New releases – April 2020 (2)

Alternate African Reality – Electronic, electroacoustic and experimental music from Africa and the diaspora (2CD & digital, Syrphe)

Alternate African Reality could be seen as a drastic improvement of 30.2, a compilation released in 2012. The CD included nine artists from Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Angola, Mauritius, South Africa, Réunion and Madagascar/France. But even if I was very happy with the result, I always thought I should do a deeper research, and another issue I faced was the fact that I didn’t manage to include any women in the project.

Alternate African Reality is musically diverse, including abstract but also beat-oriented music such as ambient, electronica, electroacoustic, noise, singeli, bass music, industrial hip hop, etc.

It includes 32 artists and bands from 24 African countries and the diaspora, and last but not least, 14 women are among those vibrant musicians and composers from South Africa, Nigeria, DRC (Congo), Lesotho, Angola, Morocco, Senegal, Mauritania, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, eSwatini (Swaziland), South Sudan, Ethiopia/Somalia, Cameroon, Egypt, Mozambique, Rwanda/Belgium, Algeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Réunion, Madagascar/France, Ghana/France, Tunisia : Sukitoa o Namau, Mash, Pö, Jako Maron, Robert Machiri, Cobi van Tonder, Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman, Shadwa Ali, Hibotep, Ibaaku, Emeka Ogbo, Chantelle Gray, Yao Bobby & Simon Grab, Catu Diosis and more ! [cdrk]


Yasuyuki Uesugi – I Deny Others Because My Heart Can’t Afford To Accept Others (digital, self-released)

Japanese artist Yasuyuki Uesugi plays some old school repetitive noise, somehow mechanical and mesmerising, listening to this album is like visiting the core of some gigantic machines. [cdrk]


Sooncrazy – Live at sanen sessions (digital, POTONG JARI)

Powerful harsh noise live session recorded at Kedampunk, in Denpasar (Bali). Not for the average tourist ! [cdrk]


SAABA – Inside out (digital, POTONG JARI)

Three tracks by Indonesian artist SAABA. The first piece’s beginning slowly starts with a dark loop on top of which layers of noise and crackles are being added step by step turning into noise, a crescendo that leads the listener where it suspected to go : a fantastic harsh noise climax. The second piece is made of  dark repetitive loops, ambient but sinister. The third piece is a classic harsh noise wall piece. [cdrk]


Dirar Kalash and David Birchall – Dynamisms (digital, al-bayān)

Palestinian composer and improviser Dirar Kalash spent several years in Europe, especially in the Netherlands and Germany to study and perform a lot of concerts, solo and with other improvisers. This album includes three tracks recorded with David Birchall (electric guitar) while Dirar, depending on the tracks improvises with electric guitars, violin, electronics or oud. Three tracks, three different atmospheres in the field of jazz, experimental and free improvised music. [cdrk]


Sharif Sehnaoui – Concave​/​Convex (digital, Sounds from the Corridor)

Well-known figure of the Lebanese free improv scene, founder of the yearly festival Irtijal together with improviser Mazen Kerbaj and the labels Al Maslakh and Annihaya, Sharif Sehnaoui recorded two new acoustic guitar pieces this month during the lockdown. [cdrk]


BEEATSZ v2.0999x – You Should Already Know Where This Is Going (minidisc & digital, self-released)

Turkish project BEEATSZ v2.0999x is hyper active as always : “recorded in Berlin, 45+ days into the block on life with logistic support of BUSS: Big & Ugly Soundsystem”, a sound system made to resist the harshest and noisiest music ever produced here.
Expect very short radical noisegrind tracks with a touch of industrial sometimes. [cdrk]


Midori Hirano – And I Am Here (digital, self-released)

Japanese artist Midori Hiran first published this album on Staaltape in 2014.
It mostly consists of short piano pieces, some mixed with field recordings from Europe and Japan and unlike some of her other releases contains almost no electronics.
Here slightly detuned piano creates intimate and ambient atmospheres, tiny postcards sent from some peaceful countrysides. [cdrk]


Sun Dawei – 現時之光 / Light From Now (digital, self-released)

Chinese composer Sun Sawei aka Sulumi presents two versions of an instrumental ambient electronica track, a bit pop, a bit melancholic. [cdrk]


Grisha Shakhnes – the lesser the water the firmer the jelly (digital, self-released)

Israeli composer Grisha Shakhnes aka Mites published three 20+ minutes pieces made of field recordings creating a minimalistic, eerie and sometimes oppressive atmosphere.
Two of the tracks have been recorded at home during the quarantine so rather than sounds of nature or urban traffic, expect more intimate sounds. [cdrk]


