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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » electronic-music


James Blake: Assume Form review – lovestruck producer turns dark into light | Alexis Petridis’ album of the week

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 17 Jan 2019 1:00 pm

Blake is clearly in a good place, unexpectedly embedded at the centre of pop culture, and his new album adds bright colours to his sound

It feels strange now to recall a time when James Blake’s elevation from underground post-dubstep auteur to hotly-tipped mainstream artist seemed like the result of a clerical error. It was hard not to be impressed by his eponymous 2011 debut album, but it was equally hard not to wonder whether this really was the stuff of which silver medals in the BBC Sound of … poll and spots on the Radio 1 A-list were made. If you listened to its sparse, abstract, deeply uncommercial assemblages of treated vocals, electronics and piano, there was something very odd indeed about his name being mentioned in the same breath as Jessie J.

Related: James Blake speaks out about struggle with depression

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Richard Youngs: Memory Ain’t No Decay review – into the edgelands with a musical gem

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 11 Jan 2019 10:30 am

(Wayside & Woodland)

As many musicians fret, vacillate and self-medicate their way out of actually writing their next record, Richard Youngs just gets on with it. The Scotland-based singer-songwriter, operating since the early 90s, has released 17 albums in the last two years alone (not including collaborations such as the brilliant Scottish disco supergroup Amor) and has three more out this month, with Memory Ain’t No Decay joined soon by Onder/Stroom, a collaboration with Dutch electronic producers Frans de Waard and Peter Johan Nÿland, and another solo album, Dissident. His quavering yet strident voice is a bright silver thread through British music; his singing style, somewhere between conversation and benediction, recalls everything from sea shanties to Gaelic psalm singing, Mark E Smith to the Blue Nile’s Paul Buchanan. The neatest description of him probably comes in the title of his 2005 album The Naive Shaman.

Memory Ain’t No Decay’s three songs begin with the 15-minute stunner Edge of Everywhere. A blues guitar scratches rhythmically under a softer, echo-treated electric line, a combination that would be almost Balearic if it didn’t keep tripping up and going out of time – a technique that keeps the song constantly alive and alert. Youngs gives it one of his more spiritual vocal lines, even slightly reminiscent of devotional Punjabi singing. Still Learning is powered by a strummed guitar line that scans as generic on first listen, but extended over 11 minutes, its campfire familiarity becomes lulling, even meditative, topped with a kindly song from Youngs. The shorter Not My Eyes has an uncertain mass of bass tones and fingerpicking held together by steady plucking. Charged by Wayside & Woodland’s label head to consider the voguish psychogeographical concept of “edgelands” – spaces between the urban and rural – it would have been easy for Youngs to lapse into bland wonderment, but he ends up affirming that nature is both beautiful and impulsive.

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Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow review – assured, gorgeous electro-tinged progression

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Fri 11 Jan 2019 10:00 am

(Jagjaguwar)

Like all of Sharon Van Etten’s previous albums, 2014’s Are We There was preoccupied by a prior toxic relationship – co-dependency couched in a sour combination of abuse and affection. Its follow-up opens with a track that references that period of disquieting soul-baring in the form of a meta-confessional: I Told You Everything has Van Etten divulging the details of her traumatic past to a sympathetic new partner, but not the listener. It’s a move that acknowledges the musician’s suffering but also inches the story forward, hinting that the New Jersey native has a different life now (a suggestion confirmed by her hectic-sounding recent biography: over the past four years she has had a child, taken up acting and started studying for a degree in counselling). Change is something echoed in the sound of Remind Me Tomorrow too, a collection that sees Van Etten edge away from her trademark guitar and towards drones, piano and vintage synths.

Related: Sharon Van Etten: ‘The more I let go, the more I progress as a human being’

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The birth of Asian underground: ‘This music was for us and by us, and that was very powerful’

Delivered... Ammar Kalia | Scene | Fri 11 Jan 2019 9:00 am

Twenty years ago a new movement blending eastern sounds with electro and drum’n’bass arrived to give a generation of young British Asians a vibrant new voice. Why did it fade away so quickly?

When most Brits think of Asian music – if they do at all – they might conjure a twanging sitar and the high-pitched vocals of a Bollywood dance sequence blaring in an Indian restaurant, or the meditative chimes and chanting of a yoga session. In reality, of course, Asian music is a vast and diverse series of musical disciplines, and one that had been reduced, in the UK, to the reserve of anoraks and first-generation immigrants. But in the 90s, a scene came along to change all of that.

Twenty years ago, the Asian underground was born. A product of the first wave of Asian immigration into the UK in the early 60s and their children growing up in a newly diversifying society – one imbued with the racism of the National Front, as well as with a burgeoning multiculturalism from the Caribbean and west Africa – the music these first-generation British Asians made was full of internal tension. It was a mix of Indian classical instrumentals, Bollywood singing, jazz and the 90s club sounds of dub, drum’n’bass and jungle.

