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Limited white label 12” of Shit Robot’s ‘End Of The Trail’ featuring Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) on vocals b/w the instrumental mix and a killer Roman Flugel remix. 

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd 12" Info: Super limited white label 12"

Guerilla Toss

Twisted Crystal

    Analog synthesizers give tangible life to the works of Guerilla Toss. Whether it be the sound of a rocket ship, a kitten-with-a-wah, distorted dolphins, or a clavichord made of honey-baked ham, the band consistently find new ways to bring together the many ideas that combine to shape each new batch of art-rock puzzle pieces.

    ‘Twisted Crystal’, Guerilla Toss’ new album, feels more personal than ever for the band. Angular yet irresistibly catchy, this collection of pop songs pulls influence from powerful groups like The Slits, ESG, Gina X and early Madonna, with sing-speak vocals from Kassie Carlson nodding to legendary artists like Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones, and Lizzy Mercier Descloux - combining this all into a twisted, crystalline concoction.

    Oracles and enigmatic egos are common lyrical themes but charismatic instrumentality springs the listener back to extraterrestrial comfort. Old favourite sounds ring true from the trusty Sequential Circuits Six Track Synthesizer and Clavia Drum Machine. New, more refined sounds are moulded and polished by drummer/producer Peter Negroponte, whose passion for perfection and creation goes far beyond an all-consuming Tetris effect. Peter has truly excelled on this new recording, creating a complex network of beats and sound that become easily intertwined with the rhythmic fabric of life.

    In albums past, vocalist Kassie Carlson’s performances resembled more of a manic, possessed high priestess; humming at the gates of hell, hacking telepathy and tugging the strings of every audience member. ‘Twisted Crystal’ goes beyond this familiar darkness, leading us into a rhythmically calming charm with deep wisdom, serenity, and understanding.

    At times the listener wanders through mazes of dizzying, alternately pulsing time signatures, but the roads always bounce, meet and magically snap back together. That meditative groove, both live and in the studio, has become signature for Guerilla Toss, drawing deep influence from 70s krautrock and experimental rock music like Tom Tom Club, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Neu!, Cluster, Todd Rundgren and La Dusseldorf.

    Marcus Marr

    Familiar Five: Remixed

      Marcus Marr shares his Familiar Five: Remixed EP. The remixed tracks first appeared on the UK producer’s Familiar Five EP, released earlier this year. The record features remixes from Justin Van Der Volgen, Prosumer, Gerd Janson and Ara Koufax.

      “It was fun to ask some of my favourite producers to remix these tracks,” notes Marr. “I love Gerd’s remixes and play them loads. Prosumer is a great producer and I’ve been a fan of his for ages. Justin Van Der Volgen I also love - his originals and his remixes are always interesting. And Ara Koufax I’ve been a fan of since their tune ‘Brenda.’”

      Marr is no stranger to collaboration, working with Australian musician Chet Faker on 2015’s Work EP. Work yielded two hit singles, “Birthday Card” (Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 first play, #1 Hype Machine) and “The Trouble with Us” (#1 Hype Machine). The Familiar Five EP, however, shows him in his individual element, an artist and performer who understands just how to make superb music for both man and machine.

      A regular at Berlin’s famed nightclub Berghain/Panorama Bar since 2014, Marcus Marr recently performed a string of single launch dates in North America with The Juan Maclean. He has previously toured with the likes of Hot Chip, Floating Points, Jacques Greene and Optimo, and has performed at the highly regarded MoMa PS1 Warm Up series, Day For Night Festival and Art Basel Miami. Marcus has also contributed mixes to Beats in Space and Boiler Room.

      Sometimes the best remixes come direct from the artist themselves. Following the success of their debut EP, CCFX return to re-imagine and reiterate all four tracks. At times turbulent, at others serene and throughout unabashedly raffish, these instrumental versions take the liberty of exploding the originals and thrusting the fragments into deeper and more ornate sonic territory. Minimal beats as well as pumped up breaks take the forefront here, rendering nascent atmospheric jungle and dubbed out Balearic new wave.

      Though it was released last October, the original EP is still making waves, having been hyped by the likes of NPR, Pitchfork and NME. With this new record, the band demonstrate their versatility in addition to their songwriting talent. Always willing to take risks, "The Remixes" is a masterful selector’s spin on their late 90s / early 00s indie pop-oriented sounds.

      The band aren’t slowing down either, as this release comes on the heels of the band’s debut live performance on KEXP and ahead of their appearance at Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington state.

      For fans of Omni Trio vs Everything But The Girl, Massive Attack vs Mad Professor, Andrew Weatherall vs Primal Scream.


      Shrouded in mystery, the Hermetica are a series of Egyptian-Greek didactic texts, meant to help the willing student better understand the cosmos, divinity, and nature. On her debut LP for DFA Records, German producer Perel takes the listener into deep space and explains it all. Over the course of nine tracks, she shares a striking amalgamation of house, new wave, and kraut motifs that crystallize to form a unique sound.

