Big fans of Dan’s Phylum album from 2019 round these parts, so naturally the bandcamp notification landing in the inbox was greeted with a small cheer 🎉.
Known for his involvement with the Monome company (especially their Norns music computer) and surrounding community, Mirrored Heart takes excerpts of a recent live set performed entirely on a script he developed for the Norns platform.
More beat-orientated than Phylum, the release serves as short (but sweet) taster of coming works, as well as the potentials of an upcoming script (Hills), which as a combination of FM and audio recorders, you can colour us excited!
If you had to try and pigeonhole, their releases tend to lean toward ‘experimental’ sounds, often existing outside traditional western scales and conventional rhythmic structures.
With their 33rd release, Duelling Ants kicks of a mini series of four endless loop cassettes (+ TEA!), one for each of the year’s seasons. ‘Section of Summer’, apt for the barmy weather we’re currently experiencing here in the flatlands, captures the heat and sizzle in 4 phrases.
“My project is inspired by the cross section as a representational tool and the release is constructed as imaginary cross sections through summer.”
I’ve set my iTunes (other, superior playback software is available) to loop and letting these lovely pieces drift as I go about my daily biz.
In their own words:
Each tape is released in an edition of 8 Each tape contains 2 minutes of audio The native Sami musical expression is called a Yoik A Yoik has no beginning or end Inspired by the idea of a story with no beginning or end, the tapes (and thus the music contained on the tape) have no beginning nor end They’ll play in an endless loop, for as long as the listener wants to.
There will also be tea Loose leaf tea Representing nature and the changing of seasons To brew and enjoy while listening to the cassette.
A challenge when producing a track is to get as much effect as possible from as little elements as possible. This track achieves that. A simple, driving and insistent arpeggiated chord slowly evolves over an electro beat. Variation supplied by occasional switching to shuffle beat and changes to the attack, with punctuation of added tape echo toms dub style.
Contours is artist Tom Burford from Manchester. The label Slow Life is based in Berlin formed through the meeting of like minds from Spain and Italy. Good music has no boundaries.
A strange and beguiling collection of (very) heavily processed, lo-fi field recordings made daily throughout January. Moments of reality blur with occasional splutters of acid, guitars and ground loops, all consumed by an enormous fog of delay and reverb, which gives the collection a proper disorientated dementia vibe. Well, I enjoyed it anyway!
This one’s been in the pipeline for a minute and has been a staple in our radio shows over the past few months. Worried acid lines battle with hefty synth wonk, in this 4-track record from London’s Neil Keating.
His experience as long standing underground DJ Controlled Weirdness is instantly apparent, with an individual riff-based approach to composition and is also testament to Cultivated’s on-point curation, selecting these dark tunes for release. Wicked stuff.
Lovely EP of rhythmic tones and pure drones, performed by Marc Méan (Ciat Lonbarde Cocoquantus & Plumbutter, FX) and Fabien Iannone (Serge synth & FX). A well rounded selection of five tracks that balance the lush, off-kilter plumbutter drums, with the raw tonal power of the Serge.
“The advanced societies of the future will not be governed by reason. They will be driven by irrationality, by competing systems of psychopathology.”
Dystopian writer J.G Ballard needs no introduction and is one whose influence has stretched beyond literature across all mediums. From successful screen adaptations by Cronenberg (see Crash), to influencing lyrics for bands like Joy Division and Hawkwind (to name just a couple).
With this present compilation, curated by Raffaele Pezzella (Sonologyst), ZeroK label (in collaboration with, Lars Bröndum, Eraldo Bernocchi, Gavin Morrow , Joel Gilardini, Esa J. Ruoho, Heikki Lindgren, Mario Lino Stancati, Erik Jarl, Roberto Quezada, Jarko M. Hedenius, Janne Liimatainen, Mombi Yuleman and Christian Schneider) provides sound descriptions of the dystopian world narrated by the English master J. G. Ballard in his novels and short stories, creating an imaginary soundtrack of those s/f masterpieces.
Woodford Halse keep the tapes coming thick and fast, covering all manner of experimental electronics. This next one from Nunton Eletrikz (aka Nick Edwards) is particularly interesting, a collection of very raw synth jams that could easily be mistaken for an early electronic sound experimentation from someone like Joji Yuasa.
The press release reveals some insight into the tools used in the process (Arturia Microfreak, Korg NTS and stylophone ), however the manner in which the tracks are executed goes far beyond any signature synth preset, which is the essence of what experimentalism should be.
Fresh out the airlock, Space Surgeries appears on the radar with two drone-based releases from Ali Wade and Quiet Clapping.
You may recognise these names from UK ambient/electronic label Frequency Domain and as such, Space Surgeries can be considered a sister label to the aforementioned.
Strictly drone focused with these offerings, Ali Wade’s ‘The Unbearable Quickness of Doubling’ focuses on shorter, focused themes. Whereas on the second release ‘Adversary’, Quiet Clapping goes long form, with 2x 15 minute journeys.
Layers of noise (that good kind) envelope this new LP from Fields We Found. The delicious Cocoquantus artefacts are scattered all over, but the vibe is as much steered by the operator.
There is a looseness to the compositions which has a certain freeform quality, letting sounds play into the loops and letting them bounce around to do their thing. It’s as much about know when to remove an element, as it is to introduce one and this is something executed successfully across the album.