Science Cult Records
TBR: 21st August
This most recent edition of the Astra Spectra series from the label sees CYRK returning to the darkness with 3 Berlin inspired techno beauties. These are followed by a Syrte remix of the final number. As CYRK prepared this music, the duo imagined themselves as cosmic engineers, holding the planets together with their tones. Do you think it worked? We are still here, after all.
It begins with Solar Mechanics. Huge drums pound and wallop across a spinning vortex of percussive fizz. Snare tampers with the sound wave and reveals something great to dance to. A bass with quick stepping motions joins the party as extra percussion tinkles and cracks in time to the flow. Mechanical textures swing past in springy and buoyant waves of intention as the rolling rhythms shift and creep along progressive bar transfers.
Next comes a distant voice of robotic origin. We're given alien instructions to listen intently as something is building. A rhythm on a drum and distorted metalwork starts to digest the information. New sporadic and phasing bass notes churn in a spiral of digital fluff. Seen Unseen alludes to the mysterious as waves of transparent sound energy dress the bare bones of upbeat and shadow-lined electronica.
A groove and a beat begins with Human Mind. Squidgy bass churns up a field with buzzing beats as rhythmic percussion clatters together. A robotic voice begins to chatter, a phrase is repeated before evocative melodies from a synthesiser begin harmonising and creating their own inner tempos. Wafts of chord shine down while dancing notes repeat catchy phrases. Once Syrte got his hands on this number, the music has been given a deeper feel that's swamped in reverb and mysterious fog. An open space of ambiguity is decorated with neatly formulated riffs and sections that form one long winded search through each contour.
You can follow CYRK on Facebook
and listen to CYRK on Soundcloud
You can visit Science Cult Records online
TBR: 3rd August
It's been a whole year since Cyan85 emerged on the scene with their debut Bay Of Sampieri EP. The shuddering 808 beats with dreamy synthesisers smashed with retro effects are back with a full-length release. Sampling the cup of dystopia, each sip flavours the palette with sonic aptitude and story. Spliced with a variety of musical hooks and an arsenal of inventive rhythmic sculptures, Lucid Intervals is set to show the world how proficient Cyan85 really is.
The music starts with Low Frequency Phantasy. Chunky basslines throb in motorways of tempo while static lights fly past in the guise of cymbal strikes that roll and rattle. Strange noises swell and swirl in the aftermath of drive, as harmonising synths whisk the surrounding air. The title of the track is repeated in a robotic voice that snugly matches the loop pattern on the melodics. Next, a thumping bass drum strikes a rampant dancing rhythm. Bass squelches add more fury to the flow as cymbals and snares find a place to follow in line. Strange sonar communications zap between the bars as frantic beats repel the stillness. Elektro 0ffens1ve is a stomping number that surges with danceable energy.
Contamination Phonk begins with a juicy drum riff that spans out into abstract synthesiser blips and tones. Sprinkled sounds dapple light wooded sunlight as a slurry of undergrowth coils up from beneath. Granular and rhythmic sections of gravelly underfooting adjust under our dancing steps as we sway from side to side through the forest. The bass chatters and bounces against invisible walls as starry eyed melodies jostle for space in the peripheral vision. Next, a groovy drum riff with snare and bass opens the scene. A heavy duty element to the tempo makes it almost irresistible. Distant wavery sounds froth and spray against the breakers of bass end drum. The progressions evolve and manifest shapes within the bars of rhythm. Data Lag demonstrates a variety of rhythms and introspective effects.
Once we turn the vinyl over, we're hit with Time Elapsed. Elasticated beats bounce and twang with sporadic jumps into new areas. Moody strings and choral sounds sway through a windy curtain as incense smoke dissipates into the air. A chunky bassline forms in the middle, steps and stages revolve and caress with musical clarity. Zapping noises strike at playful flags that twist in the sky. Once this phases into something new, a dream-like quality is formulated with spacial synths that vibe and sing on off key spaces. A driving bass hits us with electronic shatter, and eerie noises begin to spiral into melodies. Early Defects is a sinister sounding piece that's stitched to the top with atmosphere.
Track seven opens on odd bubbling bass sounds. Zaps and strings coalesce in a frenzy of energetic gloop. A structure protrudes from the filmy surface as a kinetic rhythm begins on strange metallic and electronic sounds. A surge of compression gives us a small break before the mix is opened out again as new sounds once more stride and saunter across the icy floor. Strangelet Research Lab ends in an abrupt stop. This prepares us for Aquasma. Bouncy and spinning beats reverberate across a dripping cave. A wandering bass-line projects a groove of easy dancing while space-age sound effects splatter and sparkle like distant cosmic creations. To finish, the album gives us Hylia Echoes. This ultimate track begins with a thunderous bass riff that strikes footprints and tail-swish-marks on a sandy texture. Chimes add a splendour that radiates from above. Abstraction of sound with jelly like motions within fixed forms jostle across a fuzzy static.