Li Nashao – L’intuition d’un devenir (cassette & digital, Senko Issha)

Improvised  electric guitar solo from Taiwan. Two live tracks, between dark free improv and noise, with a touch of space rock here and there. [cdrk]


Kamal Sabran – Obat Bunyi II (digital, self-released)

Malaysian composer Kamal Sabran presents the second part of his Obat Bunyi series.
Meditative ambient music where electronic and folk music blend. Malay and Indian instrumentations meet 1970s minimalistic and psychedelic music without falling deep into nostalgia or new age. Highly recommended. [cdrk]


Individual Distortion – 808acidgrind (digital, self-released)

Individual Distortion mixes various genres for years, from metal to harsh noise. This time as the album title tells it, acid music with cybergrind, hence, acidgrind as a new (?) genre. It starts with gentle acid techno that quickly becomes cybergrind. Interesting hybrid, Indonesia will never cease to surprise me ! [cdrk]


v.a. – Social Isolation (digital, Social Isolation)

“Created and compiled during the last week of March 2020, this compilation brings together the sound of artists in isolation creating music that’s reflective of our collective struggle during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Fifteen Indian ambient artists (mostly, a few tracks are rhythmical) : PhilterSoup, Corridors, Eashwar Subramanian, Coma Conscience, Swaroopa, Mallo, etc. [cdrk]


v.a. – Social Isolation II (digital, Social Isolation)

“This is the second edition of Social Isolation that was compiled during the first week of April 2020. The compilation brings together the sounds of various artists in confinement and quarantine who are creating music that’s reflective of our collective struggle during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Twenty Indian ambient artists and a pinch of ambient electronica and techno : Liquid Memoirs, Jayant Manchanda, Bidisha Das, Kaali, Manyu, Yidam and more. [cdrk]


Cenk Ergün & JACK Quartet – Sonare & Celare (digital, self-released)

D. Lippel say about this release : “Turkish-American composer Cenk Ergün writes music that achieves a hypnotic effect through masses of sound, repetition with subtle variation, and microtonality. Sonare & Celare are paired works written for the JACK Quartet that stand in opposition to one another. Sonare is mostly vigorous and loud while Celare is ethereal and soft. Despite the drastic contrasts between the two, both demonstrate Ergün’s fascination with delicate shadings of pitch and subtle shifts in phrase syntax that constantly reveal new vantage points on limited material.”
And there is nothing more to tell, this is a brilliant recording !


hashtag_blacknoise – SANS CoV​-​2 (digital, self-released)

One 27 minute piece by South African noise artist hashtag_blacknoise. Distorted vocal (I suppose a talk by Cyril Ramaphosa), distorted ambient and looped atmospheres. Perfect sound track for a dystopian sci-fi film telling about a pandemic… Oh, wait ! [cdrk]


Sulk Station – Dheere / Deewarein (digital, self-released)

Based in India, Sulk Station is a duo made of Tanvi Rao (vocals) and Rahul Giri (from Nepal, if I’m not mistaken, and living in India), their minimalist production are a mix of ambient electronica and synthpop with traces of Indian classical music. [cdrk]


Thylasine – weight  (digital, self-released)

Thylasine is a duo based in Cape Town, they play music based on cello, electric guitar, electronics and voice. They are heavily influenced by the new wave and post-punk scene from the 1980s, sometimes taking the most abrasive part of it. This new piece, between ambient and new wave is simply fantastic, sad, emotional, if I may give my humble opinion. [cdrk]


Government Alpha / scum – Live At OTOOTO Collaboration with Government Alpha (digital, self-released)

Collaboration between Japanese 1990s noisician Government Alpha and 2010s noisician scum. [cdrk]


Aragorn23 – Selected modular atmospheres vol. 2 (digital, self-released)

“As with my first volume of modular atmospheres, the pieces gathered here represent snapshots of longer sonic spaces created for inner travels.

Each track is composed using generative techniques on a modular synthesiser – once I’ve created a musical space with knobs, buttons and patch cables, I leave the system running, typically for several hours, while I sit with headphones on and allow myself to drift off.

Several of the pieces in this collection were created in the shadow of Covid-19 and the lockdown in South Africa; creating and listening to them has helped me tremendously with remaining grounded and calm. I hope you benefit from them too, in whatever way.

The final track, Lockdown, contains a rather beautiful poem by Franciscan monk, Brother Richard Hendrick. The hour-long mix was created as a soundtrack for my friend Neil’s Covid-19 virtual art exhibition, which you can read more about at 212 Productions.

