The best records of June 2016

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Black Merlin — Hipnotik Tradisi 2xLP [Island of the Gods]
George Thompson recorded one of the most mysterious records of last time. He spent some time experimenting with traditional Gamelan ensemble on Bali, listening and recording bamboo flutes, legendary kendang and bonang. There are a lot of percussions on album, it sounds like we’re in the ritual mass, holding breath listening to every sound of its great sacrament. Black Merlin also added variations of drone music, slow techno, downtempo to the pot. Get ready to a long thoughtful journey. Thank to Balinese connection Daniel Mitchell this work was brought to life.

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Body Sculptures — A Body Turns To Eden LP [Posh Isolation]
First word combination that came to my mind about this release is «five friends of Northern Electronics and Posh Isolation». Danish-Swedish friendship in dark grey tones. It attracts as a magnet, leads into a labyrinth. Each member of the band has individual merits in experiments with power electronics, ambient, techno, industrial, noise and drone. One of them is Puce Mary who released beloved Spiral LP. You will be blown away with dry Scandinavian aura of inner experiences. Music sounds intimate. It’s a private story. Sound structures got bodies.

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Ihor Tsymbrovsky — Come Angel 12″ [Offen Music]
This release is strongly connected to appearance of Tsymbrovsky’s music in my life. Vladimir Ivkovic introduced me to this underground Ukrainian musical hero, we tried together with Vladimir to find a copy of the only one released cassette of Ihor in Ukraine. And we did it through another Ukrainian project, Foa Hoka, that I saw once playing live. At the time of digging of the cassette and any info about Tsymbrovsky I felt in love with his voice, enigmatic, alien. Come Angel sounds like a prayer, comprehensive and at the same time is so dear, warm like a mother’s lullaby. Beauty and mystery of Ukrainian soul, full of ancient traditions and rituals of nature — you can hear it in these compositions. You can understand your traditions better after introducing to others. Thank you Vladimir for bringing this fantastic piece of Ukrainian contemporary art back to life.

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Various Artists — Moon Faze Sun Gaze II, III 12″ [Multi Culti]
Multi Culti guys continue their futuristic MFSG saga with second and final third episode. Lots of our favourite artists took part in it. It starts with stadium athletic house anthem with lasers and portals. Red Axes continue story with turbid synth cocktail, then Dreems with stiff bouncing groove, Australians Baha & Murray with their firm muscular techy beats. Nicola Cruz opens next record with Pagano, slow funky mixture of Grace Jones and tropical samples. Zongamin and Crowdspacer turn into Arabian-like cosmic guitar sound and morning trance while Manfredas bombards us with his trippy slow house. Fantastic trip, you can even purchase the whole set of three 12″s within a printed Multi Culti tote bag.

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Bartosz Kruczynski — Baltic Beat LP [Growing Bin]
It’s a big calm unknown universe with silent fields covered with fog, deers are drinking water from creeks, sun is rising, birds are signing is a safe place. The mood is very light, a bit melancholic, these sounds makes you look back to the past. Bartosz Kruczynski, who released music on Transatlantyk and Emotional Response under different monikers, created elegant powerful story on Baltic Beat album, it’s a music for deep thinking, mental recovering and meditation. Thank you Bartosz and Basso!

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Wolf Muller & Cass — The Sound Of Glades LP [International Feel]
The Sound Of Glades echoes with Baltic Beat album. It has the same mood. Feeling of cold morning in a dreamy forest. Jan Schulte attracts your attention with his sophisticated percussion arrangements. I was blown away when heard Miyazaki testpress from Arne in Amsterdam — dreamy, delicate work, it’s modern Moments In Love. And now after hearing the whole LP, my fave is Aiolos — ultraviolet exotic vibe, perfect to drink ice tea :) Very natural and live sound. Early Enigma. Bliss.