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‘If it moves me to tears, I’ve achieved what I wanted’: nature’s songwriter Erland Cooper

Delivered... Patrick Barkham | Scene | Tue 8 Jan 2019 2:13 pm

With geese as backing singers and a thousand children singing like starlings, the musician is sending his emotive ‘sonic postcards’ from Orkney to London

The rain lashes down, the wind whistles and a skein of pink-footed geese fly overhead, honking in the twilight, as Erland Cooper’s concert begins. Cley Marshes nature reserve on the Norfolk coast is an unusual place for a gig, but the perfect stage for an evening of music inspired by the birds of Orkney.

Cooper, known for the folk-rock of Erland and the Carnival and the more experimental soundscapes of the Magnetic North, migrated to new terrain for his debut solo album Solan Goose, released last year. With its combination of contemporary classical, ambient and electronica, it drew comparisons to Sigur Rós, Ólafur Arnalds and other music of northerly latitudes, as well as radio play and winning admirers in unexpected places, from literary figures including John Burnside and Robert Macfarlane.

I’m always trying to write the simplest thing, trying to do more with fewer notes

Nest, a light and sound installation, is in the grounds of the William Morris Gallery, London, 11-13 January. Erland Cooper is at Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, on 30 March and Milton Court, London, on 16 May. Solan Goose is out now on Phases Records.

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‘If it moves me to tears, I’ve achieved what I wanted’: nature’s songwriter Erland Cooper

Delivered... Patrick Barkham | Scene | Tue 8 Jan 2019 2:13 pm

With geese as backing singers and a thousand children singing like starlings, the musician is sending his emotive ‘sonic postcards’ from Orkney to London

The rain lashes down, the wind whistles and a skein of pink-footed geese fly overhead, honking in the twilight, as Erland Cooper’s concert begins. Cley Marshes nature reserve on the Norfolk coast is an unusual place for a gig, but the perfect stage for an evening of music inspired by the birds of Orkney.

Cooper, known for the folk-rock of Erland and the Carnival and the more experimental soundscapes of the Magnetic North, migrated to new terrain for his debut solo album Solan Goose, released last year. With its combination of contemporary classical, ambient and electronica, it drew comparisons to Sigur Rós, Ólafur Arnalds and other music of northerly latitudes, as well as radio play and winning admirers in unexpected places, from literary figures including John Burnside and Robert Macfarlane.

I’m always trying to write the simplest thing, trying to do more with fewer notes

Nest, a light and sound installation, is in the grounds of the William Morris Gallery, London, 11-13 January. Erland Cooper is at Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, on 30 March and Milton Court, London, on 16 May. Solan Goose is out now on Phases Records.

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‘If it moves me to tears, I’ve achieved what I wanted’: nature’s songwriter Erland Cooper

Delivered... Patrick Barkham | Scene | Tue 8 Jan 2019 2:13 pm

With geese as backing singers and a thousand children singing like starlings, the musician is sending his emotive ‘sonic postcards’ from Orkney to London

The rain lashes down, the wind whistles and a skein of pink-footed geese fly overhead, honking in the twilight, as Erland Cooper’s concert begins. Cley Marshes nature reserve on the Norfolk coast is an unusual place for a gig, but the perfect stage for an evening of music inspired by the birds of Orkney.

Cooper, known for the folk-rock of Erland and the Carnival and the more experimental soundscapes of the Magnetic North, migrated to new terrain for his debut solo album Solan Goose, released last year. With its combination of contemporary classical, ambient and electronica, it drew comparisons to Sigur Rós, Ólafur Arnalds and other music of northerly latitudes, as well as radio play and winning admirers in unexpected places, from literary figures including John Burnside and Robert Macfarlane.

I’m always trying to write the simplest thing, trying to do more with fewer notes

Nest, a light and sound installation, is in the grounds of the William Morris Gallery, London, 11-13 January. Erland Cooper is at Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, on 30 March and Milton Court, London, on 16 May. Solan Goose is out now on Phases Records.

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Like a studio onstage: Orbital tells us their live rig synth secrets

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 4 Jan 2019 7:57 pm

It’s a dazzling audiovisual show, with eye-popping visuals, plus an overflowing connection of synths. Orbital share their secrets for live performance and jamming with CDM’s David Abravanel.

The timing is perfect: Monsters Exist was a 2018 production highlight. Now we get to hear how all that studio complexity translates to live jamming: -Ed.

Photos: Matthew Bergman for CDM.