Lucid Intervals by Cyan85 is available on Bandcamp
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Visit VOITAX Records online
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TBR: 5th August
Apparently from Antarctica, this tekno-punk outfit offer us two brand new sonic happenings. Said to be a redefining moment in the Jujuka journey, this exploration of sound wants to 'wake the sleeper'. Perhaps some of us still don't know why dancing is good for you and so this record is no-doubt perfect for winning them over.
With a massive bass-line and jazzical drums, the title track bounces into being. A new throbbing bass adds another volume busting layer to the mix. Vocals begin in playful, chanting, and poetic lines. They seem to jump from English to German with absolute ease. Maybe I'm just imagining it. The definite anarchic energy seeps from the bars as distorted and galloping sensations draw lines in the drying concrete.
Next is a track called Nuts. It begins with a huge bass-end sound that roars and rumbles like an engine changing gear. A harmonising pitch glistens over the top. A slower and more sensual energy drips from the vocal-line. The similar distortion creeps around the phonics as tuneful expressions of femininity churn and canter in unique and abstract motions.
Follow Jujuka Music on Instagram
You can listen to one half of Jujuka with DJ Julia Govor on Soundcloud
Also, view art by the other half of the project with London based duo Le.Blue.
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Maps For The Lost EP
See Blue Audio
Out: 17th July
Bricolage Records boss Fragile X shows us what he's really made of by releasing tunes on See Blue Audio. It's a great idea to spread the skills around and let everyone share the toast. That's what we are all about here, anyway. This ambient electronic dive into further observational obscurity brings us another glittering chapter in the epoch of Fragile X and his amazing sounds.
Maps For The Lost opens with a vast connectivity as passing traffic moves to unknown destinations to the throb of harmonising keys that dapple in moonlit avenues. Departure From Nowhere perhaps sinks into acceptance that our place in the world is no-where outside of its story. The traffic recedes to reveal heart jerking synthesiser that sits in puddle like echoes of its own rumination. Angular percussive sounds sprinkle like engineering and rain which combine in a dystopian sculpture of moving parts.
Next, a recorded voice reminds us to be careful of the doors. A new level is announced and we're kicked into a new sense of understanding. Scribbles of sound scatter and curdle as delicate rays luminesce with sweet custard like tone. Bouncy shuffles knit a frame of delicate fulcrums which rattle in the shared deposition of grounding. Wayfarer peeks through the curtain of reality and witnesses music in pure vibrations.
Title track, Maps For The Lost, begins on a strange melody made of scaling notes which shatter like glass and chime like bells. A short burst of melodics is repeated a few times then a thick underbelly of bass slides in and inflates the mix. The sudden surge of energy pushes the tempo into a deep trench that still glistens with a radiance of glass bells. After a good hedonistic section of sound, a rhythm is struck with resonant and soulful drums. These fade out again after a healthy tear-down to allow the sonic array to dance and form unique patterns of harmony.
This follows with a dreamy melody that blips and beeps along the lines of a harp in a crystal cave. Tranquillity spills out from the open oyster-shell as pearls of sound gently spin in moving currents. A distant bass reaches down from lofty areas and decorates the floor with dropped leaves. A small breeze carries the dust and sunlight as shimmering shadows gambol like newly imagined centaurs. Passing The Ley Lines kindles deep natural energies that manifest through our brief lives.
The EP finishes with a beautiful piano melody that plays alongside the sound of rain. It chimes in soggy interludes as no-doubt the sheltered instrument provides a hearth for the lonely soul. A vocal sample emerges, asking if we can feel the magic of the universe. A reply comes forth, I'm trying. Aren't we all?
You can get your own copy of Maps For The Lost EP from Bandcamp
Visit Fragile X on SoundCloud
You find visit See Blue Audio online
and listen on Soundcloud
Ransom Note Records
TBR: 4th September
It's been a good two years since Hologram Teen last released music and it shows with this seventeen track phenomenon. The beats and melody veteran known for many projects including The Projects and Garden is back and on form with her new sounds. Perhaps most well-known for her keyboardist role in Stereolab, Morgane Lhote has been quick to establish herself as a proficient artist all on her own. The music has a heavy psychedelia twist in its imagery and description, and this works to bracket the theme of catching loose dandelion seeds of sound that whisk through the meadows of the mind. Got one? Make a wish, put it on the album.
With chunky bass beats that shake and rumble on chatty and reverberating drums, the music opens with Elixir Tremolo. It pounds with a feral energy as tribal choral voices sing an uplifting tune. This gives way to a jazzy funk rhythm filled with soulful bass and harmonic bell percussions. Dalston Wizardzz takes us into a compartment of fun and lively happenings. This is followed by Slow Jam Activist. Snare rhythms and skyward whistles enter as a distorted vocal track brings more tribal voices singing in melodic chants. Odd and angular rhythms curdle and bubble around the graceful and loose textures of sound.
