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MARIONETTE

Following up two expertly written 12"s that actually played more like mini-albums, comes this sprawling debut LP from Swiss modular overlord Benjamin Kilchhofer. To say artist and label have had a quick ascension to stardom is somewhat of an understatement, with Fact, RA and many other tastemaking websites listing the label and artist in the Best of 2017 lists - but we were there first folks!

A double album across 20 (!) tracks, it perfectly encapsulates Kilchhofer's electro-biotic futurescapes - other world exotica and interplanetary fauna. If Kilchhofer's world is created by pieces of modular equipment - sequencers, filters, CV-control devices etc, then it's surely populated by a hybrid of organic and electronic lifeforms - cyborg birdsong, mutant frog croaks and the hiss of electro-static solar winds permeating through each and every track as Kilchofer navigates the plasma-stream cutting right through the centre of this cybernetic rainforest.

Adjectives and abstraction aside, the album skirts between bedroom electronica, nu-exotica and experimental styles: Don't DJ, RAMZi and label mate Burnt Friendman all spring to mind, as does NY duo The Books; however these are merely vague comparisons: Kilchofer's world exists solely on its own.

Although slightly too expansive and almost difficult to navigate, this simply opens up this epic long player for multiple listens; as if joining a route at different stages up and down river, riding the boat, then jumping off at different docks. The first disc eases us into the terrain, atmospheres and soft undulations, while disc two sees more rhythmic content introduced; signaling a deep immersion in the environment. Once you've reached the end of the record a content feeling of deep resonance with artist and record are reached. I strongly recommend taking psychedelics to this breathtaking 'diary' of work.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: One of my favourite artists and labels of 2017 returns with a nothing short of epic double album, detailing Kilchhofer's rich and evocative sonic world. One for mushroom season make no mistake!

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLtd LP Info: Double LP with beautifully detailed, hand drawnn inner sleeves by Jake Fried and a detailed insert by Benjamin Kilchhofer.

The second record from Kilchhofer on Piccadilly favourite Marionette. It was the Kilchhofer / Hain split earlier in the year that really grabbed our attention of this label so it's exciting to see what Benjamin conjures up on his own. An expedition into modular synthesis and physical modelling, where patches become complex instruments, and the instruments become music. Enveloped in a film of spring reverb and tube distortion, the tracks here seem propelled with more forward momentum than the "Acosta" release, with tribal percussions blended effortlessly with the fusion of mind bending electronix and organic, spiritual atmospheres. It posses the same push-pull tension of his previous release but drives the message home with some really weighty bass frequencies. It's another excellent release for the label that drops alongside Maxim Wolzyn's "Affirm, Deny, Reconcile" this week. You need them both!  

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Holy smokes its the second release by Kilchhofer on Marionette and again, it stops you dead in your tracks. Totally arresting and existing in its own unique sound space. Essential.

Burnt Friedman

Dead Saints Chronicles

Remember that amazing Kilchhofer / Hainback record from t'other month on Marionette? Well that introduced this amazing new label to us here at Piccadilly and instantly grabbed our attention, forcing us to dig further and establish contact with the label. 'Focused on sonic healing, pagan rituals, drum circles and mantras' - we were enthralled to say the least. Fast forward to now and avant-tech / glitch / leftfield pioneer Burnt Friedman drops an exclusive for the label - what a coup! Ali, the label owner's been hyping this up to us for a while - and rightfully so - this is real deal entheogenic musica folks, perfectly fitting into, whilst raising our expectation of all things shamanic, ritualistic and 'rainforest' based here at Piccadilly. If you've like Toulous Low trax, Don't DJ, Jan Schultz, Bear Bones Lay Low, Morgan Buckly etc, you're gonna love this! "Dead Saints Chronicles" is an ode to drawing fascination from Near Death Experiences (NDEs). The title for the EP is inspired by a book written by David Solomon and Antony West, involving sifting through thousands of recorded NDEs, a process similar to that which Friedman used to revive pieces from his archive of DAT tapes. Self described as 'an occult meditating ritual for the nocturnals', "Near Life" sees Friedman deploy meticulous gong therapy, supplemented by a mechanical yet sludgy beat and the occasional acid squelch, it perfectly introduces us to the esoteric world that lies before us. "Acrogagnosos" waste no time in casting its pitch black spell across our receptive head space. Held together by a rotating bass swell, there's not much else other than the sound of space winds blowing through a cavernous void; focusing our most basic primal of senses into the frequency hum and resonance of our healer. "Languish" finishes the side spellbound, as Friedman casts his black magic onto the cauldron of sounds, the deliberated sound of a master craftsman at full concentration. Side B appears instantly more transcendental and brighter. As if the magic of side A has cleansed the listener before reaching his or her aural nirvana. It's nothing but energy fields and white light from now on as "Grace" delivers delicately sprung ethnic melodies through burst of crashing cymbals. "Wentletrap" sees a suspended rhythm permeate through a cloud of mystic atmospheres before "Repentance" drops us into a heavenly plunge pool, washing away all remnants of the trip, preparing us to returns to normal life, albeit unavoidably changed for the better.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: A tour de force of shamanic goodness! This is just what we need at Piccadilly right now! Marionette and Burnt Friedman kick Gandalf and Saruman out of Isengard and inflict their dark magik across middle earth!


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