A freeform musician on piano, synthesizers, and electronics, Lauvdal’s discography stretches back to 2013 and includes her participation in a myriad of ensembles and collaborations exploring the limits of sound and music in many forms, including noise, jazz, and more. Following her move to Oslo after graduation, she became deeply embedded in the music community there, touring with Jenny Hval as well as playing on her records. When pandemic hit and isolation was the norm, Lauvdal began working on her own, recording her improvisations in an attempt to capture something new for herself.
Connecting to Laurel Halo via Smalltown’s founder Joakim Haugland, the acclaimed American artist agreed to work with Lauvdal in shaping her solo record, becoming integral to its creation through all of its stages. Lauvdal credits Halo as a deep listener and gentle “thought-provoker”, who contributed ideas as well as helping to shape the finished versions (Halo also worked alongside Rashad Becker on the final mix of the album). Together, they found a method of recording Lauvdal’s improvisations, making small loops from those, feeding them back into the synthesizers, and making synthesizers out of the improvisations, which Lauvdal would then re-improvise with. She describes the end result, “like seeing different pieces of time around in the universe.”
While the record is based on Lauvdal’s improvisations, some tracks were inspired Agathe Backer Grøndahl, a Norwegian classical pianist and composer from the latter half of the 19th century. Lauvdal notes that Grøndahl is not widely known, although her best friend Edvard Grieg is still considered Norway’s most famous composer. Yet now, partly through Lauvdal, her story resurfaces and persists.
“From a Story Now Lost means the story is still there,” Lauvdal explains. “It hasn’t gone anywhere even though nobody heard it, or maybe you’re hearing it for the first time. And actually it was told a long time ago – maybe you weren’t ready to hear that story at the time.” This hints at the limitless nature of her music, as well as its new emotional texture. Direct in its vulnerability, immediate in its tenderness, From a Story Now Lost is a sophisticated evocation over restrained artistry spilling over with meaning.
A2. The Dreamer
A3. Fantasie For Agathe Backer Grøndahl
B4. A Swim
B5. Xerxes Shore
An artist with a 30+ year career and an uncompromising reputation that reflects the emotional specificity of his uneasy, yet compelling sound, maintained throughout his expansive discography, Sten was an intriguing choice for such a project. Although he attended art school, training in electronic music and sound art, he had little experience with acoustic instruments and can neither read nor write music notation. Yet he’s been engaged with Partch’s music, and outsider art more generally, since he was a teenager. His resulting piece/composition for the project was originally intended only for performance by Cologne-based Ensemble Musikfabrik, for a series of concerts in five European cities between 2015 and 2018. It’s Musikfabrik that undertook the painstaking, expensive process of building an entire set of the composer’s creations – the second only to the originals built by Partch himself. They are the professional musicians and virtuosic instrumentalists that had to re-train and re-educate on these unknown and experimental sound sculptures in non-standard tunings. And they house this large, gorgeous physical instrumentarium and deal with the enormous logistics of working with it, sometimes shipping the fragile pieces to other locales via semi-trucks or ships.
Because of such monumental efforts, Musikfabrik are notoriously guarded with recordings of the instruments. And rightly so. They’re the only ones allowed to perform on them, too. But Sow Your Gold isn’t Musikfabrik playing. Instead, Sten spent days and nights alone with the instrumentarium in Cologne. He played the instruments himself while recording, layering the recordings and editing without effects to compose an ‘audio score’ for Musikfabrik to work from in order for the ensemble to perform the piece. (Partch also regularly worked this way, although he would transcribe afterwards. Likewise, Sten workedwith a professional arranger to create a detailed score, too.) So, that makes Sow Your Gold an even less likely rarity – partly why its release comes seven years after its creation.
If you ask Sten about the album’s title, he’ll point you to the text he borrowed it from – Michael Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens by H.M.E. De Jong, a 1969 study of a 1617 book of alchemical emblems – and notable passages dealing with alchemy, chemistry, and agriculture, all transformative processes. And while that may sound complicated, his takeaway is simple: “You have to break something down to create something new,” – a lesson he felt related strongly to his own musical process, especially in this project.
So, while Sow Your Gold in the White Foliated Earth is a piece written for specific, oddly tuned, extremely rare and unusual instruments, and for a certain ensemble – namely, some of the finest contemporary musicians in Europe – Sten grew fond of the audio score, recognizing it as coming directly from the creative process in its purest, most natural form. And so from a foliated earth, where obscure tradition, treasured scarcity, immense effort, and patient certainty layer and criss-cross, comes rugged gold, polished to shining by one outsider for another.
1. I O
2. II O
3. III O
4. IV O
5. V O
1. VI O
2. VII O
3. VIII O
4. IX O
Without wishing to get too jackanory, I'm gonna start this review with a little anecdote. Way back in April 2015, when I was a little younger and lot lighter, Kelly Lee Owens strolled into our glorious establishment and casually inquired if we'd be interested in stocking her self-released debut 12". Always a sucker for something new, limited and hand labeled I took a cursory ten copies off her hands as she left for the train station. Approximately four minutes later, as the dreamlike shimmer of ghost-pop paean "Lucid" echoed through my headphones I called the number she'd left and asked if she could drop off another thirty copies without missing her train.
Fast forward two years and three Piccadilly Record Of The Weeks later and the Welsh wonder is back with a majestic full length on the excellent Smalltown Supersound. As she leads us through ten tracks of spectral techno, nebulous synth pop and squelching waveforms, Kelly meditates on anxiety, sadness and darkly-shaded ecstacy, pouring pure emotion into an expansive electronic landscape. Previous 12" tracks "Arthur", "Lucid" and the hypnotic "CBM" sound better than ever next to the brooding synth soul of "S.O." and late night mysticism of Jenny Hval collaboration "Anxi", while the bleep heavy "Evolution" is a sultry, seductive club cut for very late in the session. For me, this LP perfectly captures those moments when you get home from the club with a loved one and settle into that time honoured pre dawn routine. It's intimate, emotional, sexy and slightly blurred - in other words, midnight music at its finest.
