Motohiko Hamase – Intaglio
Studio Mule present a reissue of Motohiko Hamase’s Intaglio, originally released in 1986. With seven haunting, stylistically hard-to-pigeonhole compositions, Hamase drifts around new age worlds with howling wind sounds, gentle bass pickings, and discreet drums that mind remind listeners of the power of Japanese taiko percussions. Also, propulsive fourth-world-grooves call the tune and all compositions avoid a foreseeable structure. At large his albums seem to be improvised and yet are deeply composed. Music that works like shuffling through an imaginary sound library full of spiritual deepness, that even spreads, in its shaky moments, some profound relaxing moods. The release marks another highlight in Studio Mule’s mission to excavate neglected Japanese music that somehow has more to offer in the present age than at the time of his original birth.
Various – Elsewhere MMDLXXVI
Compiled by soFa, the new installment brings together eighteen artists across a range of musical paths. From the menacing crawl of Rony&Suzy’s opening cut to the voodoo-like tribal rhythms of Khidja’s “Embarking Once More, Upon That Dark Voyage” and the melted post-punk of Twoonky’s “Play Loud”, Elsewhere MMDLXXVI transverses a range of underground styles, as well as cultures and continents—as the label states, the compilation is a “double vinyl ticket to eleven engaging and evocative destinations.”
Nelson Of The East – Night Frames
Next up in Tartelet’s limited-edition series is renaissance man N.O.T.E. with “Night Frames” – a compilation of barrel-aged sounds for the warm nights ahead. N.O.T.E. is a new project by an already established artist who might be of Swiss or Italian origin, depending on who’s asking.The first release under his new name could be described as a mini concept album where different routes are explored, bringing N.O.T.E.’s musical diversity and capabilities to light. Starting with “Falsa Laudis,” N.O.T.E. takes the listener back to the 80s with clear references to Italian boogie and jazz-funk of that era. The track is warm, fat and sparkly, and best enjoyed with a cocktail in hand. Following this is the title track “Night Frames” – a bruk-jazz escapade not shy of elaborate Rhodes solos and filthy funk. The B-side opener moves further south: “Obaleyako” is fueled by tropical energy, mixing African percussions with soft piano chords. It’s weird, mysterious and red hot! Last but not least, N.O.T.E takes on the finest deep house sound with “En Route,” where endless layered melodies and percussion form the farewell. This is an ultra limited-edition release of 250 copies.
Strahinja Arbutina – Fox Venom
Fox Venom by Strahinja Arbutina, is a seismic force be reckoned. “Fox Venom” touches on deeper, hypnotic, yet uncharted territories paving the way for Deemonlover’s return, with a prolific “So Solid” interpretation on the original, inspired by the distant past of UK rave. “Teabagging Mystery” pronounces nocturnal moments of bedlam & mayhem, while “Drillin’” wades through shuffling techno undercurrents.
Lee Gamble – Koch
Weighing in at a massive sixteen tracks, there’s lots to explore in KOCH; from the placated thrum of “You Concrete”, to “Oneiric Contur”, which sounds like a series of sparse xylophone tones kept afloat in a sparse mist, shrill keys echoing and drifting about the fog. The liner notes for KOCH states that the LP approaches “music as projection, state, hallucination, an other place”, and it’s in moments like the churning, heartbeat-mimicking bass of “Yehudi Lights Over Tottenham” that this contention makes absolute sense. “Voxel City Spirals” makes it a mission to displace the rhythmic pulse of other tracks, flaring up in obtuse spasms like an angry bundle of swollen nerves. Only at one or two points throughout its duration does KOCH dip into a vacant, nauseous boredom – “Ornith-Mimik” invokes Rene Hell’s obtuse experiments in sound, but risks losing us in its muddled, whirring wind-chime thud.