      Born in Saxony, Annegret Fiedler ventured into the realm of songwriting at the age of eight, composing her first songs on her grandmother’s piano while listening to Eurythmics and 2 Unlimited cassettes in her spare time. Moving to the East German city of Halle to study in the mid-aughts, she was heavily influenced by the multifaceted alternative music scene there, and the parties people threw in post-Berlin Wall abandoned buildings. Fiedler went on to develop her craft as a formally trained singer, co-producer, and multi-instrumentalist in several bands, covering a broad palette of styles ranging from punk rock to electro pop and honing her performance skills. A move to Berlin (and the city’s club landscape) inspired her to start recording solo productions under the moniker Perel.

      Essaie Pas always seek out fresh challenges. After all, there’s a whole universe of sounds, sights, and new ideas to explore. Emerging from Montreal’s sprawling electronic scene, the duo - Marie Davidson and Pierre Guerineau – feel completely free to express themselves, to sketch out hitherto unmapped musical regions and the results are rather quite arresting. "New Path" takes their philosophy one step further. Their second album to date and second on powerhouse label DFA Records, it is loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s 'A Scanner Darkly', a classic of dystopian science fiction.
      'I read the book a long time ago, maybe 15 years ago, and it had a strong impression on me,' explains Pierre. 'In our previous work we always looked to music as inspiration in our lives, but this time we felt the desire to try something different, that’s not based on ourselves but on someone else’s universe. It was going to be more conceptual, more political.'

      "New Path" touches on personal ground, on addiction, loss, and the lingering strength of identity within late capitalism’s mass media paranoia. It pins down the central character’s destructive addiction, using this as a metaphor to explore the dichotomous rupture between our inner lives and our social environment, one that is often fed and soothed by drug abuse, social media, or any kind of dependence.

      'I think it touches us on many levels,' Pierre continues. 'We can talk about drug addiction issues, we can talk about the mass surveillance world we live in, but there’s also the experience of loss, of grief. I was surprised by how the book felt so modern and accurate to the time we live in right now. Dick’s visions of surveillance are the reality of social control today.' 


      Dawn People

      The Star Is Your Future

        Dawn People’s ‘The Star Is Your Future’ is a studio collaboration between New York musicians Nick Forte and Peter Negroponte. The pair’s mutual disregard for musical categorization results in a genre-bending ride on the nine-track album, which portrays their diverse backgrounds while maintaining a sense of accessibility, continuity and purpose.

        Both veterans of the underground experimental scene, the duo entered into the project preparing to make a serious racket. In time, their mutual appreciation for breezy 70s jazz fusion, Krautrock and library funk became apparent, setting the course for the sessions. In the summer of 2016, they started tracking live jams with drums and electronics at the Outlier Inn studio in upstate New York with engineer Josh Druckman. As the tracks took shape, Forte and Druckman arranged the material and Negroponte overdubbed guitar, synthesizer, bass and percussion. Finally, the tracks were handed to Abe Seiferth for mixing and post production.

        Dawn People’s dense, funky and psychedelic music is the result of the wide range of musical influences of the collaborators. Nick Forte’s resume spans influential hardcore punk band Rorschach, post-punk outfit Beautiful Skin and recent underground sensation Raspberry Bulbs. With Dawn People, Forte digs deep into his own childhood nostalgia: making mixtapes from the early NYC hip hop show ‘Rap Attack’, watching Christian Marclay experiment with vinyl on the TV show ‘Night Flight’ and his first musical instrument, the Casio SK1 sampler keyboard.

        Peter Negroponte is a virtuosic drummer and guitarist whose influences are rooted in rock & roll, jazz, funk, fusion and free improvisation. In reaction to his brief stint at the New England Conservatory, Negroponte sought to transcend what he felt to be an esoteric approach to making ‘experimental’ music by forming the psychedelic art-rock-noise-funk band Guerilla Toss. He has worked with an array of contemporary DIY labels such as Feeding Tube, NNA Tapes, Digitalis and John Zorn’s Tzadik.

        The sound of this album harkens back to a time not too long ago, in the early to mid 90s, with groups like Air, Cornelius, Stereolab, Tortoise and Cibo Matto. All these artists combined a love of Krautrock and David Axelrod records into a lushly produced jigsaw puzzle of live instrumentation, editing, sampling and immaculate production. It is a genre that Pitchfork’s Eric Harvey recently described as “recombinant pop,” which is applied to “adventurous, sample-driven and style-copping music.”

        ‘The Star Is Your Future’ shifts aesthetically and dramatically between sections and phrases, woozy in the best way and never unfocused. Together, Forte and Negroponte have cobbled together a dazzling scope of sonic elements to create something cohesive and mesmerizing.

