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]

Nordvest – Grøndal [SUCTION051]

Suction Records welcomes Roger Semsroth back to the label – having previously released 2 full-length albums with us under his retired electro-pop alias, Skanfrom. “Grøndal” is the debut vinyl release under a new alias, Nordvest. These days, Semsroth is best-known for his stark and minimalist techno project, Sleeparchive. The material on Grøndal – icy, melodic, and mostly beatless – is comprised of tracks that were originally released digitally as Sleeparchive, via Bandcamp. The releases were met with general disinterest from Sleeparchive fans, prompting Semsroth to re-brand them as Nordvest, before removing them from Bandcamp altogether. We’ve chosen 11 highlights from 3 of those digital albums, “Rooftops & Chaotic Streets”, “Scribbles”, and “Sleepless”, for a cohesive 11-track LP of austere, synthetic ambiance.

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Nordvest – Grøndal [SUCTION051]

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]

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]

CPR – Cyber Punk Romance [MKV1/369.004]

Weird shapes emerge from the darkness, illuminated only by muted street lamps and neon signs. The CPR album sifts through the shadows of night life decadence, influenced dimly lit romantic and mysteries that lurk on the streets in the early hours of the morning. CPR is a collaboration of a mysterious Berlin duo of lovers, Alexandra Ismalone and Tobias Lisius. Together they conjure a sound that paradoxically traverses darkness and brightness – diving into the depht of the unconsciousness leading to a hypnotic, transportive and psychedelic state done within a dark, intriguing and mysterious way.

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CPR – Cyber Punk Romance [MKV1/369.004]

Zandvoort & Uilenbal – Folk Triumfator [NW024] FREE DOWNLOAD

“Folk Triumfator”is the second album by Zandvoort & Uilenbal, a ‘paramusical academic’ project of medieval music expert Jimi Hellinga and electronic musician Danny Wolfers. As Zandvoort & Uilenbal they appropriate historical instruments such as a 19th century Victorian harmonium, a medieval hurdy gurdy, an electro acoustic thumb harp and an mid 20th century German Mixtur Trautonium. These are cross bred with the usual arsenal of contemporary electronic instruments and seasoned with some sinister poetry in their North Sea coast temple of sensory sonic delights. We can write how conceptual and arty this all is but let’s just say this is hardcore dark ambient with lots of medieval drone space jazz influences to trip your mind out into a region where time and your opinions cease to exist.

Zandvoort & Uilenbal – Folk Triumfator [NW024] FREE DOWNLOAD

Cio D’Or – Fluidum III [SEM120]

Cio D’Or returns to Semantica with a new brand conceptual mini-LP. Self-styled “sound architect” and “music creator” Cio D’Or has been strangely quiet since releasing a ‘special edition’ of her “All In All” album back in 2016. Comeback EP “Fluidum III” is a fine collection of alien electronic workouts that sound like they were created via modular synthesis. What we get is six tracks built around watery sounds, swelling electronic motifs, spaced-out noises and occasional quirky rhythms. While some of the tracks – particularly “Climate” and “Celestial II” – boast deep but weighty kick-drum tracks in the techno tradition, for the most part the tracks are sparse, alien and devoid of dancefloor intent. The results are consistently alluring, albeit in a strange and spaced-out way.

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Cio D’Or – Fluidum III [SEM120]

Noah Gibson – Press On [NE72]

Noah Gibson marks his first appearance on Northern Electronics with an EP of plaintive meditations on his innermost causes and conflicts. Acidic enthusiasm spirals out of control in innumerable ways across ‘Press On,’ routing us through the reflective atmosphere that hangs heavy in the background of the thrilling adrenal spikes.

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Noah Gibson – Press On [NE72]

VA – Air Texture Vol.7 [AIR007LP]

Since launching in 2011, James Healy’s Air Texture label and compilation series has become something of an institution within the ambient scene. As with its predecessors, the seventh volume in the series has been jointly compiled by two artists with an existing musical relationship, in this case Rrose and Silent Servant. Their selections are on point, drowsily drifting between academic ambient compositions (see Rrose and James Fei’s “For Bass Clarinet 8.97 (Rrose Version)”, uncomfortable electronic explorations (Ron Morelli, Anthony Child), modular movements (Not Waving), jazz-flecked deep space soundscapes (Luke Slater), horror-influenced throb-jobs (Phase Fatale, June & An-i) and 1990s style ambient electronica (Octa Octa, Function).

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VA – Air Texture Vol.7 [AIR007LP]

Multicast Dynamics – Ancient Circuits [AI-17]

Multicast Dynamics returns with a sixth studio album that marks something of a new chapter. Ancient Circuits is an advancement from previous works on Denovali and one that stands the project aside as a powerful electronic act that tells stories while also serving up heavy hitting soundscapes that are persuasive, unexpected and disturbing. Each of the four 25-minute pieces of Ancient Circuits are clearly demarcated yet sequential sci-fi stories that introduce new characters and are drawn out of long and complex studio experiments. They are collages of sound that glimmer, disturb, shine, dive deep and explore new realms and make for ambient so arresting that it pulls you deep inside. Once again here, Multicast Dynamics draws together cinematic sound design and conceptual intergalactic fiction to come up with a work that is a multi-sensory exploration that puts you as the central character in an expressive musical world.

