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James Holden

Imagine This Is A High Dimensional Space Of All Possibilities

    Electronic explorer James Holden returns with a generically unconstrained new album of rave music for a parallel universe that seeks to reconnect with the feelings of hope, freedom and possibility that characterised the earliest days of dance music, coming to terms with his own musical past in the process.

    In contrast to its jazz adjacent live band predecessor The Animal Spirits, Holden's trippy fourth solo artist album is more of a continuous sound collage, artfully juxtaposing audio worlds and field recordings with an anything goes approach in the style of early nineties pastoral classics like The KLF’s Chill Out and the sprawling radioscapes of Future Sound of London.

    Physical formats include a colourful 12 page booklet of original illustrations by Jorge Velez (Professor Genius).


    Barry says: James Holden has been an inspiration for many a year, deftly moving from jagged instrumental genius ‘The Inheritors’ through jazzy ambient fare ‘Animal Spirits’ to this latest album, imbued with the spirit of both. It's a sprawling and multi-faceted triumph, another indication that Holden is one of the greatest producers around.


    1) You Are In A Clearing
    2) Contains Multitudes
    3) Common Land
    4) Trust Your Feet
    5) The Missing Key
    6) In The End You’ll Know
    7) Continuous Revolution
    8) Four Ways Down The Valley
    9) Worlds Collide Mountains Form
    10) The Answer Is Yes
    11) Infinite Fadeout
    12) You Can Never Go Back

    Luke Abbott


      'Translate' is the first solo artist album in six years from Norfolk synthesizer specialist Luke Abbott: a strikingly direct and assured return to the solo music-making game following a productive diversion into live improvisation with his experimental jazz trio Szun Waves.

      At times dark and ominous, others bright and welcoming, these eleven electronic vignettes form a dramatic and undeniably cinematic body of work which functions as a fitting widescreen soundtrack to our new now.

      The lumbering rhythms, strident synths and distinctive touchstones of 'Translate' represent a musical reconciliation with the directness of the wave-making rolling synth-kraut of Abbott’s forthright debut 'Holkham Drones'.

      Newly-reinvigorated and with a new sense of musical purpose, this is Luke Abbott’s sound fully realised and never so sure of itself.


      Barry says: 'Holkham Drones' was one of my favourite albums for many a year, and still gets a good playing nowadays but nothing has come close to the mind-melting electronic bliss-blanket of 'Translate'. Perfectly split between hypnotic electronic counterpoints and synthy, IDM levity.


      1) Kagen Sound
      2) Our Scene
      3) Flux
      4) Ames Window
      5) Roses
      6) Earthship
      7) Living Dust
      8) River Flow
      9) Feed Me Shapes
      10) Luna
      11) August Prism

      Holden & Zimpel

      Long Weekend EP

        UK synth wizard James Holden teams up with Polish clarinet guru Waclaw Zimpel for a four track mini album of deliciously Krauty improvisations, recorded back in the summer of 2018 when Zimpel (and, on "Tuesday" and "Wednesday", his longtime collaborator guitarist Jakub Ziolek) joined Holden in his London studio for a series of musical experiments; with the goal of completing one track per day. The resultant "Long Weekend EP" is a captivating, in-the-moment lyrical conversation between alto clarinet and modular synth, judiciously supplemented by guitar, organ, voice and assorted percussion and glued together with atmospheric syrupy tape overdubs. A meeting of two like-minded masters of their instrument, whose disparate musical journeys now converge in a shared love of all things hypnotic and trancey. 


        Matt says: A well trodden path but none the less arresting when done proper; the merger of advanced synthesis and organic instrumentation can yield dazzling results - perfectly demonstrated here by two master craftsmen.


        Tuesday (ft Jakub Ziolek)
        Wednesday (ft Jakub Ziolek)

        Technological force-of-nature Leafcutter John teams up with fellow stalwarts of idiosyncratic electronica Border Community for the release of his masterful seventh artist album: the small-yet- perfectly formed joyously utopian artefact ‘Yes! Come Parade With Us’.

        Interweaving layers of lyrical modular synth and occasional guest drums (from Tom Skinner and Sebastian Rochford) with a set of field recordings collected during his sixty mile walk along the Norfolk coastal path during the summer of 2017, these seven bright-eyed folk anthems sing with positivity and a sense of place and see Leafcutter John on career-defining form.


        Doing The Beeston Bump
        Yes! Come Parade With
        Elephant Bones
        Stepper Motor
        This Way Out

        James Holden

        A Cambodian Spring: Original Soundtrack

          The latest addition to the James Holden archive is an album of solo synth work originally written to accompany the critically-acclaimed documentary ‘A Cambodian Spring’: fourteen tracks of pulsing melancholy, foreboding drone and even the occasional burst of beatless trance in the form of the uplifting arpeggios of surefire album highlight ‘Solidarity Theme’.

          Picking up where his classic 2013 album ‘The Inheritors’ left off (and giving ‘Self-Playing Schmaltz’ a new cinematic airing) Holden’s debut soundtrack project combines the sound palette of his beloved Prophet 600 with a cranky old Hammond organ to showcase the full breadth of his musical tastes across the epic documentary format.

