The fourth official full-length from British polymath Actress has the producer less focused on traditional rhythms than ever, opting instead for a bleak council estate ambiance. Many of these tracks, such as opener, Forgiven, plod along slowly like a Western score reimagined as gritty urban synth music. Still Actress lets his obvious melodic talents drip sparingly, as seen on the insular funk jam Birdcag . Much of the material explores the DJ Screw influenced territory he explored on his otherworldy remix of Legowelt's Elements of Houz Music.
Heavy, retro-tinged dj tools. The title track is heavy kick, vocal cut-up woodshedding along the lines of the Head High eps. An insouciant organ riff holds it all together. The B, Back Out, is for a little later in the evening, with a beautiful hypnotic piano chord propelling the track along.
Is there a more consistent synth journeyman than Steve Moore? Going back to the Zombi days, there is nary a dud in SM's catalog, and his synth-heavy/drum-light music has fit nicely on LIES, Spectrum Spools, Death Waltz and more. The rejuvenated Future Times snatches two of Moore's more rhythmic constructions for this twelve. Zen Spiders' trickling arpeggio and spacious pads are backed by a simple bassline and 4/4. The b, Laxwana, comes of like a more delicate version of Pye Corner Audio's analog rhythm tracks.
Ren Schofield continues his scorched earth campaign. On his first outing for Mute's adventurous subsidiary Liberation Technologies, Container goes harder than ever. This one coaxes leads out of the unlikeliest places. Opener Glaze forms a melody out of the feedback you hear when you unplug a chord from an input source, while the title track uses a chaotic, sirenic lead of unknown origin. Tough noise techno, doesn't let up.
Crimes of the Future
Detroit producer Elizabeth Merrick-Jefferson emerged from virtual obscurity with her twelve for Argot last year. Plenty more where that came from, and Timothy J. Fairplay and Scott Fraser were wise to pick her up for their new Crimes of the Future label. The title track here is absolutely brilliant, with the delicate touch and invocation to move of the best Carl Craig productions.
The Hessle crew has proved themselves to be among the more tuned-in sifters of the post-bass dance music landscape, and this mix from Pangaea can now stand alongside Ben UFO's various mixes as a summary of where we are now. It helps that Pangaea begins the mix with his unreleased Recreational Slumming, a excellent mid-tempo slapper that fits in alongside idiosyncratic Hessle releases of recent vintage. Elsewhere, Pangaea explores the fringes of the US/UK underground, dropping Lee Gamble, Sun God (Hieroglyphic Being) and memorably, the exposure mix of Speedy J's Something For Your Mind.
Deep techno on Jack Murphy's second outing for Reference. Roughly, these tracks combine the ominous percussive feel of an Ostgut or Stroboscopic Artefacts release,with the 1,000 yard stare feeling engendered by the dubiness and pads of Donato Dozzy's work. Recommended.
New this week:
LUMEN, JAY: I House U 12"