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: An absurdly accomplished debut, this is just about as Piccadilly as it gets, referencing our collective favourites and transforming them into something fresh and exciting. Harnessing the Cocteau’s, MBV and JAMC, as well as the rhythmic thrust of Chicago and Detroit, KLO trades in immersive, psychedelic pop music, as danceable as it is dreamy. Swathes of hazy synthesis eddy and whirl beneath crystalline vocals, lending the music an aquatic depth matched perfectly by the intimate, expressive lyrics. Fusing the outsider musings of Arthur Russell with Bjork’s cryptic poetry, Kelly meditates on anxiety, sadness, identity and ecstasy, pouring pure emotion into an expansive electronic landscape. A dynamic listen from start to finish, the LP ranges from the hypnotic thump of ‘Evolution’, ‘CBM’ and ‘Bird’ to the medicated daze of ‘S.O’, ‘Lucid’ and ‘Keep Walking’, constantly varying tempo and intensity on its way to sprawling closer ‘8’, a wonderfully blurred end to this nocturnal journey.
3. Anxi Ft. Jenny Hval
7. Throwing Lines
9. Keep Walking
(Deluxe CD Extra Tracks)
13. 1 Out Of 3
Piccadilly Records Exclusive CD Bonus Disc:
1. Bird (Prins Thomas Remix)
2. Lucid (Kelly Lee Owens Remix)
3. Uncertain (Ghost Culture Remix)
Arriving to snowglobe conditions and sub-zero temperatures, she began spending time in the studio with Lasse Marhaug. An esteemed avant-noise artist, Marhaug envisioned making music that would fall loosely in line with Throbbing Gristle. Kelly, on the other hand, had planned to create something inspired by Enya, an artist who has had an enduring impact on her creative being. They met each other halfway, pairing tough, industrial sounds with ethereal celtic mysticism, and creating music that ebbs and flows between tension and release.
One month later, Kelly called her label to tell them she had created something of an outlier, her ‘eighth album’.
4. S.O (2)
6. Nana Piano
9. Sonic 8
Sky Records from 1977, and in many ways it is also musically related to the sounds of Sky Records and Klaus Schultze's Innovative Communication label, in other words beautiful and meditative synth excursions.
A6. Muerte Al Réves
B2. Picture Music
Haider adds gliding Reese bass, a hyped up 'Think' break and pure old school jungle flavour to "Jeanette", creating a darkside banger that'll put hairs on your chest - heavy!
Elkka adds ethereal atmos, a pulsating beat and frenetic arpeggios to "On", transforming it into a peaktime electro-disco epic that'll find favour on electronic leaning dancefloors throughout clubland.
Yassus injects "L.I.N.E" with urgent footwork and rave energy, a galvanized hybrid that's utilizes high speeds and solid production to summon up an large amount of propulsion and energy.
Finally, one of the hottest stars of techno right now, Roza Terenzi fattens up "Night" with her typically chunky, prog house-influenced beats that rattle and thud and send E'd up dancers into a full on ecstasy!
Not only does Kelly Lee Owens make some of the most inventive and pioneering music out there, she's also got her finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to curating her remix EPs; making these two parts essential collectors items. Don't sleep!
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says: Unmissable KLO remix package with upfront purveyors of house, techno and jungle given freedom to let loose on some of Owen's delicious new tracks.
1. Jeanette (Haider Remix)
2. On (Elkka Remix)
1. L.I.N.E (Yazzus Remix)
2. Night (Roza Terenzi Remix)
James tackles the stems of "Wake Up" with a gross intensity, utilizing the latest cut-up software to re-mangle, stretch and skew the track into a punctuated, holographic refraction of its former self.
Breaka adds gliding subs, hi-tek breaks and lashings of electricity as he remixes "Re-Wild" into a club-ready future-garage beast destined for the big rooms.
Finally leftfield weirdo Coby Sey adds some black magick to "Corner Of My Sky"; a sonic cauldron of strange sounds seeping over tuned tribal toms and John Cale's haunting vocal part. Another excellent addition to Kelly’s multi-dimensional discography. Top stuff.
1. Wake Up (Loraine James Remix)
2. Re-Wild (Breaka Remix)
1. Corner Of My Sky Ft. John Cale (Coby Sey Remix)
The A-side mix sublimates Giske's expressive saxophone beneath electronic rain patterns and misty ambience, while a sparse but grooving rhythm takes care of the body work. On the flip, a beatless variation showcases the delicate way the producer has handled the original, squeezing maximum feeling out of each note.
1. Crusuing (Laurel Halo Remix)
2. Crusuing (Laurel Halo Less Remix)
01. Air Like Velvet
02. Time Date
03. You Disappear You Find Yourself Again
01. Memories Of Grass
03. Backyard Echo
06. Fallin Into Space
For their first LP, Hval and Volden booked an actual studio (Øra studios, Trondheim, Norway), which they had never done before. Recording sessions took place in March 2020, even if they felt like the material wasn’t really ready for recording. This left a lot to improvisation, and so Menneskekollektivet was created in-between set structures and the energy of collective exploration.
Perhaps this is what makes Menneskekollektivet unique: The quality of trying something, to see if the structures fit. In a way this is a more physical version of what Hval has been exploring lyrically over the past decade in her solo work. The title is Norwegian and translates to human collective, which adds to the feeling of a recording made as part of a strange, improvised performance project.
The music flickers; between club beats and improvised guitar textures; between spoken word and melodic vocal textures; between abstract and harmonic synth lines. Throughout the piece, Volden’s guitar and Hval’s voice come across as equals, wandering, wondering, meandering. Sharing the space.
The writing process began with short, more concise forms, but then Volden brought in experiments with seasick synth loops and drum machines, and the work went off on a longer durational tangent, inspired by chance and intuition. This allowed for an unfinished, raw feel, and the song structures and words were expanded and improvised in the studio. Hval says: “There are lots of late night ideas at work, begun as half-asleep, slack vocal takes on top of something really strange Håvard has sent me. We both record before we know what we’re actually doing.”