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Multicast Dynamics – Ancient Circuits [AI-17]

NonZero! – Matrix Equation [TB036]

Touchin Bass is backfilling missing catalog number TB036 with the multitalented guitarist and drummer, mathematician and multidisciplinary improviser Maria Gamboa Perez. Under the NonZero! moniker, Perez brings ‘Matrix Equation’ to the fore; a heavy 8 track EP with electro aesthetics from none other than Carl Finlow. Perez combines elements of rage, chaos, tension and anguish to form a visceral style. Her musical terrain and talent is shaped by dissonance and NO art. Splintered beats and a foreboding sense of tension give way to a more DJ friendly logic of instinctive introductions and codas of gradual builds and breakdowns as Finlow further reworks the results to great effect.

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NonZero! – Matrix Equation [TB036]

Retina.it – The Last Day Of Pompeii [MDGEM02.1/MDGEM02.2]

‘The Last Day Of Pompeii’ is a compilation of hidden gems by Retina.it -most of them released via Chicago’s Hefty Records in early 2000- and few unreleased coming as a double EP. The records will have inserts presenting 2 halves of Karl Brullov painting from 1830 (that gives the name to the project). On the backside of the insert there will be anecdotes and pictures from the archives. Midgar want to pay tribute to the Pompeian duo, whose life has been entirely dedicated to music. The project ‘The Last Day Of Pompeii’ talks about their origins, early history and relationship with Hefty Records.

part1 / part2

Retina.it – The Last Day Of Pompeii [MDGEM02.1/MDGEM02.2]

Lost Souls Of Saturn – Lost Souls Of Saturn [RS1909]

R&S present the eponymous, debut, full length album transmission from Lost Souls Of Saturn, an epic in scope, time and space, multidimensional mind trip. This ambient house masterpiece combines flavours gathered from across the galaxy, stewing them up into a delicious primordial soup. Old sci-fi soundtracks, acid, free jazz, avant garde, musique concrete, world music and more all whirl around an underground-dance-music axis. Primarily Lost Souls Of Saturn are Seth Troxler and Phil Moffa, plus further opaque participants congregating to combine music, imagery, and storytelling into an inextricably linked whole, all wrapped-up in a philosophy of their own making.

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Lost Souls Of Saturn – Lost Souls Of Saturn [RS1909]

Crossing Avenue – Carmaleonte EP [SPAZIO018]

Experimental Italian techno duo Crossing Avenue return to Spazio Disponibile for their third EP on the label. Once again their four track effort explores new tempos, rhythms and moods in stylish fashion. The Carmaleonte EP counts four multi layered trips into mind melting half time jams that pairs rubbery, rolling drums with hypnotic lead synths. After the gurlgin deepness and sparsity of ‘Monoica’, ‘Carmaleonte’ is high pressure and unrelenting, ‘Santica’ got the razor sharp and unresolved rhythms where ‘Decimo Piano’ is a flurry of high speed drums and sci fi signifiers that plays out like an intergalactic space war. Techno never sounded as adventurous as this.

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Crossing Avenue – Carmaleonte EP [SPAZIO018]

Rhythmic Theory – Mechanised Dreaming [CRLP14]

Bristol based Rhythmic Theory, known for working the dark and mysterious edges of bass heavy techno and drum & bass, returns to Creme Organization. After his first work for the label in 2017 he now brings a fulsome nine track mini-LP ‘Mechanised Dreaming’, exploring the dark corners of ambient and synth based intrigue. Atmospheric sound design is at the fore here, with cinematic soundscapes crafted from broad synth smears and plenty of subtle little motifs. The music paints pictures of a metropolis during the dead of night, or a former industrial factory reduced to a hall of echoes and shadows. There is subtle tension built from sustained chords and plenty of suggestion of weird lifeforms in the icy ticks and scuttling footsteps of thew a-side. Side b is less dark and dank, with slightly brighter synths and wider horizons all explored. This is a truly immersive and emotive listen that always keeps you absorbed.

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Rhythmic Theory – Mechanised Dreaming [CRLP14]

Kassel Jaeger – Le Lisse Et Le Strié [LTNC017]

Le Lisse et le Strié is a new work by french composer François J. Bonnet, released under his project name Kassel Jaeger. Based in Paris, Bonnet is the Director of INA GRM. He is also a writer and theoretician. Le Lisse et le Strié has been conceived as an exploration of the two antagonist concepts of “smooth” and “striated”, applied to the realm of electroacoustic sounds. If the “smooth” is linked to “nomos” as an open space of organic distribution, the “striated”, on the contrary, is associated to “logos”, as an enclosed space defined by a grid. Elaborating a dialogue between these aspects, Kassel Jaeger draws here an intermediary space where pulsations become textures and layers, and where rhythmic elements are found in the qualities and bodies of sounds instead of being functionnalised, pre-determined sound objects, abstracted and frozen onto a temporal grid. The concept of “striated” is made audible only through the sonic landscape it inhabits, like the stripes of the camouflage fur of wild animals only exist as such in the woods and long grass, disappearing into a potentially uselessness in a desert plain.

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Kassel Jaeger – Le Lisse Et Le Strié [LTNC017]

Psyk – A Moment Before [TRESOR308]

Tresor Records celebrates the return of Spanish Manuel Anós aka Psyk on its catalogue, with his new album “A Moment Before”. This is Psyk’s first long player since his debut “Time Foundation”. The album is undoubtedly Psyk’s most advanced piece of work to date. It dialogs with practices in reduced forms of techno, as originated by artists like Robert Hood, through the recently re-released “Internal Empire” on Tresor.

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Psyk – A Moment Before [TRESOR308]