Orbital live in New York. Photo: Matthew Bergman

As soon as the two men wearing glasses with headlights on the side come on stage, there’s no question that you’re at an Orbital concert. Even before brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll take the stage, however, they’re preceded by another tell-tale sign: a live set up featuring copious hard- and software at their fingertips.

For decades, the Hartnolls have made a name for themselves defying expectations for live electronic performance – bringing a sizable chunk of their studio on tour and deftly weaving through live sets that allow them the flexibility to jam. It’s only fitting that Orbital have started releasing regular recordings of their live shows since their 2017 reunion.

Orbital’s live US rig:

Arturia Matrixbrute
Roland Jupiter-6
Sequential Prophet-6
Access Virus TI
Novation Bass Station II
Novation Peak
Roland TB-303
iPad x 3 (two for Lemur, one for timekeeping)
Novation Launch Control x 3
Ableton Live 10

Ed.: Got to watch a similar – even slightly larger – rig for Amsterdam Dance Event. This is a truly epic stage show from the kind of veterans with the chops to pull it off. -PK

I caught up with Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll for a walkthrough of their stage setup before a recent show at Brooklyn Steel. It was the group’s first set of American dates in six years (accounting for a lengthy hiatus during which the brothers weren’t in communication), and, despite jetlag, spirits were high.

CDM: Between the Wonky tour and this one, you’ve switched from using Liine Griid on your iPads (now discontinued) and using the original [JazzMutant] Lemur hardware. What are you using now?

Paul: The original replacement for the Alesis MMT-8 [sequencer] was the old-fashioned Lemurs, which – this is better. The touch screens were a bit iffy on those, it was early technology. Then we went on to Griid on the iPad, and now we’re back to Lemur, but on the iPad.

Each track is a Lemur template along the top. The buttons trigger Live – the big buttons are scene changes, and the little buttons are clips.

Paul with Ableton Live.

One of the Lemur templates for “Halcyon”, featuring the infamous Belinda Carlisle/Bon Jovi sample triggers.

And a little more dynamic than the MMT-8s?

Oh yeah. When you look at the Lemur, the big buttons that do the scene changes – that’s like changing a pattern on the MMT-8, but we can also turn things on and off within.

Also, you’ll notice that this [points to three Novation Launch Control XL controllers] pretty much looks like an MMT-8 as well. These are our virtual mixing channels, and each song gets threaded through to these channels. It’s a combination of bringing things in and out on the iPads and the Launch Controls.

What I can do – depending on different parts of the set and how I’m feeling – is go through and mute [the Launch Controls] and do it old-school MMT-8-style as well. You trigger things on the Lemur and obviously they start where you want them to, whereas on the Launch Controls, if you’ve got something muted, you might lose count and bring it in halfway through a riff.

I’ve got the drums broken down here [gestures to Launch Control], to punch them all in and out if I want to, and the “stop all” button which is great.

So you’re mixing on stage with the Launch Controls and the Ableton Live set?

It’s all coming out of here [points to interface] and going to the front of house. We’ve got control of volume of all the channels, so we can ride things – if we know that something’s coming in, we might want to pump that up a bit. And then that happens over the PA, but if it’s too much, [our front of house mixer] can bring it down. Or he can EQ each channel to suit the room. Obviously, front of house is the best place for the overall EQ for each channel because he’s hearing it through the PA and we’re not. We’ve got control of the mix of the balance of things, but then it’s also a safety thing. If I push the drums too much, and it’s too much in the room, [the mixer] can tweak it.

How do you decide which synths come on the road with you internationally? I know you’ve performed with the MacBeth M5, but it’s not in the rig this time around.

I still like the MacBeth – I’d love to bring it! But I’d need to do something do it, because we can’t fly with it. Most of the MacBeth box is empty, it’s just part of Ken [MacBeth]’s thing of, “it’s a performance synth, it needs to stand up and be proud!” So what I want to do is take the case off and put it in a different box, a really thin box. Maybe put a gilt-edged picture frame around it? [Laughs]

This tends to replace the MacBeth – the [Arturia] MatrixBrute. It’s kind of angry, like the MacBeth. It’s got more drive stages and things like that than the MacBeth – it’s probably angrier but kind of thinner, but that’s good because it cuts through in the mix live. Whereas the MacBeth is just – it’s fun, bringing something like that, because it hasn’t got any presets so you’ve got to work on the fly, and I love that. The MacBeth kind of forces you to make each sound tailor-made for each gig. But [the MatrixBrute] is good fun live! And of course, so much control – so much fun to be had.

[Starts playing the beginning of “Tiny Foldable Cities”] Most of the sounds in this track come from the MatrixBrute.

And is that how you did it on the studio version as well?

Yeah. [Cycles through sounds]. Obviously I have to sample some of them live.

Do you have audio backups of all of your hardware synths in case one of them goes before or during a show?

