“As a direct response to Russia’s diabolic invasion of Ukraine, Northern Electronics assembles a sonic charity collection in order to raise funds for UNICEF, helping the children and families who’s suffering under the rage of their occupier.
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.
Continuing our past year briefing, after the readers top 3 and best giveaways, we present a list of our 20 favorite albums from 2020.
We have four albums more on the electro side coming from DMX Krew, Men With Secrets (Donato Dozzy and Retina.it), Nullptr and The Exaltics & Heinrich Mueller, while on the industrial/EBM side we have albums by A Civil Terror, La luna sotto il ponte and LBEEZE and impressive works from Black Meteoric Star, Ian Martin and Trenton Chase.
On the synthier side of music we have four albums coming from Das Ding, Linea Aspera, Newclear Waves and Jake Schrock, while for the Detroit lovers we have two Detroit influenced album by The Beneficiaries (Jeff Mills, Eddie Fowlkes and Jessica Care Moore) and The Nightstalker (Dan Piu and Martin Akeret).
Closing the list are the debut album of disco-don Franz Scala on Slow Motion, Obergman‘s acid album on Furthur Electronix, Anthony Collins with his album on Lobster Theremin under the Grant alias and Shifted with his first album on Avian.
The list is compiled in chronological order.
In light of the current Covid-19 Pandemic Studio Enisslab headed up by Italian DJ / Producer and Live Act Neel has announced the release of a very special 56 track charity compilation project, fundraising for The Red Cross, who are working extremely hard alongside health services internationally that are feeling the effects of the corona-virus outbreak the most right now. The compilation is available for a limited time via Bandcamp and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to The Red Cross to help the world’s most affected countries in the Covid-19 pandemic.
This special release features over 6 hours of previously unreleased and unheard material, where an all star cast of artists were encouraged to share music that reflects this time we are living in.
Neel, who is one half of live duo Voices From The Lake, and LF58 speaks out on behalf of the initiative, organised in collaboration with improvised live project Circle Of Live, and visual art collective Sbagliato. He explains:
“In this situation we all need to look after each other and this project is a start. I wanted to reach as many people as possible to spread this message, so I started to share the idea personally with lots of artists and the response was amazing. I wanted them to take their time with whichever tools they had available at home to produce some music that reflects this time we are living in, a contribution for this special project and to portray a special message.”
The project’s cover art image brought to you by visual art collective Sbagliato shows pictures of windows of houses and studios taken by the artists themselves: 56 musicians, 56 windows, 56 tracks shape a new place of sharing.
Stroboscopic Artefacts releases ‘X – Ten Years Of Artefacts’, a 13-track album curated by Lucy aka Luca Mortellaro. It celebrates ten years of his label by boldly confirming its raison d’être: a continual redefinition of modern techno. X – Ten Years Of Artefacts’ is a various artists album in which the label’s key artists respond to its tenth anniversary with fresh compositions. Artists with divergent perspectives and MOs are equally at home expressing themselves. These tracks’ timbres, tempos and moods differ greatly yet—somewhat improbably—they seem together, ideologically unified. The compilation features tracks from Lucy, Rrose, Zeitgeber, Lotus Eater, Shifted, Efdemin, L.B. Dub Corp, James Ruskin, Denise Rabe, Adriana Lopez, Chevel, Alessandro Adriani and Serena Butler.
Following the critically acclaimed debut album from Tensal, Soma presents a specially commissioned remix EP to compliment the album. A varied collection of artists are prominent on the release with new and established alike, each delivering their own take on Tensal’s originals. UK producer Pessimist opens the EP. His unique aesthetic of Jungle/Drum&Bass – come – Techno certainly makes its presence felt on the A-Side as he delivers a monster of a remix, soaked in dark, brooding textures and broken rhythms. Another UK techno export makes his debut on Soma as Shifted lends his remix skills to the package. Pulsating and propulsive, Shifted exudes pure energy with his version of Santolaya. Prolific French producer Umwelt closes out the EP with his interpretation of Belga. An old skool, electro affair Umwelt still retains a melancholic edge to the production.