2. Losing Something
3. Carried By Invisible Bodies
4. Love, Lovers
5. Real Life
Eventually, the bulk of III came together over the last year, as Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas teamed up to craft a lush and lovely work that recalls the hazy atmospherics of Air, the loose-fit jazz of Lonnie Liston Smith, and the genreresistant electronic music that both artists have made their name on over the course of their impressive careers. "Our partnership is very democratic—we never turn down each other's ideas. And if it goes wrong, we blame it on the other guy," Thomas says with a laugh. "The tracks that Lindstrøm sent me this time were almost like standard house tracks. I already had an idea of what I wanted to do, so I forced those tracks into new shoes and dresses."
Above all else, III is a testament to the adventurousness of Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas when it comes to soundcraft. Both artists have established separate careers on bodies of work that feature infinite twists and turns, thrilling their audiences with the suggestion of where they've been and where they're about to go. Together, they've crafted what might be their most beguiling and inviting work yet, a jeweled box of electronic music ornately crafted but never losing the sense of playfulness that so many have come to love from them.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: There are few better collaborations I could imagine than these two veterans of the electronic music landscape. We get the housey styling of Lindstrom perfectly invigorated with the beachside balearic groove and airy ambient bliss of the Prins. Exactly as gorgeous as you would expect.
A1. Grand Finale
A2. Martin 5000
A3. Small Stream
1. Little Drummer Boy
1. Little Drummer Boy (disco-remix Version)
On the A-side, Kelly's OG comes on strong at a rushy 130BPM, twisting our melons with the crystalling cascade of its leadline and sumptuous sub pressure of an interlocking bassline. When taken with the fact that the hard hitting drum programming sounds like it's thumping out of an unlikely "fortress of solitude" rave, this has entirely hallucinatory effects.
Meanwhile on the flipside Whities affiliate and NTS standout Coby Sey puts on the brakes / downs the benzoes to slow the track to a shuffling 104BPM before slicing and dicing that signature synthline into an intoxicated stutter. Essential listening for fans of Madteo me thinks.
B1. Melt! (Coby Sey Remix)
"Inner Song" follows the star-making debut of her 2017 self-titled album, a quixotic blend of body-moving beats and introspective songwriting that garnered numerous accolades from the music press. Owens has indeed come a long way from her background as a nurse, since then she has remixed Bjørk & St Vincent, released an indelibly clubby two-tracker, 2019's "Let It Go" b/w "Omen," and teamed up with likeminded auteur Jon Hopkins on the one-off "Luminous Spaces."
Her latest album also comes off of what Owens describes as "the hardest three years of my life," an emotionally fraught time that, in her words, "Definitely impacted my creative life and everything I'd worked for up to that point. I wasn't sure if I could make anything anymore, and it took quite a lot of courage to get to a point where I could make something again." So while the lovely cover of Radiohead's "Arpeggi" might strike some as an unconventional way to open a sophomore effort, to Owens the winding take on the classic tune—recorded a year before work on "Inner Song" properly kicked off—represents the sort of sonic rebirth that's so essential to Inner Song's aura.
"Inner Song" was largely written and recorded over a month last winter. As with her debut, Owens holed up in the studio with co-producer and collaborator James Greenwood —and letting loose in the studio and being open to whatever sonic whims emerge was essential to Owens' craftwork. The evocative title of the album is borrowed from free-jazz maestro Alan Silva's 1972 opus, which was gifted to Owens by Smalltown Supersound's Joakim Haugland for her 30th birthday: "I'm so grateful for him and his perspectives—he's always thinking outside of the box. Those two words really reflect what it felt like to make this record. I did a lot of inner work in the past few years, and this is a true reflection of that." The hair-raising bass and tickling textures of "Inner Song" drive home that, more so than ever, Owens is locked in to delivering maximal sonic pleasure—as evidenced by the decision to make the album's vinyl release a sesqui album, or triple-sided album: "I'm still obsessed with frequencies that don't do well on vinyl if they don't have the space."
"The power of conceptualizing who you are has really informed this album," Owens states about Inner Song's essence, and her second album is truly a discovery of self— the latest statement from a fascinating artist who continues to surprise, gesturing towards a rich and varied career to come.
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: Three years on from her championship season and KLO returns to the long format with a deeper, more refined distillation of her trademark techno pop style. If her debut album delivered on the promise of those early singles, ‘Inner Song’ offers us a dizzying premonition of just how far she could go.
By her own admission, this album emerged after the hardest three years of her life, and even a cursory scan of the lyrics hints at a little darkness before the dawn. “‘On” and “L.I.N.E.” explore the end of a troubled relationship, “Melt” references the climate crisis and “Wake Up” warns against extended screen time. Rather than wallowing in the melancholy though, Kelly strikes an optimistic tone, serving a resilient reminder that we all have the power to overcome adversity, mirrored in the vital beats and healing frequencies which underpin her emotive songwriting.
Much like Arthur Russell, an early inspiration, Owens revels in the space between genres, providing a fresh perspective on established styles. Crystalline electronics sit beneath a shoegaze shimmer on “Night”, the bastard offspring of the Cocteau’s and Kraftwerk in a fresh pair of dancing shoes. “Re-Wild” splits the difference between futuristic RnB and taut Detroit techno, a new Minimal Nation woozy on lean, while “Jeanette”, a celebration of the life of her nan, renders an organic landscape in precise electronics.
On this complex yet cohesive album, Owens tackles serious subject matter with poetic sensitivity, pop hooks and thunderous beats, all the while retaining the ethereal beauty of her Welsh heritage.
3. Corner Of My Sky (ft. John Cale)
In 1986-87, years before their 1993 debut record, guitarist Øystein Aarseth (aka Euronymous) took a musical pilgrimage to Germany to solicit collaboration with one of his musical heroes. Øystein, who tragically was destined to be murder by former member Varg Vikernes in 1993, bought an Interrail ticket and travelled from Norway to Germany to seek out experimental musician Conrad Schnitzler. Conrad was the founder of West German Krautock incubating club the Zodiac Free Arts Lab in West Berlin in 1968 and a former member of Tangerine Dream and Kluster (key experimental groups in the development of industrial music and Kosmiche electronic music).