A laid back and smooth beat opens out for the next number. Slightly distuned voices frolic with bendy Spanish guitar strumming Caribbean style vibes which warp and bend as if as vinyl on a broken player. Trumpet sounds rise from the summery glow as a rugby player like stature of a local giant wanders in the join the gathering. Samba De Holograma takes us on holiday. More exotic sounds resonate with what comes next. Pan drums create a sunshine melody for Rock Eagle Rock while scratchy violins add a escapist edge. Odd sounds make an appearance which rhythmically make the track more whole.
Sam Samy Sam follows on from the summer-time feel with wobbling repeat melodies that rhythmically enchant before a sliced open vocal sample begins spouting syllables. Bells and notes twang in a unison fashion as odd chord sounds spray sonic fireworks in strange places. This settles down to bring out a room full of spacey drums that rattle and roll like an old school kit. Synthesiser oboe and clarinet blasts deep and resonant notes as strange inclusions of vocal add colourful patterns to the angular backdrop. Move On Hop! is a jigsaw of sound that fits into an awkward yet lucid image.
Toast, Marmite, and Crack begins with a sound collage that throws us off our senses. Groovy beats enter straight away with chunky chords chugging along in mechanical affray. Wandering notes and dripping sounds create an strange corridor of distinctive sounds. Experimental drum rhythms open the next one, dripping it damp reverb, a bass and chime synthesiser add their colourful qualities. Okandjambameya is a neat and twirly number that digs deep with heavy handed bass riffs and interesting additions of vocal. Bongos Over Dyke Slope takes us away from the chaotic mayhem of Hologram Teen's musical mind and into another room, bathed in glowy warm light.
Next, a pulsing blip opens up for a bass driven rhythm serenaded by clapping hands. Cymbals splash with delicate drops before a vocal scat filled with echo drives forward a melodic flow. Reverb and repeats swell like eddying waters as various tones and percussive tones churn through. Cosmogatto bubbles and bounces to a cleverly adapted feedback and rhythm loops. It's replaced by something more organic, as a bass guitar plucks walking notes into a crucible of sound. New synthesiser notes drown out the spaces with viscous sonic cream as thundering drums find a moment to add their voice. Africountry throws us into the thick of activity without the usual tension.
Homegirl Is Brick begins with a jazz rumble of the tom toms and cymbals before a trumpet sound blasts through the open fire-door. Perhaps there is a carnival outside and the indoor stage and drummer are part of the show. Revelers wander in and stand amazed at the luminous decorations surrounding the wurlitzer. This hypnotic and wide-minded number falls back and gives way to some smooth tropical sounding rhythms. Pharaoh For President makes us think of lounging in sunny recliners while well-paid servants flap big leaves for a living. It's not all that bad, as Boombamakao starts with an optimistic vibe. Dreamy drums clamber on little rocks as organs shine in their heavenly timbre.
You can follow Hologram Teen on Facebook
Listen to Hologram Teen on Soundcloud
TBR: 16th July
Working to establish a synonymous sound that's as defined to a diction means that Alexis Vogel lays down the law with the second label offering. This new EP takes the ITR ethic to another level, ingraining the staining to the crafted structures and joins. Sipping from the retro cup of breakbeats and groove while expanding the repertoire of repeatable with modern technology, Clairvoyance EP listens to ghosts who's echoes have been reverberated via music since their moment in the sun.
The first and title track begins with a thumping bass with multi-tonal depth. It's matched with tapping beats that jig and jostle on shaking platforms. A marching run forms through a frantic push of tempo as extra layers of rhythm are laid into place. As the progression continues, expressions of percussion begin to form a musical soundscape, made of strange atmospheric synths and patterns of rhythm with distinctive timbres.
Next up is kicked off with a blippy electro bass drum which pounds in a neat tempo. The pitch remains true as new functions of rhythm are added. Cymbals that hum and slice work with a trumpety bass motif that wavers in and out like distant thunder. Gradual progress brings out another moment of peace as the background sensations revert to nature, a tranquil section gives way to the blasting bass which rumbles and pulses as the percussion begins to dance. Dance With The Devil, it seems, as that's what the track is called.
Tonal resonances with warbling digital tones sneak along an avenue of slight bass kicks that form a passing framework of uniform shapes and shades. New rhythmic inclusions inject at small intervals which lead to a quick-rising mixture as the ingredients react. Soon a wall of chatty rhythms is sweeping us from the ground and rising us up into a view-point of drums and synthesiser. ITherapy is a hypnotic and subtle number that also contains immense sonic pressure.
An echoing bass drum rhythm strikes forward with snaps that reverberate and bounce on close walls. 3 To 4 brings on a series of rhythms that layer across one another in looping sections. The percussion builds with new sleek dimensions that gradually prize open the oyster. Within is a fleshy bass line that succulently awaits. Once the work is presented in its entirety, we're left with a choppy beat-fest that's sauced to the brim with deep and scrappy bass.
You can follow Alexis Vogel on Soundcloud
Find music from IT Recordings on Bandcamp
Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.