Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Steve Brand - Upwelling: Emergence

Databloem: 2018

Steve Brand seemed familiar to me, but Discoggian evidence shows that couldn't possibly be the case. Though he's released some forty album's worth of music in the past fifteen years, a high percentage of it has been through his own, independent labels (Relaxed Machinery, Pioneer Light Music). And despite a discography as big as his, he hasn't done much for the compilation market either. Yet I still associate his name with ambient artists of old, which makes sense given his style of ambient is in the ancient, traditional form of the genre. I must have noticed his works on labels like Hypnos and AtmosWorks, where old-schoolers like Vidna Obmana, Robert Rich, and Vir Unis have released material. Oh, Ishq too, whom Steve Brand collaborated with on the double-LP Spiritual Science / The Voice From Home. Huh, sometimes the connections are as simple as that.

Though that pairing happened a decade ago, it helped give him a small in with ...txt, where Brand got to release one of his Near Series CDs on. And as seems to be the case now, when a producer releases something on a Lee Norris print, they get invited over to the Databloem family as well. Or sometimes it's the other way around. Lots of cross-pollination between the two camps, is what I'm saying, more than I ever thought possible. Throw in Aes Dana providing another mixdown for a Databloem joint, and I'm beginning to wonder if I should be on the look-out for some massive, multi-franchise crossover event within the world of ambient and chill music. That isn't a tribute to Pete Namlook.

Upwelling: Emergence is a sequel of sorts, the first Upwelling coming out way back in 2011 as an odd 'n' sods collection of material. So too it goes with this one, various unused items and inspirational flights of fancy of the past decade rounded up into a compilation. A strange method of making a debut on a new label, though not unprecedented. Heck, I think I've reviewed such an item before (Aythar's Dream Of Stars). It's a safe way to test the waters with a broader audience, seeing if one's stylee meshes with their tastes before dropping an LP of new, original content on their ears. As if the ambient collective is some stuffy scene of opinionated gate-keepers.

As I'm not about to dive deeply into Brand's discography right now (so many albums...), all I can tell you regarding this particular release is what I mentioned above. Steve's 'brand' (*slap*) of ambient mostly entails lengthy, overlaying synth drones and gentle field recordings, abstract art music as crafted right from the '80s. It's all very serene and pleasant and calming and-

G'ah! What's with those flutes in The Krater Of Earth? So shrill and piercing following half a CD's worth of soothing tones and timbre. The track settles into a standard pad-drone piece, but geez, hearing those sure was a slap in the face. Knocked me out of my peaceful doze, it did.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Single Gun Theory - Flow, River Of My Soul

Nettwerk: 1994

(a Patreon Request from Omskbird)

There was a small window in the development of my musical tastes where this album would have been brilliant to me. It was right around the point when the sounds of Enya, Enigma and Deep Forest were failing me, but I hadn't yet caught onto whatever 'underground' ethno-pop beats options existed. When I was exploring compilations like Pure Moods and Escapes for new artists to check out. When I came into contact with another Nettwerk album released the same year as this that I thought among the most amazing things I ever heard, Delerium's Semantic Spaces. It was a small window of time, is what I'm saying.

Interestingly, Delerium was also my introduction to Single Gun Theory. Or rather, to Jacqui Hunt of Single Gun Theory, as featured in the lead single to the album Karma, Euphoria (Firefly). And yes, again, that was the lead single, not Silence featuring another Nettwerk artist on vocals (you know who). I didn't know much about Single Gun Theory, only what the Karma-hype blurbs told me, of them being Australian, a staple on Nettwerk since the label's earliest days, and having some musical ties to the Dead Can Dance wave of '80s ethereal synth-pop. I'll take the PR's word for it.

In any event, I'm not surprised the Delerium boys wanted to work with Jacqui Hunt, because boy does she ever carry the musical load in this group. Granted, part of that is thanks to the layers of ethereal effects on her voice. Whenever she's singing about fractured relationships or global issues or metaphysical existence though, you stand up and take notice, more than willing to be swept away in the thick layers of treated vocals. Which is good, as the backing music is only passable at best.