This collection of music is totally free, but if you do wish to pay for it, all proceeds will be donated to local food outreach organisations that serve meals to vulnerable people.” [Aragorn23]


DJ Die Soon – Kappa Slap (vinyl & digital, Morphin Records)

Japanese beat maker DJ Die Soon join force with some great names of the Ugandan and Kenyan radical hip hop and death metal scene : Ecko Bazz, MC Yallah, Lord Spikeheart, as well as British MC Infinite Livez and Japanese MC and spoken word artist MA.
Here is finally the result of some great solo sets and collaborations performed in Jinja (Uganda) during Nyege Nyege Festival 2019 : electronic experimentations, industrial hip hop, distorted dark hop, spoken words, death metal growling, all combine to create this unique LP. [cdrk]


Don & The Multiverses – Up in the air. Suites (digital, self-released)

Don & The Multiverses is an ambient folk musician from Bangkok. This new album includes four tracks made of looped and processed electric guitar, harmonica, and sometimes distant voices. Don & The Multiverses explores ambient and drone atmosphere that could perfectly be featured in a surreal or horror film. [cdrk]


Wukir Suryadi – @home#01 (digital, self-released)

One track composed with a Thai jaw’s harp (pretty similar to the Vietnamese ones) by Indonesian instrument maker Wukir Suryadi (Senyawa). [cdrk]


Ash Koosha – FOREST (digital, self-released)

Based in London, Iranian composer Ash Koosha composed 17 electronic music pieces in the field of electronica and glitch occasionally tinged with some ambient pop and eastern melodies. [cdrk]


the nois society – Transmission (digital, self-released)

From Nepal, Ritesh Maharjan collects sounds from his daily life, experiment with them and seems to like distortion and feedback a lot. He is this time playing with wave transmissions, the result is less noisy than some of his other pieces but nevertheless interesting. [cdrk]


Menzi – Impazamo (cassette & digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Ugandan label dedicated to East African and Congolese electronic music goes down to South Africa, Durban to be precise. Durban is the centre of gqom, a very minimalistic version of kwaito, which is already a pretty minimalistic form of afrohouse, Menzi is one of its pioneers.
I often find that  many gqom artists all sound the same, partly due to the minimalistic aspect of the music but this one is an exception. All typical element of gqom are here : slow, deep, minimalistic, typical toms, voice samples but the darkness of Menzi’s music and the way he manages to turns this into a ritual is impressive and pretty unique, especially in the track GQOM Tera that features Uganda MC Ecko Bazz. [cdrk]


Aurat – Zeher (digital, self-released)

Aurat is a Pakistani-US duo whose music is deeply rooted in the 1980s post-punk scene. There new EP will make you travel in time from pure new wave (Waiting For You, Rehem, Aana) to minimal wave (Nasha), industrial (Saanp) and noise (Aaghaz). [cdrk]


Ytamo – Limited Leaf (digital, Room40)

Ytamo comes from Osaka, her music follows the tradition of minimalistic experimentations of some of the Japanese avant-garde from the 1970s and earls 1980s ( Haruomi Hosono – Coincidental Music or sometimes Phew but more gentle and perhaps a bit more gloomy), a fusion of pop, synthetic melodies, piano, minimalist and repetitive music, arrangements that seem to be out of sync but perfectly work together. [cdrk]


madam data – for Agnes Martin, six architectures in light and water (digital, self-released)

From Singapore, relocated in the USA, madam data presents six very minimalistic drone pieces : “Each piece is either the entirety or an excerpt of a long piece for modular synthesizer. Each had its beginnings in improvisation, but its details were refined over repeated recordings. Further small edits were made on a computer.”
The pieces are dedicated to and thoroughly fit her minimalistic abstract paintings. [cdrk]

New releases – December 2019 (1)

v.a. – VV​-​VA​-​00 (CD & digital, VV​-​VA​/٧٨-٧٧)

VV​-​VA​-​00 is the first release of VV-VA, a new Lebanese label run by Jawad Nawfal aka Munma, also known for his duo Tasjiil Moujahed. This collaboration includes a lot of his collaborations and collaborators, all based in Beirut : Mazen El Sayed (El Rass), Elyse Tabet (_Litter), Sharif Sehnaoui, Jad Atoui and Charbel Haber (Scrambled Eggs). Despite the sometimes very different scenes some of the musicians come from (from hip hop to free improv), the compilation maintains a very good unity, the tracks are for most ambient and electronica, many are instrumental, some include voices. (cdrk)


