“We’ve been here before/skin recalls the cold/dreams of ice and snow/dreams aren’t any more/dreams of ice and snow/drowning in the heat of hungry souls/ in our skin…”
This is Odd Rumblings, a two-piece residing in Brooklyn U.S.A and this is their debut record. An EP of icy grace, haunted atmosphere and devastating pop-hooks pitched in the half-light of a steel sharpened moon.
Audrey Lim and Gabriel Sedgwick are creators of sparsely inhabited pop-dramas, mini epics in chorus and reverb reflected through a chromium camera obscura. Their voices always at play, always at war, twisting in the echo chamber soaring through whipcrack-snares, Badalamenti synth washes, grumbling bass pressure and liquid pads.
They talk of Thieves and Modern War; Wrong Right, Ice Floe, Princess Spoke and Mister Frosty, six tracks bathed in the cold of a dormant snowdrift. But after the Arctic bite, always comes the warm. Their melodies keep us blanketed from harm, smiling through tears. Whether that is flawless vocal harmonies stacked high in Spector Sound or the slow motion synth stabs that tickle the cochlea. Please marvel in the elegant kisses of lead cut “Ice Floe”, the cavern techno-pop of “Princess Spoke” the yearning love song to “Mister Frosty” or the freezer burn heartbreak of “Wrong / Right”. Music composed of so few elements rarely sounds this full, rich, luxurious, sad.
As we reach the end of 2014, the nights come closer. Our everyday becomes faster, trying to steal every minute in the light. Odd Rumblings are here as antidote to autumn>winter relentlessness, the stormy white-noise of modern life. A perfect pause for breath, but hopefully not the last.
A1 Ice Floe
A2 Mr Frosty
A3 Modern War
B1 Princes Spoke
B3 Wrong / Right
Total Duration: twenty five minutes and thirty seconds
A year on from their Public Information debut, Chicago duo Jeremy Lemos and Brian Case return to the fold with five new pieces of exquisitely produced wave-funk-techno-noise-electronics.
It takes great skill to pull off a three-minute electronic drone-grumble to kickstart your new record. Lemos and Case have it in droves. The tension is jet-black, loaded with friction. Modular energy pulses in and out, in and out. Then suddenly Case takes to the microphone, snarls and spits “Hey Bullfighter, read about you in a book…”
I W I finds Acteurs in a more assured, confident, angry mood than their debut. The signifiers are there – claustrophobic Ike Yard glare, Factory Floor throb, Diagonal abstractions – but we now have a bold swagger, stomping triumphantly into frightening new space. The crushing late-song collapse of “Honey Bear” is a breathtaking wall of clatter and noise that Tim Hecker would blush at. The loopy saw-tooth menace of “River Card” is as strange as anything they’ve done and the pummeling title track could easily shatter those murky dancefloors of strip-lit basements where people from the future dance in amongst the normals; machine drums puncturing the smoke, ear damaging feedback rattles the walls, torn Moog shapes cutting chatter to zero…end of night.
We have a feeling that this is merely a stepping-stone to an incredible future direction for Acteurs, but what a platform. We will be there all the way.
A1 Pride Of Classes
B1 Honey Bear
B2 River Card
B3 I W I
Watch the video for La Paloma (Directed by Paul Clipson)
And so we present a second record from our NY via San Francisco family, a blossoming talent, Austin Cesear. Primed and fresh from a 12” on Anthony Naples’ Proibito label and an Opal Tapes cassette, he surfaces again over a year on from his widely revered Cruise Forever LP – welcome to West Side.
Heavily inspired by the dockside location of Oakland Port, CA. This is Austin Cesear beside black water in the darkest hours, white sodium light bouncing across the surf. Searching across the bay, industry stands proud in the early morning haze. Cargo, containers, machines. Cranes pierce the sky, gulls scream, motors grind – the rush and roar of a new working day in his ears.
Back in the studio these sounds, these sights manifest. Track One – La Paloma, the liquid blue dawn, loops into the horizon. Whilst track two – Ain’t It So (Necessary) becomes a twitchy techno shuffle that soon breaks down into the disused mechanic sludge of Cloven Hoov. Easy Bend is then a lesson in the sublime. A machine rhythm in mourning, an aching drone, the soundtrack to ships rolling out of the Bay, toward new worlds. Then the growl of Samareda… a storm of insects hammering against a kick-thump that grows and grows before a shower of voices sweeten the mood to take us home in a blaze of light. Stunning tackle. Bee Free (Warlick Mix) is the endgame – a rugged swagger of moody bump n’ beat. The funkiest thing on here.
And so we leave Oakland, we leave Austin Cesear… until next time. This young producer is steadily becoming a mature soul, an exceptional sound, a moment of calm in an ever breathless, over crowded market.
A1 La Paloma
A2 Ain’t It So (Necessary)
A3 Cloven Hoov
B1 Easy Bend
B3 Bee Free (Warlick Mix)
Unofficial sequel to our Parry Music compilation from 2012, here again we step into the world of library. With official permission granted from the label itself we have selected 31 tracks from UK library music institution Standard Music spanning 30 years of electronic play, this is Happy Machine.