        For fans of Cornelius, Air ‘Virgin Suicides’ OST, Beastie Boys ‘Check Your Head’, Stereolab.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Funky breaks, jazzy woodwind, and the hazy laid-back atmosphere of early hip-hop melt together seamlessly into this brilliantly accessible formation of style and substance.

        CCFX

        CCFX

          CCFX are a new trio from Olympia, Washington, featuring Mary Jane Dunphe (Vexx, CC Dust), David Jacques (CC Dust) and Chris McDonnell (TransFX). Collectively coming from a background of punk, new wave and shoegaze, all three members embody Olympia’s historical ethos of DIY and join forces for a record that is a showcase of what is currently coming out of the Pacific Northwest.
          Recorded and mixed with Captain Tripps, the release is a testament to the nostalgic properties of 80s UK chiming and melodic guitar parts that counter and complement Mary Jane’s emotional vocals. Undeniably indebted to the sounds of The Cure, New Order, The Smiths and My Bloody Valentine, Chris McDonnell has made much of the kinship he feels between Olympia, Washington and Manchester, England. CCFX strike that delicate balance between heartfelt and gloomy but there is an earnest sincerity to these tracks that sets the band apart.
          The timbre of the music is warm and just slightly fuzzed out and the expressive quality of Mary Jane’s voice is pushed to the front. These four songs allow access to suppressed and forgotten feelings from youth - punk’s not dead and neither are its descendants. This is the stuff indie dance nights are made of.

          ‘Exit Entrance’ is the DFA debut for Kohei Matsunaga aka NHK yx Koyxen. Kohei has been making / releasing music since 1997 and has recorded for such iconic labels as Mille Plateaux, Important, Pan & Diagonal. His latest recordings explore intricate drum programming, lush melodies & sparkling arrangements. Touchstones include the legendary ‘Clicks & Cuts’ compilations from the 1990’s as well as Aphex Twin & Autechre. RA called his music “bombastic techno funk….unpredictable but rarely disappointing”. ‘Exit Entrance’ is a collection of new songs that snap and flicker unlike anything Kohei has done in the past. There is a clarity and beauty to these tracks that bursts out of the speakers in a three dimensional way, matching the 3D glasses that the artist wears during all his live performances. The elegant arrangements and crisp drum breaks match the concise song titles – Kohei foregoes the typical impenetrable track names made up of numbers and shorthand, and opts for a more direct emotional sincerity through the sonic themes of the record. Not all the music here falls into the same exact formula. As the album heads towards a close, after several tracks of harmonious beauty, we get ‘Outset (for Mika Vainio)’, a sombre hushed techno tune, dedicated to his late friend and musical collaborator, who unexpectedly passed away earlier this year as the record was being completed. What follows after this track is perhaps the real catharsis, as ‘Dented’ ominously kicks off with acidic stabs and rolls into a tumultuous dirge of gritty techno.

          For fans of Aphex Twin, Actress, Zomby, Kraftwerk, Four Tet.


          ‘Horse Follows Darkness’ is the second record by Delia Gonzalez, her follow up to the album ‘In Remembrance’.

          The title is taken from a werewolf genre film her 8 year old son Wolfgang had created. At this time, Wolfgang also turned Delia onto a genre of cinema she had always resisted - the American Western. Delia explains that what she observed “was all relevant - the album is based on our personal experience of moving back to America (from Berlin) and the journey that followed. The record is a manifestation of that, and what one creates for themselves under the given circumstances. Coming back to America, I felt like a foreigner and NYC / America felt like the Wild West. Most Westerns from the 1960s to the present have revisionist themes. Many were made by emerging major filmmakers who saw the Western as an opportunity to expand their criticism of American society and values into a new genre.”

          The narrative of the record is one of re-encountering the frontier mentality that shaped the country but somehow never faded. This time as a foreigner. The genre of the Western remains pertinent, many of the same stories of that brutally deromanticized era are still relevant today.

          ‘Horse Follows Darkness’ is essentially a modern electronic soundtrack for the Revisionist Western. Even the idea for the record cover is inspired by one of the most well known modern Westerns, Robert Altman’s ‘McCabe & Mrs Miller’.

          The album was recorded with Abe Seiferth at Transmitter Park studios, which Delia likens to “going to the finest tailor.” Abe became an integral part of the recording, playing guitar and helping to suggest experimenting with different synthesizers, something Delia was keen to do. Delia refers to Abe as “a magical and incredibly intuitive collaborator” regarding the sound of the record.

          The music that emerged from these recording sessions combines a range of influences - from the compositions of Erik Satie to ‘Salon De Musique’, the solo piano record by Su Tissue (of the LA punk band Suburban Lawns). The record also took on a much different shape and sound with the introduction of the Sequential Circuits Prophet VS, as well as a vintage Korg Poly synth and the Roland SH-101. The golden era Krautrock recordings of bands like Neu!, Cluster and Harmonia were touchstones as well, the repetition, swirling soundscapes and locked-in rhythm tracks.