          The LP includes digital download code and sleevenotes by ‘Imaginary Cities’ author Darran Anderson.


          Srey Pov’s Theme
          Monk’s Theme Part I
          Downturn Medley
          Solidarity Theme (Villagers)
          Monk’s Theme Part II
          The Villagers
          Disintegration Drone I
          Solidarity Theme (Release)
          Monk’s Theme Part III (Exit)
          Disintegration Drone II (Torn Cone)
          Disintegration Drone III (Death Rattle)
          Self-Playing Schmaltz
          Srey Pov’s Theme (End Credits)

          James Holden & The Animal Spirits

          The Animal Spirits

            Let electronics guru James Holden and his newly-expanded band The Animal Spirits transport us to a magical other world with this third album: a bold new set of synth-led folk-trance standards, fusing elements of psychedelia, krautrock, world and spiritual jazz with Holden's usual propulsive melodic vigour into his most ambitious - but also most accessible - work to date.

            The synth-and-drum core of Holden's Inheritors-era live touring outfit has picked up several members along the way, incorporating saxophone, cornet, recorder and cosmic percussion, all recorded live together in one room under the direction of band leader Holden to produce a genre-blending new form of universal music that feels inherently fluid and alive.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Holden, and his newly inherited (pun intended) band segue away from the dense, fractured electronic excursions of yesteryear, into a genre-bending percussive world-music odyssey. Progressive, multi-layered and incredibly rewarding. Another slice of genius from the Border Community head honcho.

            TRACK LISTING

            Incantation For Inanimate Object
            Spinning Dance
            Pass Through The Fire
            Each Moment Like The First
            The Beginning & End Of The World
            Thunder Moon Gathering
            The Animal Spirits
            The Neverending
            Go Gladly Into The Earth


            Two Ways - Coloured Vinyl Edition

              London-born brothers Ben and Tom Page return from their travels with Neneh Cherry with a crisp new black-and-white split colour vinyl 12”, the James Holden-produced two track celebration of synth and drums "Two Ways". Accomplished jazz drummer Tom also plays in Holden’s own live band so Border Community provides a fitting home for his live take recordings of the RocketNumberNine brothers’ in-the-moment improvisations, capturing them at the peak of their performative powers. "Two Ways" sees afro-tinged percussive melodics and a beefy bass component build to a wild and joyful free jazz crescendo. The insistent rave stabs of flipside "Balance Of Imbalance" meanwhile power ahead noisily over judiciously placed atonal metallic clangs and the frenetic rattle of Tom’s vintage drum kit.

              Luke Abbott

              Wysing Forest

                Four years of slow-burning success on from the rolling primal rhythms and joyous arpeggios of his 2010 debut album 'Holkham Drones', Luke Abbott makes a bold return to the Border Community with his sublime second album offering ‘Wysing Forest’.

                Named after the Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridgeshire who hosted Luke as their first ever musician-in-residence over a six week period during the winter of 2012, the album comprises a series of improvised live recordings, edited and compiled after a period of after-the-act reflection into one rapturous movement. The finished article’s 52-minute duration may have been chopped into nine track-sized chunks for its official album release, but this is most definitely an album which is greater than the sum of its parts, designed to be listened to in one immersive go.

                “‘Wysing Forest’ has a very particular arc to it an the tracks only make sense in the context of that arc,” Luke explains. “Structuring the album to work as a whole was quite a challenge, almost more of a challenge than making the music, but I think I’ve ended up with something that has a kind of internal logic.” And though only a pair of tracks - ‘Free Migration’ and ‘Highrise’, together forming the subtle peak that marks the mid-point of the album - approach ‘Holkham Drones” idiosyncratic lumpen danceability, it is thanks to Luke’s perfectly judged elegant transitional dynamics that neither piece - although as dancefloor-directed as anything he has ever done before - feels out of place amongst the album’s more mellow moments.

                Wesley Matsell

                Total Order Of Being

                  Welsh mystic Wesley Matsell returns to Border Community with an ebullient EP of 90s tinged dance utopianism. File alongside the good-natured old school stylings of Orbital, Lone and The MFA. Thoroughly road tested in the DJ sets of James Holden, the staccato gasps of rave banger ‘Total Order Of Being’ exude a melodious, propulsive appeal.

                  A trio of companion tracks seal the deal: ‘Future Beacon’ combines sacred, mystical arpeggios and rattling breakbeats; ‘Dowlais Wheelie Crew’s layers of vibrant synths form a decidedly modern groove; and ‘Rite Of Pant’ is a rousing exercise in handmade primal proto-house.

                  This is the final release in a collectable four part series of limited vinyl (500 copies). All four covers fit together to reveal a larger picture by UK designer Jack Featherstone.

                  Nathan Fake

                  Hard Islands

                    "Hard Islands" showcases a tougher, more grown-up sound than Nathan Fake's hugely successful "Drowning In A Sea Of Love" debut, as the producer continues to mature in perfect step with Britain's youthful new wave of danceable electronica. The album edges towards the tougher end of electronica occupied by Warp and Rephlex stalwarts Clark and Aphex Twin, where spine-tingling melody meets Fake's acute awareness of what works on the dancefloor.

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