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Cult Member


    Pure Life are one of the most consistently interesting, stylistically varied labels out there and their latest outing comes in the way of the remastered synthwave / electronic masterpiece 'Ethernet' from Canadian superproducer, Cult Member.

    There are moments of snapping, AFX-adjacent braindance like the spine-fluid-drainingly energetic '2 Pills' or the bitrushed glitchy maelstrom of the brilliant 'Mall Corp', but for me it's the moments of crystalline mystery and sidechained throbby pad wooze of 'Steroid Dealer' or the otherworldy euphoria of 'Dream Member' that really hit home. 

    A brilliantly immersive, lysergic journey through acid house, techno and synthwave, pushed through a murky filter and beautifully presented as ever, from one of the greatest labels in the biz. Stunner.  


    Barry says: Another perfectly presented, wonderfully immersive collection from Pure Life here, showcasing this sonically reworked edition of 2019's 'Ethernet' from Canadian Liam Hayden. You better get in quick for this one, because i've rarely heard a more perfect modern lo-fi electronica record, and it's not going to last for ever.


    1. 2080 03:31
    2. 2 Pills 02:32
    3. Acid Jam Mutek 03:24
    4. Steroid Dealer 05:21
    5. Faygo 02:49
    6. Hello Danny Boy 03:52
    7. Mall Corp 03:25
    8. Cinderella 99 02:54
    9. Санкт-Петербург 04:50
    10. Dream Member 03:54
    11. Key West 06:42


    Dystopian Memory

      Dystopian Memory hums and crackles like it's imbued with life and electricity. Looping synth throbs weave around scattered ambient pads and glitched demi-spoken vocal snippets. 'Disconnect Me Like A USB' breathes like an organic being, but pulses of machinated synth and echoic saw wave jabs pull you out of the ether and back into the distant groove. 

      It's pieces like 'Virus Pain' or 'Cabin Rainfall' that give the pieces room to breathe, with slowly shifting envelopes crystallising around affirming sub-bass particles, hinting at cyclic melody but beautifully falling short of any sort of predictable melodic route. It's beguiling and monolithic and astounding, all at once.

      The choral abstractions of 'Chance For Something' help to lend an air of crescentic beauty, while the flickering electronics and syncopated loops help to stray away from the predictable melodic resolution, confounding traditional and expected routes in favour of the always surprising structural counterpoint.  

      Beautifully evocative and unfathomably skilled ambient electronics as ever from the hugely talented Sangam. 


      Barry says: Stunning release, beautifully presented from one of the greatest labels in the game. a true ambient electronic gem.


      1. Faded Remorse 03:28
      2. Disconnect Me Like A USB 04:00
      3. Remain Graceful 04:02
      4. Virus Pain 03:01
      5. High In The Shade 04:33
      6. Cabin Rainfall 03:16
      7. Bitter Life 04:00
      8. Chance For Something 03:14
      9. Zonbrid 03:20
      10. Forever Dreampunk 07:08



        Pure life presnt another visceral, beautiful selection of dreampunk atmpsheres and clattering electronic percussion on the wonderful multimedia expedition that is 'AVA'. From snappy post-industrial machinations to smooth, woozy ambience, it's yet more evidence (as if any were needed) that this talented producer is one of the best in the 'biz. You always know you're in for a superb pressing and and package with Pure Life too, so what are you waiting for? Essential fare. 


        1. Robotic 03:12
        2. Save You 04:15
        3. Ava 02:33
        4. Neuro Interface 03:32
        5. Fading Light 03:46
        6. Eastern Break 05:48
        7. Phoenix 03:33
        8. Origin 02:41
        9. Broken Transmission 02:12
        10. Deton 04:13


        You'll Be Ok, I Promise

          The ever-super Pure Life Tapes bring us another (two) slabs of future-facing dystopic 'tronica from Martin-Schultz aka wuso 命.

          We kick things off with the thundering bass and cinematic throng of 'Lost In Translation', deftly moving from tense crescentic synth pulls to bursts of neon activity, slipping into 80's synth territory with snappy sidechaines and gated reverbs, nicely ofset by the more introspective twinkling ambience of follower, 'Trapped In The Future'. It's both 'Trapped...' and follower 'The Digital Mine' that really show the depth of expression that can be wrought from relatively unadorned synthesis, with pulses of delay and filter sweeps being the mainstay of both pieces, eventually culminating in a militaristic procession of driving saw stabs and woozy lead lines. 

