A round up of sounds we've been enjoying across the past month or so. Anything goes be it new, old, strange, fast or slow. We mix up genres from '70s jazz to '90s ambient to drum and bass and techno. We also delve deep into the VLSI music collection and dust off a few gems from the past - hope you find something nice here for your listening pleasure!
Overlook : Smoke Signals (UVB-76)
If you find yourself hankering after a dose of Photek or DJ Krust or longing for the days when London pirate radio played nothing but firing, rolling breaks then look no further than this. Overlook produce a deep, dark and dusty d&b sound - with sub bass creeping around humid forest floors surrounded by mystic samples and spooked reverb.
Elephant Road : Various Artists (Candela Rising)
A really solid compilation of dark, technical electronic music dedicated to Amanda Moss, founder of legendary London club Corsica Studios, who has tragically passed away from a rare form of ovarian cancer. Some excellent tracks can be found here including polished trance / techno from Kangding Ray alongside blistering thumpers from Headless Horseman, Manni Dee and many more. All proceeds from the album will be donated to Target Ovarian Cancer.
Captain Ganja and The Space Patrol : Tradition (Bokeh Versions)
Bokeh Versions reach deep into UK dub history, unearthing a fine reissue of experimental cosmic vibes. Tradition definitely floats around the outer reaches of dub weirdness and is full of spacey sounds, wonky atmospherics and blunted oddities - guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
Richard Crandell & Masumi Timson : Pacific Bridge (Nature Bliss)
Time for some meditative relaxation. Pacific Bridge has been a go to album recently for some calming, peaceful sounds. Featuring a unique combination of African instrument Mbira and traditional Japanese Koto, this is the type of music you want to hear whilst bathing in a Japanese hot spring surrounded by forest.
Billow Observatory : II Plains / Patterns (Azure Vista Records)
Whilst we are in ambient, laid back mode you may wish to wrap your ears around this rather lovely album from Detroit's Jason Kolb (Auburn Lull) and Denmark's Jonas Munk (Manual) who have been producing together as Billow Observatory for over a decade. The results are achingly beautiful and mesmeric - a tranquillised shoegaze soundtrack to accompany warm sunsets or dew laden mornings.
Syzygy : Morphic Resonance (Rising High)
One from the VLSI vaults and an album that's haunted us since 1994 when it was released. Back then the entire world seemed to be bathing in ambience - Mixmaster Morris and Rising High Records would even proclaim 'You're going home in a fucking ambience', Berwick Street market stunk of joss sticks and there was a whole heap of exciting and original music being released. Syzygy kindly list the pieces of equipment they used to make this on the LP sleeve including: Akai S1000, Waldorf Microwave, EMU Morpheus, Korg MS10, Korg Wavestation, Roland Super Jupiter, DX21, Kawai K4, Korg M1 and the trusty Atari ST. Morphic Resonance stands the test of time pretty well and tracks like Out of The Silent Planet still send chills down our old spines. Well worth a few more listens after all these years.
Miles Davis : On The Corner (Columbia)
A piece of wax we've kept on reaching for across the past few weeks. It was critically panned on release in 1972, too far ahead of it's own time to be appreciated. Using pioneering cut and paste tape editing techniques , On The Corner is the result of hours of improvisation around one chord from a rotating band of musicians. With a focus on repetition rather than melody this is cited by many as the precursor to hip hop, electronica, jungle and post-rock.
Jon Brooks : Autres Directions (Clay Pipe Music)
The Clay Pipe Music aesthetic is just fantastic. With artwork from label owner Frances Castle, each release is as beautifully packaged as the next. Here we find Jon Brooks composing an ode to villages in rural France, building atmospheres from manipulated field recordings and adding subtle electronics. He even goes as far as playing back his studio creations through speakers in different environments, such as country roads and disused barns, re-recording the output for added environmental effect. The Clay Pipe back catalogue is well worth exploring if you've not come across the label before.