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POLYTECHNIC YOUTH

From Polytechnic Youth, “Phase” sees a debut outing on vinyl from Err Rec label head Gilles Mate’s Dialectric project. Impressed by the wealth of wonderfully varied analogue electronic music being released by this small, fiercely independent French label, it was surely a matter of time before PY & Errs’ likeminded paths crossed- and following a “cold wave” styled small run cassette release, Gilles releases a full length on PY for August. “Phase” is a timeless, minimal electronic record, heavy on hypnotic, emotional tonal arpeggios and sequences. Dreamily crafted introspective pieces, and short “Broadcastian” interludes, using a semi-modular system. Comprising of various analogue oscillators, effects and sequencers (Pittsburgh Modular, Moog, Arturia, Yamaha, Korg to name a few…). Mark Barton explains it as a cosmic carousel of sorts dreamily purred in hypno-grooving pulsar pirouettes, its analogue accents awash in intertwining corteges of softly dissipating kosmische spirals which aside appealing to our Tangerine Dream neuron receptors also arcs on the lighter realms of both the Pye Corner Audio and Listening Center spectrums to provide something that ultimately, ought to pique the interests of those tuned into both Ghost Box and Burning Witches frequencies.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Naive, childlike, optimistic atmospheres & Melodies presented with a clarity and dreaminess that should appeal to fans of Solar Powered Buddha and Brian Eno.

The hugely anticipated debut full length from Glasgow’s mighty TOMORROW SYNDICATE.

Following two much loved 45s on the label, that not only sold out in the blink of an eye but attained plays across 6 Music earning “band to watch”, “hot for 2018” tags aplenty, the band release “Future Tense” this August and it is exactly as we’d hoped; an utter joy, laden with dreamy, sci-fi influenced space age pop hooks in abundance.

The band describe themselves as a “Glaswegian underground DIY collective, who aim to create a sci-fi influenced melodic sound. Heavy on visual expression- influenced by their video / VHS collections; and therefore heavy nods to colour, space, dreams, time and temporal loops figure large”. (The band in fact released a micro edition of 50 VHS tapes in 2017, thus unknowingly to PY themselves, creating the “PY video club” in the process, with another band currently filming #2!)

12 tracks of pulsing, melodic, space-disco electronica- described recently as having an uncanny knack of sounding “uniquely and simultaneously yesterday, today and tomorrow” No mean feat, but let’s not down play the bands’ almighty dose of freshness for NOW; having successfully carved out that all too rare feat of having created a unique, niche sound pretty much all their own.

“These psci-fi-tronic kosmische kapsules purr with a pristinely turned retro-futuro glow. Ghost lit love notes emitted from distant refuelling points located on the outer edges of the galactic highway; cruise controlled melodic missives come tailored in a silver age fashioning that joins the invisible dots to link Wire, La Dusseldorf, Astronauts and Fly, which just to sum things up, makes it an essential occurrence. …On a do no wrong trajectory”

Mark Barton / The Sunday Experience.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Another brilliant outing from the ever-legendary Polytechnic Youth. Shimmering keys, CR-78's, pulsing synth streams and rolling kosmische bass form together into an evocative and absorbing odyssey. Stunning stuff.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: Limited pressing of 300 only in super cool Nick Taylor designed, reversed board sleeve.

Mitra Mitra

Marionettes

    The second of Polytechnic Youth’s ace new LPs for July, sees a mighty set from Austria based synth pop duo Mitra Mitra. Following previous releases on Peripheral Minimal and their own Micromort label, not to mention a lathe cut right here on PY that sold out in 20 minutes in Dec. 2015.

    The band was formed in Vienna in late 2014 by Violet Candide and Mahk Rumbae. Originally from New Zealand, Violet Candide is a founding member of the Crazy Hospital DJ collective, and one of the organisers of the legendary “Future Echo” club night in Vienna, and is one half of ‘Anesthetic Hairpins’; whilst British musician Mahk Rumbae is known for his work as a member of the industrial/experimental project ‘Konstruktivists’, ‘Oppenheimer MkII’ (with Andy Oppenheimer of Oppenheimer Analysis) and his solo techno project ‘Codex Empire’.

    After working together on one of Violet's solo songs, “Heat”, the pair decided to continue working together and formed Mitra Mitra as a more full time project, with the aim of writing electronic songs not tied to any particular influence or style. However, if there was such a thing as a signature PY sound- arguably this LP (alongside last year’s Vorderhaus full length), encapsulates it most. Beautifully icy cold synth pop straight outta’ early prime era Mute / Blackwing studios output. Serene yet melodic, edgy, dry icy hooks and delicious grooves aplenty all over this record. Eight wonderful tracks where quality and sheer melodic guile of the song writing never dips and attention truly is held across the whole set, ….no mean feat indeed.


