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BORDER COMMUNITY

Modular synthesizer meets Morocco’s Gnawa tradition as UK synth guru James Holden teams up with the Maalem Houssam Guinia, son of the late Gnawa legend and previous Holden-collaborator Maalem Mahmoud Guinia, for a trio of live collaborations recorded during the Guinia band’s first trip to London back in 2016.

Lead track "Pass Through The Fire / Bouri Bouri Manandabo" sees the swirling organs of Holden’s Gnawa-inspired "Pass Through The Fire"(highlight of his joyous 2017 album "The Animal Spirits") supplemented with a selection from the Guinia’s traditional call-and-response repertoire, thereby completing the collaborative circle.

Over on the B-side it’s Holden’s turn to contribute hazy pads to the affecting, sonorous standard "Youmala" and frantically cycling arpeggios to the energetic "Baba Hamouda".


Let electronics guru James Holden and his newly-expanded band The Animal Spirits transport us to a magical other world with this third album: a bold new set of synth-led folk-trance standards, fusing elements of psychedelia, krautrock, world and spiritual jazz with Holden's usual propulsive melodic vigour into his most ambitious - but also most accessible - work to date.

The synth-and-drum core of Holden's Inheritors-era live touring outfit has picked up several members along the way, incorporating saxophone, cornet, recorder and cosmic percussion, all recorded live together in one room under the direction of band leader Holden to produce a genre-blending new form of universal music that feels inherently fluid and alive.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Holden, and his newly inherited (pun intended) band segue away from the dense, fractured electronic excursions of yesteryear, into a genre-bending percussive world-music odyssey. Progressive, multi-layered and incredibly rewarding. Another slice of genius from the Border Community head honcho.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP Info: Double gatefold heavyweight vinyl includes MP3 download codes.

James Holden & Camilo Tirado / Luke Abbott

Outdoor Museum Of Fractals / 555Hz

    Holden and Luke Abbott flirt with the new age in this split double album, with a pair of extended synth meditations indulging their respective loves of arpeggio and drone, originally composed for the occasion of Terry Riley’s 80th birthday. Holden’s "Outdoor Museum Of Fractals" fuses the endlessly unfolding fractal complexity of luxurious washes of arpeggiations with the pitched tabla drumming of Camilo Tirado, co-pilot on this hypnotic, meditative journey. Luke Abbott’s metallic gong-drone offering "555Hz" layers this mystical frequency and its related harmonics in a sequence of transportive wave-like swells. Running to over 45 and 30 minutes apiece in digital form but split in two to fit on the vinyl. The heavyweight double vinyl also includes uninterrupted digital download codes.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Border Community head-honcho and fanatic Synthesist James Holden teams up with one of the label's many star signings on this double LP. On one LP Holden jams over the trance-inducing Tabla playing of Camilo Tirado to full new-age effect, whilst on the other, known hardware-fiend Luke Abott explores drone and ambience. Both sides are exercises in skill and restraint and show how truly talented these guys (and generally, Border Community as a whole) are. Worth the effort this one, and a record that reveals more every time I listen.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Holden

    Renata - Daphni / Steve Moore Remixes

    To coincide with the release of James Holden's eagerly anticipated new album 'The Inheritors', the appetite-whetting arpeggio extravaganza 'Renata' single-handedly trumpets his return with a pair of special remixes from Holden-endorsed synth luminaries Daphni and Steve Moore. Daphni continues his genre melding mission setting the original vocal parts over an afro drum machine beat and putting the haunting border community synths to work. The track oscillates back and forth between melancholy minimalism and crashing arpeggiated overload over the course of its seven and a half minutes. Another fine exercise in leftfield techno from Dan Snaith, whose Daphni moniker is beginning to overshadow his Caribou work. Steve Moore's interpretation on the b-side is a completely different kettle of fish, as the New York synthwave wizard drops the pace to horizontal and then takes us on a journey of spiritual discovery. Analogue synths chime and shift over each other, weaving left and right in the stereo field giving the track a hazy late night feel, while the mogadon bass synth lollops along beneath everything carrying you away on (sine) wave after (square) wave of synth bliss. A heavenly rework from Steve Moore.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    10" Info: 10" grey marbled vinyl pressing.

    This is the debut LP from Fairmont on Border Community. And it is pretty much what you'd expect both from the artist and the label that brought you Holden's recent LP and Nathan Fake's "Drowning In A Sea Of Love". Basically that means there is a techy undercurrent to the proceedings, with a large percentage being aimed at the floor, and a few slow burners and ambient interludes. The one thing that sets Border Community apart is their kookiness, strange electronic squiggles, drones, FX and otherworldly noise all permeate the tracks, this all points to "Coloured In Memory" being the next triumph in the BC cannon. Very good indeed.


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