Pete and Kath do everything they can to make these tunes sound rich and dynamic, but the production chops just aren't there. It's clear their global travels heavily inspired them, with all manner of ethnic chants and exotic instruments finding their way into their tunes. And I do give props for them bringing in actual musicians for the showcases of tabla, tambura, cello, and such.

Unfortunately, they don't do much to distinguish their sampling as integral parts of the songs they craft, many of them presented with a big, flashing sign shouting “I'm a sample!” between moments of Jacqui's singing. Geez, it's even noticeable in their rhythms, not even trying to hide how obvious some of their breaks sampling is. It's fine using well-worn beats and all, but do something interesting with them to make them your own, otherwise I'm gonna' think of better examples of their use elsewhere. I could give them a pass on their previous albums, but by 1994, such production was coming off rather dated fast.

Ironically, the best example of the sort of music Single Gun Theory was trying to make here comes care of Delerium's Euphoria (Firefly). Remarkable what a couple years and better producers can accomplish, eh?

Friday, September 13, 2019

Howie B. - Turn The Dark Off

Polydor: 1997

When 'electronica' was the new hotness, I recall seeing Howie B.'s name everywhere, but as I look back on his compilation game, I fail to remember why. Yeah, I got a small jump on him when he appeared on the Waveform Records compilation Frosty (ten minutes of Birth!), and he was repped on the MuchMusic 'electronica' show CD tie-in RU Receiving, but that was the extent of my exposure.

He was featured on a number of trip-hop and big-beat collections at the height of those genres' commercial success, and carried on into the new Millennium to a respectable degree, including contributing to the FabricLive and AnotherLateNight series. I dunno' though, it still feels like I'm missing something, like Mr. Bernstein was at a higher level than even that, almost on par with the likes of The Chemical Brothers and Massive Attack. Give me a second, I need to check the Wiki... *one search result later* OOOoohhh... He helped produced U2's Pop album. Yeah, that'll get your name in the mainstream rock rags, no doubt.

Coming up through the studio ranks, Howie B. was primed to make a prominent mark upon UK clubland by the mid-'90s, finally getting his debut with Music For Babies. That... was a tad too specialized a sound to make much impact, so the follow-up Turn The Dark Off is generally considered his proper debut, with all his major singles. Switch is here! Fizzy In My Mouth is here! Take Your Partner By The Hand is here! Uh... Who's Got The Bacon? is here? Wait, Angels Go Bald, Too was a single as well? I guess it has that spy-caper vibe going for it, and Howie did help with that Tom Cruise staring Mission: Impossible score a little. Can't say it's the Howie B. stylee I was expecting going into this though, so brisk and breakbeaty for a dude more known for the down 'n' dirty side of trip-hop funk.

Turn The Dark Off features a solid assortment of those sounds, essentially where big-beat and trip-hop meet in the grand scheme of things. In fact, I can't help but feel it's a little too solid, too polished for a record seemingly inspired by the gritty underground beats that were churned out by Mo'Wax. I suppose that can't be helped, Mr. Bernstein's experience on the production side of the things smoothing out whatever free-flowing roughness emerges from one's inspiration. It's far from BT-itis, but certainly around Junkie XL's level of studio sleekness.

Whenever he has a chance to solo out some sounds over his hunky-chunky rhythms, the music's all the better for it. The gentle keyboards and weird wobbly wail in Limbo. The raunchy-raw squealing synths in Butt Meat. The spoken-word tale of noir clublife as narrated by Robbie Robertson in Take Your Partner By The Hand. Not to mention the building guitar licks and hip-hop rhythms that aren't too dissimilar to The RZA's beatcraft. Album could have used more tracks like that one.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Morphology - Traveller

FireScope: 2018

My main nitpick/complaint/petty gripe regarding FireScope has long been their lack of LPs. So many EPs, which is fine and all for the vinyl market, but us CD buyers often crave maor musiks than the standard four-to-five tracks singles provide. Thus imagine my giddiness over seeing an actual ten-track item released on the print! Aw yeah, this Traveller album from Morphology will finally give me the LP experience I've long craved from FireScope. Can't wait for that sucker to arrive in the mail, and slip the CD into my main player where- wait, this has two CDs in it? As in, presented as a double-EP? What in the even...?