Serata Keiji – Ambiguous boundaries (digital, AMART)

Very peaceful and relaxing drone and ambient album with a pinch of field recordings ba Japanese composer Serata Keiji. (cdrk)


Normal Brain- Lady Maid (CD, cassette, vinyl, digital, WRWTFWW Records)

“Originally released in 1981 as a limited vinyl pressing of 300 copies on Agi Yuzuru’s fabled experimental label Vanity Records (R.N.A. Organism, Dada, Sympathy Nervous, Tolerance…), Lady Maid is a testament to the creativity of the early 80s’ Japanese electronic and experimental scene, encapsulating a prolific era when audio gear became affordable for musicians to explore sounds in the comfort of their home, free from studio time pressure and major label rules.” (from the labels’ page)


Miftah Bravenda – It’s Alright EP (digital, self-released)

New EP for Tangerang (a town at the outskirt of Jakarta) based Miftah Bravenda. From post-rock to electronic pop music. (cdrk)


Mise_En_Scene – -O​-​R​-​G​-​A​-​N-  (cassette & digital, Crónica)

Mise_En_Scene is an Israeli solo project active for more than a decade.
-O​-​R​-​G​-​A​-​N- is a very minimalistic meditative drone album, except for the fifth track, remixed by sound artist Adam Basanta who provides a glitch/electronica piece. (cdrk)


Sankara Future Dub Resurgence – Drawing On Ancestral Knowledge (digital, Indigenous Resistance)

Excellent industrial dub made in Uganda and the UK. The release includes four heavy bass and distorted dub tracks with political lyrics, recorded in Kampala.
Sankara Future Dub Resurgence is a trio made of Ras Isaacs (percussions), Ras Charles (dj), Kabaka labartin Klacity (vocals) featuring Indonesian guest vocalist Nina and Dhangsha aka Dr Das, Churulian (Asian Dub Foundation) (noisy electronics).
You can watch their video on Vimeo. (cdrk)


Pengboon Don – I play Alone (digital, self-released)

Pengboon Don is one of the few free improvisers in Thailand. This new release contains one improvised piece for guitar, effects and field recordings. (cdrk)


Xu Shaoyang, Fiona Lee, Livia Garcia – live at cafe oto (digital, self-released)

This live recording is a mix of jazz piano and field recordings made in Honk Kong by Fiona Lee during the demonstrations happening in 2019, a field recording collage that you can hear here. (cdrk)


Fiona Lee – Hong Kong 9 June to 12 Sep 2019 (digital, self-released)

“This track is the field recordings on the protest to No Extradition Law in Hong Kong, from 9June 2019 to 12 Sep 2019.
From the first day till now, we Hong Kong people step out to fight for our right and freedom.
This track is including around 7 days recordings during the protest.” (Fiona Lee)


4lienetic – Abstract (digital, self-released)

4lienetic is a solo project based in Mumbai, India. This new album contains six ambient tracks, mostly electronic but here and there with post-rock or classical music influences, that remind of a film score. (cdrk)


DETHOMEGA – sub singularity (digital, Acid Distribution)

Filipino electronic music composer Dethomega is back with a new album that mixes plunderphonics, ambient, post-industrial, noise electronics that reminds of some music productions from the late 1990s. (cdrk)


madamdata – 3f requiem (digital, self-released)

One long onkyokei track by Singaporean artist madamdata : filtered minimalistic high pitch tones (feedback ?). (cdrk)


Fahmi M. – Climate Change (digital, self-released)

Hyper active Indonesian composer Fahmi M. provides us here some electroacoustic tracks made with modular synth. (cdrk)


BRRR. – Gendam Sukma (part1) (digital, self-released)

BRRR. is Mahamboro, a musician from Jogjakarta, Indonesia. This one track release is inspired by Javanase culture (no gamelan in here !) and rhythmical industrial music. (cdrk)


Arcade Ghoul – Heart of a Statue (digital, self-released)

Hailing from Istanbul, Turkey, Arcade Ghoul released a ten tracks album that oscillates between post-industrial, distorted electronics, rhythmic industrial and lo-fi ambient ballads. (cdrk)


Torturing Nurse / Bobryk – Vutuv / Why (cassette & digital, ЩЫЛ)

Split between Chinese harsh noise performer Torturing Nurse and Ukrainian noise artist Bobryk. (cdrk)


Reza Solatipour – The Gate (cassette, CDr & digital, Eighth Tower Records)

