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BORDER COMMUNITY

Luke Abbott

Translate

    '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.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    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.

    TRACK LISTING

    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. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      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.

      TRACK LISTING

      Saturday
      Sunday
      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.

      TRACK LISTING

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

      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.


        TRACK LISTING

        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)
        Reprise
        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

          RocketNumberNine

          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.

              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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