Saturday, September 21, 2019

Ezdanitoff - We Bring Light

Silentes Minimal Editions: 2011

This was included in Databloem's 'mystery bundle', and did it ever cement my suspicion the offer was little more than a dumping ground of dead stock. No fault of the contents within, mind you, but cover art such as this hardly inspires impulse buys. Maybe if the photo was washed-out, adding aged grit and grime, you might convince a passer-by of it being some Boards Of Canada knock-off. As it stands though, your first impression is either an utterly twee electro-pop outing, or an incomprehensible experimental collection, using charming family photos as an ironic contrast to the anti-sounds you're about to experience.

If you're at all familiar with the players involved with this one-off project, you'd know it to be the latter case. One half is Wouter Jaspers, who hasn't done much beyond collaborations here and there, his work with Steffan de Turck as Preliminary Saturation probably the most fruitful of his pairings. The other half of Ezdanitoff, however, is Frans de Waard, who's been making experimental music as Kapotte Muziek since, gosh, the '80s? A very long time, to say the least, with around a dozen more aliases and group projects to his name. Not to mention running a handful of labels such as Bake Records, Korm Plastics, and ...Plinkity Plonk Records? Haha, and that was established in the late '90s too? Not that I'm saying he could have predicted such a term becoming synonymous with the worst of minimal-tech, but leave it to an experimental outfit coining it well before the curve.

We Bring Light first emerged on Waard's My Own Little Label print as a mini-album, but was expanded to a full-length LP with three additional tracks a year later. Some of them are welcome additions, others... well, it is an experimental album, featuring a pair of chaps quite enamoured with field recordings and transistor tweets.

Opener Gentle Men starts innocuously enough, with gentle bleepy noises, rushed footsteps, and children playing, but man, do those harsh 'melodies' ever grate at the end. The titular follow-up features what sounds like someone sucking and blowing through a straw into a glass or bowl of... I want to say water, but really, it could be any sort of liquid. Maybe I don't want to know.

I was almost ready to write this album off when third track First Circle offers an actual, true-blue warbly melody that almost brings to mind the 'hauntology' vibes you might have expected from the cover art. The rest of the album kinda' flits between abstract sound experiments and twitchy-analogue melodies, which at least maintains the weirdo atmosphere of the whole thing. Then, in the final five seconds, you hear the beeping of an alarm clock, shaking you out of whatever bizarre, lucid dreamstate you've endured for the past little while, leaving you wondering if you even experienced it at all. Can't deny it's an effective way of wrapping We Bring Light up, almost making it worth your while to listen to the album in full. Almost.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Hot Chip - The Warning

EMI: 2006

I can't look at this album and not think of a totally different release called The Warning. This particular Warning is a classic tech-step cut from Grooverider, operating under his Codename John alias, released on Metalheadz at the peak of tech-step's dominance. With its spacious sonics, flanged-out surf sounds, low-riding rhythms, and bass reverberating from the depths of oceanic halls, it's a perfect mood setter for a session of prop'ah underground t'ings. Oh, and a repeated vocal of “This is... the warning”, forever lodging itself inside your brain, such that you can't see any other iteration of “the warning” without having that voice saying it for you.

Not that Hot Chip could have known this when they named their sophomore album The Warning (are any of them closet junglists?). Like, the titular song opens with twinkly bells and twee electro-pop rhythms, about as far removed from the rugged 'n' ruff jungle scene as one can ever get. To say nothing of Alexis Taylor's gentle croon at total odds with an ominous sampled voice. Still, there's something to be said for the unnerving way they calmly sing the chorus here: “Hot Chip will break your legs; Snap off your head.” And you know they will too!

Anyhow, I've been meaning to get back into Hot Chip, as the occasional replay of Made In The Dark leaves me yearning to hear more of the group's electro-pop disco-punk palette. I just can't bring myself to revisit One Life Stand though, for reasons I needn't bring up here (damn you, 2010). If I can't go forward, then I must go backward, to the record that truly broke the five-piece out from indie obscurity into... well, indie stardom at least. Despite the DFA association, it'd still be a little longer before dance music followers truly caught onto them (*cough*).

