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 – November 2019

v.a. – pɹnsqɐ (digital, Absurd TRAX)

pɹnsqɐ is a compilation of remixes of previous releases of Kelvin T, ASJ, ANNA and Alexmalism published on Hong Kongese label Absurd TRAX.
The tracks mostly cover the local bass and club music genre that is developing in Hong Kong and China for many years now : beat-oriented music with a certain amount of traditional music influences. (cdrk)


Mario Swagga and DJ Silila – Mapenzi Digital (Digital Love) (vinyl & digital, Signrecords)

If you like super fast beats, this one may be for you. Mario Swagga and DJ Silila play singeli music, an electronic music genre coming from Tanzania and influenced by taarab music that sounds more like taarab on speed than anything else. It’s party music, the voice is loud, the rhythm goes up to 180bpm or more. You can get the vinyl through the label here. (cdrk)


33EMYBW – Arthropods (digital, SVBKVLT)

Based in Shanghai, 33EMYBW plays electronic music above all based on rhythms, syncopated samples, she is part of a new generation of Chinese electronic musician who develop an form of local alternative club music such as Zaliva-D, Gooooose, or Mun Sing, grabbing various influences from traditional Chinese music to ryhmical industrial,  bass music, distorted techno and, for some, breakcore.
The album includes one track featuring noise musician and free improviser Li Jianhong and remixes done by Ugandan electronic artist Don Zilla and Uruguayan electronic musician and dj Lechuga Zafiro.


Tusuk Lubang Telinga – Akan Tiba Waktunya Keruntuhan Tata Surya Dan Kumpulan Objek Benda Langit Tidak Lagi Terikat Oleh Gaya Gravitasi. (E​.​P) (digital, self-released)

Just based on the title of Tusuk Lubang Telinga’s latest EP alone, Akan Tiba Waktunya Keruntuhan Tata Surya Dan Kumpulan Objek Benda Langit Tidak Lagi Terikat Oleh Gaya Gravitasi (the time will come when the solar system collapses and everything in the sky is no longer bound by gravity), we know that this EP will take us on an catastrophic journey through space. The solar system is dying and we are powerless.

Ketika Pluto Tidak Lagi Mengorbit Matahari Secara Langsung. (when pluto no longer orbits the sun), the EP’s first track establishes the apocalyptic mood and focuses our attention with a consistent wailing from the Pluto’s barren glacial atmosphere. We can’t quite tell what is happening yet, but it fills us with dread. The cold and unforgiving drones are juxtaposed with the haunted metallic clanging from abandoned satellites crashing into the arctic surface. This ominous soundscape signals the beginning of the end.

By the time the EP transitions to the second track Terbiusnya Bumi Oleh Vaksin Bajakan. (sedate the earth with pirated vaccines) we are greeted with screams for help in the form of harsh feedback and heavy distortion. The solar system is in full collapse. The stars are falling faster and faster. We can only sit back and watch from our vantage point on Earth. Being over medicated has made us comfortable, and nothing we do can stop this attack on everything we cherish. The sky is on fire, our eyes are burning. Grab your loved ones because we are not coming out of this alive. The falling stars come crashing to Earth, it has changed the landscape and threw all the plants out of sorts. We are doomed, but can not process how bad.

Terbentuknya Lahar Mars Menyerupai Kepala Manusia Bertanduk. (mars’ lava resembles a horned human head) is a track that calms us down after the previous heavy assault. However, our moment of peace is short lived. We realize we have reached the red planet, synonymous to hell. Here the buzz sawing drone cuts through the planet, a constant reminder there is no quarter given. In the distance the demonic Martians are constantly at work making ruckus in their torturous industrial factories. Voices wail out, looking for help in a place where there is none. The sawing continues and doesn’t stop. It is pulsing through our brains and begins speeding up. We look around and feel the anxiety brought upon by this nightmarish hellscape. Is this were we went after the end of everything? The floor is lava and we can’t move. Suddenly a horned head emerges, and saws our brains us into a million tiny pieces. We are enveloped with the sawing until we only see red

For the last track Nafl Untuk Bintang Dari pertarungan Mentari Dan Rembulan. (nafl [prayer] for the stars of the sun and moon battles) we emerge from the red and are witness to the final epic battle between our Sun and Moon. Whoever wins, we lose. At first we are instructed to say a prayer. The pulsating rhythms provide us an opportunity to reflect on our last human moments. This was a wild ride, we have seen the end of our solar system. The moon tries to eclipse the sun, but it is too powerful. The Sun engulfs the Moon like a mother welcoming her forgotten child. This sets a chain reaction, and enormous solar bursts begin to explode from the Sun’s surface. All at once there is a bright light and then darkness. It is completely silent, and that is it. (Sean Stellfox)


Dominowe – SiyaThakatha (vinyl & digital, GQOM OH!)

Gqom, a South African music genre more minimalistic than kwaito (really ?), darker but still groovy, Dominowe’s repetitive sequences pushes the listeners into trance (a real trance, not techno trance),  this release differs from a lot of qgom music I heard before, with a clear house touch in the Club Killer track and a pinch of dub in the track Umzabalazo (WE BROKEN). (cdrk)


Sabiwa – DaBa (vinyl & digital, Chinabot)

Sabiwa is an audio-visual artists from Taiwan now based in Berlin, her album’s dreamy atmospheres sometimes remind a bit of Psapp or CocoRosie sometimes but more tortured. You will find many influences in her composition from electronica to sound collage, looped vocals, electroacoustic processing, glitch, ambient and a touch of industrial in the track Enigma. (cdrk)


Daniel Slabosky – Five Minutes (vinyl & digital, Uganda)

