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Music

Stephan Mathieu: A Static Place (CD, 12K, February 2011)

When I read that this record was sourced from old 78s played through antique gramaphones (HMV Model 102s, if you need to know), I imagined something swathed in old-timey crackles in the manner of Philip Jeck or Leyland Kirby. Far from it: there is a gentle background hiss in places, but the key elements of […]

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Music

The Caretaker: Persistent Repetition Of Phrases (2010 Gatefold Digipak Edition) (CD, History Always Favours The Winners, April 2010)

When I wrote about Leyland Kirby’s Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was almost a year ago, I mentioned his work as The Caretaker inspired by the haunted ballroom scene in The Shining. This is that record. It has to be said it takes its brief fairly literally. Snatches of old records, I guess […]

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Music

Machinefabriek: Apollo (3″ CD, Machinefabriek, January 2011)

There’s always something striking about the crackly, distant sound of astronaut’s radio conversations. I suppose it’s the way they sound so calm, prosaic even, exchanging well-rehearsed formulae and all the time you half expect them to crack and shout “holy crap, I’m in space!”. Also, there’s the iconic status of the Apollo programme in the […]

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Music

Senking: Pong (CD + Windows/Mac Game, Raster-Noton, September 2010)

Fantastically good. Jens Massel has pulled in elements from a range of styles: off the top of my head, I’d include bleep, dub techno, glitch, dark ambient, breakcore, and sublow — or at least, I think so… I am terrible at genres. What’s certain is that he’s made them work together to form a coherent whole, […]

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Music

Philip Jeck: An Ark For The Listener (CD, Touch, September 2010)

Like the best ambient works, two minutes into this record I feel like I’ve been listening to it for aeons. I mean that in a good way: it is a testament to its immersive, timeless quality. (A few other types of music can do this too me: interestingly — to me, anyway — I get […]

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Music

The Black Dog: Music For Real Airports (CD, Soma, May 2010)

In which the techno veterans respond to the first record to be explicitly labelled as “ambient”: Brian Eno’s Music For Real Airports. I’m not clear if it’s a response, an homage, or a riposte: Boomkat claim that they “have long had a problem with Eno’s elegiac score to those transient spaces, feeling that modern airport […]