies. Listeners will hear echoes of Tom’s whole creative life; from his childhood absorbing Vangelis and Tomita, through the white heat of discovery alongside Richard D James, Matthew Herbert and friends, right through to his collaborations with technological innovators today and his current research into neuroscience and sound design. E2-XO acknowledges the past, but make no mistake whatsoever: This is the future…

        TRACK LISTING

        CD
        1. Noctis Ultimus (Epic Mix)
        2. XO Transmission #1
        3. Anthropocene
        4. Ocean Dreams
        5. The Last Rains (V Mix)
        6. Starship Launch
        7. Beyond The Singularity
        8. Helix Nebula
        9. Noctis Reprise (For QEBRUS)
        10. XO 1 (Luyten B)
        11. XO 2 (Kapteyn B)
        12. XO Transmission #2
        13. XO 4 (Wolf 1061c)
        14. XO 6 (LHS1723 B)
        15. XO Transmission #3
        16. Planet B Awakening
        17. XO 7 (Teegarden B)
        18. Midnight Shore
        19. Beyond The Milky Way


        LP
        A1. Noctis Ultimus (91 Mix)
        A2. XO Transmission #1
        A3. Anthropocene
        B1. Ocean Dreams
        B2. The Last Rains
        B3. Starship Launch
        C1. Noctis Ultimus
        C2. Beyond The Singularity
        C3. Helix Nebula
        C4. Noctis Reprise (For QEBRUS)
        D1. XO 1 (Luyten B)
        D2. XO 2 (Kapteyn B)
        D3. XO Transmission #2
        E1. XO 4 (Wolf 1061c)
        E2. XO 6 (LHS1723 B)
        E3. XO Transmission #3
        F1. Planet B Awakening
        F2. XO 7 (Teegarden B)
        F3. Midnight Shore
        F4. Beyond The Milky Way

        James Alexander Bright

        Headroom

          James Alexander Bright's music is as visual a voyage as it is a sonic one; a kaleidoscope of colours that swirl, swoon, soar and sing. Stepping into his musical world is a multi-sensory experience, one where smooth grooves, wonky rhythms, dreamy melodies and immersive atmospheres coalesce to form their own sphere. “Sound as vision,” says Bright of the audio aesthetic he relates to and aims for. “Music you can bite into.”

          Based in the Hampshire countryside and an illustrator by day, Bright’s world is often a dual one but one where elements overlap and inform one another. “I spend a lot of my day creating things visually and everyday life can be an assault on the senses, ”says Bright.“ Evening is my quiet time; time for my ears. Invariably I’m inspired by the things that people and creatures do in the dark.

          ”This creative duality extends beyond just the visual and the music too. It’s found deep rooted in the music itself, which explores a mix between lo-fi and hi-fi, possessing an intimate bedroom recording-like quality but with production that sounds glowing and golden. Similarly, the sunny sheen found in the music-via a kind of psychedelic pop meets electronic soul-is one born from dichotomy.“I feel at home in the deep south of England,” he says. “I’m in the middle of nowhere with lots of green land, fresh air and head space. I feel like the sunshine in the South in the summer months really reflects in my music. However, I tend to make music in the dark hours and winter months, so it’s almost like the music is my sunshine and happy place in these moments.

          ”The end result is also an album that exists in a dual world, one that at times has enough bounce and buoyancy to fill a dance floor-as on the disco funk strutting “Lead Me Astray”- and others feels perfectly suited to introspective headphone listening as on the breezy, woozy ambience of “Cala Llenya”.The latter track pays tribute to the Ibiza beach of the same name, whereas “Dancing with the Birds”- a delicate exploration of pastoral folk-is a nod to one of Britain’s most beloved treasures. “It’s based on a late night walk having just watched a David Attenborough documentary, featuring these beautiful birds that have a crazy mating dance. I love his documentaries and I was listening to a lot of Bert Jansch. The next night I had this vision of dancing birds come into my mind.

          ”Elsewhere Headroom touches upon, in Bright’s own words, 60’s sunshine doo-wop, mutant disco, and mystic mountain top vibes. It’s an album that explores a great deal yet even amidst its dualities it retains a sense of cohesion throughout. It’s a mixture that Bright feels pleased to have managed to juggle so seamlessly. “I think there is a good balance around experimentation on the record-a nice mix between fun and substance.”