          Delia Gonzalez is a Cuban-American musician and artist, based in both New York City and Berlin. Her disciplines include everything from composer to filmmaker, dancer / choreographer, sculptor, painter and performance artist. Her musical career with DFA Records began in 2004 when the label released the 12” single ‘Relevee’, followed by the album of cosmic acid house ‘The Days Of Mars’, with Delia and then musical partner Gavin Russom.

          In 2015, DFA released Delia’s first solo album entitled ‘In Remembrance’, which was a full piano score for a 30 minute filmed ballet, a perfect example of the type of work Delia creates as a multi-disciplinary artist.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Gonzalez spans the whole range of avant-garde ambience on this stunning release, from clattering field recordings (a-la Set Fire To Flames), Krautrock rhythms and stunning modern classical beauty. An exceptional album from an exceptionally gifted composer.

          "GT Ultra" is the second full length album by Guerilla Toss on DFA Records. The album demonstrates a remarkable shift in sound, musicianship and songwriting, without ever giving up the remarkable unhinged quality that made their earlier recordings so exciting. The album title "GT Ultra" is a clever nod to Project MK Ultra, the government sponsored experiments using new experimental drugs to explore mind control, torture and forced confessions, often with LSD as their drug of choice. These tests lasted from the mid-1950s-1960s but with a new administration in the White House, government sponsored torture is fresh again on many minds. The songs on the album ricochet back and forth between hyper bouncy pop and deeper darker longer, more nuanced tracks. Peter Negroponte’s drumming, always a major highlight for the band, is in full force once again, this time bringing a Nassau / Compass Point feel to many tracks, like the classic recordings of Grace Jones and Talking Heads. Kassie’s vocals and lyrics are both more personal and more cryptic than ever (but you can hear every word this time and there is a lyric sheet). As preferred, the meaning is within the listener. It is a dream state record for sure, meant to take you along on a similar vibe that the band has been tripping on these past few years, filled with an insistence to “hydrate, gyrate, think straight, no weight,” all the while under the influence of golden beams of orange sunshine, glimmering glitter and kaleidoscopic bursts.

          Adding to the authenticity, the album is wrapped in vintage blotter acid, created by legendary LSD archivist and artist Mark McCloud and The Institute Of Illegal Images, based in Francisco.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: A visceral and heavy-hitting mash-up of worldy psychedelia, funked-up soaring electronica and swirling cosmic freak-outs. Brilliantly innovative, eminently satisfying groovers.

          Various Artists

          DFA Compilation #1

            The CD release of DFA Records Compilation #1 came out in days of yore, when the iTunes store did not exist, when iPods were more coveted than your phone. The only way to hear the first batch of singles DFA released was to seek out the vinyl and lots of people did.

            This magical mythical first group of releases from DFA included “House of Jealous Lovers” by The Rapture, “Losing My Edge” & “Give It Up” by LCD Soundsystem. It also included two very different approaches to dance music from The Juan Maclean – “By The Time I Get To Venus” and “You Can’t Have It Both Ways”, which subtly introduced the world to the vocal powers of Nancy Whang.

            Black Dice also released a 12” single, throwing their noise roots behind a 4/4 screech and created one of the most unique singles in the DFA catalog with “Cone Toaster”.

            The compilation was edited to fit onto one CD, more a sampler than a completist’s anthology. In hindsight, it should have been an anthology of the first 5 singles in full but the A sides had enough momentum happening to make the sampler a bonafide success for the label.

            The 8.0 review from Pitchfork in 2003 helped cement the DFA label as both the leaders of a new production approach, as well as a collection of artists who could co-exist make music together and please both the discerning DJ and the indie rock enthusiasts.

            In the review, the writer Nick Sylvester calls DFA “The Neptunes of the discopunk underground”, which maybe seems funny and far-fetched now, but back in 2003 was a compliment and comparison that DFA were very willing to accept. It is now 2016 and both parties continue to work and stay busy and relevant. Success being relative, this compilation represents the humble beginnings of the label and the birth / re-birth of DFA flagship artists The Rapture, The Juan Maclean, LCD Soundsystem & Black Dice.

            This is the first time this title has ever been pressed to vinyl.

            DFA hit us up with  "Echo", the first album for the label from acclaimed Norwegian avant garde pop vocalist Nils Bech. A busy stage actor and singer already well known in his native Norway for three albums released on Oslo’s Fysisk Format, "Echo" marks a pivotal turning point for Bech and something of a radical sonic departure too. The keys to this change lie with Bech’s new collaborator, the young underground DJ, producer and beat maker Drippin’, known for his work with American rap artists such as LE1F and Cakes Da Killa. As a result, where his previous work was strange, ethereal and otherworldly - completely and utterly unique - ‘Echo’ throbs with a renewed sense of vigour and urgency, without losing any of the idiosyncratic beauty which marked Bech’s work before. 


