Writing attention currently drawn elsewhere, so here's a flash from the past, That Time a bunch of real DJs went on a murder spree of fame-whores. Don't worry though, kids, they all got better - kicked back out of both Heaven and Hell. I guess even the Afterlife can't stand their cheesy anthems.
Friday, April 28, 2017
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
I didn’t think I’d ever get this album. Hear it at some point, sure, all of Carbon Based Lifeforms’ music available on streaming services now. Unlike their first two though, which Ultimae would re-issue in anticipation of a new CBL album coming out, Interloper only had its initial run. I’m not sure why they didn’t re-issue it with the release of CBL’s space ambient opus Twentythree - both Hydroponic Garden and World Of Sleepers were, with spiffy new cover art and everything. Maybe it was still relatively new, so hadn’t yet gone out of print like Ultimae’s older CDs? It wasn’t long before Interloper did sell out though, now commanding exorbitant prices on the open market. And since it seems unlikely Ultimae will re-issue any of their old catalog on CD again, yeah, I had resigned myself to having Interloper missing from my collection.
Then I caught wind that CBL were re-issuing their first three albums on CD anyway, plus vinyl options too. Holy shit! For sure it wasn’t Ultimae doing it, and I doubt they could afford it on their own Leftfield Records print (that’s digital anyway). Nay, they turned to a nearby Scandinavian outlet that specializes in all manner of record distribution: Blood Music. Wait, the death metal outfit that’s given synthwave poster-boy Perturbator a home? I… I mean… that is… how in…? WORLDS COLLIDING!!
So now I got myself a CD copy of Interloper (care of Blood Music. Blood Music!), and I have to say this was not the album I was expecting. Given the original foggy cover art and CBL’s ongoing drift into more minimalist songcraft, I figured this album would be the logical step between World Of Sleepers and Twentythree. Not in the slightest. If anything, Interloper just might be the most ‘pop’ album in Ultimae’s history.
The duo has had its fair share of sublime melodies - MOS 6591 from their debut undoubtedly their peak – but it isn’t their defining trait. This album, though, has ear-wormy melodies to spare. The titular opener hits you with an immediate winner; Supersede sounds like elements of Epicentre (aka: the other memorable melodic track from their debut) were repurposed for a prog-psy groover; Frog has an overwrought twee melody that could be an ambient track on a Solarstone album; M seems to have movie credits in mind; and Polyrytmi, after a lengthy, subtle build, erupts at the end in such a way that would have even Solar Fields saying, “uh, maybe tone it back a bit.”
Examples of the downtempo acid-chill CBL are known for do exist between these big moments, some with a few new wrinkles added. Right Where It Ends, with its treated vocals and unconventional rhythm, wouldn’t sound out of place on L.S.G.’s Into Deep; Init and misleadingly titled 20 Minutes adds glitchy beats; but by and large obvious melodies dominate Interloper, with a few vocals thrown in for good measure. A handy introduction to CBL for associates not so inclined to the underground side of chill-out music, this.
Monday, April 24, 2017
I feel like I’ve seen Michael Cottone’s project somewhere before, but my memory fails me. It could simply be a case of mistakenly misplacing The Green Kingdom for any other number of ambient aliases or titles over the years, this combination of words evoking similar imagery for any open field or deep forest. Or perhaps it’s an association with the more shoegazey side of mellow indie rock. For sure the sound you find on Harbor contains some of those markers, what with mellow, gentle acoustic guitars riding along calm, floaty pad work, but this is still firmly in the ambient-Proper camps.
Scoping out what Lord Discogs has to say, I’m left blank as well. Mr. Cottone’s been releasing music as The Green Kingdom for over a decade now, but he’s as much a label journeyman as you’ll ever find - almost every release of his came out on a different, obscure print (Heldernacht, SEM Lable, Own Records, The Land Of, Nomadic Kids Republic (!), Tench). If anything, he seems to have finally settled down with Dronarivm, this and his previous album Expanses both coming out on the Russian ambient-drone home. He also provided a podcast mix for the blog A Strangely Isolated Place, thus rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ulrich Schnauss, Carbon Based Lifeforms, ASC, Bvdub, Martin Nonstatic, and a slew of other names I don’t recognize (so… many… ambient…).