          TRACK LISTING

          A1. Go
          A2. Outside
          A3. Lead Me Astray
          A4. Cala Llenya
          A5. Dancing With The Birds
          B1. Gold
          B2. Damn
          B3. 6AM
          B4. Kip On The Highline
          B5. Friends (Lovers Lost)

          When Saints Go Machine

          Konkylie

            The Danish four-piece — Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild (vocals), Jonas Kenton (keyboards), Simon Muschinsky (keyboards) and Silas Moldenhawer (drums) — are a complicated mix of influences. There’s dance music in there, for sure, but also post punk, some experimental electronica in the Aphex Twin mould, and, crucially, a healthy dose of pop. You could describe the end result as a heady mix of Caribou, The Knife/Fever Ray and Arthur Russell. But, really, it doesn’t sound like anything else out there.

            The band formed in 2007. They started out making dance music, but quickly left four-four beats behind and started fusing electronics with pop melodies. They caused a local stir when Danish radio picked up on some tracks they’d uploaded onto Myspace. The buzz meant that their first ever gig was at Vega, one of Copenhagen’s leading venues. Then, last year, they opened the Roskilde Festival in front of 45,000 people, an experience Nikolaj describes as “fantastic”.

            The band’s debut album, ‘Konkylie’, (Danish for ‘conch shell’ incidentally), has been two years in the making. It sees them moving their sound on into new, uncharted territory. On ‘Parix’, Nikolaj’s spectral vocals, a mix of Antony Heggarty’s tremulous falsetto and Talk Talk frontman Mark Hollis, are pitched against a shimmering mirage of synths. There’s an echo of their clubland past on ‘Kelly’, which is underpinned by a chugging, mid-paced beat. It’s the jumping off point for four-minutes of electro pop perfection, like Empire Of The Sun with some added Scandinavian cool. Nikolaj’s vocals, meanwhile, are never more beautiful that on the closing track ‘Add Ends’, where they float over skillfully orchestrated strings and gently popping electronics. It’s an atmospheric reverie that transports you to another place. All told, it’s stunning stuff, esoteric, yet instantly accessible, the kind of underground record that everyone can buy into.

            One of the things that sets When Saints Go Machine apart from their peers is that there’s a warmth to ‘Konkylie’. Electronic music can sometimes sound rectilinear, like a Cubist painting. It was something the band were keen to avoid. They went to great lengths to inject an organic feel into the record, experimenting with new recording techniques and locations. All the vocals on the title track and opener ‘Konkylie’ were recorded outside in such unlikely spots as a tunnel and a forest. Then there was the assemblage of effects they created to inject a random element into proceedings. “We had this set-up of effects that we ran sound through to create an organic feel. Like tape echoes, other effects and synths. We’d control one element each and we’d mess around,” explains Nikolaj.

            The band make no apologies for the fact that ‘Konkylie’ is a dense, at times complicated record. It’s partly down to the fact that they’ve spent a lot of time on it. “If you spend two years on 11 songs then there will be a lot of detail and strange sounds in there,” confirms Nikolaj. But it’s also a product of the four members different music influences. “Our musical backgrounds are so different from each other. Jonas and Silas are from a clubby background and they still make house and techno together as Kenton Slash Demon; Simon’s is jazz and neo soul; and I’m somewhere in between, ’60s and ’70s breaks, bands like Broadcast and The Slits and White Noise. That’s why there are so many elements in there — dance, post-punk, classical. But it’s hard to pick out tracks and connect them to one particular song. I think that’s a good thing.

            And if it’s been a difficult, at times protracted process, the band are convinced it’s been worth it. “We’re really pleased with the album,” says Nikolaj. “All the songs fit together more than anything we’ve done up to this point. A lot of details we left in the songs from earlier versions. I think it gives the record a sense of many layers. The arrangements are bigger and better. It’s more evolved all round.”

            True enough. When Saints Go Machine: you’ve never heard anything like them.


            TRACK LISTING

            1. Konkylie
            2. Church And Law
            3. Parix
            4. Chestnut
            5. The Same Scissors
            6. Jets
            7. Kelly
            8. On The Move
            9. Whoever Made You Stand So Still
            10. Add Ends


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