We say we’re gonna do it, but we never do it. [Laughs]

We’ve got a backup computer if that one goes down – but that’s, y’know, “hello everybody, sorry we’ve had a computer failure, we’re just going to be five minutes while we change computers. Talk amongst yourselves, and have a drink at the bar.”

Paul points to the essential crossmod section on Orbital’s Roland Jupiter-6.

So are these the more robust synths that you tour with then – like the Jupiter-6?

This is actually a new one to us. My old one I bought in ‘92, and it’s kind of died now – it still works but it’s a bit flaky. We bought this [new synth] to replace it, because it’s been live with us since ‘92. Is the Jupiter-6 the best synth in the world? No, but it’s got a lot of character, and a lot of our old songs rely on it. I’ve tried to replace with things, but it doesn’t quite work.

Orbital – “Lush 3-1” and “Lush 3-2”, featuring Jupiter-6 on the airy lead sound.

What are some of the Jupiter-6 sounds?

[Starts playing lead sound from “Lush 3”] That! I can never get that out of anything else. Not like that.

Orbital – “Impact” live, with the Jupiter-6 sync/crossmod sound.

The other one that I cannot do without is in “Impact” [Starts playing] when you sync it and then crossmod it stays in tune – it would be a terrible noise if you had it synced the other way. I just had my Jupiter-8 modified to sync the right way; Jupiter-8’s sync in the other direction. In this bit it’s kind of like a wavefolder, you know? Crazy sounds that you can’t get anywhere else – very techno-y, kind of clangy.

Orbital – “Belfast”, featuring ascending bubbly arpeggios from the Jupiter-6.

The last thing is in “Belfast” [starts playing], I always need a Roland synth to get that. That’s three of my big sounds.

Phil Hartnoll’s notes for tweaks to the Novation Peak.

What’s the division of labor like between you and Phil when you’re performing live – do you have defined roles, or are you often reaching over each other?

We do have roles – I arrange. I’m in charge of a lot of the synth manipulation around this end [points to left side of the stand]. We keep this and this [points to Novation Peak and Roland TB-303] exclusively for Phil, he plays with them.

Orbital’s TB-303 – yes, this is the original one from “Chime”.

Is that your original 303?

Yeah [laughs] can you tell? It’s not even silver any more, it’s brown, it’s like a lot of our gear. Our 909 is held together with love and tape.

So Phil does those. I leave him in charge of the drums at this end [points to Launch Control on the right], but I kind of use these here [points to left Launch Control iPads, and synths]. You know this [points to middle Launch Control] is our crossover point.

If I’m busy arranging then Phil might lean over and do some more mixing – [the Launch Controls and middle synths] are the grey area between the two of us.

Orbital live, main table, front-facing view – Paul stands to the left, Phil to the right.

I would like to start bringing the 909, but it’s just a box too far at the minute. I will do it, it’s the only thing I miss live – we use it a lot in the studio.

Instead of using generic 909 samples, I’ve meticulously sampled my own 909. I think they all sound different, 909s – I can spot mine.

They say the same thing about 303s – that’s why no one emulator gets it totally right.

That’s interesting, because I haven’t noticed that with 303s. We’ve got two and I can’t tell them apart – but maybe they’re from the same batch?

With 909s, there’s definitely different batches of them that sound different. I think it’s more like, there’s three different sounds to 909s, and I’ve had two of them in the past. When I sample my 909 – I don’t round robin it, I keep it very simple – but it sounds right, because it’s my 909.

I do notice the difference if I plug a real 909 in. They drop out as well – they do weird shit! They just lose a kick every now and then, and you kind of turn around and it goes “no no, I’m still here!” [laughs]

So you’re playing the Prophet-6 and the Virus TI a fair amount.

It’s weird – it’s a strange old synth, I like it. It tends to thin woolly pads and sharp things quite nicely. I use it in some tracks quite distorted, as well – I really use the distortion on it. It cuts through like a guitar.

The horn sounds on “Hoo Hoo Ha Ha” from Monsters Exist, is that a wavetable from the Virus?

That’s actually samples from a session we did for the 2squared album with Vince Clarke. I just cut tiny bits of it, and made a new riff with it.

[Starts playing “Hoo Hoo Ha Ha”, mixing in parts and effects]. One of the things that I really like is this side chain kind of effect. One of the send effects is a big delay, another is a big reverb. But this [points to knob on Launch Control channels] is a sidechain from the kick, but it isn’t sidechaining any of the instruments, it’s just sidechaining the effects return.

What’s playing the “Hoo Hoo Ha Ha” chords?

That’s a lot of people, actually, that I recorded coming out of the pub. I got them all to go “uh”, “hah”, “huh”, and then I made a round robin kind of thing and processed it in Kontakt to make it sort of a robotic constant-pitch thing. And then played chords on it.

