In honor of the December full moon 2021, Luigi Tozzi invites us to another emotional journey, down into the depths of the Deep Blue. We float in emotional currents and floods of driving waves.
Following on from the 2020 release of ‘On A Nimbus’, Priori returns with his second album ‘Your Own Power’ on NAFF – the label he co-founded alongside Ex-Terrestrial. ‘Your Own Power’ was produced between April and July of 2020, with the lockdown allowing Priori to spend more time in the studio exploring new instruments and wiring the equipment in new inspiring ways. Like a lot of people, the isolation and change of pace got him back into more contemplative styles of music like shoegaze and ambient, which had a big impact on how the album was recorded. The only collaboration on the album is ‘The Tower’ which was recorded with Ex-Terrestrial in Montreal and highlights the contemplative quality that defines the album.
Marco Shuttle’s third album, Cobalt Desert Oasis, features a varied collection of music recorded across a two year period. Often traveling to remote destinations, Marco would come back to Berlin with field recordings, images, and other inspirations to process in his studio and turn into sound. The theme of the journey turns into a something more abstract than a travel diary, where environmental sounds blend in with modular synthesis, drum machines, effects and analog oscillators resulting in a cinematic listening experience where psychedelia, ritualism, and mysticism weave together in a sort of alien soundscape – that as the title of the album suggests, is reminiscent of a parallel utopian world. The album is rich in complex rhythmics, and more than in any of his previous work, has strong acoustic elements. Amongst other percussion instruments, Marco used the Tombak, a traditional Persian hand drum capable of reaching a very wide range of frequencies – from deep round subby toms, to high pitched sharp rimshots, throughout the record. Marco Shuttle is certainly not new to these sort of elements, but in Cobalt Desert Oasis he brings the environmental element of his sound into the forefront in a way that takes the listener into a hazy expanse where it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the machine elements from the natural – and where the music almost becomes a visual experience, which relates to Marco’s own photography used throughout the cover and insert images.
Icelandic dub techno linchpin Yagya returns for a second release on his emergent label, Small Plastic Animals. The music Yagya crafts is spacious and atmospheric, using the techno tradition as a vessel for meditative as well as emotional exploration and experimenting with sound design according to a specific, patiently cultivated style. “Always Maybe Tomorrow” finds Yagya ruminating on the behavioral energy of environments as viewed from afar – the man-made electricity of urban expanses and the interconnected flora and fauna of ecosystems. Looking to his chosen tools as a means to express these ideas, he employed a non-linear approach to each of the four tracks on this EP, choosing to create musical systems in constant flux rather than composing each piece in a conventional left-to-right narrative. Yagya’s trademark voluminous chords and vast pads ebb and flow through filters controlled by LFOs and randomness, creating their own micro-incidents and macro evolution as though holding a mirror up to the environments the initial inspiration was drawn from.
OHM Series continues to round up some of the best and the brightest within the dub techno scene. Side A features Federsen and Roger Gerressen, while the flipside we find grad_u and Merv.
Edanticonf with the first album since the “Forest Echo” that was released back in 2012 on Silent Season. “The Story Of Q” is a fantastic album and a great follow up, another timeless journey in fine style.
Ilian Tape presents the debut of MPU101. Poetic hovering synth tinkerer on 180g heavyweight vinyl out of the heart of Bavaria.
Lorenzo Fortino continues his journey arriving at the fifth vinyl of his Futop Musica label. 4 tracks always between techno and ambient with different moods and bpm.
Jochem Peteri comes drifting back into earshot with some new NWAQ tackle in tow. He’s minting a new label with three pieces that embellish the NWAQ soundworld with a fresh slant. ‘Above II’ is a crystal clear beam of light strapped to a kick that trips over itself with grace and poise. It’s forthright and yet wholly untethered, a pre-echo for the anchorless expanse of ‘Above I’, which buries some heavy bass ruminations very far down in the mix. That leaves it to ‘Dume’ to come staggering out all bleary-eyed, caked in last night’s distortion and yet still exuding a cracked beauty that stands up to the first light of dawn. The artwork which adorns this record is by environment sculpting internet artist Jan-Robert Leegte. NWAQ has always stood for a kind of environmental immersion, and this new emission compounds that idea in three distinct, refreshing ways.
Kizen Records presents a 4-tracks EP written & produced by Tom Huthwohl aka BLNDR, inspired by the majestic landscape and the atmosphere of Santiago de Chile.
