Friday, September 10, 2010

13th September 2010 Releases

Raime EP:
A1. Retread
A2. This Foundry
B1. We Must Hunt Under The Wreckage Of Many Systems
Blackest Ever Black 12" EP
Raime - This Foundry [mastered] by Blackest Ever Black
Raime - We Must Hunt Under The Wreckage Of Many Systems [mastered] by Blackest Ever Black

Blackest Ever Black is a new London-based label that seeks to re-establish electronic music as a poetic, provocative and emotionally inquisitive force. Music by artists, not engineers. Its first release is a self-titled EP by Raime, a British duo who draw explicit inspiration from the marginal mavericks of early European goth, industrial and synth wave - artists largely omitted from the current master narrative of post-punk history, and who strove to make music at once cerebral and visceral, futuristic and atavistic. Well-versed in the language of club music, but rejecting its typically rigid sequencing and arrangements, Raime use technology pensively - to convey a sense of crisis, collapse and longing. Transporting and disorienting though their work might be, it's narratively taut and has no truck whatsoever with the "cosmic"; it's too aggressive and engaged to be called psychedelic.

'Retread' floats spectral plainchant across a ruthlessly pared-down, reverb-heavy drum pattern and sub-bass summoned from the deepest crypt, before unfolding into a gripping coda of suffocated woodwind, disembodied howls and billowing, baleful sheets of melody. 'This Foundry' threatens groove but never quite yields to it, its hypnotic, low-slung rhythm and eerily decaying bass sound disrupted by strafing synths and a swell of vocal textures alternately celestial and guttural. BLACKEST002, due out in November, will feature a remix of this track by Regis (Sandwell District / Downwards).

A huge, martial drum tattoo dominates 'We Must Hunt Under The Wreckage Of Many Systems', the yawning space between hits striped with drones that conjure hostile pre- and post-human landscapes. The track's dark, ritualistic momentum will make sense to fans of dubstep and jungle, but the dread it evokes is singular and oblique.

BLACKEST001 is a trio of bold, original essays in unease, and a welcome sign that the post-techno avant-garde is alive, angry and untethered to the dancefloor, academy or gallery space. Music for hard times.

Fume EP:
A1. Tangle
A2. Fumes
B1. Fumes (PCB 3000 Mix)
meanwhile. 12"
(MEAN 019)

Murmur return with a brace of killers, their first new material since MEAN 011's split release with Bovill back in 2008. Over the course of the half dozen years since beginning their Meanwhile imprint, Murmur's output has been so sparing, evanescent, and epitomising the label's low-key approach to steppers house music and horizontal techno with an implicit electronic beatdown sound, that acknowledges their pitched down sound, so heavily influenced by their early South African adventures and exploits.

'Tangle' is a case in point, effortlessly, deployed house music for bubblers, one for those who know and understand how to build a true dance music session from the ground up. Murmur give the machines a thorough going over on the title cut 'Fume', ever so restrained and beatless it has been offered up to the Pendle Coven Breakers (PCB) to work some on the bass and drum undercarriage.

Miles Whittaker and Gary Howell come through in fine style with a beautiful, controlled and yet understated rub of 'Fumes'. True steppers rollidge for warm up session teasing and tickling bigger systems: leaving still ample room for low-end exploration and with a most supreme build to it. that is just perfectly weighted.

Miasmah CD
(MIACD 013)
Marcus Fjellström - Schattenspieler by miasmah

Swedish composer and multimedia artist Marcus Fjellström's debut Miasmah release follows two critically acclaimed full length albums on Lampse (2006's 'Gebrauchsmusik' and 2005's 'Exercises In Estrangement'). In addition Marcus has had several commissioned works requested, leading to him working with, among others, the Swedish Royal Ballet, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, numerous ensembles, soloists and filmmakers including 'Salad Fingers' creator David Firth. Currently based in Berlin, Fjellström's compositions often combine aspects of modern classical composition and arrangement and more avant forms of music, be that acoustic or electronic.