Øystein sat outside Schnitzler’s house and refused to leave until he was allowed in to talk. His persistence paid off, with Schnitzler surprisingly agreeing to write a piece of music for Mayhem. The piece of music became “Silvester Anfang”, the first track and introduction to Mayhem’s classic debut “Deathcrush”. A detailed percussive number, Mayhem still open their heavy live shows with this music today.
When Mayhem founder Jørn “Necrobutcher" Stubberud told the story behind “Silvester Anfang” to Bratten at a party, they immediately had the idea that Bratten should remix or rework this little known track. Totally absorbed in the sounds of Schnitzler and its strange and unusual pairing with Mayhem, Bratten started out with a plan to make one remix. He ended up with a series of tracks inspired by both Schnitzler's intro and the sounds of teh debut record “Deathcrush”. The results transpired into a mutation of Conrad Schnitzler, Mayhem and André Bratten.
“Silvester” is Mayhem and Schnitzler reimagined. Or deconstructed and then rebuilt. However you term it, a remix turned into a new André Bratten unlike any he has recorded before, haunted by the echoes of Mayhem’s grisly legacy as well as Klusters early industrial music’s concrte looped experiments. 5 new tracks and 50 minutes of new music. An album of abstract freeform structures morphing elements of kraut, techno, ambient, black metal, industrial, minimalist and drone. A perfect fusion of two dystopian extremes of Norwegian underground music.
1. Witching Hour
1. Silvester Anfang
1. Untitled 1
1. Untitled 2
In the autumn of 2018, Lindstrøm composed a commissioned piece for Norway’s premiere art centre Henie Onstad Kunstsenter. Sketches from the three sold-out performances became the foundation for the new tracks. “I decided to keep some of the initial ideas and develop them further. All the songs are based on long one-take recordings”, says Lindstrøm “Also I’ve been very conscious about the music on the album not exceeding the length of the physical limitations of the vinyl-format, finding that 2 long tracks on each side were the perfect balance for this album”
This is also the first time ever Lindstrøm has made an album entirely with hardware instead of computer-plugins. He utilised thirty plus synthesizers and drum-machines during his performance at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter. The experience inspired him to embrace a similar set-up when making the album. “The joy of making music on actual physical objects and devices makes a lot of sense to me now. After working on a computer for over 15 years, I don’t think I’ll ever look back” he says with an almost childlike excitement.
It was the accessibility to his enviable collection of music gear – largely consisting of sought after synthesizers – that allowed Lindstrøm to experiment so freely with ideas and soundscapes. “The title track is a 10-minutes improvisation on the Moog Memorymoog. I liked the loose feel so I decided to keep everything unedited. The other tracks were written and arranged prior to the recordings. I then set up the instruments needed for my sessions, then recorded more or less everything in a single take. I’m really happy with the way this album came together.”
Lindstrøm has cited classical music as an inspiration the last couple of years “I used to study classical music at school. Back then I was listening to a lot of Opera, orchestral music and solo music on the piano. Listening to classical music again has been a revisit to my childhood days, just like I did when I embraced the 80s in the early 2000s”. Once embracing the freedom and the joy of making music without inhibitions, immersing himself in to the physical realm of making music with hardware, Lindstrøm learned something new not only about music – but about himself. “I guess I've been trying to re-educate myself”.
A1. On A Day Like This I Can See You Forever
A2. Really Deep Snow
B1. Swing Low Sweet LFO
B2. As If NoOne Is Here
"I’ve been playing around with instrumentals for a long time, and it was something I wanted to do more with after I finished Infinite Avenue,” says Carmen. “Leaving out my voice and lyrics got me out of my own head a bit, which I needed. Working with sound is to me the ultimate meditation and is a more unconscious way of expressing whatever is going on inside.”
The flute, played by Chilenean-Norwegian Johanna Scheie Orellana (formerly of Sassy 009), is a central part of this new album. Carmen got her in to the studio to both record melodies that she had written, as well as making plenty of room for impro/freeform. Prins Thomas also appears on the record, playing percussion on “I Could Sit Here All Day.”
“I made this track based on a Roland SH-101 sequence run through various processing,” says Villain. “The whole thing came together kind of like a jam, I wrote the flute in one take, and it just felt right. I wanted real flute on this, so asked Johanna if she'd like to come in, and we've been collaborating ever since.”
2. Are You For Real
4. I Trust You
5. I Could Sit Here All Day
6. Sometimes I Love You Forever
7. Impossible Color
”The sun rises, the sun sets. This collection of new songs wasn't intended as an album at first. It gathers up loose ideas sketched down on my computer or hummed into my handheld recorder in the last 2 years with a shifting work environment, from hotel rooms in San Francisco, backstage in Osaka, on a plane from Miami to Chicago, my garden patio, and finally my B15 Studios in Asker.
The common thread was found later during overdubbing and reworking these sketches under the critical ears of label boss Joakim Haugland. Most of the tracks were finalized in the studio at the same time as my previous collaborative album with Bugge Wesseltoft. Bugge even kindly joins in on the album's closing track "Sakral".
Ambitions is my 6th album and I would like to thank the following people for their direct inspiration: Jon Christensen, Jaki Liebezeit, Haroumi Hosono, Daniel Lanois, Eberhard Weber, Shinichi Atobe and Ricardo Villalobos." - Prins Thomas, February 2019
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: Quickly joining John Dwyer and King Gizzard (probably a real name) at the top of the 'prolific musicians we love' chart, Prins Thomas releases his gazillionth LP this week. A more succinct and potent set than his last solo outing, 'Ambitions' offers us cosmic, kosmische and Balearic jams, along with a surprising vocal number based around Alex's Norwegian pop hit "Feel A Love".
A3. Feel The Love
C. Fra Miami Til Chicago
He has collaborated with some of the most respected artists in the ambient music world: Steve Roach, Ian Boddy, Byron Metcalf, Bernhard Wöstheinrich, amongst others. Sources joins Wøllo’s nearly 40-album catalogue.