            FORMAT INFORMATION

            LP Info: LP comes with digital download.

            He may be ill at ease with the darkroom throb of 21st Century clubs but the house music the Crooked Man produces is as weighty, alien, raw and left of centre as ‐ anything you’d get from many a hyped young producer. His instincts, honed through years of DJing, production and dancing in sweaty cellars, remain as sharp as ever. Bored of having no decent parties to go to, he became DJ Parrot and began promoting the soon to be legendary Jive Turkey events in 1985. Alongside his DJ partner Winston Hazel, he united Sheffield’s disparate dancers by joining the dots between Northern Soul, disco, hip hop, electro and the emerging underground dance sounds of Chicago, Detroit and New York. He also teamed up with Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H Kirk under the Sweet Exorcist alias, delivering the peerless ‘Testone’ in 1990, one of the landmark records of the bleep era. The pair went on to release the first album on Warp, ‘C.C.E.P.’, in 1991. Since then, Parrot has kept a low profile. When not working his sheepdogs, he’s quietly produced for Roisin Murphy, Add N To (X), Richard Hawley and Toddla T, amongst others. His decision, some years back, to revisit his love of raw, bass heavy house music merely marks another ‐ twist in the winding path of the Crooked Man. Double LP includes digital download code. 

            Guerilla Toss

            Eraser Stargazer

            Ecstatic, vital and brilliantly unhinged, new age ragers Guerilla Toss promote positive energy and twisted spirituality through the less-travelled path of brutal, intelligent, live rock & roll dance music. Like a hurricane of healing bliss, a Guerilla Toss concert is more of a ritual than a performance. It is the unique pairing of musical voices and backgrounds that makes Guerilla Toss such a special party band. They’re more than that, however - Guerilla Toss get real when you pay close attention. Their music is inspired by tragedy and beauty, drug addiction / mental illness and the re-birth of the soul through spiritual practice and psychedelic drug healing - helping the listener overcome these hardships.

            Following the release of the acclaimed ‘Flood Dosed’ EP in 2015, their first recordings for DFA Records (which cemented support from folks ranging from punk icon Henry Rollins to Busy P of Justice’s Ed Banger Records), Guerilla Toss release their new album ‘Eraser Stargazer’ via DFA.

            “[Lead track] ‘Diamond Girls’ is about the desire to disconnect from the material properties of social interactions and boil it down to pure elemental form,” explains vocalist, Kassie Carlson. “It’s about letting go of the bullshit to run away from smoke and mirrors.”

            ‘Eraser Stargazer’ was written and recorded in six weeks of winter isolation in upstate New York. Fans of the group will hear all of the beloved hallmarks of the Guerilla Toss sound - solid bass grooves, squealing guitars and kitchen sink percussion. Each instrument now occupies its own part of the audio spectrum, with vocalist / poet Kassie Carlson’s spirited incantations brought into focus.

            Album centrepiece ‘Grass Shack’ is a perfect example of this leaner, yet tougher Toss. It traverses nearly seven minutes of gameshow-winner keyboard stabs, mutant funk basslines and time signature changes, all grounded by Peter Negroponte’s virtuosic drumming. Carlson describes the themes of the song as “A deep analytical depiction of a small unit of time, with heightened senses, ripping yourself out of bed even though it might be harsh and overwhelming. Seeing patterns in the little things that make life beautiful.”

            Heavy subject matter permeates the rest of the record but that doesn’t mean it’s a downer. Album closer ‘Doll Face On The Calico Highway’ is the perfect summation - angular guitars, bells and low-end vibrations interject and decompose as quickly as they appear, until a hissing cymbal is all that remains.

            Having now relocated from Boston to New York (“We felt like it was time to move closer to our favourite active bands and artists and they all just so happen to live in NYC,” states Kassie), Guerilla Toss are poised to make 2016 their year.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: A visceral and heavy-hitting mash-up of worldy psychedelia, funked-up soaring afrobeat and swirling cosmic freak-outs. Brilliantly innovative, eminently satisfying groovers.

            Panagiotis Melidis started writing music as Larry Gus (λάρυγγας [larigas], Greek for larynx) in 2006, after his previous band, the bass and drums duo Ginger, parted ways. Initially his music combined sample-based constructions and psychedelic pop melodies, merged into an infinitely dense amount of layers and polyrhythms. He soon became known for his energetic and chaotic improvised live performances that involve intricate layering of vocals, drums, and electronics… along with lively stage banter.

            On his new DFA album, "I Need New Eyes" (a title inspired by a Marcel Proust misquotation), moving slowly out of his sample-based roots and using clearer songwriting structures as his starting point, he stares intensively into his obsessions, anxieties and inadequacies, namely failure, humiliation, subservience, submission, and comparisons with other musicians’ careers, always through the prism of a provincial outsider.


            DFA Records are proud to announce the new album from Slim Twig.