No no, let's take this as an opportunity. Yes, I will engage with this 'double-CD' album as though it were a vinyl option, where I must get up from my comfortable sitting/laying position to change the disc/record at the designated point. In this manner, I may help bring closer the divide that has long alienated the vinyl and CD buying populaces. 'Tis not a nobler endeavour I embark upon in this task, my friends?

But first, who are Morphology, and what do they bring to the FireScope family? A duo of Finnish electro lovers, Misters Turunen and Diekmann have been making tunes since the start of this decade (or the end of the last decade; whichever you prefer). They released a couple albums on Syntax Motorcity in that time, plus assorted singles on assorted labels generally skewing to the purist Detroit vision of electro and techno, but with beatcraft a little more complex than your traditional, functional robot rhythms. Not the most obvious link to B12's brand of techno, but enough to hop on over I guess.

CD1 features six tracks, including one ambient doodle. Opener Distant Signal (Distant System!? No...) definitely has that spaced-out electro thing going for it, while Second Light and Farthest Regions are quite airy and charming for electro, for the most part fitting the FireScope vibe. Hidden Variable and Detached go more for the proper electro menace Morphology's earlier works steered under.

That's the end of CD1. Time to get up and change discs. Eh, while I'm up, I may as well check on those taters I have in the oven. Ooh, done! And they smell so delish' right now. Mm, think I'll take a moment to scarf a few, check up on some internet... *one half-hour later* ... Oh, dammit, CD2! Almost forgot about it! *mightily struggles to stand on a sated stomach full of toasty potato*

Man, having that unexpected break sure makes coming into the second half of Traveller in interesting experience. Almost feels like I'm taking in a totally different album, and not just because the electro here is even purer than heard on CD1. Yeah, Bipolar Nebula retains some chipper feels, but that makes sense given the track name. Overall, a neat little listening experiment.

Oh, and Traveller is a boss album of spacey electro too.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

B12 - Transient Life

De:tuned: 2017

I've talked about B12. I've bought a number of releases from remaining member of B12, Steve Rutter. I've even become enamoured by B12's current label, FireScope. Yet I never seemed to get myself an actual proper B12 release. Clearly a ridiculous oversight on my part, so there's no time like the present(ish) than to finally get me some B12 music. Where do I start though? The seminal contribution to Warp Records' Artificial Intelligence series, Electro-Soma? One of the numerous EPs Rutter's released through FireScope? Nah, guy, how's about a little item put out on De:tuned instead? Wait, De:tuned? Was'is this?

Kind of a proto-FireScope, De:tuned started out as a retro IDM label luring in names from the genre's ancient history for an EP release or two. Though not prolific by any stretch, they did a remarkable job in meeting their manifesto, the well known and the rather obscure all showing up. From B12, Thomas Heckmann, John Beltran, and David Morley to The Kosmik Kommando, Robert Leiner, and Terrace. More recently the label's gone the compilation route, inviting many classic ambient techno aliases in the process, some of which I thought were long since mothballed. Like, holy cow, look at these vintage name-drops! Sun Electric, Jedi Knights, Spacetime Continuum, Higher Intelligence Agency! Damn, De:tuned, you sure know how to lure some veterans in. CDs soon?

B12, now just Steve Rutter, had been releasing a a smattering of singles since dusting the project off again in 2015 (more on that at a later date). I'm guessing he was still uncertain whether he should start his own label yet or not, but this here Transient Life EP was the last of his label wanderings before launching FireScope. If he did it with De:tuned to drum up interest in his new print, I have to assume it did the trick, his label on quiet the run as of late.