Comprised of 10 previously unreleased tracks, Sources was originally recorded surrounding the album sessions that spun Dreams Of Pyramids(1984), Traces (1985), and Silver Beach (1986). This was the start of a very fruitful and inspired period for Wøllo, thanks to modernized technology like MIDI and inspiration from music from all over the globe.
“There was lots of new equipment coming out during these years, and this reflects the music I made at the time.” Wøllo says. “There was also a lot of great electronic music released. I was inspired by artists like Hassell, Eno and Budd. Also a big influence was Klaus Schulze after seeing him at the legendary Oslo club, Club 7 in 1984.”
The spacey sounds on Sources show a clear line of cosmic excursions between Wøllo’s early releases to modern day fellow Norwegian travellers Lindstrøm, Bjørn Torske, and Prins Thomas.
Sources remained untouched, transferred from tapes that Wøllo had made years ago, before Helge Sten (Deathprod) mastered the material in his Audio Virus Lab. The collection was mostly created with a Roland MSQ 700 sequencer, in real time with several MIDI synths/modules recorded directly to either a 2-track stereo recorder or 4-track Tascam Portastudio.
“I am very happy that the album feels like one whole. I do not often looking back, and I rarely listen to my own releases after they are released,” says Wøllo. “Sometimes I get positively surprised discovering new aspects of my older material. This is music made on impulse and with an eager to create, and not so much a big thought about releasing the material. At least this is the way I remember it.”
A2. Swamp Land
A3. Soft Journey
A4. Under Water
A5. The Near Future
B1. The Movie
B3. Native Dance
B4. Big Sky
B5. Ody At Sea
Giske finds a natural home in Smalltown Supersound as he cites Lindstrom’s arpeggio sounds and Evan Parker’s circular breathing as references, both of whom have released on the label. By combining the two extreme sides of the scale, he seamlessly fuses freeform jazz and club music. 'I take the building blocks of electronic music and play it live - without layering or looping, to the best of my ability. All the faults of being human come through. It’s an exercise in something impossible: to be a machine.'
Surrender as a verb is a key concept to Giske’s debut and the word itself takes on multiple meanings to him. 'I consider myself a queer performance artist - the queer perspective is always there,' he states.'In gay culture, we have the terms ‘top’ and ‘bottom,’ with ‘bottom’ referencing an act of surrender and trust. Creating these repeating structures, relying on muscle memory for these sequences, and seeing what happens - it’s also an exercise in the act of surrender.'
With breath, steel and muscle Giske is transmuting his clubbing experience through the saxophone.
A2. Adjust (Total Freedom Remix)
A3. Adjust (Lotic Remix)
B1. Adjust (Deathprod Remix)
B2. Adjust (Rezzett Remix)
Work on Broken Politics began as touring wound down behind Cherry's previous full-length, 2014's Blank Project, and she felt a drive to continue creating after collaborating on that record with Kieran Hebden (Four Tet). "That last album was much angrier and forceful, whereas this one is quieter and more reflective," she states. "I haven't always been so good at getting things out so quickly, and it still took a while—but that's okay."
Cherry, writing partner Cameron McVey, and Hebden decamped to Woodstock, New York for a week-long recording session at the Creative Music Studio, a recording space founded by jazz pianist Karl Berger—who, in a stroke of providence, was a band member of Neneh's stepfather and Don Cherry as well as being friends with her mother Moki. "Being in a studio with them was like being in a familiar space. It was easy to reach into myself for the feelings I needed to be in tune with a song—and at night, Cameron and I would have dinner with Ingrid and Karl and they'd tell stories about my father. There were deep threads."
"It was one of the best writing periods I've had in a really long time," Cherry continues while discussing the creative process behind Broken Politics. "I got out of the waiting room and into the inner sanctum.”
"I'm very shy about taking on big themes with the airs that I've got a solution—who has the fucking solutions?" Cherry admits while talking about the album's title. "I like writing from a personal perspective, and the time we live in is so much about finding your own voice. People have been left feeling misheard, misunderstood, and disillusioned. What the fuck can I do? Maybe politics starts in your bedroom, or your house—a form of activism, and a responsibility. The album is about all of those things: feeling broken, disappointed, and sad, but having perseverance. It's a fight against the extinction of free thought and spirit."
"I have a name. You have a name. We're not just these faceless mounds you can put in the ground," Cherry proclaims when talking about her worldly vision that seeped into Broken Politics. "We're human beings with lives and stories." Art can often remind us of how it feels to live in the moment, and it can also be instructive in helping understand how to preserve that moment. Broken Politics finds Cherry at her most generous and benevolent towards a world that is often anything but. She puts it best in the chorus of LP track "Fallen Leaves," in her own defiant way: "Just because I'm down/ Don't step all over me.”
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Neneh Cherry's unmistakable vocal style and soulful leanings are harnessed here by the dreamy, otherworldly percussion and electronic momentum of Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) on production duties. His impeccable ear for sonic space only accentuates her flawless songwriting skills, making for a brilliantly listenable and absorbing outing.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Faster Than The Truth
Natural Skin Deep
Shot Gun Shack
Cheap Breakfast Special
Third and final twelve in the tryptich. You know what to expect by now - a simple housey beat with atmospheric pad present weaving and winding through some hard hitting Barak Obama soundbites.
1. The Struggles, The Difficulties
2. No More
Second 12" in this album series, split across three discs, we get more Obama tit-bits segued into a flawless skeletal deep house groove. Introspective and political, but with a delicate, sparsely populated sonic environment...
It's Alright Between Us As It Is
A Norwegian based in Oslo, Lindstrøm has always made a virtue of his obsessive work ethic, turning his city centre studio (where his neighbours include friends and collaborators Prins Thomas, Todd Terje and Andre Bratten) into a factory floor for churning out monster tracks, then punching out regularly and going home to his family. This is about music being woven seamlessly into the fabric of life.