            ‘Thank You For Stickin’ With Twig’ is to date the most sonically immersive album in Twig’s discography.

            Where some records have focused explicitly on sample-based songwriting, while others have been completely live-recorded, the new album arrives at a perfectly produced fusion of fidelities. Twig flirts here with a variety of vibes, most often opting for a three-dimensional approach whereby a warped tape aura is overlaid with colourful laser-cut keyboard and guitar melodies. A fetishization of analogue texture is married to a digital approach.

            It's a fuzz-heavy psych-pop fest with hints of early Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. 

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            Prinzhorn Dance School

            Home Economics

            “When our first album came out,” Tobin Prinz (guitar, voice) remembers, “we were awkward, miserable...” “Nervous, uncooperative” chips in Suzi Horn (bass, voice, drums), pausing just long enough for Tobin to supply the punchline - “and now look at us!”

            Prinzhorn Dance School are still recognisably the same spiky Brighton-based duo whose ultra-rigorous debut cut through the excess of 2008 like a scimitar through bacon fat. But with their trademark stripped-down intensity now winningly off-set by moments of unabashed tenderness, their third album 'Home Economics' continues and even accelerates the move away from austerity and into human warmth begun by its acclaimed 2011 predecessor 'Clay Class'.

            The starting point for the new record was the band’s “amazing” first US shows - two of their own and a triumphant showing at DFA’s 12th anniversary - in May 2013. Inspired by their American adventure, Prinzhorn Dance School brought the recording process into the heart of their everyday lives. Played and recorded on the move between different flats in Brighton and Hove, then wheeled around town on a hard-drive wrapped in a sleeping bag in a specially-adapted suitcase, 'Home Economics' gave them an escape route from “that frustration you feel when you spend days trying to recapture the intimacy of a particular moment”, Tobin remembers. “This time we could just use the original take, so sometimes these songs are almost like field recordings”.

            All the best six-track albums - The Fall’s 'Slates', Orange Juice’s 'Texas Fever' - know exactly what they want to say and how they intend to say it. 'Home Economics' shares that infectious sense of urgency. There’s not an inch of spare meat on it - from 'Reign'’s snatched moment of optimism, through 'Battlefield'’s restorative meeting of minds with an urban fox on a drunken walk home in the early hours, to 'Let Me Go'’s concluding tribute to “a love that won’t rewind and will not be deleted”. Spindly yet sensuous, together and alone, exquisitely sad but somehow full of hope, Prinzhorn Dance School knit together disparate and even opposite fragments into an utterly satisfying whole.


            Delia Gonzalez

            In Remembrance

            DFA Records are proud to announce the release of "In Remembrance", a multimedia project by acclaimed contemporary artist Delia Gonzalez. The project originated as a 2010 solo show of the same name at Galleria Fonti in Naples, Italy, and was further realized in 2012, with additional work, as part of the exhibition I Must Not Stop To Rest Here in Cologne, Germany. The project was further exhibited in Zurich. Both exhibitions were built around four 16mm ballet dance films, accompanied by the music composed by Gonzalez. In her words, “The film is meant to re-create the fleeting sensation of inspiration - that sacred feeling when suddenly your mind clears and you know exactly what you’re meant to create and become.”

            The original piano score was initially inspired by a text by Henry Miller as well as a theory by spiritual teacher George Gurdjieff, which states that “to play scales is to become more in tune with your inner self.” This coincided conceptually with the music that Delia had been making at the time.

            Musically, 'In Remembrance' finds Delia Gonzalez again straddling the lines drawn between the fine art and pop worlds. This time, instead of the cosmic, arpeggiated synths of 'The Days of Mars', we are presented with something even more beautiful. The music is immediately soothing and hypnotic, yet it also maintains a sinister undertone. Suspense and tension are expressed in a deceptively simple fashion, providing a soundtrack both mesmerizing and melancholy for the dancers in the film. Delicate layers of piano wind around each other, reflected in the mirrored motions of the dancers, filmed in leering close-ups. The four compositions combine to create a 30 minute avant-classical suite, bringing to mind Satie, or something plucked from Italy’s iconic Cramps Records in the seventies (John Cage’s Cheap Imitation is an reasonable comparison), or perhaps an alternate score to the arthouse horror film Don’t Look Back by Nicolas Roeg.

            The the album also features remixes by live collabator Bryce Hackford. Bryce takes Delia’s exquisite piano score and loops, stretches, and consolidates it. There’s a range of treatments at play here - some pieces are layered with gauzy left-field electronic pulses while Track IV get a 4/4 dancefloor makeover, recommended to fans of both classic Detroit techno and newer left-field stars such as Actress. Asked to briefly discuss his mission statement in creating these remixes, Bryce simply stated that he wished that his remixes “maintain the hypnotic and simple beauty of the originals while opening them up to new spaces.”.

