After three years and a false start, Grimes aka Claire Boucher has returned with the follow-up to her breakthrough, Visions, and it’s a brightly colored collection of artpop magical realism. The drumline beats and sunny guitars and melodies of “California” and the title track could almost pass for something on mainstream radio, if not for Boucher’s clarion voice cutting through. Similarly, the nimble “Flesh Without Blood” might not be the most original song Grimes has put to tape, but it’s the catchiest and is damn near irresistible. Yet in between those songs we get “Scream,” which has none of the safety of her more accessible tunes, between Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes’ twisting flow and Boucher’s curdled screech. The previously released “REALiTi” throws fans of her more straightforward electro-pop a bone, though it continues with the posi vibes and influences of K-pop and early ’90s house that flow through the rest of the album. Meanwhile, “Venus Fly,” her spacey hip hop duet with Janelle Monae, is a pure delight, coming off like a futuristic art-school version of the Spice Girls, and “Kill vs. Maim” has the feel of the drama kids taking over a pep rally with Boucher’s yelp simultaneously spirited and demented. Boucher has no use for genre boundaries and is seemingly allergic to negativity, all of which gives Art Angels an unbeatable all-embracing energy. The biggest change from Visions is that Boucher’s personality is more front-and-center; whereas that album could be more cold and cerebral in its in-between tracks, Art Angels is entirely engaging, and even its most digitized moments are stained with blood. (Art Angels will be released on LP and CD Dec. 11.)
The SYNTH Huckaby Remixes 12"
Slices Of Life
Slices Of Life presents tracks from Vladislav Delay's Sistol and Pole projects, remixed by Mike Huckaby. To start, "Keno" is transformed into an outstanding, dubby, Detroit-house masterpiece -- exclusively released as an extended version. On the B-side, Huckaby remixed a track originally produced in the same time period: Pole's "Silberfisch." In 2011, Mike Huckaby keeps the dubby and slightly melancholic, crackling atmosphere of the original, but his "S Y N T H Remix" beams "Silberfisch" straight onto the dancefloor.
Purchase Synth Remixes here
Into Infinity 2LP
On the fifth album by Alan Abrahams aka Portable, he teams up with Efdemin, Johannes Schön and Süd Electronic label-mate Lakuti, to lead us Into Infinity. During the last 15 years, Alan has lived and composed in South Africa, England, Portugal and Germany. He has released records on Background, Context, Karat, Musik Krause, ~scape, Spectral, his very own Süd Electronics label and Yore.
Purchase Into Infinity here
Theo Parrish / Burnt Friedman
Meet Mancingelani and Zinja Hlungwani 12"
Icey electro with a MORODER-esque bassline is the order of the day as warped, gibberish vocals glide in and out of the mix. Expanding the robotic terrain of side A is the 2-step rhythm of "FALLING AGAIN". Both wildly hypnotic and addictive tracks. (3024)
Purchase Convexations here:
Strange Days Vol. 1 12”
An all-analog assault on the senses, LORY D's idiosyncratic take on techno is on display with two tracks of mind bending acid as only he can produce them, with old skool sounds made for the future. Includes "ACIDRONIX" and "ACID PRASTIX". (NUMBERS)
Purchase Strange Days Vol. 1 12" here:
What Have We Learned
This full-length from techno tastemakers Delsin is co-released by the man who made it, Morphosis aka Ra.H aka Rabih Beaini, on his own Morphine Records, as well as by close associate M>O>S. Beaini has been crafting away in the nether-regions of the techno underworld since the '90s. Initially as a DJ, it was a move to Italy in 1996 which proved the catalyst for him to start experimenting in the studio. And he really did experiment: few people craft the sort of emotional, imaginative techno as has Beaini for labels like M>O>S and Morphine Records. Keen followers of techno will already have heard some of the offerings from this album, as both "Androids Among Us" and "Dirty Matter" were remixed by T++ and Newworldaquarium for a limited edition white label. The excitement surrounding that release was palpable enough, but get lost in a full-length Morphosis experience and you enter a whole new world of techno excellence. Kicking off with the Redshape-channeling, misty, slo-techno march and buried percussive clatter of "Silent Screamer," the album builds through a plethora of grainy landscapes. They're sometimes dense with a dusty static, sometimes lit up by a female vocal or occasionally paired with a round house kick, but always sound rooted in some real (albeit far off and desolate) world. The hum and buzz of Beaini's bottom-ends have instruments and synths spiraling round as the only reference points in an otherwise engulfing sonic fog. Churning the listener round and round with his confident, assertive grooves, Morphosis' dark and long house and techno fusions explore -- like few others can -- engaging new ground with their every subtle turn. Influences range from Krautrock via new wave but, importantly, all are digested by Morphosis before being re-imagined as something wholly fresh and original which, in turn, stands up well to both dancefloor deployment and intense home listening. What have we leaned? That house and techno still have a lot to offer thanks to the likes of Morphosis.
New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:
CITY WASTELAND PART 2 12"
Part 2 starts with "MOVE," true-school techno. "DIRTBOMB" has a raw, bluesy house feel, and on the flip are the Detroit influenced "WEIRD DANCER" and the vinyl exclusive "TFF," which delivers intense and acid-like drum layers. Chicago galore!
ADOBE EP 12"
The first cut is downright mysterious...deep stacked chords play with your ears. "SOUTH EAST" follows a Detroit-ish motif as a pan flute pangs the air, keeping the high ends in focus. Slicked out tech house made from the man with a keen sense of what keeps us lost in a groove.
Featurecast GRANDMASTER CAST EP 12" BIBB004
Various INTO BATTLE EP (FEATURECAST) 12" BOMBBAT1
Aldo Vanucci BSTRD BOOTS #9 12" BJX009
Aquasky DEEP FAT FREQUENCIES EP #1 12" PASA051
Dark Phayd-R MADE YOU SHACK UP 7" BP7003
Deadmau5 GHOSTS'N'STUFF 12" MAU5020T
Dre Skull I WANT YOU (BOK BOK RMX) 12" BOKBOK01
Falko Brocksieper ADOBE EP 12" CNTX35
Playdoe FREEZE STEP (STARKEY REMIX) 12" RWINA003
Various BEAT DIMENSIONS VOL.2 #3 12" RH10912C