on Thursday, 20 May 2010
Dronea Dronea have been banging on about Forest Swords for a very long time, way before people slapped bizarre new genre's on their sound, whether that be "Chillwave" "Hypnagogic Pop" or "Glo Fi", the truth be told Forest Swords owe more to Burial that what I believe the aforementioned terms to mean. As such i steered clear of the genre as I didn't massively love the Swords, though they are finally growing on me.

Label mates Rangers on the other hand hit all the right buttons, the music is chilled, it glows and whilst maybe not quite hit a state of hypnagogia it is certainly early evening, summer music. Everything about it is just fantastic, the bedroom-esque production, the not quite perfect EQ and the ability to stay the right side of both cheese and funk with those oh so rubbery bass lines.

The best way to describe the music would probably be to imagine what people in the late 80's/ early 90's imagined the music of today or even what the future in general would be like, it has a strong nostalgic feel, some would say like peering into someone elses half remembered memories, fuzzy around the edges and missing clarity and complete sense. I can't help but think of Deloreans and Back to the Future 2 for some reason.

Suburban Tours is an album that shouldn't work but strangely does, quite instantly loveable and full of shelf life. Along with the excellent Bear Creak, laid back jazz funk bass to make Howard Moon week at the knees, Out Past Curfew, through Woodland Hills, Ross Downs to the aptly named Bel Air are simply genius, like Ducktails discovering the thumb of the Mighty Boosh's Hitcher. Very Highly Recommended, sure to be battling it out with Four Tet, Frank Bretschneider, Counterspark and hopefully the Fun Years for my album of the year.

What Boomkat Said :
*Another unfathomably great transmission from the mighty Olde English Spelling Bee - compressing a world of hazy 1980's pop edits and television broadcasts on one dense, oddly unsettling LP - so good* Rangers aka Joe Knight sits us in the passenger seat for another incredible cruise around the grey interzone of 1980's suburbia on this, his excellent debut LP release. 'Suburban Tours' was inspired by his move from the outskirts of his native Dallas, Texas, to a rainy San Francisco, where his loneliness grew into eleven tracks of pop-inspired, avant-smudged melancholia. The obvious comparison point is James Ferraro or Ariel Pink and their expressions of white American solitary poplife, but the tape editing processes and drained 80s funk of these tracks gives 'Suburban Tours' it's own autistic aura. Knight draws on the foggy memory of records by Steely Dan, Weather Report and Prefab Sprout, assembling a degraded sheen of 80s funk that's generally not found among many of his fellow Hypnagogic explorers. The uncomforting factor comes to light when his edits bunch into looped cul-de-sacs, like we're exploring the landscaped terrain of some gated community and the road/tape inexplicably folds into itself, we feel like we should be moving forward, wanting to get out of there, but we're were not getting anywhere. Perhaps this is his take on the stultifying nature of American middle-class suburban life? Or English, for that matter. Either way, the effect is oddly moving, blending the neon evening glow of an inner-city night drive with tones of a greyer, and more insipid suburban landscape. Limited copies - not to be missed.

Read full review of Suburban Tours - RANGERS on Boomkat.com ©
on Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Last years Weather and Worn was a key record in shaping my musical year, irresitable droney experimentalism in bite size pieces, impossible not to listen to again and again. And although he boasts a large back catalogue and impeccable taste as head of 12k and Line i've yet to find anything by him that's quite matched up to Weather and Worn's magical warmth, until ironically now with the coldly entitled "Snow (Dusk, Dawn)".

Another masterpiece much in the same manner as the aforementioned, inspired by the late winter snow of 2009 and part of a multimedia project that you can read about below.

The way he combines surface noise with dreamy rotating drones is near perfect as the track rotates and swells gently never straying too far from the early sounds but developing enough to keep the interest whlist still not forcing its way to the forefront, perfect music to relax or read to. The kind of outcome you'd expect should Jana Winderen have bumped into either Collin Olan or Rutger Zuydervelt during their respective experiments with ice but ten times better.

What The Label Said :
please note: Snow (Dusk, Dawn) will only be available during the opening night of Taylor Deupree's Unseen photography show in Tokyo on April 15th. Any copies remaining from this night will then be available in 12k's online shop on a first-come-first-serve basis. About a month following the opening of Unseen the musical portion of this edition will be made available through our digital distribution network.

