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Music

Sunn O))): Metta, Benevolence BBC 6Music: Live on the Invitation of Mary Anne Hobbs (digital, Southern Lord, November 2021)

I saw Sunn O))) at All Tomorrow’s Parties once. There was a deeply hooded figure huddled at the front of the stage chanting while they did their drone metal thing, and there was a rumour going around that it was Julian Cope, who was also playing the festival. There was another rumour going around that […]

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Monobox: Regenerate (digital, M-Plant, November 2021)

This is my first encounter with Robert Hood’s Monobox alias. And it’s great. Hood is, of course, one of the founding fathers of minimal techno, and you can definitely see that here, but it’s quite a bit more banging than, say, Minimal Nation. Resident Advisor call it ‘big room techno’, and I have no reason […]

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Music

Fluxion: Parallel Moves (digital, Vibrant Music, October 2021)

Dub techno is one of those genres which I had a little flurry of interest in years and years ago, but haven’t bought much of more recently, because… well, to be frank, because there were a lot of records that were perfectly nice but which didn’t seem to give me much that I couldn’t get […]

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Music

Mira Calix: absent origin (digital, Warp Records, November 2021)

Ooh, a new Mira Calix! I loved her Warp albums from the early noughties (One On One, Skimskitta, 3 Commissions) which were all pretty hard to categorize — a mix of glitchy electronics, naive piano before that was really a thing, field recordings, and bog knows what else — but all strangely beautiful, and quite […]

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Music

Eris Drew: Quivering In Time (digital, T4T LUV NRG, October 2021)

Eris Drew spent lockdown raving in a cabin in the forest with her girlfriend Octo Octa. Judging by this record, she was having a lot more fun than most of us. I don’t mean that to sound envious: I find it impossible to be mean-spirited about such infectiously joyous music. ‘Cos this album of raved-up […]

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Hoavi: Invariant (digital, Peak Oil, October 2021)

My first thought when I heard this is that it combines elements and atmospherics familiar from dub, and in particular from dub techno (the first track even has an echoey vocal sample saying “dub” in case you needed a clue) with breakbeats more familiar from jungle (albeit the more laidback end). Is dub jungle a […]

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Music

Georgia Rodgers: September (digital, Another Timbre, November 2021)

Big ups to Another Timbre for putting together this entrancing set of performances of works from across Georgia Rodgers’s decade-plus-long composing career. There’s a decidedly minimal/drone flavour to this record, but there’s a wide variety of styles within that. The opening number, the punningly (I assume) titled Base, is a slow-burner for bassoon and double […]

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Winter Family: Chevaliers (digital, Sub Rosa, April 2021)

This is a strangely wonderful thing from Israeli–French duo Ruth Rosenthal and Xavier Klaine. The first half consists entirely of Klaine’s quiet pipe-organ drone and Rosenthal’s even quieter vocals, a mostly monotone mumbling in (I think) a mixture of English, French, and Hebrew that borders on ASMR, plus the distant sound of church bells. The […]

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Music

Arushi Jain: Under The Lilac Sky (digital, Leaving Records, July 2021)

This was a love-at-first-listen album for me. The first track, Richer Than Blood, opens with this sort of ambient crescendo of creaks and hums, and then a delightfully smudged vocal (in, I think, some flavour of Hindustani) soars over it, and that’s me gone. Jain, who was born in New Delhi and lives in New […]

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Music

DJ Black Low: Uwami (CD, May 2021, Awesome Tapes From Africa)

A really impressive debut from this 20-year-old South African producer Sam Austin Rabede, alongside a wide range of collaborators and vocalists. The beats are, I gather, amapiano: rooted in house music, but with some really strong syncopation and tonnes of improvised-sounding frills and flourishes. (I’ll confess I’d not heard of the genre before, but then […]