Reza Solatipour is an Iranian dark ambient artist. This new album contains ten dark and cinematic tracks that include many traditional ingredients of the genre : whispering, drones, reverberated choirs, tribal rhythm deeply buried in the background, dark melodies, and so on. (cdrk)


Ecko Bazz – Kyusa Embela (digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Great hip hop made in Kampala, Uganda, Ecko Bazz teams up with UK music producer pq to deliver three dark, distorted and heavy tracks between bass music and industrial hip hop. (cdrk)


Hoshiko Yamane & Mikael Lind – Spaces In Between (CD & digital, Time Released Sound & Time Sensitive Materials)

“Hoshiko Yamane is a classically trained violinist, and a current member of the legendary band Tangerine Dream. She’s also an accomplished composer, and whether releasing and playing under her own name, or as Tukico, her unique sound often features looped strings together with Moog synths and effects.

Mikael Lind has released several albums of experimental ambiances, often drifting between either more classical Warp style electronica, or a modern classically oriented sound. Early this year, Hoshiko and Mikael decided to try to compose two tracks together, mostly out of curiosity. Thrilled by the outcome of the first two songs, they ended up finishing this entire album!” (from the label’s page)


Miki Yui – wigawiga​/​wigawigawiga (casette & digital, Hasana Editions)

“Based in Germany for the last two decades, Japan-born Miki Yui’s music is relatively small in scale but exceptionally rich in texture. She is known for her peculiar minimalistic and organic approach towards sound, balancing a delicate tiny hiss to a distant hum, quirky electronic clicks and field recordings, and sculpted it into unhurried pieces of composition with suspense and narrative tension. wigawiga/wigawigawiga was recorded live earlier this year in her Düsseldorf studio, and is a manifestation of the memory of lived events. An ever-flowing streams, constantly rise and recede, reveal then erase its own traces, fading after having appeared or being awakened, crafting a poem of abstract landscapes.” (from the label’s page)


Das B – Canopy (CD & digital, ТОПОТ)

Das B is an international project founded in 2015 in Berlin and including Lebanese free improv musician Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet), German improviser Magda Mayas (piano), Australian improvisers Mike Majkowski (double bass) and Tony Buck (percussion) well known for playing with The Necks. Excellent team for an excellent result, a perfectly crafted free improv live recording at the Konfrontationen festival in Austria.

New releases – October 2019

Aragorn23 – Selected modular atmospheres vol. 1 (digital, self-released)

South African composer and improviser Aragorn23 presents eleven algorithmic pieces for modular synthesizer.
As the title evokes it, the music is quite ambient and relaxing, each piece developing its own little world. While some pieces would remind of late 1970s and 1980s minimalist ambient music, others sound more contemporary. (cdrk)


Various artists – These Are Our Friends Too (digital, FORWARD)

A project worth to support !
“This album is brought to you by Musicians Unite to End FGM (MUTEFGM) and Tse Tse Fly Middle East. These Are Our Friends Too is a unique album that highlights the work FORWARD does towards ending FGM (female genital mutilation). The album continues FORWARD’s These Are Our Friends project, a collection of poetry from young people from London, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham that responds to the themes of FGM and its consequences. The first stage of the project resulted in a book of the same name that features more than thirty pieces of work, a short film made with Media Trust, and this new collaboration sees nineteen of the poems re-imagined.

Tse Tse Fly Middle East hand-picked a selection of female artists and musicians, and each one was given a spoken word recording of one of the poems read by members of the FORWARD team and poets from the book. The artists then composed and recorded a sonic background for their designated piece, with the resulting spoken word and experimental music compositions making up this new, nineteen-track set, These Are Our Friends Too.

The album features contributions from some of the foremost female proponents of noise from Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Serbia, Bulgaria and Sweden, as well as UK-based collaborators. And the visceral, uncompromising and unsettling tracks that result reflect the disturbing nature of female genital mutilation.” (Tse Tse Fly Middle East)


Yan Jun & Bani Haykal – Rats in the bright southern sky (vinyl & digital, whereisthezeitgeist?editing office)

These tracks were recorded at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Residency Studio, in Singapore by prolific composer, poet and organiser Yan Jun (no-input feedback and contact microphones) and Singaporean researcher and composer Bani Haykal (text, voice and coding), then edited by Yan Jun.
The result of this collaboration is an electroacoustic music album in which voice loops and experiments navigate between waves of noises and feedbacks ; high pitched tones and incidental sonic glitches remind of some Toshimaru Nakamura‘s No​-​Input Mixing Board works while Haykal’s voice brings new elements to this form of onkyokei. (cdrk)