    Objeto

    Micromundos

      The first of two wonderful new full lengths for Polytechnic Youth for the first week in July. This is a debut release on vinyl for Spanish based Jordi Navarra whose musical oeuvre stretches between “Surf, Hippie / Space Rock and crude electronic music” often different yet coated in tons of reverb and echo for “it’s final catalepsy”!

      “Micromundos,” needless to say for PY devotees, concentrates on his cruder electronic soundscapes; incredible often ambient, drone themed pieces that on one hand dip their toes into the revered works of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius, and the sky back catalogue whilst equally conjuring up a collision of Spacemen 3 psych meets Wire, early Cabs or Magazine darker more atmospheric, post punk industrial / experimental workouts.

      Eight abstract, kosmische fuelled pieces that act as an interesting sister release to the label’s other July offering, the more overtly “in-yr-face” synth pop themed Mitra Mitra LP. Two beautiful releases expected to sell out pretty swiftly, and released together first week of July.

      Following a trio of sold out 45s on Polytechnic Youth, between 2015 and 2017, The Home Current finally channels a full length album through the delectable UK imprint. “Another Way of Falling Apart” sees Martin Jensen, a Copenhagen-born artist delivery more highly textured electronics which skirt between traditional analogue and more modern digital signal processes. The mood traverses tense futurescapes and redolent, nostalgic imaginary: from drawn out sci-fi themes full of phosphorescent fire-flies or deep purple plasma lakes; to blurred VHS memories of optimism, rushed through a rose tinted lens and refracted back from happier times gine by. This is home territory for a committed and expert birder who joyfully connects as much with the planet in bijou record stores or when trying to sight great grey owls or azure-winged magpies in remote country locations! Hence, an almost subliminal, feminine aura to this debut work, and an existential stance that aims not to trouble but to thrill and stir, to convey the beauty that happens when Jensen exposes the adrenalinic tide rocking his angst and calms it with balsamic polyphony and poignant melody. Wonderful stuff! 




      Alpar

      Wakayama / Mejiro

        Polytechnic Youth enter the fray once again, continuing an already productive year (these new 45s are 4/5/6th releases in 2018 already!) with a trio of quite brilliant yet totally different 45s.

        Alpár aka Hungarian Bálint Zalkai, is the co-founder of ‘Farbwechsel’, the Budapest based record label, and his own recordings of electronic compositions (often built upon random looping sequencers in a minimalist style) are key to the label’s release output thus far. His goal as he sees it is to “catch a random pattern, loop it and build up a piece with that randomly pulsing theme. Just let to flow the voltages and sound waves and try not to disturb them or change their basic behaviours”.

        The two tracks here were recorded with this approach very much in mind. The atmosphere of 'Mejiro' is “not unlike a bird observation. Attempting to find the right spot, getting closer and closer to the bird, which almost controls you and your movements as you attempt to near it”. Whereas 'Wakayama' is a more direct piece, and maybe the most melodic song Alpár ever recorded. While 'Mejiro' is a woozy, cautious piece, ‘Wakayama’ is like a tropical fruit or the ume, (the japanese apricot); colourful and full of flavour yet -with thanks to- the slowly humming theme in the background, an element of sourness grips you at the back of your tongue as it ends!

        A beautiful pair of tracks released as a double A side 45 early March 2018. Pressing of 250 numbered copies….

        Adam Leonard

        Entkommen - Pt. I & II

          The second of March’s trio of killer Polytechnic Youth 45s is a mighty extended piece of slow building Berlin school-esque electronica extended over 2 sides of a 33rpm disk, recorded by Adam Leonard; initially from a batch of 18 tracks recorded at varying times over the last six years.

          ‘Entkommen’ is his first release for the label here, and both artist and label rather liked the idea of one extended track across two sides of a 45, whereby the listener must flip the disc at a half way point to continue the piece. It struck us as increasingly unusual and works a treat here…

          Adam has amassed a number of acclaimed releases in varying styles, and across a number of esteemed labels over the years. Last year’s full band release (Invaderband) being shortlisted for a Northern Ireland music prize 2017 and was 6Music recommended. Not to mention previous releases in collaboration with The Owl Service and P.G Six.

          His electronic home recordings are all well worth investigating and Polytechnic Youth proudly releases the first fruits of those sessions right here. A numbered, limited edition vinyl only 7” hand numbered to 250 copies.

          Detox Twins

          In The Hospital Garden / Transformation

            The third of March’s trio of PY 45s, is a revisit to the always enjoyable dark electro world of Berlin’s mighty DETOX TWINS.

