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 – 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 – 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)

New releases (August 2019)

Mireille Kyrou / Vox Populi! – Experimental Lineage (digital, nostalgie de la boue)

“This release is composed of the only two recorded works by musique concrète pioneer Mireille Kyrou (1931-2017), and of ‘Koro Wild’, played and composed by her son Axel Kyrou, main member of Vox Populi!”

Mireille Kyrou was born in September of 1931 in the town of Cairo. Her mother was French and her father was part of a family that migrated from Palestine to Egypt.

The only available recorded track by Mireille Kyrou is ‘Etude 1’, released on the mythical album from 1964, ‘Musique Concrète’, edited by Philips, also featuring music from giants of musique concrète, such as Pierre Schaeffer, Iannis Xenakis, or Luc Ferrari. The main sound sources for this track were a comb and a feather. (Editor’s note : the track appeared on several electroacoustic music anthologies such as Archives GRM in 2004 and Traces One in 2012)

The second track featured here, ‘Film Musique’, is unreleased, and recorded in the same environment and historical period as ‘Etude 1’. It is the soundtrack of an experimental film, which nothing seems to be known about. Although Mireille thought that the track wasn’t supposed to be listened without the film, she eventually agreed to release it.

Mireille had a peculiar love for the Vox Populi! track called ‘Koro Wild’ and insisted that it would be played at her funeral. It proved to be a strong experience, felt by all friends and members of the family attending the ceremony.
‘Koro Wild’ was recorded over a long period, 1994 to 2007, in France, Japan and Burkina Faso. All field recordings and instruments done and played by Axel Kyrou. First released on taâlem.” (taken from Axel Kyrou’s note)


Yan Jun – Feedback (CD & digital, Yan Jun / ORAL_records)

“this is one of the first works i created in my new studio in beijing.
actually my first studio in beijing.
i enjoy to stay in the room without doing anything. except some cups of tea.
i let the feedback went on. without any of my manual manipulation.
when i started with this set up back to 2007, i’d rather play it, move it, discover its possibility. nowadays i have “feedback solo” performance that i move my body instead of the instrument. in this recording neither the body of mine nor the instrument.
thanx eric mattson! thanx taku unami!

这是我在北京的新工作室做的第一批作品之一。
这是我在北京的第一个工作室。
我很享受待在这个屋子里,什么都不干,可能喝几杯茶。
我让反馈自己进行。没有做任何的干涉。
2007年开始用这套设置的时候,我演奏它、移动它、探索它的可能性。现在,我有时候会表演“反馈独奏”,我移动自己的身体,不碰设备。在这个录音里,既没有动自己的身体,也没有碰乐器。
感谢eric mattson!感谢宇波拓!” (note taken from Yan Jun’s page)


Vo Ezn – Mo​.​ar (digital, self-released)

Georgia starts to be well-known for its techno scene but Mika Motskobili aka Vo Ezn is part of a more radical concept : she experiments with sound. Mo.ar is a extract of a live performed at Heart of Noise Festival, TRAMatic ride in Innsbruck, Austria. Her musical approach reminds of musique concrète, repetitive electronic minimalism and early noise music. (cdrk)


Phubber – Phun (digital, FunctionLab)

Phubber is a young Chinese electronic music artist who studied conputer graphics in Japan – a universe that can be reflected in his often dystopian ambient and electronica : science-fiction universes and Chinese music influences that sometimes reminds me of Zaliva-D‘s work but more gentle.


Grave Blankets/Gamnad737 – Split Tape (cassette, digital, Tenzenmen)

Split release including one collaboration between Thai noise wall artist Gamnad737 and drone-noise-punk (or something like this) project Grave Blankets. Nice mix of ambient, harsh noise wall and psychedelic-noise-punk with a touch of post rock at some point. (cdrk)


Rey Sapienz – Mushoro (cassette, digital, Hakuna Kulala)

“Hailing from the Nord Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, exiled Kampala based producer Rey Sapienz new 6 track ep continues to explore his unique style of weirdly abstracted soukous and kalindula. Fitting into a trajectory of Congolese artists who were fascinated by the possibilities of progressive electronic music of their time such as Denis Mpunga and Zazou Bikaye.

Rey breaks down traditional Congolese pop music into its constituent elements of dramatic vocals, fluid bass chords and dark and slowed down Soukous Synth melodies.” (Hakuna Kulala)


Liew Niyomkarn – The Secret of Mountains and Tropical Fruits (CD & digital, self-released)

“Inspired by a novel, The classic of mountains and the sea. The secret of mountains and tropical fruits conjures an image of a warm-cool landscape and airy atmosphere that can drive us somewhere.” (Liew Niyomkarn)

Liew presents here a softer variation of her music than makes you travel between ambient, electronica and new age. Dreamy atmosphere, electronic glitch and melodies that reminds the listener of water, khaen (a Northern Thai and Lao mouth organ), cicadas and so on. (cdrk)


Wukir Suryadi – Industrial Mutant 01 Indiestrial Mutant live concert at Semeru Alt Space (digital, self-released)

Wukir Suryadi, one half of infamous Indonesian duo Senyawa has been involved in the improvised music, noise and experimental scene for more than a decade now, inventing and building new instruments, he then creates a form of improvised music that blends distorted sounds with classical Indonesian music influences and repetitive sequences that now and then remind of doom and industrial music. (cdrk)


Wukir Suryadi – Nginguk (digital, self-released)

Second live concert release for Wukir, this time perhaps a bit more in the field of ambient rock and drone with some parts that clearly remind of Senyawa. (cdrk)


Gabber Modus Operandi – HOXXXYA (digital, SVBKVLT)

Indonesia’s Gabber Modus Operandi comes back with a powerful hardcore techno album on Shanghai-based label SVBKVLT. The release includes strong influences of happy hardcore, dangdut koplo (a variation of dangdut music that emerge in the 1990s), gamelan and rave music, each track track presents its own variation of the genre, from more melodic pieces to pure fast beat oriented hardcore techno. (cdrk)

“For this album, we owe a lot to the metal/noise scene and to the small rapidly growing rave crew in Denpasar, while at the same time a ton of influence strongly came from all the sounds blasting out from our banjar (neighborhood) community, the loudest spirits of Dangdut Koplo and Indonesian happy hardcore, to gamelan sounds and everything in between.” (Gabber Modus Operandi)


Various artists – Noise À Noise 2019​.​2 (digital, Noise À Noise)

This is the second compilation published by Iranian label Noise À Noise run by experimental musician and organiser Soheil Soheili.
Twenty carefully selected tracks, mostly composed by Iranian artists Abtin Gholampour, Owrang ft. Ghodsea, Aruman, Yellow Cream, Xerxes The Dark, XSIX, but also German-Taiwanese duo Stampf! who recently toured the country and did this Music for bycicles project, Leonie Roessler, C-drík, etc.
Glitch, dark ambient, electronica, electroacoustic, field recordings, techno and more. (cdrk)


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

Four new tracks by Iraqi artist Omar Fadel Hadi : new age, ambient with a pinch of traditional Iraqi music influence. (cdrk)


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

Due to his more than prolific, it is hard to review all Lee Kwang’s release but also hard to not at least present one or two now and then.
Operator is a noise-glitch 45 minutes piece, one of his numerous sound experiments published this month. (cdrk)


Mukta-feen – رحلة الضوء الأزرق – the Journey of the Blue Light (digital, self-released)

Palestinian artist Mukta-feen composes political ambient music that incorporates a lot of noises, field recordings, some electronics and voices.
According to Ahmad Zaghmouri, this work is a multi-layered philosophical installation exhibition. (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)