Sunday, 26 December 2010

mark fell : ul8

mark fell


mego 111
editions mego

©japanese forms

Well one2zero more or less ends the year with a further release from
Mark Fell. UL8 follows hard on the heels of his very recent Multistability on raster-noton and his tape only release on Alku Records (see previous posts here & here). On UL8 Fell explores territories of sonic abstraction that might not be easy on the ear for most of us though some will applaud this adventure in sound and rythmn... As Boomkat puts it "... [Fell] takes his sound even further into the outer reaches of glacial, rhythmic experimentation. " I've only listened to it a couple of times (so far) but I imagine that even after a few more spins I'll like it less than the Multistability album. I'll maybe let the over-indulgence of Xmas fade a bit before returning to it and to give it a listen in less hectic circumstances.
All in all though, an impressive album with Fell in full 'experimental' but not completely uncomprising
mode as someone like Hecker perhaps.
Available in digipak card-sleeve with beautiful graphic design/artwork which, like the Multstability sleeve, was done by the musician himself. Recommended. one2zero

UL8 ...Just two weeks after Multistability comes UL8 on Editions Mego. Handily split into digestible sections, it's a much different listen than Multistability. The first section ("The Occultation of 3C 273") is the closest, but the sounds are duller, and more relaxed, with its distinct low-end coated with grit. The second section ("Vortex Studies") plays games with static and very slight noise for something that sounds like Kraftwerk's Radio-Activity as filtered through AtomTM's Liedgut: ancient but determinedly technological...©Resident Advisor

Buy this disc @ Editions Mego / @ boomkat

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Friday, 10 December 2010

mark fell : multistability

mark fell



©japanese forms

Well Mark Fell is certainly ending the year in multi-release style with several recordings all appearing in the last couple of weeks. With a flurry releases including a cassette tape only release on Alku Records; a CD + 7" single on raster-noton; another album on Mego as well as a (very) limited edition release to tie in with the Coherence and Proximity solo art exhibition, Mr Fell has indeed been a very busy man recently. As with recent raster-noton releases, Multistability comes in a lavishly packaged triple fold-out card sleeve with artwork/design by Mark Fell himself. Electronic abstract and minimal is how I'd describe the music contained within which, I suppose, some listeners might define as being not very accessible -it's doubtful that you'll be dancing to it at your local club sometime soon but I don't think that was ever the point of it anyway. I'll be listening to it (often) on headphones; in the dark; with a glass and a bottle of single malt close at hand.

Multistability chooses a theme that, though equally academic, is at least a little more trippy. In its most basic sense, the title refers to forms that contain two separate images at once, which the viewer can alternate between at will. A press release explains that Fell's new album is "split into two halves" and "contains two versions of itself," with recurring passages and "pattern-generating systems" somehow creating a multistable effect. ©Resident Advisor

Buy this disc @ raster-noton

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

conrad schnitzler : 10.10.84

conrad schnitzler


mirror tapes

limited edition of 250

©japanese forms

As we move into the last month of 2010 yet another tape for my collection arrived in the post yesterday. This time it's the Conrad Schnitzler tape, that I recently ordered from Mirror Tapes, that's just winged it's way over from Malaysia (where Mirror Tapes is based). An interesting artefact and a real archival treasure recorded quite a long time ago now; in an era when cassette tapes were the MP3s of their day. This tape documents a 1984 session by one of krautrock's elder statesmen and a founding member of Tangerine Dream and Kluster. Excellent. Includes a tastefully designed inlay card but unfortunately no information whatsoever. one2zero

"Conrad Schnitzler, a previous student of Joseph Beuys, and a founding member of Tangerine Dream and Kluster, as a soloist developed the idea of the “kassetten konzert” or cassette concert, utilizing pre-recorded synthesized sounds on separate tapes, which were mixed together through adjustments of volume and equalization into a vaster and more complex piece that formed his live remix performances. Each event is unique due to the element of unpredictability in his real-time improvisations, and this is a documentation of such a performance on 10th October 1984, Berlin." © Mirror Tapes

