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Reviews: Various Genres

 
 

Review: COH Mort Aux Vaches

Label: Staalplaat

This latest installment in Staalplaat's Mort Aux Vaches series of live recordings spotlights the prodigious talents of Ivan Pavlov a.k.a. COH. Pavlov is one of the lesser-known members of Berlin's Raster-Noton collective and undoubtedly the most intriguingly idiosyncratic. The set here captures much of the wonder of COH (pronounced "son," meaning "sleep" in Russian): the primal buzzing electronics, bursts of static and hiss and crackling percussion. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Seasonal Greetings

Label: Mobile

So what does a seasonal compilation sound like coming from a place where the winter holidays aren't garish displays of commercialism? Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Multiplex: Mixt

Label: Senton

Remix compilations can be like pro sports, with the field crowded with wannabe superstars all trying to outdo each other and win a big contract in the process. Mixt, a collection of remixes of the duo Multiplex, deftly dodges the showmanship problem by handing a superb group of remixers an equally superb set of tracks and letting them run wild, so that everyone scores big. Russian duo EU fashion a gorgeous version of "Neuteq," with buzzes and hums hanging suspended, and a rhythmic dripping effect wandering around catching the beat. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Mas Confusion

Label: !K7

Music Aus Strom, which achieved cult status via Funkstrung's stewardship in the late '90s, awakes from its dormancy with this extremely coherent (if slightly dated) first compilation. It's the kind of thing you'd have expected two years ago in the heyday of pre-glitch melodic IDM, but that's not to say it's not wonderful. Read more » 

Review: Eight Frozen Modules Thought Process Disorder

Label: Orthlorng Musork

Juxtaposing sharp-as-nails beat barrages with myriad gurgling, plasticene sounds, Eight Frozen Modules' Ken Gibson seems to cross the line separating IDM-pop convention and experimental abrasion with every other step on this, his full-length debut. Each track overflows with sound and fury as Gibson chews up and spits out radically de- and-re-formed melodies, grooves, beats and basslines. There are enough fits, starts and hairpin turns to make you reach for the Dramamine, but somehow you're still aching to continue the journey. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Badmeaningood Vol. 2: Roots Manuva

Label: Ultimate Dilemma

Is it our duty as good hipsters to hate on branded compilation series? Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Irma on Canvas: Exhibition #2

Label: Irma

Having heard the excellent Volcov-compiled Irma compilation' had high hopes for Irma's latest release. It's not quite as accessible, but chances are that's where the Exhibition title comes in. Repeat listens provided a better view of its broad scope and more adventurous nature. Whereas Volcov's genius was in juxtapositions, Exhibition #2 seems like the efforts of a thorough "dig," as sublime remixes of Nubian Mindz and the Easy Access Orchestra cozy up next to the likes of Tibet's United Peace Voices and Japan's Soul Bossa Trio. Read more » 

Review: Lucky Pierre Hypnogogia

Label: Melodic

Evidently Arab Strap main guy Aidan Moffat is something of an insomniac. And because he can't stomach "chill out" records, he went and made himself his own album to sleep by. Ironically, if we are to believe the myth behind the music, you'd be hard-pressed to get any shut-eye to this. It's too good. Borrowing strings from both his own Arab Strap songs and Baroque symphonies, and underpinning them with feathered Casio rhythms, Hypnogogia tugs you into a forested maze of memory and melancholy that suggests Gas remixing Godspeed!, or Kid Loco remixing Art of Noise. Read more » 

Review: Various Artists Tiga: DJ Kicks

Label: !K7

Equally adored and maligned for his remake of Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night," fellow Canadian Tiga is very much of this moment, what with his unrepentant affection for all things '80s. His devotion to artificial fabrics and doughy skin has even made him the kind of International Pop star Fischerspooner so dream of being. Read more » 

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