As with all those FireScope singles, Transient Life features four tracks in the make of that unmistakable bleepy ambient techno vein. This stuff's not quite so mellow and floaty as Mr. Rutter's later works though. Opener Soar And Glide has a real ominous vibe going for it despite the playful bleeps and bloops – like you're exploring some ancient alien architecture. Brownian Motion bins the bleeps altogether, settling for mood and tone enveloping its skitter-skatter IDM beatcraft. Forced Restart is the requisite 'chill' cut, going more electro than techno in doing so, while Symbiotic Form is creepy-weird for much of its runtime, an overbearing, ghostly synth-pad sending the EP out on not the most reassuring of moods. Like, imagine being abandoned on said ancient alien realm, so much mystery surrounding you, and you can't help sensing something lurking withing those relics of civilizations passed.

As cool, nifty, nostalgia-triggering as all this sounds, there's something about Transient Life that holds me back from liking at much as Rutter's more recent works. A tad too unsettling, perhaps? Pft, and I consider myself a dark ambient connoisseur.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Ylid - Transcend!

Unknown Tone Records: 2014

I kept getting this album and Le Moors' Tendrils mixed up, and not just because they're side-by-side in my current queue, nor because they're both items from Unknown Tone Records. It's the cover art, see, with that muted beige-yellow border, and a blue-something in the middle. Having absolutely no prior knowledge of who either act were, they naturally meshed into my mind as a singular entity, for so long leading me to believe Ylid was Le Moors, and Transcend! was Tendrils. In fact, the only way any of this stood out to me as something distinct from the other is when my new Sony Walkman MP3 player would oddly default first to the Ylid album whenever I plugged it into whatever car I was renting for this past summer's road trips. And boy howdy did it ever leave an impression with that Chant track being the kick off. Ain't nothing like hearing heavily synthy 'aahh's just as you're about to hit the open road, believe you me. Who knew Ylid was a fan of Skin To Skin?

Anyhow, it seems we're back to the outright obscure material again, very little information available regarding Ylid via my usual Discoggian means. One Robert Lyon, he released some half-dozen mini-albums and EPs throughout the mid-'00s, then disappeared for a spell before reappearing out of the blue with this album for Unknown Tone. The only connection I can find between these two periods of Robert's music-making career is Tim Martin, whom he worked with as the short-lived project Somme. Tim Martin's career has been more fruitful, especially as Maps & Diagrams, which led him to Unknown Tone along the way (among other labels I've name-dropped in the past). That good will likely helped give Somme some in with Unknown Tone, after which Robert got to dust off his Ylid project for the label as well. So it does all tie together, guy, but boy, are these ever tenuous strings used.

That's a huge chunk of word count burned getting through particulars, which always means I don't have much to say regarding the actual music within Transcend! It's quite clear Ylid comes from the indie side of things, the Kid A influences dripping throughout the album. Sparse electric and acoustic guitar plucking, fizzy-poppy glitchy treatments, overlaying ambient drone tones, abstract twee electronics, all presented in a sketch-book sort of manner. It's clear Mr. Lyon has lots of little ideas for minimalist compositions, but isn't sure how to present them as a cohesive whole, so here they all are as emerged straight from his brain matter.

For sure there are a few that grab my attention. Thames has a peppy, dreamy pulse going for it, while tracks like Volume Of Air, Overhead and Death Thoughts do the thick, layered reverb ambience nicely. Can't say much else does it for me though, but hey, if you prefer your experimental music from a post-rock angle, this may come off better.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Le Moors - Tendrils

Unknown Tone Records: 2016

Finally, an obscure ambient act I'm coming across for the first time where I'm not drawing an utter blank. Not to say I'm an expert on Le Moors. Really, hardly anyone could be, the duo having released just this one album, plus a single-track EP a few years prior. One of the players involved though, I've crossed paths with him before, if only barely. One Wil Bolton contributed to the Lee Norris conglomerate project The Angling Loser, and has thus also worked specifically with Lee as Orphic Signals and The Ashes Of Piemonte. He's also released a solo album on ...txt. Dronarivm too, not to mention most recently on Databloem, because everyone is releasing music on Databloem these days. Seriously, what is it with that label as of late?

