Charles Barabé – ébauches

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[ Jeunesse Cosmique, 2017 ]

Another one from O Canada, this time by Montreal syntesist Charles Barabé, who goes more adventurous and experimental than his last year’s effort Les dernières confessions on two side-long pieces, throwing MIDI vocals, jagged rhythms and modern classical aesthetics into a blender, resulting in an ADHD-addled soundscapes that is at the same time pefectly musical and completely disorienting. Cut-up samples jump up all over the place while a piano plays a simple melody in the distance just to give way to some horns and xylophones. And the whole map changes every several seconds, while never losing the dynamic. How the hell does he do it!?

In case you considered this review tl;drhere’s a shorter and more concise opinion from the RYM user _nkb:

“what if Phillip Glass contributed avantgarde psuedo-rave music to the Age of Empires 1 Soundtrack?”

Make of that what you will. Age of Empires were fucking cool, and so is this EP. Recommended!

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Loto Retina – Fiction

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[ Orange Milk Records, 2017 ]

More crystalline internet musique concrete from the always boundary-bending label Orange Milk. Fiction is an ADHD infested mirror hall was constructed by the French glitch conoisseur Loto Retina. The album is yet another pristine labirynth of MIDI deconstructions, momentary microgenre outbursts and snippets of wordless vocals mixed with self governing rhythm patterns. With generative titles like “Canal Xylo Sat1” and “Tension Chrono” it reminds one of the cheerful randomness of Autechre, but Fiction is far more abstract than that: it’s more like a music making software using deep learning via neural networks to create electronic music. The effect is eerie, yet aesthetically pleasant. Sounds from the other side. Recommended!

Fire-Toolz – Drip Mental

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[ Hausu Mountain, 2017 ]

Angel Marcloid a.k.a. Fire-Toolz proves to be one the most devoted KAOSS EDGE fans with a totally crazy cybergrunge trip Drip Mental. With a cool death metal logo and even cooler album artwork (Windows XP background! Blue screen of death!! Bong!!!) the debut album by Fire-Toolz is a wonderful clusterfuck of ideas and melodies, easily crossing the lines between easycore techno and e d g y industrial electronics with who appears to be SammyClassicSonicFan on the vocals in some of the tracks. Drip Mental is, well, for the lack of the better word – mental. In a good, whatthefuckamilisteningtoandwhydoiloveit!? sort of way. Recommended, you post-web weirdos!

Amnesia Scanner & Bill Kouligas – LEXACHAST

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[ Self-released, 2016 ]

I have a special thing going on with Amnesia Scanner. Ever since hearing their radio play “Angels Rig Hook” in 2015, I feel like through them, I caught a glimpse. A glimpse of something terrible yet inevitable, each chilling line describing of a world yet to come. Amnesia Scanner’s new release, created in collaboration with PAN Records founder Bill Kouligas, is purely instrumental, but much more abrasive and industrial – and, therefore, abstract – in nature. Heavily modified wordless moans interfere with sombre, bass heavy droning melodies and occasional stray snippets of EDM raves, like the fragmented streams from an underground dance music party. It’s a difficult listen, definitely, but the incredibly meticulous sound design (also characteristic for similar atists, such as Arca or M.E.S.H.) really makes up for all the challenging stuff. Like a chrome maze. Recommended!

Faxada – Cohost

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[ Darlings Recordings, 2016 ]

Make Plunderphonics Great Again. Polish soundscapist Faxada proves that the playful and something anarchic nature of sound collages and plunderphonics can be combined with tech-bending psychedelic IDM to create thoroughly fascinating, thickly layered compositions that bring to mind the mood-shifting mastery of Ssaliva or Amnesia Scanner. Faxada, however, manages to be much more fun in the process – whereas the mentioned acts are more disorienting or austere, Cohost is injected with a quirky sense of humor, cleverly juggling samples and found snippets to resemble Gobby at times, with his broken beats and a tongue-in-cheek approach. Fun as fuckHighly recommended!

Foodman – Ez Minzoku

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[ Orange Milk Records, 2016 ]

The new era of hyperactive musique concrete is upon us, with Japan’s Foodman (sounds like a silly superhero’s name, doesn’t it?) using footwork as a blueprint for craaaazy sonic cut-ups that feel like being generated by a mad scientist’s computer which has gone mad itself. On Takahide Higuchi’s newest album the “footwork” aspect appears to be stripped to its raw basics, sometimes even abandoned completely, reduced only to its most skeletal structures and rhythms, mostly becoming a strange maze of warped samples, odd time signatures, spoken word snippets (both sped up and slowed down) and colorful splashes of synth wizardry. Ez Minzoku is utterly weird – like a garden gnome making dance music, as someone on Bandcamp pointed out.

Angel 1 – Rex

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[ Beer on the Rug, 2015 ]

Do you have ADHD? No? Then Angel 1‘s newest album Rex must be like ADHD in the aural form for those not suffering from the disorder. While all Angel 1 releases are frantic Internet Musique Concrete collages, Rex must be the most frantic and tightly packed to date. Always jumping all over the map, never settling on a single idea, it’s the perfect representation of the hyper-acceleration of the modern networks, it’s often overhwelming and downright tiring, but just like with many popular websites you just keep listening (browsing) despite the fact you’re morbidly tired. Autotune, glitches, weird samples, MIDI tunes, you name it – Rex is like a musical equivalent of Internet chum, yet it’s still very compelling, even addictive, to keep listening and absorbing. You’re trapped in a machine. There is no escape. Just blend in. Everything will be fine.