The best records of June 2017

So what to expect in records report of June: Vlek, PRR! PRR!, I’m A Cliche, Stroom, Berceuse Heroique, Power Station, Offen Music, Fuego International, Mothball. Epicness from Leo James, no false move from Ziggy & Co, the sophisticated comeback of Simon Hold, dynamite album from Low Jack, long-awaited edits from Grisha Nelyubin and more.

Simon Hold — NT 7″ [Vlek]

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Mysterious 7″ from Ewald Dupan’s Instagram materialised on Vlek. «Quality above quantity» motto is about Simon Halsberghe production. Maybe you heard his excellent collaborative cover of Blondie’s Glass Heart with Phantom from 2011. And the current 7″ is another level. Extra experimental Belgian label Vlek is focused on local artists and perfectly crafted letterpress designs. A-side is an abstract Arabian melody based on a curious combination of bass and multi-layered beats. It creates tension and feeling of desert and alienation. The B-side is much darker, it’s a modern post-techno music with rasping synths and simple melody seems like coming out of some UFO. We’re dealing with talented musician here, so turn on alerts about any new release from Simon ;)

Buy it on Bandcamp or on Juno:

B Ball Joints — Blue Boy Joints LP [Prr! Prr!]

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The label and projects of these two musical hooligans, provocateurs-post-postmodernists, unrestrained experimenters, rushing at frenzied speed on the punk way never leaves my field of attention. David Coquelin and Fregant Cloarec, these two Frenchmen have pure psilocybin extract mixed with the most inverted fantasy in the world in their bloodstreams. They can record podcast glued from millions of samples mixed on nuclear essence of everything you want — from classic French chanson to crazy breakcore details. And they will pour liquor of freestyle, football commentator’ speeches and anything else into this cocktail. If the music what you like is a field in some computer shooter, these guys are running around with rocket launchers while others are hiding with sniper rifles. Need to mention also sort of «Trinity» involved in PRR!PRR! — Clara! of course, goddess of reggae ton and Latin rhythms. Blue Boy Joints is a crazy LP-shooter, created by master of reincarnations, musical adventurer with a lot of ideas — Low Jack ака Erwan Tarek. 12 tracks-samurais, breaks, techno, noise and industrial up to hardcore. With a twist of humour! Bravo!

Buy it on Bandcamp or on Juno:

Blind Rape — Edit Service 3 12″ [I'm A Cliche]

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One of the Fresh Bosco Festival highlights was DJ set of Blind Rape aka Grisha Nelyubin, dark mid-tempo bangers seamlessly mixed, with all sorts of strange sounds and effects, warmed up things perfectly before our set. Last year Grisha as part of Odopt duo had #1 record in our annual top. And last months he had debut release on Edit Service. The opener, Broghunt, leaves no questions. Rapewave is a style. The Decorum is a dark pagan disco splashing psychedelic guitar poison. Slow chugger Long journey to Liman was successfully tested on the Black Sea coast. And Safety Instructions crowns this totally Special Delivery so we can easily forecast the repress!

Cybe — Tropisch Verlangen LP [Stroom]

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The rich variety of Belgian musical delicacies, mostly unknown before even for diggers, continues to enchant with diversity of colors. Ziggy Devriendt, restless captain of Stroom, opens the borders of horizon, compiled tracks of mystical artist Cybe. According to the legend, he spent his early years in a trips to Java islands and Bali, visited Indonesia, India and Thailand. He released 3 cassettes when he came back home, from which the compilation is made. And there is a time difference in 30+ years between these two events. Maybe the biggest excitement for me was an abundance of ethnic ornaments, expressed with genuine, not vulgar, virtuoso authenticity. It was a first half of 80s and Cybe was creating such a complex melodies, labyrinths of gamelan’s mysteries, that it is hard to believe that it’s the work of one person. Here the sacred rituals of the admirers of Trimurti merged in dance with the grandeur of Thai New Age. This deeply meditative comp is highly recommended as an example of incredible, bottomless possibilities of the man.