How does one appropriate oneself? In the case of Guy Alexander Brewer, the situation is complicated by his various current projects in techno, noise and experimental electronics overlaying a once-hidden past in drum’n’bass. ‘Appropriation Stories’ tackles the matter head-on at length, the endpoint of the mounting inward focus already evident in his work as Shifted. For years shunning his previous work in Commix, more recently Brewer has learned to look back, even making sideways stabs into breakbeat territory with his Covered in Sand alias. The process grows more intricate and subtle on his new album for the Hospital Productions imprint helmed by Dominick Fernow (aka Prurient, Vatican Shadow, et al.). Here rigorous processing and studio treatments transform classic breaks into deeply hidden components that add new layers of character to his highly-developed techno sound.
The release features three abrasive noise workouts. Thud of drums and ritualistic rhythms define the opener Luarica on the A-side alongside a near-melodic whine that stays present throughout the tracks. Orapa (An Interview) on the flip swallows and evokes scuffed voices of a conversation, striving into isolation, while Venetia resumes the haunting rhythm and layers of distortion.
Here is the third and final part of my 2013 review, featuring my favorite albums released last year. In the first part of the review, the preferences of hipodrome followers are shown, according to the number of click and stars. In the second part, I presented some of my favorite events and performances from last year.
Now here it comes the serious business. Because there are so many good albums and different genders, I took the same approach as in the 2012’s review.
The list is covering all the genders that I like and post on The Hipodrome Of Music, so I came up with no more than 20 gender lists, going from house to techno, disco and funk to electro and new wave …
It’s been a busy couple of years for the producer behind the Shifted project. On top of an extremely well-received album for the Mote Evolver label, the producer has edged further out into the fringes of electronic music under a number of aliases, taking in noise/ambient variants as Covered In Sand, as well as more distorted, technofied productions under the Alexander Lewis moniker, a sound described by the Blackest Ever Black label as “S-M techno.” His new album as Shifted, Under a Single Banner, finds the producer converging these strands into a lucid re-imagining of techno, starting off from the toughened, purist templates honed down by the likes of Sandwell District and Marcel Dettmann, and stretching out into more textured, sometimes noisy, often introverted and melancholy signatures. It’s a perfect fit for Bed Of Nails, a label that’s given a platform for the more direct dancefloor mutations of Dominick Fernow’s own productions as Vatican Shadow, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, and Christian Cosmos, as well as familiar Hospital Productions affiliates such as Kris Lapke under the Bronze Age guise. There’s a rich and earthy warmth to Under a Single Banner that’s perhaps at odds with the puerile fixation on all things noisy at the fringes of techno these days, but for the most part, the tension and momentum keeps the album definitively aimed at the floor without ever resting on its laurels.
German producer Subjected’s Vault Series label has put out a series of excellent, hard-edged techno releases and now the focus turns to remixers. It’s testament to the label’s stature that it is able to get producers like Developer and Shifted involved. For his part, the mysterious UK producer delivers a bleak, jacking take on “005.7”, his razor-wire percussion marking out nightmarish riffs and insistent tonal blips. Developer’s contribution is as impressive, with waves of hissing hats providing the basis for a swelling chord progression. The release also features a rare remix from Gerd Janson; working with Philip Lauer as Tuff City Kids, he turns “005.7” into a jittery, busy house groove. Completing the package is Moerbeck’s grinding, quasi-industrial take on “005.7”.
Paul Boex’s Dynamic Reflection imprint is continually growing in calibre with each release. Time & Perception Part 1 is the labels 16th title and fifth for Abstract Division, a collab between Boex and Dave Miller. The EP opens with “Fierce Tension”, which sees the duo bury their siren-sounding synths into a condensed wall of sinister force, while Shifted’s booming and reverb heavy remix annihilates much of the originals musicality, it unrelentingly bores a war path of linear techno championed by the likes of DVS1. On the flip, “Comprehend” is like being caught in a wind storm of flying bolts, rust and ripped roofing, while the EPs ambient track “Collision” squeaks and gurgles like a alien trapped at the bottom cave in a Ridley Scott film.
A Luminous Veil is the debut release by Alexander Lewis. Six tracks of heartsore modern industrial and S-M techno created using synth, microphone and pedals. Recorded in one take with minimal computer processing or post-production.