            CD and double LP formats include a DVD featuring ballet performances set to the music of "In Remembrance".

            For fans of Nils Frahm, Kiasmos, Hauschka, Philip Glass, A Winged Victory For The Sullen.

            Brooklyn-based Holy Ghost! make their triumphant return on DFA following 2011's eponymous debut with the sleek electronics of "Dynamics". The duo, who began life with some hard hitting nu disco releases and remixes on DFA, Permanent Vacation and Modular, added classic songwritting to their strong production game for their debut album, and they continue their evolution on this new LP. The result is an 11 tracker of distilled pop brilliance, drawing influence from disco, new wave and synth pop but stamped with the trademark Holy Ghost! warmth and groove. Lead single "Dumb Disco Ideas" brims with punk funk majesty, reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem at their best, while "Changing Of The Guard" and "Dance A Little Closer" will appeal to fans of Italians Do It Better's reboot of new wave. Elsewhere "It Must Be The Weather" and "I Wanna Be Your Hand" see the duo paying their respects to "Rumours"/"Tango In The Night Era" Fleetwood Mac. Holy Ghost! have evolved from a strictly dancefloor entity into a proper pop band with big songs and great hooks. And they've never sounded as good.


            The wait's finally over and one of the most hotly anticipated records of the year is on the platter. "Turn it Up" opens the record in sparse fashion, a heavy duty drum track with plenty of rhythmic complexity and some trippy vocals, but where are the synths? Patience is a virtue. Building up out of near silence, a whirling arpeggio sets "Here Again" in motion, as human and machine percussion marry perfectly amongst a backdrop of ever changing sounds and fx. Theirs is a music repetitive and metronomic in tempo and signature yet ever shifting, ever surprising, ever ear-boggling. A battered drum kit, Jomox Xbase drum machine and Roland SPDS sample pad create the tools for deep and effective hypnosis.  A Fender Telecaster is brutalised with fists and fraying violin bow, an assault complimented by Roland SP555 sampler. For those in the know, previous singles "Fall Back" and "Two Different Ways" appear here, perfectly exemplifying the collision of analogue techno, heavy synthesis, EBM vocals and industrial acid which the trio have made their own. On their own terms and in their own league, Factory Floor have lived up to the hype and then some.


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Philippa says: When making music, like art, part of the process is knowing when a particular piece is finished. The temptation to embellish, to fill-out, to just-add-one-more-thing is often given in to. Factory Floor (Gabriel Gurnsey, Dominic Butler and Nik Void) show us exactly how much is enough on their debut eponymous album. All excess fat is trimmed from these tracks – even the geometric pattern on the sleeve alludes to this with its tessellating Stanley knife / cutter blade shapes. This is dancefloor music pared down to muscle and bone. The London trio combine heavy synthesis and live instrumentation – human and machine – to create alt-dance music of dynamism, tension and relentless propulsion. Gurnsey’s tight, metronomic kit drumming sets the pace, pushing the tracks forward, while Butler’s layered, oscillating analogue synths and arpeggiated, sequenced keyboard lines fill the space above with morphing, modulating complexity. Void’s detached, treated robotic vocals sound like the broken transmissions from a computerised dystopian future. Crashing Linn drums, guitar feedback, woodblocks and cowbells complete the picture, but there is always still enough space between the instruments, giving the tracks room to breathe. With a lineage that can be drawn through krautrock, post-punk (they’ve previously worked with New Order’s Stephen Morris), electrodisco, industrial (Void records as Carter Tutti Void with Throbbing Gristle’s Chris Carter & Cosey Fanni Tutti no less), EBM, acid house and even other DFA acts, Factory Floor have moved beyond direct influence and pastiche to create electronic dance music that is totally their own. Raw, brutal, intense, this is EDM Factory Floor style.

            Yacht

            Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire) - The Emperor Machine / Whatever/Whatever Remixes

            While Yacht refers to "Dystopia (The Earth is on Fire)" as a 'post-apocalyptic fight song and a 'cautionary tale,' the track's chant-along melodies and unsparing synths nudge listeners far closer to dance than despair. From the sound of things, that reaction will likely also be elicited by two new remixes of the Portland duo's song, from their 2011 long player "Shangri-La". Legendary production duo Justin Strauss and Bryan Mette, aka Whatever/Whatever, completely rework the sound of "Dystopia" on their version, reorienting it with heavy doses of funk. While the original rides atop buzzing synths, the Whatever/Whatever remix adds a thick bassline and shimmery keyboards that leap out like solar flares. On the flipside, the UK-based Emperor Machine starts their "Dystopia" remix with a dubby electronic feel - every vocal echoing endlessly - and then U-turns into wholly a updated, yet classic, disco sound. The rhythms are sultry, slinking behind a deep, repeated, synthline; it's a recipe for an unexpectedly smooth, subtly hypnotic, and utterly danceworthy song.

