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DEEP DISTANCE

Back in stock Cover of Astro Topoi by Long Distance Poison.
Much like it’s sister label Polytechnic Youth, Deep Distance has had a quiet post summer period since full lengths from ZOFFF and Matthew Simms (of Wire’s) solo LPs, flew out earlier in the year.

However, the more kraut / kosmische flavoured arm to PY bounces right back with a beauty here. The brand new LP from Brooklyn duo Long Distance Poison, which follows a slew of releases on Hausu Mountain, Oxtail Recordings and previously Ecstatic Peace, not to mention the sold out “Human Program” LP right here on DD in 2015.

The record- their third- was partly conceived during their residency at The Clocktower Gallery at Pioneer Works, in the words of the bands’ Nathan Cearley as “a spectral experiment in the play between compositional zones of apparent stability and zones of undefined emptiness. Using random, pseudo-random, intuitive and generative processes, the record burns within the paradox of a song that isn’t a song, a creature of chaos camouflaged in a simulacra of rhythm and melody and structure.

“Astro Topoi” opens with the long form work “Ausunya,” a shifting space that slowly mutates from layering drones to spectral howls to heavy waters and finally rhythmic minimalisms. Side B begins with the raw drones of “Liminal Diamond” giving way to a weirdo blues scape that transform into blissful and shimmering horizons before reducing down to essential funk. The keystone and third song, “Blue Umbra,” plays with different forms of random in order to create simulated forms of pop that inevitably come undone before imploding into Krauty, medieval modalities.

“Astro Topoi” is cosmic music without any preconceived notion as to what the cosmos is, or whether or not it even exists. Space music without the idea of space. Each song is the expression of the unpredictable play of Nathan Cearley’s modular synthesizers, Erica Bradbury’s analog keyboards, and a variety of broken old analog equipment including an old Arp Omni, Moog Satellite, Opus 3 and ‘Mini”.

A pressing of 300 and destined for a speedy sell out….

Zofff

FFF

    The second of May’s pair of ace new Deep Distance LPs, sees a second studio full length from Brighton based kraut / kosmische juggernauts ZOFFF.

    Described recently as "the finest purveyors of kosmische heaviness on the planet right now" by Shindig! Magazine, the band release their eagerly awaited follow up to the quickfire sell out of “ZOFFF I” in 2017 (separated by an equally hastily sold out live album on Drone Rock recs); “FFF” is released first week of May and again is expected to move out quick style.

    Over to Ben Graham for a few words: “ZOFFF are all about light and shade, and the dynamic movement from the subtlest curlicues of gentle sound to the full raging storm of sonic attack, and back again. On their second studio album ‘FFF’, the south coast psychedelic five piece serve up six tracks of improvised instrumental experimentation that blend seamlessly into a consistent whole: a trip, if you will, from First Faltering Feelings to Final Full-blown Freak-out.

    'Ye' assembles around a lonesome trumpet overture, before the drums and dirty fuzz guitar kick in and we're off, with no messing around and no ambient noodling: direct to the cranium and the groove with high-energy space rock reversing the polarity and shaking out the ghosts. 'Vav' takes it up another notch: tense and urgent, it climaxes in Coltrane-like sheets of sound over double-time drumming, before 'Har' arrives at a relatively gentle pace, dub-like sonic action swooping and fluttering over a rock-solid beat until the bass takes over and the direction becomes clear: FFForward!!!

    Side two starts with the appropriately titled 'Dig'. All the elements are in balance and the band are firing at Full Force. 'Ca' kicks off with horn, static and splash, a classic slow burn taking us up to the final eleven-minute climax of 'Zeta'. This surprisingly exploratory piece doesn't just aim to go out with a bang but takes time to set up new possibilities and juxtapositions, opening new doors right to the end where other lesser bands would already be packing up the scenery.

    Recent years have seen ZOFFF reaping acclaim and blown minds wherever they've appeared.

