Potter Natalizia Zen – Magari [ELP054]

POTTER NATALIZIA ZEN - Magari

Master synthesists Colin Potter (NWW), Alessio Natalizia (Not Waving) and Guido Zen reprise their supergroup for Ecstatic with a seductively serpentine follow-up to their superb debut from a couple of years ago. PNZ’s pulsing, twanging, expansive ‘Magari’ was recorded between 2018-2020 in the slipstream of ’Shut Your Eyes On The Way Out’, which is surely one of the strongest new kosmiche-related albums of recent years. Where that album refreshed classic styles of European synth music for modern ears, ‘Magari’ – meaning “I Wish” in Italian – adapts their style to the unique Afro-Latin lilt of Brazilian music with central use of the Berimbau; a single-stringed percussion instrument commonly associated with the elegant martial art/dance of Capoeira, which the band’s Guido Zen brought home from his travels in South America. Combined with their juicy, almost fleshly arps and Guitar pedal-generated computer voice, the results are wonderfully wide-eyed, embracing bouts of motorik rhythm beside vertiginous noise wormholes and mystic tone poems that speak to a cumulative experience spanning decades spent hunting for life between the wires.
Like their first LP, much of the recording took place remotely or in pairs, and rarely with all three present, before the parts were mixed down at Colin’s studio in Leytonstone. In its journey between the intricate meters and perpendicular vectors of ‘Too Much Traffic’, and their mesh of curdled tones with their phone recordings of a manic preacher in Camberwell on ‘Saved’, they variously recall Craig Leon’s alien invocations of Dogon folk tales as much as the heady dissonance of Alessandro Cortini; producing outstanding pieces of tangibly haptic substance in ‘Sergio’ and infectiously tip-of-tongue Berimbau twang on ‘Gennaio’, and for good measure, something like Phil Collins gently losing the plot after healthy dose of Ayahuasca in ‘Fill’, while ‘Ancora’ sounds like Basic Channel scoring Herzog’s Aguirre.

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Potter Natalizia Zen – Magari [ELP054]

Thessa Torsing / Tammo Hesselink- Zeekasteel / Ballet Mecanique [OEMOEMENOE4]

TORSING, Thessa/TAMMO HESSELINK - Zeekasteel

Nous’klaer & RE:VIVE present two scores by Thessa Torsing (upsammy) and Tammo Hesselink. Torsing’s is a 27-minute piece, composed for a collage of archival footage of the Dutch ship MS Oranje. The short film explores the lifecycle of the ship, from production to usage and to the fire that ultimately destroyed it. Hesselink’s is a 17-minute piece for the pioneering short film, Ballet Mecanique (1924), a rigid composition of sharp notes and twisted drum patterns that hypnotically evolve accompanying the film’s staccato rhythm.

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Thessa Torsing / Tammo Hesselink- Zeekasteel / Ballet Mecanique [OEMOEMENOE4]

Locust – The Plaintive [SUCTION053LP]

Suction Records presents the first new album since 2014 by the legendary, and somewhat underrated electronic project of Mark Van Hoen, Locust. The album is called “The Plaintive”. Earlier this year, Locust released “The Plaintive” as a 15-track CD/digital album, part of Touched Music’s “Touched By Silence” boxset, and the CD was sold out in a matter of hours. Having heard Locust’s contribution to the set, the Suction crew was immediately smitten with the material, which sounded very much unlike the Locust of old, yet absolutely complimentary to Van Hoen’s murky, analog-synth past. Produced intermittently over a 5-year period, the tracks were created with a largely-digital eurorack modular system, alongside a selection of analog synthesizers, notably a newly-acquired Prophet 12 polysynth. While tracks like “If You Knew” and “Out Here” are reminiscent of classic Locust, much of “The Plaintive” shows us a new side to Locust – melodic, playful, and melancholic, with clear nods to the melodic electronic sounds of early pioneers like Cluster, early-Kraftwerk, or even OMD’s late-70s output.

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Locust – The Plaintive [SUCTION053LP]

Vague Imaginaires – L’ile Sous l’Eau [ISLE-009]

VAGUE IMAGINAIRES - L'Ile Sous l'Eau

The Underwater Island is a collection of four tracks from Grenoble based producer Denis Morin. Philosopher, gardener, father and sonic explorer. For ISLE009, Vague Imaginaires gifts us with autobiographical field recordings, FM synthesis and skilled sound design inspired by the ocean and the Drac river which flows through the mountains of his city. Harmonising natural sound sources with digital realms, he navigates through minimalism, ambient techno and flashes of dub inspiration. Morin combines these musical ideas with Roland TR-8, 303 emulations, hydrophone recordings and vocal fragments from Tunisia, Morocco and Vercors Massif.