As a musician, you’ve got Orbital, you’ve got your solo albums, you’ve got 8:58, you’ve got soundtracks, and a couple years ago you had the album 2squared with Vince Clarke. Is there a difference in the compositional mindset when you’re working on material for different projects?

I’d like to pretend there was but there isn’t. I just go and do my thing, wherever I’m doing it.

Clarke:Hartnoll – “Do A Bong”

There’s a kind of Paul Hartnoll sound signature – like on “Do A Bong” with Vince Clarke, I thought “oh, it’s got Orbital chords”

[Laughs] Yeah! That’s what I said to Vince when we were doing that. He played with these kind of…for want of a genre, “nu disco” kind of things, and he said “what can you do?” I said “I wanna bring some live, sort of wild synth passes” – what I call “stadium house” – to it. You know, that kind of big rave, big chords – with a lead line that’s kind of simple over the top.

Paul next to the Ableton Live set (visual trigger clips to the right), Arturia Matrixbrute, and Jupiter-6.

How does the live set work visually?

[Points to Ableton Live set] There’s some video triggers here. When I hit certain scene changes, it triggers off a run of a certain visual. So we can set up things perfectly in time, and [our VJ] doesn’t have to worry about when we’re going to do drop downs.

A show like no other

Ultimately, I’m left with the same thought I had when I saw them in 2012 in Berlin, or when watching the DVD of highlights from their 90s/00s Glastonbury sets: Orbital put on an incredible show. The technology might change – and the visuals are certainly more engaging and impressive than ever – but at the core, it’s the same gorgeous stadium-sized emotional melodies that have kept audiences enthralled for nearly three decades.

With the release of the excellent Monsters Exist, Orbital are exiting 2018 on a high note – and 2019 sees 30 years since the release of “Chime”. We’ll certainly be keen to see what happens next!

https://orbitalofficial.com/

The post Like a studio onstage: Orbital tells us their live rig synth secrets appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

A year overflowing with electronic sound: 2018 music we loved

Delivered... David Abravanel | Artists,Labels,Scene | Tue 1 Jan 2019 1:11 am

Happy weird rockin’ New Year’s Eve. In a continuing tradition, CDM invites back resident music curator David Abravanel to single out some beloved music of 2018. We live in fortunate times; that job is deliciously hard. But it’s a chance to discover and rediscover some great sounds.

Without exaggeration, I cannot remember the last time I’ve had such difficulty paring down a year-end list. It’s not that I necessarily heard more music in 2018 – rather, it really did seem like everything was just that much better musically. Most likely it’s the product of turbulent times – and certainly, many of these albums are neither fun nor relaxing.

Getting this down to 35 has taken me far longer than any task should take any person. I’ve removed albums which, on any random day, I might decide is the best thing I’ve heard in a decade. But here’s what’s hit me the hardest in 2018 – all lists alphabetical:

Albums

Actress x London Contemporary Orchestra – LAGEOS (Ninja Tune)

Aisha Devi – DNA Feelings (Houndstooth) Pictured, top

Aleksi Perälä – Moonshine (AP Musik)

Alva Noto – Uniqav (Noton)

Autechre – NTS Sessions 1 – 4 (Warp)

Beans – Someday This Will All Be Ash (Hello L.A.)

Brian Jonestown Massacre – Something Else (‘a’)

Concubine – 2018 (self-released)

Derek Carr – Contact (Subwax Excursions)

DJ Healer – Nothing 2 Lose (All Possible Worlds)

France Jobin – Intrication (No.)

GAS – Rausch (Kompakt)

GusGus – Lies are More Flexible (Oroom)

Inigo Kennedy – Strata (Token)

Jason Forrest – Fear City (Cock Rock Disco)

Low – Double Negative (Sub-Pop)

Meat Beat Manifesto – Impossible Star (MBM)

Mika Vainio + Ryoji Ikeda + Alva Noto – Live 2002 (Noton)

Morphology – Traveller (Firescope)

Noah Pred – Homeworld (Modular)

Positive Centre – Forever Optimum (Horo)

Pulsewidthmod – Serpentine Servitude (Detroit Underground)

Robert Lippok – Applied Autonomy (Raster Media)

Shinichi Atobe – Heat (DDS)

Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones – Vicious Circles (Planet Mu)

Skee Mask – Compro (Ilian Tape)

Stefan Goldmann – An Ardent Heart (Macro)

Steven Julien – Bloodline (Apron / LuckyMe)

The Black Dog – Black Daisy Wheel (Dust Science)

The Breeders – All Nerve (4AD)

The Field – Infinite Moment (Kompakt)

Thomas Fehlmann – Los Lagos (Kompakt)

Tom Mudd – Gutter Synthesis (Entr’acte)