Still, even this wasn’t enough to spike my memory, so I went to Last.fm to see if there was any additional info The Lord That Knows All may have missed. And holy cow, what is up with this Expanses 2 track? It’s gotten tons of plays, the rest of his music only modest scrobbles. Is it the same with Spotify streams? You bet, the track garnering over three-hundred fifty thousand plays – the next closest, from the same album, barely squeaks over the twenty-thousand mark. Dear Lord, why has that one track gotten so much atten- oh, it was in the Hotline Miami 2 soundtrack. Yep, that’ll do it for ya’. Can’t say that’s why The Green Kingdom looks familiar to me, but interesting finding this out nonetheless.
So, Harbor. The concept is simple enough, Mr. Cottone looking to guide the listener along the soothing waves of seaside shores. Surprisingly, there’s little use of wave samples, Green Kingdom instead letting the rolling drone mimic the feeling of chilling on a beach. Some tracks offer a chipper, mellow vibe with guitars leading, almost like an overdubbed version of Kruangbin (Harbor, Jade Star). Other tracks skew closer to dub techno, though with plenty of warm pads keeping the cold sterility away (Haze Layers, Morrowloops). Mostly though, we get calm, dubby pad drones with heavily treated orchestral and acoustic instruments. It all rather sounds like… wait, the opening part of Evergreen Sunset… that really sounds like… Vangelis? Creation Du Monde? Yeah, it totally does! Oh man, forget the next Miami Hotline game, get The Green Kingdom to score the next iteration of Cosmos.
Now doesn’t this look all ultra egg-headed in concept and design. Guide Lockstars? Astro Myrmex?? S.E.T.I.??? Right, that last one’s been a staple of electronic music for ages, musicians inspired by deep space frequencies traversing the endless void in meager hopes of finding kindred intelligence. Or something better, far superior to our primitive means, that’d be pretty dope too, but we’ll take whatever the cosmos sends our way. Beggers can’t be choosers.
Honestly, I picked this up because, hey, new S.E.T.I. – gotta’ check that out, yo’! Never mind I initially wasn’t sure which S.E.T.I. I was dealing with. Like, it seemed odd that the dark, abstract ambient project of Andrew Lagowski would end up on …txt, especially since his last few releases came out on industrial-leaning print Power & Steel. That other Seti project then, that consisted of Savvas Ysatis and Taylor Deupree, they’re more up the alley of Lee Norris’ label. Then again, they haven’t been heard from since the ‘90s, so odds of this being the same group were remote. Could it be a whole new S.E.T.I.? Lord Discogs surprisingly lists few acts with such aliases, so a young cheeky producer could take it on too.
But nay, turns out it was Mr. Lagowski all along, finding a home with …txt as he takes his project into the realms of narrative concept. The Guide Lockstars of Astro Myrmex is the second of what appears to be an ongoing tale of sorts, started with The Data Logs Of Astro Myrmex, released the year prior. Little information is given on what ‘Astro Myrmex’ is, beyond something that’s travelling the cosmos. A ship captain? Interstellar cruiser? Robotic probe? Evolved light being? Something definitely advanced compared to our current technology, what with Data Logs’ liner notes mentioning ol’ Astro exploring wormholes. Lockstars offers a morsel of additional information, explaining that Myrmex’s journey was initiated by the Nibiru Cataclysm. Ah, that event, as predicted by the cover art of Public Enemy’s Fear Of A Black Planet.
The music within, such as it is, does offer the sort of space ambient you’d expect of such a hard sci-fi story. Opener Instrument Calibration spends a chunk of its early portion with distant transistor pings and other sounds you’d figure robots communicating with radio antennae would emit, accompanied by low thrums that all dark space ambient must include. This isn’t a dark piece though, spacey pads joining the effects, nicely selling a cosmic grandeur vibe.
Guide Lockstars generally alternates in tone throughout, with S.E.T.I. exploring different forms of sci-fi sounds and abstract music. Mirach, LoS Jitter Summary, Adhil, and especially Black Engines are quite dark and droning, giving me pause whether I’d accidentally thrown on a Cryo Chamber CD instead. The longer tracks of Gravity Stupor and Almach are more bleepy and benign, though still feeling isolated between the stars. Still, it’s nice hearing a hard sci-fi, space ambient album that includes both ends of the vibe spectrum. (not as famous as the electromagnetic spectrum)
Saturday, April 22, 2017
This label’s full of surprises as of late. Not only have a couple unexpected acts returned with new albums (Scann-Tec and James Murray), not only did a new live album get released on CD (necessity of said live album still up for debate), not only did some melody return to one of their releases (Eyes To the Height), but now a follow-up to Greenosophy too? Who’d have predicted that?