H.Takahashi – Sonne und Wasser (vinyl & digital, Where To Now? Records)

Dreamy minimalistic ambient music at the age of new age, tiny melodies, slow tunes made in Tokyo.
Takahashi tells : “I wanted to express the plant that was slow, quiet, powerful, and full of vitality. In an attempt to express the world of one plant, the four songs that make up this album are all based on the first one, ‘Nymphaea’… The melody, chord and tone throughout become familiar, and each change of scene is expressed by subtly changing the arrangement and development of sounds. This is intended for when you want to feel like a plant, or as an indoor soundtrack – I want the music to be played so that it decorates the plants within a room.”


Ouwan Itaru – Conceptual Works  (digital, equnatrecord)

There’s Goh Lee Kwang in Malaysia who releases zillions of tracks per month and then Ouwan Itaru in Japan who releases an insane amount of tracks too.
Free improv noise, very wild drums, guitar, distortion and noise. (cdrk)


Goh Lee Kwang – OnTheNight (digital, self-released)

Long improvisation for electronic, hypnotic, somehow noisy but not on the harsh noise side. (cdrk)


Hiroyuki Ura – Ghost Note (tape & digital, Zoomin’ Night)

If you are familiar with solo drums compositions of Morihide Sawada, this might be of interest. Track one is a half an hour solo for snare, track two for cymbal.
Both minimalistic pieces are performed gently, unlike Ryosuke Kiyasu‘s wild performances for snare. (cdrk)


Yang Haisong – Fictional film music (tape & digital, Zoomin’ Night)

Very repetitive ambient experimentation by Chinese composer Yang Haisong.
“Yang Haisong is lead singer of P.K.14, one of the top legendary indie rock bands from China, and he is also the CEO of indie rock label Maybe Mars. Beside these main roles, he also has some side projects including Dear Eloise, After Argument, Blonde Eskimo, collaboration with Xie Yugang (Wang Wen), and his tiny label Share The Obstacles. Yang is a poet, a novelist, and also a music engineer/producer. His work could be found in many Chinese rock bands’ debut album. In these two or three years, Yang involved in some film music projects, but for this cassette album, it does not belong to anyone. In the recording, Yang talks about a fictional movie as while as real life’s concealing and uncertain.” (Zoomin’ Night)


Slikback & Hyph11E – Slip B (digital, SVBKVLT)

I’ve been following parts of the bass music and rhythmic electronic scene in China for a while now and the Kenyan one for a shorter time in the recent years too. I now and then thought that musically speaking there were connections between the work of several of those artists such as Zaliva-D (China) or Slikback (Kenya) for example. And here we go. Here’s a beat-oriented collaboration between Shangainese composer and dj Hyph11E and Nairobi based composer Slikback ! (cdrk)

“SVBKVLT invited Kenyan producer Slikback to China for a 3-week tour and residency in April 2019. During these 3 weeks, Slikback performed in 5 cities (Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Beijing), spending time in the studio with artists throughout the tour. The results of these studio sessions are now being presented in the form of two EPs, to be released simultaneously across the two labels Hakuna Kulala (Uganda) and SVBKVLT (China)”


Slikback / 33EMYBW / Osheyack / Yen Tech – Slip A (digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Released at the same time than Slikback & Hyph11E – Slip B, this release features three pieces of beat and bass music by Slikback & Yen Tech, Slikback & 33EMYBW, Slikback & Osheyack. The musicians started to compose the tracks in China and then finished remotely between Nairobi and Shanghai and present a nice mix of all these artists’s styles. (cdrk)


TENGGER – Shikoku (tape & digital, self-released)

Following a pilgrimage on Shikoku island, the South Korean-Japanese project delivers us a double cassette (contact them for ordering it) that, to my knowledge, doesn’t sound to any of their previous recordings. While the duo (Itta & Marqido) performed a mix of noise and psychedelic improvised music at its very beginning (back then called 10) and dived deeper into (partly electronic) psychedelic music, this new release first four tracks are made of field recordings of people (praying at a buddhist temple ?), bells and so on, pitched in some cases ; the five other ones are very minimalistic and meditative recordings of bells (I suppose tsurigane) and silence. (cdrk)


СРАНЪ & brokenchelust – Split (digital, self-released)

СРАНЪ, a Russian punk and grindcore project from Tolyatti, Russia shares this release with noisegrind artist brokenchelust from Baku, Azerbaijan.
Expect a lot of distorted sounds. (cdrk)