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Vague Imaginaires – L’ile Sous l’Eau [ISLE-009]

Kassel Jaeger – Swamps/Things [SP119]

JAEGER, Kassel - Swamps/Things

Over the last decade, Kassel Jaeger, the moniker of the Paris-based composer, writer / theorist, producer, and director of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), François Bonnet, has meticulously sculpted a body of multidisciplinary work that rests at the forefront contemporary electronic and electroacoustic practice. This is his new album ‘Swamp/Things’ on Shelter-Press. Sound is abstract. When the source is elusive, narrative and meaning shift between the concrete and obscure. With his first solo LP with Shelter Press, Swamps/Things, Kassel Jaeger wades into this foggy, conceptual realm. From memory and metaphor – sliding fluidly through the imagistic and emotive – emerges an immersive, cavernous world that rethinks electroacoustic music on organic terms. ‘Swamps/Things’ was conceived as an opera without distinct characters or text. It draws Kassel Jaeger into his own history, experiences, and the unlikely double of the swamp, a landscape that has held literal and metaphorical sway over him since childhood. Merging 8 works as a total environment, abstaining from distinct shape or discrete articulation, across the album’s breadth, sound becomes a shifting mirror for the bubbling, ordered chaos of organic life.

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Kassel Jaeger – Swamps/Things [SP119]

Peter Graf York – Expedition Bahn [SONLP03]

Welcome to the curious world of Peter Graf York: a world full of city centre safaris and epic train journeys, Soviet cosmonauts and Oakland rappers, filtered synths and plucked mbiras. It’s a wild ride inspired as much by Jamaican dub sorcery as by playful minimalism outta the Pacific Northwest. Many of these tracks were composed on the hoof – literally en route across sections of the ever-reliable Deutsche Bahn network. As such, there’s a certain travellin-without-moving dynamic across this collection, capturing that cinematic feel of window frames flickering past graffiti’d signal exchanges, morphing into rolling hills and green forests. Expedition Bahn is the sound of ideas being set in motion, each track heralding the arrival of an uncanny destination. Blazed beats give way to acid-fuelled electro, and dub rhythms step aside for 4th world meditations as readily as sleepers on a train track. We can leave the last word to heroic USSR cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, who spent the final moments of his fateful re-entry giving the administration an earful of righteous proportions (regarding the technical failures of the spacecraft). Taking his place as the first martyr of space travel, Komarov accepted the Soyuz mission despite safety concerns, in order to protect the other cosmonauts. It’s an attitude that echoes throughout PGY’s sonic universe – make the most of the trip you’re on… ‘cause you never know just which way it will go.

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Peter Graf York – Expedition Bahn [SONLP03]

Hiroshi Yoshimura – Green [LITA192]

Barely known outside of his home country during his lifetime, the late Japanese ambient music pioneer Hiroshi Yoshimura has seen his global stature rise steadily in the past few years. Originally released in 1986, Green is one of Hiroshi Yoshimura’s most well-loved recordings and a favorite of the artist himself. Recorded over the winter of 1985-86 at Yoshimura’s home studio, the compositions unfold at an unhurried pace, a stark contrast to the busy city life of Tokyo. As Yoshimura explained in the original liner notes, the album title in the context of this body of work is not meant to be seen as a color, but is rather used to convey “the comfortable scenery of the natural cycle known as Green”—which perfectly encapsulates the soothing and warm sounds contained on the album, although it was created utilizing Yamaha FM synthesizers, known for their crisp digital tones. This edition marks the first reissue of the highly sought-after and impossible to find album.

vinylCD / cassette

Hiroshi Yoshimura – Green [LITA192]

Ulla – Tumbling Towards A Wall [ULLA001]

Immersively sensual, diaristic entries by cult US ambient avatar Ulla (aka Ulla Straus), the first release on Experiences Ltd. For solitary reflection or post-party couch slump with friends, Ulla’s first mononymous release is a gorgeous record that mellows and balances any physical or mental space it comes into contact with.