No, seriously, I wonder, because the original compilation came out a half-decade ago; and honestly passed with little fanfare. Mind, it didn’t do the Mizoo project many favors having its release scheduled between two Solar Fields albums. Not to mention Fahrenheit Project wrapping up the year before, plus the additional compilation of Ambrosia coming out within the same twelve-month period. Oh, and a follow-up to Oxycanta the year after probably whisked away whatever ‘Another Ultimae Compilation’ buzz Greenosophy had going for it. Timing just wasn’t the best for that particular CD, is what I’m saying, and with Ultimae moving on from festival-friendly, mellow psy into the domain of dub techno for their chill offerings, would there be a need for another Greenosophy at this point? Sure, Mizoo could adapt to the label’s current aesthetic as Nova did with Passages, but that’d just be redundant at this point.
A glance at the track list didn’t dissuade me from that assumption either. Scann-Tec’s here, Cell is here, MikTek’s here, and Aes Dana crops up twice. All musicians I like for sure, but also clearly infatuated with dub techno’s aesthetic as of late. Mizoo opens Greenosophy: Chapter II with prog-psy veteran Ovnimoon though, his track Algun Dia more a moody, mysterious ambient piece with a gentle bleep melody lazily drifting along the droning pads. A nice opener, but then we go deep into experimental dub with Claudio Prc’s Domo, the sort of ultra-minimalist track that would have been an experimental piece during Plastikman’s Consumed phase. We’re in for a bit of a trudge in this one, aren’t we?
Not in the slightest! Scann-Tec’s Parsec was one of the better tracks off his Unyt album, and we get a tasty edit of that here. Following that is Security from Cell, doing a… prog-psy thing? Whoa, I don’t think I’ve ever heard Cell up his beats this much. It’s still relatively chill and all, but definitely at a foot-moving pace. And the two Aes Dana tracks that follow (including a collab’ with Mizoo) maintain the pace, though still keeping things on that minimalist vibe he’s been infatuated with as of late. And in case you didn’t get enough melody from Murray before, here’s I Awake and Hybrid Leisureland giving us a straight-up psy-dub outing in Metaworld. Haven’t’ heard something like that from Ultimae for an age.
For the tail-end, Mystic Crock brings acidy downbeat, Ascendant provides a bleepy prog-psy track (trance!), and MikTek does his usual widescreen trip-hoppy thing. All this leaves me thinking, “Please don’t let the next Greenosophy be another half-decade in the making.”
Friday, April 21, 2017
Faster than The Flash pulling a Lickity-Split, Czarface returned with a whole new album, on a whole new label, with a whole new promotional campaign targeting the comics industry. I doubt Deck, Eso’, and 7L had such a business partnership in mind when they created the throwback project, but one couldn’t ignore how much influence they were drawing from nerd culture. Likewise, geeks couldn’t help but get hype to an underground rap act celebrating their cherished institutions, and it wasn’t long before bootleg Czarface material hit the comic-cons. Well shit, son, if there’s a market for t-shirts, action figures, printed comics, and skateboards (!), y’all may as well get in on that gravy too. A Fistful Of Peril feels like it was released quickly not because Esoteric and Rebel INS were filled with tons of creativity they just had to get out, but to capitalize on all the positive buzz Czarface was generating with the nerds of America. Man, they really are influenced by the comics industry!
But this one isn’t as good as Every Hero Needs A Villain, if for no other reason than it’s a skint offering compared to the previous album. Inspectah Deck and Esoteric are dropping battle and brag rhymes with the same level of skill, though the punch-lines don’t hit quite as hard. Sometimes Deck is recycling stuff from old Wu joints like a comics penciler re-tracing famous poses - Revenge On Lizard City in particular apes Method Man’s Bring The Pain for a couple bars. That said, this bit of movie metaphor from Eso’ in the same track made me do the ol’ “DAAYY-YYUMM!” double-take:
“Stop your motion like Jason and the Argonauts
Ray Harry how I'm housing in the parking lot
Rap whiter, track writer, rap writer around your neck
I fuck up Superman like Zack Snyder on the set"
Music wise, A Fistful Of Peril also takes a step back, sparser in production, moodier in tone, and more reliant on straight-forward loops compared to the dynamic shifts displayed in Villain. A few tunes do come correct with the freestylin’ beats though (Dare Iz A Darkseid, Steranko, an extended turntable session in Sabers). And while my enjoyment of a rap record doesn’t hinge on the quality of guest verses, it cannot be denied there’s a major drop-off in that category too. Psycho Les, Blacastan, Conway, Mayhem Lauren, and Rast RFC handle themselves fine, but c’mon, they ain’t no GZA, MF Doom, Ghostface, Action Bronson, Method Man, Large Professor… you get the idea.