Rey Sapienz – Mushoro (tape & digital, Hakuna Kulala)

While Congolese artist Rey Sapienz tends to be hip hop oriented live, his second release on the Ugandan label introduces us to a lot of instrumental pieces (but a few sung tracks are also included, sometimes more sung than rapped), slow beats with various influences from mutant dancehall to electronica. This release could be a modern version of Noir et Blanc this electronic afropop gem published in 1983 by Hector Zazou, Bony Bikaye and CY1. (cdrk)


MC Yallah x Debmaster (tape & digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Amazing collaboration between Ugandan-born, Kenyan-based MC Yallah and French distorted hip hop composer Debmaster.
Live or in the studio, MC Yallah is simply amazing, her voice, flow and energy – it is only unfortunately I don’t understand Swahili ! The release explores distorted and industrial hip hop, as well as electro hip hop and bass music, dark deep and slow but heavy beats. (cdrk)


Yao Bobby & Simon Grab – Diamonds (vinyl & digital, Lavalava Records)

Togolese -Swiss collaboration by Yao Bobby and Simon Grab who have collaborated in Togo and Switzerland for 15 years and this release is a blast : industrial hip hop and that will change your view on dancehall, feedback and no-input mixing desk, distorted bass, political lyrics sung in French, English and Ewe. And the EP includes… two remixes by Asian Dub Foundation (yes, the 1990s band) member Dhangsha aka Dr Das and Churulian (who also joins them live for the best !). (cdrk)

New releases (June 2019)

Yikii – Flower’s Grave・花之墓 (digital, Genome 6.66Mbp)

Japanese project Yikii presents an album that includes elements of distorted techno dark ambient and above all horror film sound track, like a fairytale gone wrong. (cdrk)


KMRU – OT (digital, self-released)

Joseph Kamaru aka KMRU is a field recordist and ambient artist from Nairobi, Kenya. OT is a three-track release based on a same theme that include ambient strings, field recordings and minimalistic glitch and melodies. (cdrk)


Kenji Kihara – Dawn (CDr & digital, eilean rec.)

“Kenji Kihara is a Japanese musician based in Hayama, in Japan, a place surrounded by nature near to the sea and mountains.”
His electronic and ambient works are truly inspired by the sound of nature. His music oscillates between ambient and new age. (cdrk)


Aken’s Sleep – Beauty in Decay (digital, self-released)

Ambient guitar composition by two Egyptian composers : Ali Soliman & Mohammed Ashraf (aka Pie Are Squared), melancholic drones, subtle distortion, and a tiny touch of techno by the end of the release. (cdrk)


Edwin Lo – Field Recordings Archive: The Days in Queen Pier (digital, self-released)

“The recordings speak for themselves on the construction of Central–Wan Chai Bypass.” (In Hong Kong)


維度本身的結構 – Zukunft (digital, Shanshui)

維度本身的結構 one of the monikers of Chinese musician Sun Dawei aka Sulumi. Known for his techno and breakcore projects, Sun Dawei introduces us to a more intimate atmosphere : ambient guitar and electronics. (cdrk)


Don Zilla – From the Cave to the World (digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Two drastically different pieces by Kampala’s composer Don Zilla. The first track explores a dark side of Ugandan bass music, the second one is a twelve-minutes dark ambient piece that sounds like a soundtrack made in a submarine. (cdrk)


Jeritan – Chaos EP (digital, self-released)

Indonesian solo project Jeritan introduces us to a world of harsh noise, glitch and epileptic micro-loops. (cdrk)


Various artists – in his knotty ears, the donkey’s bells would jangle (cassette & digital, AqTushetii)

“in his knotty ears, the donkey’s bells would jangle’ is a selection of music either performed live, bootlegged, composed, or partly developed at AqTushetii artist residency & festival, summer 2018. Mirroring the diversity of the residents that took part, this compilation is an eclectic mix of genres and styles — musique concrete, computer music, Ashiq music, Circassian folk, post-industrial, modular synthesis, electro-acoustic music, tape collage, noise, drone, ambient, audiobook — from different parts of the world: Georgia, Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, North Caucasus, USA, UK.”
Georgian artists include Mess_montage, Vo Ezn, VAZHMARR, TeTe Noise, etc.


