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Music

Mika Vainio: Kilo (CD, Blast First Petite, July 2013)

You kind of know what to expect with a Mika Vainio release: it’s going to be big and dark and heavy and there are going to be giant bassy throbs which well up out of your woofers like some sort of sonic kraken, and in between (especially in the work under his own name) there […]

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Music

Anne-James Chaton & Andy Moor: Transfer (CD, Unsounds, May 2013)

I find Anne-James Chaton strangely wonderful. He has appeared here reading out the serial numbers from receipts found in Carsten Nicolai’s wallet on Alva Noto’s unitxt, and reading news reports of important events of 2009 along with other texts (like the terms and conditions on train tickets) associated with those dates on his solo Événements 09, both […]

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Music

Senking: Capsize Recovery (CD, Raster-Noton, September 2013)

It is well known that a good Jeff Mills set is like being on a giant space ship made out of techno. Well, a good Senking record is like being on a giant submarine made out of dubstep (and possibly filled with insects). The awesome buzzing, the gorgeously precise, skittering beats, the sonar pings… pretty […]

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Music

Jon Hopkins: Immunity (CD, Domino, May 2013)

The dominant sound here is a dense, driving techno, with a heavy, propulsive beat and a gloopy, psychedelic synth sound which almost remind me of kosmiche. It’s really quite good fun. It could be a bit much, but this heady fare is leavened by occasional floaty ambient tracks. The penultimate track, Sun Harmonics, features the […]

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Bvdub & Loscil: Erebus (CD, Glacial Movements, October 2013)

There’s a synth sound in some of Brock van Wey’s dub techno which is so organic it sounds almost human. This record is dominated by what seem to be real vocals, often abstracted to the point of sounding almost synthetic. There’s some wordless chanting, and some that might be church Latin (or might not), and […]

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Music

Colleen: The Weighing Of The Heart (CD, Second Language, May 2013)

A warning: If you find the idea of a woman singing breathily over pretty tunes played on harps and chimes likely to bring you out in a rash from the twee, this album is probably not for you. Which would be a shame, as there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in terms of […]

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Music

Ellen Allien: LISm (CD, BPitch Control, March 2013)

Remember when Ellen Allien was a techno producer? For quite a while now, the original Berlinette’s output has had a pretty tenuous relationship with the genre, or indeed any genre at all, and has been none the worse for that (I’d take Dust over Thrills any day, much as I love Thrills). Still, I was a little […]

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Music

The Haxan Cloak: Excavation (CD, Tri Angle, April 2013)

The album art for Excavation consists of a painting of a noose-like rope against a blank near-black background. This gives a subtle clue what kind of a musical experience we’re in for. And, indeed, the music is pretty doomtastic: deep deep bass sounds loom out of the speakers, industrial rhythms stutter and spurt, minor chords float […]

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Music

Pan American: Cloud Room Glass Room (CD, Kranky, April 2013)

There are times when what I really need is to listen to some people playing guitar very slowly, swathed in fuzz and echo, accompanied by a light dusting of percussion which sticks to the top end of the drum-kit, all brushed cymbals. This does the job very nicely. A nice balance of melody and atmospherics, […]

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Music

Atom™: HD (CD, Raster-Noton, April 2013)

I have talked before of the poppy side of Raster-Noton. This record fits that description rather more literally: its glitches are funky, its tracks recognizably songs, and there are real lyrics sung by real people (heavily processed, yes, but then that seems to be normal in today’s autotuned industry). Of course, this is still noted […]