Buy this tape @ Mirror Tapes

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

mark fell / evol : head office transformation

mark fell / evol

head office transformation

alku records

limited edition split cassette available in black or white

©japanese forms

Well 2010 definitely remarks the return of cassette tapes for me. More and more artists and small (micro?)labels are releasing them and I've been tempted to buy several. Unfortunately my purse strings are a bit stretched right now so choices have to be made and I only pick up the occasional one. At the moment I eagerly await the arrival of the Conrad Schnitzler tape, that I recently ordered from Mirror Tapes, and am still enjoying the sounds of the Mr Maxted and Hilary Jeffrey tapes that I picked up earlier this year. In the meantime I'm listening to the synopated and strangely hypnotic sounds from Mark Fell (snd) on this split cassette which he shares with spanish computer music wizard Evol -who also runs the Alku Records label on which this tape is released. This is the
third part of a split cassette series by both artists but I, unfortunatley don't have the numbers 1 and 2. In fact I have to thank my good friend GMA for providing with me this copy which he received, along with a 'white' case one, as a gift from Mark Fell. Soundwise it's rather good but the artefact might have been better if some artwork had been included. one2zero

Buy this tape @ Alku Records

New snd album available soon @ raster-noton

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

anbb - mimikry



r-n 121


triple fold-out cardsleeve
includes 16-page booklet

©japanese forms

Well I thought that the latest recording by Senking had been raster-noton's best release in recent times until I heard the Mimikry album collaboration by alva noto and Blixa Bargeld (Einstürzende Neubauten / Bad Seeds) under the
Anbb moniker. Bargeld and noto have produced a quite astounding album with the former providing lyrics and vocals and the latter the electronic sounds to accompany them. The music is far removed from Carsten Nicolai's (alva noto) usual glitch and microsounds and much more melodic than what we're acquainted with regards to his other recordings. On this disc, his experiments in sound embrace the conventional notions of song much more than one would have expected and in a quite enthusiastic manner. A perfect match to Bargeld's captivating vocals. Undoubtedly one of my albums of the year as well as being a perfect follow-up to the excellent Red Marut Handshake e.p.
Highly recommended.

Recorded & mixed at Andere Baustelle Tonstudio and Studio Carsten Nicolai in Berlin between January 2009 and July 2010.
Cover "Wallstreet-Spider" from the series "Veruschka self-portraits" performed by Vera Lehndorff, NYC 1992-96.
Booklet Artwork : Blixa Bargeld
Photography : Andreas Hubertus Ilse

Also available by anbb : Red Marut Handshake e.p.

Buy this album @ raster-noton / Download / Buy @ boomkat

anbb / raster-noton

Friday, 29 October 2010

senking - pong



r-n 122


audio cd + data cd

triple fold-out cardsleeve

©japanese forms

For some reason -probably due to me moving from one country to another and all the problems involved in doing so- I missed out on Senking's previous album on the raster-noton label, List, which came out in 2007. In fact I just realized that the last disc that I did buy by Senking was the Tap album, #4 in the Raster-Post series, and which was released way back in 2003! 'Pong' is not quite your usual raster-noton fare of clicks 'n' glitch abstract minimalism but much more subdued and downtempo. Soundwise let's say it's sort of like Pole meets Alva Noto. All in all a fabulous recording and one that should please anyone who enjoys contemporary electronic music. 'Pong' will easily be one of my top 10 discs for 2010. one2zero

"PONG – referring to the classic video game – is Senking's fifth release on raster-noton, moving its focus on stretched dubstep rhythms. To these slow motion grooves, he adds shredded melodies, sub basses and echoes, which create an atmosphere like an Angelo-Badalamenti-soundtrack known from David Lynch's movies. His electronic sound aesthetic reflects rather an organic texture than a machine made algorithm. In tradition of former dub producers, he generates his tracks while playing, and therefore they appear to be momentary. They are aware of the club, but do not want to serve it. At Berlin's CTM 2010 Senking proved that PONG can be massive on stage as well." © raster-noton