So The Warning, the album that basically cemented what we'd expect to hear out of Hot Chip forever after. The record that fuses so many idiosyncratic musical genres into a charming electro-soup. The LP that let every indie rag flex their name-dropping ability of all the various other bands Hot Chip reminded them of. I kinda' want to avoid doing that, but I honestly understand why they initially did. Very few sounded like what Hot Chip were doing, including Hot Chip themselves. By now though, their style is so distinct, I can easily say, “Yeah, it's a Hot Chip album, from back in the day,” and y'all know exactly what that sounds like. Makes for a poor review on my part though, doesn't it.

I think the trouble I'm having with The Warning is it hasn't quite sunk into me yet, lacking the immediacy Made In The Dark had. This is for the better though, as I'm quite certain I'll get more out of this record the more I return to it. And I will return to it indeed. Just, um, after some other music I need to hear is dealt with first.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

SadGirl - Vol. 3 - Head To The Mountains

self release: 2016

You gotta' hand it to Bandcamp newsletters: they are committed to deep dives within the website's archives, unearthing potential up-and-comers so you don't have to. I can't imagine the soul-sucking experience it must be, sifting through so many amateur musicians, some of which have clearly just cracked open their first freeware producing studio and uploaded their first sessions onto the website in the hopes of a few takes. Not that Bandcamp is anywhere near as bad as Soundcloud in this regard – I'd like to think Bandcamp is where artists release the material they at least believe has some potential of actual money being earned from it – but how many mediocre items must the newsletter writers go through before stumbling upon something worth consideration of a spotlight? Why, it's just like the street 'zines of old!

For sure I'd never have had SadGirl brought to my attention without one such Bandcamp newsletter. Indie rock with influences of archaic surf rock is so far outside my usual wheelhouse, I wouldn't have any clue where to start looking for a fix, much less the commitment to do the necessary digging. If a Bandcamp newsletter promoting surf rockers on their website claims this is a band worth checking out though, then by g'ar I'll check 'em out. Or a tidy little EP on the cheap at least.

And had I first heard the opening song Going Down without that recommendation, I probably would have skipped on by. There's nothing wrong with it, of course, indie rock that's enamoured with the scraggly aesthetics of '60s garage rock and all the punky attributes that'd be adopted in later decades. There's even some nifty echo and reverb on those guitar tones, though nothing that gives me those 'surf' feels, y'know? What's always drawn me to this genre is the open vista it creates with its sonics, and Going Down feels like its still sprung from the tiny rock halls SadGirl cut their mustard in. But hey, they're at least Californian, so some ties to the surf and all.

Nothing sells the punk vibe more than a one-minute ten follow-up in Drowning though, and Someone Else's Skin is a right noisy little number too. I like it fine, I guess, and there's some cool, wavy, echoing solo action, but still not really what I was expecting out of a surf rock newsletter recommendation. Fortunately, we have The Hand That Did The Deed, one of those jangly instrumental ditties that's as much spaghetti Western rock as it is surf rock – the two were synonymous back in the day anyway. Up to this day too, come to think of it. Desperado rock. That's the name it should be called. Someone should make a guide to classic rock to make the name authoritative.

So this EP wasn't what I expected or hoped for, not really convincing me SadGirl was actually a contemporary surf rock band. And yet, I still went and ordered their debut album, Water. Go figure.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

SiJ - Vale Of Forgotten Sounds

Ancient Language Records/Reverse Alignment: 2013/2015

Why raid a label for just one SiJ album when you can get two? Probably because you've gotten all the remaining hard copies of his albums, digital version the only option left for older ones. And because you've some bizarre hate-boner against ever buying digital when physical versions exist, you skip the other albums, forever denying yourself music you know you'll enjoy irrespective of format its played from. Boy, it sure is a good thing I'm not like that! Such a person sounds a right bellend to be around. (*cough*)

Thus, in my last round of Reverse Alignment purchases, I figured it was as good as any time to round out my my collection of albums SiJ released through the label. Vale Of Forgotten Sounds was the first that did, and among the earliest of the dark ambient print's releases. So small wonder its initial, uncertain fifty copies run sold out, despite not being that far into the past. Nice of Reverse Alignment to up their limited runs to at least triple-digits worth now, thus avoiding selling out all too soon with future releases. You can never be too certain of which artists or albums may turn into must-have dark ambient classics, fetching ungodly mark-ups on the collector's market.