There’s still enough solid, straight-forward hip-hop in A Fistful Of Peril to enjoy, but I can’t see the Czarface project lasting long if it keeps falling back to boom-bap brags filled with geek culture references. Why not take things to the next level, go full nerdcore by adopting the Czarface persona completely, and telling a full-length narrative of his exploits in the process? Tell me that wouldn’t be dope as all hell. This project is practically preordained for it!
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Mister Murray made his debut with Ultimae Records when the French label was in the midst of its Second Generation push. This included acts like Cell, Hol Baumann, Hybrid Leisureland, and I Awake, most of whom I snatched albums from once I finally decided I should splurge on Ultimae’s entire back-catalog while they were still in print. Um, Murray’s LP, Where Edges Meet, wasn’t among them, so don’t go expecting that review once I get to the ‘W’s in my endless musical quest.
Lord Discogs says he didn’t do much after that for a few years, though eventually got into the label game with his own print, Slowcraft Records, started up in 2012. He floated among a couple other labels, and provided some podcast mixes for the webzine Headphone Commute, all the while dropping an occasional track for an occasional Ultimae compilation. He didn’t seem terribly high of profile with Aes Dana’s print though, so it was a small surprise that he’d return to it with another full-length album eight years after his first one.
And friends, thank Chillzarn, The God Of Chill, he did, because ol’ James has brought with him something that’s been seriously lacking throughout many Ultimae releases of late: actual melody! As in, chord progressions that lodges in your head, tones that tease out more emotion than isolated introspection, and much less emphasis on losing your headspace within the spacious dub-chill mixdown Ultimae’s been enamored with. For sure it’s still there, with pad work that paints a widescreen canvas like the foggy backdrop of an open field; however, things aren’t so obscured and impenetrable as the label’s recent releases go, details and foreground scenery present and clear. (the cover art really is apt for the music within)
I should make clear we’re not talking Solar Fields level of melodic power here, but it’s definitely more than we’ve heard since… geez, Circular’s Moon Pool? For the most part, Mr. Murray applies a gentle touch to his music, spritely tones found in tracks like The Black And The Grey, Holloways, Eyes To The Height and Ghostwalking. Others, like What Can Be Done, Passing Places, and Laterisers, go more towards the dronier aspects of ambient dub, muffling his melodies as though wrapping them in a soft blanket. Particles, which features two parts in this album, makes use of heavily treated piano, creating a lovely refrain complemented by breathy vocal pads and delicate rhythms (seriously, I feel as though these ‘beats’ could break if I breathe on them). Part 2 of Particles is about as close to a Solar Fields styled ambient tune as we’ve heard on Ultimae in some time, and closer Copestone offers a little vintage ambient-bleep vibe. Not quite HIA On Ultimae, but nice nonetheless.
Even if you’ve been wishy-washy about this label’s dalliances into dub-techno these past few years, Eyes To The Height is well worth scoping out. Murray brings some genuine feels back to Ultimae’s ranks, a trend that hopefully takes hold in future releases.
Less than two years after Czarface caught the attention of discerning underground heads, Inspectah Deck along with 7L & Esoteric returned to their comic-book inspired, anti-hero/posi-villain creation. And this time, “it’s personal.” No, wait, that doesn’t make sense. Maybe, “…and this time, they Czar harder!” Nope, that’s even less sense. Maybe “Not a hoax, not a dream – this album, Czar’s enemies DIE!” Look, most of my comics reading consists of Transformers. I dabbled in some Marvel stuff in my youth, and keep tabs on the industry for curiosity’s sake, but aping classic taglines? You’re better off consulting Linkara.
The chaps behind Czarface though, they know the scene their taking influence from, filling their rhymes with all sorts of nods to nerd culture. You don’t need intimate knowledge of comics, wrestling, and sports (!) to enjoy these two MCs and one DJ doing their thing, but it certainly helps. The eight-minute long opus on this album, Escape From Czarkham Asylum, is loaded with them – heck, even the title alone is a nod. Deck spends a whole verse comparing the impact of his bars to that of rampaging kaiju, and Esoteric gets in similar lines too (“I’m 90 Yao Mings tall, I’m 50 Fat Joes wide”; “My footprint is bigger than Fenway Park”).
