Bit behind on the mailer this week due to an intensive spring clean, reevaluating our existence after Static Shock and Sanjay’s disruptive shrieks of horror brought on by a brief encounter with a household mouse, which had taken up residence in the back office. Despite our brief murmurings of vendetta the wee guy was swiftly and HUMANELY removed from the premises and is now being considered a good omen: WE'RE FINALLY A REAL RECORD SHOP. 

Anyway, brief nag about next Saturday Night and what joys await - our takeover at Cafe Oto, tickets here - aaaaand onto this week’s WEALTH of damage. Choose your weapons!

ACC RECORDS | LP | £16.99

Mouldering, mind-altering minimal electronics, mingled with lavishly baroque songs of thwarted romance/escape, suffused with high Catholic drama and fatalism and dread… we’ll have some of that! The original Italian DIY/industrial scene has been heavily plundered in recent years, but the work of Marco Milano and Roberta Ongaro, first as Novostj and then as DsorDNE (any tips on how to pronounce EITHER would be appreciated, ta), has proved elusive until now and this important vinyl reincarnation of an eight-track, 1988 cassette compilation on Hax. Icy, economical, vaguely Dome-ish pop jewels are embedded in more expansive textural explorations, noise harrowings and long, looping drum-spells, gradually adding up to an exacting and exhilarating torture-garden psychedelia…think Minimal Man, the S.Y.P.H. of ‘Nachbar’ (sort of), the Robert Turman of The Way Down, Chrome at their most way-out. There’s an adolescent fearlessness and innocence and honesty to it too, a sense that this music is EVERYTHING to the people who made it – see especially the blasted-heath (do they have heaths in Italy?) howl of 'Nel Vuoto' - not the soundtrack to their lives, but the stuff of life itself. But it's also frighteningly accomplished, and effortlessly, almost shruggingly, avant-garde…a deeply personal vision that nonetheless feels pointedly experimental and outward-looking and strangely prophetic, with passages of ectoplasmic, ego-shredding basement sludge that point the way to Xpressway and Siltbreeze’s 90s zonings, and strong premonitions of techno too in the raging gothic hypnobeat/bad-NRG of 'Disordine' and 'Voce di Edefici Vuoti'.'s proper good this one. 

VRYSTAETE | LP | £18.99

Ice-cave entanglements and ambient vapours from Interbellum, that subtly drift and rumble into the realms of techno and make up the ninth offering on the properly IMPECCABLE Vrystaete - literally every one of their releases causing some sorta stir in these waters.

Yes, in the absence of having the time and / or education to dismantle the seemingly cast-iron correlation between low temperatures and electronic music, we can’t help but belly-flop into “Februari”s overwhelming invocations of the open ice’s beauty, brutality and COLD -like Interbellum spent the last winter held up in some igloo studio with ‘owt but their humming laptop to keep warm - delicately articulating a journey through isolation towards inner-sanctum, with gritty, city-scape ambient feeling like a distant planet as droning frequencies steadily swell in clean, fresh air and delicate melodies are allowed to soar up into an unpolluted polar sky.

The opener, “Every Word In The English Language”, tight ropes across a pensive network of underwater currents that rush below trance-inducing, melodic light displays - as if Thomas Koner got snowed in at Jochem Peteri’s studio - the only exception to this equation being the second track, “Brechtje”, that sees the addition of a sombre guitar line - which is kinda the only point where you are reminded you are listening to music made by actual humans. This passage is brief though, before further expeditions continue on the B-side with “Winter” and “Omen”, the former utilising hyper-real computerised warbles akin to the latest productions of HEITH and the latter, saddling-up subsonic bass sonars, deep freeze suikinkutsu styled synth droplets and distant, frostbitten percussions that recall the more recent works of Bellows or some forgotten artefact on the Icelandic imprint, Thule. Indispensable techno thermos to see yah through the longest nights.