Various artists – place : georgia (digital, place)

“place : is country specific – electronic music compilations where the proceeds are donated to local human rights groups. Highlight the local producers, and bring awareness to the social causes that are important to the creative community there.
In May 2018, Georgian police raided multiple popular clubs in Tbilisi, using excessive force against workers and guests. The officially stated reason for the raid is due to recent drug-related deaths and accusations of drug trafficking.
Proceeds from this release will be donated to the Georgian organisation Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC).
The compilation includes a lot of Georgian artists from the local electronic music scene, mostly techno and ambient : Hanker, Benvol, Natalie Beridze, etc.
More information about the protest that happened in Tbilisi following this link The first protest expressed through massive rave to electronic music in Tbilisi (Georgian Journal).


Theo Nugraha & Tesla Manaf – Sikap Eksploratif (digital, Noise Bombing)

“This composition uses an improvised practice approach. Each artist responds to the sounds that are present and explores the possibilities.”
Sound collage influenced by Indonesian popular music, electroacoustic, free improv, noise, tape experimentation, electronics and film samples. (cdrk)


Dharma – Electric Animism (cassette & digital, self-released)

Dharma, member of famous Singaporean band The Observatory, is a brilliant guitar player, his new release composed with electric guitar, effects and objects i a powerful adventure into drone, free improvised and industrial music. (cdrk)


TENGGER – Spiritual 2 (CD, vinyl & digital, Beyond Beyond is Beyond)

“TENGGER is a traveling musical family, made up of Pan-Asian couple, itta and Marqido, who create their brand of psychedelic New-Age drone magic through the use of harmonium, voice, and toy instruments (played by itta) and analogue synths (played by Marqido). The duo originally started out with the moniker “10” but since the birth of their son RAAI (who joins them on tour and often on stage) in 2012, have called themselves TENGGER (meaning ‘unlimited expanse of sky’ in Mongolian) to mark the expansion of the family. It also means ‘huge sea’ in Hungarian.”
This new album is probably their most ambient and psychedelic release.


Various artists – Peninsula Volume 1 (digital, Liquid Frequency)

Liquid Frequency is an Indian label known for its psy trance releases but this time Yidam selected ten artists and duos who play ambient and new age music, among them, drill┼mallo, Subhas Mazumdar, Shivacult, and Coma Conscience. Field recordings, minimalistic atmospheres, drones, electronica, a lot of relaxing music. (cdrk)


Yan Jun – Plays John Cage (cassette, digital, foreign lands)

“Yan Jun is a musician and poet, based in Beijing. His work involves performative music, experimental composition, field recording, improvised music, experimental electronic music and relative presentation of exhibition.
He uses non-musical materials such as the body, blankness, in-situ conditions and everyday noise.
In further, he experiments on structure and concept of music.”


Koeosaeme – OBANIKESHI (vinyl, digital, Orange Milk Records)

Yoshizawa Ryu “Koeosaeme”‘s album is a very nice and diverse composition between collage and modern electroacoustic music that blends violin, sound design, glitch, deconstructed electronic beats and the likes. (cdrk)


aragorn23 – Desert Meditation Drone (digital, self-released)

South African artist aragorn23 aka Asqus composes generative music with modular synthesiser. Desert Meditation Drone is a 23 minutes long ambient piece. (cdrk)


Omar Fadel Hadi – The Room (digital, self-released)

Four compositions by Iraqi musician Omar Fadel Hadi. Mostly ambient, with a touch of post rock for the third track Minimal. (cdrk)


Farouk Adil – Continuum (digital, self-released)

Farouk Adil is an very prolific musician from Iraq who mostly works in the field of ambient music, sometimes techno or electronica and organises small events in Baghdad.
Continuum is a collection of field recordings, a project from The Institution Of Fine Art in Baghdad. (cdrk)


Hüma Utku – Gnosis (vinyl & digital, Karlrecords)

Turkish musician Hüma Utku aka R.A.N. just published her second vinyl on Berlin-based label Karlrecords. Far away from her electronica composition, she now composes hypnotic and ritualistic beats and dark ambient. (cdrk)


Izumi Kawasaki – Moromi (cassette & digital, Gerpfast Record)

Izumi Kawasaki is a Japanese multidisciplinary artist active since the 1990s whose noise career started in 2018. Moromi is her first album. Expect harsh noise and syncopated distorted loops. (cdrk)


Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective – Degradation (digital, Flaming Pines)

Composed and produced by Zach, with instrumentation by Lam Lam, voice by Lý Trang and Harvey Stauss and engineering by Đỗ Tấn Sĩ, the international project Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective, based in Ho Chi Minh takes a more abstract direction than their previous album Libyan Circle Voice Simulation. Glitch, ambient, heavy basses. (cdrk)