And holy cow, but the production on this track is nuts! So many change-ups throughout, running through funky licks, straight-up boom-bap, and a tight electro thing with Airplane warning pings (makes sense with all the flight metaphors in that verse). True, an eight-minute long rap track needs some diversity to keep it interesting all the way through, but this whole album’s filled with dope, diverse beats. If the debut was about this trio throwing some jams out for the fun of it, Every Hero Needs A Villain finds them taking things more seriously, showing not just the verbal synergy between Deck and Eso’ but the production talents of 7L too.
For sure the boom-bap dominates, as it plays best to the Rebel’s and Eso’s strengths as rappers. In fact, the two have remarkably similar flows, their regional accents about the only identifiable difference (bar construction too). Funky jams find more room here compared to Czarface, including tracks like Lumberjack Match, ladies come-on cut Nightcrawler with a guest spot from Method Man, and the punch-line heavy Junkyard Dogs with JuJu (oh my God, these lyrics! Dr. Octagon reference!). Elsewhere, the production gets experimental, When Gods Go Mad offering something more cinematic (GZA verse!), while Ka-Bang! goes grimy and minimalist, which suits guest rapper MF Doom’s style just fine. Ooh, now there’s a crossover issue made in heaven-hell: Czarface vs. MF Doom. Maybe Deltron Zero can make a cameo!
I don’t ask for much in my hip-hop. Some verbal dexterity, killer beats, and metaphors that don’t fly over my head like Greatest American Hero is plenty. Twice now, Czarface has delivered as a pair of ace spades. Will their third album serve up the triple? (note: never let me ghost-write lyrics)
Monday, April 17, 2017
Despite being a solid follow-up to Jarre’s synth-wizardry debut Oxygene, Equinoxe remains overshadowed by its elder sibling. Like, why hasn’t Jarre’s sophomore earned itself a spiffy New Master Recording? Or a conceptual return three volumes deep? Not to mention the oodles of EP re-releases, usually coinciding with a greatest hits package. And while a couple tracks from Equinoxe often make the cut on such compilations, Oxygene dominates the selection process.
Part of this has to do with the fact Equinoxe pretty much is a continuation of ideas and sounds already explored in Oxygene - and as we all know, it’s primarily the First of something that gets all the attention. As Jean-Michel’s career carried on through the decades, it was marked by several other significant moments that took up space in your standard Cliff’s Notes recaps: the mega-concerts, the switch to digital from analog, the switch back to analog from digital, the on-again off-again relationship with club culture, etc. With so many talking points to touch upon, its unsurprising discussion of ‘the album that came after Oxygene’ isn’t the highest priority.
But important it is. Not Very Important, mind you, but important enough in that Jarre had to prove Oxygene wasn’t some fluke of creative serendipity. Given the nearly unprecedented global success of his debut in the world of synth music (no, we will not include Deserted Palace in this discussion, ever), fan and foe were eager to hear what he’d come out with next. Could he replicate that magical blend of modern classical artfulness while keeping an ear tuned with pop sensibilities? Might he go more abstract as a creative challenge? Or totally sell out with some disco pop, as was the happenin’ thing to do at the time? A little of each, turns out.
For sure Jarre has another long-player concept in mind for Equinoxe, this time out the dawn-to-dusk journey of Mankind. Right, that’s one Hell of a vague descriptor, though listening through this album, I can hear what Jean-Michel was shooting for. The first two tracks (Part 1 and Part 2) call upon his classical music knowledge, the first more a grand opening, the second a somber, mysterious reflective piece. Things get peppier in Part 3, building up to the centerpiece of the album in Part 4. It’s got a strident rhythm, sweeping synth strings, a hooky refrain, key changes, and lots of plinky sounds, burbling proto-acid…the usual assortment of Jarre treatments. Is it better than Oxygene? Does it matter? I think it’s cool, isn’t that enough?