Buy this album @ raster-noton / Download / Buy @ boomkat

senking / raster-noton

Thursday, 7 October 2010

murralin lane : our house is on the wall

on my turntable

murralin lane
our house is on the wall

image: ©japanese forms

Our House Is On The Wall is the debut release from Murralin Lane; a Swedish duo formed by David Wenngren (Library Tapes) and Yiva Wiklund. Distinctly Lo-Fi vocals, deformed and fashioned through the distorted tones and drones provided by Wenngren make for a certain form of abstract beauty. Tones, drones; recorded through god knows what, with Wiklund's haunting vocals adding to the general feel (sound?) of corrosion/decay that emanates from this recording. Sounds like a rather grubby and dusty vinyl that hasn't been cleaned before being played back through a pair of cheap car-speakers. Speakers that have been savagely pierced by a large screwdriver beforehand I might say. In all, it's great. Recommended.
Lovely 12k digipak packaging; with cover art photography by David Wenngren and Victoria Hannfors. one2zero

Web: 12k murralin lane

Buy or Download:

Friday, 24 September 2010

seefeel - faults ep

on the turntable:

limited edition 10" ep

image: japanese forms

Seefeel was one of those 90s bands that I considered had split and gone their separate ways long ago and it came as a bit of a surprise to learn, a few weeks back, that new material by the band was about to be released. Although they never officially disbanded this is their first release in simply ages. I've no idea really what the core members (Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock ) did in the interim -their only recent "activity" being the reissue of the superb Quique (Redux Edition), back in May 2007- but this is a welcome return not only to recording but to form. Faults, following that 14-year long hiatus (!), is yet another excellent piece of what one could deem as abstract contemporary music. Music where everything is stripped down to the minimalist core sound space that the band so finely honed back in the 90s. We could have feared the worst after such a long break but the minimal soundscapes, of an almost trance-inducing nature, show that Seefeel has lost none of it's edge and is still a band to be reckoned with despite all that time in limbo. one2zero

buy / download: bleep
limited edition of 200 copies.

myspace / warp

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

ghost box - study series 03 & 04

on the turntable:

ghost box
study series 03 -
belbury poly
mordant music
study series 04 - gbx704
broadcast and the focus group

image: japanese forms

Numbers 3 and 4 in the Ghost Box Study Series. As with the previous singles these
two feature superb
Julian House designed artwork and come in super heavyweight vinyl. N°3, Welcome To Godalming features "house" band, Belbury Poly with the utterly fabulous "Swingalong" while the b-side features Mordant Music with what the label describes as " ecstatic piece of pastoral electronica." Couldn't put it better myself. The fourth Study Series, Familiar Shapes and Noises, probably the most collectable single so far, features Broadcast and The Focus Group who continue where they left off with what was one of the best albums of last year; "Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age." Very highly recommended hauntological brilliance! one2zero

buy / download: ghost box

Friday, 10 September 2010

mr maxted : momentum (tape)

in the tape deck:

mr maxted
11-track cassette tape

image: japanese forms

As I previously mentioned in this recent post, I haven't bought any tapes for years and now... I've bought two in less than a month! Including this one by Mr Maxted. A cassette revival -so to speak- has been emerging over the past couple of years with more and more musicians -particularly low-budget operations- turning to this format to release their sounds. It might well be a nostalgia thing for some but I imagine that for most that it's not only from an economic point of view that they're using tapes. Maybe the use of the compact cassette, a quasi-obsolete device, can be seen as a sort of slow-fi reaction to today's digitally virtualized world and those horrendous MP3s. Don't get me wrong though; MP3s are great for accessing and indeed discovering lots of music. Music that is either not commercially available or very hard to come by. Plus, one mustn't forget either that for lots of people, economically, MP3s are their only alternative. From my own point of view, I'd much prefer to have a recording on analog, magnetic tape (with hiss 'n' all) rather than anything in an MP3 format. It's a "physical" thing. I have to have it in my hands to fully appreciate the value of it. Nevermind the fact that the "artwork" that surrounds the object plays more than a fair part in my own personal choices as far as music goes. Anyhow, I'm digressing... so let's get back to Mr Maxted. This recording; which Boomkat rightfully describes as: " pure bedroom meddling music, recorded from cheap drum machines directly onto tape, leaving a blurry imprint of Benelux beats and soggy Yorkshire synth... " unfortunately comes in one of those awful red-plastic cassette cases that break so easily. On the other hand, the heavy-duty inlay card makes up for it a bit packaging wise. A nice wrap-around card sleeve like the Hilary Jeffery Tape would have made this object so much better. Soundwise; it's an electronic music mix of post-industrial analogue synth pop with added electro, techno & new beat rhythms and textures... It's great!
Limited edition of 100 cassettes only. one2zero

