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Music

A Winged Victory For The Sullen: The Undivided Five (LP, Ninja Tune, November 2019)

I had an odd feeling of crossing-the-streams with this album. I listened to a bunch of Ninja Tune stuff in the mid-90s, mostly instrumental and alternative hiphop and breaks, but I think of that as a part of my musical past. So for the third album proper from Adam Wiltzie and Dustin O’Halloran, who could […]

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Music

Shida Shahabi: Shifts (LP, 130701, November 2019)

I’ll admit that my first thought on hearing the opening track here, Futō, was that maybe it was overdoing the whole close-miked piano thing a wee bit, as the creak of the mechanism was so up front in the mix. But that was soon forgotten, displaced by my second and more lasting thought: this is […]

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Music

Octo Octa: Resonant Body (2LP, T4T LUV NRG, September 2019)

Aw, now, this is just deliriously good stuff. It’s acidy housey breaksy rave and, well, I’m not sure whether she was even born in ’92, but Maya Bouldry-Morrison knows her stuff. There’s all the right bloops and squelches, there’s Korg piano, there’s even a motherflipping hoover. Best of all, there are dangerously infectious vocal samples, […]

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Music

François J. Bonnet & Stephen O’Malley: Cylene (2LP, Editions Mego, September 2019)

In which Stephen O’Malley out of Sunn O))) and François J. Bonnet of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris’s National Audiovisual Institute have a beard-off. And the beards win. You probably expect this is going to be a weighty business, and it is, but at the same time there’s an ethereal quality to it. […]

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Music

Merzbow & Vanity Productions: Coastal Erosion (LP, iDEAL, July 2019)

Ah, noise. Lovely, cleansing noise. Once in a while, I find this stuff does me the world of good. Merzbow (Japanese veteran Masima Akita) is on splendid form here, assuming you think that ear-shredding howls of electronics and squeals of tortured static are amenable to the appellation of “splendid”. Vanity Productions (Christian Stadsgaard, a Dane […]

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Music

Rafael Anton Irisarri: Solastalgia (LP, Room 40, June 2019)

It came as a surprise to me when I realized I actually only own two records by Rafael Anton Irisarri. It Falls Apart, the 2010 release from The Sight Below, was a pretty cracking record, and it caught me at a formative moment in my listening journey, and I guess he’s felt like a part […]

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Music

Fabio Orsi: Sterminato Piano (LP, Backwards, June 2019)

For a while now there’s been a slow but steady resurgence of form of music that, for want of a better term, I’m going to call kosmische. You know the kind of thing: analogue synths, or good emulations if not, sequenced into big fat motorik swirls of sound. At it’s best, it can be rather […]

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Music

Richard Skelton: Border Ballads (CD, Corbel Stone Press, May 2019)

Ooh, a new Skelton! I loved 2010’s Landings and 2012’s Limnology but none of his more recent works quite made it onto my radar (I think they were mostly pretty low key?). Well, this one emphatically did, and it is cracking. It was recorded, as you might have guessed, in the Scottish Borders, and is […]

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Music

Caterina Barbieri: Ecstatic Computation (LP, Editions Mego, May 2019)

I was pretty excited to get my ears around this one. Barbieri’s Patterns Of Consciousness was one of my records of 2017, and Born Again In The Voltage was almost as good. So, how does this new album stack up? The thing that made me adore Patterns so much was its awesome precision. It had […]

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Music

Steve Moore: Beloved Exile (LP, Temporary Residence, May 2019)

You know how sometimes you stick a record on and you’re immediately spirited to a particular time or place or scenario via some kind of sense-memory transporter beam? That. I’ve just stuck this rather beautiful slice of hot pink and milk marbled vinyl on the ol’ Technics, and I find myself lying contentedly in the […]