Transience, ephemerality. There is beauty in things that don’t last. Taylor Deupree’s Snow (Dusk, Dawn), a multimedia project incorporating sound and photography, is based around 63 photographs taken with expired polaroid film. This particular film produces images cast with other-worldly blueish hues and almost immediately begin to fade; losing color, to deep browns, and then finally, within 24 hours after being shot, to complete black.

Deupree’s work is often inspired by nature, particularly the winterscapes near his home and studio in rural New York. With the polaroid film in hand, which he knew would capture only a fleeting image, he shot images during the first heavy snowfall of the winter of 2009, at dusk, in the setting sun; nothing was to last, the snow, the image, the day. The next morning, barely at sunrise, he set out again to finish the film, in a dawn that wasn’t going to last.

As quickly as he could, following each photo session, Deupree scanned the polaroid prints, capturing the first white snow in ghostly blue before the pictures faded to black. Each of these scanned images is printed and displayed next to its original, black polaroid counterpart in the package along with the cd. Each copy of this edition of 63 is thus rendered unique, each with a different print and polaroid.

For the music portion of the project there is also contrast, transience, and decay. A fragile melodic loop, distressed by surface noise, struggles to keep its repetitive flow over a quiet and languid 18 minutes as it subtly, but constantly, loses ground and eventually becomes fragmented and falls away amongst the elements that surrounded it.

Snow (Dusk, Dawn) captures the essence of what much of Deupree’s work is about: imperfection, time, and memory. He uses both high- and low-tech means of creating rich works that scrape away at the surface of digital sterility. Avoiding the con- trolled manipulation offered by computers he prefers natural and unpredictable processes to add depth and texture to this work. Outdated film, cheap cameras, dust and leaking light effect his photographs while guitars, found percussion, old analog synthesizers and recordings of falling snow provide the soundtrack to a moment in time that comes and goes like dawn.

This edition is being presented at the NADiff Gallery in Tokyo, Japan on April 15th as part of Deupree's Polaroid photography show, Unseen.

The edition contains: 3" CD - Original Polaroid print - Color print of pre-faded Polaroid image - Letterpress card.

A PDF file of the entire edition can be viewed HERE.
Frank Bretschneider, a chance discovery following a return to the wonderful Raster Noton Unun Series,(the name of the series derives from the greek atomic numbers of the chemical elements 111–119 in the periodic table)care of Aoki Takamasa.

The music of Frank Bretschneider would probably have not been too appreciated by myself maybe even 9 months ago but as i find myself more and more drawn to the experimental side and ambient dub the deep, thudding glitchy beats are a delight to the ears. Very much like label mates SND's Atavism, their is little melody as such, at least in a conventional manner, instead electronic stabs, skitters of interference and wasp like hums and zips.

Compared to 2007's almighty Rythym, EXP takes a slow start not really kicking in until half way through track 4, namely, b.l.u.e., polylog, node, from there on in it's nothing short of exceptional, tracks 6 through 9 in particular, sure to appeal to fans of Raster Noton, SND and Atom TM.

What Boomkat Said :
Raster Noton's rhythmic auteur, Frank Bretschneider, presents his first album in three years, a "music-visual project based on the idea that fine art should attain the abstract purity of music". 'EXP' is an attempt to assimilate the qualities of music, namely rhythm, movement, tempo, mood, intensity and compositional structure within the visual aspect. The music for the project is arranged from an array of generated and selected waveforms sourced from pure electricity, magnetism, light and other radiation. These sounds inform the visual animations, paralleling their changes in frequency, intensity and shape, attempting to exactly reproduce the audible occurences. Of course, that's pretty hard to grasp without seeing the animation so we'll just concentrate on the music. The album is divided between 35 tracks, each ranging between 13 seconds and nearly 3 minutes. Living up to his reputation as a master digital craftsman, Bretschneider uses his abilities to sculpt cochlea engulfing bass tones and ultra-visceral hi's, occasinally arriving at moments where he creates the illusion of 3D electro-acoustic environments with spectacular depth perceptions. Between these hyperreal scapes and his avant B-boy beats this is a special album that should warrant repeat listens for those who really want to explore every nook and cranny of his artificial spaces. Very highly recommended

Read full review of EXP - FRANK BRETSCHNEIDER on Boomkat.com ©