            The new record offers up a pair of killer synthpop gems which, in the words of the bands’ Mark Vorderhaus “drift into the arena of the unwell with their latest outing 'In the Hospital Garden', and pose the curious questions: Is it so unfortunate to surrender your mind to a permanent altered state? Can losing oneself irreversibly to a manipulated insanity, actually prove to become a rare and wonderful freedom? Attraction battles control as the transformation completes itself. The b-side, 'Transformation' depicts the liberated insanity without challenge, now thriving and pulsating beyond the point of any return.”



            Two more ace tunes which precede a full length later in the year for Polytechnic Youth. Killer hooks from synth maestro Mark, aligned with glorious effect to Devi’s icy Nico-esque vocals. Another winner for both artist and label!

            A pressing of 250 copies. Hand numbered with sticker insert and destined to fly out super quick.

            Australian Test Labs

            Music For Aircooled Motoring

              “Music designed to cope with the noise of motoring in the VW Type 2 and Type 25 Transporter.

              Recordings of highway driving were made inside the cab of a 1981 VW T25 Kombi travelling at 80kmh and used to test, compose and mix music that could be heard above or in harmony with the noise of the road and the air-cooled engine.

              The frequencies used have been carefully selected and rigorously road tested and when played in a moving van, will blend with the ambient sound of the vehicle and create a unique and harmonious driving experience. As each van will differ slightly, so then each user’s experience will differ accordingly, making this a truly unique pleasure for each driver or passenger”.

              There is a ridiculously strong consistency, and motorik continuity to the set here. A truly wonderful album where the beloved Neu! blueprint groove, sits perfectly amicably between 30 second 70’s kids TV quiz soundalike soundbites, then passes on through the delicious tunefully, Dinger-esque thump of “Moto Moto”, through the industrial drive of “Zundapp Joyride” and sheer electro danceability of “Interflug 82” concluding with the epic super scaled “Autostrada Olympica“. just killer stuff…


              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Ltd LP Info: One off repressing on black vinyl with postcard inserts, hand numbered to 300 copies.

              Alexandre Bazin

              Sun Dog Trail

                The first of two wonderful LPs for the tail end of November on Polytechnic Youth; this one sees a debut for the label from Alexandre Bazin.

                Alexandre is a composer and a current member of GRM, based in Paris, France. He holds a master’s degree in electronic music and composition from Conservatory in Bordeaux, France. His work considers ‘the sonic experience’ drawing on a rich mix of acoustic instrumentation and analogue synthesis along the way. As an experimentalist music researcher, Bazin’s compositional projects are primarily concerned with a very personal seal on a music with emotional power. With “Sun Dog Trail”, Alex merged several inspirations; Firstly, the influence of experimental electronic music, and more specifically a tribute to Bernard Parmegiani. Secondly, the influence of the blues with musicians like John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, (English drummer Tim Wellers (The Divine Comedy) guests on drums here).

                The end result is the “Sun Dog Trail”, an experience that combines Bazin's usual musical fusions with experimental and blues forms, taking the listener on multiple adventurous journeys. For this album Alex used rarer instruments such as an EMS VCS3 synth, Buchla musical easel, Minimoog, and Cristal Baschet.

                The LP’s sleeve saw an ambitious attempt to use Franco Grignani’s beautiful 1966 graphic masterpiece "Fenomeno Plastico-Chiaroscurale" as its centrepiece, and to all parties’ delight, Franco’s daughter Manuella willingly agreed to its use and is incorporated into a design by longterm PY ally Nick Taylor.

                Polypores

                The Impossibility

                  Next up and equally fabulous is the great, and hotly anticipated, new album from Polypores. The artist’s third full length for the label following a private press style, mailorder release earlier the year and first album proper “The Fialka Transmissions” in 2016.

                  Polypores aka Stephen James Buckley makes haunted space music using an ever-expanding mound of synthesizers, samplers, and old tape recorders. Bleak, icy drones give way to 1970's Sci-Fi synth lines, throbbing bass rumbles ominously beneath a psychedelic haze of wistful melody and disembodied voices.

                  “The Impossibility” was inspired by the destruction of the planet Earth by the human race, the early works of JG Ballard, Tarkovsky's “Stalker”, conspiracy theories, and places where the rules of time and space are brought into question. It was written and recorded in January 2017.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Every single time a Polytechnic Youth LP (or single) crops up, i'm instantly frought. I try not to listen to it because I KNOW i'll want it. Spoiler : It never works. I have now bought this one, as well as EVERY OTHER PY RELEASE EVER. This time we have a slightly claustrophobic, but absolutely spellbinding cosmic synth journey. It's impeccable, and as a serial PY purchaser, one of the very best.


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