          Closing out the a-side, the duo of 'Too Late To Care' and 'A New Found Loss' swim with crystalline echoes, speeding up and slowing down the delays resulting in a chaotic but enchanting soundtrack redux, with the latter especially diving deep into filmic industrial electronics. 

          We begin the B-Side with the shadowy 'Flawed Desire', both eerily gothic and enduringly mechanised, it takes the established sound and further tears it apart into its constituent parts, resulting in an almost diametrically opposed juxtaposition of spine-tingling modern classical ambience and bolschy rave. 

          It's the closing tracks that really seal the concept, pulling together the disparate sounds into a rounded and evocative whole. 'Drifting' is probably as heavy as the collection gets, both pummelingly heavy and atmospherically dense. The closing trio skilfully offset the moments of light with intimidating unease, glimmers of light piercing the fog of electronic malaise. 


          Barry says: Another absolutely stunning package from super-label Pure Life. The music itself as is evocative as the packaging is beautiful, perfectly conceived and impeccably produced, this is an essential purchase for any of you who like a bit of soundtrack synth (if not, why not?)


          1. Lost In Translation 03:48
          2. Trapped In The Future 04:14
          3. The Digital Mine 03:48
          4. Too Late To Care 03:03
          5. A New Found Loss 05:58
          6. Flawed Desire 05:25
          7. Drifting 04:11
          8. Something About... 03:35
          9. Try 04:01
          10. You'll Be Okay, I Promise 05:26

          HKE / T E L E P A T H

          Gateway / Ascension

            Originally released in 2015, Gateway アセンション was the final of 3 split releases from the members of breakaway vapourwave producers known collectively as ‘2814’, HKE and T e l e p a t h. As 2814, the colour scheme of purple was employed as a compromise between artists wanting Red and Blue respectively, and in this release we see these colour schemes fully explored with each artist.

            The HKE side ‘Gateway’ explores the world of ‘Red’: dust, fire, the desert, death and hell, with a futurist take on tribal techno of ‘From Dust’ before exploding into a kind of electronic post-rock cinematic climax of ‘Spiral’ before the aftermath is considered in Vangelis style synth piece ‘Light Patterns’.

            The T e l e p a t h side ‘アセンション’ (Ascension) then dives into the concept of ‘Blue’: water, vapour, rebirth and life, building the new world with the soundtrack of ‘つかの間の思い出’ (Fleeting Memories) followed by the achingly beautiful and somber ‘アセンションゲート’ (Ascension Gate) and then the cycle completing with the long form electronic closer ‘超越愛好家’ (Transcending Love).

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Another absolute stunner from the ever-reliable Pure Life here. It's a stunningly effective and perfectly weighted pairing between some of the most talented voices in modern synth music. Superb.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. HKE - From Dust 06:27
            2. HKE - Spiral 13:34
            3. HKE - Light Patterns 09:44
            4. T E L E P A T H Ã

            Various Artists

            Ambient Punk Vol II

              "Contains 16 exclusive collaborations from 31 Pure Life artists to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the label. The first vinyl release from Pure Life records, wanting to show the importance of collaboration and make sure every artist is equally important to the next chapter of the label. For many artists included this was their first vinyl release. Demonstrates the global roster as well as various different styles of electronic that the label showcases"

              What better sampler of the increasingly essential Pure Life could there be than this gorgeous double pressing of the second edition of their well recieved 'Ambient Punk' series. There are tracks from a wide variety of Pure Life favourites, including the opening track from Kuroi Ame who caused much furore in the mailorder dept with their 2018 LP, 'Sacred'. 

              It's a widescreen collection of some of the most uncompromising genre-breaking synth music of the modern day, drawing influence from soundtrack work (as obvious as it may be, Vangelis' Blade Runner, Carpenter, Mansell) as well as heavier IDM and braindance of the 90's. If any of these tickle your fancy, you will LOVE this collection, and no doubt the label as a whole.  

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: It's ALWAYS worth taking a punk on a Pure Life release. One of the hardest working labels out there, and this collection is the perfect way to get initated with the huge variety of talent associated with the label. There never hang around for long (See also Kuroi Ame / Twin Galaxxxies releases in this week) so get on it ASAP!

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