Following Tayyab's excellent entry, I'm very happy to have the chance to share some music with you while Aidan is away. The selections are mostly recent and in some way revolve around the little musical community that exists in Dusseldorf and Cologne (if not always strictly geographically then in aesthetic and approach).- Eradj
R E L E A S E S
Dusseldorf’s Wolf Müller (aka Jan Schulte aka Bufiman aka Goofy Man aka Duskoking Burnhart McKoolski) is a resident at the city’s beloved Salond des Amateurs, and his discography is rich with his own oddball, psychedelic but infectious take on disco and house influenced music (some of my favourite examples are Balztanz, Wu Du Wu, and a remix of fellow Salon mainstay Tolouse Low Trax). Jan’s forte is his percussion, so this album with Osnabrück’s Cass. is a (pleasant) surprise - a sequence of placid, largely ambient pieces ornamented with stunning strings and punctuated with woodblock, shakers and other arresting elements.
As Unicorn Hard-On, Valerie Martino has released some of the most compelling music from the so called “noise-techno” scene which appeared in the US in the past several years (perhaps crucially, she has a background primarily in noise and experimental music so her work is not simply a dalliance with what’s in vogue). 2013’s album on Spectrum Spools is still one of my favourite albums on that incredible label, and her new 12” record on untergang-institut is variation and evolution of the sound found on that record. Propulsive drums underpin tracks which dovetail between unrelenting focus and a beautiful sort of cacophony of garbled synths and squalls of noise.
Frankfurt’s MMODEMM label specialise in tape packs of music from artists from all around the world and often spanning diverse musical styles (and yet showing something very much in line with the label’s core aesthetic). Previous releases have been buy-on-sight material - my favourite tracks are Privacy’s Density & Nika Son’s Physalis Go. This latest pack - the fifth in the label’s tape discography, comes with tracks by S Olbricht, Antonio, Yung Prado, SHigh & The Empfänger Band, Strahinja Arbutina - with the artists offering everything from noisy techno, electro, rough & fantastically odd house, new wave & EBM. The label’s work is not only impressive in terms of the quality of the music, but the packs are also wonderful bits of musical ephemera - vibrantly coloured sets of five tapes enclosed in clear boxes, each tape with a track by different artists.
The Philadelphia label Great Circles have consistently been putting out some of my favourite “weird” techno and experimental music 12s of the last few years. This release (available digitally or as a vinyl double pack) includes tracks from the likes of Dan Trevitt, Westov Temple, _moonraker and spans noise, techno, noise and drone. My immediate personal favourite so far are the Hero Victim and _moonraker tracks, though the nature of the label’s output is such that it’s artists’ multi-layered music reveals new details on repeat listens a certain evolution of “relationship” with the pieces takes place.
To return from America’s mid-Atlantic again to Dusseldorf and the Salon, earlier this year Tolouse Low Trax released a single on the Themes From Great Cities label (also from Dusseldorf). I have been listening to the record consistently now for months and don’t seem to get tired of it - the combination of the title track’s echoed mystical snatches of speech and distant voices (almost overtly-serious in a certainly self-aware and humorous way) and those drums as well as the playful, motoric rhythm of what is the standout track for me (Reserves To Talk) make it a sort perfect encapsulation of the club and the many talented people which undoubtedly inspired it. The artist behind TLT - Detlef, is also a member of an interesting group Kreidler which I would highly recommend as well.
Another DJ and artist with a long-time association with Salon is Vladimir Ivkovic. His label - Offen Music, has previously put out a record by Detlef Weinrich (of previous recommendation’s Tolouse Low Trax) and Viktoria Wehrmeister. While that record is already a Salon classic and example of a piece of music that works exceptionally well on a dance-floor, the latest release from Offen and Ivkovic looks away from what one would consider club music. A re-release of an album originally released in Poland in the mid 90s, it features three song with soaring, highly emotive and evocative vocals.
1080p doesn’t need much introduction - the label has a frankly astounding capacity to put out excellent music at a consistent and even intimidating rate. To celebrate their third birthday, the entire catalogue is Pay-What-You-Want. One could in all likelihood do nothing but explore their output until the fourth birthday comes up!
M I X E S
Charlotte Simon is one of the people behind the above-mentioned MMODDEM label. A multi-talented artist (one of the projects she is involved in, les trucs, are involved in play-production by the Thalia Theater group - television featurehere, in German). In this mix she shares a broad variety of music from Japan.
Inga Mauer is a DJ from St. Petersburg who is associated with Clone and the eclectic Cómeme label. This mix for Calvert Journal - a publication based in London with a focus on culture and politics in Russia and Eastern Europe, is a good representation of Inga’s energetic, super-focused club sets - she has a great knack for extracting subtleties from, for lack of a better word, banging techno music. For an example of Mauer’s other, less technoid side check out her recent dublab mix or the numerous, exception Soviet Bon Voyage mixes for Cómeme of Soviet-era and Russian 90s and contemporary underground and experimental music.
This is the last instalment of the NTS residency of a young and very talented DJ from Cologne (as well Salon resident). A typically energetic and effortlessly eclectic assortment of music, it showcases his versatility and skills as a selector. Previous show's are highly recommended as well. His "curatorial" skills are on display in the several guest mixes - my particular favourites are ones by Terra Exotica and by another Cologne DJ (and Salon resident...and disclaimer: close friend) Jules.
This mix is two years old and served as a preview showcase for a lot of the incredible music released by Music From Memory. Despite the fact that much of the pieces featured in it - by Gigi Masin and Suzo Saiz to name but two, are now much-familiar and loved, the presentation in this mix makes them feel as fresh as ever. This is ambient at its beautiful, melancholic best.
For other music-related things, I would recommend
• This interview with Kablam in which she discusses her working process and ideas as well as the political/social/cultural context from which her music comes from and exists in.
• A photo gallery from the latest issue of the Wire of the 1970s jazz group Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids.
• Crowdsourcing campaign to raise funds to re-publish the groundbreaking experimental composer Daphne Oram's book "An Individual Note: of Music, Sound and Electronics"/
(Header image via the one and only @DreamboatSlim)