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Ulla – Tumbling Towards A Wall [ULLA001]

Ben Bondy – Sibling [BONDY01]

Ben Bondy blesses Special Guest DJ’s Experiences Ltd with a near-fathomless solo debut of sensual, low key electronics and intimate nocturnes. ’Sibling’ sees Bondy return to a seductively gauzy midground sound that over the course of 15 tracks lulls and lists with a minimalist patience, allowing forms to emerge and evaporate in constantly shifty transitions and weathered plays of light according to an immersive eco-logic. Those liminal traces of sound and influence are almost imperceptible, pulling you into a protective amniotic sound-world thats evocative and comforting.

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Ben Bondy – Sibling [BONDY01]

Ireen Amnes – In The Land Of Silence [SGXLP002]

Debut by Ireen Amnes. “In The Land of Silence” is the first full length album by experimental artist Ireen Amnes. The founder of the London based collective Under My Feet debuts on Sonic Groove with an immaterial journey contemplating suffering, liberation, the importance of affection and unity. This ambient album reveals a hidden connection between these human emotions. From anger and rejection, to love and unity, the sounds explored by the artist represent a recent journey within. Recollections of distant memories are expressed with nostalgic sounds; by contrast, darker tracks are symbolic of those moments when it is more dif ficult to accept reality for what it is. Ireen expresses in this album that there wouldn’t be any joy without suffering.

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Ireen Amnes – In The Land Of Silence [SGXLP002]

Soviet Space Research Institute – ARPA Spatial Industries Commercial [LE004]

Soviet Space Research Institute (SSRI) is a musical scheme led by Vladimiros Peilivanidis under the moniker Heinz Kammler. Similar to other HK by-products such as ITPDWIP (Instant Teleportation Process Detected While In Progress), SSRI is influenced by early Soviet and Western electronix of the likes of Detroit, Bristol, Munich, and St. Petersburg. ARPA Spatial Industries is a fictional exotic tech R&D firm operating from 2036. The SSR Institute is exploring the cosmic endeavours of ARPA S.I. as presented through a series of public commercials.

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Soviet Space Research Institute – ARPA Spatial Industries Commercial [LE004]

Undermedvetenheten – Undermedvetenheten [KR36]

UNDERMEDVETENHETEN is a simple, science fantasy game for 1-12 players, with a focus on atmosphere, storytelling and player cooperation – perfect for newcomers to live action role playing. It takes 2 minutes to set up, lasts around 30 minutes, and no two games are ever the same. Players take on the roles of humans aboard a vessel on an endless journey into the depths of space. They are not lost, but all hope is, as they hurtle stricken into the void. Your only access to the universe outside is through the ship’s altruistic artificial intelligence, Mima. As immersive chapter cards are revealed one by one, players must interact with Mima in order to shed light on the universe around them, indulge in fantasies of worlds past, or attempt to right the ship’s blighted trajectory. Can you make sense of the abyss? UNDERMEDVETENHETEN comes complete with a soundtrack composed by John B McKenna.

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Undermedvetenheten – Undermedvetenheten [KR36]

DYL+ DB1 – Ecou [RE25]

DYL+ DB1 successfully fuses experimental D&B, half-step and techno tropes. Here they re-establish their occasional studio partnership with a first collaborative full-length. It’s a pleasingly atmospheric and imaginative affair, with the pair offering up tracks that variously mix and match elements of unearthly ambient, off-kilter drum and bass, broken techno, murky post-dubstep rhythms, experimental electronica, the metallic clonk of industrial and the hazy hypnotism of dub techno. Musically it’s hard to pin down due to the wide variety of interestingly programmed rhythms, though the album’s uniformly paranoid sense of impending darkness, coupled with occasional glimpses of musical positivity, ensures a coherent aural vision.

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DYL+ DB1 – Ecou [RE25]

Bill Anagnos – The Sizzler [PHXS07]

PHXS07 comes from the Athenian experimentalist Bill Anagnos. It is the final outcome of several projects and performances held in 2019. Throughout long periods of almost complete isolation and loneliness and with a basic amount of audio equipment those 11 tracks are mainly fragments of manually managed and arranged in house performances using two analog synthesisers, a turntable, a loop station and a cheap sampler. Obvious is the influence of Kraut rock and retro wave due to the severe use of synthesisers and locked grooves.

Bill Anagnos – The Sizzler [PHXS07]