For The Electronica and mixtape archive 001

FTEL 014 - Volor Flex & Encode - Altiplano EP
Dark Clover 12' / download

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"Altiplano" is wired to the internal organs of Dubstep and Future Garage circa the post-Burial era. Imagery of emerging bonfires, which require a repeat listen, abound the suburban soundscapes like a marshmellow stick poking the flame - sweet in initial flavour, charred in overall propensity. Spoken word overdubs in the post-mix work well with the sounds on offer, as do a keen set of ears for Industrial textures. This is the second Volor Flex I've heard, and the first with collaborator Encode, and they make a fine sound together. What is crucial to their hit rate is a wringing out of a sample set with deft precision, and an orthodoxy in Dubstep 140 bpm-centric tempo. The timbres are not razor sharp, but neither are they blunted, which gives an experience akin to changing a light bulb in a lava lamp: glowing deep.

FTEL 015 - February 2014

Fanu - Bassoradio 17.02.14
Fanu SoundCloud download

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This radio show from Janne Hatula aka Fanu is a running example of the amalgamation between slowfast as a movement and old school hardcore. Pensive buildup moods ("Flocon" by Moresounds) are mixed into mellow Think break steppers like Dillinja's "Sovereign Melody" at 160 BPM. The general mood is borderline chaotic yet timbrally streetwise; flows of breakbeats and 4/4 from The Prodigy's "Everybody In Da Place" juxtaposing well at the slower tempo and connection with older rave music. Fanu's own "Paracosm" makes a brief apppearance, sounding purposeful and extra-tight in the drums department, while Lemon D's All Roads Music gets a showcase through "Big Poppa", a free download on the Inflect Bristol website right now. A rollicking 2 hour sonic microcosm if there ever was one!

Crashfaster - Further LP
Russian Winter Records download

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Best bracketed as electronic rock rather than electronica, or dance rock, Crashfaster's "Further" is a great album that deserves patience in every department. The buildup in ultramundane themes such as God ("I've been waiting for this moment, moment to come, well here it is [above the world] / I've got everything I need here, right here with me, above the world" speak of a mischevious crossing between heavenly enunciation and heavenly feeling. Some of the lyrics, especially the shouted ones, are incomprehensible, and it's unclear to me yet, on several listens whether this adds to its otherworldiness. I think it does currently. As for the effects otherwise, the beats are pretty kinky and spiffy, whereas the track ordering feels consistent, even though the last third pales in comparison to earlier on.

Recondite - Hinterland LP
Ghostly International download

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Recondite's demeanour is similar to Murcof, however Autechre of the "Amber" style gives the record its unique, telling character. Organic beats, little synth ditties, eddying your eardrums like a sandworm in rev-up mode, splay out all the tracks in complex arrangements with the beatwork. 54 minutes of delicate melodies and stylish new age-meets-techno drums and bass to digest. "Leafs" repeats in E, mixing up scales and chords like a proficient instrumentalist. These tracks really are instrumental wonders, vamped with blood red carnations of seriousness and loving totality. Pacing of the record feels very thought-through, dense enough to invite acutely active listening but spacious also to recline you into the passive. A gem of a techno LP from Ghostly International, and surely remaining forever now.

Saved for later.

Grounding Sounds: Magnofon (Harry Towell / Spheruleus)

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"Again, a long hiatus from us but we’re still live and kicking. This time we’ve called Harry Towell back to present another Grounding Sounds show – this time under his House/Techno moniker Magnofon. Harry also records Ambient/electro-acoustic music as Spheruleus and we heard a glimpse of his taste in House music on GS #001. This is further explored in GS #010 through a 2 part vinyl-only mix which covers Harry’s all-time favourite House and Techno records spanning the last 25 years!

Harry’s own work as Magnofon has so far been concentrated on his own digital label Warehouse Decay Recordings which began life last year. Through WDR Harry has released two EPs and his debut album Fallowfall which like the label, is inspired by urban decay. Harry’s involvement with House music began in the early 2000s when he began collecting vinyl and before long found himself DJing locally and then in and around the Midlands, UK. "

Natasha Khan for YMC - Natasha Khan & Beck - Under The Indigo Moon


A thread of note by firefinga - Paleolithic House (pre 1988 house music)

Kevin Saunderson (one of Belleville Three with Derrick May) FACT Mix as part of rave week.

This deserves a mention - SB81 (Metalheadz) 1992 hardcore mix:

Nicky Blackmarket's "Basement Sessions 3 CD" was one of my early teens purchases in 2003. That had "The Filth" by Break on it, a really cool collab track. This linked mix is for Colab Recordings, who have been going for 10 years. A well mixed showcase.