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Various Artists — That’s A Steal! #2 12″ [That's A Steal]
Label curator Lipelis brought a bunch of edits from his friends on the second instalment of That’s A Steal series: afrodisco banger from Sputnik, Soviet groove chill-out from Holkin & The Papers, Rune Lindbaek-like oriental guitar-driven edit from Giulio DJ and sunny pop-rock piece from Shiny Boots & Krlow. The first 12″ last year was a hit. Warm groove, live instruments, twisted rhythms, a bit of Soviet charm and the whole mood of the second That’s A Steal! echoes with Lipelis’ own DJ style: it’s adventurous and it’s a proper soundtrack for a good damn party :)

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Ruutu Poiss — Kiiged 12″ [Levels]
First met Ruutu because of Martin Joela, who sent me link to the shop, where he was selling one of the first Poiss’ releases on Pets Records. My favourite Mango is on that particular release. Two years later I stumbled upon new experiment from Estonian talent. This time it’s released on Levels, where we already noticed other legendary musicians from the same country — Ajukaja & Andrevski. Both tracks on Kiiged are well-made vintage from early 90s. There are soft bass, romantic of sunrise, something nostalgic and jagged, a bit illogical but warm house sounds in the first track. While Noad sounds more like a song-opener for some festival morning or like a theme for superhero Nintendo game. I call it sea-house or dolphin-house. It’s aesthetically, deep and it rages.

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Various Artists — Valgusesse: 8 Shiny Tracks From Estonian Radio Archive LP [Frotee]
The best compilation of the summer atm. You could hear before just a few bands from it before. Frotee boys dug gold deep in the Estonian radio archives. There are tender like a coconut milk soft rock Kui Mu Korval Kaid from Salamander, sunny and nostalgic jazz funk Fiesta from Sven Kullerkupp and fantastic Kraftwerk cover from Tornaado. 9 tunes full of moon swimming in a night sea.

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LL — Ombu 12″ [Bushes]
Kevin Lucacs aka LL is a member of hot Aiwo rec crew. On this debut Bushes 12″ Kevin showed his talent as a producer. There are three versions of fresh, ringing, full of breakbeats house-carnivore Ombu. Hey guys, it’s true jungle and crazy rhythm of natives, be careful! My fave version is Zoto — techno-ritual stuff hot like a incandescent damask.

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Boy Harsher — Yr Body Is Nothing LP [DKA]
Boy Harsher are my new favourites. It’s their debut album, previous EPs sounded perfect also. You feel sensuality right from the nipples on the its cover. Then it’s transformatting into Jae Matthews cold imposing vocals. August Muller creates atmosphere, rhythm, knocking minimal synth, tenacious EBM kicks or suspense truce. Intonation, grace of this band create an isolated empire. They are recognizable and they can touch, evoke your dark, amazing thoughts. And it’s beautiful when you’re into the miraculous and enveloping cocoon Jae’s vocals, sinking deeper into the unknown pleasures.

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Dan Lissvik — Midnight LP [Smalltown Supersound]
It’s a second album of Dan Lissvik in eight years. There are 8 tunes and you can feel the power and gravity of the whole record right in the first one called M. Dan found new ways and methods to sound interesting, he has something to say. I’m impressed with volume of the sound and different point of view on disco rock. Track called H won my heart, seriously.

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Powder — Afrorgan 12″ [Born Free]
Japanese princess of non-obvious house Powder is back. B-side of a new 12″ sounds like a continuation of last year debut Spray: trippy, monotonous with out-of-control loops. But the A-side is different: it sounds like a sun came out of the cloud while it was raining. It’s much lighter, with fun melodies, wet beats and percussions like bird wings. It runs round and round.

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Various Artists — Murray CY Edits LP [Knekelhuis]
I’m a fan of both label and podcast from Knekelhuis and I just can’t stand from comments about this LP. There is an appetizing selection from Murray CY and three tracks are edits of cult industrial band Die Form. The record bag with such compilation will open doors of any DJ booth at good EBM/electro party for you.

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Edit Service — Special Delivery 12″ [Edit Service]
I’m a Cliche are constantly releasing free edits from the best musical heads on their Soundcloud for ages. The time has come to fix it: Cosmo Vitelli opened sub-label called Edit Service with Red Axes and Rouge Mecanique edits 12″. Impressive experiments on the edge of synth, new wave, synth pop with colourful Italian flavour. I recommend.

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Karamika — Untitled EP [Neubau]
Brutalism in music, motto of Neubau on Soundcloud sounds even more decisively after current release from Gordon and George. You can add ritualism in music to it. Story of Karamika’s sketches called «tons» started on ESP Institute, here we have continuation of the saga under numbers 13, 14 and 15. There are slowed EBM, mix of electro-techno and even something called krautno. Guys continue their experiments, look forward to hear next chapters of their thriller!

Words Sasha Tessio & Artem Super Ikra
Illustrations Sasha Tessio