'Schattenspieler' (which translates as 'Shadowplayer') takes the form of eleven compositions which explore ambience and melody, texture and silence. Haunting synth and orchestral instrument-based audio constructions, flowing from one moment to the next - the fleeting ghosts of Fjellström's melodies rise, only to be buried under a claustrophobic clutter of percussion and creaking background noise. These pieces do indeed feel like you're listening to something more implied than obviously stated, as if Fjellström wants only to expose us to the shadow of the music - the implication being perhaps a more terrifying experience than to be confronted outright…listen to 'Schattenspieler' and you may find your mind starts to play tricks on you…

The undeniably Angelo Badalamenti-esque descending synth strings of opening track 'The Disjointed', lay the foundations for Fjellström's 'Schattenspieler' album; music resting somewhere between the unsettling horror soundtracks of Jerry Goldsmith, the elevating melodies of Cliff Martinez, and the subtle audio constructions of Miasmah label mates Kreng and Jacaszek. Marcus' wide ranging abilities in composition and his willingness to let go of accepted form and function makes 'Schattenspieler' a perfect choice of release for the Miasmah label. The suspense laden 'Antichrist Architechture Management', with its harrowing and tense undertones, weaving synth lines and a wash of static hiss and flicker, is a particular standout track. Despite it's a strangely oppressive sound, shafts of light grace 'Schattenspieler'; pieces such as 'Untitled 090616' find gorgeous melodies are boxed in by unsettling arrangements and sparse background ambience. There is a coldness to many of these compositions - not without emotion, but somehow remorseless. 'Schattenspieler' is, for the main part, a defiantly bleak journey.

'Schattenspieler' also includes a four part suite 'House Without A Door' (tracks six to nine), which was originally commissioned for the Bernd Behr film of the same name. Album closer 'Uncanny Valleys', reflective in some ways of the opening track, is a haze of descending synth and organ tones. The imperfections in these often scratchy recordings makes for an alluring, almost drug- induced state of mind where all that is real is unreal. Doom-not-doom? Well, not perhaps so easy to label…it's safe to say though, as a well grounded modern composer, Fjellström's created something of a suitably appropriate monster in 'Schattenspieler'.

A. The Boxer
AA. The Boxer (DARQWAN Remix)

Tectonic 12"
(TEC 040)

Pinch "The Boxer" Tectonic TEC040 by Multiverse

Pinch is back with a heavy hitting, dancefloor punishing beast of a track - 'The Boxer'. Ethereal sounds emerge from another dimension as a filtered conga pattern charges up, leading us to the punchline... POW! It's a full fist in the jaw. Flip for darkside garage legend Darqwan's version as he mangles the original into something that sounds like metal being torn apart by big machines.

Trick Of The Light - CESSA Remixes:
A. Trick Of The Midnight Mix
B. Trick Of The Late Night Mix
white label 12"
(CR 1201)
Trick of the midnight (RAaH Project - Cessa Remix) by cessa
Trick of the Late night (RAaH Project - Cessa Remix) by cessa

Already gaining heavy plays from sceneleaders Floating Points, SBTRKT and with rinseage everywhere from Ronnie Scotts to Fabric, these are two white label only secret weapons - versions straight from the epicentre of the London scene. Utilising a trace element of the Rah Project's stunning 'Trick of the Light' vocal and building two entirely new tracks around them - the producer in question somehow manages to traverse flexier funkier movements, weighted bollywood style string swells, with more gorgeous teched up and dubbed down beat feelings - killer twelve, not with us for long, be quick!

A. Forever
AA1. No Pills
AA2. On Arrete Tout
Immerse 12"
(IME 021)
ime021 by immerserecords

Jazz and Latin-spiked dubstep experiments from Austrian producer, Simon/Off. He's previously released on Haunted Audio and Surface Tension before dropping the propulsive A-side 'Forever' with warm jazz chords and a forward 4/4 momentum. On the flip 'No Pills' goes on a Latin-inspired broken house jaunt and 'On Arrête Tout' rounds out a breaks-inspired dubstep groove. For fans of Hessle Audio, 4 Hero and the Mindset crew.