Part 5 and Part 6 are even brisker than Part 4, though clearly treading into synth-pop’s territory. Part 7’s where it’s at though, tying everything together in a tidy, tasty sonic bow. Would have made for a perfect end to Equinoxe, but Jarre decides a little indulgence is in order, Part 8 running through some French pop silliness, then going full modern classical again for an outro. Ah, why not; I’ll allow it. ‘Tis fun.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
So Environment Six had its moments, but didn’t gel terribly well as an LP experience. And dammit, is it so unfair of me to want that? The Future Sound Of London made their mark in the ‘90s as one of the few electronic music producers who could successfully release fully-formed albums. We know it’s within Cobain and Dougans’ ability to do so, and though the Environments series has flitted with loose themes thus far, I can’t see an abandonment of it in favor of total freeform music making doing them many favors. With the simultaneous release of 6.5, also featuring a whopping twenty-three tracks, I worried we were in for another lengthy dive into the duo’s erratic muses.
Instead, we’re greeted with one of the biggest opening salvos FSOL have ever committed to record. Axis Of Rotation serves as a brief effects-heavy intro, a suggested orchestral melody emerging. It then melds into a thudding tribal rhythm in Solid Earth, where the same melody plays out in a haunting, subdued fashion. Wait, I should call that melody a leitmotif, because FSOL bring it back way down in track fifteen, The Day The Poles Shifted, and as a grand opus at that. Holy cow, does Environment 6.5 have an honest-to-God concept behind it?
I’d say so. For one, the tracks all flow much better together compared to Six, moments of calm and tranquility explored for stretches before easing along to tunes more brisk and experimental. If a number of these tracks started out as unrelated sonic sketches, FSOL tweaked and twisted them to fit whatever theme holds everything together. Even that, so often vague and obtuse in prior Environments, comes off more concrete than before. For sure explorations of ruined civilizations is well-tread territory where these guys are concerned, but with 6.5, I feel as though I’m directly involved in this musical trek rather than being an outside observer of events. This undoubtedly sounds awfully wanky, but the journey takes you through dark, underground passages, past dwellings both ancient yet futuristic, finally emerging into a new dawn as the surface finally recovers from its cataclysm (by force of nature than anything manmade, it seems).
Individual tracks, then. How do they all come off? Oh, the usual sort of FSOL eclecticism. Anacro Rhythm: far East psychedelia. Opal Light: noir ambient dub. Dark Seed: chipper braindance acid. I Dream In Viral Blue: widescreen jazz-fusion. Ain’t Gonna Lie: far flung ambient techno. Emmissions Of Light: dubby ambient glitch. Strange Allure: pure ambience with bubbling weirdness. There’s more, of course, but gotta’ save some surprises for y’all.
Why this wasn’t the Environment Six Prime album, I haven’t a clue. It’s so much better, Actual Six coming off like the b-side companion an album titled 6.5 should sound like. In fact, I’d rank this one on par with their ‘90s material, if for nothing else than that Axis Of Rotation leitmotif remains stuck in my head. Can’t say the same of most other Environment pieces.
Things I've Talked About
...txt 10 Records 16 Bit Lolita's 1965 1966 1967 1969 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2 Play Records 2 Unlimited 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 20xx Update 2562 302 Acid 4AD 6 x 6 Records 75 Ark 7L & Esoteric 808 State A Perfect Circle A Positive Life A-Wave A&M Records A&R Records Abasi Above and Beyond abstract Ace Tracks Playlists Ace Ventura acid acid house acid jazz acid techno acoustic Adam Freeland Adham Shaikh ADNY Adrian Younge adult contemporary Aegri Somnia Aes Dana Afrika Bambaataa Afro-house Afterhours Agoria Ajana Records AK1200 Akshan album Aldrin Alex Theory Alio Die Alphabet Zoo Alphaxone Altar Records Alter Ego alternative rock Alucidnation Ambelion ambient ambient dub ambient techno Ambient World Ambientium Ametsub Amon Tobin Amplexus Anabolic Frolic Andrea Parker Andrew Heath Androcell anecdotes Aniplex Anjunabeats Another Fine Day Antendex anthem house Anthony Rother Anti-Social Network Aphasia Records Aphex Twin Apócrýphos Apollo Apple Records April Records Aqua Aquascape Aquila Arcade arena rock Arista Armada Armin van Buuren Arpatle Arts & Crafts ASC Ashtech Asian Dub Foundation Astral Waves Astralwerks AstroPilot Asura Asylum Records ATCO Records Atlantic Atlantis atmospheric jungle Atomic Hooligan Atrium Carceri Attic Audion AuroraX Autistici Aveparthe Avicii Axiom Axtone Records B.G. 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