Vale Of Forgotten Sounds may have been SiJ's debut with Reverse Alignment, but the album actually came out a couple years prior, digitally released on Ancient Language Records. Not one to let an album languish solely in the domain of ones and zeroes, Mr. Sikach self-released a CDr option, which included a few more tracks not on the original one. Huh, a CD having more tunes than the digital version. As it should be. Anyhow, that was reason enough, out of all his prior works, for Reverse Alignment to choose this particular album for a proper CD re-issue. And now here I am resorting to the digital version of this re-issue, because the CD all sold out. Something seems askew.

As for what sort of inspiration SiJ was drawing from in creating Vale Of Forgotten Sounds, apparently these pieces were made for the 2014 Ambient Music Festival held in Sevastopol. That would why the first few tracks are of a more calming, relaxing nature for a supposed dark ambient release. Yeah, SiJ has often flitted with the melancholy side of the genre, but tracks like Serenity and Forgotten Skramell are very pleasant pieces of gentle pads and timbre – could easily fit within Databloem's catalogue. Even the more mysterious, melancholy compositions like Hysjer and Springtide don't come off so suffocating as other examples of this style go.

But then Path Through The Swamp comes in with all manner of choking, abrasive field recordings and tones, Le Temps des Cathedrales lays the oppressive tones thick, and you're abruptly reminded that, yeah, this is still a dark ambient release. Still, Vale Of Forgotten Sounds offers a nice variety of the various forms it can take, even the softer variants.

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 quite 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.