The album’s title is a direct quote from one of Lindstrøm’s favourite movies, Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries. This Swedish arthouse classic is about looking for meaning and finding closure at the end of a long life. About reaching the special place you’ve waited for all your life. A professor asks his longtime housemaid if they could become more familiar, starting with her brushing his teeth for him. She replies they shouldn’t become too intimate: ‘it’s all right between us as it is.’
The album aggregates all the best elements from his long and varied career: the Balearic free-disco excursions of his two albums with Prins Thomas, experimental cosmic voyages in the vein of Six Cups of Rebel and 2015’s collaboration with the stellar Todd Rundgren, Runddans; shimmering electronic pop featuring vocals by American singer Grace Hall (‘Shinin’) and Sweden’s Frida Sundemo (‘But Isn't It’). ‘Bungl (Like a Ghost)’ features a stream of conscious poem by transgressive Norwegian vocalist Jenny Hval. Most of all it reveals him as a masterful mood sculptor, with heart-stopping chord changes rolling over his relentlessly uplifting beats.
Conceived as a continuous flow, each side of the vinyl version will play as one track; while the CD and streaming versions will be timestamped. But in any case, once you’re strapped into Lindstrøm’s driverless vehicle, you won’t want to get out. It’s alright as it is. In fact, it’s more than alright: it’s almost nearly perfect.
‘After the initial "Square One" sessions we felt that "Arpa" was less of a teamplayer and one that would be difficult to shoehorn naturally into position on the album. Where the album sounded more like breaking new(old) ground between the two of us, "Arpa" is the one that felt most like an expected outcome from these sessions. Purpose made for adventurous dancefloors, either on earth or in a parallel universe you'll find "Arpa" in 3 versions. The original with it's sparse BUT all hands on the desk arrangement, the chopped up and reassembled remix with it's static energy cranked up to the max and last but not least the ‘Plastikman BUT in the 60's...’ version in “Drum Version”. Once again utilizing a giant mixing desk for the arrangement, 4 hands (+other free limbs), the percussive elements are let free to roam in what we call a "DJ-unfriendly tool"’
A1. Arpa 12” Version
A2. Arpa Remix
B. Arpa Drum Version
I have to say, you couldn't get a more Piccadilly Record record - if that makes sense. Three artists we've basically adored since the beginning, all working together to create a fiery broth of Balearic-psyche-exotica which is both monumentally powerful and alluring as hell. Dungen transform "D" into a hymn to the rainforest, allowing evocative flute passages to repeat against strung bass before deploying a concentric drum pattern as we rise above the canopy into the heavens. The side is topped off by the floating grace of "J" in original form. PT's organically evolving arpeggios and synth explorations delicately transporting us through the celestial realms with a caring hand and warm heart. Side B is given up to LA frog-licker Sun Araw who basically ingests a whole host of entheogenic matter and gets thoroughly wacked out and pseudo-spiritual with the stems from "B". Trying to talk about this without being under the influence of psychoactive plants is pointless. Purpose built to soundtrack your next shamanic ritual. Watch out for machine elves!
Häxan (translation: “The Witch”) is Dungen’s first all-instrumental album. Produced by Mathias Glavå, and recorded, mixed, and edited by hand to tape entirely in the analog domain, Häxan was sequenced away from the linear narrative of the film. This process helped to create a path of its own, fully capturing the rawness and spontaneity present in the sessions, as well as a loose, abstract, and fragmented collage feel. Dense with dissonant free-form rock-outs, haunting ambient passages, and gorgeously cinematic soundscapes present in the work, Häxan is a record that stands on its own outside of the presence of its primary inspiration. Moody, evocative, stormy, and brimming with life, Häxan provides both a tacit summation of the Dungen journey until now, and gives the beloved group a chance to stretch out like never before.
Experience the possessed prowess of "Jakten genom skogen,” the first single from Häxan bearing all the marks — from Mellotron to mood — of a classic Dungen composition.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: From serene post-rock passages to lengthy psychedelic freakouts, and flowing jazzy interludes, Dungen pull out an instrumental stunner. Progressive and profoundly varied, this has something for everyone.
1. Peri Banu Vid Sjön
2. Jakten Genom Skogen
3. Wak-Wak’s Portar
4. Den Fattige Aladdin
5. Trollkarlen Och Fågeldräkten
8. Aladdins Flykt över Havet
2. Achmed Flyger
3. Aladdin Och Lampan, Del 1
4. Aladdin Och Lampan, Del 2
5. Achmed Och Peri Banu
6. Andarnas Krig
Supersilent is a platform for a highly physical improvised electronic music, made by a trio that’s a kind of supergroup of Norwegian players in their own right. Arve Henriksen’s hypnotic trumpet has been heard with everyone from David Sylvian and Laurie Anderson to Jan Bang and the ice music of Terje Isungset, as well as releasing a string of acclaimed solo albums on Rune Grammofon. Keyboardist Ståle Storløkken has worked with Motorpsycho, Elephant9, Terje Rypdal, and the Humcrush duo with Sidsel Endresen. Helge Sten uses a complex array of homemade electronics, samplers, sound processing and analogue effects – cumulatively known as the ‘Audio Virus’ – in his solo ambient music as Deathprod, as well as having worked with Motorpsycho and producing artists like Susanna.
Supersilent was born when Sten injected the audio virus into a pre-existing late 90s free jazz group called Veslefrekk. Originally featuring drummer Jarle Vespestad, Supersilent slimmed to an electronic three-piece core in 2009, with all three often handling their respective instruments as if they were percussion, stabbing buttons and keys in real time. Recently Supersilent threw the legendary Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones into the mix for a series of improvised concerts and recordings.
Most of 13’s nine tracks were taped in an Oslo studio at the end of 2014. The band record everything live, while blasting their sound through a PA system, so that they can feel the physical air moving as if they were on stage. Tracks 1 and 5 date from 2009, immediately after their drummer’s exit. ‘They were tryout sessions to see how we should proceed,’ says Helge. ‘It was a kind of research for the band to feel how is to be three, not four, and to blow off some steam.’