Really, Bolton's been quite the busy-body over the past decade, with nearly twenty albums to his name, and several more collaborative works along the way. Less so is the other half of Le Moors, Jeff Stonehouse, though not by a great deal. His primary project was Listening Mirror with Kate Tustain – even releasing an album on Dronarivm during its time – but seems to have settled into more of a producer-collaborative role now, making use of sound manipulations and the like. Oh, and Lord Discogs ties him to '90s psy-trance act Spiralhead, but I've a hard time believing that's the same dude. You're telling me Jeff made a few goa records way back, disappeared for over a decade, then re-emerged making ambient-drone? Ah, well, I suppose there's been odder musical tracks. Tijs Verwest started out with gabber, after all.

The concept behind Tendrils is straight-forward enough: calming, soothing ambient layers with reverb tones stretched out to the infinite recesses of your listening space. Ooh, what I wouldn't give to hear some of this in a big open field, but my Sennheiser HD650s suffice in a pinch. Most of these sounds are initiated by guitars strings lazily plucking an improvised ditty, with the aforementioned sound manipulations contorting them into something quite relaxing and tranquil. If I may get my old-school name-drops on, it most reminds me of Vangelis' sublime composition of pre-ambient dronescaping, Creation Du Monde. I can imagine a piece like Precarious Brilliance or The Play Of Angels working just as well with imagery of cosmic splendour with Carl Sagan narrating overtop.

And that's about all there is to say about Tendrils. It's only seven tracks long, most averaging around the six-to-seven minute mark, which is a tad on the short side where this sort of music is concerned. Then again, at least they don't unnecessarily dawdle on their effects either. There isn't much variety in sounds though, maybe Cutlasses And Carbines going more sparse and minimal with its elongated guitar tones compared to the rest of the album. Then there's the final titular track, with its nine minutes of isolated piano and atonal drone. A surprisingly ominous closing, given how benign the rest of Tendrils was.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Crystal Moon - Temple

Kinetix/...txt: 1997/2018

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised by a release like this on ...txt. I mean, Ishq has released tons of material on the label, and that dude's flirted with the realms of New Age for as long as he's been making music. Still, for a print that's more known for the trendier, critically-approved ambient techno side of things, I remain mildly flumoxed by releases like this. That didn't keep me from nabbing a copy sight-unheard though, because dang, is that ever a lovely spot of cover art.

Thus, imagine my surprise when I finally checked out the details behind Crystal Moon, revealing it to be the tenth-dozen side-project of one Jake Stephenson. You might remember me name-dropping him with regards to such acts like Shamanoic Tribes On Acid, Mekhala, Alien Mutation, Dr. Psychedelic, Psychoheads, The Pots Heads, Super Skunk, Ganja Beats, and White Star. All those names appeared on just two compilations! So, not only has one of psy-trance's busiest bodies of the '90s revealed yet another alias I was unaware of (really, who could keep up?), but is now also featured with a reissue on ...txt? Oh yeah, Temple originally came out way back in 1997, which was consolidation into a 4CD collection called The Dawn Of A New Age released by Jumpin' & Pumpin' (yeah, FSOL's old homestead). That one isn't all Jake Stephenson, though it wouldn't have surprised me if it was. And how Lee Norris not only came into contact with this particular release, but saw fit to give it a spiffy CD reissue, it, well, as I said, gives the ol' noggin' a case of the mild flumoxing.

Actually, the connection was made incredibly clear when I noticed Matt Hillier was also part of Crystal Moon. You probably know him by his most productive alias of Ishq, but this was before he adopted the moniker. Yes, like Jake, Matt spent a chunk of the late '90s churning out psy-trance under multiple aliases, even getting a spot on one of those middling Psychedelic Flashbacks 4CD compilations from Rumour Records. Early trials, folks.

Temple is about as you'd expect from a pair of psy-trance chaps making ambient-leaning New Age music. It's just trippy enough such that it doesn't come off as schmaltzy as New Age so often can, but doesn't go so deep into the psychedelic hole that it would chase away all the hippie grandmothers looking for a little extra backing music to their meditation sessions.

