New releases – May 2020 (1)

Songs For A Tired City – Songs For A Tired City (digital, self-released)

Indian musicians Shiv Ahuja (Eurorack synthesizer and tape loops) and Jayant Manchanda (computer with Max/MSP) composed here a minimalistic ambient album that often includes voice samples, glitches, drones, sometimes gentle beats. A music that sometimes evokes some lost radio transmissions and forgotten post-industrial soundscapes. [cdrk]


group A – Circulation (vinyl, digital, mecanica)

The Japanese duo group A comes back with a new album, such as the previous one (70 + a), while they keep their uniqueness, industrial music influences as well is 1970s-1980s minimalist electronic music spread through their compositions : tiny bits of Cabaret Voltaire, SPK or Tolerance references here and there.
This new album is also more instrumental than what they released before. [cdrk]


KMRU – Continual (digital, self-released)

Two new tracks by Kenyan artist KMRU : cinematica ambient with field recordings. [cdrk]


Kid Fourteen – Love (Side B) (digital, self-released)

Lebanese singer project led by Khodor Ellaik (ex-Beirut Scum Society) together with Karim Shams and Dani Ghassan released four tracks that didn’t make it on his latest album Love. While electronic (rock ?) Love is still strongly influenced by Suicide, three of the tracks take another direction, quieter but still deeply rooted in the 1970s. [cdrk]


Slikback – Lasakaneku / Tomo LP (vinyl, digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Kenyan artist Slikback comes back with a new LP that includes two of his previous digital releases (Lasakaneku and Tomo as you may have understood) and several more tracks.
Slikback presents a minimalist rhythmical music that contains heavy and deep bass drums, treated voice samples and electronics ; Slikback develops his own style but grabs some influences here and there from trap (on Kite) to hardcore techno (on Zuhura), some touch of gqom or heavily distorted beats and East African rhythmic structures are never far away.
If you are used to what the label SVBKVLT releases, this new LP might be of interest, this new album is less distorted and not as punchy as his collaboration with Chinese musician Hyph11E but nevertheless very interesting. [cdrk]


Dirar Kalash / Joke Lanz / Utku Tavil / Jasper Stadhouders – KALATA​(​JA) at Loophole (digital, self-released)

Intense free improv, noise jazzcore, hatever you name it, well known figures of the Berlin and international scene (Palestine, Switzerland, Turkey, the Netherlands) who really go to the extreme, take Sudden Infant‘s noises, spoken words and screams , BEEATSZ v2.0999e‘s heavy noisegrind drums, Dirar Kalash‘s noise experiments and Jasper Stadhouders‘ distorted free improv guitar, put this in a blender and here we go, all recorded at Loophole, Berlin. [cdrk]


Taku Sugimoto – DDDD (digital, self-released)

Originally released as cassette in 1985, these three tracks were composed with guitar, objects, tape. Sound experimentations, free improvisation and sometimes noise. [cdrk]


iPlayAlone – Falling rain (digital, self-released)

Thai guitarist iPlayAlone (Pengboon Don) improvises with guitar and field recordings or do the birds, frogs and insects improvise with him ? [cdrk]


AtheerSoot – Like we’re spinning in a glass Carousel (digital, self-released)

Syrian composer AtheerSoot presents two ambient tracks : Like we’re spinning in a glass Carousel where sad and slightly distorted melodies and drones let you dive into a state of trance until you suddenly wake up next to a river while Let the sea washes it all away brings you back to an eerie and melancholic place. [cdrk]


Omar Fadel Hadi – Horizon (digital, self-released)

13 minutes of relaxing ambient music by Iraqi musician Omar Fadel Hadi. [cdrk]


Asher.Zax – The Last Shall be First (cassette, digital, self-released)

Meira Asher and Eran Sachs (who is also a member of Hyperion Ensemble, Lietterschpich and more), well known politically active Israeli musicians present here an album that explores noise, industrial, experimental music with a touch of power electronics, together with Ben Riftin featured on several tracks.
The album includes L’abolition De La Croix (Antonin Artaud) and Resist my people, resist them, a text by Palestinian poet, photographer, and activist Dareen Tatour.
Asher.Zax directed their machines at the occupation and the anniversaries of: 69 years of Israeli state occupation of Palestine, day 21 of the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, the death of Bobby Sands who died on day 66 of his hunger strike in 1981.” [cdrk]


Yasuyuki Uesugi – I Have A Lot Of Insistence That No One Else Understands (digital, self-released)

Old school noise composed with (very) old and also new gears (such as some Japanese-built JMT synth and effect). The music is very repetitive and gives the impression to the listeners that they are visiting a factory, the sounds are not abrasive but mesmerising, sometimes close to harsh noise wall. [cdrk]


Gen Thalz – 8​=​=​=​0 {o} (digital, self-released)

Filipino composer Gen Thalz presents four tracks whose sound source are electromagnetic noises of laptop and cellphone. The result is a drone, ambient, lowcase, onkyokei album, if I may summarise it so : extreme minimalism. [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)