All of Supersilent’s music is entirely unplanned, with all three experienced musical adventurers throwing themselves into the moment and riding the emerging maelstrom. They always manage to surprise you, whether it’s the Indonesian ritual music heard from a Scandinavian mountaintop on the opening track ‘13.1’, to the demonic organ blasts at the end of ‘13.5’; or from haunting, pastoral atmosphere pieces (‘13.6’) to all-out splatter-improv (‘13.7’) and the compressed digital labyrinths of 13.9.
The trio swap instruments with abandon: percussion, trumpet and woodwind, electronics and Storløkken’s collectable assortment of vintage keyboards. In this technologised environment, sounds are passed around, distorted and spat out again in tantalising splurges. ‘It takes time to shape a band from the beginning,’ says Helge, ‘but for us now the trio is working really well’. With Supersilent’s lucky 13, now you can be the judge of that.
"There's a certain risk some of you are already overfed, with the 'Paradise Goulash' still piping hot on the stove…but anyway, here it goes… I've known Joakim (Mr. Smalltown) professionally for quite a few years now and I've worked on many projects for him, mainly doing remixes like Nissenenmondai, Lindstrom, Alf-Emil Eik, Idjut Boys and so on.
A couple of years ago he asked me to consider doing an album for him. At the time I was busy concentrating on gathering material for what would become my 2nd album (Prins Thomas II) on my own label Full Pupp and I was not entirely friendly to the idea of giving away my solo material to somebody else's label. However, the possibility of doing something different seemed an option but at the time I had no “different" in mind and I generally try not to force ideas.
Then, roughly a year ago an Instagram-post and a recommendation of a posthumous release by Swedish producer Joel Brindefalk, sparked an idea. I likened his "Doobedoo Dub’e'dope" release under the moniker Ü’s to KLF's "Chill Out” and The Orb's "Peel Session EP". That had Joakim and me enthusing about those early 90s electronica releases. So I set off on the task at hand, making an ambient album, leaving conventional drums and drum machines out of the equation.
So that's basically it, a few tracks loosely inspired by the braindance of the 90s and its themes and components reworked into slightly more danceable counterparts. The song "titles" refers to the sides of the vinyl version. Matching tracks up with their melodic partners is up to the listener. How you listen to this album is entirely up to you but I'd recommend finding center position in front of your speakers, a comfortable couch or chair and dedicate yourself to the music for a long hour" - Prins Thomas,
STAFF COMMENTSMartin says: Thomas Moen Hermansen always drew his influences from a broad musical palette, even if at first he confined his genius to the seemingly oxymoronic Norwegian disco genre. It is no surprise then that Mr.Hermansen might want to express his talent in other areas - he has injected psyche and kraut rock into the beats in more recent work; in Principe Del Norte he explores more meditative electronic territories, although consistency is maintained here with nods in the direction of Harmonia, Manuel Göttsching and Cluster.
The album was made between 2012 - 2015 in Oslo and Bratten sites artists like Giacinto Scelsi, Arvo Pärt, Gescom/AE, Brian Eno and Norwegian compatriot Biosphere as inspiration. “Gode" has a dual meaning in Norwegian. It’s a Middle English word that gave us the modern English word “Goad” (meaning to provoke or annoy). On the one hand it literally means “cattle prod”, a farming tool used to, er, prod cattle. But it also came to mean “a right or privilege” as the cattle prod came to symbolize the indentured labour of the Norwegian rural working class. The land owning aristocrats would exploit the people as if they were so much livestock. Like a stark black & white film, the record is a meditation on the darker days of Norway’s past, before the country discovered its oil wealth. From 1900 - 1939 it was one of Europe’s poorest countries, beset by illness and starvation even. Rural poor depended completely on their families and had more children to work the land. Only the privileged could afford to make art, and Bratten thinks of the void all the music and art from the poorest families that was lost. “Gode” is a hymn to those people.
“Gode” is Bratten giving free rein to his imagination and further deepening his unique musical practice. His previous work was made with synthesizers, drum machines and computers but this album is recorded through tape machines, layered with field recordings, heavily modified piano, string arrangements and even vocals (amongst others Susanne Sundfør).
03. Quiet Earth
06. Cascade Of Events Feat. Susanne Sundfør
09. Space Between Left & Right
11. Primordial Pit
13. Math Ilium Ion
When Ejstes recorded his first album, he released it in 2001 under the name Dungen, which means “The Grove”— a nod to his village upbringing or perhaps a deeper reference to American folk songs like “Shady Grove.” While his music has routinely garnered comparisons to acts like Love, Pink Floyd, the Electric Prunes, and Os Mutantes, he has always emphasized a strong sense of songcraft. The music has deep roots in the past, but it blooms in the present.
With 2004’s breakout Ta Det Lugnt Dungen garnered an avid fanbase outside of Scandinavia. Only on the road did Dungen blossom into a full band, with a rotation of musicians joining Ejstes onstage and eventually coalescing into a fully democratic band that includes Reine Fiske on guitar, Mattias Gustavsson on bass, and Johan Holmegard on drums. Starting with 2007’s Tio Bitar and 2009’s 4, the band members helped Ejstes realize his own vision while adding flourishes of their own. As a result, Dungen grew into something bigger and more formidable: one of the best and most consistently inventive psych rock bands in the world.
At the height of their powers, however, the band took a step back. It’s been five years since the last Dungen album, 2010’s Skit I Allt, which is by far the longest interval between releases for a band that proved especially prolific and inspired during the 2000s. Allas Sak picks up where Dungen’s previous album left off, but somehow it sounds bolder and livelier, feistier yet more focused. The quartet jam with greater purpose and principle on songs like the otherworldly instrumental “Franks Kaktus” and the stately “En Gång Om Året,” while the prismatic “Flickor Och Pojkar” and closer “Sova” reveal subtle nuances in the band’s arrangements.