V/A – Air Texture Vol. VI (Air Texture)

Wanderwelle – Gathering of the Ancient Spirits (Silent Season)

EPs / Singles

Alis – Begin (Complete) (self-released)

Aphex Twin– Collapse (Warp)

Barker – Debiasing (Ostgut Ton)

Fanu– Black Label EP (Metalheadz)

LA-4A – Slackline (Central Processing Unit)

Róisín Murphy – “Jacuzzi Rollercoaster” / “Can’t Hang On” (Vinyl Factory)

Rothko String Quarter & Kaan Bulak – “Hain I” / “Hain II” (Feral Note)

Steven Rutter & John Shima– Step Into the Light (Firescope)

umru – Search Result (PC Music)

Underworld & Iggy Pop– Teatime Dub Encounters (Caroline)

Reissues & Retrospectives

B12 – Time Tourist (Warp)

Higher Intelligence Agency & Biosphere – Polar Sequences (Biophon)

Pixies – Come On Pilgrim…It’s Surfer Rosa (4AD)

Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks (Deutsche Grammophon)

Susumu Yokota – Acid Mt. Fuji (Midgar)

This Heat – Repeat / Metal (Modern Classics)

Tin Man – Acid Acid Acid (Acid Test)

The 7th Plain – Chronicles (A-Ton)

VA – Scopex 98/00 (Tresor)

V/A – 3AM Spares (Efficient Space)

Zeitgeist

There were a number of common trends and feelings with some of the best music of 2018. Some stray observations:

  • Outrage fatigue was on full display with Low’s magnificent Double Negative and Beans’ personal Someday This Will All Be Ash.
  • Exciting new explorations of Electro came courtesy of LA-4A and Morphology, coupled with reminders of classics from the Scopex label.
  • Taken together, Róisín Murphy’s four incredible single releases (in collaboration with left-field house/ambient stalwart Maurice Fulton) could make an AOTY candidate. Eight tracks of solid gold that should be on every dance floor.
  • Fantastic year for reissues of classic ambient techno – B12, The 7th Plain, Higher Intelligence Agency, Biosphere, and Susumu Yokota all still sound vital.
  • The 3AM Spares compilation was a fun discovery – picking gems from the after-hours house and breakbeat sounds of early-mid 90s Australia.
  • At the risk of understatement, it’s difficult to keep up with Aleksi Perälä’s overwhelming output. That said, Moonshine was a real winner, combining his spiritual Colundi Sequence with classic jungle rhythms.
  • Speaking of spiritual, it took a while to come around to it past the hype, but that DJ Healer album was something special. A real mood and atmosphere from start to finish – listen with your eyes closed.
  • Some real sleeper gems from Inigo Kennedy, GusGus, The Field, and Derek Carr – RIYL techno with feels.

So dig it. And here’s to some hope in 2019! Love to you and yours.

Listen now

Want more of a sampling? David has put together a Spotify list, too:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4KmdnTetEPFrt9fiqqcDbG

Of course, buy stuff you love from the labels.

Bonus: editor’s picks

As an addendum, I will re-gift the lineup I’ve sent to BTS / Behind the Stage, the Poland-based collective. It’s worth following their whole series, in fact:

https://www.facebook.com/btscollective/

We actually had to cut that list a little, so here’s my lucky number (13) worth / directors’ cut:

ИНФХ – Fences of Metal (ГОСТ ЗВУК Records)
BC: https://bit.ly/2QeqZ9n

Richard Devine – Opaque Ke (Timesig)
BC: https://bit.ly/2SxhGTW

Wiktor MilczarekUntitled (Brutaż)
BC: https://bit.ly/2CHiZdj

Robert LippokApplied Autonomy (Raster)
BC: https://bit.ly/2Tk5shs

Barker – Debiasing (Ostgut Ton)
BC: https://bit.ly/2LD8bzT

KATE NV – для FOR (Rvng International)
BC: https://bit.ly/2Rph4Ch

The AllegoristHybrid Dimension I (DETROIT UNDERGROUND)
BC: https://bit.ly/2BQmOLF

Christina VantzouNo. 4 (Kranky)
BC: https://bit.ly/2AlWOrk

Gabber Modus Operandi – Puxxximaxxx (YES NO WAVE MUSIC)
BC: https://bit.ly/2CGEXgr

Debashis Sinha MusicThe White Dog (Establishment)
BC: https://bit.ly/2LKiz92

Senyawa – Sujud [Sublime Frequencies]
Bandcamp

Lara Sarkissian – Disruption [Club Chai]
Bandcamp
Nadia StruiwighWHRRu [Denovali Records]
Bandcamp

The post A year overflowing with electronic sound: 2018 music we loved appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Tunisian techno, Xitsongan rap and Satanic doo-wop: the best new music of 2019

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas, Laura Snapes and Ammar Kalia | Scene | Fri 28 Dec 2018 11:00 am

From cheeky rappers to explosive hardcore punks, we introduce 50 artists sure to make an impact in the coming year

She has already sung backing vocals for Chance the Rapper, guested on Sam Smith’s last album and steals the show on Mark Ronson’s forthcoming LP of “sad bangers” – all because of a truly remarkable voice that marks her out as the coming year’s Adele. Here’s hoping her superhuman vocal control will be put to service on equally strong songs.