“Second E.P. for Tel Aviv / Jerusalem based producer / singer songwriter Daniel Slabosky.
Five Minute delivers 5 euphoric, dark, alienated blend of traditional folkish song writing gently synthesized with some beats added that redefine the boundaries between indie rock and electronic club music.” (from the label’s page)


Maenad & the Ravers – SUNDOWN (CD & digital, self-released)

Formed in Hong Kong in 2017, Maenad and the Ravers is Cecilia, Ming and Wing. Their music is heavily influenced by 1980s new wave and post punk but with a touch of 21st century music here and there.
The album has been produced by Cecilia Nox (the singer and keyboardist) & Eric M.Y. Chan (aka e:ch, from Macao). (cdrk)


KMRU – Variations (Installation) (digital, self-released)

Variations (Installation) is made of field recordings and looped field recordings made in three different cities, and additional electronics . It is part of a three channel sound installation that has been exhibited at Abuja Art Week (Nigeria) in November 2019 and might be presented in March 2020 Nairobi. (cdrk)


gΔitφ – Volcano Jazz (digital, equnatrecord)

Japanese noise drummer Gaitoh sounding like someone drumming on top of an active volcano. (cdrk)


Ouwan Itaru – Breath&Blood (digital, equnatrecord)

If I’m not wrong, another incarnation of Gaitoh. Feedback, noise, growls, deconstructed drums, a lot of energy in here, a work that reminds me of some of Utku Tavil‘s performances. (cdrk)


Nyctalllz – Esion 2 : Dissolve (digital, Zāl Records)

Esion 2 : Dissolve is the second album of Iranian artist Nyctalllz (aka Xerxes The Dark, etc.), the album had previously been released on Amduscias Records in 2008 and has been re-mastered. The music is often more rough than what Morego does as Xerxes The Dark ; apart of dark ambient, some tracks go into noise and ambient industrial. (cdrk)


Ma – Ama (vinyl & digital, Morphine Records)

“MA comes from the rap and hip-hop Tokyo scene, but throughout the years he evolved into a more noisy and experimental beat making. He blends ritualistic ancient Japanese lyrics and vocal methods, on music that he creates using also his voice or field recordings. The result is alienating, weird and haunting but at the same time fascinating and futuristic. MA’s Beehayden is being remixed by Sugai Ken, another outstanding artist and performer from Japan. MA made his first short live performance at Dommune Tokyo in may 2019, revealing his craft and performative side.” (from the label’s page)


Yan Jun & Bani Haykal – Rats in the bright southern sky (vinyl & digital, where is the zeitgeist ?)

A collaboration between two improvisers and poets, Chinese musician Yan Jun (no-input feedback, contact mic) and Singaporean experimentalist Bani Haykal (text, voice, coding. Voice collage, feedback, loops and glitch, minimalist music in the style of Onkyokei. (cdrk)


Hexenoise / brokenchelust (Split)  – Hexenoise / brokenchelust (Split) (digital, self-released)

Two long noisy tracks.
Hexenoise is a power electronics project from Russia, brokenchelust is a death ambient, industrial and noise project from Azerbaijan, this time featuring Queenigar. (cdrk)


Contagious Orgasm – Maschinenfest comp tracks (cassette & digital, raubbau)

Japanese electronica and post-industrial band Contagious Orgasm just published six live tracks recorded between 2001 and 2018 at the defunct Maschinenfest, a festival that took place in the Western part of Germany during twenty years.
This album is part of a collection of live recordings made by artists during the Maschinenfest. (cdrk)


Omar Fadel Hadi – Vanishing Form (digital, self-released)

Omar Fadel Hadi is an Iraqi musician based in Baghdad whose music oscillates between ambient and techno, for this release he recorded two long pieces reminding of 1990s techno, pretty minimal, a bit ethereal and without any harsh compression, Omar definitely takes the opposing view of today’s ultra loud pop music world. (cdrk)


v.a. – Noise A Noise 19​.​3 (digital, Noise À Noise)

Noise À Noise is an Iranian label that just published its third compilation this year. Each one includes a majority of Iranian artists and some foreigners but this one seems to be more dedicated to Iranian artists.
This third volume presents 20 tracks by 20 composers such as Alireza Mirhajebi, Ghodsea, Mohamad Nikpour, Ali Sasha and Zhoobin Askarieh, Parham Izadyar, Owrang, etc.
Dark ambient, electroacoustic, electronica, eerie and experimental music. (cdrk)


v.a. – Anthology Of Persian Experimental Music (digital & CD, Unexplained Sounds Group)

This compilation was published three years ago in digital format only and is now pressed on CD ; the new digital version includes four more artists who are unfortunately not present on the CD.
Many of the artists are active for years in and ourtside Iran, such as Tehransmission, Umchunga, Nyctalllz, NUM, Spectro Duo, Bicolor, and so on.
The whole CD is more dedicated to dark ambient, electronica, and drone with various influences, from Western music to Persian melodies and even includes an oriental post-rock track by Ostanes. (cdrk)


v.a. – “shelTer” (digital, Müstesna Records)

shelTer is a compilation that includes 25 artists, a lot form Turkey but international ones too in the field of techno, electronica, electro, and other rhythmic electronic genres.
The compilation has been done in order to provide financial support for creating national and international awareness about the trans murders and trans suicides in Turkey (the country has the highest rate of murders of trans people in Europe, and the ninth in the world). The benefits will be donated to “Eylül Cansın Trans Guest House” which was founded by the Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association and named after Eylül Cansın, a transgender person who committed suicide January 2015.
Some of the musicians included on the compilation are Houschyar, Emnre Can Swim, Tolouse Low Trax, Anatolian Weapons, Salih Topuz, Neu Verboten, Mahmet Aslan, Mekine U Teksi, Venderstrooik, Osilator, etc. (cdrk)