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 1970 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 2019 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.r.t.less 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 Community 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 Attoya 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 Axe Records battle-rap Bauri Beastie Boys Beat Buzz Records Beatbox Machinery Beats & Pieces bebop Beck Bedouin Soundclash Bedrock Records Beechwood Music Benny Benassi Bent 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 Amazon 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 breakbeats 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 Bursak Records Bush Busta Rhymes C.I.A. Calibre calypso Canibus Canned Resistor Capitol Records Capsula Captured Digital Carbon Based Lifeforms Carl B Carl Craig Carol C Caroline Records Carpe Sonum Records Castroe Cat Sun CD-Maximum Ceephax Acid Crew Celestial Dragon Records Cell Celtic Cevin Fisher Cheb i Sabbah Cheeky Records chemical breaks Chihei Hatakeyama chill out chill-out chiptune Chris Duckenfield Chris Fortier Chris Korda Chris Sheppard Chris Witoski Christmas Christopher Lawrence Chromeo Chronos Chrysalis Ciaran Byrne cinematic soundscapes Circular Cirrus Cities Last Broadcast City Of Angels CJ Stone Claptone classic house classic rock classical Claude Young Clear Label Records Cleopatra Cloud 9 Club Cutz Club Tools Cocoon Recordings Cold Spring Coldcut Coldplay coldwave Colette collagist Columbia Com.Pact Records comedy Compilation Comrie Smith Connect.Ohm conscious Control Music Convextion Cooking Vinyl Cor Fijneman Corderoy Cosmic Gate Cosmic Replicant Cosmo Cocktail Cosmos Studios Cottonbelly Council Of Nine Counter Records country country rock Covert Operations Recordings Craig Padilla Crazy Horse Cream Creamfields Crockett's Theme Crosby Stills And Nash Crosstown Rebels crunk Cryo Chamber Cryobiosis Cryogenic Weekend Crystal Moon Cube Guys Culture Beat Curb Records Current Curve cut'n'paste Cyan Music Cyber Productions CyberOctave Cyclic Law Cygna Cyril Secq Czarface D-Bridge D-Fuse D-Topia Entertainment Dacru Records Daddy G Daft Punk Dag Rosenqvist Damian Lazarus Damon Albarn Dan The Automator Dance 2 Trance Dance Pool dancehall Daniel Heatcliff Daniel Lentz Daniel Pemberton Daniel Wanrooy Danny Howells Danny Tenaglia Dao Da Noize dark ambient dark psy darkcore darkside darkstep darkwave Darla Records Darren McClure Darren Nye DAT Records Databloem dataObscura David Alvarado David Bickley David Bridie David Guetta David Morley DDR De-tuned Dead Coast Dead Melodies Deadmau5 Death Grips Death Row Records Decimal Dedicated Deejay Goldfinger Deep Dish Deep Forest deep house Deeply Rooted House Deepwater Black Deetron Def Jam Recordings Del Tha Funkee Homosapien Delerium Delsin Deltron 3030 Depeche Mode Der Dritte Raum Derek Carr Detroit Devin Underwood Deysn Masiello DFA DGC diametric. Dido Dieselboy Different DigiCube Dillinja dirty house Dirty South Dirty Vegas disco Disco Gecko disco house Disco Pinata Records disco punk Discover (label) Disky Disques Dreyfus Distant System Distinct'ive Breaks Disturbance Divination DJ 3000 DJ Brian DJ Craze DJ Dan DJ Dean DJ Gonzalo DJ Heather DJ John Kelley DJ Merlin DJ Mix DJ Moe Sticky DJ Observer DJ Premier DJ Q-Bert DJ Shadow DJ Soul Slinger DJ-Kicks Djen Ajakan Shean DJMag DMC DMC Records Doc Scott Dogon Dogwhistle Dooflex Dopplereffekt Dossier Dousk downtempo dowtempo Dr. Atmo Dr. Dre Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show Dr. Octagon Dragon Quest dream house dream pop DreamWorks Records Drexciya drill 'n' bass Dronarivm drone Dronny Darko drum 'n' bass DrumNBassArena drunken review dub Dub Pistols dub techno Dub Trees