buy / download: boomkat

mordant music

Friday, 27 August 2010

pan sonic - gravitoni

on my turntable

pan sonic
ptyt 045

image: ©japanese forms

I haven't many discs by Pan Sonic -despite their quite consquent back-catalogue- but those that I do have have always been rather good; this one is no exception. As their last disc as Pan Sonic, the duo, Ilpo Väisänen and Mika Vainio, bows out with a tremendous final album of power electronics, techno concrète and deep tonal darkness of a quite amazing standard. Quite astonishing indeed and an album that I loved the first time I heard it. Stand-out tracks being 'Hades' (which reminds me somewhat of a track from Alva Noto's 'Xerox' albums) and the wonderous 'Pan Finale.'
Packaging is of the same standard as the music contained within; fold-out digipak with graphic design by Bente Schipp and 14-page illustrated booklet with photography by Pan Sonic. one2zero

Web: Blast First Petite Pan Sonic Artwork@Discogs™

Buy or Download:
Blast First Petite

Thursday, 26 August 2010

taylor deupree - shoals

on my turntable

taylor deupree

image: ©japanese forms

My my, how time goes by.
It's been almost 3 years since Deupree released Northern, his last proper full-length album on 12k. On Northern, Deupree introduced traditional instrumentation -notably acoustic guitars- but on Shoals, he uses a selection of Javanese and Balinese gamelan instruments. Instruments he became familiar with during a residency at the University Of York Music Research Centre. However, Deupree doesn't play any of these instruments in a conventional way. Apparently he experimented with the timbres and innate sonorites produced by these instruments and the materials they were made of; collecting sounds from playing surfaces via scraping, tapping or using an eBow and then channelling them through a specially devised looping program. Anyhow, I'm not really aware -nor technically competent- in how he actually achieved the sound processing; all I can say is that not only is the album very good it also attains the high standard of its excellent predecessor. Minimal, electronic music at its best.
As usual beautiful packaging, design and photography by Taylor Deupree himself. one2zero

Also available: Shoals (Edition) 7" single. Northern (Reissue) CD.

Web: 12k taylor deupree

Buy or Download:

Monday, 16 August 2010

the hilary jeffery tape

in the tape deck:

the hilary jeffery tape
hilary jeffery & machinefabriek
2-track cassette tape

image: japanese forms

Despite a recent revival and growing interest in the cassette format I hadn't so far far bought any of the ones that have appeared over the past couple of years. In fact, I don't think that
I've bought a tape; despite having quite a collection, in at least 15 years. I was rather interested in acquiring the recent B.J. Nilsen tape on Touch but finally didn't bother... I can't buy everything so I make choices. Anyhow, as I rather like almost everything Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) does I jumped at the occasion to acquire this limited edition tape. It's a quite wonderful collaboration with trombone player Hilary Jeffery and features two cinematic-like tunes. Reminds me in a way of Don Ellis' fabulous score for 'The French Connection'.
Available on a bright orange cassette tape, limited to 100 copies and housed in a hand stamped chipboard arigato pack.

buy / download: machinefabriek

Saturday, 14 August 2010

ghost box - study series singles 01 & 02

on the turntable:

ghost box
study series 01 -
the advisory circle &
hong kong in the 60s
study series 02 - gbx702
belbury poly &
moon wiring club

image: japanese forms

I'm sure lots of fans of Ghost Box will welcome with open arms these first two singles from the label's Study Series. Up until very recently the label has been strictly a CD (and download) only one but, at last, they've opted for vinyl releases as well. Beautifully designed artwork by Julian House plus super heavyweight vinyl make for an essential buy for all admirers of the label and, of course, of the music of the bands featured on them. N° 01, "Youth & Recreation" has brand new material from Belbury Poly and Moon Wiring Club while N° 02, "Cycles and Seasons" features the pastoral electronics of The Advisory Circle plus the soothing sounds of Hong Kong in the 60s; who make their debut on the label. Sublime.