SEAGRAVE | CS | £13.99


WHOA. Did not see this coming. Staggeringly well-presented double-cassette compilation of unreleased tracks from the archives of one of our all-time favourite producers: UK graffiti pioneer and Brighton native REQ, whose deep, droning, dub-smudged hip-hop scapes quietly deconstructed and remodelled the genre in late 90s - for those who were listening, anyway. We’re paraphrasing slightly, but it was another avowed fan, Lee Gamble, who said that REQ’s 1997 album One is to hip-hop what A Guy Called Gerald’s Black Secret Technology is to jungle. Like B.S.T., REQ’s music has a strung-out, quiet, reflective, Isolationist intensity to it, it’s music made not for the dancefloor but for intense private zoning… proper head music, unerringly rhythmic but constantly threatening pure ambient drift, and sounding as alien, smoked-out and futuristic today as it did 20+ years ago. Curt, tuff boom-bap rhythms are smeared and smothered into space-curdling abstraction, loops are sustained and hooks repeated for way longer than any right-thinking rap producer would dare - yeah REQ’s music feels, at times, like hip-hop extrapolated into a new kind of minimal B-boy techno. Not to mention the foregrounding of crackle and tape-hiss, reverb and delay, which is rooted in classic 90s sampledelia but clearly prefigures the early 2000s micro/dub experiments of Jan Jelinek, Pole etc and the kind of ultra-spatialised sound design we take totally for granted today. The lost tunes assembled across this set of two tapes feel like tunes too long, too cerebral, too fucked-up to fit in the context or duration of a conventional, commercially released album, and as such they represent REQ at his most bold, idiosyncratic and avant-garde. Seriously, fucking hell, this is nothing short of the MOTHERLODE. I need to have a lie-down. 

Pair of pro-dubbed cassettes - 1 black, 1 white - with contrasting on-body prints from REQ's 90's graffiti blackbook. Supplied in a double butterfly case with full-colour double-sided j-cards. Includes a uniquely tagged 'Hello My Name Is REQ' eggshell slap.

CORTIZONA | LP | £22.99


Abundant compilation of various Belgian TAPAS (13 tracks!), originally released in 1977 on Marc Moulin’s concise, immaculate Kamikaze imprint - a small project he threw together after dossing out some of the GREATEST jazz-funk (eek) albums of all time as Placebo AND just before he set his phasers to REVOLUTIONISE the world of synth-pop / electro as part of Telex! Christ. Must start getting up earlier in the morning. Anyway - what ye have here with “Noises” is, at least initially, a compelling mix of studio doodles from Michael Moers (also future Telex founder) as well as several concrete wonderings by Robert Altaber - taking familiar sounds and forming gristly textures that feel as earthy as the later works of Moniek Darge - these charming abstractions - interrupted by scattered, heart-stung folk songs - most namely Ilona Chale’s “Rester Dans Le Silence”. Proceed with caution!

For all of Side A’s curiosities - you really have to turn this one over to get the full dose - instantly find yourself confronted with the subtle inflections of Ariel Kalma’s “Aman” - a star-gazing flute-soup that moves with poise and purpose, a bit like a more meteoric version of Tibor Szemzo's “Let’s Go Out And Dance” - fourteen minutes of whirling wind instruments and kosmiche staircases for the mind to ascend. Maybe it’s a stretch, but at times “Aman” feels like a bleary-eyed, bedroom take on Reich’s “Different Trains”, but before you’ve had a chance to react to Kalma’s psychic MIND-YOGA you are cut straight to an extended offering from Moulin himself - a layered and looped, echo-chamber hallucination that sounds as contemporary as ever. AMAZING collection.


Can we rewind four months and add ‘The Golden Path’ to our best of 2018 list? Slipped right through our fingers, this one, which is a damn shame considering how into all of Valentina Magaletti's work we've been. She’s been a transient, constant and crucial cog on the machine for so many projects and collaborations you’d be familiar with -  from working with Can, Graham Lewis (in the project UUUU on Editions Mego), Tomaga and even the recent, motorik offerings of Shit & Shine and Raime. Here she’s partnered up with Portuguese musician/sculptor Joao Pais Filipe on this project, CZN. It’s a unfettered DIY / modern classical magic carpet ride that sounds more like an Octopus wielding nun-chucks and kendo sticks than the simple spoon pictured on the front cover. Percussive fireworks scraped from the surfaces of symbols and gongs, smelted by Filipe himself (from copper, zinc and nickel presumably) smash against couple of crotal bells and a buchla synth swooping in with eerie disquiet sub bass. The record is forty minutes of deft bliss splayed to all corners of the Abbey Road Studios where it was recorded by some reassuringly large-fuck-off reel-to-reel tape recorder, probably. If you’re a fan of Tomaga this is obviously worth checking but also of similar mind to Andrea Belfi’s last LP on Latency, 'Cera Persa.' Unique to ‘The Golden Path’, you get the overwhelming sense that CZN captured their percussion in all it's lush glory with hundreds of antique room mics while keeping you on your toes with the imminent  arrival with the Buchla’s Lustmord-ish dreadnaught intensity. Highest possible recommend.
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