VC-118A returns to Delsin to present his fourth album, Spiritual Machines. It marks an exciting shift in focus for Samuel van Dijk as his flagship project nears a decade skirting the deeper ends of techno and electro. Over the past two and half years, van Dijk forensically reviewed the key aspects of his production process as he dug down in search of the essence of the VC-118A sound. By creating his own complement of sample banks, software racks and devices, van Dijk was able to work with a hybridised analogue-digital system purely of his own making. Less in thrall to the strict rigours of techno and electro standards, Spiritual Machines’ 13 album tracks encompass more fluid shifts into abstract and downtempo, dub-inflected realms, without losing sight of the elements that have made VC-118A so compelling from the beginning. Burnished machine soul, aqueous atmospherics and immaculate drum programming abound, but in the mellow, enveloping sound world of Spiritual Machines you can hear van Dijk guiding his music into a broader form that sounds at once more assured and more inspired.
Shifted offers the latest distillation of his trademark sound. Guy Brewer’s fourth studio album and the first to arrive on his own Avian imprint, “Constant Blue Light”, explores new avenues in caustic minimalism. Eschewing the booming effervescence of his own more plosive dance floor material – Shifted takes a no less nuanced, but decidedly more introspective angle on this new LP. At the centre of Brewer’s practice as an artist, there has always been a sense of dedication to the refinement of a singular idea. In some ways “Constant Blue Light” represents a move closer to the apex of this approach. A continued exploration from a focused and diligent artist that provides yet another fully formed and beautifully articulated component to his own discography and that of the Avian label.
Fluid Electronics returns with a new collaborative EP courtesy of Dutch veteran Jarno, the man behind Trouw’s infamous Below evenings, and Fluid Electronics’ co-founder and owner Shirazi, back in full swing after a ten-year break from production. The EP features remixes from Amsterdam’s Love Over Entropy and seminal Rotterdam-based duo, Duplex.
All computer and synthesizer programming, drum programming and mixing done by Bees. Beautiful, stepping, warm Ambient atmospheres released on new label A Visiting Link.
Nick Lapien and Robin Koek’s latest collaborative album, Days Bygone, helps launch Delsin’s Interstellar series as they continue to explore beyond the dancefloor trappings of conventional techno to create a body of work steeped in mystery. Although not totally devoid of percussion, Artefakt shift their focus away from dominant drums and lean on the keys and pads to map out the landscape each track traverses. Sometimes furtive and suggestive, elsewhere pearlescent and diffused across great expanses, it’s these striking, sublime formations which define the atmosphere Lapien and Koek have created – a textured, dynamic exercise in techno as internalized listening music.
For their first collaboration on an original audio-visual artefact, Ali M. Demirel and Anthony Linell have developed a stunning and unsettling work that studies the Icelandic landscape as a motor of mythology, a snare that binds us in contradiction. Far from being an acoustic summation of the collaboration, this release is a snapshot of Linell’s musical contribution at a moment of reflection in the project’s evolution.
Originally released on CD in 1999, Astral Industries present a first vinyl issue of Monolake’s much-loved ‘Gobi’, licensed from Imbalance Computer Music. Set to the backdrop of the Gobi desert in eastern Asia, two shimmering vistas plunge the listener into a vast and deeply hypnotic nocturnal soundscape. The perennial hiss and rattle of insects float along the fresh night air in soft waves. The desert thrives with quiet activity as a westerly wind skitters across moonlit dunes, granulated folds dancing like sheets of thin silk. Tectonic plates murmur beneath the shower of stars overhead, their millennial cycles whispering of aeons past. Vividly textured and enticingly synthetic in its sound design, Gobi succeeds as a stunning piece of minimalism.
Valentino Mora returns to Spazio Disponibile with his first full-length ‘Underwater’. A mesmerizing listening trip over the course of eight tracks taking you into his deep sea world of dark minimalism and eerie drone rhythm structures.
11001 Records is a Berlin-based record label focused on techno, ambient, experimental and other forms of abstract visions. Co-founder of Teufelsberg Domecast, a sound installation podcast series with ambient experimental live performances using the dome at the top of Teufelsberg as a natural parabolic reverb. In ‘Dimensional Perception’, each song revolves around an object in outer space.
An ode to the corals from the French producer Amandra.