These are the first two releases in the series with N° 03 & 04 due out in September

buy / download: ghost box

I've been a bit slow on updating this blog recently due to having lots of other time-consuming things to do. I've also acquired quite a good few discs; including the two beauties featured here, since I last updated so expect to see some more posts over the next week or so. one2zero

Thursday, 12 August 2010

wolfgang voigt - freiland klaviermusik

on the turntable:

wolfgang voigt
freiland klaviermusik

profan cd9

Buy / Order:

image: japanese forms

"Piano house gone avant garde" is how Boomkat describes this disc and I suppose they're right. I'd stick to the more "abstract techno" term for it but that doesn't make it much better. I'm not too keen on this (maybe I'll have to give it a few more listens). It comes as a bit of a disappointment really to me as I'm rather fond of his Gas discs that came out a few years back as well as the recent release on Raster-Noton. Digipak packaging and artwork are delightful though with a triple fold-out sleeve. Unfortunately, there's no mention of who did the artwork/design/layout. Freiland Klaviermusik is released on Voigt's very own, recently revived Profan label. one2zero

I've been a bit slow on updating this blog recently due to having lots of other time-consuming things to do. I've acquired quite a good few discs since I last updated so expect to see some more posts over the next few days. one2zero

Sunday, 20 June 2010

masayoshi fujita & jan jelinek - bird, lake, objects

on the turntable:

masayoshi fujita & jan jelinek
bird, lake, objects

faitiche 03cd

Buy / Order:

image: japanese forms

Another superb release from Faitiche and what I consider as the best from the label so far. Lovingly packaged in a limited edition hardcover-book style digipak (as all their CDs) this album features recordings from electronic maestro, and Faitiche label boss, Jan Jelinek and Japanese percussionist and vibraphonist Masayoshi Fujita. The result is quite simply wonderful. Possibly Jelinek's finest moment or at least one of his best in his, so far, excellent career in electronic music. one2zero

jan jelinek faitiche

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

frank bretschneider - exp

frank bretschneider


r-n 108


audio cd + data cd

triple fold-out digipak

I've been waiting patiently for this to arrive ever since it was first announced way back in January and let's say: it was well worth the wait. Another great disc. I was fortunate enough to see Bretschneider play EXP live last November and this is the perfect companion piece to his performance. As usual the Raster-Noton packaging is lavish and beautifully crafted.one2zero

image © japanese forms

"Frank Bretschneider is widely known as a pioneer of the 'clicks & cuts' style, using microscopic audio snippets to create his sparse and abstract rhythm patterns. His albums under his own name and under his Komet alias have graced labels such as Mille Plateaux, 12k, as well as influential imprint Raster-Noton, which he co-founded in 1999 together with Alva Noto and Olaf 'Byetone' Bender.

As a studied graphic designer, Bretschneider's has always been interested in the interactions of sound and visuals. 'EXP' explores this concept with an 18 minute video, which uses particle algorithms to generate oscilloscope-like renderings of the album's tracks. Abstract and mesmerizing, the visuals perfectly match the scientific approach of the album, for which Bretschneider has used sounds of 'mechanics, electricity, magnetism, light and other radiation' as sources for his microscopic samples." © zero"

Buy this album @ raster-noton / Download @ zero"

frank bretschneider / myspace / raster-noton

Monday, 17 May 2010

unkle - where did the night fall (box)

where did the night fall
surrender all

limited edition box
double album in fold-out sleeve
full album + instrumental version
32-page board book featuring artworks by warren du preez & nick thornton jones
36-page booklet

image © japanese forms

Took some time out to update this blog (a little) with the latest offering from James Lavelle's ongoing UNKLE project. I haven't had time to listen to this yet but if it's anything like what Lavelle has previously released under the UNKLE moniker it'll be very good indeed. I'll update this post when I've given it a good few spins but even if it is'nt as good soundwise as Lavelle's other albums it's worth buying for the artwork and packaging alone. one2zero

