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).
Yesterday we presented the preferences of our readers from last year, now this is a list of 20 albums from 2019 that made an impression on us.
We have three pure electro albums from E.R.P., Jeremiah R. and Plant43 and the new electro-synthy album of veteran David Carretta, his first solo album for ten years. On the darker side of the synth palette we have two EBM/synth-pop albums from Boy Harsher and Years Of Denial, the debut album of Kris Baha, the third album of Greek producer June, a new one from Jason Letkiewicz aka Steve Summers under his new moniker Opposing Currents and two more industrial albums from Autumns and Colombian Filmmaker.
On the other had we have two acid gems from DimDJ and Paranoid London, the first ever Gladio album, the second album from Mannequin boss Alessandro Adriani and an experimental/ambient album from veteran Function on Tresor.
So, here it is compiled in chronological order.
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Greek artist June makes his debut on Mannequin Records with the ‘Silver Demon’ LP. The album explores a futuristic dystopian world where transcendence and oppression coexist, where claustrophobia and infinite openness coincide. A world of contrasts that is the product of the artist‘s active imagination and conscious effort to confront the subconscious. The album was recorded using original techniques from the golden era of electronic music (late 70s to mid 80s) with an arsenal of vintage analog synthesizers, drum machines and effect processors (originating) from the same time period. While the aesthetics of the classic precursors emerge through the minimal, deep, dark architecture of June’s music, Silver Demon prevails with the artist’s characteristic originality.
We were very excited when, somewhere between July/August, we heard about Ombra festival and soon after we bought the tickets for the festival.
This was actually the first extended edition of the festival, since last year they just had a party in a club with 500 people, so we must consider ourselves really lucky for taking part in this.
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At the end of this month we will be heading to Barcelona for one of the most interesting electronic music festivals. Ombra is a project born from the hand of agency WeareWe and label Oraculo Records with the aim of creating a meeting place for lovers of analogue and avant-garde sounds that do not fit in the current cultural offer.
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Phormix presents the 4th collection of works from various artists. Waves leds the Night elevates the exploration of the minimalist aesthetics in the soundscapes of non-trivial patterns and surfaces the artists creativity in-hand with the monastic possibilities elevate imagination.
Lena Platonos is a Greek musician, pianist and music composer. Her third solo album, ‘Lepidoptera’ was produced in 1986 and reissued by Dark Entries in 2018. Inspired by a scientific book on butterflies she found in a trashcan one day, the compositions follow minimalistic motifs and carefully-staged soundscapes. Lena narrates each song in deadpan fashion, skillfully reciting her surreal Greek poetry. Now Dark Entries recruited 4 contemporary Greek producers to remix their favorite tracks from ‘Lepidoptera’. First up is ‘Cyaniris’ remixed by Anatolian Weapons who delivers an enchanted late-night journey through the New Wave forest. Next is ‘Araschnia Levana’ remixed by Pasiphae who speeds up the pace with machine driven melodic electro pulses. On the B-side we have June remixing ‘Cyaniris’ twirling the track into a complex deep sea dive with lush drum kicks and pads. Closing out the EP is a remix of ‘a Gee´a ´ Aporia Maturna’ by Morah who leads us to the underworld of Hades via sinister squelches and full-on apocalyptic rave breakdown.
Formed in 1997, and inaugurated that year with a split 12” from newcomers and label founders, Solvent and Lowfish, this year Suction Records celebrates it’s 20th anniversary with the reintroduction of their famed Snow Robots series of compilations. While originally started as a North American answer to UK electronix labels like Rephlex, Skam and Warp Records, a sound that is still a staple of the current Suction Records catalog, Suction’s sound has also swerved into new territories, reflecting our love of dark ‘80s electronic music synthpop, EBM, and beyond…. Snow Robots Volume 4 features an international array of artists, from Suction Records mainstays like Digital Poodle, June, Celldöd, and Ceramic Hello (with their much sought after 1982 vocoder anthem), to label favourites appearing on Suction Records for the first time: Beau Wanzer, Morah, and one of Skanfrom/Sleeparchive’s lesser known aliases, Civil Defence Programme.
Greek born recording artist known for performing and recording live electronic music using pre-midi synthesizers, sequencers and drum machines. Along with Trenton Chase, they are running their own record label, June Records that was established in 2010. Apart from his solo project, June has appeared under the alias Πρόσωπο (Prosopo) and he is also one half of the group Manie Sans Délire.
