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Music

Katie Gately: Color (LP, Tri Angle, October 2016)

Wow, how brilliantly bonkers is this??? Vocally, Gately ranges from chirpy pop to melodramatic cabaret and incorporates eccentric yelps and shifts of tone and basically comes over like a Kate Bush for the attention-deficit generation. Musically, it’s equally full-on: synth-heavy, densely-layered, chaotic, over-the-top, and wickedly inventive. She never misses an opportunity for an extra flourish […]

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Oiseaux-Tempête: Unworks & Rarities (LP, Sub Rosa, June 2016)

Oiseaux-Tempête’s Ütopiya? was easily one of my records of 2015. So I was pretty intrigued to get hold of this. You never know quite what you’ll get with this kind of bits-and-bobs compilation, but this exceeds expectations. It opens with Eclipse & Sirocco, a number based around Christine Ott’s ondes-martenot work which starts of as ethereal […]

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Scheich in China: Scheich in China (LP, V I S, August 2016)

I don’t know where Golden Püdel’s Nina dug Scheich in China up from, but this is quite a find. The first side has three tracks of dark, intense, atmospheric, industrial techno: skittering beats, deliciously organic sounding pads, and primeval buzzing noises abound, with the whooping of oscillators being about the closest we get to a […]

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Music

Claire M Singer: Solas (2xCD, Touch, June 2016)

Ooh, now this is really, really good. Claire M Singer, who is the musical director at the Union Chapel, has apparently been writing and performing for 14 years, but this is her first record. It’s really top notch classical drone stuff, with the traditional strings supplemented by some juicy work on the Union Chapel’s organ, […]

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Bethan Kellough: Aven (CD, Touch, August 2016)

This is a short (28 minutes) but perfectly formed bit of intense atmospheric ambient. It’s made mostly of Kellough’s own droning string arrangements, field recordings (from Iceland and South Africa), and a bunch of processing. From the opening seconds you’d be forgiven for thinking this was going to be at the floaty end of the […]

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Aphex Twin: Cheetah EP (12″, Warp, July 2016)

Remember 2014, when new Aphex material (and new old Caustic Window, in particular) was really exciting? Remember 2015, when new Aphex material was kinda *shrug* and “whatevs”? Well, now it’s 2016, and perhaps I’m just about ready to treat new Aphex material on its merits, rather than harking back to the ’90s. Perhaps… Anyway, on this […]

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Shackleton: Devotional Songs (2×12″, Honest Jon’s Records, July 2016)

Sam Shackleton’s prolific early singles career largely passed me by — I remember quite liking the Ricardo Villalobos remix of Blood On My Hands back in 2007, but that’s about it. In 2012, that all changed with his epic Music For The Quiet Hour, which absolutely blew me away (it still does). His main output since then […]

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Music

Marielle V Jakobsons: Star Core (LP, Thrill Jockey, August 2016)

I was first drawn to this because I was curious about Jakobson’s Macro Cymatic Visual Music Instrument, a homemade construction which transduces the vibrations in water into sound (I won’t try to explain it any more than that, instead you should just go see it in action). Certainly there are some interesting sounds going on here, […]

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Music

Petar Dundov: At The Turn Of Equilibrium (4LP+CD, Music Man, May 2016)

Aw, now, this is kind of lovely. It’s techno at its most melodic and hypnotic. The tunes are front and centre of everything here, the beats sitting and the back and just gently propelling things along. In fact, it’s kind of pushing the line between techno and a kind of proggy trancy synth music. The […]

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Jon Mueller: Tongues (LP, Rhythmplex, May 2016)

You may want to be sitting down for this one. Right from the start of the A-side (the 15-minute long How You Look When You’re Not Looking) we’re thrown into some seriously heavy ritualistic shit. According to the liner notes, Mueller “conceived” this (it’s hard to believe that it’s scored) and plays bass drums, voice, […]