The latest issue of “Internets most controversial underground e-zine” the Shadow Wolf Cyberzine issue#10 is out now on Nightwind Records. A 19 track ‘cover tape’ compilation with various artists. The term ‘cover tape’ stems from when magazines came with a cassette tape full of music or software on the cover back in the 1980s/1990s.
Danny Wolfers striking another album at the Northsea Institute For The Overmind. This time is coming under the Smackos alias, providing a 11 track album free to download / name your price on his bandcamp.
2020 was a tough year for almost everyone and definitely a year to forget for our scene. Events and gigs canceled, venues closed, artists lacking a way to earn a decent living and club culture facing a threat like never before.
In the midst of these events were several people / organizations who tried to ease the pain, offering out some comfort by releasing music to people for free or by pay as you want download. This was always done, but this year I noticed that more and more artists are doing this.
Here is a selection of albums and compilations I came across this year and that I think is worth mentioning again.
The first in a series of compilations by Jura Soundsystem is a blend of Dub, Ambient, Downtempo, Boogie and Proto House with a focus on music never before released on Vinyl, sought after out of print titles and some special versions edited specifically for the album. The intention with this project was to delve deeper into the reissue pond and unearth some lesser known tracks and artists. Highlights include Smackos (AKA Legowelt) Ambient epic ‘We Can Watch Alf In The Hotel Room’, never before released on Vinyl, the Dub / Psych hybrid of Minus Group’s ‘Black Shadow’, Kash’s sought after ‘Percussion Sundance’ and special edits of Ken Dang and Tabou Combo. The end of the album includes some soothing Ambient tools.
Seven years after his last release as Smackos, music making machine Legowelt surprises us all with ‘A Vampire Goes West,’ a brand new and ever-experimental ambient album. It comes on his own Nightwind label and was made in total isolation on the North Sea coast last Christmas. As for the music, it is smudgy and cosmic; an “all out amateur spacejazz spiritual ambient eruption on smudgey cassettetape” that will take you far away from reality across 14 absorbing and atmospheric cuts. It includes some extra fun treats too: a fridge magnet and microzine with a map in ASCII art that has a quest attached to it which, if decoded, reveals a password that unlocks some secret and special prizes.
Smackos is one of Danny ‘Legowelt’ Wolfers lesser-known aliases. It was first used in 2004 for The Age of Candy Candy, a suitably eccentric experimental electronica full-length that was only ever released on CD in limited quantities. Here that album finally appears on vinyl thanks to the efforts of Berceuse Heroique, and it’s every bit as weird, wonderful and out-there as you’d expect, with Wolfers pursuing his passion for spacey, weightless electronics, far-out soundscapes, occasional skuzzy rhythms and dystopian synthesizer workouts. It’s previously been something of a hidden gem in his vast discography, and should be an essential purchase.