Buy it on Bandcamp or on Juno:

Leo James — Event Horizon 12″ [Berceuse Heroique]

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The combination of Leo James and Berceise Heroique instantly gives ground for thought. Leo’s abyss of ideas distilled through outlandish filter of Gizmo’ label — and I already feel your heart beating faster than it was on your first date! Three tracks, three obvious experiments of gifted musical surgeon. Why surgeon? Because Leo always sounds extra minimal using just sounds he needs to create a masterpiece. Mathematically precise approach, maybe he was the best in geometry in his school days. A bit of piano, well-trained beat, tender sax, funky female vocals like from Tarantino movies and of course firm bassline — it’s ingridients of The Surface. Event Horizon is a 10 min swim contest where James’ bass delights are well spiced with bells. You can add the videos of wild nature to it where the cheetah catches up with the antelope in slow motion. The final is even longer, almost 20 min, fractal ambient on «How the Earth was born» theme, reminds me Ingleton Falls.

Dane//Close — The Miniature Industrial Complex 12″ [Power Station]

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There are a lot of good news coming from Australia and Power Station/Power Cutz have all their stuff labelled as «100% JOY». All its releases are on the next level, no blank or defective. By the way Dane//Close have a sense of humour. In 2015 he had cassette «This Grey Unpleasant Land» and in 2016 his EP on Präsens Editionen was called «Life Is Killing Me». But in 2017, everything changed, and The Miniature Industrial Complex is out. My fave here is Ancient Rome — slow, but wiry, biting industrial, with no chaos of sounds. All other tracks are made on the same level of sophistication, new beat is mixed with noise here, fat-free EBM rushing on a chariot with gladiators there. Very stylish, very good.

Beck, Nash, Reyenga — Metaclaw 12″ [Offen Music]

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Star duo Sombrero Galaxy keeps exploring space of sound this time with Ralf Beck from Der Räuber Und Der Prinz. And Vladimir Ivkovic’ Offen Music imprint like a perfect place for it. The original Metaclaw track is a slow-building 16 minute-long odyssey with emotional rolling melodies, kraut synths, shamanic percussions evolving into the perfect warm-up record setting atmosphere right. Gordon Pohl, man behind cult Kunstkopf, slowing things even more, cutting and pasting one rhythm loop over the echoed synth melody and sprinkling it with hi-hats. Gilb’R from Versatile delivers one more stellar remix on the B-side turning original into the perfect tropical storm: start point — catapulting bass, destination point — jungle.

Too Smooth Christ — Cleopatra’s Secret Diary 12″ [Fuego International]

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Too Smooth Christ is a nickname of Parisian musician Christophe Le Galle, part of Glass Figure duet. Cleopatra’s Secret Diary name sounds too self-confidently. Remembering last year’s debut record from Hysteric, Summer In Cairo, then the colorful Egyptian trace is already convincingly drawn. The centerpiece here is Cleopatra’s Bath, passionate and hot, warming water to 37 degrees. Muscle playing disco-bathhouse, squeezing all the juices. Subtle, tender and subborn Crepuscule Over Heraklion, astral disco track is made specially for sunrise dancing, opening for the god Ra. The track named after poisonous viper Vipera Aspis is sort of drama in electro style where Cleopatra is turning into inexorable Milena, cutting enemies into salad.

Deca — Alkaid LP [Mothball]

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Experimental musician Federico De Caroli is behind the moniker Deca. He’s called alchemist in Italy according to Discogs, his early works are influenced by Jean-Michelle Jarre and Tangerine Dream. George Hysteric decided to re-release Deca’s music, last year he releases Synthetic Lips album (original came out in 1987 on independent VideoRadio), and this year he pampered the sophisticated audience with the release of the first LP — Alkaid. Easy-going, dreamy sketches of synth are coloured in cosmic tones. Minimal space melodies retranslating to our ears the messages from distant planets. I do like such modern classic.

Words Artem Ikra (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9), Sasha Tessio (1, 7).
Illustrations Turbo Mamba