Starting autumn with 🤩 trance on Planet Euphorique, ☄️ mini-album from INIT, 🌿 jazz reissue on a new Austrian label, 🛢 techno from Osheyack and many more.
Various Artists – Antipodean Anomalies [Left Ear]
A very special compilation of Australian and New Zealand tunes made in the 1970s and 1980s from the deep-digging Left Ear label. There is a wide spectrum of sounds from mutant folk and dub to electro and post-punk. It opens with a unique combination of Estonian folk song and drum machines in ‘Karjapoisi Lugu’ by Olev Muska. Another favorite is an epic ‘Green Chaos’ by Helen Ripley-Marshall – a deep space ambient, tranquilizing number with crystal clear keys and violin.
INIT – Wildcard [Hivern Discs]
The duo of Benedikt Frey and Nadia D’Alo is back into our top since March 2015. Mini-album Wildcard is a fantastic record from start to finish, one of our fave on Hivern lately. According to the press release, the music here is a result of changing perspective after the duo’s move from small Darmstadt to Berlin metropolis. Tempo starts at comfortable 98bpm, synths building melodies and strong textures, acid lines and distorted vocals add grain to the picture. It’s very intriguing to enter these sound labirynths and finding an exit in it.
Big Zen – Key3 [Planet Euphorique]
Big debut from Jamie Enns aka Big Zen, another newcomer from the fertile Vancouver house scene. Planet Euphoriqe keeps approving its name here. The opener, ‘Big Trance’ hypnotizing with its dreamy percussion, then opening another dimension with a big beat. Perfect deep house journey continues in Weo, sunny bubbling number with big breaks. Two tracks on the flipside reloading the situation, adding new tones and demonstrating that house is not over, fresh mind can reimagine and create a powerful message with it.
Zenit – Straight Ahead [Edition Hawara]
This brilliant jazz record opens the new label from Vienna, founded by three friends including Julian Horn (“Hawara” is originally derived from the Yiddish word chawer and means “friend(s)”, “lover” or simply “guy” in Viennese dialect) and focused on re-issuing long-forgotten musical obscurities from Austria “that are local and quirky, yet also resonate beyond a particular place and time”. ‘Straight Ahead’ is one of the most hard-to-find Austrian jazz records, it was released originally in 1986. From the first notes of ‘Colours In My Head’, you feel the good vibe and fantastic musicianship of the band. The music here is an elastic mix of soul, pop, new age tones, real fun and life energy. Can’t pick a fave tune here, but the one from the B-side is probably the most famous, ‘Waitin’, it was included in the Customs podcast for us.
Nels Jenstad – Ship/Moondog [Fri Form]
A lovely 7” inch with a cool story behind. Nels had Swedish grandparents, but was living in the US. After his move from Minneapolis to California, he attended the Saddleback College where he enrolled in a class dedicated to electronic music. Together with other students, Nels recorded an album under the title Synthesis Ltd. Opening and closing it are two tracks written and produced by Jenstad himself. So it appeared on the current 7”. A sparse new wave with druggy keys and perfect vocals of Nels, its cold and slow flow attracts the attention.
Mr TC & Lo Kindre – The Storm [Neubau]
Glaswegian troop landed in Vienna, the result is sick. ‘The Storm’ sets the mood with its perfectly used acid, powerful EBM beat and echoing shots of sound. The slow moving techno in ‘The Waving Bridge’ excited even more, the space is invaded. Heap, the label boss, adds more drama firmly and sets extra time on the timer to detonate the dancefloor.
Antoine Kogut – Sphere Of Existence [Versatile]
After being in a band (Syracuse), Antoine Kogut tries to tell his own story in the debut album. In his own words “Sphere Of Existence” is an ode to the sensations and reveries that arouse. By mixing synthesizers, brass and vocals I try to reconcile repetition and improvisation, to arouse the unexpected in mechanics and comfort in the organic.” Antoine has a deep cultural background, he graduated from the conservatory and his father owned the legendary bookshop “Les Années Lumière” in Metz. The music on the “Sphere Of Existence” is a result of 9 months spent solo in the studio. Beautiful harmonies, the Sun and the Moon shining through it, warm feeling from the Kogut’s deep voice telling stories, brass and strings create a pure deep experience.
Linkwood – Fresh Gildans [Firecracker]
Oh my! The real goodness from Linkwood will spill on your brain as ultraviolet honey. The hybrid of house keys and electro rhythm in the title track sound fresh as ever on its 150bpm. While otherworldly ’Solar Panel’ on the B-side is another star in the Firecracker galaxy of cosmic music.
Various Artists – Kale Plankieren – Dutch Cassette Rarities 1981 – 1987 Vol.2 [Knekelhuis]
Last year, the first volume compiled by Mark Van De Maat was a revelation for us. This record is a continuation of the series and as heavy-loaded with the crazy Dutch music as the first volume. Tribal, experimental, DIY music from all over Netherlands. Some highlights are screwed industrial from Eric Toornend, mysterious ‘Trans Harmonic Dream’ by Frank Dulaart, an epic synth from Corneil Nies and dubby ‘Paris Tribe’ by Another.
Osheyack – Sadomodernism [Bedouin]
“Do you have weapons in your luggage?” Osheyack does.
MB Jones – Rok Spy [Drama]
“PAM & Zaltan from Antinote are pleased to introduce to you the first record on their new label, DRAMA. R.O.K. Spy is a collection of seven songs recorded in South Korea by former US agent M.B. Jones.” While some info from the press release sounds tongue-in-cheek, the music here is still the most interesting thing. Political pop-not-pop plays here with experimental the strange games. Beat flies and lands back, vocals is hiding behind the bass in some moments, fingers walking freely on keyboard. The curious record with a character.
Words Sasha Tessio