Dubfire dubstep DuMonde Dune Dusted Dynatron E-Mantra E-Z Rollers Eardream Music Earth Earth Nation Earthling Eastcoast Eastcost EastWest Eastworld Eat Static EBM Echodub Ed Rush & Optical Editions EG EDM World Weekly News Ektoplazm electro Electro House Electro Sun electro-funk electro-pop electroclash Electronic Dance Essentials Electronic Music Guide Electrovoya Elektra Elektrolux em:t EMC update EMI Emiliana Torrini Eminem Emmerichk Emperor Norton Empire enCAPSULAte Engine Recordings Enigma Enmarta EP Epic epic trance EQ Recordings Erased Tapes Records Eric Borgo Erik Vee Erol Alkan Escape Esoteric Reactive ethereal Etnica Etnoscope Euphoria euro dance eurotrance Eurythmics Eve Records Everlast Ewan Pearson Exitab experimental Eye Q Records Ezdanitoff F Communications Fabric Fade Records Faithless Falcon Reekon Fallen fanfic Fantastisizer Fantasy Enhancing Fatboy Slim Fax +49-69/450464 Fear Factory Fedde Le Grand Fehrplay Feist Fektive Records Felix da Housecat Fennesz Ferry Corsten FFRR field recordings Filter filters Final Fantasy Firescope Five AM Fjäder Flashover Recordings Floating Points Flowers For Bodysnatchers Flowjob Fluke Flying Lotus folk Fontana footwork Force Intel Fountain Music Four Tet FPU Frank Bretschneider Frankie Bones Frankie Knuckles Frans de Waard Fred Everything freestyle French house Front Line Assembly Fugees full-on Fun Factory funk future garage Future Sound Of London futurepop g-funk gabber Gabriel Le Mar Gaither Music Group Galaktlan Galati Gang Starr gangsta garage Gareth Davis Gary Martin Gas Gasoline Alley Records Gee Street Geffen Records Gel-Sol Genesis Geometry Combat Gerald Donald Get Physical Music ghetto Ghostface Killah Ghostly International glam Gliese 581C glitch Global Communication Global Underground Globular goa trance God Body Disconnect Gorillaz gospel Gost goth Grammy Awards Gravediggaz Green Day Grey Area Greytone Gridlock grime Groove Armada Groove Corporation Grooverider grunge Guru Gustaf Hidlebrand Gusto Records GZA H2O Records Haddaway Halgrath happy hardcore hard house hard rock hard techno hard trance hardcore Hardfloor hardstyle Harlequins Enigma Harmless Harmonic 33 Harold Budd Harthouse Harthouse Mannheim Hawtin Hearts Of Space Hed Kandi Hefty Records Helen Marnie Hell Hercules And Love Affair Hernán Cattáneo Hexstatic Hi-Bias Records Hic Sunt Leones Hide And Sequence Hiero Emperium Hieroglyphics High Contrast High Note Records Higher Ground Higher Intelligence Agency Hilyard hip-hop hip-house hipno Home Normal Honest Jon's Records Hooj Choons Hope Records horrorcore Hospital Records Hot Chip Hotflush Recordings house Howie B Huey Lewis & The News Human Blue Hybrid Hybrid Leisureland Hymen Records Hyperdub Hypertrophy hypnotic records I Awake I-Cube i! Records I.F.O.R. I.R.S. Records Iboga Records Ice Cube Ice H2o Records ICE MC IDM Igorrr illbient Imperial Dancefloor Imploded View In Charge In Trance We Trust Incoming Incubus Indica Records indie rock Industrial Infected Mushroom Infinite Guitar influence records Infonet Ink Midget Inner Ocean Records Insane Clown Posse Inspectah Deck Instinct Ambient Instra-Mental Inter-Modo Interchill Records Internal International Deejays Gigolo Interscope Records Intimate Productions Intuition Recordings ISBA Music Entertainment Ishkur Ishq Island Records Islands Of Light Italians Do It Better italo disco italo house Item Caligo J-pop Jack Moss Jackpot Jacob Newman Jafu Jake Stephenson Jam and Spoon Jam El Mar James Blake James Horner James Murray James Zabiela Jamie Jones Jamie Myerson Jamie Principle Jamiroquai Javelin Ltd. Jay Haze Jay Tripwire Jaydee jazz jazz dance jazzdance jazzstep Jean-Michel Jarre Jefferson Airplane Jerry Goldsmith Jesper Dahlbäck Jimmy Van M Jiri.Ceiver Jive Jive Electro Jliat