UNKLE / UNKLE Blog / Warren du Preez - Nick Thornton Jones

Monday, 26 April 2010

autechre - (oversteps)

warp records 2010

I haven't had much time to work on this blog over the past few weeks but i hope to catch up and put up a couple of posts this week. Anyhow, here's a shot of the latest Autechre album, Oversteps. Maybe not their best effort but it does have its moments with a return to a more "traditional" form if you compare this release with the Quaristice album from 2007. Beautiful Designers Republic digipak fold-out packaging. one2zero

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

the advisory circle - mind how you go

on my turntable

the advisory circle
mind how you go
(revised edition)
gbx013 - lp & download

image: ©ghost box

Classic hauntological Advisory Circle reissue; includes bonus tracks and re-workings. What we get here are the seven tracks from the original 3" CD as well as five other tracks of exclusive compositions and remixes from Belbury Poly and Seeland. I'm afraid I only have the download version of this LP which comes in a proper full colour sleeve. I would, of course, prefered the LP version but it's not that the vinyl is that expensive, it's the postal costs that you have to pay. A must have for any Ghost Box enthusiast. one2zero

Just a word to say that, finally, I couldn't resist buying the highy desirable vinyl version. See a photo of it here.

"An expanded album length version of the 2006 Advisory Circle EP Mind How You Go, inspired by the world of TV Public Information Films. Featuring two new tracks by The Advisory circle and re-imaginings of two of the original tracks by Seeland and Belbury Poly. Remember, electricity cannot be seen or heard. Harmful, invisible forces surround us everywhere we go. Fortunately The Advisory Circle is on hand to help us make the right decisions. Mind How You Go is an alchemical distillation of the sound of Public Information Films. Spooky, catchy and witty." © Ghost Box

Ghost Box Boomkat

Thursday, 11 February 2010

machinefabriek - nerf

on my turntable

3" cdr release

image: ©japanese forms

Minimalist guitar and low end drone from Dutch sound designer, Rutger Zuyzervelt (Machinefabriek). The 3-track 'Nerf' is released as one of Rutger's many 3"CDRs. Features compositions on acoustic and electric guitars edited via a laptop. In my opinion, not as interesting as some of his other stuff but still quite good. Very Oren Ambarchi in style and sound. one2zero


technorati claim post


Saturday, 30 January 2010

minamo - durée

on my turntable


image: ©japanese forms

Another superb disc of electroacoustic soundscaping from the very wonderful Japanese quartet, Minamo. Relaxing ambient minimalism at it's best. Another gem in the 12k catalogue. Wonderful design and photography by 12k mainman, Taylor Deupree. one2zero

"Durée, their last studio work since 2007’s collaboration with Tape, and their follow-up to Shining on 12k (12k1031, now out of print), takes influence from the French philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson’s concept of “pure durée,” an idea that one’s consciousness is a constant flow and not something that can be divided, reversed, or measured. Minamo used these ideas in creating their music, despite the contradiction of the time-stamped CD format, to try to subvert the ideas of compartmentalized “time” and “space.” With a strong sense of non-linearity and flow taken from Bergson’s ideas, Minamo have created a colorful, skittering wash of music, noise, and texture that embraces a sense of out-there-ness." © 12k

Web: minamo 12k website taylor deupree

Buy or Download:

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

william basinski - vivian & ondine

on the turntable:

william basinski
vivian & ondine


Buy / Order:

© japanese forms

william basinski

Tape loops recorded live at Musex International, Los Angeles, California, September 2008. Commissioned by Lauren Bon and The Metabolic Studio for Strawberry Flag at the United States Veterans Administration Hospital, Los Angeles, California. If you like Basinski,and his avant-garde ambient soundscapes, as I do, you'll love this. Sounds a lot like Basinski's masterpiece, The Disintegration Loops; but that's not such a bad thing. one2zero.

"A brand new album from one of the most revered and acclaimed ambient composers of our time, Vivian & Ondine takes the form of a single, three-quarter hour piece, once again constructed from William Basinski's signature style of tape loop manipulation. While the narrative ebb and flow is largely pinned to a single tape fragment, Basinski merged a further "dozen or so" that sunk into the mix in just the right way, adding to the aura of fluctuation and continuous evolution that's so essential to this man's work." ©boomkat