    Their live album, (2017’s KOZFEST MMXVI baring striking testimony to this), with psychedelia an increasingly devalued term, ZOFFF remain the connoisseur's choice. That's ZOFFF with three Fs by the way. We wouldn't want you to forget now…”

    The LP is released as a (clear) vinyl only pressing of 300 on Deep Distance, the go-to London label for kraut flavoured kosmische with a sold out back catalogue of 60/60 releases including Cavern of Anti-Matter, JD Emmanuel, Colin Potter and many others… 

    Slows

    A Great Big Smile From Venus

      From the SLOWS camp:

      “The past two years has seen Matthew Simms (multi-instrumentalist & producer; WIRE, IT HUGS BACK, BILL FAY, UUUU, CHASTITY BELT) release two LP’s of looping transcendental, instrumental music on London’s great Deep Distance label, and perform shows in the UK and USA, including opening dates with Tortoise, Juliana Barwick & Michael Rother of NEU!

      While the first LP focused on solely on the sound of his beloved old Farfisa Organ; evoking the minimalism of Terry Riley and JD Emmanuel and the 2nd his growing obsession with modular synth put through a chain of old tape delays and reverb, resulting in a more hazy Krautrock feel, akin to that of Cluster or NEU!

      On this third LP it’s all changed again, with the tracks growing out of the drum recordings of Matt Schultz (HOLY FUCK, ENON, LAKE RUTH).

      Matthew explains; “I asked him to send me anything, not to worry how it was recorded as I was going to process and destroy it, the only advice I gave him was that the weirder the better. I was instantly inspired when I listened to the clips he sent, as can be heard on the lp, he took my advice on both the patterns played and the recording technique, some with his kids chatting in the background, some recorded during sound checks where the rest of band are heard enjoying his playing! I met Matt ages ago when I was lucky to open for Holy Fuck for a month around Europe and we’ve stayed in touch since, not only an amazing musician and lovely person, he is also a big record collector and jazz head, which is something we both have in common.

      I worked very quickly, kind of imagining Matt was in the room with me, playing the drum recordings back really loud. I think I used only my farfisa organ and korg ms-10 synth, as well as a load of effects pedals, running it all through small valve amp and using my wem copy cat tape delay a lot to glue &/or skew everything together.”

      Having Matt’s drums to kick things off, this record turned into something much noisier and varied than the previous release; still repetitive and minimal but with more sense of wild abandon and embracing a free-jazz influence, like that heard within the sound of the Sun Ra Arkestra”.

      SLOWS is a project started by accident that has grown into a fantastic place for Matthew Simms to experiment, collaborate and follow his ideas, regardless of boundaries and not tied by anything or anyone. Where next...?

      The LP is released as a limited edition pressing on vinyl only of 300 copies and will sell out sharpish…

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Pressing of 300 on vinyl only.

      Cosmic Ground

      Legacy / The Plague

      More from Dirk Jan Muller's incredible Cosmic Ground project. Two cuts taken off the most revered, self titled LP from 2014. “Legacy” (Dirk’s first ever piece using the Cosmic Ground moniker) and a rawer, earlier mix (previously unreleased) of “The Plague”. Both remastered by Dirk for this release in 2018.

      Two wonderfully enveloping, side long pieces, epic in ambition and breadth, which again showcase Dirk’s mastery of the revered Berlin School groove, heavy on leanings to Schulze, Froese and Co. yet instantly and incessantly of it’s time now. Fiery, evocative soundscapes which is some of the strongest in its class. Magical, sequencer heavy, electronic psych: hike up the volume to the max and off you go into the stratosphere.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Matt says: Brooding and fiery synthscapes from supreme sound harnesser Cosmic Ground on the always delectable Deep Distance.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Mini LP Info: Edition of 300 on vinyl only for Deep Distance.

      Another first of year release, this time for Polytechnic Youth’s older sibling, the more kosmische / kraut enthused Deep Distance. Following hugely acclaimed releases for labels such as Kranky, Constellation Tatsu, Not Not Fun and Great Pop Supplement, Jesse Reiner’s esteemed JONAS REINHARDT return to the fray with the mighty “Conclave Surge” LP.