Jlin Joel Mull Joey Beltram John '00' Fleming John Acquaviva John Beltran John Digweed John Graham John Kelly John O'Callaghan John Oswald John Shima Johnny Cash Johnny Jewel Jonny L Jori Hulkkonen Joris Voorn Jørn Stenzel Josh Christie Josh Wink Journeys By DJ™ LLC Joyful Noise Recordings Juan Atkins juke Jump Cut jump up Jumpin' & Pumpin' jungle Junior Boy's Own Junkie XL Juno Reactor Jurassic 5 Kaico Kay Wilder KDJ Ken Ishii Kenji Kawai Kenny Glasgow Keoki Keosz Kerri Chandler Kevin Braheny Kevin Yost Kevorkian Records Khooman Khruangbin Ki/oon Kid Koala Kiko Kinetic Records King Cannibal King Midas Sound King Tubby Kitaro Klang Elektronik Klaus Schulze Klik Records KMFDM Koch Records Koichi Sugiyama Kolhoosi 13 Komakino Kompakt Kon Kan Kool Keith Kozo Kraftwelt Kraftwerk Krafty Kuts krautrock Kriistal Ann Krill.Minima Kris O'Neil Kriztal KRS-One Kruder and Dorfmeister Krusseldorf Kubinski KuckKuck Kulor Kurupt Kwook L.B. Dub Corp L.S.G. L'usine Lab 4 Ladytron LaFace Records Lafleche Lamb Lange Large Records Lars Leonhard Laserlight Digital LateNightTales Latin Laurent Garnier LCD Soundsystem Le Moors Leama and Moor Lee 'Scratch' Perry Lee Burridge Lee Norris Leftfield Legacy Legiac Legowelt Leon Bolier Les Disques Du Crépuscule LFO Linear Labs Lingua Lustra liquid funk Liquid Sound Design Liquid Stranger Liquid Zen Live live album LL Cool J Loco Dice Lodsb London acid crew London Classics London Elektricity London Records 90 Ltd London-Sire Records Loop Guru Loreena McKennitt Lorenzo Masotto Lorenzo Montanà Lost Language Lotek Records Loud Records Louderbach Loverboy Luaka Bop Luciano Luke Slater Lustmord M_nus M.A.N.D.Y. M.I.K.E. Madonna Magda Magik Muzik Mahiane Mali Mammoth Records Mantacoup Marc Simz Marcel Dettmann Marco Carola Marco V Marcus Intalex Mark Farina Mark Norman Mark Pritchard Markus Schulz Marshmello Martin Cooper Martin Nonstatic Märtini Brös Marvin Gaye Maschine Massive Attack Masta Killa Matthew Dear Max Graham maximal Maxx MCA Records McProg Meanwhile Meat Loaf Meditronica Memex Menno de Jong Mercury Mesmobeat metal Metamatics Method Man Metroplex Metropolis MF Doom Miami Bass Miami Beach Force Miami Dub Machine Michael Brook Michael Jackson Michael Mantra Michael Mayer Mick Chillage micro-house microfunk Microscopics MIG Miguel Migs Mike Saint-Jules Mike Shiver Miktek Mille Plateaux Millennium Records Mind Distortion System Mind Over MIDI mini-CDs minimal minimal tech-house Ministry Of Sound miscellaneous Misja Helsloot Miss Kittin Miss Moneypenny's Mistical Mixmag Mo Wax Mo-Do MO-DU Moby Model 500 modern classical Modeselektor Moist Music Moodymann Moonshine Morgan Morphology Moss Garden Motech Motorbass Moving Shadow Mujaji Murk Murmur Mushy Records Music link Music Man Records musique concrete Mutant Sound System Mute MUX Muzik Magazine My Best Friend Mystery Tape Laboratory Mystica Tribe Mystified N-Trance Nacht Plank Nadia Ali Nas Nashville Natural Midi Nature Sounds Naughty By Nature Nebula Neil Young Neon Droid Neotantra Neotropic nerdcore Nervous Records Nettwerk Neurobiotic Records New Age New Beat New Jack Swing new wave Nic Fanciulli Nick Höppner Night Time Stories Nightwind Records Nimanty Nine Inch Nails Ninja Tune Nirvana nizmusic No Mask Effect Nobuo Uematsu noise Nomad Nonesuch Nonplus Records Nookie Nordic Trax Norman Feller North South Northumbria Not Now Music Nothing Records Nova NovaMute NRG Ntone nu-italo nu-jazz nu-skool Nuclear Blast Entertainment Nulll Nunc Stans Nurse With Wound NXP Oasis Octagen Offshoot Offshoot Records Ol' Dirty Bastard Olan Mill Old Europa Cafe old school rave Ole Højer Hansen Olga Musik Olien Oliver Lieb Olsen OM Records Omni Trio Omnimotion Omnisonus One Little Indian Oophoi Oosh Open Open Canvas Opium Opus III orchestral