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Suede, Earl Sweatshirt and the Lovely Eggs: readers on their albums of 2018

Delivered... Guardian readers | Scene | Wed 26 Dec 2018 1:02 pm

Following our critics’ vote, we asked you to tell us what you have been listening to this year and why you think it’s worthy of celebration

A stunning reinvention of their sound which nevertheless sticks with the classic crooning tendencies and clever observational lyrics of Alex Turner. Favourite track: Four Out of Five is the obvious contender – a lead-off single with a festival-ready chorus. I also find The Ultracheese to be strangely moving. Guillaume, 35, France

Thank you for all your contributions and comments on our critics’ list – you can continue the conversation below

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Download a free two-hour Panorama Bar mix from nd_baumecker

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Fri 21 Dec 2018 3:43 pm

Nothing brightens midwinter like music. So the warm glow of nd_baumecker’s mixing is something special. The delayed download is out now from Ostgut Ton, the label associated with Berghain and Panorama Bar.

The musical climate in which we live can too easily be afflicted with conformity, with genres and trends regimented by algorithms and anxious aspirations of bookers, media, artists … the lot. And with Berghain as the elephant in the middle of Berlin’s scene, that conformity can often be associated with the club, with Berlin, with Germany and Europe, even.

So maybe the first important thing to say about Andi’s mix is that it’s a mix. Run down the track listing, and you get all kinds of corners of Andi’s taste. I know he sweated putting this together, but as it is with experienced DJs, that stress comes off as effortless.

nd_baumecker has statistically played more times in the various floors of the Berghain environs than any other human. I know this, partly because we get informed that the fascinating numbers scraped from Berghain’s website weren’t right. Oops. Andi so dominates the list, that you almost don’t need other statistics. (Panorama Bar is the lighter, generally house-ier upstairs floor, but it’s actually not that important to know that; Andi has been found at various points more or less everywhere in the building and garden outside.)

Despite all those times on the lineup, in the old party mode, Andi’s not really a star. There’s just that feeling of being at home when you walk into a room (or garden) with him playing. And he can mix in and out of anything. So while a lot of beginning DJs try to show off with obscure tracks but paint obsessively within the lines, like they’re afraid of each transition, you can count on Andi to take you different places.

He’s a DJ’s DJ, but he’s also a great producer – his ongoing collaboration with fellower Berghain resident Sam Barker has been imaginative and exceptional.

Anyway, I think for any of us involved in production – let alone those of us pouring over music tech – getting to actually listen again and set a mood is vital. And Andi’s latest mix puts me at least in a fantastically nice mood. I’m hugely biased myself not just about Andi but about music in general; I think whether it’s a track or a mix, you can’t separate people from music. I still stubbornly cling to the idea that music says something about who you are. Hell, I think it’s why it matters who’s in the DJ booth. And it’s certainly why I think that mood should come from people and not algorithms. I not only like humans; I think you can hear when humans touch the music.

You can stream the mix, or be as obsessive as Andi is about quality and grab that 24-bit lossless download – all two GB worth. As with all in this series, the mix is free. (Last minute publishing clearance issues had delayed the download since the planned release date this fall.)

Track IDs? Yes:

1 Mystical Institute Sea Believer [00:00]
2 Keith Worthy Guilty Pleasures ($ Of N.C. Mix) [04:10]
3 Greenspan and Taraval Follow The Moonlight [07:01]
4 Duplex Isolator [10:08]
5 Cabaret Voltaire Easy Life (Jive Turkey Mix) [14:51]
6 Dolo Percussion Dolo 9 [18:45]
7 Anthony Naples The Vision (Mix NY) [20:15]
8 QY American [24:13]
9 Jinjé Big Skies [28:02]
10 Saint Etienne Stoned To Say The Least (Beta) [33:05]
11 Barker & Baumecker Nie Wieder [37:18]
12 FaltyDL Paradox Garage Part 1 (With Your Love) [39:40]
13 Röyksopp Sombre Detune [42:29]
14 Œil Cube Lost Flute [46:06]
15 Ajukaja Stranger [50:40]
16 Pulsinger & Irl State 606 [56:12]
17 Duke Slammer Coastal Decay (Pan Solo Remix) [1:00:33]
18 Route 8 From The Valley [1:04:25]
19 Dave Aju Wayahed [1:09:33]
20 Chaos In The CBD Educate The Heart [1:13:09]
21 Ross From Friends High Energy [1:18:55]
22 D. Tiffany Something About You [1:21:04]
23 Zombie Zombie Hyperespace (I:Cube Vampire Tango 87 Remix) [1:26:11]
24 Peverelist Under Clearing Skies [1:28:47]
25 Barker & Baumecker Strung [1:31:33]
26 School Of Seven Bells Low Times (Lafaye’s Brain Mix) [1:38:55]
27 Gen Ludd Bloods Avalanche [1:44:30]
28 Pépe Motorforce [1:49:11]
29 E Myers Hate [1:54:17]