The band brought in “a good friend of ours” named Mattias Glavå to produce the record. In addition to helming records for the Soundtrack of Our Lives, Sambassadeur, and the Amazing, Glavå worked with Dungen on 2005’s Stadsvandringar, which made these sessions a reunion of sorts. “Mattias is a true wizard of analog sound engineering, but he’s more than a technique nerd,” says Ejstes. “He’s the ultimate hand between my vision of a sound and reality.”
Glavå suggested the band work out songs before they entered the studio, rather than writing during the sessions. It was a different way of working, but one that Ejstes found invigorating. “He suggested we come to his studio with finished songs, and we did live takes directly to tape—the old-school way. It has truly been a quite different experience from the earlier records.” Allas Sak is about everyday matters: family, friends, the fine texture of life. Common but never mundane, these subjects anchor the music in the here and now, while the music lends a certain grandeur to ordinary moments. “Lyrics are very important to me,” says Ejstes. “These songs are my everyday experiences, my thoughts and stories from the life I live. I hope people can create their own stories around the music and maybe we can make music together, the listener and I.”
1. Allas Sak
2. Sista Festen
3. Sista Gästen
4. Franks Kaktus
5. En Gång Om Året
1. Åkt Dit
2. En Dag På Sjön
3. Flickor Och Pojkar
4. Ljus In I Min Panna
While her energy and demeanor may not have changed since the days of Rip Rig + Panic, musically, 'Blank Project' is a departure from anything Neneh has previously done, initially written as a means of working through personal tragedy. What stands out upon first listen is the album’s sparseness: loose drums and a few synthesizers are the only accompaniment to Neneh’s wildly poetic, sometimes-spoken, sometimes-screeching, soul-flooded and raw vocals. The space created by this minimal aesthetic leaves room for occasional pistes and flurries of rapid, yet throbbing and thunderous instrumentation. Featuring combined elements of beat poetry, avant-electronica and beautiful vocal melodies, it’s a record that uses simple ideas to create something entirely original. And despite the personal struggles Neneh was working through in writing this new material, the songs are far from introverted.
With 'Blank Project', Neneh continues to arrive at moments in musical history when there is an opportunity to subvert ideas of popular culture. She is subverting once again, only this time, although this record is musically bold, Neneh sees the stasis she’s challenging isn’t musical or societal, but her own.
STAFF COMMENTSPhilippa says: Neneh Cherry follows her collaboration with Nordic free jazz noise collective the Thing with the intense electro-percussive album ‘Blank Project’, first unveiled at the Manchester International Festival. The guttural analogue synths and pummelled kit drumming of power duo RocketNumberNine (brothers Ben and Tom Page) provide the backing for Cherry’s distinctive emotionally vulnerable soul-flooded vocals, while Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden proves to be the perfect producer for the project, stripping tracks back to their essential elements. The first solo record Cherry has made since the death of her mother, ‘Blank Project’ is stark, bracing, brooding and reflective. There is anger and sadness here, but this isn’t a sad record. This is a life-affirming angry howl at the world, a cathartic blast of intensity that leaps from the speakers. In an era of often soulless synthetic emoting, it’s good to have some raw emotion back with us. Raw like, er, Cherry!
1. Across The Water
2. Blank Project
4. Spit Three Times
8. Out Of The Black (Feat Robyn)
4. Steel Drummer
6. Deadly Buzz
7. Black And Blue
8. Lone Raver
9. Matthew And Toby
Carmen Villain was born in the USA, lives in London, and is half-Norwegian, half-Mexican - a cocktail of ice and fire that can be heard throughout Sleeper’s tempestuous, dreamlike music. Throughout this debut album, lyrics are plastered over loose, abrasive instrumental tracks, on which Carmen plays guitars, bass, drum machines, keyboards and percussion. 'Sleeper’'s distinctive production was halved between herself and Emil Nikolaisen (Serena-Maneesh), who also played drums and keyboards; and she also collaborated and co-produced one track with Prins Thomas, who sequenced the album. Most of the songs are about escaping an unsatisfying world, with references to sleeping, not being present, displacement, anxiety, feeling trapped, but longing for something more.
Carmen draws on a lineage of sprawling, taboo-busting lo-fi rock: Sun City Girls, Sonic Youth, Royal Trux, Broadcast and Bikini Kill, but equally admires This Heat and the cut ‘n’ paste productions of J Dilla and Wu-Tang Clan.
01. Two Towns
05. Made A Shell
06. How Much
07. Light, See
09. It May Well Die
12. Demon Lover
Bonus Mixtape Tracklisting:
1. 00.00 Bardo Pond-Endurance
2. 02.35 Kurt Vile - Best Love
3. 05.11 Sun City Girls - Grand Trunk (Drifters Of The Grand Trunk)
4. 07.15 Wu-Tang Clan - Hellz Wind Staff
5. 08.45 This Heat - Sleep
6. 10.10 The Magnetic Fields - Save A Secret For The Moon
7. 10.02 Cypress Hill - Yo Quiero Fumar
8. 15.21 Pussy Galore - Don't Jones Me
9. 17.19 Tyrannosaurus Rex - Organ Blues
10. 19.36 Genius/GZA - Liquid Swords
11. 21.25 This Heat - New Kind Of Water
12. 22.13 Bikini Kill - Magnet
13. 23.34 The Men - Animal
14. 26.20 Broadcast - Love's Long Listen In
15. 27.09 Indian Jewellery - Nonetheless
16. 29.39 Royal Trux - Follow The Winner
17. 32.55 J Dilla - Nothing Like This (instrumental)
18. 35.25 Iggy & The Stooges - Tight Pants
19. 37.23 Silver Apples - Seagreen Serenades
20. 39.46 Stereolab - Les Yper-Yper Sound
21. 42.03 Carmen Villain - How Much (A JD Twitch Optimo Remix)
22. 45.12 Sun City Girls - The Flower
23. 46.26 Shabazz Palaces - An Echo From The Hosts That Profess Infinitum
24. 48.22 Sun City Girls - This Is My Name
25. 52.32 Syd Barrett - Late Night
26. 55.41 Pirate Love - The Garden Of Esoteric Reflections
2 NEW ITEMS
202 NEW ITEMS
Fri 30th - 11:00
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