Nice track: "The City (feat. Phia)"

FTEL016 - Cryogenics - Through The Eons LP
Omni Music CD / DL

The eons are vast, the eons are long. The eons are always there, and always going on. The eons may be light, the eons may be
slow. And sometimes there's all too far one must go. So, to the eons, times that time forgot.

"Through The Eons" is a likeable theme to waltz through time, from underexposed electronica producer Cyrogenics. Just as the
speed of time juts back and forth on the scale of empty or half-full, "we had no idea how much attention there is in the
cosmos", as says "Existence" in the middle of this magnificent album. Yes, the eons are shape-shifting entities, the break-
beating heart hugged by enwombing basslines that pry on the edge of your Good Looking seat and move around with little gaps
in the lining. I particularly love the syncopation in the drums - as with fellow Omni favourite Enjoy, Cryogenics creates
tessellating sonic shapes that drip through your eardrums like honey mixed with opium.

To most people, as one great philosopher said, "religion is faith mixed with cyanide", one reason why labels like Omni Music
may perturb some because of catalogue size. This is a top entry point, highlighting all segments of their sound, from the
abstract sultry downtempo present on the Ohm Series (see "Blue Sky") to the excellent vinyl-only series of installments that
have been put out every season once or so. "Anistrophy" meanwhile touches on ASC's techmospherics movement of the mid-2000s.

Cryogenic's frisson with fusion, as it stands, is delightfully constant and unique, dovetailing traditional samples including
amen and flute with hefty bass kicks alongside the diastolically lush melodies. The penchant Omni has for selecting some of
the best atmospheric dnb and drumfunk transgressive mediums is meticulously sly and substansially opaque, like a dove flying
over your house while an aeroplane does at a higher altitude. Beauty and sub bass, then, through the eons into an epiphany.

New DJ Ren live at Dzungel, Hungary May 2015

Flipping the footwork over like a moonwalking shoe.

FTEL 017 - May 2015

Emperor - Into Black EP
Critical Music 12'/DL

The corporatisation of club culture is nothing new - just look at Ministry Of Sound. And while the bangers bail out of court
frequently and maintain a corporate banger thematic, often heretic to the point of absolute, the corporatisation of labels
and subcultures remains something slightly less sinuous. You only have to look - or rather, listen to this EP on Critical,
one dnb & jungle label in lieu of Horizons Music and Signature middle road, for that ideological transplanting of subversion
to take place as you lock in with the headphones.

Because, isn't it nice to feel like you're tipping straw down into a compartment like spaghetti strands instead of wasting a
fluidity in feel and texture elsewhere. What I'm saying: in this context the music is firmly tied to zany dance spasms in the
vein of "Bounce"-era Optical, with a few silly spasmodic suctions between parts that then choose to perplex those off the Es.
The translation of contexts possible is no bad thing, especially in that corporate thematic every (good) label tries to
avidly avoid. Perhaps "Passed Up" can be seen as a nod to that. These tunes aren't afraid to wear their gurner grins.

What's most impressive to me is the Mav of Covert Operations-like touches - actual dynamics over wall of sound compression.
Isn't it nice to hear punchy drums that don't have that plastic, wet-fish-slap sound? Well there's plenty to satisfy here
then. Go into black at your own expense.

Muttley SV

- Stocked at:

This is quite a nice a full-bodied dnb/house/downtempo album just out by DJ Marky...'My Heroes'

Various - Mid Mic Crisis (Signature/Soul:R 2015)

This is a great dnb based LP with Calibre and DRS amongst others. Starts with a brilliant soulful track called 'The View'. Quite an ingenious combination of fortright raps and instrumental clarity.

Apart from that, Magnofon (Harry Towell of Audio Gourmet/Tessellate/Irregular Crates) has sent me a new LP called 'Smallroom Breaks'. Wonderful deep house. Feels like you're actually inside a venue.

FTEL 018 - July 2015

FPZ - The Light Of Day
Future Past CD/DL

'All kinds of people, white or black, can come together under one roof' marks
the first reggae-infused dubstep on this superb set of tracks by assorted
members of Future Past Zine's contributory stable. Betamax Heard opens with
opining birdsong and swelling synths; elsewhere, a pneumatic gym workout of
bass weight medicates the mind while you don't even have to sway in time. The
whole idea of lightness contrasting darkness - focus here being on the bright
hues that can result from hue transfusion - operates past present and future
narcoleptic qualities, delays and 'normal lives', into a rubik resonant sound

The recent crop of dnb and jungle releases are interesting me for reviewing, in about 3 focused batches this week, but 2 of those are aimed for the vinyl archive at this minute.

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