This isn’t just about the DJ. Again, Ostgut is using this series to premiere new works. And this coupling – two EPs (Part I, Part II) – is especially fresh, with immaculate, densely rhythmic productions from . FaltyDL, Jinjé, Big Skies, Ross From Friends, Dave Aju, and Duplex. They’ve got some of that same magical mood of the mix, naturally. It’s house-flavored stuff, aware of its roots, but thoroughly futuristic and optimistic, too. Listen:

That Duplex track is especially timeless, somehow, and Dave Aju is always like a burst of sunlight.

Enjoy!

Photo: Lee Wagstaff, courtesy Ostgut Ton.

http://ostgut.de/label/record/227

Previously:

Boiling-Hot Summer: nd_baumecker in 3 Hours of Boiler Room Music

In the Studio: Barker “Like an Animal” EP, Sam Barker + nd_baumecker [Stream + Gallery]

The post Download a free two-hour Panorama Bar mix from nd_baumecker appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Rezzett: Rezzett review – distressed dancefloor classics

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 21 Dec 2018 11:00 am

The Trilogy Tapes

A bit like a pair of jeans that come pre-distressed with frays and scuffs, the debut full-length from dance duo Rezzett sounds like a once-pristine master recording that has been sun-baked, waterlogged, sandpapered and worse. And like the jeans, some might see this as a pointless pose: why resist high fidelity? But the pair – Tapes and an anonymous producer believed to be Lukid – announce the beauty in degradation, perhaps a grimly salutary lesson as our environment and politics are eroded. The album opens with a trio of excellent 4/4 techno tracks, getting huge mileage out of ethereal melody lines that soar as if through the smog generated by the industrial kick drums below them. They might sound like they were made on an eight-track, but they are actually powerfully dense, threaded with imaginative details such as the vocals that roil meaninglessly under Longboat.

But the album then broadens out stylistically, from beatless ambient (Yunus in Ekstasi) to frenetic jungle (Worst Ever Contender). In between there is Wet Bilge, a stretch of dub as dank and glittering as the title suggests; Tarang, a confidently high-speed blur of tabla and hymnal organ; and Gremlinz, a grime instrumental (perhaps a Terror Danjah homage?) with bright video-game tones glinting through the pond-water. Certainly influenced by Actress but more determinedly rooted to the dancefloor, Rezzett’s album shreds the veneered surface of digital dance to find the rich, raw grain beneath.

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Tell us: what was your album of 2018?

Delivered... Guardian readers | Scene | Fri 21 Dec 2018 7:00 am

We will publish a selection of readers’ favourite albums before the end of the year

After canvassing over 50 of our music writers and totting up their votes, we’ve announced our 50 best albums of the year, topped by Christine and the Queens’ sensual neo-boogie classic Chris.

But a list of 50 – and you can see the whole thing here – inevitably misses out out dozens of brilliant albums, so we’d love to hear from you about the recordings you think were unfairly overlooked by our vote. In love with the latest chapter of Father John Misty’s wry catalogue of self-obsession? Outraged that Guardian critics bucked their stereotype and didn’t reward Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s collaborative album? Did you think great soundtrack recordings – Black Panther, A Star is Born, Phantom Thread – should have been recognised?

If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.

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Berlin government pledges €1m to soundproof city’s nightclubs

Delivered... Antonia Wilson | Scene | Thu 20 Dec 2018 3:15 pm

Berlin’s club scene makes money for the city – and a lot of noise. A new initiative will soundproof venues, helping to protect clubs from closure

Clubbers of the world rejoice: the techno mecca of Berlin is to receive a €1m (£900,000) boost from the local government to protect its renowned clubbing culture.

The funding will go towards soundproofing projects, with the aim of improving relations between venues and local residents, based on a similar project in Hamburg. The noise protection programme, which was proposed last year and came into effect on 30 November 2018, indicates the importance of Berlin’s nightlife culture and its relevance to the city’s economy, including the tourism industry.

Related: Nightlife reports: clubbing in Berlin

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