Continue reading “June – Mannequin Records Podcast 3”
Suction Records presents the 2nd volume in a vinyl reissue/remix series by Toronto’s Digital Poodle: “Revision! Vol2 – Soul Crush”. Formed in 1986 by Heiki Sillaste, Digital Poodle began self-releasing experimental/EBM tapes in the late-80s, and by the early-‘90s had several releases licensed to international labels like Hyperium, Cleopatra and Ninja Tune. “Soul Crush” was an underground hit in EBM/alternative clubs around the world – particularly in Toronto, but also making an impact was Zoviet France’s Virtual Mix… This hypnotic, 13-minute psychedelic techno trip, actually a live-in-studio jam between Digital Poodle and industrial music legends: Zoviet France:, became an unlikely rave staple. Both mixes are featured here, alongside a killer revision by none other than Adam X, one of this legendary techno producer’s rare remix appearances.
This weekend we are heading again to Berlin for a quality and diverse music cure. It’s been 2 years already since our last visit to the techno city, so we will try to make the best of it, as always.
This time will be a first as we will spend out entire weekend in the same club. Griessmühle has lined up some great artists this weekend, so we decided to make it our home until in the late hours of the Monday morning.
Friday night we will have Bleak, Johannes Volk and Savas Pascalidis in the techno room and DJ Overdose and Hakim Murphy for some electro and acid in the second room.
Saturday is the main night for us when the things start to get deep & sick. In one room we will have L.I.E.S.’ Florian Kupfer and AN-i aka Lee Douglas from Cititrax and our personal favorite June. Doug Lee played last November in Bucharest and we were raving, so we have great expectations. In the other room house and techno will be spinned by Zadig with his new side project Kern Space Adventures, Daniela la Luz live and Tallmen.785.
Suction Records presents a new split-12-inch by label alumnus June and Lowfish – “C.D.S.N.” 4 tracks of classic Suction-style melodic analog electro. June opens the 12” with “Cynthia 84,” a a lush, beatless Tangerine Dream-scape, thick with analog arpeggiations and gorgeous melodies. “Navigation” closes proceedings with a driving, dark electro/wave dance track. Toronto’s Lowfish co-founded Suction Records in 1997, and has been a staple of the label ever since. Lowfish appearances have been few and far between in recent years, but he’s returned here in finest form. “Dead Specimen” is clinical and pounding electro, while side B’s opener ”Scarborough Brutalist” is a prime example of Lowfish’s patented melodic electro style, with catchy, melancholy analog melodies cascading over slow but slamming 808 beats.
The return of Manie Sans Delire with seven new tracks on a double vinyl edition (12inch & 7inch) recorded in studio between June 2015 and July 2016. Manie Sans Delire is the project of June and Trenton Chase focusing on electronics, played and recorded live.
Lux Rec shifts again its attention to Greece. ΠΡΟΣΩΠΟ (PROSOPO) is June’s newest alias,and means Face -disturbed microcosm where to experiment with different machines, unconventional textures and rhythms. The result is as uncomfortable as it gets, arid desires, despair concealed with cold resonating motives. A fast descent into a deserted heart. A feverish feeling, much like when it is warm and one still shivers. Annoyed greek Gods playing tricks on humans.
Another well selected wavey release on In The Dark Again, with tracks from Kline Coma Zero, Lvrin, June and Dmitry Distant & Igors Vorobjovs.
Frigio Records is on the road again with Le Chocolat Noir. The Croatian artist, known for Disco Panonia and his work as Honored Matres, is no stranger to Frigio, having featured on All Stars Vol 1 in 2014. “Transform EP” is introduced by the industrial mental sounds of “Greedy Pets” which brings a new name to the roster as June delivers his interpretation of it. A grimy wave edge is pursued by the Greek machine man for a driving take. The original staggers into being. Drums slip and bass rumbles in a tense and terse piece of gritty music. Then Le Chocolat Noir offers the dark and looming “N.E.T.”. Blackened lyrics are sampled as thick bars of synth and licks of acid make for a menacing curtain fall on side A. On the flip side, the steely claps and burbling bass are rinsed in metal for the gleaming EBM infused “Doing Dishes” with vocals ghost beneath the currents. Following up, vocals ghost beneath the currents, vocals picked up by Colombia’s Cute Heels as the electronic savant debuts on Frigio for a simmering aquatic remix.
“In The Dark Again”, sister-label of Snuff Trax, presents its fourth release is a various artist mini compilation, this time featuring June, Beta Evers and SSRI bringing some dope EBM/electro.
June Records presents Concept 1210, a collaborative project between We Are Monsters, Ratlife Records, Nation and June Records. Represented respectively by All The Wild Eyes (Solar), Credit 00, Naughty Wood, Traxx, The Pedestrian, Villan X, Trenton Chase and June. Concept 1210 is a contemporary take on DIY electronics, made with the original rhythm machines, synthesizers and sequencers that became available between the period of late 1970s to mid 1980s.