Original TranceCritic review Origo Sound Orkidea Orla Wren Ornament Ostgut Ton Ott Ottsonic Music Ouragan Out Of The Box OutKast Outpost Records Overdream P-Ben Paleowolf Pan Sonic Pantera Pantha Du Prince Paolo Mojo Parlaphone Patreon Paul Moelands Paul Oakenfold Paul van Dyk Pendulum Perfect Stranger Perfecto Perturbator Pet Shop Boys Petar Dundov Pete Namlook Pete Tong Peter Andersson Peter Benisch Peter Broderick Peter Gabriel Peter Tosh Phantogram Phonothek Photek Phutureprimitive Phynn PIAS Recordings Pinch Pink Floyd Pioneer Pitch Black PJ Harvey Plaid Planet Dog Planet Earth Recordings Planet Mu Planetary Assault Systems Planetary Consciousness Plastic City Plastikman Platinum Platipus Pleq Plump DJs Plunderphonic Plus 8 Records PM Dawn Poker Flat Recordings Pole Folder politics Polydor Polytel pop Popular Records Porya Hatami post-dubstep power electronics Prince Prince Paul Prins Thomas Priority Records Profondita prog prog psy prog-psy Progression progressive breaks progressive house progressive rock progressive trance Prolifica Proper Records Prototype Recordings protoU Pryda psy chill psy dub Psy Spy Records psy trance psy-chill psychedelia Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia Psychomanteum Psychonavigation Psychonavigation Records Psycoholic Psykosonik Psysolation Public Enemy punk punk rock Pureuphoria Records Purl Purple Soil Push PWL International Quadrophonia Quality Quango Quantum Quinlan Road R & S Records R'n'B R&B Rabbit In The Moon Radio Slave Radioactive Radioactive Man Radiohead Rae Raekwon ragga Rainbow Vector raison d'etre Ralph Lawson RAM Records Randal Collier-Ford Random Review Rank 1 rant Rapoon RareNoise Records Ras Command Rascalz Raster-Noton Ratatat Raum Records RCA React Red Jerry Refracted reggae remixes Renaissance Renaissance Man Rephlex Reprise Records Republic Records Resist Music Restless Records RetroSynther Reverse Alignment Rhino Records Rhys Fulber Ricardo Villalobos Richard Durand Riley Reinhold Ringo Sheena Rising High Records RnB Roadrunner Records Robert Hood Robert Miles Robert Oleysyck Roc Raida rock rock opera rockabilly rocktronica Roger Sanchez ROIR Rollo Rough Trade Rub-N-Tug Ruben Garcia Rumour Records Running Back Ruthless Records RZA S.E.T.I. Sabled Sun SadGirl Sakanaction Salt Tank Salted Music Salvation Music Samim Samora sampling Sanctuary Records Sander van Doorn Sandoz SantAAgostino Sarah McLachlan Sash Sasha Saul Stokes Scandinavian Records Scann-Tec sci-fi Scooter Scott Grooves Scott Hardkiss Scott Stubbs Scuba Seán Quinn Seaworthy Segue Sense Sentimony Records Sequential Seraphim Rytm Setrise Seven Davis Jr. Sghor sgnl_fltr Shackleton Shaded Explorations Shaded Explorer Shadow Records Sharam Shawn Francis shoegaze Si Matthews SideOneDummy Records Sidereal Signature Records SiJ Silent Season Silent Universe Silentes Silentes Minimal Editions Silicone Soul silly gimmicks Silver Age Simian Mobile Disco Simon Berry Simon Heath Simon Posford Simon Scott Simple Records Sinden Sine Silex single Single Gun Theory Sire Records Company Six Degrees Sixeleven Records Sixtoo ska Skare Skin To Skin Skua Atlantic Slaapwel Records Slam Sleep Research Facility Slinky Music Sly and Robbie Smalltown Supersound SME Visual Works Inc. SMTG Limited Snap Sneijder Snoop Dogg Snowy Tension Pole soft rock Soiree Records International Solar Fields Solaris Recordings Solarstone Solieb Soliquid Solstice Music Europe Soma Quality Recordings Songbird Sony Music Entertainment SOS soul Soul Temple Entertainment soul:r Souls Of Mischief Sound Of Ceres Soundgarden Sounds From The Ground soundtrack southern rap southern rock space ambient Space Dimension Controller space disco Space Manoeuvres space synth Spacetime Continuum Spaghetti Recordings Spank Rock