      Having been a fan of Reinhardt for some time, I was pretty excited to hear of this one coming out on the great Deep Distance (moody sibling of the equally brilliant Polytechnic Youth). Reinhardt trades in a variety of synth moods, ranging from the Italo-tinged dystopian futurelands of 'Mask Of The Maker' to the more meandering airy excursions of 'Music For The Tactile Dome', his LP's have always been a fascinating and rewarding journey.  

      The autonomous beginnings of 'Balk Moreau' set the scene, cleansing the palate with swathes of shimmering oscillators, soaring over the horizon as paddling drums blur into view before fading away into the industrial hum of 'Automatic Fanfare'. 

      On the flipside, we get more of the static charged arpeggios fighting for space within a sea of electrical flotsam, threatening to burst out into ________ (insert euphoric overload / semi-conscious breakdown as required). 

      It's interesting that Reinhardt has just released a split LP with Jurgen Muller (Panabrite / Norm Chambers), because trying frantically to find something that filled me with the same wide-eyed wonder as 'Pavilion' was what led me to Reinhardt in the first place, and is still the most perfect fit to my dream aesthetic. This is a wonder, full of spellbinding, hypnotic synthetic clouds. 






      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Properly gorgeous this, brittle stacks of oscillators swarm around a warm saturated core of buzzing heat, spinning swirls of static are broken by beams of neon light. Heavy in parts but lifted with touches of pure euphoric melody. Top tip.

      Pharoah Chromum

      Chromosphere

        Named after a track off Chrome’s epic “Alien Soundtracks” LP, PHAROAH CHROMIUM is the brainchild of Berlin based, German / Palestinian Ghazi Barakat. The project draws upon influences as diverse as “free jazz, rituals from ancient past and near future, the dream syndicate, science fiction, novels and neo-brutalistic architecture”.

        Recommended to the label by Tim Gane, this record draws especially upon -and focuses on- the Berlin School; (a key influence on the formation of the label in the first place). “Chromosphere” features 2 side long pieces heavy on Schnitzler influence with nods to the work of Kluster, “Electronic Meditation” era Tangerine Dream and some of the more extreme elements to Chris Carter's work with and outside Throbbing Gristle. Hugely recommended to fans of Schnitzler’s four legendary single colour sleeved and titled series of gallery edition / private press LPs from ‘73 to ‘84.
        Of a previous release (“Electric Cremation”) Julian Cope was sufficiently moved to say “Epic in scope and always radically novel in sound FX and their execution, ignore this lavish package at your peril, mes dames et mes motherfuckers…” !?!

        “Chromosphere” is packaged as equally lavishly, presented as a hand numbered pressing of 300 beautiful, suitably whacked out Picture Disc LPs. Be warned, this will go quick…..

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd LP Info: Pressing of 300 hand numbered picture disc LPs.

        Cosmic Ground

        Cosmic Ground II

          Following May’s instant two day sell out of the mighty “Deadlock”/”Decay” extended 12” on Deep Distance; Dirk Jan Muller releases his incredible second full length under the COSMIC GROUND solo moniker away from “main band” Electric Orange.

          An utterly magnificent double LP comprising four side long, beguilingly stellar pieces, straight outta’ the Berlin School, and the subsequent decade whereby the use of sequencers came richly to the fore. To these ears -and without exaggeration- this is absolutely unequalled in terms of truly having and getting “IT” within the current crop of kosmische synth movers and shakers. Schnitzler / Kluster, Schulze, early Tangerine Dream are heroes to artist and label here so the pair up is pretty much perfect.….

          Recorded at the Fleisch studio, Aachen in Spring 2015, Dirk has once again gone MIDI free in creating four incredible pieces of music, utilising an almighty arsenal of analog equipment. The album acts as a perfect companion to last year’s “Cosmic Ground” (CD only) debut- yet is perhaps more powerfully infused with propulsive, sequenced passages that are both crisp and dynamic and almost absorb you into their often exhilarating, grasp. An incredible, beautiful record released as a double vinyl only LP expected to sell out rapid style.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Ltd LP Info: 500 pressing double LP. Just found 1 copy of this!


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