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POLYTECHNIC YOUTH

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

          Coloured LP Info: Ultra limited orange vinyl.

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

          The Heartwood Institute

          Secret Rites

            First release on Polytechnic Youth for 2018, (after a jaw dropping 21 releases last year!) sees a first larger scale, vinyl release for the mighty Heartwood Institute. Preceded by a pair of wonderful, yet small run cassette and CDR releases, Jonathan Sharp’s esteemed HI project deservedly receives a wider scale outing here….

            Entitled “Secret Rites”, imagine if you can, an unholy collision of TG style proto industrial, Kosmische / kraut grooves and 70’s folk horror soundtracks. “Secret Rites” delves deep into a series of forgotten occult documentaries from the late sixties and early seventies; “The Power Of The Witch”, “Witchcraft ’70” and “The Legend Of The Witches. Focusing on the superstars of the period: Alex & Maxine Sanders, self appointed King and Queen of the Witches. A hauntological dive into a time when the occult was making inroads into mainstream media, truly the Age of Aquarius…….

            A wonderfully free-flowing, evolving record that grows with each listen and a fine start to the New Year for both artist and label. A one off pressing of 300 vinyl LPs.

            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.

                Hologram Teen

                Between The Funk And The Fear

                  The second of September’s wonderful brace of new Polytechnic Youth LPs, sees the debut for Morgane Lhote’s first solo outing (since her Stereolab days), with her ace new project HOLOGRAM TEEN.

                  11 killer -often whacked out- tracks inspired by a multitude of key figures from varying genres; the soundtracks of Goblin and John Carpenter, 1970s French Disco and psychedelic Brazilian rock, Congolese Soukous, and the string arrangements of François de Roubaix and Jean-Claude Vannier.

                  As Morgane herself says “with this first LP, I wanted to create the soundtrack to the trippiest horror movie ever, and combine the scary and the absurd, through a very tongue in cheek aesthetic both musically and visually. For this project, I decided to experiment with adding live instruments, such as bass, drums, and strings, instead of or in conjunction with electronic instruments on some tracks. It was especially interesting to merge both musical feels and textures into one cohesive narrative.

                  I also had a strong sense of what the music should “look like” as shown on the LP’s cover design: Disco Démon was always going to be the main protagonist in a mish-mash of Jean-Claude Forest’s comics meets neon loudness meets the movie poster to ‘The Warriors’ and ‘Le frisson des vampires’”.

                  A very filmic, hugely adventurous full length- perhaps a slight departure from previous output on PY, but all the better for it we feel at PY HQ, and with titles like “Roller Lover Doppelganger”, “Tracksuit Minotaur” and “Lesbian Death Drums” what’s not to like?!
                  A very limited vinyl pressing expected to sell out super quick, get on it!

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: It's a bit of a nutty one this, but I couldn't be any more on board. Throbbing basslines, modulated square wave pulses, vocal snippets and old-school soundtrackery interspersed with cosmic CR-78 drums and blipping sample&hold mayhem. Brilliantly varied,

                  Pye Corner Audio W/ Faten Kanaan

                  The Darkest Wave

                    Arguably the label’s highest profile release thus far; the mighty Pye Corner Audio joining forces with PY label mate Faten Kanaan for an ace split 45.

                    In PCA's Martin Jenkins' own words: “Faten Kanaan first came to my attention with her wonderful cassette release 'EP'. We started corresponding shortly after that and I always had it in mind that we should collaborate on something. So when PY asked if I would contribute to the label, and then released Faten's 'The Botanist & The Archaeologist' LP things seemed perfectly aligned”.

                    A side “The Darkest Wave” features pulsing icy synth drones over which Faten’s cool NY narrative owes nods to some 70’s Carpenter-eque VHS chillwave soundtrack, (not unlike some of Umberto’s work of the last decade or so.) A beautifully evolving, slow burner piece which over continuous plays reveals one of the year’s great A sides so far.
                    The B side is a stripped down piece more in keeping with the seminal minimal synth singles of the late 70s beloved by both artist and label here. Indeed, Martin Jenkins’ sleeve art also doffs it’s cap to the artwork feel of some of those legendary post punk 45s.


                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Ltd 7" Info: Very limited black vinyl repress.


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