Oh, does it ever flirt close to crossing that threshold though – there's more than enough samples of running water, twinkling bells, chirping birds, woodwinds, and all the like. Anytime it feels like we're about to go there though, the production gets a little twisted, a little dubbier, more abstract in the true sense of ambient. It's a delicate balance, but Jake and Matt walk that tightrope ever so skillfully. 'Tis not an easy one to traverse with intent, my friends.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Various - A Taste Of Kandi Summer 2007

Hed Kandi: 2007

It's generally agreed upon Hed Kandi's decline occurred when Ministry Of Sound bought the brand in 2006. That doesn't mean it happened all at once, I'm sure a few decent selections coming out before that decade came to a close. Ah, this looks promising enough, a tidy, single-disc sampler mix highlighting peppy, summery house jams, and but a scant couple years after the Ministry buy-in. Surely this will prove it wasn't all rubbish immediately after.

And you know you're in good hands when a set opens up with Miguel Migs. He's one of those producers where you know what you're gonna' get, so if you've already gotten his stuff, there's no rush to get more so long as you're sated on what you got. That don't mean he's a welcome addition to any collection of house music though. Migs sets the tone for a large chunk of the opening: soulful disco house that brings to mind glitzy clubs serving glitzy people drinking glitzy drinks. Nothing revolutionary, but it doesn't need to be, music knowing exactly what its purpose is. No one's getting a Hed Kandi mix for intuitive underground sounds; sometimes you just need a quick fix of vanilla sundae with rainbow sprinkles.

A run of big disco anthems ups the tempo some, featuring tunes from the likes of Frank Ti-Aya, Justin Michael, Asbo, with guest vocalists ranging from Katherine Ellis, Jocelyn Brown, and Yardi Don, plus remixes from Soul Avengerz, Born To Funk, Deep Groovers, and House Brothers. Uh, sorry, but I'm drawing blanks on these names. Punters and DJs well entrenched in the Hed Kandi brand are probably familiar with them, but many of these appear like factory productions, churning out fodder for the DJ pools to be rinsed out for a season, then tossed off in favour for another round a few months later. So it always goes in clubland, I guess. The tunes are all fine for the time they're playing, but they don't really stand out from the disco house glut either.

Then Eddie Thoneick throws down a remix towards the final stretch, and you can always tell it's an Eddie Thoneick remix because few did big, punchy electro-house anthems like that chap did in the mid-'00s. Following that is a... cover? Of Big Fun? The artist credit goes to D.O.N.S., with a remix done by Beaver & Jones, but aside from giving the classic Detroit anthem some (then) current production punch, isn't much different from the original. Oh well, at least Steve Mac's rub on Bryon Stingily's Get Up (Everybody) is a fun disco anthem to end things on.

But then the mix has to keep going and let The Creeps from Freaks literally fart all over everything. Ugh, that was already a lame-ass flatulent tune jock-riding the Satisfaction craze when it was new, and it sounds utterly shite among so much upbeat disco action. Forget the last track's tribal-drum action, The Creeps ruined everything with its odoriferous stank rubbing on the CD.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

ACE TRACKS: August 2019

Yeah, that happened. Got a lot more attention than expected too. Sure, we knew many were anticipating it in select circles of the interweb, and might even get a few shares on third string 'EDM' news outlets. Heck, even DJMag sharing it didn't phase me, though I couldn't help but feel a little amused in their praise, despite the drubbing we've given them over the years (probably because even they know they deserve it for how their popularity poll's perverted a once pure scene). Nay, the only share (thus far) that's given me pause was Billboard's.

Wait, the Billboard, as in the conglomerate that tracks music sales? How did they come across the Guide? Hell, for that matter, how were they even aware of the original, must less feel this was a newsworthy event for them to share? For sure, this was a major undertaking that took years to complete, and we're mighty proud of the resulting effort, but surely it isn't such a big deal that we're getting blurbs in a media outlet who's sole role is continuous hype of mainstream success. Wonders never cease. Nor do ACE TRACK playlists, so here's August 2019!


Full track list here.


MISSING ALBUMS:
Josh Christie - Stuck On A Space Trip
Anduin - Stolen Years
The Gentle People - Soundtracks For Living
Ken Ishii - Sleeping Madness
Kwook - Skywave
Speedy J - Ginger

Percentage Of Hip-Hop: 11%
Percentage Of Rock: 11%
Most “WTF?” Track: Anything from The Gentle People, when you realize it was released on Rephlex.

