Weird Shizz

Our very own audio miner, Kris Needs plugs in the weird shizz hoover and fills his bucket with essential new tuneage for your listening pleasure…

‘Eastend Tales’

As my rabbits celebrate Electronic Sound in an exciting new format by practising their line-dancing on the terrace, what better way to kick off than this spanking new six-tracker from Metamono dynamo Jono Podmore under his long-time Kumo alias. Producing music for Fin Kennedy’s play ‘Eastend Tales’, he’s enlisted help from the fabulous Plink Plonk label, which ruled the pure techno roost in the 90s. So the pulsing waft of ‘Weather Bomb’ gets a throbbing acid cracker down its shorts by Rolo McGinty (aka Pluto), before Hijacker (Laggy Pantelli) turns it into a fizzing electro hamslapper, Eugene Black (the legendary Paul Rip) whips up spooked techno dub splashed with Basic Channel aftershave flurries, and Ramjac (Paul Chivers) takes the dubstep route.

Circle Sky
‘Reveal / Interstellar’
(Circle Sky)

Richard Norris found success with The Grid, before working with Joe Strummer and then embarking on projects including the Time And Space Machine and Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve. A true electronic forager with a healthy regard for analogue tackle, now Richard is unleashing the first 12-inch missive from Circle Sky, his new outfit with Martin Dubka, which came together in an undercover residency at Secret Cinema’s ‘Star Wars’ event in London’s Docklands last year. The colossal modular Moog System 55 is the only instrument used on these two 10-minute slabs of spontaneous combustion. ‘Reveal’ recalls Underworld’s live knees-ups from 20 years ago. This reaffirming new enterprise will be well worth checking as it unfolds.

Max Graef & Glenn Astro
‘The Yard Work Simulator’
(Ninja Tune)

photo: Maximilian Virgili

Pleasure, seasickness, groove-bliss, panic attacks, spontaneous bowel evacuation… Just some of the reactions experienced during this heady barrage from Berlin vinyl connoisseurs Graef and Astro as they mangle jazz, funk, soul, disco and early house into highly personalised dreamscapes where nothing is quite what it seems. The pair started with a list of track titles, then set to work realising offerings such as ‘Where The Fuck Are My Hard Boiled Eggs?!’ (eerie dismembered funk), ‘Flat Peter’ (jazz-house through the bottom of a lysergic toilet bowl) and ‘Money $ex Theme’ (scratch ‘n’ sniff groovage). This is what it’s like at underground obsessive level now. Trust Ninja Tune to be thrusting it forth with such gleeful abandon.

‘Rook To TN34’
(Mordant Music)

Since the turn of the century, Baron Mordant has been putting out the most eccentric, weird and often wonderful electronica, often in bizarre limited edition formats. His fourth album with Ekoplekz again sees the poet intone his bleak, biting missives over an array of warped backdrops and mutant groove scratchings from the Baron. Titles such as ‘Gloomy Leper Techno’, ‘Slag Heap Snow Angels’ and ‘Nostalgia For Early Plug-Ins’ provide a new take on geekery. There’s also a hilarious barb at a certain rich lowest common denominator DJ on ‘Guetta Life’. ‘Britain’s Got Talon’ indeed, but future-pointed music has rarely sounded so arcane and sinister.

Various Artists
’20 Years Of Henry Street Music: The Definitive 7-Inch Collection (Part 1)’

I’m an unashamed sucker for lovely physical treasures such as this set of five 45s presented in a sleeve that looks like Brooklyn’s answer to Led Zep’s ‘Physical Graffiti’. And inside you’ll find some genuine electronic disco history. Also coming as a triple album boasting more tracks, the singles preserve landmark gems from the label started by DJ/vinyl junkie Johnny DeMairo in 1994 (named after his address in Brooklyn), capturing that magic time in New York clubbing history when The Shelter and Sound Factory ruled and the city’s underground street sound invaded the world through the likes of Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez’s Bucketheads, Armand Van Helden, DJ Sneak, Mike Delgado and Scottie Deep.

DLS / Kader Yani
‘Joint EP’
(Semper Memor)

Half the fun of doing this is discovering new names and takes on trusty blueprints. This release rips ’em up to create another world. One EP, two artists, two tracks each of unusually subtle electronic weaving. DLS starts with the woozy minimalism of ‘Raw Sushi’, which is dominated by blurry keyboard frequencies like Morse code tapped out on a Martian’s loin cloth, while ‘Take Care Of Your Baby’ plants subterranean space chords and rattling reverb clatter over deep strings. Kader Yani explores more esoteric terrain on ‘Gece’, whose analogue jockstrap rummagings and tom-tom throb usher in a Richie Hawtin-like 303 mewl. Multi-layered synth melodies (recalling early 90s Frankfurt) drape ‘Hayal’ as it develops over ceremonial drum pulses.

Demian Licht
‘Female Criminals Vol 1’

Apparently inspired by krautrock, classic female rock singers and David Lynch, Licht whips up an impressively dark foursome. ‘Indomitus’ rides an ominous bomber drone gouged by stark vocal shards, conjuring a feeling of imminent doom which continues through the pattering glow-worm flatulence of ‘Furia’ and the eerie ‘Domina’. The final track, ‘‘Sin’, builds on its spooky femme fatale vocal bite before creepy Lynchian atmosphere textures are joined by a curiously seductive keyboard pattern, providing the set’s most genuinely surreal moments.

‘Time Tourism’

Rather than a Scottish exclamation, Och refers to the Swedish word for “And”. This ex-pat Brit producer, initially championed by Baby Ford, whips up a heady brew of early 90s house riff ghosts planted over skeletal, creaking percussion. Intriguingly, and symbolic of how times have changed, much of the rhythm comes from the keyboard motifs rather than the percussion. This is aimed at the melon not the rectum, although more straightforward kick/hat combinations underpin the spectral floatation of ‘Prince Agoo’ and ‘Flux’. The title track is meanwhile a snare-basted parson’s nose of bare house manipulation, dripping with haunting Larry Heard glaciers. Och? Aye, the noo (sorry).

Various Artists
‘Touched Bass: Music For Macmillan Cancer Support’
(Bass Agenda)

Last up, a project well worthy of support, which sees the Macmillan cancer charity, started by Martin Boulton to raise money for nurses who had helped his mum through her illness, hook up with Bass Agenda and EPM to produce a remarkable body of over 100 tracks from legends, faves and newer names. The contributors include The Hacker, Billie Ray Martin, G-Man (LFO), Mark Broom, Tudor Acid, Steve Stoll, Radical G, Mark Archer, Marco Bernardi and John Tejada. Unsurprisingly, most modern electronic bases are covered, from far-out electro to strides-scorching acid. Available through Bandcamp. Go on!

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