            Though the vast, wide-open music made by Fall On Your Sword is made to underlie the visual images that flicker across a film screen - to enrich and inform the storytelling and further the emotional depth of the sights before our eyes - the songs of FOYS often seem to have their own expressed narrative. The soundtracks made by Will Bates and Phil Mossman move through moods and traverse a range of emotional environs, and seemingly possess their very own story arcs, conveyed in music’s notes and tones instead of the filmic language of images. “The First Time I Saw Jupiter” and “Rhoda’s Theme”, both extended mixes of songs featured in the film Another Earth, are a good place to start to see the duo’s ability to create a feeling and place through song. Both compositions lead the listener by the ears through expansive soundscapes and textured sonic landscapes.

            "The First Time I Saw Jupiter” creates an atmosphere of eerie, icy desolation; sounds emit outward in what feels like the loneliness and desertion of space. The tenseness widens with the slow rise of a foreboding sustained bass tone, and from there, we pass through a range of sounds: electronic squalls, high pitched pulses, synth tones that ring out like warning bells of lurking danger. “Rhoda’s Theme” feels slightly more hopeful and less lonely. The song begins with a soft, repeating keyboard line, and then opens up onto beatific synths. There are slight shifts of shape across its nine-minute duration, as it moves from moments of driven beats and rhythms to sections of gorgeous, nearly orchestral streams of sound.

            Fall On Your Sword are Will Bates and Phil Mossman. Bates has worked with artists including Roy Ayers, Paul McCartney, Marc Almond and Marshall Jefferson. As a solo artist and multi-instrumentalist, he has recorded under the name of his own post-punk outfit The Rinse and collaborated with Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine as The Evil Cowards. Bates has composed scores for films including You Won’t Miss Me, Play and Chosin. Phil Mossman is an original member of LCD Soundsystem (though he quit touring with the band in 2006, he rejoined the band for their final shows at New York City’s Terminal 5 and Madison Square Garden). In collaboration with DJ and composer David Holmes, Mossman worked on productions for bands including U2, Manic Street Preachers and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and scored the films Out Of Sight and Ocean’s Eleven.
            Since forming in 2010, Fall On Your Sword has scored five feature length films, and this year won a prestigious Clio award.

            Three years on from their DFA debut, "Hold On", New York outfit Holy Ghost! return to the label with another essential release. Obviously in the intervening three years Nicholas Millhiser and Alexander Frankel haven't been sat twiddling their thumbs but coming up with brillinat reworks for the likes of MGMT, Cut Copy, Phoenix and labelmates LCD Soundsystem.

            From the titular opener, it’s clear that vision involves moving things beyond the 'nu-disco' sonic parameters of “Hold On”. Holy Ghost! have lightly combined an affinity for both the old - from 70s and 80s funk-inflected R&B to glittery disco to synthy new wave to analog instrumentation - as well as more modern sounds from the dancefloor. “Static On The Wire” jumps right in with funky basslines and percussion beneath a glossy veneer of keys and guitar work from labelmate Juan Maclean; “Say My Name” serves as a viscous, spaced-out and seductive mid-tempo journey; “I Will Come Back” is bathed in old-school synths and late-nite dancefloor bliss; and “I Know, I Hear” is propelled by handclaps and catch-you-by-the-collar vocal melodies.

            With this hotly anticipated debut collection of songs, Holy Ghost! yet again prove why they're one of the most closely watched and heralded outfits by music lovers both within and far beyond the parameters of the electronic community. "Static On The Wire" is a testament to the stellar outcomes that result when these two talented, dedicated musicians create music built on their reverence for the roots of dance music, creative explorations of new electronic sounds and passionate love for analog warmth. All that and a Barbara Krugar-inspired PICTURE sleeve as well! E-ssential!


            Black Van

            Yearning - Inc. The Emperor Machine Remix

            Black Van brings together the talents and vision of two well-known electronic producers: Kris Menace, whose Discopolis and other releases obtained dancefloor ubiquity, and KoweSix, one half of the 'all-night-dance-party' DJ duo Moonbootica. This exciting collaboration now yields an impressive debut single for DFA that combines these two heavyweights’ unique musical sensiblities and love of dance music. “Yearning” takes from both old and new, combining classic, straight-forward electronics in a fresh, new composition. It’s all shimmering keys, four-on-the-floor beats and steady bass; the song only stops to take its breath for a few seconds, when all the elements fall out and then slowly rebuild, turning into a sonic supernova of crystalline synths. Flip the record to hear the Emperor Machine remix. It strips things down, then adds alien lasers, funky guitars and electro-bass, old-skool keys and primal percussion - tambourines, cowbells and such like - to the sound. At its least restless moments, the track settles comfortably into a dirty disco-funk groove and rides it until its natural end before breaking out - or breaking down - into a percussion-driven rhythm. From Side A to B, the song has been completely transformed – and is nearly un-Earthly at its most intense, full-fledged stride.


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