Never a good thing for these playlists when nearly half the albums aren't on Spotify. Some I can understand, being so utterly obscure and all, but Speedy J? Ken Ishii? The Gentle People?? How are those records from them not on there? Weirdly, the remix album of Soundtracks For Living is, but probably because there's a lot of Very Important IDM and techno artists doing remixes there, so are likely of higher interest for those wandering in. And I shouldn't worry much about what currently is or isn't on Spotify, as plenty do eventually find their way there. Why, I just discovered Felix Da Houscat's back catalogue is now available. Sweet, I can finally see if all those post Devin Dazzle albums were as bad as the critics made them out to be! (oh, and Tool too, I guess)

Things I've Talked About

...txt 10 Records 16 Bit Lolita's 1963 1965 1966 1967 1968 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 2018 20xx Update 2562 3 Loop Music 302 Acid 36 3FORCE 3six Recordings 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 Abandoned Communities Abasi Above and Beyond abstract Ace Trace Ace Tracks Playlists Ace Ventura acid acid house acid jazz acid techno acoustic Acroplane Recordings Adam Freeland Adham Shaikh ADNY Adrian Younge adult contemporary Advanced UFO Phantom Aegri Somnia Aes Dana Afrika Bambaataa Afro-house Afterhours Agoria Aidan Casserly Aira Mitsuki Ajana Records Ajna AK1200 Akshan album Aldrin Alex Smoke Alex Theory Alice In Chains Alien Project Alio Die All Saints Alphabet Zoo Alphaxone Altar Records Alter Ego alternative rock Alucidnation Ambelion Ambidextrous ambient ambient dub ambient techno Ambient World Ambientium Ametsub Amon Tobin Amplexus Anabolic Frolic Anatolya Andrea Parker Andrew Heath Androcell Anduin Andy C anecdotes Aniplex Anjunabeats Annibale Records Anodize Another Fine Day Antendex anthem house Anthony Paul Kerby Anthony Rother Anti-Social Network Aphasia Records Aphex Twin Apócrýphos Apollo Apple Records April Records Aqua Aquarellist Aquascape Aquasky Aquila Arcade Architects Of Existence arena rock Arista Armada Armin van Buuren Arpatle Arts & Crafts ASC Ashtech Asia Asian Dub Foundation Astral Projection Astral Waves Astralwerks AstroPilot Asura Asylum Records ATCO Records Atlantic Atlantis atmospheric jungle Atomic Hooligan Atrium Carceri Attic Audion AuroraX Autechre Autistici Autumn Of Communion Avantgarde Aveparthe Avicii Axiom Axs Axtone Records Aythar B.G. The Prince Of Rap B°TONG B12 Babygrande Balance Balanced Records Balearic ballad Banco de Gaia Bandulu battle-rap Bauri Beastie Boys Beat Buzz Records Beatbox Machinery Beats & Pieces bebop Beck Bedouin Soundclash Bedrock Records Beechwood Music Benny Benassi Benz Street US Berlin-School Beto Narme Beyond bhangra Bicep big beat Big Boi Big L Big Life Bill Hamel Bill Laswell BIlly Idol BineMusic BioMetal Biophon Records Biosphere Bipolar Music BKS Black Hole Recordings black rebel motorcycle club Black Swan Sounds Blanco Y Negro Blasterjaxx Blend Blood Music Blow Up Blue Öyster Cult blues Bluescreen Bluetech BMG Boards Of Canada Bob Dylan Bob Marley Bobina Bogdan Raczynzki Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Boney M Bong Load Records Bonzai Boogie Down Productions Booka Shade Botchit & Scarper Bows Boxed Boys Noize Boysnoize Records BPitch Control braindance Brandt Brauer Frick Brasil & The Gallowbrothers Band breakcore breaks Brian Eno Brian Wilson Brick Records Britpop Brodinski broken beat Brooklyn Music Ltd Bryan Adams BT Bubble Buffalo Springfield Bulk Recordings Burial Burned CDs Bush Busta Rhymes C.I.A. 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