[ 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;dr, here’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!
[ Where To Now?, 2017 ]
Dark Secret World by the Varsovian sound explorer Lubomir Grzelak a.k.a. Lutto Lento is a maze. An amazing maze, pardon the cringy play on words here. But seriously though, the newest album by the tireless sound miner who once ran the truly trailblazing Sangoplasmo label shows all the influences Lubomir went through to achieve his own sound. It’s part dub, part spoken word, part industrial and part experimental (experiental?) electronics that share the common trait of searching for the forbidden. The entire album feels like a big voodoo ritual, with names like “It’s A Horror And It’s A Wonder”, “Gyal a Devil” or “The Living Hell”, providing a skewed Caribbean atmosphere with every beat, but not leaving behind a strange sense of humor with grotesque spoken word samples and hints in the album cover, as if asking: can you spot the little, cartoonish devil in the otherwise dark, brutalist artwork? No easy questions, no easy answers. Highly recommended!
[ 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!
[ 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 fuck. Highly recommended!
[ Mik.Musik.!. / BDTA / Flesh & Brain, 2016 ]
The captcha codes. The simple words or phrases written in warped text in order to prevent computer algorithms from abusing different services, such as file storage systems. They became a target or ridicule, even getting memes centered around them, but also posed some unexpected deep philosophical questions, such as an eerie “are you human?”. 17 years after the release of The Matrix, reality is stranger than fiction, with the man becoming the President of the USA largely thanks to filter bubbles, bots and memes and the number of fake news sites proliferating to a degree no one can the bullshit from the truth. Czech musician Jakub Adamec plays on these sentiments, creating an album full of automated, fucked up dystopian technoid electronics ripe with plunderphonic experiments and speech synthesisers, like an evil James Ferraro making techno music. With its frenetic beats and a dusty, lo-fi atmosphere it creates an atmosphere of fear and alienation, the stand-out being “Take Me to the Light”, a hazy techno steamroller filled with bloodcurdling screams, like a Boiler Room party with a serial killer among the crowd. Are we human? Or are we just lines of code in a sophisticated simulation? 2016 seems more fucked up than ever before. And there’s still some 60 years to live. That’s pretty fucking terrifying. Recommended!
[ Mozdok, 2016 ]
Gazawat is the moniker of the solo drone/noise edavours of Warsaw resident and BDTA and Mozdok label honcho Michał Turowski. Imagine The Skaters hooked up on the imagery that fueled Vatican Shadow for years: terrorism, war atrocities, torture instead of armchair shamanism and you might be close: extremely hazy, lo-fi guitar & synth ambient soup mixed with snippets of news services and American armymen talking about their methods of torture in prisons such as Abu Ghraib. It’s a lo-fi alienation nightmare meeting plunderphonics for the first time, not an easy, but definitely a fascinating and unnerving listen, especially when you listen to the recordings from the actual waterboarding. Like watching an aftermath of a serious car accident: you know it’s atrocious, but you just can’t turn your head.
[ Not Not Fun, 2011 ]
2k11 was the last really great year for the weirdoes, reads one nostalgic post on the Last.fm of KWJAZ, a one-time wonder from San Francisco whose self-titled album, first released on tape (and immediately sold out) on Brunch Grouppe, only to be swiftly reissued on vinyl by the LA psych foundry Not Not Fun Records. And what a weirdo this KWJAZ dude is! (was?) The album seems to be constructed to escape any attempt at coherent description or genre association. It’s a gigantic hyper-hazy super-psychedelic mix-up of warped Kosmische Musik, stoned funk, cloudy jazz and fluid plunderphonics, shifting from one strange phase to another in a seamless flow that glues the two side-long compositions together. A really strange gem from five years ago. Highly recommended!