Standard Music Library was established in 1968 as a partnership between independent music publisher David Platz and London Weekend Television. Themes and incidental music for hit LWT shows like Black Beauty, Upstairs, Downstairs, On the Buses and The Professionals, were written under Standard’s wing. A breathtaking who’s-who of musicians recorded under the Standard banner, pressing up records that are now found in the rare as hens-teeth zone; Brian Eno, Delia Derbyshire, John Gregory. Those who feature on Happy Machine include… Brian Hodgson, John Kongos, Richard Thair, John Keating, Mike Vickers, Marco Pirroni and none other than Beatles producer George Martin jamming out on a Moog…..These characters and more are nestled comfortably here on Happy Machine as we try to make sense of our favourite electronic moments from this incredible library.
We trip from desolate Radiophonic ambient, to cute bleep-idents, to stark contemporary drone to jagged electronic scorch. There are moments of square-Italo groove, freaky electroid-psych and early 70’s Beat. Moog-heavy workouts sit nervously aside unsettling concrete. Harsh science-fiction drama bristles against gentle Romantic interludes. This is electronic library music laid bare in all its wonderful diversity; sounds for a thousand images, scores for myriad backdrops, as British spring breaks its silence, Happy Machine is the record for these days.
A1. Logo Rhythmic II – Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133B)
A2. Cathedral Of Space – Brian Hodgson (ESL133B)
A3. Arcadian Valley – Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133A)
A4. Deserted Starship – Richard Hewson (ESL008d)
A5. Haley’s Largo – John Keating (ESL008d)
A6. Programmadate – Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133B)
A7. Sidestreet – John Kongos (ESL164)
B1. Happy Machine – Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133B)
B2. Curve of the Wind – Mike Vickers (ESL122A)
B3. Eary Feary – George Martin (ESL121B)
B4. Homing Nucleus – Mike Vickers (ESL121B)
B5. In the Shadows – Chris McCormack (ESL201d)
B6. In Safe Hands (No Bass / No Beats) – Kirk Thompson (ELS099)
B7. The Craters of Mars – Brian Hodgson (ESL133)
B8. Sous Sol – Elliot Ireland, Alessandro Rizzo, Tom Greenwood (ESL074)
C1. Flutes – Naim Amor (ESL203)
C2. Glass Corridor into Hall of Glass Clocks – John Gregory (ESL116B)
C3. Take me Home – Richard Thair (ESL096)
C4. Happy Soul – Jim Lawless (ESL215)
C5. The Wind From Nowhere – Mike Vickers (ESL127A)
C6. Banshee – Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133B)
C7. Headful of Birds – Mike Vickers (ESL127A)
D1. The Seven Immortals – Kirk Thompson (ESL099)
D2. Crystal Forms – Brian Hodgson, Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133A)
D3. Song Of The Wilderness – Brian Hodgson, Reginald J. Lewis (ESL133B)
D4. In The Beginning – Mike Vickers (ESL127A)
D5. Mystery Stomp (B) – Marco Pirroni (ESL218)
D6. On The Streets – John Kongos (ESL164)
D7. Haley’s Comet – John Keating (ESL008d)
D8. Goodnight – Chris Barron (ESL154)
4 track EP (Ltd 500 copy pressing (no repress) in debossed house sleeve, individually hand numbered) / Download
And so we drive down rain-slicked analogue motorways head first into our second EP series release following an IVVVO dispatch in September 2013. This time out Ralph Cumbers AKA Some Truths AKA Bass Clef is behind the wheels.
The clue is in the title. Tom “BugBrand” Bugs, denizen of Bristol, electronic sound devices engineer, maker and creator. The four tracks here are dedicated to his craft and design: the thrill of the analogue-surprise, the crunch of the circuit, the twist of the patch cable, the white-hot burn of solder on board. BUT it takes a real master to make sense of these machines, Public Information are so happy to have one in our midst.
Long-time wielder of the modular-flame, Ralph Cumbers has a distinguished CV for the likes of Punch Drunk and his own Magic+Dreams imprint. Here, across four extended sequences does he shine, taking the crystalline drive and coarse groove of the acclaimed Reeling Skullways LP into hotwired groove zones.
“Sometimes the only way out is to go further in” starts the trip. Take care dear listener; once you’re in track one, you may not want to escape from its grip, its cyclical riffs, its space dust licks, its buttered bass notes. Then, the sadness. The mournful minor key shuffle of “elsewhen” is sheer blue-note Blade Runner melancholy. Then, the euphoria. Instant gratification hits you on “faster than the speed of love” a click-pump-click-pump kick surrounded by jagged sawtones, straight to the chest. Through swirling, speed-addled melodies does Clef then lead us- Detroit nights under Hackney sodium lights. Then, to a breath. Bugbranded arrives at an all too premature end with “neon black and vulcane” a glistening collage of white noise splash, acidic whispers and head-nod-chug.
This is techno how it was dreamed in Belleville, re-imagined by a genius with a synth or three. In Clef we trust, for all our magic and dreams.
A1: sometimes the only way out is to go further in
B1: faster than the speed of love
B2: neon black and vulcane