Special D Specta Ciera speed garage Speedy J SPG Music Spicelab Spielerei Spiritech spoken word Spotify Suggestions Spotted Peccary SPX Digital Squarepusher Squaresoft Stacey Pullen Stanton Warriors Star Trek Stardust Statrax Stay Up Forever Stephanie B Stephen Kroos Steve Angello Steve Brand Steve Lawler Steve Miller Band Steve Porter Steven Rutter Stijn van Cauter Stone Temple Pilots Stonebridge Stormloop Stray Gators Street Fighter Stuart McLean Studio K7 Stylophonic Sub Focus Subharmonic Sublime Sublime Porte Netlabel Subotika Substance Suduaya Sun Station Sunbeam Sunday Best Recordings Supercar Superstition surf rock Sven Väth Swayzak Sweet Trip swing Switch Swollen Members Sylk 130 Symmetry Sync24 Synergy Synkro synth pop synth-pop synthwave System 7 Tactic Records Take Me To The Hospital Tall Paul Tammy Wynette Tangerine Dream Tau Ceti Taylor Tayo tech house tech-house tech-step tech-trance Technical Itch techno technobass Technoboy Tectonic Telefon Tel Aviv Terminal Antwerp Terra Ferma Terry Lee Brown Jr Textere Oris The Angling Loser The B-52's The Beach Boys The Beatles The Black Dog The Brian Jonestown Massacre The Bug The Chemical Brothers The Circular Ruins The Clash The Council The Cranberries The Crystal Method The Digital Blonde The Dust Brothers The Field The Gentle People The Glimmers The Green Kingdom The Grey Area The Hacker The Herbaliser The Human League The Irresistible Force The KLF The Misted Muppet The Movement The Music Cartel The Null Corporation The Oak Ridge Boys The Offspring The Orb The Police The Prodigy The Sabres Of Paradise The Shamen The Sharp Boys The Sonic Voyagers The Squires The Tea Party The Tragically Hip The Velvet Underground The Wailers The White Stripes The Winterhouse themes Thievery Corporation Third Contact Third World Tholen Thrive Records Tiefschwarz Tiësto Tiga Tiger & Woods Time Life Music Time Warp Timecode Timestalker Tipper Tobias Tocadisco Todd Terje Tom Middleton Tomita Tommy Boy Ton T.B. Tone Depth Tony Anderson Sound Orchestra Too Pure Tool tools Topaz Tosca Toto Touch Tourette Records Toxik Synther Traffic Entertainment Group trance Trancelucent Tranquillo Records Trans'Pact Transcend Transformers Transient Records trap Trax Records Trend Trentemøller Tresor tribal Tricky Triloka Records trip-hop Trishula Records Tristan Troum Troy Pierce TRS Records Tsuba Records Tsubasa Records Tuff Gong Tunnel Records Turbo Recordings turntablism TUU TVT Records Twisted Records Type O Negative U-God U-Recken U2 U4IC DJs Überzone Ugasanie UK acid house UK Garage UK Hard House Ultimae Ultimae Records Ultra Records Umbra Underworld Union Jack United Dairies United DJs Of America Universal Motown Universal Music Universal Records Universal Republic Records Unknown Tone Records UOVI Upstream Records Urban Icon Records Utada Hikaru V2 Vagrant Records Valiska Valley Of The Sun Vangelis Vap Vector Lovers Venetian Snares Venonza Records Vermont Vernon Versatile Records Verus Records Verve Records VGM Vice Records Victor Calderone Victor Entertainment Vince DiCola Vinyl Cafe Productions Virgin Virtual Vault Virus Recordings Visionquest Visions Vitalic vocal trance Vortex Wagram Music Waki Wanderwelle Warner Bros. Records Warp Records Warren G Water Music Dance Wave Recordings Wave Records Waveform Records Wax Trax Records Way Out West WEA Wednesday Campanella Weekend Players Weekly Mini-Review Werk Discs Werkstatt Recordings WestBam White Swan Records Wichita Will Saul William Orbit Willie Nelson world beat world music writing reflections Wrong Records Wu-Tang Clan Wurrm Wyatt Keusch Xerxes The Dark XL Recordings XTT Recordings Yamaoko Yello Yes Ylid Youth Youtube YoYo Records Yul Records Zenith ZerO One Zoharum Zomby Zoo Entertainment ZTT Zyron ZYX Music µ-Ziq